1. First China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation held in China, India not invited
According to the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) a meeting of the China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation took place on 21 November 2022, in which 19 countries took part. India was not invited by the Chinese.
The meeting was held in a hybrid manner under the theme of “Shared Development: Theory and Practice from the Perspective of the Blue Economy” in Kunming, Yunnan Province of China.
According to CIDCA at the November 21 meeting, China has proposed to establish a marine disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation mechanism between China and countries in the Indian Ocean region.
Countries which participated in the Chinese forum
The following 19 countries participated in the meeting; Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Oman, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Djibouti, Australia and representatives of 3 international organisations.
Chinese attempt to counter Indian influence in the region
According to experts, the Chinese forum is apparently aimed at countering India’s strong influence in the Indian Ocean region where India-backed organisations like the 23 members Indian Ocean Rim Association, (IORA) have taken strong roots. China is a dialogue partner in the IORA formed in 1997.
The Indian Navy-backed Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), established in 2007, is a premier forum for cooperation and collaboration among navies of littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
Chinese effort to increase its influence in the Indian Ocean region
China is trying its influence in the strategic Indian Ocean region with substantial investments in ports and infrastructure investments in several countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
China has established a full-fledged naval base in Djibouti, its first outside the country. Beijing has acquired the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka on a 99-year lease besides building the port at Pakistan’s Gwadar in the Arabian Sea opposite India’s western coast.
2. US bans the use of Chinese companies Huawei, ZTE telecom equipment sales, citing national security risk
Tags: International News
The United States government has banned the use of telecommunication equipment from China's Huawei Technologies and ZTE because they pose "an unacceptable risk" to U.S. national security.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission in its order on 26 November 2022 also banned the sale or import of equipment made by Chinese surveillance equipment maker Dahua Technology Co ,video surveillance firm Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd and telecoms firm Hytera Communications Corp Ltd.
In March 2021 the American government had designated five Chinese companies Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corp Hikvision and Dahua on the "covered list" as posing a threat to national security under a 2019 law aimed at protecting U.S. communications networks.
Chinese companies dominate the telecom equipment market in the world and many countries fear that the use of Chinese equipment will comprise its national security.
US security officials have warned that equipment from Chinese brands such as Huawei could be used to interfere with fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks and collect sensitive information.
India has also indirectly banned the use of Chinese telecom equipment in the country.
3. Former ISI chief Asim Munir appointed new chief of Pakistan Army
Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency chief Lt Gen Asim Munir has been appointed as the new chief of the Pakistan Army on 24 November by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, succeeding Gen Qamar Bajwa.
He replaced outgoing General Qamar Javed Bajwa on 29 November.
Bajwa was appointed army chief in 2016 for three years. In the year 2019, he was given a three-year extension.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wrote to President Alvi to appoint Lt. Gen. Munir as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
With the approval of Munir's name by the President, the process of appointment was completed.
Lt Gen Munir has served as the chief of the two most powerful intelligence agencies Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).
However, his tenure as ISI chief was the shortest ever and within eight months he was replaced by Lt Gen Faiz Hameed in 2019 at the behest of the then Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The CJCSC is the highest authority in the hierarchy of the armed forces, but major powers, including deployment, appointments and transfers of troops, rest with the Chief of Army Staff. Because of these powers, the army chief is the most powerful.
Pakistan has been in existence for more than 75 years and the country has been under military rule for more than half of that time. In such a situation, the army has been interfering a lot in the security and foreign policy matters of the country.
4. India expresses commitment to peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region
India participated in the 22nd Council of Ministers's meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held at Dhaka in Bangladesh on 23 November, 2022.
India voiced its strong commitment to the strengthening of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to promote peace, security and prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region and in the Indo-Pacific.
The Indian delegation was led by Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh.
He also highlighted India's contribution as coordinator of IORA priority areas of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and science, technology and innovation for capacity building and strengthening of IORA Secretariat.
On the challenges posed by climate change, the Minister highlighted the initiatives of LiFE - Lifestyle for Environment and International Year of Millet in 2023.
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
It is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
It has been formed with the aim of increasing cooperation among the countries of the Indian Ocean Region and making joint efforts for sustainable development.
It includes 21 countries along the coast of the Indian Ocean including India and 7 dialogue partners.
These 21 countries include India, Australia, Iran, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Singapore, Mauritius, Madagascar, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Seychelles, Somalia, Comoros and Oman.
It was formed in 1997 and its secretariat is in Mauritius.
5. Anwar Ibrahim sworn in as the country's new prime minister in Malaysia
Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as the country's tenth Prime Minister on 24 November.
The new leader was appointed by King Al-Sultan Abdullah.
With this, the political uncertainty that continued for several days after the general elections with a fractured mandate in Malaysia has come to an end. Anwar took oath in a simple ceremony at the National Palace.
Anwar's Alliance of Hope won the election with 82 seats but fell short of the 112 seats needed for a majority.
Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin's Malay-centric Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance) managed to win 72 seats due to unprecedented support from the Malay community in the election.
The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party emerged as the largest party in the coalition, winning 49 seats.
The coalition led by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which won 30 seats in the election, agreed to support the coalition led by Anwar.
Capital : Kuala Lumpur
Currency : Malaysian ringgit
6. Sher Bahadur Deuba elected for consecutive 7th time from Dadeldhura district
Prime Minister and President of the Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba on 23 November was elected for the consecutive 7th time from the home district of Dhankuta.
The counting of votes continues for parliamentary and provincial elections in the country.
Senior Nepali Congress leader Deuba defeated an independent candidate Sagar Dhakal by a margin of over 12 thousand votes.
The parliamentary and provincial elections were held on 20th of November in Nepal.
It was the second general election since the promulgation of the constitution in 2015.
The first round of elections held in 2017 did not live up to the expectations of Nepalese voters as the government did not last long.
7. Europe announces name of world's first disabled astronauts
The European Space Agency announced the name of the first "parastronaut" on 23 November in a major step towards allowing people with physical disabilities to work and live in space.
The 22-nation European Space Agency said it selected former British Paralympic runner John McFall as part of a new generation of 17 recruits selected for astronaut training.
He will participate in a feasibility study designed to allow ESA to assess the conditions needed for people with disabilities to participate in future missions.
Five new astronauts have been roped in to take part in the training after ESA replenished its astronaut ranks for the first time since 2009.
The EAS received 257 applications for the role of an astronaut with a disability, designated a "parastronaut".
McFall, who lost his right leg due to a motorcycle accident at the age of 19, won a bronze medal in the 100 metres at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
8. Ayush Ministry to set up an Academic Chair in Ayurvedic Science at Western Sydney University, Australia
The Union ministry of Ayush announced the setting up of an Ayurveda Academic Chair based at Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, with tenure for a period of three years.
Dr. Rajagopala S., Associate Professor & Head (Department of Kaumarabhritya) All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi has been selected for the post of Academic Chair in Ayurvedic Science at Western Sydney University, Australia.
In order to promote Ayurveda and Yoga the Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 16 foreign countries for the setting up of Ayush Chair.
The Academic Chair will undertake academic and collaborative research activities in Ayurveda, including herbal medicine and yoga, as well as design academic standards and short-term/medium-term courses and educational guidelines. It will provide academic leadership in demonstrating and fostering excellence in teaching, research and policy development related to Ayurveda.
Union Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy)
- The Ministry of AYUSH was set up on the 9th of November 2014 to revive the knowledge of traditional Indian systems of medicine.
- It focuses on education and research in the fields of Ayurveda, Yoga Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy.
- Minister of AYUSH: Sarbananda Sonowal
9. Canada’s Brampton city gets first turbaned Sikh Harkirat Singh as deputy mayor
Brampton city in the Canadian province of Ontario got its first turbaned Sikh deputy mayor with the appointment of Harkirat Singh .A release by the Brampton City Council said that Harkirat Singh, who represents wards 9 and 10, has been appointed deputy mayor from 2022-26. The deputy mayor presides at council and other committee meetings and assumes ceremonial and civic event duties on behalf of the mayor if the mayor is absent or unavailable.
Prior to his role as councillor, he served a four-year term as school trustee at the Peel District School Board.
In the present Canadian Parliament there are 18 Sikhs members.Currently Harjit Sajjan, Bardish Chagger are the two Sikhs who are ministers in the Justin Trudeau government in Canada.
10. Over 60 people dead in the Indonesian earthquake
A 5.6-magnitude earthquake killed more than 60 people and injured hundreds in Indonesia's West Java province on 21 November 2022. However the death toll is likely to rise further as many are still trapped under the rubbles.
The epicentre was near the town of Cianjur in West Java, about 75 km (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta.
Indonesia lies across the "Pacific Ring of Fire", a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the Earth's crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.
In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude quake off Sumatra Island in northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries, killing 226,000 people along the Indian Ocean coastline, more than half of them in Indonesia.
Earthquakes happen when the plates of the earth collide with each other. The earth's lithosphere consists of 7 major plates and they float over the molten surface of the upper mantle. When they collide energy waves are released which causes vibration on the surface of the Earth known as Earthquake.
The location below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocenter, and the location directly above it on the surface of the earth is called the epicenter.
Earthquakes are recorded by instruments called seismographs. The recording they make is called a seismogram.
The scale for measuring earthquakes is called the Richter scale. It is a mathematical scale used to measure the intensity of earthquake waves. It ranges from 0 to 9. However it can be more than 9.