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Current Affairs Chronicle: Jan 2011

January 1, 2011: India joins UNSC as non-permanent member
On January 1, India, along with Germany, Portugal, South Africa and Columbia, became a non-permanent member of this 15-member body.

India, along with other emerging countries, has been pushing for a reform of the United Nations to reflect the realities of the present day world.

It has also sought an expansion of the UN Security Council to include new permanent members, and has joined hands with the G4 countries (Germany, Japan, South Africa and India) to push for the expansion.

Excluding Japan, all three countries now find themselves in the Security Council as non-permanent members and are expected to push their agenda jointly.

The five existing non-permanent members are Bosnia, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria, while India along with Germany, Portugal, South Africa and Columbia joined the Security Council as its new non-permanent members on January 1. India so far has been elected to the Security Council for seven times including the current 2010-2012 term.

Issues related to counter-terrorism, UN peacekeeping operations and human rights would be the top priorities for India as it joins the powerful Security Council after a gap of 19 years, New Delhi's top diplomat to the world body said.

January 14, 2011: Wage rise for MNREGA workers
Over five-crore workers under the scheme of under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act workers across the country will enjoy a 17 to 30 per cent rise in wages with their wage rate being linked with the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour (CPIAL) with immediate effect.
The Ministry of Rural Development issued the notification in compliance with the directives of Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh.
Click here to know new wages.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) is an Indian job guarantee scheme, enacted by legislation on August 25, 2005. The scheme provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work.

This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the rural people, primarily semi or un-skilled work to people living in rural India, whether or not they are below the poverty line. Around one-third of the stipulated work force is women.

January 20, 2011: Mobile number portability launched
Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh on Thursday announced pan-India rollout of mobile number portability (MNP), which will allow mobile subscribers to change their service providers, within a telecom circle, while retaining their numbers.

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