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Current Affairs November 25th ,2014 MPSC [BRIEF]

Pakistani writer Bilal Tanweer wins 2014 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize

Bilal-Tanvir Pakistani writer, Bilal Tanweer has won the 2014 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for his novel “The Scatter Here Is Too Great”. The award carries a cash component of Rs. 2 lakh.
This year’s judges for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize were authors Amit Chaudhuri, Aatish Taseer and Mridula Koshy (2009 winner of the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize).
For 2014 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize, six books were shortlisted. They are
  • A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor .
  • The Scatter Here Is Too Great by Bilal Tanweer.
  • The Vanishing Act by Prawin Adhikari.
  • a cool, dark place by Supriya Dravid.
  • The Competent Authority by Shovon Chowdhury.
  • The Smoke Is Rising by Mahesh Rao.
All the six books including Tanweer’s have been published by Indian publishers.
About Bilal Tanweer
  • Bilal Tanweer was born and raised in Karachi. He is Lahore-based author.
  • He has published fiction, poetry and translation in various international journals. In 2011, he was selected for “Granta New Voice”.
  • His book “The Scatter Here Is Too Great” underlines the crucial importance of literature in larger cultural landscape. It balances the universality of existential torment with the often horrifying nitty-gritty realities of its location, Karachi.
About Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize
The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize is an award named after journalist Shakti Bhatt, who passed away in 2007. It was set up in 2008 to encourage authors from the Indian sub-continent. 2014 was seventh year of this prize and the prize money was increased to Rs 2 lakhs with support from Priti Paul and the Apeejay Trust.
Other Pakistani writers who have won this prize:
  • In 2008- Mohammed Hanif.
  • In 2011- Jamil Ahmad.

Sarjubala Devi gets Silver medal in World Women’s Boxing Championships

sarjubala-devi Indian Women Boxer, Sarjubala Devi has won Silver medal in the World Women’s Boxing Championships held in Jeju City, Korea.   In the final match of the 48kg division, she lost to Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan by 0-3.
About Sarjubala Devi
  • Sarjubala Devi is from  Manipur. She was born in farmer’s family.
  • In 2005, she started her boxing career after getting inspired from the success stories of famous Indian boxer Mary Kom.
  • She joined boxing at school in 2005. In 2007 she joined a Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre for boxing in Imphal, India.
  • In 2011, she won gold medal in Youth World Women Boxing Championship organised in Turkey.
  • She also has won medals in Sub-Junior, Junior Women National Championships and National Boxing Championships.
  • In 2012, Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) had announced to support her to prepare for 2016 Olympics as she isexpected to be serious medal prospect.

Iran and six world powers extend deadline for nuclear talks

Iran-nuclear The deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement for a Iran’s Nuclear Programme deal with six world powers i.e. P-6  or P-5 +1 countries has been extended to the end of June, 2015 after recent talks in Vienna, Austrian failed.
P-6 countries include the five permanent members of the UN Security Council viz., USA, Russia, China, UK, France and non- permanent member Germany.
Failure in the talks came after intensive five-day diplomatic push in Vienna involving the foreign ministers of Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
It is the second extension this year as Iran and P-6 nations failed to reach any agreement over Iran’s Nuclear Programme deadlock.
Now they have agreed to extend discussions, with the aim of reaching a high-level political agreement by 1 March, 2015 and confirming the full technical details of the agreement by 1 July, 2015.
Summary Background
There is decade long deadlock between Iran and Western countries over the issue of Iran’s Nuclear Programme and safety concerns of uranium enrichment.
  • Western Countries allegations: Western countries especially US is alleging Iran, that their Nuclear Programme may be used by them to produce enriched uranium to develop nuclear warheads.
  • Iran’s response:  However, Iran has refused the allegations of western countries and has clearly mentioned that it is its sovereign right to continue its nuclear programme to their energy demand. Even they had mentioned that their Nuclear programme is completely peaceful and not for defence purpose.
P-6 countries want Iran to reduce its uranium enrichment programme to make sure it cannot produce nuclear warheads.

UK Government unveils new package of counter-terror measures

UK-Union-Flag The UK Government has unveiled new package of counter-terror measures. This new package is part of UK’s new Counter Terrorism and Security Bill.
The counter-terror package includes tough new measures, including a ban on insurance companies covering the cost of terrorist ransoms and stripping teenage jehadis of their passport, to counter the growing threat of terrorism.

Key facts about UK’s Counter Terrorism and Security Bill

  • It will ban, UK-based insurance companies covering the cost of terrorist ransoms. The Government hopes that insurance firms and families will be deterred from paying ransoms if the money cannot be claimed back. This will make ransom payments to terrorists, illegal under UK and international law.
  • It includes barring jehadists from returning for at least two years in UK and stripping teenage jehadists of their passport.
  • Internet companies will be required to store details linking individual users with internet protocol (IP) addresses, and hand them over to police when asked to assist in identifying suspected terrorists and paedophiles.
  • Thus, it will also allow the police to force internet service providers to hand over data showing who is using a computer or smartphone at any particular time.
  • More than 6,000 people at schools, universities, airports, shopping centres, cinemas and farms across the UK will be briefed by counter-terror officers.

NSA Ajit Doval to be Special Representative (SR) for boundary talks with China

ajit-doval-2 NDA Government has named National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval as India’s Special Representative (SR) for boundary talks with China. NSA Ajit Doval role of SR will be to conduct boundary negotiations and strategic consultations with China. This arrangement will be part of NSA’s overall assignment.


  • In 2003, India and China had established the mechanism of Special Representatives (SR) to thrash out a resolution to the vexed boundary question and work out a settlement over the disputed 3,500-km border.
  • Under it two sides have so far held 17 rounds of talks, making some progress. Indian side is represented by NSA, while Chinese side is represented by a vice minister-level official.
  • The last round was held in February, 2014 in New Delhi between the then NSA Shivshankar Menon and Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi.
Earlier in July, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian PM Narendra Modi during their first meeting on the sidelines of BRICS Summit in Brazil had pledged to resolve the border dispute at the earliest accepting that this has hampered economic ties between the two countries.

Key facts on Border dispute

  • India’s stance: India has clearly mentioned that China occupies 38,000 square km of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west. India has even claimed that Chinese border patrols have been intruding deeper into its side of the border. Many times Indian and Chinese armies were locked in a face-off in the Ladakh sector and other parts.
  • China’s stance: China claims more than 90,000 sq km disputed land in the eastern sector of the Himalayas is acquired by India.
India is planning to beef up defences and improve infrastructure along the border with China in eastern and western sectors. But China has expressed concern about India’s plan to build roads and border outposts in Arunachal Pradesh.

Former Union Minister Murli Deora Passes away

murli-deoras Former Union Minister and Senior Congress leader Murli Deora passed away after prolonged illness. He was 77. Mr. Deora, had held several important portfolios at local and national level politics during his decades-long political career.

About Murli Deora

  • Murli Deora was popularly known as Murli bhai. He was an economics graduate, industrialist and social worker-turned-politician.
  • He started his political career after contesting for the civic elections in Mumbai in 1968 and was elected as corporator . He was Mayor of Mumbai from 1977 to 1978.
  • Later he was elected to the Lok Sabha four times from Mumbai South, a seat later held by his son, Milind, who is also a former MP and ex Union minister. Currently, he was serving his third term as a Rajya Sabha MP. For 22 years, he was President of Mumbai Congress.
  • He was Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas during the UPA-1 regime.
  • In 2006, he joined the Union Cabinet shortly before he turned 70 and led oil diplomacy in Myanmar, Algeria and Egypt, and held talks with ministers from Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia and Comoros.
  • In November 2007, as Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, he successfully hosted the first India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference and Exhibition.
  • After 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he retained the portfolio of Petroleum and Natural Gas in the UPA-2 government under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

India and UNESCO ink Letter of intent (LoI) to cooperate in reducing disaster risks

unesco-logo India and the UNSECO have signed a letter of intent (LoI) for better cooperation in the field of reducing disaster risks and capacity-building In Earth Sciences. The LoI was signed between Ministry of Earth Sciences and UNESCO in the presence of Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO.

Key facts

  • The cooperation between India and UNSECO has been going on for several years now in reducing disaster risks.
  • This LoI is considered as historic moment and will help to open up of new vistas of cooperation in not only the ocean-related studies but other areas of cooperation in different fields of scientific activities.
  • It will help India to upgrade tsunami warning system and improve the capacity to alert nations about it.
  • India has done a considerable research in the field of oceanography and also in terms of disaster management.
  • The cooperation is also at the level of universities and institutions. Such cooperation helps in risk reduction especially in situation like tsunami and other natural disaster.
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