Current Affairs

7 April, 2022

International

AUKUS Defence Alliance Adds Hypersonic Weapons To Security Pact

The United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and Australia created a security pact and defence alliance known as AUKUS to develop hypersonic missiles and electronic warfare capabilities. The leaders of AUKUS are British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. In 2021 the Indo-Pacific alliance included the sharing of nuclear-powered submarine technology.
Trilateral Cooperation:
i.The new trilateral cooperation includes information sharing and deepens cooperation on hypersonics weapons and counter-hypersonics weapons.
ii.The AUKUS also planned to develop conventionally armed submarines for Australia.
iii.It will also focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and additional undersea capabilities.
Hypersonic Weapon Programme:
i.The US and Australia have a hypersonic weapon programme called SCIFiRE (Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment).Also, the UK pretended to join SCIFiRE.

ii.The AUKUS planned to work together in the area of research and development. The US will invest 4.7 billion United States Dollar (USD) in the research and development of hypersonic missiles. The US plans to have a hypersonic missile battery fielded by 2023, a sea-based missile by 2025 and an air-based cruise missile by 2027. Also Australia plans to spend 2.6 billion USD to acquire long-range strike missiles for fighter jets and warships.

The United States’s Hypersonic Missile Test:
The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of US, completed a free-flight test of an aircraft-launched hypersonic missile at a speed of more than Mach 5 (3,800 miles per hour, or 6,100 kilometres per hour).

Global emissions can be halved by 2030 with Major Transitions in Energy Sector: IPCC report

In accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III report released on April 4, 2022, titled ‘Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change’, global emissions can be halved by 2030 with major transitions in the energy sector. There is a need for immediate mitigation actions to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) otherwise it will be beyond reach. The report released worldwide was approved by 195 member governments of the IPCC through a virtual approval session that started on March 21. It is the third instalment of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report (AR6), which will be completed in 2022.
Highlights from Report:
i.The report cautioned that limiting warming to around 1.5°C requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030. Methane also needs to be reduced by about a third.
ii.The global temperature will stabilize when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero. For 1.5°C (2.7°F) net zero carbon dioxide emissions to be achieved globally in the early 2050s; For 2°C (3.6°F), it is to be achieved in the early 2070s.

iii.In 2010-2019, the average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history.
iv.The steps to limit global warming include substantial reduction in fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and use of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen).
v.The implementation of effective policies, regulations, market instruments, infrastructure and technology can reduce 40-70% greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and also improve health and well-being.
Points to be noted:
i.IPCC is the United Nations (UN) body for assessing the science related to climate change. Its chair is Hoesung Lee and is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland. It was established by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988. It has three working groups:

Working Group I– Deals with the physical science basis of climate change;
Working Group II– Deals with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability;
Working Group III– Deals with the mitigation of climate change.
ii.The Working Group III report provides an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, and examines the sources of global emissions.

AR6 Working Group III includes 278 authors from 65 countries.
Madagascar Enters Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Madagascar has become the 30th country to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), which was launched by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September 2019. Madagascar will now be able to collaborate with other CDRI members to promote resilient infrastructure and contribute to the worldwide creation of a safe, resilient, and sustainable future.

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)
CDRI is a partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and knowledge institutions.

Aim: To promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.

i.CDRI now has 30 members, including 23 national governments and 7 organizations, as of April 2022.The Headquarters of CDRI secretariat is New Delhi, India.
ii.CDRI promises to encourage the rapid development of resilient infrastructure in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals’ requirements of expanding universal access to basic services, enabling prosperity, and providing decent work.
Note:
The International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) is the annual conference of the CDRI. The fourth edition of ICDRI will be organized in a hybrid format in New Delhi from 4-6 May 2022. Indian poet-diplomat Abhay Kumar is the Ambassador of India to Madagascar.

About Madagascar:
Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa.
President – Andry Nirina Rajoelina
Prime Minister – Christian Ntsay
Capital – Antananarivo
Currency – Malagasy Ariary (MGA)

National

CMIE: Chhattisgarh tops states with lowest unemployment rate in country

According to the latest data (5 April 2022) released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Chhattisgarh has been ranked first among states with the lowest unemployment rate of 0.6 percent in the country. The overall Unemployment rate in India has decreased to 7.6 percent (March 2022) from 8.10 percent in February 2022. As per the data, Haryana has the highest unemployment rate at 26.7 per cent.
Reasons for Decline:
i.The Chhattisgarh government had adopted a new model of development on lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of ‘Gram Swaraj’ envisaging inclusive development of the state and launched various schemes including Suraji Gaon Yojana, Narva-Garva-Ghurva-Bari programme, Godhan Nyay Yojana, Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana etc. for boosting the rural economy.
ii.The state government has also set up the ‘Chhattisgarh Employment Mission’ intending to create around 15 lakh new employment opportunities in the next five years.
Ranking of other states:

States with Highest Unemployment rate
State Percent
Haryana 26.7
Rajasthan 25
Jammu and Kashmir 25
Jharkhand 14.5

States with Lowest Unemployment rate
State Percent
Chhattisgarh 0.6
Madhya Pradesh 1.4
Karnataka 1.8
Gujarat 1.8

MoEFCC Launches Awareness Mascot ‘Prakriti’ & Green Initiatives on Plastic

The Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav has launched ‘Prakriti’ (literal meaning ‘Nature’) – an Awareness Mascot & Green Initiatives on Plastic. The Minister of State for Environment, Ashwini Kumar Choubey was also present at the event.
Prakriti Mascot – Aims to spread awareness among masses about small changes that can be sustainably adopted in lifestyle for a better environment.
The green initiatives on plastic are taken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure effective Plastic Waste Management (PWM) in India.
Green Initiatives for Plastic Waste Management That Were Launched:
i.National Dashboard on Elimination of Single Use Plastic and Plastic Waste Management by MoEFCC.
ii.Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by CPCB -A Portal for Plastic Packaging
iii. The Union Environment Minister has also administered the “Swachh Bharat Harit Bharat Green Pledge”. It was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of India’s pledge to phase out single-use plastics by 2022, to tackle the challenge of plastic pollution.

Economy

SEBI Amends Rules Governing CIS; Listing Obligations & Disclosure Requirements; and Custodians

i.The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in its board meeting approved an amendment to the SEBI (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations, 1999 to strengthen the regulatory framework for Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) to bring them on with Mutual Fund (MF) regulations.
ii.On April 4, 2022, SEBI has formed an ad-hoc committee to review governance norms at Market Infrastructure Institutions (MII) such as stock exchanges. It will be a 6-member panel to be headed by Gurumoorthy Mahalingam, a former whole-time member of SEBI.
iii.SEBI imposed penalties totalling Rs 15 lakh on three entities for indulging in non-genuine trades in the illiquid stock options segment on BSE. It levied a fine of Rs 5 lakh each on Gouri Sankar Agarwal (Hindu Undivided Family- HUF), Sukriti Sinha, and Sanjana Jain.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment– 1992
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairperson– Madhabi Puri Buch

Union Bank of India to create “Digital Bank within Bank”

Union Bank of India (UBI) announced the creation of “Digital Bank within Bank” as part of its future ready digital transformation project during the Digital Conclave hosted by UBI on 06 April 2022 at Yashwantrao Chavan Centre, Mumbai.
Highlights:
i.Under the project, the bank launched a Super app.”Union nxt – Do it Yourself”. It will also enable the setting up of a strong digital ecosystem in line with the EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) reform agenda.

ii.Later, several digital products like pre-approved personal Loan (PAPL), union cash (pensioner loan), Shishu Mudra loan, MSME loan auto-renewal, agri loan (KCC) auto-renewal, CRM, Soft POS, branch token and mobile app-based deposit module will be launched.
iii.It will provide facilities such as end-to-end straight through processing (STP), mobile first, customer centricity, enhanced operational efficiency, reduced turn-around time (TAT), minimal clicks with no branch visits.
iv.Shri Rajkiran Rai G, MD & CEO, unveiled ‘Union SAMBHAV – World of Opportunities’, a Future Digital ready transformation project.
About Union Bank of India (UBI):
CEO & MD- Rajkiran Rai G.
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded- 1919
Tagline – Good People to Bank with

Sports

Tennis: Iga Natalia Swiatek Wins WTA Masters 1000 And Carlos Alcaraz Garfia of Spain wins ATP Masters 1000 in Miami Open 2022

Iga Natalia Swiatek of Poland wins Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Masters 1000 – Miami Open 2022, held in Miami Gardens, Florida, United States, from Mar 21 to Apr 3, 2022. Swiatek defeated Naomi Osaka of Japan in the Finals and also claimed WTA Women’s World Number 1 ranking. She also received the prize money of 646,110 United States Dollar (USD). The Miami Open 2022 is p layed in Hard courts Stadium and it was presented by ITAU,one of the largest banks in the world.Swiatek also continues her 17 consecutive winning streak dating back to her championship win at the Qatar Total Energies Open in February 2022, where she defeated Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.
Records Of Swiatek:
i.Swiatek, the 20-year-old became the fourth woman to win the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments back-to-back, which is known as the “Sunshine Double” given the tournaments’ respective locations in California and Florida. Other players to win ‘Sunshine Double’ – Victoria Azarenka, Kim Clijsters and Steffi Graf.

ii.She also became the first woman to win the opening three WTA 1000 tournaments in a season such as BNP Paribas Open – 2022, Qatar Total Energies Open – 2022 and Miami Open 2022.
Men’s Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Masters 1000 – Miami Open 2022:
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia of Spain wins ATP Masters 1000 – Miami Open 2022 by defeating World No. 8 CasperRuud in the men’s singles final by the sets (7-5, 6-4). The 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz replaced Novak Djokovic as the youngest champion at the Masters 1000 tournament after the victory. He also became the first man from Spain to win the Masters 1000 tournament. He also became the first man from Spain to win the Miami Open title.

Category Winner Runner
Men’s SIngles Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) Casper Ruud (Norway)
Women’s Singles Iga Natalia Swiatek (Poland) Naomi Osaka (Japan)
Men’s Doubles John Isner (United States)
Hubert Hurkacz (Poland) Neal Skupski (United Kingdom)
Wesley Koolhof (Netherlands)
Women’s Doubles Vera Zvonareva (Russia)
Laura Siegemund (Germany) Veronika Kudermetova (Russia)
Elise Mertens (Belgium)

Miscellaneous

HAL hands over Gaganyaan mission hardware to ISRO, Vehicle integration facility launched

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) hands over the first set of Gaganyaan mission hardware to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) during the inauguration of HAL’s PS2/GS2 Stage integration facility in Bengaluru, Karnataka, the facility will be used to bring together the primary and secondary stages of the mission before they are rolled onto the launch pad. HAL also handed over the 150th Make Satellite Bust Shelter on this occasion.
i.HAL, India’s premier aerospace manufacturer, has been working with ISRO in providing a key set of equipment for the Gaganyaan mission, with this the ambitious Gaganyaan mission that is likely to see the maiden uncrewed flight later this year 2022.
ii.HAL has been working with ISRO in the development of its big launcher, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) – GSLV Mk-II and GSLV Mk-III.
iii.The aerospace unit in 2021 delivered the heaviest Semi-Cryogenic Liquid Oxygen propellant tank (SC120- LOX) fabricated to be used in the GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle for the future missions.
About Gaganyaan Programme:
i.The Gaganyaan Programme envisages undertaking the demonstration of human spaceflight to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in the short-term and will lay the foundation for a sustained Indian human space exploration programme in the long run.
ii.The objective of the programme is to demonstrate indigenous capability to undertake human space flight missions to LEO.
iii.As a part of this programme, two unmanned missions and one manned mission are approved by Government of India (GoI).
Note:
i.ISRO in January 2022, successfully conducted the third long-duration hot test on the liquid propellant Vikas engine that would launch the Gaganyaan mission.
ii.The engine was fired for 240 seconds at the test facility of ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.

Bloomberg Billionaire Index: Gautam Adani became India’s & Asia’s richest man

According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, as of 2nd April 2022, Gautam Adani, Founder and Chairman of the Adani Group joined the USD 100 billion club and surpassed Mukesh Ambani to become India’s and Asia’s richest person. He has ranked 10th on the Index. so far, His wealth has increased by 23.5 billion in 2022. Mukesh Ambani’s net worth stands at USD 99 billion at 11th rank with an increase of USD 9.03 billion so far this year. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla topped the index with a net worth of USD 273 billion followed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with USD 188 billion.
As of 6th April 2022, Gautam Adani is ranked 9th with a net worth of USD 108 billion and Mukesh Ambani is ranked 11th with a net worth of USD 98.5 billion.

Elon Musk tops Forbes World’s Billionaires List 2022; Mukesh Ambani ranks 10th

Forbes has released the 36th annual ranking of billionaires across the globe, Forbes World’s Billionaires List 2022, featuring 2,668 Billionaires from across the globe with a collective worth of USD 12.7 trillion, USD 400 billion less than in 2021. Elon Musk Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tesla and SpaceX has topped the list with a net worth of USD 219 billion, followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE. Elon Musk has topped the list for the first time.
Forbes India’s 10 Richest Billionaires 2022:
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has topped the Forbes list of India’s 10 Richest Billionaires 2022 with a net worth of USD 90.7 billion. Mukesh Ambani is followed by Gautam Adani, head of Adani Group, with a net worth of USD 90 billion and Shiv Nadar, Chairman Emeritus of HCL Technologies with a net worth of USD 28.7 Billion.

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