Competitive Exams: Miscellaneous Current Affairs 2009 (Part 1 of 3)

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All that you can't leave behind'written by Soumya Bhattacharya.

‘We Must Have No Price’ written by Arun Sourie.

‘Train to India-Memories of another Bengal’ written by Maloy kumar Dhar.

‘Not by Reason alone: The Politics of Change’ written by N K Singh.

‘Five Point Someone’ written by Chetan Bhagat.

‘Nehru: The invention of India’ written by Shashi Tharoor.

‘The Museum of Innocence’ written by Orhan Panuk.

‘Thoughts on Linguistic States’ written by B R Ambedkar.

Billy Arjan Singh, wildlife conservationist and Padma Shri awardee died.

P D Dinakaran, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court faces impeachement motion. The process was initiated in the Parliament. He is the first High Court Chief Justice against whom impeachment motion have been initiated. Justice V Ramaswami is the only judge to have faced impeachment proceedings in parliament.

Justice V S Sirpurkar appointed to head a three member panel to look into allegation of land grab and misconduct against Chief Justice P D Dinakaran in the wake of impeachment motion initiated against him in Parliament.

Fahmida Mirza is the first woman Speaker of Pakistan National Assembly.

Ricky Ponting, Australian cricket team captain, has been named as ESPN Cricinfo Player of the Decade for 2000.

Jyoti Basu, former West Bengal Chief Minister, died.

Mrinal Pande, appointed as Chairman, Prasar Bharti Board.

Lee Myung Bak, South Korea President was the Chief Guest at 2010 Republic Day Parade.

Shiv Shankar Menon is appointed as National Security Advisor.

Vikram Srivastava appointed as Director General of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force).

Ranjit Kumar Bhatia appointed as Director General of ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police).

International Affairs 2009

Fiji's president Ratu Josefa Iloilo repealed the country's constitution and appointed himself head of the State and set a 2014 election deadline.

Switzerland expanded its border upto 150 meters into Italian territory because of melting glaciers in the high Alps.

Venezuela's Stefania Fernandez become Miss Universe 2009. This is the 2nd consecutive year Miss Venezuela has won the title. Venezuela has so far won the title for the record six times. Miss Ada de la Cruz (Dominican Republic) is 1st runner up. Miss Marigona Dragusha is the 2nd runner up. Miss Universe 2009 contest was held in Bahamas.

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an agreement that binds 141 countries in a pact that facilitates the process of seeking protection for an invention in multiple countries. The PCT which is administered by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) is particularly valuable option for any company operating internationally. It is a procedural treaty first launched in 1978. Recently PCT is in news because it is under modification/reformation which India is opposing.

Pakistan govt clears construction of the $8.5 billion Diamer-Bhasha power project of 4500 MW capacity on the Indus river in the Gilgit region in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Under the Indus water treaty signed with India, Pakistan is free to build dams anywhere on the Indus river. The treaty gives India first right over the waters of the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas rivers and Pakistan the same privileges over the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers.

70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II (1 Sep 1939) celebrated on 1 Sep. OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) parliamentary assembly recently grouped Germany and Soviet Union, pronouncing them to be equally responsible for World War II. Yukio Hatoyama is appointed as next Prime Minister of Japan. He is nicknamed ‘the alien’ For the first time since last 54 years, LDP (Liberal democratic party) ousted from forming Govt in Japan. Hatoyama belongs to Democratic Party.

USA Commission on International Religious Freedom placed India on its ‘watch list’ for 2009 because it found the Indian govt had failed to take effective measures to ensure the rights of religious minorities.

The summit of Dushanbe Four was held in 2009. It includes Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The official objective to the summit was to discuss supply of electricity from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Nepal Vice President Parmananda Jha who took oath in Hindi last year, has been asked by the Nepal Supreme Court to retake the oath in Nepali language or resign from the post.

Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth after it failed to meet a deadline to make progress towards establishing democracy. India's Reena Kaushal Dharamshaktu will be part of an eight member team that will ski to the South Pole to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Commonwealth. The expedition is headed by Felicity Aston and to be flagged off in Nov 2009.

China intrudes Ladakh region on 31 July 2009.

Sri Lanka expels James Elder, Communication chief with UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund).

Farah Pandith an Indian American, has been sworn in as the first US Special Representative to muslim communities in USA.

As per report of UN World Food Programme (WFP), the number of hungry people will pass one billion this year for the first time. In the Food Security Risk Index 2009, India ranked at 25th place. The US is least at risk followed by France, Canada. The index rank the nations on the basis of risk of food shortage faced by the countries.

Communal violence erupted in China's North West Xinjiang province capital ‘Urumgi’ in July 09.

START (Strategic arms reduction treaty) between USA & Russia started on 31 July 1991 came to end on 5 Dec 2009. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) met at Yekaterinburg on June 2009. The SCO comprises of Russia, China, Kazakhtan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgzstan. India, Pakistan, Mongolia and Iran have observer status. Afghanistan's president attended the summit as a special guest. Sri Lanka had been granted the status of dialogue partner. Google was shut down in China.

The first ever summit of BRIC countries was held at Yekaterinburg in Russia in June 09. BRIC countries include Brazil, Russia, India and China.

India signed a $400 million agreement with Ukraine to upgrade its fleet of transport aircraft AN-32 aimed at extending its life and improving avionics.

Tipaimukh dam project issue between India and Bangladesh.

Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Network (TAR) entered into force on June 11, 2009 after China ratified the treaty. The other parties to the agreement are Combodia, India, Mongolia, Korea, Russia, Tajikistan and Thailand.

Abu Dhabi, capital of UAE was elected as headquarter of the International Renewal Energy Agency (IRENA), a grouping of 129 countries. Mini Pravasi Indian Day was held at Hague (Netherland) in Sep 2009.

France President has recently remarked that ‘the burqa is a sign of female subservience’

Lord Swaraj Paul became the first India born Briton to be appointed a Privy Councillor in Britain.

Milan has been named as the world's top fashion city. Mumbai is placed at 16th place and Delhi at 17th place.

Japan's finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa resigned after he was accused to attending the G 7 summit in Rome in drinking condition.

China became world's largest green house gas emitter in 2007. USA at 2nd position. Russia at 3rd position. India at 4th position with one tone of Carbon Dioxide per person per year emission.

Nuclear armed submarines from Britain and France collided in the Atlantic Ocean.

USA govt approved $787 billion economic stimulus package initiated by Barack Obama.

VenezualA'a President Hugo Chavez won a referendum vote that lets him stay in power as long as he keeps winning elections.

From 1 April 2009 NATO membership was enlarged to 28 with the entrance of Albania and Croatia. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) also called the North Atlantic Alliance is a military alliance established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949.16th SAARC Summit was held in Maldives in 2009.

EUMA (End User Monitoring Agreement) -India has signed EUMA with USA which allows US inspectors to verify the end use of US sourced high technology equipment to dual use. EUMA is designed to facilitate high end dual use technology transfer to India.

World's first commercial passenger flight powered by natural Gas operated between London and Qatar in Oct 09. Shell company developed and produced the 50 − 50 blend of synthetic Gas to Liquid (GTL) kerosene and conventional oil based kerosene fuel. Qatar will become the world's leading producer of GTL kerosene by 2012.

Turkey and Armenia signed a landmark accord to restore ties and open their shared border after a century of hostility stemming from World War I.

‘Operation Rah E Nijat or Path to Salvation’ -It is the name of operation conducted by Pakistan army against strongholds of Tehreek-e-Taliban (also called Pakistan Taliban) soldiers.

USA has declared national emergency in view of increasing number of death due to Swine flu.

Bangladesh decided to advance its time an hour to GMT + 7. Every 15 degree means an hour. France have 12 time zones, Russia have 11 times zones, USA has nine time zones. India has one time zone based on its 82 degree 30 minutes East near Allahabad.

India and Canada signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal. Canada became the 8th country with which India has reached a civil nuclear agreement.

Commonwealth has admitted Rwanda, central African country, as its 54th member.

Nepal cabinet meet at Kala Patthar, situated at 17, 192 ft above sea level in Nov 09 and the base camp of Mount Everest. It adopted Mt Everest declaration which allow setting up of Gauri Shankar Conservation Area near Mt Everest.

COP15, the official term for the Copenhagen meeting, the 15th conference of parties to negotiate a new global climate treaty to replace or extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 in Dec 2009. Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark.

India and Russia sign civil nuclear agreement in Dec 2009.