1.Microsoft to shut down Windows Live Messenger Service !
Microsoft in the Month of January 2013 announced plans to shut down its Messenger service from 15 March 2013 which is formerly known by Windows Live Messenger/MSN Messenger.i. The plan would involve enabling users to move down to Skype from 15 March 2013.
ii. Over 100 million users of the service were notified by email over short period of time.
NOTE: i. It will be evident from 15 March 2013 that Messenger users will be unable to sign into Messenger and use the service. From the proposed date Microsoft encourage to download Skype from where one can exchange instant-messages and have chats with your Messenger friends. The only advantage is that one can use his or her Windows Live login ID for login to Skype.
ii. Skype started testing Windows and Mac releases last year in the month of September 2012 which allowed users to use their Windows Live accounts to login to Skype and send and receive instant messages and check if their friends were online across the whole array of Windows sites such as Xbox, Outlook, Hotmail, and Messenger.
2.SC sets aside appointment of Upa Lokayukta in Karnataka
i. The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the appointment of Justice (retd) Chandrashekaraiah as Upa Lokayukta of Karnataka on the ground that he was appointed by the government without consultation with the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.
ii. A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Madan B Lokur held that the consultation with the chief justice is mandatory before appointment of Upa Lokayukta and the chief minister did not hold any "meaningful" consultation with the chief justice.
iii. The bench said the chief minister has committed error by not consulting the chief justice and held that the appointment of Upa Lokayukta is void ab initio (to be treated as invalid from the outset).
NOTE: Bench had also urged the state government and chief minister to expeditiously start a fresh selection process as mandated by the Lokayukta Act to find a new Upa Lokayukta as the post cannot be held vacant for long.
The Karnataka High Court had on 3rd April last year quashed the appointment of justice Chandrashekaraiah as the Upa Lokayukta holding that the selection procedure was "not in conformity with law".
3.GAIL India Commissioned Dabhol Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal
i. GAIL India announced successful commissioning of 5 million tonne capacity Dabhol liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on 10 January 2013 at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra.
ii. This is the third LNG terminal. The remaining two are set up at Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat.
iii. With the commissioning of 5 million tonnes (MT) capacity Dabhol LNG terminal, the overall capacity of India to manage the imported LNG reached approximately 20 MT per annum.
iv. The Dabhol LNG terminal was set up at a cost of 4000 crore Rupees. This terminal would play a crucial role in meeting the demands of the industries in Maharashtra.
v. The Dabhol LNG terminal would act as entry for natural gas to western as well as southern parts of India including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Maharashtra.
NOTE: i. Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private limited (RGPPL) operates the Dabhol LNG terminal.
ii. RGPPL is the joint venture of NTPC and GAIL India as the prime shareholders along with the rest of the equity held by Maharashtra State Electricity Board and financial institutions.
iii. GAIL however is the commercial operator of this terminal and had started commissioning cargo for it back in December 2012.
4.RBI: Private Sector of India registered a Net Profit of 4.3 percent in First Half of 2012-13
i. The data released from the Reserve Bank of India on 9 January 2013 reported that the Private Corporate Sector of India registered a net profit of 91800 crore rupees in the first half of 2012-13 (April to September), which is 4.3 percent higher than the one reported in the first half of the 2011-2012.
ii. The report states that with a net profit margin of 17 percent, the performance of the Information Technology (IT) sector was better, when compared with the manufacturing and non-IT service sectors.
iii. The net profit margin of the non-IT service sector and manufacturing sector were 4.9 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.
iv. The manufacturing companies show a rise in its net profit by 2.4 percent, which is equivalent to 61200 crore rupees and the non-IT companies dropped down by 3.9 percent, from the one recorded previous year.
v. The companies involved in computer and activities related to it show a rise in net profit of 18.6 percent that is equivalent to 18200 crore rupees.
vi. The financial companies registered a net profit of 27.3 percent that was equivalent to 8500 crore rupees, when compared to previous year profit.
NOTE: The details of the report states that the operating profit (EBITDA) of these companies has gone up by 4.9 percent to 1.88 lakh crore rupees.
5.CJI Altamas Kabir constituted Special Bench to Hear Crimes against Women
Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on 10 January 2013 set up a Special Bench of Justices of A.K. Patnaik and Gyan Sudha Misra to hear cases of crime against women.
NOTE: The Bench is going to start its hearing from 14 January2013 onwards and already a total of 526 cases relating to rape, dowry and other sexual offences from year 2002 had been listed before the Bench which is anticipated to take up the matters on day-to-day basis.
Cases of accused languishing in jails will be given priority and will be taken up first.
6.Union Cabinet approved Higher Funds for Indira Awaas Yojana
The Union Cabinet on 10 January 2013 approved the Ministry of Rural Development’s proposal to increase the unit cost under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), keeping under consideration the sharp increase in the cost of materials.
i. As per the approved cost, unit assistance under the scheme in plain areas had been increased from 45000 to 70000 rupees and for the hilly and difficult areas it had been increase from 48500 to 75000 rupees.
ii. The enhancement of unit assistance provided for homestead site to rural below poverty line (BPL) had been increased from 10000 rupees to 20000 rupees. The unit assistance is provided to those households who have neither agricultural land nor a house site.
NOTE: Indira Awas Yojana is a major scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development which directly aims at addressing rural housing issues by providing grant for construction and upgradation of dwelling units of BPL families.
The priority is especially given to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, freed bonded labourers and physically challenged persons with financial assistance.
7.Assembly polls in Tripura on 14th Feb; Meg’laya, Nagaland on 23rd Feb
i. Assembly elections in Tripura will be held on 14th Feb and in Meghalaya and Nagaland on 23rd Feb and their results will be out on 28th Feb, the Election Commission announced on Friday.
ii. The EC also announced bye-elections to nine assembly constituencies in Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab on 23rd February and in Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra on 24th February, but their results will be out together on 28th February.
iii. Electronic voting machines will be used in elections to the three north-eastern states as well as in bye- elections in the seven states.
8.Malala Yousafzai Honoured with France's Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women's Freedom !
i. Malala Yousafzai, 15, the schoolgirl from Pakistan shot by Taliban for campaigning girls’ education, on 9 January 2013 received France's Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women's Freedom in Paris.
ii. Malala’s father Ziaudin Yousafzai received the honour on her behalf.
iii. The award is accompanied with 2.5 million Rupees honorarium.
NOTE: In the first week of January 2013, Malala Yousafzai got released from the British hospital. She is waiting for the reconstructive surgery to be performed on the skull. Malala was shot by the Taliban in her head after her school bus drove through Mingora town of Swat Valley of Pakistan.
United Nation Declared November 10 as Malala day.
Malala Yousafzai awarded with Bravery Award by World Peace and Prosperity Foundation.
9. 37 Year Old Woman Became First Complete Body Donor of AIIMS
Chandrakanta Rawat, the 37-year-old Uttrakhand woman became the first complete body donor in January 2013 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
Chandrakanta Rawat was admitted to the hospital on 2 January 2013 and was declared brain-dead. Rawat’s husband permitted the doctors to retrieve her organs.’
NOTE: Heart, two kidneys as well as liver of the woman were used for the patients in need while other organs such as bones and cornea were kept to be used in the future. While the heart of the woman was used for the purpose of transplant at AIIMS, her kidneys were transported to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and liver was utilised at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Vasant Kunj for the purpose of transplant.
10.Manpreet Kaur Won Maiden National Title in National Weightlifting Championship 2013 !
Manpreet Kaur, 23, of All India Police claimed the women’s +75kg gold medal in the final day of the National weightlifting championship at SRM University campus, Uttar Pradesh on 10 January 2013.
Women + 75kg:
i. Manpreet Kaur (AIP) snatch 85kg, clean and jerk 104kg, total 189kg
ii. Binitha Devi (Kar) snatch 86kg, clean and jerk 101kg, total 187kg
iii. Amanpreet Kaur (Pun) snatch 84kg , clean and jerk 101kg , total 185kg
Mens: + 105 Kg:
i. Himanshu Kumar Chang (RSPB) snatch 154kg, clean and jerk 192kg, total 346kg
ii. Sandeep Kumar (SSCB) snatch 135kg, clean and jerk 193kg, total 328kg
iii. Pardeep Kumar (MP) snatch 139kg, clean and jerk 188kg, total 327kg