Current affairs (3RD JANUARY)
INDIAN CHOSEN AS THE CO-CHAIR OF APAP
- India has been chosen as the co-chair of the IUCN-supported Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) for a period of three years till November 2023. India will replace South Korea, which held the post for 3 years until November 2020.
- As a co-chair, India would be responsible to assist other Asian countries in managing their protected areas. The APAP is chaired by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Asia and co-chaired by an APAP nation member on a rotational basis.
- The APAP was formally launched in 2014, at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Australia.
- It is a regional platform to assist governments and different stakeholders to collaborate for more practical administration of protected areas (PA) within the area. Currently, there are 21 members from 17 international locations.
- International Union for Conservation of Nature Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland.
- International Union for Conservation of Nature CEO: Grethel Aguilar.
- International Union for Conservation of Nature Founder: Julian Huxley.
CABINET APPROVED MOU BETWEEN INDIA AND BHUTAN
- The Union Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Bhutan on the peaceful use of outer space. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on November 19, 2020.
- The agreement enables the two countries to seek cooperation in space science, navigation, planetary exploration, use of space systems, spacecraft and ground systems.
- The memorandum of understanding will help establish a joint working group. The group will be created by ISRO members and the Ministry of Information and Communication of Bhutan.
- The agreement will provide opportunities to explore cooperation in satellite communications, space science, satellite navigation and outer space exploration.
- The use of outer space between countries and between countries is determined following the Outer Space Treaty. As of June 2020, 110 countries have become parties to the Outer Space Treaty.
- The Outer Space Treaty prohibits the placement of nuclear weapons in space. Moreover, it only restricts the use of the moon and other celestial bodies for peaceful purposes.
- It established that outer space could be explored freely, but no country can claim sovereignty over outer space.
- The Outer Space Treaty does not prohibit military activities in space. Besides, it also allows the weaponization of space, with some exceptions, such as establishing military bases and military exercises on celestial bodies.
- The Outer Space Treaty was adopted by the United Nations in 1963 and signed by Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States in 1967. Other treaties such as the Moon Treaty were also signed while using outer space. However, none of these treaties has been widely accepted as the Outer Space Treaty.
AMBANI ON 12TH SPOT IN BLOOMBERG BILLIONAIRES INDEX
- India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) dropped down to 12th spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2021 (as on 2nd January 2021).
- The net worth of Ambani dropped from 90 billion USD (around Rs. 6.62 lakh crore) (in early 2020) to 76.7 billion USD (around Rs. 5.6 lakh crore).
- The drop in the net worth of Mukesh Ambani was due to the correction in the shares of RIL which has fallen to Rs.1995.50 on 30th December 2020, which is 16% from its all-time high of Rs 2369.35.
- Zhong Shanshan, referred to as “Lone Wolf”, has replaced Ambani as Asia’s richest person, he is one of the fastest in the history to achieve the feat.
- Zhong Shanshan is Chinese billionaire whose net worth is 78.2 billion USD, which is attributed to the listing of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprises Co and Nongu Spring Co, a bottled water firm.
- As Per Hurun Global Rich List 2020, India’s Mukesh Ambani dropped to the eighth position in the Hurun global rich list 2020. However, he retained as Asia’s Richest Person.
- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topped the charts with a net worth of $201 billion. Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk ($145 billion) moved into the second position.
- French multinational luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton SE group head Bernard Arnault ($120 billion) came in third, followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ($111 billion) and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg ($109 billion) in the fifth slot.
LEON MENDONCA BECOMES INDIA'S 67TH GRANDMASTER
- Goa’s 14-year-old Leon Mendonca has become India’s 67th chess Grandmaster by winning the third and final norm at a tournament in Italy.
- Mendonca, who achieved the feat at 14 years, 9 months and 17 days, is the second GM from the coastal State. Chennai player G. Akash, had in July, become the country’s 66th Grandmaster.
- He became the 29th Youngest GM in the world. The 1st GM from Goa is Ivana Maria Furtado, she achieved it in 2011.
- The player achieved his first GM norm at the Rigo Chess GM Round Robin, while the second came at the event in Budapest in November and the final one at the Vergani Cup in Italy.
- Sergey Karjakin of Russia holds the record for the World’s Youngest ever GM having qualified for the title at the age of 12 years and 7 months (achieved the title in 2003).
- GM is a title awarded by FIDE (International Chess Federation). It is the highest title a chess player can obtain apart from World Champion.
- International Chess Federation President: Arkady Dvorkovich.
- International Chess Federation Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland.
- International Chess Federation Founded: 20 July 1924.
ADB & SIGNED LOAN AGREEMENT FOR PROJECTS IN ASSAM
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $231 million loan with the Government of India to augment electricity generation capacity in the state of Assam.
- This is the third tranche loan for the ‘Assam Power Sector Investment Programme’ that was approved by the ADB Board in July 2014.
- Under the project, 120 megawatts (MW) hydroelectric power plant would be constructed.
- The programme focuses on enhancing the capacity and efficiency of the energy generation and distribution systems in Assam to improve the availability of electricity service to end-users.
- The programme, including its two previous tranches, focuses on enhancing capacity and efficiency of the energy generation and distribution systems in Assam to improve electricity service to end-users.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION LAUNCHED COVID-19 APP
- The World Health Organization recently launched the COVID-19 mobile application. The app provides users with the latest updates on covid-19. This application is called "WHO COVID-19 Application".
- The mobile application launched by the World Health Organization will provide trusted information from experts from the organization and regional partners. It will provide regular updates and notifications about the scientific discoveries of covid-19.
- Users can understand the symptoms of the covid-19 disease. The app also provides information on how users can protect themselves and their communities from viruses.
- The app will also provide vaccine advancements provided by the World Health Organization and its partners.
- It has a selfless purpose, which means selfless care for the well-being of others. The app provides information on how users can help in different ways during the pandemic.
- The app is currently only available in Nigeria. However, the world organization is working with local stakeholders to provide the application in all countries/regions worldwide and make it more geographically feasible. It also includes information from local health organizations.
- The mobile application developed by the World Health Organization for the World Health Organization was developed for medical workers to fight COVID-19. The application is called "WHO Academy COVID-19 Mobile Learning Application".
- The application supports seven different languages, such as English, Arabic, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian.