June 2023 Current Affairs

Table of contents

1   Monthly Current Affairs

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Aadhaar authentication for registration for births and deaths

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Odisha Gunvatta Sankalp - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Income Tax (I-T) Rules amendment for Charitable institutions

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Technology Facilitated Gender Based Violence (TFGBV)

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State Election Commission - Edukemy Current Affairs

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DAKSHTA - Edukemy Current Affairs

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National Working Plan Code-2023

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Addition of more caste to OBC List

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Punchhi Commission: Solutions for Manipur Crisis

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Reforming Arbitration Law - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Justice Clock - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Tamil Nadu withdraws general consent accorded to CBI

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Skill Impact Bond initiative - Edukemy Current Affairs

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National Commission for Scheduled Castes

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Disinflation in India - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Tax Devolution - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Nyaya Vikas - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO)

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PM SVANidhi scheme - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Sedition Law in India - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Increased in irrigation cover - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Article 299 of the Constitution

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Guinea Bissau - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India and Egypt Relation - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India-US Trade Dispute at WTO - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India and Egypt Relation - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Heliopolis Memorial in Egypt - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Biden Yeats - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Vietnam - Edukemy Current Affairs

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U.S and UNESCO - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Thaw in US-China Ties and Impact on India

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Kosovo-Serbia conflict - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Suriname - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Iran-Taliban water conflict (Helmand River and Lake Hamun)

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Turkey - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Use of animals for espionage - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Road Networks in India - Edukemy Current Affairs

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New CSR guidelines ‘Sagar Samajik Sahayog’

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Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment 2023-24

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Seven products from Uttar Pradesh get Geographical Indication tag

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Greedflation - Edukemy Current Affairs

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UTPRERAK (Unnat Takniki Pradarshan Kendra)

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Hyperspectral remote sensing (HRS) technology

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Chennai-Vladivostok maritime route

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SEBI Releases Compliance Rules For REITs and InvITs

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World Bank: Toolkit to Support Countries After Natural Disasters

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Role of Punjab and Haryana in de-risking the Indian Economy

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India-US Trade Dispute at WTO - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Role of Punjab and Haryana in de-risking the Indian Economy

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World Bank: Toolkit to Support Countries After Natural Disasters

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Global Liveability Index - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Global Gender Gap Report - 2023

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Market Access for Organic and Natural Produce

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Star Rating Registration Process

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UN adopt High Sea Treaty - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Slowdown in Remittance Growth - Edukemy Current Affairs

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National Time Release Study (NTRS) 2023 report

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Wind Energy in India - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Consequence of Subsidies - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Agric. Ministry's draft guidelines: Bio-stimulant registration

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India: Global Maritime Power by 2030

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e-RUPI vouchers - Edukemy Current Affairs

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IBBI to form ‘common panel’ of insolvency professional

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Ceiling on Wheat Stocks - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Kari Ishad mango - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Default loss guarantee (DLG) - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Global DPI Summit - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Global DPI Summit - Edukemy Current Affairs

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RBI’s Regulation for Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs)

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Interlocking System in Indian Railways

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Indo-US Cooperation in Agriculture

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Measures to Notify Urban Co-operative Banks

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5th State Food Safety Index - Edukemy Current Affairs

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CACP Report on Price Policy for Kharif Crop 2023-24

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Lessons from Thailand on Tourism

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Reviving rubber industry - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Shahan Hydropower Project - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Atmanirbhar in Pulses Compared to Edible Oil

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Low cost finance energy transition Report

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KFON, Kerala Internet Service Scheme

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BRICS: Use of local currencies in global trade

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Adverse possession - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Beverage Lobby Differs with WHO On Non-Sugar Sweeteners (NSS)

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Oil reserves in salt caverns - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Train Safety in India - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Access to assured irrigation - Edukemy Current Affairs

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National Electricity Plan 2022-32

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Semiconductor manufacturing in India

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WORLD’S LARGEST GRAIN STORAGE PLAN

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Additional Disclosure for High Risk Foreign Portfolio Investor

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PILOT PROJECT ON ELECTRONICS REPAIR SERVICES OUTSOURCING (ERSO)

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Mumbai Trans Harbour Link - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Evergreening of Loans - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Lightweight Payments System - Edukemy Current Affairs

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National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC)

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Global Slavery Index - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Theatre Command - Edukemy Current Affairs

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ISRO to Equip Fishing Boats with Satellite Terminals

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SIPRI - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Varunastra - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Indian Navy’s Green Initiatives

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MH60R helicopter - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Insurgency in Manipur - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Combating Greenwashing - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Global Financial Pact on Climate Change

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Wild foods for dietary diversity

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Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Paris Finance Meet - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Drugs harmful to vultures - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Significance of plant literacy in understanding climate change

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Pollution due to Thermal Power Plant

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India Tops US & China in LEED Net Zero

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State of the Climate in Europe 2022 Report

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New Global Financing Pact - Edukemy Current Affairs

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ICIMOD -(HI-WISE) report

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Alligator gar fish - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Duck-billed dinosaur - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Wild orchids of North Bengal - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Synthetic Hydrocarbon Fuel - Edukemy Current Affairs

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New Species of Sea Lettuce - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

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Status of transgenic crops in India

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Great Indian Bustards and Asiatic Lions

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“Virgin Birth” by a crocodile

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Atlantic declaration - Edukemy Current Affairs

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What is happening to Arctic Sea ice?

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More Disclosure from Foreign Portfolio Investors

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Mission on Advanced and High-Impact Research (MAHIR)

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DGFT Permit Import of PET Coke for Lithium Ion Battery

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India’s preferential scheme for LDCs

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RBI’s Payment System Operators (PSOs) norms

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City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) 2.0

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Desiccation-tolerant vascular plant species

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Times of India’s (TOI) ‘Saving Our Stripes’ initiative

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Sal seeds - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Quasi-moon - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Ladakh Lake Sediments Reveal Climate Variability

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Gangetic Dolphins - Edukemy Current Affairs

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ART Regulations 2023- Cost and Conception Opportunities

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Sylvester daCunha - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Battle against Child Labour - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Gender Social Norms Index - Edukemy Current Affairs

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UNDP's 2023 Gender Social Norms Index

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Hyperspectral remote sensing (HRS) technology

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Lasers to Deliver Internet in Remote Areas

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Cell Cultivated Chicken - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Evolution of Eukaryotes from Prokaryotes

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Joha rice - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Cord blood banking - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Chiral Bose-liquid state - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Nilotinib - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Treatment of Textile Wastewater

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Digital Drudgery - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Minimum Dietary Diversity (MDD)

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General Electric Jet Engine Deal

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Tapas UAV - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Tuber-based “Rainbow Diet” Campaign

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Geminid meteors - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Y chromosome - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Global Fund for Recycling Lithium-ion Batteries

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Lab-grown human embryo models - Edukemy Current Affairs

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31 MQ-9B armed drones - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)

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Leptospirosis - Edukemy Current Affairs

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One-shot chikungunya vaccine - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Super-engineered vaccines created to help end polio

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Cholederm - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Hiroshima AI Process (HAP) - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Red giant star Betelgeuse - Edukemy Current Affairs

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

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Taurine - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Captagon pills crisis - Edukemy Current Affairs

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COUNTRY'S FIRST DIMETHYL ETHER (DME) FUELLED TRACTOR USHERS

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Genetic Diversity - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Homo naledi - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Dealing With Deepfakes - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Phage Therapy - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Higgs Boson Decay - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Natural Refrigerant Carbon dioxide

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Ministry of Health Ban 14 Fixed-Dose Combination

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Low-cost finance for energy transition Report by IRENA

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E-Waste: Solar panels - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Smart bandage - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Li-ion battery recycling technology

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A New Treaty of Outer Space - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Centralized Laboratory Network (CLN)

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Neuralink Chip - Edukemy Current Affairs

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GM Food the Best Way of Sustainable Food Production

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Kharchi Puja - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Rani Durgavati (1524 – 1564)

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US to Return Over 100 Antiquities

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Ambubachi Mela - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Liaquat-Nehru Pact - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Mandya’s Hoysala legacy

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Thol Pavai Koothu Puppetry - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Gita Press awarded Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021

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Hamari Bhasha, Hamari Virasat - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Ram Prasad Bismil (1897- 1927)

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Bagh print - Edukemy Current Affairs

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ASI stumbles upon 13th Century tomb-like structure in Siri Fort

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Birsa Munda

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Yakshagana - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Ahilyabai Holkar (1725 – 1795)

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Organic intellectuals - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Dark Patterns in Digital Advertisement

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Neurotechnology and Ethics - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Dengue Infection Geography - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Solar mean magnetic field - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Taiwan Strait - Edukemy Current Affairs

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EHAGL region - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Tectonic Deformation - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Flash Floods - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Belgium - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Gangotri National Park - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Kalasa Banduri Project - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Kareri Lake - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Forced Displacement in 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Groundwater Extraction Alters Earth’s Rotation

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Natural Arch in Odisha - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Sundargarh natural arch - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Anak Krakatau volcano (Indonesia)

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Heat wave Condition and Different type of Alerts

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Water Crisis in Meghalaya - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Cyclone Biparjoy - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Cyclone affects the Monsoon onset

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Kakhovka Dam (Ukraine) - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Ocean Census - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Magnetite - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Groundwater Conservation in India

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Mekedatu dam project - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Seychelles - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC)

2   Monthly Editorial Analysis

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India’s manufacturing challenge

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India’s diaspora decides

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Policy for e-commerce exports - Edukemy Current Affairs

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A future-ready Digital India - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Reforming Multilateral Development Banks

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Outreach to diaspora and statesmanship

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India-Nepal ties - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India: Future of Energy - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India-US meet - Edukemy Current Affairs

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The IPCC AR6 synthesis report - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Trend in wages - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Strengthening the Integrated Child Development Services scheme

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Technology: Future of disabled friendly urban centres

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E-Education: Generative Atificial Intelligence Chapter

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Same-sex marriage: Morality vs Equality

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Technology: Borderless and anonymous

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Sedition - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Indo-Pacific Strategy - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Convert the LAC into a Line of Control

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The Delhi ordinance - Edukemy Current Affairs

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EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

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The future of Finance Commission

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Convert the LAC into a Line of Control

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Indo-Pacific Strategy - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Reforming Multilateral Development Banks

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Trend in wages - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India’s manufacturing challenge

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India: Future of Energy - Edukemy Current Affairs

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The IPCC AR6 synthesis report - Edukemy Current Affairs

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A future-ready Digital India - Edukemy Current Affairs

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E-Education: Generative AI Chapter

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Technology: Borderless and anonymous

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Strengthening the Integrated Child Development Services scheme

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India-US meet - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India-Nepal ties - Edukemy Current Affairs

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EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

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India’s diaspora decides

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The Delhi ordinance - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Sedition - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Same-sex marriage: Morality vs Equality

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Same-sex marriage: Morality vs Equality

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Technology: Future of disabled friendly urban centres

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The future of Finance Commission

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Outreach to diaspora and statesmanship

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Policy for e-commerce exports - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Monthly Mapping in News

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Cuba – USA Confirmed that China has had a spy base in Cuba since 2019

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Belize – Certified as malaria free by WHO

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Suriname – 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians

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Serbia – First visit by an Indian President

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Mali – UN Mission backs constitutional referendum

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Nigeria – Swearing in ceremony of President

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Senegal – Clashes in Senegal

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Belarus- Russia plan to deploy nuclear weapons

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Iran – Iran embassy in Riyadh set to Reopen- Iran unveils its first hypersonic missile

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Lake Victoria – Climatic event to Intensify over the lake victoria

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Oman – India NSA visited Port of Duqm

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Indonesia – Anak krakatau volcano erupted

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Indonesia – Anak krakatau volcano erupted

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Fiji – Reconsidering Security ties with China

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Comoros – INS Trishul visited port of Anjouan

.... Show less Show more
Monthly Current Affairs

Aadhaar authentication for registration for births and deaths


In News: Centre allows Aadhaar authentication for registration for births and deaths

About Aadhaar Authentication for Registration for Births and Deaths

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEiTY) has recently granted permission for the Office of Registrar General of India (RGI) to use the Aadhaar database for identity
  • Central government is empowered to authorize Aadhaar authentication for requesting entities, promoting good governance, preventing misuse of public funds, and facilitating ease of living.
  • Key features:
    • The Registrar appointed under the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969, can perform voluntary Aadhaar authentication to establish identity of:
      • Child, parent, and informant in case of births
      • Parent, spouse, and informant in case of deaths.
    • States and UT administrations will be required to adhere to the guidelines set by MEiTY regarding the use of Aadhaar authentication during registration.
    • Ministry or State governments will have to prepare a proposal justifying use of Aadhar for authentication and submit it to the Centre for reference to UIDAI.
  • For now, Aadhaar authentication for births and deaths registration will not be mandatory but it may be used for additional layer of identity verification.

Overall, Aadhaar authentication aligns with the government's focus on promoting transparency, accountability, and efficient utilization of resources in governance.

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Odisha Gunvatta Sankalp - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Government of Odisha & the Quality Council of India, in collaboration with industry associations – ASSOCHAM, FICCI, EEPC, OASME, PHDCCI, CIPET, FHRAI - launched the Odisha Gunvatta Sankalp (Odisha Quality Mission) at Bhubaneswar.

About:

  • The initiative aims to promote and prioritize quality across various sectors in Odishacreating an ecosystem of quality for a progressive and empowered Odisha.
  • This includes areas such as public service delivery, heritage tourism, healthcare, education, skilling, and infrastructure development.

Quality Council of India:

  • QCI is a non-profit organization registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.
  • Nodal Ministry is the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • QCI established in 1997, is responsible for national accreditation, improving quality across sectors, and advising the government on quality-related matters.

 

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1935392

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Income Tax (I-T) Rules amendment for Charitable institutions


In News: I-T department tweaks disclosure norms for charitable institutions claiming exemption.

About

CBDT has made several amendments (applicable from 1 October 2023) under which Charitable institutions have to:

  • Mention whether the activities undertaken are charitable, religious, or both to claim tax benefits.
  • Furnish details of donations received over Rs 2 lakh in a single day.
  • Under I-T law, income of charitable institutions and religious trusts, and medical and educational institutions are exempt from tax.
  • However, these institutions are required to seek registration from the I-T department.

The Income Tax (I-T) Rules were amended in 2023 to tighten the rules for charitable institutions. The amendments include:

  • Increased scrutiny of applications for registration: The Principal Commissioner or Commissioner of Income-tax will now have the power to examine the objects, genuineness of activities, and past compliances of the institutions before granting registrations.
  • Requirement for charitable institutions to donate 100% of the grant amount to other charities in order to avail full tax exemption. This is to plug a loophole that was being used by some charities to claim tax exemption on chain donations.
  • Exposure of charities to the provisions of 'exit tax: Charities are now liable to pay tax at 34.94% on the accreted income (FMV of assets less FMV of liabilities) upon violation of certain conditions (viz., change in objects, transfer of assets to non-charitable entities, etc.).
  • Changes to the forms that need to be filed by charitable institutions: New forms have been introduced for applications for registration, approval, and annual returns.

The amendments are aimed at ensuring that charitable institutions are used for their intended purpose and that tax benefits are not misused.

Key changes that were made to the Income Tax (I-T) Rules in 2023:

  • Rule 2C: This rule was amended to require charitable institutions to deposit 100% of the grant amount received from other charities into a separate bank account. This is to prevent the misuse of chain donations.
  • Rule 11AA: This rule was amended to require charitable institutions to file an annual return with the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner of Income-tax. The return must include information about the institution's activities, income, and expenditure.
  • Rule 17A: This rule was amended to require charitable institutions to get their accounts audited by a chartered accountant. The audit report must be filed with the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner of Income-tax.

The amendments to the Income Tax (I-T) Rules are a significant development for charitable institutions in India. The changes are aimed at ensuring that these institutions are used for their intended purpose and that tax benefits are not misused.

 

 

https://m.economictimes.com/news/economy/policy/i-t-department-tweaks-disclosure-norms-for-charitable-institutions-claiming-exemption/articleshow/101284185.cms

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Technology Facilitated Gender Based Violence (TFGBV)


In News: Government deliberates on Digital India Bill to establish an internet-age governance framework to secure the vulnerable

About Technology Facilitated Gender Based Violence (TFGBV)

  • Technology Facilitated Gender Based Violence (TFGBV) refers to the misuse of technology to perpetrate harm, threaten, stalk, or harass individuals based on their sexual or gender identity.
  • It involves the exploitation of devices, accounts, software, and platforms to control, abuse, track, and intimidate victim-survivors.
  • The increased exposure of personal lives on the internet and enhanced user data sharing have led to the emergence of TFGBV.
  • Perpetrators of tech abuse utilize various tools such as phones, computers, email accounts, social media, and tracking apps to carry out their abusive actions.
  • It poses significant harm to the safety and well-being of individuals, necessitating the strengthening of response mechanisms and victim redressal measures.
  • Challenges:
    • Existing social norms and a widening gender digital divide contribute to the vulnerability of marginalized groups to online violence.
    • Women often face restricted access to the internet, leading to lower reporting rates due to fear of losing ownership and usage of technology.
    • Research indicates that female journalists, women's rights workers, and politicians experience higher rates of online abuse compared to other women.
    • The outdated legal frameworks, such as the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, are ill-equipped to address the evolving nature of internet-based harms.
    • Specific laws aimed at the digital ecosystem, like the Information Technology Actdo not adequately address gender-based crimes in the tech space.
  • Steps to improve situation:
    • It is crucial to revamp regulatory interventions and enact legislation that specifically addresses gender-based violence on the internet.
    • Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) should facilitate dedicated training to understand the forms and effects of tech-based violence and effectively prevent and respond to such incidents.
    • Legislative measures should prioritize accountability from platforms while safeguarding the rights of younger users.
    • Additional funding should be allocated to create survivor-centric resources, such as legal support and therapy services, through community-led collaborations.
  • In the due course, India can learn from time tested international frameworks, such as those in Singapore, Australia, and the US for development of targeted responsibility sharing.
  • Overall, coordinated action among stakeholders, including the government, LEAs, platforms, and community organizations can go a long way for creation of an effective response system.

https://www.livemint.com/opinion/columns/the-digital-india-bill-should-help-us-fight-against-gender-injustice-11687457545110.html

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

State Election Commission - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in News: State Election Commission accountable for all bloodshed during panchayat polls, says West Bengal Governor.

State Election Commission (SEC):

  • A Constitutional Body responsible for conducting free, fair, and impartial elections to local bodies in the state.
  • The State Election Commissioner is appointed by the Governor.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Powers: As per Article 243K(1) and 243ZA, the superintendence, direction, and control of the preparation of electoral rolls and conduct elections to Panchayats (243K(1)) and Municipalities (243ZA) is vested in the SEC.
  • Tenure: As per Article 243K(2), The service and tenure of the State Election Commissioner is subject to the law made by the State Legislature.
  • Removal: As per Article 243K(2), The State Election Commissioner shall not be removed except in like manner and on like ground as a Judge of a High Court. Also, the condition of service shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.

Challenges of SECs:

  • Violence during elections: As per the recent statement of West Bengal Governor, SEC is accountable for violence during recent panchayat polls.
  • Lack of Autonomy: Tenure and appointment of the State Election Commissioner are subject to the law made by the respective state legislature.
  • Conflict with the state government: In 2008 state election commissioner of Maharashtra was arrested and sent to jail after the Legislative assembly found him guilty of breach of privilege in an alleged conflict over his jurisdiction and powers.
  • Non-Uniform Service Conditions: Each SEC is governed by a separate law as passed by respective state legislatures.

Suggestions for Reforms in SECs:

  • In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that serving bureaucrats must not be appointed as election commissioners to ensure the independence of the SECs.
  • As per the suggestion of 2nd ARC, the State Election Commissioner should be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of a collegium comprising the Chief Minister, the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly and the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sec-accountable-for-all-blood-shed-during-panchayat-polls-says-wb-governor/article66997962.ece#:~:text=West%20Bengal%20Governor%20C.V.,is%20shed%20in%20the%20field.

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

DAKSHTA - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? A new curated collection, DAKSHTA (Development of Attitude, Knowledge, Skill for Holistic Transformation in Administration) For Young Professionals, is now Live on the iGOT Karmayogi Platform.

About:

  • This collection consists of 18 courses designed to enhance functional, domain, and behavioral competencies necessary for effective duty discharge such as data-driven decision-making, code of conduct, communication skills, public policy, stress management, and more.
  • The iGOT Karmayogi Platform (https://igotkarmayogi.gov.in/) is a comprehensive online portal to guide government officials in their capacity-building journey.
  • The portal combines 6 functional hubs for online learning, competency management, career management, discussions, events and networking.
  • The platform is managed by Karmayogi Bharat, a government-owned not-for-profit organization under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions.
  • Currently, 40 Young Professionals and Consultants in NITI Aayog are undergoing phase-wise induction training through this curated collection of courses on the iGOT Karmayogi Platform.

 

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1933344

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

National Working Plan Code-2023


In News: Union government releases the "National Working Plan Code-2023"

About National Working Plan Code-2023:

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has recently released the "National Working Plan Code-2023" for scientific management of forests.
  • India is one of the few countries with a scientific system of forest management, and the new working plan is the main instrument for achieving
  • The National Working Plan Code, first adopted in 2004, aims to bring uniformity and serve as a guiding principle for the preparation of working plans for different forest divisions in the country.
  • The forests in India are managed for various reasons, including:
    • Environmental stability, natural heritage conservation.
    • Soil erosion prevention, dune control,
    • Increasing forest cover with public involvement, and enhancing forest productivity.
  • Major highlights:
    • The code will focus on essentials of forest management planning and incorporates principles of sustainable forest management.
    • It includes aspects such as forest and tree cover extent and conditionbiodiversity conservation, wildlife management.
    • It will also include soil and water resource conservation, forest resource productivity enhancement, and socio-economic benefits.
    • For the first time, the code mandates state forest departments to engage in continuous data collection and its updation in a centralized database.
    • It introduces the "Indian Forest Management Standard" as part of the new code to bring uniformity in forest management practices while considering the diverse forest ecosystems in India.
  • The Forest Standard is based on long-term experiences of scientific forest management in India and aligns with international criteria and indicators.
  • It will enable state forest departments to measure the effectiveness of management practices against the prescriptions of Working Plans.
  • Overall, Scientific Forest management in India and globally is continually evolving with new approaches, technologies, and innovations and in this regard the new Code will serve as a guiding principle.

 

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1933043

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Addition of more caste to OBC List


In News: NCBC proposes addition of more caste to OBC central List

About Addition of more castes to OBC List:

  • The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) is processing the addition of approximately 80 castes to the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
  • Once the decisions are made, the recommendations are sent to the Cabinet for final approval and subsequent legislation.

Major recommendation:

STATE

Major Communities

Andhra Pradesh

Turup Kapu

Himachal Pradesh

Majhra

Punjab

Yadav

Maharashtra

Lodhi, Lingayat, Bhoyar Pawar, and Jhandse

Haryana

Gosai/Gosain

  • The Central OBC list currently includes over 2,650 communities from different states and union territories.
  • The addition of these castes to the Central OBC list will provide them with access to various government benefits and reservations in educational institutions and job opportunities.
  • Overall, the expansion of the OBC list will further help to ensure equitable representation and upliftment of marginalized communities beside fostering social equality in the society.

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

  • NCBC is a constitutional body established to safeguard the rights and interests of backward classes in India.
  • It was established in pursuance of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
  • Its primary objective is to identify and recommend the inclusion or exclusion of communities in the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
  • The Commission examines the backwardness of various communities based on social, educational, and economic indicators.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/around-80-more-communities-likely-to-be-added-to-central-obc-list/article66972886.ece

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Monthly Current Affairs

Punchhi Commission: Solutions for Manipur Crisis


In News: Experts deliberates on Punchhi commission recommendations that could potentially address the ongoing crisis in Manipur.

About Punchhi Commission recommendations and potential solutions for Manipur Crisis:

  • The Punchhi Commission was established in 2007 to examine Centre-state relations, and it offers a potential solution to the current impasse in Manipur.
  • The Commission's Fifth Task Force studied criminal justice, national security, and Centre-state cooperation.
  • Major recommendations:
    • It recommended the feasibility of supporting legislation under Article 355 for the deployment of Central forces in states when the situation demands.
    • It acknowledged the reluctance of political parties, especially in Opposition-ruled states, to allow the Centre to take over elected administrations during temporary breakdowns in law and order.
    • It proposed "Localised Emergency provisions" under Article 355, enabling the imposition of Central rule in a limited affected area for a period not exceeding three months while the rest of the state's elected government continues functioning.
    • It suggested to amend the Communal Violence Bill to ensure that state consent does not hinder the deployment of central forces during serious communal riots.
    • The proposed amendment suggests a one-week deployment, followed by post-facto consent from the state.
  • Previously, similar strategies were employed during the Telangana insurgency in 1950, where the central Intelligence Bureau(IB) took charge of law and order in Communist strongholds.
  • Overall, by implementing these recommendations through constitutional amendments, the Centre can administer specific areas in Manipur without disrupting the elected government.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/how-an-old-report-can-pave-way-for-central-forces-to-stabilise-manipur-8667810/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Reforming Arbitration Law - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Centre sets up a panel led by former Law Secy T K Vishwanathan to recommend reforms in arbitration law.

About

The Indian government has set up a panel led by former law secretary T K Vishwanathan to recommend reforms in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The panel has 30 days to report back, and its terms of reference include evaluating and analysing the operation of the present arbitration ecosystem of the country, and recommending reforms to reduce the burden on courts.

The Need for Reform

  • Arbitration is a process by which parties to a dispute agree to have their differences resolved by a neutral third party, rather than going to court. It is often seen as a more efficient and cost-effective way to resolve disputes, and India has a long history of arbitration.
  • However, there are some areas where the current arbitration law in India could be improved. For example, the law could be made more streamlined and efficient, and the cost of arbitration could be reduced. Additionally, the law could be strengthened to ensure that arbitrators are impartial and independent and that the rights of the parties to the dispute are protected.

Panel's Recommendations

The panel is expected to submit its recommendations in the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see what reforms they recommend, and how they will impact the arbitration landscape in India.

Key issues that the panel is likely to consider:

  • Streamlining the arbitration process: The panel could recommend reforms to make the arbitration process more streamlined and efficient. This could include shortening the time limits for completing arbitration proceedings, and reducing the number of procedural steps that need to be taken.
  • Reducing the cost of arbitration: The panel could also recommend reforms to reduce the cost of arbitration. This could include capping the fees that arbitrators can charge, and providing for more cost-effective ways to appoint arbitrators.
  • Strengthening the impartiality and independence of arbitrators: The panel could recommend reforms to strengthen the impartiality and independence of arbitrators. This could include requiring arbitrators to disclose any conflicts of interest, and providing for more effective mechanisms for challenging arbitrators.
  • Protecting the rights of the parties to the dispute: The panel could also recommend reforms to protect the rights of the parties to the dispute. This could include ensuring that the parties have a right to be heard, and that their evidence is fairly considered.

The reforms recommended by the panel will have a significant impact on the arbitration landscape in India. They could make India an even more attractive destination for international arbitration, and boost foreign investment and trade. It will be interesting to see what the panel recommends, and how the reforms are implemented.

 

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/centre-sets-up-panel-led-by-former-law-secy-t-k-vishwanathan-to-recommend-reforms-in-arbitration-law/articleshow/101047183.cms?from=mdr

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Monthly Current Affairs

Justice Clock - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Electronic signage systems called Justice Clocks have been installed in the court complexes of High Courts.

About:

  • It is an LED display of 7 feet by 10 feet, placed at a height of 17 feet from the ground.
  • This ‘Justice Clock’ will exhibit vital statistics of the justice delivery system, to maximise outreach and visibility of the work done by the state judiciary.
  • These clocks aim to inform stakeholders about key court-related parameters and provide a bird’s eye view of court-related data.
  • The initiative is expected to increase awareness among the public about the judicial process.
  • The interface has been designed and developed in-house and will display data from the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) in real-time.

 

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1932637

Keywords: CA
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Monthly Current Affairs

Skill Impact Bond initiative - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Under the Skill Impact Bond (SIB) initiative, nearly 18,000 first-time job seekers have been skilled, with 72% of them being women.

About:

  • The Skill Impact Bond (SIB) is India’s first development impact bond for skilling and employment.
  • It is a public-private partnership (PPP) model that emphasizes providing employment opportunities to trainees rather than just issuing training certificates.
  • It is launched by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with global partners.
  • Aim is to benefit 50,000 young Indians (over 4 years), with a focus on empowering women (60% of beneficiaries)
  • The SIB addresses the impact of the pandemic on women and employment, removes barriers to women’s workforce retention, and leverages private sector capital and expertise.
  • It also works towards strengthening India’s technical and vocational education ecosystem through knowledge exchange and mainstreaming good practices.

 

https://www.business-standard.com/economy/news/skill-impact-bond-initiative-skilled-nearly-18-000-first-time-job-seekers-123061401015_1.html 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

National Commission for Scheduled Castes


In News: NCSC sends notice to food delivery company Zomato for airing a casteist advertisement featuring a Dalit character.

About NCSC:

  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) is a statutory body established under Article 338 of the Constitution of India.
  • The body is responsible for safeguarding the rights and interests of Scheduled Castes(SCs) besides ensuring effective implementation of constitutional provisions and other laws related to SCs.
  • It also provides recommendations and advice to the government on policies, legislation, and development programs for Scheduled Castes.
  • It consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and five members appointed by the President of India.
  • Chairperson and members have the same powers as a civil court while investigating complaints.
  • It conducts inquiries and investigations into specific complaints of atrocities or discrimination against Scheduled Castes.
  • It can also take suo motu cognizance of matters related to Scheduled Castes' welfare and initiates appropriate action.
  • It can summon witnesses, examine documents, and issue summons and warrants during its investigations.
  • It collaborates with other organizations and authorities to promote the welfare of SCs beside providing legal aid and support SCs facing discrimination or injustice.
  • It organizes awareness campaigns, workshops, and seminars to educate people about the rights of Scheduled Castes.
  • Overall, it is the cradle of social integration and equality for Scheduled Castes besides working towards eliminating caste-based discrimination and promoting social harmony.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/national-commission-for-scheduled-castes-notice-to-zomato-delhi-police-youtube-over-casteist-advertisement/article66964808.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Disinflation in India - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das states that India's disinflation process will be slow and protracted.

About Disinflation in India:

  • India has been experiencing a gradual disinflation in recent years which in economic terms is a decrease in the rate of inflation or a period of slowing inflation.
  • In this regard, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been implementing monetary policy measures to target inflation rates of 4% over the medium term.
  • The benchmark set by the RBI has been slow and protracted in recent years thus taking time to reach the desired inflation target.
  • Inflation projections for the current financial year indicate a rate of 5.1%, which is lower but still above the target.
  • Although the Retail inflation data has been showing a cooling trend, the analysts expect inflation to remain sticky and pose challenges in the coming months.
  • Role of MPC:
    • The RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by Governor plays a crucial role in managing inflation and ensuring price stability.
    • The MPC aims to strike a balance between controlling inflation and supporting economic growth.
    • RBI uses policy decisions, such as rate hikes or pauses to maintain stability in the financial system.
  • While disinflation is necessary to control prices, policymakers also consider the potential impact on economic growth and employment.
  • Achieving disinflation requires a combination of monetary policy measures, fiscal discipline, structural reforms, and supply-side interventions.
  • In this regard, the government's efforts to improve productivity, ease supply constraints, and promote investment can contribute to the disinflationary process.
  • Overall, Inflation management and disinflationary measures are essential for maintaining macroeconomic stability and supporting sustainable economic growth in India.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/indias-disinflation-process-to-be-slow-protracted-says-cenbank-chief/article66965158.ece

 

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Monthly Current Affairs

Tax Devolution - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The Centre has released Rs 1.18 lakh crore as the third regular instalment of tax devolution to the states in June. One advance instalment, in addition to the regular instalment due in June 2023, has also been released.

About Tax Devolution:

  • Tax devolution refers to the distribution of tax revenues between the central government and the state governments. It is a constitutional mechanism established to allocate the proceeds of certain taxes among the Union and the states in a fair and equitable manner.
  • The Finance Commission established by Article 280 of the constitution is assigned with the task of making recommendations regarding the division of the net proceeds of taxes between the Union and the states.
  • The 15th Finance Commission, headed by N K Singh, recommended vertical devolution at 41% to states against 14th FC recommendation of 42% in order to adjust for the change in status of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • For horizontal devolution, it has suggested 12.5% weightage to demographic performance, 45% to income, 15% each to population and area, 10% to forest and ecology and 2.5% to tax and fiscal efforts.
  • Finance Commission recommended post-devolution revenue deficit grants amounting to about Rs. 3 trillion over the five-year period ending FY26, to help fiscally stressed states by COVID
  • An advance instalment was released in June, 2023 in order to enable the states
    • To speed up capital spending, finance their development/welfare-related expenditure
    • To make available resources for priority projects/ schemes.

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-releases-118-lakh-cr-as-third-instalment-of-tax-devolution-to-states-in-june/article66960453.ece

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Monthly Current Affairs

Nyaya Vikas - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Nyaya Vikas Portal is created by Ministry of Law and Justice for monitoring the implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS).

About

  • Department of Justice has been implementing CSS for Development of Infrastructure Facilities
  • for Districts and Subordinate Judiciary since 1993-94.
  • Central assistance is provided to the State Government / UT Administrations for construction of court halls and residential units for Judicial Officers / Judges of District, etc.
  • Funding for the Scheme: North Eastern and Himalayan States (90:10); Union Territories (100%), remaining states (60:40).

 

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1930074

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO)


In News: Recently, MeitY launched a pilot project on Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO) ERSO to make India Global Repair Capital

About

  • Government launched the ERSO Pilot initiative to validate certain transformational policy and process changes to make India the Repair Capital of the World.
  • Over the next 5 years, India’s ERSO industry is likely to fetch India a upto $20 billion in revenue and also generate millions of jobs.
  • ERSO has been identified as a gamechanger for India and has been supported by the Government to make India a world leader in a hitherto untapped domain.

Read Right to Repair

https://edukemy.com/daily-current-affairs/right-to-repair/2022-07-19

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1928643

 

 

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Monthly Current Affairs

PM SVANidhi scheme - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently government launched a Mobile app for loan applications for street vendors under the PM SVANidhi scheme

About

  • The PM SVANidhi is a micro credit scheme which was launched by the Central government in 2020 to provide handholding support to street vendors, to tide over pandemic-induced economic stress.
  • The scheme facilitates a working capital collateral-free loan of ₹10,000, with subsequent loans of ₹20,000 and ₹50,000 with 7% interest subsidy.
  • Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister launched a facility to provide easy access to vendors for obtaining Udyam Registration Certificate for promotion of their business.
  • The ‘Udyam’ registration certificate for street vendors was launched with the help of the Ministry of Small and Medium enterprises. It simplifies the process of registering a business.
  • The scheme facilitates working capital loans in three tranches to the street vendors. It has been providing microcredits to more than 36 lakh street vendors across India.

https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/mobile-app-for-loan-application-for-street-vendors-under-pm-svanidhi-scheme/article66920410.ece

 

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Monthly Current Affairs

Sedition Law in India - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently, the Law Commission of India said that “repealing the legal provision can have serious adverse ramifications for the security and integrity of the country”.

About

  • The Law Commission of India has recommended the retention of the 153-year-old colonial law on sedition in India, emphasising that “repealing the legal provision can have serious adverse ramifications for the security and integrity of the country.”
  • Law Commission favoured amending Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (sedition law) to bring about more clarity in the interpretation, understanding, and usage of the provision.

  • Commission recommended Section 124A should be amended to align it with the Supreme Court’s 1962 verdict in the Kedar Nath Case, which underlined that the presence of a pernicious tendency to incite violence is a precondition to invoke the sedition clause and that the penal provision cannot be used to stifle free speech.
  • Law commission suggest that sedition law, which carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment or “three years”, should be amended to enhance the alternative punishment to “seven years”.

Issues related to Sedition Law

  • A law of Colonial Era: Under British rule, individuals who expressed criticism towards British policies faced imprisonment through the manipulation of sedition by colonial administrators. Prominent figures in the freedom movement, including Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru were prosecuted under sedition law.
  • Repressing Democratic Values: India is being described as an elected autocracy primarily because of the callous and calculated use of sedition law.
  • Supreme Court’s Judgement: In the case of Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar in 1962, the Supreme Court established a limitation on the application of sedition. The court ruled that sedition should only be applicable to "acts involving intention or tendency to create disorder, or disturbance of law and order, or incitement to violence."
  • View Constituent Assembly: The members of the Constituent Assembly held the belief that the sedition law had the potential to restrict freedom of speech and expression. They raised concerns that this law could be misused as a tool to suppress the legitimate and constitutionally guaranteed right of the people to engage in peaceful protests.

Significance of Sedition Law in India

  • Protecting National Security: The sedition law in India is seen as significant in safeguarding the integrity and sovereignty of the nation by discouraging actions or expressions that threaten the government's authority, promote violence, or incite rebellion.
  • Balancing Individual Freedom and State Interests: Supporters argue that sedition laws strike a balance between individual freedom of speech and the interests of the state, aiming to maintain national security and social order.
  • Maintaining Unity & Integrity: Sedition law helps the government in combating anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements.
  • Maintaining the Stability of State: The sedition law plays a crucial role in safeguarding the elected government from violent and illegal attempts to overthrow it. Preserving the continuity of a legally established government is vital for maintaining the stability of the State.

 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/law-commission-recommends-retention-of-sedition-law-in-india-proposes-changes-101685681464225.html

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Increased in irrigation cover - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? According to a NITI Aayog member, more than half of India’s cultivated land now has access to assured irrigation led by an expansion in micro-projects that use water more efficiently.

About:

  • In 2022-23, of 210 million hectares of gross sown area, nearly 55%, had irrigation access, up from 47.8% in 2013-14.
  • Increase in irrigation cover is attributed to expansion especially in dryland farm zones of Telangana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • Out of total irrigated area, 40% is currently watered through canal networks, and 60% through groundwater.
  • Increase has been driven by Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Accelerated Irrigation Benefit ProgrammeHar Khet Ko Paani-Surface Minor Irrigation etc.

 

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/over-50-of-india-s-cultivated-land-now-has-assured-irrigation-thanks-to-expansion-in-micro-projects-and-efficient-water-use-11685555001532.html

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Article 299 of the Constitution


In News: Supreme Court rules that when entering into contracts under the President's name, the government cannot claim immunity from the legal provisions of that contract under Article 299 of the Constitution.

About Article 299 of the Constitution:

  • Article 299 of the Constitution pertains to the manner in which contracts made by the government are to be expressed and executed.
  • It applies to contracts made in the exercise of the executive power of the Union or of a State.
  • According to it, all such contracts must be expressed to be made by the President or by the Governor of the State.
  • Contracts and assurances of property made in the exercise of that power must be executed on behalf of the President or the Governor by persons authorized and directed by them.
  • The phrase 'expressed to be made and executed' implies that there must be a written contract or deed executed by a person duly authorized by the President or the Governor.
  • The objective of Article 299 is to establish a specific procedure for making contracts on behalf of the government, preventing unauthorized or illegitimate contracts that may deplete public funds.
  • Contracts not adhering to the manner given in Article 299(1) cannot be enforced by any contracting party.
  • However, Article 299(2) clarifies that neither the President nor the Governor can be personally held liable for contracts made under their name.
  • Thus, the provision of the article ensures transparency and accountability in government contracts, while also protecting government officials from personal liability.
  • Previously, the courts have established the essential conditions in government contracts through judgments in cases including 'K.P. Chowdhry v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Others, 1966., and 'State of Bihar v. Messrs. Karam Chand Thapar' in 1962.

 

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-law/govt-immunity-contract-president-name-sc-8636329/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Guinea Bissau - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently, a French shipping major resumed service for cashew export from Guinea-Bissau to India and Vietnam.

About

  • Guinea-Bissau, officially known as the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, is a small West African country located on the Atlantic coast.
  • Guinea-Bissau is bordered by Senegal to the north, Guinea to the south and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
  • The country has a tropical climate and has diverse ecosystems, including coastal mangroves, savannahs, and dense forests.
  • The capital and largest city of Guinea-Bissau is Bissau.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/logistics/french-shipping-major-resumes-service-for-cashew-export-from-guinea-bissau-to-india-and-vietnam/article67000742.ece 

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

India and Egypt Relation - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently, India's Prime minister visited Egypt.

India and Egypt share a long-standing history of cultural and diplomatic ties. Over the years, the bilateral relationship between these two nations has strengthened, encompassing various sectors such as trade, defense, tourism, and cultural exchange. This article explores the key aspects and recent developments in the India-Egypt relationship.

Historical Background:

  • Ancient civilizational links: India and Egypt have had historical and cultural connections dating back to ancient times. Both civilizations have interacted through trade routes and shared knowledge in fields such as astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.
  • Non-Aligned Movement: India and Egypt were among the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, which played a significant role during the Cold War era in promoting the principles of neutrality, sovereignty, and mutual cooperation.

Diplomatic Relations:

  • Establishment of diplomatic ties: India and Egypt established diplomatic relations in 1947, shortly after India's independence. The bilateral ties were further reinforced through the opening of resident missions in New Delhi and Cairo.
  • High-level visits: The relationship has been strengthened through regular high-level visits between leaders of both countries. These visits have served as platforms for discussions on various issues of mutual interest and have contributed to enhancing cooperation.

Economic Cooperation:

  • Trade and Investment: Economic cooperation forms a vital pillar of India-Egypt relations. Bilateral trade between the two countries has witnessed significant growth, with a focus on sectors such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, machinery, and information technology. Both nations have also encouraged investment opportunities, leading to joint ventures and collaborations.
  • Bilateral agreements: India and Egypt have signed several bilateral agreements to promote economic cooperation, including agreements on trade, investment protection, double taxation avoidance, and agriculture. These agreements provide a framework for enhancing economic engagement.

Defense and Security Cooperation:

  • Military cooperation: India and Egypt have collaborated in the defense sector through the exchange of defense-related delegations, joint military exercises, and training programs. This cooperation has contributed to enhancing the capabilities of both countries' armed forces.
  • Counterterrorism: India and Egypt have cooperated closely in the fight against terrorism. Both countries have faced common challenges and have exchanged information and intelligence to counter the menace of terrorism and extremism.

 

Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges:

  • Cultural exchanges: India and Egypt have a rich cultural heritage, and both countries have fostered cultural exchanges through events such as festivals, exhibitions, and performances. These exchanges help in promoting mutual understanding and strengthen people-to-people contacts.
  • Educational ties: Educational cooperation between India and Egypt has expanded over the years. Indian universities attract Egyptian students, while scholarships and exchange programs facilitate academic collaborations and promote educational linkages.

Recent Developments:

  • COVID-19 cooperation: India and Egypt have cooperated in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. India has provided medical supplies, vaccines, and technical assistance to Egypt to support its efforts in tackling the crisis.
  • Renewable energy collaboration: Both countries have shown interest in collaborating on renewable energy projects. India's expertise in the field of solar energy aligns with Egypt's renewable energy goals, opening avenues for collaboration in this sector.

The relationship between India and Egypt is characterized by historical ties, shared values, and cooperation in various sectors. The strengthening of diplomatic, economic, defense, and cultural ties between the two countries reflects a commitment to fostering mutual prosperity and strategic partnership. As both nations continue to collaborate and engage, the India-Egypt relationship is expected to further deepen in the years to come.

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

India-US Trade Dispute at WTO - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in News: Recently, India and USA have agreed to end 6 trade disputes at the WTO.

Resolved disputes by India and USA:

  • Initiated by India –
    • Renewable energy sector measures.
    • Measures on Steel and Aluminium products.
    • Countervailing measures on some hot–rolled carbon steel flat products from India.
  • Initiated by USA –
    • Export-related measures (India’s support to its export sector under different schemes).
    • Some measures related to solar cells and modules.
    • Additional duties on some products from the USA.

Significance of resolution of disputes:

  • It is likely to contribute to the promotion of trade.
  • It will enhance India’s exports to the USA (In 2022-23, the USA was the largest trading partner of India with bilateral trade of $128.8 billion).
  • It will promote a 2+2 dialogue between the two nations.

WTO dispute resolution process:

  1. Bilateral consultations between the parties.
  2. Establishment of a dispute settlement panel if consultations fail.
  3. Adjudication by panels.

Appellate Mechanism:

  • The ruling and reports of the panels can be challenged by WTO’s appellate body.
  • The appellate body is not functioning because the USA has been blocking the appointment of members.
  • As an alternative option, a Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA) has been formed by the members.
  • MPIA was formed in 2020.
  • Any member can join MPIA by notifying the Dispute Settlement Body. India is not a member yet.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/business/india-us-decision-to-end-wto-disputes-to-help-boost-bilateral-trade-experts/article67000615.ece

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

India and Egypt Relation - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently, India's Prime minister visited Egypt.

India and Egypt share a long-standing history of cultural and diplomatic ties. Over the years, the bilateral relationship between these two nations has strengthened, encompassing various sectors such as trade, defense, tourism, and cultural exchange. This article explores the key aspects and recent developments in the India-Egypt relationship.

Historical Background:

  • Ancient civilizational links: India and Egypt have had historical and cultural connections dating back to ancient times. Both civilizations have interacted through trade routes and shared knowledge in fields such as astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.
  • Non-Aligned Movement: India and Egypt were among the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, which played a significant role during the Cold War era in promoting the principles of neutrality, sovereignty, and mutual cooperation.

Diplomatic Relations:

  • Establishment of diplomatic ties: India and Egypt established diplomatic relations in 1947, shortly after India's independence. The bilateral ties were further reinforced through the opening of resident missions in New Delhi and Cairo.
  • High-level visits: The relationship has been strengthened through regular high-level visits between leaders of both countries. These visits have served as platforms for discussions on various issues of mutual interest and have contributed to enhancing cooperation.

Economic Cooperation:

  • Trade and Investment: Economic cooperation forms a vital pillar of India-Egypt relations. Bilateral trade between the two countries has witnessed significant growth, with a focus on sectors such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, machinery, and information technology. Both nations have also encouraged investment opportunities, leading to joint ventures and collaborations.
  • Bilateral agreements: India and Egypt have signed several bilateral agreements to promote economic cooperation, including agreements on trade, investment protection, double taxation avoidance, and agriculture. These agreements provide a framework for enhancing economic engagement.

Defense and Security Cooperation:

  • Military cooperation: India and Egypt have collaborated in the defense sector through the exchange of defense-related delegations, joint military exercises, and training programs. This cooperation has contributed to enhancing the capabilities of both countries' armed forces.
  • Counterterrorism: India and Egypt have cooperated closely in the fight against terrorism. Both countries have faced common challenges and have exchanged information and intelligence to counter the menace of terrorism and extremism.

Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges:

  • Cultural exchanges: India and Egypt have a rich cultural heritage, and both countries have fostered cultural exchanges through events such as festivals, exhibitions, and performances. These exchanges help in promoting mutual understanding and strengthen people-to-people contacts.
  • Educational ties: Educational cooperation between India and Egypt has expanded over the years. Indian universities attract Egyptian students, while scholarships and exchange programs facilitate academic collaborations and promote educational linkages.

Recent Developments:

  • COVID-19 cooperation: India and Egypt have cooperated in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. India has provided medical supplies, vaccines, and technical assistance to Egypt to support its efforts in tackling the crisis.
  • Renewable energy collaboration: Both countries have shown interest in collaborating on renewable energy projects. India's expertise in the field of solar energy aligns with Egypt's renewable energy goals, opening avenues for collaboration in this sector.

The relationship between India and Egypt is characterized by historical ties, shared values, and cooperation in various sectors. The strengthening of diplomatic, economic, defense, and cultural ties between the two countries reflects a commitment to fostering mutual prosperity and strategic partnership. As both nations continue to collaborate and engage, the India-Egypt relationship is expected to further deepen in the years to come.

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Heliopolis Memorial in Egypt - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Prime Minister of India will pay his respects at the Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial in the Heliopolis War Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt.

About:

  • The Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial is part of the larger Heliopolis Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.
  • This memorial commemorates the memory of Indian soldiers who died fighting in various campaigns in Egypt and Palestine in the First World War.
  • The original Port Tewfik memorial was unveiled in 1926 and was situated at the entrance to the Suez Canal.
  • Port Tewfik is now known as Port Suez.
  • The memorial was destroyed in the Israeli-Egyptian War of 1967 by retreating Egyptian soldiers, and a new memorial was erected in Heliopolis Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in 1980.
  • The Indian troops played a key role in securing the Suez Canal in Egypt and in Palestine, where Indian cavalry participated in the Battle of Haifa and also played a key role in Mesopotamia in the First World War.
  • The memorial includes the names of soldiers from various Indian regiments and also commemorates Risaldar Badlu Singh, who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery (the highest British wartime gallantry award)

Port Suez

  • It is located in Egypt along the northern coastline of the Gulf of Suez.
  • The port and city mark the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, which runs north-south through Egypt from the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf of Suez.
  • The port serves vessels transporting general cargo, oil tankers, and both commercial and private passenger vessels.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/pm-modi-egypt-heliopolis-memorial-history-8682314/#:~:text=The%20Heliopolis%20(Port%20Tewfik)%20Memorial%20is%20part%20of%20the%20larger,in%20the%20First%20World%20War.

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Biden Yeats - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Indian Prime Minister presents gifts to US President during his visit to White House in Washington DC.

About Biden Yeats:

  • Biden Yeats refers to the gift exchange between Indian Prime Minister and US President especially the Yeats' translation work of Indian Upanishads.
  • The gifts given by Indian PM includes:
    • Yeats' 'Ten Principal Upanishads': First edition print of the book from 1937 which is a collaborative translation by Irish poet WB Yeats and scholar Shri Purohit Swami.
    • Lab-grown Diamond: A 7.5 carat lab-grown diamond to President which are created in a controlled environment using technological processes, offering an ethical and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds.
    • Sandalwood Box: An exquisite sandalwood box which is highly valued in Indian culture for its fragrance and aesthetic appeal.
  • Importance of Book:
    • The Upanishads are foundational texts in Hindu theology and explore concepts such as the connection between humanity and the cosmos.
    • They are considered more significant than the Vedas themselves and have attracted widespread attention.
    • The Upanishads discuss topics like transmigration and emphasize the illusory nature of the transient world.
    • The philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, which emphasizes the non-dualistic nature of reality, is closely associated with the Upanishads.
    • The Ten Principal Upanishads include titles such as Esha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Chandogya, and Brihadaranyaka.
  • WB Yeats, a renowned figure in modern English literature, was deeply interested in Indian culture and had a close friendship with Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Overall, the gift of the 'Ten Principal Upanishads' reflects the cultural exchange and appreciation between India and the United States.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-culture/pm-modi-biden-yeats-ten-principal-upanishads-8680613/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Vietnam - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, India gifted the indigenously built in-service missile corvette INS Kirpan to Vietnam to enhance that country’s naval capabilities.

About:

  • Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia on the eastern part of the Indochinese Peninsula.
  • It shares its borders with China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east.
  • It also borders the Gulf of Tonkin, the Gulf of Thailand and the Pacific Ocean.
  • The country has a long coastline stretching over 3,260 kilometers (2,030 miles).
  • The capital, Hanoi, is located in the north, while the country’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), is in the south.

INS Kirpan:

  • INS Kirpan is a Khukri class missile corvette displacing 1,350 tonnes and was commissioned into the Navy in 1991.
  • It is capable of speed in excess of 25 knots.
  • The corvette is equipped with a medium-range gun, 30mm close-range guns, chaff launchers, and surface-to-surface missiles.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-gifts-missile-corvette-ins-kirpan-to-vietnam/article66986653.ece

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

U.S and UNESCO - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: U.S. Re-joins UNESCO and pays back dues in an attempt to Counter Chinese Influence on the international body

About US and UNESCO:

  • The United States has decided to re-join the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) after a decade-long dispute.
  • The U.S. had previously stopped funding UNESCO in 2011 when it included Palestine as a member state, leading to the loss of voting rights for both the U.S. and Israel in 2013.
  • This step has been motivated by concerns over Chinese influence in UNESCO policy-making, especially in areas such as artificial intelligence and technology education,
  • The return of the U.S., once the largest funder of UNESCO, is expected to face a vote by the organization's 193 member states next month.
  • The decision to re-join UNESCO will also provide a welcome financial boost to the organization, known for its World Heritage program.
  • The renewed relationship between the U.S. and UNESCO is anticipated to promote a free world, address issues such as artificial intelligence, slavery and girl’s education.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-decides-to-rejoin-unesco-and-pay-back-dues-to-counter-chinese-influence/article66960485.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Thaw in US-China Ties and Impact on India


In News: While the Indian Prime Minister visits USA to discuss building their relationship in light of a greater alignment in Asia and the Indo-Pacific, there seems to progress towards a detente between USA and China.

About US and China Relationships:

  • Trade sanctions: There have been sanctions and increased tariffs imposed on the import items by both the countries. Trade rivalry elevated more due to the confrontational attitude of the previous US president.
  • Support for Taiwan: Nancy Pelosi’s visit and growing military support for Taiwan was not welcomed by China as it was against the One China vision.
  • Contention in South China Sea: China’s claim virtually over the entire South China Sea has been frequently opposed by the USA, which considers stability and security of the Indo pacific essential for global order.
  • Formation of Quadrilateral Alliance: USA along with Japan, India and Australia have formed a diplomatic partnership for promoting stability, resilience and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific is being viewed by China as an attempt to contain China.
  • Technology sanctions such as those put on Huawei and the issue of surveillance by Chinese balloons in American airspace has further strained their relationships.

Various outreach efforts by USA:

  • Rescheduling of Anthony Blinken’s visit after it was cancelled due to China’s balloon incident in USA’s airspace.
  • Secret visit of CIA director to China and meeting with Chinese officials to stabilise the relationship and prevent a possible open conflict. He also emphasised on the importance of maintaining open lines of communications in intelligence channels
  • Visit of US National Security Advisor to China to meet former Foreign Minister Wang Yi where the discussions continued for more than eight hours.
  • Change in approach of USA where in the G7 meeting Biden used the word “de-risk” for their economic engagement with China instead of the more combative “decouple”. USA was not looking to decouple from China but rather to de-risk and diversify their relationship.

Concerns for India:

  • Shared Perception of China’s rise: The US and India have come closer over a shared perception of China’s rise along with greater integration of their economy. Recognition of the sphere of influence of China by the USA would put India into an uncomfortable position.
  • Border Security concern: India’s embrace of Quad and the US Indo-Pacific strategy came after the Doklam standoff in 2018 and the PLA’s incursions into eastern Ladakh in 2020.
  • Concerns over Indo Pacific stability: The shared interests in stabilising the Asian balance of power were the objective realities demanding a solid India-US strategic partnership. A mutual agreement between the USA and China would make India and other Asian countries lose their advantage of the USA's influence.
  • Bilateral defence cooperation: Currently, both India and USA are in talks for a significant elevation of bilateral defence cooperation, including technology transfers and joint defence industrial production.
  • The thaw in US and China relationship could prove to be counterproductive and emergence of a US-China G2 for global stability could become India’s worst nightmare.

However, another perspective of the détente between US and China relationship could be improved regional stability, increase in global trade and peace in the Indo Pacific. This could be possible only when the US tries to push in its key demands of decrease in China’s aggressiveness in the South China Sea.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/express-explained-the-us-china-thaw-8653367/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Kosovo-Serbia conflict - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? NATO has sent 700 more of its peacekeeping troops to Kosovo, to establish peace in the Kosovo-Serbia conflict.

About:

  • Many Serbs consider Kosovo the birthplace of their nation.
  • The Kosovo-Serbia conflict stems from Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008, which Serbia does not recognize.
  • Tensions arise from historical, ethnic, and political factors, leading to sporadic clashes and disputes.

Serbia:

  • Serbia is a small land-locked country in the Balkan region (in eastern Europe).
  • It shares borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Albania.
  • Rivers: Danube, Sava and Tisa etc.
  • Highest Point: Daravica
  • Capital City: Belgrade

Kosovo:

  • Kosovo is a small landlocked region that lies to Serbia’s southwest, sharing borders with North Macedonia, Albania, and Montenegro.
  • It is located between the Mediterranean Sea and mountainous regions of Southeast Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula.
  • Kosovo is a region where Serbs and Albanians, representing different ethnicities and religious backgrounds, have been living for centuries.
  • Kosovo has a population of 1.8 million people, with 92% Albanians, 6% Serbians, and the rest comprising Bosniaks, Gorans, Turks, and Roma.
  • Serbs are primarily Eastern Orthodox Christians, while Albanians in Kosovo are predominantly Muslim. Other minority groups include Bosnians and Turks. Serbs form the majority in Serbia, while Albanians are the majority in Kosovo.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/explained-why-is-there-trouble-in-kosovo-again/article66939379.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Suriname - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: India and Suriname exchanged four MoUs in various fields including health and agriculture.

  • Suriname is a country located on the northern coast of South America.
  • Its economy is dependent on its extensive supply of natural resources, most notably bauxite, of which it is one of the top producers in the world.
  • The southern four-fifths of the country is entirely covered with pristine tropical rainforest.
  • Suriname formerly known as Dutch Guiana, Suriname was a plantation colony of the Netherlands.
  • Suriname is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, by French Guiana to the east, by Brazil to the south, and by Guyana to the west.
  • Suriname’s major rivers flow northward into the Atlantic. They include the Courantyne, which forms part of the boundary with Guyana; the Coppename; the Suriname; and the Maroni, which forms part of the border with French Guiana.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/president-murmu-meets-suriname-counterpart-discusses-ways-to-deepen-bilateral-partnership/article66935548.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Iran-Taliban water conflict (Helmand River and Lake Hamun)


In News: Iran and Afghanistan are locked in a long-standing dispute over the sharing of water from the Helmand River.

River Helmand

  • Afghanistan and Iran have been at loggerheads over the sharing of river water for over a century.
  • Afghanistan and Iran signed an agreement — the Helmand River Treaty — in 1973 to regulate the allocation of river water. But the accord was neither ratified nor fully implemented, causing disagreements and tensions to persist.
  • The Helmand is Afghanistan's longest river. It originates near Kabul in the western Hindu Kush mountain range and flows in a southwesterly direction through desert areas for a total of about 1,150 kilometers before emptying into Lake Hamun, which straddles the Afghanistan-Iran border.

Lake Hamun

  • Lake Hamun is the largest freshwater lake in Iran.
  • It used to be one of the world’s largest wetlands, straddling 4,000 square kilometers between Iran and Afghanistan, fed by the Helmand.
  • Lake Hamun has been dried up and a trend experts blame on drought and the impact of dams and water controls. The lake is of great importance for the regional environment and economy.

Tehran and Taliban Ties

  • Iran and Afghanistan share a 950-kilometer land border. Both countries have no major territorial disputes.
  • Tehran had cultivated good ties with the Taliban before the Islamic fundamentalist group captured Kabul in August 2021 as US and NATO troops were in the final weeks of their pullout from Afghanistan.
  • Both sides were united in their opposition to the US’s presence in the regio
  • Iran has so far refrained from formally recognizing the Taliban government, it has been pragmatic and maintained relations with Afghanistan’s current rulers.
  • Tehran and the Taliban were showing no interest in addressing the mismanagement of water resources and tackling the environmental problems in the region.
  • Government in Tehran is focusing on the disadvantaged province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

Countries share land border with Afghanistan and Iran

  • Afghanistan is bounded to the east and south by Pakistan (including those areas of Kashmir administered by Pakistan but claimed by India), to the west by Iran, and to the north by the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
  • Iran is bounded to the north by Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, and the Caspian Sea; to the east by Pakistan and Afghanistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. About one-third of its 4,770-mile (7,680-kilometre) boundary is seacoast.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/what-is-the-iran-taliban-water-conflict-all-about-8642887/lite/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Turkey - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, President of Turkey was re-elected to the post of President.

About:

  • It lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe.
  • It is bordered by eight countries: Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east, and Iraq and Syria to the southeast.
  • Turkey has a coastline along the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Shares maritime borders with Cyprus, Egypt, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.
  • Ankara is the capital city of Turkey.
  • Largest city and seaport is Istanbul.
  • It is located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe.
  • Geographical features
    • Major River: Euphrates, Tigris and Kizilirmak.
    • Highest Point: Mount Ararat.
    • Important Straits: Bosphorus strait, Dardanallaise strait.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/5/28/turkey-presidential-election-results-3

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Use of animals for espionage - Edukemy Current Affairs


In NewsHvaldimir, a beluga whale has recently gained attention due to speculations about its alleged connection to Russian espionage.

Use of animals for espionage:

  • Since ages, animals have been trained by humans to can carry surveillance equipment, gather data, or even act as autonomous spies.
  • However, over the years, the use of animals for espionage have raised ethical concerns about their welfare and exploitation.

Birds

Features

Pigeons

During World War I, pigeons were fitted with cameras and used for aerial reconnaissance.

They captured images as they flew and played a crucial role in delivering messages across enemy lines.

Dolphins

Dolphins possess excellent sonar capabilities, making them valuable assets for naval operations.

The US Navy has trained dolphins since the 1960s to detect submarines and underwater mines.

Sea lions

They have exceptional eyesight and agility make them effective in retrieving objects like mines and equipment.

Sea lions have been employed by the US Navy for their underwater detection skills.

Cats

The Acoustic Kitty project, attempted by the CIA, involved using cats as listening devices.

Under the project, Cats were surgically implanted with microphones and transmitting devices.

Insects

Insects, such as beetles and dragonflies, have been explored as potential tools for surveillance.

Miniaturized cameras and sensors can be attached to these insects to gather intelligence in hard-to-reach areas.

Birds

Besides pigeons, Falcons and hawks have been trained for hunting down other birds that might carry secret messages.

Rats

Rats have sensitive sense of smell allows them to navigate dangerous areas safely.

Cybernetic animals

Advancements in technology have led to the development of robotic or cyborg animals for covert operations.

 

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/everyday-explainers/hvaldimir-whale-suspected-spy-russia-8636986/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Road Networks in India - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister said total length of the National Highways in the country increased by about 59% in the last nine years.

About:

Key Highlights:

  • In 2013-14, the total length of National Highways was 91,287 km, which has increased to 1,45,240 km in 2022-23. India has a total length of 4,219 km of expressways.
    • The total length of National Highways in India has increased by about 59% in the last nine years.
    • As a result of this expansion, India now has the second largest road network, after the US.
  • FASTag has led to a significant jump in toll collection revenue.
    • Toll revenue rose from Rs 4,770 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 41,342 crore in 2022-23.
    • The Government aims to increase the toll revenue to Rs 1,30,000 crore by 2030.
  • The waiting time at toll plazas has reduced from 734 seconds in 2014 to 47 seconds in 2023, with a goal of further reducing it to 30 seconds.
  • NHAI transplanted more than 68,000 while it planted 3.86 crore trees during in the last nine years.
  • NHAI has developed more than 15,00 Amrit Sarovars along the National Highways across the country.
  • Ministry has utilised 30 lakh tons of garbage in road construction for the Delhi Ring Road project, demonstrating a proactive approach towards waste management and sustainable infrastructure development.

 

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1935658#:~:text=Addressing%20a%20Press%20Conference%20in,59%25%20during%20this%20period.%E2%80%9D

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

New CSR guidelines ‘Sagar Samajik Sahayog’


Why in news? Recently, The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush has launched the new guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) called ‘Sagar Samajik Sahayyog’.

About:

  • Objectives:
    • To empower ports to undertake CSR activities directly.
    • To allow ports to initiate, undertake and expedite projects for community welfare through a framework where local communities can also become partners of development & change.
  • Expenditure:
    • A port with an annual net profit of ₹100 crores or less can fix between 3% - 5% for CSR expenses. Similarly, ports with a net profit between ₹100 crores to ₹500 crores annually, can fix its CSR expenses between 2% and 3% of its net profit. For ports, whose annual net profit is above ₹500 crores per year, the CSR expenses can be between 5% and 2% of its net profit.
    • 20% of CSR expenses must be earmarked to Sainik Kalyan Board at district level, National Maritime Heritage Complex and National Youth Development Fund.
    • 78% of funds should be released for the social & environmental welfare of the community.
    • A sum of 2% total CSR expense has been earmarked for monitoring of the projects under the CSR programmes by the Ports.
  • Implementation:
    • The implementation and monitoring of CSR projects will be overseen by a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee constituted in each major port.
    • The Committee shall be headed by the Dy. Chairperson of the Major Port and shall have 2 other Members.
    • Each major port shall prepare a Corporate Social Responsibility Plan for every financial year and integrate its CSR in Business Plan with the social and environmental concerns related to the business of the entity.
    • CSR Budget will be mandatorily created through a Board Resolution as a percentage of net profit.
    • India has 13 major ports and 205 notified minor and intermediate ports.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1935698

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment 2023-24


Why in News: The Department of Expenditure under the Finance Ministry of India has approved capital investment proposals of Rs. 56,415 crores for 16 states in the current financial year 2023-24.

Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment 2023-24 Scheme:

  • The scheme was announced in the Union Budget 2023-24 to give special assistance to the State Governments in the form of a 50-year interest-free loan upto an overall sum of Rs. 1.3 lakh crore during the FY 2023-24.
  • The Scheme for financial assistance to States for capital investment/expenditure, first instituted by the Ministry of Finance in 2020-21 in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The flexibility and simplicity of the scheme design have earned praise from states.
  • Objective of the Scheme:
    • The objective of the scheme is to have a higher multiplier effect on the economy by stimulating demand and creating jobs.
    • It also aims to accelerate the projects under Jal Jeevan Mission and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana by providing funds for meeting the state share.
  • Components of the scheme: The scheme has eight parts.
    • Part – I: It is the largest with allocation of Rs. 1 lakh crore allocated amongst states in proportion to their share of central taxes and duties as per the award of 15th Finance Commission.
    • Part – II: It provides incentives to states for scrapping of old vehicles and setting up of automated vehicle testing facilities. Rs 3,000 crore has been allocated for this.
    • Part – III & IV aims at providing incentives to States for reforms in Urban Planning and Urban Finance.
    • Part – V: It provides funds for increasing the housing stock for police personnel and their families within the police stations in urban areas.
    • Part – VI: It promotes national integration, Make in India and One District One Product (ODOP) by promoting cultural diversity and local products through Unity Mall Projects.
    • Part – VII: It provides financial assistance to states for setting up libraries with digital infrastructure at Panchayats and Ward levels. Rs. 5,000 crores is provided for this part.

Capital Expenditure (Capex):

  • It includes money spent by the government on acquisition, construction, or improvement of physical assets such as infrastructure, buildings, health and education facilities, repayment of loans, etc.
  • It is long-term in nature which leads to the creation of assets and allows the economy to generate revenue for many years.
  • Effective capital expenditure is defined as the sum of capital expenditure and grants for creation of capital assets.
  • The capital expenditure presented in the budget does not include the spending by the government on creating capital assets through grants-in-aid to states and other agencies.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1935378

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Seven products from Uttar Pradesh get Geographical Indication tag


Why in News: Recently, seven products from Uttar Pradesh have got the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag.

About GI Tag:

  • A geographical indication (GI) tag is a name or sign used on certain products that correspond to a specific geographical location or origin.
  • It ensures that only the authorised users or those residing in the geographical territory are allowed to use the popular product name.
  • Its validity is for 10 years.

Legal Framework and Governing Laws:

  • Geographical Indicators are covered as an element of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • They are also covered under the WTO agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
  • It is also defined in the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.
  • In India, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 seeks to provide for the registration and better protection of geographical indications.
  • This Act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks who is the Registrar of Geographical Indications.
  • The GI registry is located at Chennai.

Products that got GI tag:

Products

Descriptions

Amroha Dholak

  • Musical instrument made of natural wood hollow blocks fitted with animal skin, mostly goatskin.

Barabanki Handloom

  • Barabanki is known for fabric knitting through handloom.
  • The main products are scarves, shawls, stoles and the basic raw materials are silk, zari, cotton, polyester, jacquard loom and dori.

Sambhal Horn Craft

  • Handicraft art products are made from horns procured from dead animals making it environment and animal friendly.

Kalpi Handmade Paper

  •  Manufactured in an eco-friendly manner using various types of paper scraps and not wood.

Mahoba Gaura Patthar Hastashilp

  • Durable stone craft made of radiant colored and off-white stone, Gaura (Pyro Flight Stone).

Mainpuri Tarkashi

  • Known for its fine inlay work with brass wire, strips and motifs on dark sheesham extensively for furniture and boxes and mainly used for khadaous (wooden sandals).

Baghpat Home Furnishings

  • Products includes cotton handloom bedsheets, curtains, cushions, etc known for traditional geometric patterns.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/seven-products-from-uttar-pradesh-get-geographical-indication-tag/article67016530.ece#:~

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Greedflation - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Greedflation is in the news due to increasing inflation in India and around the world.

About:

  • Greedflation is a term that describes a situation where inflation is driven by excessive greed and speculation rather than by supply and demand factors.
  • It occurs when investors, consumers and businesses expect prices to rise continuously and act accordingly, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Instead of the traditional wage-price spiral, it is the profit-price spiral that drives inflation.
  • In developed countries like Europe and the US, there is a growing consensus that greedflation is a significant factor contributing to inflation.
  • Impact of Greedflation:
    • It leads to higher inflationary pressures, financial strain on individuals, income inequality, social unrest and reduced purchasing power.
    • It undermines trust in businesses, distorts market dynamics, and hampers economic stability and growth.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/explainspeaking-greedflation-inflation-india-explained-8687194/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

UTPRERAK (Unnat Takniki Pradarshan Kendra)


In News: Power ministry establishes UTPRERAK, a Centre of Excellence to Accelerate Adoption of Energy Efficient Technologies in Indian Industry.

About

  • UTPRERAK has been set up by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
  • The Centre would implement and support projects in areas such as training/capacity building, showcase for energy-efficient technologies, information centre and knowledge repository etc.
  • Centre is mandated to become the key reference and resource institution on industrial energy-efficient technologies.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1935484

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Hyperspectral remote sensing (HRS) technology


In News: Agriculture Ministry Collaborates with Pixxel Space India which will focus on leveraging sample hyperspectral data from Pixxel’s pathfinder satellites to develop an analytics model.

About

  • The Ministry of Agriculture has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private company to utilize High-Resolution Spectroscopy (HRS) data for tasks such as crop mapping, distinguishing different stages of crops, and monitoring crop health.
  • HRS, also referred to as imaging spectroscopy, involves the extraction of valuable information from objects or landscapes on the Earth's surface through radiance captured by sensors on airborne or spaceborne platforms.
  • Unlike traditional remote sensing, which captures data in a limited number of discrete spectral bands, HRS collects data across numerous narrow and contiguous bands.
  • This enables the acquisition of highly detailed spectral information for precise location identification within the scene.

 

 

https://smestreet.in/sectors/agriculture/agriculture-ministry-collaborates-with-pixxel-space-india/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Chennai-Vladivostok maritime route


In News: Recently, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways said India and Russia are keen to make the Chennai – Vladivostok maritime route operational, and a stakeholder has been scheduled in September.

About

  • The Chennai-Vladivostok maritime route is a proposed sea route connecting the Indian port city of Chennai and the Russian port city of Vladivostok.
  • The route is approximately 5,600 nautical miles (10,300 km) long and passes through the Sea of Japan, the South China Sea, and the Strait of Malacca.
  • The aim of the route is to increase bilateral trade between India and Russia, as well as to provide India with access to the Far East.
  • The route is expected to take only 12 days, compared to the current route's duration of 32 days.

Benefits of using the Chennai-Vladivostok maritime route:

  • It is shorter than the current route, which means that it will take less time and cost less money to transport goods between the two countries.
  • The route passes through less congested waters, which means that there is less risk of delays.
  • The route passes through waters that are not controlled by China, which gives India more options for trade.

https://indiashippingnews.com/india-and-russia-aim-to-establish-chennai-vladivostok-maritime-route-sarbananda-sonowal/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

SEBI Releases Compliance Rules For REITs and InvITs


In News: SEBI releases compliance reports for emerging investment vehicles - REITs and InvITs.

About compliance rules for REITs and InvITs:

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently released compliance rules for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs).
  • These compliance rules focus on disclosure formats for governance and annual secretarial compliance
  • Major highlights:
    • REITs and InvITs will have to disclose the name of investment managers, board of directors' composition, and committee details on a quarterly basis.
    • Investment managers will be required to submit a quarterly compliance report to stock exchanges within 21 days from the end of each quarter.
    • The compliance report should be signed by the compliance officer or the CEO of the investment manager.
    • Investment managers have also been mandated to submit Annual secretarial compliance reports with SEBI.
    • A practicing company secretary must be appointed annually to examine compliance and submit report to the investment manager disclosing compliance, deviations, and observations.
  • The compliance rules will be effective from the financial year 2024 onwards and will promote transparency, accountability and investor’s confidence.
  • Overall, SEBI's compliance rules will help strengthen the regulatory framework for REITs and InvITs, besides enhancing the functioning of these investment vehicles.

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/sebi-releases-compliance-rules-for-reits-invits/articleshow/101291668.cms

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

World Bank: Toolkit to Support Countries After Natural Disasters


In News: World Bank Group Announces Comprehensive Toolkit to Support Countries After Natural Disasters

About World Bank toolkit to support countries after Natural Disasters

  • The World Bank Group has recently introduced a comprehensive toolkit to assist countries in responding to natural disasters and other crises effectively.
  • The toolkit includes a range of measures to support crisis preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • These measures are aimed at alleviating the financial burden on countries and enabling them to prioritize the urgent needs of their people during times of crisis.
  • Important features:
    • Climate Resilient Debt Clauses: Provision of debt relief through Climate Resilient Debt Clauses, allowing vulnerable countries to pause debt repayments during crises or catastrophes.
    • Rapid Response Option: The World Bank Group will also offer countries the flexibility to redirect a portion of their funds for emergency response, ensuring immediate access to cash.
    • Prevention and Preparedness: World Bank Group to link investments in prevention and preparedness with financing for catastrophe and crisis response support.
    • Supporting Private Sector Clients: Taking measures to backstop development projects with private sector support, enabling businesses to sustain operations and protect jobs during crises.
    • Embedding Catastrophe Insurance: Working towards building enhanced catastrophe insurance products that provide resources for disaster-stricken countries without adding to their debt burden.
  • Overall, by implementing the toolkit will help ensure better crisis response, timely assistance, and support to the recovery process to countries after natural disasters and other emergencies.

 

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/factsheet/2023/06/22/comprehensive-toolkit-to-support-countries-after-natural-disasters#:

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Role of Punjab and Haryana in de-risking the Indian Economy


In News: Experts deliberate on the role of Punjab and Haryana to de-risk Indian economy, especially in an EL Nino year

About Role of Punjab and Haryana in de-risking the Indian Economy

  • Punjab and Haryana, known as the breadbasket states of India, play a crucial role in ensuring food security and de-risking the Indian economy.
  • Assured irrigation access in these states makes them reliable producers of rice and wheat, especially during poor monsoon years.
  • Limited spread of Green Revolution in other states has led to the decline in Punjab and Haryana's combined share in procurement over the last two decades:
    • Share of Punjab and Haryana in total wheat procurement for the Central foodgrain pool has decreased from 90% to around 70%
    • Their share in rice procurement has fallen from 43-44% to 28-29%.
  • Poor monsoons and unfavorable weather conditions in other states have highlighted the significance of Punjab and Haryana's contribution to wheat and rice production.
  • El Niño which is often associated with monsoon failures in India, may impact the ongoing monsoon season, emphasizing the role of these states in mitigating risks.
  • Important factors:
    • Punjab and Haryana farmers have assured access to irrigation, safeguarding their crop production even in the event of a poor monsoon.
    • Paddy cultivation in Punjab benefits from groundwater irrigation, which tends to increase yields during low rainfall years.
  • The states' reliable production of contributes to national food security, especially in times of precarious government stocks and rising global rice prices.
  • Even though policymakers and economists have suggested diversifying crops in Punjab and Haryana, their dependence on rice and wheat proves beneficial in the current scenario.
  • Overall, there is a need to diversify the procurement process to other states such as Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh in an attempt to reduce the dependency on Punjab and Haryana for de-risking the Indian economy.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/how-punjab-and-haryana-may-de-risk-indian-economy-in-bad-monsoon-season-8685949/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

India-US Trade Dispute at WTO - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in News: Recently, India and USA have agreed to end 6 trade disputes at the WTO.

Resolved disputes by India and USA:

  • Initiated by India –
    • Renewable energy sector measures.
    • Measures on Steel and Aluminium products.
    • Countervailing measures on some hot–rolled carbon steel flat products from India.
  • Initiated by USA –
    • Export-related measures (India’s support to its export sector under different schemes).
    • Some measures related to solar cells and modules.
    • Additional duties on some products from the USA.

Significance of resolution of disputes:

  • It is likely to contribute to the promotion of trade.
  • It will enhance India’s exports to the USA (In 2022-23, the USA was the largest trading partner of India with bilateral trade of $128.8 billion).
  • It will promote a 2+2 dialogue between the two nations.

WTO dispute resolution process:

  1. Bilateral consultations between the parties.
  2. Establishment of a dispute settlement panel if consultations fail.
  3. Adjudication by panels.

Appellate Mechanism:

  • The ruling and reports of the panels can be challenged by WTO’s appellate body.
  • The appellate body is not functioning because the USA has been blocking the appointment of members.
  • As an alternative option, a Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA) has been formed by the members.
  • MPIA was formed in 2020.
  • Any member can join MPIA by notifying the Dispute Settlement Body. India is not a member yet.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/business/india-us-decision-to-end-wto-disputes-to-help-boost-bilateral-trade-experts/article67000615.ece

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Role of Punjab and Haryana in de-risking the Indian Economy


In News: Experts deliberate on the role of Punjab and Haryana to de-risk Indian economy, especially in an EL Nino year

About Role of Punjab and Haryana in de-risking the Indian Economy

  • Punjab and Haryana, known as the breadbasket states of India, play a crucial role in ensuring food security and de-risking the Indian economy.
  • Assured irrigation access in these states makes them reliable producers of rice and wheat, especially during poor monsoon years.
  • Limited spread of Green Revolution in other states has led to the decline in Punjab and Haryana's combined share in procurement over the last two decades:
    • Share of Punjab and Haryana in total wheat procurement for the Central foodgrain pool has decreased from 90% to around 70%
    • Their share in rice procurement has fallen from 43-44% to 28-29%.
  • Poor monsoons and unfavorable weather conditions in other states have highlighted the significance of Punjab and Haryana's contribution to wheat and rice production.
  • El Niño which is often associated with monsoon failures in India, may impact the ongoing monsoon season, emphasizing the role of these states in mitigating risks.
  • Important factors:
    • Punjab and Haryana farmers have assured access to irrigation, safeguarding their crop production even in the event of a poor monsoon.
    • Paddy cultivation in Punjab benefits from groundwater irrigation, which tends to increase yields during low rainfall years.
  • The states' reliable production of contributes to national food security, especially in times of precarious government stocks and rising global rice prices.
  • Even though policymakers and economists have suggested diversifying crops in Punjab and Haryana, their dependence on rice and wheat proves beneficial in the current scenario.
  • Overall, there is a need to diversify the procurement process to other states such as Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh in an attempt to reduce the dependency on Punjab and Haryana for de-risking the Indian economy.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/how-punjab-and-haryana-may-de-risk-indian-economy-in-bad-monsoon-season-8685949/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

World Bank: Toolkit to Support Countries After Natural Disasters


In News: World Bank Group Announces Comprehensive Toolkit to Support Countries After Natural Disasters

About World Bank toolkit to support countries after Natural Disasters

  • The World Bank Group has recently introduced a comprehensive toolkit to assist countries in responding to natural disasters and other crises effectively.
  • The toolkit includes a range of measures to support crisis preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • These measures are aimed at alleviating the financial burden on countries and enabling them to prioritize the urgent needs of their people during times of crisis.
  • Important features:
    • Climate Resilient Debt Clauses: Provision of debt relief through Climate Resilient Debt Clauses, allowing vulnerable countries to pause debt repayments during crises or catastrophes.
    • Rapid Response Option: The World Bank Group will also offer countries the flexibility to redirect a portion of their funds for emergency response, ensuring immediate access to cash.
    • Prevention and Preparedness: World Bank Group to link investments in prevention and preparedness with financing for catastrophe and crisis response support.
    • Supporting Private Sector Clients: Taking measures to backstop development projects with private sector support, enabling businesses to sustain operations and protect jobs during crises.
    • Embedding Catastrophe Insurance: Working towards building enhanced catastrophe insurance products that provide resources for disaster-stricken countries without adding to their debt burden.
  • Overall, by implementing the toolkit will help ensure better crisis response, timely assistance, and support to the recovery process to countries after natural disasters and other emergencies.

 

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/factsheet/2023/06/22/comprehensive-toolkit-to-support-countries-after-natural-disasters#:

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Global Liveability Index - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in News: Recently, the Economist Intelligence Unit released Global Liveability Index 2023.

About Global Liveability Index:

  • It is released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • EIU (founded in 1946 and HQ: London) is the research and analysis division of the Economist Group.
  • Living conditions in 172 cities in the world have been rated based on five categories: Stability; Healthcare; Culture and Environment; Education; Infrastructure.

Observations Related to Developing Countries' Progress:

  • According to the report, developing nations have experienced gradual improvements in their livability rankings, with significant progress seen in Asia-Pacific cities. In contrast, Western European cities have seen a decline in their rankings for the year 2023.
  • The report emphasizes the increasing focus on healthcare and education in countries across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, which indicates a positive trend toward better livability. However, it also highlights a decrease in stability scores due to civil unrest in specific regions of the world.

Key findings of the report:

  • Vienna (Austria), Copenhagen (Denmark), and Melbourne (Australia) are the top 3 most liveable cities in the world in 2023.
  • Damascus (Syria) – 173rdTripoli (Libya) – 172nd, and Algiers (Algeria) – 171st are the bottom 3 cities in the list.
  • From India: New Delhi and Mumbai (141st position), Chennai (144th position), Ahmedabad (147th position) and Bengaluru (148th position).
  • From Asia: Only Osaka (Japan) – 9th position among the top 10 cities.
  • The average index score this year is 2 (out of 100), higher than last year (73.2). This increase reflects global recovery from the pandemic.

 

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/destination-of-the-week/most-livable-cities-in-the-world-2023-8679205/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Global Gender Gap Report - 2023


Why in News: Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released its 17th edition of Global Gender Gap Report 2023.

About Global Gender Gap Index:

  • It is an annual index that started published in 2006 by WEF to measure Gender Equality in a country.
  • It considers four key dimensions:
  • Economic Participation and Opportunity;
  • Educational Attainment;
  • Health and Survival;
  • Political Empowerment.
  • It provides scores between 0 and 1, where 0 shows complete imparity and 1 is full gender parity.

Key findings of the 2023 report:

  • Iceland (91.2%) ranked 1 and is the only country having closed more than 90% of the gender gap.
  • Norway (87.9%) ranked 2 and Finland (86.3%) ranked 3.

India’s Performance:

  • India ranked 127 out of 146 countries (an improvement of 8 ranks from last year).
  • India has closed 64.3% of the overall gender gap.
  • Political empowerment – India got 25.3% parity (15.1% of parliamentarians are women) which is the highest for India since 2006.
  • India’s neighbours: Bangladesh – 59; Bhutan – 103; China – 107; Sri Lanka – 115; Nepal – 116; Pakistan – 142.

Challenges for India:

  • In Economic participation and Opportunity India could reach only 36.7%.
  • There is a slight drop in the women’s representation in senior positions and technical roles.
  • India has relatively low scores in the Health and Survival because of the skewed sex ratios.

Suggestions:

  • To increase women’s economic participation in leadership positions in business as well as government.
  • Collective and coordinated actions should be taken by private and public sector leaders to accelerate toward gender parity.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/india-climbs-eight-places-to-127-in-global-gender-index-says-wef-report/articleshow/101162655.cms

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Market Access for Organic and Natural Produce


In News: A report of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), highlights the significance of market access for the success of India’s momentum towards organic and natural farming.

About the Report:

  • To understand the role of three important stakeholders i.e. Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO), food retail corporations and state governments, the CSE identified six cases pan India to illustrate means to provide better market access to make organic and natural farming.
  • The report highlights how various stakeholders procure, process and sell organic and natural produce while trying to ensure remunerative prices to farmers and also highlights the challenges faced by them.

Key Findings of the Report:

  • For a sustainable and large-scale transition, two basic issues need to be addressed
    • Knowledge of practising organic or natural farming to farmers,
    • Effective access to markets that pay remunerative prices.
  • Government plans to create more farmer producer organisations (FPOs), shows recognition of the issue of market access. Additionally, food retail corporations and state government programmes have helped connect farmers with consumers.
  • Bhoomgaadi, a farmers’ collective from Chhattisgarh, leveraged the pan India presence of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Federation of India to market their products.
  • Sresta Bioproducts, Hyderabad used online selling effectively as well as its wide network of processing facilities to increase its market access.
  • Bigbasket, an online supermarket, demonstrated increased sales through an efficient supply chain, where “organically grown” fruits and vegetables reach the doorstep of the consumer in reduced time.

Recommendation of the report:

  • Coherence in different certification systems like Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and third-party National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) certification as acceptability of PGS certification is facing difficulty.
  • Expansion of value addition and move towards shorter supply chains for better price realisation by farmers.
  • Providing similar benefits to organic farmers which conventional farmers get in terms of input subsidies.
  • Unlocking consumer demand is the key to stabilising prices of organic produce.

 

Source:https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/market-access-critical-for-india-s-sustainable-agri-transition-cse-report-90208

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Star Rating Registration Process


In News: Union government announces the Star Rating Registration process for Coal and Lignite Mines

About Star Rating Registration Process:

  • Ministry of Coal has recently started the Star Rating Registration process for Coal and Lignite Mines for the financial year 2022-23.
  • The objective of the Star Rating policy is to promote competitiveness and sustainable mining practices among mines.
  • The registration process evaluates mines based on compliance with statutory provisions, adoption of advanced mining technology, and economic achievements.
  • The evaluation is done across seven key parameters, including:
    • Mining Operations, Environment-related parameters, Adoption of Technologies, Best Mining Practices.
    • Economic performance, Rehabilitation & Resettlement, Worker-related Compliance, and Safety & security.
  • Participating mines will be encouraged to undertake a comprehensive self-evaluation process and top 10% of the highest-scoring mines will be selected for further validation.
  • All participants will have the opportunity to review other mines after which a Coal Controller review will be conducted, ensuring transparency and impartiality in the assessment.
  • The ratings awarded will be in the range from Five Star to NO Star, providing a comprehensive assessment of each mine's achievements.
  • Overall, the Star Rating Registration process will go a long way to help elevate the overall performance and sustainability of coal and lignite mining in the country.

 

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1933999

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

UN adopt High Sea Treaty - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: United Nations(UN) adopts an international treaty on Protecting High Seas

About UN adoption of High Sea Treaty:

  • The United Nations (UN) has recently adopted the ground-breaking High Seas Treaty which establishes a framework for governing activities in international waters.
  • The High Seas Treaty is the first-ever international attempt to govern activities in international waters, which make up around two-thirds of the world's oceans.
  • The treaty addresses the pressing issue of overfishing, mining, and oil extraction in the high seas, which have been causing significant damage to oceanic ecosystems.
  • Nearly 200 nations have signed the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty, which represents a major step forward in protecting marine life and biodiversity.
  • The main objective of the treaty is to prevent species extinctions and safeguard the health of the oceans by implementing measures to regulate harmful activities.
  • Important features:
    • The High Seas Treaty establishes marine protected areas in international waters, extending beyond the coastal areas protected by individual countries.
    • The agreement includes guidelines for assessing the environmental impacts of activities such as fishing and mining in the high seas, ensuring greater transparency and accountability.
    • A new body called the Conference of Parties to be established to enforce compliance with the treaty and overseeing the implementation of its terms.
  • Previously, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was adopted in 1982 to extend governance into the ocean, focusing on waters within 12 nautical miles of coastlines.
  • The treaty still needs to be ratified by at least 60 member states to come into effect, including approval from the US Senate, as the US is not part of the Law of the Sea.
  • Overall, the adoption of the High Seas Treaty will help address the issue of regulation and protection of the high seas for a more sustainable and responsible approach to activities in international waters.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katherinehamilton/2023/06/19/un-adopts-first-ever-international-treaty-protecting-high-seas/?sh=3a190fc01e45

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Slowdown in Remittance Growth - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: According to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief, India is expected to post a growth of just 0.2% in remittance inflows in 2023, after registering a record-high growth of 24% to reach $111 billion, in 2022.

Trends of Indian Remittance growth:

  • Almost 36% of India’s remittances are from the high-skilled and largely high-tech Indian migrants in three high-income destinations i.e. USA, United Kingdom, and Singapore.
  • In 2022, India posted more than 24% growth in its inward remittances to reach $111 billion, higher than the World Bank’s earlier estimate of $100 billion.
  • The remittance in 2022 increased because India’s other high-income destinations also had favorable economic conditions. High energy prices and low food price inflation in the GCC countries, had positive spillovers for less-skilled South Asian migrants.
  • High energy prices favored employment in GCC countries, while GCC governments’ special measures to curb food price inflation shielded migrants’ remitting potential.
  • The top five recipient countries for remittances in 2022 were India ($111 billion), Mexico ($61 billion), China ($51 billion), Philippines ($38 billion), and Pakistan ($30 billion).

Reasons for decline in Remittance growth:

  • Slower growth in OECD economies, especially in the tech sector in the US could affect the demand for IT workers and will impact the flow of remittances in 2023.
  • Limited demand for migrant workers in GCC countries where declining oil prices are expected to slow down growth from 5.3% in 2022 to 3% in 2023.
  • High Base effect: Remittance growth is expected to be the lowest in South Asia (0.3%), because of the high base in 2022 along with slowing demand for highly skilled IT workers in the US and Europe.
  • Increase in Remittance costs: Remittance costs remained high with the global average cost of sending $200 being 6.2% in the last quarter of 2022 up from 6%.
  • Weak balance-of-payments conditions and exchange controls are expected to divert remittances to informal money transfer channels in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

Future trends of Remittances in other regions:

  • Remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are expected to moderate to 1.4% in 2023, resulting in total inflows of $656 billion.
  • Slowdown in High income countries: Central banks’ tight monetary stances to counter inflation, limited fiscal buffers to absorb shocks amid historically high debt levels, and continued global uncertainty due to Russia’s invasion are likely to slump growth in high-income countries.
  • Lower fuel prices in 2023 will further dampen demand for migrants in the GCC countries, reducing remittance flows to East Asia and the Pacific Islands.
  • Global slowdown in manufacturing will reduce the demand for manufactured goods with implications for East Asian migrants employed in the export factories of China, Malaysia, and Thailand.
  • In Europe and Central Asia, the growth in remittances is expected to fall to 1% due to a high base effect, lingering weakness in flows to Ukraine and Russia, and a weaker Russian ruble against the US dollar
  • Remittances may recover somewhat in the Middle East and North Africa with a decline in oil prices, as remittances to Egypt are expected to rebound.

Significance of Remittances:

  • After Covid-19, remittances are being viewed as a critical financial inflow, and an important source of foreign exchange for several countries including those in South Asia.
  • Remittances measured almost 326% of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2022, up from 247% in 2019.
  • Remittances are highly complementary to government cash transfers and essential to households during times of need.
  • For India, the largest global recipient, remittances represented 3% of GDP in 2022.

Source:

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/remittances-growth-2023-slow-8664191/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

National Time Release Study (NTRS) 2023 report


Why in news? Recently, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has released the National Time Release Study (NTRS) 2023 report, which measures the cargo release time at various ports in India.

About:

  • The report aims to assess the progress made towards the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) targets, identify the impact of various trade facilitation initiatives, and identify the challenges to more expeditious reduction in release time.
  • The study was conducted based on a sample period of January 1-7, 2023, comparing the performance with the corresponding periods of 2021 and 2022.
  • The Time Release Study (TRS) is a performance measurement tool that quantifies the time taken for cargo release at customs stations.
    • It measures the duration from cargo arrival to its out-of-charge for domestic clearance in imports and from cargo arrival to carrier departure in exports.
  • The study covers seaports, air cargo complexes (ACCs), inland container depots (ICDs), and integrated check posts (ICPs),which handle a significant proportion of entry and shipping bills in the country.

Key Highlights of NTRS 2023:

  • The findings highlight the importance of the “Path to Promptness” strategy, which includes advance filing of import documents, risk-based facilitation, and benefits for trusted clients.
    • Cargoes that incorporate all three features achieve the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan release time target across all port categories.
  • In line with the government’s focus on export promotion, NTRS 2023 places greater emphasis on measuring export release time.
  • NTRS 2023 recognises the distinction between regulatory clearance (also referred as customs release), which gets completed with the grant of Let Export Order (LEO) and the wider aspect of physical clearance which occurs on completion of logistics processes with departure of the carrier with the goods.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1932587

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Wind Energy in India - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Government plans to bring new measures to revive the wind energy sector by 2030

About Wind Energy in India:

  • India aims to build 140 gigawatts of wind capacity by 2030, part of its goal to install 500 GW of renewables by the end of the decade.
  • Wind energy has the potential to power about 100 million homes in India and can create about 150,000 jobs by 2030, up from 26,000 in 2021.
  • Challenges:
  • Wind power projects require technical qualifications and skills, making them more labor-intensive than solar energy projects.
  • Wind sector is hindered by challenges including a lack of skills in areas such as marine bed surveys, offshore wind plant construction, downsizing, and stunted growth.
  • The wind power industry has also faced challenges due to the competitive bidding process and disruptions caused by COVID-19.
  • Steps:
    • India is focusing on developing offshore wind farms to boost the wind supply chain and installation industry.
    • Government has scrapped the bidding process and announced new renewable energy parks to meet its renewable energy targets.
    • India is also investing in skills development and training to bridge the talent demand-supply gap in the wind energy sector.
  • Reviving the domestic wind market requires a strong and stable policy framework, incentivizing manufacturers, and restoring manufacturing capacity.
  • India's wind energy push has the potential to create green jobs, contribute to the clean energy transition, and help achieve the country's renewable energy goals.
  • Overall, wind energy plays a significant role in India's renewable energy sector and is crucial for India's energy transition and achieving net-zero emissions.

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Consequence of Subsidies - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: World Bank Report suggests that subsidies don't help Fight Climate Change

About Consequence of Subsidies:

  • A new World Bank report highlights the negative consequences of inefficient subsidies in agriculture, fishing, and fossil fuel sectors.
  • Major findings:
    • As per findings, countries in 2021 spent $577 billion on subsidies to lower the price of polluting fuels like oil, gas, and coal.
    • The report reveals that subsidies in agriculture, fishing, and fossil fuels exceed $7 trillion, equivalent to 8% of global GDP.
    • Explicit agricultural subsidies amount to $635 billion per year in countries with accessible data, and possibly over $1 trillion globally.
    • The fisheries sector receives an estimated $35.4 billion per year in subsidies, contributing to
  • Challenges:
    • Subsidies for fossil fuels contribute to higher greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbate climate change.
    • They encourage the overuse of polluting fuels and delay the transition to clean and renewable energy sources.
    • They can lead to overexploitation of natural resources, such as fisheries, causing environmental degradation.
    • Subsidies put a strain on government budgets and contribute to fiscal deficits besides crowding out public spending in crucial areas like education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
    • They can exacerbate income inequality and may not effectively reach the intended beneficiaries, leading to unequal distribution of benefits.
    • Subsidies also creates dependency on government supporthindering self-sufficiency and
    • Market signals and price mechanisms are altered by subsidies leading to inefficient resource allocation and unsustainable practices.
    • All leads to rise in Opportunity costs from the foregone benefits and potential economic growth that could have been achieved.
  • Step ahead:
    • Repurposing subsidies can finance just transition activities and improve quality of life, as they have significant environmental impacts.
    • Availability, affordability, and accessibility of cleaner alternatives can be addressed to increase the effectiveness of subsidy reform.

Overall, governments should consider the long-term effects and opportunity costs of implementing or continuing subsidies and should strive for a balance between support and market efficiency.

 

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/world/subsidies-don-t-help-fight-climate-change-world-bank-report-finds-90064

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Agric. Ministry's draft guidelines: Bio-stimulant registration


In News: Government releases draft guidelines for Registration of Bio-stimulants

About Guidelines for registration of bio-stimulants:

  • Ministry of Agriculture has recently released a draft guideline for the registration of various categories of bio-stimulants.

Major Highlights:

Provision

Feature

Registration Requirement

  • Manufacturers or importers of bio-stimulants must list them under Schedule VI of the FCO Amendment Order 2021.
  • Bio-stimulants need to be registered and prove efficacy before they can be marketed.

Authenticity and Quality

  • Stakeholders should ensure the data submitted for registration is authentic, replicable, utilizable, and of good quality.

Data Requirements

  • Data on proposed applicationpackaging and labelling, chemistry, bio-efficacy trials, and toxicity data to be submitted by manufacturers.

ToxicityData Examination

  • The Central Bio-stimulant Committee (CBC) to examine toxicity data on a case-by-case basis.
  • Animal testing should be avoided where possible, and scientifically validated in-vitro methods can be accepted.

Shelf Life and Fortification

  • No fortification of bio-stimulants with other nutrients or chemicals to be allowed, except for naturally occurring beneficial elements on a case-by-case basis.

Packaging Standards

  • Packaging of bio-stimulants should follow standard designs prescribed for agro-chemicals and bio-fertilizers.

Provisional Registration and Data Submission

  • Data submitted for provisional registration does not need to be resubmitted for regular registration if composition and claims remain unchanged.

What is Bio-stimulant?

  • A bio-stimulant is defined as a substance or micro-organism that stimulates physiological processes in plants, enhances nutrient uptake, growth, yield, and stress tolerance.
  • They do not include pesticides or plant growth regulators regulated under the Insecticides Act, 1968.
  • Common bio-stimulants includes:
    • Seaweed extracts, Humic substances, Amino acids
    • Microbial inoculants such as mycorrhizal fungi, rhizobacteria
    • Plant growth-promoting substances like cytokinin, auxins, gibberellins, and brassinosteroids etc.

https://www.business-standard.com/industry/agriculture/agri-min-issues-draft-guidelines-for-registration-of-bio-stimulants-123061400625_1.html

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

India: Global Maritime Power by 2030


In News: The recently released World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index (LPI) Report 2023 has ranked India at 22nd position globally on the International Shipments” category, up from the 44th position in 2014. Moreover, India has also secured 38th rank on the Logistics Performance Index scores.

Reasons for better performance:

  • Dwell time: The time vessels spend in port actively loading or unloading the cargo has seen substantial reduction, reaching an optimum level of 3 days vis-à-vis 4 days in UAE, South Africa and 10 days in USA.
  • Port operational efficiency-India’s average turnaround time (TRT) is of only 0.9 day vis-à-vis 1.4 days for Belgium, Germany, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and 1.5 days for USA.
  • Increased investments in the upgradation of infrastructure in the ports and shipping sector with consistent focus on improvements in port efficiency and productivity through reforms, induction of new technologies, a greater thrust on public-private partnership has also improved the performance.
  • Increase in Capacity: The capacity at 12 major ports has increased from 871 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 2015 to 1,617 MMT in 2023. The total capacity has also gone up from 1,560 MMT in 2015 to more than 2,600 MMT
  • Increase in value of operationalization of PPP projects in Major Ports: There has been a 150% increase in value of operationalization of PPP which has contributed significantly to increased operational efficiencies.
  • Decarbonisation in the maritime sector: There has been a 14-fold increase in the use of renewable energy in major ports over the last 8 years. Four of the major ports now generate surplus renewable energy.

Various initiative by Government in the Maritime Sector:

  • Harit Sagar Green Port guidelines issued by the government is an important step towards green ports and aims to bring about a paradigm shift towards safe, efficient and sustainable ports while implementing sound environmental practices.
  • Launch of National Logistics Portal has led to increase in efficiency of ports. It is a single-window digital platform for all stakeholders including those engaged in cargo services, carrier services, banking and financial services, and government and regulatory agencies.
  • Sagar Setu app facilitates seamless movement of goods and services in ports while substantially enhancing the ease of doing business.
  • Important Legislative reforms:
  • Major Port Authorities Act, 2021 grants greater autonomy to major ports.
    • The Marine Aids to Navigation Act, 2021 provides for increased safety and efficiency in vessel traffic services and training and certification at par with international standards.
    • The Indian Vessels Act, 2021 brings uniformity in law and standardised provisions across all inland waterways in the country.
    • The Indian Ports Act 1908 is also being reviewed by the government to replace it with a new law which is in tune with present-day requirements
  • Maritime India Vision (MIV)-2030 launched in 2020, is a ten-year blueprint for the maritime sector aiming to give a fillip to the shipbuilding industry and encourage cruise tourism in India.

Source:

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/how-india-can-become-a-global-maritime-power-by-2030-8663367/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

e-RUPI vouchers - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed non-bank Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuers to issue e-RUPI vouchers.

About:

  • e-RUPI is a contactless cashless voucher which a user gets on his or her phone in the form of an SMS or QR code.
  • The users will be able to redeem the voucher without needing a card, digital payments app, or internet banking access, at any centre that accepts it.
  • The system is pre-paid in nature and hence, assures timely payment to the service provider without the involvement of any intermediary.
  • The cap on the amount for e-RUPI vouchers issued by the government has been set at Rs 1,00,000 per voucher.
  • The central bank has also allowed the use of the e-RUPI voucher multiple times (until the amount of the voucher is completely redeemed).
  • It ensures an easy, contactless process that is operable on basic phones also.
  • For instance
    • If the central government wants to cover a particular treatment of an employee in a specified hospital, it can issue an e-RUPI voucher for the determined amount through a partner bank. The employee will receive an SMS or a QR Code on his feature phone/smartphone. He/she can go to the specified hospital, avail of the services and pay through the e-RUPI voucher received on his phone.

More Information

  • At present, purpose-specific vouchers are issued by banks on behalf of central and state governments and to a limited extent on behalf of corporates.
  • Now, it is proposed to expand the scope and reach of e-RUPI vouchers by
    • permitting non-bank Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuers to issue e-RUPI vouchers and
    • enabling the issuance of e-RUPI vouchers on behalf of individuals,
  • It is also proposed to simplify the process of issuance and redemption.
  • These measures will make the benefits of e-RUPI digital voucher accessible to a wider set of users and further deepen the penetration of digital payments in the country.

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/save/purpose-specific-prepaid-e-rupi-vouchers-can-now-be-issued-for-individuals-by-ppis/articleshow/100838589.cms

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

IBBI to form ‘common panel’ of insolvency professional


Why in news? The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) will create a “common panel” consisting of registered insolvency professionals (IPs).

About:

  • The purpose of this panel is to allow the authority to choose IPs from the list to oversee various cases of resolution or liquidation.
  • At present
    • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is required to recommend the IP's name only after receiving reference from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in a corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).
  • Proposed move
    • The proposed move will "avoid administrative delays" in the appointment of IPs and help expedite insolvency resolution.
    • This list of IPs will also be submitted with the Debt Recovery Tribunal for handling individual insolvency cases.
    • The board will prepare a common panel of IPs for appointment as IRP (interim resolution professional), liquidator, RP (resolution professionals) and BT (bankruptcy trustee) and share the same with the AA (adjudicating authority)".

 

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/ibbi-to-form-common-panel-of-insolvency-professionals/articleshow/100974639.cms

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Ceiling on Wheat Stocks - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The Government has imposed limits on the stock of wheat that can be held by traders, wholesalers, retailers, big chain retailers and processors. The objective is to manage the overall food security and to prevent hoarding and unscrupulous speculation

About the orders issued by the government on wheat stocks:

  • The permissible stock that traders/wholesalers can hold is 3,000 metric tonnes. Retailers and big chain retailers can hold up to 10 metric tonnes at each of their outlets, while the latter can hold up to 3,000 metric tonnes at all their depots combined.
  • The mentioned entities are expected to declare their stock positions and update them regularly on the Department of Food and Public Distribution’s portal.
  • If the stock held by them is higher than the limit, they will have 30 days from the day of issue of notification to bring the same under the prescribed limits.
  • The government has also decided to offload 15 lakh tonnes of wheat from the central pool via the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to flour mills, private traders, bulk buyers, and manufacturers of wheat products through e-auction, to control the retail prices of wheat.
  • The order stood effective with immediate effect until the end of March next year.
  • Government is also planning to offload rice under OMSS to moderate its prices

Why has the government issued these orders on wheat stocks?

  • The orders have been issued in the backdrop of rising concerns about the overall wheat output taking a hit after the unseasonal rains and hailstorms towards the end of March and early April alongside hotter temperatures in February.
    • High temperature during flowering and maturing period leads to loss in yield. About 23 lakh hectares of wheat crop has been damaged in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Lower production leads to higher prices of the crop which could in turn create conditions for local prices exceeding the government’s purchase prices and thus, creating difficulty for the government to stock up supplies.

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/business/agri-business/explained-why-did-the-govt-impose-a-ceiling-on-wheat-stocks/article66969902.ece

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Kari Ishad mango - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Kari Ishad mango prominently grown in Ankola taluk of Uttara Kannada has bagged the Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Geographical Indications Registry under the Union Government.

About:

  • Ishad mango is grown predominantly around Ankola, is tasty and contains a lot of pulp.
  • It is said that the mango variety has been cultivated for the last 400 years.
  • It has two variants — Kari Ishad, which has thin skin, more pulp and is sweeter, and Bili Ishad, which has thick skin and less pulp and sweetness.
  • The Kari Ishad is accepted as one of the finest quality mangoes due to its unique aroma, luscious taste, high amount of pulp, shape, and size.

GI tag:

  • A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 seeks to provide for the registration and better protection of geographical indications relating to goods in India.
  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • It can be renewed from time to time for a further period of 10 years each.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/kari-ishad-mango-of-ankola-in-uttar-karnataka-gets-gi-tag/article66899782.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Default loss guarantee (DLG) - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed the Default loss guarantee (DLG) (also called First Loss Default Guarantee -FLDG) system in the digital lending space.

About:

  • FLDG is a lending model between a fintech and a regulated entity.
  • It is a new technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.
  • It is a safety-net arrangement among banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFC), and lending service providers (LSPs), (popularly known as fintech players) in the digital lending space.
  • Under this, a third party such as a financial technology (fintech) player (LSP) guarantees to compensate up to a certain percentage of default.
  • The fintech originates a loan and promises to compensate the partners up to a pre-decided percentage in case customers fail to repay.

New guidelines:

  • The RBI permitted FLDG arrangements between banks and fintech or between two regulated entities (REs).
  • The LSP-providing DLG must be incorporated as a company under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • Banks and NBFCs should ensure that the total amount of DLG cover on any outstanding portfolio does not exceed 5% of the amount of that loan portfolio.

 

https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/economy/story/rbi-issues-guidelines-on-default-loss-guarantee-in-digital-lending-384839-2023-06-08#

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Global DPI Summit - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Union government of India inaugurates Global DPI Summit and Exhibition

About Global DPI Summit:

  • Ministry of Electronics & IT has recently inaugurated Global DPI Summit which witnessed participation from around 50 countries and welcomed 150 foreign delegates.
  • The focus of the summit was on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and its role in driving digital transformation and inclusive development.
  • The summit witnessed discussions on key topics such as DPI overview, digital identities, digital payments and financial inclusion, and DPI for judicial systems and regulations.
  • The discussions explored the principles and design of DPI, including open standards, partnerships, interoperability, and low-cost solutions.
  • The summit also highlighted successful digital solutions implemented at a population scale, with India signing MoUs with Armenia, Sierra Leone, and Suriname to share its INDIA STACK experiences.
  • The Global DPI Exhibition was a significant part of the summit, showcasing 14 experience zones on digital identity, fast payment, e-governance, agriculture, healthcare, and
  • Overall, the summit's success highlights the increasing recognition and importance of DPI in driving digital empowerment and inclusive growth on a global scale.

Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)

  • It refers to the foundational digital infrastructure and services that are essential for enabling digital transformation and promoting inclusive digital development in society.
  • It encompasses the technological, policy, and governance frameworks necessary to build and operate a robust digital ecosystem.
  • Its major components include: Digital Identity, connectivity and broadband Infrastructure, high-speed internet connectivity and broadband infrastructure and data exchange platforms etc.,

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1931731

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Global DPI Summit - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Union government of India inaugurates Global DPI Summit and Exhibition

About Global DPI Summit:

  • Ministry of Electronics & IT has recently inaugurated Global DPI Summit which witnessed participation from around 50 countries and welcomed 150 foreign delegates.
  • The focus of the summit was on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and its role in driving digital transformation and inclusive development.
  • The summit witnessed discussions on key topics such as DPI overview, digital identities, digital payments and financial inclusion, and DPI for judicial systems and regulations.
  • The discussions explored the principles and design of DPI, including open standards, partnerships, interoperability, and low-cost solutions.
  • The summit also highlighted successful digital solutions implemented at a population scale, with India signing MoUs with Armenia, Sierra Leone, and Suriname to share its INDIA STACK experiences.
  • The Global DPI Exhibition was a significant part of the summit, showcasing 14 experience zones on digital identity, fast payment, e-governance, agriculture, healthcare, and
  • Overall, the summit's success highlights the increasing recognition and importance of DPI in driving digital empowerment and inclusive growth on a global scale.

Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)

  • It refers to the foundational digital infrastructure and services that are essential for enabling digital transformation and promoting inclusive digital development in society.
  • It encompasses the technological, policy, and governance frameworks necessary to build and operate a robust digital ecosystem.
  • Its major components include: Digital Identity, connectivity and broadband Infrastructure, high-speed internet connectivity and broadband infrastructure and data exchange platforms etc.,

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1931731

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

RBI’s Regulation for Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs)


In News: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notifies 4 Key measures to strengthen Urban Co-operative Banks(UCBs) of India

About RBI’s Regulation for UCBs

  • RBI has recently announced four key measures to strengthen, enhance operations and support the growth of 1,514 urban co-operative banks (UCBs) of India.

Key Measures

Features

Opening New Branches

UCBs can now open new branches up to 10% (maximum 5 branches) without prior approval from the RBI

UCBs must comply with the Financially Sound and Well Managed (FSWM) norms

One-Time Settlement

UCBs can undertake a One-Time Settlement (OTS) at par with commercial banks.

Co-operative banks can provide a process for technical write-off and settlement with borrowers through board-approved policies.

Priority Sector Lending (PSL) Targets

The RBI has extended the timeline for UCBs to achieve PSL targets by two years, until March 31, 2026.

The deadline to achieve a PSL target of 60% has been extended from March 31, 2023, to March 31, 2024.

Excess deposits after clearing the PSL shortfall to be refunded to the UCBs.

Nodal Officer for Cooperative Sector

RBI to appoint a nodal officer for closer coordination and focused interaction with the cooperative sector

  • Overall, these initiatives will enhance the role of UCBs and promote their development in alignment with the government's vision.

 

https://www.business-standard.com/finance/news/rbi-notifies-4-key-measures-to-strengthen-1-514-urban-co-operative-banks-123060900842_1.html

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Interlocking System in Indian Railways


In News: Train tragedy and the electronic interlocking system in Indian railways

About Interlocking System in Indian Railways:

  • The interlocking system is an integral part of railway signalling in Indian Railways to ensure the safe movement of trains and manages track configurations at stations and junctions.
  • It uses computer-based systems and electronic equipment to control signals, points, and level-crossing gates.
  • Indian Railways uses an advanced version of interlocking called the electronic interlocking (EI) system.
    • It is a microprocessor-based and processes inputs in a fail-safe manner.
    • It relies on software and electronic components to manage interlocking logic, ensuring proper sequencing of elements for safe train movement.
    • Trains are given signals to pass only if the track direction is set correctly and the divergent track is free of obstructions.
  • Components:
    • Signal: Light signals indicate whether a train should stop (red), proceed (green), or exercise caution (yellow) based on the track ahead and in case of system failure, it shows a red light indicating that the route ahead is not clear or safe.
    • Point: These are moveable sections of track that guide trains to change lines which remain locked until a train has crossed a particular section of track or the signal to proceed has been withdrawn.
    • Track circuit: These are electrical circuits installed on tracks to detect the presence of a train and prevents multiple trains from running on the same block to avoid collisions.
  • Electronic systems and communication devices control the signalling equipment and are kept in relay rooms with access control where all activities of the system are recorded in a data logger.
  • Overall, this system prevents conflicting movements by allowing a train to proceed only when its route is set, locked, and verified as safe.

Rail track system of India:

  • The Indian Railways is the fourth largest railway network globally, with around eight billion passengers annually.
  • The network stretches over 68,000 km and comprises more than 7,000 stations.
  • The running track length is 1,02,831 km, while the total track length, including sidings, yards, and crossings, is 1,28,305 km.
  • By the year ending 2022, almost 2,888 stations, covering over 45% of the Indian Railways, were equipped with electronic interlocking systems.

 

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/explained-what-is-the-electronic-interlocking-system-in-railways/article66933809.ece

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Indo-US Cooperation in Agriculture


In News: A brief history of the US role in independent India's agricultural development is useful in the context of the Prime Minister's upcoming visit to the US, for strengthening the “global strategic partnership” between the two countries.

About

The US has played a significant role in India's agricultural development since the 1950s and 1960s. The Rockefeller and Ford Foundations were instrumental in establishing agricultural universities in India, and the US government provided technical assistance and funding for the Green Revolution, which helped to increase agricultural productivity and food production. The Indo-US cooperation in agriculture has been mutually beneficial, and it has helped to improve food security in both countries.

The following are some of the lessons that can be learned from the Indo-US cooperation in agriculture:

  • The importance of technical assistance and training: The Rockefeller and Ford Foundations played a key role in establishing agricultural universities in India, and they also provided technical assistance to Indian farmers. This assistance helped to improve agricultural productivity and food production.
  • The importance of funding: The US government provided significant funding for the Green Revolution, which helped to make it a success. This funding helped to cover the costs of research, development, and implementation of new agricultural technologies.
  • The importance of cooperation: The Indo-US cooperation in agriculture has been mutually beneficial. Both countries have benefited from the exchange of knowledge, technology, and resources.

India’s agricultural development after Independence:

  • Pre-independent India food shortage: Agriculture was monsoon-dependent and unfavorable rains and natural calamities resulted in crop failures.
  • Post-independent Planning process: It identified agriculture as the most prioritized sector and emphasized that ‘everything can wait but agriculture’.
  • Increase in the food grain production: From merely 51 million tons (Mt) in 1950/51 increased over 6 times to over 314 Mt in 2022.
  • The country became the largest producer of milk, pulses, and jute and the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, cotton, fruits, and vegetables in the world.

key challenges facing Indian agriculture in the 21st century:

  • Climate change: Climate change is already having a significant impact on Indian agriculture, and this impact is expected to worsen in the future.
  • Population growth: India's population is expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2050, which will put a strain on the country's agricultural resources.
  • Urbanization: The urbanization of India is also putting a strain on the country's agricultural sector, as people move to cities and demand for food increases.
  • Farmer Income: The cost of inputs such as fertilizer, seed, and fuel has been rising in recent years, which has put a strain on farmer Income.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/the-lessons-of-indo-us-cooperation-in-agriculture-8657682/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Measures to Notify Urban Co-operative Banks


In News: RBI in consonance with Ministry of Cooperation notifies measures to strengthen urban co-operative banks

About Notification on Urban Co-operative Banks:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently introduced four key measures to strengthen 1,514 urban co-operative banks (UCBs).
  • These measures aim to enhance the functioning and operations of UCBs, ensuring their compliance with regulatory requirements and providing UCBs with more flexibility and support in key areas.

Measures:

  • Opening New Branches: UCBs are now allowed to open new branches without prior approval from the RBI, up to a specified limit to expand their presence and reach more customers.
    • However, UCBs must still adhere to the Financially Sound and Well Managed (FSWM) norms and obtain board approval for opening new branches.
  • Facility of One-Time Settlement: Introduction of a framework for One-Time Settlements to allow UCBs to undertake settlements with borrowers.
    • It will help UCBs to efficiently manage their loan portfolios and address non-performing assets.
    • It will provide a mechanism for technical write-offs and borrower settlements, similar to commercial banks.
  • Timeline for PSL: RBI has allowed for an extension of timelines for UCBs to achieve Priority Sector Lending (PSL) targets.
  • Nodal officer: RBI to appoint a new nodal officer to facilitate closer coordination and interaction with UCBs.
    • It aims to strengthen the relationship between UCBs and the RBI, enabling smoother communication and support.

Overall, the new regulatory requirements will help UCBs in implementing sound practices besides enhancing their stability and contributing to the overall growth of the economy.

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

5th State Food Safety Index - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The Food Safety Index evaluates the performance of states and Union territories across different aspects of food safety.

About

  • State Food Safety Index was developed by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a statutory body under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • First State Food Safety Index was released in 2019
  • The index is a benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.

The parameters include:

  • Human Resources and Institutional Data
  • Compliance
  • Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance
  • Training & Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.
  • Top performers in the 5th edition were Kerala (Large states), Goa (small state) and J&K (UTs).

 

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2023/jun/08/food-safety-index-2023-kerala-punjab-lead-tn-slips-to-3rd-spot-2582948.html

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

CACP Report on Price Policy for Kharif Crop 2023-24


In News: CACP recommends bringing urea under the nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) regime to address imbalanced use of nutrients.

About CACP Report on Price Policy for Kharif Crop 2023-24:

  • The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has recently released its report on the Price Policy for Kharif Crop 2023-24.
  • The report highlights the issue of imbalanced use of nutrients in agriculture and recommends bringing urea under the nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) regime.
  • At present, Urea is excluded from the NBS which is one of the primary reasons for worsening plant nutrient imbalance.
  • Keeping urea out of the NBS allows the government to retain direct control over its maximum retail price (MRP) and subsidy.
  • As per findings, the imbalanced use of nutrients, deficiency of micro and secondary nutrients, and depletion of soil organic carbon have led to declining fertilizer response and
  • Urea's affordability and unchanged price have resulted in higher sales of urea compared to other fertilizers like DAP and NPK leading to its overuse and so negatively impacting soil health.
  • Also, the challenges posed by high and volatile international fertilizer prices are impacting the availability and affordability of fertilizers for farmers.
  • The report emphasizes the need to address nutrient imbalances caused by fertilizer subsidies and recommends capping the number of subsidized bags of fertilizers per farmer.
  • Overall, implementing the cap would not only reduce the government's subsidy burden but also will allow resources to be redirected to agriculture research and development and infrastructure.

 

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/cacp-recommends-centre-to-bring-urea-under-nbs-regime-to-check-overuse-89907

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Lessons from Thailand on Tourism


In News: Experts opinions that India should learn lessons from Thailand on Tourism

About Lessons from Thailand on Tourism

  • Thailand has in recent years emerged as a successful tourism destination, providing valuable lessons for other countries, including India.
  • It has experienced a significant increase in tourist arrivals, jumping from 30 million in 2015 to 40 million in 2019.
  • Major steps by Thailand:
    • Innovative initiatives like Eathai, a street food concept in the basement of a shopping mall to attract visitors with its diverse offerings and efficient ordering process.
    • The integration of services such as VAT refunds to enhance the overall tourist experience.
    • Visa-free policy has been instrumental in attracting tourists from various countries.
    • Flexibility and responsiveness to industry concerns through initiatives like the removal of the Thailand Pass requirement etc.,
  • India, with 11 million tourists in 2019, can implement successful strategies by adopting genuinely radical measures to revamp its tourism approach such as:
    • Visa-free travel for G20 and Southeast Asian countries to boost tourism.
    • Focusing on attracting foreign tourists through Indian tourism ministry's "Dekho Apna Desh" campaign with a foreigner component in it.
    • Refreshing and reinvigorating its "Incredible India!" campaign to maintain impact factor among foreigners.
    • Removing the need for visas, rather than withdrawing e-visa availability during diplomatic tensions, for a more sensible approach.
  • Overall, implementing the lessons from Thailand can help India build a stronger and more vibrant tourism industry.

 

https://www.livemint.com/opinion/columns/india-could-learn-from-thailand-how-to-boost-tourism-11686157728130.html

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Reviving rubber industry - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: India attempts to revive its dwindling rubber industry

About Reviving rubber industry:

  • India's rubber industry in recent years has faced challenges ranging from falling production to abandoned
  • The decline in rubber production has been attributed to poor returns, high labor costs, and plummeting prices.
  • Despite the rise in demand for natural rubber in India, particularly from the tire industry, the domestic producers have been hurt due to imports as the international rubber prices are usually lower.
  • For revival, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) and the Rubber Board are collaborating to create new rubber plantations in Northeast India and West Bengal.
  • Also, the Genetically modified (GM) rubber plants are being developed to withstand different climatic conditions.
  • GM technology is seen as the future of rubber plantations, offering improved qualities specially to cope up with Climate change which pose a major challenge to rubber farming.
  • Technological solutions such as motorized tapping machines are being adopted to increase efficiency and productivity.
  • Overall, Innovation and revitalization efforts are needed to reverse the decline and promote sustainable growth in the rubber industry.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-65543616

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Shahan Hydropower Project - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are gearing up for a face-off over the Shanan Power Project.

About:

  • The Shanan hydroelectric plant, commissioned in 1932, the powerhouse was constructed as per a 99-year lease executed between Raja Jogendra Sen, the then king of Mandiand Col BC Batty, Chief Engineer of the Punjab Government, in 1925.
  • It is located in Joginder Nagar in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The project harnesses the power of the Uhl River, a tributary of the Beas River, and generates 110 MW of electricity.
  • The project consists of a dam, a powerhouse, a reservoir and a network of canals and tunne
  • The project is also a source of irrigation and drinking water for the surrounding areas.
  • The lease agreement will expire in March 2024, and both Himachal Pradesh and Punjab are claiming their rights over the project.

 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/the-power-battle-between-punjab-and-himachal-pradesh-101686131180224.html

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Atmanirbhar in Pulses Compared to Edible Oil


In News: India achieves over 90% self-sufficiency in dals (pulses) on the wave of increased chana (chickpea) production.

About Atmanirbhar in Pulses Compared to Edible Oil:

  • India has recently made substantial progress in achieving self-sufficiency in pulses while remaining significantly import-dependent in edible oil.
  • The country has achieved over 90% self-sufficiency in pulses, primarily due to increased production of chana (chickpea).
  • In contrast, India's vegetable oil imports have surged over the years, reaching a value of $20,837.70 million (Rs 167,269.99 crore) in 2022-23.
  • Out of the 24-25 million tonnes of cooking oil consumed annually, only 9-10 million tonnes are domestically produced, while the rest is imported.
  • India's pulses imports have declined from 6.61 mt in 2016-17 to 70 mt and 2.52 mt in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively.
  • Domestic pulses production has increased from 19.26 mt in 2013-14 to 50 mt in 2022-23, contributing to self-sufficiency.
  • Government interventions such as a 60% import duty on chana, minimum support prices (MSP) adequate stocking and availability of imports have helped to mitigate potential inflation in pulses.
  • Overall, while India has made significant strides towards self-sufficiency in pulses, however greater focus is needed to achieve similar results in the edible oil sector.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/how-india-has-become-relatively-atmanirbhar-in-pulses-compared-to-edible-oil-8645756/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Low cost finance energy transition Report


In News: A report titled ‘Low-cost finance for energy transition’ by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), laid out a detailed strategy to access low cost finances for energy transition and ), has praised India’s achievement in rolling out “unprecedented” renewable energy capacity.

About the Report:

  • This report, developed by IRENA in collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under the Energy Transition Working Group of India's G20 Presidency.
  • It highlights the importance of low-cost finance in driving the deployment of critical technologies such as hydrogen, offshore wind and energy storage.

Key Highlights of the Report:

Cost trends and investments in both renewable power generation technologies

  • The period 2010-2022 witnessed a dramatic reduction in the cost of generating electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind, offshore wind and concentrating solar power (CSP).
  • This cost reduction was driven by a virtuous cycle of policies that supported deployment, reducing costs and leading to more countries adopting renewable energy.
  • Today, onshore wind and utility-scale solar PV are typically the lowest-cost sources of new electricity generation.
  • Costs have also fallen for critical energy transition technologies like offshore wind, hydrogen electrolysers, heat pumps and batteries, although the reduction is not as significant as for solar PV.
  • In 2010, 88 GW of renewable energy (RE) was added at a cost of USD 221 billion. However in 2021, three times that level of new RE capacity was commissioned, but with the investment of only USD 353 billion.

The Energy Transition: A 1.5°C Pathway

  • Share of RE in final energy consumption needs to increase to 80% from the current 17-18%.
  • Electricity production through renewables should increase to 90%, of which solar and wind would make up two-thirds of this generation.
  • Green hydrogen produced from renewable sources has a key role in challenging sectors like industry and shipping.
  • COremoval and storage through carbon capture and storage (CCS), and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) or negative emission measures such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), direct-air capture, reforestation and afforestation, among others.

Low-Cost Finance for Renewable Power:

  • Domestic financial markets are critical sources of capital for financing the energy transition since they provide diversified funding sources, access to local equity capital and corporate bond markets, and much-needed local-currency financing to avoid currency risk and help mitigate macroeconomic shocks.
  • Governments can set conditions for the private sector to build & finance a viable pipeline of transition–oriented projects.

Innovative Frameworks to Accelerate Deployment of Low-Carbon Technologies:

  • Along with economies of scale as markets grow, innovation is one of the main levers available to reduce technology costs, accelerate market penetration and unlock financial resources.
  • Effective innovation frameworks incorporate coordinated policies and actions to drive innovations in four areas i.e. enabling technologies, business models, market design and system operation.

Recommendations for the G20 members for their policy-making process:

  • The fossil fuel price shock of 2022 has reinforced the need for countries to stay on course in the energy transition and to scale up the deployment of renewables.
  • Countries should provide a range of policy incentives (economic, financial and regulatory as appropriate to a country’s situation) to facilitate the development and deployment of the next set of critical technologies for the energy transition.
  • Countries should build upon the lessons learnt from the success of solar PV and onshore wind.
  • The role of the public sector is crucial to unlocking low-cost private sector capital for the energy transition.
  • Knowledge exchange is vital and G20 members should take the opportunity to exchange knowledge and best practices.

Source:

https://mc-cd8320d4-36a1-40ac-83cc-3389-cdn-endpoint.azureedge.net/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2023/May/IRENA_Low_cost_finance_energy_transition_2023.pdf?rev=02ba5ca271cc40e7a0c9d76586fd209f

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

KFON, Kerala Internet Service Scheme


In News: Kerala government launches KFON scheme in an attempt to reduce the digital divide in the state.

About Kerala Fibre Optical Network (KFON):

  • KFON is a Kerala government scheme to provide high-speed broadband internet access to all households and government offices in Kerala
  • It is an optical fibre cable network spanning 30,000 kms with 375 Points-of-Presence across the state shared with service providers, including cable operators.
  • While government offices will directly benefit from KFON, individual households will need to rely on local internet service providers.
  • It is part of the state's commitment to making internet access a basic right and is expected to accelerate Kerala's journey towards being a knowledge-based economy and boost e-governance.
  • The network promises internet speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps and aims to improve mobile phone call quality.
  • In the first stage, connectivity will be provided to 30,000 government offices and 14,000 below poverty line (BPL) families.
  • At present, the major services provided under KFON includes leasing of dark fibre, internet leased line, fibre to the home, Wi-Fi hotspots, internet protocol television, OTT, and cloud hosting.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/kfon-kerala-scheme-internet-connectivity-for-all-explained-8648744/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

BRICS: Use of local currencies in global trade


In News: BRICS pitches for using local currencies in international trade

About

  • The BRICS nations are a group of emerging economies that have been working together to increase their economic and political influence on the global stage.
  • The group's call for increased use of local currencies in international trade is a sign of their growing confidence and their desire to reduce their dependence on the US dollar.
  • The use of local currencies in international trade could have a number of benefits. It could help to reduce the cost of trade, as businesses would no longer have to convert their currencies into dollars or other reserve currencies.
    • It could also help to promote financial stability, as businesses would be less exposed to currency fluctuations.
  • Potential risks associated with using local currencies in international trade. For example, it could make it more difficult for businesses to hedge against currency risk.
    • It could also make it more difficult for businesses to access international capital markets.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/brics-pitches-for-using-local-currencies-in-international-trade/article66923189.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Adverse possession - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: There is no justification for introducing any change in the law relating to adverse possession,” the 22nd Law Commission has said in its recent report.

About

  • Concept of Adverse possession steps from the idea that land must not be left vacant but instead, be put to judicious use.
  • Limitations Act 1963 provides that any person in possession of private land for over 12 years or government land for over 30 years can become the owner of that property (Adverse Possession).
  • However, the possession must be continuous, uninterrupted, and peaceful.

In the 2004 Apex Court ruling in Karnataka Board of Wakf v Government of India, the court dealt with the ingredients of adverse possession. According to the observations made by former SC judge S. Rajendra Babu in the case, “A person who claims adverse possession should show:

(a) on what date he came into possession

(b) what was the nature of his possession

(c) whether the factum of possession was known to the other party

(d) how long his possession has continued

(e) his possession was open and undisturbed.”

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-law/adverse-possession-law-commission-8645815/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Beverage Lobby Differs with WHO On Non-Sugar Sweeteners (NSS)


In News: A lobby group representing major beverage companies resents with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on non-sugar sweeteners.

About Beverage Lobby Differs with WHO on Sweeteners:

  • A lobby group representing major beverage companies, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Red Bull, has criticized the recent WHO guidelines on non-sugar sweeteners.
  • WHO guidelines state that Non-Sugar Sweeteners (NSS) do not aid weight loss and increase the risk of certain diseases.
  • WHO has however reiterated its stands by its conditional guidelines on NSS, including both synthetic and natural sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and stevia.
  • WHO has also emphasized that replacing free sugars with NSS does not aid long-term weight control and that NSS lack nutritional value.
  • Previously, Health groups have advocated for restrictive use of artificial sweeteners and clear messaging on their limited consumption.
  • Companies under The Indian Beverage Association (IBA) have been supporting the role of low or no-calorie sweeteners in reducing sugar intake amid the global obesity crisis.
  • Sales of diet colas, ice-creams, juices, breakfast cereals, confectionery, and no-sugar cooking alternatives have been growing in double digits.
  • In this regard, the industry executives have raised apprehension that new guidelines requiring warnings on products with NSS could impact sales of diet foods.
  • Overall, WHO's norms are part of guidelines on healthy diet and it advocates other ways to reduce free sugars' intake, such as consuming foods with naturally occurring sugars or unsweetened options.

Non-sugar sweeteners (NSS):

  • These are also known as artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes and are used to provide sweetness to food and beverages without adding significant calories or carbohydrates.
  • These sweeteners are used as alternatives to sugar, particularly for individuals looking to reduce their sugar intake or manage conditions like diabetes.
  • These can be synthetic or derived from natural sources, and they are often much sweeter than sugar, requiring smaller amounts for the same level of sweetness.
  • Some common non-sugar sweeteners include: Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccharin, Stevia, Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K), Neotame, Monk Fruit Extract etc.,

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/food/beverage-lobby-differs-with-who-on-sweeteners/articleshow/100752293.cms

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Oil reserves in salt caverns - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Government-owned engineering consultancy firm Engineers India (EIL) conducts the feasibility study of developing salt cavern-based strategic oil reserves in Rajasthan.

About Oil reserves in salt caverns:

  • In an attempt to increase its strategic oil storage capacity, India has started studying Salt cavern-based oil reserves in Rajasthan.
  • India currently depends on imports for over 85% of its crude oil requirement and these reserves can help mitigate major supply disruptions in the global oil supply chain.
  • Salt caverns are developed through solution mining and they offers a cheaper and less labour-intensive storage option compared to rock caverns.
  • Rajasthan in India has the necessary salt formations and infrastructure for salt cavern-based reserves which are naturally well-sealed and allow for rapid injection and extraction of oil.
  • Exploring salt cavern-based strategic oil reserves can strengthen India's energy security and mitigate supply disruptions.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve:

  • These are stockpiles of crude oil and/or refined petroleum products maintained by countries to ensure energy security and stability against emergencies or supply disruptions.
  • SPRs are typically stored in dedicated facilities, such as underground caverns, salt domes, or above-ground tanks, designed to ensure the safe storage and preservation of the oil.
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) recommends holding an emergency oil stockpile equivalent to 90 days of import protection.
  • India's existing SPR capacity is 5.33 million tonnes, meeting about 5 days of demand and the expansion plans are underway for an additional 6.5 million tonnes.
  • Previously, The United States has successfully utilized salt caverns for its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/explained-economics-oil-reserves-in-salt-caverns-8643242/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Train Safety in India - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The issue of Indian railway safety has come under scrutiny following the recent Balasore train accident that resulted in the death of over 288 passengers.

About the train accident in Balasore

  • In the Balasore train accident, three trains collided, resulting in a high number of casualties and injuries.
  • The collision occurred when the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express veered off its track and crashed into a stationary goods train. The impact caused the passenger train’s coaches to derail and hit another passenger train travelling in the opposite direction.
  • The preliminary investigation report says that the accident was caused due to a faulty signalling system. The signal was given for Coromandel Express to proceed on the main line, but the train got into the loop line and collided with a stationary goods train.
  • Reason for the accident:
    • The official had earlier precisely pointed to serious flaws in the signalling system where the route of dispatch gets altered after a train starts on signals with correct appearance of route in the Station master’s panel, thus contravening the essence and basic principles of interlocking.
    • The incident of Hosadurga Road Station in Mysore Division on February 8, 2023 was notified to General Managers of all the regions, making them aware of the faulty signalling system to take corrective actions.

Various Government Initiatives to address railway safety concerns:

  • Kavach system: KAVACH is an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System for Indian Railways.
    • It provides protection by preventing trains from passing the signal at Red and activates the train’s braking system automatically (if the driver jumps the Red signal) and avoids collision.
    • The Traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) helps in two-way communication between the station master and loco-pilot to convey any emergency message.
  • Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK): The government initiated the RRSK in 2017-18, with a dedicated fund aimed at carrying out safety-related work in a systematic manner.
    • It has a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore over a period of five years with an annual outlay of Rs 20,000 crore.
  • National Rail Plan (NRP) for India – 2030: Indian Railways have prepared a plan to create a ‘future ready’ Railway system by 2030. NRP is aimed to formulate strategies based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives to increase modal share of the Railways in freight to 45%.
  • Project Mission Raftar: It is an Indian Railway project, introduced in the Railway Budget of 2016-17 and approved by NITI Aayog in 2017. The goal is to double the average speed of freight trains and increase passenger train speed by 50%.
  • Upgradation of infrastructure through allocation of funds in modernization and upgradation of railway infrastructure including electrification of railway lines, expansion of rail networks, and the introduction of high-speed and ultra-high-speed lines.
  • Audit reports and recommendations: The CAG periodically conducts audits of Indian Railways, identifying shortcomings and making recommendations to address safety concerns. These reports serve as a basis for corrective actions and improvements in safety protocols.

Way forward

  • Bibek Debroy Committee on Mobilization of Resources for Major Railway Projects (2015) recommended creation of a separate safety department within Indian Railways, development of a comprehensive safety plan, utilisation of technology for safety enhancements, improvement in track maintenance practices, and enhancement of safety training program.
  • Anil Kakodkar Committee on Railway Safety (2012) suggested adoption of an Advanced Signalling System for the entire trunk route within 5 years and use of LHB coaches instead of ICF coaches.
  • Strengthen maintenance practices for tracks and leverage improved technologies to enhance the efficiency & effectiveness of maintenance activities coupled with enhanced staffing and training.

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/odisha-accident-senior-official-had-alerted-railway-on-serious-flaws-in-signalling-system/article66930016.ece

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Access to assured irrigation - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: NITI Aayog reports India having nearly 55% of farm land getting irrigation

About Access to Access to Assured Irrigation:

  • More than half of India's cultivated land now has access to assured irrigation, with nearly 55% of the gross sown area having irrigation access in 2022-23, compared to 47.8% in 2013-14.
  • The increase in irrigation cover is attributed to the expansion of land under agriculture, particularly in dryland farm zones such as Telangana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The expansion of irrigation is expected to help mitigate the impact of dry summers and patchy monsoons, which are partially linked to the climate crisis.
  • Agriculture accounts for about 80% of India's available water use of 700 billion cubic meters annually and contribute around 18% to the national economy beside being the largest employer.
  • India has installed micro irrigation facilities, including sprinklers and drip systems in 8 million hectares, constituting a significant portion of the total irrigated area.
  • Currently, 40% of the irrigated area in the country is watered through canal networks, while 60% relies on groundwater.
  • With groundwater levels in several states depleting significantly, India must create irrigation potential in about 60% of its arable land subject to hydrological and geographical limitations.

Major government schemes:

  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)
    • PMKSY was launched in 2015 to expand the cultivated area with assured irrigation, reduce water wastage, improve water use efficiency, and incentivize micro-irrigation through subsidies.
    • Since then, the cultivated area under irrigation has been increasing by 1% each year with States making more investments than the central government to make the scheme successful.
  • Micro-Irrigation Fund (MIF)
    • In 2018-19, a ₹500 billion micro-irrigation fund (MIF) was created to assist states in mobilizing resources related to micro irrigation facilities.
  • Other Programs and Projects
    • Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP)
    • Har Khet Ko Paani-Surface Minor Irrigation

 

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/over-50-of-india-s-cultivated-land-now-has-assured-irrigation-thanks-to-expansion-in-micro-projects-and-efficient-water-use-11685555001532.html

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

National Electricity Plan 2022-32


In News: The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has recently notified the National Electricity Plan (NEP) for the period of 2022-32.

About National Electricity Plan 2022-2032:

  • The National Electricity Plan is prepared by the CEA of Ministry of Power in accordance with the National Electricity Policy and the Electricity Act, 2003.
  • The plan has been notified for the period of 2022-32 and includes a review of the last five years (2017-22), detailed plan for the next five years (2022-27), and a prospective plan for the following five years (2027-32).

Major highlights:

  • The plan projects the All-India peak electricity demand and electrical energy requirement to reach 2 GW and 1907.8 BU by 2026-27, and 366.4 GW and 2473.8 BU by 2031-32.
  • The share of non-fossil-based capacity is expected to increase to 57.4% by the end of 2026-27 and further to 68.4% by the end of 2031-32, compared to the current share of around 42.5%.
  • The plan estimates a total fund requirement of Rs. 33.60 lakh crore for power generation capacity addition from 2022-2032.
  • By 2026-27, the likely installed capacity is projected to be 609,591 MW, consisting of conventional capacity (273,038 MW) and renewable-based capacity (336,553 MW).
  • By 2031-32, the estimated installed capacity is 900,422 MW, including conventional capacity (304,147 MW) and renewable-based capacity (596,275 MW).
  • The average Plant Load Factor (PLF) for coal-based capacity is estimated to be about 58.4% in 2026-27 and 58.7% in 2031-32.
  • Energy storage capacity requirements are projected to be 13 GW/82.37 GWh by 2026-27 and 73.93 GW/411.4 GWh by 2031-32.
  • The plan considers the domestic coal requirement, which is estimated to be 4 million tonnes for 2026-27 and 1025.8 million tonnes for 2031-32, with an additional 28.9 million tonnes of coal imports.
  • The plan aims to reduce the average emission factor to 548 kg CO2/kWhnet by 2026-27 and 0.430 kg CO2/kWhnet by 2031-32.
  • Overall, the plan aims to align with India’s target of achieving a non-fossil based installed capacity of around 500 GW by 2029-30.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1928750#:

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Semiconductor manufacturing in India


In News: Ministry of Electronics and IT recently announced that it will reopen the window for applying to its Rs 76,000 crore semiconductor manufacturing plan after the first window failed to attract any major names.

About the Semiconductor Industry:

  • A semiconductor is a material that is used in electronic equipment and devices to manage and control the flow of electricity. Semiconductors are the "brains" of modern electronics.
  • They are made from elements like silicon or germanium, or compounds like gallium arsenide.
  • Semiconductors are the building blocks of today’s technology and find application in computers, mobiles, cars, planes, medical diagnostic tools, defence technology, aerospace etc.
  • They make the devices more compact, less expensive, and more powerful.

Current scenario of India’s semiconductor manufacturing landscape:

  • The Indian semiconductor market is expected to reach US$ 63 billion by 2026, with smartphones and wearable, automotive components etc. accounting for more than 60% of the market.
  • Currently, the Indian semiconductor industry accounts for roughly US$ 2.3 trillion of global GDP and represents 1% of the international semiconductor trade and 0.5% of global semiconductor sales.
  • However Indian semiconductor manufacturing industry is facing hurdles due to unavailability of technology and applicants running out of contention due to delayed mergers.
  • Three entities namely Vedanta-Foxconn JV, international consortium ISMC, & Singapore-based IGSS Ventures had applied to set up fabrication units in the country, but all are facing hurdles.

Challenges of Semiconductor industry:

  • No fruition of deals:
    • Vedanta-Foxconn struggles to find a tech partner that could licence them the technology to manufacture 28-nanometre chips.
    • ISMC has asked not to consider its proposal owing to a pending merger between Intel and Tower Semiconductor
    • Singapore-based IGSS Venture’s proposal was not found to be up to the mark by the government’s advisory committee.
  • It is a capital intensive industry as chip design and manufacturing requires a developed ecosystem for business to thrive. As per a government estimate, it would cost roughly $5-$7 billion to set up a chip fabrication unit in India.
  • Despite the huge talent pool of chip designers in India, it lacks skilled process engineers who can run a front-end chip factory.
  • Structural Flaws as FDI in electronics is less than 1% of the total FDI inflow due to lack of skilled labour, delays in land acquisition, and the uncertain tax regime.

Significance of Semiconductor industry for India:

  • Tackle supply shocks: The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns impacted the supply of chips to India. Automobile manufacturers were compelled to reduce their production due to the shortage.
  • Meet the rising demand: Experts estimate that around 50 crore people will join the internet in the next decade thereby demanding more phones and laptops.
  • Employment Creation: Indigenous manufacturing of chips will build its smartphone assembly industry and strengthen its electronics supply chain, creating numerous employment opportunities.
  • Geopolitical Benefits: Countries having a sufficient supply of chips would be in a better position to mold the future course of geopolitics, driven by data and the digital revolution.
  • Reduction of import dependence: Development of a domestic electronics supply chain will reduce its imports from foreign countries, especially China.
  • Replacing China: It is an opportune time for India to venture into semiconductor manufacturing, as more companies try to diversify their bases from China.

Government Initiative:

  • Production-Linked Incentive scheme with a budgeted incentive of Rs 76,000 crore over the next six years.
  • National Policy on Electronics 2019 which envisions positioning India as a global hub for the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector..
  • Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS)
  • Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme
  • 100% Foreign Direct Investment under the automatic route for ESDM sector.

Source:

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/india-semiconductor-manufacturing-industry-8640475/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

WORLD’S LARGEST GRAIN STORAGE PLAN


In News: Centre to implement World's Largest Grain Storage Plan as Pilot Project in selected districts

About World's largest Grain storage Plan:

  • The Union Cabinet has recently approved the implementation of the world's largest grain storage plan in the cooperative sector.
  • The plan aims to converge various schemes of ministries related to agriculture, farmers' welfare, consumer affairs, food and public distribution, and food processing industries.
  • The Ministry of Cooperation will execute a pilot project in 10 selected districts across different states.
  • Under the plan, the Inter Ministerial Committee(IMC) will establish guidelines for creating infrastructure, such as godowns, at selected Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).
  • The plan will utilise the available outlays provided under the identified schemes of the respective Ministries.
  • Farmers will have the opportunity to sell their crops to PACS and receive advance payment at the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
  • PACS will sell the food grains in the market and provide the remaining balance to the farmers.
  • Farmers can store their crops in PACS-managed warehouses and receive financing for the next crop cycle.
  • PACS will not only provide storage facilities but also engage in activities such as Fair Price Shop and Custom Hiring Centres.
  • The plan aims to address the lack of agricultural storage capacity and reduce wastage of food grains.
  • It will also provide modern grain storage facilities to farmers, ensuring they receive fair prices for their grains.
  • Overall, the plan is expected to benefit millions of farmers associated with cooperatives, improve food security, and strengthen the rural economy.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cabinet-approves-inter-ministerial-committee-for-largest-grain-storage/article66917127.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Additional Disclosure for High Risk Foreign Portfolio Investor


In News: SEBI proposes additional disclosure for High-Risk Foreign Portfolio Investors

About High-Risk Foreign Portfolio Investors:

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently proposed additional disclosure requirements for high-risk Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs).
  • The aim is to enhance transparency and identify all holders of ownership, economic, and control rights.

Major issues:

  • FPIs have been observed to concentrate a substantial portion of their equity portfolio in a single company/group for a long time are of concern.
  • Concentrated holdings may increase the risk of price manipulation and circumvent regulatory requirements.

Major Proposals:

  • The proposed framework categorises FPIs into high, moderate, and low risk and all FPIs, except government-related entities, will be classified as high-risk FPIs.
  • High-risk FPIs with more than 50% of their equity Asset Under Management(AUM) in a single corporate group will now need to comply with additional disclosure requirements.
  • FPIs with single group exposure below 25% of their overall AUM may be reclassified as moderate risk and exempted from additional
  • Failure to provide additional disclosures may lead to invalid FPI registration and a requirement to wind down within six months.
  • High-risk FPIs with over Rs 25,000 crore AUM will have to mandatorily comply with additional disclosure requirements within six months.
  • Approximately Rs 2.6 lakh crore (6% of total FPI equity AUM) may be identified as high-risk FPIs based on group concentration or fund size thresholds.
  • Overall, the SEBI steps will go a long way to address investment concerns and strengthen the regulatory framework in India's equity markets.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/business/sebi-proposes-additional-disclosure-for-high-risk-foreign-portfolio-investors-8639519/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

PILOT PROJECT ON ELECTRONICS REPAIR SERVICES OUTSOURCING (ERSO)


In News: Union government launches Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO) Pilot Project

About Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO) project:

  • The Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) has recently launched a pilot project Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO) with a vision to make India a global electronics powerhouse.
  • The objective is to position India as the global leader in repair services for ICT (Information and Communication Technology) products.
  • Under the project, the government will take steps to attract outsourced repair services from around the world and make India the preferred destination.
  • The project will be supported by MeitY, Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change(MoEF&CC) in collaboration with industry stakeholders.
  • The initiative will also emphasise on environmental sustainability by extending the life of ICT products through affordable and reliable repair services.
  • The revenue potential from outsourced repair services is estimated to reach $20 billion in the next 5 years.
  • Overall, the ERSO initiative will be a game-changer for India, creating millions of job opportunities besides complimenting its commitment to the environment and the planet is reaffirmed through the ERSO initiative.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1928643

 

Keywords: CA
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Monthly Current Affairs

Evergreening of Loans - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor raised red flags over banks adopting innovative methods for evergreening of loans – covering up the real status of stressed loans of corporates.

About:

  • Evergreening of loans refers to a practice where banks or lenders provide additional funds or take other measures to artificially sustain a loan that is not being repaid as scheduled.
  • A form of zombie lending, it is typically a temporary fix for a bank to avoid classification of a loan as a non-Performing asset (NPA).
  • Methods used by banks for Evergreening of loans:
    • Bringing two lenders together to evergreen each other’s loans by sale and buyback of loans or debt instruments.
    • Good borrowers are being persuaded to enter into structured deals with stressed borrowers.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/banks-corporates-window-dressing-loans-explained-rbi-8636026/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Lightweight Payments System - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has conceptualised a lightweight payment and settlements system, which it is calling a “bunker” equivalent of digital payments.

About:

  • It can be operated from anywhere by a bare minimum staff in exigencies such as natural calamities or war.
  • The infrastructure for this system will be independent of the technologies that underlie the existing systems of payments such as UPI, NEFT, and RTGS.
  • The system operates on minimalistic hardware and software and is activated only when needed.
  • Benefits:
  • Such a lightweight and portable payment system could ensure near zero downtime of the payment and settlement system in the country and keep the liquidity pipeline of the economy alive and intact by facilitating uninterrupted functioning of essential payment services.
  • By implementing a lightweight system as a backup, the RBI aims to ensure that individuals and institutions can continue to make payments during emergencies or disruptions to the conventional payment infrastructure.
  • It serves as a precautionary measure to be prepared for extreme situations and maintain the continuity of financial transactions.

Difference between UPI and lightweight system:

  • The key difference lies in the resilience and availability of the two systems.
  • UPI and other conventional systems prioritise handling large transaction volumes and require a stable and robust infrastructure.
  • On the other hand, the lightweight system is designed to operate even in volatile and extreme conditions when regular payment systems may not be accessible.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-sci-tech/what-is-rbi-planned-lightweight-payments-system-for-emergencies-8637007/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC)


Why in news? Government will soon hire the National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) chief.

About:

  • NLMC was announced in the 2021-22 Union Budget.
  • NLMC is a wholly owned government company established as Special Purpose Vehicle to carry out monetisation of government and public sector assets in form of surplus, unused or underused land assets.
  • It also acts as an advisory body and supports in identifying CPSEs surplus non-core assets to monetise them, maximising value realisation.
  • It falls under the administrative jurisdiction of Ministry of Finance.
  • The new company will have an initial authorised share capital of ₹5,000 crore and paid-up share capital of ₹150 crore.
  • Composition:
    • The Board of Directors of NLMC will comprise senior Central Government officers and eminent experts to enable professional operations and management of the company.
    • The chairman, non-government directors of the NLMC will be appointed through a merit-based selection process.

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/process-to-hire-nlmc-chief-gathers-pace/articleshow/100602905.cms

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Global Slavery Index - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: G20 Countries Contributing to Modern Slavery as per Global Slavery Index 2023

About Global Slavery Index:

  • The Global Slavery Index is an annual report that assesses the prevalence and conditions of modern slavery
  • It is released by the Walk Free Foundation, an Australia-based organization dedicated to ending modern slavery.

Major findings:

  • The report highlights that over half of the estimated 50 million people living in modern slavery are in the G20 countries.
  • It identifies India as the country with the highest number of forced laborers among G20 nations, followed by China, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, and the U.S.
  • Trade operations and global supply chains of G20 countries contribute to the increase in modern slavery.
  • Imports worth nearly $468 billion of at-risk products, such as electronics, textiles, palm oil, and solar panels, are shipped from countries with weak worker protection.
  • G20 countries collectively import $148 billion worth of apparel goods and $13 billion worth of textiles produced by forced labor each year.
  • The report indicates a 25% rise in modern slavery over the past five years, attributed to climate change, armed conflict, weak governance, and health emergencies.
  • The report calls for stronger measures and legislation to prevent governments and businesses from sourcing goods and services linked to modern slavery.
  • It recommends embedding anti-slavery measures in climate change sustainability plans and tightening regulations on forced and child marriage.
  • The report also emphasizes the need for rehabilitation and empowerment of modern slavery victims, including providing education, job security, and adequate compensation.
  • Overall, G20 nations should ensure the rehabilitation of modern slavery victims and prioritize providing them with education, job security, and compensation besides access to public goods and decent work.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/g20-countries-including-india-are-fuelling-modern-slavery-says-new-report/article66895654.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Theatre Command - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: India moves ahead with plan to create new Theatre Commands for Integrated War-Fighting

About Theatre Command

  • A theatre command is a strategic military concept that aims to integrate the operations of multiple branches of the armed forces within a specific geographical region.
  • Their establishment is driven by the need to enhance coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness in military operations.
  • These commands bring together the Army, Navy, and Air Force under a unified command structure.
  • Importance:
    • It helps facilitating joint planning, decision-making, and execution of military missions.
    • It allows for the seamless integration of resources, intelligence, logistics, and firepower across different military branches.
    • It helps eliminate inter-service rivalries and promoting collaboration among different forces.
    • It is particularly relevant in modern warfare scenarios that involve complex, multidimensional threats and operations.
  • Challenges:
    • Implementation of theatre commands requires careful planning, coordination, and organizational restructuring within the armed forces.
    • There is need to address issues including institutional resistance,effective coordination, and addressing concerns of each branch of the armed forces.
    • Successful implementation of theatre commands requires a strong command and control structureadvanced communication systems, and streamlined decision-making processes.
  • At present, several countries including the United States, China have the theatre command concept to modernize their military capabilities.
  • Overall, with ever evolving nature of modern war fares, theatre commands will become increasingly vital to enhance their military capabilities and respond effectively to complex security challenges.

Theatre Command of India

  • India has recently proposed a plan for creation of three integrated theatre
  • The proposed command will be each led by a senior three-star generale., Lieutenant General, Air Marshal, or Vice Admiral.
  • These commands will be responsible for managing specific regions:
    • Northern borders with China
    • Western front with Pakistan
    • Maritime command in peninsular India.

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/india-moves-ahead-with-creation-of-theatre-commands-for-integrated-war-fighting/articleshow/101078591.cms

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Monthly Current Affairs

ISRO to Equip Fishing Boats with Satellite Terminals


In News: ISRO to set up Satellite Terminals on fishing boats along Coastal States

About Satellite terminals on fishing boats:

  • ISRO's commercial arm, NewSpace India Ltd, plans to establish mobile satellite service (MSS) terminals on motorized and fishing boats in 13 coastal states.
  • The initiative aims to improve communication with vessels at sea and enhance monitoring of Indian waters.
  • Important Features:
    • Private vendors will be selected to supply, install, and commission MSS terminals on at least one lakh boats.
    • The system will establish a vessel communication and support system for monitoring, control, and surveillance.
    • dedicated MSS satcom network will be established, including ground stations, hub baseband systems, and satellite terminals.
    • Xponders (transponders) will be installed in coastal states, enabling two-way communication with fishermen.
    • Authorities will have periodic location access, issue emergency weather alerts, and detect international water border violations.
  • The project will be powered by India's own navigation satellite system, NavIC, ensuring accurate navigation alerts.
  • Overall, the system will provide better security to fishermen and enhance coastal security through monitoring and surveillance in Indian waters and will help support national security efforts.

 

 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newspace-india-ltd-to-install-satellite-terminals-on-1-lakh-fishing-boats-in-13-coastal-states-to-monitor-indian-waters-101687115022785.html

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Monthly Current Affairs

SIPRI - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released its annual assessment, highlighting the increase in nuclear weapons as countries pursue force modernization and expansion plans.

About:

  • SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
  • Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.
  • HQ: Stockholm, Sweden

Key Findings:

  • The nine nuclear-armed states —the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and Israel—continue to modernise their nuclear arsenals and several deployed new nuclear-armed in 2022.
  • Russia and the U.S. together possess almost 90% of all nuclear weapons.
  • Countries with Deployed Nuclear Warheads are USA (Largest number), Russia, France and UK (USA>Russia>France>US).
  • Countries with No Deployed Nuclear Warheads are India, China, Pakistan, North Korea and Isreal.
  • Total Inventory of Nuclear Warheads: Russia (Highest total inventory)> USA> China
  • The nuclear arsenals of India grew from 160 in 2022 to 164 in 2023 and that of Pakistan from 165 to 170.
  • While China is modernizing and expanding its arsenal, India and Pakistan are increasing the size of their inventories.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/china-could-potentially-have-as-many-icbms-as-us-or-russia-by-turn-of-decade-sipri/article66961196.ece

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Varunastra - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Varunastra was successfully test-fired with a live warhead against an undersea target, by the Indian Navy.

About:

  • It is indigenously designed and developed ship-launched anti-submarine torpedo.
  • It was designed and developed by Vizag-based Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) under the DRDO.
  • It is manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) With a maximum speed of 40 knots and a maximum operating depth of 600 m, has a long range with multi-manoeuvering capabilities.
  • It features advanced capabilities such as low drift navigational systems, acoustic homing, and autonomous guidance algorithms.

Torpedo:

  • A torpedo is a self-propelled underwater weapon designed to target and destroy enemy vessels or submarines.
  • It is typically cylindrical in shape and equipped with explosives, propulsion systems, and guidance mechanisms.

 

https://www.financialexpress.com/business/defence-varunastra-torpedo-to-enhance-indian-navys-anti-submarine-warfare-capabilities-know-all-about-its-powerful-features-here-3117020/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Indian Navy’s Green Initiatives


In News: Indian Navy's reiterates its commitment to Green Initiatives

About Indian Navy’s Green Initiative:

  • The Indian Navy has recently recognized the importance of energy efficiency in its operations and asserts its dedication to environmental protection and green initiatives.

Steps Taken:

  • Indian Navy has commissioned solar power plants with a cumulative capacity of 15.87MW to align with the government's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).
  • The Navy is implementing a retrofit device to reduce diesel engine emissions and the device will be phased in on all land-based Diesel Gensets to further reduce emissions.
  • Indigenous marine bio-remedial agents have been developed to combat oil spills at Naval harbours besides cleaning the seawater and protecting the marine ecosystem.
  • The Navy, in collaboration with IISc (Bengaluru), has operationalized a 100KW capacity AC plant based on the natural refrigerant Carbon dioxide to curb its high global Warming Potential (GWP).
  • Overall, the Navy is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and ensuring environmental sustainability for is actively pursuing green initiatives for a cleaner future.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1929750

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

MH60R helicopter - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Indian Navy achieved a unique feat after an MH-60 ‘Romeo’ multi-mission helicopter landed on the indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

About:

  • MH-60 Romeo Helicopter is the world’s most advanced maritime helicopterdesigned to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.
  • It is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state-of-the-art avionics and sensors.
  • It is manufactured by US defence major Lockheed Martin.
  • This helicopter can detect and track submarines and surface ships and attack with torpedoes and missiles.
  • Main missions of the MH-60R Seahawk are Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW).
  • Secondary missions are search and rescue, combat search and rescue, vertical replenishment, medical evacuation and insertion and extraction of special forces.
  • It carries advanced airborne active sonar, multi-mode search radar and nose-mounted forward-looking infrared (FLIR) turret.
  • This helicopter is operated by a crew of 4 in anti-submarine warfare role and crew of 5 in anti-surface warfare role. It can also accommodate additional passengers.

 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/mh60r-helicopter-makes-maiden-landing-on-ins-vikrant/articleshow/100657468.cms

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Insurgency in Manipur - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Amid violence in Manipur, Chief Minister told the media that 40 insurgents had been killed by security forces. The Kuki National Organisation (KNO) has countered his claims.

About

  • Manipur has been in the cross-currents of India’s oldest insurgent movements. The Naga national movement in the 1950s and the fight for an independent Nagalim touched parts of Manipur. The NSCN-IM entered a ceasefire agreement with the Indian government only in 1997.
  • In 1964, the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) was formed, demanding secession from India. People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which received arms and training from China also rise at that time.
  • These valley groups operated with a dual purpose – independence from India, and warding off Naga insurgent groups.
  • The Kuki-Zomi groups were a reaction to Naga aggression against the Kukis. In 1993, a massacre of Kukis by the NSCN-IM left thousands of Kukis homeless.

 Reasons for the Rise of Insurgency in Manipur

  • Forced Merger of Manipur: A forced merger of Manipur with the Union of India and the subsequent t delay in granting it full-fledged statehood is one of the reasons for the rise in insurgency. The Kingdom of Manipur was merged with India on 15th October 1949, it became a state only in 1972.
  • Rise of Militant outfits: People’s Liberation Army (PLA), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) being formed at that time.
  • Spillover Effect of Greater Nagalim Demand: The Naga movement in neighboring Nagaland spilled over into Manipur’s hill districts with the NSCN-IM controlling most of it while pressing for “Nagalim” (Greater Nagaland), which is perceived in the valley as a “threat” to Manipur’s “territorial integrity”.
  • Geographical area Conflict: While the hills account for nine-tenths of Manipur’s geographical area, they are sparsely populated, with most of the state’s population concentrated in the valley.The Meitei community forms a majority in Imphal valley, while the surrounding hill districts are inhabited by Nagas and Kukis.
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: In the early 1990s, the ethnic clashes between Nagas and Kukis led to the formation of several Kuki insurgent groups, which have now scaled down their demand from a separate Kuki state to a Territorial Council.

Steps taken by the government to control Insurgency

  • The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958 was enacted and extended to the entire state. As the law-and-order situation gradually improved, AFSPA has been repealed in several areas.
  • In the 1980s, Manipur was declared a disturbed area.
  • A tripartite Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement between the Centre, the state, and the Kuki-Zomi groups was signed in 2008.
  • Valley insurgent groups like the UNLF (mother of all Meitei insurgent groups) have never entered an agreement with the Centre.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-politics/dozens-of-groups-deep-faultlines-history-of-insurgeny-in-manipur-8635597/

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Combating Greenwashing - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The International Sustainability Standard Board (ISSB) publishes new global norms to combat greenwashing.

About Combating Greenwashing:

  • Greenwashing refers to the practice of misleading consumers or investors about the environmental benefits of a product, service, or company.
  • Key features:
    • It involves making false or exaggerated claims about a product's environmental impact or sustainability practices.
    • It can range from vague and misleading marketing slogans to the manipulation of data or certifications.
    • It undermines consumer trust, hampers progress towards sustainability goals, and allows companies to profit from deceptive practices.
    • It has become a growing concern as businesses seek to capitalize on the rising demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly options.
  • Impact of Greenwashing:
    • Greenwashing misleads consumers and creates confusion and skepticism about sustainability claims, leading to a loss of credibility for legitimate eco-friendly businesses.
    • Investors may be misled into supporting companies that do not truly prioritize sustainability, impacting the allocation of resources towards genuinely sustainable initiatives.
  • Steps needed:
    • Increased awarenesstechnology integration and active participation by stakeholders to encourage businesses in combating greenwashing.
    • Blockchain technology can provide immutable records of sustainability practices and supply chain information, ensuring credibility and traceability.
    • Artificial intelligence and data analytics can help identify inconsistencies or discrepancies in sustainability reporting, enabling better detection of greenwashing practices.
    • Engaging stakeholders, including consumers, investors, and employees, is vital in combating greenwashing.
    • Feedback and scrutiny from stakeholders can hold businesses accountable and promote ethical practices.
  • Overall, combating greenwashing is essential for fostering genuine sustainability and promoting a healthier planet besides creating a better future for both the environment and society as a whole.

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Global Financial Pact on Climate Change


In News: A summit on ‘Global Financial Pact on Climate Change’ was held in Paris, where vulnerable countries reiterated their requirement of grants, technology transfers and financial support.

About Global Financial Pact on Climate Change:

  • The Global Financial Pact on Climate Change was aimed at boosting crisis financing for low-income states and easing their debt burdens, reforming post-war financial systems and freeing up funds to tackle climate change.
  • There is a need of additional $4 trillion every year to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, COP21 and Biodiversity COP15 objectives. However only $204 billion official development assistance was collected in 2022-23.
  • Only 25% of global climate investment goes to South Asia, Latin America, and Africa, which house some of the most vulnerable regions.

Key highlights of the Summit:

  • The New global financing pact consisted of three components, i.e.
    • Pact for global flows of finance that covers two levels of social contracts domestic and international levels.
    • Platform to de-risk finance and attract private investment in sustainable infrastructure.
    • Political pathway that creates time-bound deliverables on climate finance from one summit to another is required.
  • The demands of Global South governments revolve around financial system reforms and include increased concessional and grant financing, debt reduction, and debt cancellation for least-developed countries.
  • The failure to collect 100 billion $ funds by 2020 represented failure of the global climate financing system and aggravated the atmosphere of mistrust in climate negotiations
  • The World Bank said it will pause repayments for countries struggling with climate disasters.
  • Calls were made for polluter taxes, including a tax on shipping emissions, and financial transactions.
  • The EU called for increased coverage of global emissions with carbon pricing mechanisms and allocation of a proportion of revenues to climate finance.
  • However despite these measures, there is a need for structural discussions to address the inequities that prevent countries in the Global South from affording the costs of adaptation and mitigation.

 

Source:

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/express-view-on-climate-meet-in-france-thaw-in-paris-8685923/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Wild foods for dietary diversity


In News: A recent report published in journal Nature, titled “Wild foods contribute to women’s higher dietary diversity in India” highlights the role of food items collected from forests and common lands in women’s diets in rural India.

About the Report:

  • The report was a result of collaboration between researchers from Indian School of Business, Universities of USA, Germany, UK and Denmark.
  • The results put a spotlight on the need to have public policies that promote knowledge of wild foods and protect people’s rights to access forests and common lands as an instrument to improve nutrition.
  • The monthly data on diet was collected from 570 households across two tribal dominated and forested districts in Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Key Highlights of the report:

  • The report revealed that women who consumed wild foods had higher average dietary diversity scores (13% and 9% higher in June and July, respectively) than those who did not collect wild foods.
  • The research reports that 40% of the women in the study group never met the minimum dietary diversity over the one-year period, highlighting the dire need to address poor diets.
  • The findings suggest that consumption of wild foods is important to vulnerable women in tribal areas, particularly during June & July when other crops are still in the growing stages.
  • Wild foods act as a source of nutrition security for forest-dwelling communities and poor people.
  • These wild foods and knowledge associated with their distribution, seasonality, and abundance needs to be included in analysis of food systems and interventions to improve nutrition.
  • Wild foods can act as an active hedge against rainfall dependent crops and can stabilize food consumption for the poorest households.

 

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/wild-foods-contribute-to-womens-higher-dietary-diversity-in-india-says-study/article67011224.ece#:~:text=Results%20of%20the%20study%20revealed,did%20not%20collect%20wild%20foods

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary of Odisha records higher prey density

About

  • Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in the Sambalpur district of Odisha, India. It is located near the Hirakud Dam built on Mahanadi River.
  • The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including tigers, elephants, leopards, sambar deer, chital deer, wild boar, gaur, and many species of birds.

About Mahanadi River

  • The Mahanadi River system is the third largest of peninsular India after Godavari and Krishna, and the largest river of Odisha state.
  • The catchment area of the river extends to Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
  • Its basin is bounded by the Central India hills on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and east and by the Maikala range in the west.
  • It rises from a place near Sihawa, near Raipur in the state of Chhattisgarh to the south of Amarkantak.
  • The Seonath, the Hasdeo, the Mand and the Ib joins Mahanadi from left whereas the Ong, the Tel and the Jonk joins it from right.

 

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2023/jun/25/debrigarh-wildlife-sanctuary-of-odisharecords-higher-prey-density-2588380.html

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Paris Finance Meet - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: A summit on ‘Global Financial Pact on Climate Change’ was held in Paris, which was chaired by France and India was co-chairing the steering committee. It is aimed at addressing the financing needs of sustainable development and climate action.

About the Global Financial Pact on Climate Change:

  • The pact focuses on mobilizing funds from various sources, including public and private sectors, to support initiatives that promote economic growth, poverty eradication, and environmental sustainability.
  • The summit was aimed at boosting crisis financing for low-income states and easing their debt burdens, reforming post-war financial systems and freeing up funds to tackle climate change.

Key Outcomes of the Summit:

  • The summit shed light on the magnitude of the crises, the clear demands from developing nations, and the proposed courses of action advocated by developed nations.
  • An additional lending capacity of $200 billion for Multi-Development Banks (MDBs) to support emerging economies would be unlocked to address climate challenges.
  • Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) were a central topic of discussion for financial system reforms, with calls for expanded resources to address trans boundary challenges and climate issues.
  • The World Bank introduced disaster clauses for debt deals, allowing debt payments to be suspended in the event of extreme weather events.
    • Additionally, it unveiled a Private Sector Investment Lab focused on renewable energy and energy infrastructure.
  • The International Monetary Fund announced the fulfilment of its commitment to allocate US $100 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for vulnerable nations.
    • It proposed to recycle SDRs from rich countries to poor countries, expanding the amount of concessional finance available for developing countries.
  • A Euro 2.5 billion Just Energy Transition Partnership deal was announced for Senegal, aiming to increase the share of renewable energy in the country's electricity mix to 40% by 2030.
  • Colombia and Kenya proposed a Global Expert Review on Debt, Nature, and Climate to assess the impact of debt on countries' capacity to address climate change and preserve nature.
  • Furthermore, it was suggested that the long-delayed goal of US $100 billion in climate finance would be achieved this year
  • The EU unveiled a call to action on ‘Paris Aligned Carbon Markets’ with the goal of covering at least 60% of global emissions with carbon pricing mechanisms for climate alignment.

 

Source:

https://m.timesofindia.com/business/international-business/paris-finance-summit-fails-to-deliver-transformational-solutions-initiates-crucial-dialogue-cse/articleshow/101283568.cms

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Drugs harmful to vultures - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Vulture conservationists and experts have welcomed the central government’s move to ban veterinary drugs aceclofenac and ketoprofen that are fatal for vultures.

About:

  • The decision taken on the ban by the Drugs Technical Advisory Board is the second big step towards vulture conservation since the banning of Diclofenac in 2006.
  • Ban on three drugs —aceclofenac, nimesulide and ketoprofen– had been requested.
  • But nimesulide continues to use and it possess a threat and should be banned soon.
  • Ketoprofen and aceclofenac in cattle are equally toxic as Diclofenac and can kill vultures.

Vultures:

  • Vultures are medium- to large-sized birds of prey.
  • They are known for eating carrion (the bodies of dead animals).
  • India is home to 9 species of Vulture namely the Oriental white-backed, Long-billed, Slender-billed, Himalayan, Red-headed, Egyptian, Bearded, Cinereous and the Eurasian Griffon.
  • Most of these 9 species face dangers of extinction.
  • Bearded, Long-billed, Slender-billed, Oriental white-backed are protected in the Schedule-1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Rests are protected under ‘Schedule IV’.

Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB)

  • It is a statutory body formed under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
  • It is subordinate to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and gives advice to Union and state Government on technical matters arising out of the administration of this Act.
  • It also advises and takes policy decision on technical matters related to drugs in India.

 

 

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/ban-on-more-drugs-harmful-for-vultures-welcome-move-but-more-stringent-steps-needed-experts-90234

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Significance of plant literacy in understanding climate change


In News: Recent researches by plant physiological ecologists, have highlighted how plants evolved to human-induced stresses like drought and emphasises on the need for ‘Plant Literacy’ to understand plants’ physiological responses.

About Plant Physiological Ecology:

  • Plant physiological ecology is primarily focused on understanding the relationships between the structure and functions of plants and regarding their constructions and shapes.
  • Researchers examine development and growth along with advantages a certain form confers a plant in a given environment.
  • They research the vascular systems of plants a lot which is effectively a plant’s plumbing system in its roots, stems and leaves.
  • Using a comparative anatomy approach the differences in construction of different vascular systems of plants living in disparate regions of the world is understood. It shows plants evolved over millions of years and they will respond to future climatic conditions.
  • It also studies the constraints which the environment places on plants and the novel solutions plants develop to survive and thrive.

Key features of plant architecture:

  • Vascular system is a series of cells arranged similar to pipes, developed over 400 million years to transport water. There is a
    • There is a strong relationship between the amount of water a plant can extract from soil and transport to its leaves and its productivity.
  • Stomata: Microscopic valves called stomata regulate the flow of carbon dioxide into leaves for photosynthesis.
    • Plants lose 400 water molecules for every CO2 molecule they take up.
    • When water is limited, the plant closes its stomata, cutting off CO2 it normally takes up from the atmosphere. Thus, plants have been fine-tuning the cells that control water flow in them over millennia.
  • Adaptations: Plants created a range of adaptations for water stress and evolved gravitational sensing mechanisms to know which way to grow deeper for water and nutrients. They also have light receptors to detect nearby plants, or to grow nearer to the sun.

 

Source:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/our-lives-depend-on-plants-we-must-have-plant-literacy-to-understand-climate-change/articleshow/101225559.cms?from=mdr

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Pollution due to Thermal Power Plant


In News: Despite global calls for emission reduction, coal-based thermal power generation, one of the most polluting sectors of India, was found to be brazenly flouting emission norms.

About the Coal based Thermal Power Plants:

  • The thermal power sector accounts for around 75% of the country's total installed power capacity. As of May 2022, India had a total thermal installed capacity of 1 GW of which 58.6% is obtained from coal and the rest from Lignite, Diesel, and Gas.
  • According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), India may need an additional 28GW of coal-fired generation capacity by 2032 apart from 25GW thermal projects already under construction.

Emissions from thermal power plants:

  • Thermal power plants emit a large amount of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and other pollutants into the air. They also consume a lot of freshwater, causing water scarcity.
  • The MoEFCC made it mandatory in 2015, for thermal power plants to install a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) system to remove sulphur dioxide from their exhaust.
  • However, by April 2023, only 5% of the country's installed coal-based thermal power plants had FGD mechanisms in place. No plant in the Eastern region was found to be compliant with SO2 emissions norms.
  • Maharashtra has the highest capacity complying with the norms, followed by Gujarat, UP, Haryana and Tamil Nadu
  • Even new projects are not compliant with SO2 emissions norms. Only 81 GW of 32.63 GW newly commissioned capacity is complying with the norms.
  • Furthermore, the reliability of the data could not be ascertained as there is no information available about on-ground inspections by state-level regulatory bodies.
  • Singareni Thermal Power Plant is set to become the1st public sector coal-based power generating station in South and 1st among State PSUs to have a FGD plant.
  • Various factors for delayed the implementation of the norms are:
    • Sector’s dependency on the external market for some FGD components,
    • Novelty of the technology for the Indian market,
    • COVID-19 pandemic.

Source:

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/pollution/only-5-of-india-s-coal-based-thermal-power-capacity-meets-so2-emissions-norms-cse-report-90229

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

India Tops US & China in LEED Net Zero


Why in news? India has emerged as a top country with LEED Zero green building projects, outperforming the United States of America and China, said the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI).

About LEED Zero projects:

  • LEED Zero has recognised projects that have reached net zero or net positive status in the categories of carbon, energy, water, or waste.
    • Net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal from the atmosphere.
  • The LEED Zero projects include office spaces, hospitality facilities, retail malls, industrial manufacturing projects and data centres.
  • LEED certifications are given in categories like- Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points) and Platinum (80+ points).
  • LEED Zero has four categories which recognise net-zero status in carbon, energy, water, and waste over a period of 12 months.
  • India’s strong position in LEED Zero projects reflects its commitment to sustainability and aligns with its ambitious target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070.

Key Findings:

  • Out of 150 LEED Zero-certified projects, India has 73 projects, accounting for 45% of the total.
    • Haryana and Tamil Nadu are the top states in terms of certifications.
  • Nearly one-third of all carbon emissions in India come from the building and construction sector.
  • The United States and China follow with 47 (30%) and 15 (10%) certifications respectively.

 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/india-leads-in-leed-zero-green-building-projects-outperforming-us-and-china-usgbc-and-gbci-101687115927271.html

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

State of the Climate in Europe 2022 Report


Why in news? The State of the Climate in Europe 2022 report reveals that Europe has been warming twice as fast as the global average since the 1980s.

About:

  • The report was released to coincide with the 6th European Climate Change Adaptation Conference in Dublin, Ireland, and is accompanied by an interactive Story Map.
  • It was produced jointly by the World Meteorological Organization and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Key findings:

  • In 2022, Europe was approximately 2.3 °C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) average used as a baseline for the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • Rates of surface ocean warming, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic and Black Seas, and the southern Arctic were more than three times the global average.
  • Wind and solar power generated 22.3% of European Union (EU) electricity in 2022, overtaking fossil gas (20%).
    • For the first time, more electricity was generated by wind and solar than by fossil gas in the EU.
  • “The record-breaking heat stress that Europeans experienced in 2022 was one of the main drivers of weather-related excess deaths in Europe.

 

 

https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/climate-change-impacts-scar-europe-increase-renewables-signals-hope-future#:~:text=Climate%20change%20impacts%20scar%20Europe,World%20Meteorological%20Organization

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

New Global Financing Pact - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: World leaders and finance moguls are gathering in Paris for the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, which is being hosted by France with India, co-chairing the steering committee.

About the New Global Financing Pact:

  • It is a proposed pact aimed at addressing the financing needs of sustainable development and climate action.
  • There is a need of additional $4 trillion every year to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, COP21 and Biodiversity COP15 objectives. However only $204 billion official development assistance was collected in 2022-23.
  • Only 25% of global climate investment goes to South Asia, Latin America, and Africa, which house some of the most vulnerable regions.
  • Other challenges like conditional disbursal of money, high domestic taxes, illicit finance flows, and higher risk perceptions lead to lack of funds to undertake developmental projects in a sustainable manner.

Components of New Global Financing Pact:

  • Pact: There is a need to create a pact for global flows of finance that covers two levels of social contracts domestic and international.
    • At the domestic level, high debt limits the fiscal space of developing countries. There is a need to standardise existing tax structures, stop illegal cross-border money movement, and curbing ineffectual fossil fuel subsidies to increase the fiscal space.
    • At the international level, finance is needed for adaptation as well as loss and damage stemming from climate change. Therefore, the international social contract must rest on a strong foundation of global solidarity.
  • Platform: A platform to de-risk finance and attract private investment in sustainable infrastructure
    • Vulnerable countries need several types of blended finance such as a Global Clean Investment Risk Mitigation Mechanism that pools risks across geographies and lower costs for all.
    • Hedging against currency fluctuation should be done to prevent an increase in cost of finance.
  • Pathway: A political pathway that creates time-bound deliverables on climate finance from one summit to another is required.
    • The summit must outline the maths of finance, the mechanisms of delivery, and establish the momentum for real investment over the next two years

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-summit-with-substance/article66986234.ece

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

ICIMOD -(HI-WISE) report


In News: Rivers in the Eastern Himalayas get less water from glacial melt; Still, the perennial nature of several rivers could be lost, say experts.

About

A recent report by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has unveiled alarming findings about the state of rivers in East-Northeast India. The report underscores the urgent need for immediate action to protect the delicate river ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.

Climate Change Exacerbates Threats to Rivers

  • The ICIMOD report highlights the profound impact of climate change on the region's rivers.
  • Increasing temperatures, unpredictable rainfall patterns, and the melting of glaciers have led to reduced water flows, frequent droughts, and extreme weather events.
  • These environmental shifts are significantly disrupting the delicate balance of river systems, posing severe challenges for agriculture, hydropower generation, and domestic water supply.

Human Activities Aggravate River Degradation:

  • Report also emphasizes the detrimental role played by human activities in exacerbating the degradation of rivers in East-Northeast India.
  • Uncontrolled urbanization, rapid industrial expansion, and rampant deforestation have significantly contributed to the problem. Irresponsible sand mining, unregulated dam construction, and pollution from industrial and residential sources further strain the already vulnerable river ecosystems.
  • The consequences are not only the loss of aquatic biodiversity but also the endangerment of livelihoods reliant on fishing and agriculture.

Urgent Measures for River Conservation:

  • To protect the rivers of East-Northeast India, the ICIMOD report underscores the necessity for immediate and concerted efforts.
  • It emphasizes the implementation of robust policies and regulations to mitigate the impacts of climate change and prevent further deterioration of river ecosystems.
  • Strengthening river basin management, promoting sustainable land use practices, and adopting water-efficient technologies are key measures recommended to safeguard these invaluable water resources.

Community Participation and Traditional Knowledge

  • The report stresses the importance of engaging local communities, including indigenous groups, in river conservation endeavors.
  • These communities possess invaluable traditional knowledge and practices that can contribute to the sustainable management of rivers.
  • Recognizing their rights and empowering them in decision-making processes will be instrumental in ensuring the long-term resilience of both the rivers and the communities that depend on them.

A Call for Collaborative Action

  • The ICIMOD report serves as a call to action for governments, policymakers, and stakeholders to prioritize the preservation and restoration of rivers in East-Northeast India.
  • It emphasizes the urgent need for collaborative efforts at regional, national, and local levels to tackle the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change and unsustainable human activities.
  • Failing to act promptly could result in irreversible damage to the region's river ecosystems and the socio-economic well-being of millions of people.

ICIMOD report underscores the critical importance of protecting and conserving the rivers of East-Northeast India. Preserving these invaluable water resources is not only vital for maintaining diverse ecosystems but also for sustaining the livelihoods of communities dependent on them. By taking immediate and comprehensive action, we can work towards securing a sustainable and prosperous future for both the rivers and the people who rely on them.

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/icimod-report-rings-warning-bells-for-rivers-of-east-northeast-india-90154

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Alligator gar fish - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, a non-native alligator gar fish, known for its crocodile-like head and razor-sharp teeth, was found in one of Kashmir’s idyllic lakes, raising apprehensions about its impact on the native fish species.

About:

  • Alligator Gar Fish is a ray-finned euryhaline fish and is one of the biggest freshwater fish in North America and the largest species in the ‘gar’ family.
  • The alligator gar is a close relative of the bowfin species.
  • It was also found in some parts of India like Bhopal, Kerala and from waterbodies of Maharashtra and Kolkata.
  • They grow rapidly and have a life span of 20-30 years.
  • Protection Status: IUCN- Least Concern.
  • Concerns: During winter, gar fish can even sustain themselves in the cold waters of Dal because the temperature they mostly live in is 11-23 degrees Celsius. They can be dangerous for indigenous fish species.

 

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/carnivorous-alligator-gar-the-latest-threat-for-srinagar-s-idyllic-dal-lake--90088

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Duck-billed dinosaur - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Scientists in Chile have uncovered the remains of a previously unknown species of herbivorous dinosaur, challenging existing beliefs about the range of duck-billed dinosaurs.

About:

  • It is a species of herbivorous dinosaur previously unknown in the southern hemisphere.
  • The newly discovered dinosaur, named Gonkoken nanoi, lived 72 million years ago in what is now Chilean Patagonia.
  • Measuring up to four meters in length and weighing a ton, these slender dinosaurs were capable of both bipedal and quadrupedal postures to access vegetation at different heights.
  • This type of duck-billed dinosaur was common in North America, Asia and Europe during the Cretaceous period.

Cretaceous Period

  • The Cretaceous began 145.0 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago.
  • The Cretaceous Period, in geologic time, is the last of the three periods of the Mesozoic Era.
  • It followed the Jurassic Period and was succeeded by the Paleogene Period.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/remains-of-new-species-of-duck-billed-dinosaur-found-in-chile/article66979278.ece 

 

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Wild orchids of North Bengal - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? The wild orchids of North Bengal, known for their beauty, fragrance, and medicinal properties, are disappearing due to deforestation in their natural habitat.

About:

  • Orchids are attractively flowered and colorful plants.
  • They are known for their vibrant and intricate flowers.
  • Orchids are natural gauges of air quality because they don’t grow in polluted air.
  • Habitat: they are found in various habitats around the world, including tropical rainforests, mountains, and even deserts.
  • India has over 1200 species of Orchids (388 are endemic to India, out of which 128 are endemic to the Western Ghats)
    • The Himalayas, North-East parts of India, and Western Ghats are the hotspots of orchids.
    • The highest number of orchid species is recorded from Arunachal Pradesh followed by Sikkim and West Bengal.
  • Protection Status: CITES- Appendix II
  • Orchids are broadly categorized into three life forms:
    • Epiphytic: They are plants growing on another plant including those growing on rock boulders and are often termed lithophytes. About 60% of all orchids found in India are epiphytic.
    • Terrestrial: They are plants growing on land and climbers. 447 species in India are terrestrial. These grow directly on the soil and are found in large numbers in temperate and alpine regions.
    • Mycoheterotrophic: They are plants which derive nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi that are attached to the roots of a vascular plant.
  • Distribution:
    • Himalayan Zone: Richest in orchid species.
    • Northeast India: Highest species concentration.
    • Western Ghats: High endemism of orchids.
    • Highest Number of Orchid Species: Arunachal Pradesh> Sikkim> West Bengal.
  • Uses:
    • For aesthetic purposes.
    • In herbal medicine.
    • Vanilla is produced from Vanilla planifolia orchid.

 

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/the-disappearing-wild-orchids-of-north-bengal-90096

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Synthetic Hydrocarbon Fuel - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Germany has proposed transitioning to carbon-neutral synthetic fuels for existing internal combustion vehicles instead of phasing them out completely.

About:

  • Synthetic hydrocarbon fuel, also known as synfuel or synthetic fuel, refers to fuels that are produced through chemical processes from non-petroleum sources.
  • Synthetic hydrocarbon fuels can be derived from a variety of feedstocks, including coal, natural gas, biomass, and even renewable energy sources such as solar or wind.
  • The production of synfuels typically involves complex processes such as gasification, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, and hydroprocessin
    • Gasification is a process where the feedstock, such as coal or biomass, is converted into a mixture of gases, primarily carbon monoxide and hydrogen, by reacting it with oxygen or steam at high temperatures.
    • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis involves converting these gasified gases into liquid hydrocarbons through catalytic reactions.
    • Hydroprocessing further refines the liquid hydrocarbons by removing impurities and adjusting the fuel properties to meet specific requirements.
  • Benefits:
    • Producing synthetic fuel could be carbon-negative if the carbon emissions from the fuel are less than the carbon captured during the production process.
    • Even if there is a net carbon release, it may still be lower than the carbon impact of manufacturing a large number of electric vehicles (EVs).
    • Challenges: High initial cost compared to petrol or diesel; engineering hurdles inefficient carbon capture; need for advancements in green hydrogen electrolysis

 

https://www.business-standard.com/opinion/columns/germany-s-net-zero-plan-for-old-vehicles-123061601058_1.html

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

New Species of Sea Lettuce - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Researchers have recently discovered 20 new species of Sea lettuce along the Baltic and Scandinavian coasts.

About:

  • Sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) is a prominent species of green macroalgae, scattered widely across the vast Baltic Sea region, stretching from the Atlantic waters to the Bay of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea.
  • It is commonly referred to as seaweed.
  • It is a genus of green algae usually found growing on rocky shores of seas and oceans around the world.
  • Some species of Sea lettuce also grow in brackish water rich in organic matter or sewage and can accumulate heavy metals.
  • It usually grows attached by a small discoid holdfast to rocks and shells, but it can also grow in a free-floating, non-attached form, sometimes in prolific masses.
  • It is perennial, and grows all year, although the largest blooms occur during the summer.
  • It needs a lot of sunlight to flourish.
  • Large masses of sea lettuce are often an indicator of nutrient pollution in the water.
  • The color is often bright green but can range from dark green to almost yellow.
  • Owing to its rapid growth and easy reproduction, sea lettuce has piqued the interest of the growing aquaculture industry.
  • Sea lettuce finds its application in various industries like food industry.
  • It is quite high in nutritional values like protein, dietary fibre, and healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids.

 

 

https://scitechdaily.com/researchers-discover-20-new-species-of-sea-lettuce-in-the-baltic-sea-region/

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action


Why in news? This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

About:

  • The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA) is a significant human rights document adopted by the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna, Austria, in 1993.
  • It acknowledges the interdependence and indivisibility of human rightsemphasizing that civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights are all integral parts of the universal human rights framework.
  • The declaration recognizes the importance of respecting and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms for all individuals.
  • Fight against impunity, including the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • The declaration reaffirms the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948.
    • UDHR, sets out a common standard of human rights for people worldwide, regardless of their nationality, race, religion, or other status.

 

https://www.ohchr.org/en/stories/2023/06/dont-give-veteran-rights-activist-urges-younger-generations

Keywords: CA
Monthly Current Affairs

Status of transgenic crops in India


In