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2012 November 7th Current Affairs

International Issues 

The United Kingdom has lifted its two-decade old advisory for its nationals against travelling to Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh. In a letter to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the UK High Commissioner to India Sir James said that the improvements in the security situation has led the UK to lift the advisory. Sir James added that he is confident that this measure will encourage tourism and business opportunities, which will in turn benefit the local economy. The UK is the third country to lift the ban on travel to these places in the state after Germany and Japan.

The 32nd Edition of the India International Trade Fair, IITF will begin from 14th of this month at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The mega even will continue upto 27th of November.This year the theme of the fair is 'Skilling India' which wil highlight the different aspects for continuous upgrading of skills and globally recognised qualifications for youth employment and ensure the India's competitiveness in the International market.

Mr Barrack Obama has won a second term as President of the United States. He defeated his Republican challenger Mitt Romney with a comfortable margin. With results in from most states, Mr Obama has secured 303 votes in the electoral college and made it to the White House for a second term. Mr Obama prevailed despite lingering dis-satisfaction with the economy and a well-funded challenge by his opponent, Mr Romney.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs are jointly hosting the International “EAS-India Workshop 2012: Building a Regional Framework for Earthquake Risk Management” on November 8-9, 2012 in New Delhi, as a follow up of the announcement made by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at the 6th East Asia Summit (EAS) held in Indonesia in November last year regarding India’s intention to host an EAS Workshop on Disaster Management in 2012. The Workshop will be attended by the Officials of the National Disaster Management Authorities of 18 East Asia Summit (EAS) Member countries including India. Delegates from International Organizations and Officials and experts from various Ministries, States, Technical Institutions etc. from India will also participate in the Workshop. 

The main objectives of the two day Workshop is to bring all EAS member countries together to discuss capacity building using national response mechanisms; exchange views on regional response mechanisms following a major earthquake in the region; discuss issues pertaining to the countries in the region to enable development of regional approach towards coordination of logistics, response, rescue, relief and recovery to minimize the impact on lives and assets. 

The workshop is also aimed at seeking synergies through increased dialogue and stakeholders participation at the regional level for sharing best practices and evolve a roadmap towards development of a regional emergency response to post earthquake scenarios on establishment of clear channels of communication for international assistance. Evolving strategy for training, capacity development and knowledge sharing in disaster management and disaster risk reduction; development of institutional framework for post-earthquake response and coordination in the region and way forward for strengthening collaboration between research and knowledge-based institutions in the region are also being discussed in the Workshop.

National Issues 

The Prime Minister has re-constituted the Group of Ministers, GoM, on Media, by inducting new faces including newly appointed Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari. According to official sources, besides Mr Tewari, the new members are Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath. The re-constitution of the GoM was necessitated following resignation of Ambika Soni as Information and Broadcasting Minister and shifting of Pawan Kumar Bansal from Parliamentary Affairs to Ministry of Railways. The GoM is chaired by Finance Minister P Chidambaram. 

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal and Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy are other members of the GoM.

The Supreme Court has given a green signal for strengthening the vaults of Kerala's famous Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, which reportedly contains wealth worth over 1.50 lakh crore rupees. A bench of Justices RM Lodha and AK Patnaik said, the amount for strengthening the vaults would be paid jointly by the state government and the temple management. The apex court-appointed expert committee, meanwhile, said that the whole process of unearthing the assets and its valuation would be completed by June 1 next year.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated a modern rail coach manufacturing factory built on an estimated cost of Rs 2,500 crore. She flagged off the first batch of newly built coaches at the Rail coach factory in Lalganj. Sonia Gandhi also laid the foundation stone of Rae Bareli-Utratiya rail line and multi-purpose complex at the Railway station.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee dedicated to the nation a new Integrated Terminal Building of Swami Vivekananda Airport at Raipur on November 7, 2012.

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari was presented with the ‘Bharat Scouts and Guides Flag Sticker’ by the Scouts and Guides on the occasion of its Foundation Day. The Bharat Scouts and Guides is the largest youth organisation in the country functioning as a purely voluntary and non-political organisation since 7th November 1950. All the different scouts and guide associations merged together to form a unified organisation called Bharat Scouts and Guides. 

Every year 7th November is celebrated as ‘Foundation Day’. It is also being celebrated as the ‘Bharat Scouts and Guides Flag Day’ since its golden jubilee in the year 2000.

Planning Commission has given investment clearance for the scheme “Raising and Strengthening to Brahmaputra dyke on left bank of Brahmaputra river from Gumi to Kalatoli (from Ch. 21.30 Km. to 27.80 Km)” including recoupment of the dyke (from Ch. 27.80 Km to Ch. 35.00 Km) in district Kamrup, Assam. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 14.49 Crore. 

The project will have to be completed by the financial year 2013-14 and Plan accounts would be closed by 31st March 2014. Project will have to be executed as per the approved outlays in the State Annual Plans. The State Finance Department would restrict the expenditure to the approved cost and no additional expenditure beyond approved cost may be permitted unless the revised estimate is got approved following the prescribed procedure.

The first ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on cooperation in Renewable Energy was held in the capital on Nov 7th, 2012. Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy while inaugurating the meeting said that this meeting is a unique opportunity to catalize the India-ASEAN Renewable Energy family.

The Global Renewable Energy Status Report 2012 reveals that renewable energy has grown to supply 16.7 per cent of the global energy consumption. Dr. Farooq Abdullah stated that India stands among the top five countries of the world in terms of renewable energy installed capacity and at present renewable power, with over 26 GW installed capacity, represents about 12.5 percent of the total installed power generation capacity in India. 

The Minister informed that the investment in renewable energy in India has now exceeded US $ 10 billion per year. This meeting is a beginning to explore new horizons, new pathways to cooperation and new solutions to existing challenges. It aims to foster greater dialogue, greater sharing and increased interactions at institutional as well as industry levels among ASEAN countries and India. . 

The workshop aimed at sharing of experience among participating countries on development and deployment of renewable energy and to identify the institutions for establishing long term cooperation between institutions in India and ASEAN countries. The workshop was attended by 17 participants from 8 ASEAN member countries with over 170 delegates from all over India and from different streams of renewable energy. 

The major areas of cooperation that emerged in the workshop included Experience sharing in Renewable Energy Resource Assessment using GIS and remote sensing technologies, Sharing of Renewable Energy equipment calibration and testing facilities, protocol and evaluation methods, standards and certification procedures, off-shore power supply and transmission technology utilizing wind and ocean technologies, regional network on R&D on Renewable Energy Technology facilitating sharing of best practices and lessons learnt, exchange of ideas for providing energy access to rural population through promotion of micro-grids/off-grids based on renewable technologies and sharing of experience in financing of renewable energy projects.

Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) chaired the first consultation meeting on Valuation of Household Work Undertaken by Women in India. The consultation with academicians, experts and economists from across the country was an effort towards need to recognize women’s contribution within the household in the country, and to acknowledge the significance of their unpaid labour within the household and society.

Bilateral Issues 

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of United Kingdom, Mr. William Hague will be on a four-day official visit to India from Nov 7,2012. Mr. Hague will discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interests with External Affairs Minister, Mr Salman Khurshid in New Delhi.


Former National Volleyball player and Captain of the Kerala State senior team A M Joji died. He was 55. Mr Joji had represented the country in the Junior Asian Volleyball Championship held in South Korea in 1980 and also in the Junior World Championship held in the United States in 1981.



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