- Kyaw Moe Tun
- Mount Vesuvius
Q.) Who is the new vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress (China) special comittee on foreign affairs?
- Zhao Zongqi
- Zheng Weiping
- Zhou Yaning
- Xi Weidong
Q.) The alleged China’s cyber-intrusion in India, that led to Mumbail blackouts in Oct 2020, was discovered and revealed by which US Cyber Sercurity and Intelligence firm?
- Recorded Future
- Federal Cyber Security Unit
Q.) Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy received millions of euros from which dictator for his 2007 election campaign?
- Muammar Gaddafi
- Ali Khamenei
- Abdelmadjid Tebboune
- Bashr Al Assad
Q.) Which centuries old church in Kerala got the tag of a centrally protected monument of national importance?
- St Frabsus Church, Kochi
- St George Church, Krnakulam
- Arthunkal Church, Alappuzha
- St George’s Orthodox Church, Cheppad
Q.) At Golden Globe Awards, Who won the award for Best Director – Motion Picture
- Michelle Yeoh
- Chloe Zhao
- Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
- Samira Makhmalbaf
Bringing back Nirav Modi | Tribune
- $2-billion Punjab National Bank fraud case
- UK Westminster Court ruling that Nirav Modi be extradited to India
- He was incarcerated in the UK in March 2019 and remains in jail since then with all 7 of his bail pleas rejected over fears that he would abscond.
- The CBI and the ED need to be fully prepared to counter any further appeals by the fugitive.
- Nirav Modi may even explore the option of seeking asylum.
- Another high-profile fugitive, liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has managed to remain in the UK even nearly 3 years after the extradition order by a lower court and almost 1 year after the doors of the UK’s high court and supreme court closed on him when he lost appeals against the order.
- Mallya had applied to British Home Secretary Priti Patel for asylum route.
- The path to enforcing the rule of law is uphill as a system riddled by corruption, fraudster-official-politician nexus, shoddy investigation and lack of transparency impedes the process of justice delivery.
- That of the 72 economic offenders who have taken refuge abroad, the government has managed to bring back just two in the past six years only emboldens the criminals.
Nations must collaborate to understand Himalayas | Statesman
- February Uttarakhand flood in India made global headlines
- The shocking videos ensure that the incident will continue to draw attention because of climate change impacts in a region.
- Some of the world’s poorest people live here.
- June 2013, Kedarnath – killed more than 5000 people and damaged property worth billions of rupees
- The Kedarnath flood occurred during the early monsoon period, an unusual time for floods
- May 2012, Nepal – Seti flood killed 72 people
- A very dry month in the middle of summer
- The initial assessments of the Uttarakhand flood deemed that it was a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF); this was later rejected almost unanimously as glacial lakes are normally frozen during winters.
- Massive landslides at the ridge of high mountains were the main reason for the catastrophic floods
- FACT: high mountains warm faster than average
- The diverse geography of the Himalayas poses equally diverse problems, from those related to the sub-tropical areas of the Tarai, which get flooded every monsoon, to the sub-alpine regions that have glacial lakes and landslide-prone, fractured high ridges as seen in the Seti and Uttarakhand floods.
- If we address floods in the plains, we still have landslides in the hills and if we address landslides, we still have GLOFs in the high mountains.
- There were more than 400 landslide events last year, several of them quite deadly, killing more than 300 people and damaging infrastructure over a wide area.
- One of the strategies to reduce damage from water-induced disasters is to establish an early warning system; it provides advance warnings for monsoon floods and helps save lives.
- In addition, an interesting scenario seems to be unfolding in the Himalayan region: The dry season is getting more arid and droughtlike, while the monsoon is getting more destructive.
- Perhaps due to increased drought-like conditions, we have seen a loss of springs across the mountains and increased droughts have most notably impacted subalpine regions.
- It’s time for countries that share the Himalayas to collaborate and improve our understanding to ensure that future risks are reduced.
Lessons from Uttarakhand and Texas | Fin Exp
- Decarbonisation has entered the vocabulary of most governments and large corporates.
- Technology and innovation must remain the centrepiece of all activities
- Poorly designed planning systems
- Siloed and fragmented physical and regulatory oversight mechanisms for the energy ecosystem
- Lack of enough investments in energy infrastructure
- The suggestions made in the aftermath of the Kedarnath floods regards land use and watershed management and the best means of securing an optimal balance between construction and the Himalayan ecology had not, for instance, been implemented in large part because energy is a Concurrent subject and there is no one ministerial or regulatory body responsible for this domain.
- On February 13, a severe cold snap crashed the electricity grid system in Texas, plunging a wide swathe of the state into darkness.
- In both cases, the authorities were caught unprepared.
- The past is a useful guidepost, it is an imperfect one
- To ensure it does not remain just that but translates into effective action on the ground, policymakers will have to build structures that reflect the woven, multidimensional, interdependent and interconnected nature of the energy ecosystem.
- This means creating mechanisms that facilitate inter-ministerial and inter-state collaboration within the country, and multilateral cooperation internationally.
Recalibrating relations with EU
- The Atmanirbhar Bharat programme and the Budget 2021-22 have set the tone and tenor to bolster supply chains and achieve self-reliance.
- Realising the vision of a self-reliant India would entail localising an increasing share of value added along supply chains through investments and phase-wise reduction of import tariffs with strategic partners such as the European Union (EU).
- India has an untapped export potential of $39.9 billion in the EU and Western Europe. The top products with export potential include apparel, gems and jewellery, chemicals, machinery, automobile, pharmaceuticals and plastic.
- India benefits from tariff preferences under the EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for several of these products.
- In fact, India is among the major beneficiaries of the EU’s GSP, with exports under the GSP valued at nearly $19.4 billion in 2019, accounting for nearly 37% of India’s merchandise exports to the EU.
- However, there are several products where India has export potential in the EU, but these have “graduated” or are at the brink of “graduation” under EU GSP.
- Product graduation applies when average imports of a product from a beneficiary country exceed 17.5% of EU-GSP imports of the same product from all beneficiary countries over three years.
- In apparel, India’s exports to the EU were valued at $7 billion in 2019, of which nearly 94% was under EU-GSP, indicative of the impact that the graduation may have on apparel exports.
- Bangladesh would continue to receive tariff benefits in the EU under Everything but Arms Initiative
- Vietnam concluded a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU in 2019
- India’s negotiation for a Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement, which commenced in 2007.
- Further, there should also be provisions for aspects such as investment and non-tariff measures (NTMs).
- India also needs to negotiate on investment-related aspects with the EU to enhance bilateral investments and foster stronger value chains, especially in technology-intensive sectors in which the EU has a comparative advantage.
Fresh Start | ToI
- Third phase of vaccination for senior citizens and those above 45 with comorbidities
- So far, vaccination hasn’t matched up to India’s immense population challenge but the opening of centres at neighbourhood private hospitals and flexible options for registration can give a big boost.
- CMs, Union and state ministers, and opposition politicians must also follow suit to trigger a “herd mentality” against vaccine hesitancy.
- After 42 days of vaccination, India has just dispensed14 million doses while the cumulative world tally was 240 million doses.
- The Indian effort really doesn’t do justice to its phenomenal vaccine manufacturing capacity
- Against India administering vaccine doses to 1% of the population, those with comparable vaccine manufacturing capacity like the US and UK have covered 20% and 30% respectively of their population.
- India’s vaccination strategy is very closely intertwined to its economic fortunes.
- A GDP contraction of 8% in 2020-21 requires a big bounceback in the new year.
- To recover lost ground, the services sector accounting for 50% of India’s GDP needs a confident restart.
- All the ingredients that can make this happen – more vaccine approvals, more manufacturing capacity, an open vaccine market and more private vaccination centres – can translate into a big 2021 GDP bump.
- PM Modi says India will invest 82 billion dollars in port projects by 2035
- Centre allows more private hospitals to administer Covid-19 vaccine
- Election Commission extends polling time in West Bengal
- Election Commission extends polling time in West Bengal
- IAF to participate for 1st time in Exercise Desert Flag beginning in UAE today
- Union Minister Nitin Gadkari urges car manufacturers to give priority to indigenous production of flex engines
- Union Minister Piyush Goyal says, Govt has identified toy sector as a champion sector with long-term vision
- Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ releases study material of Indian Knowledge Tradition courses of NIOS
- Over 427 lakh Metric Tonne wheat estimated for procurement during forthcoming Rabi Marketing Season 2021-22
- US imposes fresh sanctions against Russia over Navalny issue
- New passenger train service between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri set to start from 26th March
- Japan dismisses Chinese claims over Senkaku Islands, empowers its coastguard to use weapons
- J&K tops medals tally at Khelo India Winter National Games in Gulmarg
- Chinese blogger charged under amended law for Galwan related posts