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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-19th June 2023

International Day for Countering Hate Speech: Date, Significance and History

The annual observance of the International Day for Countering Hate Speech on June 18 serves as a crucial reminder to address the pressing global problem of hate speech. In an era where communication technologies have magnified its influence, hate speech remains a catalyst for violence, intolerance, and fragmentation. This significant day emphasizes the need for united efforts to combat the dissemination of divisive language and foster mutual understanding, respect, and inclusivity.

International Day for Countering Hate Speech 2023: History

The International Day for Countering Hate Speech is a significant global initiative designed to address the alarming surge of hate speech worldwide. In July 2021, the United Nations General Assembly underscored the urgent necessity to combat hate speech and adopted a resolution emphasizing the importance of fostering inter-religious and intercultural dialogue as a means to counter this phenomenon.

The resolution acknowledges that discrimination and hate speech present substantial threats to human rights and social cohesion. It urges all relevant parties, including governments, to enhance their efforts in countering hate speech while upholding international human rights law.

This important day builds upon the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, which was launched on June 18, 2019. In observance of the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, the United Nations encourages governments, international organizations, civil society groups, and individuals to arrange events and initiatives that promote strategies for identifying, addressing, and combating hate speech.

International Day for Countering Hate Speech 2023: Significance

The International Day for Countering Hate Speech holds great importance as it acknowledges the destructive impact of hate speech and demonstrates a collective commitment to addressing this global problem.

With the rapid advancements in communication technologies, hate speech has gained wider reach and influence. The day carries significant weight in recognizing the pressing need to tackle this escalating issue. The United Nations has consistently mobilized efforts to confront all forms of hatred. Through advocating for human rights, upholding the rule of law, and striving for equality and peace, the UN is dedicated to countering hate speech on every front.

The International Day for Countering Hate Speech provides a platform to raise awareness and promote strategies that prevent the spread of hate speech. It also serves as a reminder of the detrimental consequences it brings and underscores the UN’s unwavering dedication to human rights and inclusivity.

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is a United Nations observance on June 19 to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence. The theme of this year is “Bridging the gender digital divide to prevent, address and respond to conflict-related sexual violence“.

Significance of International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict:

  • This day is commemorated every year to mark the date of adoption of first UN Security Council resolution to recognize conflict-related sexual violence as a threat to international peace and security.

  • It highlights the issue of conflict related to sexual violence and inspire efforts to prevent it.

  • According to the United Nations, ‘conflict-related sexual violence’ includes sexual slavery, forced prostitution, rape, forced pregnancy, forced marriage, enforced sterilization, forced abortion and other forms of sexual violence that are carried out against men, women, girls or boys.

Need for observance of International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict:

  • Sexual violence in conflict is vastly underreported amid the terror and chaos of war. This growing crisis erodes prospects for peace, security and justice.

  • Although women and girls experience the overwhelming majority of such violence, women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and those assisting survivors of sexual violence can be target as well.

  • Those who survive wartime sexual violence including rape, forced marriage and sexual slavery are left with lasting physical and emotional scars, robbed of health, dignity, peace & justice. It deprives one’s human right to life, liberty and security of person

About United Nations:

  • United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 & is headquartered in New York, United States.

  • Its purpose is to keep pace with a rapidly changing world by achieving international cooperation and serve as a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It currently has 193 Member States

Gita Press, Gorakhpur awarded Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021

The Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021 will be conferred on Gita Press, Gorakhpur, in recognition of its “outstanding contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods”, the ministry of culture announced. The decision to confer the award on Gita Press was taken by a jury headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

About the Gandhi Peace Prize

  • Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by Government of India in 1995, on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi as a tribute to the ideals espoused by Mahatma Gandhi. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or gender.

  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 crore, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft/handloom item. The past awardees include organisations such as ISRO and Ramakrishna Mission.

  • The past awardees include organisations such as ISRO, Ramakrishna Mission, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, Akshaya Patra, Bengaluru, Ekal Abhiyan Trust, India and Sulabh International, New Delhi among others.

  • The prestigious award has also been awarded to luminaries like Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Julius Nyerere, former president of Tanzania among many other personalities. Some recent awardees include Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said, Oman (2019) and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (2020), Bangladesh.

Gita Press

Established in 1923, Gita Press is one of the world’s largest publishers, having published 41.7 crore books in 14 languages, including 16.21 crore Shrimad Bhagvad Gita. The institution has never relied on advertisement in its publications, for revenue generation.

Centre forms expert committee to suggest reforms to arbitration law

The Indian government, through the Department of Legal Affairs, has taken a significant step towards improving the arbitration process by forming an expert committee. Led by former law secretary T K Vishwanathan, the committee aims to recommend reforms to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996. With a focus on reducing court intervention, enhancing cost-effectiveness, and ensuring timely resolution, the committee is expected to submit its recommendations within 30 days.

Examining the Working of the Act:

One of the primary objectives of the expert committee is to thoroughly examine the functioning of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. By assessing its strengths, weaknesses, and challenges in comparison to foreign jurisdictions, the committee seeks to identify areas for improvement. This critical analysis will serve as a foundation for drafting proposed amendments and making other recommendations to the government.

Limiting Judicial Intervention:

To make arbitration a truly party-driven process, the committee aims to propose solutions that limit the requirement for parties to seek judicial intervention. By addressing this issue, the committee aims to streamline the arbitration process and minimize delays caused by court involvement. The objective is to create a more efficient and time-bound framework for resolving disputes through arbitration.

Expediting Finality of Awards:

Another significant aspect the committee will address is the expeditious attribution of finality to arbitral awards. By suggesting modifications to existing provisions related to setting aside awards and appeals, the committee aims to facilitate the swift enforcement of arbitration awards. This will provide parties with the assurance of a conclusive resolution to their disputes.

Developing a Competitive Environment:

The expert committee recognizes the importance of creating a competitive environment in the arbitration services market. To this end, the committee will recommend a framework for a model arbitration system that fosters healthy competition. By attracting both domestic and international parties, this framework will enhance India’s standing as a preferred destination for arbitration.

Minimizing Reliance on Judicial Authorities:

One of the key objectives of the committee is to suggest a statutory means to minimize reliance on judicial authorities and courts. By establishing an administrative mechanism and standard operating procedures, the committee aims to reduce routine challenges to arbitral awards involving the government. This will streamline the arbitration process, providing parties with a more efficient and reliable means of dispute resolution.

Cost Determination and Charter of Duties:

The committee will also focus on determining the costs of arbitration and fees of arbitrators. By recommending principles for cost calculation, the committee aims to bring transparency and fairness to the arbitration process. Additionally, a charter of duties will be devised to guide the conduct of arbitral tribunals, parties, and arbitral institutions, further enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of arbitration proceedings.

Separate Laws for Domestic and International Arbitration:

The committee will evaluate the feasibility of enacting separate laws for domestic and international arbitration. By considering the unique requirements of each category, the committee aims to provide a robust legal framework that caters to the specific needs of both domestic and international arbitration. Furthermore, templates for model arbitration agreements and awards will be recommended for adoption by parties and arbitrators.

Simplifying Arbitration Legislation and Standardizing Functions:

To promote accessibility and clarity, the committee will explore the need for new legislation on arbitration in simple language. By developing a handbook for arbitrators, the committee seeks to standardize their functions and provide comprehensive guidance. These measures will enhance the professionalism and consistency of arbitration proceedings.

Madhya Pradesh Tops National Water Awards in Best State Category

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar presented the fourth National Water Awards in New Delhi on Saturday, recognizing and encouraging the commendable efforts made by individuals, organizations, districts, and states in water conservation. The awards, announced by the Jal Shakti Ministry, aim to create awareness about the significance of water and inspire the adoption of best water use practices. Madhya Pradesh emerged as the top-performing state in the Best State category, demonstrating its commitment to water conservation.

Madhya Pradesh’s Remarkable Achievement

Madhya Pradesh was honored with the first prize in the Best State category at the National Water Awards 2022. This recognition underscores the state’s exceptional dedication and innovative measures toward water conservation. The government, along with various stakeholders, has implemented strategies to ensure efficient water management and promote sustainable practices across the state. Madhya Pradesh’s achievement serves as an inspiration for other states to prioritize and enhance their efforts in conserving this vital resource.

Ganjam District of Odisha Receives Best District Award

In the Best District category, the National Water Award was bestowed upon the Ganjam District of Odisha. The district demonstrated remarkable initiatives and effective implementation of water conservation projects, contributing to the preservation of water resources within its jurisdiction. This recognition highlights the district’s commitment to sustainable water management practices and serves as a model for other districts to emulate.

Jagannadhapuram Village Panchayat Recognized

Jagannadhapuram Village Panchayat in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana received the Best Village Panchayat award. The panchayat’s exemplary efforts in water conservation, including the implementation of innovative measures and community engagement, have led to significant positive impacts. The recognition of Jagannadhapuram Village Panchayat encourages other rural communities to adopt similar practices and actively participate in preserving their water resources.

Media Award for Akashvani, Guwahati

Akashvani, Guwahati, was honored with the second-best award in the Media category. This recognition acknowledges the radio station’s exceptional efforts in raising awareness about water conservation and disseminating valuable information to the public. Through their engaging and informative programs, Akashvani, Guwahati, has played a pivotal role in mobilizing communities and inspiring individuals to contribute to the cause of water conservation.

The Vice President’s Call for Water Conservation

Addressing the audience, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar emphasized the urgent need for water conservation. He urged individuals to utilize natural resources judiciously, aligning with the principles taught by Indian culture. The Vice President highlighted the importance of adopting the three Rs—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—to revive ancient water harvesting systems like ponds, which have been an integral part of India’s heritage. He also acknowledged the transformative impact of the Jal Jeevan Mission and Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in advancing water conservation efforts.

Kamala Sohonie: Pioneering Scientist and Advocate for Women in Science

Kamala Sohonie, born on June 18, 1911, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, was a trailblazing Indian scientist. She became the first Indian woman to earn a Ph.D. degree in a scientific discipline. Despite facing gender bias within the scientific community, including opposition from Nobel laureate CV Raman, Sohonie persevered and made significant contributions to the field of biochemistry.

Kamala Sohonie’s groundbreaking research on Neera, a palm extract with the potential to combat malnutrition among tribal communities in India, earned her the prestigious Rashtrapati Award.

Early Life and Academic Journey

Kamala Sohonie’s father, Narayanarao Bhagvat, and his brother Madhavrao Bhagvat, were both chemists who had studied at the Tata Institute of Sciences (now the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru). Inspired by their footsteps, Kamala graduated in 1933 with a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry (principal) and Physics (subsidiary) from Bombay University, where she topped the merit list. Her pursuit of higher education led her to apply for an M.Sc. degree at the Indian Institute of Science, which was then headed by CV Raman.

Run-in with CV Raman

Raman dismissed Kamala’s application, stating, “I am not going to take any girls in my institute.” Undeterred, Kamala confronted Raman in person in Bengaluru. She challenged him to allow her to complete the course with distinction, which eventually led to her admission. However, Raman imposed several conditions, including not recognizing her work until approved by him and placing her on probation for an extended period. Despite the challenges, Kamala completed her course with distinction, prompting Raman to revise his opinion about women in science.

Work at Cambridge and Beyond

After completing her M.Sc., Kamala Sohonie earned admission to Cambridge University in 1936, where she completed her Ph.D. in a remarkable 14 months. Her research at Cambridge focused on potatoes, leading to the discovery of the enzyme ‘Cytochrome C,’ an essential protein involved in cellular respiration. She returned to India in 1939 and served as the head of the Department of Biochemistry at Lady Hardinge College in New Delhi. She later worked as Assistant Director of the Nutrition Research Lab in Coonoor before joining the Royal Institute of Science in Mumbai. At the Royal Institute, she conducted studies on various food items to identify their nutritional composition.

Contributions to Neera and Health Improvement

Kamala Sohonie’s notable contributions revolved around her work on ‘neera,’ a drink made from palm extract. This research was initiated at the suggestion of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India. Sohonie’s studies demonstrated that neera was a rich source of Vitamin C and other vitamins, as well as sulfhydryl compounds that protected vitamins during storage. Recognizing the potential of neera as an affordable and nutritious supplement for impoverished tribal communities, she worked tirelessly to popularize its consumption. Introducing neera into the diets of malnourished tribal children and pregnant women resulted in significant health improvements.

Advocacy and Legacy

Throughout her career, Kamala Sohonie faced gender bias and discrimination. However, she remained steadfast in her pursuit of scientific excellence and paved the way for future generations of women in science. Her achievements and advocacy played a vital role in challenging prevailing stereotypes and inspiring young women to pursue scientific careers. Sohonie passed away on June 28, 1998, leaving behind a legacy of resilience, determination, and groundbreaking research.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day: Date, Theme, Significance and History

Sustainable Gastronomy Day which takes place on June 18 every year, highlights the important role that food plays in promoting sustainable development and the crucial choices about what we eat. According to the United Nations, gastronomy is sometimes called the art of food. It also refers to a style of cooking from a particular region.

Sustainability is the concept that ensures particular activity, like fishing or food preparation is carried out in a manner that reduces the waste of natural resources and can be maintained in the long term without impacting the environment or our well-being. By accepting sustainable practices, we can contribute to a greener future.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day 2023: Theme

The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Local Flavours, Preserving Global Heritage.’

Sustainable Gastronomy Day 2023: Significance

Sustainable gastronomy promotes practices that reduce the environmental impact of food production. By using organic farming methods, diminishing greenhouse gas emissions, preserving water, and protecting biodiversity, sustainable gastronomy helps to conserve ecosystems and reduce climate change. It also encourages the consumption of nutritious, fresh, and locally sourced ingredients. It also boosts a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based proteins, providing improved public health and well-being.

Sustainable practices increase food security by making sure of the availability of nutritious food for all. Boosting sustainable farming techniques and supporting small-scale farmers strengthens local food systems, lessens dependence on imports, and improves flexibility against climate shocks and other disruptions.

It also celebrates cultural diversity by promoting traditional culinary practices and protecting local food heritage. It acknowledges the importance role of food in cultural identity and promotes the revitalization of traditional cooking techniques.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day, History

On December 21, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution (A/RES/71/246) designating June 18 as Sustainable Gastronomy Day. This day is celebrated annually, with collaboration between UNGA, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to ensure its global observance.


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