National Current Affairs
August 2011 National Affairs:
Category : National Current Affairs
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August 2011

Gujarat governor Dr Kamla on 26 August 2011 appointed a close Anna Hazare aide and former justice of the Gujarat High Court, R A Mehta, as the new Gujarat Lokayukta. The governor`s order was based on the recommendation of the chief justice of Gujarat HC. The governor has the right to appoint Lokayukta without consulting the government. The position for Lokayukta in Gujarat lay vacant for seven years prior to the appointment of Mehta. The Modi government moved the Gujarat High Court seeking quashing of the governor`s order.

The Union Cabinet of India cleared the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India Bill. The Bill envisages an Autonomous Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. A high-level panel have finalised the rules of implementation of nuclear liability law. The bill would pave way for setting up an authority that would subsume the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). The AERB was set up in 1983 and reports to the Atomic Energy Commission. The bill seeks to give the proposed Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India full power to stop construction work and order a shut down of an operating nuclear plant. The bill would give more powers to the country`s nuclear regulator by making it a statutory body. It is also proposed that the NRAI order cannot be challenged in a court of law. The authority is likely to include persons of eminence from engineering, environment, social, nuclear and finance areas. Indian Government decided to set up NRAI in the backdrop of the Fukushima nuclear accident. 
The Programme called Himayat was launched by the Union ministry of Rural Development in Srinagar for giving training and placement to over one lakh youth from poor families in Jammu and Kashmir. The Programme Himayat will be implemented in five years. The Union Cabinet has already approved 235 crore rupees for this programme. The central government will spend Rs.235 crore annually. The priority will be given to youth who are school and college drop-outs and training will be provided at each of the block headquarters. The project will be funded by the rural development ministry’s National Rural Livelihood Mission.

 The West Bengal government and the opposition parties on 19 August 2011 unanimously decided to rename the state Paschim Banga The name of West Bengal would be Paschim Banga, both in English and Bengali. 

The government has instructed all states to appoint Ombudsman at district level to redress grievances related to implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA). Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the government is also making extensive use of Information and Communication Technology, ICT to enhance transparency in the implementation of MGNREGA. Payment of wages has been made mandatory through bank accounts and states have been asked to enhance ICT based rural banking services in order to make wage disbursement more transparent. 
The Rajya Sabha passed a resounding vote to impeach Calcutta High Court judge Justice Soumitra Sen and ruled out his resignation. Sen had himself presented his case against the impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha towards the end of August will take up the impeachment motions as the Rajya Sabha has given its nod for Sen`s removal. Justice Soumitra Sen of Calcutta High Court is set to become the first-ever judge to be removed after the Rajya Sabha adopted an impeachment motion with over two-thirds majority, the only instance of its kind. The motion in Rajya Sabha was carried by 189 votes in support and 17 against thereby meeting the requirement that the vote should be supported by two-thirds of members present with the turnout in the House not less than half the total strength.
The 19th National Children`s Science Congress is to be organised in Jaipur from 27 to 31 December 2011 to provide an opportunity to the children to display their interest in the latest developments in science and technology. Land resources: Save for the future was set as the theme for the 2011 National Children`s Science Congress.


The union government of India has set up a National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) to access all intelligence data. It is to function as a tool for strengthening the capability of the existing intelligence and law enforcement agencies. It aims at improving access to information and it’s sharing. NATGRID has been formed to link databases for inputs to combat terrorism. It is meant to improve India`s capability to counter threats to its internal security.
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has set up the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF), which is operationalised in the Indian Missions in all the Countries with effect from 24 March 2011 for safeguarding the welfare and protection especially of Indian workers going abroad. The fund aims to provide on-site emergency assistance for the Overseas Indian Citizens, who are in distress. The welfare services provided by the ICWF includes boarding and lodging for distressed household / domestic workers and unskilled labourers, emergency medical care to the overseas Indians in need etc.,
The Lok Sabha of Indian Parliament on 12 August 2011 approved the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Bill, 2011. The bill entails stringent punishment for those involved in organ trade. The amended bill will also make swapping of vital organs between willing but incompatible donors legal. Henceforth, when a donor’s organ is not compatible with his relative but is suitable for the other, the two families (unknown to each other) can go ahead and exchange the organs. At present, rules restrict organ transplant to between blood relatives (father, mother, daughter, son, sister and brother) and between married couples. The bill also allows uncles and aunts and grandparents to donate their organs with the approval of authorization committee.
Chhattisgarh will have 9 new districts with effect from January 2012, taking the total number of districts in the state to 27.
Jharkhand state government launched the Dal Bhat scheme under which lunch will be given to a poor person at Rupees 5. To execute this scheme, 100 food centres in all the 24 districts were opened. Under the dal bhat scheme a person will get 200 grams of rice, pulses and chokha. The food centres will be run by NGOs and monitored by the district administration. According to an estimate, half of Jharkhand’s three crore population falls under the Below Poverty Line.
The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is an initiative open to universities and other institutions of higher education and research worldwide, which undertake activities in support of the mission, and mandates of the United Nations. About 50 Indian institutions have joined UNAI so far. UNAI gives active support to 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, literacy, sustainability and conflict resolution, which are based on the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Millennium Development Goals target. 
The Union Cabinet approved the proposal of Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) for setting up of a new company, called AGRlNDIA. The AGRlNDIA will be a registered company under the Companies Act, fully owned by Government of India in the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) with a share capital of Rs.100 crore and initial paid up capital of Rs.50 crore. AGRlNDIA would undertake the following major activities:
Protection and management of intellectual properties generated in the system and its commercialization / distribution for public benefit.
Production, marketing and popularization of ICAR`s products, processes and technologies in agriculture and allied sectors. 
Providing skilled services from ICAR, such as consultancies, contract research, contract service, customized capacity building, technical support for turnkey project etc. 
Setting up research and development farms and assist in setting up production units outside India, especially in Africa and in the Asia-Pacific region and perhaps other regions of the world such as Latin America. 
Foster public-private partnerships in research, education and other capacity building in agriculture and allied sectors.
The Bombay High Court, has celebrated the 150 years of legal heritage, on 14 august 2011. It is in fact the second oldest High Court in India, established on August 14, 1862; just about a month after the Calcutta High Court was established, under the High Courts Act of 1861. The Madras High Court (15.08.1862) and the Allahabad High Court (11.06.1866) were the other High Courts established under the same act. 
Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) has formulated “e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP)” for implementation of e-governance in Panchayats as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the umbrella of National e-Governance Programme (NeGP). The scheme aims at supporting all the State Governments for making effective use of IT in Panchayats in the process of planning at grassroots level, bring out transparency in the working of the PRIs and help in increased accountability of these institutions. As on 31 March, 2011, 1,19,245 Village Panchayats have been provided internet connectivity. It is targeted to provide internet connectivity to all Panchayats by 2012. 
D V Sadananda Gowda, was elected Karnataka`s 26th chief minister by BJP`s legislator. Gowda, MP from Udupi-Chikmagalur emerged victorious over rival Jagadish Shettar`s camp. In the secret ballot, Gowda polled 63 votes compared to Shettar`s 55. Of 119 BJP MLAs, 117 voted . D. V. Sadananda Gowda born in 1953 hails from the Devaragunda family of Mandekolu Village of Sullia Taluk.