Competitive Exams: National News 2009 (Part 2 of 5)

Dorjee Khandu became new chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh (25th October 2009)

Dorjee Khandu, who led the Congress to a two-thirds majority in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly elections, was sworn in as the fifth Chief Minister of the state. All the newly-elected MLAs were present at the oath-taking ceremony. Khandu, a former army intelligence officer rewarded for his exploits during the Bangladesh war, had turned a social activist before joining politics in 1980. A R Rahman wins Ghent Award (23rd October 2009)

Oscar winner musician A. R. Rahman's ‘Jai ho’ has again won laurels at prestigious World Soundtrack Academy awards in Ghent (Belgium). This song from SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE won best original song written for film category at the ninth World Soundtrack Awards announced at Ghent.

Test fires nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile (12th October 27, 2009)

India successfully test fired the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile twice from a test range in Orissa, officials said. The missiles were fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Balasore district, some 230 km from state capital Bhubaneswar first at 10.28 a. m. And then again five minutes later at 10.33 a. m.

The tests were described as part of a user trial. Two naval ships tracked and monitored both the missiles hitting the targets accurately. All the radars and other sensors along the east coast monitored the missiles'trajectory parameters. The missiles have a striking range of about 350 km. Prithvi is India's first indigenously built ballistic missile. It is one of five missiles being developed under India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Two versions of the missiles have already been deployed with the Army and the Air Force. According to defense officials in the national capital, Prithvi missile has the capability to carry 500-kg of warhead.

India can hold 2010 Games: CWG Officials (10th October 2009)

The Commonwealth Games Federation officials have expressed buoyancy over India's capability to host the 2010 event, after completing the second day of inspection.

Visiting shooting range in Tughlaqabad, Jamia Milia complex, the Rugby 7s facility in Delhi University and Siri Fort Complex where the badminton event is scheduled to take place, the delegates were convinced that the country could hold ‘great’ Games in 2010. In the press release released by the committee, Australia's Don Stockins has been quoted as saying So far it's good. The block that we visited in the Games Village was good; if all end up like that it will be great. Delhi will be a great host and it is a very pretty city. Jamaican Olympic Association Vice-President Donald Anderson has also expressed confidence in India's facility to host the games next year.

US announce $100, 000 aid for India's flood victims (8th October 2009)

Heavy rain and floods have inundated many parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra killing over 200 people and leaving millions homeless. The US announced $100, 000 aid for the victims of recent floods in parts of southern and western India. ‘The heart-breaking personal loss, the destruction of homes and property, and the loss of cattle and crops have been devastating,’ US ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said while announcing the aid.

Dolphin is national aquatic animal (5th October 2009)

Dolphin is now India's national aquatic animal. The decision was taken following a suggestion by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said the new status for the dolphin would help save the rare freshwater species from disappearing from the country's aqua map.

Major Floods in Andhra and Karnataka (4th October 2009)

Five days of torrential rain have left at least 205 people dead and 750, 000 displaced in southern India, authorities said. Floods submerged villages, severed transport and communication links and raised fears of disease spreading in relief camps. Large parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states which weeks ago were suffering a severe drought have been inundated. Air force helicopters dropped food and drinking water packages to hundreds of cut-off villages. The flooding worsened after authorities released water from rain-swollen reservoirs to prevent them from bursting their banks.

Air India Strike (29th September 2009)

Air India cancels over 20 flights, pilots agitation continues. With the agitation by Air India Executive pilots entering the fourth day, the airlines cancelled over 20 flights, including 15 from the national capital, and suspended bookings for the next 15 days.

Talks between the management and the striking Executive pilots failed to break the deadlock over the issue of cut in perks. The agitation by the pilots, who are protesting against the cut in the Productivity Linked Incentives (PIL), is likely to intensify as the executive pilots working with the airlines before its merger also joined them.

Chandrayaan-1 Not A Failure, Finds Water on Moon (24th September 2009)

India's first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 has found evidence of large quantities of water on the lunar surface, before the project was terminated by ISRO. This discovery is credited to the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), an imaging spectrometer, was one of the 11 instruments on board Chandrayaan-I. M3 was aimed at providing the first mineral map of the entire lunar surface. Lunar scientist's debate for possibility of water repositories came to an end. Chandrayaan-1 was India's first unmanned lunar probe which was launched by ISRO on 22 October 2008. After suffering from several technical issues including failure of the star sensors and poor thermal shielding, Chandrayaan stopped sending radio signals on 29 August 2009 shortly after which, the ISRO officially declared the mission over. Chandrayaan operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95 per cent of its planned objectives.

Six European satellites launched by India (23th September 2009)

India successfully launched a cluster of six European micro-satellites into low-earth orbit after deploying its 960 kg remote sensing satellite Oceansat-2 in the polar sun-synchronous orbit. Of the six micro-satellites, four are from Germany and one each from Switzerland and Turkey, with a combined weight of 20 kg. The first four tiny spacecraft, named Cubsats, are educational satellites from European universities weighing around 1 kg and developed to perform technology demonstration in space. The other two spacecrafts are named Rubin-9.1 and Rubin-9.2 weighing 8 kg each, are primarily used for the automatic identification system for maritime applications.

Earthquake in North Eastern Region of India (21th September 2009)

An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale felt by people in parts of Assam, other north-eastern states of India, West Bengal and neighboring Bhutan Monday afternoon causing damage to various properties in both the countries. The duration of this earthquake was around 5 seconds. The epicenter was plotted in Munggar in Bhutan. Munggar, is located along the India-Bhutan border, 125 km northwest of Guwahati where the abnormal movement of earthquake was observed.

Problems in BJP party (4th September 2009)

The BJP seems to be in the docks after the Lok Sabha defeat. BJP has expelled Jaswant Singh, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Khanduri from the party. Also BJP has decided to break ties with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana. BJP president Rajnath Singh also asked senior Rajasthan leader Vasundhara Raje to resign as leader of opposition. In the party meet it has been decided that Advani will resign as party opposition leader and will not be primeministerial candidate for the next election. Seems like a lot of Manthan or churning within the party.

Andhra CM YSR died in a chopper crash (3rd September 2009)

The Dynamic Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh is no more. Mr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy was on his way to Chittoor from Hyderabad in a Helicopter. After sometime in flight, the chopper went missing in the dense forest area of Nallamalalla hill range. A massive hunt for the missing aircraft was launched. Three Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters from Bangalore were involved in finding about the helicopter and the missing YSR. After a day, the missing chopper was found in a mangled state along with five burnt bodies. About 100 people died of shock after hearing the news of YSR's death.

Almost all the state ministers, about 22 MPs and several Congress legislators have pitched for Jaganmohan Reddy, son of Late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to be the next CM of Andhra Pradesh. The Congress meanwhile is waiting for the euphoria to settle before deciding.