Sunday, June 5, 2011


‘Forests for Water and Wetland’- Slogan for World Wetland Day
The World Wetland day celebrated on 2nd February, which marks the date of adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Capsian Sea. It is a special day as it is celebrating 40th anniversary of Ramsar convention. This year’s slogan is ‘Forests for Water and Wetlands’.
International Advisory Panel Lauds NRHM Performance
The recent meeting of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) for reviewing the National Rural Health Mission was held in New Delhi . The Panel led by Professor Jeffrey D Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, University of Columbia along with their team of experts, commended the impressive performance and dramatic results achieved under NRHM in a record short span, terming NRHM an extraordinary model in Public Health management. 
11th Sustainable Development Summit
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, addressed the 11th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi.  He was also honored with the Sustainable Development Leadership Award. 
Non-lapsable fund for expeditious completion of 'National Projects' in the North East
The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved setting up of a non-lapsable fund called 'North East Region Rail Development Fund (NERRDF) for National Projects in the North Eastern Region. The NERRDF is to be funded to the tune of 25% through Railway Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) and balance 75% by Ministry of Finance as non-dividend additionally to GBS. This will ensure assured flow of funds for the National Projects so as to complete them in a time-bound manner. 
National Infant Mortality Rate Down to Fifty
As per the latest Sample Registration System (SRS) estimates released by the Registrar General of India (RGI), Ministry of Home Affairs for the year 2009, it is noted that  Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has dropped by  3 points from 53 (during 2008) to 50 infants deaths per 1000 live births during 2009.  The IMR for rural areas has dropped by 3 points from 58 to 55 infant deaths per 1000 live births.  As per the data, the State of Goa has reported the lowest IMR of 11 infant deaths followed by Kerala with 12 infant deaths per 1000 live births during 2009.  While the national average is 3 points drop, the States of Bihar, Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, J&K, Andaman and Nicobar islands have reported 4 points decrease.  Bihar had reported 56 infant deaths per 1000 live births in 2008 but down to 52 in 2009.  Similarly Karnataka recorded drop from45 in 2008 to 41 in 2009, Orissa IMR has come down from 69 in 2008 to 65 in 2009.  Rajasthan recorded 63 infant deaths  per 1000 live births in 2008 and down to 59 in 2009.  Uttar Pradesh IMR has come down from 67 in 2008 to 63 in 2009.  J&K similarly has recorded drop from 49 to 2008 to 45 in 2009 and Andaman and Nicobar islands from 31 in 2009 to 27 in 2009. Daman and Diu have registered the maximum drop of 7 points from 31 IMR in 2008 to 24 in 2009, followed closely by 6 points drop in Lakshadweep from 31 to 25. 
The Sample Registration System (SRS) is a large-scale demographic survey for providing reliable annual estimates of birth rate, death rate and other fertility & morality indicators at the national and sub-national levels.  The SRS sample is replaced every ten years based on the latest census frame.
Inter-Faith Harmony Dialogue Held to Promote Peace
The National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous body with the Ministry of Home Affairs, organized an Inter-faith Harmony Dialogue. NFCH is striving hard to promote peace and harmony by undertaking various activities. Encouraging inter-faith dialogue for shared security, peace and prosperity is part of the mission of NFCH. The event was organized as a follow up to the United Nations appeal to observe the first week of the month of February every year as the World Inter-faith Harmony Week. 
17TH Commonwealth Law Conference
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, inaugurated the 17th Commonwealth Law Conference at Hyderabad. The theme of this conference “Emerging Economies – Rule of Law: Challenges and Opportunities”.
International Congress on Productivity, Quality, Reliability, Optimization and Modelling
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, inaugurated the International Congress on Productivity, Quality, Reliability, Optimization and Modelling in New Delhi. International Congress on Productivity, Quality, Reliability, Optimization and Modelling, being organized jointly by the Indian Statistical Institute and the Quality Council of India and the DRDO.
MNRE Launches DIREC Report
As a follow-up to the successful Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC), 2010, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced the launch of the DIREC Report. The DIREC Report is a comprehensive overview of the three-day Conference held in October, 2010 which focused on Up-scaling global effort for joint research and development and technology transfer models; Innovative financing and funding for mainstreaming renewables; rural development; and Sustainable renewable energy business models for grid / decentralized applications; etc. In order to maintain the thematic continuity that runs through the International Renewable Energy Conferences starting with Bonn 2004, Beijing 2005, Washington 2008 and Delhi 2010, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) Secretariat has been authorised by the MNRE to pursue the activities on DIREC, 2010. The United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi has offered and been selected by the DIREC 2010 participants to host the next International Renewable Energy Conference in 2013.
India is 5th Largest Wind Energy Producer
India is today 5th largest wind energy producer in the world and 8th in terms of investments made in clean energy technologies. Globally, investments in clean energy have growth by as much as 230% in the last 4 years and are touching US $ 200 billion.

Green Productivity for Sustainable Energy & Environment
The National Productivity Council (NPC), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is organizing “National Productivity Week” from 12th to 18th February, 2011 and the theme for the event was “Green Productivity for Sustainable Energy and Environment”.
Centenary Celebrations of Civil Aviation in India
Indian Civil Aviation is completing 100 years. The year 2011-12 will be declared as the Civil Aviation Centenary Year, starting from 18th February, 2011 and ending on the same date in 2012. On this date in 1911, the first commercial plane flew in India between Allahabad and Naini. Since then, aviation in India has grown from strength to strength. Today India is the 9th largest civil aviation market in the world and this forward march is likely to culminate in India becoming one of the three largest markets in the world by 2020. 
Swavalamban Pension Scheme
To encourage the workers of unorganized sector to voluntarily save for their retirement and to lower the cost of operations of the New Pension System (NPS) for such subscribers, the Central Government announced a co-contributory pension scheme ‘Swavalamban’ in the Union Budget 2010-11. The Government of India (GOI) will contribute a sum of Rs. 1,000 to each eligible NPS subscriber who contributes a minimum of Rs. 1,000 and maximum Rs. 12,000 per annum under the Swavalamban Scheme. The GoI contribution has been announced for the current year and the next three years i.e. upto the year 2013-14. The Government has targeted to cover around 10 lakh subscribers each during the 4 years of the Scheme, totaling to around 40 lakh subscribers. The Swavalamban Scheme has been launched on 26.09.2010 and workers of unorganized sector from any part of the country can join this Scheme. The Interim Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has been mandated by the Government to implement the Swavalamban Scheme all over the country.
Setting up of Neutrino Research Centre
The Government will establish The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) jointly by the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology. A site in Bodi West Hills near T. Pudukottai village of Theni district, Tamilnadu has been identified as a suitable location. The project includes construction of a world-class underground laboratory under a rock cover of 1200 metre from all directions. The underground laboratory will be accessed by 7.5 metre wide tunnel of approximately 2 km in length. The primary goal of INO is to study neutrino properties. Determination of neutrino properties is one of the most significant open problems in physics today. Such studies will help us to understand the interactions among subatomic particles at a very small scale. In this underground laboratory, a massive 50 kton particle detector will be installed to study the cosmic ray produced neutrinos. 
Eligibility for Pension Under Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme to be Reduced
Under the on-going Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme for Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries, the eligibility for pension will now be reduced to 60 years from 65 years at present.  The pension amount is being raised from Rs. 200 at present to Rs. 500 per month for those who are 80 years and above.
2010-2020 Decade of Innovation in the Country
2010-2020 has been declared as the decade of Innovation in the country and 14 national innovation universities will be established to take forward this goal. A National Innovation Council has been constituted which has been tasked to formulate a roadmap for Innovations by creating a framework for evolving an Indian model of inclusive growth, develop and champion innovative attitudes and approaches, identify ways and means to scale and sustain innovations, facilitate innovations by SMEs and encourage academic and R&D establishments for innovations. The Council will also promote the setting up of State and Sector specific Innovation Councils which will help to implement strategies for innovation. 
 International Container Transshipment Terminal 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opened India's first international container transshipment terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam, near Kochi.

Aero India 2011
The eighth edition of Aero India got off to a flying start in Bangalore. More than 40 countries are participating in the show.


A nationwide programme on financial inclusion, “Swabhimaan” was launched in February, 2011 by the Government, which is focused on bringing the deprived sections of the society in banking network to ensure that the benefits of economic growth reach everyone at all levels. This campaign is a big step towards socio-economic equality by bringing the underprivileged segments of Indian population into the formal banking fold for the first time. This financial inclusion campaign named, “Swabhimaan” aims at providing branchless banking services through the use of technology. The vision for this programme is social application of modern technology. The progress of “Swbhimaan” programe will be monitored through the State Level Bankers Committee mechanism. District Magistrates/Collectors are being sensitized in this regard to ensure proper monitoring of the programme through coordinated efforts of all stake-holders.
 Civil servants to get incentives on performance
Civil servants in Central ministries and departments that signed on to the Results Framework Document (RFD), initiated by the Cabinet Secretariat, will, for the first time, begin receiving performance-related incentives, government sources indicated. These annual performance-related incentives will depend on whether the concerned civil servants have scored well over 70 per cent in the evaluation scheme, and there could be as much as 40 per cent increase of the basic pay for the top scorers. When the scheme starts rolling later this year, it will be 22 years after the Fourth Pay Commission first made such a promise. when the government launches the scheme in the coming financial year, officials of some key ministries will be excluded from the possible benefits, because they have not as yet signed on to the RFD. These include the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministries of Finance, Home, Defence and External Affairs, among others.
Celebrating 150 years of Income Tax
India starts celebrations to mark 150 years of its Income Tax Department since British rule -- a period that saw the mop-up grow from mere Rs.1.33 crore in 1860-61 to around Rs.380,000 crore (nearly $85 billion) last fiscal. The relevant bill to set up the department was moved July 24, 1860 by the first member-finance of the Council of India James Wilson, who also founded The Economist magazine and the Standard Chartered Bank. 
Australia faces storm
Australia's Queensland State is facing one of the worst cyclones in its history. Severe Tropical Cyclone “Yasi”, a monster storm brewing on the Coral Sea is on track to reach category four out of a five-point scale when it hits the Queensland coast.
Chiang Mai Initiative:
The Chiang Mai Initiative(CMI) is a multilateral currency swap arrangement among the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People's Republic of China (including Hong Kong), Japan, and South Korea. It draws from a foreign exchange reserves pool worth US$120 billion and was launched on 24 March 2010. The initiative began as a series of bilateral swap arrangements after the ASEAN Plus Three countries met on 6 May 2000 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at an annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank. After1997 Asian Financial Crisis, member countries started this initiative to manage regional short-term liquidity problems and to facilitate the work of other international financial arrangements and organizations like International Monetary Fund.

"Civilian" President for Myanmar

Thein Sein, a military general-turned-civilian leader, was elected Myanmar's first President under its 2008 Constitution, which came into force recently. His election was officially portrayed as a key step along the final lap of the military government's roadmap towards democracy. Mr. Thein Sein  was chosen by the Presidential Electoral College in Myanmar's administrative capital of Nay Pyi Taw. The College was constituted on the basis of results of a controversial “democracy-restoring” general election, which was held in November last. New civilian representatives and the junta's military nominees formed the Electoral College.
SAARC to have first woman Secretary-General
SAARC will get its first woman Secretary-General in its silver jubilee year — the former Maldivian Attorney-General, Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed, is all set to succeed Indian diplomat Sheel Kant Sharma, who will complete his tenure of three years by the end of this month. Maldives will host the next SAARC summit in November this year.
Egypt's youthful uprising has prevailed, after taking on for 18 days the full might of the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, President for 30 years. Pro-democracy activists at the Tahrir Square erupt in joy on Friday on hearing the announcement that the 30-year dictatorship of President Hosni Mubarak has ended.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen retired diplomat Marc Grossman to replace the late Richard Holbrooke as the United States' special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Japan loses No. 2 economy spot to China
Japan has now relinquished its position as the world's second largest economy to China. Japan's gross domestic product fell an annualised 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter in 2010, marking the first decline in five quarters due to a drop in exports, diminishing government stimulus programmes and weak consumer consumption. Japan's nominal GDP, before adjustments for prices, totalled $5.47 trillion in 2010, lower than China's figure of nearly $5.8 trillion. Japan has held the title of world's second largest economy for 42 years. Many analysts such as those at the World Bank and Goldman Sachs have been quoted as saying that in their opinion China may overtake the United States as the number one economy by 2025.
U.S. isolated over Israel vote
The United States found itself isolated among the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council when it was the sole nation to veto a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The 14 UNSC members other than the U.S., including Britain and France, supported the resolution, which follows Israel's consistent defiance of international pressures to halt settlement activity in the disputed territories. Palestinian authorities have refused to return to the negotiating table unless settlement activity is halted.
Libya, protesters dig in
Snipers on rooftops and troops armed with machine guns on the ground attacked unarmed protesters in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city. Protesters, calling for “regime change,” had begun to dig in. A square near the Benghazi courthouse was identified as the city's “Tahrir square,” Egypt's pro-democracy icon.
Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC)
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) is a ten-membercommission appointed by the United States government with the goal of investigating the causes of the financial crisis of 2007–2010. The Commission  has been nicknamed the Angelides Commission after the chairman, Phil Angelides. The Commission has been compared to the Pecora Commission, which investigated the causes of the Great Depression in the 1930s, and has been nicknamed the New Pecora Commission. The Commission reported its findings in January 2011. It concluded that "the crisis was avoidable and was caused by: Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve’s failure to stem the tide of toxic mortgages; Dramatic breakdowns in corporate governance including too many financial firms acting recklessly and taking on too much risk; An explosive mix of excessive borrowing and risk by households and Wall Street that put the financial system on a collision course with crisis; Key policy makers ill prepared for the crisis, lacking a full understanding of the financial system they oversaw; and systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels.“
Uganda President wins new term
Uganda's long-time president has won another term, the country's election commission said. President Yoweri Museveni won 68 per cent of votes.

Thai-Cambodia nod for monitors
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to deploy Indonesian observers in both Cambodia and Thailand along the disputed stretch of their border near the mediaeval Preah Vihear Hindu temple. Indonesia is the current Chair of ASEAN, while Thailand and Cambodia are also in the 10-member group. While the temple was awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice in 1962 and a United Nations-sponsored panel more recently declared the place of worship as a world heritage site, the Thai-Cambodian border in the temple vicinity has remained in dispute.
Six small planets orbiting a star found
NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a remarkable planetary system which has six planets around a Sun-like star, including five small planets in tightly packed orbits. The five inner planets in the Kepler-11 system range in size from 2.3 to 13.5 times the mass of the Earth. Their orbital periods are all less than 50 days, so they orbit within a region that would fit inside the orbit of Mercury in our solar system. The sixth planet is larger and farther out, with an orbital period of 118 days and an undetermined mass.
India and Norway Sign an Agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion
Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Norwegian Minister of Research and Higher Education, Ms Tora Aasland signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital (DTAA). This will replace the existing Convention signed between the two countries on the same subject on 31st December 1986.  Both India and Norway have renegotiated the new Agreement. The renegotiated DTAA was approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 20thOctober, 2010.  The new DTAA will replace the existing double taxation avoidance convention (DTAC) upon entering into force.
India and Isle of Man Sign Tax Information Exchange Agreement
India and Isle of Man have signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) in London. First TIEA was signed by India with Bermuda in Delhi on October, 2010.
Tourist Visa on Arrival Scheme Extended to Four More Countries
The Government has extended the visa on arrival scheme for the tourists from Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos from January this year. This scheme was launched last year for the tourists from Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore as a measure to attract more foreign tourists to India. 
India-Japan Signs CEPA
Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Japanese Foreign Minister, Mr. Seiji Maehara signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Japan. This Agreement is the most ambitious agreement signed by India so far and covers trade in goods, services and investment under its ambit. This Agreement follows from the commitment of the two Prime Ministers in October, 2010. India stands to gain significantly through this Agreement and 90% of tariff lines are covered while Japan has covered 5% more lines than India. The Agreement has ensured that the sensitive sectors for India are fully protected including agriculture, fruits, spices, wheat, basmati rice, edible oils, wines and spirits and also certain categories of industrial products such as auto and auto parts. 
India and Malaysia Signs CECA
India and Malaysia signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). The Agreement will come into effect on 1st July 2011 and the first review will be held within a year of coming into force .The India-Malaysia CECA is a comprehensive and ambitious agreement that envisages liberal trade in goods and services and a stable and competitive investment regime to promote foreign investment between the two countries. The goods package under the CECA takes the tariff liberalization beyond the India-ASEAN FTA commitments on items of mutual interest for both the countries. Under the agreement, India will get market access in the Malaysian market for goods including fruits such as mangoes, banana and guava, basmati rice, two wheelers and cotton garments. 
India, Iran resolve crisis
In a major breakthrough that put an end to more than a month of uncertainty, India and Iran arrived at a settlement and agreed to use euro to pay for Iranian crude oil through Hamburg-based Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG (EIH Bank), a German bank.
India gathering support for permanent UNSC seat
India is about to  make a determined bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council this year. India began the year by inviting 12 Permanent Representatives to the United Nations from the Caribbean nations to visit the country. Besides showcasing its economic strengths, it sensitised the Ambassadors to the need for urgently making the Security Council more representative. G-4 is a grouping of India, Germany, Brazil and Japan, all of whom claim to be ideally placed for seats on an expanded Security Council. Negotiations have shifted from the so-called “Open Ended Working Group” of the 1990s to text based negotiations, which are headed by Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan.The latest text is a five-page document, which lists the various options of expanding the Council.Except Japan, the other G4 countries are now on the Council serving as non-permanent members and they are hoping to set the stage for becoming permanent members before their terms expire.
[General Assembly President Joseph Deiss]
India, Norway for joint polar research
After three decades of Antarctic research — India's first expedition to Antarctica was in 1981 — India expanded its polar research by undertaking its first Arctic expedition in August 2007 and setting up its Arctic research station ‘Himadri' at Nye-Ålesund in the Svalbard region of Norway in 2008 to mark the International Polar Year (IPY). India established its first Antarctic research station Gangotri in 1983 and the second permanent station Maitri in 1989. It is establishing its third Antarctic station at Larsemann in East Antarctica. Unlike the Antarctic, Norway has a sovereign right over the Svalbard region, which is governed by the Svalbard Treaty of 1920. The Treaty today has 40 member countries. India signed the Treaty in 1923 which gives it the right to establish a research station there. India and Norway are the nearest neighbours in Antarctica and have been carrying out joint research in the past. Geology, glaciology and bacteriology were identified as the key areas for future collaboration in polar science . At the Indian station in Svalbard, research is being done on long-term monitoring of Kongsfjorden, a unique natural system where saline water input from the Atlantic mix with the fresh water melt from the Arctic glaciers.
India signs tax treaty with British Virgin Islands
In yet another effort aimed at checking the growth of black money and the same being stashed abroad, India announced it had entered into a pact with the British Virgin Islands for exchange of information to check tax evasion and money laundering. This is the third Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) — as it is known in the parlance of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development — signed by India.
 Under the agreement, there is a specific provision for providing banking and ownership information and the requesting state has to provide some minimum details about the information requested. The agreement also allows for exchange of past information in criminal tax matters.
Tax information exchange pact inked with Bahamas
India has inked a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Bahamas based on international standards of transparency for exchange of banking and ownership information to check tax evasion and money laundering. This is the fourth such TIEA — as it is known in OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) parlance — that India has entered into with so-called ‘tax havens' or jurisdictions. These are in line with the double taxation avoidance agreements (DTAAs) with other sovereign countries which have been revisited with the primary objective of tracking black money and terror financing. Among the three TIEAs that India has entered into with such jurisdictions till now, the first was with Bermuda in October last year, followed by a pact with the Isle of Man and the third with British Virgin Islands.
India joins hands with LDCs to seek global action programme
India, along with a large number of least developed countries, has called for an international programme of action aiming at reducing the number of LDCs by half over the next decade. A joint declaration issued at the end of the largest-ever meeting of LDC representatives hosted by India made this demand after noting that the lack of international efforts led to the number of LDCs increasing from 25 in 1971 to 48 this year. India and the LDCs also pressed for strengthening international support mechanisms in favour of the LDCs and called for augmenting the Official Development Assistance and South-South cooperation. In this respect, the declaration called for implementing suggestions emanating from South-South conferences such as the Nairobi outcome document, the Marrakech Framework and the Yamoussoukro Consensus. While calling for a more concerted action plan by the international community, the declaration expressed satisfaction over the increase in South-South cooperation and South-South trade and investment flows.
S.M. Krishna unveiled a $500-million credit line facility over the next five years to be used specifically for projects and programmes of the LDCs, five additional scholarships annually for all 48 LDCs and a special fund for the four laggards. This assistance would build on India's ongoing developmental cooperation with the LDCs which is principally guided by the priorities set out by the nation-states themselves. 
Russia launches Glonass satellite, a boost for India
Russia has successfully launched a next-generation navigation satellite for its Glonass global communication system. The Glonass-K satellite was hauled into orbit from the northern Plesetsk space centre by the upgraded Soyuz 2-1b launcher, featuring advanced digital avionics and a more powerful Fregat upper stage. The new satellite has a longer design life, more navigation channels and is smaller than previous Glonass-M spacecraft. launch will increase the deployed Glonass grouping to 23 satellites, one short of the minimum needed to provide 100-per cent global coverage.
 Glonass will be integrated with the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as with the European Union's Galileo system and China's Compass network when they are deployed. Under a 2007 accord, Russia agreed to share the Glonass signal with India. India will be the only country to have access to the military segment of the Glonass system, which will enable the Indian military to greatly improve the accuracy of its land-, sea-, air and space-launched weapon systems.
India backs U.N. curbs on Qadhafi
In its first major vote after joining the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the next two years, India voted in favour of sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, his relatives and associates. The Council unanimously approved curbs on travel, freezing of financial assets, weapon sales and a reference to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The Council's rapid reaction to the violence in Libya came after a day of negotiations during which western countries managed to bring around India, China, Russia and others to support the reference to the ICC. India is opposed to broad-based sanctions as it believes they spare the ruling elite and hit the people at large. Two factors brought India and other like-minded countries such as China, Brazil and Russia to supporting the draft resolution piloted by the western alliance in the P-5, along with Germany.
India takes over as co-chair of Asia Pacific FATF
India has taken over as co-chair of the Asia Pacific Regional Review Group of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental policy-making body which sets global standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Macau is the other co-chair of the FATF group, which consists of more than 30 countries and has a ministerial mandate for establishing the standards. The Asia Pacific Regional Review Group is one of the four international cooperation review groups of the FATF, the other three being Europe-Eurasia, America, Middle East and Africa.
Growth in GDP at Market Prices at 9.7 Per Cent for 2010-11 
Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the growth in GDP at market prices at 9.7 per cent for 2010-11 reflects buoyancy in our tax collections. Shri Mukherjee was reacting to the Advance Estimates of National Income for 2010-11 released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO. Shri Mukherjee further said that coupled with higher than anticipated nominal growth in GDP will also ensure that our performance on fiscal and revenue deficit targets for the year would be better than the projections in the Budget 2010-11. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at factor cost is estimated to increase by 8.6 per cent in 2010-11 as per CSO advance estimates.
Advance Estimates of National Income, 2010-11

The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the advance estimates of national income at constant (2004-05) and current prices, for the financial year 2010-11. These advance estimates are based on anticipated level of agricultural and industrial production, analysis of budget estimates of government expenditure and performance of key sectors like, railways, transport other than railways, communication, banking and insurance, available so far.  The advance estimates at current prices are derived by estimating the implicit price deflators (IPDs) at sectoral level from the relevant price indices.  The salient features of these estimates are detailed below:


Estimates at Constant (2004-05) Prices

Gross Domestic Product
1.         Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at factor cost at constant (2004-05) prices in the year 2010-11 is likely to attain a level of Rs. 48,79,232 crore, as against the Quick Estimates of GDP for the year 2009-10 of Rs. 44,93,743 crore, released on 31st  January 2011.  The growth in GDP during 2010-11 is estimated at 8.6 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 8.0 per cent in 2009-10.

2.         The growth rate of  8.6  per cent in GDP during 2010-11  has been due to the growth rates of over 8 per cent in the sectors  of  ‘manufacturing’,  ‘construction’, 'trade, hotels, transport and communication', 'financing, insurance, real estate and business services'.  Agriculture sector registered a growth rate of 5.4 percent.

3.         The ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ sector is likely to show a growth  of 5.4  per cent in its GDP during 2010-11, as against the previous year’s growth rate of  0.4  per cent. According to the information furnished by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), which has been used in compiling the estimate of GDP from agriculture in 2010-11, production of foodgrains and oilseeds is expected to grow by 6.5 per cent and 11.9 per cent, respectively, as compared to the previous agriculture year. 

The  production of cotton  and sugarcane  is also expected to rise by 41.2 per cent and 15.2 per cent, respectively,  in 2010-11.  Among the horticultural crops, production of fruits and vegetables is expected to increase by 4.1 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively, during the year 2010-11. 

4.         The growth in GDP for mining and quarrying and manufacturing sectors during 2010-11 is expected to be 6.2 and 8.8 percent respectively over previous year. According to the latest estimates available on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), the index of mining and manufacturing registered growth rates of 8.0 per cent and 10.0 per cent during April-November, 2010. The estimated growth rate for construction sector is 8.0 percent in 2010-11. The key indicators of construction sector, namely, cement production and steel consumption have registered growth rates of 4.4 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively during April-December, 2010.

5.         The estimated growth in GDP for the trade, hotels, transport and communication sectors during 2010-11 is placed at 11.0 per cent, mainly on account of growth during April-November, 2010-11 of 14.9 per cent in passengers handled in civil aviation , 21.3  per cent in air cargo handled  and  40.9  per cent in stock of telephone connections. The sales of commercial vehicles witnessed an increase of 34.1 per cent per cent in April-December, 2010.  The sector, 'financing, insurance, real estate and business services', is expected to show a growth rate of 10.6 per cent during  2010-11, on account of 14.0  per cent growth in aggregate deposits and 22.6  per cent growth in bank credit during April- November 2010  (against the respective growth rates of 18.6  per cent and 10.1  per cent in the corresponding period of previous year). The growth rate of  'community, social and personal services' during 2010-11 is estimated to be 5.7 per cent.

National Income
6.         The net national income (NNI) at factor cost, also known as national income, at 2004-05 prices is likely to be Rs. 42,69,994 crore during 2010-11, as against the previous year's Quick Estimate of Rs. 39,46,540 crore.  In terms of growth rates, the national income is expected to rise by 8.2 per cent during 2010-11 in comparison to the growth rate of 7.5 per cent in 2009-10.

Per Capita Income
7.         The per capita income in real terms (at 2004-05 prices) during 2010-11 is likely to attain a level of Rs. 36,003 as compared to the Quick Estimate for the year 2009-10 of Rs. 33,731. The growth rate in per capita income is estimated at 6.7 per cent during 2010-11, as against the previous year's estimate of 6.1 per cent.

Estimates at Current Prices

Gross Domestic Product       
8.       GDP at factor cost at current prices in the year 2010-11 is likely to attain a level of Rs. 72,56,571 crore, showing a growth rate of 18.3 per cent over the Quick Estimates of GDP for the year 2009-10 of Rs. 61,33,230 crore.

National Income
9.       The NNI at factor cost at current prices is anticipated to be Rs. 64,66,860 crore during 2010-11, as compared to Rs. 54,39,557 crore during 2009-10, showing a rise of 18.9 per cent.

Per Capita Income
10.       The per capita income at current prices during 2010-11 is estimated to be Rs. 54,527 as compared to Rs. 46,492 during 2009-10, showing a rise of 17.3 per cent.


11.       Alongwith the Advance Estimates of GDP by economic activity, the CSO is also releasing the Advance Estimates of expenditures of the GDP at current and constant (2004-05) prices.  These estimates have been compiled using the data on indicators available from the same sources as those used for compiling GDP estimates by economic activity, detailed data available on merchandise trade in respect of imports and exports, balance of payments, and monthly accounts of central government.  As various components of expenditure on gross domestic product, namely, consumption expenditure and capital formation, are normally measured at market prices, the discussion in the following paragraphs is in terms of market prices only.

Private Final Consumption Expenditure
12.       Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 44,93,487 crore in 2010-11 as against Rs. 37,82,013 crore in 2009-10. At constant (2004-05) prices, the PFCE is estimated at Rs. 30,79,898  crore  in 2010-11 as against Rs. 28,46,410 crore in 2009-10. In  terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of PFCE at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2010-11 are estimated at 57.0  per cent and 57.6 per cent, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 57.7 per cent and 58.5 per cent, respectively in 2009-10.

Government Final Consumption Expenditure
13.       Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 8,90,978 crore in 2010-11 as against Rs. 7,85,443 crore in 2009-10.  At constant (2004-05) prices, the GFCE is estimated at Rs. 5,79,479 crore  in 2010-11 as against Rs. 5,64,835 crore in 2009-10. In terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of GFCE at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2010-11 are estimated at 11.3 per cent and 10.8 per cent, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 12.0 per cent and 11.6 per cent, respectively in 2009-10.

Gross Fixed Capital Formation
14.       Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 23,07,376 crore in 2010-11  as against Rs. 20,16,186 crore in 2009-10. At constant (2004-05) prices, the GFCF is estimated at Rs. 16,89,460 crore  in 2010-11  as against Rs.15,59,126 crore in 2009-10. In terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of GFCF at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2010-11 are estimated at 29.3 per cent and 31.6 per cent, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 30.8 per cent and 32.0 per cent, respectively in 2009-10.  The rates of Change in Stocks and Valuables at current prices during 2010-11 are estimated at 3.2 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

Reform Agenda: Economic Survey 2010 – 11
The following reforms have been suggested by Economic Survey 2010-11 for overall growth of economy. 

• Better convergence of the Schemes to avoid duplications and leakage and to ensure benefits reach to the targeted groups. 
• Private sector participation in social sectors, such as health and education in the form of public-social-private partnership could be one of the possible alternatives for supplementing the on-going efforts of the Government. 
• Huge capacity addition in infrastructure in a time bound manner. 
• Urgent need to streamline land acquisition and environment clearance for infrastructure projects. 
• Bringing parity between the compensation package admissible under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and that applicable to land acquisition under the National Highways Act, 1956. 
• A National Forest Land Bank, with clear paper work and titles to reduce approval time for forest clearance. 
• Investment in building managerial and technical capabilities of executing agencies at par with the private sector is crucial. 
• Second Green Revolution with technological break-through in agricultural sector. 
• Prioritisation of targeted development of rainfed area and effective marketing links be ensured for better returns to the farmers. 
• Further improvements in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme suggested such as shifting to permanent asset building and infrastructure development activities, reducing transaction costs, better monitoring and extension of the scheme to urban areas. 
• Efficient taxation of goods and services by a new GST. 
• Need to explore avenues for increasing investment in infrastructure through a combination of power investment, PPPs and occasionally exclusive private investment wherever possible. 
Union Budget 2011-12 Highlights
         Critical institutional reforms set pace for double-digit growth
         Scaled up flow of resources infuses dynamism in rural economy
         GDP estimated to have grown at 8.6% in 2010-11
         Exports grown by 9.6%, imports by 17.6% in April-January 2010-11 over corresponding    period last year
         Indian economy expected to grow at 9%  in 2011-12.
         Five-fold strategy to deal with black money.   Group of Ministers to suggest ways for tackling corruption
          Public Debt Management Agency of India Bill to come up next financial year
         Direct Tax Code (DTC) to be effective from April 01, 2012
         Phased move towards direct transfer cash subsidy to BPL people for better delivery of kerosene, LPG and fertilizer mooted
         Rs.40,000 crore to be raised through disinvestment in 2011-12
         FDI policy to be liberalized further
         SEBI registered mutual funds permitted to accept subscription from foreign investors who meet KYC requirement
         FII limit for investment in corporate bonds in infrastructure sector raised
         Additional banking license to private sector players proposed
         Rs.6000 crore to be provided in 2011-12 for maintaining minimum Tier I Capital to Risk Weighted Asset Ratio (CRAR) of 8% in public sector banks
         Rs.500 crore to be provided to regional rural banks to maintain 9% CRAR
         India Microfinance Equity Fund of Rs.100 crore to be created by SIDBI
         Rs. 500 crore Women SHG Development Fund to be created
         Micro Small and Medium Enterprises  MSME gets boost as Rs. 5000crore provided to SIDBI  and Rs.3000 crore to NABARD
         Existing housing loan limit enhanced to Rs.25 lakh for dwelling units
         Provision under Rural housing Fund enhanced to Rs.3000 crore
         Allocation under Rashtirya Krishi Vikas yojna (RKVY) increased to Rs.7860 crore
         Allocation of Rs.300 crore to promote 60000 pulses villages in rainfedareas
         Rs. 300 crore vegetable initiative to achieve competitive prices
         Rs.300 crore to promote higher production of nutri-cereals
         Rs.300 crore to promote animal based protein
         Rs.300 crore Accelerated Fodder Development Programme to benefit farmers in 25000 villages
         Credit flow to farmers raised from Rs.3,75,000 crore to Rs.4,75,000crore
         Rs.10,000 crore for NABARD’s Short Term Rural Credit Fund for 2011-12
         15 more mega food parks during 2011-12
         National food security bill to be introduced this year
         Capital investment in storage capacity to be eligible for viability gap funding
          23.3% increase in allocation for infrastructure
         Tax-free bonds of Rs.30,000 crore proposed by government undertakings
         Environmental concerns relating to infrastructure projects to  be considered by Group of Ministers
         National Mission for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles to be launched
         7 Mega clusters for leather products to be set up
         Allocation for social sector increased by 17% amounting to 36.4% of total plan allocation
         Bharat Nirman allocation increased by Rs.10,000 crore
         Rural broadband connectivity to all 2.5 lakh panchayats in three years.
         Bill to amend Indian Stamp Act to introduce.   Rs.300 crore scheme for modernization stamp and registration administration
         Significant increase in remuneration of Angawadi workers  and helpers
         Allocation for education increased by24%.  Rs.21,000 crore allocated forSarv Shikshya Abhiyan registering an increase of 40%
         1500 institute of higher learning to be  connected by March 2012 with Knowledge Knowledge Network.
         National Innovation Council set up.   Additional Rs.500 crore for National Skill Development Fund
         Plan allocation for health stepped up by20%
         Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme liberalized further
         Rs.200 crore for Green India Mission
         Rs.200 crore for cleaning of rivers
         Rs.8000 crore provided for development needs of J&K
         10 lakhs Aadhaar(UID)  numbers to be generated everyday from 1stOctober
         Fiscal deficit kept at 4.6% of GDP for 2011-12
         Income Tax exemption limit for general category in individual tax payers enhanced from Rs.1,60,000 to Rs.1,80,000
         Qualifying age for senior citizens lowered to 60; senior citizen above 80 year to get Rs.5,00,000 IT exemption
         Surcharge on corporate lowered to 5%

Corpus of RIDF to be Raised to Rs.18000 Crore
The Union Budget proposes to increase the corpus of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) from Rs. 16000 Crore to Rs.18000 Crore. The additional allocation would be dedicated to creation of ware housing facilities. The RIDF is an important instrument for routine bank funds for financing rural infrastructure.
Five-Fold Strategy to Deal With Black Money
To deal with the problem of generation and circulation of black money, the government has put into operation a five-fold strategy which consists of joining the global crusade against black money; creating an appropriate legislative framework; setting up institutions for dealing with illicit funds; developing systems for implementation and imparting skills to the manpower for effective action. The Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee informed that while the membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was secured in June last year, the government has also joined the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development, Eurasian Group (EAG) and Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. Discussions have also been concluded for 11 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) and 13 new Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) along with revision of provisions of 10 existing DTAAs. 
Centre to fully compensate States for CST losses
The Centre has agreed to fully compensate the States for the losses they suffered due to a reduction in the Central Sales Tax (CST) estimated at Rs. 14,000 crore in 2010-11, according to Asim Dasgupta, Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers. Once the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) is rolled out, other existing indirect taxes, including the CST, will be subsumed under it.
Sunder Committee Set up to Review the Motor Vehicle Act Submits its Report 
Expert Committee set up to review the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and to suggest changes therein submitted its report to the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shri C.P.Joshi. The Ministry constituted the ten member committee in September 2009 under the Chairmanship of Shri S.Sunder, Distinguished Fellow, the Energy and Resources Institute and former Secretary in the Ministry. The Committee held around forty meetings. It had heard all the stakeholders, State Governments, Transporter’s Associations and experts from Road Transport Sector etc.
Nandan Nilekani Submits TAGUP Report to the Finance Minister 
Shri Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, UIDAI and Technology Advisory Group for Unique Projects (TAGUP) handed over the TAGUP Report to the Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.  The report would help in various IT projects like Tax Information Network (TIN), New Pension Scheme (NPS), National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), Expenditure Information Network (EIN), Goods and Service Tax (GST). 
Committee on Open and Competitive Mechanism for Allocation, Pricing and Unilization of Natural Resources
A high level committee headed by Shri Ashok Chawla, former Finance Secretary, in its meeting held in New Delhi today, has stressed upon the need for a centralized and transparent database in respect of all natural resources handled by the Central Government. The Cabinet Secretariat constituted the committee in pursuance of the  directions of the Group of Ministers headed by the Finance Minister to consider measures for tackling corruption. The Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the Committee include: 

(a) To identify major natural resources which are allotted/allocated/distributed by the Government of India and the institutional framework for utilization of such resources; 

(b) To examine the efficacy and suitability of existing legal and regulatory frameworks and rules and procedures in this regard;
(c) To suggest measures to optimize the benefits of such utilization for all stakeholders, while ensuring sustainability of the resources;
(d) To suggest measures for promoting transparency and enhancing effectiveness in allocation, pricing and utilization of these resources; 
(e) To suggest changes in legal, institutional and regulatory framework to implement the above recommendations.
Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission
The Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee announced that the Government has set up a Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission under the Chairmanship of Justice B. N. Srikrishna in pursuance of the announcement made in Budget 2010-11.  The Commission will rewrite and streamline the financial sector laws, rules and regulations and bring them in harmony with the requirement of a modern financial sector. It will complete its work in 24 months.
High-power committee to review Antrix-Devas deal
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh constituted a high-power committee to review the controversial deal between Antrix Corporation and Devas Multimedia. If implemented, the deal will give the Bangalore-based company virtually 20 years of free access to scarce S-band spectrum worth an estimated Rs.2 lakh crore. The two-man committee — comprising Planning Commission member and former Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi, and Space Commission member Professor Roddam Narasimha — will review “the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the Agreement between Antrix (the commercial arm of ISRO) and (Bangalore-based private firm) Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd taking into account the report for internal review conducted by DoS.”
Patil committee report criticises ‘first come, first served' policy
The Justice Shivraj Patil Committee has criticised the ‘first come, first served' (FCFS) policy adopted by both the UPA and the NDA governments between 2001 and 2009 for giving telecom licences and allocating 2G spectrum. Recommending complete transparency in radio waves allocation in future, it pointed out that licences were issued in 2003 on the FCFS basis at 2001 prices, ignoring the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendations that had suggested auction of spectrum.
Task force on direct subsidies
In a move aimed at a focussed targeting of subsidies for the country's poor, the Government of India recently announced the setting up of an inter-ministerial task force under Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani. It will work out a suitable mechanism to provide direct subsidies on kerosene, cooking gas (LPG) and fertilizers for the intended beneficiaries.
National Geoscience Awards-2009
Dr Sayed Masood Ahmad of National Geophysical Research Institute has been honored with the National Geoscience Award-2009. He received the award from Vice President M. Hamid Ansari at a function organized by the Ministry of Mines. The National Geoscience Awardees–2009 have been given to 18 geoscientists from across the country. Dr. Sayed Masood Ahmad has got the award for his work in the field of Geo-Environmental Studies at the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad. The National Geoscience Award for Excellence – 2009 has been presented to Prof. Ashok Sahni, Senior Scientist at the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. The Young Researcher Award – 2009 has gone to Ashish Namdeo Dongare, Post Graduate Department of Geology, Institute of Science, Aurangabad.
43rd Jnanpith Award 
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh conferred the Jnanpith Award on a distinguished man of letters, Shri O.N.V. Kurup at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala 
Kishwar Desai
Kishwar Desai, the U.K.-based Indian writer and broadcaster whose novel,” Witness the Night”, about female infanticide has been awarded Britain's prestigious Costa prize (previously known as the Whitbread award) for a first book.
Pushkin Gold Medal
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has awarded the prestigious Pushkin Gold Medal to Professor Arun Mohanty of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for his contribution to studies on Russia and promotion of bilateral cultural ties and friendship. The Pushkin Gold Medal is the highest honorary award given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the promotion of the Russian language and culture. More than 10 Indian scholars and public figures have been awarded the medal since its institution in 1977.
Jayati Ghosh awarded ILO prize
The International Labour Organisation's Decent Work Research Prize has been awarded to economist Jayati Ghosh and Professor Eve Landau. Dr. Ghosh, who teaches at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, is honoured for her major contributions to the analysis of socio-economic relationships and policy instruments for the advancement of decent work. The prize carries a cash reward of $5,000.
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Memorial Award for National Integration (2009)
Dr. Manmohan Singh presented the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed awards to eminent journalist M.J. Akbar (the recipient for 2008) and noted Gandhian and freedom fighter Hema Bharali (for 2009).
Nayudamma award
V. Shanta, chairperson of the Cancer Institute, Adyar, Chennai, has been selected for the Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award for 2010.
Shri Wajahat Habibullah to be the Chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities 
Shri Wajahat Habibullah has been nominated by the Central Government as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities. As per the Notification issued by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Shri Wajahat Habibullah will hold office for a period of three years with effect from the date of assumption of office. The Central Government has also nominated Shri Keki N. Daruwalla as a Member of the National Commission for Minorities. 
U.K. Sinha Appointed as Chairman of SEBI
Shri U.K. Sinha, presently Chairman and Managing Director, UTI AMC, has been appointed as the Chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), initially for a period of three years with effect from the date he assumes charge of the post on or after February 18, 2011 or till he attains the age of sixty five years or until-further orders, whichever is earlier. A Notification to this effect has been issued today by the Ministry of Finance.
Jhala Nath Khanal- New Prime Minister of Nepal
Nepal Communist Party President Jhalanath Khanal was elected as the prime minister of Nepal, ending the seven-month deadlock over the formation of a new government after Maoist supremo Prachanda quit the race in his favour in a last minute deal.
India bags overall championship
India bagged the overall championship in the fifth Commonwealth taekwondo championships, which concluded at the Nehru Indoor Stadium,Chennai, with a whopping tally of 261 points. The host nation clinched 21 gold, 23 silver and 45 bronze medals. England (38 points) won three gold, four silver and five bronze medals to finish second, while Australia (33) ended up with four gold and five bronze. India walked away with the ‘best player award' in all four categories: Vipan Singh (junior boys), Janey Dharma (senior), Tasim Begum (junior girls) Shraddha Dixit (senior).

South Zone claims Duleep Trophy

South Zone lifted the Duleep trophy after a gap of 15 years, beating North Zone by seven wickets after a rampaging Robin Uthappa forced the match to close on the fourth day itself, with a day to spare. This was the 11th time that South won the inter-zone tournament, after finishing runner-up to West Zone last season.
34th National Games begins
The much-awaited 34th National Games, earlier postponed for five consecutive times, finally kicked off at the Mega Sports Complex in Hotwar, Ranchi. A total of 6911 sportspersons from across the country have converged for the sport event which would continue till February 26.
Chowrasia corners glory
At the DLF Golf and Country Club course , the €1.8 million Avantha Masters title was won by S.S.P. Chowrasia.
National Games Concludes
·         34th National Games conclude at Ranchi, Jharkhand
·         The Champion Services Team receive Raja Bhalendra Singh Trophy.
·         Manipur retains Best State Trophy.
·         Jharkhand finishes 5th in the Medal Tally.
·         Best Athletes: Richa Mishra & Veer Dhaval Khade
·         Services stamped their authority with eight Golds on the penultimate day of the competitions. They left their rivals far behind while being on top of the medal tally with 70 Gold, 50 Silver and 42 Bronze. Manipur held on to the second position with 48 Gold, 37 Silver and 33 Bronze while Haryana displaced Maharashtra from the number three spot with 42 Gold, 33 Silver and 40 Bronze. 35th National Games will held on 2012 at Kerala.
·         K. Subrahmanyam passes away.
·         Intellectual progenitor of the Indian nuclear weapons programme and by far the most influential strategic thinker of his own and subsequent generations, K. Subrahmanyam's enduring contribution was the coherent intellectual framework he helped provide for the country's foreign and security policies in a world buffeted by uncertainty and changing power equations. He passed away recently in New Delhi.
Elementary Education in India; Progress towards UEE: DISE Flash Statistics: 2009-10
DISE Flash Statistics: 2009-10, Progress towards UEE were released by Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, during a meeting of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Executive Council, here today. These statistics are based on the data collected during the year 2009-10 with 30th September 2009 as its date of reference. Data for the year 2009-10 is received from 1.3 million recognized schools imparting elementary education from across 635 districts spread over 35 States and Union Territories of the country. The Publication is being brought out by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi. NUEPA has created a comprehensive database on elementary education in India known as District Information System for Education (DISE), under one of its most prestigious projects. The project covers both primary and upper primary schools/sections of all the districts of the country. The MIS Units are now operational both at the district and state levels and are equipped with necessary hardware and software. The DISE software is also operational in all the districts of the country and is providing vital information for policy formulation and preparation of district elementary education plans. To further improve the quality of data, it has now been made mandatory for all the states to check the data on five percent random sample basis through an independent agency each year.

DISE 2009-10: School-Based Indicators
With the improved coverage, the number of schools/sections imparting elementary education dealt with under DISE increased many-fold. From 8,53,601 schools in 2002-03, their number has increased to 11,96,663 schools in 2006-07 and further to 12,50,775 schools in 2007-08. In 2008-09, as many as 12,85,576 schools imparting elementary education across 633 districts of the country are covered under DISE compared to which 13,03,812 schools from 635 districts were covered during 2009-10.

Of the total schools, about 87.13 pr cent schools are located in rural areas. During the same period, the number of primary schools increased from 6,01,866 to 8,09,874. Category-wise distribution of schools reveals that majority of the schools (62.12 per cent) are independent primary schools. The increase in the number of schools is also reflected in the Ratio of Primary to Upper Primary Schools/Sections which clearly shows the impact of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan under which a large number of schools have been opened in the recent past. This ratio for the year 2008-09 is one upper primary school/section for every set of 2.23 primary schools/sections compared to 2.45 in 2006-07 and 2.41 schools/sections in 2007-08 and 2.27 in 2008-09. Most of the states have the ratio equivalent to almost two, all of which suggests that by and large schooling facilities have been created and are available across the country. Despite significant improvement in the ratio, there are a few states, such as Arunachal Pradesh (3.93) and West Bengal (5.53), where the ratio still needs to be improved significantly.

DISE 2009-10: Facility Indicators
The preliminary analysis of a selected few indicators suggest significant improvement in all facility indicators which is true for both states as well as the country as a whole. As on 30th September 2009, 2,45,672 schools imparting elementary education have been opened which is about 18.84 per cent of the total schools in 2009-10 in the country and about 90 per cent of these new schools have school buildings. Opening of new schools is also reflected in the ratio of Primary to Upper Primary schools/sections which stood at 2.23 in 2009-10 compared to 2.27 Primary schools/sections per Upper Primary school/section in 2008-09.  The average number of instructional rooms in Primary schools has also improved to 3.2 in 2009-10 from 3.1 in the previous year. Not a single state has less than 2 classrooms in Primary schools. The average number of classrooms in case of Bihar is 2.1 as compared to 12 in Chandigarh and Delhi.

The improvement in average number of classrooms is also reflected in the improvement in student-classroom ratio which has improved to 32 students per classroom in 2009-10 from 35 students in the previous year. About 92 of the 1.3 million schools that impart elementary education in the country now have drinking water facility in school. All the schools in Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep, and Pudducherry have been provided with the drinking water facility in the school. 87.77 per cent schools had drinking water facility in 2008-09.  About 54.31 per cent schools in the country now have access to common toilets in 2009-10. About 59 per cent of total 1.3 million schools have girl’s toilet compared to 53.60 per cent in the previous year i.e. 2008-09. About 16.65 per cent schools have computer in the schools with percentage of such schools as high as 90 per cent in Chandigarh, 82 per cent in Delhi,

DISE 2009-10: Enrolment-Based Indicators
With the increased coverage of schools under DISE, enrolment both at the primary and upper primary level of education has also increased significantly. The enrolment increased from 128.81 million 2002-03 to 179.36 million in 2006-7 and further to 187.72 million in 2008-09 but slightly declined to 187.87 million in 2009-10. The GER at primary level, based on the DISE data is estimated to be 115.63 per cent, corresponding to 98.28 per cent NER. A few states are near achieving the goal of universal primary enrolment. Over a period of time, enrolment in upper primary classes has also shown consistent increase. From a low of 37.72 million in 2004-05, it has increased to 54.47 million in 2009-10 (GER 75.80 per cent).

Gender Parity Index (GPI)
Percentage of girls’ enrolment in primary and upper primary classes reveals that there is consistent improvement both in GPI and girls’ share in enrolment. The average of 635 districts in 2009-10 indicates a GPI of 0.94 in primary classes and 0.93 in case of upper primary classes. 

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