Friday, March 8, 2013


·           US beauty Olivia Culpo crowned Miss Universe: American Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012 at a gala ceremony. Philippines’ Janine Tugonon was adjudged the first runner-up followed by Venezuela’s Irene Esser. India’s Shilpa Singh made it the top 16 spot, but failed to progress further. Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola crowned Culpo as the new Miss Universe at the glittering Ceremony held at Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

·           Obama named Indian-American for Innovation award: Indian-American Rangaswamy Srinivasan, a renowned inventor at IBM, has been nominated by the US president Barack Obama for the prestigious National Medal of Technology for Innovation.

·           Bera, Tulsi created history, sworn in as US lawmakers: Indian-American physician Ami Bera and the first Hindu US lawmaker, Tulsi Gabbard scripted history after being sworn in as newly elected members of the US House of Representatives. Bera, is only the third Indian American- after Dali Singh Saundh in 1950 and Bobby Jindal in 2005- to have ever been elected to the House of Representatives.

·           Yousafzai honoured with France’s prize: Malala Yousafzai, 15, the schoolgirl from Pakistan shot by Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education received France’s Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom in Paris. Malala’s father Ziaudin Yousafzai received the honour on her behalf.

·           Saudi women in Shura Council for first time: Saudi Kind Abdullah appointed 30 women to the previously all-male consultative Shura Council in decrees published on Jan 11. The decrees, published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) news agency, give women a 20 % quota in the Shura Council, a body appointed by the king to advise him on policy and legislation.

                              BUSINESS & ECONOMY:

·           WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM SUMMIT: A five-day World Economic Forum Summit was held at Davos, Switzerland from January 23 to 27. More than 2500 of the best and brightest in business, government, academia and civic life gathered at the summit. This time, the economic growth and jobs, especially for the youth among the world’s 220 million jobless. The IMF projected that China, Africa and other emerging markets could see significant growth, but Japan, Eurozone nations and the US are likely to struggle with negative to low growth.

·           RAIL FARE HIKE AFTER 10 YEARS: after a gap of 10 years, the Railways on January 9 announced a rail fare hike in all classes in a bid to mop up an additional Rs. 6,600 crores a year. The passenger fare hike became effective from January 21 midnight. Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the decision was taken to earn an additional Rs. 1,200 crore in the remaining two months of the current financial year.

·           INDIA 2ND LARGEST CONSUMER OF FLOWERS: India is now the 2nd largest consumer and fastest growing retail destination of flowers in the world. Among the biggest contributors to the country’s growing flower power are Punjab and Haryana and the Himachal-Shivalik belt, while at its core are the 30 crore middle class and higher income Indians who are ensuring that the consumption grows at a whopping 30% per annum-the fastest perhaps in any sector.

·           TOYOTA WORLD’S TOP SELLING AUTO CO: Toyota Motor Corp regained the crown as the world’s top selling automaker in 2012, posting record-high sales and beating rivals General Motors and Volkswagen. Toyota sold 9.75 million vehicles group-wide around the world in 2012, a record for the 75 year old Japanese automaker and up 22.6% from 2011.

·           NABARD SCRAPS CONTROVERSIAL SCHEME: The National Bank for Agriculture Rural development (NABARD), whose funding of corporate warehousing projects on terms far softer than those offered to poor and often suicidal farmers has withdrawn its controversial scheme with retrospective effect under pressure from the Reserve Bank of India.


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