Current Affairs For IAS-Exam-2011 March-2011 Part 1
Yunus removed as Grameen Bank chief
• The central bank of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Bank, has removed Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus as the Managing Director of Grameen Bank.
• The microcredit pioneer won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 along with the Grameen Bank, which he founded.
• The central bank had earlier sent a letter to the Grameen Bank Board informing it was not consulted when Dr. Yunus was appointed MD in 2000 for an indefinite period. The central bank expressed the opinion that Dr. Yunus, now 70, had passed the retirement age of 60 years and must step down.
• Under the Bank Company Act, the central bank is empowered to take legal action against a Director or Managing Director of any commercial and specialised bank for working against the interests of the depositors.
• Dr. Yunus faced serious controversies after a Norwegian television documentary last year alleged diversion of the bank’s funds to a partner organisation, the Grameen Kalyan Fund. The Norwegian government later cleared Dr. Yunus of any wrongdoing.
China plans Tibet-Xinjiang rail links
• China has unveiled plans to link up Tibet and Xinjiang, its two far-western frontier regions, with a new railway network as part of a wider initiative to boost infrastructure projects in border areas in the next Five-Year Plan (2011-15).
• Officials announced a new railway link that will shorten the distance between the two regions’ capitals, Lhasa and Urumqi, by more than 1,000 km and also provide the first direct rail link between the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and Xinjiang.
• Another railway line between Kashgar and Hotan, which is near the western section of India’s disputed border with China, has also opened to cargo traffic and will begin ferrying passengers by June this year, reports in the State media said.
• China will embark on a 10-year 310-billion yuan ($47.6 billion) project to add 8,000 km of railways in Xinjiang in the next Five-Year Plan (2011-15), stretching across 90 per cent of its counties. Six airports will also be
Thousands fleeing fighting in Ivory Coast
· More fighting has been reported from the West African state of Ivory Coast with thousands of people fleeing across the border to Liberia. The country has been in political turmoil ever since outgoing President Laurant Gbagbo refused to recognise his electoral defeat in the presidential poll held on November 28. Mr. Gbagbo’s rival Allassane Ouattara has been recognised as the President by the United Nations but the former leader has refused to relinquish power plunging the country into violence and uncertainty.
· Analysts say the political crisis following the disputed presidential election could spill over into full-blown civil war — nearly 400 people have been killed since the November 28 vote, according to the U.N. and Associated Press.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gave its approval to a safeguards agreement for two new reactors that Pakistan said China was building for it at Chashma.
• The ‘Type-66’ agreement for the two reactors approved by the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors was identical to similar agreements already in place for Chashma-1 and Chashma-2.
• India is a member of the IAEA Board and gave its assent for the same reason the other members did — the agreement was of a standard type and there is nothing in the statute of the agency which prohibits the transfer of nuclear reactors to a country like Pakistan, which, like India, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). But China is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the rules of the cartel — many of whose 46 members also sit on the IAEA Board — expressly ban the sale of nuclear equipment to countries that are outside the NPT and do not place all their nuclear facilities under international supervision.