31, October 2016

1.Ease of Doing Business: A.P., Telangana top in 2016 all-India ranking

Source: The Hindu

Commerce and Industry Minister released the report on State-wise Ease of Doing Business rankings.

The rankings are on the basis of 340-point business reform action plan and their implementation by the States. This covers the period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.


Andhra Pradesh and Telengana topped the all-India ranking with 98.78 per cent each, followed by Gujarat with 98.21 per cent; Chhattisgarh with 97.32 per cent and Madhya Pradesh with 97.01 per cent.

Haryana ranked sixth with 96.95 per cent followed by Jharkhand with 96.57 per cent; Rajasthan with 96.43 per cent; Uttarakhand with 96.13 per cent and Maharashtra completed the top 10 with 92.86 per cent.

These submissions were reviewed by the World Bank team and validated by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion’s (DIPP’s) team.

New reform index:

The govt is launch a new index on “agricultural marketing & farm-friendly reforms” this year.

The top 10 States scoring on the agricultural marketing & farmer-friendly reforms index are: Maharashtra with 81.7 per cent, followed by Gujarat with 71.5 per cent; Rajasthan with 70 per cent; MP with 69.5 per cent; Haryana with 63.3 per cent; Himachal Pradesh with 59.5 per cent; A.P. with 56.2 per cent; Karnataka with 55.5 per cent; Telengana with 54.3 per cent and Goa with 52.8 per cent.


2.In historic vote, Russia ousted from UN Human Rights Council

Source: Indian Express

Russia lost its bid to retain a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

United Nations: Russia failed to win re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council, beaten out by Hungary and Croatia, following lobbying by rights groups against Moscow’s candidacy because of its military support for the Syrian government.

UN Human Rights Council as the UN General Assemblyvoted to elect 14 members to the Geneva-based organ.

The United Nations body responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

In a secret ballot by the 193-member UN General Assembly, Hungary received 144 votes, followed by Croatia with 114 votes and Russia with 112 votes.  

Brazil, China, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, United Kingdom and the United States were elected for three-year terms beginning January 1, 2017. India is a member of the 47-member human rights body and its term will expire in 2017.


 It is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.

  • It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.
  • The Council is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly.
  • The term of each seat is three years, and no member may occupy a seat for more than two consecutive terms.
  • The council works closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and engages the United Nations’ special procedures.
  • The General Assembly can suspend the rights and privileges of any Council member that it decides has persistently committed gross and systematic violations of human rights during its term of membership. The suspension process requires a two-thirds majority vote by the General Assembly.


3.Three astronauts return from ISS

Source: The Hindu

Three astronauts recently landed safely in Kazakhstan following a 115-day mission aboard the International Space Station.

The team included U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space.

Russian mission control confirmed the touchdown of NASA’s Ms. Rubins, Roscosmos’ Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Ms. Rubins’ participation in the mission generated particular excitement after NASA announced plans for the career scientist to sequence DNA aboard the ISS in a world first.

Rubin’s participation was aimed at identifying potentially dangerous microbes aboard the ISS and diagnose illnesses in space.

Rubins successfully sequenced samples of mouse, virus and bacteria DNA using a device called MinION while Earth-based researchers simultaneously sequenced identical samples.

This journey marks the first complete mission to and from the orbital lab for a new generation of Soyuz spacecraft with upgraded features.

Rubins was the first woman aboard the ISS since Italian Samantha Cristoforetti returned to Earth with the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman (199 days) in last year.

International space station:

The space station’s orbit is about 220 miles above Earth. NASA uses the station to learn about living and working in space. These lessons will help NASA explore space. The first piece of the International Space Station was launched in 1998.

The main purpose of the International Space Station is to provide an international laboratory for experiments within the space environment. Which, despite all our technological advances, is nearly impossible to replicate here on Earth.

The owners of the Space Station – the United States, Russia, the European Partner, Japan and Canada – are legally responsible for the respective elements they provide.

The European States are being treated as one homogenous entity, called the European Partner on the Space Station.

The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA.

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