By: D.K Choudhary
Japan Pledges 1 Trillion Yen Aid Package to Philippines
i. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on January 13, 2017 signed a 1-trillion yen (8.7 billion dollars) aid package to the Philippines for the next five years to improve economic and political relations between the two island nations.
ii. The package is focused on infrastructure and energy. The move aims to utilize the Japanese technology and know-how to the fullest extent to positively cooperate for the improvement of infrastructure in Metro Manila and the whole of the Philippines.
iii. The President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte also issued a statement claiming that JapanPhilippines and Japan would increase maritime and security cooperation.
iv. Abe’s was two-day visit to the Philipinnes which makes him the first foreign leader to visit since the election of the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte in May 2016.
♦ Capital: Manila & Currency: Philippine peso
♦ Capital: Tokyo & Currency: Japanese yen
Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif Inaugurates Renovation of Katas Raj temple
i. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the renovation of the Katas Raj Hindu temple in Chakwal district in the Punjab Province of Pakistan on January 11, 2017 as a part of the policy to establish Pakistan’s identity as a minority-friendly country.
ii. The work includes installation of a water filtration plant in the Amrat Jal area.
iii. The Katas Raj temple is admired by Hindus across the globe as very sacred as it is believed that the foundation of the sacred site was laid by Lord Shiva.
iv. The temple was over 5,000 years old and had been the focal point of four civilisations. Al-Biruni, Persian scholar and polymath, had computed the earth’s circumference from here.
♦ Capital: Islamabad ♦ Currency: Pakistani rupee
♦ President: Mamnoon Hussain ♦ Prime minister: Nawaz Sharif
Russia Amends Laws Permitting Long Term Spares Support to India
i. Russia has amended its laws permitting lot of their Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to enter into long-term agreements for spares and support for military equipment supplied to India
ii. This will address long-standing concerns regarding import of equipment. Currently, procurement of spares is a long process as India cannot deal directly with the OEMs but with designated intermediaries like Rosoboronexport.
iii. The Russian Ministry is drawing up a list of the OEMs, which are related to the platforms which provides service to India. Once the ministry verifies OEMs supplying hardware to India are on the list, the two sides would enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
iv. India is also discussing the possibility of Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to allow licence-manufacture of spares locally by Indian vendors.
Russia Plans to Ban Cigarette Sale for Those Born After 2015
i. The Russian health ministry has announced plans to ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2015 as a part of its effort to combat smoking from 2017 to 2022.
ii. With this move, Russia will become the first country in the world to completely phase out tobacco. The decision would go into effect in 2033, when the affected Russian citizens who are currently now babies, turn 18 years old.
iii. Russia’s legal smoking age is eighteen, so the law would ensure that those born in 2015 and later could never legally purchase cigarettes.
iv. The goal is to lower the country’s smoking rate to 25 percent by 2025, and to drive it down even further later.
♦ Capital: Moscow ♦ Currency: Russian ruble
♦ President: Vladimir Putin ♦ Prime minister: Dmitry Medvedev
Global unemployment to rise by 3.4 m in 2017 Says ILO report
According to the ILO report ‘World Employment Social Outlook: Trends 2017‘, Global unemployment is expected to rise by 3.4 million in 2017 and economic growth at 3.4 per cent this year and 3.6 per cent in 2018
Issue : Economic growth trends lagging behind employment needs and predicts both rising unemployment and worsening social inequality throughout 2017
Highlights of the report :
i. South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are most affected by vulnerable employment while
in India, majority of new employment was created in 2016.
ii. Average global social unrest increased between 2015 and 2016.
iii. It is projected unemployment levels to rise by 450,000 in 2017 due to deteriorating labour market conditions in emerging countries – particularly those in Latin America and the WESOCaribbean. However, unemployment is expected to fall in developed countries in Northern, Southern, and Western Europe, the United States, and Canada.
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Formation: 1919
♦ Head: Guy Ryder