Thursday, 01 December 2016 04:13




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


01- NOVEMBER - 2016




  • Several cities, including Agra, Ahmedabad, Patna, Delhi and Varanasi, were choked by particulate matter pollution, when the northern parts of the country celebrated Deepavali.
  • Fireworks and stagnant air led to a precipitous dip in air quality in a third of the 29 cities monitored by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • Concentrations of fine particulate matter rose to levels that harm respiratory health in normal people and severely debilitate those with illnesses.
  • The Air Quality Index (AQI) reading for Agra was 384, Ahmedabad 385, and Faridabad and Delhi the worst, at 428 and 445.
  • An AQI of 100 is the limit for good air quality. Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai were in the ‘moderate’ to ‘satisfactory’ category, similar to last year’s Deepavali. Hyderabad improved from ‘poor’ to ‘satisfactory.’
  • AQI has deteriorated from October 27 in northern cities, primarily due to an ‘anticyclone’ effect – a shift in wind-patterns that prevents dust and particulate matter from being flushed out.
  • Deepavali and dipping temperature raised concentrations of PM2.5 (particulate matter 2.5 micrometres and smaller) and PM10 unlike in 2015, when winds swept pollutants away.
  • Deepavali pollution could not strictly be compared year-on-year because it varied over the months and was influenced by changing weather. It was too early to assess relative impact of firecracker smoke on Delhi’s air.


  • Nepal has successfully drained part of a giant glacial lake near Mount Everest, averting risk of a disastrous flood that could have threatened thousands of lives.
  • Scientists say climate change is causing Himalayan glaciers to melt at an alarming rate, creating huge glacial lakes which could burst their banks and devastate mountain communities.
  • ImjaTsho, located at an altitude of 16,437 feet, just 10 km south of the world's highest peak, is the fastest-growing glacial lake in Nepal.
  • The Himalayan nation was devastated by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake last year, raising alarm about about the risks of flash flooding from glacial lakes.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid rich tributes to the first Home Minister, Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, on his birth anniversary and urged the people to build a “strong nation” and be cautious against divisive forces.
  • Flagging off the ‘Run for Unity’ marathon from the Major Dhyanchand Stadium, he said the government was marking the day as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ because of Sardar Patel’s signal contribution to uniting the country.
  • As Independent India’s first Home Minister, Patel had the unenviable task of persuading the erstwhile princely states who had enjoyed a degree of autonomy under British rule to join the Indian Union.
  • The Prime Minister inaugurated a digital museum established in memory of Sardar Patel.“It should have been built 40-50 years ago. History will ask the question why it was not built before,” he said.


  • The World Bank Group will soon bring out an “ease of living” index that will rank cities globally, even as it is looking at tweaking the methodology used in its country-wise “ease of doing” business rankings to better capture reforms.
  • The decision comes at a time when India has launched a mission to develop over 100 smart cities.
  • On the World Bank Group’s Doing Business index, India had suggested that reforms undertaken across the country and not just in Mumbai and Delhi be considered.
  • On the proposed ‘ease of living’ index to rank cities world-wide, World Bank Country Director, India, said, “One of the moot questions is that as you move more into high income, urban centres become extremely important, accommodation and so on.
  • For cities to actually generate growth, the ease of living there has got to be very important.
  • The index could include categories on social inclusion, cost of living, public transport, housing, education, health, environment-friendliness, crime/safety, governance and corruption.
  • On this year India’s ranking of 130th despite several reforms being carried out by the government, Mr. Ahmad said the rankings did not capture important reforms including the laws GST and insolvency and bankruptcy.
  • Mr. Ahmad said when reforms such as the GST and those on bankruptcy and insolvency were included in next year’s rankings, India’s rank would improve vastly.



  • Nearly half of Russians fear that Moscow’s bombing campaign in Syria could spark World War III, a poll showed.
  • Moscow, an ally of Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad, has been staging bombing raids in Syria since September 2015.
  • Forty-eight per cent of Russians were concerned that “heightened tensions in relations between Russia and the West could grow into World War III”, according to a poll conducted by independent pollster Levada Centre last week.
  • That figure was up from 29 per cent in July this year. Moscow’s air strikes have negatively affected the way Russia is perceived internationally, 32 per cent said, up from 16 per cent in November.
  • Nevertheless, 52 per cent of Russians said they back Moscow’s air strikes, while 26 per cent said they opposed them.
  • Asked whether Russia should continue “intervening in what is going on in Syria”, 49 per cent of the respondents said yes, while 28 per cent said no.


  • A rebel assault to break the siege of Syria’s Aleppo slowed amid fierce resistance from regime forces, as the UN said it was “appalled” by opposition fire on civilians.
  • Rebels launched a major assault on Friday, backed by car bombs and salvos of rockets, to break through government lines and reach the 250,000 people besieged in the city's east.
  • Aleppo has been hit by some of the worst violence in Syria’s five-year conflict, turning the once-bustling economic hub into a divided and bombed-out symbol of the brutal war.
  • Regime and Russian air strikes were hitting the battlefronts on the city’s edges, but with less intensity than in previous days.
  • According to Syrian state news agency SANA, three civilians were killed in rebel fire on Aleppo.UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura said the high civilian toll raised deep concern.
  • Aleppo’s front line runs through the heart of the city, dividing rebels in the east from government forces in the west.
  • Rebel groups have pledged to push east from Dahiyet al-Assad to Hamdaniyeh, a regime-controlled neighbourhood directly adjacent to the besieged eastern districts.



  • India’s core sector grew by 5 per cent overall in September driven mainly by strong growth in steel and petroleum products sectors, data released by the government showed.
  • Growth in the Index of Eight Core Industries in September was much stronger than the 3.2 per cent growth seen in August.
  • Growth seen in these two sectors can be linked to the government’s push in roads and railways. With steel, earlier there was dumping by China that was affecting the sector.
  • Steel sector grew by 16.3 per cent in September, down from the 17 per cent seen in August which was the highest growth rate it saw in more than three years.
  • The refinery products sector also contributed strongly to the overall growth of the index, growing at a robust 9.3 per cent in September compared with 3.5 per cent in August.
  • The cement sector grew by 5.5 per cent in September, faster than the 3.1 per cent seen in August. Similarly, the electricity sector grew by 2.2 per cent in September compared with 0.1 per cent in August.
  • The fertiliser sector grew only 2 per cent in September, drastically slower than the 5.7 per cent seen in August.
  • The overall energy component of the Index of Eight Core Industries—represented by the coal, crude oil, and natural gas sectors—contracted in September.
  • The coal sector contracted 6 per cent in September compared with a contraction of 9.2 per cent in August. The natural gas sector grew by 5.5 per cent in September compared to 5.7 per cent in August.



The World Bank Group released the report titled Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All. It is the 14th report in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.

Data in Doing Business 2017 Report are current as of 1 June 2016. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.

Highlights of the report

• It finds that entrepreneurs in 137 economies saw improvements in their local regulatory framework last year. Between June 2015 and June 2016, the report documented 283 business reforms.

• Reforms reducing the complexity and cost of regulatory processes in the area of starting a business were the most common in 2015/16.

• The next most common reforms were in the areas of paying taxes, getting credit and trading across borders.

• In its global country rankings of business efficiency,  the report awarded its coveted top spot to New Zealand, Singapore ranked second, followed by Denmark at third position.

• Hong Kong SAR, China, Korea, Norway, United Kingdom, United States and Sweden were among the top 10 countries in global country rankings.

• Brunei Darussalam, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Belarus, Indonesia, Serbia, Georgia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain were the most improved economies in 2015/16. These 10 top improvers implemented 48 regulatory reforms making it easier to do business.

• Economies in all regions implemented the reforms easing the process of doing business, but Europe and Central Asia were the region with the highest share of economies implementing at least one reform.

• Developing countries carried out more than 75 percent of the 283 reforms in the past year, with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for over one-quarter of all reforms.

• Starting a new business now takes an average of 21 days worldwide, compared with 46 days 10 years ago.

• It also features expansions to the Paying Taxes indicator to cover post-filing processes such as tax refunds, tax audits and administrative tax appeals to better understand the overall tax environment.

• It also studies procurement in 78 economies across five main areas: accessibility and transparency, bid security, payment delays, incentives for small and medium enterprises and complaints mechanisms.

• Doing Business includes a gender dimension in four of the 11 topics sets- Starting a business, registering property and enforcing contracts present a gender dimension for the first time this year.

• The report features six case studies in the areas of getting electricity, getting credit: legal rights, getting credit: credit information, protecting minority investors, paying taxes and trading across borders.

Highlights of major Regions in the Report

• East Asia and the Pacific is home to two of the world’s top 10 ranked economies- Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, China, and two of the top 10 improvers- Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia. The region’s economies implemented a total of 45 reforms to improve the ease of doing business.

• The Europe and Central Asia region was also a major reformer during the past year, with Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Serbia amongst the world’s top 10 improvers.

• Business reform activity accelerated in Latin America and the Caribbean with over two-thirds of the region’s economies implementing a total of 32 reforms in the past year, compared with 24 reforms the previous year.

• The Middle East and North Africa region saw the most reforms implemented in the past year since 2009, with 35 reforms in 15 of the region’s 20 economies. Among the reformers, the UAE and Bahrain were among the world’s top 10 improvers.

• In South Asia, five of the region’s eight economies implemented a total of 11 reforms in the past year, compared with nine the previous year. Pakistan, which was among the world’s top 10 improvers, implemented several reforms, as did India and Sri Lanka.

• Sub-Saharan Africa economies stepped up the pace of reform activity, with 37 economies undertaking a total of 80 business reforms. For the second consecutive year, Kenya was among the world’s top 10 improvers.

India in Doing Business 2017 Report

• India moved one rank up to the 130th position in the Report. This marginal improvement came on the back of slight improvement in four indicators- getting electricity, enforcing contracts, trading across borders and registering property.

• In the 2017 rankings, the only major improvement for India was seen in the area of getting electricity. The report recognised the efforts of Tata Power in Delhi to make it faster and cheaper to obtain a connection.

• In terms of starting a business, India’s ranking went down to 155th position from 151st last year. This was also true for registering a property.

• In terms of resolving insolvency, the country’s position slid a single rank to 136 from 135 last year.

• India’s ranking in trading across borders also fell by 10 spots to 143 though the World Bank recognized India’s reforms in making imports and exports easier through the launch of the ICEGATE portal.

• For India, the ranking covers data from Delhi and Mumbai, with weights of 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively.

About Doing Business Report

• The report presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

• It measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business- starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

• It also measures labour market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.


The Union Ministry of Urban Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Buildings Construction Corporation (India) Ltd and Central Public Works Department (CPWD).

The MoU was signed for the redevelopment of General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) colonies in New Delhi.

Highlights of the MoU

• The NBCC will redevelop Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar and CPWD will redevelop Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur.

• The total estimated cost of the project is 32835 crore rupees including maintenance and operation costs for 30 years.

• The cost of works assigned to NBCC will be 24682 crore rupees and to CPWD will be 7793 crore rupees.

• The project will be implemented on self-financing basis by sale of commercial Built up Area (BUA) of 8.07 lakh sqm constructed in Nauroji Nagar and parts of Sarojini Nagar by NBCC as a part of the project.

• Under the Project, the existing housing stock of 12970 will be replaced by approximately 25667 dwelling units, with supporting social infrastructure facilities. 
• The construction of the project will be completed in five years in a phased manner.


The fourth edition of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise Mitra Shakti 2016 began at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka.

The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is to enhance inter-operability while carrying out Counter Insurgency (CI)/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations under the United Nations Mandate.

Highlights of Mitra Shakti 2016

• The Indian Contingent is represented by a platoon from the Rajputana Rifles Regiment and the Sri Lankan Army is represented by a platoon from the Sinha Regiment.

• In the initial two stages, both armies will get familiar with the respective methodology of such operations, each other’s arms and equipment and the command and control systems.

• It will then graduate towards tactical understanding to enhance inter operability while carrying out Counter Insurgency (CI)/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations.

Mitra Shakti series of bilateral exercises is one of the major bilateral defence cooperation initiatives between India and Sri Lanka since 2013. The previous exercise with the Sri Lankan Army was successfully conducted in September 2015 at Pune in India.


The International Hockey Federation (FIH) appointed New Zealand's Jason McCracken as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

McCracken will take over FIH in February 2017. He will replace Kelly Fairweather, who is leaving for the International Tennis Federation after six years in the role.

McCracken is a renowned figure in hockey family. He served as an Olympic and World Cup umpire, FIH committee member and technical official for over 20 years.

McCracken’s most recent appointments were technical delegate at the Rio 2016 Olympics and tournament director at the 2014 men's hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

About International Hockey Federation

The International Hockey Federation is the international governing body of field hockey and indoor field hockey.

Its headquarters are located in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It is responsible for field hockey's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup.

It was founded on 7 January 1924 in Paris by Paul Leautey.

In 1982, the FIH merged with the International Federation of Women's Hockey Associations (IFWHA).


Paul Beatty became the first US author to win the Man Booker Prize. He won the award for his racial satire, 'The Sellout' at a ceremony in London's Guildhall.

The novel tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a suburb of Los Angeles. Chair of the Judges, Amanda Foreman, said the book managed to eviscerate every social taboo.

South Korean author Han Kang wins 2016 Man Booker International Prize for 'The Vegetarian'

Beatty was honoured with the prize money of 50000 Euros from the Duchess of Cornwall, a trophy and a designer bound edition of his book. The shortlisted authors each received 2500 Euros and a specially bound edition of their book. 2016 Man Booker shortlist included

• The Sellout - Paul Beatty (US)

• Hot Milk - Deborah Levy (UK)

• Eileen - Ottessa Moshfegh (US)

• His Bloody Project - Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK)

• All That Man Is - David Szalay (Canada-UK)

• Do Not Say We Have Nothing - Madeleine Thien (Canada)

Paul Beatty

• He was born in Los Angeles in 1962.

• His previous novels are Slumberland (2008), Tuff (2000) and The White Boy Shuffle (1996).

• He has two books of poetry namely Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce.

• He received an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and a MA in psychology from Boston University.

• In 1990, Beatty was crowned the first ever Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

• The Sellout was awarded the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

• He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor.

• He lives in New York City.

The Sellout: Paul Beatty

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, the Sellout is a 304-page novel and narrates story of a boy born in the agrarian ghetto of Dickens, on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles. It talks about his isolated upbringing and the race trail that sends him to the Supreme Court.

The book challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality―the black Chinese restaurant.

The Sellout was awarded the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

About Man Booker Prize

• First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading award for high quality literary fiction written in English.

• The award promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.

• Its list of winners features many of the giants of the last four decades: from Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood, Iris Murdoch to JM Coetzee.

The 2015 Man Booker Prize was conferred on Marlon James for his book A Brief History of Seven Killings in 2015.




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Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2016 05:04