General Knowledge Notes - 17 June 2013

JD(U), BJP part ways

In a major setback to National Democratic Alliance ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha election, the Janata Dal (United) broke its ties with the BJP in Bihar in protest against the elevation of Narendra Modi, bringing to an end a 17-year-old alliance that had held firm through thick and thin in the national politics. Heading the eight-year-old coalition in the State, JD (U), which does not need the BJP support to run the government, removed 11 the BJP ministers from the state Cabinet and decided to seek a vote of confidence on June 19 in view of the new situation.

Ratan Tata is chief adviser to AirAsia

The low-cost carrier AirAsia announced that industry leader Ratan Tata would serve as chief adviser to the board of its Indian venture and promised ‘Nano’ airfares once it started operating flights in the country.

Monsoon covers the whole country

The south-west monsoon entered the national capital, Delhi on 16th June. “Monsoon has reached Delhi today [on Sunday] and also covered the entire country,” Brahm Prakash Yadav, Director, India Meteorological Department, said.

MiG-21bis likely to serve IAF until 2019

The first supersonic fighter jet of the Indian Air Force — Russian MiG-21bis —which completed 50 years in service this April despite facing criticism following a substantial number of accidents, is likely to remain operational in its upgraded version until 2019 — two years later than they were originally scheduled to be decommissioned. The Air Force took the decision owing to the delay in the commissioning of India’s own Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the purchase of 126 Rafale fighters from France for which the official contract is yet to be finalised.

World Bank funds pilot study on thalassemia prevalence among tribals

The World Bank is funding a pilot study on the prevalence of thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder, among the tribal population of Jawadhu Hills in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. Thalassemia is a disorder characterised by reduced or nil amounts of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein inside the red blood cells. Such patients require frequent blood transfusion and medication. This study was necessitated due to the increase in the number of admission of Thalassemia patients from the hilly region to the Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore.

Google's wi-fi balloons

Google revealed top-secret plans to send balloons to the edge of space with the lofty aim of bringing Internet to the two-thirds of the global population currently without web access. Scientists from the technology giant released up to 30 helium-filled test balloons flying 20 kilometres above Christchurch in New Zealand on this week.