- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held bilateral talks with European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor.
- In his meeting with Borrell, Jaishankar discussed global and regional issues, multilateralism, connectivity and counter terrorism.
- Both agreed to further enlarge the existing bilateral political, security, economic and trade cooperation and identify new areas for cooperation in connectivity, Indo-Pacific Region, data adequacy etc.
China’s birthrate hits lowest level
- China’s birthrate in 2019 hit its lowest level since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, according to official statistics released by Beijing.
- Chinese mothers gave birth to 14.65 million children last year, a birth rate of 10.48 babies per 1,000 people, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.
- China’s demographic issues could pose serious issues for the world’s second- largest economy when the current working-age population reaches retirement.
- Experts worry if the trend continues, or the population begins shrinking, China may get old before it gets rich.
- Demographers have long pointed to China’s “one-child policy” as the culprit of the country’s current population problems.
- For decades, couples in China were limited to only having a single child, unless they were willing to break the law or had the money to work around the system.
Bangladesh Says Regularly Submerged Silt Island Now Ready for Rohingya
- A Bangladeshi island regularly submerged by monsoon rains is ready to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees, but no date has been announced to relocate people from the crowded and squalid camps where they’ve lived for years.
- Flood protection embankments, houses, hospitals and mosques have been built on Bhasan Char, or floating island, in the Bay of Bengal.
- The island is built to accommodate 100,000 people, just a fraction of the million Rohingya Muslims who have fled waves of violent persecution in their native Myanmar.
- About 700,000 people came after August 2017, when the military in Buddhist- majority Myanmar began a harsh crackdown against Rohingya in response to an attack by insurgents.
- Global rights groups and the U.N. called the campaign ethnic cleansing involving rapes, killings and torching of thousands of homes.
New Chinese virus ‘will have infected hundreds’
- Corona viruses are a broad family of viruses, but only six (the new one would make it seven) are known to infect people.
- At the mild end they cause the common cold, but severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) is a coronavirus that killed 774 of the 8,098 people infected in an outbreak that started in China in 2002.
- There have been nearly 50 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, but UK experts estimate a figure nearer 1,700.
- Two people are known to have died from the respiratory illness, which appeared in Wuhan city in December.
3 years after launch, Jio becomes No.1 telco by user base, revenue
- Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is now the number one telecom operator in India by both subscriber base as well as revenue market share, achieving the feat in just more than three years of starting operations.
- The company led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani added 5.6 million mobile subscribers in November, taking its total user base to 369.93 million, and replacing Vodafone Idea Ltd as the India’s largest mobile services provider by subscribers, showed data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
- The domestic telecom market has now become largely a three-way tussle between Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Idea and Jio.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
PM Modi congratulates Isro on GSAT-30 launch
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the launch of its first satellite in the year 2020, saying it will help in enhancing DTH services, ATM and stock exchange connectivity.
- India’s “high power” communication satellite GSAT-30, aimed at providing high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services was launched successfully by Ariane space rocket from French Guiana.
- The satellite derives its heritage from Isro’s earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series.
- The 3,357-kg satellite is configured on Isro’s enhanced I-3K Bus structure.
- Henley Passport Index 2020 recently released the rankings of the world’s most powerful passports. Indian passport has ranked 84th in the list while Japan’s passport ranked 1st in the index.
- Tamil Nadu’s State Transport Authority launched an Android-based e-challan mobile app for the regional transport offices.
- Project Utkrisht: Indian Railways gives mail/express trains swanky revamp