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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-14th October 2023

Govt Launches Month-Long Celebration Drive For 8th National Ayurveda Day

Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, inaugurated a month-long celebration drive in a curtain raiser press conference at the media center, emphasizing the significance of Ayurveda and its role in promoting holistic well-being across India. This celebration marks the 8th National Ayurveda Day, observed as a tribute to Lord Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda, and coincides with Dhanteras, a day dedicated to seeking blessings for good health.

The Essence of Ayurveda Day

  • Ayurveda Day is not just a celebration of an ancient medical tradition; it’s an embodiment of the principles of “Jan Sandesh, Jan Bhagidhari, and Jan Andolan for Jan Arogya,” emphasizing community participation and healthcare awareness.

  • The Ministry of Ayush seeks to explore Ayurveda’s potential not only for human health but also for the well-being of the environment, plants, and animals. This year’s theme, “Ayurveda for One Health,” underscores the interconnectedness of human, animal, plant, and environmental health.

Aligning with India’s G20 Presidency

  • The theme, “Ayurveda for One Health,” resonates with India’s G20 Presidency theme, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which means the world is one family.

  • Ayurveda Day 2023 carries the tagline “Ayurveda for everyone on every day,” emphasizing its applicability to every aspect of life, from humans to animals, plants, and the environment.

  • It aims to foster a holistic approach to health. The theme revolves around three key areas: Ayurveda for Farmers, Ayurveda for Students, and Ayurveda for the Public.

The Vision of Shri Sarbananda Sonowal

  • Shri Sarbananda Sonowal highlighted the Indian government’s commitment to the “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” principle.

  • By harnessing the potential of Ayurveda, a holistic healthcare revolution can address the concerns of “One Health,” where the well-being of individuals, animals, plants, and the environment are interconnected and essential.

Month-long Celebrations

  • The month-long Ayurveda Day celebrations are designed to create awareness and educate students, farmers, and the general public about the benefits of Ayurveda.

  • This year, Ayurveda Day falls on November 10, 2023, and it serves as a platform to address specific health issues through Ayurveda.

  • The theme for Ayurveda Day 2023 focuses on promoting Agro-Ayurveda, encouraging self-participation for health empowerment, and inspiring professionals to tap into Ayurveda’s potential.

Ayurveda’s Reach

  • Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush, shared that a total of 12,500 Ayush Health & Wellness Centers have been approved under the National Ayurveda Mission (NAM), with 8095 already operational.

  • The month-long campaign will include various activities such as exhibitions, research dissemination, medical camps, public lectures, distribution of medicinal plants to farmers, and competitions to promote Ayurveda. These activities aim to raise awareness about Ayurveda’s potential in preventing and treating various health issues.

Coordinating Agency

  • The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Science (CCRAS), under the Ministry of Ayush, will serve as the coordinating agency for the Ayurveda Day programs in 2023, with 30 units spread across the country.

  • This extensive network will ensure the effective execution of the celebration drive, reaching people in different regions of India.

Bharti Group To Acquire French Insurer AXA’s 49% Stake In Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co.

In a significant development in the Indian insurance industry, the Bharti Group has announced its acquisition of French insurer AXA’s 49% stake in Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co. This move marks the consolidation of a venture that was jointly run for nearly two decades. While the details of the deal remain undisclosed, this acquisition raises questions about AXA’s continued presence in the Indian insurance market. Additionally, Bharti Group is exploring opportunities to scale up its business by partnering with other investors.

A Historic Venture: Bharti and AXA’s Partnership

For almost twenty years, Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co. was a joint venture between Bharti Group and AXA, a leading French insurance company. During this partnership, the two companies worked together to provide a wide range of insurance and financial products to the Indian market. However, the recent announcement indicates a change in the partnership dynamics.

The Bharti Group’s Strategic Move: Acquiring Market Share in the Indian Insurance Industry

The acquisition by Bharti Group, conducted through its Bharti Life Ventures arm, is expected to conclude by December this year, subject to regulatory approvals. This development positions Bharti Group to compete more effectively with established players like HDFC Life Insurance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, SBI Life Insurance, and LIC in a market that ranks ninth in the world, according to the latest annual report by the insurance regulatory body.

Diversified Interests of Bharti Group

Beyond its foray into the insurance sector, Bharti Group is a conglomerate with diverse interests. It owns India’s second-largest telecom carrier, Bharti Airtel, and is involved in various other businesses, including Bharti Realty and a partnership with Del Monte Pacific to operate Del Monte Foods Pvt Ltd in India. The acquisition of AXA’s stake in Bharti AXA Life Insurance adds another dimension to Bharti Group’s portfolio.

Industry-Wide Transformations

The insurance sector in India has been experiencing significant transformations and deals. A booming stock market has empowered insurers to lock in profits from their investments and consolidate their operations. This trend is particularly crucial in a market dominated by the state-backed Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), making it challenging for private players to compete.

Other Notable Developments

Several other insurance-related transactions have occurred in the Indian market recently. For instance, British United Provident Association (BUPA) is set to become the majority owner of Niva Bupa Health Insurance following an agreement to buy a portion of the PE firm True North’s stake in the joint venture. Additionally, the billionaire Burman family is pursuing an additional stake of about 26% in Religare Enterprises, aiming to capitalize on India’s largely untapped insurance space.

Union Cabinet approves setting up of ‘Mera Yuva Bharat’ autonomous body for youth development

The Union Cabinet, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the establishment of an autonomous body named “Mera Yuva Bharat” (MY Bharat).

This body is designed to serve as a pivotal mechanism for youth development, with a strong emphasis on technology-driven solutions. MY Bharat aims to enable equitable access for young individuals to realize their aspirations and contribute to the holistic development of the nation across various government sectors. This initiative aligns with the National Youth Policy and targets individuals between the ages of 15-29, with a subset of programs catering to those aged 10-19.

Launch Date

Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) will be officially launched on 31st October, 2023, which coincides with National Unity Day.

Objectives and Impact

Leadership Development in the Youth

  • Enhance leadership skills through experiential learning.

  • Shift from isolated physical interactions to programmatic skill development.

  • Invest in youth as social innovators and community leaders.

  • Shift focus from passive beneficiaries to active contributors in the nation’s development.

Alignment with Youth Aspirations

  • Improve alignment between the aspirations of young individuals and the needs of their communities.

  • Foster a sense of purpose and responsibility among the youth.

Efficiency Through Program Convergence

  • Promote program convergence by integrating existing initiatives.

  • Create a one-stop destination for youth and government initiatives.

Centralized Youth Database

  • Establish a centralized database for youth-related information and resources.

  • Streamline access to various opportunities and services for young people.

Enhanced Communication and Engagement

  • Improve two-way communication between youth and government agencies.

  • Strengthen connections with other stakeholders involved in youth engagement.

Physical Ecosystem

  • Create a “phygital” ecosystem, combining physical and digital elements.

  • Empower young individuals to serve as catalysts for community transformation.

  • Establish a network of “Yuva Setu” (Youth Bridge) agents connecting government and citizens.

The Need for Mera Yuva Bharat

Youth’s Pivotal Role in Nation-Building

  • Recognize the crucial role that India’s youth will play in shaping the nation’s future.

  • Especially important as India approaches 75 years of independence and envisions an “Amrit Bharat” by 2047.

Uniting Rural, Urban, and Rurban Youth

  • Address the evolving dynamics of the urban-rural landscape.

  • Create a framework that unites the youth from rural, urban, and rurban areas on a common platform.

Contemporary Technology-Led Engagement

  • Adapt to the fast-paced, technology-driven world.

  • Utilize digital tools and technologies to engage and empower today’s youth effectively.

Ensuring Accessibility Through a Phygitital Ecosystem

  • Establish a phygital (physical and digital) ecosystem that connects and empowers young individuals.

  • Encourage youth to participate in community transformation activities and engage with the government seamlessly.

Youth Outreach

Mera Yuva Bharat, supported by a robust technology platform, will significantly enhance the outreach efforts of the Department of Youth Affairs, allowing for more efficient engagement with the youth across the country.

Vivek Agnihotri launches his latest book “The Book of Life: My Dance with Buddha for Success”

Vivek Agnihotri, director of The Kashmir Files, has launched his latest book, “The Book of Life: My Dance with Buddha for Success” in Lucknow. He also directed a medical drama film ‘The Vaccine War’ in 2023. Balram Bhargava is the writer of the book on which the movie is based. Bhargava’s book, ‘Going Viral – Making of Covaxin: The Inside Story’, documents his experiences.

About The Book of Life: My Dance with Buddha for Success

This book is an initiative which will herald a new era in the realm of books, wherein the creativity that is innate in every one of us finds expression. For this, and to establish a connection between him and readers, Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri has linked this book to the Internet. Here, anyone can voice his opinions on the stories featured in this book and share his thoughts and perspectives, making this book interactive; only then will The Book of Life find its true meaning.

UP Declares Gangetic Dolphin as State Aquatic Animal

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has made a significant announcement regarding the Gangetic Dolphin, designating it as the state’s aquatic animal. This move highlights the importance of conserving these unique creatures and preserving the purity of the rivers and ponds they inhabit. Uttar Pradesh’s decision to declare the Gangetic Dolphin as the state aquatic animal and the launch of the “Meri Ganga Meri Dolphin 2023” campaign demonstrate the government’s commitment to wildlife conservation, environmental preservation, and raising awareness about the importance of maintaining the purity of rivers and ponds. These efforts contribute to the broader goal of protecting India’s rich biodiversity and ecological heritage.

Significance of the Gangetic Dolphin

Gangetic dolphins are a unique and endangered species found in rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Chambal, Ghaghra, Rapti, and Gerua. They serve as important indicators of river health due to their sensitivity to water quality, making their conservation crucial for the ecosystem.

Population of Gangetic Dolphins in Uttar Pradesh

The estimated population of Gangetic dolphins in Uttar Pradesh is currently around 2000. Recognizing their conservation value, the state government is taking proactive measures to protect this species.

Employment Opportunities in Tiger Reserves

In addition to recognizing the importance of the Gangetic Dolphin, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has proposed a plan to train individuals from villages connected to the Tiger Reserves as guides. This initiative aims to create employment opportunities and raise awareness within the local community about the importance of wildlife conservation.

Collaborative Efforts for Dolphin Conservation

Teams from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Forest Department are actively involved in counting the dolphin population with the aid of GPS technology. Their efforts are focused on the Garh Ganga area in Hapur district, Uttar Pradesh.

The Meri Ganga Meri Dolphin 2023 Campaign

The “Meri Ganga Meri Dolphin 2023” campaign is a comprehensive initiative aimed at safeguarding the Gangetic Dolphin. Part of this campaign involves conducting dolphin population counts along the Ganga River, spanning from Muzaffarpur Barrage to the entire Narora Barrage.

Dolphin Counting Methodology

The campaign employs a unique method for counting dolphins. It involves two teams, each traveling at a speed of 10 kilometers per hour with a 10-minute interval between them. This approach allows for more accurate data collection and identification of individual dolphins.

Historical Dolphin Population Trends

Based on historical data, the population of Gangetic dolphins has shown both growth and fluctuations. For instance, in 2015, there were 22 dolphins, while in 2020, the count increased to 41 dolphins. These numbers reflect the importance of continuous monitoring and conservation efforts.

The Protective Status of State Aquatic Animals

The designation of the Gangetic Dolphin as the state aquatic animal in Uttar Pradesh grants it additional protection and recognition. This move underscores the significance of these creatures as vital indicators of river health and environmental well-being.

IGNOU & ICAI ink MoU for academic collaboration

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has recently renewed and restructured its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). This renewed partnership aims to enhance academic collaboration between these two esteemed institutions, ushering in a new era of educational opportunities for students in the field of Chartered Accountancy.

Signing Ceremony: A Momentous Occasion

The signing ceremony for the MoU took place in the presence of eminent figures in the world of education and accountancy. Among those attending were Prof. Nageshwar Rao, the Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, and CA Aniket Sunil Talati, President of ICAI, along with dignitaries from ICAI and faculty members from the School of Management Studies (SOMS) at IGNOU. The MoU was officially signed by CA Jai Kumar Batra, Secretary of ICAI, and Dr. Alok Chaube, Registrar of IGNOU.

A Track Record of Success

CA Dayaniwas Sharma, Chairman of the Board of Studies (BoS) at ICAI, highlighted the success of the previous MoU, stating that 48,522 BCOMAF {Bachelor of Commerce(Accountancy and Finance) }and 8,650 MCOMFT {Master of Commerce(FINANCE AND TAXATION) } students have already benefited from the collaboration. He expressed his satisfaction at the continuation of this academic partnership, emphasizing the tangible benefits it has brought to students.

Adapting to the Changing Landscape

The significance of this agreement is underscored by its alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and the curriculum and credit framework set forth by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Similar updated Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been entered into by the School of Management Studies with other esteemed institutions, including the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI – CMA).

Empowering the “Survival of the Fittest” through Education

CA Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President of ICAI, emphasized the significance of education as the means for the “survival of the fittest.” He explained that this MoU offers ICAI students a unique opportunity to acquire knowledge in multidisciplinary and diverse areas, ensuring that they are well-prepared for the professional world.

Balancing Academics and Practical Knowledge

This MoU provides ICAI students with an opportunity to acquire academic qualifications without compromising their practical knowledge during their articleship. Both ICAI and IGNOU will play a pivotal role in providing students with a balanced blend of academic and practical exposure. The extensive reach and impact of both institutions will help meet the nation’s educational expectations.

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

Indira Gandhi National Open University, commonly referred to as IGNOU, is a publicly funded research institution situated in Maidan Garhi, New Delhi, India. It was named in honor of the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, and was established in 1985 with an initial budget of ₹20 million.

Its establishment was made possible by the enactment of the Indira Gandhi National Open University Act, 1985 (IGNOU Act 1985) by the Parliament of India. IGNOU, as the world’s largest university in terms of enrollment, currently has 3.5 million students on its rolls, with 3.8 million alumni.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory institution established through the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 by the Parliament of India. Its primary purpose is to regulate and foster the growth of the Chartered Accountancy profession within the nation.

The ICAI operates under the administrative oversight of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, and it stands as the world’s largest professional organization for Chartered Accountants. It boasts a longstanding tradition of contributing to the welfare of the Indian economy in the public interest.

India, China hold 20th round of military talks In Ladakh

India and China held their 20th corps commander-level meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border in Ladakh. Both countries engaged in a series of diplomatic discussions to address the persisting issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. These talks, held at the Corps Commander level, aimed to foster an open and constructive atmosphere, fostering an early and mutually acceptable resolution. While these discussions did not yield a clear breakthrough, they emphasized the commitment of both nations to peaceful dialogue and negotiation.

The Ongoing Challenge in Eastern Ladakh

The LAC, the de facto border between India and China, has been a source of tension for many years, and eastern Ladakh is no exception. Over three years of confrontation have persisted, leading to periodic clashes and standoffs, mainly in friction points along this border. The complexity of the situation necessitates ongoing diplomatic and military engagement to address the underlying issues.

The Importance of Constructive Dialogue

One of the key takeaways from these recent talks is the importance of a frank, open, and constructive dialogue between the two nations. Despite historical differences and geopolitical competition, maintaining a diplomatic channel is crucial to finding a mutually acceptable resolution.

Guided by National Leadership

Both countries have committed to working toward a resolution in line with the guidance provided by their national leadership. This shows the political will and determination to find a peaceful solution. The role of national leadership cannot be understated in such complex, high-stakes negotiations.

Building on Progress

The recent round of talks built on the progress made during previous Corps Commander meetings held on August 13 and 14. Incremental progress is often the hallmark of such negotiations, and it’s imperative that both sides acknowledge and leverage the steps taken in previous discussions.

Momentum of Dialogue and Negotiations

Both nations are committed to maintaining the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through relevant military and diplomatic mechanisms. Consistency in communication and engagement is vital in managing disputes effectively.

Commitment to Peace and Tranquillity

Despite ongoing tensions, the Ministry of External Affairs emphasized the commitment of both India and China to maintain peace and tranquillity on the ground in the border areas in the interim. This commitment is crucial in preventing the situation from escalating further.

MRPL Secured ‘Best Innovation in Refinery’ Award For 2022-23

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has once again clinched the prestigious ‘Best Innovation in Refinery‘ award for the year 2022-23, bestowed by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas at the 26th Energy Technology Meet 2023. This significant achievement comes after a stiff competition with prominent players in the industry, including IOCL, BPCL, and HPCL, marking the second consecutive year that MRPL has received this accolade.

A Milestone in Energy Technology

The basis for MRPL R&D’s well-deserved recognition and award was a groundbreaking patent. This patent revolved around an energy-efficient hydrocarbon distillation process, a true milestone in energy technology. The innovative process included several key components:

1. Energy-Efficient Hydrocarbon Gas Composition

One of the pivotal aspects of the patent was the development of a hydrocarbon gas composition that could effectively replace energy-intensive stripping steam in the distillation process. This breakthrough not only reduced energy consumption but also contributed to environmental sustainability by minimizing resource usage.

2. Raising the Overhead Vapor’s Dew Point

Another critical element of the patent was a method to raise the dew point of the overhead vapor while employing gas stripping. This ingenious technique enhanced the efficiency of the distillation process, ultimately leading to substantial energy savings.

3. Manipulating Refinery Gas Streams

The MRPL R&D team also introduced a technique to achieve the required stripping gas composition by manipulating refinery gas streams. This approach offered more flexibility and control over the distillation process, further improving its energy efficiency.

Thorough Evaluation Process Led by Eminent Scientists and Institutions

The proposal for this innovation underwent rigorous scrutiny, with the Centre for Higher Technology playing a pivotal role in the initial evaluation. Subsequently, the final evaluation was conducted by the distinguished Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC boasts prominent scientists, including Anil Kakodkar, and other representatives from esteemed institutions such as CSIR labs and IITs.

Recognition by the Union Ministry

The ‘Best Innovation in Refinery’ award was presented to a team led by MRPL’s Managing Director, Sanjay Varma. This recognition ceremony took place at the Energy Technology Meet 2023, a prestigious event held in New Delhi. The Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, had the honor of presenting the award to MRPL’s accomplished team.

Implications for the Industry

MRPL’s award-winning innovation is expected to have far-reaching implications for the petroleum and petrochemical industry. The energy-efficient hydrocarbon distillation process not only promises to enhance the efficiency of refinery operations but also contributes significantly to environmental sustainability. It aligns with the broader global goal of reducing carbon emissions and adopting cleaner energy practices.

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