- Blue Flag beaches
- Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
Focus: GS Paper – 3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation
Why in News?
- In yet another recognition of India’s commitment to protect and conserve the pristine coastal and marine ecosystems through holistic management of the resources, the globally recognized and the coveted International eco-label “Blue Flag”, has been accorded to two new beaches – Minicoy Thundi Beach and Kadmat Beach- both in Lakshadweep.
- India now has 12 Blue Flag beaches, an eco-label given to the cleanest beaches in the world.
- It is one of the most pristine and picturesque beaches in the Lakshadweep archipelago where white sand is lined by turquoise blue water of the lagoon.
- It is a paradise for swimmers and tourists alike.
It is especially popular with cruise tourists who visit the island for water sports. It is a paradise for nature lovers with its pearl white sand, blue lagoon waters, its moderate climate and friendly locals.
The other Indian beaches in the blue list are Shivrajpur-Gujarat, Ghoghla-Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha, Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry beaches.
More about Blue Flag Certification
- The certification of Blue Flag Programme started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in
- Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001.
- The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its stringent standards.
- FEE’s Blue Flag criteria include standards for quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria.
- The Blue Flag is sought for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards.
Focus: GS-III: Indian Economy (International Institutions), GS-II: International Relations
Why in News?
Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 7th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Every year at the Annual Meeting, the Board of Governors meets to take key decisions on important matters relating to AIIB.
The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting was “Sustainable Infrastructure Toward a Connected World”.
About Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank:
- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution proposed by China. The purpose of the multilateral development bank is to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region.
- It is headquartered in Beijing.
- It commenced operations in January 2016.
- By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, it aims to connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.
Membership of AIIB
Membership in the AIIB is open to all members of the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank and is divided into regional and non-regional members.
- Regional members are those located within areas classified as Asia and Oceania by the United Nations.
- Unlike other MDBs (multilateral development bank), the AIIB allows for non-sovereign entities to apply for AIIB membership, assuming their home country is a member.
- Thus, sovereign wealth funds (such as the China Investment Corporation) or state-owned enterprises of member countries could potentially join the Bank.
- The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has officially approved 57 nations as prospective founding members, with Sweden, Israel, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Portugal and Poland the latest to be included.
- Countries accepted as AIIB founding members include China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines, Pakistan, Britain, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and Spain.
- Founding members have priority over nations that sign up later because they will have the right to set the rules for the bank.
- As of May, 2020, the bank currently has 78 members as well as 24 prospective members from around the world.
Financial Capital of AIIB:
- The AIIB’s initial total capital is USD 100 billion divided into 1 million shares of 100 000 dollars each, with 20% paid-in and 80% callable.
- Paid-Up Share Capital: It is the amount of money that has already been paid by investors in exchange for shares of stock.
- Called-Up Share Capital: Some companies may issue shares to investors with the understanding they will be paid at a later date.
- This allows for more flexible investment terms and may entice investors to contribute more share capital than if they had to provide funds up front.
- China is the largest contributor to the Bank, contributing USD 50 billion, half of the initial subscribed capital.
- India is the second-largest shareholder, contributing USD 8.4 billion.
- Voting Rights:
- China is the largest shareholder with 26.61 % voting shares in the bank followed by India (7.6%), Russia (6.01%) and Germany (4.2 %).
- The regional members hold 75% of the total voting power in the Bank.