Thursday, 01 December 2016 05:55




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


07- NOVEMBER - 2016




  • India will host a special side event during the UN Climate Change Conference opening at Marrakech, Morocco, on the 12 Himalayan States that face the impact of a changing climate.
  • The Himalayas provide water to 1.3 billion people in Asia, but have been inadequately represented over the past three decades in climate change discussions, an expert said.
  • Currently, the Himalayas are not spoken about even at discussions in international forums on mountain countries.
  • Centre has asked the G.B. Pant Institute to represent the 12 Himalayan States at the Conference of the Parties (CoP 22) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change being held.
  • The Hindu Kush region was represented at UNFCCC by the Nepal-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
  • At the CoP on November 17, the impact of climate change on disasters, biodiversity, livelihood, and agriculture will be highlighted.


  • Freedom is not above nation’s interest and views cannot be promoted as news, said Union Information and Broadcasting Minister.
  • Mr Naidu asked the mediapersons to remember that they are citizens first and journalists next. News should not promote hatred between groups and religions or anti-nationalism.
  • “Confine your views to the editorial and the edit page articles and report the news as it is,” he said expressing regret at the growing tendency of mixing views and news.
  • At the same time he said the Government was committed to the Freedom of the Press. There are more restrictions from the managements of the media than the Government, he added.
  • Criticising the sensationalism in the electronic media, he advised them to be close to the truth and not solely depend on sensationalism. In a lighter vein he compared electronic media to a film heroine and print media to a housewife.
  • Mr Naidu said time has arrived to promote regional languages and Government was committed to promote Urdu.Doordarshan has dedicated Urdu news bulletins and the duration of the bulletin is likely to be increased soon.


  • Laws on conservation of agro-biodiversity should not hamper growth of agriculture in developing nations like India, PM Modi said while saying that use of technologies for crop enhancement must not be at the cost of sustainable development.
  • Mr. Modi cautioned against growing threat to plant and animal species and said there was a need to adopt a “shared vision” for conserving them through focussed research and proper management of genetic resources.
  • World over, crores of poor people are fighting hunger, malnutrition and poverty. To address these issues, science and technology is very important.
  • While finding solution to these problems, we should not ignore sustainable development and conservation of biodiversity.
  • There is a need to assess the negative impact of use of the technology in agriculture,’ the Prime Minister said, citing the example of pesticide usage affecting honeybee in pollination process.


  • The U.S.’s “partnership with India will continue to deepen” regardless of who the next President is, said Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.
  • Ms. Biswal said: “I do think that the U.S.–India relationship will not suffer in terms of a partisan take on the relationship. It is a solid relationship that will continue to grow, the partnership will continue to deepen.”
  • The priorities for the next U.S administration will be to work with India in maintaining the rules-based world order and enhancing infrastructure and trade connectivity in Asia.
  • The negotiations on the first nuclear commercial contract between the two countries were on track and would be concluded in June 2017 as scheduled.
  • civil nuclear agreement was negotiated under President George Bush; you have seen major advancements under Democratic Presidents. Certainly, President Clinton’s historic visit put us on the path where we could be in a position for President Bush to conclude the nuclear deal.
  • She said the tenure of the Obama administration had been a “period of incredible dynamism and incredible ambition” in India-U.S. relations.
  • PM Modi’s personal commitment and leadership were absolutely critical in achieving the climate agreement in Paris last year.



  • Mysterious banners have appeared in Pakistan urging the country’s powerful Army chief General Raheel Sharif, who is set to retire this month, to contest elections, a media report has said.
  • The banners put up on electricity poles in Rawalpindi urged Gen. Sharif to contest election in 2018.
  • Since government officials cannot enter politics for at least two years after leaving service, the banners urged that the mandatory period should be reduced in case of Gen. Sharif.
  • In July, posters were seen in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and several other major cities, urging the general to impose martial laws instead of retiring.



  • India will raise its concerns over restrictions on the movement of foreign skilled workers for short-term duration work with Britain and Canada, as these curbs are affecting the Indian IT industry.
  • Canada, the U.K., the U.S, Germany and Switzerland are the top five markets for Indian IT firms.
  • The annual revenue of Indian IT firms from the U.K. and Canadian markets is about $18 billion and $3 billion respectively, according to industry body Nasscom’s estimates.
  • The Commerce Ministry has also been briefed about the IT sector’s concerns. Mr. McCallum is likely to be joined by Laura Albanese, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Ontario, and Lena Diab, Minister of Immigration, Nova Scotia.
  • Discussions with the U.K. will be at the level of the India-U.K. CEO Forum and other official meetings on the sidelines of the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May.
  • The Centre and Nasscom are expected to take up the issue of Canada’s plan to introduce a new short-duration work permit exemption for inter- and intra-company transferees and experts, among others, for work up to 30 days annually.
  • The IT industry feels this 30-day limit does not serve a purpose as it is “too short a time frame” for the sector.
  • Under the ‘specialised knowledge’ category to avail exemption from Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in Canada, the employer will have to demonstrate that the employee (foreign worker) has the specialised skill and the requisite proprietary knowledge to carry out a certain task.
  • He said the introduction of measures will help Canadian businesses and their customers plan with confidence to fill local skill shortages.

:: SPORTS ::


  • Andy Murray celebrated his new world No. 1 ranking with a first Paris Masters title after defeating American John Isner 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4 in the final.
  • Murray, 29, will replace Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings on Monday and claimed his eighth title of a remarkable season after extending his winning run to 19 matches.
  • It is the Briton’s fourth title in succession after wins in Beijing, Shanghai and Vienna and his 14th career Masters 1000 triumph.
  • Murray entered his Tour-leading 12th final of the year having won all seven previous meetings with Isner, including straight-sets wins at Roland Garros in May and last week in Vienna.



Indian researcher Shamik Chowdhury was awarded the German Green Talent Award. His name is among the list of 25 young researchers who have been honoured with the award.

The award was conferred to Shamik Chowdhury by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for his innovative approach in sustainable development, resource efficiency, cleaner production and eco-innovation.

About Shamik Chowdhury

• Shamik Chowdhury is currently doing his PhD in environmental engineering from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

• He also holds a BTech and Mtech degree in Biotechnology.

• His main area of focus is creating green technologies based on renewable feedstocks to improve quality of urban living.

• He was previously awarded with the Sustainable Technology Award from the Institution of Chemical Engineers (Singapore) in 2015 for his research on carbon capture using innovative absorbents.

• He was also conferred with the President’s Graduate Fellowship by NUS for his doctoral study and research.

• He has written and reviewed manuscripts for prominent journals and presented papers at several international conferences.

About Green Talents Award

• The Green Talents Award is an award hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) every year to promote international exchange of innovative green ideas.

• The year 2016 saw the eighth edition of the award.

• Conducted with support of Minister Professor, Johanna Wanka, the award gives recognition to the achievements of young researchers from countries world over.

• The winners are selected by a jury consisting of high- ranking German experts.


The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, will be hosting the Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties (COP7). The Conference will be inaugurated by J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.

The Conference will be held at India Exposition Mart, Greater Noida, District Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.

It is the first occasion that a Conference of Parties meeting is being held in India. It signals a strong commitment of the Government of India to increase international co-operation and awareness of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) globally and especially in the WHO South-East Asia Region. The Conference will lead into Delhi Declaration for supporting measures for tobacco control.

About WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is the first global evidence-based public health treaty.

It recognises the right of all people to the highest standard of health.

The Treaty was developed by countries in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. There are currently 180 Parties to the Convention.

India has been the forerunner in ratification of the public health treaty and was the 7th Country to ratify the Convention in 2004. India ratified the treaty on 27th February 2005 and is therefore obligated to comply with the treaty provisions and its guidelines to reduce tobacco consumption globally.

India provided a leadership role in the negotiations of FCTC and was also the Regional Coordinator for the South-East Asia Region.

About Conference of Parties

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the Governing Body of the WHO FCTC and is comprised of all Parties to the Convention.

It keeps under regular review the implementation of the Convention and takes the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. It may also adopt protocols, annexes and amendments to the Convention.

The regular sessions of COP are held at two yearly intervals.


Sanjiv Arora, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, was appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Lebanon by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a sovereign state in Western Asia.

He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

About Sanjiv Arora

• Prior to this appointment, he was serving as India's Ambassador to Qatar.

• He has served in various capacities in India’s diplomatic missions in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Germany and Czech Republic.

• He was Desk Officer for Sri Lanka during 1991-1994 in Union Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.

• He also served as the Head of United Nations (Political) Division in Ministry of External Affairs from 2005-08.

• He was also the Union Government's nodal official for UN General Assembly (UNGA) Sessions.

• He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1984.

• He is an Associate of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore and a Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies (APCSS), Honolulu.

India-Lebanon Relations

• India and Lebanon enjoy traditionally friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1954.

• Both countries have many things in common including a democratic, parliamentary system of government based on a written constitution, certain basic freedoms and human rights.

• Both countries have cooperated closely on various issues of mutual interest during their overlap in 2010 as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.


The Paris Agreement officially entered into force. The agreement deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance.

The Paris Agreement’s entry into force comes a month after countries representing 55 per cent of the world’s emissions committed to joining the deal.

As of November 2016, 192 states and the European Union have signed the Agreement; 97 of those parties have ratified or acceded to the Agreement, most notably China, the United States and India.

About Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The language of the agreement 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.

It was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 in a ceremony in New York City.

As of November 2016, 193 UNFCCC members have signed the treaty, 97 of which have ratified it.

After the European Union ratified the agreement in October 2016, there were enough countries that had ratified the agreement that produce enough of the world's greenhouse gases for the agreement to enter into force.

Highlights of Paris Agreement on Climate Change

• Objectives: The primary objective of the protocol is to limit the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.
• Efforts will be made to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels so that it will be possible to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.
• Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases including forests.

• Adoption: With a view to contributing to sustainable development and to achieve the long term temperature goal of 2 °C the COP established the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change.

• Mitigation: Parties recognized the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events, and the role of sustainable development in reducing the risk of loss and damage.

• Technology Transfer: Parties share a long-term vision on the importance of fully realizing technology development and transfer in order to improve resilience to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

• Capacity-Building: It should be country-driven based on and responsive to national, sub national and local needs.

• Financing: Developed countries will raise finances to the tune of 100 billion US dollars per year as the floor by 2020, to help developing nations in both mitigation and adaptation activities. And, other nations are encouraged to provide funding voluntarily.

• Implementation: A mechanism to facilitate implementation of and promote compliance with the provisions of this Agreement is hereby established.

• Review: The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall undertake its first global stock take in 2023 and every five years thereafter.

Significance of the agreement

The global environmental protocol took into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) to ensure climate justice which has been advocated by India for a long time.

It strikes the right balance between national developmental needs of developing and small island nations and global environmental necessities by incorporating the INDCs under which countries will publicly outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take.

It was adopted in the light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in particular its goal 13 that advocates for urgent action to combat climate change.


The GST council approved four tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST).

There will be two standard tax rates- 12 percent and 18 percent under the GST. Under the tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent, the lower rates will be applicable for essential items and the highest for luxury and de-merits goods that will also attract an additional cess.

Main Highlights

• Essential items including food, which presently constitute roughly half of the consumer inflation basket, will be taxed at zero rate.

• The lowest rate of 5 percent will be for common use items while there will be two standard rates of 12 and 18 percent under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

• Most white goods like washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators, shampoo, shaving stuff and soap will be taxed at 28 percent (with riders).

• The highest tax slab will be applicable to items which are currently taxed at 30-31 percent (excise duty plus VAT).

• Demerit goods or sin goods such as luxury cars, pan masala, aerated drinks, and tobacco and tobacco products, will invite a tax of 28 percent plus the cess which could vary between 40 percent and 65 percent.

• There has been no consensus yet on tax rate for gold.

• The collection from this cess as well as that of the clean energy cess will create a revenue pool which will be used for compensating states for any loss of revenue during the first five years of implementation of GST.

• The cess will be lapsable after five years.

About Goods and Services Tax

• The GST is a single indirect tax, which will subsume most of the Central and State taxes such as the Value Added Tax (VAT), excise duty, service tax, central sales tax, additional customs duty and special additional duty of customs.

• The Tax was formed through the Constitution 122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014

• This bill was passed by both houses of Parliament in August 2016 and was ratified by 19 states. The bill needed ratification by the legislative assemblies of at least 50 percent of the states.

• The states that ratified the bill include Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Haryana, Sikkim, Mizoram, Telangana, Goa, Odisha, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.


Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016. The Global MIL Week was organised under the theme Media and Information Literacy: New Paradigms for Intercultural Dialogue.

This was the sixth MIL Week and was jointly organised by UNESCO, UNAOC, Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) and the Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) International University Network, in partnership with the University of Sao Paulo.

Feature of the event held during the week included

• The Sixth MILID Conference and the First General Assembly of GAPMIL

• The Global MIL Week 2016 was hosted by the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil




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Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2016 03:43