Current Affairs in Short: 12 March 2020
US Supreme Court allows controversial ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy to stay
• The Supreme Court of the United States directed on March 11, 2020 that the controversial “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy can continue to stay in effect till a proper legal resolution is reached.
• The order is a victory for the Trump administration, which has been pushing for the controversial policy to continue. The administration had warned that there would be a rush to the border if the policy was blocked by the courts.
• The “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy mandates the non-Mexican asylum seekers to return to Mexico as they await hearings in the United States. This is a blow to the immigrants, as they will now be forced to return to Mexico and live in dangerous conditions.
• The policy has led to the creation of makeshift camps in Mexico, where hundreds of migrants are living in unsafe conditions. The situation has forced many of the families to send their children across the US-Mexico border alone.
Maharashtra Government approves implementation of “happy hour” for autorickshaws
• The Maharashtra government has approved the implementation of the “happy hour” concept for the autorickshaws in the state. The proposal was recommended by the Khatua panel.
• Under the ‘happy hour’ resolution, the fares of autos will be slashed by 15 percent between 12-4 pm. The decision will not apply to local taxis and app-based taxis.
• The concept is expected to turn lean hours to happy hours, especially for citizens including housewives and senior citizens who generally do not have fixed timings to go out. The autorickshaw unions have indicated that they will oppose the move.
Centre, Himachal Pradesh, World Bank sign $80 million loan agreement to boost agricultural productivity
• The union government, state government of Himachal Pradesh and the World Bank signed an $80 million loan agreement on March 11, 2020 to boost agricultural productivity and improve water management practices in select gram panchayats.
• The integrated project will be implemented in 428-gram panchayats in 10 districts of Himachal Pradesh. The project is expected to benefit over 400,000 small farmers and pastoral communities.
• The project is expected to improve upstream water sources and ensure that sufficient water is available for sustainable agriculture in downstream states including Himachal Pradesh.
Tiger Woods to be inducted in World Golf Hall of Fame
• Tiger Woods will be inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame. According to the announcement made by the PGA tour, he will be part of Class 2021.
• Only those players get this honor who have secured at least 15 wins on approved PGA tours. However, there is an age restriction for induction. Earlier, it was 50 but recently it has been reduced to 45 years.
• Tiger Woods (born on 30 December 1975) is an American professional golfer whose achievements made him the most successful golfer of all time.
Amazon rainforest can die within decades: Study
• According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, once Amazon rainforests will reach a critical point, it may collapse or disappear from the world. Researchers believe that it will be the ‘point of no return’.
• The researchers explained that Amazon rainforests can transform like savannah forests in the next 50 years. It will have a mix of trees and grass. At present, Amazon forests have more trees and less grass.
• Researchers from the University of London said that people need to prepare for changes sooner than expected. Scientists found that a specific stone species will be no more in upcoming years.
World Economic Forum launches ‘COVID Action Platform’
• The World Economic Forum launched the ‘COVID Action Platform’ in collaboration with the World Health Organization to combat the Coronavirus. It aims to act with the help of the private sector to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus.
• Its main function is to strengthen the supply chain so that essential health equipment and medicines are available. The platform has been built with the help of 200 corporate leaders around the world.
• WEF is an international institution, founded by Klaus Schwab to improve the state of the world through public-private collaboration. It was founded in 1971.
World’s last white female giraffe and her child killed by poachers
• The entire world had only two adult white giraffe but now only one male giraffe has been left as poachers have killed a female giraffe and her child. The white giraffe is a rare animal. Only white giraffe is left in Kenya.
• The poachers strangled the white female giraffe and her 7-month-old child. The bodies of the duo have been found in the Garissa County in northeastern Kenya.
• The incident not only shook the animal lovers but also the tourists. Many people used to come here only to see them. The local authorities are investigating the case.
SS Deswal becomes DG Border Security Force
• Director-General of ITBP SS Deswal has been given the charge of Director General of BSF. BSF Director General Vivek Johri has been sent back to his native cadre, Madhya Pradesh.
• Earlier, SS Deswal served as Director-General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). He is a 1984 batch IPS officer of Haryana cadre.
• BSF protects India’s borders. It is also called the first line of border protection of the Indian Territory. It protects the Indian border with Pakistan and Bangladesh. BSF came into existence on December 01, 1965.