Indian Current Affairs | Current Affairs India - August 2011

India Japan CEPA comes into force
This is India’s 3rd Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (after Singapore and South Korea) and India’s first with a developed country. The Agreement is most comprehensive of all the agreements concluded by India so far as it covers more than 90% of trade, a vast gamut of services, investment, IPR, customs and other trade-related issues. Under the India- Japan CEPA only 17.4% of the tariff-lines have been offered for immediate reduction of tariff to zero % by India. Tariffs will be brought to zero in 10 years on 66.32% of tariff lines to give sufficient time to industry to adjust to the trade liberalization.The Japanese side has put 87% of its tariff lines under immediate reduction of tariff to zero. A large number of these items are of India’s export interest e.g. seafood, agricultural products such as mangoes, citrus fruits, spices, instant tea, textile products etc. It will greatly help Indian pharmaceutical companies.

Foodgrain Production Targets Under NFSM Achieved
National Food Security Mission has been launched since Rabi 2007-08 with an aim to achieve additional foodgrain production of 20 million tonnes, including 10 million tonnes of rice, 8 million tonnes of wheat and 2 million tonnes of pulses by the end of eleventh plan. The mission has been implemented in 17 States. 

Per Capita Income 
The Per Capita Income at the national level, which was Rs. 24,143 in the year 2004-05, stands at Rs. 54,835 in the year 2010-11, showing an increase of more than 120%.

Agricultural Growth 3.2% in First Four Years of 11th Plan
As against the growth target of 4% in the agriculture and allied sector fixed for the 11th Five Year Plan, the average annual growth during the first four years of the Plan Period i.e. 2007-08 to 2010-11 has been 3.2%. This is mainly due to severe drought conditions in most parts of the country during 2009-10 and drought/deficient rainfall in some States 

Melting of Himalayan Glaciers 
Majority of Himalayan glaciers are passing through a phase of recession, which is a worldwide phenomenon. The recession of glaciers is a part of the natural cyclic process of changes in size and other attributes of the glaciers. National Action Plan on Climate Change includes a National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system with a view, inter-alia, to strengthen the system for observing and monitoring the Himalayan glaciers. Besides, a research centre on Himalayan Glaciology has been established at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun to undertake comprehensive glacier research in the country.

Socio-Economic and Caste Census, 2011 is not a BPL Survey
Government today clarified that the Nationwide Socio-Economic and Caste Census,2011 launched in June-end this year is not a BPL Census. Ministry will only generate a rank listing of rural households based on five automatic inclusion criteria and seven deprivation indicators and the data will be given to the state governments, who in consultation and coordination with the Planning Commission can determine the BPL households in each of the states.

Export of ALH DHRUV
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) plans to sell its Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv to certain South American countries. HAL has bagged an order for export of seven Dhruv Helicopters to Ecuador in global bidding. HAL is in the process of setting up a regional maintenance centre for Dhruv to cover after sales service, technical/logistic support in the entire Latin American region. 

Conservation of Lakes 
National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP)  is a centrally Sponsored Scheme for conservation and management of polluted and degraded lakes in urban and semi-urban areas of the country on 70:30 cost sharing between the Central Government and the respective State Governments. The Central Government is supplementing the efforts of the State Governments in river conservation through this plan

Look East Policy: India’s Ties with Countries of East Asia
There has been steady progress in India’s ties with countries of East Asia as well as in the India-ASEAN relationship through the years. India became a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN in 1992. The relationship was upgraded within ten years in 2002 to the level of an Annual Summit Level Dialogue Partnership. The Government of India has built the 160 km (approx) India-Myanmar Friendship Road between Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo (TKK road) in Myanmar which connects Myanmar to Moreh in Manipur. This will eventually become part of the India-ASEAN Highway.

Actinides in Spent Nuclear Fuel 
The actinides contained in the spent nuclear fuel are potentially a valuable resource. There are major and minor Actinides present in the nuclear fuel. The major actinides include Uranium and Plutonium and the minor actinides include Neptunium, Americium and Curium. Major actinides are most valuable resources for our nuclear power programme and for strategic application whereas minor actinides have medical, industrial and strategic application.