Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:40




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


26- NOVEMBER - 2016




  • Prime Minister said the water that right-fully belonged to India under the Indus Water Treaty cannot be allowed to go to Pakistan.
  • He also said that the government was working towards using every single drop of water of the Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers for the country's farmers.
  • Mr. Modi said at a rally at Bathinda in Punjab, wherehe laid the foundation stone for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
  • “But now every single drop of water, which is rightfully ours under the Indus water Treaty, will be stopped and I'll give that tothe farmers in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country.”
  • “I have set up a task force for this purpose and I'm committed towards it,” he said.


  • SC sent a message that religious and wedding celebrations take second place to the basic fundamental right to breathe clean air, by ordering an immediate and blanket ban on the sale of fire-crackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region.
  • Moved by the everyday despair of children, women and the elderly in a city choked by smog, the SC  said the situation was indeed “grave” for drastic action to check the rising pollution graph.
  • Having once compared the bursting of firecrackers to the“burning of money,” SC upheld the government's authority to intervene in people's right to celebrate weddings and festivals if the cause was urgent and entailed the larger public good.
  • The ban was imposed on the basis of a petition filed last year by three children of Delhi immediately after Deepavali.
  • Children suffered the most and their battle tobreathe got tougher with the poisonous tang of Deepavali firecrackers remaining in the air even days after the festivities were over.
  • Supreme Court, as the guardian of the right to live with dignity, should help them immediately.
  • A Bench of Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justices A.K. Sikri and S.A. Bobde ordered a ban on the issuance of fresh licences to firecracker sellers and suspended the existing ones till further orders.
  • This would mean that any sale, purchase or stocking of firecrackers here would be rendered illegal.


  • The HIV community in India rejected the long awaited HIV / AIDS Bill in its current form and demanded the removal of the phrase “as far as possible” from the proposed legislation.
  • The crucial public health legislation is first on the list of legislative business of the Rajya Sabha with Health Minister J.P. Nadda set to move the Bill for consideration and passing.
  • The current version of the HIV Bill has shocked the HIV community as it dilutes rights to access treatment. The Bill was approved by the Cabinet in October and was expected to guarantee the rights of India's 2.4 million HIV positive community.
  • In-stead, the version that has been put in the public do-main reveals that the Bill has been amended to state that governments are required to focus on prevention — and not on treatment — that too, as far as possible.
  • The activists stated that Clause 14(1) of the Bill pertaining to prevention of spread of the virus included a phrase ‘as far as possible.'
  • The loophole renders theBill — especially the right to access life-saving anti-retro-viral therapy — weak and subject to interpretation. “It is unacceptable that the government is seeking to limit our right to treatment.
  • An earlier version clarified the need to strengthen injection safety programme as IDUs can reduce their risk of getting and transmitting HIV , viral hepatitis and other blood borne infections by using a sterile needle for every injection.
  • However, Clause 22 of the current Bill simply states ‘injection safety requirements' without specifying the rules.


  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said demonetisation had badly hit the Naxalites and they were using local contractors, businessmen and sympathisers to ex-change their currency in older demonetised notes.
  • Mr. Singh, who addressed the top police officers at the annual DGPs conference, also said that though govt was promoting e-commerce, it also had the potential to expose consumers to "cyber fraud" and police agencies should be alert to this.
  • He also said that insurgent groups based in the north-east were exploiting tax exemptions in those States to convert their black money to white and the concerned DGsP should take concrete action to prevent this.
  • Misuse of IT exemptions “I have also directed the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to prepare a comprehensive report on the impact of demonetisation on terror funding.
  • The NE insurgent groups are misusing the Income Tax ex-emption available to tribals in these States and I have asked the DGP from North East to take immediate ac-tion,” Mr. Singh said.
  • Mr. Singh also asked police officers in poll-bound states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur to maintain strict vigil.
  • In the context of the forth-coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Singh said there could be attempts to vitiate the law and order situation through bitter political statements.



  • President RecepTayyip Erdogan threatened to open Turkey's borders to allow migrants to reach the EU, in a move that would tear up a land-mark deal that has reduced the flow.
  • Mr. Erdogan's comments, some of his toughest in recent times against the European Union, prompted an immediate warning from Germany which helped broker the deal that such “threats” were unhelpful.
  • The threat came a day after the European Parliament angered Ankara by backing afreeze in EU accession talks, al-ready hit by alarm over its crack-down in the wake of the July 15 failed coup.
  • He said Brussels had cried out for help in 2015 as tens of thou-sands of migrants massed at Tur-key's border crossing with EU member Bulgaria.
  • Successful in stemming inflow, Ankara and Brussels forged a deal for Turkey to halt the flow of migrants to Europe — an accord that has largely been successful in reducing numbers crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece.



  • The Centre announced a new committee, headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, to form a strategy to expedite the process of transforming India into a cashless economy.
  • The panel is tasked with identifying various bottle-necks affecting access of Digital payments. The committee was set up following a directive from the Prime Minister's Office to back up the demonetisation move.
  • The committee will identify and operationalise in the earliest possible time frame user-friendly digital payment options in all sec-tors of the economy.
  • This is an integral part of the government’s strategy to trans-form India into a cashless economy.
  • The aim was to identify various digital payment systems appropriate to different sectors of the economy and coordinate efforts to make them accessible.
  • The panel will engage regularly with Central ministries, regulators, state governments, district administration, local bodies, trade and industry associations to promote adoption of digital payment systems.
  • The committee will also attempt to estimate costs involved in various digital payments options and oversee implementation of measures to make such transactions be-tween the government and citizens cheaper than cash transactions.
  • The Centre is working to-wards moving all government transactions to the cashless mode, through a new single window e-payment system that individuals or businesses can use to make payments to any central or state department.
  • The government said the committee would also implement an action plan on advocacy, awareness and hand-hold-ing efforts among public-, micro-enterprises and other stakeholders.


  • The Centre will provide a higher subsidy support to airlines operating smaller aircraft in a bid to make its regional connectivity scheme more attractive.
  • For the same distance Govt will provide significantly higher subsidy to an airline operating a 20-seater aircraft than to a 40-seater or a 70-seater aircraft.
  • The government will provide three-year subsidy to fund the losses of airlines so that they offer airfares at Rs.2,500 for an hour's flight on half the number of seats.
  • For providing subsidies, the Centre has set up a regional connectivity fund, 80 per cent of which will be financed by levying a cess on other domestic routes, except for those in the N-E states and regional sectors and the rest will flow from the states.
  • The Centre aims to collect about Rs.400 crore for the regional connectivity fund every year, to be used to pro-mote regional air connectivity.
  • The national civil aviation policy, along with RCS, is expected to increase thenumber of functional air-ports to 150-200 in the next few years. At present, 69 air-ports across the country receive commercial flights.
  • The Centre launched an ‘ Air Sewa' portal for registering complaints of air passengers against air-lines and airports.
  • Passengers will be able to check flight status, register com-plaints and check complaint status on the Air Sewa website and mobile application.
  • Complaints related to flight delays, baggage loss and unusually long periods for refunds along with long queues at airports can be registered by passengers in this portal.


  • Tata Steel's board passed a resolution replacing Cyrus Mistry as chairman and named independent director O.P. Bhatt as interim replacement.
  • Mr. Bhatt, a former State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman, was appointed as an independent director of Tata Steel in June 2013.
  • Mr. Bhatt will serve as chairman till the outcome of the company's Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), which has been convened on December 21.
  • Tata Steel's board had on November 11 decided to convene an EGM and place a resolution for the removal of Mr. Mistry as a director of the company at the advice of Tata Sons, which had ousted Mr. Mistry as chairman on October 24.
  • ‘New low' Reacting to the development, Mr. Mistry's camp said corporate governance at the group under interim chairman Ratan Tata had hit a new low.
  • Mr. Mistry's removal has been initiated by Tata Sons, which holds 28.01 per cent stake in IHCL. Other Tata Group companies which have called EGMs to remove Mr. Mistry include Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals.



Union Cabinet approved the introduction of Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 in the Parliament. Simultaneously, the cabinet also approved repealing of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838.

The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 has been amended 17 times between 1966 and 2014 resulting in an increase in the number of sections to more than 560 sections. However, these provisions have been shortened to 280 sections in the Bill.

Provisions of the Bill

• It allows substantially-owned vessels and vessels on Bare Boat-cum-Demise (BBCD) to be registered as Indian flag vessels.

• It recognises Indian controlled tonnage as a separate category.

• It provides for issuing the licences to Indian flag vessels for coastal operation and for port clearance by the Customs authorities.

• It calls for making separate rules for coastal vessels to develop and promote coastal shipping.

• It introduces welfare measures for seafarers by providing them with the wages till they are released from hostage captivity of pirates and reach back home safely.

• It directs owners of vessels to take insurance of crew engaged on vessels including fishing, sailing, etc. This applies for the vessels whose net tonnage is less than 15 tons.

• It says that the requirement of signing of articles of agreement by the crew will no longer be necessary.

• It calls for registration of few residuary category of vessels not covered under any statute and makes provisions for security-related aspects.

• It adds provisions relating to seven different conventions- Intervention Convention 1969, Search and Rescue Convention 1979, Protocol for Prevention of Pollution from Ships Annex VI to Marine Pollution Convention, Convention for Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments 2004, Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention 2007, Salvage Convention 1989 and International Convention for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001.

• It also provides for survey, inspection and certification of vessels to enable simplified regime for convenience of Indian shipping industry.


China successfully launched the Tianlian I-04 satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province of Southwest China.

This data satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket. The launch of the Tianlian I-04 marks the 241st mission of China's Long March series of rockets.

Highlights of the Tianlian I-04 satellite

• It was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

• It will join its three predecessors to achieve global network operation.

• It is based on the DFH-3 (Dongfanghong-3) platform, a medium-capacity telecommunications satellite platform designed and developed by CAST.

• The network will provide data relay, measurement and control services for China's manned spacecraft, space labs and space stations.

• It will also offer data relay services for the country's medium- and low-Earth orbiting resources satellites.

• It will provide measurement and control support for spacecraft launches.

About Tianlian I Satellites

• China launched its first data relay satellite- Tianlian I-01 in April 2008. Currently, Tianlian-1 (1) is positioned at 77°E.

• The second satellite Tianlian I-02 was launched in July 2011 and is currently positioned at 176.77°E.

• With the launch of Tianlian I- 03 in July 2012, China managed full global coverage for its tracking and data relay system.

• These Tianlian I satellites provide close to real-time communications between the ground and spacecraft. They are particularly used for Shenzhou human spaceflight missions.

China's first experimental communications satellite was launched in the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in 1984. Since then, the centre has sent more than 100 spacecraft into space in recent decades, including over 20 BeiDou navigation satellites and the country's first lunar probe Chang'e-1.


UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released the 2016 edition of the Measuring the Information Society Report. The report was launched during the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS).

WTIS was held in Botswana, South Africa.

The ITU index prepared after surveying 175 economies of the world was topped by the Republic of Korea with IDI of 8.84. The Sub-Saharan Africa’s Niger with an IDI of 1.07 ranked lowest.

India was placed at 138th rank with IDI score of 2.69. In 2015, it stood at 135th position with IDI score of 2.50.

International Telecommunication Union


The Republic of Korea led the IDI for the second year. Asian economies that featured in the top 10 in the list were Hong Kong, China (6) and Japan (10). The other seven others were in Europe.

Top Six Countries

Lowest ranked Countries

Republic of Korea (1)

Niger (175)

Iceland (2)

Chad (174)

Denmark (3)

Guinea-Bissau (173)

Switzerland (4)

South Sudan (172)

United Kingdom (5)

Burundi (171)

Region wise finding

• Europe and countries in the Americas: ICT development in the region made significant progress.

• Asian and Pacific countries: Nine out of the 34 countries in the Asian and Pacific countries remained least concerned. These countries include several with large populations. Same diversity was seen in the Arab region.

• Worst Performing region: with an average ISI score of 2.48 points for 2016, Africa was named as the worst performing region. Its IDI score, which was just over half the global average (4.94), reflects the lower level of economic development that inhibits ICT development.

• Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region: ICT development in the region made significant progress.

Key Highlights

• The report highlights that the average global ICT Development Index (IDI) saw an improvement from 4.74 in 2015 to 4.94 in 2016.

• The data says that the world is more connected than ever, but it also highlights that many in the world are still without the internet.

• It suggests that reduction in socio-economic inequalities, mainly in education and income levels, will help in bringing more people online.

• It reveals that cost of the mobile-phone handset is one of the main barriers in owning a mobile phone.

• It says that stronger improvements in ICT (information and communication technologies) use during 2015-16 periods have helped in growing the mobile-broadband uptake globally. This led to increasing in a number of people, in particular from the developing world.

• The ITU index also says that by the end of 2016, about 95percent of the global population will be living in an area that is covered by a mobile-cellular signal. It also says that mobile-cellular subscriptions will equal the number of living people.

• ITU, however, cautioned that since many people have multiple subscriptions or devices, other metrics need to be produced to accurately assess mobile uptakes, such as the number of mobile phone users or mobile phone owners.

What helped in increasing connectivity?

Decline in prices of mobile phones in the least developed countries (LDC) has played a positive role in expanding connectivity. LDCs saw a 20 percent decrease in cellular prices, which is the strongest decline in past five years.


The Palampur Assembly Constituency of Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh became the first e-assembly constituency of the country. The system was inaugurated by State Assembly speaker Brij Behari Lal Butail at a function held in Palampur.

The system will help the residents of the constituency to know about the development works going on by one click on the computer. In addition, the residents would also send their requirements about funds for different schemes in their respective areas online.

This system would be introduced in other 67 constituencies of the state in next six months.

Comment: This conversion of the Palampur into an e-constituency is Himachal Pradesh government’s commitment to Union Government’s Digital India mission.

Note: It is necessary to mention that the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly was the first assembly of India to adopt the e-Vidhan system, making it paperless. This e-Vidhan system helped the state in automating the day to day functioning of assembly. The system was launched with following objectives

• To take environment-friendly measures by reducing paper usage and increase online communications

• Removal of unneeded processes which were responsible for delaying the flow of information among various stakeholders

• To improve efficiency in working

• Auto-compilation of queries and reports

• To monitor works in Vidhan Sabha and Government departments and others




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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 07:38