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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-17th June 2023

India’s overall exports in May 2023 stands at US$ 60.29 Billion

India’s overall exports in May 2023 stood at US$60.29 billion, comprising both merchandise and services. While there was a decline in exports compared to the same period last year, several sectors demonstrated positive growth. The trade deficit for April-May 2023 also improved significantly, indicating a positive trend in India’s trade performance.

This article examines India’s trade figures for May 2023 and analyzes the trends in merchandise and services trade.

India’s overall exports in May 2023 stands at US$ 60.29 Billion

  1. Overall Trade Performance: India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in May 2023 were estimated to be USD 60.29 billion, showing a negative growth of (-) 5.99 percent compared to May 2022. Similarly, overall imports in May 2023 amounted to USD 70.64 billion, reflecting a negative growth of (-) 7.45 percent compared to the previous year.

  2. Merchandise Trade: a) Merchandise Exports: In May 2023, India’s merchandise exports amounted to USD 34.98 billion, indicating a decline from USD 39.00 billion in May 2022. b) Merchandise Imports: The imports of merchandise goods in May 2023 stood at USD 57.10 billion, lower than the USD 61.13 billion recorded in May 2022.

  3. Key Sectors with Positive Growth: Thirteen out of thirty important sectors witnessed positive growth in May 2023 compared to May 2022. These sectors include Electronic Goods (73.96%), Other Cereals (67.96%), Oil Meals (52.91%), Spices (49.84%), Iron Ore (48.26%), and more. Enabling policies, such as duty withdrawal on Iron Ore and investment promotion in electronics and pharmaceuticals, contributed to the growth of these sectors.

  4. Services Trade: a) Services Exports: India’s services exports in May 2023 were estimated at USD 25.30 billion, showing a slight increase compared to USD 25.13 billion in May 2022. b) Services Imports: The services imports in May 2023 amounted to USD 13.53 billion, indicating a decrease from USD 15.20 billion in May 2022.

  5. April-May 2023 Performance: Examining the trade figures for April-May 2023, the overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) exhibited a negative growth of (-) 5.48 percent compared to the same period in 2022. Meanwhile, overall imports during April-May 2023 showed a negative growth of (-) 9.63 percent compared to April-May 2022.

  6. Merchandise Trade Deficit: a) April-May 2023: The merchandise trade deficit during April-May 2023 was USD 37.26 billion, reflecting a decline of (-) 7.95 percent compared to April-May 2022. b) April-May 2022: In comparison, the merchandise trade deficit during April-May 2022 was USD 40.48 billion.

  7. Services Trade Surplus: a) April-May 2023: The services trade surplus for April-May 2023 was estimated at USD 23.98 billion, representing an increase from USD 19.92 billion in April-May 2022. b) April-May 2022: In contrast, the services trade surplus during April-May 2022 stood at USD 19.92 billion.

  8. Agricultural Exports: a. Robust Performance: Agricultural exports showcased promising growth, with Spices growing by 31.81% and Rice exports increasing by 19% during April-May 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year. This solid performance reflects the strength of India’s agricultural sector.

  9. Trade Deficit: a. Shrinking Deficit: India’s trade deficit showed considerable improvement during April-May 2023. The overall trade deficit was estimated at US$13.28 billion, a decline of (-) 35.41% compared to the same period in the previous year. The merchandise trade deficit stood at US$37.26 billion, registering a decline of (-) 7.95%. These improvements in the trade deficit indicate a positive trend in India’s trade performance.

Daniel Ellsberg, Renowned Whistleblower of the Pentagon Papers, Passes Away at 92

Daniel Ellsberg, a U.S. military analyst, passed away at the age of 92. He became known for leaking the “Pentagon Papers,” which exposed how the U.S. government deceived the public about the Vietnam War. This revelation sparked a significant fight for freedom of the press. Ellsberg’s actions, predating figures like Edward Snowden and Wikileaks, revealed that the government could mislead and lie to its citizens. Later in life, he became an advocate for whistleblowers and his story was depicted in the movie “The Post” released in 2017.

Ellsberg’s Bold Move: Leaking to End the Vietnam War and Facing Backlash

Ellsberg took a secret action in 1971 to share important information with the media, hoping to help bring an end to the Vietnam War more quickly. However, this made him a target of attacks by the Nixon White House, which tried to harm his reputation. Henry Kissinger, who was an important advisor to the president at the time, even called him “the most dangerous man in America” and wanted to stop him at any cost.

Meanwhile, acting upon the request of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, officials at the Pentagon had been secretly compiling a comprehensive 7,000-page report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. By 1969, when the report was completed, only 15 copies were published, and two of them were sent to the RAND Corporation, where Ellsberg was working at the time.

Japan raises age of consent from 13 to 16 after over a century

About the news :

  • Japan’s parliament has raised the age of consent from 13 to 16, a limit which had remained unchanged for more than a century and was among the world’s lowest consent age.

  • Lawmakers also broadened the definition of rape from “forcible sexual intercourse” to “non-consensual sexual intercourse”.

  • The expanded definition includes acts committed using drugging and intoxication. It also criminalized the grooming of minors.

  • Sexual intercourse with someone below age 16 will be considered as rape.

Facts:

  • Japan’s sexual consent age had been unchanged since 1907.

  • Consent age is defined as the age below which sexual activity is considered as rape.

  • Current consent age is 16 in Britain, 15 in France, 14 in Germany and China & 18 in India.

  • Japan last revised its criminal code on sexual offenses in 2017.

About Japan:

  • Fumio Kishida is the current prime minister of Japan.

  • The Japanese National Parliament is called ‘Diet‘.

Indian Overseas Bank Introduces Innovative Scheme Allowing Customers to Use Any Name as Account Number

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), a public sector lender based in Chennai, has launched a groundbreaking scheme called ‘My Account My Name,’ which enables customers to select any name as their savings account number. This initiative, the first of its kind in the banking industry, allows individuals to choose a personalized account number that can be used for all transaction purposes. The scheme was officially launched by the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer during a virtual event at the IOB Central Office in Chennai. This article provides an overview of the scheme and its potential benefits for customers.

Revamping Saving Account Schemes for All Segments of Society:

Recognizing the diverse needs of its customer base, IOB has recently revamped all its saving account schemes to cater to various segments of society. Whether an individual belongs to the salaried class, is a high net worth individual (HNI), a student, a pensioner, or a senior citizen, IOB aims to provide tailored account options to suit their requirements. This comprehensive approach showcases the bank’s commitment to inclusivity and customer-centricity.

The ‘My Account My Name’ Scheme:

Under the ‘My Account My Name’ scheme, IOB customers can now choose their account number using any combination of seven letters, seven numbers, or seven alphanumeric characters. This innovative feature eliminates the need for customers to remember their traditional 15-digit account numbers. For example, customers could select account names such as AJIT007, PRADHAN, or 2424707. The scheme initially targets customers with IOB SB HNI and IOB SB SALARY accounts, offering them greater convenience and personalization options.

Benefits for Customers:

By allowing customers to choose their account numbers, IOB aims to enhance the banking experience and simplify transactions. The scheme offers several benefits:

  1. Personalization: Customers can personalize their banking experience by selecting an account number that holds significance for them, such as incorporating their name, lucky number, or other memorable combinations.

  2. Easy Recall: With the traditional 15-digit account numbers being replaced by shorter, customized options, customers will find it easier to recall and use their account details during transactions, reducing the chances of errors or confusion.

  3. Enhanced Security: While customers can choose any name as their account number, the bank’s robust security measures ensure the protection of sensitive information. IOB remains committed to maintaining the privacy and security of customer data.

Availability and Expansion:

The ‘My Account My Name’ scheme is currently available at all 49 regional offices of IOB across India. However, IOB may consider expanding the scheme to other account categories and branches based on customer demand and feedback. The bank is committed to continuously improving its services and offerings to meet the evolving needs of its diverse customer base.

Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society replaces Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society

Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society: At a special meeting presided over by Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, who is Vice-President of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society, it was resolved to change the society’s name to Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society. The decision was influenced by the completion of the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya, a museum dedicated to all the Prime Ministers of India, which opened to the public on 21 April 2022 on Teen Murti Premises in New Delhi.

Why in News?

• The Executive Council of the NMML had approved the construction of the museum in 2016, based on an idea proposed by Prime Minister Shri Modi.

• However, they later felt that the name of the institution should reflect its new form, which now includes a Sangrahalaya showcasing the journey of democracy in Independent India and the contribution of each Prime Minister to nation-building.

Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) About:

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) was established in 1964 in the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. It is located in the Teen Murti Bhavan in New Delhi, which was the official residence of Jawaharlal Nehru.

The foundation of NMML was laid by the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. The idea behind the establishment of this museum and library was to preserve the life and work of Jawaharlal Nehru, his contribution to the Indian Independence movement and his leadership as the first Prime Minister of independent India. It also aimed to promote research and study of modern Indian history.

Why Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) is important?

• The museum has a vast collection of Nehru’s personal belongings, rare photographs, documents and books. It has been divided into different sections showcasing different aspects of Nehru’s life including his childhood, education, political career, international relations and personal life.

• The library contains a large collection of books, journals, manuscripts, recordings and documents related to modern Indian history.

What has been happening with Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML)?

• Over the years, NMML has become an important center for research and study of Indian history and politics. It conducts regular seminars, lectures, workshops and other programmes which are attended by scholars, researchers, students and interested individuals. It also publishes books, journals and research papers on modern Indian history.

• In 2015, the government of India proposed to restructure NMML and transform it into a museum of modern Indian history, encompassing the lives and contributions of other leaders and personalities of India. However, this proposal was criticized by many as an attempt to dilute the importance and relevance of Nehru and his legacy. The controversy continues to this day.

Despite the controversies, NMML remains an important institution for the preservation and promotion of modern Indian history and the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru.

NITI Aayog and United Nations Join Hands to Accelerate Sustainable Development in India

The Government of India and the United Nations have signed the Government of India – United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023-2027 (GoI-UNSDCF). This collaboration between NITI Aayog, the government policy think tank, and the UN in India aims to advance India’s sustainable development goals. The framework focuses on key areas such as gender equality, youth empowerment, human rights, and overall sustainable development, aligning with the 2030 Agenda.

I. The GoI-UNSDCF: A Strategic Roadmap for Sustainable Development

  • The strategic roadmap aims to achieve India’s sustainable development targets.

  • Four pillars of the framework: People, Prosperity, Planet, and Participation.

  • Six key outcome areas: health and well-being, quality education, economic growth, environment and climate, and empowerment of individuals and communities.

II. Commitment to Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals

  • India solidifies its commitment to localize the SDGs through the GoI-UNSDCF.

  • Emphasis on South-South cooperation and India’s role as a global leader in sustainable development.

  • Showcasing successful models of development on the international stage.

III. Development Process and Stakeholder Engagement

  • NITI Aayog led the formulation of the GoI-UNSDCF, involving line Ministries, State Governments, and Union Territories.

  • Inputs from the UN development system in India and contributions from civil society, think tanks, private sector, cooperatives, and labor unions.

  • Third-party evaluation of the previous Cooperation Framework (2018-2022) and Common Country Analysis (CCA) informed the new framework.

IV. Implementation and Coordination

  • Implementation, monitoring, and reporting of the framework jointly overseen by the Government of India and the United Nations through a Joint Steering Committee.

  • Joint collaboration mechanism to ensure effective coordination and synergy in driving sustainable development efforts.

V. India’s Vision for the Future

  • The next five years crucial for innovation-driven, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development in India.

  • Focus on the principle of “Leaving No One Behind” due to India’s vast and diverse demography.

  • Adapting the Cooperation Framework to address evolving challenges and align with national development priorities.

VI. India’s Progress and Role in Sustainable Development

  • India’s strides in delivering development and resilience at scale.

  • Transformation of social welfare systems, digital public infrastructure, and national missions.

  • Leadership in climate action and resilience.

  • Addressing challenges of the last century and embracing the challenges of Amrit Kaal for a developed and empowered India.

SBI Presents Record-breaking Dividend Cheque of Rs 5,740 Crore to Finance Minister

State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest public sector bank, has presented a dividend cheque of Rs 5,740 crore to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the financial year 2022-23. The dividend payment was made by SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara, in the presence of Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi. This dividend amount marks the highest-ever dividend given by SBI to the Government of India for a financial year.

Dividend Presentation Ceremony:

The finance minister’s office tweeted about the event, stating that Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman received the dividend cheque from SBI Chairman Shri Dinesh Kumar Khara. Also present at the ceremony was Secretary of Financial Services, Shri Vivek Joshi. The ceremony highlighted the significant contribution made by SBI to the government’s revenue and emphasized the bank’s strong financial performance.

Record-breaking Dividend:

SBI declared a dividend of Rs 11.30 per equity share (1,130 percent) for the financial year ending on March 31, 2023. This dividend payment reflects the bank’s impressive financial performance during the fiscal year. SBI’s net profit for the full year 2022-23 soared by 59 percent, reaching Rs 50,232.45 crore, compared to Rs 31,675.98 crore in the previous fiscal year. The substantial increase in profitability showcases SBI’s ability to navigate challenges and generate robust returns.

Financial Strength of SBI:

SBI’s remarkable financial performance demonstrates its position as a leading player in the banking sector. The bank has consistently shown resilience and adaptability to changing market dynamics, enabling it to remain at the forefront of the industry. With its extensive branch network and a wide range of banking services, SBI continues to serve as a vital pillar of the Indian economy.

Contribution to Government Revenue:

The dividend payment of Rs 5,740 crore by SBI significantly bolsters the government’s revenue. These funds can be utilized for various developmental projects, infrastructure investments, and social welfare initiatives, ultimately benefiting the citizens of India. SBI’s commitment to fulfilling its financial obligations to the government underscores its role as a responsible corporate citizen.

Recognition for SBI:

SBI’s achievement of providing the highest-ever dividend to the Government of India for a financial year further strengthens its position as a reliable and profitable banking institution. The bank’s performance reflects the dedication and efforts of its employees, as well as the effectiveness of its strategic decisions and operational policies. SBI’s success serves as an inspiration to the banking industry as a whole.


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