The National Innovation Council
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has approved the setting up of a National Innovation Council to prepare a road map for the ‘Decade of Innovation 2011-2020’. Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovations, will head the National Innovation Council.
The Council has been given the mandate to evolve an Indian model of innovation focussing on inclusive growth and creating an appropriate eco-system conducive to fostering inclusive innovation.
Committees and projects
The N.C. Saxena Committee was set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. It details the manner in which laws were flagrantly flouted to facilitate the Vedanta Alumina Ltd project in Orissa. The project is aggressively opposed by the local tribal groups.
The largest recipient of World Bank loans in 2009-10
India remained the largest recipient of World Bank loans in 2009-10. The World Bank, through its lending arms IBRD and IDA, committed $9.3 billion in financial assistance to India in 2009-10, more than the aid committed by the US and European Union. Next in line were South Africa ($3.8 billion), Brazil ($3.7 billion) and Turkey ($3.0 billion).
Salary Hikes to Members
The Indian Parliament has hiked the salary of Members of Parliament to Rs 50,000 per month. Two key allowances (constituency and office expenses) have also been increased to Rs 45,000 each.
Airtel has bagged the title sponsorship rights for the India cricket team’s home games for two-and-half years, at a cost of Rs 3.33 crore per match.
The official theme song of Commonwealth Games
“Oh yaaron, India ne bula liya”, composed by A.R. Rahman, is the theme song of Commonwealth Games, 2010. It has been directed by Shyam Benegal and produced by Bharat Bala.
World Heritage status
UNESCO has granted the World Heritage status to Jantar Mantar in Jaipur which is a celebrated astronomical observatory built in 18th century. This is India’s 28th and Rajasthan’s second site (after Keoladev National Park) to be given the World Heritage status.