Competitive Exams: National News 2009 (Part 1 of 5)

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Sheikh Hasina chosen for Indira Gandhi Peace Prize (19th Nov 2009) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been chosen for the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development this year for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of democracy and pluralism. After her re-election in December last year, Hasina embarked on her Vision 2021, aimed at transforming Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021, by eliminating poverty and inequity, the Trust said. The award, which carries a cash prize of Rs. 25 lakh and a citation, would be presented to her at a function to be held at a later date.

India retains 84th position among the world's most corrupt nations (17th Nov 2009) Transparency International has released their annual corruption index, and has ranked China as 79th and India 84th out of 180 countries. The evaluation of the extent of corruption is based on opinion from country experts resident and non-residents and business leaders. The corruption index measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in a country. New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland are the top five least corrupt nations.

India second worst terror-hit country, says NGO (14th Nov 2009) India is the second worst terrorism-afflicted country-behind only war-ravaged Iraq-facing eight terror attacks in 2008 alone and losing over 3, 500 lives in the last few years. Quoting a recent United States (US) report, city-based NGO Bombay First, said India follows Iraq in the number of lives lost in terror attacks last year.

K R Narayanan Award for the Hindu Chief Editor N Ram (13th Nov 2009) N Ram, Editor-in-Chief of Hindu has been chosen for this year's K R Narayanan Award for his outstanding contribution to journalism in India. Instituted by the K R Narayanan Foundation in memory of the late President, the award is to honor individuals who have excelled in various fields. It carries a statuette, citation and a ‘ponnada.’

Madhu Koda discharged, summoned by ED (9th November 2009)

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda was discharged from a hospital and will be questioned by the Income Tax department in a money laundering case on Nov 10 while the Enforcement Directorate summoned him to appear before Nov 13 who is in the Rs. 2, 000 crore alleged Hawala and illegal investments case.

India, Sweden to sign MOU on environment (5th November 2009)

India and Sweden are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on environment as Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld visits India on Thursday for the 10th India-EU summit. The MoU will cover climate change, clean technology, clean development mechanisms, environmental protection, environmental governance and air-water quality.

Brave Rukhsana appointed as special cop (2nd November 2009)

Rukhsana, the valiant and determined Jammu and Kashmir girl, who took on Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists who barged into her house in September, has been appointed special police officer (SPO), a temporary job which will fetch her Rs. 3, 000 a month. Rukhsana is currently in Delhi. Her brother, Aijaz, too has been appointed SPO

Radhakrishnan takes over as new ISRO chief (31st October 2009)

Radhakrishnan, one of the key persons behind India's Chandrayaan-1 mission, on Saturday took over as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. Dr Radhakrishnan, also director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, succeeds Dr G Madhavan Nair. Dr K Radhakrishnan is an accomplished technocrat with a distinguished career of more than 38 years in the fields of space technology, applications and space programme management.