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    To Our Readers Dear Readers, WHERE EXCELLENCE GUIDES THE SUCCESS Year 4 Issue 45 March 2010 EDITOR Mahendra Jain REGISTERED OFFICE 2/11-A, Swadeshi Bima Nagar Agra–282 002 ADMINISTRATIVE AND EDITORIAL OFFICE 1, State Bank Colony Opp. Van Chetna Kendra Agra-Mathura Bye pass, Agra–282 005 Tel. : 2531101, 2530966, 4053333 Fax : (0562) 4031570, 4053330 Website : www. pdgroup. in E-mail : publisher@pdgroup. in It gives us great pleasure and a sense of satisfaction in presenting to you the March Issue of your favourite and frontline magazine ‘Pratiyogita Darpan’.

    As usual, this issue of the magazine also contains useful examination-oriented reading material. It is due to the painstaking efforts of our learned authors that this issue has been made so useful for all the competitive examinations. Those of you who read it intelligently and with clear understanding will reap good harvest in any competitive examination for which this magazine is meant. We have made the process of preparing the issues of the magazine totally readers-oriented.

    For this we keep ourselves in constant touch with the toppers and other successful candidates of various competitive examinations to know their views and suggestions for improvement. This process encourages us to model the issues according to their needs and demands. A number of core articles on important world events contributed by reputed and well informed authors are given in this issue. Some of the important and representative articles are : Indo-Bangladesh Relations : New Beginning, Iranian Impasse, Sino-India Relation : Moving Up and Down, Corporate Governance in India etc.

    The most important section of the magazine contains a number of question papers selected from various competitive examinations. These are fully solv ed with relevant hints and explanations. All efforts are made to give their error free solutions. This reliability makes the magazine unparalleled and a class by itself in its field. We assure you that an intelligent study and practice of these papers will be highly useful in solving objective questions in any future examination. Our column ‘Compendium’ is yet another tool for such help and is getting wide appreciation from our readers.

    Pratiyogita Darpan meets all your requirements and is widely claimed as second to none in its field. It covers all competitive examinations for which it is meant. Hardwork under proper guidance, constant practice and revision are essential ingredients of success in any examination. P. D. gives all that is necessary f or your success. DELHI OFFICE 4845, Ansari Road Daryaganj, New-Delhi–2 Tel. : 23251844, 23251866 Read Pratiyogita Darpan regularly and intelligently. It gives you the power to master your career and shape your destiny.

    With best wishes for your success and bright future. Sincerely yours, MAHENDRA JAIN (Editor) All rights reserved. No part of this Magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, Electronic, Mechanical, Photocopying, Recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information published in this edition, neither publisher nor any of its employees accept any responsibility for any error or omission.

    Articles that cannot be used are returned to the authors if accompanied by a self addressed and sufficiently stamped envelope. But no responsibility is taken for any loss or delay in returning the material. Pratiyogita Darpan assumes no responsibility for statements and opinions advanced by the authors nor for any claims made in the advertisements published in the Magazine. PD/March/2010/1542 Year 4 Issue 45 March 2010 International Relations Article 1626 India-Russia : A Time Tested Strategic Partnership Regulars 1542 To Our Readers 1545 Editorial Vividha 1629 Compendium

    State : At a Glance 1632 Union Territory : Puducherry News & Events 1547 1556 1561 1566 1579 1584 1587 1589 Nation this Month World this Month Regional News National and International Updates Annual Report : 2008-09 1634 Progress and Initiatives in New and Renewable Energy Sector : In a Nutshell Current Affairs Sports World Science and Technology Memorable Points Economic Scenario Profile : International Organisation 1637 United Nations Organisation (UNO) 1640 Current Questionnaire 1642 Trade and Industry Career News 1597 Employment and Career News 1599 Forthcoming Competitive Examinations

    Question Papers Optional Papers 1643 U. P. PCS Combined State/Lower Subordinate Services Special (Pre. ) Exam. , 2008 : Political Science 1650 Trained Graduate Teachers Exam. , 2009 : Agriculture World Panorama Indo-Bangladesh Relations : New Beginning 1602 (ii) Iranian Impasse 1605 (iii) Sino-India Relation : Moving Up and Down 1600 (i) Other Papers 1657 U. P. PCS (Pre. ) Exam. , 2009 : General Studies 1667 Bank of Maharashtra Agriculture Officers Exam. , 2009 : General Awareness 1671 Tamil Nadu P. S. C. (Pre. ) Exam. , 2009 : General Knowledge 1683 Oriental Bank of Commerce P.

    O. Exam. , 2009 : Quantitative Aptitude 1687 United India Insurance Co. Administrative Officers Exam. , 2009 : Reasoning Ability Personality Development 1607 Failures are Stepping Stones of Success Inspiring Youth : Interview 1609 Sachin Kumar Singh Topper—Uttar Pradesh PCS, 2006 (1st rank) Articles Economics Article 1611 Corporate Governance in India Your Pages 1694 Essay Contest 1696 Debate Contest 1699 Results 1700 Concentric Quiz 1703 Test Your Knowledge 1705 Semi-Annual Sports Special Indian Economy Article 1615 Medical Tourism and Economic Growth : Perspective of India

    Commerce Article 1618 Financial Inclusion in India : An Analysis Sociological Article 1623 Child Labour : A Complex Problem PD/March/2010/1543 ????????????????????? Editorial ????????????????????? HEAR THE WHISPERS OF NATURE The best cure for all our ills in life is the living in full harmony with Nature. While the prolonged interaction with human beings may be boring and fatiguing, interaction with Nature, watching its scenes and sights, observing the various activities of the flora and fauna are refreshing and invigorating to the human soul. Nature teaches us as nothing else can.

    As Wordsworth says, “One impulse from vernal wood may teach you more……than all the sages can. ” There is music in Nature which a sensitive ear can well hear. Even the silence in Nature teaches us very precious lessons. Return to Nature, if you wish to lead a healthy and happy life. Hear the whispers of nature with a sensitive soul and a finer sense of perception. All good is hidden in Nature. All that we need to do is to respond to what it messages to us in silence. We get delighted and feel fresh in the crowd of trees, and feel depressed and uneasy in a crowd of men.

    We like to live with the trees as long as possible, but want to get away from the crowd at the earliest moment. Trees are really our dear companions. As a matter of fact, the dust-free open atmosphere is very bracing. Who won’t long to be in the lap of nature ? The forests, trees, plants with their fragrance-spreading and multi coloured flowers and the ripe sweet-smelling fruits hanging from their branches are soothing to the eyes and instill in us a sense of health and vigour. The melodious musical voices of the birds on the trees pour nectar into our ears, which we never want to part with.

    It seems that the company of nature in general and of the trees in particular, is nearer to man than the company of his counterparts. Premchand, the celebrated Hindi novelist, has written somewhere that idealism in literature has the same place as the open space of nature in life. When we get sick of the suffocating atmosphere of the city life, we go out in the open air to relieve boredom of life. When we are sick of reading the painful and hard realities of life, we take recourse to some sort of idealism which takes the reader to a higher plane of consciousness.

    Enjoyment of poetry takes the reader beyond the bonds of ‘I’ and I’ness. Nature is the art of God, and it was she who gave birth to art, as the great thinker philosophers Aristotle and Plato defined “art as nothing but nature’s imitation. ” Even today painters and poets get new ideas from nature. As William Shakespeare wrote in one of his dramas—“that the poem hangs on the berry bush, when comes the poet’s eye. The seven notes of music are based on and named after the different melodies in the realm of nature. ” Every event in natures takes place under a law and all movements are rhythmic.

    The branch of scientific knowledge known as physics is but an humble effort of bringing to light the laws of nature. The codes of human conduct were made so that the man could live in harmony with nature. Nature is a lesson in discipline, she teaches men how to lead a disciplined life and round up his or her angularities so that human life be made a school of development, progress and evolution. For example, the cycle of seasons follows a definite time table and there is no possibility for acts of commission and omission.

    The sun and the moon come and go under a certain mathematical rule. Don’t they point out to us the important place of regularity and punctuality ? Those who have missed their trains by being late a minute, will realize the value of punctuality. Have we ever thought what would happen in case some day the sun did not appear at the scheduled time, or the eclipse continued longer than scheduled ? There is no vacuum or fraud in nature. The law of cause and effect and as you sow, so you reap works incessantly and unhampered in nature. We complain of disturbances and irregularities of weather.

    We also see that weather forecasts prove wrong quite often. The reason therefor is obvious. Men have polluted the whole atmosphere by his indiscriminate actions and thoughts. The immutable law of cause and effect is there to tell us the untoward effects produced by thoughts of deceit, malice, jealousy and enmity. Men must learn to follow the rules of conduct which have been drafted under the inspiration of the laws of nature. You must know that nature is the unfathomable ocean of inexhaustible knowledge and the repository of wisdom.

    To those, who have ears to hear, every leaf has something to give and every particle of dust has the potency of releasing immense energy. As the great scientist and propounder of the Theory of Special Relativity writes that “to get the best out of himself and inspiration from nature one has to develop the inner man in obedience to the laws of nature and follow her dictates. ” The waves of the sea dash against the projecting rock day and night and scatter away. The rock teaches us the lesson to remain firm at the place of your duty and assignment.

    The difficulties will dash and scatter like the waves of the raging sea. Have faith in nature and confidence in yourself, hear the message which nature gives in its silent voice, you will get the desired direction to follow to achieve success. P. Darpan PD/March/2010/1545 “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. ” ESSAY COMPETITION Topic : Last Date : Prizes : Changing Hues of Modern International Politics March 25, 2010 Ist : Rs. 600/- , IInd : Rs. 500/- , IIIrd : Rs. 400/- New Subscription Rates PRATIYOGITA DARPAN

    One Copy One Year By Ordinary Post By Registered Post Two Years By Ordinary Post By Registered Post Rs. 50/- DEBATE COMPETITION Topic : Economic Globalisation is a Threat to National Sovereignty Last Date : March 25, 2010 Prizes : Rs. 500/- Each (For 5 best entries) Rs. 450/Rs. 680/Rs. 810/Rs. 1260/- Rules and Regulations : ? ? Participation is open to students and competitors only. Only one complete and consolidated entry on essay or debate competition will be accepted from one participant. Writings on essays and debates should be strictly to the point and in simple, intelligible but forceful language.

    Essays and Debates should be written in own hand and should be duly signed by the candidate. Printed and unsigned entries will not be accepted. Irrelevant details are to be avoided at all costs. The Essay/Debate should not exceed a word limit of 1500. The Essay/Debate accompanied by a passport sized photograph must be sent by mail or courier. The selection committee will decide best entries and they will be awarded. The winners in Essay Contest will also receive an award certificate from Pratiyogita Darpan. The prize winning entries will be published in the forthcoming issues of Pratiyogita Darpan.

    A certificate should invariably be given under the scripts to the effect that ‘this is my original work and is unpublished elsewhere’. ? ? Please send your membership fee by Money Order or Bank Draft only. Cheques will not be accepted. ? Write your address clearly; also inform the month (from which month to which month) for which you are intending to be our customer. ? Old customers should invariably write their customer number. ? Money Order or Bank Draft only in the name of ‘Pratiyogita Darpan’ will be accepted. ? ? ? ? ? ? Order Form

    I want to become a yearly/two yearly regular customer. Please send my copy of the magazine on the following address : Name…………………………………………………… Address………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………… Pin Code I am sending Money Order/Bank Draft for Rs. ………………. ………………………………………… ………………… Date ……………………………… Sender’s Name ? MEMORY RETENTION CONTEST Win Attractive Prizes : Are you appearing or want to appear in States’ Civil Services Exams. , SSC Combined Examination, Banking Service Exam. , Indian Insurance Corporation’s Administrative Officers Exam. Forest Service, Sub-Inspector, Hindi Translator, M. B. A. , CPMT, CBSE, B. Ed. Entrance Exam. , Railway etc. ? If Yes ! then you can win attractive prizes. What you have just to do is to send to us the questions, along with the answers, asked in objective type papers—based on your memory. We will include all the entries and will reward the persons whose answers are found to be most correct. (i) The first three participants who will send the most correct answers will get Rs. 200, 100 and 60 respectively. (ii) Less than 75% correct answers will not deserve any prize from us.

    PRATIYOGITA DARPAN 2/11A, Swadeshi Bima Nagar, AGRA-2 Phone : 4053333, 2530966, 2531101 Fax : (0562) 4053330, 4031570 MEMORY RETENTION CONTEST Pratiyogita Darpan 2/11 A, Swadeshi Bima Nagar, Agra-2 PD/March/2010/1546 India, Japan to Develop Solar City ? ? officers of the lower courts who are bound by service rules to declare assets. The bench dismissed the plea of the Supreme Court, which had vehemently opposed bringing CJI’s office within the purview of the Act on the ground that it could encroach into its judicial independence.

    Centre gives in-principle nod to 34 cities. Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation for promoting renewable energy. A Japanese delegation led by Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, Kazuhiro Hargguchi on January 6, 2010 met the Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah and decided to jointly develop a solar city in India. During the bilateral meeting both sides discussed various aspects of cooperation between the two countries in the field of renewable energy.

    The solar city project aims at reducing a minimum of 10 per cent of its projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years through energy efficiency measures and generation from renewable energy installations. The Union Government has so far given in-principle approval to 34 cities to be developed as solar cities. Japan is keen on promoting ‘Midori no Bunken’ which aims at changing centralised society to communitybased society to enhance self-sufficiency within a region through maximising national resources, including forest, sea, food and energy, with emphasis on not relying on electricity generated by other methods.

    It focusses on renewable energy such as solar, wind, micro hydro and biomass energy. The two sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation in research and development for promoting renewable energy. As part of the exchange programme, a 10-member delegation from India participated in the Japan-India New and Renewable Energy Seminar in Tokyo. How it Happened Nov. 7, 2007 : Hindustan Times report appears pointing out that judges are unwilling to declare assets Nov. 11, 2007 : Provoked by HT story, S. C. Aggarwal files an RTI application seeking details of judges’ wealth Nov. 0, 2007 : Supreme Court refuses to provide the information, says chief justice is not covered by RTI March 5, 2008 : Aggarwal approaches Central Information Commissioner. Jan. 6, 2009 : The commission directs Supreme Court to disclose the information. Jan. 16, 2009 : SC moves Delhi High Court against CIC order Sep. 2, 2009 : Single bench of High Court rules in favour of CIC Oct. 5, 2009 : SC challenges single bench verdict before a larger HC bench. Jan. 12, 2010 : Larger bench again rules the chief justice is covered by RTI Top Judge Covered by RTI : Court

    In a path breaking judgement, the Delhi High Court in the second week of January, 2010 held that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) came within the ambit of the Right to Information Act and rejected a Supreme Court appeal saying judicial independence is not a judge’s personal privilege but a responsibility cast upon him. The 88-page verdict was seen as a personal setback to Chief Justice of India K. G. Balakrishnan, who has consistently been maintaining that his office does not come under the transparency law and hence cannot part with information like disclosure of judges’ assets under it. Judicial independence is not the personal privilege or prerogative of the individual judge. It is the responsibility imposed on each judge to enable him or her to adjudicate a dispute honestly and impartially on the basis of law and the evidence,” it said. The High Court verdict came on an appeal filed by the Supreme Court, which challenged the order of a single judge of the High Court on September 2, 2009 holding that the CJI is a public authority and his office came within the purview of the Right to Information Act. Prime Minister Launches ‘Solar India’

    Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on January 11, 2010 launched the Jawahar Lal National Solar Mission. It may be recalled that the Union Cabinet had given its nod on November 19, 2009 for the establishment of Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission that aims at adding 20,000 MW of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh power in India by with Minister of New and Renewable 2020. It was the first Energy Farooq Abdullah at the Solar Energy Conclave 2010, in New Delhi of the eight missions on Jan. 17. to be established for fighting the climate change problem.

    CJI a Public Authority Holding that CJI is a public authority under the Act, a full bench headed by Chief Justice A. P. Shah said that judges of the Superior courts should make public their assets as they are not less accountable than the judicial PD/March/2010/1547 “Silence is argument carried out by other means. ” Launching the Mission, the Prime Minister called for creation of ‘solar valleys’ in India akin to silicon valleys, as a contribution to the national as well as global efforts at combating climate change.

    He termed the industry’s role in the mission critical and revealed that the mission planned to create an installed capacity of 20,000 MW by the end of the 13th Plan. “If the mission is to become a reality, we will have to create many solar valleys on the lines of the Silicon Valleys that are spurring our IT industry across the country,” the Prime Minister said. Noting that these valleys would become hubs for solar science, engineering and research and fabrication and manufacturing he urged the industry to see the mission as a huge business opportunity.

    The Prime Minister was addressing 900 delegates at the Solar Energy Conclave 2010, organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Referring to Jawahar Lal Nehru’s vision of creating world class capabilities in atomic energy and space science, Dr. Singh said that it was these strengths that brought about the IT revolution and made India a global player. “I am convinced that solar energy can be the next scientific and industrial frontier in India after atomic energy, space and IT. ” India Plans 20 m Solar Lights by 2022

    As per Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy’s statement made on January 11, 2010, India plans to install 20 million solar lights and 20 million square metres of solar panels to generate 20,000 MW by 2022 as part of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. “By 2022, we aim to install 20 million square metres of solar thermal collectors and save 7,500 MW power generation capacity,” the Minister said at the launch of the mission in New Delhi, adding “We want 20 million solar lights to be installed by 2022, which would result in a saving of one billion litres of kerosene oil every year. ? ? ? The solar lights will help to save one billion litres of kerosene every year In the next three years, India plans to add 1,300 MW of solar power High cost is a major constraint Ambitious Target Though the mission’s target of 20,000 MW was ambitious, it was achievable. The various ministries and authorities would have to work in close coordination to make it a success. The Prime Minister hoped that the mission would also establish India as a global leader in solar energy, not just in power generation but in manufacturing and technology.

    India intends to significantly expand various solar applications through the mission. The regulatory and incentive framework would encourage technological innovation and generate economies of scale and lead to a steady lowering of costs. As per the official statistics, of India’s total installed generation capacity of 155·8 GW, renewable energy accounts for a mere 10 per cent. Most of this clean power is derived from wind, while solar power is negligible. In the next three years, India plans to add 1,300 MW of solar power, of which 1,100 MW will be grid-connected and 200 MW will be off-grid.

    A very big constraint in the commercial use of solar energy has been its cost. The government is resolved to bring down the cost as expeditiously as possible, the Minister said. Over the next three years, he said, the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) would purchase solar power at rates fixed by the Central Regulatory Electricity Commission. When the State utilities bought solar power from the NVVN, they would get an equivalent amount of thermal power. “The bundling of more expensive solar power with cheaper thermal power will facilitate cheaper tariff for the consumer, estimated to be Rs. ive or less per unit. ” ECO Friendly Technologies Now that the world is grappling with the challenge of climate change and global warming and feel concerned at the rapidly deteriorating environment, clean energy sources alone hold the answer to these serious issues. India has already initiated steps in this direction by establishing several missions to fight climate change including the solar mission. It has also decided to incentivise wind power generation by allotting Rs. 380 crore.

    It has also launched a special programme to generate more wind power and attract investments domestically as well as globally in order to give boost to cleaner and safer energy generation. Solar energy generation is the welcome next step in this direction. It is hoped that big power companies will be attracted to solar power sector as to the wind power sector. If India succeeds in garnering success on these twin fronts, it will be a great achievement of India in its war against climate change. There is need to pursue the programme with the utmost seriousness and expediency.

    It may be mentioned in passing that India is not the only country going in strength to tap solar power. China, which moves to become the world’s leader in nuclear power is hell bent on harnessing solar and wind power. China is also taking tentative steps to master another alternative energy industry : using mirrors to capture sunlight, produce steam and generate electricity. As the New York Times News Service reports, the socalled concentrating solar power uses hundreds of thousands of mirrors to turn water into steam.

    The stream turns a conventional turbine similar to those in coal-fired power plants. The technology, which is potentially cheaper than most other typers of renewable power, has captivated many engineers and financiers in the last two years, with an abrupt surge in new patents and plans for larger power operations in Europe and the United States. India too will have to mobilise its research effort in full gear to explore ways to reduce the generation costs of solar power. Two Astra Missiles Flight-tested Successfully

    India on January 11, 2010 successfully carried out two ballistic flight tests of Astra, Beyond-Visual-Range Air-toAir Missile (BVRAAM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Balasore, Orissa. PD/March/2010/1548 “The only way to entertain some folks is to listen to them. ” Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said that the first missile was fired around 9·15 hrs. and the second one at 12·00 hrs. Both were successful and the performance of the motor, propulsion system and the configurations of vehicle and aero-dynamics evaluated.

    The missile’s final trial is expected to be conducted by the year-end after its integration with fighter aircraft Su30 MKI. Astra would also be carried by MIG-29 and Light combat Aircraft Tejas. The missile is envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in the head-on mode at a range of 80 km and in tail-chase mode at 20 km. Astra, which uses solid propellant, can carry a conventional warhead of 15 kg. It is the smallest of the missiles developed by the DRDO in terms of size and weight. It is 3·8 metre-long and has a diameter of 178 mm with an overall launch weight of 160 kg.

    The missile could be launched from different altitudes—it can cover 110 km when launched from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when fired from an altitude of eight km and 21 km, when the altitude is sea-level. ? ? The missile will be carried by Su-30 MKI, MIG-29 and LCA Tejas It is envisaged to destroy enemy aircraft at Supersonic speeds between mach 1·2 and 1·4 (mach one is equivalent to 1236 (kmph) It is the smallest missile with the DRDO, with its length being 3·8 metre and diameter 178 mm and an overall launch weight of 160 kg. It can carry a conventional warhead of 15 kg.

    More advanced than similar class of missiles of the USA, Russia and France. The Indo-French nuclear agreement allows for reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from French atomic reactors under safeguards, and gives an assurance of life time supply of nuclear fuel for these reactors. It does not bar the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies. Curiously enough, India-France N-pact has formally become operational even as India and the USA have still not been able to finalise their N-deal because of differences over reprocessing.

    It may be recalled that a good section of Indian political opinion is opposed to certain sections in the Indo-American civil nuclear agreement, which, they say, runs counter to India’s long-term interests and are violative of India’s independence and sovereignty. Perhaps it will take a lot of hard bargaining before Indo-American N-pact becomes fully operational. Six IITs Figure Among Top Ten Technology Institutes [Top position is occupied by IIT-Kharagpur] As many as six among the top 10 technology institutes in the country are from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, a survey has revealed.

    The top slot in the pecking order is occupied by IITKharagpur followed by IIT-Delhi, IIT-Madras, IIT-Kanpur, IITRoorkee and IIT-Guwahati, according to the 5th IDC-Data quest T-School 2009 survey of 111 engineering colleges across the country. IIT-Bombay did not participate in the survey. The seventh best technological institute of the country is IIIT-Hyderabad, followed by BIT Pilani, the survey report said. IIIT-Hyderabad is the youngest T-school, set up in 1998, in the top 10 list.

    Close behind BIT Pilani is the National Institute of Technology Surathkal and the Institute of Technology (IT) of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, the report says. ? ? ? ? IIT-Kharagpur is followed by IITs of Delhi, Madras, Kanpur, Roorkee and Guwahati IIT Kharagpur scored highest on HR perception; IIT Delhi ranked highest on placement records IIIT-Hyderabad, the youngest T-school occupies 7th position ? ? ? More Sophisticated According to DRDO scientists, it was more sophisticated than the similar class of missiles of the United States, Russia and France.

    The Missile’s captive flight tests were carried out near Pune from Su-30MKI in November 2008 when seven sorties were conducted. Astra’s first flight trial took place on May 9, 2003. The tests on the missile’s navigation, control, airframe, propulsion have been validated. India-France Nuclear Deal comes into Force The India-France deal for civil nuclear co-operation came into force on January 14, 2009 with foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont exchanging the instruments of ratification of the agreement which was signed by the two countries on September 30, 2008.

    The agreement will allow France and India to develop a multiform civil nuclear cooperation covering a wideranging activities including nuclear power projects, R&D, nuclear safety, education and training. The French embassy said in a statement that the coming into force of the agreement would give a new impetus to the Indo-French partnership and would contribute to “further strengthening the deep ties of friendship and long-standing cooperation between the two countries. ”

    The NIT Warangal was in the 11th position while Delhi Technological University (DCE) was in 12th place followed by Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra (Ranchi), IIIT-Allahabad and NIT Tiruchirapalli. The NIT, Calicut occupied the 16th position while at number 17 was Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology New Delhi. Anna University, Chennai was at the 18th position while Jadavpur University, Kolkata was at number 19. Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information Communication Technology Gandhinagar occupied the 20th position. While IIT-Kharagpur scored highest on HR perception, IIT-Delhi ranked highest on placement records.

    The HR perception score is based on how recruiters rate each college during their campus visits. Placement score is based on percentage of students placed, number of companies visiting campuses as well as the maximum and average salary offered per annum. PD/March/2010/1550 “Value your words. Each one may be the last. ” Icon of Indian Politics Jyoti Basu Passes Away Jyoti Basu, veteran Marxist leader and one of the tallest figures in the country’s political life, passed away on January 17, 2010, after a prolonged illness. He was 95. Mr.

    Basu was India’s pre-eminent Communist leader, and one of post-independent India’s greatest and most respected mass political leaders. He was the last of the nine founding Polit Bureau members and India’s longest serving Chief Minister. As Chief Minister, he is described as the architect of modern West Bengal. His enduring legacy as Chief Minister of West Bengal between 1977 and 2000 includes land reforms, accountable governance, functioning panchayat institutions and the creation of a stable atmosphere of communal harmony and secularism. Mr.

    Basu was the chief architect of the Left Front in West Bengal and may End Of An Era : take the credit for the Left Front to win India’s pre-eminent seven successive Assembly elections. Communist leader, Being elected for a five year term five a man of immense times in succession was not only an charisma and accoachievement without precedent in India mplishment, he set but also in the history of parliamentary a record as the democracy in the world. His passing nation’s longest away has left a void in Indian Politics serving Chief hard to be filled.

    The Communist Party Minister. His faith of India (Marxist) has described Jyoti in the people was Basu as the tallest leader of the Com- unflinching. munist Movement in the country. He was a man of immense political stature and one of India’s most illustrious leaders and statesmen of the past century. In all, the central share is estimated to be Rs. 1,079 crore, while the total funds required for setting up the colleges is Rs. 2,992 crore. Each college is estimated to cost around 8 crores. Land is to be provided free of cost by the State governments.

    They will also have to meet the rest of the capital and the recurring cost of running the new colleges. Of the 200 colleges that will be set up during the XIth plan, priority will he given to special category states and districts having a concentration of weaker sections and minorities besides Schedule V and VI areas. The scheme will be implemented through the University Grants Commission or through direct release of funds by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry to the State government concerned.

    An estimated 1·87 lakh students are expected to benefit from this scheme which seeks to improve access to higher education. Mysore Ranks 4th in New York Times’s Must Visit List for 2010 Mysore, the city of palaces in Karnataka, has been named the fourth best destination in the list of “31 places to go in 2010 by the New York Times citing its booming yoga centres catering to everyone’s need. ” The only other destination from India that made to the list is Mumbai, which is ranked 13th by the newspaper. Sri Lanka topped the list followed by Patagonia Wine Country, an Argentine Valley, and Seoul.

    Recognising Mysore’s excellence in the field of yoga, the report said, “Yogis seeking transcontinental bliss head these days to Mysore, the city of palaces in southern India. ” Mysore’s yoga boom now has shalas catering to every need. Off the mat, the yoga tribe hobnobs at Anu’s Bamboo Hut or the Regaalis Hotel pool, studies sanskrit, gets an Ayurveda treatment or tours the maharaja’s palace, the NYT said. Mumbai has been appreciated for its love for art and the zeal with which its residents marked the one-year of terror attacks.

    On the one-year anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, citizens painted a one-kilometre stretch of wall in South Mumbai with murals to show their love and hope for the city. “The initiative by a group of organisations that included the Mumbai Arts Project (MAP), which is dedicated to creating public art projects, is just one sign that Mumbai’s art scene is on the rebound,” the report said. The newspaper also hailed the Colaba Art District and two contemporary galleries—Gallery BMB and Volte—that were opened in the second half of 2009 and brought in bigname artists from around the globe to the city.

    At number 11, Los Angeles was the first US destination in the list. CCEA Nod for 374 Model Colleges [The Central Government will foot a third of the capital cost for each college] The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on January 21, 2010 gave its nod for providing central assistance to set up a model degree college in each of the 374 educationally backward districts where the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education is less than the national average of 12·4 per cent. This is in keeping with the promise made by Prime Minister Dr.

    Manmohan Singh in his Independence Day speech in 2007 and the XIth Plan provides for setting up 370 new degree colleges in districts with low GER. As per the scheme, the centre will foot a third of the capital cost involved in setting up each college. In special category states, it will pick up 50 per cent of the tab. During the remaining period of the XIth Plan, such assistance will be extended to 200 colleges, thereby limiting the central share to Rs. 615·13 crore. ? ? ? ? Total expenditure is expected to be Rs. ,992 crore Land is to be provided free of cost by the States An estimated 1·87 lakh students likely to benefit Each of the educationaly backward districts will have a college. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Visit to India Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed visited India in the second week of January, 2010. She was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 11, 2010. Apart from attending the official programme the Bangladesh Prime Minister visited Ajmer Sharif. PD/March/2010/1551 “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. During the visit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was conferred the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2009 at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Shared Bonds of History The Bangladesh Prime Minister recalled the shared bonds of history, culture and aspiration that bind Bangladesh and India, a n d paid tribute to the sacred memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and independence of the two countries. Both the Prime Ministers agreed on a vision for the future in the pursuit of the common good— bilaterally, regionally and globally.

    In this context, they reiterated their commitment For Peace : President Pratibha Patil to work together to presents the Indira Gandhi Prize for solve all issues Peace, Disarmament and Developthrough cooperation ment to Bangladesh Prime Minister and mutual under- Sheikh Hasina as Prime Minister standing. They also Manmohan Singh and UPA chairrecognized that peace person Sonia Gandhi applaud, at the and stability in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on region was necessary Jan. 12. for development and well-being of their respective countries.

    Both Prime Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Both leaders reiterated the assurance that the territory of either would not be allowed to be used for activities inimical to the other. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh thanked the Indian Prime Minister for facilitating the provision of electricity in Dahagram—Angarpota and invited India to construct a fly over across Tin Bigha Corridor for exclusive Indian use, as agreed earlier. Both the Prime Ministers agreed to comprehensively address all outstanding land boundary issues keeping in view the spirit of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement.

    They also agreed on the need to amicably demarcate the maritime boundary between the two countries. They welcomed the starting of the train service Maitree Express between Kolkata and Dhaka and called for resumption of road and rail links between the two countries. They also reiterated the view that discussions on the sharing of the Teesta waters between India and Bangladesh should be concluded expeditiously. The Prime Minister of India reiterated the assurance that India would not take steps on the Tipaimukh project that would adversely impact Bangladesh.

    With a view to encouraging imports from Bangladesh, both countries agreed to address removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers and restrictions and facilitate movement of containerised cargo by rail and water. The Prime Ministers agreed that investments, including joint investment and joint ventures shall be encouraged by both countries. The Prime Minister of India announced a line of credit of US $ 1 billion for a range of projects. The Indian government would offer Bangladesh 300 scholarships annually for a period of five years for study and training in universities and training institutions in India, covering a wide range of disciplines.

    Both the Prime Ministers underscored the role of SAARC in promoting regional cooperation. They also welcomed the various steps taken to strengthen regional cooperation under BIMSTEC. They welcomed the initiatives taken at the Climate Change Summit at Copenhagen in Dec. 2009. India’s Candidature for Permanent Seat in Security Council The Prime Ministers underscored the importance of an effective multilateral system centred on a strong United Nations.

    Most importantly, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh conveyed her country’s support in principle for India’s candidature for the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. Important Accords The two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing in their presence of the following accords : (a) Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters (b) Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (c) Agreement on Combating International Terrorism, Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking (d) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Power Sector (e) Cultural Exchange Programme.

    The Prime Minister of Bangladesh thanked the Prime Minister of India and the Indian Government and people for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to her and members of her delegation during her stay in India and extended her warm invitation to the Indian PM to visit Bangladesh at a mutually convenient time. Malaysian Prime Minister’s Visit to India Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak arrived in Delhi on January 20, 2010 on a five-day visit to India.

    He met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. The Ministry of External Affairs said that the two Prime Ministers decided on cooperating at the United Nations and other inter- Warm Welcome : Prime Minister national organisa- Manmohan Singh and his wife tions, including co- Gurcharan Kaur welcome Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd. Najib bin Tun operation for the early Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah realisation of com- Mansor at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on prehensive United Jan. 20. PD/March/2010/1552 Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after. ” Nations reform, including the Security Council, through expansion of permanent and non-permanent categories reflecting the contemporary realities. Joint Statement According to the joint statement, both countries are focussed on adding greater substance to their bilateral relations, taking into account the steady development and emerging opportunities from the ongoing economic crisis.

    The two leaders observed that a long term partnership between Malaysia and India could be developed based on historical, cultural and social links, pluralism, open society, shared commitment to democracy and development, and a high degree of commonality of political and economic interests. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested on ground on January 24, 2010 at Sriharikota, its biggest and most powerful rocket motor called S-200, powered by 200 tonnes of solid propellants.

    This is a crucial step in the development of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLVMk-III) which will put a satellite weighing four tonnes in orbit. N. Narayan Moorthy, Project Director, GSLV-Mk-III, called the test a big success. According to Mr. Moorthy nearly 600 parameters were monitored. During the test, the motor produced a peak thrust of 500 tonne. Third Biggest Rocket Motor It is the third biggest solid motor in the world after the booster rocket of NASA’s, space shuttle and that of Arianespace’s Ariane-5 launch vehicle. It is 22 metre long and 3·2 metre in diameter.

    According to an ISRO press release, the design, development and successful realisation of the motor was entirely an indigenous effort of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) Thiruvananthapuram and the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in collaboration with public and private sector industries. The preparation and casting was done at the newly built Solid Propellant Plant at Sriharikota. Support for India’s UNSC Bid In a shift from its earlier position, Malaysia has conveyed its support for India’s bid for permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.

    Sources said that the visiting Malaysian Prime Minister communicated this to the Indian leadership. Malaysia was earlier a member of the group which was opposed to India’s bid for a permanent seat at the UNSC. The group known as Uniting for Consensus, is referred to as the Coffee Club. It has Pakistan, South Korea, Italy, Argentina, Costa Rica, Malta, Mexico, Spain and Turkey as members. Conclusion of CECA In his interaction with the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Razak stressed the need to conclude the Malaysia-India CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement) by the end of the year.

    Speaking to Indian journalists Mr. Razak said that ASEAN + 3 (including China, Japan and Korea), ASEAN + India and ASEAN + Middle East were three strategic areas going into the multi-polar world of the 21st century. The Indo-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement was signed last year and trade between India and Malaysia was growing at ‘breakneck speed’, but Mr. Razak stressed, a Malaysian-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), scheduled to be signed by the end of the year, would help the two countries achieve the true potential of the relationship.

    According to him, the high level delegation led by him had also discussed various agreements that would foster close ties with India in higher education, infrastructure, bio sciences and other sectors. ISRO’s Most Powerful Rocket Motor Tested Successfully Design, Development, an Entirely Indigenous Effort ? ? ‘s-200 powered by 200 tonnes of solid propellants Produced a peak thrust of 500 tonnes and performed exactly as predicted It is the third biggest solid rocket motor in the world after NASA’s and Arianespace’s. He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. ” PD/March/2010/1553 V. Srinivasan is the Project Director of the S-200 programme. Two GSLV Mk-III which is at an advanced stage of development will weigh 630 tonne and will be 43·5 metre tall. The ground test of its L-110 liquid motor, fuelled by 110 tonnes of liquid propellants will take place in February at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Mahendragiri, near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. The GSLV-Mk-III is expected to lift off from Sriharikota by the end of 2011. Nation Celebrates its 61st Republic Day

    A strong and resurgent India celebrated its 61st Republic day with all fanfare and gaiety. This year’s parade highlighted the nation’s achievements in various fields, the military prowess, scintillating display of air power as also the country’s rich and cultural heritage. The highlight of this year’s parade was the MBT Arjun (tank), Smirch multiple Launch Rocket system, Armoured Engineer Recce Vehicle, Sarvatra Bridge, Electronic warfare system. Also on view were the indigenous systems being developed by the DRDO including the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Agni-III Intermediate Range

    Ballistic Missile, Shourya surface-to-surface Strategic Missile and the Rohini Radar. In the year of the Commonwealth Games being hosted by India, a bevy of sports persons were the star attractions of the parade accompanying the tableau of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The Parade commenced at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where the Prime Minister led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying wreath. As per tradition, after the National Flag was unfurled, President Smt.

    Pratibha Devi Singh Patil conferred the gallantry award Ashok Chakra on the military persons for their acts of exceptional bravery. The President took the salute of the parade. This year’s Chief Guest in the parade was Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea. The marching contingents of the Army included, among others’ the Brigade of the Guards, Madras Regiment, Jat Regiment. The marching contingent of the Navy comprised 144 men led by Lt. Commander Ajay Verma and the Air Force contingent comprising 148 was led by Sqd. Ldr. R. Katoch.

    The marching contingents of paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces included contingents from the Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme. The Camel-mounted band of the BSF was another attraction. Tableaux from some states and Central Ministries and Departments presented the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country. They also showcased the country’s progress in various fields.

    In the children’s section, hundreds of boys and girls from the local educational institutions and regional cultural zones presented dances and other programmes. The grand finale of the parade was a spectacular flypast by the IAF, with the AWACS participating in the parade for the first time. India, South Korea Cooperation Touching New Horizons India’s bid to forge strong trade ties with the countries of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) in the background of its Look East Policy is best exemplified in its growing cooperation with Malaysia and South Korea.

    While Malaysia is funding several projects in India and India and Malaysia have put economic cooperation on a new pedestal, South Korea too is steadly becoming India’s close partner. It came to be evidenced on Lee Myung-bak Jan. 25, 2010 when the two countries S. Korea President resolved to enhance bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership by extending their relationship to the nuclear sector and developing closer security and defence ties. Pacts Signed The two countries signed four pacts in the presence of Prime Minister Dr.

    Manmohan Singh and the visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. In the nuclear field they also agreed to facilitate development of a framework for civil nuclear cooperation. South Korea is the third largest invester in India and among the few countries with which a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has been signed. It is also a member of the ASEAN plus three format with whom India wants to forge closer political and economic ties. India and South Korea set a $ 30 billion target for bilateral trade by 2014.

    The two leaders welcomed the signing of the pact on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and hoped that the MoU will facilitate strong cooperation between the two countries in this important sector. India expressed its commitment to developing a robust and comprehensive framework for strategic engagement with Korea, the Indian PM said. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was the chief guest of honour at India’s Republic Parade on Jan. 6, 2010. PD/March/2010/1554 “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. ” President’s Message to the Nation Earlier on the eve of the Republic Day, the President in her message reflected the common citizen’s worries on two counts : the unyielding price situation and challenges to internal security. She also touched upon climate change, underlining the use of energy efficient technologies and renewable sources of energy to reduce the carbon footprint. ? ? ? ?

    Called for second green revolution Involve agricultural economy more pro-actively in growth process Stress on ‘environment of security’ for optimal attainment of growth Take growth patterns to the bottom of the pyramid, the poor and the disadvantaged. As the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity, India was on target for achieving a double digit growth rate, the President pointed out. While policies that promoted growth must continue, it was important to take growth patterns to the bottom of the pyramid empowering the poor and the disadvantaged. Ms.

    Patil laid stress on an environment of security for the optimal attainment of growth, referring to Home Ministry’s moves towards a new security architecture. The President said that the government was committed to maintaining high vigil and taking appropriate measures to address internal security challenges. The President linked the challenge of climate change to India’s civilizational respect for nature and called for Indians to become ‘sensitive inhabitants of the planet’. The President called for urgent steps towards a second green revolution to ensure food availability, particularly of agricultural produce.

    Ms. Patil advocated more intense frameworks encompassing new technologies, better seeds, improved farming practices and better water management techniques for closing the gap among the farmers, the scientific community, lending institutions and the markets. She said that higher agricultural incomes would improve the living standards of over 145 million rural households which in turn will generate demand and provide the impetus for growth in other sectors. News in a Nutshell INTACH, Mongolia Sign MoU Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Chairman S.

    K. Misra and Mongolia’s Culture and Science Education Minister Yo Otgonbayar signed a memorandum of understanding in New Delhi on January 11, 2010 for cooperation in protection, preservation, proP. Darpan motion and management of cultural heritage PD/March/2010/1555 “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. ” Panel Formed to Push Nepal Peace Process After prolonged stalemate, the major political parties of Nepal on January 8, 2010 decided to form a high level ‘mechanism’—a three member panel.

    It would focus on speeding up the peace process and writing the new Constitution of Nepal. The panel is headed by Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, and CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal are the current members. Mr. Prachanda said that the group would work on “ending of the peace process logically, writing of the Constitution in the stipulated time (May 2010) and to end the present political stalemate”.

    The differences between his party and the major ruling parties—the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML— had been growing as the three could not forge a consensus on the issue of restoring ‘civilian supremacy’ by rectifying President Ram Baran Yadav’s move in May by which he had reinstated the military chief sacked by the then Prime Minister Mr. Prachanda. With the formation of the mechanism, Mr. Jhalanath Khanal hoped that the mistrust among the parties would be removed.

    It may be recalled that with the deposition of the former Nepalese Monarch, Nepal had been declared a federal democratic republic and the need arose for a new republican Constitution. The Parliament had fixed May 2010 as the deadline for writing the new Constitution for Nepal. 17th January vote, the first time the right has wrested power from the centre left since General Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-90 dictatorship ended, signalling that Chile was moving on from the former strong man’s bloody legacy. Chile is bounded in the north by Peru, east by Bolivia and Argentina, and south and west by the Pacific Ocean.

    The area is 756,096 sq km (291,928 sq mile) excluding the claimed Antarctic territory. Many islands to the west and south belong to Chile : the Islas Jaun Fernandez (147 sq km with 488 inhabitants in 1992) lie about 600 km west of Valparaiso, and the volcanic Isla de Pascua (Easter Island or Rapa Nui, 164 sq km with 2,764 inhabitants in 1992), lies about 3,000 km westnorth-west of Valparaiso. Small uninhabited dependencies include Sala y Gomez (400 km east of Easter Is), San Felix and San Ambrosio (1,000 km north-west of Valparaiso, and 20 km apart and Islas Diego Ramierz (100 km south-west of Cape Horn).

    New Presidential Election in Chile : Left Makes Way for Right Leftist winds in Latin America were stopped when Chile voted to power a person with rightist leanings. Billionaire Sebastian Pinera was elected Chile’s President on January 17, 2010 in a political shift to the right after 20 years of leftist rule. Mr. Pinera said that he would try to build on policies that made the economy of Latin America most stable. Celebrating Victory : Sebastian Pinera In 1940 Chile declared and in each subsequent year has reaffirmed, its ownership of the sector of the Antarctic lying between 53° and 90° W. ong. , and asserted that the British claim to the sector between the meridians 20° and 80° W. long. overlapped the Chilean by 27°. Seven Chilean bases exist in Antarctica. A law of 1955 put the governor of Magallanes in charge of the ‘Chilean Antarctic Territory which has an area of 1,250,000 sq km and a population (1992) of 1, 945. The population at the census of April 2002 was 15,116,435 (7,668,740 females); density, 20 per sq km 86·2% of the population lived in urban areas in 2002. The UN gives a projected population for 2010 of 17·11 m. Mr.

    Pinera won and his wife Cecilia Morel in Santiago almost 52 per cent of on January 18. Mr. Pinera’s victory over ex-President Eduardo Frei of the ruling leftist coalition marks a shift to the right in South America, a region dominated by leftist rules from Venezuela to Brazil. The Harvard-educated airline magnate takes office in March, 2010. Mr. Pinera (60) has vowed to give Chile’s state a businesslike overhaul to boost efficiency, promising to create a million jobs and boost economic growth to average 6 per cent a year. The economy shrank in 2009, its first recession in a decade.

    PD/March/2010/1556 “I have often regretted my speech, never my silence. ” According to critics, Mr. Pinera’s plan depends too heavily on the private sector generating jobs and banks on a steady global recovery maintaining copper demand. It may be mentioned that Chile is one of the largest producers of copper. Given his ideological leanings Mr. Pinera could push reforms through a divided congress and has promised to form a national unity government. “The problems we face in the future are great, the obstacles we face are very challenging and we need unity now more than ever,” said Mr.

    Pinera on January 17, after his being elected President. “We will form a government of national unity which will build bridges of understanding and punch down walls of division” he added. with Russians as their last hope for justice. Russian applications account for almost a third of more than 1,20,000 cases pending in the court. It has passed hundreds of rulings against the Russian government, finding officials guilty of corruption, torture and other misconduct. SAARC International University takes Shape in Delhi

    In a bid to reverse brain drain, provide an academic opportunity in the sub-continent and to promote a sense of South Asian Community, a plan first mooted in 2005 is finally and quickly taking shape in the form of the first truly international university being set up by the eight nations of the SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation). Comment It is interesting to note that while a host of Latin American countries are shifting towards the left, Chile heralds itself as a new centrist rightist, which has become clear with the election of the rightist Mr. Pinera.

    Venezuela, Equador, Bolivia, Argentina in South America are explicitly moving to the left, the communist ideology, with new friendships made by these countries with Russia and the communist China. Chile too for long 20 years remained practically under leftist rule and enjoyed good bonhomie with the leftist countries referred to above. With the ascension of a rightist government to power, how its foreign policy will take shape will be a subject of interest in the near future. Will it incline towards the capitalist west or the communist east particularly Russia and China ?

    SAARC nations have come up with a unique education idea. The eight SAARC nations are : India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan. Key Features Tax-free dollar salaries for an international faculty, a variety of multi-disciplinary courses focussed on research, a multi-national exam for admission, an academic environment free of commissions, and a think tank to ponder over the shared problems of the sub-condinent—these will be the key features of the South Asian University (SAU) being set up by the SAARC nations.

    The university, headed by former JNU ViceChancellor Prof. G. K. Chada, who is fortunate to have been once a student of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will start operating between August 2010 and January 2011, offering post graduate courses in economics, computer applications and biotechnology. The faculty will be recruited largely from SAARC countries, but the SAU has kept options of looking beyond open. Prof. Rajiv Saxena OSD, Academics and Planning SAU told the Press : “We hope to start the MCA and M. A.

    Economics Courses in August itself, followed by M. Sc. Biotechnology in the next semester. We will start the first two courses with some 10-15 teachers, but will expand the faculty to 500 members by 2014. ” Keen to ensure the best join, sub-continent partner nations are ready to pay the faculty nearly double what they normally get in India, in dollars tax free. Rules and regulations presently under discussion are likely to get a go-ahead in a key meeting of SAARC representatives in March 2010, paving the way for admissions and faculty selections.

    Curricula for the M. A. Economics, MCA and M. Sc. Biotechnology courses are ready. The SAU will take in some 50 students for the first semester, the strength will increase as courses in the humanities and sciences, and the proposed law, medicine, management and engineering begin, said the OSD official of the SAU. Russia Ratifies European Rights Convention Russia has lifted its opposition to a long–delayed reform of the European Court of Human Rights in a major gesture towards the west and a step to improve the Russian legal system.

    The Russian Parliament’s Lower House, State Duma, on January 15 overwhelmingly ratified Protocol 14 of the European Human Rights Convention which will allow the Court to process submitted cases more efficiently and help eliminate a massive backlog of cases in the Court. Russian legislators said that they endorsed the protocol after the Council of Europe agreed to address their complaints, including a demand that Russian judges be involved in reviewing complaints against Russia. Sign of Warming Relations

    But the vote of January 15 is also a sign of warming relations between Russia and Europe that soured after the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. The vote came after President Dmitry Medvedev asked the Russian Parliament to take a fresh look at ratifying the protocol. Russia was the only country in the 47-member Council of Europe that had refused to endorse the reform of Strasbourg Court for the past three years. The ratification of the protocol is in line with Mr. Medvedev’s efforts to improve the Russian legal system. The Strasbourg Court has become increasingly popular PD/March/2010/1557 The only weapon that becomes sharper with constant use is the tongue. ” Common Admission Test A common admission test will be given to applicants in all eight SAARC nations. To ensure a fair representation, no more than 50 per cent of students will be from India. Every SAARC country will have at least 4 per cent of students at the SAU. The proposed university will also set up a think tank, the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), to discuss and research key regional issues and shared regional problems such as disaster management, water-sharing, cross-border epidemics, climate change and preservation of cultural heritage.

    Prof. Chada, the CEO, is being assisted by two OSDs and four task forces—On Academics, Governance and Legal Structure, Business Plan and Infrastructure. The persons on the task forces include experts like Prof. Rehman from Dhaka’s University of Liberal Arts, Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, V. C. NWFP University of Engineering & Technology, Peshawar, Dr. Yubraj Sangroula, Founder Director, Kathmandu School of Law, Prof. SBS Abayakoon, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Member UGC, Sri Lanka, Prof. AGK Menon, Advisor, Delhi Urban Arts Commission, and Prof. Pema Thinley, V. C.

    Royal University of Bhutan. At present, the SAU is operating out of the old JNU Campus. It w

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