Thursday, May 10, 2012 - , 0 comments

Karnaphuli River





Karnaphuli, the largest and most important river in Chittagong and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, is a 667 metres (2,188 ft)-wide river in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh. Originating from the Lushai hills in Mizoram, it flows 270 km southwest through Chittagong Hill Tracts and Chittagong into the Bay of Bengal.

Source of Origin : Lushai Hills, Mizoram

Drainage Area : Mizoram, Bangladesh

Length : 270 km

End : Bay of Bengal

Dams : Kaptai Dam (1962)

Power-plant : Kaptai Hydo-power station, the only hydro-electric power plant in Bangladesh, was constructed at Kaptai in 1962. It produces 230 Megawatts of electricity.

Important Sea-port : Chittagong sea-port, the main port of Bangladesh, is on the mouth of this river.
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Barak River

The Barak River is one of the major rivers of southern Assam and is a part of the Surma-Meghna River System. It is the biggest and the most important of all the rivers in the Manipur hill territory, from where it originates. River Barak in Assam is also proposed to be declared as National Waterway-6 by Govt. of India and thereafter it will be developed with infrastructure facilities for commercial operations.


Near its source, the river receives a lot of little hill streams, including the Gumti, Howrah, Kagni, Senai Buri, Hari Mangal, Kakrai, Kurulia, Balujhuri, Shonaichhari and Durduria. It flows west through Manipur State, then southwest leaving Manipur and entering Mizoram State.
In Mizoram State the Barak flows southwest then veers abruptly north when joined by a north flowing stream and flows into Assam State where it turns westward again near Lakhipur as it enters the plains. It then flows west past the town of Silchar where it is joined by the Madhura River. After Silchar, it flows for about 30-odd kilometres & near Badarpur, it divides itself into the Surma River and the Kushiyara River and enters Bangladesh.

Source of Origin : in the Manipur Hills of India, near Mao Songsang

Drainage Area : Manipur, Mizoram, Assam, Bangladesh

Tributaries : Jiri, Dhaleshwari (Tlawng), Singla, Longai, Madhura, Sonai (Tuirial), Rukni and Katakhal

Dams : Tipaimukh Dam (Proposed)

Power-plant : The Indian state of Manipur on Oct 22 signed an agreement with state-owned NHPC Ltd and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd to construct the 1,500MW Tipaimukh hydroelectric power project in the north-eastern state. It was reported on Nov 18 that the controversial dam would come up on the Barak River, which flows into Bangladesh as Surma.
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Christian Wulff




  • Christian Wilhelm Walter Wulff (born 19 June 1959) is a German politician and lawyer. He served as the President of Germany from 2010 to 2012. 
  • On 17 February 2012, Wulff resigned as President of Germany, facing the prospect of prosecution for allegations of corruption relating to his prior service as Prime Minister of Lower Saxony. 
  • The new president, Joachim Gauck, was elected on 18 March by a Federal Convention.
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Kripashankar Singh



  • Kripashankar Singh is an Indian politician with the Indian National Congress. He was a minister of state in the Maharashtra 2004 cabinet. 
  • He was involved in the Congress gains in Mumbai against Shiv Sena in the Maharashtra assembly elections, 2009
  • He was the president of the Mumbai chapter of the party until June 2011, when he resigned after his son was linked to the 2G scam, an enormous corruption scandal of 2010. 
  • On 22nd February 2012, the Bombay High Court directed the city police commissioner to prosecute Kripashankar Singh for "criminal misconduct" under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. A PIL filed by activist Sanjay Tiwari, who alleged that the Congress MLA had amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. The court also said "The PIL shall be treated as FIR and the report submitted by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau in March 2011 showing Kripashankar's income and expenditure shall be treated as investigation." Kripashankar Singh's son Narendra Mohan is married to Ankita, daughter of Kamlesh Singh, who was a minister in the Koda cabinet, and is now in jail in connection with the hawala scam. Ankita had received Rs 1.75 crore in her account from Kamlesh, the PIL said, adding there were huge transactions from the bank accounts of Kripashankar's wife Malti Devi too.
  • On 2nd March 2012, SC slammed him for "bench-hunting" for having mentioned his plea (against Bombay HC order) before a different bench on Friday after getting the same withdrawn from the court’s mentioning list on Thursday. Moreover, the bench declined to put any interim stay on Bombay HC as he had sought.
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K. G. Balakrishnan




  • Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan (b. 12 May 1945) is presently the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of India. He is a former Chief Justice of India.
  • He was the first judge from the state of Kerala to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was also the first person of Dalit origin to ascend to the post of the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of India. His tenure lasting more than three years has been one of the longest in the Supreme Court of India.

Public stances, opinions and views

  • Balakrishnan has tried to exempt the Office of the Chief Justice of India from the purview of the Right to Information Act. He ordered the Supreme Court registry to file an appeal before the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court judgement making the office of the CJI amenable to the RTI act. He has also spoken about the need for amending the RTI act in the interests of the right to privacy.
  • Balakrishnan has said "due regard" must be given to the "personal autonomy" of rape victims to decide on whether they should marry the perpetrator or choose to give birth to a child conceived through forced crime. Lawyers and women's rights activists have expressed some reservations. 
  • Balakrishnan has stated that pornography sites and hate speeches should be banned from the internet. He also passed a judgment stating that journaling on the web any thing hateful even against a political party is liable for censorship.
  • On a visit to Kasaragode as NHRC Chairman initiating suo motu complaint, Balakrishnan felt there had been violations of human rights against the populace by the harmful spraying of the pesticide Endosulfan, and recommended the founding of a super-speciality hospital for the relief of the victims.

Controversies

  • Justice H. L. Gokhale of the Supreme Court has accused Balakrishnan of misrepresenting facts to conceal sacked telecom minister A. Raja's attempt to influence Justice R. Reghupathy of the Madras High Court, on behalf of two murder accused known to the DMK leader.
  • Balakrishnan's son-in-law and Indian Youth Congress leader P. V. Srinijan, who did not have any land four years ago, is now the owner of property worth hundreds of thousands of rupees. According to a report by news channel Asianet News, Srinijan had declared while contesting as a Congress candidate in the 2006 Assembly elections that he had no landed property. He had contested unsuccessfully from the SC reserved constituency of Njarackal in Ernakulam. In light of the charges, Srinijan resigned from the Youth Congress. Former Chief Justice J. S. Verma, former apex court Judge V. R. Krishna Iyer, noted jurist Fali S. Nariman, former member of NHRC Sudarshan Agrawal and the prominent activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan have called for Justice Balakrishnan to step down from the chairmanship of the NHRC pending an inquiry into the matter.
  • A petition-seeking vigilance probe into the allegations of "amassment of wealth disproportionate to their sources of income" by Balakrishnan's family members, was filed before the Income Tax Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau. The income tax department confirmed recently that at least three of his relatives had held a large amount of black money.
  • In February 2012, the Supreme Court of India in a case filed by the NGO Common Cause, inquired of the government as to the progress in the probe against Justice Balakrishnan



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Anita Rana




  • Janhit Foundation's Director, Anita Rana, received the prestigious Leadership in Community Initiatives for a Green Economy - UNDP Award from the UN Development Programme at the 2012 Delhi Sustainable Development Summit. The award was presented by the UNDP's Country Director, Caitlin Wiesen.
  • Valuable Work in Support of Earth Day Network's Campaign - Women and the Green Economy (2012) - Anita Rana was honoured to have her and her organization's work recognized by the Earth Day Network at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, 2012.



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Yingluck Shinawatra



  • Yingluck Shinawatra (born 21 June 1967), is a Thai businesswoman and politician, member of the Pheu Thai Party, and the 28th Prime Minister of Thailand following the 2011 general election. Yingluck is Thailand's first female Prime Minister and at 44 is the youngest Prime Minister of Thailand in over 60 years.
  • Yingluck Shinawatra was the Chief Guest at India's 63rd Republic Day, 2012.
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Zaheerul-Islam


Lieutenant-General Zaheerul Islam HI(M) is the current Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI); he was appointed to the position on 9 March 2012. Islam will take over the position from Ahmed Shuja Pasha on 18 March. He is currently serving as Corps Commander V Corps, Karachi. He also served as Chief of Staff in the Army Strategic Force Command for 2004-2006.
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Jyotirmoy Dey




  • Jyotirmoy Dey (1955 – 11 June 2011), also known as Jyotendra DeyCommander J, and J Dey, was an Indian journalist, crime and investigations editor for MiD DAY (a tabloid newspaper published in several cities in India) and an expert on the Mumbai underworld. 
  • He was shot dead by motorcycle-borne sharpshooters on 11 June 2011.
  • Dey had authored two books on underworld activities, Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers and Khallas. He has done many reports on underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan.
  • On 21 Feb 2012, Mumbai Crime Branch chargesheeted journalist Jigna Vora (Deputy Chief of Bureau of Asian Age) under stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Arms Act and various sections of IPC including criminal conspiracy, murder and destruction of evidence. Jigna Vora had been under the Mumbai police's radar since 4 July 2011 after the police intercepted a conversation between Manoj, brother of Vinod Asrani, who has also been arrested and the gangster Chhota Rajan. The police alleged that Vora had supplied address and licence plate number of Dey's motorcycle to Chhota Rajan. Police claimed Vora's professional rivalry was the reason for Dey's murder. 

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Soumitra Sen




  • Soumitra Sen is a retired judge of the Calcutta High Court. He was the first judge in independent India to be impeached in India's Rajya Sabha for misappropriation of funds.
  • Justice Sen was held guilty of misappropriation of public funds he received in his capacity as receiver appointed by the High Court of Calcutta and misrepresenting facts with regard to it by a committee of three judges set up by former CJI K. G. Balakrishnan in 2007. A year later, Justice Balakrishnan recommended his impeachment to the PM, after which a legal opinion obtained by the law ministry endorsed the judges' committee report.
  • In 2009, 58 MPs of the Rajya Sabha moved a motion for impeachment of Calcutta High Court Judge Soumitra Sen for his involvement in financial misappropriation. Probe panel was set up by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari in February 2009. It was headed by SC judge Justice B Sudershan Reddy and had as its members Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and noted Jurist Fali S. Nariman. The Committee said the charges were duly proved.
  • Article 124(4) when read with proviso (b) to Article 217(1) states that a judge of a high court shall not be removed from his office except on the grounds of 'proved misbehaviour'. The prefix 'proved' only means proved to the satisfaction of requisite majority of Parliament, if so recommended by the inquiry committee.
  • The report said the oral and documentary evidence had established that two separate accounts were opened by Justice Sen as "receiver" in his own name and a total sum aggregating to Rs 33, 22, 800 being the sale proceeds of goods were brought into the two accounts between March 24, 1993 and May 5, 1995.
  • The indictment of Sen paved way for Parliament to take up the impeachment of the judge who had been found guilty of collecting Rs 33,22,800 from a purchaser of goods, keeping it in a savings bank account and misrepresenting facts to the high court.
  • Subash Bhattacharya the lawyer of Justice Soumitra Sen said that his client is innocent and he will prove he is innocent. As per the Judges Inquiry Act, the motion was moved in the Rajya Sabha and debated upon. Sen was given an opportunity to defend himself through his counsel. 
  • On 18 August 2011, Rajya Sabha passed the impeachment motion by overwhelming majority of 189 votes in favour and 17 against.
  • This is the second case in the history of the country in which Parliament has initiated proceedings for removal of a judge. The first involved Justice V. Ramaswami.
  • Ahead of the impeachment motion against him in the Lok Sabha on September 5 & 6, 2011, he resigned on September 1, 2011. In his resignation letter he said that, "Since the Rajya Sabha has decided in its wisdom that he should not continue as a judge, he has decided not to go to the Lok Sabha, and put in his papers instead."
  • On Jan 15, 2012, it became public through an RTI query that Justice Sen along with his other colleague facing similar accusations Justice P. D. Dinakaran will keep getting their post-retirement benefits, even though they resigned ahead of impeachment proceedings against them, as there are no Constitutional or statutory provisions restricting their entitlements in such a scenario.
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Tawakel Karman




  • Tawakul Karman  or Tawakel Abdel-Salam Karman (born 7 February 1979) became the international public face of the 2011 Yemeni uprising that is part of the Arab Spring uprisings. She has been called by Yemenis the "Iron Woman" and "Mother of the Revolution."
  • She is a co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize and the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate to date.
  • Karman is a Yemeni journalist, politician and senior member of the of Al-Islah political party, and human rights activist who heads the group "Women Journalists Without Chains," which she co-founded in 2005. She gained prominence in her country after 2005 in her roles as a Yemeni journalist and an advocate for a mobile phone news service denied a license in 2007, after which she led protests for press freedom. She organized weekly protests after May 2007 expanding the issues for reform. She redirected the Yemeni protests to support the "Jasmine Revolution," as she calls the Arab Spring, after the Tunisian people overthrew the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. She has been a vocal opponent who has called for the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime.
  • Karman, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, were the co-recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work."
  • Shirin Ebadi was the first Persian woman and first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • She has been selected as the first place of the FP top 100 global thinkers of 2011.
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Anders Behring Breivik




  • Anders Behring Breivik (born 13 February 1979) is a Norwegian accused mass murderer and the confessed perpetrator of the 2011 attacks in Norway.
  • On 22 July 2011, Breivik bombed the government buildings in Oslo, which resulted in eight deaths. He then carried out a mass shooting at a camp of the Workers' Youth League (AUF) of the Labour Party on the island of Utøya where he killed 69 people, mostly teenagers.
  • On 10 April 2012 the second psychiatric evaluation was published with the conclusion that Breivik was not psychotic during the attacks and he was not psychotic during their evaluation; rather he is an extreme narcissist.
  • Breivik's far-right militant ideology is described in a compendium of texts, titled 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence and distributed electronically by Breivik on the day of the attacks.  Breivik wrote that his main motive for committing the atrocities on 22 July was to market this manifesto.  Breivik confessed and stated that the purpose of the attack was to save Norway and Western Europe from a Muslim takeover, and that the Labour Party had to "pay the price" for "letting down Norway and the Norwegian people".
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Yoshihiko Noda




  • Yoshihiko Noda (born 20 May 1957) is the current Prime Minister of Japan, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and a member of the House of Representatives (lower house) in the Diet (national legislature).
  • He was named to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Naoto Kan as a result of a runoff vote against Banri Kaieda in his party, and was formally appointed by the Emperor Akihito on 2 September 2011.
  • In his first speech as Prime Minister on 2 September, Noda confirmed that the Japanese government will continue to phase out nuclear power, by not building new nuclear power plants nor extending the life spans of outdated ones; however, nuclear power plants which are currently sitting idle in the wake of the Fukushima disaster will be restarted in order to help Japan's immediate demands for energy.
  • Since becoming Prime Minister, Noda's most important initiative has been the inclusion of Japan in planning the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, which he announced on 11 November. This has proved controversial and is widely discussed in Japanese society. Otherwise, he has engaged himself in assisting Japan's economic recovery from the Tohoku earthquake.
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Burhanuddin Rabbani




  • Burhanuddin Rabbani (1940 – 20 September 2011) was President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996. After the Taliban government was toppled during Operation Enduring Freedom, Rabbani returned to Kabul and served as a temporary President from November to December 20, 2001, when Hamid Karzai was chosen at the Bonn International Conference on Afghanistan.
  • Rabbani was the leader of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Society of Afghanistan), which has close ties to Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami. He was one of the earliest founders and movement leaders of the Mujahideen in the late 1970s, right before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He served as the political head of the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (UIFSA), an alliance of various political groups who fought against Taliban in Afghanistan. He also served as President from 1992 to 1996 until he was forced to leave Kabul because of the Taliban takeover of the city. His government was recognized by many countries, as well as the United Nations. He was also the head of Afghanistan National Front (known in the media as United National Front), the largest political opposition to Hamid Karzai's government.
  • On 20 September 2011, Rabbani was assassinated by a suicide bomber entering his home in Kabul. The suicide bomber claimed to be a Taliban commander and said he wanted to "discuss peace" with Rabbani.  As suggested by the Afghan parliament, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai gave him the title of "Martyr of Peace".
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Baburam Bhattarai



  • Dr. Baburam Bhattarai (born 18 June 1954) is a Nepalese politician who became the 36th Prime Minister of Nepal in August 2011. 
  • He is a senior Standing Committee Member and vice chairperson of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
  • His party started a revolutionary People's War in Nepal in 1996 that ultimately led to the change of the political system in Nepal. The decade long civil war transformed Nepal from a monarchy into a republic.
  • On 4 February 1996, Bhattarai gave the government, led by Nepali Congress Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, a list of 40 demands, threatening civil war if they were not met. The demands related to "nationalism, democracy and livelihood" and included such line items as the "domination of foreign capital in Nepali industries, business and finance should be stopped", and "discriminatory treaties, including the 1950 Nepal-India Treaty, should be abrogated" (referring here to the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship), and "land under the control of the feudal system should be confiscated and distributed to the landless and the homeless." After that, and until 26 April 2006, the guerilla leader Prachanda directed the military efforts of the CPN (M) towards establishing areas of control, particularly in the mountainous regions and western Nepal.
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Leila Lopes


  • Leila Luliana da Costa Vieira Lopes (born February 26, 1986) is an Angolan beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Angola UK 2010Miss Angola 2010 and later Miss Universe 2011.
  • In São Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011, She became the first Angolan Miss Universe and the 60th titleholder. Lopes received the title from the former Miss Universe titleholder, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico. Lopes is the fourth African to win the title since the beginning of the worldwide pageant (South Africa in 1978, Namibia in 1992, Botswana in 1999 and Angola in 2011) and the second African woman of Black African descent to win following Mpule Kwelagobe, Miss Universe 1999 from Botswana. Lopes also became the first woman from Angola to win a "Big four" beauty pageant.
  • Lopes title now faces serious questioning following allegations that false documents were used to help her get into an earlier pageant, where a win effectively put her into the main competition, according to British media reports. The new allegations arose claiming that her documents were falsified in order to show a legal residence status in the United Kingdom and win the qualifying Miss Angola UK contest. If proven true, she may lose her Miss Universe title. The report claimed that a man named Mukano Charles an Angolan promoter, helped falsify documents identifying her as a student of business management at a British school and may have even bribed judges in England to ensure Lopes’s win, enabling her to enter and win the contest in the United Kingdom.
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Gopal Subramaniam



  • Gopal Subramaniam is an Indian lawyer senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India, who was appointed as the Solicitor General of India, the second most important law officer of the country after the attorney general, in 2009 at the age of 51.
  • Recent Supreme Court judgments on black money in which the court directed constitution of a special investigation team and the one declaring appointment of Special Police Officers (Salwa Judum) as unconstitutional were seen as a last straw for the exit of Mr. Subramaniam. Subramanium had resigned to protest the government's decision to field a private lawyer in a case involving Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who has been accused of bending rules to favour Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications.
  • On July 27, 2011, The Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India appointed Rohinton Fali Nariman, the son of distinguished jurist Fali Nariman as the Solicitor General of India for a period of three years.
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Vanya Mishra



  • Vanya Mishra (born 27 February 1992) in Jalandhar was crowned the winner of Femina Miss India on March 30, 2012. She is currently doing her under graduate program in Electrical Engineering from PEC University of Technology.
  • Vanya got a direct entry into the finals after being declared as the winner of Dabur Gulabari Miss Rose Glow 2011 contest. Her answer to the final question 'If you have an option, will you create thousand jobs or feed thousand children daily?' (sic) , which won her the award was, "Little children are innocent and anybody's heart will melt. I will also try to give them education so that they can feed themselves and their family too"(sic). She will be representing India at the Miss World 2012 pageant in Dongsheng Fitness Center Stadium, Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China. She was also crowned Dabur Gulabari Miss Rose Glow 2012, Bharathi Vidyapeeth Femina Miss Photogenic 2012, Maybelline Femina Miss Colossal Eyes 2012 and Dabur Femina Miss Beautiful Skin 2012 in the subcontests of Pantaloons Femina Miss India.
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Norman Anil Kumar Browne




  • Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, also known as "Charlie" Browne, is the current Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) of the IAF, he was Vice Chief of the Air Staff until he replaced outgoing Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik on 31 July 2011. 
  • Browne is the twentieth CAS of the IAF and a fighter pilot who has logged over 3,100 hours flying Hunters, Jaguars, MiG 21s and Sukhoi 30s besides others.
  • Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne is an alumnus of National Defence Academy who has also served as an instructor at the Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington.
  • Browne trained with the Royal Air Force, in the United Kingdom, on Jaguar aircraft before commanding a Jaguar Squadron. A graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Albama, USA he has held many appointments including Joint Director at Air War Strategy Cell at Air Headquarters, Chief Operations Officer and Air Officer Commanding of the SU-30 Base, Air-I at Western Air Command and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Intelligence) at Air Headquarters. Browne was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on June 24, 1972. Before taking over as the Vice chief of the Air Staff in January 2011, he was the AOC-in-C of Western Air Command, IAF's most vital operational command.
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Ronjan Sodhi




  • Ronjan Sodhi is an Indian trap shooter who won two silver medals in 2010 Commonwealth Games and a gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games.
  • In 2011 he became first Indian to defend a world cup title.
  • He is also a recipient of Arjuna award.
  • Ronjan Sodhi became the only Indian marksman to grab the top spot in the latest ISSF World Rankings. Ronjan, who was earlier ranked second behind American Joshua Richmond by three points, attained the summit by virtue of his Bronze Medal-winning feat at the World Cup earlier in July in Maribor, Slovenia.
  • Ronjan Sodhi belongs to the Royal Family Of Sodhi Nagar, Ferozepur.
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Tessy Thomas



  • Tessy Thomas (born in 1964) is the Key Scientist for Agni-V in Defence Research and Development Organisation, Hyderabad. She is the first woman scientist to head a missile project in India.
  • In 2011, three women scientists won the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award, India's top science prize, compared to 11 from 1958-2010 and one was for Ms Thomas.
  • Tessy was associate project director of the 3,000 km range Agni-III missile project. She was the project director for Agni IV which was successfully tested in 2011. Tessy was appointed as the Project Director for 5,000 km range Agni-V in 2009 and is based at the Advanced Systems Laboratory in Hyderabad. The missile was successfully tested on 19 April 2012.
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N Valarmathi

  • N. Valarmathi, from Tamil Nadu, is the project director for the Radar Imaging Satellite (Risat—1) project at the Indian space agency's Satellite Centre in Bangalore.
  • Valarmathi is the second woman to be the satellite project director at ISRO. T.K. Anuradha, who headed the communication satellite GSAT—12 programme, is the first woman ever to have been the satellite project director at ISRO.
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Rajasthan : The Land of Kings



Rajasthan


Literal meaning : The Land of the Kingdoms
Established : 1 November, 1956
Capital (and Largest City) : Jaipur
Legislature : Unicameral (200 seats)
Governor : Dr. Shivraj Patil
Chief Minister : Ashok Gehlot (INC)
Parliamentary Constituency : 25
Borders : West - Pakistan
               Southwest - Gujarat
               Southeast - Madhya Pradesh
               North - Punjab
               Northeast - Uttar Pradesh, Haryana
Area : 342,269 sq. km ( Largest)
Official Language : Hindi
High Court : Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur
Old Names : Gurjaratra (R.C. Majumdar)
                    Rajputana ( George Thomas)

Administrative Divisions :

Rajasthan is divided into 33 districts and 7 divisions -

  1. Ajmer Division - Ajmer, Bhilwara, Nagaur, Tonk
  2. Bharatpur Division - Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur
  3. Bikaner Division - Bikaner, Churu, SriGanganagar, Hanumangarh
  4. Jaipur Division - Jaipur, Alwar, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Dausa
  5. Jodhpur Division - Jodhpur, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Pali, Sirohi
  6. Kota Division - Kota, Baran, Bundi, Jhalawar
  7. Udaipur Division - Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Pratapgarh, Dungarpur, Rajsamand

Census 2011 stats (provisional) :

Population - 68,621,012 ( 8th Rank)
Density - 200/sq.km.
Literacy rate - 67.06% (80.51% male & 52.66% female)
Sex Ratio - 926 females/1000 males

History :

Maharana Pratap Singh, legendary sixteenth century Rajput ruler of Rajasthan.

  • The Indus Valley Civilization, one of the world's first and oldest civilizations, was located in parts of what is now Rajasthan. Kalibangan in Hanumangarh district was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization.
  • Matsya, a state of the Vedic civilization of India, is said to roughly corresponded to former state of Jaipur in Rajasthan, and included the whole of Alwar with portions of  Bharatpur. The capital of Matsya was at Viratanagar (modern Bairat).
  • Gurjars ruled many dynasties in this part of the country. In fact this region was long known as Gurjaratra. Up to the tenth century almost the whole of North India, excepting Bengal, acknowledged the supremacy of Gurjars with their seat of power at Kannauj. The Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 6th to the 11th century.
  • Modern Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana, which comprises mainly the erstwhile Rajput kingdoms as well as two Jat kingdoms and a Muslim kingdom. Marwar (Jodhpur), Bikaner, Mewar (Udaipur), Alwar and Dhundhar (Jaipur) were some of the main Rajput states. The Jats were rulers in Bharatpur and Dholpur. Tonk was ruled by a Muslim Nawab. Rajput families rose to prominence in the 6th century CE.
  • Most notably Rana Sanga fought the Battle of Khanua against Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire.
  • Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, the Hindu Emperor, also known as Hemu in the history of India was born in the village of Machheri in Alwar District in the year 1501. He won 22 battles against Afghans, from Punjab to Bengal and defeated Akbar's forces twice at Agra and Delhi in 1556, before acceeding to the throne of Delhi and establishing 'Hindu Raj' in North India, albeit for a short duration, from Purana Quila in Delhi. He was killed in the Second Battle of Panipat.
  • Maharana Pratap of Mewar resisted Akbar in the famous Battle of Haldighati (1576) and later operated from hilly areas of his kingdom. Bhils were Maharana's main allies during these wars.
  •  With the decline of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, Rajputana came under attack by the Marathas and Pindaris until the Maratha general Scindia captured Ajmer.  Following their rapid defeat, the Rajput kings concluded treaties with the British in the early 19th century, accepting British sovereignty in return for local autonomy. Following the Mughal tradition as well as its strategic location Ajmer became a province of British India, while the autonomous Rajput states, the Muslim state Tonk, and the Jat states (Bharatpur and Dholpur) were organized into the Rajputana Agency.
  • The development of the frescos in Rajasthan is linked with the history of the Marwaris who also played a crucial role in the economic development of the region. Many wealthy families throughout Indian history have links to Marwar. These families include the legendary Birla,Bhandari, Bajaj, Mittal and Mirza families.


Geography :

The Thar Desert
The Aravalli Range adds diversity to the landscape of Rajasthan.

  • The huge portion of land is acquired by the biggest Indian desert – The Thar Desert also known as Maru-Kantar.
  • The oldest range of mountains the Aravalli mountains separates the into two zones the desert zone on one side and forest on the other. It  runs across the state from the southwest peak Guru Shikhar (Mount Abu), which is 1,722 m in height, to Khetri in the northeast. Mount Abu is the hilly visiting destination in the state and Gurushikhar as the highest peak of Arvalli range of mountains.
  •  Mount Abu lies at the southwestern end of the range, separated from the main ranges by the West Banas River, although a series of broken ridges continues into Haryana in the direction of Delhi where it can be seen as outcrops in the form of the Raisina Hill and the ridges farther north. About three-fifths of Rajasthan lies northwest of the Aravallis, leaving two-fifths on the east and south direction.
  • In wider terms the topography of Rajasthan can be divided into three main broad categories the Aravalli or the Hilly regions, the Thar and the other arid regions, the Plateaus of Vindhaya and the Malwa, the Fertile plains in  the Mewar, the Forest Regions and the Water resources including Rivers and Salt Lakes.
  • The versatility of soil is found in Rajasthan. The different category of soil is sandy, saline, alkaline and chalky (calcareous). Clay, loamy, black lava soil and nitrogenous.
  • Due to deserted area the rainfall is low and rare. However, food crops are grown in the plain areas with the help of rivers, canals and watershed programmes. 
  • Temperature in winder ranges from 8° to 28° C and in summer from 25° to 46° C.
  • The average rainfall also differs the western region has almost 100 mm (about 4 in) annually, where as  the southeastern part of the state receives 650 mm (26 in) annually, most of which falls from July through September during the monsoon season. 
  • The Northwestern thorn scrub forests lie in a band around the Thar Desert, between the desert and the Aravallis. This region receives less than 400 mm of rain in an average year. Temperatures can exceed 45 °C in the summer months and drop below freezing in the winter. The GodwarMarwar, and Shekhawati regions lie in the thorn scrub forest zone, along with the city of Jodhpur.
  • The Luni River and its tributaries are the major river system of Godwar and Marwar regions, draining the western slopes of the Aravallis and emptying southwest into the great Rann of Kutch wetland in neighboring Gujarat. This river is saline in the lower reaches and remains potable only up to Balotara in Barmer district. The Ghaggar River, which originates in Haryana, is an intermittent stream that disappears into the sands of the Thar Desert in the northern corner of the state and is seen as a remnant of the primitive Saraswati river.
  • The Aravalli Range and the lands to the east and southeast of the range are generally more fertile and better watered. This region is home to the Kathiarbar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion, with tropical dry broadleaf forests that include teak, Acacia, and other trees. The hilly Vagad region lies in southernmost Rajasthan, on the border with Gujarat. With the exception of Mount Abu, Vagad is the wettest region in Rajasthan, and the most heavily forested. North of Vagad lies the Mewar region, home to the cities of Udaipur and Chittaurgarh. The Hadoti region lies to the southeast, on the border with Madhya Pradesh. North of Hadoti and Mewar lies the Dhundhar region, home to the state capital of Jaipur. Mewat, the easternmost region of Rajasthan, borders Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Eastern and southeastern Rajasthan is drained by the Banas and Chambal rivers, tributaries of the Ganges.
  • Merta City lies in the geographical center of Rajasthan.


Economy : 

A marble quarry in Kishangarh Ajmer

  • Rajasthan's economy is primarily agricultural and pastoral. Wheat and barley are cultivated over large areas, as are pulsessugarcane, and oilseeds.
  •  Cotton and tobacco are the state's cash crops.
  • Rajasthan is among the largest producers of edible oils in India and the second largest producer of oilseeds. Rajasthan is also the biggest wool-producing state in India and the main opium producer and consumer.
  • The water for irrigation comes from wells and tanks. The Indira Gandhi Canal irrigates northwestern Rajasthan.
  • The main industries are mineral based, agriculture based, and textiles. Rajasthan is the second largest producer of polyester fibre in India. The Pali and Bhilwara District produces more cloth than Bhiwandi, Maharashtra and the bhilwara is the largest city in suitings production and export and Pali is largest city in cotton and polyster in blouse pes and rubia production and export.
  • Rajasthan is pre-eminent in quarrying and mining in India. TheTaj Mahal was built from the white marble which was mined from a town called Makrana. The state is the second largest source of cement in India. It has rich salt deposits at Sambhar, copper mines at Khetri, Jhunjhunu and zinc mines at Dariba, Zawar mines at Zawarmala for zinc, Rampura Aghucha (opencast) near Bhilwara. Dimensional stone mining is also undertaken in Rajasthan. Jodhpur sandstone is mostly used in monuments, important buildings and residential buildings. This stone is termed as "chittar patthar".
  • Rajasthan is now the preferred destination for IT companies and North India's largest integrated IT park is located in Jaipur and is named as Mahindra World City Jaipur.


Tourism :

The Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest royal palaces in the world.

  • Rajasthan is famous for its majestic forts, intricately carved temples, and decorated havelis, which were built by Rajput kings in pre-Muslim era Rajasthan. Rajasthan's Jaipur Jantar MantarDilwara TemplesChittorgarh FortLake Palace, miniature paintings in Bundi, and numerous city palaces and havelis are an important part of the architectural heritage of India. Jaipur, the Pink City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone dominated by a pink hue. In Bundi, maximum houses are painted blue. At Ajmer, the white marble Bara-dari on the Anasagar lake is exquisite. Jain Temples dot Rajasthan from north to south and east to west. Dilwara Temples of Mount AbuRanakpur Temple dedicated to Lord Adinath in Pali District, Jain temples in the fort complexes of ChittorJaisalmer and KumbhalgarhLodurva Jain temples, Bhandasar and Karni Mata Temple of Bikaner are some of the best examples.
  • Bikaner is famous for its namkeens, Jaipur for its jewellery, Jodhpur for sweets and Jaisalmer for yellow stone, wall paintings of bundi.

Culture :

A decorated Indian elephant during a fair in Jaipur, India

  • The Ghoomar dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer have gained international recognition. Folk music is a vital part of Rajasthani culture. KathputliBhopa, Chang, Teratali, Ghindr, Kachchhighori, Tejaji etc. are the examples of the traditional Rajasthani culture. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds and love stories; and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis (often accompanied by musical instruments like dholaksitarsarangi etc.) are also sung.
  • Rajasthan is known for its traditional, colorful art.wall painting in bundi . The block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints, and Zari embroidery are major export products from Rajasthan. Handicraft items like wooden furniture and handicrafts, carpets, and blue pottery are some of the things commonly found here. Rajasthan is a shoppers' paradise, with beautiful goods found at low prices. Reflecting the colorful Rajasthani culture, Rajasthani clothes have a lot of mirror-work and embroidery. A Rajasthani traditional dress for females comprises an ankle length skirt and a short top, also known as a lehenga or a chaniya choli. A piece of cloth is used to cover the head, both for protection from heat and maintenance of modesty. Rajasthani dresses are usually designed in bright colours like blue, yellow and orange.
  • The main religious festivals are Deepawali, Holi, Gangaur, Teej, Gogaji, Shri Devnarayan Jayanti, Makar Sankranti and Janmashtami, as the main religion is Hinduism. Rajasthan's desert festival is celebrated with great zest and zeal. This festival is held once a year during winter. 

Demographics :

  • Rajasthan has a mainly Rajasthani population. Hindus account for 88.8% of the population. Muslims make up 8.5%, Sikhs 1.4% and Jains 1.2% of the population. The state of Rajasthan is also populated by Sindhis, who came to Rajasthan from Sindh province (now in Pakistan) during the India-Pakistan separation in 1947.The mother tongue of the majority of people in Rajasthan is Rajasthani. Rajasthani and Hindi are the most widely used languages in Rajasthan. Rajasthani is used as a medium of instruction, along with Hindi and English, in some schools. Some other languages used in Rajasthan are Gujarati, Sindhi and Punjabi.
  • The mother tongue of the majority of people in Rajasthan is Rajasthani. Rajasthani and Hindi are the most widely used languages in Rajasthan. Rajasthani is used as a medium of instruction, along with Hindi and English, in some schools. Some other languages used in Rajasthan are Gujarati, Sindhi and Punjabi.


Flora and Fauna :

Great Indian Bustard

  • The natural vegetation is classed as Northern Desert Thorn Forest (Champion 1936). These occur in small clumps scattered in a more or less open forms. Density and size of patches increase from west to east following the increase in rainfall.
  • The Desert National Park, Jaisalmer, spread over an area of 3162 km², is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert, and its diverse fauna. Seashells and massive fossilized tree trunks in this park record the geological history of the desert. The region is a haven for migratory and resident birds of the desert. One can see many eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards, kestrel and vultures. Short-toed Eagles (Circaetus gallicus), Tawny Eagles (Aquila rapax), Spotted Eagles (Aquila clanga), Laggar Falcons (Falco jugger) and kestrels are the commonest of these.
  • The Ranthambore National Park located in Sawai Madhopur, is one of the finest Tiger Reserves in the Country which became a part of Project Tiger in 1973.
  • The Sariska Tiger Reserve located in Alwar district, 200 km from Delhi and 107 km from Jaipur covers an area of approximately 800 km2.The area was declared a National Park in 1979.
  • Tal Chhapar Sanctuary is a very small sanctuary in Sujangarh, Churu District, 210 km from Jaipur, in the Shekhawati region. This sanctuary is home to a large population of graceful Blackbuck. Desert Fox and desert cat can also be spotted along with typical avifauna such as partridge and sand grouse.
  • The Great Indian Bustard, which is a state bird, is now at the stage of extinction. In Rajasthan bustard is also known as "Godavan".


Wildlife :

Aquila rapax in Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

  • There are four national parks named the Keoladeo National Park of BharatpurSariska Tiger Reserve of Alwar, Ranthambore National Park of Sawai Madhopur, and Desert National Park of Jaisalmer.
  • Prominent among the wildlife sanctuaries are Mount Abu Sanctuary, Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary, Darrah Sanctuary, Jaisamand Sanctuary, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Jawahar Sagar sanctuary and Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • There are a variety of wildlife species in Rajasthan, notably including the apex predator Caracal, Caracal caracal.


Transport :

  • By Air: There are three main airports at Rajasthan- Jaipur International AirportUdaipur Airport, and Jodhpur Airport. These airports connect Rajasthan with the major cities of India such as Delhi and Mumbai. There are two other airports in Kota and Jaisalmer, but are not open for commercial/civilian flights yet.
  • By Rail: Rajasthan is connected with the main cities of India by rail. Jaipur, Kota, Bikaner, Ajmer, Udaipur and Jodhpur are the principal railway stations in Rajasthan. Kota City is the only Electrified Section served by three Rajdhani Expresses and trains to all major cities of India. There is also an international railway, the Thar Express from Jodhpur to Karachi. However, this is not open to foreign nationals currently.
  • By Road: Rajasthan is well connected to the main cities of the country including Delhi, Ahmedabad and Indore by State and National Highways and served by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation and Private operators. Most renowned being NH 8, which is India's first 4–8 lane highway. NH 71B is the Smallest in Rajasthan