Kohala Hydropower Project in PoK
•China under the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will set up a 1,124-megawatt power project- Kohala Hydropower Project- in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir despite India’s objection to it.
•The project will be built on the Jhelum Riverand aims at annually providing more than five billion units of clean and low-cost electricity for consumers in Pakistan.
•This marks one of the largest investments of USD 2.4 billion in an independent power producer (IPP) in the region
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC);-
•It is the flagship project of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
•It eventually aims at linking the city of ‘Gwadar’ in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region ‘Xinjiang’
•The US has warned that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would only benefit Beijing and inflict heavy debt burden on Islamabad.
•The US observed that the CPEC was not an aid to Pakistan but a form of financing that guaranteed profits for Chinese enterprises, with little benefits for Islamabad.
•It passes through PoK. Any Indian participation would inextricably be linked to the country’s legitimate claims on PoK
[The 3,000 km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consists of highways, railways, and pipelines]
Global Economic Prospects (GEP) June 2020 report : World Bank
•It is the World Bank’s semi-annual flagship publication [ It is issued twice a year, in January and June]
•The report highlighted that the Covid-19 pandemic will be having a “severe” short and long term effects on economic growth
•It has been estimated that 60 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020.
[These estimates are likely to rise further, with the reopening of advanced economies]
•Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs) are most vulnerable and may face health crises, restrictions and external shocks like falling trade, tourism and commodity prices, as well as capital outflows.
5th National Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020)
•Recently, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (Office of PSA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have jointly initiated the formulation of a new national Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020)
•It will be the 5th STIP of India and is being formulated at a crucial juncture when India and the world are tackling the Covid-19.
•It will integrate the lessons of the pandemic including the building of an Atmanirbhar Bharat by leveraging India’s strengths in research and development, design, science and technology workforce and institutions, huge markets, demographic dividend, diversity and data
•Previous Four STIPs:
1. Scientific Policy Resolution 1958
2. Technology Policy Statement 1983
3. Science and Technology Policy 2003
4. Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013
[The decade of 2010 to 2020 was declared as a decade of innovation under 4th STIPs]
J&K Media Policy 2020 to promote standard of journalism
•Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has approved a Media Policy-2020.
•The policy seeks to create a sustained narrative on the functioning of the government in the media and promote the highest standard of journalism in the Union Territory.
•This media policy aims to put in place a Standard Operating Procedure for reaching out to the people in situations of crisis like health issues and natural disasters
•The policy comes in the backdrop of J&K Police filing FIRs against two journalists and summoning several others for their reporting and social media posts.
•It seeks to prevent misinformation, fake news and develop a mechanism that will raise alarm against any attempt to use the media to vitiate public peace, sovereignty and integrity of the country.
The Depsang Plains
•Depsang Plains are located at the Line of Actual Control(LAC) that separates the Indian and Chinese controlled regions
•The Chinese Army occupied most of the plains in 1962.
•India controls the western portion of the plains as part of Ladakh, whereas the eastern portion is part of the Aksai Chin region, which is controlled by China and claimed by India.
[There have been reports of a heavy Chinese presence at Depsang plains]
Clade A3i: Unique Trait in Covid-19 in India
•Recently, scientists from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories have identified a unique trait in the genetic make-up in the novel coronavirus circulating in India, which is different from the virus that is prevalent in other parts of the world.
•Besides, other things, this particular trait could potentially make the virus weaker, one of the scientists involved in the study said.
•This particular genetic difference, named ‘Clade I/A3i’, was found in 41 per cent of the genome sequences done on the virus collected from Indian patients.
•Such classifications are useful in establishing whether certain strains are particularly virulent, spread more easily, how they are likely to evolve over time and whether some could be less vulnerable to certain kinds of vaccines.
•With the new clade, there are now 11 SARS-CoV-2 types identified globally with at least six of them identified in India