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Current Affairs January 2013

o The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. The 2013 meeting is being held from 23 January to 27 January, with the theme of "Resilient Dynamism," following founder Klaus Schwab's declaration that "the need for global cooperation has never been greater".

o The world’s largest optical/infrared telescope has been given the initial go-ahead to be built. Called the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) this long-proposed new ground-based telescope will have a 40-meter main mirror and observe the universe in visible and infrared light, making direct images of exoplanets, perhaps find Earth-sized and even Earth-like worlds, and study the first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang. At a meeting in Garching, France this week, the ESO (European Southern Observatory) Council approved the E-ELT program, with 5 countries (India, Japan, China, Canada and the US) out of 10 countries giving firm approval and four gave “ad referendum” approval, meaning that they needed an official green light from their governments. With that approval, officials are hopeful the E-ELT could start operations by the early 2020’s.
Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was the Chief Guest at the 64th Republic Day Celebrations here today becoming the third emperor from the tiny kingdom to grace the event, signifying the importance that India attaches to its neighbour.

o Iran on 28 January 2013 announced that it had successfully sent into space a monkey. The first country to launch the primate into space was US in 1948.

o Sreeramamurthy Janaki, 75, the renowned playback singer, on 26 January 2013 refused to accept the prestigious Padma Bhushan.

o The Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for education for girls, was discharged yesterday from the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, England after success in the first stage of her medical treatment. Yousafzai was shot in October by Taliban forces on a school bus in Mingora, in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. She was given emergency treatment in Pakistan and then flown to Britain for treatment at a specialist unit which deals with injured soldiers.

o Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, Rwanda, and South Korea join the United Nations Security Council on Jan 1, 2013.

o Arunachal Pradesh has been selected for the Krishi Karman Award for its best performance in the increase in foodgrain production during 2010-11.

o The 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas gets underway in Kochi on January 7, 2013. Over 2000 delegates from different parts of the world are participating in the three day event, which provides a platform to the Overseas Indian Community to discuss key issues concerning Indian diaspora.

o U.S. President Barack Obama signs the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, intended to prevent the "fiscal cliff".

o Upcoming G8 summit is to be held on the shores of Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June 2013.
Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii has created history by not only becoming the first Hindu ever to be sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives, but also being the first ever US lawmaker to have taken oath of office on the sacred Bhagavad Gita. Currently, she was a Company Commander with the Hawaii Army National Guard.

o The centenary session of the 100th Indian Science Congress was held in Kolkata from January 3-7 , 2013. This is the 13th time the Indian Science Congress is being hosted by Kolkata. The city had hosted in first Science Congress in 1914 and hosted the event last in 1995. The theme of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) is ‘Science for Shaping the Future of India’.

o Former RBI Governor Y V Reddy will be the Chairman of 14th Finance Commission; the 13th Finance Commission was headed by former Finance Secretary Vijay Kelkar. The Finance Commission has been asked to submit its report by 31st October, 2014. Finance Commission, a constitutional body, is set up every five years. Besides other things, the Commission lays down principles governing the grants-in-aid to states and other local bodies for a five-year period beginning 1st April 2014.

o Country's apex policy making body National Development Council - NDC has approved the strategy to achieve average GDP growth rate of 8 pc during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), generate 50 million new jobs and increase investments in infrastructure sector.

o Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath was inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame on Jan 4, 2013, making him its 68th male member.

o The March 23 Movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo announces that peace talks will only commence if President Joseph Kabila's government signs a ceasefire.


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