November 2013 Current .affairs

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<ul><li><p>NOVEMBER CURRENT AFFAIRS</p><p>INTERNATIONALThe Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari inaugurated the International Conferenceon Digital Libraries (ICDL) on the theme Vision 2020 Looking back and Forging NewFrontiers organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi on 27November. The Vice President has said that there is consensus that knowledge wouldbe the key driving force in the 21st century. The ability to use and create knowledgecapital will determine a countrys capacity to empower and enable its citizens byincreasing human capabilities. Knowledge would also determine the pace and trajectoryof socio-economic development of countries, besides their global competitiveness. TheVice President also said that the realisation of these objectives would naturally involvethe widest possible dissemination and imparting of knowledge amongst all sections ofsociety. In this endeavour, digital libraries would be a critical instrument as they wouldenable people to access, share, and apply knowledge in a more efficient and effectivemanner.</p><p>The Italian Senate expelled three-time ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi from Parliamentover his tax fraud conviction on 27 November, ending, for now, his two-decadelegislative run but not his political career. Berlusconi has warned that the unprecedentedmove would embarrass Italy internationally. He maintained his defiance as the Senatevoted. Even though Berlusconi won't hold a seat in Parliament, he is expected to remaininfluential in Italian politics. He has relaunched his Forza Italia Party and he stillcommands millions of loyal supporters. While his lawyers chart possible legalchallenges and his allies move into Italy's opposition, Berlusconi's fans massed in frontof his Roman palazzo for a rally that analysts said was essentially the start of Italy's nextelectoral campaign. The Senate vote on whether to remove Berlusconi from thechamber stems from a 2012 law that bans anyone sentenced to more than two years inprison from holding or running for public office for six years. His lawyers claim the law isunconstitutional and have questioned why the rush to expel him while legal challengesare still pending. Italys high court on August 1 upheld Berlusconi's tax fraud convictionand four-year prison term stemming from his Mediaset empire's purchase of televisionrights to US films.</p><p>NATO on 26 November, launched its largest-ever cyber exercises to practise wardingoff massive, simultaneous attacks on member states and their partners. Based at thealliance's cyber defence centre in EU member Estonia, the exercises will last three days</p></li><li><p>and include participants in over 30 European states."Cyber attacks are a daily realityand they are growing in sophistication and complexity," Jamie Shea, a NATO officialspecializing in emerging security challenges, said in a statement. Around 400 legal andIT experts as well as government officials will take part in the operation code-named"Cyber Coalition 2013".</p><p>Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis is resigning in the wake of a deadlysupermarket roof collapse, on 27 November. Dombrovskis is "taking politicalresponsibility for the tragedy," spokesman Martin Punke told to the media. The roofcollapse last week, in the Zolitude neighborhood of the capital, Riga, left more than 50people dead -- the deadliest incident in Latvia since the country became independent in1991.His decision to step down came after a meeting with the president, according toLatvia's national news agency, LETA.A total of 54 people, including three firefighters,died in the collapse and several dozen were injured. The cause of the disaster is stillunder investigation. However, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs told CNN last week thatauthorities think building materials stored on the roof caused it to collapse.</p><p>Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on 27 November 2013 voted in favor ofDubai to be the host city for the World Trade Fair or EXPO 2020. This was decided afterthe third and the final round of voting in Paris on 27 November 2013. The theme ofDubai for the EXPO 2020 is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. A World Expo inDubai in 2020 would be the first to be held in the MENASA (Middle East, North Africaand South Asia) region, which takes place every five years. The yearlong event isconsidered a major event since the award of the EXPO brings home more number ofvisitors and adds to the trade, economy, tourism and hospitality sectors in the host city.The focus is on attracting 25 million people and through word of mouth may be 100million over three to four years. This will give a boost to the local economy, trade, realty,tourism and retail sectors in the long run. World Expos is a meeting point for the globalcommunity to share innovations and make progress on issues of internationalimportance such as the global economy, sustainable development and improved qualityof life for the worlds population. The first world expo was held in London in 1851. ThisExpo will be held every five years in different cities across the world. The last worldexpo took place in 2010 at Shanghai, China.</p></li><li><p>Ignoring seniority and surprising many, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 27November, appointed Lt. Gen. Raheel Sharif, the third in the pecking order, asPakistan's army chief. The change of command comes at a time when Pakistan islocked in war with the homegrown Taliban a battle that has claimed thousands oflives going through a phase of icy relation with India and bracing for repercussions ofthe imminent withdrawal of US-led Nato troops from Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Sharif, 57,was born to Major Muhammad Sharif in Quetta and led a cantonment life.</p><p>Iran and P5+1 Group of Nations reached a breakthrough deal on 24 November 2013 tocurb Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for limited sanctions relief. An agreement tothis effect was signed at UN Headquarters in Geneva on 24 November 2013 betweenthe Chief negotiator for the six nations, Catherine Marie Ashton and Iranian ForeignMinister Mohammad Jawad Zarief. The interim deal for six months is intended to givetime and space to the international community to work towards a comprehensiveagreement. After four days of negotiations, representatives of P5+1 group of nations -the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany - reached an agreement with Iran.The deal is intended as the first step in a six-month process aimed at a permanentresolution to the decade-old global impasse over Irans nuclear programme, andheading off the threat of a new war in West Asia. The Geneva deal also makes the wayfor releasing over US $ 4 billion in Iranian oil sales revenue from frozen accounts, andsuspends restrictions on the countrys trade in gold, petrochemicals, and car and planeparts. In return, Iran undertakes to restrict its nuclear activities. Iran will give greateraccess to inspectors including daily access at the Natanz and Fordo nuclear sites. Inreturn, there will be no new nuclear-related sanctions for six months if Iran sticks by theaccord.</p><p>Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 26 November, launched the construction ofthe country's biggest atomic power plant and vowed to pursue further projects to makenuclear the largest energy source. The 2,200-megawatt plant is to be built with Chinesetechnical assistance on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Beach, 40 kilometers (25miles) west of Karachi. Pakistan already has three operational nuclear plants generatinga total of around 740 MW of power and has begun work on a fourth, in addition to theone launched on Tuesday."This is one of the first steps of our goal of racing towards aload shedding-free Pakistan," Sharif told the audience at the site of the plant. The WorldNuclear Association has estimated the cost of the new project at nearly US $10 billion.Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission engineers will work on the project with help fromthe China Atomic Energy Authority. A few kilometers further west of the new nuclear</p></li><li><p>power project, an energy park is being built at Gaddani beach in Baluchistan province,with plans for 6,600 MW coal-fired power projects.</p><p>The 3rd BRICS International Competition Conference, 2013 was inaugurated byHonble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on 21st November.Delivering the inaugural address, the Prime Minister focussed on the need to recognisethe complementarily between competition law enforcement and liberalisation of marketsfor procurement. He underscored the importance of adopting competition neutralpolicies. Elimination of unnecessary restrictions and better tender design andspecification can enhance possibilities for effective competition, thereby making bidrigging more difficult. As a result, competitive procurement markets can help savevaluable fiscal resources and release funds for development. Dr. Manmohan Singhexpressed confidence that the two-day conference will see robust discussions coveringall the challenges faced by the BRICS countries in the enforcement of their respectivecompetition regimes. The two-day conference has been organised by CompetitionCommission of India (CCI) on behalf of BRICS countries in pursuance of the BeijingConsensus, New Delhi Declaration and Action Plan adopted at Fourth BRICS LeadersSummit in New Delhi on March 29, 2012. The theme of this BRICS ICC is CompetitionEnforcement in BRICS Countries: Issues and Challenges. Earlier, in his welcomeaddress, Chairman, CCI, Mr. Ashok Chawla, expressed the hope that the 3rd BRICSICC would provide an opportunity for the five BRICS countries to share the challengesfaced in their respective countries and gain from the experiences of good practices ofmature competition authorities and the international community at large. This wouldenable the competition authorities to become more effective institutional ombudsman forfair play in the market. The Heads of the Competition Authorities of the FederativeRepublic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the Peoples Republicof China and the Republic of South Africa signed a Joint Accord namely DELHIACCORD on November 22, 2013 during the ongoing 3rd BRICS InternationalCompetition Conference (ICC) at New Delhi. BRICS Competition Authorities, reflectingthe principle of mutual trust and respect, considered the need of establishing goodcommunication between the BRICS Competition Authorities on competition law andpolicy to further improving and strengthening the relationship between the BRICSCompetition Authorities. BRICS Competition Authorities, while recognising the benefitsof technical cooperation among the competition agencies, in sound and effectiveenforcement of competition laws expressed their resolve and commitment to exchangeviews on different aspects of competition policy. The heads of the CompetitionAuthorities of BRICS recommended the publication of the material of the 3rd BRICSICC on their respective websites for the purpose of competition advocacy. TheCompetition Authorities of BRICS support the hosting of the Fourth BRICS ICC during2015.</p></li><li><p>Abdulla Yameen, the candidate of Progressive Party of Maldives on 16th Novemberdefeated the former premier, Mohammed Nasheed to win the Maldivian Presidentialelections. Yameen secured 51.39 percent of votes, whereas Mohamed Nasheedreceived 48.61. 45 foreign observers and 22 foreign monitors saw the transparency andcredibility of the election. The winning candidate Abdullah Yameen will be sworn in asthe President at a special seating of the Majlis, the Maldivian Parliament. The 54 yearsold Yameen is an economist and the half-brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, theformer autocratic ruler, who ruled Maldives for 30 years.Earlier, in September 2013, thefirst round of elections was conducted in which none of the candidates secured morethan 50 percent of the votes. Thus the Supreme Court of Maldives annulled the results.Whereas, the second attempt of polls was to be hold on 19 October 2013, which wasthwarted by the police after the ruling of the Supreme Court. The re-vote was held on 9November 2013, in which any one didnt emerged as the winner by crossing the 50percent mark. After the failure of the two polls, international community asked toconduct the elections as per the Constitutional provisions.</p><p>The much-awaited USD 2.3 billion aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya was inducted intothe Indian Navy on 16 November. The mammoth 44,500-tonne warship wascommissioned into the Indian Navy at the Sevmash Shipyard in the northern Arctic portat a handing over ceremony attended by Defense Minister A K Antony and RussianDeputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and senior government and naval officials of thetwo countries. The commissioning papers were signed by deputy director of Russia'sarms exporter Rosoboronexport, Igor Sevastyanov and the ship's captain Suraj Berry,Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported. AK Antony arrived in Russia on 15November, for the commissioning of the aircraft carrier at Russia's nuclear submarinebuilding centre Sevmash Shipyard. Indian Naval Ship Vikramaditya is the country'ssecond aircraft carrier and the navy's biggest warship. INS Vikramaditya'scommissioning is being described as "a game changer" in naval circles, and is expectedto project India's maritime power far beyond its shores. The aircraft carrier is expectedto reach India by early next year. Vikramaditya is 284 meters in length, and with itsbeam of about 60 meters, it stretches to an area as large as three football fields. It has22 decks and will have over 1,600 personnel on board. The warship can carry over 30aircraft, comprising an assortment of MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, SeaKing, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters. Long range air surveillance radars andadvanced electronic warfare suite makes the ship capable of maintaining "a surveillancebubble" of over 500 km around the ship. The ship is equipped with state-of-the-artlaunch and recovery systems and computer-aided Action Information Organization(CAIO) system, which is the heart of the operational network that infuses life into thecombat systems onboard the ship. Negotiations over acquiring Admiral Gorshkov</p></li><li><p>(which was re-named INS Vikramaditya) started in 1994. A memorandum ofunderstanding was signed in December 1998, and the deal was made January 2004.The Navy has plans of bringing the warship to India and deploy it at the newly-developed Karwar naval base called Project Seabird.</p><p>Iran on 18 November 2013 unveiled a biggest missile-equipped drone with a range of2000 km, which would enable it to cover much of the Middle East, including Israel. Thedrone named Fotros has an operational range of 2000 kilometers and can fly at analtitude of 25000 feet, with a flight time of 16 to 30 hours. The drone could carry outreconnaissance missions or launch air-to-surface missile strikes. In September 2013,Iran announced the mass production of the Shahed 129 drone, which it said has arange of 1700 kilometers, is capable of carrying eight missiles and can fly for 24 hours.In the same month, Iran...</p></li></ul>