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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-10th September 2023

UK Rejoins EU’s Horizon Science Research Programme

After a two-year post-Brexit standoff regarding science funding, the United Kingdom has decided to rejoin the European Union’s Horizon science research programme. This move is seen as a significant development in bilateral relations between the UK and the EU, following the resolution of a trade dispute seven months prior.

Rejoining Horizon and Improved Financial Terms:

The UK’s decision to rejoin the Horizon science research programme marks a positive step forward in its relationship with the EU. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office announced that they have successfully negotiated “improved financial terms of association” with the Horizon project, which is a flagship EU initiative for funding scientific research.

Association with Copernicus and Exclusion of Euratom:

In addition to rejoining Horizon, the UK has also chosen to associate with the European earth observation programme, Copernicus. However, the UK will not participate in the EU’s Euratom nuclear research scheme. Instead, the UK has decided to pursue a domestic fusion energy strategy.

Brexit Trade Agreement and Access to EU Science Programs:

This decision is in line with the Brexit trade agreement signed at the end of 2020, which allowed the UK access to various EU science and innovation programs, including Horizon. However, initially, the EU had blocked Britain’s participation due to a dispute over post-Brexit trade rules related to Northern Ireland. The resolution of this dispute in February paved the way for the UK to rejoin Horizon Europe.

Funding and Compensation Mechanism:

One of the key points of negotiation was how much the UK needed to pay to rejoin Horizon, considering it had missed two years of the seven-year program. Under the agreement, the UK will not be required to pay for the period it was frozen out. Moreover, a “clawback” mechanism has been established to compensate the UK if British scientists receive significantly less funding than the UK government contributes.

Benefits for Collaborations and Scientific Research:

Leading universities in the UK, such as Oxford and Imperial College London, have expressed their support for this agreement. They believe it will facilitate collaborations on critical global challenges. Scientists are optimistic that working with their European counterparts will flourish once again after the enforced hiatus, potentially leading to groundbreaking research and innovation.

Fire on the Ganges Life among the Dead in Banaras by Radhika Iyengar

Radhika Iyengar is the author of the book ‘Fire on the Ganges: Life Among the Dead in Banaras,’ released by HarperCollins. The book explores the city of Banaras (also known as Varanasi) in India, particularly its relationship with death and the afterlife. Fire on the Ganges is the first attempt to chronicle the everyday realities of the Doms in Banaras. Through their tales of struggle and survival, betrayal and love, it tells the at-times-heartbreaking, at-times-exhilarating story of a community struggling to find a place beyond that accorded to it by ancient tradition.

About the book

Fire on the Ganges is the first attempt to chronicle the everyday realities of the Doms in Banaras. It plunges into Banaras’s historical past, while narrowing its lens on a few spirited characters from the Dom community. Through their tales of struggle and survival, loss and ambition, betrayal and love, it tells the at-times-heartbreaking, at-times-exhilarating story of a community struggling to find a place beyond that accorded to it by ancient tradition.

Radhika Iyengar

Radhika Iyengar is an award-winning journalist with a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York. She won the Red Ink award for Excellence in Indian Journalism (2018). In 2020, she was awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust fellowship at University of Kent, UK. She received the Bianca Pancoat Patton Fellowship in 2019 and was a recipient of the Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship (2016–17).

What is the meaning of vasudhaiva kutumbakam in Hindi and English

The 18th G20 Summit, set to take place in New Delhi in 2023, carries a profound theme that resonates deeply with the global community. The theme, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” derived from ancient Sanskrit literature, embodies the essence of unity and interconnectedness. In this article, we delve into the meaning of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” in Hindi and English and explore its significance in the context of the G20 Summit.

Understanding “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”

1. Sanskrit Origins:

  • “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” finds its roots in the Maha Upanishad, a timeless Indian text.

  • In Sanskrit, “Vasudhaiva” refers to “the world” or “Earth,” while “Kutumbakam” means “family.”

  • Translated, it means “The world is one family.”

2. One Earth, One Family, One Future:

  • The theme for the G20 Summit aptly translates “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” into English as “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”

  • This translation captures the essence of global togetherness and shared aspirations.

Significance of the Phrase “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”

What is the meaning of vasudhaiva kutumbakam in Hindi and English

1. Unity Beyond Boundaries:

  • “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” serves as a reminder that, irrespective of our diverse backgrounds, we are part of a single global family.

  • It promotes unity, encouraging people to transcend geographical and cultural divisions.

2. Respect for All Life:

  • The phrase underscores the intrinsic value of every life form on Earth, extending beyond humans to encompass the natural world.

  • It calls for responsible stewardship of our planet and its ecosystems.

3. Interconnectedness:

  • In an increasingly interconnected world, recognizing our interdependence is crucial.

  • “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” highlights that actions in one part of the world have far-reaching effects globally.

Implications of the Philosophy

1. Environmental Consciousness:

  • Embracing the spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” necessitates a commitment to environmental conservation.

  • This philosophy encourages sustainable practices and the protection of biodiversity.

2. Cultural Exchange and Understanding:

  • Fostering cultural exchange and understanding becomes imperative under this principle.

  • It promotes dialogue and learning among diverse cultures and traditions.

3. Conflict Resolution and Peace:

  • Recognizing our shared humanity, the philosophy promotes peaceful conflict resolution.

  • It encourages cooperation in addressing global challenges and conflicts.

Country’s First Underground Power Transformer In Bengaluru Installed

In a groundbreaking moment for the city of Bengaluru, Energy Minister KJ George inaugurated the country’s inaugural underground transformer center, a significant step towards modernizing the city’s power distribution infrastructure. This monumental achievement reflects Bengaluru’s commitment to safety, reliability, and aesthetic enhancement of its urban landscape.

A Milestone in Power Distribution

Located at 15th Avenue, Malleswaram, the underground transformer center is a collaborative effort between the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). With a budget of Rs 1.98 crore, this pioneering project boasts a 500 KVA capacity transformer. Historically, underground power transformer stations have primarily been found in Western countries, where governments prioritize public convenience and safety.

Beneath the Surface

To ensure the safety and convenience of Bengaluru’s residents, the underground center features a specially constructed chamber beneath the earth’s surface. This chamber is reinforced with a 30 mm cement block, providing a stable foundation for the electrical transformers. At a depth of 10 feet below the road’s surface, this innovative center sets new standards in power distribution. While BESCOM handles the electrical aspects, BBMP is responsible for the civil works. The station includes a 500 KVA capacity oil-free transformer, an 8-way solid-state ring main unit, a 5-way LT distribution box, UPS, a water pump, and an air control system. BBMP contributed Rs 64 lakh to fund the civil works, and the entire project was completed in just 365 days.

Safety and Aesthetics

One of the standout features of this underground center is its safety measures. In the event of repairs or emergencies, there is a dedicated room inside the chamber, ensuring easy access for maintenance personnel. This chamber, designed like a water sump, is enclosed by concrete walls on all sides. As a result, any potential transformer explosion or mishap will not affect pedestrians or traffic above, minimizing the risk of accidents and power failures.

Benefits Beyond Safety and Functionality

This ambitious initiative will not only enhance the safety of the urban environment but also encourage citizens to utilize footpaths without disruptions during maintenance works on overhead cables and related equipment. Moreover, it will protect electrical equipment from the adverse effects of drastic climatic changes, such as extreme cold, heat, and heavy rains. Beyond its functional benefits, the smart underground distribution infrastructure removes significant visual clutter from the cityscape, thereby improving the overall urban aesthetics.

Vanuatu parliament elects Sato Kilman as prime minister

Vanuatu’s parliament elected Sato Kilman as the nation’s new prime minister after a court upheld a vote of no-confidence in his predecessor, who had sought closer ties with US allies amid China-US rivalry in the Pacific Islands. Kilman, a former prime minister and leader of the People’s Progressive Party, was elected prime minister 27/23 in a secret ballot by lawmakers. Kilman received a total of 27 votes, while Kalsakau got 23 votes. Kilman, 65, was the deputy PM in Kalsakau’s government before being removed in May. At the time Kalsakau had stated that Kilman’s dismissal was for “stability of the coalition government”.

About the Vanuatu

  • Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands, of which 16 are inhabited. The largest islands are Espiritu Santo, Malakula, Efate, Erromango, Ambrym, Tanna, Pentecost, Epi, Ambae or Aoba, Gaua, Vanua Lava, Maewo, Malo and Aneityum or Anatom.

  • The capital of Vanuatu is Port Vila, which is located on the island of Efate. Other major towns include Luganville on Espiritu Santo and Isangel on Tanna.

  • The official languages of Vanuatu are Bislama, English, and French. Bislama is a creole language that is spoken by most of the people of Vanuatu. English and French are also widely spoken, especially in the tourist industry.

  • The currency of Vanuatu is the vatu (VUV). The vatu is pegged to the Australian dollar, so the exchange rate is relatively stable.

Goa Governor Launches ‘Mashaal’ For 37th National Games

Governor of Goa, Shri. P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, officially introduced the Mashaal (torch) to mark the commencement of the 37th National Games. This splendid event was organized by the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa, at the Durbar Hall in Raj Bhavan, Donapaula. The ceremony was graced by the esteemed presence of Dr. Pramod Sawant, the Chief Minister, Shri. Govind Gaude, the Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs, Shri. Shripad Naik, the Minister of State for Tourism, and several other distinguished guests.

Anthem Unveiling: Amitabh Bachchan’s Voice

Governor Pillai also revealed the National Games’ Anthem (theme song), which featured the iconic voice of the legendary actor, Amitabh Bachchan. His participation added an element of grandeur and distinction to the occasion. What sets this Anthem apart is its incorporation of the traditional Goan instrument, the Ghumat, and the collaboration of Goan vocalists alongside other gifted artists.

A Digital Gateway: Launch of the Official Website

In this digital age, a specially designed website was launched during the ceremony. The Chief Minister, Dr. Pramod Sawant, did the honors by unveiling this digital gateway to all things related to the upcoming National Games. The website is a comprehensive resource, providing information and updates about the event. It promises to be an invaluable tool for participants, spectators, and enthusiasts alike.

Torch Relay to Ignite Enthusiasm and Unity

Dr. Pramod Sawant declared that Goa is fully prepared to welcome the National Games. He mentioned that the Mashaal, will traverse through Goa and various other states for a period of four days, sparking enthusiasm for the National Games and enabling rural areas in the state to partake in this grand celebration. Govind Gaude, the Sports Minister, urged all residents of Goa to join hands in supporting and rejoicing in this event, stressing that collective participation will be the key to making the Games an outstanding success.

Neeraj Mittal Takes Charge As DoT Secretary

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Neeraj Mittal, a seasoned 1992 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer as the secretary in the Department of Telecommunications.

Neeraj Mittal’s Current Role and Career Milestones

Neeraj Mittal presently holds the position of principal secretary in the information technology department of Tamil Nadu. Prior to this role, he worked as a senior advisor at the World Bank Group and also served as a joint secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. He is set to take over from K Rajaraman, who has been designated as the chairman of the International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) in Gujarat.

S Krishnan to Lead the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Another significant appointment is that of S Krishnan, a distinguished 1989 batch IAS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre. Currently, Krishnan holds the position of industries secretary in the Tamil Nadu state government. His extensive experience in administrative roles has led to his selection as the new secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Krishnan’s appointment comes as Alkesh Kumar Sharma, the previous secretary, retired on August 31.

Key Changes in Other Ministries and Departments

The ACC has also approved a series of changes in various ministries and departments:

  • VL Kantha Rao, who previously served as an additional secretary in the Department of Telecommunications, has been appointed as the secretary in the Ministry of Mines.

  • Vivek Bhardwaj, the former mines secretary, will now take on the role of officer on special duty at the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

  • Umang Narula has been designated as the secretary in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, bringing his extensive administrative expertise to this crucial portfolio.

  • Arunish Chawla, a 1992 batch IAS officer from Bihar cadre, is slated to take over as the secretary of the Department of Pharmaceuticals within the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, effective from November 1, 2023.

  • Chanchal Kumar, also from the 1992 batch and Bihar cadre, has been appointed as secretary in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.

  • Vumlunmang Vualnam, an IAS officer from the 1992 Manipur cadre, has been entrusted with the role of secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation. He previously served as an additional secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.


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