Current Affairs

27 July, 2020

International

India ranked 3rd in gaining forest area in world; global employment in forestry led by India: FAO

In accordance with the latest Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2020 brought out by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), India has ranked 3rd among the top 10 countries that have gained in forest areas during 2010-2020.
ii.FRA 2020 examined the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020.

Climate-friendly Cooling can cut 460 Giga Tonnes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Cooling Emissions and Policy Synthesis Report

The Cooling Emissions and Policy Synthesis Report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that, by combining energy efficiency improvements with the transition away from super-polluting refrigerants, the world can avoid cumulative greenhouse gas emissions of up to 210-460 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) over the next four decades.
ii.This equals 4-8 years(roughly) of total annual global greenhouse gas emissions, based on 2018 levels.

Hyderabad Ranked 16th in World’s most Surveilled Cities & China tops: Comparitech

As per the new analysis by Comparitech on the World’s Most Surveilled Cities, in 150 major cities across the globe, Hyderabad has positioned in 16th rank among the list of top 20 cities with the maximum number of Closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras.

National

Govt imposed restrictions on public procurement from countries sharing land border with India by amending GFRs 2017

the Government of India (GoI) has amended the Rule 144 of General Financial Rules (GFRs) 2017 entitled “Fundamental principles of public buying” by inserting sub rule (ix) which has imposed restrictions on bidders of countries sharing land borders with India in public procurement tenders.
ii.This decision has been taken to strengthen the defence and national security of India.
iii.It should be noted that India shares its border with China, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
iv.By invoking the provision of Article 257(1) of the Constitution of India, the central government has also directed state governments to implement this order for all public procurement.

India extended medical assistance worth about USD 1 million to North Korea under WHO’s anti-tuberculosis programme

on the request of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Government of India (GoI) has extended medical assistance in the form of anti-tuberculosis medicines worth about US$ 1 million to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This medical assistance is provided as a part of ongoing WHO’s anti-tuberculosis programme in DPRK.
ii.It is to be noted that New Delhi’s medical assistance is under the aegis of an ongoing WHO anti-tuberculosis programme in North Korea and hence exempted from the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

DST launched Rs 15 Crore fund to support India-Russia collaboration joint R&D and cross-country technology adaptation

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science and Technology launched India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Programme in partnership with Russia’s Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE).
ii.On the Indian side, the programme will be implemented & funded by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on behalf of the DST.
iii.DST will fund up to Rs 15 Crores to selected Indian SMEs/Start-ups and FASIE will provide similar funding to the Russian projects.

Economy

RIL becomes world’s second most valuable energy company, overtaking ExxonMobil

Reliance Industries Limited(RIL) became the world’s second most valuable energy company, overtaking American oil giant ExxonMobil after its market capitalisation(m-cap) reached over Rs 14 lakh crore(14.1 trillion or USD 189.3 billion). Aramco tops the list. ExxonMobil has an m-cap of USD 184.7 billion.

It is to be noted that no Indian company has ever crossed the m-cap of Rs 14 trillion.
Reason Behind
Reliance’s Rs 13.6 trillion m-cap and Rs 54,262 crore m-cap of its partly-paid shares that were issued in the recent rights issue, put the company’s consolidated market value at Rs 14.1 trillion

RBI Signed USD 400 mn Currency Swap Facility for Sri Lanka

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to a USD 400 million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka, valid till November 2022.
ii.This will help Sri Lanka to meet its short-term international liquidity requirements and to boost its foreign exchange reserves following the economic crisis resulting from COVID-19.
iii.Recently, India and Sri Lanka held a “technical discussion” on the rescheduling of the bilateral debt repayment through video conference.

Sports

India’s 2018 Asian Games mixed relay medal upgraded to gold after Bahrain’s disqualification

Indian 4x400m mixed relay team’s silver medal in the 2018 Asian Games has been upgraded to gold. This decision has been taken after the disqualification of original winners Bahrain due to doping ban.

Miscellaneous

MHRD sets up panel to form guidelines for more students studying in India headed by UGC chairman

Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister of Human Resource Development announced that the ministry has set up a committee headed by UGC Chairman, D.P. Singh to form guidelines and suggest measures to ensure that more students study in India and there is a smooth transition for students returning from abroad due to COVID-19 situation.

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