Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 25th May 2021


    • News: Kaleidoscope effect A rainbow-coloured halo was seen around the Sun in the morning in Bengaluru on Monday. This is an optical phenomenon that occurs when light interacts with ice crystals in the atmosphere.
    • Details:
      • The halo, as it is called, is an optical phenomenon that occurs when light interacts with ice crystals in the atmosphere.
      • It is also called a kaleidoscope effect and it is due to the tilt of the ice crystals in the air and the altitude of the sun.
      • The phenomenon is also reported when clouds — specifically of the Cirrus category — surround the sun, causing light to reflect into the seven colours.
      • This halo is also called the ‘22 degrees halo,’ named so because the circular rainbow has a radius of approximately 22 degrees around the sun.
    • About Cirrus Clouds:
      • Cirrus is a genus of atmospheric cloud generally characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving the type its name from the Latin word cirrus, meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair.
      • Such a cloud can form at any altitude between 5,000 and 13,700 m (16,500 and 45,000 ft) above sea level.
      • The strands of cloud sometimes appear in tufts of a distinctive form referred to by the common name of “mares’ tails”.
      • From the surface of Earth, cirrus clouds typically appear white, or a light grey, in color; they form when water vapor undergoes deposition at altitudes above 5,500 m (18,000 ft), in temperate regions, and above 6,400 m (21,000 ft) in tropical ones. They also form from the outflow of tropical cyclones.
      • Cirrus clouds also form in the atmospheres of other planets, including Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and have been seen even on Titan, one of Saturn’s larger moons. Some of these extraterrestrial cirrus clouds are composed of ammonia or ices of methane, much as with terrestrial water ice.
    • About Kaleidoscope effect:
      • A kaleidoscope is an optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces (or mirrors) tilted to each other at an angle, so that one or more (parts of) objects on one end of the mirrors are seen as a regular symmetrical pattern when viewed from the other end, due to repeated reflection.
      • The reflectors are usually enclosed in a tube, often containing on one end a cell with loose, colored pieces of glass or other transparent (and/or opaque) materials to be reflected into the viewed pattern. Rotation of the cell causes motion of the materials, resulting in an ever-changing view being presented.


    • News: India is likely to be permitted to send 5,000 pilgrims for this year’s Haj in Saudi Arabia amid tight regulations in view of the second wave of the pandemic.
    • About Hajj:
      • The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims.
      • Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and of supporting their family during their absence from home.
      • In Islamic terminology, Hajj is a pilgrimage made to the Kaaba, the “House of God”, in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
      • It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat and Sawm.
      • The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God (Allah).
      • The word Hajj means “to attend a journey”, which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions.
      • Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba (a cube-shaped building and the direction of prayer for Muslims)

    3.   BELARUS

    • News: The European Union is considering shunning Belarus’s airspace and banning national carrier Belavia from EU airports after Belarusian authorities scrambled a warplane and forced a Ryanair jetliner to land in Minsk.
    • Map:



    • News: Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into India grew 10% in 2020-21 to touch a record $81.72 billion, with FDI equity inflows rising 19% to almost $60 billion.
    • Details:
      • Singapore emerged as the top investor with almost a third of all investments, followed by the U.S. which accounted for 23% of FDI and Mauritius from where 9% of the capital flows originated.
      • FDI equity flows from the U.S. tripled during the year compared with 2019-20, while investments from the U.K. surged 44%.
      • However, the sharpest growth among the top 10 FDI-origin countries was recorded from Saudi Arabia. Investments from the oil-rich nation jumped from a mere $90 million in 2019-20 to $2.8 billion last year.
      • Gujarat was the top FDI destination in FY21, accounting for 37% of the foreign equity inflows, followed by its traditional industrial rival Maharashtra that got 27%.
      • Karnataka accounted for another 13% of the equity investments, indicating that the rest of the country got a disproportionately less 23% of foreign equity capital.
    • About Foreign Direct Investment (FDI):
      • A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.
      • Generally, FDI takes place when an investor establishes foreign business operations or acquires foreign business assets in a foreign company.
      • However, FDIs are distinguished from portfolio investments in which an investor merely purchases equities of foreign-based companies.
      • Foreign direct investments (FDI) are investments made by one company into another located in another country.
      • FDIs are actively utilized in open markets rather than closed markets for investors.
      • Horizontal, vertical, and conglomerate are types of FDI’s. Horizontal is establishing the same type of business in another country, while vertical is related but different, and conglomerate is an unrelated business venture.
      • Foreign direct investments are commonly made in open economies that offer a skilled workforce and above-average growth prospects for the investor, as opposed to tightly regulated economies.
      • Foreign direct investment frequently involves more than just a capital investment. It may include provisions of management or technology as well.
      • The key feature of foreign direct investment is that it establishes either effective control of or at least substantial influence over the decision-making of a foreign business.