Current affairs (13TH JANUARY)
FRANCE ORGANISED 'ONE PLANET SUMMIT'
- The Government of France organised the fourth ‘One Planet Summit’, through videoconferencing, which aimed at protecting the world’s biodiversity.
- The Summit was organised in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank. The theme of the Summit was “Let’s act together for nature!”
- It was inaugurated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, French President Emmanuel Macron, and President of the World Bank Group David Malpass.
The Summit focused on biodiversity preservation through:
- The protection of terrestrial and marine ecosystems,
- The promotion of agroecology,
- The mobilization of funding for biodiversity, and
- The link between deforestation, species and human health.
13TH INDIA-VIETNAM DEFENCE SECURITY DIALOGUE
- The 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue was held in a virtual format. The virtual event was co-chaired by Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar along with Vietnamese Sr Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister, Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
- Defence Secretary and the Deputy Defence Minister expressed satisfaction at the ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries in spite of the limitations imposed by COVID 19.
- Both countries exchanged views on the plan of action from the recently concluded Virtual Summit between Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc in December 2020.
- Both the sides reviewed the progress on various bilateral defence cooperation initiatives and expressed commitment to further elevate engagements between the Armed Forces under the framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
- Both sides agreed that in the recent past our respective countries have made notable strides in Defence Industry and Technology cooperation and look forward to even greater cooperation in this field.
INDIA RANKED 85TH HENLEY PASSPORT INDEX 2021
- The Henley Passport Index 2021 has been released by Henley & Partners, based on the exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
- As per the latest report, India has been ranked 85th among 110 countries, in the Henley Passport Index for 2021, with a visa-free score of 58.
- The index presents the original ranking of the world’s most powerful passports, according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
- Japan has once again topped the list of being the most powerful passport in the world, for the third consecutive year.
- Japanese citizens can travel to as many as 191 countries visa-free. Singapore is in second place (190) and South Korea ties with Germany in third place (189). Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are the countries with the worst passport, with a passport score of 29, 28 and 26 respectively.
- International Air Transport Association Headquarters: Montreal, Canada.
- International Air Transport Association Founded: 19 April 1945.
- International Air Transport Association Leader: William M. Walsh.
RS SHARMA TO HEAD EMPOWERED PANEL COVID-19
- The Union government has appointed RS Sharma, former Trai chief, as the chairperson of an empowered committee for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.
- A ten-member team has been constituted to be headed by Sharma. This has come days ahead of the mega vaccination drive is to start in India.
- He has also been included as a member of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 that was formed in August 2020.
- RS Sharma was the first person to officially initiate a discussion on vaccination delivery in the government in the summer of 2020 when Covid-19 cases peaked.
- The top health ministry and UIDAI officials are part of the empowered committee. The panel can invite eminent persons as and when required to ensure delivery of the vaccine through the Co-Win technology platform.
BHARAT BIOTECH TO SUPPLY COVAXIN TO BRAZIL
- Bharat Biotech has announced that it has signed an agreement with Precisa Medicamentos for the supply of its indigenously manufactured Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ to Brazil.
- The supplies of Covaxin will be prioritized for the public market, through direct procurement by Brazil government.
- A team from Precisa Medicamentos had visited the Bharat Biotech facility in Genome Valley near here last week to discuss export of COVAXIN, India’s first indigenous vaccine for Covid-19.
- Bharat Biotech Founded: 1996.
- Bharat Biotech Headquarters location: Hyderabad.
- Bharat Biotech Executive director: Dr V Krishna Mohan.
FIRST ICE CLIMBING FESTIVAL IN NUBRA VALLEY
- In Leh, the first-ever Ice climbing festival was celebrated in Nubra valley. The Seven Day event was organized by Nubra Adventure Club.
- Ice climbing is a popular winter sport abroad. To promote winter tourism in Nubra valley, Nubra Adventure Club, with the help of Social activist Dr Nordan Otzer, has organized the Seven Day Ice Climbing Festival.
- Trainer Rigzin Tsewang said that Nubra has the potential to be the ice climbing capital in the Himalayas.
- 18 participants across Nubra valley including 4 women have taken part in Ice climbing. All were trained in basic ice climbing skills during the festival at three locations, Pudong Cake at Panamik, Artificial Glacier at Ayee Village and first ascent at ” Nubra Adventure Club Crag” located near Warshi Village.
- Three trainers Rigzin tsewang, Tsewang Namgyal and Kran Kowshik imparted ice climbing skills. Participants were awarded certificates as well.
BOOK RELEASED BY FORMER CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER
- Former chief election commissioner (CEC) S Y Quraishi has come out with his book titled “The Population Myth: Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India”.
- The book will hit the stands on February 15, 2021. It has been published by HarperCollins India.
- The book evaluates India’s demographics from a religious perspective and seeks to demolish two basic myths that ‘Islam is against family planning’ and”Muslim rate of growth” is linked to capture political power.
- The book is a detailed analysis of the ‘Muslim rate of growth’ in the light of population data and national and international reports. The book examines the crucial and urgent question of the politicisation of demography in India.
- Quraishi, who was CEC from July 30, 2010, to June 10, 2012, introduced a number of electoral reforms, such as the creation of a voter education division, expenditure monitoring division, the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, and launched the National Voters Day.