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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-11th May 2023

Google’s Bard chatbot to launch globally, including India

Google has announced that it will be rolling out its generative AI chatbot Bard in over 180 countries, including India. Bard is a large language model (LLM) that can generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer your questions in an informative way. It is still under development, but it has learned to perform many kinds of tasks, including

  • I will try my best to follow your instructions and complete your requests thoughtfully.

  • I will use my knowledge to answer your questions in a comprehensive and informative way, even if they are open ended, challenging, or strange.

  • I will generate different creative text formats of text content, like poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, email, letters, etc. I will try my best to fulfill all your requirements.

Google says that Bard is being rolled out to more countries and languages in order to make it more accessible to people around the world. The company also says that it is working on improving Bard’s capabilities so that it can be even more helpful to users.

Bard’s rollout in India is significant because it is one of the world’s largest markets for smartphones and internet users. Google is hoping that Bard can be a valuable tool for Indians who are looking for information, entertainment, and productivity assistance.

About the Bard:

  • In 2022, Google announced that Bard would be available in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is likely that the company will continue to roll out Bard to other English-speaking countries first.

  • In addition, Google has a strong presence in Asia, so it is likely that Bard will be available in many Asian countries. Some of the countries that are likely to be included in the initial rollout include India, China, Japan, and South Korea.

  • Finally, Google has a global presence, so it is likely that Bard will eventually be available in most countries around the world. However, it is possible that some countries may not be included in the initial rollout due to technical or regulatory challenges.

CM Yogi Adityanath honoured Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar Award

Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar Award

Former President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar Award to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his efforts in creating a fear-free Uttar Pradesh. The award ceremony took place at the Shri Shanmukhananda Auditorium in Mumbai, where Dr. Lalji Prasad Nirmal, a member of the UP legislative council, received the award on behalf of the Chief Minister. The event was organized by the Buddhanjali Research Foundation and was attended by Ramnath Kovind as the chief guest. This was the 13th edition of the award ceremony.

List of Previous winners:

  • Harshaali Malhotra (2022)

  • Richa Chadha (2020)

  • Prakash Ambedkar (2018)

  • Mayawati (2017)

  • P. S. Krishnan (2016)

  • Shabana Azmi (2014)

  • Kanshi Ram (2012)

  • Joginder Singh (2011)

  • Anand Teltumbde (2010)

  • Nitish Kumar (2009)

  • Shekhar Suman (2008)

  • S. M. Krishna (2007)

About the Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar Award

The Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar Award is an annual award presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to society in the areas of education, social welfare, and economics, in the spirit of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was a renowned Indian jurist, economist, social reformer, and politician who played a pivotal role in the drafting of the Indian Constitution and fought for the rights of the oppressed sections of Indian society.

The award was instituted in 1996 by the Government of Maharashtra in honor of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and it is presented every year on his birth anniversary. The award carries a cash prize and a citation and is conferred upon individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the society in the spirit of Dr. Ambedkar’s vision of social justice, equality, and human rights.

Recipients of the award include individuals from various fields such as social work, education, politics, law, and literature. The award is considered a prestigious recognition in India, and it is given to those who have worked tirelessly to promote Dr. Ambedkar’s ideals of social equality and justice.

Mastercard Takes Over as ICC’s Global Sponsor, Replacing BharatPe

Mastercard Replacing BharatPe as ICC’s Global Sponsor

Mastercard has reportedly taken over from BharatPe as the global sponsor of the International Cricket Council (ICC), a multinational financial services corporation based in the United States. Over the past year, Mastercard has been actively seeking to secure lucrative sponsorship deals and has already secured the title sponsorship rights for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) international and domestic home fixtures from Paytm.

Mastercard Takes Over as ICC’s Global Sponsor: Key Points

  • Although Mastercard had expressed interest in the Indian Premier League (IPL) before the 2022 edition, RuPay took over the category.

  • The ICC usually holds a three-year sponsorship, and BharatPe was the global sponsor from June 7, 2021, until the end of 2023.

  • As part of this partnership, BharatPe was able to promote its buy now pay later brand, postpe, at all ICC events between the World Test Championship 2021 and the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023.

  • According to sources, BharatPe had blocked the sponsorship category of banking and wallet.

  • BharatPe has faced setbacks over the past year and is looking to end its partnership with the international cricket governing body in order to reduce its advertising expenses.

  • However, according to sources from SportsMint, Mastercard has already secured a deal with the ICC to take BharatPe’s place as a sponsor.

This multi-year agreement will provide Mastercard with prominent on-screen and in-venue branding opportunities, such as having their logo displayed in 3D on the field and on LED advertising boards near the boundary rope. Additionally, Mastercard will have the chance to create exclusive experiences for its customers during the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 in India.

Santiniketan in tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage list

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre has recommended Santiniketan, the cultural site in West Bengal, India, for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a France-based international non-governmental organization, made the recommendation. The ICOMOS is an advisory body to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, comprising experts, representatives from local authorities, heritage organizations, and companies. Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy has expressed hope that the site would be formally inscribed on the World Heritage List in the World Heritage Committee meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in September 2023.

A Proud Moment for India:

Visva-Bharati, the living university in Santiniketan built by Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, would be the first university in India to receive this honour. The Vice-chancellor of the university, Bidyut Chakraborty, has called it a “great news and a matter of pride for everyone – every stakeholder of Visva Bharati, in fact, every citizen of the land.” The President of India is the ‘Paridarsaka’ (visitor) of the University, the Prime Minister is the ‘Acharya’ (chancellor), and the governor of West Bengal is the ‘Pradhana’ (rector) of the university.

The Significance of Santiniketan:

Santiniketan is a cultural site in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, known for its historical and cultural importance. It was originally an ashram built by Rabindranath Tagore’s father, Debendranath Tagore, and later developed into a university by Rabindranath Tagore himself. The site has various structures built by the Maharshi, such as the Santiniketan Griha and the Mandir, which are important in their association with the founding of Santiniketan and the universal spirit associated with the revival and reinterpretation of religious ideals in Bengal and India. The site has degree courses in humanities, social science, science, fine arts, music, performing arts, education, agricultural science, and rural reconstruction.

India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

India has a total of 40 sites that have been awarded the UNESCO World Heritage tag. These include 32 cultural sites such as Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Harappan-era site in Dholavira, Elephanta Caves, Red Fort complex in Delhi, and Mahabodhi Temple complex in Bodh Gaya in Bihar. India also has 52 sites on the tentative list, including Temples at Bishnupur in West Bengal, Mattanchery Palace in Kerala, and Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The tentative list is an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination.

Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways Launches ‘Harit Sagar’ Green Port Guidelines 2023

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways has launched ‘Harit Sagar’ Green Port Guidelines 2023 to achieve its vision of zero carbon emissions. The guidelines were launched by Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, in the presence of other senior officials of the ministry in New Delhi. The guidelines aim to align with the ‘Working with Nature’ concept, minimize the impact on the biotic components of harbor ecosystems, and promote the use of clean/green energy in port operations.

Envisaging Ecosystem Dynamics in Port Development, Operation and Maintenance:

The ‘Harit Sagar’ Guidelines 2023 provides a comprehensive framework for the major ports to create a comprehensive action plan aimed at achieving quantifiable reductions in carbon emissions over defined timelines. The guidelines focus on the use of cleaner fuels such as green hydrogen, green ammonia, green methanol/ethanol, and the development of port capabilities for storage, handling, and bunkering of these fuels. They also aim to minimize waste through reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle, promote monitoring based on environmental performance indicators, and adopt global Green Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.

Contributing to the Panchamrit Commitments:

During the launch event, Union Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal highlighted the green initiatives undertaken by ports and their contribution to the fulfillment of the “Panchamrit” commitments announced by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The guidelines empower the major ports to draw out a comprehensive action plan for achieving targeted outcomes in terms of quantified reduction in carbon emission over defined timelines, through focused implementation and close monitoring of green initiatives, and to achieve Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG).

Awarding Major Ports for Exceptional Achievements:

The launch event also saw the conferring of the ‘Sagar Shreshtha Samman’ awards to major ports for their exceptional achievements in various operational parameters. The awards were conferred to the ports for their all-time best performance on select operational and financial parameters during FY – 2022-23. The major ports were ranked on the basis of their overall performance during 2022-23, and the ports having registered the highest incremental improvements were also honored.

Paradip Port was conferred with the award for the best incremental performance for attaining the highest cargo growth rate of 16.56% last year. The port also received the performance shield for Ship Berth Day Output. The award for the best Absolute Performance for the year 2022-23 was conferred on Deendayal Port, Kandla, for handling the highest cargo of 137.56 MMT. Other ports, such as Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Paradip Port, Kamarajar Port, and Cochin Port, were also recognized for their exceptional achievements.

Promoting Environmental Friendly Practices Across All Ports:

Shri Shripad Naik, MoS, MoPSW, highlighted that the launch of the Harit Sagar Green Port Guidelines is a significant step towards achieving the ministry’s sustainability goals. He emphasized that the guidelines have been formulated with the aim of promoting environmental-friendly practices across all ports, and they cover aspects of the National Green Hydrogen Mission pertaining to ports, development of green hydrogen facility, LNG bunkering, offshore wind energy, etc. The guidelines also provide provisions for ports to evaluate themselves on environmental indicators to know their capability in the environmental aspects.

“The Indian Metropolis: Deconstructing India’s Urban Spaces” book by Feroze Varun Gandhi

The Indian Metropolis: Deconstructing India’s Urban Spaces is a book by Feroze Varun Gandhi, published in 2023. The book examines the challenges facing India’s urban spaces, including poverty, inequality, crime, and environmental degradation. Gandhi argues that India’s cities need to be transformed in order to be more inclusive and sustainable.

Overview of the book:

The book is divided into nine parts, each of which focuses on a different aspect of India’s urban challenges. The first part, “The Indian Metropolis: A Brief History,” provides a historical overview of urban development in India. The second part, “The Challenges of Urban India,” discusses the major challenges facing India’s cities, including poverty, inequality, crime, and environmental degradation. The third part, “The Future of Indian Cities,” offers Gandhi’s vision for the transformation of India’s cities.

The book is based on Gandhi’s own experiences as a politician and urban planner. He has served as a Member of Parliament for Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, and as a member of the Uttar Pradesh Planning Commission. He is also the author of several books on rural development and urban planning.

The Indian Metropolis: Deconstructing India’s Urban Spaces is an important book that provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges facing India’s cities. Gandhi’s insights are valuable for policymakers, urban planners, and anyone who is interested in the future of India’s urban spaces.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the book:

  • India is urbanizing rapidly, and by 2050, it is projected that more than half of the country’s population will live in cities.

  • Urbanization is bringing with it a number of challenges, including poverty, inequality, crime, and environmental degradation.

  • India’s cities need to be transformed in order to be more inclusive and sustainable.

  • Gandhi’s vision for the transformation of India’s cities includes a focus on affordable housing, public transportation, and green spaces.

The Indian Metropolis: Deconstructing India’s Urban Spaces is an important book that provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges facing India’s cities. Gandhi’s insights are valuable for policymakers, urban planners, and anyone who is interested in the future of India’s urban spaces.

Union Finance Minister chairs the 27th Meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)

On May 11, 2023, Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 27th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) in New Delhi. This was the first meeting held after the announcement of the Budget 2023-24. The council discussed the policy and legislative reform measures needed to develop the financial sector further and increase financial access for the people.

Regulators advised to ensure financial sector stability:

During the meeting, the Union Finance Minister emphasized that ensuring financial sector stability is a shared responsibility of regulators. She advised the regulators to maintain a constant vigil and take timely action to mitigate any vulnerability and strengthen financial stability. The regulators were also advised to reduce the compliance burden further and ensure a streamlined and efficient regulatory environment. The Union Finance Minister will review the progress achieved in this regard with each regulator in June 2023.

Regulators urged to ensure cyber-security preparedness:

Smt. Sitharaman also urged the regulators to ensure the cyber-security preparedness of the information technology systems to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, protect sensitive financial data, and maintain overall system integrity. This will safeguard the stability and resilience of the Indian financial ecosystem.

Special drive to facilitate settlement of unclaimed deposits and claims:

The regulators were also asked to conduct a special drive to facilitate the settlement of unclaimed deposits and claims in the financial sector across all segments, such as banking deposits, shares and dividends, mutual funds, insurance, etc.

Implementation of Budget announcements discussed:

The Council discussed the action taken report on the budget announcements made since 2019. The regulators were advised to adopt a focused approach to implement the announcements made in the Budget 2023-24, and timelines were decided for the same.

Deliberations on various financial topics:

Apart from the above, the Council also deliberated on various topics, such as Early Warning Indicators for the economy and our preparedness to deal with them, Reducing Compliance Burden on the regulated entities in the financial sector by Improving Regulatory Quality, Debt Levels of Corporates and Households in India, Simplification and Streamlining of KYC Framework to meet the needs of Digital India, Seamless Experience for Retail Investors in Government Securities, Bimakrit Bharat – Unique Value Proposition to take insurance to last mile, and support required in terms of resolving inter-regulatory issues for GIFT IFSC to play a strategic role in Atmanirbhar Bharat.

FSDC Sub-Committee activities and past decisions:

The Council also took note of the activities undertaken by the FSDC Sub-Committee chaired by the RBI Governor and the action taken by members on the past decisions of the FSDC.

Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), key points:

The Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) is an apex-level body in India that was set up in 2010 to strengthen and institutionalize the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhancing financial sector development, and inter-regulatory coordination.

Here are some key points about the FSDC:

  1. Composition: The FSDC is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and comprises of heads of financial sector regulators, namely the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), and the Ministry of Finance.

  2. Objectives: The primary objective of the FSDC is to strengthen and institutionalize the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhancing financial sector development, and inter-regulatory coordination.

  3. Functions: The FSDC has been given the following functions:

  • To monitor macro-prudential supervision of the economy, including the functioning of large financial conglomerates.

  • To assess the functioning of the financial sector and identify potential risks to financial stability.

  • To recommend regulatory reforms to strengthen the financial sector and enhance its efficiency.

  • To coordinate the functioning of regulators and resolve inter-regulatory issues, if any.

  • To address systemic risks in the financial sector.

  1. Meetings: The FSDC meets periodically to discuss various issues related to financial stability and development. The meetings are attended by the heads of financial sector regulators and other officials from the Ministry of Finance.

  2. Sub-committees: The FSDC has set up sub-committees to focus on specific issues. Currently, there are three sub-committees, namely the sub-committee on financial markets, the sub-committee on financial institutions, and the sub-committee on financial inclusion and literacy.

  3. Achievements: The FSDC has played a crucial role in maintaining financial stability during times of crisis. For example, during the global financial crisis of 2008, the FSDC coordinated the efforts of the regulators and ensured that the Indian financial system remained stable.

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