Major News and Events of 11 December 2013
What Happened on 11 December 2013
Trade deficit stands at $9.21 billion in November
Homosexuality is an offence, Supreme Court gives verdict
MiG 21 FL flies into history
IOC to end suspension of IOA
Fine tuning of Mars spacecraft done today
The Lower House of the Parliament faced adjournment again for the day on Wednesday as there were noisy protests by the members in both houses of parliament over the issue of Telangana and food prices. Question hour session could not be held as there were disruptions which started within minutes when the proceedings started. The members of the Seemandhara protested against the creation of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh. Added to this were the issues of inflation and children’s death in relief camps for Muslim riot victims in Muzaffarnagar area in Uttar Pradesh. Firstly the house was adjourned till 12 pm. The Rajya Sabha also had the same scene and Chairman M. Hamid Ansari also had to adjourn the house till 12 noon. Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted again after it met at noon over issues like 2G spectrum allocation, Sri Lankan Navy’s attacks on Tamil fishermen. Speaker Meira Kumar had to adjourn the house but before that she stated that she has got notices of no-confidence motion against the government from number of members. In the Rajya Sabha the BSP asked for inclusion of 17 more castes in the Other Backward Class category and they also got the support from the Samajwadi Party. The winter session has 12 days and today was the3 fifth one. Till now no important business has been done.
The country’s trade deficit has dipped to $9.21 billion in November. There was a sharp decline in the imports. The merchandise exports were up by 5.86% at $24.61 billion compared to $23.25 billion in the same period in 2012. Imports dipped by 16.37% and stood at $33.83 billion in the month compared to $40.45 billion last year in the same month. So the trade deficit now is $9.21 billion in November that is less by 46.43% than the last year’s $17.20 billion. In October the trade deficit had increased to $10.55 billion though it had dipped to lowest in 2.5 years at $6.7 billion in September. In October buying of gold and silver in the festive season was attributed the cause for the increase. Oil imports in November slumped by 1.1% to $12.96 billion compared to $13.10 billion in November 2012. Non-oil imports dipped by 23.69% to $20.86 billion in comparison to $27.34 billion imported in November 2012.
The Supreme Court in a controversial decision has stated that the consensual sex between the same-gender is an offence. This has stirred up protests in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The apex court has set aside the Delhi High Court verdict in 2009 which decriminalized homosexuality. The Supreme Court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhayay opined that there was no scope in constitutional terms for modification of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The Section 377 specifies same gender sexual relationship is an offence as it does not conform to the order of the nature. Law Minister Kapil Sibal stated that the government will be exercising its prerogative in this case just as the Supreme Court has done. The Supreme Court has also referred the matter to the Attorney General and stated that amendment of the law can be made by the government if it desires. This decision of Supreme Court came after 21 months since the time it had reserved its decision in March 2012.
Two pairs of MiG-21 FLs, which are country’s first supersonic jet took off from the runway of the Kalaikunda air base at 9.45 am the final time. It had association with IAF for 50 years. Such was its association that these jets were flown by three out of four pilots since the relation began in 1963. The four-aircraft box formation was done in its final pass. Then there was a formation of salute by three MiG-27 MLs for the MiG-21s (Type-77). Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne was there to review the parade on the ground. The jet MiG-21 FL which had the tail number c-1125 was towed out with the tune 'Auld Lang Syne’ played along with the wing walkers’ march. In a symbolic end of the association with the jet the Flight-Lieutenant L. Nagarajan, who is the youngest OCU pilot, did the handover of the Form 700 which is the document log of an aircraft to Browne. A coffee table book and postal stamp was also released.
Sports Minister Jitendra Singh appreciated the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to remove the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association at its Executive Board meeting.IOC president Thomas Bach specified that the Executive Board took note of the IOA decision to modify a clause in its constitution.The Executive Board may also remove ban on India that was imposed on December 4, 2012.Jitendra Singh stated that IOC's decision will facilitate Indian sportspersons to take part in multi-disciplinary sports events like the Olympic Games, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games as a country under the national flag.This is very essential for a sportsperson's morale. Jitendra Singh headed a delegation to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the month of May so that something positive could be worked out. The IOA has agreed to keep formally charged sportspersons and persons out of IOA elections.
Science and Technology
Today the fine tuning of Mars spacecraft was done early in the morning in the interplanetary space do that it maintains the course in the 680 million km orbit round the sun enroute to the Red Planet. The computer which is onboard adjusted the time at 6:30 am through firing of 22 Newton thrusters for 40.5 seconds. At this time the spacecraft was at a distance of 2.9-million km. The spacecraft will reach Martian orbit at the speed of 32 km/second in mid-September 2014 for the exploration. There will be three more corrections in the course in April, August and early September next year. The orbiter's journey is being closely monitored by the scientists and the computers are programmed to send and receive communication. When the spacecraft comes nearest to Mars, it will be put into the Martian orbit through a critical operation where its speed will slow down.