Current Affairs Update

Super-sovereign reserve currency:
Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank, has proposed to create a super-sovereign reserve currency as part of reform in the international monetary system. Zhou’s remarks came ahead of the G20 summit in April 2009 , when leaders across the world and large international organizations congregated to discuss reforming of the international monetary and financial system in light of the current crisis. Earlier Russia had also made similar call.

What is the need according to Zhou Xiachuan :
The need of the international monetary system is to “create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.

Which currency he saw as potential to act as super-sovereign reserve currency ?
Special Drawing Right (SDR) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has the potential to act as a super-sovereign reserve currency according to the bank .

Bangladesh & India renewed Protocol on Inland Water Transit
Bangladesh and India on march 24, 2009 renewed Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade Agreement to facilitate the Indian trade through the Bangladesh’s waterways. The two-year protocol which will be effective from April 1 was signed in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on Tuesday after two-day negotiations between officials of the shipping ministries of Bangladesh and India. Bangladesh receives levy of 20 million taka (about 285,714 U.S. dollars) annually from India for allowing Indian goods ship to use Bangladesh’s waterways.The protocol was first signed in 1972 and it is being renewed after every two years.

Russia’s Ban of Baby Harp Seals:
After Vladimir Putin ‘s remarks about Baby harp Seals Killing Industry as ” Bloody Industry” , the ecology ministry of russia has announced legislation protecting harp seal pups less than a year old. This was called as a serious step to protect the biodiversity of the Russian Federation Russia’s harp seal population has decreased by a third in the past decade, to about 200,000, squeezed by hunting as well as shrinking Arctic ice in the White Sea region, where much of the Russian population lives. In addition to Russia, commercial seal hunting is conducted in Namibia, Greenland, Sweden and Finland, as well as in Canada, which is home to the world’s largest annual commercial seal hunt. The Canadian hunt is due to begin later this month.

Parzania :
Parzania, based on the Godhra riots produced by Rahul Dholakia, is the real life story of a middle-class Parsi family that loses its 10-year-old son in the riots.

First Cloned Camel in UAE :
Injaz, a female one-humped camel, was born on 8 April, after more than five years of work which included DNA taken from a cell in the ovary of an adult camel was put into an egg from a surrogate mother. Injaz, which means “achievement” in Arabic, was born after an “uncomplicated” 378-day gestation period.

Why camel ?
This significant breakthrough gives a means of preserving the valuable genetics of elite racing and milk producing camels in the future,

Remember Dolly ?
Thirteen years ago (1997), the world’s first mammal to be cloned using DNA from an adult cell, Dolly the Sheep, was born in Edinburgh. But in 2003, she was diagnosed with lung disease and put down. Since then, scientists around the world have created cloned mice, cows, pigs and dogs.

Aman 09 :
March 9 to 12, Warships from a dozen of countries began their second phase of the two-week-long AMAN 09 military exercise at the Arabia Sea off the southern Pakistani port of Karachi. Exercises like going past mines, anti-terror operations, shooting floating objects, search and rescue, night encounter exercise, and cross deck landings by helicopter etc. were carried out. The slogan of the exercise was “Together for Peace”. The first series of AMAN exercises were held in March 2007 with the participation of 14 ships from Bangladesh, China, France, Italy, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States navies.

Joseph Stiglitz Committee:
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz was commissioned by French President Nicolas Sarkozy last year to assess the limits of gross domestic product as an indicator of economic performance and to propose recommendations for new measures . This commission also features 1998 Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen was not seeking to create any simple formulas, rather to offer proposals on how the issues can be dealt with.

Unathorized Use of Pushmina in China:
The Crafts Council of India has recently brought to notice the discovery of unauthorised use of “Pashmina” in some shawls manufactured in China, and has asked for the registration of India’s Geographical Indication (GI) for Kashmir Pashmina in other countries. CCI recently found shawls that ere bearning the Pashmina name (also called “cashmere”) during a recent visit.

About this Nakli Pashmina:
It was not pure Pashmina (made using wool from a specific Himalayan goat) and used some kind of printing instead of traditional hand embroidering, making it cost only a small fraction of the cost of an original Pashmina shawl.

What is GI Tag ?
GI helps to protect the rights of a particular group of artisans from a particular place to a name or an indication that they have been using traditionally, he explains. While Pashmina shawls have been produced for a long time from Kashmir, Pakistan and also Tibet, the registration of “Kashmir Pashmina” enforced from September 12, 2008, meant that other products could not use the name “Pashmina” without authorisation or qualification.

Dinosaurs ‘were wiped out by volcanoes in India’
Dinosaurs were wiped out by volcanoes that erupted in India about 65 million years ago, according to new research. Professor Gerta Kellera, a geologist at Princeton University, New Jersey, says fossilised traces of plants and animals dug out of low lying hills at El Penon in north east Mexico show this event happened 300,000 years after the dinosaurs disappeared. For three decades scientists have believed a giant meteorite that struck Chicxulub in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula was responsible for the mass extinction of species, including T Rex and its cousins. But an another catastrophe, which is Deccan Volcanism, which has not had much attention paid to it, may be the real culprit. The volcanic eruptions happened on India’s Deccan plateau between 63 and 67 million years ago, spewing large amounts of sulphur dioxide into the air.

Chinese import surge on auto parts: Probe
The government has recently begun a probe on imposing safeguard duty, an emergency customs duty to protect the domestic industry, on certain automobile components. The action is based on a complaint by Pune-based Bharat Forge Ltd.

What was the complaint?
The complaint which has been registered with Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS), under the finance ministry, is on a surge in Chinese imports of front axle beams, steering knuckles and crankshafts of medium and heavy vehicles. The DGS had initiated safeguards duty inquiry on four other products originating from China.In its application to DGS, Bharat Forge,said that in the three months ending December 2008, it accounted for the entire production of front axle beam and steering knuckle in the country. It also accounted for 97.2 per cent of the crank shafts produced in India.The share of Chinese imports in total imports of these products, said Bharat Forge, have gone up in April-December 2008, adversely impacting it.

The company has already filed an application for imposition of anti-dumping duty – another import protection mechanism – with the commerce ministry. The process related to anti-dumping is long-drawn, while that for safeguard duty is much easier. The DGS can recommend imposition of the duty, which is then imposed by the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

ASEAN’s 120-billion-dollar emergency currency pool
Ten Asian countries plus China, Japan and South Korea have agreed to set up a 120-billion-dollar emergency currency pool to boost liquidity and help the region overcome the global crisis. Finance ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, Japan and South Korea announced the deal after talks alongside the Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting in Indonesia. Japan and China will contribute 38.4 billion dollars each, with China’s share including 4.2 billion dollars from Hong Kong. South Korea was the next largest with 19.2 billion dollars. Among the ASEAN countries the biggest contributors were Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, which agreed to provide 4.77 billion dollars each.

The nations have reached on an agreement on all the main components of the CMIM (Chiang Mai Initiative) and decided to implement the scheme before the end of the year.

What is Chang Mai Initiative?
The Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) is an initiative under the ASEAN+3 framework which aims for creation of a network of Bilateral Swap Arrangements (BSAs) among ASEAN+3 countries. After 1997 Asian Financial Crisis member countries started this initiative to manage regional short-term liquidity problems and to facilitate the work of other international financial arrangements and organizations like IMF. In May 2007, at the 10th meeting of ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers the CMI further progress was agreed upon. In February 2009, ASEAN+3 agreed to make the fund worth $120 billion, up from the original level of $80 billion proposed in 2008. Final agreement was expected to come in May 2009, and 80% of the fund is expected to come from China, Japan, and South Korea.

from wikipedia

Mittal keeps UK’s richest title for 5th yr; but loses the most
With a fortune of 10.8 billion pounds Lakshmi Mittal has emerged as the richest person in the UK for fifth consecutive year, but a whopping erosion of 16.9 billion pounds in his wealth also earned him the title of the biggest loser. This was in the Sunday Times Rich List of 1,000 richest persons in the UK. He is followed by Russian-origin businessman Roman Abramovich with a net worth of seven billion pounds. Among the UK’s richest people, leading NRI entrepreneur Lord Swraj Paul, Chairman of the Caparo Group, has seen his wealth dropping by one billion pounds in the past year – from 1.5 billion pounds to 500 million pounds now. Blood vessels Grown from kidney patients’ own skin cells In a breakthrough study, researchers in California have successfully grown blood vessels from kidney patients’ own skin cells, a development that will increase the ease and safety of dialysis.

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1 Comment

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