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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-1st December 2022

International Jaguar Day 2022: 29 November

International Jaguar Day 2022:

International Jaguar Day was created to raise awareness about the increasing threats facing the jaguar and the critical conservation efforts ensuring its survival. Observed annually on November 29, International Jaguar Day celebrates the Americas’ largest wild cat as an umbrella species for biodiversity conservation and an icon for sustainable development and the centuries-old cultural heritage of Central and South America. This is the third largest Cat Predator of the World and an important species of Amazon Rainforest.

International Jaguar Day also represent the collective voice of jaguar range countries, in collaboration with national and international partners, to draw attention to the need to conserve jaguar corridors and their habitats as part of broader efforts to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Jaguars (Panthera onca) are often mistaken for leopards, but can be differentiated due to the spots within the rosettes on their coats. While many cats avoid water, jaguars are great swimmers, and have even been known to swim the Panama Canal.

How India celebrates International Jaguar Day?

Recently, the National Zoological Park, New Delhi (Delhi Zoo) celebrated the International Jaguar Day on 29th November. On this occasion National Zoological Park organized activities like Zoo Walk and Expert talk on ‘Big Cats and Jaguars’. Students from Little Star Public School participated in these events. Participation certificates, literature on wildlife conservation and souvenirs were given to the students to encourage them and arouse their curiosity in understanding the importance of nature and wildlife conservation.

International Jaguar Day: History

In March 2018 representatives from 14 range countries gathered in New York at United Nations’ Headquarters for the Jaguar 2030 Forum. This Forum resulted in the creation of the Jaguar 2030 Statement which outlined a wide range of internationally collaborative jaguar conservation initiatives, including the proposal to create an International Jaguar Day.

Senior journalist Ravish Kumar resigns from NDTV following Adani acquisition

A senior journalist, Ravish Kumar has resigned from NDTV according to news sources. This comes just a day after the channel’s founders and promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy resigned from their positions as directors on the board of RRPR Holding Private Limited (RRPRH). The senior jounalists resignation come after the news channel was acquired by the Adani Group, and holds 29.18% stake in the news channel.

Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy had resigned as Directors on the Board of RRPR Holding Private Limited just yesterday, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. The board of RRPR Holding has approved the appointment of Sudipta Bhattacharya, Sanjay Pugalia and Senthil Sinniah Chengalvarayan as Directors on its board with immediate effect.

Career of Ravish Kumar in NDTV:

Kumar, a winner of the Ramon Magsaysay award, used to host a number of programs including the channel’s flagship weekday show Hum Log, Ravish ki Report, Des Ki Baat, and Prime Time. He has also been conferred with the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award twice.

Whole story of the acquisition:

  • Adani group in August bought VCPL and sought to convert the warrants into shares. NDTV promoters initially opposed the move saying they were not consulted but earlier this week relented and allowed the conversion, which gave VCPL a 99.5 per cent stake in RRPR Holding.

  • With Adani group controlled entity VCPL firmly in the saddle of RRPR Holdings, the Roys resigned as directors of the company.

  • RRPR, or Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy Holdings Private Limited, till now was classified as a promoter entity. It held 29.18 per cent stake in the news channel. Prannoy Roy holds 15.94 per cent of NDTV and Radhika Roy another 16.32 per cent (together 32.26 per cent).

  • Post acquisition of VCPL, Adani group launched an open offer to acquire a 26 per cent stake in NDTV. That offer opened on November 22, and will close on December 5.

  • The offer has so far got offers for 53.27 lakh shares or a third of the entire open offer size. This despite the deep discount of the open offer price in comparison to the current stock levels.

  • NDTV stock is trading up 5 per cent at Rs 447.70 on the BSE as against Adani group’s open offer price of Rs 294 apiece.

  • The ports-to-energy conglomerate is seeking as much as 1.67 crore shares or 26 per cent of equity from NDTV’s minority investors.

  • A successful open offer will give Adani group a controlling stake of just over 55 per cent and it may then seek to oust Roys from the board of the channel. Pugalia is the chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of media initiatives at Adani Group.

World’s first Intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC gets Approved by DCGI

Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) announced that iNCOVACC (BBV154), has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) under Restricted Use in Emergency Situations for ages 18 and above, in India, for heterologous booster doses.

iNCOVACC is the world’s first Intranasal vaccine for COVID to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule and the heterologous booster dose. iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phases I, II, and III clinical trials with successful results.

World’s first Intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC gets Approved by DCGI- Key Points

  • iNCOVACC has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops.

  • The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.

  • iNCOVACC was developed in partnership with Washington University, St. Louis, which had earlier designed and developed the recombinant adenoviral vector construct and evaluated it in preclinical studies for efficacy.

  • Clinical trials were conducted to evaluate iNCOVACC as a primary dose schedule and as a heterologous booster dose for subjects who have previously received two doses of the two commonly administered COVID vaccines in India.

  • Washington University licensed the vaccine technology to Bharat Biotech in 2020 for further development.

  • iNCOVACC has the double benefit of enabling faster development of variant-specific vaccines and easy nasal delivery that enables mass immunization to protect from emerging variants of concern.

Indore Plans India’s First Retail Municipal Green Bond for Solar Plant

Indore with a strong environmental record is planning to issue the nation’s first local government bond targeting individual investors, with proceeds used to fund a solar power project.

More About This Development:

Indore Municipal Corp. seeks to raise as much as 2.6 billion rupees ($31.8 million) via a 10-year bond sale next month, according to Divyank Singh, chief executive officer of Indore Smart City, who is working with various stakeholders to finalize the offering. The offering from Indore, which is in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, is also set to be the country’s maiden municipal green bond designed for retail investors.

Who Will Manage:

The issuer has mandated A.K. Capital Services Ltd. and SBI Capital Markets Ltd. as lead managers of the offering, Singh said.

What Has Been Said:

We could have easily funded the power plant by getting money from banks or private players, but we have decided to reach out to the people because it gives a sense of belongingness,” Singh said. “The issuance is an alternative, newer financing source for the municipality and also opens doors for others to follow suit.”

About Its Importance: Indore’s Continuous Performance:

The green debt sale is occurring at a time when the World Bank has estimated that Asia’s third-largest economy will need to invest $840 billion over the next 15 years on urban infrastructure to meet demand from a fast-growing urban population. India’s central bank also has called on local authorities, which are heavily dependent on bank loans or government grants, to consider issuing municipal bonds to meet funding requirements.

Indore has won the award of India’s cleanest city for six years in a row, based on a survey conducted by the country’s housing and urban affairs ministry. The 60-megawatt solar plant will be built near Indore at a cost of 3 billion rupees, Singh said, adding that it will help the city save an electricity bill of as much as 250 million rupees a month.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef TO be listed as a World Heritage Site

UN panel has recommended that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef should be listed as a World Heritage site that is in danger. The UN also informed that the world’s biggest coral reef ecosystem was significantly impacted by climate change and the warming of oceans.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef TO be listed as a World Heritage Site- Key Points

  • Frequent bleaching events are threatening the reef, including four over the last seven years and the first during a La Nina phenomenon.

  • A report by UNESCO informed that the resilience of the Reef to recover from climate change impacts is substantially compromised.

  • The report was expected to be released ahead of the UNESCO World Heritage committee meeting however it was postponed due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

  • Australian Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said that the government would push UNESCO to not list the reef as endangered because climate change was threatening all coral reefs across the world.

  • The Australian government announced a billion-dollar package to protect the reef in January.

“World’s 1st Hydrogen-Run” Aircraft Engine Tested by EasyJet, Rolls-Royce

Airline EasyJet and Aircraft Engine maker Rolls-Royce announced that they have successfully tested a hydrogen-powered aircraft engine, which is described as the World’s First for aviation. They had set a new aviation milestone with the world’s first run of a modern aero engine on hydrogen in a test carried out on land earlier this month.

“World’s 1st Hydrogen-Run” Aircraft Engine Tested by EasyJet, Rolls-Royce- Key Points

  • The company tested a turboprop fan engine that is used a small regional flights aircraft.

  • Green hydrogen for the tests had been generated using tidal and wind energy from Orkney Islands, Scotland.

  • Rolls-Royce is eventually hoping to conduct a full-scale ground test of a Pearl 15 jet engine.

  • Britain’s Minister for Business and Energy, Grant Shapps has said that it is a true British success story, and it was a prime example of how they worked together to make aviation cleaner while driving jobs across the country.

  • Britain earlier this year identified the need for major investment to help unlock green hydrogen from water using renewable energy.

  • Blue hydrogen is far more available than its green hydrogen however it is opposed by environmentalists as it is produced from natural gas in a processing releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Mumbai ranks 22nd in Global Prime Cities Index by Knight Frank

Mumbai stood at 22nd rank in a global index that measures annual price appreciation of premium residential properties, according to Knight Frank. In its report on ‘Prime Global Cities Index Q3 (July-September) 2022’, Property consultant Knight Frank said that all three Indian cities: Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi, registered an increase in average annual prices in the third quarter of 2022.

Key points in the report:

  • The prime global cities index is a valuation-based index tracking the movement in prime residential prices in local currency across 45-plus cities worldwide.

  • Mumbai moved up to 22nd rank in the third quarter of 2022 from 39th rank in the year-ago period.

  • Bengaluru’s rank also moved up to 27th as against 41st, while New Delhi’s position improved to 36th rank from 38th rank.

  • The consultant has attributed the rise in prices to strong market sentiment, adequate affordability, still low interest rates compared to 2019 and a much more stable economy and business environment relative to many developed economies.

  • While increasing mortgage rates have weighed down prime residential markets globally, he said that the Indian prime residential market has been relatively strong and should be able to sustain the momentum till the end of 2022.

Prime Global Cities Index Q3: Globally

  • The report further cited that Dubai recorded the fastest rise in prime prices with an 88.8 per cent increase during a 12-month change (Q3 2021- Q3 2022), while Wellington was the weakest performing market with a decline of 18 per cent.

  • Some European cities registered strong performance in prime prices during Q3 2022. Zurich (10.7%), Edinburgh (9.9%), Berlin (9.4%), Dublin (8.6%), and Madrid (5.6%) have all risen the rankings in the last 12 months despite the drop-in sentiment and the slowdown in the Eurozone’s economy.

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