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Important Current Affairs For CLAT-18th August 2022

India voluntary trust funds for defence of human rights more than Rs 3 crore

India has donated $ 400,000 (more than Rs 3 crore) to as many as four Voluntary Trust Funds, according to information released by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in Geneva. It went on to say that the donation to Voluntary Trust Funds was made to show India’s commitment to the global advancement and protection of human rights as well as its support for the UN Human Rights Council. India has donated $400,000 to 4 Voluntary Trust Funds on Torture, Technical Cooperation, Implementation of UPR & LDCs/SIDS, reflecting our commitment to worldwide promotion & protection of human rights and support for @UNHumanRights.

Voluntary Trust Funds: Key Points

  • The Voluntary Trust Funds given by India are for victims of torture, technical cooperation, financial and technical assistance for the implementation of the Universal Periodic Review.

  • Also, India gave voluntary technical assistance Voluntary Trust Funds to support the participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

  • Small Island Developing States (SIDs) in the council’s work are the four trust funds to which contributions have been made.

Voluntary Trust Funds: About

The Voluntary Trust Funds for Victims of Torture is a special UN programme that offers direct aid to torture victims and their families. It was created by the General Assembly in 1981 to raise awareness of the issues facing torture victims throughout. The UN Secretary-General established the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights in 1987. It receives funding from donations made voluntarily and provides technical assistance to countries upon request from their governments.

In 2007, the Human Rights Council passed Resolution 6/17, which established the Voluntary Trust Funds for Financial and Technical Assistance in the execution of the Universal Periodic Review. In 2011, Resolution 16/21 further strengthened the Voluntary Fund. Additionally, it implements recommendations from the universal periodic review after consulting with and gaining approval from the pertinent countries.

Voluntary Trust Funds by India for Hindi in 2018

It is important to note that India has also made a sizeable investment (Voluntary Trust Funds) of USD 800,000 (more than Rs 6 crore) toward efforts to maintain the promotion of the use of Hindi in the United Nations. The Indian mission claims that the Indian government has made significant efforts to increase the use of Hindi at the UN. The “Hindi @ UN” project was launched in 2018 in cooperation with the UN Department of Public Information to promote this goal. With millions of Hindi speakers around the world, the project aims to increase public involvement with the UN in Hindi and spread awareness of global issues.

India’s IT Secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma named to high-level UN internet panel

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has named India’s Electronics and Information Technology Secretary, Alkesh Kumar Sharma to a panel of eminent experts on internet governance. Internet pioneer Vint Cerf and Nobel Prize-winning journalist Maria Reesa were also appointed to the 10-member Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Leadership Panel. In addition, Guterres’ envoy on technology, Amandeep Singh Gill, will also be on the panel. They will serve for a two-year term during the 2022–23 IGF cycles.

Who is Alkesh Kumar Sharma?

Alkesh Kumar Sharma is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the Kerala cadre. A former secretary in the Cabinet secretariat, he has also worked with the UN Development Programme as the national project director for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.

List of 10 members in the panel:

  • Vint Cerf from the United States,

  • Hatem Dowidar from Egypt,

  • Lise Fuhr from Denmark,

  • Maria Fernanda Garza from Mexico,

  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves from Estonia,

  • Maria Ressa from the Philippines and the USA,

  • Alkesh Kumar Sharma from India,

  • Karoline Edtstadler from Austria,

  • Gbenga Sesan from Nigeria, and

  • Lan Xue from China.

What is the role of the panel?

The panel was set up under the mandate of the IGF and the recommendations in Guterres’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The panel’s role is to deal with “strategic and urgent issues” of the Internet and provide strategic advice to the IGF.

‘Medicine from the sky’: First Pilot Project Launched in Arunachal Pradesh

First Piolet Project: ‘Medicine from the sky’

‘Medicine from the sky’ pilot project drone service launched by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu. ‘Medicine from the sky’ is also a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The first successful flight was conducted from Seppa to Chaoyang Tajo in the East Kameng district. This pilot project was a result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to introduce new technologies in the health care sector of India.

He also mentioned in the Bharat Drone Mahotsav, that India has the potential of becoming the world’s drone hub. This drone service or the first pilot project aims to provide medicine and essential services to people in need with the help of drones. This will also help to reach difficult terrains and areas.

Why this initiative helpful for Arunachal Pradesh?

  • Arunachal Pradesh is a Northeastern date of India and it has recognized the power of drones and used it uniquely. The introduction of the first piolet project ‘Medicine from the sky’ will help thousands of people.

  • The state has also decided to conduct a pilot project in other sectors like agriculture, and disaster management along with health care. The drone service will help the people stuck in hilly terrains due to natural calamities, landslides, and rain.

  • The drone service or the first pilot project aims to provide medicines, vaccines, and healthcare essentials to the people and diagnostic samples as well. This will maintain time management and decrease surface transport.

Centre Approves Limit of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme(ECLGS) to 5 Lakh Crore

The Union Cabinet approved the enhancement in the limit of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) by Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 5 lakh crore, with the additional amount being earmarked exclusively for enterprises in hospitality and related sectors. ECLGS is a continuing scheme and the additional amount of Rs. 50,000 crore would be made applicable to enterprises in hospitality and related sectors till validity of the scheme in March 31 next year.

The enhancement is expected to provide much-needed relief to enterprises in these sectors by incentivizing lending institutions to provide additional credit of up to Rs 50,000 crore at low cost, enabling these business enterprises to meet their operational liabilities and continue their businesses. Loans of about Rs. 3.67 Lakh crore have been sanctioned under ECLGS till August 5.

Recent Development:

An official release said that the pandemic has adversely impacted contact-intensive sectors, especially the hospitality and related sectors more severely. While other sectors were back faster on the path of recovery, demand continued to be subdued for these sectors for a longer period, suggesting the need for suitable interventions for their sustenance and recovery. It was announced in Union Budget 2022-23 to extend the validity of ECLGS up to March, 2023 and increase in the limit of guaranteed cover of ECLGS by Rs 50,000 crore to total cover of Rs 5 lakh crore, with the additional amount being earmarked exclusively for the enterprises in hospitality and related sectors.

About ECLGS:

It refers to the scheme for providing 100% Guarantee to member lending institutions in respect of eligible credit facility extended by them to its borrowers whose total credit outstanding (fund based only) across all lending institutions and days past due as on February 29, 2020 was upto Rs.50 crore and upto 60 days respectively.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh gives “F-INSAS” system to Indian Army

Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh handed over to the Indian Army the much-awaited Future Infantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS) at the unveiling ceremony of various defence and strategic systems held in Delhi. The full gear of the F-INSAS includes an AK-203 assault rifle, which is a Russian-origin gas-operated, magazine-fed, select-fire assault rifle.

About the (F-INSAS) System:

  • The units of the rifle, which has a range of 300 metres, will be manufactured by an India-Russia joint venture.

  • A rifle-mounted holographic sight with a range of 200 meters has been provided for target acquisition.

  • A helmet-mounted night vision facility has been provided for infantry. The helmet and vest can protect from 9 mm ammunition and AK-47 assault rifles.

  • A hands-free headset has been provided for communication with command posts and other elements on the battlefield.

For the survivability of the infantry soldier, a ballistic helmet, ballistic goggles, bulletproof vest, elbow pads and knee pads have been provided in the system. F-INSAS also includes a state-of-the-art target acquisition and communication system. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conceptualised the F-INSAS project in the early 2000s in line with the targets of the Army’s Infantry Soldier Modernisation Programme to optimise the soldier’s performance across the full spectrum and duration of a military operation.

Rajkiran Rai named as new MD of NaBFID

The Centre and the board of the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) has appointed Rajkiran Rai G as its managing director (MD) for the next five years. The board of NaBFID approved Rai’s appointment on July 30 based on clearance by the RBI, centre and the Development finance institutions (DFI) nomination and remuneration committee. He took charge as the DFI’s MD on August 8, and will hold the top post till May 18, 2027, according to details of the appointment.

Last year in October 2021, the Centre had appointed K V Kamath as chairperson of NaBFID. Subsequently, government nominees Pankaj Jain and Sumita Dawra were appointed directors to the board of DFI. The government has already infused Rs 20,000 crore into NaBFID to help the DFI start its operations to catalyse investment in the infrastructure sector.

State Bank of India introduced its first dedicated branch to support start-ups

The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) has launched its first branch dedicated to start-ups in Koramangala, Bengaluru. SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara launched the branch in Koramangala near HSR Layout and Indiranagar which are the biggest start-up hubs in the city. After Bengaluru, the next branch will be opened in Gurgaon and the third one will be in Hyderabad. These branches would support the needs of the entire start-up ecosystem.

Key points:

  • The branch will provide services ranging from the stage of formation of start-ups to Initial Public Offerings and Follow-on Public Offerings.

  • Apart from providing funding and regular banking service to start-ups, SBI will also support such players through associated services such as investment banking, treasury operations, advisory and other ancillary financial services through its subsidiaries.


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