India Ranks Third Among Countries Offering Highest Salaries to Expats
i. According to HSBC Expat survey 2016, India ranks third among the countries offering the highest average annual salary to expatriates. Switzerland topped the list to offer highest average salary of about $188,275 a year to expats while Hong Kong was listed third.
ii. Expatriates living in India are the third-highest paid in the world.Out of almost 27,000 expats polled, the average salary of foreigners living in India was $145,057 while the highest paid were foreign workers in Switzerland who got an average salary of $188,275, followed by Hong Kong at $169,756.
iii. The average annual expat salary in Switzerland was almost twice the global average. It tops the expat career ranking for a second year. The combination of high salaries and excellent work culture has placed Switzerland at the top of the table.
UNSC passes Russian Drafted Resolution over Syrian Ceasefire
i. The United Nation Security Council (UNSC) unanimously passed a resolution drafted by Russia on December 31, 2017, to end the nearly six-year conflict in Syria and called for peace negotiations through nationwide Syrian ceasefire.
ii. The resolution is an effort taken by Russia and Turkey which aims at stopping violence in Syria and launch a political process. The UN body is also committed to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.
iii. The resolution calls for the rapid, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid throughout Syria.
iv. The document also obliges the Syrian government and the opposition representative to start direct talks in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, in January 2017.
♦ The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter.
♦ Headquarter: New York City
♦ Formation: 1945
♦ President: Olof Skoog
India and Sri Lanka Agrees to find permanent solution to the fishermen issues
i. A ministerial level talks between Indian Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of India Radha Mohan Singh and Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development of Sri Lanka Mahinda Amaraweera was held in Colombo on January 2, 2016.
ii. Under the agreement reached after a meeting of JWG, both the countries agreed to release all Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen in each other’s custody.
iii. The meeting between the ministers was at the joint working group (JWG) level, constituted in a decision taken in November 6, 2016 in New Delhi. The first meeting of the joint working group on fisheries was held in December 31, 2016 in New Delhi.
iv. During the discussion, the ministers exchanged views on possible mechanisms to help find a permanent solution to the fishermen issues.
v. Both countries agreed to a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to soon release and hand over fishermen in each other’s custody on completion of respective legal and procedural formalities.
vi. Both the countries also agreed to the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to intensify cooperation on patrolling and to institute periodic interaction between the Coast Guard of the two countries.
vii. The two sides discussed the issue of releasing fishing vessels in each other’s custody. The Indian side requested for the immediate release of Indian fishing vessels which was agreed by Colombo.
viii. The Sri Lankan side suggested ending the practice of bottom trawling, as practiced by the Indian fishermen, to which India assured that bottom trawling would be phased out in a time-bound manner.
ix. India also informed Colombo about the measures already instituted including the decision to construct a new fishing harbour at Mookaiyur in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.
x. The next JWG meeting will be held in Colombo in April 2017 to review the progress made in addressing the fishermen issues in a comprehensive manner.
Sri Lanka :
♦ Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo
♦ Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
♦ Prime minister: Ranil Wickremesinghe
♦ President: Maithripala Sirisena
Pakistan finally approved the Hindu marriage bill
i. Pakistan’s Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights chaired by Nasreen Jalil approved the much-awaited Hindu Marriages Bill on January 2, 2017 while the National Assembly passed the Hindu Marriage Bill in September 2016.
ii. Hindu Marriages Bill will enable the Hindu community members to get their marriages registered and to appeal in courts of law in cases of separation
iii. Hindus in Pakiatn here after to will get a proof of marriage document called the shadiparat.
iv. The bill states that a Hindu widow shall have the right to re-marry of her own will and consent after the death of her husband provided a period of six months has lapsed after the husband’s death.
China launches first freight train to London
i. China has launched its first freight train to London
ii. The train will travel for about 18 days and more than 12,000 km before reaching its destination in Britain
iii. It will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in London.
iv. London is the 15th city in Europe added to China-Europe freight train services