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Top Careers & You WEEKLY CURRENT AFFAIRS UPDATE

(November 14 to 20, 2010)

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MAJOR NEWS OF THE WEEK

Section A: INDIA

New Cabinet takes oath of office in Maharashtra

MCI bars IMA President from medical practice for 6 months

Kapil Sibal appointed Communications & IT Minister

Magsaysay Award winner L.C. Jain passes away

‘Climate Change and India: a 4x4 Assessment’ unveiled

India-Norway to set up Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law

Project to empower women panchayat leaders launched

SC asks UPSC to divulge selection details

Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls launched

India raises concern over Chinese Dam on Brahmaputra

SC calls for Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission

National Integration Pledge administered

Jharkhand celebrates 11 th Foundation Day

National Press Day observed

World Heritage Week started

Stamp on Lakshmipat Singhania released

Stamp to mark 150 years of CAG unveiled

Work on Eastern Freight Corridor launched

5-digit numbering scheme for trains from Dec 20

Medak district to be named after Indira Gandhi

FTII shelves Hewitt Associates report

Section B: WORLD

Nobel Peace Laureate Suu Kyi released

Francois Fillon renamed French PM

Alpha Conde wins presidential election in Guinea

Rajapaksa sworn in for 2 nd term as SL President

Coleman appointed “youth champion” for UN

Ruler of Oman completes 40 years in power

NATO Summit organised at Lisbon

APEC Summit organised in Yokohama

FAO unveils “Food Outlook” report

UAE, Australia and the US top list of carbon emitters

International Religious Freedom report unveiled

Somalia tops Terrorism Risk Index

India summons Iran ambassador on Kashmir remark

UN condemns rights violations in Iran, Burma & N. Korea

UN Academic Impact (UNAI) launched

Israel unveils anti-missile system Arrow-III

World Philosophy Day observed

Jordan's PM reassigned to form new government

Israeli enacts law on referendum on territorial concessions

Georgia starts work on building new capital at Kutaisi

Yale agrees to return Machu Picchu artifacts

Bangladesh contributes highest number troops to UN

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Palin's 'refudiate' is Oxford 'word of the year'

Indians form 2 nd largest group of international students in US

Russia-India-China trilateral organised

Port at Hambantota inaugurated at Sri Lanka

Section C: AWARDS

Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards conferred

41 st International Film Festival to be organised at Goa

‘Mudiyettu’, ‘Chhau’ dance, ‘Kalbelia’ in UNESCO list

Dr. Karan Singh wins Dayawati Modi Award 2010

President confers Manav Sewa Awards

‘Bala Sahitya Puraskar' awards conferred

Tehelka wins IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism

Akshay Raj wins Google's Doodle contest

Ex-President George Bush among Presidential Medal honorees

Lula da Silva selected for Indira Gandhi Prize

Ela Bhatt wins Global Fairness Award

Two Indian winners at WAN-IFRA Young Reader Prizes

National Book Awards presented

Roberto Baggio wins ‘Man of Peace Award’

CII-Thomson Reuters Innovation Awards conferred

Niryat Shree, Niryat Bandhu awards given

Oberoi named 'Hotelier of the World'

Mukesh Ambani wins Global Vision Award

Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE

CAG report on 2G Spectrum tabled in Parliament

RBI forecasters' survey estimates GDP growth at 8.5%

‘Illicit outflows cost India 9.6 lakh crore’ – Global Financial Integrity

NSSO Survey ‘Housing Condition and Amenities in India’ unveiled

High level committee on financing of infrastructure set up

CEA puts power consumption at 684,324 million units in 2010-11

Renewable Energy Certificate Mechanism launched

‘India to be world's fastest growing economy by 2012’ – StanChart

ILO unveils 'World Social Security Report'

Axis Bank to buy Enam Securities

India is 23 rd in FutureBrand’s ‘Country Brand’ rankings

Independent Evaluation Office for social sector schemes

Committee on statutory status for Statistical Commission set up

Founder’s Day of Canara Bank observed

Artisan Credit Cards scheme launched

Bank of Maharashtra launches e-banking lounge

M.B. Shah Commission to probe illegal mining

National Fund for Rural Development shelved

Five more Mega Food Parks approved

Microfinance India Summit organised in Delhi

India Economic Summit organised

India elected Vice-President at UNCTAD Conference

Vaidyanathan Committee on Agri Statistics submits report

BSE launches ‘Realised Volatility Index’

FDI in telecom at Rs 33,957 crore

India’s a trade deficit at $ 72.8 billion in Apr-Oct 2010

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100,000 th Aadhaar Number issued

India’s oil refining capacity at 196 MMTPA

Indirect tax collections rise 42.4% in April-October 2010

SC tells Vodafone to deposit Rs 2,500 cr in its tax appeal

4 PSUs get Maharatna status

IOC forays into nuclear power

L&T-led consortium bags Oman airport contract

Bharti Airtel launches new logo, signature tune

RIL gets perfect score in CSR list of research firm CLSA

Facebook launches e-mail

Nooyi Tops FT’s 50 Top Biz Women List

Rajan among Forbes’ 7 most powerful economists

New Chairpersons selected for CBEC, CBDT

Kalanithi Maran is new SpiceJet chairman

Air India Express COO Pawan Arora fired

Section E: SPORTS

Advani wins India’s first gold at the Asian Games

Takhar wins India's 1 st ever gold in Asian Games rowing

Sebastian Vettel is Formula One Champion

Second India-NZ Test ends in draw

Cricket stays in 2014 Asian Games

Blackburn sale to Venky's confirmed

Dwyer, Aymar are FIH Players of the Year

Bhupathi, Mirnyi win Paris Masters doubles

Gebrselassie does u-turn over retirement

SECTION A: INDIA

Newsmakers

New Cabinet takes oath of office in Maharashtra: Governor K. Sankaranarayanan administered the oath of office and secrecy to 29 Ministers — including 10 Ministers of State — at a swearing-in ceremony of the ruling NCP- Congress coalition government in Mumbai on November 19, 2010. With this, the strength of the Cabinet goes up to 40. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also holds charge of Urban Development, Housing, Transport and other departments, while former CM Narayan Rane got the Industries portfolio. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has kept the two key portfolios of Power and Finance with him. R.R. Patil retained the Home Department. Chhagan Bhujbal, who was unseated as the Deputy Chief Minister, has managed to bag the Tourism portfolio along with the Public Works Department (PWD), while Jayant Patil continues with the Rural Development Ministry. The Revenue Department has gone to Balasaheb Thorat of the Congress, who was the Agriculture Minister in the previous regime, while Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil gets Agriculture.

MCI bars IMA President from medical practice for 6 months: The board of governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI) has removed the names of the president and the secretary of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) from the medical register for six months for endorsing food products. IMA President G. Samaram and secretary Dharam Prakash cannot practice for six months or until their names are once again added to the register. The MCI ethics committee, at its November 9, 2010 meeting, decided to remove the two names temporarily. IMA had in April 2008 signed Rs 2.25-crore contract with Pepsico to allow Tropicana fruit juice and Quaker oats to use the IMA logo on their packs for three years ending 2011. Earlier this year, the MCI had warned the IMA against endorsing food and hygiene products of private companies, as these violated the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002 provisions. It is learnt that roughly 50 per cent of the IMA's funds come from these endorsements. The IMA, which has 187 members, is the largest association of doctors in the country.

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Sibal appointed Communications and Information Technology Minister: Kapil Sibal on November 16, 2010 assumed charge of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in addition to his current charge of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. Sibal was given the additional charge after the former Communications Minister, A. Raja, was forced to quit facing charges of corruption.

Magsaysay Award winner L.C. Jain passes away: Well-known Gandhian and Magsaysay Award winner L.C. Jain passed away on November 14, 2010 at the age of 85. Known as a fierce opponent of overwhelming state control and an ardent advocate for social action, his efforts to keep alive the legacy of the freedom struggle through the intervention of civil society led to him being awarded the Magsaysay Award in 1988. He also served as India’s High Commissioner to South Africa. Jain subsequently became a member of the Planning Commission, where he served from 1989 to 1990. The last years of his life were spent in documenting some of the struggles he had been associated with in a book called ‘Civil Disobedience’, which will be released on December 13. Jain was also instrumental in the setting up of the creation of Cottage Industries Emporium, and the birth of Super Bazaar, India’s first people’s supermarket.

News round up

Climate Change and India: a 4x4 assessment unveiled

Changing climatic conditions will have a mixed impact on Indian agriculture, while the country faces threat from rising sea-levels and temperatures, increased flooding and severe drought by 2030s, says ‘Climate Change and India: a 4x4 assessment’, a report released by the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) on November 15, 2010. The report deals with the impact of climate change by 2030 in the Himalayan region, the North-East, the Western Ghats and the Coastal areas in the sectors of agriculture, water, health and forests. The report has been prepared by the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA), a network-based programme that brings together 120 institutions and 220 scientists from across the country to undertake scientific assessments of different aspects of climate change.

Temperature rise: India may get warmer by 1.7-2.2 degrees Celsius in the 2030s with respect to the 1970s, with an overall warming in the four climate-sensitive regions, namely, the Himalayan region, the Western Ghats, the coastal areas and the northeast region. More, extreme temperatures are expected to increase by 1-4 degrees Celsius, with the highest rise in coastal regions. Also, the extreme maximum and minimum temperatures are projected to increase by the 2030s.

Impact on Climate: The report says key sectors like water, forests, health and agriculture will be affected in a major way due to the increase in net temperature by 1.7- 2.2 degrees in another 20 years in the four climate hotspots. Besides, it predicts an increase in precipitation (rain, snow and storm) in the eco-fragile areas of the Himalayas, northeast, Western Ghats and the coastal region. The report noted the sea level along the coast has been rising at 1.3mm/year and is likely to keep doing so, with a decrease in the frequency of cyclones in the 2030s, though cyclonic intensity would increase.

Food and natural calamity concerns: On agriculture, the report says irrigated rice in all the regions are likely to gain in yields marginally due to warming, though there will be stress on livestock. Hence, milk productivity would fall. Moderate to extreme drought severity is projected in the 2030s for the Himalayan region. All the four regions are likely to experience flooding. On health, the report predicts malaria would spread in new areas in Jammu and Kashmir in the Himalayan region while in the northeast, opportunities for malaria transmission are likely to increase for a longer period.

India-Norway to set up Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law

India and Norway will initiate a joint project on technical and institutional cooperation in connection with the establishment of a Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law (CEBPOL) at Chennai. A Letter of Intent was signed in New Delhi on November 19, 2010. The centre will be co-funded by the Indian and Norwegian Governments.

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The Ministry of Environment and Forests will establish CEBPOL in the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), Chennai, which is a statutory autonomous body of the Ministry responsible for implementing the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The Government of Norway will provide technical and institutional collaboration for the CEBPOL.

The objectives of CEBPOL are to develop professional expertise in the complex and still-evolving policy and legal issues relating to biodiversity, including on access and benefit sharing, inter alia through research, development and training; and to provide advice and expertise to the Government on these matters. The Centre is also expected to contribute to strengthening the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act.

The setting up of this Centre is a very timely initiative taken by the Government, considering that the recently concluded Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, has adopted a Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). The Protocol sets out rules and procedures for prior informed consent for access to genetic resources for ensuring fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from these resources and associated traditional knowledge. As a mega-diverse country, and as a victim of bio-piracy, India has played an important role in ABS negotiations.

Project to empower women panchayat leaders launched

An ambitious programme to empower elected women panchayat representatives was launched by the government

here in collaboration with Norway and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) on November 19,

2010.

“Promoting Women’s Political Leadership and Governance in India and South Asia” was jointly launched by Union Minister for Rural Development C P Joshi along with Norwegian Minister of International Development and Environment Erik Solheim and Regional Director of UNIFEM in India Anne F Steinhammer in New Delhi. It aims at providing an effective political leadership role for women in governance without facing discrimination or violence and addressing their concerns of economic, social and physical security at different levels.

The joint programme, launched on the occasion of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary, will be undertaken on a pilot basis in Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. The joint initiative would help in capacity building of elected women representatives in the six selected states. The launch of the programme is part of an inter-government MoU signed between India and Norway during Joshi’s recent visit to the country.

The programme, for which the Royal Government of Norway has committed about 10 million USD, will also be implemented by UNIFEM in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan apart from six states in India, the Norwegian Embassy said.

SC asks UPSC to divulge selection details

Civil services aspirants won the battle for transparency in selection process of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) when the Supreme Court on November 18, 2010 dismissed the Commission’s petition against divulging details of the selection process in the civil services examination under Right to Information (RTI) Act. A double bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha asked UPSC to withdraw its petition and provide information to the students. UPSC had been resisting demands for divulging its selection process, including scaling system and cut-off marks, despite orders by Central Information Commission (CIC) and Delhi high court.

The controversy started in 2006 when the results for UPSC preliminary examinations were declared. Several students, who had not qualified, filed RTI applications with UPSC seeking information on raw marks and cut-off marks in subjects, the scaling procedure and model answers for different questions in subjects. The main contention of the students was that the level of difficulty of papers in 23 optional subjects did not match. The students also felt that UPSC did not have a fair scaling procedure to match the performance of examinees who had opted for different subjects.

However, the UPSC refused to divulge its scaling procedure. The main argument of UPSC has been that revealing model answers or cut-off marks would benefit private coaching institutes, which would field dummy candidates and crack the system.

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Scheme for adolescent girls launched: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on November 19, 2010 launched Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) – SABLA – for the well-being and overall empowerment of adolescent girls. The scheme has been launched as a pilot project in 200 most backward districts. ‘SABLA’ aims at empowering adolescent girls of 11-18 years by improvement in their nutritional and health status and upgrading various skills like home skills, life skills and vocational skills. It also aims at equipping the girls on family welfare, health hygiene etc. and information and guidance on existing public services along with aiming to mainstream out of school girls into formal or non-formal education. Under the scheme, an integrated package of services will be provided to adolescent girls. It includes nutrition provision of 600 calories and 18-20 grams of protein and micronutrients, at a rate of Rs. 5 a beneficiary a day for 300 days a year.

India raises concern over Brahmaputra dam: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on November 16, 2010 raised concern over China starting construction of a dam on the Brahmaputra river, during the fourth round of the two countries' strategic dialogue which was held in Beijing. The Chinese government for the first time revealed that it has, since November 8, begun damming the Tsangpo’s (Chinese name for Brahmaputra) flow to allow work to begin on the hydropower project at Zangmu. This is the first major dam on the Brahmaputra and has been billed by the Chinese government as a landmark hydropower generation project for Tibet's development. The Indian diplomat was said she was assured by Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun that the 510 MW project “was not a project designed to divert water” and would not affect “the welfare and availability of water to the population in the lower reaches of the Brahmaputra”.

SC calls for Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission: The Supreme Court has directed the Union government to constitute the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission to look into the grievances of serving or former members of the armed forces (the Army, the Navy and the Air Force) or their widows or family members for pension or other issues and make suitable recommendations expeditiously to the Central government in this regard. Giving this direction on a petition filed by a widow, who alleged that she was getting only Rs. 80 a month, a Bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra said: “The Commission to be headed by the former Supreme Court, Judge Kuldip Singh, will also frame and recommend to the Central government a scheme for proper rehabilitation of discharged soldiers.”

National Integration Pledge administered: Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram administered the National Integration Pledge to the officers and staff of the Ministry of Home Affairs on November 19, 2010 in connection with the Quami Ekta Week (National Integration Week). The Week is observed every year from the 19 th to 25 th November to foster the spirit of patriotism, communal harmony and national integration. The National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous organisation with the Ministry of Home Affairs also organises communal harmony campaigns during the week.

Jharkhand celebrates 11 th Foundation Day: Jharkhand celebrated its 11 th Foundation Day on November 15, 2010 with Chief Minister Arjun Munda, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren and other dignitaries paying rich tributes to the leader of the tribals and people's hero Birsa Munda in Khunti, 60 km from the State Capital, Ranchi. Birsa Munda's birth anniversary falls on the same day. Jharkhand came into existence on November 15, 2000. The State has a long history of fight against the British colonial system, which was bent on transforming the tribal agrarian system into a feudal State.

National Press Day observed: National Press Day was observed on November 16, 2010. The Day marks the establishment of the Press Council of India on November 16, 1966 to encourage the press to practice self-regulation and to protect its freedom

World Heritage Week from Nov 19 to 25: The Union Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will celebrate World Heritage Week from November 19 to 25 to create awareness among the public on the importance of protecting historical monuments and steps to be taken to develop them as tourist centres.

Stamp on Lakshmipat Singhania released: President Pratibha Patil released a special postage stamp to commemorate the 100 th birth anniversary of Lala Lakshmipat Singhania at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on November 15, 2010. A visionary, a pioneer and a leader of outstanding quality, Lakshmipat Singhania was the key architect of JK Organisation, one of India's largest business houses.

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Stamp to mark 150 years of CAG unveiled: President Pratibha Patil released a commemorative stamp to mark 150 years of the institution of Comptroller and Auditor-General of India in New Delhi on November 16, 2010. Even as the CAG report on the controversy over 2G spectrum allocation was laid in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advised the audit watchdog to distinguish between “wrongdoing” and “genuine errors.” The government auditor should appreciate the context and circumstances of official decisions and it had a heavy responsibility to ensure that its reports were accurate, balanced and fair.

Work on Eastern Freight Corridor launched: Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated work on the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor in West Bengal on November 16, 2010. The 1,806-km eastern corridor will extend from Dankuni to Ludhiana and pass through several mining and industrial towns such as Asansol, Dhanbad, Sonnagar, Khurja and Saharanpur. It is being designed for a maximum train speed of 100 kmph.

5-digit numbering scheme for trains from Dec 20: The five-digit numbering scheme for trains will be effective from December 20, 2010. Indian Railways are going to implement five digit numbers in place of the existing four digit numbers for all the trains. Under the new numbering scheme, existing express trains’ numbers shall largely continue unchanged but shall now be prefixed with first digit of “1”. The passenger trains shall be first numbered as per the

present four digit train numbering scheme. To this four digit number, a fifth digit shall be prefixed as digit “0” for special trains, digit “5”, “6” and “7” for conventional passenger trains, MEMU and DEMU trains respectively. Suburban services in Kolkata shall begin with digit “3”, in Mumbai with digit “9” and in other parts with digit “4”. This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in Lok Sabha on November 18,

2010.

Medak to be named after Indira Gandhi: Chief Minister K. Rosaiah on November 18, 2010 said the government would rename Medak district after late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The CM was addressing a gathering at the 125 th Congress party foundation celebrations week at Sangareddy.

FTII shelves Hewitt Associates report: The governing council of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on November 18, 2010 dropped the report prepared by Gurgaon-based Hewitt Associates for upgrading the institute. It was also decided that the institute itself will prepare a fresh detailed project report (DPR) for its revitalisation and upgradation with guidance from a group of experts (GOE) nominated by the council. The decision was taken at an emergency governing council meeting attended by institute chairman UR Ananthamurthy, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting joint secretary DP Reddy, institute director Pankaj Rag, students’ representatives and others.

SECTION B: WORLD

Newsmakers Nobel Peace Laureate Suu Kyi released

Myanmar's pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on November 13, 2010 after house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from July 20, 1989. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won 59% of the national votes and 81% (392 of 485) of the seats in Parliament in the 1990 general election. She had, however, already been detained under house arrest before the elections. Suu Kyi is the daughter of Aung San, considered to be the father of modern-day Burma.

FACT FILE

1945: Born in Yangon. Daughter of General Aung San, an independence hero assassinated in 1947 and Khin Kyi, a prominent figure. Studied in Delhi and at Oxford University.

1972: Married British academic Michael Aris.

1988: Returned to Yangon at a time of countrywide pro-democracy protests. Entered politics and helped set up the National League for Democracy party calling for an end to military rule.

1989: Junta placed Suu Kyi under house arrest for “endangering the state”.

1990: NLD won 392 of 485 seats in Myanmar’s first election in 30 years. Military refused to relinquish power or release her.

1990: Won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

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1991: Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1992: Won the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding by the government of India and the International Simón Bolívar Prize from the government of Venezuela.

1999: Husband died. Declined an offer from the junta to go to Britain , fearing she would not be allowed to return.

1995: Freed, but wasn’t allowed to travel outside Yangon. A pro-junta gang attacked her convoy in 2003 in which, according to rights group, 70 were killed. Detained again soon after.

Nov 13, 2010: Released from house arrest

Francois Fillon renamed French PM: French President Nicolas Sarkozy on November 14, 2010 reappointed Francois Fillon as prime minister and asked him to create a new government. The president had been expected for months to make changes to his government ahead of 2012 presidential elections. Fillon had resigned on November 13. The conservative Sarkozy said in June that he planned to change the cabinet as soon as a reform of the pension system was adopted. The reform - raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 - became law on November 10, 2010 after weeks of strikes around France, including at oil refineries and depots that starved the country of fuel.

Alpha Conde wins presidential election in Guinea: Opposition leader Alpha Conde on November 16, 2010 won the presidential run-off in Guinea, the country’s election commission announced in capital, Conakry. Conde gained 52.5% of votes in the 7 November poll against former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo. The elections aim to mark the end

of 52 years of authoritarian rule, but have been marred by violence and delays of the aluminium ore bauxite, yet the country is one of the poorest in West Africa.

Guinea is the world's largest exporter

Rajapaksa sworn in for 2 nd term as SL President: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in President for his second term on November 19, 2010. Rajapaksa, who turned 65 on November 18, was re-elected in the January presidential election with a huge margin over the opposition candidate and former Army Chief, Sarath Fonseka. On a reference from the government, the Supreme Court had ruled that his second term would commence in November, almost 10 months after the election. Thanks to a recent constitutional amendment which lifted the two-term limit on holding the office of President, Rajapaksa is eligible to run for office again. Unlike the first term, which was dominated by the war with the LTTE, the focus during his second term is expected to be on revival of economy and working towards consensus for a political solution to the ethnic conflict.

Coleman appointed “youth champion” for UN: Monique Coleman, an American actress and youth activist, was appointed an official “youth champion” for the UN International Year of Youth at the UN on November 16, 2010. As a youth champion, Coleman will help to raise awareness about the challenges that young people face and will highlight the positive contributions they make to their communities. The international year of youth began on August 12, 2010 and will continue until August 12, 2011, under the theme of “dialogue and mutual understanding.” It is intended to recognize the importance of young people as drivers of international development and positive change and to encourage more dialogue across generations.

Ruler of Oman completes 40 years in power: Ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed has completed the 40 th year of his accession to power of the Sultanate. Sultan Qaboos, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Omani Armed Forces, presided over a military parade in which the Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF), the Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) took part on November 19, 2010.

News round up NATO Summit organised at Lisbon

The Lisbon Summit concluded on 20 November with decisions that will mean profound changes for the way NATO does business, making the Alliance more effective, more efficient and more engaged with the wider world. Following are the highlights of the various issues discussed at the summit.

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Strategic Concept

NATO leaders on November 19, 2010 adopted a new Strategic Concept that will serve as the alliance's roadmap for the next 10 years and that reconfirms the commitment to defend one another against attack as the bedrock of Euro- Atlantic security. The document lays out NATO's vision for an evolving alliance that will remain able to defend its members against modern threats and commits NATO to become more agile, more capable and more effective.

“We face new threats and challenges. This Strategic Concept will ensure that NATO remains as effective as ever in defending our peace, our security and our prosperity,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The Concept is a document outlining the guiding principles of the alliance to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. As radical changes have occurred on the global scene since the last strategy was adopted in 1999, leaders decided to revise the document to take into account new security threats, such as terrorism and cyber-crime.

The new Strategic Concept also offers partner countries and organizations around the globe more opportunities for dialogue and cooperation in an effort to enhance international security. NATO therefore wants to reinforce cooperation with Russia in areas of shared interests, including counter-narcotics, the fight against terrorism and international security. Cooperation with Russia will also be enhanced through the use of the NATO-Russia Council to its full potential.

NATO-Russia Council

The third summit in the history of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) took place in Lisbon on November 20, 2010. At the end of this historic gathering, President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and his counterparts from the other 28 NRC member states issued a joint statement. The NRC endorsed the first ever Joint Review of 21 st Century Common Security Challenges, outlining shared views of Russia and Allies on key security questions and ways to address them through practical cooperation. They agreed on a joint ballistic missile threat assessment and decided to resume Theatre Missile Defence Cooperation. They reconfirmed a shared determination to assist in the stabilisation of Afghanistan and the whole region. In this context, they welcomed broadened transit arrangements through Russian territory for non-lethal ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) goods and moved to expand the counter- narcotics training.

Missile Defence system

NATO’s leaders decided to develop a Missile Defence capability to protect NATO’s populations and territories in Europe against ballistic missile attacks. The Alliance’s Heads of State and Government stated that they see this as a core element of NATO’s collective defence task in view of the growing threat of the proliferation of ballistic missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.

Afghanistan exit strategy

NATO leaders at the Summit backed a strategy to transfer leadership for the fight against the Taliban to Afghan forces by the end of 2014 and signed a long-term security partnership with Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai and Rasmussen then signed a formal partnership that NATO says will codify its commitment to Afghanistan for years to come. NATO’s ISAF has some 130,000 soldiers based in Afghanistan, most of them from the US.

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Basic facts about NATO:

NATO was founded on April 4, 1949, under the direction of the United States and with the participation of 11 western European nations.

During the Cold War, NATO was a tool to check the Warsaw Treaty Organization -- formed in 1955 by the former Soviet Union and a number of eastern European countries after their signing of the Warsaw Pact.

Established on the basis of the North Atlantic Treaty as a defensive political and military alliance, the Brussels-based organization is aimed at promoting democracy, law and well-being of the Euro-Atlantic region and safeguarding freedom and security of member states through united efforts on collective defense and for the maintenance of peace and security, with political and military means.

After the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the subsequent disintegration of the Warsaw Pact in the early 1990s, the U.S. proposed to enlarge the bloc eastward to suppress Russia's strategic revival. In January 1994, allied leaders nodded on the U.S.' proposal of taking in more European countries in NATO at the Brussels Summit.

NATO's enlargement is considered a way essentially to serve U.S.'s goal of dominating the world by continuing its control in Europe.

Upon its birth, NATO was a 12-member alliance, including Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy,

It has so far made six enlargements, bringing its

Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the U.S member states to 28.

NATO took in Turkey and Greece in February 1952; the Federal Republic of Germany in May 1955; Spain in May 1982; the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in March 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in March 2004, and Albania and Croatia in April 2009.

NATO has also been adjusting its military strategies in accordance with changes in the world arena in its 61-year history.

In its earliest days, the alliance followed the principle of collective defense and the strategy of regional containment, and gradually altered to the strategies of flexibility and frontier defense after the formation of the Warsaw Treaty Organization.

After the dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the end of the Cold War, NATO started to adopt the strategic concept that stresses on conflict prevention and crisis management. It meanwhile began to enhance its influence in East Europe and the former Soviet Union area by involving in the crisis of the former Yugoslavia, expanding eastward and advocating its Partnership for Peace program.

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack in 2001 in the U.S, the alliance shifted its focus to combating terrorism, and extended its military force to Asia by entering the war in Afghanistan.

NATO has been pushing for new strategic transition in recent years, which aims to fulfill a wide range of military and civil missions like anti-terrorism, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, while keeping its traditional functions.

APEC Summit organised in Yokohama

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Co-operation (APEC) forum have pledged to move towards creating a regional free-trade area. A two-day Summit of the leaders of the 21-member APEC was organised in Yokohama, Japan on November 13- 14, 2010.

FTA: The proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) will comprise up to 40 per cent of the world’s population and 53 per cent of global economic output, by building on existing pacts. The move would link the world's three biggest economies - the United States, Japan and China.

Currency differences: However, deep differences remain - chiefly between the US and China - over trade imbalances and currency distortions. Both countries have been fussing over who is doing more damage to international trade. Washington contends the yuan is undervalued, giving it an export advantage, while Beijing argues the US Federal Reserve’s easy money policy is aimed at weakening the dollar to boost exports. Washington wants to increase its own exports to the region, and believes China's cheap currency is a barrier to that goal. Chinese President Hu Jintao has said any change will only be made at Beijing's own pace.

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Yokohama Vision: In their final declaration, APEC leaders reaffirmed their “unwavering commitment to achieving free and open trade and investment in the region”. They also pledged to take “concrete steps toward realising a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific”, but gave no timetable. The declaration - entitled Yokohama Vision - included a commitment to move toward more “market-determined exchange rate systems”.

About APEC: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, is a forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC has 21 members - referred to as "Member Economies" - which account for approximately 40.5%1 of the world's population, approximately 54.2%1 of world GDP and about 43.7%2 of world trade. APEC was established in 1989 to further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community. Since its inception, APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, increasing exports. Key to achieving APEC's vision are what are referred to as the 'Bogor Goals' of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialised economies and 2020 for developing economies. These goals were adopted by Leaders at their 1994 meeting in Bogor, Indonesia.

FAO unveils “Food Outlook” report

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned about a further increase in global food prices in 2011 if there is no significant increase in production of major food crops. In the latest edition of its “Food Outlook” report unveiled in November 2010, the agency observed that the rise in global prices, all of which was accruing in the second half of 2010, owing to a mismatch in demand and supply, was pushing the overall food import bill closer to the peak reached in 2008 — the recent crisis year.

The report said the international food import bills could surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2010, with prices of most commodities shooting up sharply since 2009. The import bills of the world's poorest countries were predicted to rise by 11 per cent and by 20 percent for the low-income food-deficit countries in 2010.

Price increases, seen for most agricultural commodities over the past six months, were the result of a combination of factors, especially: unexpected supply shortfalls due to unfavourable weather events, policy responses by some exporting countries by cutting exports, and fluctuations in currency markets.

Most of the downward revision involving wheat and coarse grains followed cuts in production in major grain producing countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and shortfall in yields in the European Union, Canada and the United States.

Contrary to earlier predictions, world cereal production, which was now 2,216 million tonnes, was 2 per cent below the previous year's level, against the anticipated 1.2 increase in June. World cereals stocks too were expected to be lower by 7 per cent, with wheat reserves plunging by 10 per cent, barley 35 per cent and maize 12 per cent. Only rice reserves were foreseen to increase by 6 per cent, the report said.

UAE, Australia and the US top list of carbon emitters: The United Arab Emirates, Australia and the United States have the worst overall records for emitting greenhouse gases, according to an index published on November 17, 2010. The 183-nation index, based on both current and historic emissions, was compiled by British consultancy Maplecroft. The ranking of carbon dioxide emissions from energy use placed the UAE on top, largely because of a sharp rise in emissions in recent years linked to desalination plants in an economy almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels. Australia, dependent on coal, was second ahead of the United States, by far the biggest cumulative emitter since 1900. The index gave a 50 percent weighting to current per capita emissions of greenhouse gases, 25 percent to total national emissions and the remaining 25 percent to cumulative historic emissions. African countries with low emissions were bottom of the list. Chad, where only about 2 percent of the population has access to electricity, was last in 183 rd place.

International Religious Freedom report unveiled: The United States has given India's United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government high marks on religious freedom but said some state and local governments imposed limits on this freedom. The UPA national government “generally respected, provided incentives for, and intervened to protect religious freedom,” the State Department said in its annual report on International Religious Freedom released on November 17, 2010.

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Somalia tops Terrorism Risk Index: Somalia has replaced Iraq as the state most at risk from terrorist attack, according to the Terrorism Risk Index ranking by global analysts Maplecroft on November 14, 2010. The African country is followed by Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Other major movers in the index included Algeria, which fell to 36 from 7, and India, which dropped to 15 from 6.

India summons Iran ambassador on Kashmir remark: India summoned Iran’s acting ambassador on November 19,

2010 to convey its deep disappointment over Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks on Kashmir. In

a related development, India broke from tradition and abstained from voting on a United Nations General Assembly

resolution which was critical of the human rights situation in Iran. India, which has voted against the resolution in the past, sought to explain its abstention during the vote in New York on November 18 by citing “unpalatable” remarks on Kashmir emanating from Iran. India regards the Iranian comments — made on three occasions in the past five months — as questioning of India's territorial integrity and being insensitive to India’s “core” concerns.

UN condemns human rights violations in Iran, Burma & North Korea: The UN General Assembly committee that deals with human rights issues on November 19, 2010 adopted separate resolutions by strong majorities, condemning human rights violations in Iran, Burma and North Korea. While the US voted “yes” for the resolutions on all three countries, India voted “no” for Burma, abstained for Iran and North Korea. China voted “no” for Myanmar and North Korea but “yes” for Iran.

UN Academic Impact (UNAI) launched: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the UN Academic Impact (UNAI) on November 18, 2010, an initiative which seeks to partner institutions of higher education with the UN in order

to

generate innovative ideas for peace and development. Institutions that join UNAI pledge to ascribe to 10 principles

valued deeply by the UN, and must demonstrate that they are doing one project or activity every year to further these principles. To date, UNAI has 500 members in 90 countries.

Israel unveils anti-missile system Arrow-III: Israel has unveiled its next-generation missile-defense system Arrow III, an interceptor designed to destroy enemy ballistic missiles. A full-scale model was put on display at the second annual International Aerospace Conference and Exhibition held in Jerusalem on November 15, 2010. The system has been developed by the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

World Philosophy Day observed: The eighth World Philosophy Day was observed at the United Nations on

November 18, 2010. The UN has called for greater efforts to guard against the politics of polarization and the rejection of stereotypes, ignorance and hatred. World Philosophy Day is celebrated every third Thursday of November since

2002

and wants to make philosophical reflection more accessible. In more than 80 countries, celebrations to mark

World Philosophy Day were organized by academics. A special event was held at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in which several internationally-renowned philosophers and eminent figures participated.

Jordan's PM reassigned to form new government: Jordanian King Abdullah II on November 22, 2010 accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai and reassigned him to form a new government after the country held legislative elections on November 9, 2010. The poll saw loyalists and tribal-connected candidates winning a majority in the 120-seat parliament. About 53 percent of eligible voters participated in the elections which were boycotted by Jordan's Islamic Action Front, the largest opposition party.

Israeli enacts law on referendum on territorial concessions: The Israeli Knesset (parliament) passed the National Referendum Law on November 22, 2010 by a vote of 65-33. The new law applies to territories annexed by Israel in the aftermath of the 1967 war, namely East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, requiring any Israeli government engaged in peace negotiations necessitating a withdrawal from East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights (seized from Syria) to attain the consent of the Israeli public.

Georgia starts work on building new capital at Kutaisi: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on November 16,

2010

Georgia. Some ministries alongside the country's parliament are expected to be moved from Tbilisi to Kutaisi. Kutaisi is some 220 kilometers west of Tbilisi and Saakashvili believes that the country's parliament should be placed in Kutaisi which is the easiest place for all to gather from across the country.

laid the foundation for the construction of buildings for some government institutions in Kutaisi in western

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Yale agrees to return Machu Picchu artifacts: Yale University on November 21, 2010 agreed to return thousands of archaeological pieces taken from Machu Picchu nearly a century ago. The relics from the 15 th century Inca citadel have been the focus of a bitter dispute lasting more than seven years. Peru says the artefacts were loaned in 1911 but never returned. It filed a lawsuit against the university in 2008. The agreement comes after a concerted media campaign by Peruvian President Alan Garcia and his government. Earlier this month, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York returned to Egypt 19 artefacts found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

Bangladesh contributes highest number troops to UN: Bangladesh contributes the highest number peacekeeping troops to the United Nations by sending 10,748 soldiers to troubled countries across the world, a defence ministry statement said in Dhaka on November 16, 2010. “Bangladesh has become the highest troops contributing nation to the UN Blue Helmet mission, currently deploying 10,748 peacekeepers. Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Egypt and Nepal ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th position by sending 10,635, 8,704, 5,786, 5,463 and 4,735 peacekeepers respectively,” said the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement quoting a UN report on Ranking of Military and Police Contribution to UN Operations.

Palin's 'refudiate' is Oxford 'word of the year': “Refudiate”, a word coined by the 2008 US Presidential election Republican Party candidate Sarah Palin, has been named 2010's 'Word of the Year' by the New Oxford American Dictionary on November 16, 2010. 46-year-old Palin introduced the term into US lexicon last July when she used it in a tweet about a proposed Islamic cultural centre near World Trade Center site in New York city. The Oxford University Press has defined the word refudiate as a verb “used loosely to mean 'reject'.” According to the 'Huffington Post', the term became one of the most-searched words on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary over the summer. It was also named number four top word of 2010 by Global Language Monitor.

Indians form 2 nd largest group of international students in US: Indians represent 15 per cent of all foreigners pursuing higher education in the US, becoming the second largest international group after China which topped the list with over 18 per cent students, says a report released on November 15, 2010. The number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by three per cent to 690,923 during the 2009/10 academic year, according to the 'Open Doors' report published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Together, the top three sending countries -- China, India and South Korea -- comprise nearly half (44 per cent) of the total international enrolments in US higher education.

Russia-India-China trilateral organised: Drawing a parallel between the territorial red lines of both countries, India on Sunday told China that just as New Delhi had been sensitive to its concerns over the Tibet Autonomous Region and Taiwan, Beijing too should be mindful of Indian sensitivities on Jammu and Kashmir. The comparison – which is intended to drive home the depth of Indian concerns over recent Chinese attempts to question the country's sovereignty in Kashmir — was made by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in his meeting with China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the Russia-India-China trilateral meeting of foreign ministers in Wuhan, China on November 15, 2010.

Port at Hambantota inaugurated at Sri Lanka: President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 18, 2010 inaugurated the Magama Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port in Hambantota built with Chinese assistance. The port constructed by the China Harbour Engineering Company at a cost of $360 million is being marketed by Sri Lanka as a mega infrastructure project which would transform the economy of the country.

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SECTION C: AWARDS

INDIA Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards conferred

Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards of the Ministry of Environment and Forests were conferred on their winners on November 19, 2010 in New Delhi. These awards are given to recognise efforts for restoration of green cover in the country. The winners are:

A.T. Mishra, an Indian Forest Officer, DFO Dhalbhum Forest Division, Jamshedpur has been given the Award in Individual including Government Servants category. He was instrumental in undertaking excellent afforestation and eco-restoration works in inaccessible and difficult areas and under challenging circumstances posed by the Left Wing Extremism in Dhalbum Forest Division.

Forestry Extension Wing, Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Chennai has been awarded in the category of Institutions for showing commitment in popularizing and mainstreaming tree growing culture amongst the farmers and in transferring improved tree cultivation technology to the farmers. To sustain the plantation drive and encourage agro- forestry, 28 Tree Growers Societies have been formed and registered in 28 districts of the State.

In the third category of Joint Forest management Committee (JFMC), Village Forest Protection and Management Committee, Dani Talai, Range, Bansi, District Pratapgarh, Rajasthan won the award. This JFMC has been functional since 1997. They have conserved the local natural resources which helped in sustainable development of the resources as well as the enhancing the livelihoods of the community.

In the category of States and Union Territories, three Awards have been declared. Jammu & Kashmir, Mizorram and Chandigarh have been selected for ‘Big State having geographical area of 80,000 Sq. Km. and above’, ‘Small State having geographical area below 80,000 Sq. Km.’ and ‘Union Territories respectively’.

IPVM Award for States/UTs was introduced in the year 2008 in three categories and cash award along with medallion and citation is given in each of following categories. Big State having geographical area of 80,000 Sq. Km. and above are given Rs 8.00 lakh, Small State having geographical area below 80,000 Sq. Km and Union Territoroes ,both are given Rs 5.00 lakh each. IPVM awards for the States/ UTs are considered on the basis of percentage increase in the forest and tree cover to the geographical area of the state on the basis of India State of Forest Report published by Forest Survey of India, Dehradun.

IPVM Awards are given in the field of afforestation and wasteland development and assessed on the basis of criteria like replicability, innovativeness/creativity, setting up of grassroot level organizations, soil and moisture conservation work and other related activities, target groups etc.

41 st International Film Festival to be organised at Goa

‘West is West’ from UK will be the opening film at the ten day 41 st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) staring on November 22, 2010 at Goa. Following are the highlights:

Larger competition section: This year’s festival shall feature important changes. The Competition Section has been made open to all feature films from across the world. Earlier, this section was restricted to feature films from Asia, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America. 18 films (15 foreign and 3 Indian) feature films have been short listed for participation.

New awards introduced: Another key change in this year’s festival is the introduction of new awards viz., Best Actor and Best Actress under Competition Section. The Best Film would be awarded Golden Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs. 40 lakh, the Best Director would be awarded Silver Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.15 lakh, Best Actor would be given a Silver Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.10 lakh, Best Actress would be given a Silver Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.10 lakh, Special Jury Award given a Silver Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.15 lakh.

Other events: Another key aspect of the festival will be the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Film & Television Institute of India. The festival will also observe the Platinum Jubilee of Odiya Cinema. The country focus during the festival shall be Sri Lanka, Taiwaenese New Wave Cinema and a section on Australian Indigenous Fiction Films.

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‘Mudiyettu’, ‘Chhau’ dance, ‘Kalbelia’ folk music in UNESCO list

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in November 2010 inscribed three Indian performing-art forms, the Mudiyettu, a ritual theatre of Kerala; the Chhau dance, a tradition from eastern India; and the Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

This annual list, unlike the World Heritage list that focuses on monuments and natural sites, spotlights performing art forms of outstanding value and are vulnerable due to lack of support. This inscription, the UNESCO expects, would provide better visibility for such intangible heritage, help improve the awareness of their significance and offer international assistance to promote and preserve them.

The Mudiyettu, the ritual dance drama annually performed after the harvest of summer crops in Kerala, is more than 250 years old. The Chhau dance, known for its crafted masks and mock combat movements, is prevalent in the tribal parts of Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Kalbelia folk songs and dances are characterised by movements and music that evoke serpents.

The Fifth Session of the UNESCO Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was organised in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Karan Singh wins Dayawati Modi Award 2010: Dayawati Modi Foundation for Art, Culture and Education on November 12, 2010 announced that this year's Dayawati Modi Art, Culture & Education Award will be conferred to Dr. Karan Singh, Member of Parliament and former Ambassador of India to the United States of America, in recognition of his contribution to Indian culture and literature. Dr. Singh is currently the Chairman, Ethics Committee of the Upper House of Parliament; Chairman, Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation; Chancellor of the prestigious Benaras Hindu University and President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), having rank equal to Central Cabinet Minister. The award will be presented on November 24, 2010.

President confers Manav Sewa Awards: The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presented various national awards in the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of Children’s Day on November 14, 2010. The President presented the National Child Awards for Exceptional Achievement for the Year 2010, the National Awards for Child Welfare for the Year 2009 and the Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Awards for the Year 2009. The National Child Awards were presented to 25 children in the age group of 4 to 15 years from various States of the country. The National Awards for Child Welfare were presented to 5 Institutions and 3 individuals, while the Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Awards were presented to 3 individuals – Fulendra Chaudhary (Bihar), V. Nandansabapathy (Tamil Nadu) and Dr. Sarojini Agarwal (Uttar Pradesh).

‘Bala Sahitya Puraskar' awards conferred: Two writers from Orissa have been conferred the coveted award for children's literature – ‘Bala Sahitya Puraskar' – instituted by the Sahitya Akademi, India's apex body for literature based in New Delhi on November 14, 2010. While Visakhapatnam-based Punyaprava Debi bagged the award for writing in Oriya, Boyha Biswanath Tudu won it for his writings in Santali. The award carries a citation, a memento and a cash award of Rs. 50,000. Both were presented the award by Sahitya Akademi president and celebrated Bengali writer Sunil Gangopadhyaya at a special ceremony in New Delhi this week.

Tehelka wins IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism: Weekly magazine Tehelka was on November 17, 2010 selected for the IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism, 2010, for outstanding journalistic work. The award, comprising a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh, a trophy and a citation, will be presented in New Delhi. The International Press Institute is an active forum of editors, publishers and senior executives of newspapers, magazines and news agencies committed to promotion of free exchange of accurate and balanced news among nations.

Akshay Raj wins Google's Doodle contest: Akshay Raj, a class IX student from St. Aloysius High School, Mangalore, was on November 14, 2010 announced as the winner for this year's ‘Doodle4Google' competition. Doodles are the creative Google logos that appear on some special days, to commemorate scientific and artistic achievements, historic or seasonal events, and other local occasions. The winning doodle titled ‘Technically and Naturally Growing India’, was on the Google India home page on November 14. Raj will receive a ‘Technology Starter Package' along with Rs 2, 00,000 technology grant for his school. The Doodle4Google competition was open to all students from class 1 to 10. This year, participants were challenged to imagine their own version of the Google logo based on the theme ‘My Dream for India'. ‘Doodle4Google' is a global platform giving children an opportunity to showcase their talent globally.

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