Competitive Exams: Current Affairs National 2008 (Part 3 of 3)

Flights effected due to AAI strike (20th August 2008).

In the wake for demand of privatisation of government owned airports and salaries, airport authority of India (AAI) went on a 12 hour strike. The nation wide general strike by the the Central Public Sector Trade Unions (CPSTU) has been supported in this respect.

Passengers faced inconvenience in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kokata and other cities. All airport employees had gone on strike under the the airport Authority Employees'Union (AAEU) which demanded cessation of further privatisation or leasing out of other AAI airports in the country. Delhi International Airport Ltd had taken up preparatory measures to minimise the effect of the strike in airport functioning.

Resignation by all the members of Amarnath Shrine Board (6th August 2008)

All ten members of the Amarnath land row tendered their resignation in the amidst of the controversy of land revocation from the Shrine board. The resignations have been submitted to J&K Governor NN Vohra. The board is firm on its stance for over ruling the previous decision and allotting back the land to the shrine board.

India to get new undersea cruise missiles (4nd August 2008)

India will get the upgraded Kiloclass submarine INS Sindhuvijay. It has dangerous Kub-S-Cruise missiles. It will be bought from Russia and delivery is scheduled in one week.

Curfew imposed in Jammu, Army deployed (2nd August 2008)

Curfew has been imposed and army deployed to check with the menace of violence in the region. Due to firing on the protesters which were against the transfer of forest land to Shri Anmarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), the situation got serious. The situation got tense after the announcement of of Governer NN Vohra that the shrine board would be assigned back the responsibility of annual yatra. In Samba Army was deployed and Jammu and Samba were under the curfew. The representatives of Shri Amarnathji yatra have ruled out of any talks with Governere Vohra over the Amarmanth land scuffle.

Train mishap-Fire engulfs the coaches (2nd August 2008)

Eight people were injured, and 32 died, when fire broke out in the Secunderabad-Kakinada Gouthami Express train. This happened in the wee hours in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh on Friday.

About 200 kms from Hyderabad, fire broke out in the speeding train probably due to short circuit.

CPM leader Harkishan Surjeet is no more (1st August 2008)

CPM leader Harkishan Surjeet has passed away due to cardiac arrest on this day. He was 92 and was hospitalized for some time. CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat disclosed of the news. His conditioned had worsened since last week.

He had played a vital role in keeping BJP out of power in 1996 and facilitated in the formation of coalition government by the congress at the centre eight years later.

Blasts in Gujarat (29th July 2008)

The death toll of 45 has been officially declared with 160 people wounded. The bombs of ammonium nitrate were were strapped to bicycles and motorbikes and under the seats of crowded public buses. They were detonated with timers. Around 30 people have been taken for interrogation. Three more live bombs have been defused after that in Surat. People have shown concern in maintenance of communal harmony and depicted and understanding that the terror victimizes anyone irrespective of religion or caste and has to be jointly combated in unison by all the citizens living.

Seven Blasts have taken place in Bangalore (25th July 2008)

Seven blasts took place in Bangalore in places namely Midwala bus depot, Mysore road, Adugudi, Koramangla, Vittal Mallaya road, Langford Town and Richmond Town. These blasts took place within one hour. The blasts were timed which was told by Bangalore Commissioner of Police, Shankar Bidari. Some companies shut off their workplaces, as well as some schools, colleges, malls and cinemas. The intensity of explosions are classified as comparatively lower and were of crude explosives. The investigations are on:

Curfew lifted in Jammu (25th July 2008) The curfew was lifted in Jammu on Friday and nearby areas after sensing favourable environment in that respect. Twelve policemen and other 27 were wounded in the violent confrontation with agitators.

Jammu Deputy Commissioner Mandeep K Bandari of Jammu told that patrol by the cops and CRPF is intesified and if necessary the curfew will be reimposed according to sources.

Curfew imposed in Jammu (24th July 2008)

The cancellation of land transfer to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) still caused repercussion with latest being the suicide of a man in anger. Divisional Commissioner of Jammu Sudhanshu Pandey disclosed the decision of imposing indefinite curfew in precaution. The dead man Kuldip Kumar Dogra came up with a new idea to instigate the masses by committing suicide in front of them as he consumed poison after a speech thus creating a live scene.

It did cause turmoil in people and the situation got violent.

UPA Cabinet Expansion Likely in August (24th July 2008)

The after effects of winning the trust vote by UPA will eventually make significant headlines as of now when PM is planning expansion of ministerial berths. Its likely that that the cabinet maybe expanded in August. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ruled out any kind of deal under the tables in allotment of ministerial berth in return for vote.

Meanwhile the United States expressed its happiness over the win of UPA government.

BJP expels its 8 MPs (23th July 2008)

BJP leashed out its fury by expelling its 8 MPs after it had to take a big jolt as six of its MP's voted in favor of UPA while some remained absent. The high command expressed it rage by the number of MPs which voted against its directives and has called the voting as tainted. With the conspiracies of bribery creeping up in this episode, Advani demanded investigation in this regard. The retaliatory comments from the various leaders are now from various sides. As in case of the comment by Mayawati, the BSP chief who pointed at NDA for supporting government in order to shield the PM chair from her due to her being a dalit lest it may lead to her accession on it due to her being a Dalit. The allegation was refuted by the sources.

Lok Sabha speaker shown the exit door of the party (23rd July 2008)

The Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee was expelled form the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) for refusing to resign on his own. After the withdrawl of support to the UPA by the four left parties he was pestered to submit his resignation. The politburo of the CPM held meeting which comprises of 14 members to took decision to expel Chatterjee for being inconsitent to the party's concerns.

UPA wins confidence vote, set to move on with Nuclear deal (23rd July 2008)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is the seventh Prime Minister to win the trust vote. Having won the confidence vote after a heated debate on the Nuclear deal, the Nuclear deal will set to be forwarded to next levels.

The major moves set for now is that the technical details of the India specific safeguards agreements will be briefed to the IAEA's 144 members.

August 1st is scheduled for endorsement of it by the IAEA board of governors. After this the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to convene plenary meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers country's representatives which are 45 in number. It is hoped that NSG exemption will be through by around 1st week of September.

Following that, the US congress is expected to be presented with all the agreements along with the 123 pact by the US presidential determination for ratification with an up down vote.

India is anxious about the US draft and has specifically conveyed in setting its eyes on it before its being circulated.

MPs for Sale (21th July 2008)

There have emerged news about the MP's being offered upto whopping 50 crores to vote in favour of UPA. Shiv Sena had recently clarified its stand as opposed to UPA in nuclear deal. It is now of concern that some of its MP's might ‘give way’ and vote in favour of UPA as against the party's unanimous decision. The news leaked that at least three its MP's had been seduced with the offering by Congress, NCP and bookies. In the midst of this drama, K Krishnan, chairman of Venus Detectives told TOI of their service being asked for, for prying on the MP's by their respective parties.

Nine soldiers die in a Blast in J& K (19th July 2008)

Nine soldiers are confirmed to be killed and many others wounded in a Blast in Jammu and Kashmir. The attack is believed to be carried by militant group.

When the army convoy neared Narbal which is 15 Km from Srinagar, an IED exploded on Srinagar Baramulla Highway leading to the calamity.

India's draft to IAEA, with clauses (10th July 2008)

The Associated Press obtained a confidential document in which India has placed conditions to be scrutinized by IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). The document is meant to pave way for business with 45 nations which will export coveted nuclear fuel and technical knowhow.

The 35 board members were availed of its content for the approval. The 23 page document is along with other safeguard agreements. The document also carries clauses for mending measures by India in any eventuality of cessation of foreign fuel supplies. Though this appears to be controversial as it might facilitate ending of IAEA conditions of some facilities. The facilities which India consents to put under the watch of IAEA are yet undefined. However India's reconciliatory steps should be distinctly outlined in course of cessation of fuel and technology. This concern was expressed by Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington. IAEA safe guarding is important for India's business with nuclear supplying nations. Still some protocols have to take their some months time for India's full fledged involvement as per the agreement.

Left formally withdraws support (9th July 2008)

The left parties led by CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, met the President Pratibha Patil, handing over the letters for withdrawal of support to the UPA government. The four Parties of the left have number of 59 in Lok Sabha.

US stresses on importance of N-deal (9th July 2008)

In duration of the political waywardness developing in India over the issue of N-deal, US President applauded the Prime Minister's leadership in sticking with the stance. He stressed the importance for the deal as beneficial for both countries. Singh mentioned about the relationship being in best shape than ever with US. As the meeting went for 50 minutes, both the leaders showed importance for continuation of better relationships between the two countries.

Sensex plunges 444 points in early trade (9th July 2008)

Due heavy selling by funds, in heavy stocks led by Reliance Industries, Infosys Technologies among others, the sensex lost 444 points in early trade today. The National Stock Exchange index's Nifty went down by 133.95 points below the 3900 level at 3, 896.05. The major companies which were hit were most were were Rcom, Infosys Technologies, Reliance Industries, State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel Reliance Infra, Larsen and Toubro, Maruti, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Grasim Industries, HDFC Bank ONGC HDFC Ltd.

SP leaders in favour of Nuclear Deal (9th July 2008)

With the latest development in following, the Samajwadi Party wants a go ahead in Nuclear Deal. Its leaders talk regarding this with the former President APJ Abdul Kalam who favors the nuclear deal. SP has 39 members in the Lok Sabha. Left allies have 59. Yadav and general party secretary met PM on this issue of its support. Yadav, emphasized his party's stand in prioritizing of national interest above mere politics by supporting the Indo-US deal. The talks are on in this regard and further steps are being taken.

The inflation rises beyond to 11.63 % (4th July 2008)

The inflation rose to a new peak of 11.63 % till June 21, 2008. Inflation had already soared to a 13 year high of 11.42% by the end of 14th June this year. Though there is no solution immediately in sight, the common man has to bear the brunt of high inflation for now. In measures for checking inflation the RBI raised the cash reserve ratio to 8.75 % and the lending rate to other banks to 8.5 per cent for checking inflation.

Congress gears up for next elections.

Having been stuck on their stance in nuclear deal, the untimely elections seem likely. The Manmohan Singh government did what it thought best-An uncompromising attitude. This has lead to the withdrawal of support paving way for early elections. Sonia Gandhi has asked its party to prepare itself and strengthen itself in the states. She inspected the progression of tasks assigned to the senior leaders and reviewed them in AICC (All India Congress Committee) meeting. The leaders have been asked to jot down preparatory steps for presentation in the next meeting for the elections. This was conveyed to the press by the party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.