Current Affairs in Short: 2 March 2021
The World Athletics' Council has unanimously approved the final plan for the reinstatement of the Russian Athletics Federation.
R Ashwin nominated for ICC Player of the Month award for February
• Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been nominated for the International Cricket Council (ICC) men's Player of the Month award for the month of February.
• The ICC announced the nominees for the ICC Player of the Month Awards for February on March 2, 2021. The nominations recognise the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket.
• England's skipper Joe Root and West Indies all-rounder Kyle Mayers have also been nominated for the month of February in the men's category.
• India wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant had won the men's ICC Player of the Month award in January while the women's Player of the Month award was won by South Africa's Shabnim Ismail.
India, New Zealand discuss Indo-Pacific
• External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his New Zealand counterpart, Nanaia Mahuta spoke over phone on March 1, 2021. During the call, the two leaders discussed bilateral issues and the shared vision of the Indo-Pacific and regional issues.
• They also discussed regarding the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and expectations about post-COVID recovery. This was Jaishankar's first interaction with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Mahuta.
• The two Ministers agreed to keep in touch to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries and to promote peace, prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
• Nanaia Mahuta, who was appointed as New Zealand's Foreign Minister on November 6, 2020. is the first woman and first Maori to be appointed as the Foreign Minister of New Zealand. She has more than 20 years of experience as a Parliamentarian.
Massive Iceberg, splits off from Antarctica’s ice shelf
• A giant iceberg, larger than some of the largest cities like Mumbai and New York, has just broken off from the ice shelf of Antarctica.
• The alarming incident was notified by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which reported that the iceberg of approximately 490 square miles detached itself from the Brunt Ice Shelf in February 2021.
• The break showcased a new chasm, named the North Rift, in the Brunt Ice Shelf. It is the third major crack discovered on the Brunt ice shelf in the last 10 years.
• The other two are named Chasm 1 and Halloween Crack, which are measured to be of the same size in the last 18 months, indicating that they are not growing.
• Icebergs are pieces of ice that have broken off from glaciers or ice shelves and float in open water.
Asia Cup to be postponed if India reaches WTC finals?
• Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani confirmed on February 28, 2021 that the Asia Cup, which is scheduled to be held in June 2021 is likely to be postponed if India qualifies for the finals of the World Test Championship.
• The Asia Cup was scheduled to take place last year but it got postponed to this year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The World Test Championship finals is set to be played in June 2021 and the dates of the tournament will clash with that of the Asia Cup.
• The chances of India reaching the finals of the World Test Championship are high hence, the PCB Chairman said that the Asia Cup will have to be pushed to 2023. Sri Lanka is set to host Asia Cup in June.
World Athletics Council approves Russian Athletics Federation reinstatement plan
• The World Athletics' Council has unanimously approved the final plan for the reinstatement of the Russian Athletics Federation. The plan was recommended to the Council last week by the World Athletics' Russia Taskforce.
• The Taskforce Chairman Rune Andersen wrote in an email that the Taskforce has now reviewed and provided detailed feedback on three different drafts of the Reinstatement Plan.
• The three international experts appointed by World Athletics had worked closely with the Russian Athletics Federation on the development of the Reinstatement Plan.
• The Russian Athletics Federation President Peter Ivanov will be required to step down for two years because of his appointment as a senior official of the Russian Government under the reinstatement plan.
• The Federation will be run under the temporary leadership of RusAF Vice-President Irina Privalova as acting President.