Competitive Exams: National News 2009 (Part 3 of 5)

Mumbai TV actress arrested for abusing minor (22th August 2009)

A Mumbai actress has been arrested for allegedly abusing her 10-year-old maid. The TV actress, Urvashi Dhaanorkar who reportedly brought the minor girl to Mumbai in the pretext of adoption and education and kept her captive and tortured her. She had received burns and injuries. The girl told reporters that she was roughed up by the actresses. The case came to light when one of the neighbours found the girl in a bad condition and decided to go to the police. The police who rescued the girl from the Raheja Classic Society in Andheri arrested the actress under the Child Abuse Act.

Indian Navy jet crashes, pilot feared dead (21th August 2009)

An Indian Navy fighter jet crashed into the Arabian Sea and the pilot is presumed dead. The jet, a British-made Sea Harrier, plummeted into the sea 15 kilometers off Goa's coast. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

Bhindra honored with Rajiv Gandhi Award (20th August 2009)

India's first Olympics gold medalist Abhinav Bindra, Bollywood actors Shahid Kapoor and Katrina Kaif and other young achievers were felicitated with prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Award.

Businessman buys Gandhi's home, plans for museum (30th July 2009)

Mahatma Gandhi's Johannesburg house, has been bought by a Bandra businessman, Pradeep Bhavnani for about Rs. 2.25 crore on July 30. Mahatma Gandhi lived in this house from 1908 for three years while he fought against the racial discrimination in South Africa as a lawyer. The house that was designed by artist Hermann Kallenbach is called ‘The Kraal’ Pradeep Bhavnani, who is senior BJP leader L K Advani's nephew and a self-professed Gandhian is planning to turn it into a museum. After buying the house, he intends to buy 34 souvenirs and photographs from the Aditya Birla Group to install them in the museum. After inaugurating the museum on Oct 2, Gandhi's birth anniversary, it will be handed over to Government of India on the same day.

Rajmata Gayatri Devi laid to rest (28th July 2009)

Rajmata Gayatri Devi passed away after a prolonged illness at the age of 90. The people of the city gave their daily routines a miss to catch a glimpse of the Queen's last journey. They grieved the fact that the only person who really cared about their grievances had passed away. The Queen was cremated with State Honours and the event was graced by the presence of the Rajasthan Governor Shailendra Kumar Singh and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, along with several members of the State Cabinet.

Class X girl selected for NASA training (26th July 2009)

Palak Agarwal, is one of the two school girls selected from India for NASA training in space shuttle designing. She is a student of 10th class in a school in remote Karnal dist. She was selected under a student programme under which a few students across the globe get an opportunity to get training in NASA.

PM launches India's first nuclear submarine (26th July 2009)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur launched the country's first nuclear powered attack submarine, INS Arihant in Vishakhapatnam. The INS Arihant will be commissioned in the Indian Navy after extensive outfitting and sea trials. It is the first of three such vessels to be built in the country. Its length is 112-metre-long. India has achieved a ‘historic milestone in the country's defence preparedness’ with the launch of the submarine.

Bill Gates to receive Indira Gandhi Peace Prize (23th July 2009)

Bill Gates has received the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2003, the foundation launched Avahan, a 10-year initiative to support India's efforts to reduce the spread of HIV.

India's first sea bridge (30th June 2009)

The Congress president Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the Bandra Worli sea link in Mumbai. The 5.6 kilometers long cable-stayed bridge has been designed to allow for speedy road travel between Bandra and Worli. It costs Rs. 50 to take a trip on the link, and will cost Rs. 75 for a round trip. It would be nothing compared to the Rs. 100 crore per year that the link will save in the vehicle operating cost alone. The link is equipped for traffic monitoring, emergency support and an automated toll system. The construction of the sea link would save people's time.

Union minister threatens HC judge to grant bail (30th June 2009)

R Regupathi, a Madras High Court judge has threatened to write to the central government and the prime minister about a Union Minister seeking to influence him to release a medical student petitioner and his father, a doctor on anticipatory bail. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked both of them in connection with a forged mark sheet case.

Government to make class X examination optional (25th June 2009)

Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) has suggested that the government may make class X examination optional for students. He said that the examination system would be reformed in accordance with the National Curriculum framework-2005. This will permit students to continue in the same school. Schools may take an internal assessment test instead. This he says, will be done in 100 days.

Air Force AN-32 aircraft Crash (10th June 2009)

Indian Air Force, Army and paramilitary forces made a search for missing Air Force AN-32 aircraft which crashed over Arunachal Pradesh. The IAF began aerial reconnaissance to trace the transport aircraft while Army and paramilitary forces too have been pressed into the search operation. There were 13 people on board including six IAF officers and seven Army personnel and all of them are feared dead. The aircraft had taken off from Machuka in Arunachal Pradesh on a supply sortie and was on its way to Mohanbari in Assam when it went off radar due to bad weather and crashed. The last radio contact with the missing aircraft was 35 miles from Machuka. Top-level sources in IAF say that the flying crew of the AN-32 was highly experienced and bad weather is suspected to be the reason for the crash.

Family donates their dead son's organs to 7 people (9th June 2009)

A family in Andhra Pradesh mourning the loss of their 19-year-old member Ganpati in a road accident has ensured his legacy by donating his organs and transforming the lives of seven people. Johnson, a six-year-old boy, was suffering from the dangerous blue baby syndrome but now a critical heart surgery has ensured he would live healthily. It's not just Johnson but six other people, too, who have received vital organs including the kidneys and liver donated from Ganapati's body. Ganapati had met with an accident and was brought to hospital brain dead. Doctors counselled with the family. Though it wasn't an easy decision for Ganapati's family to donate his organs, Ganapati's elder brother Pradeep went ahead, believing that his brother will live on by this deed. Ganapati's family is unaware of the identities of any of the seven people who have benefited from his organs. But they do find solace in the thought that Ganapati continues to live on:

Dream Houses/Mumbai Flats on rent for Rs. 800/- (3rd June 2009)

The common people of Mumbai may now dream of affordable homes. An ambitious low-cost housing programme promises to provide flats on rent for as less as Rs. 800. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) announced that they are going to construct 133, 000 flats near the city. The MMRDA, in collaboration with real estate giant HDIL, will construct the flats on 525 acres in Virar suburb in Thane district north of Mumbai. The project aims to house around 2 lakh people in the flats. The rent for the flats will range from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1, 500 per month. Each flat measures 160 sq ft and will be given on lease for a period of five years. The Metropolitan Commissioner told that 90, 000 (flats) are made for free-sale components and 43, 000 are purely rental housing tenements of 160 sq feet each. Only people with a minimum monthly income of Rs. 5, 000 will be eligible to apply for houses. Applicants should preferably be residing in Maharashtra but it isn't a compulsory requirement. The MMRDA also announced eight other low-cost housing projects in the city to house 5 lakh families in the next few years. The authority will earn Rs. 5, 000 crore in rent and builders will benefit as they would be allowed to construct taller buildings with more flats.

Oz Racial attack: AP student battling for life (28th May 2009)

Shravan Kumar, a 25-year-old student was attacked by teenagers in Australia is battling for life after he and three of his friends from Andhra Pradesh were attacked on May 26. Doctors are not ‘very optimistic’ about chances of his recovery. Shravan was critically injured after one of the boys attacked him with a screwdriver. The other three identified as A Krian, Subhash and Sandip escaped with minor injuries. The attackers abused the Indian students and asked them to leave Australia. While Shravan is still in hospital, the other three moved out of the house. This is the second attack on Indian students in a week. Meanwhile there are reports that the house where Shravan and his friends were staying is apparently robbed by some miscreants.

Congress'victory, credit to Sonia's inner voice (18th May 2009)

The amazing victory of the Congress Party and the pathetic defeat of the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls 2009 has come as a surprise. Nobody expected that the Congress will bag over 200 seats on its own and cross 260 with its allies. All political Pundits and Sephologists were predicting highly fractured result on 16 May 2009, the day of counting. But May 16 became a ‘black Saturday’ for the Bharatiya Janata Party with an astonishing victory for the Congress. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi once again made it clear that she is not in race for the PM post of India. Ms Gandhi had made her point clear that Manmohan Singh is the Prime Ministerial candidate of Congress. This cleared a long standing doubt in the minds of many Indians who are not happy to see a foreigner as India's Prime Minister. This worked and converted into votes.

UPSC results: Women on top, 791 succeeded (5th May 2009)

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam results for the year 2008 were announced. A higher number of women have topped these numbers. The top three ranks have been grabbed by women for the first time. The Rank 1 holder, 30-year-old Shubhra Saxena from Ghaziabad has become the talk of the country. She told the media that the risk of quitting her job to serve the rural masses was worth it.

River Ganga still reels under Pollution (4th May 2009)

The river Ganga remains highly polluted even after being declared the ‘National River’ by the Central Government. Filled with chemical wastes, sewage and even the remains of human and animal corpses, it poses major health risks to around 400 million people living by its side and all others who benefit from it. The Ganga also suffers from another major problem called silting which results into chocking of its flow.

People believe that constructing dams on the Ganga could be the cause of low water level in the river. The residents say no steps have been taken to improve the condition of the Ganga. The condition of the Ganga is deteriorating by the day. There is more sand in it. Though it is declared a ‘National River’ no efforts are being made to clean it. If water is released from the dam, then only the water level will increase in the river. Efforts have always made to clean up the Ganga since a long time but none have been proved successful.

Satyam bidding Completed: Tech Mahindra wins bidding (13th April 2009)

In the Satyam Computers bidding process, three huge companies namely Tech Mahindra, Engineering L&T, and Wilbur Ross had participated. Tech Mahindra has won in the Satyam bid by paying Rs. 1757 crore and now has 31% stake in Satyam. Tech Mahindra will pay Rs. 58 per share; L&T had offered to pay of 49 Rs. Per share and so lost out:

Girl dies due to asthma in Delhi School (22nd April 2009)

Aakriti Bhatia of class 12 student of the Modern School in Vasant Vihar of Delhi died due to an asthma attack. Her parent's alleged negligence by the school resulting in her death. It seems while taking Aakriti to hospital the school authorities removed the oxygen provided to her, also instead of calling an ambulance they waited for Akriti's father's car to take her to hospital, which could have lead to the death. However the school claims that they did everything possible to save her. Other parents and people are demonstrating against the school.

Parents protest fee hike in schools (April 2009)

Hundreds of parents opposing the fee hike in schools protested at various places in Delhi and demanded its immediate rollback. The parents association of Guru Nanak Public School staged a demonstration and criticized the school authorities over the fee hike. All India Parents Association (AIPA) also extended its support to the demonstration. The children also shouted slogans from the classrooms. The matter of fee hike has been challenged in the Delhi High Court. The court would hear the case on April 29.