The First Forum is an initiative that focuses on covering the latest happenings in a brief format. This is in lieu of the importance of knowledge about current happenings in this fast-changing world.
In the Seventy Eighth- Edition of The First Forum we would be covering the following topics:
2. Science and Technology
Supreme Court stays implementation of three farms laws & forms a committee
The Supreme Court this week stayed the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders. Pronouncing the order, the top court also said it has formed a four-member committee to hold talks. During the hearing, the Supreme Court initially said that it is planning to suspend the new farm laws, but not indefinitely. Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde said the apex court is also forming a committee to get a clearer picture of the three farm laws. Read More
Maldives’ first foreign funded project of 2021 backed by India inaugurated
The first foreign funded project in Maldives in 2021 that was backed by India was inaugurated this week. Ekuveni synthetic running track in Male’ was inaugurated by the President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. It is the 1st India-funded grant project to be inaugurated in 2021 and overall, the 8th Indian grant project in the Maldives to be completed in the last six months. The ceremony included a limited over cricket-match with participation of Solih and Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir, a relay race and showcase-events by differently-abled children. Read More
Russia follows the US and pulls out of the Open Skies Treaty.
Russia’s foreign ministry on Friday announced the country’s withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty citing that the pact has been seriously compromised by the withdrawal of the US. The treaty allowed unarmed surveillance flights over member nation’s air space. The US had earlier left the treaty in November previous year after accusing Russia of violating it. Read More
House of Representatives impeaches Trump for the second time
The House of Representatives impeached President Trump for inciting a violent insurrection against the United States government, as 10 members of the president’s party joined Democrats to charge him with high crimes and misdemeanours for an unprecedented second time. Read More
MP CM calls for increasing marriage age of women and tracking of their location.
Flagging off a programme on Monday to raise awareness on crimes against women , Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan suggested that the age of marriage for women be increased from 18 to 21 years and women living outside their parental homes for work register themselves with the police so that they can be tracked for their own safety. Read More
New quantum technology projects to solve mysteries of the universe
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is investing £31 million into seven projects to show how quantum technologies could solve some of the greatest mysteries of the universe such as dark matter and black holes.Read More
Parler clocked 23000 downloads in India
Parler, a social media platform favoured by many supporters of US President Donald Trump and other conservatives, garnered 23,000 downloads in India before it was taken down by Google and Apple app stores, according to data shared by app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Read More
NASA’s Boeing moon rocket cuts short ‘once-in-a-generation’ ground test
NASA’s deep space exploration rocket built by Boeing briefly ignited all four engines of its behemoth core stage for the first time on Saturday, cutting short a crucial test to advance a years-delayed U.S. government program to return humans to the moon in the next few years. Mounted in a test facility at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the Space Launch System’s (SLS) 212-foot tall core stage roared to life at 4:27 p.m. local time (2227 GMT) for just over a minute — well short of the roughly four minutes engineers needed to stay on track for the rocket’s first launch in November this year. Read More
India begins world’s largest vaccination drive with Made in India vaccines.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16th Jan launched the world’s largest vaccination drive in India with two Made in India vaccines to vaccinate 1.3 Billion people against Covid-19. India began administering doses of Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech’s vaccine). Read More
PIA plane impounded in Malaysia over British court dispute.
Malaysia sealed a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing-777 passenger aeroplane at the Kuala Lumpur Airport. The decision was taken in regards to a pending British court case of non-payment of the aircraft’s lease dues after a local Malaysian court ordered the same. A case of non-payment of US$ 14 Million for six months was first filed in a UK court in October 2020. Read More
The US adds Xiaomi to “Communist Chinese Military Companies”.
The Trump administration has added Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. to a blacklist of alleged Chinese companies that has ties with the Chinese military. Following the decision, shares of the Hong-Kong listed company fell 10.6% on Friday. The decision means that US investors will now have to divest all their stakes in the third-largest smartphone maker (in the third quarter of 2020) subject to a November executive order that restricts American investors to buy securities of companies designated in the list.Read More
Tesla Makes Entry in India
Ending years of wait and speculation, electric car maker Tesla has finally entered India by registering the company in Bengaluru. According to the details available on the Registrar of Companies website, Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited has been incorporated and the registered address is in Lavelle Road, Bengaluru. Tesla registered its Indian subsidiary with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) in Bengaluru on January 8, with Rs 15 lakh authorised capital and Rs 1 lakh paid-up capital. Read More
US bans cotton, tomato products from Xinjiang.
In the series of actions taken by US to raise pressure on China over some companies’ alleged ill-treatment of workers. The U.S. imported $9 billion of cotton products in the past year and $10 million of tomatoes from China. Read More
Reliance Retail to change business strategy
Reliance Retail plans to undergo a major change its business model by contracting with Kirana stores to become their franchise partners to sell products while completely moving away from the direct sale of packaged food, grocery and FMCG products on its JioMart platform Reliance Retail will continue to sell perishables items on its own. Show More
Financial Stability Report by RBI projects financial stress.
The central bank has alerted against the rise in gross non-performing assets for the banking system due to COVID-19 induced stress in its latest Financial Stability Report. In the report, RBI has cautioned that GNPAs may rise from 8.5% in March 2020 to 12.5% by March 2021 under the baseline scenario or it may even rise to 14.7% if the situation continues to worsen as indicated by macro stress tests. Read More
Biden reveals US$ 1.9 Trillion economy rescue package.
The US President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a US$ 1.9 Trillion economy and coronavirus rescue plan on Thursday to put at an end on the ongoing crisis and speed up vaccination program. The proposal is expected to meet Mr. Biden’s target of administering 100 million vaccine doses by the 100th day of his tenure. Read More
India’s trade with China lowest since 2017, deficit at a 5-year low.
India’s trade with China in 2020 was at the lowest level since 2017 amid border issues between the two giant nations of Asia. India’s goods imports from China were roughly 1/10th lower in 2020. Bilateral trade fell 5.6% to US$ 87.6 Billion. The trade deficit narrowed down during the period to a 5-year low at US$ 45.8 Billion as apart from the decline in imports, 16% rise in exports was observed with the export figure crossing US$ 20 Billion for the first time. Read More
New Foreign Trade Policy for India
India’s new Foreign Trade Policy, under formulation, will come into effect from April 1, 2021 for five years and will strive to make the country a leader in international trade, the government stated. The information was shared with Members of Parliament during a briefing about the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP). The Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry held a meeting on the subject ‘New Foreign Trade Policy 2021-26’. It was chaired by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri, and attended by Members of Parliament (MPs) and senior officers of the ministry. Read More
United States says India’s digital services tax is discriminatory
USA has determined that India’s Digital Services Tax is discriminatory and has an adverse impact on American commerce and is actionable under the trade act. At the same time, the outgoing Trump administration has left the onus of taking any action against India under Section 301 of the US Trade Act to the incoming Biden administration. Read More
CNBC Awaaz anchor, family banned by SEBI for fraudulent trading.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Wednesday banned Hemant Ghai (CNBC Awaaz show host at Stock 20-20), his wife and mother from the capital market for indulging in fraudulent trade practices. The SEBI in its interim order explained that strong co-relation has been found in the three’s trading pattern with the stocks recommended in the TV show between Jan 1, 2019, and May 31 2020. According to its estimation, Mr. Ghai gained around Rs. 3 Crore from the same. Read More
India’s Pharma export rose 16% in 8 months this fiscal.
India’s pharmaceutical exports rose around 16% from April to November 2020 in light of increased demand due to ongoing global pandemic. While the merchandise exports overall were down 18%, this sector outperformed and jumped to US$ 15.3 Billion in exports from US$ 13.2 Billion a year ago, in the initial 8 months of this fiscal according to the data by the Commerce Ministry.Read More
RBI likely to propose stricter regulations for shadow banks
The Reserve Bank of India is likely to propose stricter regulatory norms for shadow banks in a bid to strengthen solvency and sustainability of a sector that has been showing signs of stress in recent years. RBI began trying to move towards tighter norms for the sector after Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, the largest NBFC, went bankrupt in 2018, and Dewan Housing Finance Corp and Altico Capital defaulted on payments in 2019. Read More
Borrowing cost surges in bond market over RBI’s measures to drain out cash
Borrowing costs for companies in the Indian rupee bond market are surging after the nation’s central bank unveiled measures to drain cash it had infused into the financial system to counter the impact of the pandemic. Average yields on three-year rupee bonds rated BBB have risen 28 basis points this week through Thursday, on track for their biggest weekly increase since 2018. Read More
Govt. approves purchase of 70million vaccine shots
The government has approved the purchase of close to 70 million Covid-19 vaccines in the first phase of the inoculation programme. While most of the shots, around 60 million jabs will be ordered from Serum Institute of India, while up to 10 million shots will be sourced from Bharat Biotech. Read More