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News in Short

News in Short - 30-November-2020

Asteroid as large as Burj Khalifa to fly by Earth

Date: 30 November 2020 Tags: Space
  • An asteroid named (153201) 2000 WO107, that is bigger than skyscraper Burj Khalifa - will barrel past earth on November 29.
  • The massive asteroid has been classified as a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA). NEA is a group of comets and asteroids pulled into the orbit due to the gravitational forces of nearby planets, which allows them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.
  • The asteroid will be at a distance of 43 lakh kilometres from the earth even when it is closest to the planet. This distance is more than the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

FDI inflows into India grows by 15%

Date: 30 November 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Foreign direct inflows went up almost 15% during the first half the current financial year. The period also saw Mauritius slip to the fourth spot as the preferred source to route funds into India with the US and tax haven Cayman Islands overtaking it.
  • Latest data released by the department for promotion of industry and internal trade showed that FDI inflows topped $30 billion during April-September, compared to $26 billion the corresponding period last year.
  • Among the top 10 sectors tracked by DPIIT, $17.5 billion were invested in the computer software and hardware space, with inflows into the other nine sectors declining.
  • Among the states, it was Gujarat, which cornered over half the FDI with inflows pegged at $16 billion with traditional leader Maharashtra slipping to the third place behind Karnataka.

India, Sri Lanka and Maldives agree to boost maritime security cooperation

Date: 30 November 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives have agreed to expand the scope of intelligence sharing, including terrorism and cyber security, during a joint NSA level meet.
  • The National Security Adviser-level trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation meeting has been revived after a six-year gap. It is sought to promote meaningful cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region, with focus on common issues pertaining to maritime security.
  • The three countries also exchanged views on common security threats and agreed to broad-base cooperation by expanding the scope to improve intelligence sharing and include issues like terrorism, radicalisation, extremism, drugs, arms and human trafficking, money laundering, cyber security and effect of climate change on maritime environment.

UK appoints a vaccine minister

Date: 30 November 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • The British government has appointed a vaccines minister as it prepares to inoculate millions of people against the coronavirus, potentially starting within days.
  • Prime Minister appointed Conservative lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi, who will oversee the country’s biggest vaccine program in decades.
  • The UK says frontline health care workers and nursing home residents will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by older people, starting with those over age 80.

New species of Gecko found in Eastern Ghats

Date: 30 November 2020 Tags: Biodiversity
  • A new species of gecko lizard has been discovered in the Eastern Ghats. Studies show that the species belonged to the genus Cnemaspis.
  • In India, 45 diverse species of Cnemaspis have been found, of which 34 are from the Western Ghats.
  • The newly discovered dwarf gecko - Cnemaspisavasabinae is the twelfth species to be discovered outside the Western Ghats and also the first species reported from the Velikonda Range in Andhra Pradesh.
  • This discovery suggests that the genus may be even more widely distributed than previously thought.