Current Affairs : February 6, 2012

Conforming to India’s steady stand on the Syria issue, support for UNSC draft resolution on Syria

  • India gave its support for a UNSC draft resolution on Syria thus backing an AL (Arab League) peace plan for a Syrian-led political resolution.
  • It is in confirmation with the India’s steady stand on the Syrian issue.
  • Hardeep Puri (India’s permanent representative to the UN) held that the UN draft resolution expressly precludes any step under the UN Charter and calls for a political dialogue b/w the Syrian Govt and the whole gamut of the opposition under the aegis of the League of Arab States (LAS).
  • India held that the political discourse ought to be rested on the political reforms already annunciated by the Syrian leadership with essential changes so that they find adoption amidst all segments of Syrian society.
  • The draft resolution, was withal, vetoed by Russia and China.
  • India’s thus conveyed its concern with the current scenario that has resulted in the mutilation of thousands of civilians and security forces personnel over the last 10 months.

VETO Power used by Russia and China on UNSC draft resolution for Syria criticized by USA

  • U.S.A. identified Russia and China’s veto of a UN resolution decrying Syria’s crackdown against anti-government protesters as a burlesque.
  • US held that efforts outside the world body to help Syria’s people should be duplicated.
  • United States to work with protagonists of a democratic Syria to support opponents of Syria’s President. The vetoing of the resolution drew an angry reaction from around the world.
  • U S to tighten regional and national sanctions against Syria to handicap its ability to use arms against the protesters.
  • France called the Russian-Chinese veto a moral stain on the UN.
  • Russia verdict: The compromise over the text did not go far enough, as its writers did not want to undertake an extra effort and come to a consensus.
  • China’s verdict: We believed more time and patience is needed to solve the crisis in Syria.

Mass culling of birds in Bhubaneswar, Odisha

  • Subsequent to detection of avian flu H5N1 virus ~ 20,000 birds culled in a farm of Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) at Bhubaneswar.
  • A huge pit dug to bury the culled birds and elaborate arrangements made for disinfecting the area.
  • Odisha Govt received an advisory from the Centre to eliminate poultry birds at the CPDO farm and 3 km radius area around it.
  • CPDO sent samples to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal, which confirmed the detection of bird flu virus.
  • 8 member Inter-Ministerial team to evaluate drought impact on crops in Andhra Pradesh
  • 8-member inter-ministerial central team to tour for drought affected areas of Andhra Pradesh to evaluate the crop losses.
  • Headed by Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium, Managing Director Pravesh Sharma, the team will tour in the effected areas in two groups – one team to visit Rangareddy and Ananthapur districts and the second in Nalgonda and Mahboobnagar districts.

Former Conservative Finance Minister Sauli Niinistoe wins Presidential elections in Finland

  • Former Conservative Finance Minister Sauli Niinistoe won Presidential elections in Finland.
  • Mr. Niinistoe secured 63% of the votes in run-off poll thus comfortably beating his Green rival Pekka Haavisto.
  • Mr. Miinistoe to take over from President Tarja Halonen in March 2012 thus becoming the Finland’s first conservative head since 1956.
  • He served as the Nordic nation’s Finance Minister from 1996 to 2003, overseeing the country’s adoption of the euro in 2002.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo file their reports afore the Delhi High Court

  • Facebook India filed its compliance report before the Delhi court, which had ordered it along with 21 other websites, to remove objectionable content from their websites.
  • Google India also assured the court that it has removed certain web pages from the Internet on which objections were raised by the petitioners.
  • Facebook , Yahoo and Microsoft held that since they have no role to play in the case and there is no cause of action against them in the matter.
  • On December 20, 2011, the Court in an ex-parte order issued summons to 22 social networking websites necessitating them to remove “anti-religious” or “anti-social” content in the form of photographs, videos or text which might hurt religious sentiments.

Regulatory Mechanism for Biodiversity sector soon

  • A regulatory mechanism in Biodiversity sector to be in place following the recommendations Read Here

    Richter Scale magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Philippines

    • Earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale hit the central Philippines.
    • Killed one person and causing panic in cities where buildings shook.
    • The quake hit 70 km north of the city of Dumaguete on Negros Island at 11:49 am, Local Time at a depth of 46 km.
    • The Earthquake of magnitude 6.8 occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km, centred off the heavily populated central island province of Negros and Cebu.

    TROPEX: Theatre Level Operational Preparedness Exercise

    • Mr. Antony to spend two-days on Indian Navy’s platforms off the coast of Vishakhapatnam, to witness Theatre Level Operational Preparedness Exercise ‘TROPEX’.
    • TROPEX is a major yearly exercise of the combined fleets of the Navy conducted to test the Indian Navy’s preparedness to meet any contingency.
    • Almost 40 ships from the two Fleets as also submarines, 13 naval aircraft and UAVs are participating in the exercise.
    • Units of the Indian Coast Guard and 18 aircraft of the Indian Air Force will also take part.
    • A variety of missile firings, Air Defence Exercises and anti-submarine exercises will be undertaken.

    A low-priced cochlear implant “Bionic Ear” by DRDO

    • A low priced cochlear implant has been devised by the DRDO. The implant to cost around Rs 1 Lakh only. It is much cheaper than the imported devices which cost around Rs 8 Lakh rupees.
    • “Bionic Ear”: The low priced Cochlear Implant developed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), based at Visakhapatnam, a unit of DRDO. It is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing due to loss of sensory hair cells in their cochlea.
    • Around 1 Million people in India need cochlear implants. Annually around 10,000 children are born with this impairment. The indigenously developed device by NSTL will bring huge respite as it is a lot cheaper as equated to the imported devices.
    • India is now the 5th nation in addition to US, Austria, Australia and France in the world to produce such a complex device.

    Fauja Singh, the Centenarian marathoner surprises Hong-Kong !

    • The centenarian British-Indian athlete Fauja Singh popularly known as the “Turbaned Torpedo,” surprised Hong Kongers after completing a 10-km run.
    • He crossed the finishing line in one hour and 34 minutes. Mr. Singh raised 2,00,000 Hong Kong dollars (USD 25,800) for a charity via the event.
    • Ironically, a 26-year-old male runner in the race fainted after completing the race and was declared “brought dead” in a nearby hospital.
    • Born on April 1, 1911, Singh is the world’s oldest marathoner but was refused entry into the Guinness World Records as he was not able to produce his birth certificate.
    • Singh in past has participated in several International events counting the 2003 London Marathon, where he recorded his current personal best time of 6 hr 2 min.
    • In 2011 a U.K. based organisation awarded Mr. Fauja Singh the “Pride of India”.

    Its own Airlines barred by China from paying tax on carbon emissions imposed by EU

    • China has barred its airlines from paying the levy on CO2 emissions, inflicted by the EU. In January, 2012 the scheme was extended to airlines flying to and from the EU. More than 20 nations have pitted the move.
    • On eve of Guru Ravidas Jayanti, President Ms Pratibha Devi Singh Patil greets the nation
    • The President of India Ms Pratibha Devi Singh Patil greeted the nation on the eve of Guru Ravidas Jayanti.
    • She held that people should derive inspiration from the saint and reformer who devoted his life to the service of the country’s suffering humanity.
    • Emil Boc, the PM of Romania resigns following weeks of street protests
    • Emil Boc, the PM of Romania, resigned following weeks of street protests against the government’s austerity programme.
    • Mr Boc held that since he wanted to defuse political and social tension in the country, he resigned.
    • His less-travelled moves included a 25% cut in public wages and a freeze on pensions. These less-travelled moves agitated the Romanians.
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