National News January, 2012



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National News



January, 2012

  • In a major policy decision, the Centre announces its decision to allow Qualified Foreign Investments (QFIs) to directly invest in Indian equity market in order to widen the class of investors, attract more foreign funds, reduce market volatility and deepen the Indian capital market.

  • India and Pakistan exchange a list of their nuclear installations and facilities under a two-decades-old pact prohibiting attacks on atomic assets.

  • Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announces a slew of welfare schemes on New Year’s Day, the implementation of which will entail an expenditure of Rs. 5,000 crore over the next five years for the State government.

  • Asserting that freedom of the Press is a must for the growth of Indian democracy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asks media organizations to devise a mechanism to promote objectivity and curb sensationalism.

  • Dance guru K.J. Sarasa, who devoted her lifetime to deep engagement with Bharatnatyam, passes away in Chennai.

  • President Pratibha Patil visits the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC SHAR) at Sriharikota and dedicates the new Mission Control Centre to the nation.

  • President Pratibha Patil presents ISRO awards for 2008-09, including the Lifetime Achievement Award to the former ISRO chairman, K. Kasturirangan.

  • At the International Conference on Technology Enhanced Education at Amritapuri near Kollam, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus says that technology should be used for solving socio-economic problems rather than for commercial exploitation.

  • Reliance Industries, India’s biggest listed company, expands its footprint in the media sector, with a major investment in the TV18 group which will effectively fund a consolidation with the Eenadu TV media group.

  • At the 99th annual session of the Indian Science Congress in Bhubaneshwar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh applauds the tribal community of Koraput for being chosen by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization for recognition under the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage sites programme.

  • The two Indian traders, holed up in a hotel to the southern Chinese trading town of Yiwu and facing threats to their lives, are released after more than two weeks of forced detention following a bitter trade dispute with local businessmen.

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) awards the status of ‘Universities with Potential for Excellence (UPE)’ to the University of Mysore, one of the country’s oldest and most respected centres of higher learning.

  • The government clears a proposal to equip the French Mirage ground attack aircraft with 500 air-to-air missiles that would be procured from a western consortium.

  • India declares itself free from bird flu (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza).

  • Career diplomat Arvind Gupta assumes charge as Director-General of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) in New Delhi.

  • Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announces that 73,000 villages not covered by banks will be covered before March-end, either with brick-and-mortar branches, mobile banking or with telephony services.

  • As directed by the Gujarat High Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) takes over the investigation of the Ishrat Jahan ‘fake’ encounter case.

  • Senior Indian diplomat D. Bala Venkatesh Varma is given the first S.K. Singh award “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen India’s position in the global nuclear order” by UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.

  • Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan takes charge as the Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard in New Delhi. Prior to taking over as the Director-General, Vice Admiral Muralidharan was the Chief of Personnel at the Integrated Headquarters (IHQ), Ministry of Defence, and earlier served as the first Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala.

  • The Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister orders the VIP grid disconnected from power supply, so that hospitals and other essential installations can receive the electricity.

  • The former Union Minister, Sukh Ram surrenders before a court in New Delhi in 1993 telecom scam case.

  • India decides to send a truncated 15-member military delegation to China after Beijing expressed objections to hosting an Indian Air Force (IAF) official from Arunachal Pradesh.

  • According to the findings of a study released by Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh in New Delhi, despite low literacy rates, most of the low-income single women in the country are not dependent on their families but run their households on their own.

  • The 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conclave is kicked off in Jaipur with a colourful unveiling depicting the rich and vibrant Rajasthani culture.

  • Inaugurating the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Jaipur, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announces the right of franchise to the non-resident Indians who are registered under the Representation of the People Act, 1950.

  • The Rajasthan government seeks special status for the State in view of its difficult geography and a package for drinking water considering the shortage caused by recurrent droughts, scanty and irregular rainfall.

  • Six researchers from five science streams are honoured with the Infosys Prize-2011 by the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in Bangalore.

  • As per the Forward Markets Commission data, turnover of the 21 commodity exchanges in India increased by 66% to Rs. 137.22 lakh crore till December 2011 in the current fiscal (2011-12).

  • Mahindra Satyam files a lawsuit against the former board of directors and some ex-employees of the company seeking damages after the company was hit by fraud.

  • Finance Ministry announces that rating agency Moody’s upgraded the short-term country ceiling on foreign currency bank deposit increasing from NP (not prime) to Prime (P-3).

  • As per the tax collection data for the April-December 2011 period released by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), indirect tax collections increased 16.1% during April-December 2011.

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) notifies the rules, allowing 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail.

  • The 15th World Sanskrit conference jointly organized by Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and International Association of Sanskrit Studies jointly concludes at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.

  • The government announces its approval to 20 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals, envisaging a total inflow of Rs. 1,935.24 crore in foreign exchange.

  • PMO directs cash-rich public sector undertakings (PSUs) to invest around Rs. 1.76 lakh crore, including Rs. 1.41 lakh crore domestically to act as a stimulus in the next fiscal 2012-13.

  • DGFT notifies that the Commerce Ministry has lowered the minimum export price of onions by $100 a tonne to $150 a tonne to boost exports.

  • Special life-time achievement award, in memory of G.V. Raja, the founder-president of the Kerala State Sports Council is announced to be instituted.

  • Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee launches the signature tune of the Indian Customs Pragati ki Dhadkan in New Delhi.

  • India decides to make a ‘strategic shift’ in LNG (liquefied natural gas) sourcing with a ‘look US policy’ for contracting new import volumes.

  • Industrial production bounces back with a growth of 5.9 per cent in November 2011, marking a five-month high and just a tad lower than the 6.4 per cent expansion posted in the same month a year ago.

  • Tata Technologies unveil the prototype for a $20,000-electric car that can carry up to four passengers in Detroit as it sets out to challenge more costly rivals.

  • India extends for five years anti-dumping duty on import of four Chinese products in the face of widening trade gap with China.

  • RBI issues guidelines on compensation of whole time directors, chief executive officers and other risk takers in private and foreign banks.

  • In a major development, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) sets aside all penalties imposed by the government on new telecom operators for delay in meeting roll out obligations of services.

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India stipulates that Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) should not issue offshore derivates instruments/participatory notes (PNs).

  • Workshop on Climate Change Financing is inaugurated by R. Gopalan, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.

  • GAIL Gas Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GAIL (India), joins hands with the Andhra Pradesh Government for setting up of an LNG terminal/floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) along the State’s expansive sea coast.

  • India’s first woman photo-journalist Homai Vyarawalla dies in Vadodara, Gujarat.

  • As per the Wholesale Price Index, published by the government, reduced food prices caused the inflation to dip to a year low at 7.47% in December, 2011.

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) proposes a fee of Rs. 20 crore for a national-level unified licence under the new regime.

  • The Pioneer’s J. Gopikrishnan and CNBC-TV18’s Udayan Mukherjee are adjudged Journalist of the Year at the 5th Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism.

  • The Government of Singapore announces to have acquired 1.09 per cent stake, now worth about Rs. 2,500 crore, in Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance industries Ltd. (RIL), the company’s latest shareholding data show.

  • The 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda is commemorated under the directions of a National Committee Implementation Committee chaired by Honourable Finance Minister.

  • In a three-pronged bid to check the burgeoning current account deficit, halt depreciation of the rupee and partly make up the shortfall in revenue collections, the Central Government tweaks the duty structure on precious metals to mop up an additional Rs. 600 crore during the last quarter of the current fiscal.

  • Anthony Prabhu Gonsalves, India’s first music arranger dies.

  • As per data released by the government, cheaper food items pulled down the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by 0.44 per cent month-on-month in December 2011.

  • India is ranked the sixth most innovative country in the world in multinational conglomerate GE’s second Annual Global Innovation barometer.

  • World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012, a United Nations report on global economic prospects projects India’s economy to grow at a pace a tad lower than 8 per cent in 2012 and 2013 in view of the sharp increase in downside risks stemming from the problems in Europe and the U.S.

  • Siddharth Varadarajan succeeds N. Ram as Editor of The Hindu.

  • Harish Khare resigns as media advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

  • Senior television journalist Pankaj Pachauri is appointed as Communication Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office.

  • Vice-President Hamid Ansari inaugurates the 16th Convocation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences at Bangalore.

  • U.K.-based Vodafone Group welcomes the Supreme Court’s ruling to set aside the Bombay High Court judgment, asking its Indian arm to pay Rs. 11,000 crore income tax to the government for acquiring majority stake in Hutchison-Essar in 2007.

  • Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, increases its stake in group company Tata Steel by converting 1.2 crore warrants into equal number of equity shares.

  • Singapore-based Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka is awarded the DSC Prize for South Asia Literature 2012, at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

  • Even as Mauritius-based Baytree Investments is set to pick up 4.9 percent stake in Godrej Consumers Products Ltd. (GCPL), the Mumbai-based company inks a deal to acquire 60 per cent stake in Cosmetics National, a leading hair colorant and cosmetics company in Chile.

  • Senior Congress leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh C. Jagannath Rao dies of a heart attack in Secunderabad.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) adopts a resolution that focuses on the global burden of mental disorders and the need for a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level.

  • The World Bank approves funds worth Rs. 74.24 crore for about three dozen incomplete roads and bridges in Himachal Pradesh.

  • India and the European Union (EU) announce to have joined hands for launching joint military operations in the Indian Ocean against piracy activities.

  • Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia says that the 9 per cent growth target for the 12th Five Year Plan is achievable, provided the country registered a high rate of growth in domestic savings and capital formation.

  • Sukumar Azhikode, award-winning Malayalam writer, scholar and one of the most influential Gandhian intellectual in Kerala dies.

  • CCEA gives final approval to Vedanta Resources’ acquisition of a majority stake in Cairn India.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cuts the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 50 basis points from 6 per cent to 5.5 per cent with effect from January 28, which would release Rs. 32,000 crore into the financial system.

  • The Board of Approval (BoA) under the Commerce Ministry approves the proposal of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to set up a special economic zone (SEZ0 at Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

  • The Padma awards for the year 2012 are announced on the eve of India’s 63rd Republic Day.

  • Seeking an end to the discriminatory taxation regime adopted for petroleum products, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry asks the Finance Ministry to bring petroleum products, including crude oil, petrol, diesel, ATF and gas, under the new Goods and Services tax (GST) regime in line with the recommendations of the XIII Finance Commission.

  • Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says that India and Thailand would work to double the bilateral trade to around $14 billion by 2014.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says that interest rates applicable on the domestic savings banks deposits will be determined on the basis of end-of-day balance in the account.

  • Kerala governor and former Puducherry Chief Minister and M.P., M.O.H. Farooq dies in Chennai.

  • President of Pratibha Devisingh Patil confers the Ashoka Chakra on Lt. Navdeep Singh (posthumous) on the occasion of the 63rd Republic Day 2012.

  • Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, is constituted to examine issues relating to the sugar sector.

  • In a bid to end the turf war between the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a Cabinet Committee announces to have worked out a compromise that will result in the biometric data of all residents being captured by June 2013.

  • Two days after a successful trial, an advanced version of pilot-less target aircraft Lakshya is successfully flight-tested at the Integrated Test Range, near Balasore.

  • President of the Senate of Chile Guido Girardi calls for partnership between his country and India in the renewable energy sector, saying that his country has decided to achieve 20 per cent of its energy needs through renewable energy sources by 2020.

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) decides to enhance the minimum investment amount per client managed by portfolio managers to Rs. 25 lakh from Rs. 5 lakh at present by amending the SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 1993.

  • In a study by Yale and Columbia Universities, India holds the very last rank among 132 nations in terms of air quality with regard to its effect on human health.

  • In yet another move to get information about black money stashed away abroad, India signs the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a multilateral agreement that promotes international cooperation while respecting the rights of taxpayers.

  • Pitching for foreign investment in the infrastructure sector, which needs $1 trillion in the 12th Five Year Plan, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Chicago asks U.S. investors to access the Indian debt market through a mechanism of regulated entities with a sustained long-term interest rate.

  • India announces to provide a grant of $1.5 million to the University of Chicago to establish a Vivekananda Chair for Indian studies, as part of the initiatives to mark the 150th birth anniversary of the 19th century luminary, Swami Vivekananda, and polymath Rabindranath Tagore.

  • “Sahyog-Kaijin-XI,” a mock drill on the deep seas by the Indian and Japan Coast Guard units demonstrate the inherent capabilities of the two forces to jointly counter a range of maritime threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary B.P. Acharya is arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in Hyderabad for his role in the fast-snowballing scandal relating to irregularities in the allotment of high-priced plot for villas in the township project of Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar.

  • Starbucks – the iconic American coffee house brand that helped make the beverage ‘cool’ worldwide, spurring imitators but also critics announces to set up shops across India in association with the Tata Group.

  • Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee says that India will not scale down its petroleum imports from Tehran despite U.S. and European sanctions against the Islamic republic.

  • In a blow to every corrupt politician or bureaucrat shielded by the executive’s unwillingness to let them stand trial, the Supreme Court sets a three-month deadline for governments to decide whether or not to grant sanction for prosecution under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

  • India selects the French Fighter Rafale over the Eurofighter Typhoon in a multi-billion dollar contract for the supply of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) – the country’s largest defence deal to date.

  • The Delhi High Court sets new guidelines on distances within which the Capital’s private unaided schools will have to admit children from economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups in the 25 per cent reserved quota under the Right to Education Act.




  • February, 2012

    • The 1974 batch Indian Revenue Service officer Laxman Das takes over as the new Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) replacing Mr. M.C. Joshi.

  • The K.K. Birla Foundation awards the 21st Bihari Puraskar for 2011 to Arjundeo Charan for his Rajasthani poetry collection “Ghar Tau Ek Nam Hai Bhrosai Rau”.

  • The Supreme Court declares unconstitutional Section 27 (3) of the Arms Act, which provides for mandatory death sentence to an accused charged with an offence under this provision.

  • Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh approves the constitution of a National Council for Senior Citizens to advise the Central and State Governments on the welfare of senior citizens.

  • Declaring the allocation of 2G spectrum by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government illegal and an example of the arbitrary exercise of power, the Supreme Court cancels all 122 telecom licences allotted on or after January 10, 2008 to 11 companies during the tenure of the former telecom minister, A. Raja.

  • Director-General of TERI R.K. Pachauri presents the Green Globe Award for outstanding contribution by a celebrity to Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan in New Delhi.

  • Director-Producer Raj Kumar, who launched Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra in Bollywood, passes away at the age of 50.

  • Veteran environmental filmmaker Mike Pandey is honoured with the V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award at the Mumbai International Film Festival 2012.

  • Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan says India’s economic growth is likely to slow down to 7-7.5% in 2011-12 from 8.4% in 2010-11.

  • Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee releases a special edition of Rabindranath Tagore’s diary with his translations of Gitanjali, as part of the poet’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations in Kolkata.

  • The Karnataka High Court appoints a 27-year old transgender C. Anu as a Class IV employee. This is, perhaps, the first such appointment in the country.

  • The special Central Bureau of Investigation court hearing the 2G scam case dismisses Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy’s demand to prosecute P. Chidambaram for allegedly conniving with then telecom minister A. Raja in illegal allocation of mobile spectrum and licences.

  • The Union Government unveils a comprehensive policy on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

  • Historian Sharada Dwivedi passes away in Mumbai at the age of 69.

  • A money laundering case is registered against the former Union Minister, Dayanidhi Maran and his brother and Sun TV Managing Director Kalanidhi Maran by the Enforcement Directorate in connections with the 2G spectrum case.

  • Around 62 percent voters cast their votes in the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections held in 55 constituencies in 10 districts.

  • India’s indigenously developed micro-light pilot less target aircraft Lakshya-1 is successfully test flown from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur near Balasore as part of a routine trial.

  • President Pratibha Devisingh Patil unfurls a national flag, touted as the tallest in the country (90 x 60 feet), in the famous holy Brahmasarovar area of Kurukshetra, Haryana.

  • Professor Tapas Kumar Kundu of Bangalore-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research wins the G.D. Birla Award for Science.

  • The Indian Navy stages a network-centric exercise of the Southern coast and displays cooperation with the Indian Air Force in its annual TROPEX.

  • Indian and Chinese leaders lay out a new road-map for bilateral ties, calling for a flexible and imaginative approach in 2012 to minimize the effect of persisting irritants.

  • The Special Investigation Team probing Zakia Jafri’s complaint frees Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of all charges in the 2002 Gujarat pogrom against Muslims.

  • Veteran Bollywood writer-filmmaker O.P. Dutta passes away at the age of 81.

  • The Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Army Chief General Vijay Kumar’s plea regarding his date of birth pointing out that the Army Chief, who accepted the government’s decision in determining his date of birth as May 10, 1950 on three occasions cannot go back on his commitment. His writ petition is disposed of as withdrawn.

  • India and the European Union make progress on their Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement and nominate minister-level monitors to push for its early finalization but discussions on regional issues remain centre stage at their annual summit in New Delhi.

  • India moves closer to the deployment of the fledgling, indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence system when an interceptor missile achieves a direct hit and destroys an incoming target missile at an altitude of 15 km over the Bay of Bengal.

  • About 59 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in 59 constituencies in nine districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh in the second phase of Assembly elections.

  • Urdu poet and Jnanpith Award recipient Akhlaq Mohammed Khan, popularly known as Shahryar, who shot to fame by penning ghazals in Bollywood classics like Umrao Jaan, passes away at the age of 76.

  • Noted Hindi writer Professor Ramdarash Mishra is selected for the 21st Vyas Samman for his poetry collection “Aam ke Patte”.

  • Lieutenant General Ramesh Halgali, one of the four generals indicted in the Sukna Land scam, takes over as the new Army Deputy Chief (Information Systems and Training).

  • Karnataka’s Minister for Higher Education V.S. Acharya passes away at the age of 71.

  • Sitar maestro Shamim Ahmed Khan, one of the finest exponents of Hindustani instrumental music, passes away at the age of 74.

  • Twenty two writers and poets of English and regional languages including historian Ramachandra Guha are honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Awards for 2011.

  • Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal announces major contours on spectrum management and licensing framework.

  • Times Internet Limited (TIL) launches India’s first tablet magazine Tweek.

  • Jawahar Sircar, Secretary in the Union Culture Ministry, is selected by a panel for the post of Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharati.

  • After hectic negotiations, the Kerala police arrest two Marines suspected to have fired the shots from an Italian oil tanker that killed two Indian fishermen off Kerala on February 15, 2012.

  • The fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections records a turnout of 57.20 per cent.

  • As per the first nationwide retail inflation data released by the government inflation based on the all India Consumer Price Index stands at 7.65 per cent in January 2012.

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar arrives in Islamabad, leading a six member parliamentary delegation on a five-day visit to Pakistan.

  • The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council projects a 7.5 – 8 per cent growth for the fiscal 2012-13 in its Review of the Economy 2011-12.

  • Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh unveils the new version of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to include works related to agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry, drinking water and sanitation.

  • The fifth phase of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh witnesses a high polling percentage of 59.2 per cent.

  • Anti corruption crusader Anna Hazare and former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam receives the S.R. Jindal Prize.

  • The Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal launches Virtual Labs – a correction of 91 online laboratories containing hundreds of experiments in nine disciplines of science and engineering.

  • The Supreme Court slams Delhi Police for excessive use of force during the midnight eviction of Baba Ramdev’s supporters from Ramlila Maidan on June 4, 2010.

  • Indian makes a strong pitch to channelise investments into its oil and gas sector from Saudi Arabia, which apart from private giants, has a sovereign wealth fund of over $600 billion.

  • Gunjan Sharma (The Week) and Tarun Tejpal (Tehelka) receive the IPI-India Award for Excellence in Journalism 2011.

  • India, which has been polio-free for over a year now, is taken off the list of polio-endemic countries by the World Health Organization.

  • China objects to Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying India should refrain from taking any action that can complicate the border issue.

  • The Supreme Court directs the Centre to constitute a special committee forthwith for inter-linking of rivers for the benefit of the entire nation.

  • Senior journalist George Joseph, who shot to fame in early 1990s for his reporting on militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir, passes away at the age of 58.

  • In the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections about 60 per cent of voters exercise their franchise.

  • The Centre decides to link payment of pension for the elderly, widows and disabled persons to the Aadhaar to ensure timely delivery.

  • Growth in the eight key core industries slows to 0.5 per cent in January 2012, dragged down by a decline in natural gas, crude oil, steel and petroleum refinery products.

  • The Government informs Army Chief General V.K. Singh that he will retire on May 31, 2012, brining the curtains down on a two-year row over his birth date.

  • The Indian economy grew 6.1 per cent during October-December 2011 quarter, the slowest pace of expansion in 11 quarters.

  • After considerable dithering Pakistan decides to switch to the negative list approach for trade with India and phase it out completely by December 2012.

  • Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim sweep the maximum number of awards at the National Tourism Award ceremony, while Madhya Pradesh get four awards, including best state for tourism infrastructure and best tourism film, Sikkim gets the award for best tourism infrastructure in the north-east and best state to have implemented the Clean Indian campaign.




  • March, 2012

    • India and China decide to open a new chapter in bilateral cooperation by agreeing to undertake joint operations against pirates and sharing technological know-how on seabed research.

  • Six months after their appearance before a special CBI court, charges are framed against Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad and the former Bihar Chief Minister, Jagannath Mishra, in connection with the multi-crore fodder scam case.

  • For the first time, Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered as the Nobel prize in architecture, is awarded to Wang Shu (48) a Chinese, for “producing an architecture that is timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal.

  • While there is agreement on the need for environmental taxes, there is a need to carefully calibrate the level of taxation on polluting industries in targeting a reduction in environmental pollution, C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, says in New Delhi.

  • The Union government justifies the first come, first served (FCFS) policy and urges the Supreme Court to review the 2G judgment, which quashed spectrum licences and directed issuance of fresh ones on the basis of auction.

  • In an unprecedented move, Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar disqualifies as many as 16 ruling Congress MLAs.

  • The Supreme Court appoints retired Supreme Court Judge Justice H.S. Bedi as Chairman of the Monitoring Authority to probe all cases of fake encounter deaths in Gujarat from 2003 to 2006.

  • The indigenously developed advanced lightweight torpedo and the Akash missile system is handed over to the Navy and the Indian Air Force respectively at a function in Hyderabad.

  • For the first time in the history of the Bangalore University, an FIR is registered against its Vice-Chancellor, N. Prabhu Dev, related to the complaint filed under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

  • Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Bikram Singh is announced to be the next Chief of Staff of the 1.3 million-strong Indian Army.

  • Press Council of India Chairperson Justice Markandey Katju withdrew the show-case notice issued to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan after he assures him to do “all he can for maintaining the freedom of the press (in Maharashtra).

  • The Indian economy is expected to register an improved performance during the 2012-13 fiscal with a growth rate of about 7.5 per cent, C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister says.

  • The Army successfully test-fires the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile at Pokhran to operationally the second regiment of the weapon system in service.

  • The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India, organizes a two-day Regional Conference on “Reforms for Citizen Centric Governance” involving the states of southern and central region, in association with the Government of Puducherry.

  • The Supreme Court is announced to get one more judge – Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla – with the collegiums of judges clearing his name for elevation.

  • Pakistan test-fires Hatf-II surface-to-surface ballistic missile, which can carry nuclear warheads. The Hatf-II or Abdali has a range of 180 km.

  • Thousands of Tamils from across Europe protest in front of the U.N. headquarters in Geneva, demanding the creation of an international tribunal to try “war crimes” committed in Sri Lanka.

  • Gopalkrishna Gandhi is made the new chairman of the governing body of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, and president of its society.

  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurates the golden jubilee celebrations of Afro-Asian Rural Development Organization in New Delhi.

  • The electorate of Uttar Pradesh delivers a stunning mandate for stability, paving the way for the Samajwadi Party (SP) to form the next government in the State.

  • The Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance in Punjab scripts history by bagging 68 of

  • the 117 seats in the State Assembly, elections.

  • The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) and Nidan, an organization that supports unorganized workers, is announced to be honoured with the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship by the Skoll Foundation in Oxford, England, on March 29.

  • The Congress secures absolute majority in the Manipur Assembly elections.

  • It was an impressive debut for the Byari feature film industry with its first offering, simply titled Byari, sharing the top prize at the National Film Awards 2011.

  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) suspends Kingfisher Airlines from its clearing house that enables airlines to settle inter-line billings globally for its failure to pay dues.

  • Despite India’s “impressive” rise, its ambition to be a superpower may remain just that – an ambition, according to an authoritative new study by the London School of Economics (LSE) to which several Indian scholars have contributed.

  • Bombay Ravi, a composer who played a key role in brining melody back into Malayalam cinema in the 1980s, dies in Mumbai.

  • The largest solar storm in five years engulfs Earth.

  • Narendra Kumar, a young IPS officer is crushed to death by the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district.

  • The Karnataka High Court ordered issue of notices to the Centre, the Broadcasting Ministry, the State on PILs seeking a direction to the media to telecast visuals portraying the alleged attack on lawyers during the March 2 violence at the Bangalore civil court complex.

  • In a set of recommendations that should warm the cockles of the aam admi’s heart and that of all taxpayers at large, as also enthuse the stock markets, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance pitches for far higher relief than what was proposed by the Government in the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill, aimed at ushering in a new direct taxation regime.

  • Manohar Parrikar is sworn in as Goa Chief Minister, heading a BJP-led coalition, at a ceremony in Panaji.

  • Yesteryear actor Joy Mukherjee passes away after prolonged illness at the Lilavati hospital in Mumbai.

  • Tusha Mittal of Tehelka’s Kolkata News Bureau is chosen for the Chameli Devi Jain Award, 2012.

  • At the 6th National Grassroots Innovations Awards in New Delhi, President Pratibha Patil awards innovators.

  • In a more that will give a big push to broadband penetration in the country, the Central Department of Telecommunications (DoT) clears an ambitious plan to distribute 50 lakh tablet PCs (personal computers) to students in the next financial year 2012-13.

  • As for wealth tax, the Parliamentary Committee on Finance suggests that the impost be levied only if the value of the specified asset exceeds Rs. 5 crore.

  • Leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband issue a fatwa against full body scans, ruling that the exercise is against the Sharia Law.

  • The Union Cabinet defers a decision on a proposal to make a Presidential reference on the Supreme Court’s order to 2G licences regarding the auction of natural resources.

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, which examined ‘The Nuclear Safety Regulatory Bill, 2011,’ suggests the establishment of a Council of Nuclear Safety (CNS) to oversee and review the policies related to radiation/nuclear safety in the country.

  • Claiming that the National Ganga River Basin Authority has become a toothless organization which has made no change to the government’s neglect of the national river, three of its non-governmental members submit their resignations to the Prime Minister, chairperson of the body.

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) chalks out several plans to increase gross enrolment ratio (GER) of students in higher education from the present 20 percent to 30 percent during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

  • Union Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation Jairam Ramesh announces a national award for sanitation and water in the name of Maharashtrian saint Sant Gadge Baba.

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron says he will be “very sad” if India boycotts the London Olympics following the row over sponsorship of the event by Dow Chemicals, linked to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announces to amend the West Bengal Cooperative Societies Act, 2006, to ensure that banks run by cooperative societies are not empowered to attach the property of any farmer who fails to repay a loan.

  • In a spell of fresh trouble for the Congress government, the Supreme Court issues notices to six Ministers and eight Indian Administrative Service officers from Andhra Pradesh on a petition alleging that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is not proceeding against them despite having sufficient evidence that they helped Kadappa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy accumulate massive illegal assets.

  • To earthquakes of moderate intensity shake the Kashmir Valley within three hours.

  • Pointing to ‘human capital deficit’ as one of the major challenges facing public sector banks (PSBs) in emerging as potential global leaders, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee asks the banking community over the weekend to improve customer services to remain relevant in an intensely competitive financial business environment.

  • While agreeing in principle on the need to have an effective anti-terrorism mechanism on the lines of the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), almost all States emphasise the need to make them as “en effective stakeholder” in all aspects of counter-terrorism domain.

  • Announcing major initiatives to provide universal healthcare, President in her speech to the joint session of the first day of the Budget session of Parliament, Pratibha Patil says the government would endeavour to increase both Plan and Non-Plan public expenditure in the Centre and the States taken together to 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product by the end of the 12th Plan.

  • President Pratibha Devisingh Patil announces a separate Department of Disability Affairs in her speech on the first day of the Budget session of Parliament.

  • Sharmila Tagore, UNICEF’s National Goodwill Ambassador, reaches out to pregnant women in Jharkhand to gain first-hand knowledge of maternal health in the State.

  • A detailed analysis of the Census 2011 data, released in New Delhi, shows that 27 per cent of the households in Uttar Pradesh still had two or more married couples living together – far more than the national average of 18 percent for such families.

  • The functioning of both Houses of Parliament is disrupted when members cutting across party lines vociferously demand that India support the resolution to be moved by the U.S., France and Norway against Sri Lanka at the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

  • Vijay Bahuguna, MP, is sworn in as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand after Congress overrules a revolt by another MP Harish Rawat.

  • Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda says that Haryana Government will provide a grant of Rs. 11,000 on the marriage of girls hailing from families having land holding below 2.5 acres or annual income less than Rs. 1 lakh.

  • Noted critic Namvar Singh presented the Jnanpith Award to eminent Hindi author Amar Kant at a special ceremony in Allahabad.

  • In what is regarded as a major administrative move, the Planning Commission clears the transfer of the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) to the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

  • Increasing the fare for the first time in eight years, the Railway budget for 2012-13, presented in the parliament by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, also envisages 113 new trains and promises to focus on safety, for which the Railway Board will be restructured and a separate authority set up.

  • In a bid to contain further losses, troubled private carrier Kingfisher Airlines announces that it would be curtaining its international operations.

  • Okram Ibobi Singh is sworn in as Manipur Chief Minister for the third consecutive term.

  • Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal says in the Lok Sabha that an upgraded version of Aakash tablet computer would be launched in April 2012 without any increase in the price.

  • Governor Shivraj V. Patil administers the oath of office and secrecy to the 84-year-old Akali stalwart, Prakash Singh Badal, who takes over as the Chief Minister of Punjab for a record fifth time.

  • The West Bengal Government issues a gazette notification in Kolkata for setting up the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) following the Presidential assent to the GTA Bill.

  • The Finance Ministry gives its nod for the Labour and Employment Ministry to fix the rate of interest payable to EPF subscribers at 8.25 p.c. for 2011-12, instead of at 9.5 per cent paid in 2010-11.

  • Members of a Pakistani judicial commission arrive in Mumbai to record the statements of four witnesses in the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in the city.

  • The Haryana Government announces to introduce ‘Surakshit Maa’ and ‘Swasth Maa’ awards from the next financial year to promote institutional deliveries and create awareness and “responsibility towards health” in pregnant women.

  • With a slew of scams vitiating the government’s policy-making environment and holding up reforms, the Economic Survey 2011-12, presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherkee, advocates need for a ruthless crackdown on corruption.

  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) wins the prestigious Jane’s Award for 2012, an international award given to recognize and reward excellence in the air traffic control industry.

  • The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet decides to give a grant of Rs. 30,000 to high school pass Muslim girls for pursuing their education and marriage, as well as the decision to construct boundary walls along Muslim ‘qabristans” (graveyards).

  • The Supreme Court says that it would examine the constitutional validity of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, which pegs the maximum liability on a supplier and operator of a nuclear power plant in case of an accident at Rs. 1,500 crore.

  • A court in New York dismisses a complaint against Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath for his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying it had no jurisdiction.

  • Noor Mohammad, a 1977 batch IAS officer, takes over as acting Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.

  • Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents the Union Budget 2012-2013 in the Parliament.

  • The British Council announces 60 new ‘Jubilee Scholarships’ for Indian students for 2012.

  • Tarique Rahman, son of the former Bangladesh Prime Minister, Khaleda Zia, and 29 others are indicted by a special court in Dhaka for a 2004 grenade attack that killed 24 people.

  • The UPA government breathes easy in the Lok Sabha when the Opposition-sponsored amendments to the President’s address are defeated with help from the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

  • Ending the impasse over the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNNP), the Tamil Nadu Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, resolves to take steps for the early commissioning of the plant.

  • The Planning Commission releases the latest poverty estimates for the country showing a decline in the incidence of poverty by 7.3 per cent over the past five years and stating that anyone with a daily consumption expenditure of Rs. 28.35 and Rs. 22.42 in urban and rural areas respectively is above the poverty line.

  • In a setback to the Union government, the Supreme Court rejects its plea for a review of the court’s January 20 ruling that the Income Tax Department did not have the jurisdiction to impose Rs. 11,000 crore in tax on the overseas deal between Vodafone International Holdings and Hutchinson Group.

  • With the Congress-led UPA bowing to the Trinamool Congress’ pressure, its member and Union Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy is hurriedly elevated to the Cabinet rank and allocated the Railways portfolio primarily to fulfil the constitutional requirement of passing the Railway budget.

  • Union Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia admits that income distribution is not at the desired level and inequality increased in both rural and urban areas.

  • The Congress wins two morale-boosting victories in a string of bypolls; it snatches a Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka – taking its strength in the Lower House up to 207 – and an Assembly seat in Gujarat, both of which have been held by its principal national rival, the Bharatiya Janata Party, for the last 15 years.

  • Dadasaheb Phalke award is announced for eminent actor Soumitra Chatterjee for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.

  • Lok Sabha members, cutting across party lines, lambaste Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia for the ‘cut-off poverty line” estimate released by the Commission and seek his removal as well as its disbandment “for deceiving the country and cheating people”.

  • With the presence of 1,168 bird species recorded in the country, India is ranked 9th in the global list of bird wealth.

  • Seeking to tap the huge potential of the Inland Waterways Transport (IWT), the Prime Minister’s Office identifies seven mega projects and corridors all over the country – entailing an outlay of Rs. 2,100 crore – for private sector investment in the 12th Plan.

  • Union Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh, Rajiv Shukla, Mukul Roy, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Ms. Mayawati and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley are elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha.

  • Railway Minister Mukul Roy rolls back the fare hike except for three high-end-classes of travel, which his predecessor Dinesh Trivedi proposed. Mr. Roy also strikes down the plan to restructure Railway Board.

  • India votes for a United States – sponsored resolution at the United Nations’ top human rights body censuring Sri Lanka for its alleged rights violations during the War against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

  • The Bombay High Court asks the Adarsh cooperative housing society to surrender the building to the Union Ministry of Defence.

  • Tamil Writer A.A. Manavalan is selected for the Saraswati Samman 2011 for his book on Ramayana.

  • Samajwadi Party supremo and Member of Parliament Mulayam Singh Yadav will be honoured with the prestigious ‘International Jurists Award-2012’ in London on May 28, 2012.

  • The Director-General of Indian Coast Guard Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan commissions the Dahanu Coast Guard station, the fourth in Maharashtra.

  • Padma Bhushan awardee Shabana Azmi becomes the first Indian actor to receive honour from New York city.

  • Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh tells the floor leaders of the Rajya Sabha that the Centre will come forward with an amended version of the Lokpal Bill, taking into account the suggestions made by the opposition and the constituents and supporting parties of the ruling United Progressive Alliance.

  • The Union Government approves a seven percentage point increase in the rate of dearness allowance for its employees and pensioners.

  • The Union Cabinet approves the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 seeking to give women a share in the husband’s property after divorce.

  • Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurates the Seventh Asia Gas Partnership Summit in New Delhi.

  • The 2200 km Dahej-Vijajpur-Dadri-Bawana-Bhatinda gas pipeline network built at a cost of Rs. 13,000 crore, is dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

  • The Union Cabinet gives the green signal for the setting up of a credit risk guarantee fund trust with an initial corpus of Rs. 1200 crore to help give a push to housing for low-income groups in the country.

  • Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh arrives in Seoul to take part in the nuclear security summit to be held on March 26 and 27, 2012, to discuss ways of protecting nuclear materials and facilities.

  • To mark the 11th International Childhood Cancer celebrations – 2012, four cycling enthusiasts – Ranjul Goswami, Anil Uchil, Bertram Fonseca and Mallikarjun Singh – pedaling from Gateway of India in Mumbai over the past 21 days, end their unusual expedition at India Gate in New Delhi.

  • P.K. Roy, former Chairman of Press Trust of India, passes away in Kolkata at the age of 91.

  • The Army Chief General V.K. Singh alleges that an equipment lobbyist offered him a bribe of Rs. 14 crore, which he reported to Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

  • President Pratibha Patil’s wanderlust has cost the public exchequer a whopping Rs. 205 crore on her foreign visits, surpassing the record of all her predecessors. Since assuming office as the country’s first woman President in July 2007, Patil has undertaken 12 foreign trips covering 22 countries across four continents.

  • India and South Korea agree to expand their political and security ties besides upgrading the already booming business cooperation to achieve an ambitious trade target of $40 billion by 2015, doubling the figure, during the talks between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul.





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