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OPEC agrees on modest oil production curbs

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached an agreement to cut oil production for the first time since 2008 after an informal meeting in Algiers, Algeria.

It was decided that OPEC would reduce output to a range of 32.5 to 33.0 million barrels per day (bpd) from its current output at 33.24 million bpd.

However, how much each country will or reduce its output will be decided at the OPEC’s next formal meeting scheduled in November 2016. In this meeting, special invitation will be sent to Russia (non-OPEC member) to join cuts in production.

Impact on India

  • India, being the 3rd largest importer of crude oil imports 85% of total oil and 95% of natural gas from OPEC nations.
  • In recent time due to cheaper oil prices in international market due to overproduction and non-coordination among OPEC countries Indian economy had immensely benefited.
  • However, this decision may result in spike in oil prices which can have major implications for the India’s current account deficit and overall economy in general.
  • In recent times, lower oil prices kept the Indian economy on the shining path and managed to keep inflation under control making it fastest growing economy in G20 countries.

About Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

  • The OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of 14 oil-exporting developing nations that coordinates and unifies the petroleum policies of its member countries.
  • Established: 1960 in Baghdad, Iraq by the first five members.
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria.
  • OPEC Members: Algeria, Angola, Libya, Nigeria and Gabon (from Africa); Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader) Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (from Asia); Ecuador and Venezuela (from Latin America).
  • As of 2015, these 14 OPEC member countries accounted for an estimated 43% of global oil production and 73% of the world’s oil reserves.
  • Two-thirds of OPEC’s oil production and reserves are in its six Middle Eastern (west Asian) countries that surround the oil-rich Persian Gulf.`

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ISRO successfully launches 8 satellites into two different orbits

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for first time has successfully launched eight satellites into two different orbits in a single mission.

These satellites were launched onboard of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C35 (PSLV C35) from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta.

It was PSLV’s longest and most complex mission. It is also for the first time PSLV has successfully placed satellites in two different orbits in single mission.

Key Facts

  • Among the eight satellites launched, three satellites were from India, three from Algeria and one each from Canada and United States.
  • SCATSAT-1 satellite of India weighing 371 kg was the primary payload and remaining other seven customer satellites were secondary payloads (5 foreign and 2 domestic satellite) weighing 304 kg in total.
  • SCATSAT-1 satellite: It is weather satellite that was placed in polar sun synchronous orbit of 730 kilometer height.
  • It will provide weather forecasting services meant for ocean and weather forecasts, cyclone detection and tracking through wind-vector products. It will have life of five years.
  • Pratham: It is a 10-kg satellite developed by students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay.
  • It will be used to study the total electron count in space with a resolution of 1km x 1km location grid.
  • PISAT: It is a 5.25-kg satellite made by students of Bengaluru’s PES University. It will take pictures of earth for remote sensing applications.
  • Three Algerian satellites: Alsat-1B (103 kg), Alsat-2B (110 kg) and Alsat Nano (7 kg). They will be used for remote sensing, earth observation, and technology demonstration.
  • Pathfinder-1: It is US satellite owned by BlackSky. It weighs 44 kg and has a high resolution imaging microsatellite.
  • NLS-19: It is Canadian satellite developed by University of Toronto. It is a nano-satellite weighing 8 kg. It will be used for experiments for reducing space debris.

Comment

  • It was longest and most complex mission because most countries launch satellites in a single orbit and even if multiple satellites are injected in a sequence in the same orbit.
  • However, in this mission PSLV launched its payloads in two different orbits by following twin-orbit manoeuvre. It was recently accomplished by European Space Agency’s Vega rocket.
  • This is a challenging two-in-one mission also puts India in a unique league of nations having the capability to achieve two different orbits in a single mission.
  • This successful mission also has enhanced marketability and versatility of PSLV, ISRO’s workhorse and also increased its unique position global satellite launch services market.

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Forbes’s 2014 billionaires list: Bill Gates reclaims title as world’s richest person

Screenshot_5Microsoft Co-founder, Mr. Bill Gates regained the title of the world’s richest person in the Forbes 2014 billionaire list. Mr. Gates has topped the list for 15 of the last 20 years, with a net worth of $76 billion and Mexico’s telecommunications mogul Mr. Carlos Slim Helu is at second place.

As per the Forbes’ 28th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires 2014

The US leads the list of billionaires in the world with 492 billionaires, followed by China (152) and Russia (111). The list has new billionaires from Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda.
Total number of billionaires in the world: 1,645 with combined net worth of $6.4 trillion.
Top 5 billionaires: Mr. Bill Gates, Mr. Carlos Slim Helu, Mr. Amancio Ortega, Mr. Warren Buffett, and Mr. Larry Ellison (Oracle Corp chief).

  • Highest ranked women on the list: Christy Walton (9), with a net worth of $36.7 billion and Liliane Bettencourt (11) has worth $34.5 billion.
  • World’s youngest billionaire: Ms. Perenna Kei from Hong Kong.
  • WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton join the ranks of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest for the first time.
  • From Internet field: Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg (21), Amazon.com Inc’s Jeff Bezos (18) and Google Inc founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin ranked 17th and 19th.
  • Business Tycoon, Mr. Mukesh Amabani: India’s richest person for the 7th year in a row. Mr. Ambani is ranked 40th globally with net worth of $18.6 billion.
  • India has 56 billionaires in all with a collective net worth of $191.5 billion. 

Note: The Forbes list of billionaires is an annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest people, compiled and published by the American business magazine Forbes. The list only represents each person’s valuation on a single day, due to daily fluctuations among exchange rates and stock valuations.

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