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5th May Current Affairs

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

In News:

The High Court of Manipur has allowed seven Myanmar nationals, who entered India secretly following the February military coup, to travel to New Delhi to seek protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Observations made by the Court:

Though India is not a party to the UN Refugee Conventions, the country is a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966.

The far-reaching and myriad protection afforded by Article 21 of our Constitution, as interpreted and adumbrated by our Supreme Court time and again, would indubitably encompass the right of non-refoulement.

What is Non-refoulement?

It is the principle under international law that a person fleeing from persecution from his own country should not be forced to return.

About the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):

It is a UN Refugee Agency and a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting the rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

It was created in 1950 to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes.

It is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

In News:

Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Governor for India, recently participated in the Governors’ Seminar on “Cooperation for a Resilient Future”, held as part of ADB’s annual meeting 2021.

Details:

Sitharaman appreciated the ADB for providing timely financial support for Covid and non-Covid projects.

About ADB:

  • It is a regional development bank.
  • established on 19 December 1966.
  • headquartered — Manila, Philippines.
  • official United Nations Observer.

Who can be its members?

The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.

ADB now has 68 members, 49 from within Asia.

Voting rights:

It is modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.

As of 31 December 2019, ADB’s five largest shareholders are Japan and the United States (each with 15.6% of total shares), the People’s Republic of China (6.4%), India (6.3%), and Australia (5.8%).

Roles and functions:

Dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

This is carried out through investments – in the form of loans, grants and information sharing – in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas.

Parker Solar Probe

In News:

During a brief swing by Venus, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe detected a natural radio signal that revealed the spacecraft had flown through the planet’s upper atmosphere. This was the first direct measurement of the Venusian atmosphere in nearly 30 years.

Findings:

Like Earth, Venus sports an electrically charged layer of gas at the upper edge of its atmosphere, called the ionosphere. This sea of charged gases, or plasma, naturally emits radio waves.

Implications:

This discovery confirms that Venus’ upper atmosphere undergoes puzzling changes over a solar cycle, the Sun’s 11-year activity cycle.

This marks the latest clue to untangling how and why Venus and Earth are so different.

Background:

Born of similar processes, Earth and Venus are twins: both rocky, and of similar size and structure. But their paths diverged from birth. Venus lacks a magnetic field, and its surface broils at temperatures hot enough to melt lead.

About the mission:

NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission will revolutionize our understanding of the sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds.

Parker Solar Probe will travel through the sun’s atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions — and ultimately providing humanity with the closest-ever observations of a star.

Journey:

In order to unlock the mysteries of the sun’s atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the sun.

The spacecraft will fly through the sun’s atmosphere as close as 3.9 million miles to our star’s surface, well within the orbit of Mercury and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before.

Parker Solar Probe has three detailed science objectives:

Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind.

Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind.

Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles.

Kids from COVID-affected households get police help

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across Gautam Buddha Nagar, affecting thousands of families in some form, a young IPS officer (Deputy Commissioner of Police (Women Safety- Vrinda Shukla) — in charge of women’s safety in Noida — is diverting resources at her disposal to help children from affected households who were left to fend for themselves.

The officer has sent teams to escort children, whose parents are in home isolation, for COVID tests at district hospitals, provide multiple meals per day and, in an instance even secured the academic future and possible adoption of siblings orphaned by the raging pandemic.

Shukla took to social media and requested volunteers to step forward to help provide aid to such families. Following this appeal, she now has a team of 35 such volunteers.