Current Affairs – October, 2013

Latest Current Affairs October, 2013 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of October, 2013 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Nalanda University plan moves a step further as India inks MoUs with 7 nations

In a recent international development, India inked MoUs with seven countries towards realization of the concept of revival of Nalanda University in Bihar. The MoU was inked between India and seven other nations namely Australia, Cambodia, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Laos PDR and Myanmar. The agreements were signed during India’s participation in the ASEAN-India Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS) held in Brunei. It is a forum for cooperation between various countries of this region with ASEAN and includes Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the US, in addition to the ten ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries.

About Nalanda University revival plan:


The idea to revive Nalanda University was first proposed in 2005 by then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. India wanted to establish international institution that will promote the concept of an Asian community by bringing together future generations in a common objective of making new discoveries of old relationships to realize a unity of minds.

In this direction, the 2nd East Asia Summit held in 2007 in the city of Cebu, Republic of Philippines, resolved to strengthen regional educational co-operation by tapping the East Asia Region`s centres of excellence in education and for the revival of Nalanda University located in the state of Bihar in India to improve regional understanding and appreciation of one another`s heritage and history;

In 2009, the 4th East Asia Summit held in Hua Hin, Thailand, supported the establishment of Nalanda University and encouraged networking and collaboration between the proposed Nalanda University and existing centres of excellence in the participating countries of the East Asia Summit to build a community of learning where students, scholars, researchers and academicians can work together, symbolising the spirituality that unites all mankind.

Keeping these decisions in view, the Government of India has established Nalanda University in the state of Bihar by an Act of Parliament entitled `The Nalanda University Act, 2010 (No. 39 of 2010)`, as an international institution for the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical and spiritual studies and to encourage networking and collaboration between Nalanda University and existing centres of excellence, including in the participating countries of the East Asia Summit.

Nalanda University will enable participating countries to build an academic community where students, scholars, researchers and academicians can collaborate in developing Nalanda University as an international centre of excellence.

What is in the MoU signed by India and the participating countries?

The MoU has the following key points:

  • Nalanda University will be a non-state, non-profit, self-governing international institution and will have full academic freedom for the attainment of its objectives.
  • It will be located at Rajgir in Nalanda District in the state of Bihar in India (Host Country).
  • It will have full legal personality in the Host Country.
  • It will have the power to confer degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Objectives and Functions of Nalanda University
  1. To establish an international institution of learning that will bring together the brightest and the most dedicated students from all countries irrespective of gender, caste, creed, disability, ethnicity or socio-economic background and to give them the means needed for the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies and thus achieve qualities of tolerance, accommodation and mutual understanding.
  2. To build an Asian community of learning where the intellectual potential of every student can be developed to the fullest extent possible, and to create an Asian community by strengthening regional awareness.
  3. To impart education towards capacity-building of Asian nations in the domain of philosophy, language, history and other areas of higher learning vital for improving the quality of their life and those of their brethren.
  4. To contribute to the promotion of regional peace and vision by bringing together future leaders who by relating to their past history can enhance their understanding of each other`s perspectives.
Funding for Nalanda University revival plan
  • The funding for the establishment and operations of the University will be on a voluntary basis.
Governance Structure
  • It will be governed by a Governing Board who will be drawn from amongst distinguished persons from India and abroad. The President of India will be the Visitor of the University.
  • The members on the Governing Board will include 5 representatives from participating nations of the East Asia Summit to enhance their role in developing Nalanda University as an international institution of excellence.
  • The Vice-Chancellor appointed by the Governing Board will be the head of the varsity.
Fiscal Benefits

The University, its assets, income and other property, in the host country, will be:

  • Exempt from all direct taxes. However, the University will not claim exemption from taxes which are in fact no more than charges for public utility services;
  • Exempt from customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of articles imported or exported by the University for its official use, subject to the provisions of pertinent laws, rules and regulations, and provided that articles imported under such exemptions will be disposed of in accordance with local laws of the Host Country; and
  • Exempt from customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of its publications.
Privileges and Immunities
  • The University, the Vice Chancellor and its academic staff, and where applicable their dependents and members of the family, will be accorded such privileges and immunities in the Host Country as provided in the Headquarters Agreement signed between Nalanda University and the Government of India.
Visa and Work Permits
  • The Host Country will provide appropriate visas to the students, faculty and staff for travel to India to study or work in the University.

National Commission for STs presents Sixth Report on the working of safeguards for STs to the President of India

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes chaired by Dr. Rameshwar Oraon presented the Sixth Report on working of safeguard for Scheduled Tribes for 2010-11 to the President of India.

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes:

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes came into existence w.e.f.  February 19, 2004 following the amendment of Article 338 of the Constitution of India and introduction of a new Article 338A vide the Constitution ( 89thAmendment) Act, 2003 which, inter-alia, enjoins upon the Commission to oversee the implementation of various safeguards provided to Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any other order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards.

As per Article 338A, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes is mandated to present to the President annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports on the working of the safeguards extended to the members of Scheduled Tribes and to make in such reports suggestions as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes. The latest Sixth Report of the Commission for the year 2010-11 is in pursuance to these provisions.

What is in the Sixth Report on working of safeguard for Scheduled Tribes for 2010-11?

Chapters and their Highlights:

  • Chapter 1:  ‘Organizational Set-up and Functioning of the Commission’. It highlights some aspects of the Commission’s work and the steps taken for better performance, and recounts the constraints faced by the Commission in performing its tasks effectively.
  • Chapter 2:  ‘Service Safeguards’ . It talks about some significant aspects on reservation, dereservation of posts and safeguards available to the Members of the Scheduled Tribes for appointment in Government and Government controlled public institutions.
  • Chapter 3: “Drinking Water in Tribal Areas” . It discusses the steps taken in the past and future proposals of the Government for providing tribal villages and habitations in the country with drinking water facilities.
  • Chapter 4: “Critical Issues Concerning Scheduled Tribes”.  It reviews issues relating to Revision of lists of Scheduled Tribes, Land acquisition, Land (Sub-Surface) Rights and Land Alienation; Education; access to Health facilities; Tribal Sub Plan (TSP); National Tribal Policy; and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
  • Chapter 6: It presents representative cases pertaining to grievances and violation of safeguards of Scheduled Tribes as Case Studies.
  • Chapter 6: “Consultation on Policy Related Issues”. It presents the adherence to Clause 9 of Article 338A of the Constitution which mandates the Union and every State Government to consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting Scheduled Tribes.
  • Chapter 7: Summary of Recommendations.  In this all the recommendations made in each chapter of this Report are summarised.

As per the constitutional provisions, the report of the Commission has to be laid in both houses of the Parliament along with a Memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the Union. Similar action has to be taken by the State Governments while laying the Report in the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned, in relation to the recommendations concerning the State.