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Study Material For Civil Services (Pre) Examination 2009 (Part -2)

Written By Winston Bensford on Monday, March 19, 2012 | 5:51 PM

Study Material For Civil Services (Pre) Examination 2009 (Part -2)
In a bloodless coup, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara declared himself as the President of West African country Guinea, after President Lansana Conte’s death was announced on December 22,2008 and promised to hold elections by the end of 2010. Heading a council of 26 army officers and 6 civilians, Camara also dissolved of the government, suspended the constitution and dismissed 22 senior military officials, including the chief of staff who had spoken out against his move to seize power.
Meanwhile the African Union suspended Guinea’s membership in the bloc, giving the coup leaders six months to restore ‘constitutional order’ or face further sanctions. Guinea holds the world’s biggest reserves of bauxite, never had a democratic transfer of power. The nation of 9.4 million people Guinea is divided among three ethnic groups, with the Peuhl, or Fulani, accounting for 40 percent, the Malinke 30 percent and Soussou 20 percent. Former President Conte was a Soussou, while the military junta that seized power consists of Malinke officers.
44th U.S. president-elect Barack Obama was chosen as Time magazine’s 2008 Person of the Year. He won the award ‘for having the confidence to sketch an ambitious future in a gloomy hour.’ According to Time magazine’s December 29,2008 issue, he showed ‘the competence that makes Americans hopeful. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, French President and current European Union President Nicholas Sarkozy, former Republican vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Zhang Yimou, who organized the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing were named four runners-up. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was the Time magazine’s 2007 Person of the Year. Barack Obama also topped the list of 50 most powerful people in the world ranked by the Newsweek magazine.
On December 13,2008 Supreme Court of Nigeria brought to an end one an half years of uncertainty and legal tussle over the legitimacy of the government of President Umaru Yar’ Adua through two separate split judgments. The apex court upheld the earlier decision of the Appeal Court declaring Yar’ Adua the winner of the April 21, 2007 presidential polls of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. The Supreme Court dismissed separate appeals brought against Yar’ Adua and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by two other leading presidential candidates in the polls, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and former vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The Democrat Governor of Illinois Milorad Rod R. Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges by FBI agents on December 9,2008. He was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as solicitation of bribery. The Justice Department complaint alleged that the governor conspired to commit several ‘pay-to-play’schemes, including attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s vacated United States Senate seat to the highest bidder. As a result of the arrest, Blagojevich has faced calls for his resignation or impeachment and removal from office. Milorad Blagojevich is the second Serbian American, who was elected governor of any state of the United States, after George Voinovich of Ohio.
An Iraqi television reporter Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at President George W. Bush at a news conference in Baghdad (Iraq) in 2008. Bush managed to duck. Al Zeidi was quickly taken into custody for questioning. The Iraqi government called his actions ‘barbaric’ and asked the TV station for an apology. A clause in the Iraqi penal code makes it equal to an offense to attempt to murder Iraqi or foreign presidents and the sentence for such a crime could be up to 15 years in prison. 28-year-old Shiite, who works for al Baghdadia TV station, Muntadhar al-Zeidi was also in news for his kidnaping by militants in 2007.
Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC chairman Bernard L. Madoff was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in and charged in 2008 with securities fraud. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged him and his investment firm with securities fraud for a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that he perpetrated on advisory clients of his firm. Estimated losses from this fraud were at least 50 billion dollar.
Colonel Theoneste Bagosora was sentenced to life in prison by a Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). He was accused of masterminding the slaughter of 800000 people in Rwanda in 1994. He was arrested in Cameroon in 1996 and flown to face trial in 1997. His trial began in 2002 and lasted five years until mid 2007.
A Nobel Prize-winning Chinese American physicist Steven Chu was nominated as energy secretary by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama. He will be first professional scientist to run the Department of Energy. Born in the United States to a family of two Chinese students, Chu became the fifth ethnic Chinese Nobel laureate in 1997. He trained many Chinese scientists, including some active in the research frontier of international science.
Iraqi minority Kurds demanded execution of Saddam’s cousin Ali Hassan al-Majeed alias Chemical Ali recently. A Sunni Arab and Saddam-era official Ali Hassan al-Majeed is known as ‘Chemical Ali’ for the killing of 5000 Kurds in a 1988 gas attack. He was already sentenced to death twice, once in 2007 for his role in killing tens of thousands of Kurds. His second death sentence came on December 2 for his part in crushing a Shi’ite revolt after the 1991 Gulf War.
Son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, Chander Mohan was sacked from the Haryana state cabinet and post of Deputy Chief Minister. He had been hiding for nearly a month and resurfaced in Jaipur on December 7 with changed name Chand Mohammad and a second wife Fiza alias Anuradha Bali. His second wife, 35-year-old divorcee Anuradha Bali is a former assistant attorney general of Haryana.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan were ranked among the 50 most powerful people in the world by the Newsweek magazine’s January 5,2009 issue. President-elect Barack Obama topped the list followed by Hu Jintao, Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin. Sonia Gandhi was at 17th spot, while Shah Rukh Khan was ranked 41st. Pakistan army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who controlled the country’s nuclear weapons, was placed 20th.
North Korean dictator Jim Jong II also found a place. Others on the list included the Dalai Lama, the former U.S. president, Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, Iranian strongman Ayatollah Ali Khemenei, Saudi King Abdullah-bin-Abdul Aziz-al Saud, American General David Petraeus, Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Pope Benedict XVI, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, popular show host Oprah Winfrey and Osama bin Laden.
Only surviving militant involved in the terrorist attack on Mumbai on 26-28 November 2008, Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Amir was arrested near Girgaum Chowpatty by D B Marg Police. Supposed to be Lashkar terrorist, Ajmal hails from the Ukkad area of Faridkot district in Pakistan. Beside officer from the crime branch of Mumbai, he was also grilled for over nine hours by officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of US. The terror attack in Mumbai killed 183 and injured around 295 people.
An Indian national, Satish Anand Shukla was arrested by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies for his alleged role in a bomb blast that took place in the Bahawalpur House in Lahore on December 24. Satish Anand Shukla from Kolkata had worked in the Indian High Commission in the UK for three years.
Chairman of Harpo and American television presenter Oprah Winfrey was named the most powerful woman in entertainment on the Hollywood Reporter’s 17th annual Women in Entertainment: Power 100 special issue. Power 100 List honors the top 100 women in the motion picture and television industries.
Chairman and Chief Executive officer of East India Hotels, Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi, was chosen Business India’s Businessman of the year 2008. An ‘Ecole Hotelier’ graduate from Switzerland, Oberoi inherited the hotel chain from his father, Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh, who set up the business in 1934 with a hotel in Simla.
IPS officer of 1972 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre, Rajiv Mathur was appointed as the new Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). He replaced P C Haldar on his superannuation on December 31. Rajiv Mathur will be the IB director for a minimum of 2 years as the post carries a fixed tenure.
Leading NRI entrepreneur Lord Swraj Paul was appointed Deputy Speaker of the British House of Lords. Thus founder of multinational national company Caparo, 77-year-old Lord Paul scripted history by becoming the first Asian deputy speaker of the British House of Lords. He was conferred the Peerage in 1996 and honoured with the Padma Bhushan by President of India in 1983. He was born in Jalandhar in 1931. His father ran a small foundry.
Graduated from the Punjab University, obtained a Master’s degree MIT in the USA, Paul joined the Apeejay Group, which his father had founded. He shifted to London in 1968 and started his business in Britain. After acquiring one steel unit, he went on to acquire more units and founded the Caparo group in the year 1978. Caparo developed into one of the leading producers of welded steel tube and spiral-welded pipe in the UK. In 1996, Lord Paul stepped down from the management of the Caparo group, which has an annual turnover of 1.5 billion pounds.
An IPS officer of Jharkhand cadre of 1971 batch, K.C. Verma was appointed Internal Security Adviser to the Home Minister. Presently Secretary (Security) in Cabinet Secretariat, KC Verma will hold this charge in addition to his current responsibilities. Internal Security Advisor to the Home Minister is a new post created in the changed security scenario after Mumbai terror attacks. Earlier, the National Security Advisor used to advise the government and the Prime Minister on various challenges to internal security.
New Chief Ministers
Lalthanhawla: Sixty-six-year-old Lalthanhawla of Congress was administered the oath of office and secrecy of Chief Minister of Mizoram by Governor Lt. Gen. (retd.) M.M. Lakhera on December 11,2008. He replaced Zoramthanga of Mizoram National Front. He earlier held the office CM three times. He first became chief minister in 1984, but stepped down in 1986 after the Mizo Peace Accord was signed to pave the way for guerrilla leader Laldenga to become the chief minister. Lalthanhawla again became chief minister in 1989 heading a Congress government. He was also the chief minister of a Congress-led coalition government during 1993-1998.
Raman Singh: BJP leader Dr. Raman Singh sworn in as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh for a second consecutive term on December 12,2008. He is the third Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.
Shivraj Singh Chauhan : 49-year-old Shivraj Singh Chauhan of BJP was sworn-in as Chief Minister for a second successive term on December 12,2008. He was elected as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on November 29, 2005 following the resignation of Uma Bharti in the wake of a Karnataka court indicting her.
Ashok Gehlot: Congress Party leader Ashok Gehlot was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan on December 13,2008. He replaced Vasundhara Raje of BJP. Born on May 3, 1951 in Jodhpur, Gehlot was the Chief Minister of Rajasthan from December 1, 1998 to December 8, 2003.
Sheila Dikshit: Sheila Dikshit of Indian National Congress sworn in as Chief Minister of Delhi for the third consecutive term. 71-year-old Dikshit was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna at the Raj Niwas on December 17,2008.
Leader of the Democrat Party Abhisit Vejjajiva was formally endorsed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej as 27th Prime Minister in December,2008. Earlier he won a special vote in parliament trough beating ex-police chief Pracha Promnok by 235 votes to 198. Born on August 3, 1964, 44–year-old Oxford-educated politician and youngest prime minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva has been the leader of the Democrat Party since February 2005 and served as opposition leader in the House of Representatives of Thailand. His appointment ended a seven-year dominance of electoral politics by parties loyal to the former Prime Minster, Thaksin Shinawatra. He succeeded Somchai Wongsawat, who barred from politics for five years.
She was appointed Chief Executive of India’s largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank in 2008. She will take over from KV Kamath on May 1, 2009. Kamath, Chief Executive since 1996, will become non-executive chairman replacing N. Vaghul.
B.S. Raghavan was appointed fist Chancellor of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) University, Jharkhand. The University was established under a special law enacted by the State Government.
An Indian Information Service officer of 1971 Batch, Deepak Sandhu was appointed media adviser to prime minister of India on December 13. Prior to elevate this post, she was principal director general, Press Information Bureau. She also served as director general (News), All India Radio, additional director general and head of the DD News Channel, director of the Directorate of Film Festivals and as spokesperson for the ministries of finance, commerce and health and family welfare.
Silence of a Dramatic Voice of Political Protest
Most influential British play writer of his generation and a longtime voice of political protest, Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter died in London in 2008. He was 78 and suffering from liver cancer. Author of more than 30 plays-the best-known among them being ‘The Caretaker’ and ‘The Homecoming’-he also wrote film scripts including that of The French Lieutenant’s Woman. He was also known as a keen observer of ‘suburban brooding’ and credited with bringing realism into contemporary British theatre. Pinter also directed almost 50 stage, TV, and film productions of his own and others' works.
Winner of Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, Pinter’s plays were famously punctuated with long silences, had the distinction of spawning a distinct genre of playwriting which came to be known as ‘Pinteresque’. An outspoken critic of British and American foreign policy, especially the invasion of Iraq, Pinter announced in 2005 that he was giving up his writing to concentrate on political work. He remained uncompromisingly left-wing till the end.

Somchai Wongsawat, Prime Minister of Thailand resigned on December 2,2008 after the country's constitutional court dissolved the top three ruling parties for electoral fraud. The weeklong occupation of Suwaranabhumi international airport and the Don Muang domestic airport caused untold miseries to 300000 tourists desperate to leave the country after authorities were forced to shut down the facilities. Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s People’s Power Party, the Machima Thipatai party and the Chart Thai party were found guilty of committing fraud in the December 2007 elections that brought the coalition to power.
Manmohan Samal resigned from the Cabinet of Odisha Government over his alleged involvement in a sex scandal. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Samal was Revenue Minister in Naveen Patnaik cabinet.
A great Indian artist who highlighted peaceful coexistence, Manjit Bawa, passed away at his New Delhi home on December 29,2008 after three years in a coma following a stroke. The 61-year-old painter was born in Dhuri in Punjab and studied at the College of Art in Delhi and did his diploma at the London School of Printing, Essex in Silk Screen-Printing. Most of his paintings reflect the universal themes of hope, compassion, love, peace and joy. Manjit achieved a summary simplicity of figuration and his treatments of form was essentially tonal in contour closed and compact, without any trace of the gestural application of pigments in thick layers.
He worked out in oil to give his paintings an extra smooth porcelain glow. He did not use landscape elements and defined the figure's positions by visually relating them at different distances. Sufi mysticism in the choice of his subjects the idyllic scenes of love and peace and pristine innocence, the flute-playing Krishna and the cattle was traced in his paintings. His untitled work was sold for 362500 dollar at a Christie's auction in New York in September 2008.
Patriarch Aleksy II of the Russian Orthodox Church passed away at his country residence in Peredelkino, outside of Moscow. He was 79. He became patriarch in 1990. Aleksy II presided over the restoration of his church as the largest Orthodox Church in the world and a powerful influence in Russian society after decades of Soviet persecution and deepened the role of the church in Russia's everyday life. Aleksy II was the first leader of the Russian Orthodox Church since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to be elected without direct government intervention, though he was seen as closer to the reform spirit of Mikhail Gorbachev than other candidates. Aleksy II was born as Aleksei Mikhailovich Rudiger in Tallinn, Estonia on February 23, 1929 to a father of Baltic German descent and a Russian mother.
Orthodox Church is centered in Russia-the seat of the Moscow Patriarchate is Moscow's Danilov Monastery-but was founded in Kievan Rus, now Ukraine, in 988. Russian Orthodox churches survive from Belarus to Moldova to Kazakhstan. Estonia was especially close to the patriarch's heart.
US's most influential political scientist and author of world famous book which was translated in 39 languages ‘The Clash if Civilizataions’, Samuel Huntington passed away in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He was 81. He separated the world into rival civilizations based mainly on religious traditions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Confucianism and said competition and conflict among them was inevitable. The thesis was one of the most influential, controversial and widely debated in foreign affairs circles in the past decade. He edited and wrote many books, mostly on the US government, democratization, military politics, civil-military relations and political development.
A former minister in Karnataka Government H N Nanje Gowda passed away following a cardiac arrest in Bangalore at 74. He worked as minister for Major Irrigation in the Devaraj Urs Cabinet in 1970s. He represented Hassan Lok Sabha constituency in Parliament twice (1980 and 1985) and was elected to the State Assembly three times.
The former Chief Minister of Gujarat and NCP leader Chhabildas Mehta died of multiple organ failure in Ahmedabad in 2008. He was 84. As a politician, Mehta emerged from the Praja Samajwadi party, later joined Congress and became the Chief Minister for 13 months duration from February 17, 1994 to March 14, 1995. He resigned from the Congress in May 2001 to join the NCP. He also played role in Maha Gujarat movement which led to formation of separate Gujarat state in 1960.
Renowned Urdu poet, author of 55 books, Rifat Sarosh died in Noida in 2008 after a prolonged illness. He was 84.
Former Lockheed Aircraft Corporation president and a Key figure in Lockheed scandal died in 2008 at a hospital in California at 94. He testified before a U.S. Senate committee in February 1976 that his company had made payoffs while trying to sell aircraft in Japan and other countries. It led to the indictment of former Japnese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, who was sentenced to four years' in prison.
29-year-old Israeli Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and wife Rivka were killed in struggle between terrorist and commando at Chabad House in Mumbai.
The sometime actor, literary agent, magazine editor and famous as Mr. Science Fiction, Forrest J Ackerman died of heart failure at his Los Angeles (USA) homein 2008. He was legendary in science-fiction circles as the founding editor of the pulp magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. He was also the owner of a huge private collection of science-fiction movie and literary memorabilia that for years filled every nook and cranny of a hillside mansion overlooking Los Angeles. His greatest achievement was discovering Bradbury, author of the literary classics ‘Fahrenheit 451’ and ‘The Martian Chronicles.’
President of Guinea Lansana Conte died on December 22 following a lengthy illness. He was 74. A dictator Guinea Lansana ruled for nearly 25 years from 3 April 1984. He was one of only two leaders to rule the country since its independence from France in 1958. He was a Muslim and a member of the Susu ethnic group. After announcement of President Conte's death, a group of military leaders took control in West African country Guinea.
One of America's most photographed pin-up girls during the 1950s, Bettie Page died in Los Angeles in 2008. She was 85. Page was an omnipresent sight during the 1950s, propelled to stardom when she posed for Playboy as Miss January 1955. Soon her image was gracing playing cards, record albums and bedroom posters across the country.
65-Year-Old co-founder of money manager Access International Thierry Magon de la Villehucheta was found dead in New York City office building. He invested with accused swindler Bernard Madoff and reportedly distraught over losing up to 1.4 billion dollar (955 billion pounds) in client money.
Famous as Deep Throat, former FBI second-in-command, William Mark Felt, Sr. died in San Francisco in 2008. He was 95. He retired in 1973 as the Bureau's Associate Director. He tipped off reporters to the Watergate scandal.
World famous folk singer Odetta died at 77. She was nominated for a 1963 Grammy award for bost folk recording for ‘Odetta Singh Fold Songs’. Two more Grammy nominations came in 1999 and 2005. In 1999, she was honored with a National Medal of the Arts.
The BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile was launched from the Rajdoot cruiser sailing in the Bay of Bengal area with the use of a Universal Vertical Launcher on December 18,2008. This was the first time the missile was launched from a universal vertical launcher fitted in a new Ship. All earlier launches of BrahMos missile were carried out from inclined launchers. Two-stage solid-fuel BrahMos missile has a range of 300 kilometres with the speed almost three times exceeding the sound speed and carries a conventional warhead with the mass 200-300 kilogrammes. Its ship version was adopted for service by the Indian Navy in 2006.
President Pratibha Patil released a postage stamp on Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw in New Delhi on the 37th anniversary of 1971 war victory. Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw scripted India’s decisive win in the 1971 war with Pakistan that led to the creation of Bangladesh. Born on April 3, 1914, Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Mankeshaw belonged to the first batch of officers to be commissioned from the Indian Military Academy in 1934. He was the Army chief from 1969 to 1973 and was elevated to Field Marshal just before his retirement.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) has decided to establish a new university in Banglore by 2010, where half of the students would be drawn from an NRI background. The new university will come up by 2010.
Central Government granted recognition to two pre-independence struggles in Punjab, the Kuka Namdhari Movement 1871 and the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre, 1919, adding them to the list of the National Freedom Movements for the grant of pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension scheme.
Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports launched a Nationwide campaign of youth against terrorism and violence ‘Together For Peace’, on December 18. The nationwide campaign was planned by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, to reaffirm their commitment to peace and harmony. Starting from the National Youth Day, January 12, upto Mahatma Gandhi’s Martyrdom Day, January 30, 2009, a nationwide campaign would strive to strengthen democratic, secular and pluralist character of the country.
Chairman of the conservative Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu was designated as Prime Minister of Israel by President Shimon Peres on February 20,2009. He was given six weeks to secure a coalition government and ensure his position. After the election held on February 10, right-wing parties representing 65 seats in the Knesset backed his designation as prime minister. Netanyahu’s Likud Party gained 27 seats in the 120-member Knesset, 1 less than the Kadima Party, led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The right-wing leader also served the 9th Prime Minister of Israel from June 1996 to July 1999.
The trial on former rebel leader from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was begun in international court on January 29,2009. His trial is the first international court case in which the use of child soldiers, defined as children under the age of 15, is prosecuted as a crime of war. A sealed warrant for Lubanga’s arrest was issued in February 2006 and he was transferred to the ICC’s prison in The Hague. First time, he appeared before the court on March 20, 2006. The arrest of Lubanga was part of a wide-ranging and on-going investigation by the ICC into atrocities in DRC. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo founded and led the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and was a key player in the Ituri conflict. Rebels under his command were accused of massive human rights violations, including ethnic massacres, murder, torture, rape, mutilation, and forcibly conscripting child soldiers.
Kiril of Smolensk and Kaliningrad officially became 16th leader of the Russian Orthodox Church on February 1,2009. The ceremony was held at Russia’s biggest Cathedral, Christ the Saviour, which stands as an opulent symbol of the Orthodox Church’s revival in post-Soviet Russia. 62 year old Patriarch Kirill is the first church leader to take charge of the Russian Orthodox Church after the breakup of the Soviet Union. He succeeded Patriarch Alexy II, who died in December 2008.
President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez won a referendum to eliminate term limits on enabling him to run again in 2012 and beyond February 15,2009. According to electoral authorities said 54% of voters in the referendum backed a constitutional amendment allowing indefinite re-election, with 46% rejecting it. 54-year-old former tank commander Chávez took office in 1999 and won support for a new constitution the same year that allowed the president to serve two six-year terms, barring him from the 2012 elections. Chavez took office in 1999 and won support for a new constitution the same year that allowed the president to serve two six-year terms, barring him from the 2012 elections.
Former Union Communications Minister Sukhram was sentenced to three years of imprisonment by a Delhi Court for gathering Rs 4.25 crore of disproportionate assets. The 82-year-old politician from Himachal Pradesh was found guilty under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act by Special CBI Judge V K Maheshwari. The CBI registered the case against the minister on August 27, 1996 under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Supreme Court disqualified Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif from elected office on February 25,2008,. The Supreme Court upheld a 2008 decision by the Lahore High Court disqualifying Nawaz Sharif on the grounds of his conviction in cases brought against him by the Musharraf regime. A three-member Bench of the court disqualified Shahbaz Sharif on a petition that he was an accused in a loan default case and, therefore, ineligible to contest elections. After the decision, Shahbaz Sharif stepped down as the Chief Minister of Punjab province, where Governor’s rule was immediately imposed.
58 Rajya Sabha members cutting across party lines, filed an impeachment-motion in the House against Justice Soumitra Sen of Kolkatta High Court on February 20,2009. Earlier Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan had recommended the impeachment of Justice Soumitra Sen for alleged misappropriation of Rs 33 lakh deposited in the Calcutta High Court through a letter to the Prime Minister on August 4, 2008.
The only other impeachment case in the history of Indian judiciary was against Justice V Ramaswamy, who survived because of the political divide in Lok Sabha on dangerous regional divide with ruling Congress helping the tainted judge by being absent during vote on impeachment motion.
The 30-year-old Suman Sharma, became the first civilian woman to co-pilot the American-strike fighter F-16IN of Lockheed Martin at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Yelahanka in February 2009. Delhi-based journalist and a former academic instructor at the IMA, Suman Sharma is daughter of a retired Indian naval officer and an Army colonel’s sister.
Noora Al Faiz was appointed deputy minister of education for girls' affairs in the recent cabinet reshuffle in Saudi Arabia by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz. Thus, she became first woman to reach the post of deputy minister in Saudi Arabia.
A 39-year-old who reportedly once served as a volunteer fighter, Brendan Sokaluk was named accuse of recent deadly wildfires of Australia. Nearly 200 people were died and about 200 homes were destroyed in the fire in Australia's' worst fire disaster. Sokaluk was charged with one count of arson causing death and one of lighting a blaze.
On 200th birth anniversary of former United States President Abraham Lincoln, Academy Award-winning American actress Mira Sorvino was named as United Nations goodwill ambassador to combat human trafficking in February,2009. According to the new UNODC study, which is based on information provided by 155 member states, two out of every five countries covered by the report are yet to convict anyone on trafficking charges.
President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson appointed Johanna Sigurdardottir as the new Prime Minister of Iceland after collapse of Geir Haarde led conservative government over the country's economic meltdown. New center-left Cabinet is a coalition of Sigurdardottir's Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green movement.
It came into office in crisis-hit Iceland in February ,2009. Left Green leader Steingrimur Sigfusson was made new finance minister 66-year-old Sigurdardottir is a former flight attendant and union organiser, and served as social affairs minister in the previous government. Sigurdardottir is Iceland's first female prime minister, and her Cabinet is the country's first to be split evenly between men and women. She is the first openly gay national leader of modern times, apart from Per-Kristian Foss, a Norwegian politician who briefly served as his country's prime minister in 2002.
After agreeing to share power with President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Richard Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister in a unity government on February 11. Leader of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Tsvangirai won the first round of presidential election held in March 2008, but he withdrew from the run-off, citing violence against his supporters. A final deal on power-sharing was reached in January 2009, after Tsvangirai returned to Zimbabe. With him two Deputy Prime Ministers- Thokozani Khupe, the deputy leader of MDC and Arthur Mutambara, the leader of a break-away faction of the MDC were also sworn in.
Veteran politician and Awami League (AL) leader Zillur Rahman took oath as the 19th President of Bangladesh on February 12. Erlier on February 11, Election Commission declared him the new head of the state. The 79-year-old Mr. Zillur was elected unopposed as no one else came forward for the election. Prior to his election to presidency Zillur was Deputy Leader of the 9th parliament. Zillur Rahman replaced Iajuddin Ahmed, a former university professor and soil scientist.
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele became the first African-American Chairman of The Republican National Committee. He took the responsibility of 63rd Chairman on January 30. He beat back four challengers, including incumbent Mike Duncan, who was forced to withdraw from the field midway through the balloting in the face of a lack of support.
He was appointed new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Satyam by its board . The Board was appointed by the government after fraud was disclosed in company. A S Murty, who joined had Satyam in January 1994 was the Global Business Head of company. The board also named Homi Khusrokhan and Partho Datta as special advisors to the board.
Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister, 70-year-old Kaoru Yosano was promoted to new finance minister of Japan on February 17,2009. He replaced Shoichi Nakagawa who resigned. Kaoru Yosano is a member of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and member of the House of Representatives. He was Chief Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from August 2007 to September 2007.
A 1973 batch IFS officer Meera Shankar was appointed India’s Ambassador to USA. Her name was cleared by UPA government on February 19. Currently, she is India’s ambassador to Germany. She will replace Ronen Sen. Term of the present Ambassador, Ronen Sen, will expire at the end of March 2009. Sharat Sabharwal was appointed high commissioner to Islamabad. He replaced Satyabrata Pal.
Managing Director of J K Paper Ltd took over as the new President of the apex industry chamber Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at its 81st annual general meeting in New Delhi . Singhania who was Senior Vice President of the FICCI succeeded Rajeev Chandrashekhar. Rajan Bharti Mittal and Marico Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Harsh C Mariwala, were elected as the Senior Vice President and Vice President of the chamber, respectively.
S.S. Khurana took over as the new Chairman, Railway Board and ex-officio Principal Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Railways. A 1971 batch officer of the Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineering (IRSEE), Khurana worked in various capacities in Indian Railways.
Finance minister of Japan Shoichi Nakagawa resigned in February ,2008 amid growing criticism of his apparently alcohol-fuelled antics in front of the TV cameras at G7 summit in Rome. His decision to step down came as he faced an opposition-led censure motion. Resignation of Shoichi Nakagawa was the latest blow for the unpopular Prime Pinister Taro Aso.
A prominent Malaysian woman opposition politician 39-year-old Elizabeth Wong resigned her assembly seat after photographs of her in the nude were circulated on mobile phones.
Veteran Tamil movie actor-comedian C. Krishna Rao Gundu Rao better known by his screen name Nagesh died in January,2009. He was 77. Born in a poor Kannada family from Dharapuram, Madras Presidency, Nagesh was was educated in Madras and worked as a clerk in the Indian Railways before carving a place for himself in the Tamil film industry. Remembered for his role in Thiruvilayaadal, Nagesh acted in over 1000 Indian movies from 1958 to 2008 performing in a variety of roles as comedian, hero, supporting actor and villain. Nagesh starred with three generations of actors. Beginning with MGR and Sivaji, he acted with Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan and later went on to share screen space with current heartthrobs Vijay and Ajit Kumar.
Farmers are opposing Tata Steel's proposed Rs10000 crore green field steel project at Lohandiguda. The Lohandiguda block is most fertile areas in entire Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. Tata Steel had, in June 2005, signed an agreement with the state government for setting up a five million tonne steel plant in Bastar which is one of the country's most impoverished districts.
Last Tiger bastion, Puthukkidiyirippu was captured by Sri Lankan forces. Sri Lankan Army entered the town after breaking the remaining FDL of the LTTE tigers. Puthukkudiyiruppu was the last township in the remaining LTTE enclave which is located about 3 miles from the Puthukkudiyiruppu West built up.
US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrook visited India on February 15-16,2009. India was the last stop in his tour to Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to Holbrook, terrorists who launched the Mumbai attacks, tried to upset the improving relationship between Pakistan and India and New Delhi did not play in their hands.
American human rights advocate and community activist, Martin Luther King III came on India visit to retrace his father civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr and mother Correta Scott King's pilgrimage to India in 1959. The visit was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his parents visit to India. Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King Jr and Correta Scott King had come to India in 1959 to learn more about Gandhi, a major influence in the African American leader's life. The U.S. House of Representatives on recently passed a resolution recognising the 50th anniversary of the visit of legendary civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. to India and the positive influence of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings on his work during the American Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. Paavo Vayrynen, Finland Minister for Foreign Trade and Development visited India in the month of February this year. During his meeting with Indian Union Minister of Commerce and Industry on February 6, India and Finland agreed to explore new areas of cooperation to widen trade basket. India-Finland bilateral trade doubled from 533 million US dollar in 2004-05 to 1165 million US dollar during 2007-08. Major exports to Finland are-RMG cotton, manufactures of metals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, coffee, transport equipments while major imports from Finland are-electronic goods, computer software, iron and steel, paper board etc.
Samrupa was name of world's first cloned buffalo calf and India's first cloned animal. Indian scientists created Samrupa on February 6, 2009 at the Animal Biotechnology Centre of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal. The calf was developed by using an indigenous hand-guided cloning technique.
According to Research at Berkeley Lab, RHAMM(Receptor for Hyaluronan Mediated Motility) protein technique could be developed as a means of providing a non-surgical approach for normalizing skin appearance after reconstructive surgery. Thus it can replace surgical procedures or injections with neurotoxins for the elimination of wrinkles and the rejuvenation of the skin. Receptor for Hyaluronan Mediated Motility protein linked to the spread of several major human cancers.
Carbon Capture and Storage CCS(Carbon Capture and Storage) is a broad term which encompasses a number of technologies that can be used to capture CO2 from point sources, such as power plants and other industrial facilities. CCS is also a critical option in the portfolio of solutions available to combat climate change, because it allows for significant reductions in CO2 emissions from fossil-based systems, enabling it to be used as a bridge to a sustainable energy future.
National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology
Ministery for Human Resource Development launched the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology at Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. Aim of the mission is to address the goals of access, equity and quality in Higher Education and attempt to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural as well as between the rich and poor strata of society.
A two-day National Conference on e-Governance was held on 12 and 13 February 2009 in Goa. It was organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in association with the Department of Information Technology and the Government of Goa. During the Conference national awards for e-Governance was presented and an e-Governance Compendium based on the papers presented at the Conference was also brought out. Theme of 12th National Conference was ‘e-Governance: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges’.
Summit of the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers and central bank governors held in Rome on February 13-14,2009. They discussed the global economic down-turn and identify possible solutions to ease the financial crisis. Representatives from the world's leading industrialized nations-the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Britain, and Canada-rejected all sorts of protectionist measures, pledged to sustain employment and economic growth and, at the same time, strengthen the banking system. According to the joint agreement, the world is facing its worst financial crisis for 50 years and leading industrialized economies need to cooperate and work together without giving in to protectionism.
An International Conference on Challenges and Opportunities in Agrometeorology- INTROMET-2009 was organised in New Delhi during February23-25,2009. The conference discussed the issues like adaptation strategies for climate change impacts, monsoon variability & crop production and agricultural risk evaluation.
The three day International Conference on India-EU Partnerships in Mobility was held in New Delhi on February 21-23,2009. About 150 policy makers and academic experts from over twenty countries expressed opinion upon issues and practices pertaining to mobility of labour between India and the EU Countries.
Two-day international conference on ‘Combating challenges of climate change’ was held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.
The 7th Aero India was held at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru, India from February 11-15,2009. It was organized by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and managed by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The show provided a window of opportunity for companies to not only network with the Indian Industry but also to benefit from the sharing of expertise in the fields of R & D production and product support with other global players.
The 7th International Plastics Exhibition and Conference-Plastindia 2009 was held on February 4,2009. About 20 countries participated and 100000 business visitors viewed. Plastindia 2009 provided a platform for stakeholders to meet and to enhance their business prospects through joint ventures and technology partnerships.
A safeguards agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency was signed in February,2009 as the framework for the importing of both nuclear reactors and the fuel to power them over their lifetime. At present, six reactors at three sites at Tarapur, Rawatbhata and Kudankulam are under IAEA inspections. Under the Indian separation plan, 14 indigenous reactors will come under safeguards by or shortly after 2014, provided suitable lifetime fuel supply arrangements are concluded to India’s satisfaction.
Himachal Pradesh was awarded bronze icon awards for two e-governance Projects during the 12th National Conference on e-Governance held in Goa. These awards have been given for ‘e-Gazette’ (software for Controller of Printing and Stationery Department) and HIMPOL (Himachal Pradesh Police Web Portal). e-Gazette project is the first of its kind in the India where the paper copies of the official Gazette have been discontinued from 1st of August 2007. Public Distribution System-Online, Dept. of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, Govt of Chhattisgarh and NIC were given gold.
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