Current Affairs – November 2015

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India ranked 141 out of 163 countries on 2016 Global Peace Index

India was ranked 141 on a Global Peace Index (GPI) for year 2016 out of 163 countries, making it less peaceful country.

The GPI ranking of 163 countries was compiled by global think Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). India has moved up two positions from 143rd rank in 2015 GPI.

Key facts from 2016 Global Peace Index

  • Top 10 peaceful countries: Iceland (1st), Denmark (2nd), Austria (3rd), New Zealand (4th), Portugal (5th), Czech Republic (6th), Switzerland (7th), Canada (8th), Japan (9th) and Slovenia (10th).
  • Top least peaceful countries: Pakistan (153rd), Libya (154th), Sudan (155th), Ukraine (156th), Central African Republic (157th), Yemen (158th), Somalia (159th), Afghanistan (160th), Iraq (161st), South Sudan (162nd) and Syria (163rd).
  • India’s neighbours: Bhutan (13th), Nepal (78th), Bangladesh (83rd), Sri Lanka (97th), China (120th) and Pakistan (153rd).
  • In year 2016, the economic impact of violence on the global economy was around US 13.6 trillion dollars (13.3 % of gross world product).
  • In this year world became a less peaceful mainly on account of increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability.

About Global Peace Index (GPI)

  • GPI is an annual report published by the Sydney (Australia) based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) since 2007.
  • GPI uses 22 indicators to measure levels of world peace. Indicators range from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring nations and the percentage of prison population in 162 countries. It also includes safety and security in society, extent of domestic and international conflict.
  • The IEP is an international and independent think tank dedicated to draw the world’s attention towards peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and development.

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India re-elected as Member of International Maritime Council

India has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Category ‘B’ at 29th session of the IMO Assembly held in London.

India’s membership of the IMO Assembly supports India’s status as one of the countries with the largest interest in international seaborne trade.

Presently, India ranks amongst the top 20 shipping countries of the world in terms of Gross Tonnage capacity (GT) as well as Deadweight capacity.

About International Maritime Organization (IMO)

  • IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping.
  • Established: 1948 in Geneva and came into force in 1959.
  • Headquarter: London, United Kingdom.
  • Member Countries: IMO has 171 member states and 3 associate members. India was one of the earliest members of the IMO and had joined it as a member-state in 1959.
  • Functions: To develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit.
  • This framework should address various areas like safety, legal matters, environmental concerns, technical co-operation, maritime security and efficiency of shipping.
  • IMO Council: Consist of 40 member countries who are elected by the IMO Assembly. It plays a crucial role in deciding various matters related to global shipping industry.

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Saudi Arabia for 1st time allows women to vote in local elections

Saudi Arabia has allowed women to vote and become candidates in local elections for the first time in the history of male dominated country.

In this regard, Saudi authorities allowed 979 women among the 6,917 registered candidates to campaign for 284 municipal councils as per the royal decree issued in 2011.

Earlier Saudi Arabia had held municipal elections in 2005 and 2011 in the transitional phase undertaken monarchy but only men were allowed to take part.

Thus by allowing participation of women in the municipal elections Saudi Arabian government apparently is showing other countries that social participation of its women is expanding.

Presently, women make up one fourth of the country’s Shura Council which is an unelected body appointed by the king to propose laws for government but cannot pass them.

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