AspirantWorld One liners : 18th January

• The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought inputs from telcos and other industry experts on the sale and use of radio frequency spectrum over the next 10 years, including the 5G bands. 5G or fifth generation is the latest upgrade in the long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks. 5G mainly works in 3 bands: (all of which have their own uses as well as limitations).

• Budget 2021-22 is expected to give a special focus to construction development and affordable housing as increased activity in these areas provide a higher boost to overall demand in the economy because of their forward and backward linkages. One factor behind the exodus of migrants from cities during the pandemic was their lack of access to safe, affordable housing in urban clusters.

• British Prime Minister invited the Indian Prime Minister to the UK for the G7 summit in June 2021. The proposed summit will be the first in-person G-7 summit in almost two years, as it will be held in the English region of Cornwall from June 11 to 13. Besides India, Australia and South Korea have also been invited as guest countries as a testament to UK’s commitment to ensuring multilateral institutions better reflect today’s world.

• A first such pan-India survey tracking nearly 10,000 employees of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on the prevalence of COVID-19 found that nearly 10% of the staff were infected. Key neutralising antibodies that protect against the virus waned after infection, but were at “detectable levels” even after six months — a proxy for the period of effectiveness of future vaccination and general immunity. About three-fourths of the respondents could not recall having experienced a single one of the symptoms commonly associated with the disease, and a vegetarian diet and smoking appeared to be “protective” against the infection. This is a first-of-its-kind longitudinal study anywhere in the world.

• Capital markets watchdog SEBI relaxed the framework for follow-on public offers (FPOs), a move that will help promoters of companies to raise funds more easily through this route. The applicability of minimum promoters’ contribution norm and the subsequent lock-in requirements for the issuers making the FPO have been done away with by the regulator, as per a notification. Earlier, promoters were mandated to contribute 20% towards a FPO.

• Legendary classical musician Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan dies at 89. Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan (1931 – 2021) was an Indian classical musician in the Hindustani classical music tradition, belonging to the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1991, followed by Padma Bhushan in 2006 and Padma Vibhushan in 2018. In 2003 he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

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