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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-11th March 2023

Australia, India agree on strengthening economic, defence ties

After meeting with PM Narendra Modi in Delhi, Australian PM Albanese said the two leaders have agreed to accelerate their economic partnership and strengthen defence ties.

Australia and India have agreed to accelerate a broader economic partnership and to boost their defence ties, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in New Delhi.

Progress in Economic ties between India & Australia:

Last year the two countries signed a free trade deal called the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), the first signed by India with a developed country in a decade.

However, a much larger Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) has been stuck in negotiations for over a decade.

Discussions between the countries restarted in 2011 but were suspended in 2016 as the talks were gridlocked. Negotiations resumed in 2021 but a deal has yet proved to be elusive.

Significance of the Economic ties between India & Australia:

This transformational deal will realise the full potential of the bilateral economic relationship, creating new employment opportunities and raising living standards for the people of both Australia and India.

Bilateral trade between the countries was $27.5 billion in 2021 and India says trade has the potential to nearly double to $50 billion in five years under the ECTA.

Defence ties between India & Australia:

India and Australia are security partners through the Quad group, which also includes the United States and Japan.

Security cooperation is an important pillar in the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Australia,” PM Modi said at a joint press briefing after a private meeting.

Australia and India made “significant and ambitious” progress in strengthening defence and security ties and also discussed climate change issues, Albanese said.

Defence Ministry inks contract with HAL to procure 6 Dornier aircraft

The defence ministry signed a contract for procurement of six Dornier-228 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at a cost of ₹667 crore.

The defence ministry sealed a deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to procure six Dornier aircraft at a cost of Rs 667 crore for the Indian Air Force. The addition of the six aircraft will further bolster the operational capability of the IAF in remote areas, the defence ministry said announcing the contract.

More About This Contract:

The aircraft was used by IAF for route transport roles and communication duties. Subsequently, it has also been used for training of transport pilots of the IAF.

The aircraft is ideally suited for short-haul operations from semi-prepared and short runways of the North East and island chains of India.

About The Dornier-228 aircraft:

The Dornier-228 aircraft is a highly versatile multi-purpose light transport aircraft.

It has been developed specifically to meet the manifold requirements of utility and commuter transport as well as for maritime surveillance.

The aircraft will have an upgraded fuel-efficient engine coupled with a five-bladed composite propeller, the ministry said.

Indian Air Force and HAL:

The Dornier order for HAL comes on the back of a ₹6,838-crore contract awarded to it by the defence ministry for 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft. The new trainer aircraft, a longstanding need, will provide a boost to the ab initio training of air force pilots. Basic trainers figure on the long list of weapons and systems that India has imposed an import ban on during the last 30 months. HAL will supply the Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) planes to IAF over a period of six years.

‘Mundaka Upanishad: The Gateway to Eternity’, written by former MP Dr. Karan Singh, is released

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar announced the released of the book "Mundaka Upanishad: The Gateway to Eternity".

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar announced the released of the book “Mundaka Upanishad: The Gateway to Eternity”. Dr. Karan Singh, a former member of parliament, wrote the book at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas in New Delhi. He is a philosopher and politician from India.

About the book

Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan initially released this book in 1987. But, the current edition is unique since it includes Dr. Kamal Kishor Mishra’s Hindi translation of Dr. Karan Singh’s texts, who also transliterated the Sanskrit text in accordance with international standards. There have also been added six antiquated manuscripts that were picked from the sizable collection at the Sri Ranbir Sanskrit Research Center, Sri Raghunath Temple in Jammu. These documents, which comprise the primary text as well as the Bhasya, Bhasya-tippanam, and Dipika-comments by Adi Shankaracharya and Pandita Naraina, demonstrate that this significant Upanisad has been written down throughout many centuries in both the old and new Kashmiri type of Devanagari script.

About the Dr. Karan Singh 

Dr. Karan Singh is well recognised as an intellectual and a patron of scholarship and artistic endeavours in addition to his extraordinary record of 70 years in public life, which began at the age of 18 when he was named Regent of Jammu & Kashmir by his father Maharaja Hari Singh. His most recent novels are Shiva: King of the Cosmic Dance (Speaking Tiger) and Reflections, which are among his more than 20 published works (Shubhi Publications). He formerly served as chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Banaras Hindu University, and the Jammu & Kashmir University.

US hands over NISAR satellite to ISRO

NISAR, an Earth-observation satellite, is a joint mission by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Now US NISAR Satellite is of ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received the NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) satellite from the U.S. space agency. A US Air Force C-17 aircraft carrying the NASA-ISRO synthetic aperture radar (NISAR) has landed in Bengaluru.

NISAR Satellite- All About

NISAR was envisioned by NASA and ISRO eight years ago in 2014 as a powerful demonstration of the capability of radar as a science tool and help us study Earth’s dynamic land and ice surfaces in greater detail than ever before.

NISAR is a Low Earth Orbit observatory jointly developed by NASA and ISRO.

NISAR carries L and S dual-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which operates with the Sweep SAR technique to achieve large swaths with high-resolution data. The SAR payloads mounted on Integrated Radar Instrument Structure (IRIS) and the spacecraft bus are together called an observatory.

NISAR will be used by ISRO for a variety of purposes including agricultural mapping, and landslide-prone areas.

NISAR will provide a wealth of data and information about the Earth’s surface changes, natural hazards, and ecosystem disturbances, helping to advance our understanding of Earth system processes and climate change.

The mission will provide critical information to help manage natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, enabling faster response times and better risk assessments.

NISAR data will be used to improve agriculture monitoring and management, such as monitoring of oil spills, urbanization, and deforestation.

NISAR will help to monitor and understand the impacts of climate change on the Earth’s land surface, including melting glaciers, sea-level rise, and changes in carbon storage.

The satellite is expected to be launched in 2024 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh, into a near-polar orbit. The satellite will operate for a minimum of three years. It is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) observatory. NISAR will map the entire globe in 12 days.

Nepal elects Ram Chandra Paudel as its next president

Ram Chandra Paudel has been elected to serve as the new president of Nepal, according to the Nepalese Election Commission,.

Nepal elects Ram Chandra Paudel as its next president

Ram Chandra Paudel has been elected to serve as the new president of Nepal. According to the Nepalese Election Commission, he received 33,800 electoral votes, while his opponent, Subash Chandra Nembwang, received 15,500 votes. Ram Chandra Paudel received votes from 352 members of provincial assemblies and 214 members of parliament.

An electoral college made up of representatives from the federal parliament and the provincial assembly chooses the president. The overall number of electors in Nepal’s presidential election is 882, including 550 representatives from each of the country’s seven provincial assembly and 332 members of the parliament. As Nepal’s new president, he will take over from Bidya Devi Bhandari.

About Ram Chandra Paudel

In addition, he held the positions of President of Nepal, Cabinet Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister.

He held the positions of general secretary from 2005 to 2007, vice president from 2007 to 2015, and acting president from 1980 to 2005 of the Nepali Congress Tanhu District Committee.

Ram Chandra Paudel served as Speaker from December 1994 to March 1999, Minister of Local Development from May 1991 to May 1992, and Minister of Agriculture from May 1992 to May 1991.

Group Captain Shaliza Dhami 1st woman to command frontline IAF combat unit

Group Captain Shaliza Dhami has been selected to take over the command of a frontline combat unit in the Western sector.

Shaliza Dhami- 1st woman to command frontline IAF combat unit

In the first command appointment for a woman officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF), Group Captain Shaliza Dhami has been selected to take over the command of a frontline combat unit in the Western sector. For the first time ever in the IAF’s history, Shaliza Dhami a woman officer has been given command of a frontline combat unit – in this case, a missile squadron in the Western sector.

The IAF’s move comes just two months after Captain Shiva Chauhan of the Indian Army’s Fire and Fury Corps became the first woman officer to be operationally deployed at the world’s highest battlefield in Siachen.

Group Captain Shaliza Dhami was commissioned in 2003 as a Helicopter pilot and has over 2,800 hours of flying experience. A Qualified Flying Instructor, she has served as Flight Commander of a Helicopter Unit in the Western sector. The armed forces have opened up command appointments for women officers following a Supreme Court verdict. The Army recently conducted interviews and approved the first batch of women officers for command appointments.

What Is The Hindu Rate Of Growth?

There is little evidence to support statements implying that the economy is stagnant. Is the phrase ‘Hindu rate of growth’ outdated?

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter (October-December) of the current fiscal slowed to 4.4% from 6.3% in the second quarter (July-September) and 13.2% in the first quarter (April-June). This has attracted the attention of former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, who said India is “dangerously close” to the Hindu growth rate due to subdued private sector investment, high-interest rates, and slowing global growth.

What Is The Hindu Rate Of Growth?

The Hindu rate of growth is a term used to describe India’s low rate of economic growth for a prolonged period. It generally shows that the country is satisfied with the slow growth rate.

The term was first used by the late economist Raj Krishna in 1978 to refer to the low rate of economic growth in the pre-liberalization era. Krishna explained it against the backdrop of socialist economic policies.

It must be noted that the slow growth rate is called the Hindu rate of growth only if it is persistent and is accompanied by low per-capita GDP, with population growth factored in.

The most recent example of this is the 1980s, just before PV Narasimha Rao’s economic reforms. India’s annual population growth rate was over 2 percent, and the per-capita GDP growth rate, with 3.5 percent GDP growth, was a meager 1 percent.

According to Krishna, this was due to the socialist policies of state control and import substitution. That changed when liberalization, privatization, and globalization (LPG) reforms were initiated in 1991 when India faced a balance of payments crisis.

Why the term ‘Hindu’?

According to reports, several economists believed that the term “Hindu” was used to link the belief in Karma and Bhagya with the slow growth. However, later liberal economists and historians like Paul Bairoch rejected this connection and instead attributed the low growth rate to the then governments’ protectionist and interventionist policies.

Rebuttal from SBI

The argument that India’s growth rate could slip to the Hindu rate of growth of around 4 percent is ill-conceived, biased, and premature, according to the State Bank of India’s economic research report Ecowrap. The report emphasized that the economy is on a sound footing.

Key Highlight of Report

The report emphasized that gross capital formation (GCF) by the government touched a high of 11.8 percent of GDP in 2021-22, up from 10.7 percent in 2020-21.

The report noted that in 2021-22, gross savings have risen to 30 percent from 29 percent in 2020-21. The ratio is supposed to have crossed 31 percent in 2022-23, the highest since 2018-19.

The economy is on a sound footing as evidenced by the Incremental Capital Output ratio (ICOR) which has improved from 7.5 in FY12 to 3.5 in FY22, per the report.

Is the phrase ‘Hindu rate of growth’ outdated?

This phrase represents a certain philosophy — of existing in a blissful non-competitive state, in perfect harmony with other countries — which does not reflect the conditions existing now. The country is making rapid progress in all fields and is willing to compete with the best in almost all spheres. In a world where each country is taking care of its own, India too has learned to do the same. This kind of condescending labeling is therefore widely off the mark.

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