- United States pulls out of UN Human Rights Council
- United States pulled out of UN Human Rights Council for “being biased against Israel.
- Since January 2017, it has announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, left the U.N. educational and cultural organization and pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.
- Other contentious moves have included slapping tariffs on steel and aluminium against key trading partners, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv.
- Israel is the only country in the world whose rights record comes up for discussion at every US council session, under “Item 7” on the agenda.
- Item 7 on “Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories” has been part of the council’s regular business almost as long as it has existed.
UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council)
- It is a United Nations System inter-governmental body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world.
- The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland.
- There are 47 countries in the Human Rights Council, elected by the U.N.’s General Assembly with a specific number of seats allocated for each region of the globe.
- Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.
New York Declaration for refugees (UN comprehensive refugee response framework)
- In September 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding political declaration, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, pledging to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education.
- In December 2017, US announced to withdraw from a United Nations pact to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations, deeming it “inconsistent” with its policies.
Source- The Hindu
- 7th OPEC International Seminar
- Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the 7th OPEC International Seminar which was organized in Vienna on June 19-20, 2018.
- India’s engagement with OPEC is important as India sources about 82 Percent of crude oil, 75 Percent of natural gas and 97 Percent of LPG from OPEC member countries.
- Recently, India expressed his concern over high international oil prices and nudged them to move to responsible pricing that balances interests of both producers and consumers.
- Production cuts by OPEC have led to international oil prices hit a four-year high.
OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)
- It is an intergovernmental organization of 14 nations, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela).
- It is headquartered in Vienna since 1965.
- As of May 2017, OPEC’s members (14 countries) are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader), United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, while Indonesia is a former member.
- Asian Premium is the extra charge being collected by OPEC countries from Asian countries when selling oil.
Source- Times of India
- Reserve Bank eased norms for FPIs to invest in debt
- The Reserve Bank has eased investment norms for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in debt, especially into individual large corporates.
- This move can help attract more overseas flows and thereby help arrest the recent fall in the rupee on one hand and also lift the recent fall in demand for corporate bonds.
- FPIs are allowed to invest in various debt market instruments such as government bonds, treasury bills, state development loans and corporate bonds, but with certain limits and restrictions.
- The RBI increased the FPIs cap on investment in government securities to 30% of the outstanding stock of that security, from the 20% earlier.
- FPIs were allowed to invest in government bonds with a minimum residual maturity of three years.
FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)
- A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country.
- There are two routes by which India gets FDI.
(1) Automatic route– By this route, FDI is allowed without prior approval by Government or Reserve Bank of India.
(2) Government route– Prior approval by the government is needed via this route. Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) which was the responsible agency to oversee this route was abolished on May 24, 2017.
Foreign portfolio investment (FPI)-
- Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) consists of securities and other financial assets passively held by foreign investors.
- It does not provide the investor with direct ownership of financial assetsand is relatively liquid depending on the volatility of the market.
- Foreign Investors portfolio is managed by financial professionals.
- FPI is part of a country’s capital account and shown on its balance of payments (BOP).
Source- The Hindu
- Kaiga unit sets record for continuous operation
- Unit-1 of Kaiga Generating Station (KGS-1) of NPCIL at Kaiga in Uttara Kannada district created a new record for continuous operation for 766 days.
- The station has broken the earlier record of 765 days set by unit-5 of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS-5) in 2014.
|State||Nuclear Power Station|
|Gujarat||Kakrapar Nuclear power station|
|Haryana||Gorakhpur Atomic Power Station|
|Karnataka||Kaiga Nuclear power station|
|Maharashtra||Tarapur Atomic power station (first in India)|
|Tamil Nadu||(i) Kundakulam Nuclear Power Plant (ii) Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant|
|Uttar Pradesh||Narora Atomic Power Station|
Source- The Hindu
- India to have own GPS-like satellite navigation system
- India will soon have its own satellite navigation system “NavIC” on the lines of-
(a) GPS by the US
(b) GLONASS by Russia
(c) European Union’s Galileo
(d) China’s BNS
- NavIC, or navigation with Indian constellation, developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), allows navigation in the Indian Ocean region using Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO) satellite and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellite.
Source- Financial Express
- Govt. to set up fifth national data centre
- The Centre will set up the country’s biggest data centre in Bhopal.
- The data centre will be set up by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- This will be the fifth National Data Centre after the ones at Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune.
- These National Data Centres host government websites, services and applications.
Source- The Hindu