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Study Material For Civil Services (Pre) Examination 2009 (Part -3)

Written By Winston Bensford on Monday, March 19, 2012 | 5:52 PM

Study Material For Civil Services (Pre) Examination 2009 (Part -3)
Barack Hussein Obama: African-american Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States during a ceremony at the Capitol Hill by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on January 20,2009. The 47-year-old Democrate Obama succeeded Republican George W. Bush, who completed two terms of 4 years in the White House. In his 18-plus-minute address at the nation’s 56th inauguration day, Obama promised the world a new America that listens to all voices.
Some facts about Obama :-
Party:
Democrat
Birthplace:
Honolulu, Hawaii
Date of Birth:
August 4, 1961
Education:
Columbia University; Harvard Law School
Wife:
Michelle Robinson Obama
Children:
Daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7
Religious affiliation:
United Church of Christ
United States Senator:
From Illinois (January 3, 2005 to November 16, 2008)
Family: Barack Obama was born to a Kenyan father and a white American mother. His father, Barack Obama Sr., married his mother, Ann Dunham, while studying at the University of Hawaii. The couple separated two years after Obama was born. His father ultimately returned to Kenya, where he became a noted economist. He died in a car accident in 1982. Obama's mother's second marriage was to an Indonesian man named Lolo Soetoro. The family moved to Indonesia and Obama remained there until he was 10 when he moved back to Hawaii and lived with his grandparents while studying on a scholarship at the elite Punahou Academy.
Brother-Sister: Seven half brothers and sisters in Kenya from his father's other marriages, and a half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, from his mother's second marriage.
President of Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev was the Chief Guest in the parade of India’s 60th Republic Day on 26 January 2009. Erlier he came to India on a four-day visit on January 23. During his visit, President of Kazakhstan, an energy-rich Central Asian country, Nursultan Nazarbayev signed 5 agreements, including one on civil nuclear energy on January 24. Nuclear energy cooperation deal was signed between the Nuclear Power Corp of India (NCPI) and Kazakh nuclear major National Co KazAtomProm. Apart from this deal, the two countries signed on the dotted line on an extradition treaty, a pact on cooperation in space activities, a protocol in the accession of Kazakhstan to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and a deal between oil majors ONGC Mittal Energy (OMEL) and Kazakhstan's National Co KazmunaiG (KMG).
Veteran Awami League leader Zillur Rahman was named Bangladesh’s next President by the party. Zillur was minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives in 1996-2001 under the AL government led by prime minister Hasina. Awami League(AL) won a landslide victory in recent parliamentary elections.· Founder Chairman of world famous IT Company Satyam, Ramalinga Raju admitted Rs 7800-crore financial fraud, resigned from his post and later he was arrested with his brother Rama Raju, who also resigned as CEO and MD of the company. Raju admitted an operating margin fraud to the tune of tenfold overstatement.
He confessed to the media how the operating margin of 61 crore was shown as 649 crore and an artificial balance of 588 crore rupees was used by the company to show steadiness to its investors. Government disbanded the current board of Satyam Computer and nominated 10 directors on its board. 
Shibu Soren lost from Tamar Assembly constituency and thus became second Indian Chief Minister to loose the election. Later, he resigned from the post of Jharkhand Chief Minister on January 12. Tribhuvan Naryan Singh was first chief minister, who had resigned on April 3, 1971 after his defeat in assembly constituency election. Gopal Krishna Patar, alias Raja Peter, of Jharkhand Party (Anosh) defeated Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate Shibu Soren by a margin of over 9200 votes. Soren became chief minister in August 2008. He needed to be elected to the state assembly by February 27 under the constitutional requirement.
Joseph Biden was sworn in the 47th Vice-President of America on January 20,2009. He took his oath of office from Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. Democrat Biden succeeded Republican Dick Cheney as the Vice-President of America. He was a United States Senator from Delaware from January 3, 1973 until his resignation on January 15, 2009. He was a long-time member and former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
A 1975-batch IPS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre took over as the first head of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on January 19,2009. Before taking charge of NIA Chief, he was the Director General (Vigilance) of Jammu and Kashmir. He will head the NIA till January 31, 2010.  His name was cleared by the Appointments' Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister. He also worked as a Joint Director in the CBI, supervising investigations in a number of sensitive and high profile cases including Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. NIA was set up in the wake of November 26 Mumbai terror strikes to investigate terror-related incidents.
John Evans Atta Mills was sworn in as new president of Ghana on January 7 in a peaceful handover after a slim election win that reinforces the country's image as a model of African democracy. It marked the second time in a decade that power was transferred between one of the country's two rival parties and democratically chosen leader. He succeeded John Kufuor of New Patriotic Party.
Atta Mills won with 50.23% of the votes, while former Minister for Foreign Affairs and candidate of New Patriotic Party (NPP) Akufo-Addo got 49.77% votes. Atta-Mills served as Rawlings' vice president from 1997 to 2000. John Dramani Mahama was sworn in as the new vice president of Ghana. Best known for its cocoa and gold, Ghana became Africa's first independent nation in 1957.
Ram Mynampati was appointed interim CEO of Satyam Computer Services Ltd on January 7 after B Ramalinga Raju’s resignation as its chairman. Ram Mynampati had joined Satyam as executive vice president in 1999 and became executive vice president and chief operating officer in November 2000. He has been president, Satyam's commercial and healthcare businesses since October 2002.  
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah took oath as the eighth chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on January 5. Nine ministers, including Tara Chand of the Congress as deputy chief minister also took oath with him. 38-year-old Omar Abdullah became the youngest of all chief ministers of the state since 1965. National Conference (NC) and the Congress joined hands to form a coalition government in the state after recently concluded election. Jammu and Kashmir was Governor's rule since July 2008 after the former coalition government of the Congress and the PDP fell apart over Amarnath shrine land allotment controversy.  
Iceland's Prime Minister Geir Haarde resigned in January,2009 after massive protests over his government’s handling the economic crisis and thus cleared the way for elections in May 2009. Geir Haarde’s cabinet will stay until a new government can be formed. Haarde was leading the coalition, made up of his Independence Party and the Social Democrats since May 2007. Since October's financial earthquake Icelanders vented their frustration, anger and despair in peaceful weekly protests. It was worst civilian unrest since Iceland joined Nato in 1949.· Pakistan's National Security Adviser Maj Gen(retd) Mahmud Ali Durrani was sacked in January,2009 for commenting on the issue of the nationality of Iman alias Ajmal Kasab without taking prime minister or the government into confidence.
Eighth President of the Republic of India, Ramaswamy Venkataraman passed away in New Delhi in January,2009 after a prolonged illness. He was 98. He was elevated from Vice-Presidency, assumed the office of President on July 25, 1987 and his term lasted till July 25, 1992. He worked with four prime ministers, appointing three of them-V P Singh, Chandrashekhar and P V Narasimha Rao-during his five-year term. He was elected President of India when late Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister. A member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution of India, R. Venkataraman served about 4 years as the 7th Vice-President of India. He also held the key portfolios of Defence, Finance and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission at the centre. He was born on Dec 4, 1910 in Rajamedam in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. He took part in the Quit India movement of 1942 and was jailed for two years. As a Technocrat he founded Solidaire TV which supplies electrical equipment to most of the major power projects in the country.  
Dadasaheb Phalke award winner and noted film-maker Tapan Sinha passes away after prolonged illness in Kolkata in January,2009. He was 84. His films such as ‘Kabuliwala’ and ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut’ touched on social issues of our times. A master story-teller Tapan Sinha was also known for his children’s films. He began his career as a sound engineer in 1946 and made several films based on Tagore’s stories. His selection of subjects was unique and he had a deep insight of viewing the life.
South African anti-apartheid activist and a former politician, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice, Helen Suzman died in January,2009. She was 91. Born on November 7, 1917 to Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants, Suzman was elected to parliament in 1953 for General Jan Smuts' United Party. Later she formed the liberal democratic Progressive Party. A snap election in 1961 devastated the party, leaving Suzman on her own until 1974. She kept her seat until she retired in 1989.
Former Davis Cupper Premjit Lal passed away at his residence in Kolkata in December ,2009 at the age 68. An Arjuna Awardee Lal was regular member of the Indian Davis Cup team from 1959 to 1973. He reached in the junior final at the 1958 Wimbledon championships, and reached the pre-quarter final stage in the 1962 Australian Open. 
Noted Hindustani vocalist and winner of an Akademi award, Ramashrey Jha, died in Kolkata in January,2009 at the age 80. He created a number of khayal compositions as well as new ragas. He also published a critique of new and old ragas, Abhinav Geetanjali, and a Sangeet Ramayana presenting the epic through his own draupad and khayal compositions. 
The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and President of Awami National Conference, G.M. Shah passed away on here in January,2009 in Srinagar. He was 88. Shah defected from National Confrence along with 12 party MLAs on July 2, 1984 bringing down the government of his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah. He joined hands with a 26-member strong Congress legislature party and became the CM. His government was dismissed on March 12, 1986, by the then Governor Jagmohan following communal riots in south Kashmir.
Former Patna District Magistrate and key accused in the Rs.170 million Bihar flood relief scam of 2004, Gautam Goswami died in January,2009 at the age 41. He was named Time magazine's Asian hero in 2005 for his massive relief effort during flood.
Editor of Sri Lankan newspaper Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickramatunga was shot by unidentified gunmen in January,2009 outside Colombo. He also worked as an adviser and friend to various politicians of Sri Lankan politics.
British lawyer and famous writer John Mortimer passed away in 2009. He was 85. He combined a career as a lawyer with a large literary output that included dozens of screen and stage plays and radio dramas. His most famous creation was Horace Rumpole, a cigar-smoking, wine-loving barrister who appeared in a TV series and a string of novels and stories.
The popular realist painter artist Andrew Wyeth, died in his sleep aged 91 in January,2009. He captured the melancholy of the landscapes and people of Pennsylvania in his work. Wyeth belonged the most famous member of the three-generation family art dynasty of America. 
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and special envoy of the Chinese government He Yafei visited India. He met Indian Foreign Minister and held talks with Foreign Secretary in January,2009. 
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband visited India during January 13-15,2009. He was at the centre of a media storm in India because of his article, which he wrote ahead of his visit to India. He wrote, 'war on terror' had been mistaken and that individual groups like LeT should be targeted and brought to justice. But solving the Kashmir issue would deny LeT its 'call to arms' and free Pakistan to fight al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in its tribal areas. He also visited Amethi parliamentary constituency of Uttar Pradesh with its representative Rahul Gandhi for a first-hand experience of progressive rural India.
Eminent scientist Prof. Raghavan Varadrajan of the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore, was chosen for the G. D. Birla Award for Scientific Research for 2008 for his work in the area of molecular biophysics. The award was instituted by K K Birla Foundation in 1991 It aims at recognising high calibre scientific research undertaken by Indian scientists below the age of 50. The award carried a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh.
National Book Trust, India initiated a programme National Action Plan for the Readership Development Among The Youth. NAPRDY will begin with a national survey among the urban and rural youth between the age of 10 and 30 to ascertain the Readership Status, Pattern, Trends, Attitudes etc among the youth. 
E6 is a pure electric car, with a range of 400km on one full battery charge. I t is made by Chinese car manufacturer, BYD.   
The Kerala Law Reforms Commission headed by distinguished jurist Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer suggested many revolutionary reforms like legislation to allow euthanasia, severe restrictions on polygamy and no freebies for parents who have more than two children. The commission suggested that mercy killing could be considered in cases where the death was only salvation and preservation of life would be medically impossible. It also recommended that marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife should be made an offence and such cases should be punishable under Indian Penal Code. 
Central Government set up an National Anomaly Committee and Departmental Anomaly Committees to settle disputes arising out of implementation of the sixth Central Pay Commission recommendations. It will receive representations on anomalies up to six months from the date of its constitution and will dispose of them within a year.    
Dreams from My Father : Barack ObamaDreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance is first book (memoir) of American President Barack Obama. In the book, Obama as the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father has been killed in a car accident.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev came to India on three-day visit to from December 4 to 6,2008. He attended the annual Indo-Russia summit and the formal conclusion of the 'Year of Russia' in India. It was his first visit to India as the President of Russia. During the visit both countries signed agreements to develop nuclear plants in India, an accord that envisages Russia sending an Indian cosmonaut into space in 2013 and then launch a manned Indian spacecraft in 2015 and a contract for India to buy 80 Mi-17 transport helicopters, worth more than 1 billion dollar. The accords covered the building of four new nuclear energy reactors in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, as well as a cooperation accord on manned space flight. Russia became the third country, who signed an atomic energy agreement with India after a decision in September 2008 by the Nuclear Suppliers Group to waive its ban on trade of nuclear technology with India.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came to India in December,2008.She expressed the condolences of the American government to the Indian government on the Mumbai terrorist attacks that killed nearly 200 people, including six Americans. Rice urged India and Pakistan to cooperate in investigating Mumbai attacks.
The President of the Republic of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed was on India visit from December 23 to 5,2008. He was accompanied by his wife Laila Ali and a high-level delegation, including businessmen. It was President Mohamed Nasheed’s first visit to India after assuming the office of the President of the Republic of Maldives in November 2008. During the trip an agreement on extending a Standby Credit Facility of 100 million US dollar to Maldives and Air Services Agreement were signed between two countries.
Republican Senator and 2008 US presidential candidate, John McCain visited India after Mumbai terror attacks. He discussed the terror issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and showed solidarity with India. He suggested greater cooperation between India and Pakistan to fight back terrorism following the Mumbai attacks, which he called the ‘9/11 of India’.
After President Lansana Conte's death, in a bloodless coup, Military junta took over in Guinea. The nation holds the world’s biggest reserves of bauxite, an ore used to make the aluminum ingredient alumina. Guinea, a former French colony, produced 14 million metric tons of bauxite in 2007. It is the world’s fourth-biggest producer after Australia, Brazil and China. Bauxite and related industries account for about 80 percent of its foreign exchange earnings in Guinea.
Central Government declared the Kalpakkam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu a no fly zone to prevent any 9/11 kind of targeting of this sensitive site. Kalpakkam nuclear power plant is situated at the Kalpakkam, a small town in Tamil Nadu on the Coromandel.
A small village in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris hills, Pushep was chosen for setting up Neutrino Observatory (INO). Atomic Energy Commission chosen Pushep near Udhagamandalam (Ooty) as the best location to set up INO. INO is an underground detector to test particles.
A general strike crippled Greece recently. Workers took to the streets in central Athens to protest against the government's economic policies. Public sector workers, teachers, journalists and bank clerks participated in the general strike, which was called and organized by Greece's two largest unions, the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the ADEDY civil servants' union. The strike disrupted transport, banks and schools and curtailing hospital services. The protestors demanded the government to increase social spending and raise wages and pensions in the face of the ongoing global financial crisis.
Sheikh Abdulla: The Tragic Hero of Kashmir is written by Ajit Bhattacharjea ,the first comprehensive, well-documented account of the life of the charismatic leader, the Lion of Kashmir, Sheikh Abdullah.Former Editor of the Hindustan Times and the Indian Express and a veteran journalist, author Ajit Bhattacharjea covered Kashmir since 1947.
No Minister: Memories of a Civil Servant written by Mahesh Prasad.It is a book on an autobiographical memoir of a Civil Servant.
Jaadoo is name of 3 G mobile service of India, which was launched on Deember 11, 2008 in New Delhi by the Prime Minister. 3G service was started in New Delhi and Mumbai by MTNL.
The People Power Party is a reincarnation of Mr. Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party, which was disbanded for electoral fraud, in May 2007.
The Bombay High Court constituted an interim committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge, B.N. Srikrishna on December 19,2008. A Division Bench consisting of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Sharad Bobde appointed the Srikrishna committee in response to six public interest litigation petitions against State agencies in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. The committee will be recommendatory in nature and will not interfere in official investigation. The Director-General of Police, the Chief Secretary and the Finance and Home Secretaries, and a representative from the Union government were also included on the panel.
The High Powered Committee under the chairmanship of former Finance Secretary to Government of India, Ashok Jha submitted its report on December 12,2008. The Committee was set up by Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation to suggest measures for strengthening HUDCO's financial position and also expansion of its activities for better services to poor and weaker sections of the society.
Indian Institute of Information Technology organised a seven days Interactive Programme of Students, Young Teachers and Scientists with Noble Laureates during 15-21 December,2008. The objective of the Interactive Sessions was to inspire and motivate the bright students to take up studies, researches and professional research careers in Basic Sciences in order to promote the scientific developments and innovations of the country. 12 Nobel Laureates from across the world participated in the conclave.
15th triennial conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) was held in New Delhi.
Global Potato Conference 2008 was held at New Delhi during December 9-12,2008 to celebrate the International Year of Potato. The Conference was jointly organised by the Indian Potato Association (IPA), Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI), Shimla and Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi. The theme of the Conference was ‘Opportunities and Challenges in the New Millennium’. Over 400 scientists, trade and industry representatives, policy makers from all continents and a large number of farmers were attended the Conference.
The second edition of Bangalore Nano was organised by Dept. of IT, BT and Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and MM Activ during December 11 to 13,2008. The 2nd edition of Bangalore Nano offered a clear vision of the Nanotechnology Research, Applications and Potential through an International Conference, Exhibition, Children's program ‘Nano for the Young’, RICH and YESSS programs. The Event was attended by over 400 delegates consisting of Industry Captains from across sectors, Heads of R & D Organizations & Scientists, leading Investors, Young technocrats and Multinational Companies.
According to preliminary estimates published by FAO on December 9,2008 another 40 million people have been pushed into hunger in 2008 primarily due to higher food prices. This brings the overall number of undernourished people in the world to 963 million, compared to 923 million in 2007 and the ongoing financial and economic crisis could tip even more people into hunger and poverty. The vast majority of the world's undernourished people-907 million-live in developing countries. FAO's hunger report The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2008 mentioned that World food prices dropped since early 2008, but lower prices not ended the food crisis in many poor countries. Millions of people in developing countries, eating the minimum amount of food every day to live an active and healthy life is a distant dream. The structural problems of hunger, like the lack of access to land, credit and employment, combined with high food prices remain a dire reality.
The Tenth report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) titled ‘Refurbishing of Personnel Administration-Scaling New Heights’ was released in the last month of 2008. In its report, ARC recommended lowering of the upper age limit and reducing the number of attempts for civil services aspirants with some relaxations for reserved categories. According to the report upper age limit for writing the civil services examination should be between 21 and 25 for general candidates, 28 for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 29 for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates as also those who were physically challenged.
The number of permissible attempts in the civil services examinations should be 3 years, 5 years and 6 years for the general candidates, OBC, and SC/ST and physically challenged aspirants, the panel has suggested. It also suggested doing away with the present system of evaluation of performance based on annual confidential report (ACR) and gave a concept of annual performance agreements to be signed between the Minister concerned and the Secretary or head of the department, providing physical and verifiable details of the work to be done during a financial year. The actual performance should be assessed by a third party. In order to increase accountability, ARC suggested a periodic review of the performance for which it recommended a system of two intensive reviews-one on completion of 14 years of service and the other on completion of 20 years.
Recently published World Report on Child Injury Prevention urged governments around the world to require bicycle helmets, swimming-pool fencing and other measures to stop preventable accidents that kill hundreds of thousands of children each year. The report mentioned that accidents are the biggest cause of death in children over 9. Road accidents and drowning caused nearly half the deaths, followed by burns, falls and poisoning. According to the report produced by WHO and the U.N. Children's Fund, 830000 children die each year of injuries from accidents. One thousand deaths a day could be relatively easily prevented through safety rules including obligatory lifejackets, smoke alarms, window guards and child-resistant packaging of medicines. Most of the deaths are in developing countries, with African nations the worst-affected.
The Wage Revision Committees headed by former Judge of Delhi High Court, Justice Lokeshwar Prasad submitted their reports in 2008. The committees were set up by the Delhi Government in February 2008 for making recommendations on pay revision and other terms of reference for employees of four government-owned power sector companies.
Joint military exercise ‘ Hand-in-Hand 2008’of India and China was held in Belgaum, Karnataka during December 6 to 14,2008. In consonance with the growing Indo-Chinese military co-operation, a 147 member strong military contingent of China participated in the first-ever Sino-Indian military combat exercise on Indian soil to counter terror and insurgency. The joint exercise was the second in the series, the previous one was conducted in Kunming, China in 2007. Earlier, India and China had held their first joint naval exercise in November 2003 off Shanghai on China’s eastern seaboard.
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