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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-17th August 2023

Viacom18 Completes Merger Of JioCinema and Voot OTT Platforms

Viacom18, a prominent player in the Indian media and entertainment industry, has made significant strides in merging its two Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, JioCinema and Voot. The integration process has reached an advanced stage, with technology backends fully aligned and a majority of Voot Select subscribers smoothly transitioning to JioCinema.

Unification of Platforms

  • The merger has led to the dissolution of Voot as a standalone platform, both in terms of functionality and visibility.

  • A simple Google search for Voot redirects users to the JioCinema website, consolidating Viacom18’s OTT presence under a single brand.

  • The transition is also evident on app platforms, where only the JioCinema app is now available, marking a cohesive and streamlined user experience.

The Synergistic Merger

  • The merger process gained significant momentum in April 2023, when Viacom18 completed a complex merger scheme involving Reliance Industries, Bodhi Tree Systems, and Paramount Global.

  • This strategic move facilitated the integration of JioCinema into Viacom18, making it the primary platform for marquee content.

  • Notably, Viacom18 has also secured the rights to stream the Indian Premier League (IPL) through JioCinema, underscoring its commitment to delivering diverse and high-quality content.

Evolution of Voot and JioCinema

  • Voot, initially launched by Viacom18 in 2014, gained popularity as a versatile OTT platform offering a range of content.

  • The platform’s premium service, Voot Select, further solidified Viacom18’s position in the streaming industry.

  • Concurrently, JioCinema was introduced under Reliance Industries’ telecommunications arm, Jio, and subsequently became part of the Viacom18 umbrella in 2022.

Subscriber Onboarding

Voot Select’s loyal subscribers are being offered a seamless onboarding process onto the JioCinema platform. This thoughtful approach ensures that existing subscribers can continue to enjoy their favorite content without disruptions, while also benefiting from the enhanced offerings and features available on JioCinema.

The Remaining Transition

While the majority of subscribers have already embraced the new platform, approximately 10% of Voot Select’s user base is yet to transition to JioCinema. However, Viacom18 executives express confidence that this remaining segment will likely migrate within the next couple of months. This anticipation highlights the company’s commitment to ensuring a smooth and gradual transition for all its subscribers.

Maharashtra Leads Fiscal Health Report, Chhattisgarh Surprises at Second Place

In a recent development, Maharashtra has emerged as the front-runner in the Fiscal Health Report, showcasing commendable financial stability. Surprisingly, Chhattisgarh, a state often associated with economic challenges, secured an unexpected second position in the rankings.

Key Criteria for Assessment

The Fiscal Health Report’s assessment is based on four crucial fiscal parameters:

  1. Fiscal Deficit: This indicator evaluates the gap between a state’s total expenditures and its total revenue. A lower fiscal deficit indicates better financial management.

  2. Own Tax Revenue: The proportion of revenue generated by a state through its internal taxation system reflects its self-sufficiency in funding its operations.

  3. State Debt Levels: The extent of a state’s indebtedness relative to its economic output, as measured by the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), gauges its ability to manage financial obligations.

  4. Interest Payment to Revenue Receipts: This parameter underscores the ratio of interest payments on debts to the overall revenue earned by the state, revealing its debt servicing capability.

Chhattisgarh’s Astonishing Second Place

Despite its reputation as one of the economically challenged states in the nation, Chhattisgarh’s second-place ranking in the Fiscal Health Report is raising eyebrows. The assessment sheds light on its relatively stable fiscal condition, defying conventional perceptions.

Weakest Performers: Bengal, Punjab, and Kerala

  • The Fiscal Health Report highlights the challenging fiscal situations of Bengal, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Kerala.

  • These states demonstrate vulnerability to debt sustainability risks due to weak fiscal and debt metrics, a concern predating the pandemic.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a warning to states about these risks in a June 2022 report.

Debt/GSDP Ratio: A Growing Concern

  • The report raises concerns about the debt-to-GSDP ratio of states.

  • Despite double-digit nominal GDP growth in recent fiscal years, the current year is anticipated to see growth in the 9-9.5% range.

  • This suggests that the states’ debt/GSDP ratio might surpass the latest budget estimate, potentially impacting their fiscal health.

Backing from RBI’s June 2022 Warning

The report aligns with a cautionary statement from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in June 2022, which emphasized the concerning fiscal situation of these states. The RBI’s warning reinforces the need for prompt measures to address the economic vulnerabilities that existed even before the pandemic struck.

Indian-American economist Raj Chetty awarded top Harvard University prize

Raj Chetty, an Indian-American economist, and Michael Springer, a biologist, have been awarded Harvard University’s George Ledlie Prize for their groundbreaking work in their respective fields.

Chetty, a professor of economics at Harvard University, is known for his work on economic mobility. He has used big data to study the factors that influence a person’s ability to move up the economic ladder. His research has shown that the American Dream is not as attainable as many people believe, and that there are significant obstacles that prevent people from achieving upward mobility.

Springer, a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, is known for his work on developing new diagnostic tests. He was instrumental in developing a faster and more accurate COVID-19 test, which has helped to improve the fight against the pandemic. He also helped to design and operate the new Harvard University Clinical Laboratory (HUCL), which has managed testing and samples for the university community.

About the George Ledlie Prize

The George Ledlie Prize is awarded by the President and Fellows of Harvard College to a member of the Harvard community who has made the most valuable contribution to science, or in any way for the benefit of mankind. It is awarded no more frequently than every two years.

Chetty and Springer are both deserving recipients of this prestigious award. Their work has made significant contributions to their respective fields, and it has helped to make the world a better place.

Here are some additional details about the two winners:

  • Raj Chetty is a professor of economics at Harvard University and the director of Opportunity Insights, a research group that studies inequality. He is also a former advisor to US President Joe Biden on economic issues.

  • Michael Springer is a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. He is known for his work on developing new diagnostic tests, including a faster and more accurate COVID-19 test. He also helped to design and operate the new Harvard University Clinical Laboratory (HUCL).

Chandrayaan-3 Gets Closer To Moon After Fourth Orbit Reduction Manoeuvre

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) continues its impressive progress in the Chandrayaan-3 mission, as it successfully executed another vital orbit reduction maneuver on August 14. This maneuver brings the spacecraft a step closer to achieving a precise landing on the lunar surface.

Orbit Circularisation Phase Commences

The recent maneuver was conducted at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) located in Bengaluru. As a result, Chandrayaan-3 has achieved an orbit of remarkable proximity to the moon, now positioned just 177 km away.

A Step Towards Lunar Exploration

ISRO reported that the precise maneuver performed during this phase has established a near-circular orbit with dimensions of 150 km x 177 km. The upcoming operation is scheduled for August 16, 2023, around 0830 Hrs IST, and will mark the fifth and final orbit reduction maneuver in the mission.

Components of Chandrayaan-3

Launched on July 14, Chandrayaan-3 is comprised of three essential components: a lander module (LM), a propulsion module (PM), and a rover. These components work synergistically to ensure the successful execution of the lunar mission.

Path to the Lunar Poles

ISRO has strategically planned a series of maneuvers to gradually reduce Chandrayaan-3’s orbit, ultimately positioning it over the lunar poles. As the mission advances, the propulsion module will separate from the lander while in orbit. Following this, a sequence of intricate braking maneuvers will be meticulously carried out to facilitate a soft landing in the South Polar region of the Moon on August 23, 2023.

Key Milestones Ahead

The PM (Propulsion Module) and LM (Lander Module) separation is anticipated to occur on August 17, a significant event that paves the way for subsequent phases. The mission timeline includes a series of deboost maneuvers, a crucial prelude to the power descent phase crucial for the mission’s soft landing on the lunar surface.

Countdown to Lunar Touchdown

The grand finale of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is slated for August 23 at 5.47 p.m. This momentous occasion marks the expected touchdown of the lander module on the moon’s surface, a culmination of meticulous planning and precise execution.

ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3: Nearing a Historic Lunar Landing

ISRO’s persistent dedication and precisely executed maneuvers have propelled Chandrayaan-3 towards its paramount goal: a triumphant and accurate touchdown on the moon’s surface. Through meticulously planned phases, ISRO’s proficiency and unwavering commitment redefine India’s stature in the realm of space exploration. As the mission advances, excitement heightens, and the global community eagerly anticipates the momentous lunar landing scheduled for August 23, 2023.

NBRI launches lotus variety which blooms in all seasons

In a momentous celebration, the CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI) launched an extraordinary variety of the national flower, Lotus, named ‘Namoh 108‘. This unique flower boasts an astonishing 108 petals and was dedicated to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, underscoring its significance in the cultural and religious tapestry of India.

The unveiling took place during the NBRI’s week-long festival ‘One Week One Lab Programme‘ in Lucknow, with CSIR Director General N Kalaiselvi leading the ceremony.

The ‘Namoh 108’ Lotus: A Resilient Marvel With Cultural and Scientific Significance

  • The ‘Namoh 108’ lotus variety has been meticulously developed by NBRI scientists, who brought the original plant from Manipur for comprehensive research. It became the first Lotus variety to have its entire genome sequenced, ensuring its longevity and protection from potential extinction.

  • Unlike its counterparts, the ‘Namoh 108’ lotus variety has exhibited exceptional resilience to varying weather conditions, showcasing its ability to bloom magnificently from March to December.

  • This prolonged flowering period significantly surpasses other lotus varieties that typically flourish for only 4-5 months.

  • The significance of this variety is further accentuated by its religious connotations and the revered number ‘108’. Dr. Kalaiselvi emphasized how this combination bestows a profound identity to the ‘Namoh 108’ lotus variety, encapsulating both cultural and scientific significance.

CSIR-NBRI’s Botanical Breakthrough: Introducing the ‘NBRI-Nihar’ Aloe Vera Variety and Herbal Wellness Products

  • Apart from introducing the ‘Namoh 108’ Lotus, CSIR-NBRI unveiled another remarkable botanical achievement – the ‘NBRI-Nihar‘ variant of Aloe Vera. This exceptional variety showcases an astonishing 2.5-fold increase in gel yield compared to traditional Aloe vera plants. Notably, it also exhibits remarkable resistance to bacterial and fungal diseases, rendering it a robust and dependable choice for cultivation and research purposes.

  • In a comprehensive approach to botanical well-being, CSIR-NBRI released two herbal products alongside the ‘NBRI-Nihar’ Aloe vera variant. The ‘Herbal Cold Drops‘ are designed to alleviate common cough and cold ailments, while the ‘Herbal Anti-Dandruff Shampoo‘ provides a natural solution for promoting scalp health, enhancing individuals’ lives through the abundance of nature.

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.

First Woman Chief Justice of India

Leila Seth, born on 20 October 1930, in Lucknow, India, overcome early challenges after losing her father at the age of 11. Despite financial struggles, she received an education at Loreto Convent, Darjeeling. After completing her schooling, she worked as a stenographer in Kolkata, where her life took a significant turn.

Marriage Life and Education

In Kolkata, Leila Seth met her future husband, Prem Seth, leading to what to she termed a ‘semi-arranged’ marriage. The couple’s move to London provided her with an opportunity to pursue her interest in law. Her motivation was driven by the flexibility the field offered, essential for her as a young mother. Remarkably in 1958, at the age of 27, Seth secured the top spot in the London Bar exam, a ground-breaking achievement for a woman.

Legal Career of Leila Seth

Upon returning to India, Leila Seth started her legal journey in Patna. Despite facing gender bias and scepticism, she fearlessly tackled a range of cases, spanning taxation, constitutional matters and public interest litigations. Her tenacity led her to the Delhi High Court, where she shattered the glass ceiling and became the first woman judge in 1978. This achievement marked a pivotal step towards her trailblazing role in the Indian judiciary.

Leila Seth: Example of Justice and Equality

Leila Seth’s impact extended beyond the courtroom. She chaired various judicial and humanitarian institutions, advocating for equal inheritance rights for daughters in ancestral property and championing LGBTQIA rights. Her contribution to commissions investigating critical issues, such as custodial deaths and the effects of media on children, showcased her unwavering commitment to justice and societal well-being.

From Judge to Chief Justice

Thirteen years after becoming a High Court judge, Leila Seth made history again by becoming the first woman to hold the position of Chief Justice in 1991. Her promotion to this esteemed role marked yet another milestone towards gender equality.

Legacy

Leila Seth’s legacy lives on through her achievements and her family. Her passing on May 5, 2017, at the age of 86, left behind a legacy of selflessness and dedication to reshaping legislation and societal attitudes demonstrated her commitment to a safer and more just India.


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