Daily Current Affairs 27th February, 2017
China’s ‘neighbouring base’ in Djibouti worries U.S.
- China is constructing its first overseas military base in Djibouti — just a few miles from Camp Lemonnier, one of the Pentagon’s largest and most important foreign installations. With this, United States and China will become neighbours in this sun-scorched patch of East African desert.
- Established after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Camp Lemonnier is home to 4,000 personnel. Some are involved in highly secretive missions.
- The base, which is run by the Navy and abuts Djibouti’s international airport, is the only permanent U.S. military installation in Africa.
- Chinese officials play down the significance of the base, saying it will largely support anti-piracy operations that have helped quell the threat to international shipping once posed by marauding Somalis. The support facility will be mainly used to provide rest and rehabilitation for the Chinese troops taking part in escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, UN peacekeeping and humanitarian rescue.
India, Germany ratify Social Security Agreement
- India and Germany have ratified the Social Security Agreement (SSA), which will come into force from 1st May 2017, to help promote more investment flows between the two countries.
- The SSA will also integrate the provisions of the 2008 social insurance pact that exempts detached workers of the two country from making social security contributions in both the countries.
- The SSA establishes the rights and obligations of nationals of both countries and provides for equal treatment and unrestricted payment of pensions even in case of residence in the other contracting state.
- It also integrate the provisions of the 2008 social insurance pact and is expected to reduce the operational costs of companies on both countries active in either of the countries.
- Under it, requirements to be entitled to pension can be met by aggregating periods of insurance completed in India and Germany, whereby each country only pays pension for insurance periods covered by its laws.
- This comprehensive SSA will favorably impact the profitability and competitive position of Indian and German companies with foreign by reducing their cost of doing business abroad.
- It will also help promote more investment flows between the two countries.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
Pests eat away India’s 35% of total crop yield: ICAR scientist
- According to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) scientist, pests eat away about 30-35% of the annual crop yield in India. Such large-scale crop-loss is having an adverse effect on the agricultural biosafety which is paramount to food security of the country.
- Among such pests, nematodes (microscopic worms many of which are parasites) have emerged as a major threat to crops in the country. They have caused loss of 60 million tonnes of crops annually.
- They are causing loss of crops to the tune of almost 60 million tonnes or 10-12 % of crop production every year. Indian farmers are still not fully aware about these potential crop-destroyers.
- In the past particular kind of nematode had affected plants such as potatoes and tomatoes in India. The Potato Cyst Nematode was first discovered in Nilgiris and now has spread to various parts of the country.
Two endangered plant species spotted
- Forest officials in Munnar have spotted two critically endangered impatiens plant species on the peripheries of the Eravikulam National Park.
- The newly discovered specis include- Impatiens Mankulamensis and Impatiens Panduramgani. They are included in the critically endangered category of IUCN.
- Impatiens, also called jewel weeds, are seen in pristine forests where moisture content and relative humidity are high.
- The Eravikulam National Park and the Mankulam forest division are surrounded by sholas.
- The plant normally flowers in the rainy season of July to October. The flowers are white in colour with a pink border.
Black rhinos on the brink of extinction:
- As the value of rhinoceros horn touches $65,000 per kg, poaching has begun to drive the African black rhinoceros to “the verge of extinction” – not just by reducing its population size, but by erasing 70% of the species’ genetic diversity- says a report.
- Two centuries ago, the black rhinoceros – which roamed much of sub Saharan Africa – had 64 different genetic lineages; but today only 20 of these lineages remain. The species is now restricted to five countries, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
- The species overall is classified as critically endangered, and three subspecies, one including the western black rhinoceros, were declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2011.
Chandra Shekhar Azad’s 86th Martyrdom Day observed: 27th February
- Chandra Shekhar Azad’s 86th Martyrdom Day observed on 27th February.
- He was born on 23 July 1906, in Bhavra, Alirajpur. He died on 27 February 1931 at Allahabad.