Hindustan Times reports that in an attempt to make people aware of their work agenda, government bodies are planning to start their own reality TV shows. Would there be any prizes to be won? That’s anybody's guess!
As India joins rest of the world in celebrating World Forest Year this year , Kerala is all set to host a special forest festival from 6th of February. The five day festival will be inaugurated by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. Union Minister of Environment & Forests Jayaram Ramesh will be the chief guest and forest ministers and experts from southern states will be attending.

The lush green state of Kerala, widely appreciated for its rich biodiversity is also confronted with the stark reality of climate change in the form of unseasonal rainfall, flash flood and other frequent natural calamities. In this context the state government effort to organise the first ever forest festival of ministers and experts from the southern states is of considerable importance. It may be recalled that recently Kerala received special appreciation from United Nations Environment Programme for its social forestry programme of planting about 1.87core saplings across the state involving different segments of society mainly students. During the last five years, Kerala has declared close to 55,000 acres of land as reserved forests. Apart from cultural segments by tribal people, screening of world class documentaries on environment are some of the highlights of the five day long Kerala forest festival.

Patil Committee submits report on 2G Spectrum allocation to Tel Min; Identifies DoT officials for deficiencies
The one member Committee appointed by the government to look into the spectrum allocation procedures has identified the officials in the Department of Telecommunications responsible for deficiencies, lapses and violations.

Justice Shivraj V. Patil Committee submitted its report to the Telecome Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal in New Delhi on Monday. Justice Patil later told reporters that the report also suggests a future course of action on how licenses should be allocated.

The Telecom Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal after receiving the report said that his ministry will take appropriate action after going through the report.

The committee was set up after the 2G spectrum scam came to light. The mandate of the committee was to look into the appropriateness of procedures adopted by the Department of telecommunications in the issuances of licenses from 2001 to 2009.
For the first time in WTA rankings history the Top 10 features ten players from ten different nations: Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark, Kim Clijsters from Belgium, Vera Zvonareva of Russia, Francesca Schiavone of Italy, Australian Sam Stosur, American Venus Williams, China's Li Na, Jelena Jankovic from Serbia, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska.
March 18, 1909 - Einar Dessau uses a short-wave radio transmitter, becoming the first radio broadcaster

March 18, 1965 - Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, becomes the first person to walk in space.

March 18, 2005 - The first-ever Muslim Friday prayer led by a woman in a mixed-gender congregation is held in New York City, marking a break with a 1426-year Islamic tradition.

March 20, 1602 - The Dutch East India Company is established.

March 20, 1739 - Nadir Shah occupies Delhi in India and sacks the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne.

China has more internet users than any other country in the world, according to researchers at the Beijing-based analysts BDA. The research group said China had leapfrogged the US to become the world's most powerful nation online.

At the end of 2007, figures from China's internet network information centre said the country had 210 million internet users, putting it just a few million people behind the US. According to BDA, growth rates indicated that China had now taken the top spot.

"Based on these sources, we can conclude that China has by now comfortably surpassed the United States as the world's largest internet population," said Bin Liu, an analyst with the company.

China's number of internet users is increasing by around 200,000 a day, and the dotcom business sector is expanding rapidly.

But concerns have been raised about Beijing's repressive approach - using the so-called "Great Firewall" to block sites it deems politically dangerous.

The press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières, which this week staged an international day of protest against internet censorship, said in a report that China had imprisoned a number of political dissidents, and blamed western corporations for helping.

The report said: "The hunting down of independent thinkers online is all the more effective as several major western companies have colluded with governments in pinpointing 'troublemakers'."

Last year the founder of the internet company Yahoo! apologised to the family of the journalist Shi Tao - who is serving 10 years in jail - for passing information to the Chinese government that led to his arrest and imprisonment.

Tao had received government instructions on how to report the anniversary of Tiananmen Square and his crime was to forward an email to a human rights organisation.

Kim Clijsters broke Chinese hearts on Saturday after beating Li Na in a classic Australian Open encounter
The former chief of IT giant Tata Consultancy Services, Mr S. Ramadorai, has been appointed as an Advisor to the Prime Minister on Skill Development, a move seen as part of the Government’s efforts to rope in private sector professionals to assist on policy matters.

Mr Ramadorai retired as TCS CEO in late 2009 and is currently on board of many private sector firms, including some Tata group companies.

As an advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Ramadorai would enjoy the rank equivalent to a Cabinet Minister.

Mr Ramadorai holds a Bachelors degree in Physics from Delhi University, a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of California.

After Infosys former CEO Mr Nandan Nilekani, Mr Ramadorai is the second high-profile professional from the IT sector to have been brought on board by the Government for assisting in policy matters.

The world's Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35 per cent in the next 20 years, rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030, according to new population projections by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Globally, the Muslim population is forecast to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next two decades -- an average annual growth rate of 1.5 pc for Muslims, compared with 0.7 pc for non-Muslims. 

If current trends continue, Muslims will make up 26.4 pc of the world's total projected population of 8.3 billion in 2030, up from 23.4 pc of the estimated 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

source: rediff 
Andhra Pradesh Government today launched Smart Cards scheme based on Aadhaar number of Unique Identity Authority of India. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy  formally distributed the first set of Smart Cards at Maheswaram in Ranga Reddy district today. With this Maheswaram has become the first Mandal in the country that is using Aadhaar based biometric authentication to enable people to claim benefits under different welfare programmes.

With an aim to bring transparency in implementing various welfare programmes, the Andhra Pradesh Government has introduced Smart Card system based on the Aadhaar number of the Unique Identity Authority of India. The multi purpose Smart Cards are now under preparation in seven districts of the state including Srikakulam, East Godavari, Adilabad, Hyderabad, Chittoor, Anantapur and Ranga Reddy on pilot basis. So far 6 lakh families have been issued the cards which will serve as ID proof for all purpose and going to replace the Rations cards under the Public Distribution System. These smart cards which will have the data collected using biometrics of all members of the family will help people claim benefits under different welfare programmes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Rajeev Arogyasri- the health insurance for poor, scholarships, Social security pensions, housing and self-help group schemes and even for cooking gas. Using the Smart Card to facilitate introduction of - anywhere-ration facility for the migrating and nomadic families is also under consideration.