Thursday, May 2, 2013

Willem-Alexander sworn in as new Dutch king

Willem-Alexander of the House of Orange-Nassau became the Netherlands’ first king in 123 years as his mother, Queen Beatrix, ended a 33-year reign.

She signed the act of abdication in an ornate chamber at the palace.

The Dutch monarch is sworn in before a joint session of the Houses of Parliament in the deconsecrated church, rather than crowned, because church and royalty are separated in the Netherlands

Sajjan Kumar acquitted in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar of all charges in the murder of five Sikhs in the Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by a sessions court.

Among the five other accused, former Municipal Corporation of Delhi councillor Balwan Khokhar, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal were held guilty of murder and rioting charges, while the former MLA, Mahender Yadav, and Balwan’s brother, Krishan Khokhar, were held guilty of rioting charges.

Additional Solicitor-General Haren Raval resigned

Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval, who sparked a controversy by telling the Supreme Court that CBI status report on Coalgate was not shared with the government, resigned from his post.

Extra Charges for preferred air seats, check-in-luggage & meals

The Civil Aviation Ministry allowed airlines to charge extra money from passengers for preferred seats, check-in baggage and meals. This is similar the U.S. model of imposing extra fee on air passengers.

The services include snacks, drinks (barring drinking water), use of airline lounges, and transport of sports equipment, musical instruments and valuable baggage which have higher carrier liability.

Air Marshal Herikudru Babu Rajaram conferred AVSM

Air Marshal Herikudru Babu Rajaram was conferred the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) at the recently held Defence investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Air Marshal Rajaram was commissioned in the administrative branch of the IAF in 1977 and has held various appointments which include Senior Air Traffic Control Officer (SATCO) and Chief GCA Controller at fighter bases, Chief Administrative Officer at a fighter base and Chief Personal Staff Officer of an Operational Command. He has also commanded an equipment depot. He took over as the Air Officer administration in February this year. He was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) in 2011.

Chinese troops erect another tent at Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO)

Chinese troops have erected another tent in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in Ladakh raising the number of such structures in the area of incursion to five, as the standoff between India and China entered the third week.

With China showing no signs of withdrawing its troops from the Indian territory, sources said efforts to break the impasse over the incursion yielded no results because of its insistence that some bunkers constructed by India at a key vantage point be dismantled.

China laid down this condition for pulling back from the place 19 km inside the Indian territory in DBO, where around 50 troops have been camping for the last over two weeks, sources said.

Activists oppose forest advisory panel’s clearance of land for Kalu dam

he Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has recommended clearance of land for the controversial Kalu dam in Thane district, drawing sharp criticism from activists and tribals affected by the project.

Dreamliner test flight lands successfully in Tokyo

A Dreamliner test flight with top Boeing and All Nippon Airways’ (ANA) executives aboard landed at a Tokyo airport .

Earlier, The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded the worldwide fleet mid-January after failures of the lithium-ion batteries on the jetliner caused a fire on board one parked plane in Boston and forced the emergency landing of an ANA-operated aircraft in Japan.

The test flight by ANA, one of largest customers of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners, came a day after Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier to resume flying the 787s that have been grounded worldwide since January due to battery problems.

New Bill for protection and welfare of widows

The proposed Protection, Welfare and Maintenance of Widows Bill, 2013 is prepared by Sulabh International.

The Proposed bill is a slight improvement on a similar document tabled in the Lok Sabha by Professor Mahadeorao Shiwankar in 2007 as Private Member’s Bill that lapsed due to the dissolution of the House.

The major recommendations are The National Widows Welfare Board is proposed to be chaired by the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment

The members will include MPs, widows, civil society representatives and State officials

The Central and State governments would contribute to the Fund and all donations would be credited to it for use for the welfare of widows.

The draft Bill proposes a subsistence allowance of Rs. 2,000 per month for each woman — to be revised as per price index —

It also recommends free residential accommodation, education, vocational training, employment and medical facilities.

widow shall not be evicted or thrown out of the house of her in-laws or parents, and would be entitled to property as per inheritance laws, in addition to maintenance allowance from the heir or in-laws who do not keep her in the family.

Maharashtra starts water release into Jayakwadi dam in Marathwada region

In a measure that is long overdue and that is expected to bring some relief to the parched districts of Maharashtra’s Marathwada region, the State government has finally ordered water release from upstream reservoirs into the Jayakwadi dam in the region.

Akhilesh cancels Consulate reception in U.S

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav canceled the Indian Consulate reception in his honour, upset over the brief detention of his Cabinet colleague Azam Khan at the Boston airport.

HAL to produce cryogenic engines for ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation is setting up a Rs.139-crore facility at the Bangalore unit of the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. to produce cryogenic engines and complex components for its GSLV and future rockets and it will be ready in three years.

At present, ISRO is developing cryogenic engines with a consortium of Godrej and Hyderabad’s MTAR. HAL is said to have been approved as a second source of assemblage by the Space Commission last month.

P.V. Sindhu , the first Indian lady to reach India Open semifinals.

Sindhu became the first Indian lady to reach the semifinals of the $200,000 India Open badminton championship defeating Japan’s Yui Hashimoto.

Yui Hashimoto defeated India’s Saina Nehwal in Quarter Finals.

India to host sixth IBSA Summit

India is hosting the sixth IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) Summit in New Delhi on June 6.

The Summit in New Delhi will commemorate the 10th anniversary of establishment of IBSA. It also assumes special importance as being the last Summit in the Second cycle of IBSA Summit.

Israel Army not to use white phosphorous

Israel’s army said Thursday that it would soon halt its use of white phosphorus shells after years of international criticism for using the incendiary munitions in crowded Palestinian areas.

The army said in a statement that it would replace white phosphorus shells with ones based entirely on gas.

Israel was internationally condemned of its use during a military operation against Gaza in 2008-2009.

Israel launched a 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip on December 27, 2008 in response to rocket fire from the Islamist Hamas-run territory. The war killed 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, and it sparked widespread international criticism of Israel for using disproportionate force.

International law prohibits the use of white phosphorous shells in heavily populated civilian areas, but allows them in open spaces to be used as cover for troops. A Human Rights Watch report claimed Israel committed war crimes in its use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells

Shyamal Kumar Sen Panel begins probe into chit fund scam

A five-man commission headed by the former Allahabad High Court Chief Justice, Shyamal Kumar Sen, on Friday began probing the Saradha Group chit fund scam. The panel will submit its report within six months.

Sarabjit critical after attack in Lahore jail

Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit was attacked by Pak inmates in Lohore’s Kot Lakhpat jail. He sustained serious head injuries and his condition is said to be critical.

The Indian High Commission in Islamabad has sent two officials to Lahore to provide him consular access prison officials that he was being threatened by some inmates ever since India executed Afzal Guru for the attack on Indian Parliament in 2001

Anil Goswami has been appointed Union Home Secretary

Anil Goswami, Jammu and Kashmir cadre IAS officer, has been appointed as the Home Secretary.

Mr. Goswami will take over from R.K. Singh, who retires on June 30 after a two-year term as Home Secretary.

Mr. Goswami would soon start functioning as Officer-on-Special Duty in the Ministry to acquaint himself with all aspects of its working.

Mr. Goswami will have a fixed two-year term and will be at the helm of affairs when general elections are held in 2014.