Thursday, 28 April 2016 02:53


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28 - APRIL - 2016



The 2016 World Press Freedom Index was released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Finland retained its top position for the sixth consecutive year, followed by the Netherlands and Norway.

The Index ranks 180 countries according to the freedom allowed journalists. It also includes indicators of the level of media freedom violations in each region.

The global indicator and the regional indicators show that there has been a deep and disturbing decline in respect for media freedom throughout the world.

But, it is not an indicator of the quality of the journalism in each country, nor does it rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking.

Highlights of the Index

• Europe with 19.8 points still has the freest media, followed distantly by Africa with 36.9, which for the first time overtook the America’s 37.1, a region where violence against journalists is on the rise.

• Asia with 43.8 and Eastern Europe/Central Asia with 48.4, while North Africa/Middle East with 50.8 is still the region where journalists are most subjected to constraints of every kind.

• Finland, the Netherlands and Norway occupied the first three places, while the same infernal trio is in the last three positions: Turkmenistan (178th), North Korea (179th) and Eritrea (180th).

• There are countries fell farthest from 2015 rankings which include Poland (47th, down 29), Tajikistan (150th, slide 34 places), Sultanate of Brunei (155th, down 34), Burundi (156th, down 11).

• India ranked 133 with the report saying Prime Minister Narendra Modiindifferent to threats against journalists.

Top 10 Ranked Countries in Press Freedom

Serial No







The Netherlands









New Zealand



Costa Rica














World Press Freedom Index

• The Index is published annually by RSF since 2002. It is an important advocacy tool based on the principle of emulation between states. Because it is now so well known, its influence over the media, governments and international organizations is growing.

• It is based on an evaluation of media freedom that measures pluralism, media independence, the quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists in 180 countries.

• It is compiled by means of a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by experts all over the world.

• This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated.


Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 20 April 2016 appointed Rahul Johri as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Rahul Johri, who was last serving as Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s Executive Vice-President and General Manager for South Asia, will take on his new role starting 1 June 2016 onwards. He will be reporting to the BCCI Secretary.

The creation of the post of the CEO was a change recommended by the three-member Lodha panel in its report in January 2016. The panel had stressed the need for the BCCI to separate its governance and management duties, with the CEO taking charge of the management side.

Rahul who carries 20-plus-year experience in the media industry was last associated with Discovery Network for 15 years and for the past eight years was leading South Asia operations.


The 2016 Pulitzer Prizes winners were announced on 18 April 2016.

The Marshall Project and ProPublica won the Explanatory Reporting Prize for their 12000-word article, An Unbelievable Story of Rape, about a failed police investigation into a young woman’s allegations of rape.

The Associated Press won the Public Service Award for its investigation into the use of slave labour across the seafood industry in Southeast Asia. Through the investigation, the A.P. traced how that very seafood was then sold across supermarkets and restaurants in the United States.

Complete list of winners:

Award Category (Journalism)


Public Service

Associated Press for an investigation of severe labour abuses tied to the supply of seafood to American supermarkets and restaurants

Breaking News Reporting

Los Angeles Times Staff for exceptional reporting, including both local and global perspectives, on the shooting in San Bernardino and the terror investigation that followed

Investigative Reporting

Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay Times and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for a stellar example of collaborative reporting by two news organizations that revealed escalating violence and neglect in Florida mental hospitals and laid the blame at the door of state official

Explanatory Reporting

T. Christian Miller of ProPublica and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project for a startling examination and exposé of law enforcement's enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims

Local Reporting

Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner of Tampa Bay Times for exposing a local school board's culpability in turning some county schools into failure factories, with tragic consequences for the community

National Reporting

The Washington Post Staff for its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be

International Reporting

Alissa J. Rubin of The New York Times for thoroughly reported and movingly written accounts giving voice to Afghan women who were forced to endure unspeakable cruelties

Feature Writing

Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker for an elegant scientific narrative of the rupturing of the Cascadia fault line, a masterwork of environmental reporting and writing


Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe for extensively reported columns that probe the legacy of busing in Boston and its effect on education in the city with a clear eye on ongoing racial contradictions


Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker for television reviews written with an affection that never blunts the shrewdness of her analysis or the easy authority of her writing

Editorial Writing

John Hackworth and Brian Gleason of Sun Newspapers, Charlotte Harbor, FL for fierce, indignant editorials that demanded truth and change after the deadly assault of an inmate by corrections officers

Editorial Cartooning

Jack Ohman of The Sacramento Bee for cartoons that convey wry, rueful perspectives through sophisticated style that combines bold line work with subtle colours and textures

Breaking News Photography

Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter of The New York Times for photographs that captured the resolve of refugees, the perils of their journeys and the struggle of host countries to take them in

Photography Staff of Thomson Reuters for gripping photographs, each with its own voice, that follow migrant refugees hundreds of miles across uncertain boundaries to unknown destinations

Feature Photography

Jessica Rinaldi of The Boston Globe for the raw and revealing photographic story of a boy who strives to find his footing after abuse by those he trusted

Award Category (Letters, Drama & Music)



The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)


Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda


Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America, by T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf)

Biography or Autobiography

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan (Penguin Press)


Ozone Journal, by Peter Balakian (University of Chicago Press)

General Nonfiction

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, by Joby Warrick (Doubleday)


In for a Penny, In for a Pound, by Henry Threadgill (Pi Recordings)

About Pulitzer Prize

The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States.

It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City.

Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a 10000 US dollars cash award.

The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.


The Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 20 April 2016 gave its approval for signing the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties held in Paris in December 2015.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, will sign the agreement on behalf of India on 22 April 2016 at the high level signature ceremony convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.

What is Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

An agreement on the language of the draft treaty was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015, but has not entered into force.

On 22 April 2016, the agreement opens for signature. Some 120 states are expected to sign.

The agreement is meant to enhance the implementation of the Convention and recognizes the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances.

The salient features of the Paris Agreement are:

The Paris Agreement acknowledges the development imperatives of developing countries. The Agreement recognizes the developing countries' right to development and their efforts to harmonize development with environment, while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.

It recognizes the importance of sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption with developed countries taking the lead. It notes the importance of climate justice in its preamble.

The objective of the Agreement ensures that it is not mitigation-centric and includes other important elements such as adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency of action and support.


Union Government notified that the Department of Disinvestment is renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or DIPAM.

The decision is aimed at proper management of Union government’s investments in equity including its disinvestment in central public sector undertakings (PSUs).

The new department has been mandated to advise the government in the matters of financial restructuring of central public sector enterprises and for attracting investment through capital markets.

A comprehensive approach will be adopted for efficient management of government investment in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) by addressing issues such as capital restructuring, dividend, bonus shares, etc.


• The DIPAM will work under Union Finance Ministry and it will deal with all matters relating to management of central government investments in equity including disinvestment of equity in central public sector undertakings.

• It will also deal with all matters relating to sale of central government equity through offer for sale or private placement or any other mode in the erstwhile central public sector undertakings.

• All other post disinvestment matters shall continue to be handled by the Union administrative ministry or concerned department with the consultation of DIPAM on necessity.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced about the renaming of the Department of Disinvestment in his budget speech for 2016-17.


The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bhutan. The two nations will ink an agreement on technical cooperation in the field of capacity building, benchmarking and bilateral exchange in infrastructure engineering.

The decision was taken at a Union Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The MoU will provide an umbrella for educational, scientific & technical research and environment protection which are also stated aim of the India-Bhutan Foundation established in August 2003.

Through this MoU, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) will stand to gain in terms of experience in hills road construction which is of paramount importance in J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and various States of North-East Region. The CPWD also expects to garner some road construction projects in Bhutan.

The MoU is in furtherance of Article 2, 7 and 8 of the India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty that was inked in New Delhi in February 2007.

At present, the two countries are supporting each other in an already ongoing Hydro Power Cooperation which provides an exemplary template for mutual cooperation.

India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty

India re-negotiated the 1949 treaty with Bhutan and signed a new treaty of friendship in 2007. The new treaty replaced the provision requiring Bhutan to take India's guidance on foreign policy with broader sovereignty and not require Bhutan to obtain India's permission over arms imports. In 2008, India's then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited Bhutan and expressed strong support for Bhutan's move towards democracy.

The Indian-Bhutan Friendship Treaty, which was signed in New Delhi on 8 February 2007, came into force following the exchange of Instruments of Ratification between the two governments in Thimphu on 2 March 2007.

Article 2

In keeping with the abiding ties of close friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India, the Government of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Government of the Republic of India shall cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests. Neither Government shall allow theuse of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of the other.

Article 7

The Government of Bhutan and the Government of India agree to promote cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. These shall be extended to such areas as education, health, sports, science and technology.

Article 8

The Government of Bhutan and the Government of India agree to continue to consolidate and expand their economic cooperation for mutual and longterm benefit.


  • The Ministry of External Affairs announced that it had revoked the passport of Vijay Mallya, owner of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, starting the process of bringing him back to India.
  • The MEA revoked the passport of Shri Vijay Mallya onthe facts brought by the Enforcement Directorate and Non-Bailable Warrant under the PMLA Act, 2002, issued by Special Judge, Mumbai.
  • The move comes days after the MEA said it had started consultations to bring Mr. Mallya to justice.
  • The ED had begun coordinating with the MEA to bring Mr. Mallya back , especially because of his reluctance to disclose overseas assets.
  • Within hours of the announcement, news agencies reported that Mr. Mallya’s name featured in the electoral rolls in the United Kingdom. The rolls mention his address as Hertfordshire, where he has been staying since last month.


  • Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur Broke down several times in his half-hour speech addressed directly to Prime Minister who was present at the Annual Chief Ministers and Chief Justices Conference.
  • He also launched a scathing attack on government inaction, blaming the Centre for stalling appointment of judges to the High Courts and doing nothing to increase the number of courts and judges.
  • The Chief Justice asked what was the point of ‘Make in India’ and inviting foreign direct investments when investors would worry about timely delivery of justice in case of litigation.
  • “Therefore, not only in the name of the litigant… the poor litigant languishing in jail but also in the name of the country and progress, I beseech you to realise that it is not enough to criticise the judiciary,” he said
  • He said there were 434 judicial vacancies in the High Courts as of date, “thanks to” the fact that judicial appointments remained in limbo because of the prolonged litigation over the NJAC.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered an unscheduled speech, immediately after the Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur’s emotional speech.
  • Taking on the CJI, the Prime Minister said judges and the government should sit together and work for a more efficient tomorrow rather than dwell on the past and what was said in 1987.
  • He said the ordinary citizen had full faith in the judiciary and the government would not let his faith in the judges falter.
  • He blamed the flood of archaic laws that filled up the statute books, faulty or vague drafting of laws and their multiple interpretations by various courts for prolonged litigations.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a call for water conservation in villages at a time when parts of the country are reeling under an unprecedented drought.
  • He said that monsoon would be 106-110 per cent of the normal this year is heartening.
  • “To fight the drought and ensure water security, the governments will do its work.
  • But I have also seen people making their own efforts. In several villages, there is awareness about the value of water and in such places there is sensitivity and a will to do something to conserve it,” Mr. Modi said in his address.
  • “Rain water should be preserved. The water of a village should remain in the village. If we take a resolve to do that, it is possible through a mass campaign.”
  • The Prime Minister gave his address a feel-good ring when he hailed the one crore families that had voluntarily given up LPG connections so that the poor can get cooking gas.
  • Faith in people was important, he asserted. At the same time, he wondered whether a train journey could take place without a ticket-checker, on the basis of faith in the people.
  • Mr. Modi asked people to visit a website ‘Transforming India.’ They would get news about positive achievements there.
  • Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had said that “positive news” alone should be on Page 1. There was a move towards “positive news,” which was the “greatest reason for inspiration to do good work.”
  • Later addressing a rally in Jharkhand to mark Panchayat Day, the Prime Minister stressed the need to strengthen the panchayats as the development of the country was linked to the development of villages.


  • U.S. President Barack Obama arrived on a valedictory visit to Germany to see his “friend” Chancellor Angela Merkel, but their show of unity looked unlikely to silence opposition to their push for a transatlantic trade pact.
  • Mr. Obama jetted into the northern city of Hanover, where he warned that it would be a “mistake” to send Western troops into Syria and cautioned Britain on reduced global influence should it quit the EU.
  • While his fifth and final official trip to Europe’s biggest economy is expected to cover global crises, one of the headline goals is to advance negotiations on what could become the world’s biggest free trade agreement.
  • Both sides say they aim to see the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) finalised, at least in its broad outlines, before Mr. Obama leaves office in January.
  • However Ms. Merkel’s Economy Minister warned that the deal “will fail” if the United States refuses to make concessions in the protracted talks.
  • His comments came a day after tens of thousands of people marched against the U.S.-EU free trade deal through the streets of Hanover, where Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel were to open the world’s largest industrial technology fair.
  • Before he left for Germany, Mr. Obama told the BBC the United States would continue efforts to broker a transition deal between the Syrian regime and its moderate opponents to end the bloody civil war.
  • He called for “international pressure” on “all the parties, including Russia and Iran, who, essentially, are propping up Assad”.
  • In the same interview, Mr. Obama reiterated his warnings about a so-called Brexit, saying Britain would have “less influence globally” if it voted to leave the European Union in June.
  • Mr. Obama’s visit will wrap up Monday with a keynote speech in which he is expected to frame his vision of transatlantic relations.


  • Police arrested reportedly an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, in connection with the murder of A.F.M. Rezaul Karim Siddiquee in northern Rajshahi, but rejected the claim of the involvement of the Islamic State (IS) in the killing.
  • A senior police officer admitted that murder bore similarity to the previous killings of bloggers.
  • However, he claimed that those behind the murders were local Islamists and purported messages from IS and al-Qaeda were only aimed at confusing the investigators.
  • Siddiquee, a professor at the English department of Rajshahi University, was hacked to death by two unidentified gunmen on Saturday morning near his home in Rajshahi when he was waiting for a university bus to go to the campus.
  • The murder case has been handed over to the Detective Branch of Police, to be investigated on “top priority”.
  • Though monitoring group SITE reports that the IS has claimed responsibility for the murder for the professor’s alleged views on religion, the murdered professor had reportedly never written or spoken anything against religion.
  • Attacks on teachers with a liberal bent of mind at Rajshahi University, believed to be a den of radical Islamist groups, is nothing new. Prof. A.K.M. Shafiul Haque was killed in 2014, a murder for which al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.
  • Geology teacher Prof. S. Taher Ahmed was found dead in a septic tank of his house in 2006. His colleague and a Jamaat-backed teacher were among the three were sentenced to death for the murder.
  • Earlier this month, NazimuddinSamad, an activist, was killed in Dhaka. Earlier, in 2015, four bloggers were murdered, all for their writing and views against religious bigotry.


  • The Northern Provincial Council (NPC), which has reiterated the position of Tamil parties for a merger of the North and the East, is not for special powers to be provided to the proposed State, according to its chairperson C.V.K. Sivagnanam.
  • On the significance of the resolution adopted, Mr. Sivagnanam said that “our demand for federalism should not be misconstrued as something in favour of separatism.
  • Let the Central government share power with all the States or Provinces uniformly.. We expect other Provinces to fall in line with us so that we all can have greater powers.
  • The Council’s proposals on constitutional reforms were essentially based on the constitutional models of two countries — India and Switzerland.
  • As in the case of India, there should be States demarcated on the basis of languages.
  • This was one of the reasons for the proposed merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces as “Muslims in the East are all Tamil speaking people,” Mr. Sivagnanam pointed out.
  • Taking into account aspirations of hill-country Tamils, the NPC suggested another autonomous body.The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has 30 members in the 38-member body.


  • The Labour Ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to form a panel headed by a former Deputy Governor of the central bank to look into a proposal of creating a Workers' Bank using Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).
  • The proposal was mooted by the trade unions about a decade ago and has been discussed by Labour Ministry and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for several years now.
  • In 2004, the Congress-affiliated Indian National Trade Union Congress (Intuc) had first submitted a theme paper to the government on setting up ‘Workers’ Capital Trust’ to improve the earnings of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) by investing its corpus in various instruments.
  • The idea was modelled on similar experiences in countries like Canada, Netherland, Switzerland and South Africa where a collective pension fund system invests worker’s savings in equities of domestic and global markets.
  • As on 31 March 2015, EPFO’s total corpus stood at Rs.6.34 lakh crore.
  • Various committees set up to review the proposal had suggested that EPFO should concentrate on its core activities and were not in favour of the Workers’ Bank.
  • However, the idea was revived after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government took charge in May 2014.


  • U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to hold interest rates steady but they might tweak description of the economic outlook to reflect more benign conditions.
  • Fed raised its policy rates in last decision for the first time in a decade when market volatility finally subsided in the wake of Chinese economy scare.
  • Similarly early this year markets wobbled on worries about a slowdown in global economic growth and weak U.S. corporate earnings, leading to expectations for further Fed rates rises to be revised down.
  • Many Fed officials remain spooked by the steep stock market drop earlier this year and by weak first-quarter U.S. economic data.
  • Concrete signs of higher inflation and growth may be needed before the FOMC, the Fed's policy committee, continues with the projected gradual path toward more normal levels of interest rates.
  • Though the U.S. economy is generating jobs and consumer prices have risen, providing support for a Fed interest rate rise, weakness in retail sales and international trade, as well as concern about China's economy, are reasons to worry.





Success means work. Icebergs have two parts: What people see (above the surface) and what people don’t see (below the surface). Here are the “below the surface” costs of success: Dedication, Hard work, Good habits, Disappointment, Sacrifice, Failure, Persistence and Success takes work.

Unsuccessful people follow money and people who have money. Successful people follow their integrity and dreams. Success means different things to different people. But yes, if you are super rich and still unhappy, than definitely you are not successful.

Success is following your heart and dreams. Success is to make a difference while here on this Planet. Success is the ability to help the helpless. Ultimate success would be to feel at peace within no matter what your circumstances in life. When you feel at peace with yourself, you don't necessarily want the monetary/material things that you may have thought you wanted before. success is whatever we decide it to be.

What makes you feel successful today is not guaranteed to make you feel the same tomorrow. If you earn millions and are a bad person, selfish and only help yourself, then you are not into success. Like anything in life, balance and moderation is key...earn what you feel you need to be safe and comfortable while doing a job that makes a positive impact on the world, no matter how small.

Becoming enslaved to an idea that money solves everything is distracting you from our true reasons for being here. Enjoying every step of life is real success. Because journey is important than destination. In chasing not success life slips from hands. Success is a feeling which is to be cultivated according to one's own terms. When one enjoys a gift called life in its all colours, he only can fill his canvas with bright colours, by living his time on this earth called life. There are no overnight successes.

#‎RAY‬ - ‪#‎Empowering‬ ‪#‎Talent‬ ‪#‎Since‬ 1971

Last Updated on Friday, 29 April 2016 02:39