Given below are the daily current affairs for 03rd March 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Centre garners Rs 77,815 crore in spectrum auction, Jio top bidder
The telecom spectrum auctions concluded with the Centre garnering Rs 77,814.8 crore in revenues.
- Devices such as cellphones and wireline telephones require signals to connect from one end to another. These signals are carried on airwave.
- The airwaves are called spectrum, which is subdivided into bands that have varying frequencies.
- A firm can bid for spectrum only as per the eligibility point allocated based on its deposit.
- Foreign companies are also eligible to bid for the airwaves. But, they will have to either set up a branch in India and register as an Indian company, or tie up with an Indian company to be able to retain the airwaves after having won the spectrum in the bid.
- The Union government owns all the publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country including airwaves.
- The amount exceeded the expectations of the government as well as analysts. Analysts had predicted a low-key bidding at the auctions.
- The auction is the first in nearly five years.
- The spectrum will be assigned to bidders for a period of 20 years.
- No bids were received for the premium 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands. The 700 MHz band remained unsold during the 2016 auctions as well due to the high prices.
Himalayan serow spotted in Assam
A Himalayan mammal has been spotted in Assam.
- Himalayan Serows have been spotted in the Manas Tiger Reserve.
- The serow has been spotted for the first time in the tiger reserve or anywhere else in Assam.
- Principal Chief Conservator of Forest for areas under the Bodoland Territorial Council stated that the sighting augurs well for the health of the tiger reserve.
Sightings of rare animals:
- The black-necked crane was also recently sighted in Manas.
- The Buddhists revere the bird that nests in the Tawang region.
- Critically endangered white-bellied heron was also spotted.
- The sightings of rare animals and birds in Manas is an outcome of better access to remote parts of the protected area where extremists and hunters once ruled.
- Birders had sighted the colourful Mandarin duck in the Maguri-Motapung wetland near eastern Assam’s Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
- This duck was last spotted in Assam 118 years ago.
- Himalayan serow is a goat-antelope.
- The Himalayan mammal is a high-altitude dweller usually found 2,000-4,000 metres above sea level.
Manas Tiger Reserve:
- The Reserve is contiguous with the 1,057-sq. km. Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.
India and Japan back in new Sri Lanka port project
Sri Lanka has announced that it would develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) at the Colombo Port, along with India and Japan.
- Approval has been granted to develop the WCT with private investors nominated by India and Japan.
- The decision comes a month after the Rajapaksa government ejected the two partners from a 2019 tripartite agreement to jointly develop the East Container Terminal (ECT), citing resistance to foreign involvement.
- Sri Lanka had backed out of an agreement with India and Japan to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port. Both India and Japan had expressed displeasure about Colombo unilaterally pulling out of the 2019 agreement.
West Container Terminal (WCT) development:
- In the ECT project agreed upon earlier, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) was to hold a majority 51%, but in the WCT proposal, India and Japan will be accorded an 85% stake, as is the case in the nearby Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT).
- China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited holds an 85% stake in CICT.
- While the ECT was partially in use, the WCT has to be built from scratch, requiring a much higher investment.
- The WCT is adjacent to the China-run CICT and just a couple of kilometres away from the China-backed Port City being built on reclaimed land.
- This makes WCT a strategically desirable spot for India.
Timing of Sri Lanka’s move:
- The alternative offer comes at a time when Sri Lanka is seeking support from India at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council session, where a resolution on its rights record will soon be put to vote.
Pak. has given ‘pension’ to terrorists, says India
What’s in News?
46th session of the Human Rights Council.
- At the session, India reiterated that Kashmir is an inalienable part of its territory and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has no locus standi to raise matters related to the region on international platforms.
- Using the Right of Reply at the session, India’s diplomatic team said Pakistan has given ‘pension’ to terrorists and urged Islamabad to focus on its poor economic condition and improve the lives of its minority communities.
- Challenges faced by the religious and ethnic minorities of Pakistan were highlighted stating that ‘holy’ sites of the minority groups had been attacked by Pakistan.
The tough exchange came days after India and Pakistan agreed to adhere to the 2003 ceasefire agreement. Despite the positive signs at the bilateral level, Pakistan and the OIC raised the Kashmir issue at the HRC which drew a sharp response from India.
LSTV-RSTV now merged under banner of Sansad TV
What’s in News?
The merger of the Lok Sabha TV (LSTV) and the Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) has been finalised and will be replaced by Sansad TV.
- Retired IAS officer Ravi Capoor is appointed its Chief Executive Officer.
- In November 2019, after deliberations between Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, a committee headed by former Prasar Bharati Chairman Surya Prakash was set up.
- It submitted a report in February 2020.
- The Surya Prakash panel held a meeting with Members of Parliament from different political parties and they strongly recommended the continuation of the live telecast.
- Three different sub-committees are currently examining the report to finalise the integration of technical and manpower resources of both the channels.
Hurun Global Rich List 2021
10th edition of Hurun Global Rich List 2021 was released recently.
- The world added 607 new billionaires, or more than three billionaires in two days.
- India added 55 new billionaires, or more than one billionaire every week, in 2020.
- Tesla’s Elon Musk added $151 billion to become the richest man in the world for the first time with a net worth of $197 billion, followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ($189 billion), the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy.
- Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, who emerged as the richest man in India with a net worth of $83 billion, came in at number eight.
- India retained the third spot in the number of billionaires from a country with a total of 177 billionaires living in the country.
- In the list of Indian billionaires, Mr. Ambani was followed by Adani Group’s Gautam Adani and family with his wealth almost doubling to $32 billion.
- Country wise, China leads with the most number of billionaires at 1058, followed by the US (696), India (177), Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland at over 100 each.
- By continent, Asia accounts for 51 per cent of the billionaires.
- Among cities, Mumbai hosts the maximum number of billionaires (60), followed by New Delhi (40) and Bengaluru (22).
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