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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-15th August 2023

77th Indian Independence Day 2023: Date, Celebrations, Theme and History

India celebrating their 77th Independence Day on August 15, 2023. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Nation First, Always First”. This theme is in line with the government’s focus on national unity and development. The daybegin with the hoisting of the national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi by the Prime Minister. This followed by a military parade and a cultural program. There will also be flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs all over the country.

The 77th Independence Day is a significant milestone for India. It is a time to reflect on the country’s journey since independence and to recommit to the values of freedom, democracy, and equality. It is also a time to celebrate the diversity and unity of the Indian nation.

Here are some of the events that will be held on 77th Indian Independence Day:

  • The Prime Minister will hoist the national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi.

  • There will be a military parade at Rajpath in New Delhi.

  • There will be cultural programs at various places across the country.

  • The government will release a commemorative postage stamp and coin.

  • There will be special prayers and religious ceremonies in temples, mosques, churches, and gurudwaras.

  • People will gather in public places to celebrate the occasion.

Celebrations of Independence Day 2023

Independence Day is a time to celebrate the freedom and unity of India. It is also a time to remember the sacrifices of the freedom fighters who fought for India’s independence.

  • Flag hoisting ceremonies: The Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi at the stroke of midnight on August 14-15. This is followed by flag hoisting ceremonies all over the country, in schools, colleges, government offices, and public places.

  • Military parades: There is a military parade at Rajpath in New Delhi, which is attended by the President, Prime Minister, and other dignitaries. The parade showcases the might of the Indian Armed Forces.

  • Cultural programs: There are cultural programs held at various places across the country, showcasing the rich culture and heritage of India. These programs feature music, dance, and drama.

  • Commemorative events: The government releases a commemorative postage stamp and coin on Independence Day. There are also special prayers and religious ceremonies in temples, mosques, churches, and gurudwaras.

  • Public gatherings: People gather in public places to celebrate the occasion. They sing patriotic songs, dance, and distribute sweets.

History of Independence Day 2023 The history of Indian Independence Day can be traced back to the early 19th century, when the Indian independence movement began to gain momentum. The movement was led by a number of prominent figures, including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Subhas Chandra Bose.

  • The movement was met with much resistance from the British, who ruled India at the time. However, the movement continued to grow in strength, and eventually led to India’s independence on August 15, 1947.

  • The date of August 15 was chosen as Independence Day because it was the day that the Indian Independence Act of 1947 came into effect. This act transferred power from the British to the Indian government.

  • The first Independence Day celebration was held in 1947. The Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, hoisted the national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi. He gave a speech in which he outlined the challenges that India faced as an independent nation.

  • Independence Day is a national holiday in India. It is a day to celebrate the freedom and unity of India. It is also a time to remember the sacrifices of the freedom fighters who fought for India’s independence.

Here are some of the key events that led to India’s independence: India’s independence was a major achievement for the Indian people. It was the culmination of decades of struggle and sacrifice. It is a day to celebrate the freedom and unity of India, and to remember the sacrifices of the freedom fighters who fought for India’s independence.

  • 1857: The Indian Rebellion, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, was a major uprising against British rule in India. The rebellion was suppressed by the British, but it helped to raise awareness of the growing Indian independence movement.

  • 1885: The Indian National Congress was founded. The Congress was a political party that advocated for Indian independence.

  • 1905: The Partition of Bengal was a plan by the British to divide the province of Bengal into two parts, one Hindu-majority and one Muslim-majority. The partition was met with widespread protests, and it helped to further divide the Indian independence movement.

  • 1920: Mahatma Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement. The movement was a major turning point in the Indian independence movement. It was based on the principle of nonviolent resistance, and it helped to mobilize millions of Indians against British rule.

  • 1930: Mahatma Gandhi launched the Salt March. The Salt March was a major protest against the British salt monopoly. It helped to further popularize the Indian independence movement.

  • 1942: The Quit India Movement was launched by the Indian National Congress. The movement called for the British to immediately quit India. It was met with widespread protests, and it led to the imprisonment of many Indian leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi.

  • 1947: India gained independence from Britain. The independence was marked by the partition of India into two countries, India and Pakistan. The partition was a bloody and chaotic process, and it led to the deaths of millions of people.

RBI Embraces AI for Enhanced Regulatory Oversight: Collaborates with McKinsey and Accenture

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is taking a significant step towards bolstering its regulatory supervision over banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. To achieve this, the RBI has partnered with two prominent global consultancy firms, McKinsey and Company India LLP, and Accenture Solutions Pvt Ltd India. This move aligns with the RBI’s aim to harness the potential of advanced analytics to strengthen its supervisory functions.

Selection Process and Partners:

In a strategic move, the RBI initiated a process to identify consultants proficient in advanced analytics, AI, and ML. The central bank, following a meticulous evaluation, chose McKinsey and Company India LLP and Accenture Solutions Private Limited India for the pivotal task. These firms will be instrumental in designing and developing systems that leverage AI and ML capabilities for regulatory supervision.

A Leap Towards Progress:

While the RBI is already employing AI and ML in its supervisory processes, the institution is now poised to take this implementation to a higher level. By embracing advanced analytics, the RBI intends to unlock the full spectrum of benefits these technologies offer.

Evolution of Supervision:

The RBI’s Department of Supervision has already embarked on a journey of utilizing machine-learned models alongside traditional linear models for supervisory examinations. Through this collaborative initiative with McKinsey and Accenture, the RBI aims to delve deeper into data exploration. The objective is to uncover underlying attributes within the data that can be strategically harnessed to generate superior and novel supervisory insights.

Industry Trend and Significance:

As the global landscape witnesses the surge of AI, regulatory and supervisory authorities are embracing the capabilities of machine learning techniques. The integration of AI and ML technology holds immense potential, particularly in real-time data reporting, effective data management, and seamless dissemination of critical information.

Diverse Jurisdiction:

The RBI’s supervisory authority extends its reach over a diverse array of financial entities, including banks, urban cooperative banks, NBFCs, payment banks, small finance banks, local area banks, credit information companies, and select All Indian Financial Institutions. This comprehensive reach underscores the significance of robust and technologically advanced supervisory mechanisms.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras To Be Established Across The Country

The Railways Ministry is embarking on a significant endeavor aimed at establishing Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs) at railway stations throughout the country. This initiative holds the primary objective of ensuring the availability of top-notch medicines to the public, all while maintaining an affordable price point.

As part of this progressive initiative, the Ministry has meticulously curated a list of fifty railway stations that will serve as the launching grounds for the pilot project. This strategic selection aims to lay the groundwork for greater accessibility to Janaushadhi products for both passengers and visitors frequenting these bustling stations.

Objectives of Implementing PMBJKs at Railway Stations

The establishment of PMBJKs addresses the pressing healthcare requirements of passengers while fostering an improved overall experience. The primary objectives of introducing PMBJKs at railway stations are as follows:

1.Promoting Affordable Healthcare Access

The establishment of PMBJKs underscores the Government of India’s commitment to ensuring the availability of quality medicines and consumables (Janaushadhi products) to all citizens at affordable prices. By making essential healthcare products accessible within railway stations, this initiative contributes significantly to fulfilling this mission.

2.Convenient Access to Janaushadhi Products

PMBJKs are strategically positioned within the circulating areas and concourses of railway stations, ensuring that passengers and visitors can conveniently access Janaushadhi products. This convenience factor plays a crucial role in enabling individuals to prioritize their health and wellness even during their travels.

3.Fostering Wellness and Welfare

The core essence of the PMBJK initiative is to enhance wellness and welfare across all sections of society. By providing medicines at affordable prices, Indian Railways aims to contribute to the overall health and well-being of passengers, thus fostering a healthier nation.

4.Generating Entrepreneurial Avenues

The establishment of PMBJKs not only serves the health needs of passengers but also creates employment opportunities and entrepreneurial avenues. This initiative empowers individuals to take charge of their own businesses by becoming Licensees and operating these essential healthcare centers.

Setting Up PMBJKs: Implementation and Operation

These PMBJK outlets will be strategically positioned at easily accessible locations, ensuring the convenience of both incoming and outgoing passengers. The locations for PMBJKs will be identified by Railway Divisions, and the stalls will be allocated through an E-auctioning process facilitated by the Indian Railways E-Procurement System (IREPS). The design of these stalls is entrusted to the esteemed National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad.

The mechanics of this initiative involve a collaborative effort between authorized Licensees and Railway Divisions. These Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras will not only be set up but also efficiently operated at carefully identified locations within railway stations.

Revolutionizing Healthcare Accessibility

The Railways Ministry’s groundbreaking move to establish Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras at railway stations heralds a new era of accessible and affordable healthcare solutions. Beyond its core mission of dispensing quality medicines, this initiative envisions a holistic transformation that encompasses enhanced accessibility, economic empowerment, and entrepreneurial growth.

India inducts new Heron Mark-2 drones

The Indian Air Force has inducted its latest Heron Mark 2 drones, which have strike capability and can carry out surveillance along the borders with both China and Pakistan in a single sortie itself. The four new Heron Mark-2 drones, which can be equipped with long-range missiles and other weapons systems, have been deployed at a forward air base in the northern sector.

The induction of the Heron Mark-2 is a major boost for the IAF’s surveillance capabilities. The drone will be used for a variety of missions, including intelligence gathering, border patrol, and counter-insurgency operations. It will also be used to support the IAF’s combat aircraft, providing them with real-time imagery and targeting data.

All about Heron Mark-2

The Heron Mark-2 is an upgraded version of the Heron Mark-1, which has been in service with the IAF since 2009. The new drone has a longer range and endurance, and is equipped with more advanced sensors.

The Heron Mark-2 is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) drone, with a maximum range of 3,000 kilometers and an endurance of 24 hours. It is equipped with a variety of sensors, including a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera, and a laser designator. The SAR can be used to image targets in all weather conditions, day or night, while the EO/IR camera can be used for target identification and tracking. The laser designator can be used to designate targets for precision strikes.

The Heron Mark-2 is also equipped with a datalink that allows it to transmit real-time imagery and data to ground control stations. This gives the IAF a significant edge in the battlespace, as it can now track and target enemy forces in real time.

More information

The Heron Mark-2 is the latest in a series of drones that have been inducted into the IAF in recent years. The IAF now has a fleet of MALE drones, including the Heron Mark-1, the Predator XP, and the MQ-9 Reaper. These drones give the IAF a significant edge in the battlespace, as they allow it to conduct surveillance and strike missions without putting pilots at risk.

The induction of the Heron Mark-2 is a sign of the IAF’s growing capabilities. The drone is a significant upgrade over the Heron Mark-1, and it will give the IAF a major boost in its surveillance and strike capabilities. The Heron Mark-2 will be a valuable asset to the IAF, and it will help the service to maintain its edge in the battlespace.

Traditional Medicine Global Summit To Be Held In Gandhinagar On Aug 17, 18

The first WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit is set to unfold on August 17 and 18, 2023, in the city of Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.

This event will intertwine with the G20 health ministerial meeting, creating a dynamic platform aimed at galvanizing both political commitment and evidence-based actions in the realm of traditional medicine. This age-old practice serves as the initial recourse for millions across the globe, catering to their diverse health and well-being requisites.

A Collaborative Endeavor: WHO and the Government of India as Co-Hosts

  • The Global Summit will be jointly orchestrated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of India, which presently holds the esteemed presidency of the G20 for the year 2023.

  • As an inclusive stage, the Summit will convene an array of stakeholders encompassing traditional medicine practitioners, users, communities, national policymakers, international organizations, academia, private sector representatives, and civil society entities.

  • Together, they will share pearls of wisdom, groundbreaking evidence, transformative data, and pioneering innovations that underscore the indispensable role of traditional medicine in both health and sustainable development.

Traditional Medicine: A Time-Honored Beacon of Health

  • With a legacy spanning centuries, traditional and complementary medicine has woven itself intricately into the fabric of households and communities worldwide. Pioneering the frontiers of medicine and science, it has laid the bedrock for conventional medical frameworks.

  • Astonishingly, approximately 40% of modern pharmaceutical products trace their origins back to natural sources. Moreover, pivotal medical breakthroughs such as aspirin, artemisinin, and pediatric cancer treatments have their roots embedded in traditional medicine.

  • As technology ushers in a new era, disciplines like genomics and artificial intelligence are permeating this ancient practice, while thriving industries for herbal medicines, natural products, health, wellness, and holistic travel take flight.

The Global Quest for Knowledge: Data, Evidence, and Equitable Use

  • In the wake of surging global interest and demand, WHO in March 2022, fortified by the support of the Government of India, unveiled the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine.

  • This pivotal knowledge hub operates with the mission to synthesize timeless wisdom and contemporary science, forging a path towards enhanced health and well-being for people and the planet.

  • With a steadfast focus on partnership, evidence, data, biodiversity, and innovation, the Centre endeavors to optimize traditional medicine’s contribution to universal health coverage, sustainable development, and global well-being. It does so while remaining deeply rooted in the principles of respect for local heritage, resources, and rights.

Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP): Empowering Employees and Driving Growth

In today’s competitive business landscape, attracting and retaining top talent has become a strategic priority for organizations. As a result, companies are constantly seeking innovative ways to motivate and engage their employees. One such method that has gained significant popularity is the Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP). An ESOP is a powerful tool that not only rewards employees but also aligns their interests with the company’s success. In this article, we will delve into the concept of ESOPs, their benefits, implementation process, and potential considerations.

Understanding ESOPs:

An Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) is a compensation scheme that grants employees the option to purchase company shares at a predetermined price within a specified time frame. These options are typically tied to the company’s performance and are aimed at fostering a sense of ownership and accountability among employees. ESOPs are commonly used by startups, established firms, and even publicly traded companies to incentivize employees and foster a culture of shared success.

Benefits of ESOPs:

Implementing an ESOP can yield several benefits for both employees and the company as a whole:

  1. Employee Alignment: ESOPs align employees’ interests with the company’s performance, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment. When employees hold a stake in the organization’s success, they are more likely to work towards its growth and profitability.

  2. Retention and Recruitment: ESOPs serve as a powerful tool for attracting top talent and retaining skilled employees. The prospect of owning a portion of the company can be a compelling incentive that differentiates the company from its competitors.

  3. Motivation and Engagement: ESOPs provide employees with a tangible stake in the company’s future. This can significantly boost their motivation and engagement levels, leading to increased productivity and innovation.

  4. Long-Term Focus: Since ESOPs often come with vesting periods (the time an employee must wait before exercising their options), they encourage employees to take a long-term perspective on the company’s growth and success.

  5. Tax Advantages: ESOPs can offer tax advantages to both the company and employees, depending on the jurisdiction and specific plan structure. These advantages can vary and should be explored with financial and legal experts.

Implementing an ESOP:

Creating and implementing a successful ESOP involves several key steps:

  1. Plan Design: Companies need to decide on the structure of the ESOP, including the number of options to be granted, vesting periods, exercise price, and eligibility criteria.

  2. Valuation: Determining the current value of company shares is crucial for setting the exercise price of the options. Professional valuation services are often employed for this purpose.

  3. Communication: Transparent and clear communication about the ESOP is essential. Employees need to understand the potential benefits, risks, and how the plan aligns with the company’s goals.

  4. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: ESOPs are subject to legal and regulatory requirements. Companies must ensure that the plan complies with relevant laws and regulations.

  5. Administration: Proper administration of the ESOP, including tracking vesting, exercise dates, and providing necessary documentation, is vital to its success.

Considerations and Challenges:

While ESOPs offer numerous advantages, there are also considerations and challenges to keep in mind:

  1. Dilution: As employees exercise their options, the ownership structure of the company can change, potentially leading to dilution of existing shareholders’ stakes.

  2. Volatility: The value of company shares can be volatile, impacting the perceived value of the ESOP for employees.

  3. Exit Strategy: Companies must plan for scenarios where employees leave before fully vesting their options or the company undergoes a change in ownership.

  4. Communication: Effective communication is key to ensuring employees understand the plan’s nuances, benefits, and risks. Lack of clarity can lead to confusion and dissatisfaction.

  5. Legal and Tax Complexities: ESOPs can involve complex legal and tax considerations that require expert guidance to navigate.

Dharmendra Pradhan launches DBT in NAPS to strengthen apprenticeship ecosystem

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, inaugurated the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) to strengthen apprenticeship training and encouraging the involvement of both industries and young individuals.

During the launch event, an approximate sum of Rs. 15 crores was disbursed to one lakh apprentices, signifying the official commencement of DBT in NAPS.

Progress and Impact of National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme

Since its inception in 2016 until July 31, 2023, the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme has engaged a total of 25 lakh youths as apprentices. The scheme has witnessed remarkable progress, with around 2.6 lakh apprentices successfully completing their training in the fiscal year 2023-24.

A notable achievement attributed to the Government of India’s proactive efforts is the exponential growth in the number of active establishments participating in apprenticeship training. The count has surged from 6,755 in 2018-19 to an impressive 40,655 in 2023-24.

Minister’s Perspective and Industry Interaction

Lauding the launch of DBT in NAPS, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan expressed his enthusiasm for invigorating the apprenticeship ecosystem in the nation. He emphasized that this initiative is aligned with Prime Minister Modi’s vision and congratulated the one lakh apprentices who received stipends through DBT on this auspicious occasion.

The Minister interacted with industry clusters and passionate apprentices from various states, including Maharashtra, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. The engagement showcased the substantial progress in apprenticeship training, including a remarkable 488% increase in the number of establishments engaged in training since the inception of NAPS.

Chintan Shivir on “Enhancing Apprenticeship Engagement

As a component of the all-encompassing strategy to bolster apprenticeship programs, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) arranged the Chintan Shivir with the goal of heightening engagement among apprenticeship stakeholders. The Shivir comprised three distinct breakout sessions with the following focal points:

  1. Stakeholder Collaborations to Cultivate an Aspirational Apprenticeship Environment

  2. Formulating Strategies and Practices to Advance High-Quality Apprenticeship

  3. Establishment of an Inclusive and Diverse Apprenticeship Ecosystem

During these sessions, the emphasis was placed on nurturing productive dialogue, amplifying participation, improving standards, and ensuring equitable prospects for all, encompassing marginalized communities as well.

DBT Implementation and Future Prospects

The introduction of DBT through NAPS has transformed the landscape of apprenticeship training. The Government of India reimburses 25% of the stipend, up to Rs. 1500/- per month per apprentice, undertaken by employers. With DBT implementation, a rise in the number of apprentices is expected beyond the 30% target, ultimately contributing to a robust workforce and a thriving economy.

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS)

The Government of India introduced the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) in August 2016 as a strategic initiative to foster apprenticeship across the nation. This program is designed to stimulate apprenticeship adoption by offering financial incentives, technological assistance, and advocacy support. NAPS is built upon two primary components:

  • Providing employers with 25% of the prescribed stipend, capped at a maximum of Rs. 1500/- per month per apprentice.

  • Contributing towards the fundamental training expenses, extending up to a maximum of Rs. 7,500 per apprentice.

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