Global Trends Report: by UNHCR
•UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report, which comes two days ahead of 20 June World Refugee Day, shows that an unprecedented 79.5 million were displaced as of the end of 2019 [which is nearly 1% of the global population]
•Half of those displaced were children
• More than eight of every 10 refugees (85%) are in developing countries, generally a country neighbouring the one they fled.
•Five countries account for two-thirds of people displaced across borders: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.
[Syria has been the top country of origin for refugees since 2014.]
•Persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order were the main reasons behind the forced displacement
•1 in every 97 people were affected by forced displacement in 2019, compared to 1 in every 159 people in 2010 and 1 in every 174 in 2005
Russia-India-China (RIC) Grouping
•Recently, the Ministry of External Affairs has announced that it will participate in the virtual meeting of the Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping scheduled to be held on 23rd June, 2020
•Russia indicated that it would support “constructive dialogue” over the tension in eastern Ladakh as Russia is trusted by both India and China
•RIC is a strategic grouping that first took shape in the late 1990s under the leadership of Yevgeny Primakov, a Russian politician as “a counterbalance to the Western alliance”
[Together, the RIC countries occupy over 19% of the global landmass and contribute to over 33% of global GDP]
•Moreover, the RIC forms the core of both the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the BRICS as greater cooperation between China, India and Russia would lead to strengthening of both SCO and BRICS
Micius: A quantum communications satellite by China
•It is the world’s first quantum communications satellite, launched by China in 2016
•The satellite serves as the source of pairs of entangled photons.
[Entangled photons are twinned light particles whose properties remain intertwined no matter how far apart they are.]
•If one of the photons is manipulated, the other will be similarly affected at the very same moment.
•It is this property that lies in the heart of the most secure forms of quantum cryptography (the study of concepts like encryption and decryption)
【Recently, satellite Micius has sent light particles to Earth to establish the world’s most secure communication link】
India’s 1st mobile I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic Lab) for Covid-19 testing
•It has been created by a team from the Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone Limited (AMTZ) under the National Biopharma Mission
•It will be deployed in interior, iaccessible parts of the country and has the capability to perform 25 RT-PCR tests a day, 300 ELISA tests a day and additional tests for TB, HIV as per CGHS (Central Government Health Scheme) rates
[RT-PCR and ELISA tests have been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for Covid-19]
•Recently, the State Department of Archaeology, Chennai has identified 250 cairn-circles from the Kodumanal excavation site in Erode district of Tamilnadu
•Cairn-circles are the prehistoric stone row which is a linear arrangement of parallel megalithic standing stones
•A megalith is a large prehistoric stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones
•This is for the first time that 10 pots and bowls were discovered from the site, instead of the usual three or four pots, placed outside three-chambered burial cists and inside the cairn-circle
•It also suggests burial rituals and the concept of afterlife in megalithic culture. Believing that the deceased person will get a new life after death, pots and bowls filled with grains were placed outside the chambers.
•The megalithic culture lasted from the Neolithic Stone Age to the early Historical Period (2500 BCE to CE 200) across the world.
[In India, the majority of the megaliths are of the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC),]
Civil Services Board(CSB)
•Punjab government, last week, constituted a three-member civil services board to decide on IAS transfers and postings in the state
•To insulate the bureaucracy from political interference and to put an end to frequent transfers of civil servants by political bosses, the Supreme Court had in 2013 directed the Centre and the states to set up a civil services board to consider transfers and postings of bureaucrats among others.
[As per rules, all states should have a civil services board to decide on transfers and postings of the bureaucrats.]
•The board is mandated to decide on the transfer of a civil servant before completion of his or her fixed tenure.
•The rules mandate the civil services board to submit an annual report on January 1 to the central government about the date of the meetings held by them.
•The civil services board is headed by chief secretary of a state
•Opposition says , If their term is fixed, it will not only create functional and administrative problems, but also overstep the authority and jurisdiction of the state government.
•Supporter says, if the officials have a fixed tenure they will be able to provide better administration
[They will also feel safe and try to stick to the rules instead of pleasing political bosses.
It says every official requires 3-6 months to get into the groove at his new place of posting. If he stays there for two years, it would mean better delivery and stable tenure to people]