Monday, 17 October 2016 06:12




RMI'S Current Affairs - https://www.facebook.com/RMIS-Current-Affairs


17- OCTOBER - 2016



  • India and Russia put up an emphatic display of deep bilateral ties, setting aside recent discord, and came out strongly against terror.
  • Both sides signed 16 important deals including one on S-400 missile systems, a game-changer in countering airborne threats.
  • Defence production and acquisition agreements were announced after the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin.
  • Apart from the Inter Governmental Agreement on the missile system — worth nearly Rs 39,000 crore — Russia also agreed to sell Kamov 226T helicopters and four Krivak class stealth frigates to India.
  • The Kamov 226T helicopters will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Rostec State Corporation of Russia under a joint production plan.
  • In his statement, President Vladimir Putin highlighted Russia’s “stable” approach to ties with India and said his government will ensure steady energy cooperation with India to support the expanding Indian economy.
  • “Sometimes differences appear in some projects over a period due to currency devaluation. But we commit to maintain a steady approach to bilateral projects with India,” said President Putin
  • He also added, “we are working on joint development of Sukhoi super jets and passenger aircraft.”


  • India and China “cannot afford” to have differences on terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told President Xi Jinping at a bilateral meeting just ahead of the BRICS summit in Goa.
  • He also directly raised the need to designate Jaish-e Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist at the U.N. Mr Modi also pushed India’s case for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • “No country is immune to terrorism, and we cannot afford to have differences on the issue,” said MEA officials detailing Mr. Modi’s meeting with Mr. Xi, their third bilateral in four months.
  • “Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India and China must increase their coordination on the U.N. Security Council 1267 committee while building a long term road map on countering terrorism,” added MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
  • The reference to Masood Azhar, by Mr. Modi is the most direct attempt by India to pin China to a commitment.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed India’s hopes for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group at a bilateral summit ahead of the eighth BRICS summit


  • When leaders of countries that make up half the world’s population and nearly a quarter of global GDP ($17 trillion combined) gather, it is a display of muscle that the world is bound to watch.
  • Yet, despite the power-packed photo opportunities at Goa this year, there are several reasons to believe that the BRICS forum, once comprising the world’s fastest growing economies, is running out of steam.
  • The slump in oil prices has affected Russia and Brazil’s growth stories, and Russia has paid heavily for western sanctions over Ukraine.
  • Chinese manufacturing saw its weakest growth in years, while India, the world’s fastest growing economy, has faced a contraction in IIP figures.
  • The South African Finance Minister said his economy was in a “crisis” this year, with revised growth estimates falling below 1 per cent, and 26 per cent unemployment, fuelling violent protests.
  • Meanwhile, bilateral ties between India and China have reached new lows: with China’s CPEC clinch with Pakistan and India’s shift to the U.S.’ strategic corner on the South China Sea.
  • Russia’s shift away from an exclusive relationship with India, an ambivalence on defence ties with Pakistan consistent with its new dependence on China is another factor that is loosening some of the mortar between the BRICS countries.
  • Brazil and South Africa are also known to have reservations on India’s bid for the NSG membership.
  • The Modi government has made it clear that it wants to see “strong language” on terrorism, with specific references to cross-border terror, safe havens, funding and sponsorship of terror groups, that China may seek to temper on behalf of Pakistan.
  • Russia would like the full backing of BRICS for its actions in Syria, which India and Brazil’s new pro-U.S. government may resist.
  • And China would like all BRICS countries to express support on the South China Sea, which India may find difficult to do.
  • Given all the stresses and strains on the structure of BRICS, the ‘sunny’ spot for India as a host may come from the BIMSTEC outreach instead.
  • The seven-nation grouping of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, was founded in 1997 as BISTEC, and then refurbished as the Bay of Bengal initiative for multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation (BIMSTEC), but has floundered since then for lack of funding.
  • It did not even have an office, and meetings were held at the Thai Foreign Ministry in Bangkok until it was given headquarters in Dhaka in 2011 and a secretary-general, Sri Lankan diplomat SumithNakandala, in 2014.
  • In the past few months, the grouping has shown a coherence that is leading to projects on connectivity, infrastructure and sharing resources, both inter-regionally and bilaterally.
  • India’s “Act East” policy is spurring the government to extend the Trilateral highway project all the way to Cambodia.


  • The Centre has written to the Health Secretaries of all States to formulate a legislation or guidelines to implement the recommendations of a committee on better salaries and working conditions for nurses in private hospitals.
  • Supreme Court, while hearing a public interest litigation had asked the Ministry to set up a committee within a month to study the pay and working conditions of nurses in private hospitals.
  • The court had also asked the Centre to frame guidelines to regulate the working conditions of nurses and consider fixing minimum wages for them. A four-member committee was appointed by the Health Ministry in February.
  • The main recommendation of the committee was that the salary given to nurses in private hospitals should not be less than Rs.20,000 a month.
  • However, in Kerala, the previous United Democratic Front government had set up a minimum wages committee in February this year to fix the wages of all employees in private hospitals, including that of nurses.
  • Though the 26-member committee, which included representatives of two nurses’ associations, various trade unions, and hospital managements had met several times, its term expired when the new Left Democratic Front government took over.



  • The mysterious ways of genes influencing the character of crop plants through long periods of domestication, selection and modern breeding continues to perplex specialists, as found out by researchers working on coloured rice.
  • Even the whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) of the Purpleputtu rice variety has not fully opened the windows to the genetic secrets to the researchers.
  • Researchers at the SciGenom Research Foundation, said the genome sequencing of Purpleputtu revealed around 65,000 unique genetic mutations compared with the reference sequence, of which about 50 are in the genes of the colour pathway.
  • The question of how specific genes and gene networks control the expression of its uniqueness, the purple colour, still remains an unanswered mystery, say researchers.
  • In most cultivated white grain rice varieties, a regulatory gene, Rc is missing 14 base pairs, which is believed to have changed the phenotype of seeds from coloured to white.
  • The presence of the 14 base pairs is believed to help regulate the anthocyanin pathway enzymes to produce coloured seeds, and its absence is accounted for the grains remaining more or less white.
  • The sequencing revealed that the 14 base pairs of Rc gene were absent in Purpleputtu variety.
  • This leads to the conclusion that there are alternative regulatory pathways operating in Purpleputtu.



  • The Centre will soon set up a Rs.2,000 crore credit guarantee fund to support start-ups, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary said.
  • This corpus of Rs.2,000 crore will provide up to 80 per cent risk cover for collateral free credit being given by banks and financial institutions to start-ups.
  • government is working on softening existing regulations for start-ups. DIPP is fast tracking the patent examination process. “We are providing 80 per cent rebate in applications.


  • The Centre may seek parliamentary approval to spend about $7.5 billion more on roads, railways and other programmes over the next five months, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to spur growth and create jobs.
  • The new spending, details of which are still being worked out, would come at a time when private investment has plunged, leading to a slowdown.
  • It would also coincide with the run-up to a crucial state election early next year in Uttar Pradesh, Indian's most populous state that is home to more than 200 million people.
  • At $7.5 billion, the additional spending would represent about 2.5 per cent of the total budgeted so far for the current fiscal year.
  • The Uttar Pradesh poll is shaping up to be one of the most important tests for BJP, with ramifications both for the smooth functioning of government and his chances of winning a second term in 2019 national elections.
  • While some of his government’s initiatives, such as bank accounts have started reaching people in the country's vast rural hinterland, the administration has struggled to create enough jobs.


  • The Centre plans to widen consultations over a proposed social security code for workers, after a series of labour law reform proposals ran into opposition from trade unions.
  • The labour ministry plans to hold several meetings with State governments to discuss the proposed law on social security for organised and unorganised workers beginning early next month.
  • NDA govt has announced a slew of labour reform proposals including codes on industrial relations and wages, small factories Bill, factories Bill, employees provident fund Bill, and employees' state insurance Bill.
  • However, the government is going slow on the reforms mainly due to opposition from trade unions.
  • The labour ministry now plans a single law on social security for workers that may combine and alter various laws such as the Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952, the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948, the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1921, the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 and the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
  • Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had said in August that the ministry had held about 25 tripartite meetings with stakeholders since coming to power in May 2014 to discuss workers-related issues.
  • The labour ministry official said state-level officials, including welfare boards and local bodies, will also be a part of the discussion on the proposed social security code for workers.
  • For framing the draft social security code, the Centre had also asked the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for technical assistance.



India’s Ganganjeet Bhullar won the 2016 Shinhan Donghae Open in South Korea. It is his sixth title on the Asian Tour.

Bhullar carded a final round four-under-par 67 for a tournament total of 15-under 269 at the Bear’s Best Cheongna Golf Club in Incheon.

Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe and South Korea’s Kim Tae-woo finished a stroke behind.

The Shinhan Donghae Open is a men's professional golf tournament that has been held annually in South Korea since 1981.

About Ganganjeet Bhullar

Gaganjeet Singh Bhullar is an Indian professional golfer who plays on the Asian Tour.

He was India's number one amateur in 2004 and 2006 and was part of the Indian team that won the silver medal at the 2006 Asian Games.

He turned professional in 2006.

He was awarded Arjuna Award in 2013.


Indian shooter Jitu Rai clinched a silver medal in the 50 meter pistol event of the ISSF World Cup Final at Bologna, Italy. Jitu, 29, shot a score of 188.8 to finish behind China's Wei Pang at 190.6. Italy's Giuseppe Giordano settled for the bronze.

In the process, Jitu also equalled his own national record score in the qualification round, which was shot in 2014 at Maribor World Cup.

Jitu, who was counted as India's best shooting medal hope in Rio but had failed to deliver, had earlier won a Silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan in the 10m Air Pistol event. In 2016 Rio Olympics he finished at the eighth position in the men’s 10 meter pistol final.

The ISSF World Cup finals competition is the season-ending competition of the annual calendar.


President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first edition of the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) in New Delhi.

The theme for the summit is Beyond 2015: People, Planet and Progress. The summit is being organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

About the World Sustainable Development Summit

The World Sustainable Development Summit has evolved from the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, the annual event of TERI.

The WSDS brings together Nobel laureates, political leaders, decision-makers from bilateral and multilateral institutions, among others, to deliberate on issues related to sustainable development.

It aims to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of the global community by assembling the various stakeholders on a single platform.

Components of the WSDS

• World CEO Sustainability Summit: It is a platform for business leaders to define a path and evolve a strategy to facilitate development whilst protecting the environment.

• Thematic Tracks: It is a parallel breakaway sessions led by area experts that aim at providing feasible solutions to challenges faced by local and global communities in maintaining the balance between securing environmental sustainability and development.

• Media Colloquium: It is a forum to sensitise mid-career journalists from around the world on issues of sustainability and climate change.

• Youth Leaders: The platform aims at engaging youth from around the globe in the sustainable development discourse, record their experiences, and encourage positive action on their part.

• Greenovation Exhibition: It provides an opportunity for global players to showcase technologies in the areas of renewable energy, waste management, sustainable buildings, sustainable transport, water management and financing for sustainable development and energy efficiency.


Pawan Chamling, the Chief Minister of Sikkim, was conferred the prestigious 2016 Sustainable Development Leadership Award.

President Pranab Mukherjee presented the award to Chamling during the World Sustainable Development Summit organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi.

The award was presented to Chamling in recognition of his vision and leadership in environment and sustainable development leading to the establishment of Sikkim as the first and only organic state in the country.

Initiatives taken by Pawan Chamling

Sikkim is known as the Land of Flower and holds a population of around six lakhs.

Around 75000 hectares of land has been converted into certified organic farms over the years following the guidelines as prescribed by National Programme for Organic Production.

Sikkim contributes around 80000 million tonnes organic production out of total 1.24 million tonnes of organic production recorded in India.

On the initiative of Chamling, a historic declaration was made through a Resolution in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on 24 February 2003 for transforming Sikkim into a Total Organic State.

The Sikkim State Organic Board was constituted on 16 September 2003 for outlining policy issues and strategic plans, as well as developing standards and regulations.

The state government stopped procuring chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides from 2004 onwards and also eliminated the existing subsidy to farmers for procurement of chemical pesticides.

The state government created category-wise organic farming schemes and organic action plans to set the targets of conversion.

Chamling has also taken various green initiatives under which ban on pan masala/gutka was enforced in the entire state in the year 1995.

In 1997, the state government passed an Act on prohibition of throwing of non-degradable garbage in public drains and sewerage.

The state also passed a law for prohibition of smoking in places of public work or in public service vehicles in the state in 1997.

On 14 August 1998, Sikkim became the first state in the country to impose a ban on plastics and non-degradable materials and the tourists were also prohibited from carrying plastic bags and containers in under the rules.

The state government imposed complete ban on collection of medicinal plants and non-timber forest produce for commercial purposes and framed Statutory Rules for mandatory planting of ten saplings in lieu of one tree felled in private holdings implemented in 2001.

On 25 June 2009, Chamling started a unique programme called 10 Minutes under which all the citizens of the state plant one sapling each during a pre-announced 10 minutes.

The State Government imposed a ban on the use of diclofenac sodium and burning of agricultural wastes in 2015 and all the old trees in government forests were identified as Sikkim State Heritage Trees in 2016.

The state government imposed a ban on use of Styrofoam products and a ban on the use of Plastic Bottled drinking water in state government functions and also banned tyre fires in 2016.


The International Monetary Fund released World Economic Outlook (WEO) October 2016. The report projects global growth at 3.1 per cent in 2016, with slight increase to 3.4 percent in 2017.


It says that the persistent stagnation, particularly in advanced economies, could further fuel anti-trade sentiment, stifling growth.

Growth in emerging Asia, and especially India, continues to be resilient. India’s gross domestic product is projected to expand 7.6 percent in 2016 and 2017, the fastest pace among the world’s major economies. The IMF urged India to continue reform of its tax system and eliminate subsidies to provide more resources for investments in infrastructure, education, and health care.

Advanced economies:

It reports that the advanced economies will expand just 1.6 percent in 2016, less than 2.1 percent pace of 2015. The forecast is .2 percent below the July forecast which was 1.8 percent.

• The United States:IMF marked down its forecast for 2016 to 1.6 percent from 2.2 percent forecasted in July. It says that US growth is likely to pick up to 2.2 percent in 2017.

• The United Kingdom:Following the Brexit referendum of June, IMF forecasted that UK growth will slow to 1.8 percent in 2016 and to 1.1 percent in 2017.

• European Union: The euro area will expand 1.7 percent in 2016 and 1.5 percent in 2017, compared with 2 percent growth in 2015.

• Japan: It said that the world’s number three economy is expected to remain subdued at 0.5 percent in 2016 and 0.6 percent in 2017.

Emerging Market

In emerging market and developing economies, growth will accelerate for the first time in six years, to 4.2 percent, slightly higher than the July forecast of 4.1 percent. In 2017, emerging economies are expected to grow 4.6 percent.

China: China’s economy, the world’s second largest, is forecast to expand 6.6 percent in 2016 and 6.2 percent in 2017, down from growth of 6.9 percent last year.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economies continue to struggle with lower commodity revenues, weighing on growth in the region.

Nigeria’s economy will shrink to 1.7 percent in 2016, and South Africa’s will barely expand. By contrast, several of the region’s non-commodity exporters, including Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Senegal, are expected to continue to grow at a robust pace of more than 5 percent this year.

Latin America

Economic activity in the region slowed, as several countries are mired in recession, with recovery expected to take hold in 2017. Venezuela’s output is forecast to plunge 10 percent in 2016 and shrink another 4.5 percent in 2017. Brazil will see a contraction of 3.3 percent in 2016, but is expected to grow at 0.5 percent in 2017, on the assumption of declining political and policy uncertainty and the waning effects of past economic shocks.

Middle East

Countries in the Middle East are confronting challenging conditions from subdued oil prices, as well as civil conflict and terrorism.




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Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 October 2016 06:51