Current Affairs

12 October, 2021

International

UNHRC Declares Access to a Clean, Healthy Environment a Human Right

High Commissioner for United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Michelle Bachelet addresses the Human Rights Council and recognised access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right. Triple planetary threats of climate change, pollution, and nature loss are described by her as the single greatest human rights challenge and recognizes the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The council encouraged States to adopt policies for the enjoyment of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and invited the General Assembly to consider the matter. The new resolution was proposed by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, and Switzerland and passed with significant support of 43 votes. Russia, India, China and Japan abstained from voting. As per the data of the World Health Organization (WHO), 24 percent of all global deaths, ~13.7 million deaths a year, are linked to the environment, due to risks such as air pollution and chemical exposure.

About United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHCR):
The HRC replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
Establishment – 15 March 2006
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
President – Nazhat Shameem Khan

Around 1.26 bn people at High Ecological Risks: 2nd ETR 2021 by IEP

i.The 2nd edition of ‘Ecological Threat Report (ETR) 2021: Understanding ecological threats, resilience and peace’ was released by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP). As per it, around 1.26 billion people across 30 countries are suffering from both extreme ecological risk and low levels of resilience.

ii.The 11 countries with the worst ETR score are Afghanistan, Niger, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Guatemala, Mozambique, Pakistan, Angola and Yemen.
iii.By 2050 the global demand for food is expected to increase by 50%.
About Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP):
Founder & Executive Chairman– Steve Killelea
Headquarters– Sydney, Australia

India slips 6 ranks on Henley’s Passport Index Q4-2021 to 90th; Japan & Singapore Tops

i.According to the ‘Henley Passport Index (HPI) 2021’ released by Henley and Partners, India’s ranked has slipped by 6 places to 90th from 84th in Q2FY21 allowing its passport holders to travel 58 countries without visa.
ii.The index has been topped by Japan and Singapore as they allowed travel visa-free to 192 countries to their passport holders.
ii.Notably, this for the 3 consecutive years that Japan has grabbed the top spot.
iv.The toppers are followed by South Korea and Germany at 2nd position with travel visa to 190 countries.
About Henley & Partners:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Dr. Juerg Steffen
Headquarters– London, United Kingdom

National

Coal Crisis in India: Govt Enabled Imported Coal Power Plants to Sell Un-requisitioned Power; Allowed 50% Sale of Coal from Captive Mines

Even though being the world’s 2nd largest producer and consumer of coal (after China), currently India is facing a coal crisis. As per the data of the Ministry of Power, coal stocks of the 135 thermal power plants of India reduced to an average of 4 days worth of stock. India consumed 124 billion units of power in August 2021 compared to 106 billion units of power in August 2019 (Prior to COVID-19).

Govt Enabled Imported Coal Power Plants to Sell Un-Requisitioned Power
Union Minister of Power and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy R K Singh approved certain guidelines over the provisions of National Tariff Policy, 2016 and enabled imported coal-based plants (having sufficient coal) to operate and sell the un-requisitioned power in the power exchange. The provisions will apply for both the power plants whose tariff has been determined under Section-62 and those having PPA (power purchase agreement) under Section-63 of the Electricity Act, 2003. If the procurer does not requisition (demand) power from the power plant with which he has signed the PPA, 24 hours in advance prior to midnight of the day of delivery of power, the generator could sell the un-requisitioned power in the power exchange.

About Ministry of coal:
Union Minister – Pralhad Venkatesh Joshi (Constituency – Dharwad, Karnataka)
Minister of State – Raosaheb Dadarao Danve (Constituency – Jalna, Maharashtra)

OneWeb Entered into Arrangement with NSIL to Launch Satellite

OneWeb (a venture backed by Bharti Airtel), has entered into an arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO, to use Indian-built PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the heavier GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) – MkIII as potential platforms to launch OneWeb’s satellites in India from 2022. The arrangement was made through a non-binding letter of intent (LOI); could be converted into a binding one after board approval.

About NewSpace India Limited (NSIL):
Establishment – 6 March 2019
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
CMD – G. Narayanan

PM Launched Indian Space Association; OneWeb Entered into Arrangement with NSIL

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched the Indian Space Association (ISpA), a private industry body to help boost space technology in India. ISpA will participate and work with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and other stakeholders of both government and its agencies, on the issue of policy around space domain and technology. Its founding members include Larson & Toubro, Nelco (Tata Group), OneWeb, Bharti Airtel, Mapmyindia, Walchandnagar Industries, and Ananth Technology Limited among others. It will act as a single-window and independent agency on matters related to space technology.

Economy

Around 1.26 bn people at High Ecological Risks: 2nd ETR 2021 by IEP

i.The 2nd edition of ‘Ecological Threat Report (ETR) 2021: Understanding ecological threats, resilience and peace’ was released by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP). As per it, around 1.26 billion people across 30 countries are suffering from both extreme ecological risk and low levels of resilience.

ii.The 11 countries with the worst ETR score are Afghanistan, Niger, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Guatemala, Mozambique, Pakistan, Angola and Yemen.
iii.By 2050 the global demand for food is expected to increase by 50%.
About Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP):
Founder & Executive Chairman– Steve Killelea
Headquarters– Sydney, Australia

David Card, Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science 2021

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science which is formally known as the ‘Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2021′ to David Card for his empirical contributions to labour economics and Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships. The prize for economic science consists of a gold medal and a cash prize of 10 million Swedish kronor (SEK). The academy has decided to award one half of the prize(5 million SEK) to David Card(½) and the other half jointly to Joshua D. Angrist(¼) and Guido W. Imbens(¼), 2.5 million SEK each.

About Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences:
i.The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences was established by Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, in memory of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize.
ii.The prize is based on the donation received by the Nobel Foundation in 1968 from the bank on its 300th anniversary.
iii.The prize is awarded according to the principles of the Nobel prize.
iv.The first ever Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen in 1969.

Sports

Anshu Malik becomes the first Indian woman to win silver at WWC

Anshu Malik becomes the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the 2021 World Wrestling Championships (WWC). The 17th edition of World Wrestling Championship was held in Oslo, Norway from 2 to 10 October 2021. Anshu Malik lost the final to Olympic medallist Helen Maroulis 4-1, in the women’s 57 kg division. Earlier, Anshu made her debut in the Olympics and has now become the first woman in history to win silver in the Wrestling Worlds. Anshu Malik is a two Asian Championship medalist, which includes gold and a Ranking Series silver medallist.

Note: Till date, Sushil Kumar is the only Indian to win world champion wrestling in 2010.
About 2021 World Wrestling Championship
It is the 17th edition of the championship
Host– Oslo, Norway
Held- October 2-10, 2021
About Norway
Prime Minister- Erna Solberg
Capital – Oslo
Currency – Kroner

Valtteri Bottas wins Turkish Grand Prix 2021, Verstappen tops F1 championship

Valtteri Bottas wins the Turkish Grand Prix 2021 which was held in Istanbul Park, Turkey. The victory was his first since Russia in September 2020. His Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton finished fifth and lost the Formula One championship lead to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Verstappen finished second with 14.584 seconds behind Bottas at a wet Istanbul Park. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez finished third with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fourth. Spaniard Carlos Sainz was voted driver of the day for going from the back of the grid to eighth for Ferrari. The US Grand Prix in Texas is the next race on October 24.

About Valtteri Viktor Bottas
Country: Finland
Race: Formula One
Team: Mercedes
About Turkish Grand Prix 2021
It is a Formula One motor race
Hosted: Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey
About Turkey
President – Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Capital – Ankara
Currency – Turkish lira

Miscellaneous

Reliance New Energy Solar to acquire 40% stake in Sterling & Wilson Solar

Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd signed definitive agreements with Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Private Ltd (SPCPL), Khurshed Daruvala and Sterling & Wilson Solar Ltd (SWSL) to acquire 40% stake post-money in SWSL through a series of transactions for approximately Rs 2,845 crore.

Steps of Acquisition by RNESL:
i.As the first step of the deal, RNESL will get a preferential allotment of 2.93 crore equity shares at a price of Rs 375 per share for approximately Rs 1,100 crore.
ii.Then it will acquire 1.84 crore equity shares or 9.7% post preferential share capital from SPCPL at a price of Rs 375 per share.
iii.Thirdly it will go for public offer to acquire up to 4.91 crore equity shares, representing 25.9% in accordance with SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) takeover regulations.

President Ram Nath Kovind Approved Appointment of CJ of 8 High Courts & Transfer of 5 CJs

Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, has approved the appointment of the chief justices(CJ) to 8 high courts(HC) across India. He has also approved the transfer of 5 chief Justices to different high courts. The appointments have been made in the exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. The new appointments and transfers were recommended by the Supreme court of India.

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