News: India’s foreign exchange reserves are rising and are slated to hit the $500 billion mark as forex reserves jumped by $12.4 billion to reach an all-time high of $493.48 billion in the month of May,2020.
- Forex Reserves: They are external assets in the form of gold, Special Drawing Rights(SDRs) and foreign currency assets( capital inflows to capital markets, FDI and external commercial borrowings) accumulated by India and controlled by the Reserve Bank of India.
- To support and maintain confidence in the policies for monetary and exchange rate management
- To limit external vulnerability by maintaining foreign currency liquidity to absorb shocks during times of crisis or when access to borrowing is curtailed.
- Reason for rise in Forex Reserves:
- Rise in investment in foreign portfolio investors(FPI) in Indian stocks and foreign direct investments (FDIs).
- Fall in crude oil prices has brought down the oil import bill saving the precious foreign exchange.
- Overseas remittances and foreign travels have fallen steeply – down 61% in April from $12.87 billion.
News: The World Bank has operationalised a Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI) with $333 million for 22 African countries.
- Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative: It has been developed by the World Bank in partnership with Agence Française de Développement (AFD), International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA) and International Solar Alliance (ISA).
- Aim: To support countries in developing sustainable solar programs that will attract private investments and so reduce reliance on public finances.
News: The Coral Triangle Day 2020 was observed on June 9,2020.
- The Coral Triangle Day is an annual event started by Coral Triangle Initiative(CTI) since 2012 in conjunction with the World Oceans Day on June 8.
- Aim: To celebrate and raise awareness of the ocean conservation and protection especially of the Coral Triangle.
- Coral Triangle Initiative(CTI): It is a multilateral partnership of six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste).
- Coral Triangle: It is a vast ocean expense that geographically spreads across 6 countries in Asia and the Pacific: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste.
- Significance: It is considered as one of the 3 mega ecological complexes on Earth together with Congo Basin and the Amazon Rainforest.The region contains 76% of all known coral species, 37% of all known coral reef fish species and 53% of the world’s coral reefs.
News: The QS World University Rankings 2021 has been released.
- QS World University rankings: They are published annually by global higher education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds.
- Parameters: It is based on six indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty/student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) is ranked as the world’s best university followed by Stanford University and Harvard University.
- IIT Bombay is ranked 172nd while IISc is 185th and IIT Delhi is at 193rd place.A total of 21 Indian higher education institutions are in the top 1000.
News: Union Minister has launched COVID BEEP app for COVID-19 patients.
- COVID BEEP stands for Continuous Oxygenation & Vital Information Detection Biomed ECIL ESIC Pod.
- Purpose: It is India’s first indigenous, cost effective, wireless physiological parameters monitoring system for COVID-19 patients.
- Bodies Involved: It has been developed by ESIC Medical College Hyderabad in collaboration with IIT Hyderabad and Department Of Atomic Energy.