Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Current Affairs today

Politics & the Nation
Kashmir to get a political package
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday made the first move to reach out to the bleeding Valley by promising a political solution that addresses emotional needs of the people and their alienation.
Addressing a meeting of an allparty delegation from Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Singh, however, said that only prolonged peace can provide the required momentum to the political process.
The prime minister, who backed the security forces that are engaged in bringing normalcy to the Valley, refused to give a commitment on the demand for the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
In his address, the prime minister also asked the state political parties and the state government to connect more effectively with the people of the Valley. Although the current violent protests are being choreographed by forces based in the hostile neighbourhood, it is also seen as an expression of lack of confidence of people in the Abdullah dynasty. Chief minister Omar Abdullah has proved to be ineffective in meeting the challenges posed by the stone-pelters and their handlers.
An expert group headed by Dr C Rangarajan with N R Narayana Murthy, Tarun Das, P Nanda Kumar, Shaqueel Qalander and a representative of the J&K government as members is being set up to formulate a job plan for the state.
India up in arms over the US Senate bill
India launched a formal protest on Tuesday against the proposed US Senate bill that will raise funds for the Mexico border security by more than doubling visa fees for Indian tech professionals.
The discriminatory nature of the bill arises out of the fact that it applies only to the US-based companies that have more than half their employees on H1-B or L-1 visas. This will affect companies of Indian origin as most of them have employed majority of their staff from India even though the total number of such employees account for less than 12% of the total visas issued by the US.
US companies, on the other hand, issue a much larger number of H1-B and L-1 visas in total, but generally have more US citizens on their payroll than foreigners and will, therefore, not have to pay this levy.
The Indian software industry is already deeply burdened in the absence of a Totalisation Agreement, requiring them to pay more than $1 billion every year to the US in the form of social security.Finance & Economy
JLR steers Tata Motors to highest quarterly profit of 1,988 crore
Tata Motors reported its highestever quarterly profit, boosted by an 81% jump in revenue at the Jaguar Land Rover unit, once considered a millstone around its neck but now paves the way for debt lowering and challenging leaders in the luxury cars market.
The UK-based luxury carmaker sold 57,153 units compared with 35,947 a year earlier. Revenues from the unit rose 81% to Rs. 15,387 crore, from Rs. 8,508 crore a year ago. Pre-tax profits was Rs. 1,683 crore against a loss of Rs. 873 crore a year ago.
The YouGov-Legatum survey
This is a survey of 4,000 businessmen in India and China by YouGov, a top online survey organisation, and the Legatum Institute, an independent think tank. The survey represents the subjective view of Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs and provides some useful lessons for public policy.
First, economic liberalisation needs to proceed much faster. The bureaucracy continues to be a major problem, so we need get rid of many pointless rules and regulations. The quality of governance is poor, so we need administrative and legal reforms to reduce corruption and improve access to common justice. Access to finance is a major problem in India, and so the Reserve Bank of India must abandon its ultra-conservative policy in licensing more banks and branches.
Finally, jugaad is a vital ingredient of success. India may not have ample natural resources like oil or copper, but it has jugaad, which is more valuable. Natural resources like oil are often a curse: they can lead to government kleptocracy and authoritarianism. But jugaad helps foil government kleptocracy and authoritarian regulations. It enabled Indian business to survive the licence-permit raj, and to blossom after the 1991 reforms.
Some specific findings from the survey:
No less than 93% of Chinese businessmen say the main reason for their spectacular success is network connections (guangxi), especially with government officials. Indian businessmen, however, have succeeded despite the government: 81% say the main reason for their success is jugaad, the ability to find innovative way round prohibitive rules and institutions.
In 2011-20, India’s workforce will increase by 110 million, but China’s by less than 20 million, according to a Goldman Sachs study. This advantage may translate into faster GDP growth.
Want to know the finer details of the mediclaim imbroglio?
Look no further. This graphic gives you complete details.
Know what are liquid funds?
Take a look at this ET in the Classroom column that gives adequate info about them.International
Japan public debt hits record high
Japan's government debt hit a record high of more than 10 trillion dollars as of the end of June report, 733.81 trillion yen, or 81.2%, of the total accounted for government bonds.
Per-capita debt is around 7.1 million yen ($83,000).
The debt is a legacy of massive stimulus spending during the economic “lost decade” of the 1990s, as well as a series of pump-priming packages to tackle the recession which began in 2008. It crawled out of a severe year-long recession in 2009, but high public debt as well as deflation and weak domestic demand are hindering Japan.
Japan has faced global pressure to do more to cut its debt in recent months, although with around 95% of government bonds held by domestic investors, Japan’s risk of default is seen to be much lower than some eurozone countries. Language Lessons
roadster: Noun
An open automobile having a front seat and a rumble seat; A small lightweight carriage; drawn by a single horse
station wagon: Noun
A car that has a long body and rear door with space behind rear seat
mendicant: Noun
A male member of a religious order that originally relied solely on alms; A pauper who lives by begging
snafu: Noun
An acronym for: situation normal all fouled up

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hindi Translation

Chk out the new Hindi lingo...

CRICKET : Gol guttam lakad battam de danadan pratiyogita

CRICKET TEST MATCH : Pakad dandu, maar mandu, de danaadan

TABLE TENNIS : Lakdi ke phalak shetra pe le takaatak de takaatak

LAWN TENNIS : Harit Ghaas par le tada tad, de tada tad

LIGHT BULB : Vidyut Prakashak Kanch golak

TIE : Kanth Langoti

MATCH BOX : Ragdampatti Agni Utpaadan Peti

TRAFFIC SIGNAL : Aavat Jaavat Suchak Jhandaa

TEA : Dugdh Jal Mishrit Sharkara Yukt Parvatiya(pahaadi) Booti

TRAIN : Sahasra Chakra Louh Path Gaamini

ALL ROUTE PASS : Yatr Tatr Sarvatr Gaman Aagya Patr

RAILWAY SIGNAL : Loh Path Gamini Suchak Yantra

RAILWAY SIGNAL : Agni Rath Aava Gaman Soochak Pattika

RAILWAY SIGNAL : Louh path gaamini aawagaman suchak yantra


BUTTON : Ast Vyast Vastra Niyantrak

MOSQUITO : Gunjanhaari Manav Rakt Pipasu Jeev

CIGARETTE : Shweta patra mandit dhumra shalakha

Saturday, July 10, 2010

GK Q & A

General Knowledge Quiz Questions with Answers
The first Prime minister of Bangladesh was
Mujibur Rehman
The longest river in the world is the
The longest highway in the world is the
The longest highway in the world has a length of
About 8000 km
The highest mountain in the world is the
The country that accounts for nearly one third of the total teak production of the world is
The biggest desert in the world is the
Sahara desert
The largest coffee growing country in the world is
The country also known as "country of Copper" is
The name given to the border which separates Pakistan and Afghanistan is
Durand line
The river Volga flows out into the
Capsian sea
The coldest place on the earth is
Verkoyansk in Siberia
The country which ranks second in terms of land area is
The largest Island in the Mediterranean sea is
The river Jordan flows out into the
Dead sea
The biggest delta in the world is the
The capital city that stands on the river Danube is
The Japanese call their country as
The length of the English channel is
564 kilometres
The world's oldest known city is
The city which is also known as the City of Canals is
The country in which river Wangchu flows is
The biggest island of the world is
The city which is the biggest centre for manufacture of automobiles in the world is
Detroit, USA
The country which is the largest producer of manganese in the world is
The country which is the largest producer of rubber in the world is
The country which is the largest producer of tin in the world is
The river which carries maximum quantity of water into the sea is the
The city which was once called the `Forbidden City' was
The country called the Land of Rising Sun is
Mount Everest was named after
Sir George Everest
The volcano Vesuvius is located in
The country known as the Sugar Bowl of the world is
The length of the Suez Canal is
162.5 kilometers
The lowest point on earth is
The coastal area of Dead sea
The Gurkhas are the original inhabitants of
The largest ocean of the world is the
Pacific ocean
The largest bell in the world is the
Tsar Kolkol at Kremlin, Moscow
The biggest stadium in the world is the
Strahov Stadium, Prague
The world's largest diamond producing country is
South Africa
Australia was discovered by
James Cook
The first Governor General of Pakistan is
Mohammed Ali Jinnah
Dublin is situated at the mouth of river
The earlier name of New York city was
New Amsterdam
The Eifel tower was built by
Alexander Eiffel
The Red Cross was founded by
Jean Henri Durant
The country which has the greatest population density is
The national flower of Britain is
Niagara Falls was discovered by
Louis Hennepin
The national flower of Italy is
The national flower of China is
The permanent secretariat of the SAARC is located at
The gateway to the Gulf of Iran is
Strait of Hormuz
The first Industrial Revolution took place in
World Environment Day is observed on
5th June
The first Republican President of America was
Abraham Lincoln
The country famous for Samba dance is
The name of Alexander's horse was
Singapore was founded by
Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles
The famous British one-eyed Admiral was
The earlier name of Sri Lanka was
The UNO was formed in the year
UNO stands for
United Nations Organization
The independence day of South Korea is celebrated on
15th August
`Last Judgement' was the first painting of an Italian painter named
Paradise Regained was written by
John Milton
The first President of Egypt was
Mohammed Nequib
The first man to reach North Pole was
Rear Peary
The most famous painting of Pablo Picasso was
The primary producer of newsprint in the world is
The first explorer to reach the South Pole was
Cap. Ronald Amundson
The person who is called the father of modern Italy is
World literacy day is celebrated on
8th September
The founder of modern Germany is
The country known as the land of the midnight sun is
The place known as the Roof of the world is
The founder of the Chinese Republic was
San Yat Sen
The first Pakistani to receive the Nobel Prize was
Abdul Salam
The first woman Prime Minister of Britain was
Margaret Thatcher
The first Secretary General of the UNO was
Trygve Lie
The sculptor of the statue of Liberty was
Frederick Auguste Bartholdi
The port of Banku is situated in
John F Kennedy was assassinated by
Lee Harry Oswald
The largest river in France is
The Queen of England who married her brother-in-law was
Catherine of Aragon
The first negro to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was
Ralph Johnson Bunche
The first British University to admit women for degree courses was
London University
The principal export of Jamaica is
New York is popularly known as the city of
Madagascar is popularly known as the Island of
The country known as the Land of White Elephant is
The country known as the Land of Morning Calm is
The country known as the Land of Thunderbolts is
The highest waterfalls in the world is the
Salto Angel Falls, Venezuela
The largest library in the world is the
United States Library of Congress, Washington DC



Amateur Athletics Federation of India Afro-Asian People's Solidarity OrganisationAll Assam Students UnionAnti Ballistic MissileAlternate Current / Ashok Chakra / Air Conditioner / Antarctic ClubAnxillary Cadet CoreAno Domini (After the birth of Jesus)Asian Development Bank .Atomic Energy Research EstablishmentAsian Games Organisation CommitteeAll India Congress CommitteeAll India Council of Technical EducationAcquired Immuno Deficiency SyndromeAll India Football FederationAll India Institute of Medical SciencesAeronautics India LimitedAll India Muslim Personal Law BoardAll India Radio (Broadcasting)All India Trade Union CongressAnti Meridian (Before Noon)African National CongressAsia Pacific Economic CooperationArmy Postal Services CoreAssociation of South East Asian NationsAugmented Satellite Launch VehicleArchaeological Survey of IndiaAssociated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (India) Airborne Surveillance Warning and ControlAnti Tetanus Serum
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and SurgeryBhabha Atomic Research CentreBritish Broadcasting CorporationBefore Christ (Before the birth of Jesus)Bacillus Calmette Guerin (Anti TB Vaccine)Board of Control for Cricket in IndiaBharat Electronics LimitedBelgium, Netherlands and LuxemburgBharat Heavy Electronics LimitedBoard of Industrial Finance and Reconstruction (Formerly Industrial Reconstruction Finance Board)Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand Economic CooperationBureau of Indian StandardsBachelor of PharmacyBorder Security Force
Command Area DevelopmentComptroller and Auditor GeneralCooperative for American Relief EverywhereCommission for Alternative Sources of EnergyCentral Administrative Tribunal, Computerised Axial Tomography Central Arid Zone Research InstituteCentral Bureau of InvestigationCentral. Board of Secondary EducationCabinet Committee on Economic AffairsCabinet Committee on SecurityCentre For Development of Advance ComputingCode Division Multiple AccessCentral Drug Research InstituteCompulsory Deposit SchemeCommonwealth Heads of Government MeetingCriminal Investigation DepartmentCommonwealth of Independent StatesCentral Industrial Security Force, Centre of Indian Trade UnionsCompressed Natural GasCentral Ordnance DepotConservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act Central Passport OrganisationCentral Power Research InstituteCentral Reserve Police ForceCash Reserve RatioCouncil of Scientific and Industrial ResearchCentral Statistical OrganisationComputerised Tomography ScannerCentral Vigilance Commission
Dichloro Diphenyle Tri-chloroethane'Digital Flight Data Recorder (Black box)'Deputy Inspector GeneralDoctor of LiteratureDistrict MagistrateDravida Munetra KazhagamDi-oxyribo-Nucleic Acid'Drought Prone Area ProgrammeDabhol Power CompanyDeep Penetration Strike AircraftDefence Research and Development Organisation Direct to HomeDigital Versatile Disk
Employment Assurance SchemeEuropean Central BankElectro CardiogramEuropean Economic CommunityElectro EncephalogramEnzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay Electromotive ForceElectronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange Export Processing ZoneEnergy Research and Development Administration Essential Services Maintenance ActElectronic Voting MachineExport-Import Bank of India
Food and Agriculture OrganisationFederal Bureau of Investigation (USA)Fast Breeder Test ReactorFood Corporation of India / Fertilizer Corporation of India Flight Data Recorder (Black Box)Foreign Exchange Regulation ActForeign Exchange Management ActFederation of India Chambers of Commerce and IndustryForeign Investment Promotion BoardFirst Information ReportFellow of the Royal SocietyFilms and Television Institute of IndiaFree Trade Zone
Gas Authority of India LimitedGeneral Agreement on Tariff and TradeGeneral Insurance CorporationGreenwich Mean TimeGorkha National Liberation FrontGross National ProductGeneral Provident FundGeneral Post OfficeGlobal Positioning SystemGeological Survey of India
Hindustan Aluminium CorporationHindustan Aeronautics LimitedHighest Common FactorHousing Development Finance CorporationHuman Immuno-deficiency VirusHindustan Machine ToolsHousing and Urban Development CorporationHigh Yield Variety Seeds
International Airport Authority of IndiaIndian Airlines CorporationInternational Atomic Energy AgencyIndian Agricultural Research InstituteInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)Indian Council of Agricultural ResearchInter Continental Ballistic MissileInternational Cricket CouncilInternational Confederation of Free Trade UnionsIndustrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India LimitedInternational Court of JusticeIndian Council of Medical ResearchIndian Company Secretaries InstituteInternational Development AgencyIndustrial Development Bank of IndiaInternational Defence OrganisationIndian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals LimitedIndian Football AssociationIndustrial Finance Corporation of IndiaInternational Film Festival of IndiaIndian Farmers Fertilizers CooperativeInternational Federation of Trade UnionsIndian Institute of Public AdministrationIndian Institute of SciencesIndian Iron and Steel CompanyIndian Institute of TechnologyInternational Labour OrganisationIndian Military AcademyInternational Monetary FundIndira Gandhi Gallery for Culture and ArtIndian Naval ShipIndian National SatelliteInternational Telecommunication SatelliteInternational Police OrganisationIndian National Trade Union CongressInternational Olympic Committee / Indian Oil CorporationIndian Penal CodeIndian Peace Keeping ForceIntelligence QuotientIntermediate Range Ballistic MissileInternational Red CrossInsurance Regulatory Development AuthorityIntegrated Rural Development ProgrammeIndian Standard BureauIndian School of MinesInternational Organisation for StandardisationInternet Services ProviderIndian Space Research OrganisationIndian Standard TimeIndo-Tibet Border PoliceIndian Tourism Development CorporationIndian Trade Promotion OrganisationInternational Trade OrganisationIndian Trade Union Congress
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
Kinder Garten
Light Amplification By Stimulated Emission of RadiationLife Insurance Corporation of IndiaBachelor of LawMaster of LawLight Machine GumLine of Control (Pakistan)Line of Actual Control (China)Liquefied Petroleum GasLysergic acid di-ethylamideLiberation Tigers of Tamil Elam
Master of ArtsMicrowave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of RadiationMaster of Business AdministrationBachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of SurgeryMain Battle TankMonetary Compensatory Allowance / Master of Computer ApplicationMelbourne Cricket ClubDoctor of MedicineMost Favoured NationMilitary IntelligenceMaintenance of Internal Security ActMechachusates Institute of Technology (USA)Member of Legislative AssemblyMember of Legislative CouncilMulti National CorporationMember of Royal College of PhysiciansMember of Royal College of SurgeonsMonopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices CommissionModified Value Added Tax
National Bank for Agricultural and Rural DevelopmentNational AIDS Control OrganisationNational Adult Education ProgrammeNational Agricultural and Marketing FederationNorth American Free Trade AgreementNarora Atomic Power PlantNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (USA)National Association of Security Dealer's Active QuotationNational Association of Software & Service CompaniesNorth Atlantic Treaty OrganisationNational Commission for WomenNational Council for Civil RightNational Council of Educational Research & TrainingNational Defence AcademyNational Dairy Development Board (Anand, Gujarat)National Defence Fund .National Environment Engineering Research InstituteNorth-East Frontier AgencyNational Environment Protection AuthorityNational Film Development CorporationNational Fertilizer LimitedNational Human Rights CommissionNew Information and Communication OrderNational Industrial Development CorporationNational Institute of Information TechnologyNational Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-SciencesNational Institute for Training in Industrial EngineeringNational Missile Defence System (US)National Malaria Eradication ProgrammeNew Okhla Industrial Development AuthorityNational Productivity CouncilNational Population PolicyNuclear Non-Proliferation TreatyNational Research and Development CorporationNational Rural Employment ProgrammeNon Resident IndianNational Security CouncilNational Sample Survey OrganisationNational Textile CorporationNational Thermal Power Corporation
Open General LicenceOil India LimitedAll CorrectOil and Natural Gas CommissionOrganisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
Press Council of IndiaProvincial Civil ServicesDoctor of 'PhilosophyPosial lndex NumberPalestine Liberation OrganisationPost Meridian / Prime MinisterPrevention of Terrorism ActPolar. Satellite Launch VehiclePress Trust of IndiaPublic Relations OfficerPlease Turn OverPoly Vinyl Chloride / Paramvir Chakra Param Vishisht Seva MedalPublic Work's DepartmentPeople's War Group
Quod Erat Demonstrandum (Which was to be proved)Quod Erat Faciendum (Which was to be done)Quod Erat Inveniendum (Which was to be found)Quarter Master General
Radio Angle Direction and RangeResearch and Analysis WingResearch and DevelopmentReserve Bank of IndiaReinforced Cement ConcreteResearch Developed ExplosiveRashtriya Indian Military CollegeRailway Mail ServiceRural Landless Employment Guarantee ProgrammeRibonucleic AcidRevolutions Per MinuteRashtriya Swayamsevak SanghRegional Transport Officer
South Asian Association for Regional CooperationSpace Application CentreSouth Asian Free Trade AgreementSports Authority of IndiaSteel Authority of India LimitedSouth Asian Preferential Trade ArrangementSevere Acute Respiratory SyndromeSecurity Council/Supreme CourtShipping Corporation of IndiaStanding Conference of Public EnterprisesSpecial Class Railway ApprenticeSpecial Drawing RightsSecurity Exchange Board of IndiaSiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak CommitteeShri Harikota RangeSmall Industries Development Bank of IndiaSecret Intelligence Service (U.K)Suppression of .Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls ActSatellite Launch VehicleSociety for the Prevention of Cruelty of AnimalsSociety for the Promotion of Indian Classical music and cultureSatellite Tracking and Ranging StationSubscribers Trunk DialingSoftware Technology Parks of IndiaSouth West African People's Organisation
Travelling Aliowance / Territorial AnmyTransfer Certificate, Trusteeship CouncilTata Engineering and Locomotive CompanyTeleprinter ExchangeTata Iron and Steel Company Limited Tri-nitro-tolueneTest of English as a Foreign Language Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Travelling Ticket ExaminerTable Tennis Federation of IndiaTrans World Airlines (USA)
Upper Division ClerkUnidentified Flying ObjectUniversity Grants CommissionUltra High TemperatureUnited Liberation Front of AssamUnited Nations Conference on Trade and DevelopmentUnited Nations Development ProgrammeUnited Nations Emergency ForceUnited Nations Environment ProgrammeUnited Nations Economic Social and Cultural OrganisationUnited Nations for Population ActivitiesUnited Nations High Commission for RefugeesUnited News of IndiaUnited Nations International Children's Emergency FundUnited Nations OrganisationUninterrupted Power SupplyUnion Public Service CommissionUnique Selling Proposition,Union of Soviet Socialist RepublicUnit Trust of India
Value Added TaxVoluntary Disclosure of Income SchemeVice-Chancellor / Victoria CrossVery Important PersonValue Payable PostVoluntary Retirement SchemeVidesh Sanchar Nigam Limited Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
World Economic ForumWorld Health OrganisationWireless in Local LoopWorld Meteorological OrganisationWorld Wild Life FundWholesale Price IndexWorld Trade OrganisationWorld Wild Life Fund for NatureWorld Wide Web
Young Men's Christians AssociationYoung Women's Christians Association
Zero Based BudgetingZero Population GrowthZoological SocietyZoological Survey of India

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

List of Nobel Prize winners

List of Nobel Prize winners
YEAR 1991
* Biology - Robert Klark Graham, selector of seeds and prophet of propagation, for his pioneering development of the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank that accepts donations only from Nobellians and Olympians.
* Chemistry - Jacques Benveniste, prolific proselytizer and dedicated correspondent of Nature, for his persistent discovery that water, H2O, is an intelligent liquid, and for demonstrating to his satisfaction that water is able to remember events long after all traces of those events have vanished.
* Economics - Michael Milken, titan of Wall Street and father of the junk bond, to whom the world is indebted.
* Education - J. Danforth Quayle, consumer of time and occupier of space (as well as the U.S. Vice President from 1989-93), for demonstrating, better than anyone else, the need for science education.
* Literature - Erich von Däniken, visionary raconteur and author of Chariots of the Gods?, for explaining how human civilization was influenced by ancient astronauts from outer space.
* Medicine - Alan Kligerman, deviser of digestive deliverance, vanquisher of vapor, and inventor of Beano, for his pioneering work with anti-gas liquids that prevent bloat, gassiness, discomfort and embarrassment.
* Peace - Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb and first champion of the Star Wars weapons system, for his lifelong efforts to change the meaning of peace as we know it.
Apocryphal achievements
The first nomination also featured three fictional recipients for fictional achievements.
* Interdisciplinary research: Josiah S. Carberry, for his work in psychoceramics, the study of "cracked pots."
* Pedestrian technology: Paul DeFanti, "wizard of structures and crusader for public safety, for his invention of the Buckybonnet, a geodesic fashion structure that pedestrians wear to protect their heads and preserve their composure".
* Physics: Thomas Kyle, for his discovery of "the heaviest element in the universe, Administratium"
YEAR 1992
* Archeology - Eclaireurs de France (a French Scouting organization), removers of graffiti, for damaging the prehistoric paintings of two Bisons in the Cave of Mayrière supérieure near the French village of Bruniquel.
* Art - Presented jointly to Jim Knowlton, modern Renaissance man, for his classic anatomy poster "Penises of the Animal Kingdom," and to the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, for encouraging Mr. Knowlton to extend his work in the form of a pop-up book.
* Biology - Dr. Cecil Jacobson, relentlessly generous sperm donor, and prolific patriarch of sperm banking, for devising a simple, single-handed method of quality control.
* Chemistry - Ivette Bassa, constructor of colorful colloids, for her role in the crowning achievement of twentieth century chemistry, the synthesis of bright blue Jell-O.
* Economics - The investors of Lloyd's of London, heirs to 300 years of dull prudent management, for their bold attempt to insure disaster by refusing to pay for their company's losses.
* Literature - Yuri Struchkov,[3] unstoppable author from the Institute of Organoelement Compounds[4] in Moscow, for the 948 scientific papers he published between the years 1981 and 1990, averaging more than one every 3.9 days.
* Medicine - F. Kanda, E. Yagi, M. Fukuda, K. Nakajima, T. Ohta, and O. Nakata of the Shiseido Research Center in Yokohama, for their pioneering research study "Elucidation of Chemical Compounds Responsible for Foot Malodour," especially for their conclusion that people who think they have foot odor do, and those who don't, don't.
* Nutrition - The utilizers of SPAM, courageous consumers of canned comestibles, for 54 years of undiscriminating digestion.
* Peace - Daryl Gates, former police chief of the City of Los Angeles, for his uniquely compelling methods of bringing people together.
* Physics - David Chorley and Doug Bower, lions of low-energy physics, for their circular contributions to field theory based on the geometrical destruction of English crops.

YEAR 1993

* Biology - Presented jointly to Paul Williams Jr. of the Oregon State Health Division and Kenneth W. Newel of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, bold biological detectives, for their pioneering study, "Salmonella Excretion in Joy-Riding Pigs".
* Chemistry - Presented jointly to James Campbell and Gaines Campbell of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, dedicated deliverers of fragrance, for inventing scent strips, the odious method by which perfume is applied to magazine pages.
* Consumer Engineering - Presented to Ron Popeil, incessant inventor and perpetual pitchman of late night television, for redefining the industrial revolution with such devices as the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone, and the Inside-the-Shell Egg Scrambler.
* Economics - Presented to Ravi Batra of Southern Methodist University, shrewd economist and best-selling author of The Great Depression of 1990 and Surviving the Great Depression of 1990, for selling enough copies of his books to single-handedly prevent worldwide economic collapse.
* Literature - Presented to E. Topol, R. Califf, F. Van de Werf, P. W. Armstrong, and their 972 co-authors, for publishing a medical research paper which has one hundred times as many authors as pages. The authors are from the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
* Mathematics - Presented to Robert W. Faid of Greenville, South Carolina, farsighted and faithful seer of statistics, for calculating the exact odds (860,609,175,188, 282,100 to 1) that Mikhail Gorbachev is the Antichrist.
* Medicine - Presented to James F. Nolan, Thomas J. Stillwell, and John P. Sands, Jr., medical men of mercy, for their painstaking research report, "Acute Management of the Zipper-Entrapped Penis."
* Peace - The Pepsi-Cola Company of the Philippines, for sponsoring a contest to create a millionaire, and then announcing the wrong winning number, thereby inciting and uniting 800,000 riotously expectant winners, and bringing many warring factions together for the first time in their nation's history.
* Physics - Presented to Corentin Louis Kervran of France, ardent admirer of alchemy, for his conclusion that the calcium in chickens' eggshells is created by a process of cold fusion.
* Psychology - Presented jointly to John Edward Mack of Harvard Medical School and David M. Jacobs of Temple University, for their conclusion that people who believe they were kidnapped by aliens from outer space, probably were — and especially for their conclusion, "the focus of the abduction is the production of children".
* Visionary Technology - Presented jointly to Jay Schiffman of Farmington Hills, Michigan, crack inventor of AutoVision, an image projection device that makes it possible to drive a car and watch television at the same time, and to the Michigan State Legislature, for making it legal to do so.

YEAR 1994
* Biology - Presented to W. Brian Sweeney, Brian Krafte-Jacobs, Jeffrey W. Britton, and Wayne Hansen, for their breakthrough study, "The Constipated Serviceman: Prevalence Among Deployed US Troops," and especially for their numerical analysis of bowel movement frequency.
* Chemistry - Presented to Texas State Senator Bob Glasgow, wise writer of logical legislation, for sponsoring the 1989 drug control law which makes it illegal to purchase beakers, flasks, test tubes, or other laboratory glassware without a permit.
* Economics - Presented to Juan Pablo Davila of Chile, tireless trader of financial futures and former employee of the state-owned Codelco Company, for instructing his computer to "buy" when he meant "sell." He subsequently attempted to recoup his losses by making increasingly unprofitable trades that ultimately lost 0.5 percent of Chile's gross national product. Davila's relentless achievement inspired his countrymen to coin a new verb, "davilar", meaning "to botch things up royally."
* Entomology - Presented to Robert A. Lopez of Westport, NY, valiant veterinarian and friend of all creatures great and small, for his series of experiments in obtaining ear mites from cats, inserting them into his own ear, and carefully observing and analyzing the results.
* Literature - Presented to L. Ron Hubbard, ardent author of science fiction and founding father of Scientology, for his crackling Good Book, Dianetics, which is highly profitable to mankind — or to a portion thereof.
* Mathematics - Presented to The Southern Baptist Church of Alabama, mathematical measurers of morality, for their county-by-county estimate of how many Alabama citizens will go to Hell if they don't repent.
* Medicine - Two prizes. First, to Patient X, formerly of the US Marine Corps, valiant victim of a venomous bite from his pet rattlesnake, for his determined use of electroshock therapy. At his own insistence, automobile spark plug wires were attached to his lip, and the car engine revved to 3,000 rpm for five minutes. Second, to Dr. Richard C. Dart of the Rocky Mountain Poison Center and Dr. Richard A. Gustafson of The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, for their well-grounded medical report, "Failure of Electric Shock Treatment for Rattlesnake Envenomation."
* Peace - Presented to John Hagelin of Maharishi University and The Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, for his experimental conclusion that 4,000 trained meditators caused an 18 percent decrease in violent crime in Washington, D.C.
* Psychology - Presented to Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore, for his thirty-year study of the effects of punishing three million citizens of Singapore whenever they spat, chewed gum, or fed pigeons.

Apocryphal achievements, no longer officially listed
* Physics - Presented to The Japanese Meteorological Agency, for its seven-year study of whether earthquakes are caused by catfish wiggling their tails. This winner is not officially listed, as it was based on what turned out to be erroneous press accounts.
YEAR 1995

* Chemistry - Presented to Bijan Pakzad of Beverly Hills, for creating DNA Cologne and DNA Perfume, neither of which contain deoxyribonucleic acid, and both of which come in a triple helix bottle.
* Dentistry - Presented to Robert H. Beaumont, of Shoreview, Minnesota, for his incisive study "Patient Preference for Waxed or Unwaxed Dental Floss."
* Economics - Presented jointly to Nick Leeson and his superiors at Barings Bank and to Robert Citron of Orange County, California for using the calculus of derivatives to demonstrate that every financial institution has its limits.
* Literature -Presented to David B. Busch and James R. Starling, of Madison, Wisconsin, for their research report, "Rectal Foreign Bodies: Case Reports and a Comprehensive Review of the World's Literature." The citations include reports of, among other items: seven light bulbs; a knife sharpener; two flashlights; a wire spring; a snuff box; an oil can with potato stopper; eleven different forms of fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs; a jeweler's saw; a frozen pig's tail; a tin cup; a beer glass; and one patient's remarkable ensemble collection consisting of spectacles, a suitcase key, a tobacco pouch and a magazine.
* Medicine - Presented to Marcia E. Buebel, David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa, and Michael R. Boyle, for their study entitled "The Effects of Unilateral Forced Nostril Breathing on Cognition."
* Nutrition - Presented to John Martinez of J. Martinez & Company in Atlanta, for Luak Coffee, the world's most expensive coffee, which is made from coffee beans ingested and excreted by the luak, a bobcat-like animal native to Indonesia.
* Peace - Presented to the Taiwan National Parliament, for demonstrating that politicians gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war against other nations.
* Physics - Presented to Dominique M.R. Georget, R. Parker, and Andrew C. Smith of Norwich, England, for their rigorous analysis of soggy breakfast cereal. It was published in the report entitled "A Study of the Effects of Water Content on the Compaction Behaviour of Breakfast Cereal Flakes."
* Psychology - Presented to Shigeru Watanabe, Junko Sakamoto, and Masumi Wakita, of Keio University, for their success in training pigeons to discriminate between the paintings of Picasso and those of Monet.
* Public Health - Presented to Martha Kold Bakkevig of Sintef Unimed in Trondheim, Norway, and Ruth Nielsen of the Technical University of Denmark, for their exhaustive study, "Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold."

Year 1996

* Art - Presented to Don Featherstone of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, for his ornamentally evolutionary invention, the plastic pink flamingo.
* Biodiversity - Presented to Chonosuke Okamura of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory in Nagoya, Japan, for discovering the fossils of dinosaurs, horses, dragons, and more than one thousand other extinct "mini-species," each of which less than 0.25 mm in length.
* Biology - Presented jointly to Anders Barheim and Hogne Sandvik of the University of Bergen, Norway, for their report, "Effect of Ale, Garlic, and Soured Cream on the Appetite of Leeches."
* Chemistry - Presented to George Goble of Purdue University, for his blistering world record time for igniting a barbecue grill: three seconds, using charcoal and liquid oxygen.[5]
* Economics - Presented to Dr. Robert J. Genco of the University at Buffalo for his discovery that "financial strain is a risk indicator for destructive periodontal disease."
* Literature - Presented to the editors of the journal Social Text for eagerly publishing research that they could not understand, that the author said was meaningless, and which claimed that reality does not exist. (see Sokal Affair for details)
* Medicine - Presented to James Johnston of R.J. Reynolds, Joseph Taddeo of U.S. Tobacco, Andrew Tisch of Lorillard, William Campbell of Philip Morris, Edward A. Horrigan of Liggett Group, Donald S. Johnston of American Tobacco Company, and Thomas E. Sandefur, Jr., chairman of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company, for their unshakable discovery, as testified to the U.S. Congress, that nicotine is not addictive.
* Peace - Presented to Jacques Chirac, President of France, for commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Hiroshima with atomic bomb tests in the Pacific.
* Physics - Presented to Robert Matthews of Aston University, England, for his studies of Murphy's Law, and especially for demonstrating that toast often falls on the buttered side.
* Public Health - Presented to Ellen Kleist of Nuuk, Greenland and Harald Moi of Oslo, Norway, for their cautionary medical report "Transmission of Gonorrhea Through an Inflatable Doll."

YEAR 1997
* Astronomy - Presented to Richard C. Hoagland of New Jersey, for identifying artificial features on the moon and on Mars, including a human face on Mars and ten-mile high buildings on the far side of the moon.
* Biology - Presented to T. Yagyu and his colleagues from the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, the Kansai Medical University in Osaka, Japan, and the Neuroscience Technology Research in Prague, Czech Republic, for measuring people's brainwave patterns while they chewed different flavors of gum.[6]
* Communications - Presented to Sanford Wallace, president of Cyber Promotions of Philadelphia. Nothing has stopped this self-appointed courier from delivering electronic junk mail to all the world.
* Economics - Presented to Akihiro Yokoi of Wiz Company in Chiba, Japan, and Aki Maita of Bandai Company in Tokyo, for diverting millions of person-hours of work into the husbandry of virtual pets.
* Entomology - Presented to Mark Hostetler of the University of Florida, for his book, That Gunk on Your Car, which identifies the insect splats that appear on automobile windows.
* Literature - Presented to Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg of Israel, and to Michael Drosnin of the United States, for their statistical discovery that the Bible contains a secret, hidden code.
* Medicine - Presented to Carl J. Charnetski and Francis X. Brennan, Jr. of Wilkes University, and James F. Harrison of Muzak Ltd. in Seattle, Washington, for their discovery that listening to Muzak stimulates immunity system production and thus may help prevent the common cold.
* Meteorology - Presented to Bernard Vonnegut of the State University of New York at Albany, for his report, "Chicken Plucking as Measure of Tornado Wind Speed."
* Peace - Presented to Harold Hillman of the University of Surrey, England, for his report "The Possible Pain Experienced During Execution by Different Methods."
* Physics - Presented to John Bockris of Texas A&M University, for his achievements in cold fusion, in the transmutation of base elements into gold, and in the electrochemical incineration of domestic rubbish.

YEAR 1998

* Chemistry - Presented to Jacques Benveniste of France, for his homeopathic discovery that not only does water have memory, but that the information can be transmitted over telephone lines and the Internet.
* Biology - Presented to Peter Fong of Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for contributing to the happiness of clams by giving them Prozac.
* Economics - Presented to Richard Seed of Chicago for his efforts to stoke up the world economy by cloning himself and other human beings.
* Literature - Presented to Dr. Mara Sidoli of Washington, DC, for her illuminating report, "Farting as a Defence Against Unspeakable Dread".
* Medicine - Presented to Patient Y and to his doctors, Caroline Mills, Meirion Llewelyn, David Kelly, and Peter Holt, of Royal Gwent Hospital, in Newport for the cautionary medical report, "A Man Who Pricked His Finger and Smelled Putrid for 5 Years."
* Peace - Presented to Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, for their aggressively peaceful explosions of atomic bombs.
* Physics - Presented to Deepak Chopra of The Chopra Center for Well Being, La Jolla, California, for his unique interpretation of quantum physics as it applies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic happiness.
* Safety Engineering - Presented to Troy Hurtubise, of North Bay, Ontario, for developing and personally testing a suit of armor that is impervious to grizzly bears.
* Science Education - Presented to Dolores Krieger, Professor Emerita, New York University, for demonstrating the merits of therapeutic touch, a method by which nurses manipulate the energy fields of ailing patients by carefully avoiding physical contact with those patients.
* Statistics - Presented to Jerald Bain of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto and Kerry Siminoski of the University of Alberta, for their carefully measured report, "The Relationship Among Height, Penile Length, and Foot Size".

YEAR 1999

* Biology - Presented to Dr. Paul Bosland, director of The Chili Pepper Institute, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, for breeding a spiceless jalapeño chili pepper.
* Chemistry - Presented to Takeshi Makino, president of The Safety Detective Agency in Osaka, Japan, for his involvement with S-Check, an infidelity detection spray that wives can apply to their husbands' underwear.
* Environmental Protection - Presented to Hyuk-ho Kwon of Kolon Company of Seoul, South Korea, for inventing the self-perfuming business suit.
* Literature - Presented to the British Standards Institution for its six-page specification (BS 6008) of the proper way to make a cup of tea.
* Managed Health Care - Presented to George Blonsky and Charlotte Blonsky of New York City and San Jose, California, for inventing a device (U.S. Patent 3,216,423 ) to aid women in giving birth -- the woman is strapped onto a circular table, and the table is then rotated at high speed.
* Medicine - Presented to Dr. Arvid Vatle of Stord, Norway, for carefully collecting, classifying, and contemplating which kinds of containers his patients chose when submitting urine samples.
* Peace - Presented to Charl Fourie and Michelle Wong of Johannesburg, South Africa, for inventing the Blaster, an automobile burglar alarm consisting of a detection circuit and a flamethrower.
* Physics - Presented to Dr. Len Fisher of Bath, England and Sydney, Australia for calculating the optimal way to dunk a biscuit. Also, to Professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck of the University of East Anglia, England, and Belgium, for calculating how to make a teapot spout that does not drip.
* Science Education - Presented to the Kansas State Board of Education and the Colorado State Board of Education, for mandating that children should not believe in Darwin's theory of evolution any more than they believe in Newton's theory of gravitation, Faraday's and Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism, or Pasteur's theory that germs cause disease.
* Sociology - Presented to Steve Penfold, of York University in Toronto, for doing his Ph.D. thesis on the history of Canadian donut shops.

YEAR 2000

* Biology - Presented to Richard Wassersug of Dalhousie University, for his firsthand report, "On the Comparative Palatability of Some Dry-Season Tadpoles from Costa Rica".
* Chemistry - Presented to Donatella Marazziti, Alessandra Rossi, and Giovanni B. Cassano of the University of Pisa, Italy, and Hagop S. Akiskal of the University of California, San Diego, for their discovery that, biochemically, romantic love may be indistinguishable from having severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.
* Computer Science - Presented to Chris Niswander of Tucson, Arizona, for inventing PawSense, software that detects when a cat is walking across your computer keyboard.
* Economics - Presented to The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, for bringing efficiency and steady growth to the mass marriage industry, with, according to his reports, a 36-couple wedding in 1960, a 430-couple wedding in 1968, an 1800-couple wedding in 1975, a 6000-couple wedding in 1982, a 30,000-couple wedding in 1992, a 360,000-couple wedding in 1995, and a 36,000,000-couple wedding in 1997.
* Literature - Presented to Jasmuheen (formerly known as Ellen Greve) of Australia, first lady of Breatharianism, for her book Living on Light, which explains that although some people do eat food, they don't ever really need to.
* Medicine - Presented to Willibrord Weijmar Schultz, Pek van Andel, and Eduard Mooyaart of Groningen, the Netherlands, and Ida Sabelis of Amsterdam, for their illuminating report, "Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Male and Female Genitals During Coitus and Female Sexual Arousal."
* Peace - Presented to The British Royal Navy, for ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to instead just shout "Bang!"
* Physics - Presented to Andre Geim of the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Sir Michael Berry of Bristol University, England, for using magnets to levitate a frog and a sumo wrestler.
* Psychology - Presented to David Dunning of Cornell University and Justin Kreuger of the University of Illinois, for their modest report, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments".
* Public Health - Presented to Jonathan Wyatt, Gordon McNaughton, and William Tullet of Glasgow, for their alarming report, "The Collapse of Toilets in Glasgow".

YEAR 2001

* Astrophysics - Presented to Dr. Jack Van Impe and Rexella Van Impe of Jack Van Impe Ministries, Rochester Hills, Michigan, for their discovery that black holes fulfill all the technical requirements for the location of Hell.
* Biology - Presented to Buck Weimer of Pueblo, Colorado for inventing Under-Ease, airtight underwear with a replaceable charcoal filter that removes bad-smelling gases before they escape.
* Economics - Presented to Joel Slemrod, of the University of Michigan Business School, and Wojciech Kopczuk, of the University of British Columbia, for their conclusion that people find a way to postpone their deaths if that would qualify them for a lower rate on the inheritance tax.
* Literature - Presented to John Richards of Boston, England, founder of The Apostrophe Protection Society, for his efforts to protect, promote, and defend the differences between the plural and the possessive.
* Medicine - Presented to Peter Barss of McGill University, Canada, for his impactful medical report "Injuries Due to Falling Coconuts".
* Peace - Presented to Viliumas Malinauskas of Grutas, Lithuania, for creating the amusement park known as "Stalin World".
* Physics - Presented to David Schmidt of the University of Massachusetts, for his partial explanation of the shower-curtain effect: a shower curtain tends to billow inwards while a shower is being taken.
* Psychology - Presented to Lawrence W. Sherman of Miami University, Ohio, for his influential research report "An Ecological Study of Glee in Small Groups of Preschool Children".
* Public Health - Presented to Chittaranjan Andrade and B.S. Srihari of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, for their probing medical discovery that nose picking is a common activity among adolescents.
* Technology - Presented jointly to John Keogh of Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, for patenting the wheel in the year 2001, and to the Australian Patent Office (IP Australia for granting him Innovation Patent #2001100012.

YEAR 2002

* Biology - Presented to Norma E. Bubier, Charles G.M. Paxton, Phil Bowers, and D. Charles Deeming of the United Kingdom, for their report "Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain".
* Chemistry - Presented to Theodore Gray of Wolfram Research, in Champaign, Illinois, for gathering many elements of the periodic table, and assembling them into the form of a four-legged periodic table table.
* Economics - Presented to the executives, corporate directors, and auditors of Enron, Lernaut & Hauspie (Belgium), Adelphia, Bank of Commerce and Credit International (Pakistan), Cendant, CMS Energy, Duke Energy, Dynegy, Gazprom (Russia), Global Crossing, HIH Insurance (Australia), Informix, Kmart, Maxwell Communications (UK), McKessonHBOC, Merrill Lynch, Merck, Peregrine Systems, Qwest Communications, Reliant Resources, Rent-Way, Rite Aid, Sunbeam, Tyco, Waste Management, WorldCom, Xerox, and Arthur Andersen, for adapting the mathematical concept of imaginary numbers for use in the business world. (All companies except for Arthur Andersen were forced to restate their financial reports due to false or incorrect accounting. Andersen was the accounting firm most identified with the scandals, having been indicted on criminal charges stemming from its actions as auditor of Enron. All companies are U.S.-based unless otherwise noted.)
* Hygiene - Presented to Eduardo Segura, of Lavakan de Aste, in Tarragona, Spain, for inventing a washing machine for cats and dogs.
* Interdisciplinary Research - Presented to Karl Kruszelnicki of The University of Sydney, Australia, for performing a comprehensive survey of human belly button fluff -- who gets it, when, what color, and how much.
* Literature - Presented jointly to Vicki L. Silvers of the University of Nevada-Reno and David S. Kreiner of Central Missouri State University, for their colorful report "The Effects of Pre-Existing Inappropriate Highlighting on Reading Comprehension".
* Mathematics - Presented to K.P. Sreekumar and G. Nirmalan of Kerala Agricultural University, India, for their analytical report "Estimation of the Total Surface Area in Indian Elephants".
* Medicine - Presented to Chris McManus of University College London, for his excruciatingly balanced report, "Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture".
* Peace - Presented to Keita Sato, President of Takara Co., Dr. Matsumi Suzuki, President of Japan Acoustic Lab, and Dr. Norio Kogure, Executive Director, Kogure Veterinary Hospital, for promoting peace and harmony between the species by inventing Bow-Lingual, a computer-based automatic dog-to-human language translation device.
* Physics - Presented to Arnd Leike of the University of Munich, for demonstrating that beer froth obeys the Mathematical Law of Exponential Decay.

YEAR 2003

* Biology - Presented to C.W. Moeliker, of Natuurmuseum Rotterdam, for documenting the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck.
* Chemistry - Presented to Yukio Hirose of Kanazawa University, for his chemical investigation of a bronze statue, in the city of Kanazawa, that fails to attract pigeons.
* Economics - Presented to Karl Schwärzler and the nation of Liechtenstein, for making it possible to rent the entire country for corporate conventions, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other gatherings.
* Engineering - Presented to John Paul Stapp, Edward A. Murphy, Jr., and George Nichols, for jointly giving birth in 1949 to Murphy's Law, the basic engineering principle that "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, someone will do it" (or, in other words: "If anything can go wrong, it will").
* Interdisciplinary Research - Presented to Stefano Ghirlanda, Liselotte Jansson, and Magnus Enquis of Stockholm University, for their inevitable report "Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans."
* Literature - Presented to John Trinkaus, of the Zicklin School of Business, New York City, for meticulously collecting data and publishing more than 80 detailed academic reports about things that annoyed him, such as:
o What percentage of young people wear baseball caps with the peak facing to the rear rather than to the front
o What percentage of pedestrians wear sport shoes that are white rather than some other color
o What percentage of swimmers swim laps in the shallow end of a pool rather than the deep end
o What percentage of automobile drivers almost, but not completely, come to a stop at one particular stop-sign
o What percentage of commuters carry attaché cases
o What percentage of shoppers exceed the number of items permitted in a supermarket's express checkout lane
o And what percentage of students dislike the taste of Brussels sprouts.
* Medicine - Presented to Eleanor Maguire, David Gadian, Ingrid Johnsrude, Catriona Good, John Ashburner, Richard Frackowiak, and Christopher Frith of University College London, for presenting evidence that the hippocampi of London taxi drivers are more highly developed than those of their fellow citizens.
* Peace - Presented to Lal Bihari, of Uttar Pradesh, India, for a triple accomplishment: First, for leading an active life even though he has been declared legally dead; second, for waging a lively posthumous campaign against bureaucratic inertia and greedy relatives; and third, for creating the Association of Dead People. Lal Bihari overcame the handicap of being dead, and managed to obtain a passport from the Indian government so that he could travel to Harvard to accept his Prize. However, the U.S. government refused to allow him into the country. His friend Madhu Kapoor therefore came to the Ig Nobel Ceremony and accepted the Prize on behalf of Lal Bihari. Several weeks later, the Prize was presented to Lal Bihari himself in a special ceremony in India.
* Physics - Presented to Jack Harvey, John Culveno, Warren Payne, Steve Cowle, Michael Lawrance, David Stuart, and Robyn Williams of Australia, for their irresistible report "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces".
* Psychology - Presented to Gian Vittorio Caprara and Claudio Barbaranelli of the University of Rome La Sapienza, and to Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University, for their discerning report "Politicians' Uniquely Simple Personalities".

YEAR 2004

* Biology - Presented to Ben Wilson of the University of British Columbia, Lawrence Dill of Simon Fraser University, Canada, Robert Batty of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Magnus Whalberg of the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and Håkan Westerberg of Sweden's National Board of Fisheries, for showing that herrings apparently communicate by farting.
* Chemistry - Presented to The Coca-Cola Company of Great Britain, for using advanced technology to convert liquid from the River Thames into Dasani, a transparent form of water, which for precautionary reasons has been made unavailable to consumers.
* Economics - Presented to the Vatican, for outsourcing prayers to India.
* Engineering - Presented jointly to Donald J. Smith and his father, Frank J. Smith, of Orlando, Florida, for patenting the comb over (U.S. Patent 4,022,227 )
* Literature - Presented to The American Nudist Research Library of Kissimmee, Florida, for preserving nudist history so that everyone can see it.
* Medicine - Presented jointly to Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, and James Gundlach of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, for their published report "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide".[7]
* Peace - Presented to Daisuke Inoue of Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, for inventing karaoke, thereby providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other.
* Physics - Presented jointly to Ramesh Balasubramaniam of the University of Ottawa, and Michael Turvey of the University of Connecticut and Haskins Laboratory, for exploring and explaining the dynamics of hula-hooping.
* Psychology - Presented jointly to Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Christopher Chabris of Harvard University, for demonstrating that when people pay close attention to something, it's all too easy to overlook anything else -- even a woman in a gorilla suit. [See inattentional blindness]
* Public Health - Presented to Jillian Clarke of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and then Howard University, for investigating the scientific validity of the five-second rule about whether it's safe to eat food that's been dropped on the floor.

YEAR 2005

* Agricultural History - Presented to James Watson of Massey University, New Zealand, for his scholarly study, "The Significance of Mr. Richard Buckley's Exploding Trousers".
* Biology - Presented jointly to Benjamin Smith of the University of Adelaide, Australia and the University of Toronto, Canada and the Firmenich perfume company, Geneva, Switzerland, and ChemComm Enterprises, Archamps, France; Craig Williams of James Cook University and the University of South Australia; Michael Tyler of the University of Adelaide; Brian Williams of the University of Adelaide; and Yoji Hayasaka of the Australian Wine Research Institute; for painstakingly smelling and cataloging the peculiar odors produced by 131 different species of frogs when the frogs were feeling stressed.
* Chemistry - Presented jointly to Edward Cussler of the University of Minnesota and Brian Gettelfinger of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for conducting a careful experiment to settle the longstanding scientific question: can people swim faster in syrup or in water? It was found that swimmers in the experiment reach comparable velocity in both media.[8]
* Economics - Presented to Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing Clocky, an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.
* Fluid Dynamics - Presented jointly to Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of International University Bremen, Germany and the University of Oulu, Finland; and József Gál of Loránd Eötvös University, Hungary, for using basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds up inside a penguin, as detailed in their report "Pressures Produced When Penguins Poo — Calculations on Avian Defecation".
* Literature - Presented to the Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters — General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others — each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them. (See advance fee fraud.)
* Medicine - Presented to Gregg A. Miller of Oak Grove, Missouri, in the U.S.A., for inventing Neuticles — artificial replacement testicles for dogs, which are available in three sizes, and three degrees of firmness.
* Nutrition - Presented to Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu of Tokyo, Japan, for photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting).
* Peace - Presented jointly to Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of University of Newcastle, in the UK, for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie Star Wars.
* Physics - Presented jointly to John Mainstone and Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland, Australia, for patiently conducting the so-called pitch drop experiment that began in the year 1927 — in which a glob of congealed black tar pitch has been slowly, slowly dripping through a funnel, at a rate of approximately one drop every nine years.

YEAR 2006

* Acoustics: D. Lynn Halpern of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and Brandeis University, and Northwestern University, Randolph Blake of Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University and James Hillenbrand of Western Michigan University and Northwestern University for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping chalkboard.
* Biology: Bart Knols of Wageningen Agricultural University, in Wageningen, the Netherlands; and of the National Institute for Medical Research / Ifakara Centre, Tanzania, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, Austria) and Ruurd de Jong of Wageningen Agricultural University and of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Italy for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.
* Chemistry: Antonio Mulet, José Javier Benedito and José Bon of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, and Carmen Rosselló of the University of Illes Balears, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for their study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature".[9]
* Literature: Daniel M. Oppenheimer of Princeton University for his report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly".
* Mathematics: Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, for calculating the number of photographs that must be taken to (almost) ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed.
* Medicine: Francis M. Fesmire of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, for his medical case report "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage"; and Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan, and Arie Oliven of Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel, for their subsequent medical case report also titled "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage".
* Nutrition: Wasmia Al-Houty of Kuwait University and Faten Al-Mussalam of the Kuwait Environment Public Authority, for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters.
* Ornithology: Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles, for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.
* Peace: Howard Stapleton of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant -- a device that makes annoying high-pitched noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but probably not to their teachers.
* Physics: Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, for their analysis that explains why spaghetti breaks into several pieces when it is bent.

YEAR 2007

* Aviation: Patricia V. Agostino, Santiago A. Plano and Diego A. Golombek, for discovering that hamsters recover from jetlag more quickly when given Viagra.[10][11]
* Biology: Johanna E.M.H. van Bronswijk, for taking a census of all the mites and other life forms that live in people's beds.[12]
* Chemistry: Mayu Yamamoto for extracting vanilla flavour from cow dung.
* Economics: Kuo Cheng Hsieh, for patenting a device to catch bank robbers by ensnaring them in a net.[13]
* Linguistics: Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Nuria Sebastian-Galles, for determining that rats sometimes can't distinguish between recordings of Japanese and Dutch played backward.[14]
* Literature: Glenda Browne, for her study into indexing words that start with the word "the".[15]
* Medicine: Dan Meyer and Brian Witcombe, for investigating the side-effects of swallowing swords.[16]
* Nutrition: Brian Wansink, for investigating people's appetite for mindless eating by secretly feeding them a self-refilling bowl of soup.[17]
* Peace: The Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, for suggesting the research and development of a "gay bomb," which would cause enemy troops to become sexually attracted to each other.
* Physics: L. Mahadevan and Enrique Cerda Villablanca for their theoretical study of how sheets become wrinkled.

Current Affairs: Economy issues

Current Affairs: Economy issues: 05-12 Dec 09 By Dialogue India
India can return to 8-9% growth: Zoellick• World Bank president Robert Zoellick .• India is likely to return to a high growth of 8-9% in a year or two, helped by strong fiscal and monetary measures to counter the global financial crisis.• The 11th Plan ending in 2012 envisaged achieving an average 9% growth. The GDP growth slipped to 6.7 per cent during 2008-09 as a result of the global crisis, after three years of 9% growth.Ecopetrol, RIL to explore deepwater blocks in Colombia• Reliance Exploration and Production DMCC (REP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), and Ecopetrol of Colombia (Ecopetrol) signed the Farm-out Agreements, effective from November 23. • Borojo North Block 42 and Borojo South Block 43 in Colombia, subject to approval by ANH, the Colombian national upstream regulator.• According to the agreements, Ecopetrol acquires a 20 per cent stake in the blocks while REP will retain the balance and the operatorship in these blocks.Beyond expectations• The Central Statistical Organisation’s estimate of a robust GDP growth of 7.9 per cent during the second quarter of the year (July-September 2009).• 7.7 per cent recorded at the same time last year.• During the first quarter, the economy grew by 6.1 per cent. • The second quarter seems to reinforce the forecasts of the IMF and the World Bank that India and China, along with a few other developing countries, will be in the forefront of a global recovery. • The second quarter growth has been driven by strong performances of the manufacturing sector, which was up by 9.2 per cent compared to 5.1 per cent last year, and the mining and quarrying sector that registered 9.5 per cent as against 3.7 per cent. The growth in the services sector too has been impressive with the Community, Social and Personal services sub-segment posting a 12.7 per cent growth. • The impact of the stimulus measures is continuing but there are signs of private consumption expenditure reviving. While there are reasons to be optimistic, a word or two of caution will be in order. 1. Agriculture and allied activities have grown by just 0.9 per cent, down from 2.7 per cent a year ago and 2.4 per cent in the previous quarter. 2. Even that does not take into account the estimated fall in the production of rice, pulses, and oil seeds during the Kharif season. The consensus is that agriculture will fare worse in the third quarter. The ethanol challenge• The Cabinet has once again decided that the Petroleum Ministry must ensure mandatory blending of 5 per cent ethanol with petrol. • Deadline after deadline has passed since 2006 and the ambitious programme is yet to take off. A complex set of factors involving the sugar industry and the ethanol market is at play• In recent months, the oil marketing companies have been unable to contract for even half the quantity of ethanol needed for 5 per cent doping. And the quantities offered are at rates as high as Rs.41 a litre. The oil companies have until now offered Rs.21.50, although they are open to paying a little more. One of them has meanwhile planned to invest in sugar mills to ensure a captive source of ethanol. • The cost of petrol is Rs.23 a litre and the blending of ethanol obtained at a price that is any higher will be uneconomical. • There just may not be enough ethanol available in India to meet the blending requirement unless the acreage under sugarcane goes up significantly, and sugar mills are given the option to process sugarcane juice directly into ethanol instead of sugar. • Both these moves will have an impact on sugar production and sugar prices. Given the rising price of sugar and the insistence by the State governments that the sugar mills meet first the demands of the beverage industry, finding enough ethanol is going to be difficult.• Sugarcane-based ethanol is indeed “the most successful alternative fuel to date.” As an excellent oxygenate and octane booster, it clearly has technical advantages. • But in India, the world’s second largest producer of sugar, almost 90 per cent of ethanol comes from cane molasses, spelling dependence on a single feedstock. Sugarcane production has historically been marked by a certain cyclical volatility, with bumper years followed by years of low production. • In order to reduce its dependence on oil imports, rather than setting much store by ethanol, India should look more aggressively at other options including hybrid fuels and CNG. Several countries of the world, notably Brazil — which introduced ethanol-blended petrol as early as in 1931 — have come a long way here. • But India has several limitations including land availability constraints and food security concerns that may leave a limited role for the biofuel option for now. It is time the realities of the situation were factored into ethanol policy.Curtains down on Bajaj scooters• Bajaj Auto announced on Wednesday that it is exiting the scooter segment altogether, bringing the curtains down on its iconic product line.• The company had stopped making the Chetak — once the world’s largest selling scooter — almost three years ago, and according to its MD Rajeev Bajaj, it will stop production of its non-starter Kristal series by end of the current fiscal.• Bajaj Auto says it will now focus on making motorcycles.Tata's show the way for reservations in India Inc• The Tatas were the first to bring many material things to India — power, star hotels and steel, to name a few. The $71-billion group with interests from tea-to-telecom is also now probably the first to introduce a hiring policy that emphasises ‘positive discrimination’ for its scores of enterprises located across the country from the seashores to deserts to mountain tops.RBI to promote take-out financing• It is a mechanism wherein originator (of a loan) enters into an agreement to sell the loan to another lender at a mutually agreed price in future date. Here the originator holds the loan in his books for the initial years while the buyer of the loan retains its till maturity.China poised to beat India in gold consumption• China will overtake India as the world’s largest gold consumer in 2009, with total demand forecast at 432 tonne compared with 422 tonne from India.• China’s investment demand alone was forecast at 83 tonne, exceeding India’s 53 tonne. India bought 200 tonne from the International Monetary Fund in November, which helped send gold to successive records.• India’s purchase also strengthened speculation that other emerging country central banks will follow suit, particularly China, which has the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves worth $2.27 trillion, mostly held in US Treasury bonds.

(Study Notes) Current Affairs: Economic Issues: 28 Nov- 5 Dec 0’9 by DialogueIndia

Dubai rattles the world with its loan rescheduling program
· Dubai World, the government investment company with $59 billion of liabilities, sought to delay repayment on much of its debt.
· The announcement sent shockwaves throughout the financial and political world.
· Credit-default swaps tied to debt sold by Dubai rose as much as 131 basis points to 571.
· For India, which has tens of thousands of its citizens living and working in the emirate, the concerns are more direct: thousands of its expats staring at job losses and the economy, sharply reduced trade.
· India, which gets nearly a quarter of the remittances from the United Arab Emirates and has lakhs of labourers working in the region, could be worse off than most other nations if the crisis escalates into a full-blown one like the Russian or Argentinean crises of the past. India’s exports to the UAE stood at $23.92 billion in FY09.
The Economic Crisis
· The south-east Asian financial crisis of 1997, which engulfed Indonesia and South Korea, started in Thailand.
· In 2001 it was Argentina.
· Last year’s problems first bubbled to the surface in Iceland and Ireland.
RBI to ask banks to furnish exposure details
· Banks on Friday said they had an exposure of Rs. 5,000-6,500 crore in the Middle East city, and said the debt repayment crisis in Dubai might not have major impact on their balance sheets.
· Bank of Baorda, the largest Indian lender in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said it had an exposure of Rs. 5,000 crore in Dubai.
· “We have only a 7-8 per cent of our total loan-book in the entire Gulf region, which amounts to Rs. 10,000-crore. These accounts are well maintained and is unlikely to cause any kind of impact on the balance-sheet,” Bank of Baroda Chairman and Managing Director M. D. Mallya said.
Bank consolidation: pitfalls of a hasty decision financial scene
· After a period of relative quiet, the subject of consolidation in the Indian banking industry is back in focus.
· While no policy statements have come from either the government or the Reserve Bank of India, reports of a meeting that the chairmen of the five top public sector banks had with officials of the Finance Ministry have evoked renewed interest in the subject.
· New government stance- PSBs should look at consolidation as a serious option but the initiatives should come from the banks themselves. In other words, the Finance Ministry will not drive the mergers but will play a supportive role if proposals do emanate from banks.
· The latest policy stance is in sharp contrast to the one that prevailed earlier, when the government wanted mergers to take place within a fixed timeframe.
· Consolidation has been on the policy agenda ever since the Narasimham II Committee’s report on financial sector reform (1997) recommended the creation of four or five large banks in place of the 27 PSBs.
· Enhanced capital adequacy was touted as one of the benefits.
· However, if the government is to retain at least 51 per cent of the equity capital in any PSB, identifying a merger partner becomes extremely difficult.This is because barring two, all the PSBs are listed on the stock market with varying degrees of non-government shareholding.
· The following factors suggest that any such merger will be neither voluntary nor free from glitches.
· One is the ownership structure of the PSBs all of which have the government as the majority shareholder. Despite the Finance Minister’s assertion that mergers will not be dictated, boards of individual banks and their chairmen will be only too eager to please the powers that be. Such attitude is extremely difficult to shake off if past experience is any guide.
· Two, the government being the majority shareholder does not mean that it can ignore the interests of minority shareholders. Guidelines of the Securities and Exchange Board of India and stock exchanges will have to follow.
· Three, it is difficult to see synergies accruing from such mergers.
· For instance, seeking a geographical or cultural fit between two banks is only theoretically possible. All government-owned banks have acquired an all India character even though in their private sector days they have regional in character. A merger will entail duplication of branch network especially in towns and metros.
· Synergy in technology application will be equally elusive given that the banks are in different stages of technology absorption and use different platforms.
· A more difficult task is to achieve a cultural fit post-merger. Though all of them are government-owned, each has certain unique cultural strengths that cannot be retained after the merger. In their pre-nationalisation days, some of the banks had affinities with specific business activities and groups. These have continued under government ownership. For instance, Bank of India and Bank of Baroda have had a strong stock market tradition, which has flourished well into their public sector days.
· There is a real possibility that such strengths will be dissipated after merger with a bank with little exposure to the stock markets.
· Four, a successful merger implies a reasonably smooth integration of staff and human resources related systems.
· This will be, by far, the biggest challenge. By their very nature, bank or financial service entities are people-centric. It is not clear whether those who advocate mergers as an easy option are aware of the strengths of such human capital.
· There are many other reasons why a merger between PSBs will neither be easy nor beneficial.
· Some of the world’s biggest banks, the Citigroup notably, which relied heavily on mergers and acquisitions to grow phenomenally, have been rapped on the knuckles by the regulators and are realising that such stupendous inorganic growth has come at a price.
· Again in the U.S. the intense pace of bank consolidation that followed the federal inter-state banking legislation in 1994 has not been beneficial for small businesses, which are the major job creators.
· According to a study conducted on behalf of the U.S. Small Business Administration Office and Advocacy, their access to credit has been sharply curtailed.
UNIDO all set to launch $7 million energy efficiency project in India
· The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is all set to launch a major initiative costing $7 million to promote energy efficiency in selected energy intensive micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) clusters across india .
· The objective was to enhance energy efficiency and increase the share of renewable energy in these sectors.
· The project, to be spread over a period of four years, is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and is part of the country programme of cooperation between India and UNIDO.
· The nodal agency for execution of this project is Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP).
· It has selected 12 prominent cities,The clusters selected included Khurja, Thangarh and Morbi (ceramics), Jalandhar, Nagaur, Tumkur (hand tools), Belgaum, Coimbatore and Indore (foundries), Jagadhri and Jamnagar (brass clusters) and dairy in Gujarat.
3G offers higher capacity and enhanced network functionalities
· mood on two counts — first on the feat of India achieving 500 million telephones well ahead of the target in November 2009, second on the timely introduction of 3G mobile service in the country.
· 3G is a term coined by global cellular community to indicate the next generation of mobile service capabilities (higher capacity and enhanced network functionalities) that allow advanced services and applications including Multimedia.3G in the mobile network is a basket of good services and facilities for the customers.
IT professionals asked to move up the value chainNarayana Murthy, Chairman and chief mentor, Infosys, speaks at the World Newspaper Congress in Hyderabad.
· the global sourcing industry, which is pegged at $500 billion at present, was expected to triple by 2020, of which India’s share was likely to be anywhere between $175 billion and $300 billion.
· Unlike the previous decade where 75 per cent of the revenues to India came from Fortune 500 companies, small and medium business were expected to contribute at least 50 per cent share — between $90 billion and $150 billion — in the coming years.
· While the U.S. and the U.K. contributed a major share of 80 per cent of revenues, 50 per cent of the revenues (anywhere between $90 billion and $150 billion) was expected to come from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries.
· The contribution from the banking, financial services, insurance, telecom and manufacturing segments, which now stood at 75 per cent, would come down as public sector companies, healthcare, media, utilities and other sectors were set to take 50 per cent share, he said.

Indo-Gulf Business Forum on Dec. 9
· ASSOCHAM, jointly with the FAPCCI, is organising on December 9 a conference on ‘Indo-Gulf Business Forum-2009’ followed by one-on-one business meetings. In Hyderabad.
· Gulf ambassadors and economic counsellors besides many businessmen, including office-bearers of chambers of commerce in GCC countries are expected to attend.
Alstom’s 33.3 pc stake in NPCIL-BHEL JV
· Nuclear Power Corporation of India on Tuesday said French power equipment maker Alstom will be the third partner and hold 33.3 per cent stake in the proposed joint venture with Bharat Heavy Electricals.
SIEMA moots Geographical Indication recognition for pumpsets
· Coimbatore
· The Southern India Engineering Manufacturers’ Association has mooted Geographical Indication (GI) registration for pumpsets made here.
· “With quality and the large number of manufacturers here, getting the registration should be the next step forward,” Jayakumar Ramdass, President of the Association told The Hindu.
· The first pumpset was made here in 1932. Since then, the industry had grown and had been recognised for affordable pricing, quality of materials used, performance and after-sales service, he said.
Supreme Court rejects petition against insurance amendment Bill
· Bill seeks to abolish commission charged by LIC agents
· Wants to replace it with a fee charged from customers

Current General Knowledge: January-February 2009

Current General Knowledge: January-February 2009
AWARDSAshok Chakra, 2009: Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Havaldar Gajender Singh Bisht (NSG): Immortalised NSG during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Colonel Jojan Thomas (Jat Regiment): Killed in an encounter with terrorists in J&K. Havaldar Bahadur Singh Bohra (Special Forces): Killed in an encounter with terrorists in J&K. ATS Chief Hemant Karkare: Senior- most Police officer was killed during 26/11. Police Officer Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar: Both were killed along with Karkare during 26/11. Assistant Sub-inspector Tukaram Omble: Took five bullets to ensure Ajmal Kasab was taken alive. Delhi Police Inspector M.C. Sharma: Died in Batla House encounter with Indian Mujahideen terrorists. Meghalaya police officer R.P. Diengdoh: Killed in operations against militants. Assistant Commandant Pramod Kumar Satapathy: Laid down his life fighting Naxals in Orissa.

The Mumbai anti-terrorist operation got six Ashok Chakra winners, probably for the first time after Independence for a single operation. Ashok Chakra is awarded for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice other than in the face of the enemy.

Republic Day Awards, 2009: Padma Vibhushan: Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar, environmentalist Sunderlal Bahugna, Missionaries of Charity’s sister Nirmala, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief G. Madhvan Nair are among 10 people awarded.

Padma Bhushan: has been awarded to 30 people, including Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, technocrat Sam Pitroda, journalist Shekhar Gupta and Lt Gen Satish Nambiar.

Actors Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Akshay Kumar, cricketers M.S. Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh, world billiards champion Pankaj Advani and former Hockey player Balbir Singh Khullar are among the 93 who have been given the Padma Shri awards.

Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence, 2009: Business leader of the year: A.M. Naik, Chairman, L&T. Company of the Year: Tata Steel. Businesswoman of the year: Shikha Sharma, MD, ICICI PRU Life Insurance. Entrepreneur of the Year: Dilip Shanghvi, Chairman, Sun Pharma. Emerging Company of the Year: Welspun Gujarat Stahl Rohren. Global Indian: Arun Sarin, Former CEO, Vodafone. Business Reformer: Kamal Nath, Union Commerce Minister. Policy Change Agent: E. Shreedharan, MD Delhi Metro. Corporate Citizen of the Year: Anil Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddy’s Lab. Lifetime Achievement Award: Ashok Ganguly, former Chairman, HLL (Now HUL). Corporate Citizen Special Award: The Oberoi Employees and the Taj Employees.

Golden Globe awards, 2009: Best Actor: Colin Farrell won the Best Actor award for his performance in the film In Bruges. Best Supporting Actor: Australian actor Heath Ledger. He was honoured posthumously for his portrayal of the villainous Joker in Batman sequel “The Dark Knight”. He became the second actor to win the award posthumous after Peter Finch, who had won the Best Actor award for his film Network in 1976. Best Actress: Kate Winslet, for her performances in Revolutionary Road. Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet for her performance in “The Reader”. Best Animated Film: Wall-E. Best Foreign film: Israeli film Waltz With Bashir. Cecil B DeMille award for lifetime achievement: Director Steven Spielberg. Best film drama: Slumdog Millionaire. Best Director: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire. Best screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire. Best Musical Score: A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire.

Golden Peacock Award, 2009: Telecom operator Idea Cellular has bagged the prestigious Golden Peacock Award for its product My Gang at the 19th World Congress on Total Quality held in Mumbai. My Gang is the first community user group on prepaid, targeted at youth for creating and sharing identities in the cyber and mobile space and was declared the most innovative product.

DEFENCEINS Shikra: First Chopper base for Navy: The Indian Navy has formally commissioned its first helicopter base INS Shikra at Mumbai. The Indian Navy’s existing helicopter base, Kunjali II has been commissioned as the INS Shikra. While everything remains the same operationally, the change in status provides greater administrative flexibility as well as the creation of the Air Station’s own identity.

The base has been home to the Indian Navy’s rotary wing assets for 40+ years and every helicopter pilot has served here at one point or another. Air operations from this base commenced in 1964 with the setting up of a small Helicopter Maintenance Unit, as a base support facility at INS Kunjali. On April 3, 1972, INAS 321 ‘Angels’ was established at Kunjali and regular Chetak Operations commenced. The station continued to operate newer helicopters which were being inducted with the growth of the Indian Navy.

The copter base will be able to provide security services to important defence and civilian installations on the Western Coast.

NUCLEAR ENERGYIndia, French firm sign pact for six N-reactors: In the first commercial deal after acquiring a clean waiver from NSG in 2008, to carry out nuclear commerce, India, in January 2009, signed an MoU with French company Areva for supply of as many as six new-generation Evolutionary Power Reactors (EPRs).

As per the deal signed by Areva and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), Areva will supply two EPRs of 1,650 mw each for nuclear plants the French company will build at Jaitapur in Maharashtra. The order can be updated to six later. The EPRs, which are designed to phase out old reactors all over the world, are currently under construction only in France, Finland and China. Four independent cooling systems for safety and lead-proof design are some of the features which separate the EPRs from the older reactors.

PERSONSRaju, Radha Vinod Raju: The Union government has named Radha Vinod Raju, an officer of the Indian Police Service, or IPS, as head of the newly set up National Investigation Agency, or NIA, an omnibus agency to fight terror, on the lines of US Federal Bureau of Investigation. Raju, who belongs to the 1975 batch of IPS, was a key member of the police team that investigated the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

PLACESGyotue monastery:The 17th Karmapa, Oxygen Trinley Dorje, next only to the Dalai Lama as a Tibetan Buddhist leader, has finally found a permanent home in India. The Gyotue monastery has offered to build a residence for the 24-year-old Karmapa at Sidhbari village, 7 km from Dharamsala. Known as the Black hat Lama, he was recognized as the reincarnate of 16th Karmapa, Rangzun Rigpe Dorje, by the Dalai Lama. He defected from China with five men and his elder sister in January 5, 2000, and reached Dharamsala.
Jaipur: As many as 116 world famous authors, 20 interviewers and 30 performing artistes participated in the Literature Festival, the largest of its kind in Asia, that was held in Jaipur in January 2009.Rai Bareily: The third rail coach factory has started operations here. Coaches of India’s own bullet train would be manufactured at this Rs 1,685 crore facility.PROJECTSTilaiya project for RPower: Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power has bagged its third 4,000 mw Ultra Mega Power Project, at Tilaiya, in Jharkhand. The project entails an investment of Rs 16,000-18,000 crore and will have a debt-equity ratio of 70 : 30. Tilaiya is the fourth UMPP to be awarded to a developer. Earlier, two UMPPs bagged by Reliance Power are those of Sasan and Krishnapatnam. Tata Power got the Mundra UMPP.
SPACE RESEARCHIran launches first home- built satellite: On February 3, 2009, Iran, engaged in a standoff with the West over its controversial nuclear programme, launched its first indigenous satellite, named Omid, using its own Safir-2 rocket, a move that could cause concern in the international community. The launch of the satellite coincided with 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The satellite is aimed at determining orbital measurements and will calculate Earth 15 times in every 24 hours.

Iran has pursued a space programme for several years. In October 2005, a Russian-made Iranian satellite named Sina-I was put into orbit with help of a Russian rocket.