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National Affairs 2009

Union govt cleared a constitutional amendment to increase the reservation for woman in Panchayat to 50 % from present 33 %. The Panchayati Raj Ministry amend Art 243 D of the Constitution of India accordingly. The proposed amendment will increase reservations for woman to 50 % in Zila Parishads, Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats at District, Block and Village level respectively. India has about 28.18 lakh elected representatives in panchayats. Four states- Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh already have 50 % reservation for woman in Panchayat. Kerala also announced 50 % reservation for woman in Panchayat. Bihar was the first state to give 50 % reservations to woman in Panchayat in 2005.
Govt clear setting up of National Mission Against Corruption Authority (NMAC). The aim of the authority will be to ensure better coordination among the CBI and State/UT anti corruption vigilance bureaus.
Govt has declared 272 districts out of 616 districts as drought stricken in 2009 due to rainfall shortage.
Draft of National Food Security Act to be presented in parliament in winter session (Jan 2010). As per the proposed Act, every family living below the poverty line in rural and urban areas will be entitled for 25 Kg of rice or wheat per month at Rs. 3 per Kg.
Govt plans to built 321 feet Shivaji statue in Mumbai. It is 16 feet taller that New York’s Statue of Liberty and on completion, it became the tallest statue in the world.
Jaswant Singh book’ Jinnah-India partition Independence was banned in Gujarat state. The ban however ,was lifted after the High court judgment. The book is a biography of Jinnah. Jaswant Singh also earlier write ‘ A Call to Honour’.
State Assembly Election was held in Oct 2009 in three states namely Haryana (seats -90), Maharashtra (seats -288) and Arunachal Pradesh (seats -60).
Govt has decided that NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) will now provide employment for 200 days instead of 100 days. Parliament adopted the Constitution 109th amendment Bill 09 providing reservation of seats for SC & ST in the Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies of the states for another 10 years.
Namibia president Hifikepunye Pohambe visit India in Sep 209.
Russia provides nuclear submarine’ Nerpa’ to India in 2009. It is Akula-2 submarine series.
Women’s will be exempted from paying any fees for UPSC/SSC etc examination.
SAF university to be set up in Delhi. It will be started from 2010-11 academic session. India bear 79 % of its expenditure.
In the seven natural Wonders list, India’s only entry is that of Sunderban. It is a joint entry from India and Bangladesh.
Vision-2015 For Consumer Satisfaction and Beyond – The paper is published by Oil & Petroleum ministry in which it is proposed to provide CNG in 200 cities by 2015.
Mongolia president Tsakhiagiin Elbagdorj visited India in Sep 2009. India and Mongolia signed a Civil Nuclear pact. India already has civil nuclear agreement with USA, Russia, Kazakhstan and France.
Indian National Congress party will completes 125 years on Dec 2009. Congress was formed on Dec 1885.
India’s first non-stop super fast passenger train ‘Duronto Train’ inaugurated from Sealdah station to Delhi. Total of 14 such trains will be launched this year.
Yashpal Committee was set up to give recommendation on Higher education sector.
Under Kisan Abhiman Scheme. Kerala Govt has granted Rs 300 per month as pension to farmers above 60 years of age.
Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank appointed as fifth Chief Minister of Uttrakhand.
Railway ministry has appointed Amit Mitra to prepare Vision -2020 document for the railways.
B Sudershan Reddy appointed as chairman of panel to look into the impeachment proceeding against Justice Soumitra Sen. India is funding Palaly project in Sri Lanka.
Areva, French Company and Nuclear power corporation of India Ltd sign an agreement to set up two 1650 MW nuclear plants in Maharastra state. Govt launched ‘Rajiv Awas Yojna’ under which govt plans to formulate for slum dwellers and the urban poor in an effort to promote a slum free India in next five years.
Ramalingam Chandrashekeram appointed as head of parliamentary special committee that look into the matter of granting citizenship and other facilities for Sri Lankans in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu.
Indian Railway proposed a South Asian Regional Train service linking Dhaka, New Delhi and Lahore.
Justice Liberhan Commission which probed the sequence of events that led to the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya on Dec 1992, submitted its report. It has 399 sittings and 48 extensions.
Govt increases minimum support price (MSP) for sugarcane to Rs. 107.76 for 2009-10. The MSP for the paddy crop for current year is Rs.950. Rajasthan will host the World Tiger Summit in Ranthambore in 2010.
Appointment of new Governors – D N Dwivedi ( Gujarat), Margarat Alwa (Uttarakhand), Jagannath Pahadia (Haryana). Tata’s first Nano car was given to Ashok Vichare of Mumbai.
Dilip Donde will try to circumnavigate the world solo ( on his own) in boat ‘Mhadei’ under Project Sagar Parikrama from 19 Aug 2009. Rajasthan became the first state in the country to sign a tripartite agreement with Central Govt promising accountability and adequate utilization of funds in the two tiger reserve of Sariska at Alwar and Ranthambore at Sawai Madho pur in Rajasthan.
Jawahar lal Nehru Urban renewal mission (JNNURM) a centrally govt funded urban renewal mission is implemented in 63 cities out of a total of 5161 cities, towns and urban agglomerations in India.
Right to Education Bill passed by the Parliament. Parliament made the right to education a fundamental right through the 93rd Constitution amendment. The bill earmarks 25 % seats to weaker sections in schools, seeks to do away with the practice of schools taking capitation fees before admission, subjecting the child or parents to a screening procedure and giving powers to child rights panels to look into grievances of parents against schools.
Govt approved renaming of state of Orissa as ‘Odisha’ and the Oriya language as ‘Odia’.
Assembly election was held in Jharkhand which is under President Rule since Jan 2009 in Dec 09. Total number of seats are 81.
RIC ( Russia, India & China). It is a group of three nations. Second meeting of RIC is held at Bangalore in Oct 09.
President Pratibha Patil visit Britain in Oct 09 to invite Queen Elizabeth to inaugurate 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held next year. This is the first state visit by an Indian President to Britain after S Radakrishnan and R Venkataraman in 1963 & 1990 respectively.
Separation plan – India has notified its separation plan to International Atomic Energy Ageny. India will place 14 reactors under ISSA ( India Specific Safeguards Agreement) of the International nuclear watchdog by 2014. Under the plan, India has decided to permanently shut down the CIRUS research reactor located inside BARC, countries strategic laboratory in 2010.
Govt has announced five new sites for setting up of light water reactors. The plants will come up at Jaitapur (Maharastra), Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu), Haripur (West Bengal), Chhayamithi Virdi (Gujarat) and Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh).
Indian President Pratibha Patil visits Cyprus (Capital- Nicosia) in Nov 2009.
Govt started ‘Operation Green Hunt’ to tackle the Maoists in five Indian states.
Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangehuck visit India on a 5 day visit in Dec 09. He is the 5th king of Bhutan.
NATGRID- National Intelligence Grid to be established by May 2011. The grid will provide real time access into 21 categories of databases such as credit card transaction, driving license, telephone, internet, passport, PAN details, bank A/c details etc.
Impeachement motion has been initiated against Justice P D Dinakaran in the parliament on charges of amassing disproportionate assets and land grab.


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13.3 Initiatives after Economic Reforms

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