World in Focus (October-November 2016)

World in Focus (October-November 2016)


Oct 16: Pakistan became the first head of the Saarc’s Anti-Corruption Forum (ACF) for a year.

Oct 17: Third unit of the Chashma nuclear power project in Pakistan went into operation.


  1. China’s first overseas reactor at Chashma went into operation in 2000, while the second was completed in 2011. It is the third, and the fourth will be operational in 2017.
  2. It has been built by the China National Nuclear Corporation.
  3. China will invest $6.5 billion to build a reactor in Karachi.
  4. The project will mark the overseas debut of China’s homegrown third-generation reactor design ‘Hualong One’.
  5. It is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

Oct 17: Pakistan won their historic 400th test match when they beat West Indies.

Oct 19: Pemra approved a complete ban on airing of Indian content in Pakistan from October 21.

Oct 19: Pakistan Super League Draft 2016 took place in Dubai.

Find all the details about PSL at:

Oct 20: TIME magazine named Pakistan’s Sumail Hassan and Malala Yousafzai in its list of the 30 Most Influential teens.

About Sumail Hassan & Malala Yousafzai

  1. The Pakistani prodigy Sumail Hassan is a DOTA 2 Champion and has won millions of dollars at a young age.
  2. He became the youngest person ever to earn $1 million playing competitive video games, making him a phenomenon in the rapidly growing world of “e-sports.”
  3. Malala came under the international spotlight after Taliban attacked her in Swat.
  4. At seventeen, Malala became the youngest Nobel laureate ever.
  5. She also co-founded the Malala Fund to secure girls the right to a minimum of 12 years of quality schooling.

World in Focus (October-November 2016)

Oct 23: SC’s Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman resigned.

Oct 23: Veteran politician and eminent agriculturalist of Sindh Syed Qamaruzzaman Shah passed away.

About Syed Qamaruzzaman Shah

  1. Shah remained Deputy Speaker of Sindh Assembly for three months in 1977, and a senator (1973-77).
  2. He founded the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture. His elder son Dr Nadeem Qamar now heads it.
  3. He was the father of former Federal Finance Minister Syed Naveed Qamar and the grandfather of Syed Qasim Naveed, special assistant to Sindh chief minister.

Oct 23: Army Services Sports of Pakistan won the first International PACES Competition 2016, held in Lahore.

Oct 23: Pakistan was ranked 106th among 113 countries by the World Justice Project in terms of Rule of Law experienced by the citizens


  1. The top three overall performers in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2016 were Denmark, Norway, and Finland, respectively.
  2. Pakistan ranked only above Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Egypt, Cambodia and Venezuela.
  3. In South Asia, Nepal ranked 63rd, India 66th, Sri Lanka 68th, Bangladesh 103rd and Pakistan 106th.

Oct 24: Over 60 security personnel were martyred in a terrorist attack at Quetta’s Police Training College.

Oct 24: Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, came on her first visit to Pakistan.

Oct 24: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) issued 10 rupees coin.

Important Features

  1. The coin is yellow in colour with serrations on the edges and a diameter of 25.5mm, weighing 5.50g.
  2. The waxing crescent moon and a five-pointed star facing North-West in rising position is in the centre on the obverse side of the coin.
  3. The reverse side of the coin is decorated with the front side picture of Faisal Mosque with Doves flying over it.
  4. Along with periphery on the top of the crescent star is inscribed Islami Jamhuriya Pakistan in Urdu script.
  5. Below the crescent and at the top of two springs of wheat with arms curved upward, there is the year of issuance.
  6. A circle of small beads is all along the edge of the coin.
  7. The face value of the coin in numeral wording “10” in bold letters and Rupee in Urdu script is inscribed at its lower side.
  8. The ten-rupee coin joins the Rs1, 2 and 5 coins already used in Pakistan. The SBP issued Rs5 coin in 2005.

Oct 24: The Supreme Court restrained NAB chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry from approving deals for voluntary return.

What is Voluntary Return?

Section 25(a) of the National Accountability Ordinance allows people guilty of corruption to pay a portion of the embezzled money and be released without any stigma. It reads:

25. (a) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 15 or in any other law for the time being in force, where a holder of public office or any other person, prior to the authorization of investigation against him, voluntarily comes forward and offers to return the assets or gains acquired or made by him in the course, or as the consequence, of any offence under this Ordinance, the Chairman NAB may accept such offer and after determination of the amount due from such person and its deposit with the NAB discharge such person from all his liability in respect of the matter or transaction in issue:

Provided that the matter is not sub judice in any court of law.

Oct 25: World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016 ranked Pakistan the second-worst country in the world for gender inequality for the second consecutive year.


  1. Iceland took the top spot for the 8th consecutive year, followed by Finland in second and Norway in third place.
  2. Pakistan ranked 143 out of 144 countries.
  3. The only country ranked below Pakistan is Yemen (144), while Syria is one place ahead at 142.

Other Saarc Countries: Bangladesh (72), India (87), Sri Lanka (100), Nepal (110), the Maldives (115), Bhutan (121).

Pakistan’s Rankings in Recent Years

2013: 135th         2014: 141st                          2015: 143rd

Oct 25: By winning his 10th series, against W. Indies, Misbah ul Haq became most successful Asian captain in tests.

Oct 26: The 15th ministerial meeting of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme was held in Islamabad.

Oct 26: Pakistan was ranked 144th out of 190 economies for 2017 on the Word Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.

World in Focus (October-November 2016)

Most improved economies in 2015/16

Bahrain, Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Pakistan, Serbia, and UAE.

About the Index

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report and the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) are the main sources of assessing the competitiveness of economies. The report is based on its Enterprise Survey while the GCI is based on the Executive Opinion Survey. At times, the findings appear unrealistic, which is also because of lack of proactive approach by state institutions. The GCI’s survey is relatively more representative as it captures the perception of people in about half a dozen cities.

Oct 27: Pakistan declared an official of Indian High Commission in Islamabad, Surjeet Singh, as persona non grata and asked him to leave the country.

Who is a persona non grata?

  1. Persona non grata (plural: personae non gratae) is a Latin phrase which literally means an unwelcome person.
  2. One so declared is no longer welcome in the host country and is asked to return to one’s native country immediately.
  3. It’s the most serious form of censure a country can apply to foreign diplomats who are otherwise protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and other kinds of prosecution.

Oct 27: The Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) was launched by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

About PMIC

The PMIC has been created by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Karandaaz Pakistan and funded by UK’s Department for International Development and the KfW, a German government-owned development bank. It aims to help create a new supply chain for microfinance services.

Chairman: Zubyr Soomro

Oct 28: The tehsils of Duki and Surab in Balochistan were upgraded to the level of districts.

Oct 29: Senator Pervaiz Rashid was relieved of his responsibilities as the federal minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage.

Oct 30: India beat Pakistan to win the Asian Champions Trophy hockey .

Oct 31: Maryam Aurangzeb was appointed as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting.

About Maryam Aurangzeb

  1. Ms Aurangzeb holds an MSc degree in environment and development from King’s College London and a Master’s degree in Economics from Pakistan.
  2. She worked in WWF before joining PML-N.
  3. She is one of the close aides of Maryam Nawaz Sharif and was an active member of PML-N social media team.
  4. She was elected as MNA on the reserved seats for women in 2013 general elections.
  5. She is also the parliamentary secretary for interior.
  6. Her mother, Tahira Aurangzeb, too is an MNA and her aunt Najma Hameed is a sitting senator of PML-N.

Oct 31: Rasheed A. Rizvi was elected as President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for the year 2016-17 while Aftab Ahmad Bajwa was elected to the post of secretary.

Oct 31: Trade activities under the CPEC project began with the arrival of 100+ Chinese containers at the Sust port in GB.

Nov 01: Pakistan was ranked 154th out of 183 countries in the 2016 Global Youth Development Index (YDI) compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Nov 02: Hamid Mir won Free Press Award in the “Most Resilient Journalist Award” category.

Nov 03: Renault will start producing vehicles in Pakistan in 2018, the Board of Investment (BOI) announced.

About Renault

  1. Groupe Renault is a French multinational automobile manufacturer established on 25 February 1899.
  2. Renault already has an alliance with Nissan since 1999, the longest-running transnational partnership between two major manufacturers in the automotive industry.
  3. In 2013, Renault was the eleventh biggest automaker in the world by production volume.

Headquarters: Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Nov 03: Former PTV producer Yawar Hayat died at 73.

Nov 03: Pakistani singer Khyal Muhammad was awarded Afghanistan’s prestigious presidential award, Afghan Mir Bacha Khan Milli medal.

Who is Khyal Muhammad?

  1. Khyal Muhammad, who has won the Pride of Performance by Pakistan, was born in 1946 to a family of musicians.
  2. His unique style of singing displayed a command on complexities of music.
  3. He has performed in a variety of genres and has recorded for films. However, his main focus has been on ghazal.
  4. He has given a soul to poetry of contemporary poets and has taken the Pashto music to its pinnacle.
  5. He is the first non-Afghan recipient of such an award.

Nov 04: Pakistan ratified the Conference of the Parties COP-21 (Paris global climate change agreement).

Nov 05: Sultan Mohammad Ali won the first-ever Thal Jeep Rally that was held in Muzaffargarh district.

Nov 06: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Yusuf Zafar was elected as chairman of Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), based in Thailand

Nov 06: Nighat Dad, the founder and CEO of Digital Rights Foundation, won the 2016 Human Rights Tulip Award.

About the Award

  1. The Human Rights Tulip was established in 2007 and was presented for the first time on 10 December 2008.
  2. It is an annual award of the Dutch government.
  3. The Award is conferred on individuals or organisations that promote human rights worldwide in innovative ways.
  4. The official award ceremony is held on Human Rights Day on December 10 at The Hague
  5. The prize contains a bronze sculpture and €100,000.

Nov 09: Pakistan deported Nat Geo’s famed ‘Afghan Girl’ Sharbat Gula.

Nov 09: Civil Service Alumni Lahore (CSAL) was restored after 25 years.

Nov 09: Syed Javed Iqbal Bokhari was appointed as Director General, Overseas Pakistanis Commission Punjab.

Nov 10: According to the study entitled, ‘Caught Short’ published by WaterAid, nearly 9.9 million of Pakistani’s under-5 children are stunted and the country is among 10 worst for stunting in children.

Nov 11: Famous playback singer Arthur Nayyar, a.k.a. A. Nayyar, passed away.

About A. Nayyar

  1. A. Nayyar graduated with a B. Ed degree from Government Central Training College in 1975.
  2. His music journey started in a small town of Punjab, Arifwala, where he spent his childhood.
  3. He first appeared on the TV show Naye Fankar in 1974.
  4. He started playback singing with the film Bahisht with the song ‘Yunhi Din Kat Jaye’.
  5. Nayyar attained popularity from a duet with Naheed Akhtar for the film Kharidar, ‘Pyar To Ik Din Hona Tha’.
  6. He became a household name with a song from film Jasoos, ‘Sathi mujay mil gaya’; from Amber, ‘Milay do sathi khili Do kaliyan’; and from Khuda Aur Mohabbat, ‘Ik baat kahoon dildara’.
  7. He won Nigar Award five times.

Nov 11: Former chief justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui was sworn in as the 31st governor of Sindh.


  1. Mr Siddiqui was born in Lucknow on Dec 1, 1938.
  2. He acquired his early education from Dhaka and then moved to Karachi, then capital of Pakistan.
  3. He graduated from Karachi University and studied law.
  4. He enrolled as advocate of the high court and then the apex court in 1963 and 1968, respectively.
  5. He became a judge of the Sindh High Court in May 1980, and its Chief Justice in 1990.
  6. His tenure as the Chief Justice of Pakistan began on July 1, 1999, and ended on Jan 26, 2000.

Nov 11: Pakistan promulgated the new Companies Law 2016, which replaces the Companies Ordinance 1984.

Salient Features

  1. The SECP will now have the power to obtain complete information on the directors, officers and beneficial owners of foreign and offshore companies operating in Pakistan.
  2. SECP will maintain a ‘Global Register of Beneficial Ownership’ for companies, which will have to share records of the beneficial ownership of all substantial shareholders and officers in local and foreign companies doing business in Pakistan.
  3. The Law sets stringent disclosure rules, even for non-listed local companies, and makes it mandatory for them to provide details of all investors having more than 10pc shares in the company, to the SECP.
  4. The new law has also streamlined the regulatory functions for state-owned companies and the criteria for independent directors of public sector enterprises (PSEs) have been redefined.
  5. The law also empowers the SECP to investigate and conduct joint investigation over provisions related to measures against fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing.

World in Focus (October-November 2016)Nov 11: Suleman Arshad, a disabled youth worker from Pakistan, won the Commonwealth Youth Worker Award 2016 from Asia Region.

Nov 13: PM Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the operational activities of the strategic Gwadar Port in Balochistan.

Key Facts

  1. The port was operationalised after a Chinese ship laden with 250+ containers set off for West Asia and Africa.
  2. The ship was carrying Chinese goods which were ferried by major trade convoy that started from Kashgar in western China on 30 Oct 2016 and reached Gwadar on 12 Nov 2016.
  3. It is a watershed moment in the history of Pakistan and symbol of Pakistan’s commitment to China’s ‘One Belt-One Road’ (OBOR) initiative, of which CPEC is a key port.

Nov 13: PPP’s senior leader Jehangir Badr died. He was 72.

Nov 13: A polio-affected bodybuilder fromn Pakistan, Naveed Ahmed Butt, won the Natural Musclemania title in America.

Nov 15: Balochistan Assembly Speaker Raheela Durrani assumed the charge of acting governor of Balochistan.

She is the first woman to hold this post in Balochistan.  She is also the first woman speaker of the provincial assembly.

Nov 15: The Supermoon was observed in Pakistan after the moon was closest to the Earth at 356,509 km.


Oct 16: Andy Murray defeated Spanish Roberto Bautista Agut to win his third Shanghai Masters title.

Oct 16: Former women’s tennis world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won the Hong Kong Open.

Oct 16: The eighth BRICS summit concluded in Goa, India.

Theme: “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”.


  1. BRICS is the acronym for an association of five emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  2. The BRIC designation was first coined by Jim O’Neil of Goldman Sachs in 2001.
  3. It was established as BRIC, in 2009, before the inclusion of South Africa in 2011.
  4. The first formal summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Oct 16: First-ever BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit was also held on the sidelines of 2016 BRICS Summit in Goa, India.


  1. Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.

Established: 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration

Headquarters: Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Member States: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka (from South Asia) and Myanmar, Thailand (from SE Asia).

Oct 17: China launched two astronauts into space on a mission to dock with an experimental space station.

Key Facts

  1. The Shenzhou 11 mission took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northern China aboard a Long March-2F carrier rocket.
  2. The Shenzhou 11 astronauts are Jing Haipeng, who is flying his third mission, and 37-year-old Chen Dong.

Oct 17: Iraqi government launched a US-backed offensive to drive IS out of Mosul.

Oct 19: Japan’s Morinari Watanabe became the president of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

About FIG

  1. FIG is the world’s oldest existing int’l sports organization.
  2. It was originally the European Federation of Gymnastics.
  3. It had three member countries—Belgium, France and the Netherlands—until 1921, when non-European countries were admitted and it received its current name.
  4. The federation sets the rules, known as the Code of Points, that regulate how gymnasts’ performances are evaluated.
  5. As of 2015, there were 144 federations affiliated with the FIG and four associated federations, as well as four Continental Unions.

Formation: 23 July 1881, in Liège, Belgium

Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland

Oct 20: An Indian court upheld appeals by 14 Hindus convicted over the killing of 33 Muslims in 2002 Gujarat riots.

Oct 21: South Africa announced to pull out of the ICC.

About International Criminal Court

ICC is the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Seat: The Hague, the Netherlands

Establishment: Rome Statute adopted on 17 July 1998; Entered into force on 1 July 2002

Official languages: 6 (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish)

Member states: 124

Judges: The ICC’s 18 judges are elected by the Assembly of States Parties for their qualifications, impartiality and integrity, and serve 9-year, non-renewable terms.

Principal organs:

(1) the Presidency; (2) the Judicial Divisions; (3) the Office of the Prosecutor; and (4) the Registry.

Oct 22: Junko Tabei, the first woman to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, died at age 77.

About Junko Tabei

  1. Tabei was born on 22 Sep 1939 in Miharu, Fukushima.
  2. She formed the Ladies Climbing Club: Japan (LCC) in 1969.
  3. Tabei successfully summited Annapurna III in May 1970.
  4. On 16 May 1975, Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Everest.
  5. On June 28, 1992, she became the first woman to complete the Seven Summits.

Oct 22: Zabivaka the wolf, was named as the official mascot of the 2018 Football World Cup to be held in Moscow.

Oct 23: The telecom giant AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner, the home of HBO and CNN, for about $85.4 billion.

Oct 23: Qatar’s former Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani died.

Oct 25: Brazil’s legend footballer Carlos Alberto, who captained the 1970 World Cup-winning side, died aged 72.

Oct 26: France completed an operation to move thousands of migrants out of the “Jungle” camp in Calais.

Oct 26: Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize 2016 for his novel ‘The Sellout’. He is the first US author to win this Prize.

About Man Booker Prize

  1. The £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction (formerly the Booker-McConnell Prize) is awarded annually for the best original novel, written in English and published in the UK.
  2. Administration of the prize was transferred to the Booker Prize Foundation in 2002.
  3. In 1970, Bernice Rubens became the first woman to win the Booker Prize, for “The Elected Member.”

Oct 27: China’s Communist Party elevated President Xi Jinping to “core” leader, putting him in the same revered ranks as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

What’s a ‘Core’ leader?

The term “core” leader dates back to the turbulence of 1989, when Deng used it to anchor the shaky authority of Jiang Zemin, who had been abruptly appointed general secretary. Deng also said he and Mao were the core leaders of their respective generations, suggesting that they had near unassailable authority.

Oct 27: Two Yazidi women Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were awarded EU’s Sakharov Prize for 2016.

About Sakharov Prize

  1. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is annual award given by the European Parliament.
  2. It was established in December 1988 and is named after Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.
  3. The first prize was jointly awarded to Nelson Mandela and Russian human rights campaigner Anatoly Marchenko.
  4. This year the prize, worth 50,000 euros ($55,000), will be presented at a ceremony on December 14 in Strasbourg.

2011       Asmaa Mahfouz (Egypt), Ahmed al-Senussi (Libya),         Razan Zaitouneh (Syria), Ali Farzat (Syria), Mohamed                 Bouazizi (Tunisia)

2012       Jafar Panahi, Nasrin Sotoudeh (Iran)

2013       Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan)

2014       Denis Mukwege (Dr Congo)

2015       Raif Badawi (Saudi Arabia)

Oct 28: Yemeni rebels fired a ballistic missile—’Burkan 1′ which, according to Saudi Arabia, was shot down near the holy city of Makkah.

Oct 28: Antarctica’s Ross Sea was declared world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) to protect the Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystem.


  1. The agreement to create MPA was reached among 24 countries and European Union in Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart, Australia.
  2. With an area of 1.6 million square kilometres, Ross Sea is one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world.
  3. MPA status to Ross Sea will bring blanket ban on commercial fishing across about 3/4th of its area for 35 years.
  4. Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean is home to 38% of the world’s Adelie penguins, 30% of world’s Antarctic petrels and around 6% of world’s population of Antarctic minke whales.


  1. The CCAMLR was established by international convention in 1982 for conserving Antarctic marine life.
  2. It is part of the Antarctic Treaty System.
  3. It was signed by 14 states and has been ratified by 35 states and the European Community.

Headquarters: Tasmania, Australia.

Oct 30: The EU and Canada signed the comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA).

Quick Facts on CETA

  1. CETA will link the EU’s single market of 500 million people —the world’s biggest—with world’s 10th largest economy.
  2. It will do this by removing 99% of customs duties and many other obstacles for business.
  3. CETA took seven years to negotiate and another two years to go through the EU’s institutions.
  4. CETA required all 28 EU member states to endorse it before it can be signed and then ratified by their parliaments.

Oct 30: Iceland’s PM, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, resigned after his party was defeated in general election to the 63-member Althing, the world’s oldest parliament.

About the Althing

  1. The Althing is one of the oldest extant parliamentary institutions in the world.
  2. Its foundation at Thingvellir (Parliament Plains) in 930 AD marks the birth of the Icelandic nation.
  3. The Althing met at Thingvellir from c. 930 to 1798.
  4. Even after Iceland’s union with Norway in 1262, the Althing still held its sessions at Thingvellir.
  5. It was abolished by decree of the Danish crown in 1800.
  6. The Althing was reconvened in Reykjavík in 1845, and it remained there, with the exception of a special session in Thingvellir that proclaimed the establishment of the Icelandic republic on June 17, 1944.
  7. The first woman elected to the Althing was Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason (1867-1941). She sat in parliament 1922-1930.

Type: Unicameral

President: Einar Kristinn Guðfinnsson (since 23 May 2013)

Oct 31: The secretary-general of the OIC, Iyad bin Amin Madani, resigned.

Oct 31: Michel Aoun was elected as Lebanon’s 13th president.

About Mr Aoun

  1. A Maronite Christian, Michel Aoun was born in the mixed Christian and Shiite suburb of Haret Hreik.
  2. He was appointed as Lebanese Army General in 1984.
  3. From 22 Sep 1988 to 13 Oct 1990, Aoun was country’s PM.
  4. He was appointed by the then departing Lebanese President Amine Gemayel as head of the Lebanese government and interim prime minister.

Nov 01: Malaysia and China signed a defence deal and pledged closer cooperation in the South China Sea.

Nov 03: Saad Hariri, the leader of the Lebanese Future Movement, was named as new Lebanese prime minister.

About Saad Hariri

  1. He is the second son of Rafic Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, who was assassinated in 2005.
  2. He was prime minister of Lebanon from 9 November 2009 until the collapse of his cabinet on 12 January 2011.

Nov 03: The London High Court ruled that Parliament must give its approval before the Brexit process can begin.

Nov 03: Leïla Slimani, a French-Moroccan novelist, won France’s top literary accolade, the Prix Goncourt, for her book “Chanson Douce” (“Sweet Song”).

About the Award

  1. Of the “big six” French literary awards, the Prix Goncourt is the best known and most prestigious.
  2. Other major literary prizes are: the Grand Prix du Roman de l’Academie Francaise, the Prix Femina, the Prix Renaudot, the Prix Interallie and the Prix Medicis.
  3. Edmond de Goncourt, a successful author, critic and publisher, bequeathed his estate for the foundation and maintenance of the académie Goncourt, or the Goncourt Academy, which confers this award.
  4. The prize is given for works in French, but recipients do not need to be French citizens.

Nov 01-03: The 6th Session of the Ministerial Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of OIC Member States was held in Istanbul.

Theme: “The Status of Women in the OIC Member States in Light of the Current Challenges.”

Nov 04: The Paris Agreement to combat climate change officially entered into force.

About Paris Climate Agreement

  1. Paris climate change agreement was adopted in Dec 2015.
  2. It facilitates enforcement of global GHGs reduction measures in the post-2020 (post-Kyoto Protocol) scenario.
  3. Under it, all countries must pursue to keep global temperature rising below 2°C by 2100 above pre-industrial levels, with an ideal target of keeping it below 1.5°C.
  4. It forces developed countries to provide 100 billion dollars annually to the developing counterparts, beginning in 2020, to deal with climate change.
  5. At least 192 countries signed the agreement during the COP-21 summit held in Paris.
  6. Pakistan was the 95th country to ratify the agreement.

Nov 05: Latvia became the first country in the Baltic Sea area to sign an MoU to link up with China’s OBOR Initiative.

Nov 06: US-backed Kurdish-Arab forces launched Operation “Wrath of the Euphrates” against the IS group in Raqa, Syria.

Nov 06: Filipino star Manny Pacquiao reclaimed the World Boxing Organization welterweight title for the third time.

Nov 07: China appointed Xiao Jie, a former tax chief and Minister of Finance deputy minister, as the country’s new finance minister.

Nov 07: Janet Reno, the first female US attorney general, died.

Nov 07: UK’s Guy Ryder was re-elected as DG of International Labour Organization (ILO) for another 5-year term.

About ILO

  1. The ILO is a United Nations agency dealing with labour issues, particularly international labour standards, social protection and work opportunities for all.
  2. Established in 1919 as an agency of the League of Nations following World War I, it continued as a UN agency after WWII.
  3. Its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  4. The ILO has 187 member states, including 186 of the 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands.
  5. In 1969, ILO was awarded Nobel Peace Prize for pursuing decent work and justice for workers, improving peace among classes and providing technical assistance to other developing nations.

Nov 08: Indian government announced to demonetize its Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes which ceased to be legal tender.

What is Demonetisation?

It is an act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender. Demonetization is mandatory whenever there is a change of national currency. In this process, the new currency unit replaces the old one.

Nov 08: World’s first hydrogen-powered and zero-emission passenger train Coradia iLint was unveiled in Germany.

Nov 08: NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission  set the Guinness world record for highest altitude fix of a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal.

About MMS Mission

NASA’s MMS mission is an unmanned space mission to study the Earth’s magnetosphere, using four identical satellites flying in a tetrahedral or pyramid formation.

The mission was launched in March 2015.

What is magnetosphere?

It is the region of space surrounding an astronomical object in which charged particles are controlled by that object’s magnetic field. The magnetic field near the surface of many astronomical objects resembles that of a dipole. The field lines of the magnetic field significantly distort the flow of electrically conducting plasma emitted from a nearby star (e.g. In case of Earth, the solar wind from the Sun).

Nov 10: Republican Party candidate Donald Trump (70)—a real estate mogul was elected as 45th President of United States of America in Nov 08 elections.

Nov 11: Japan and India signed a civilian nuclear accord, opening the door for Tokyo to supply New Delhi with fuel, equipment and technology for nuclear power production.

Nov 12: The Afghan parliament sacked the Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, Public Works Minister Mahmood Baligh and Social Services Minister Nasreen Oryakhel.

Nov 12: Jackie Chan, the Chinese actor and martial arts star, received an honorary Oscar for his decades of work in film.

Nov 14: China’s Meng Hongwei was elected as the President of International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).


  1. Interpol is global police cooperation agency and a non-governmental organization (NGO).
  2. Its work focuses on public safety and battling terrorism, crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, environmental crimes, etc.
  3. It was established as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) in 1923.
  4. Its headquarters is located in Lyon, France.
  5. It is the 2nd-largest international organization after the United Nations in terms of international representation with 190 member countries.

Nov 15: Egypt’s Court of Cassation overturned a death sentence against the deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

World in Focus (October-November 2016)

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