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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-20th February 2023

World Day of Social Justice observed on 20th February

2023 World Day of Social Justice provides an opportunity to foster dialogue with Member States, youth, social partners, civil society, UN agencies.

World Day of Social Justice

World Day of Social Justice is observed annually on February 20. The main goal of this day is to raise a voice against social injustice and to bring together diverse communities around the world in an effort to eradicate poverty, physical discrimination, gender inequalities, religious discrimination and illiteracy, and create a society that is socially integrated. The day is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and governments to reflect on the progress made towards achieving social justice, as well as identify areas where more work is needed.

Theme of World Day of Social Justice 2023

This year’s theme focuses on the recommendations of Our Common Agenda to strengthen global solidarity and to re-build trust in government by “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice”.

Significance of World Day of Social Justice 2023

The significance of World Day of Social Justice lies in its ability to raise awareness and promote action towards creating a more just and equitable world. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of working together to tackle issues such as poverty, inequality, and discrimination. It is a call to action for individuals and organizations to use their voices and resources to promote social justice and build a world that is fair for everyone.

History of World Day of Social Justice

The International Labour Organization (ILO) unanimously adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on 10 June 2008. This is the third major statement of principles and policies adopted by the International Labour Conference since the ILO’s Constitution of 1919. It builds on the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 and the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998. The 2008 Declaration expresses the contemporary vision of the ILO’s mandate in the era of globalization.

On 26 November 2007, the General Assembly declared that, starting from the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, 20 February will be celebrated annually as the World Day of Social Justice.

India, Uzbekistan 4th Joint Military Exercise ‘Dustlik’

4th Joint Military Exercise ‘Dustlik’ between India and Uzbekistan: The 2023 edition of the biennial training exercise DUSTLIK will be held in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, from Febr 20 to March 5.

4th Joint Military Exercise ‘Dustlik’ between India and Uzbekistan

The fourth iteration of the biennial training exercise DUSTLIK (2023) will be held in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, from February 20, 2023 through March 5, 2023, as part of a military-to-military exchange programme between the Indian Army and the Uzbekistan Army.

The 14th Battalion, The GARHWAL RIFLES, a unit under Western Command, will participate in this bilateral exercise on behalf of the Indian contingent. Soldiers from the Uzbekistan Army’s North Western Military Region will serve as its representatives. Increasing military capability to conduct multi-domain operations in a sub-conventional setting under United Nations Mandate is the goal of this joint exercise.

India, Uzbekistan 4th Joint Military Exercise ‘Dustlik’: Key Points

The fourth iteration of the annual bilateral military drill “Dustlik” with the Uzbekistan Army will feature the Indian Army.

The Indian Army tweeted that the combined military drill would start on February 20 and end on March 5.

Importantly, the exercise’s initial iteration took place in Uzbekistan in November 2019.

The second round, meanwhile, was conducted in India from March 10 to March 19 of 2021 at the Foreign Training Node Chaubatia, Ranikhet.

The Yangiarik district of Uzbekistan hosted the third iteration of Exercise Dustlik from March 22 to March 29 of that year.

The main objective of Exercise Dustlik is to provide collaborative training for counterterrorism operations carried out in accordance with a United Nations mandate, particularly in hilly, urban, or rural environments. A validation stage is part of the exercise’s training programme. Exercise Dustlik also gives India and Uzbekistan a boost in their efforts to strengthen their bilateral military and political ties.

India, Uzbekistan Joint Exercise ‘Dustlik’ Inaugural Editions

After ten days of combined training, the first Indo-Uzbekistan Joint Field Training Exercise “DUSTLIK-2019” ended on November 13, 2019. The joint training, which was held at Uzbekistan’s Chirchiq Training Area, concentrated on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations (CI/CT Ops) in an urban setting as well as the sharing of knowledge about firearms proficiency. The exercise also gave the militaries a chance to improve cross-cultural understanding and boost trust and collaboration.

UNICEF India: Ayushmann Khurrana named as National Ambassador of child rights

In India, Ayushmann Khurrana will represent UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund). The actor's designation as the National Ambassador was announced by UNICEF.

Ayushmann Khurrana named as National Ambassador for UNICEF India

In India, Ayushmann Khurrana will represent UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund). The actor’s designation as the National Ambassador was announced by UNICEF. As part of his duties, Ayushmann will work with UNICEF to guarantee every child’s rights to life, health, and protection while also fostering their voice and agency in matters that affect them.

Prior to 2020, Ayushmann worked as a Celebrity Advocate for UNICEF India to stop violence against children. He will work to uphold and defend kids’ rights in his new position. Most recently, he worked with Sachin Tendulkar, Regional Ambassador for UNICEF South, to highlight inclusion and non-discrimination through gender inclusive sports on World Children’s Day 2022.

About the UNICEF

UNICEF is an organisation of the United Nations tasked with delivering humanitarian and developmental aid to children all over the world. Formerly known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund in full, UNICEF is now formally known as the United Nations Children’s Fund.

49th meeting of GST Council held in New Delhi

The 49th GST Council Meeting was held on 18th February 2023 in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The 49th GST Council Meeting was held on 18th February 2023 in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This meeting is being conducted within a span of three weeks from the Union Budget 2023. The Union Finance Minister, Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, besides the finance ministers of states and Union Territories (with legislature) and senior officers from the Union government and states, attended the meeting, according to the finance ministry’s official handle.

Key Takeaways of 49th GST Council Meeting:

Key Information

Date of the Meeting February 18, 2023

Location New Delhi

Chairperson Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Key Agendas Appellate tribunals, mechanisms to curb tax evasion, tax rate changes on cement, reports on taxation of pan masala and sand mining

GST Appellate Tribunals – Recommendations of GoM on setting up GST Appellate Tribunals have been accepted with certain amendments.

GST Compensation Cess – Entire GST Compensation Cess of Rs 16,982 crores will be cleared today. The Centre shall release the payments from their funds and recoup from the future collection. 

Special Composition Scheme – For certain industries, a special composition scheme will be introduced. i.e. PAN masala, Gutkha, Tobacco etc

GST Rate Rationalization of some products:

Raab (liquid jaggery) rate was reduced from 18% to Nil (if loose)

Raab (liquid jaggery) rate was reduced from 18% to 5% (if packaged & pre-labeled)

Pencil Sharpener rate was reduced from 18% to 12%.

Data Loggers rate was reduced from 18% to 0.

Rationalization of late fees:

Late Fees u/s 47 for the delay in filing of GST Annual Return in Form GSTR 9 for small taxpayers for FY 2022-23 and onwards has been rationalized.

Taxpayers whose AATO is up to Rs 5 Crores will be Rs 50 per day(Rs 25 CGST+Rs 25 SGST)

Taxpayers whose AATO is between Rs 5 Crores to Rs 20 Crores will be Rs 100 per day (Rs 50 CGST+Rs 50 SGST)

Subject to a maximum of 0.04% of turnover (0.02% CGST + 0.02% SGST) for taxpayers whose AATO is up to Rs 20 crores.

GST Amnesty Scheme for pending returns:

For pending, GST returns amnesty schemes giving conditional waiver/reduction shall be announced

 GSTR 4 – Annual Return of Composition Taxpayers

GSTR 9 – Annual Return of Regular Taxpayers

GSTR 10 – Final Return

Best Judgement Assessment (Sec 62):

The time period of furnishing return in Form GSTR 3B or  GSTR 10 in response to notice u/s 62(1) was increased from 30 days to 60 days. Such a time period is extendable to a further period of 60 days.

Amnesty scheme from best judgement assessment orders – In past cases where non-filers could not file concerned returns within 30 days but had filed up to a specified date along with interest and late fees then it will be considered as deemed withdrawn even if the appeal was filed or decided.

Applicability of RCM – GST will be applicable on an RCM basis on commercial services provided by the Court.

Application for Revocation – The time limit for making an application for revocation of cancellation of registration is increased to 90 days from 30 days. The period to file an application for revocation can be further increased by another 90 days by the Commissioner or an officer authorized by Commissioner.

The following were not part of this meeting agenda:

GST on online gaming

GST rate on cement

GST rate on NUV.

Karthik Subramaniam of Indian Origin wins National Geographic’s ‘Pictures of the year’

Karthik Subramaniam wins National Geographic's 'Pictures of the year': Karthik Subramaniam of Indian descent, hobbyist photographer is winner of National Geographic's "Pictures of the Year" Contest.

Karthik Subramaniam wins National Geographic’s ‘Pictures of the year’

A software engineer of Indian descent who later became a hobbyist photographer has been named the grand prize winner of National Geographic’s “Pictures of the Year” competition. In the year 2020, Karthik Subramaniam began experimenting with his camera after being quarantined at his San Francisco, California, house as a result of the epidemic.

Karthik Subramaniam of Indian Origin wins ‘pictures of the year’ Contest: Key Points

A little under three years later, he captured bald eagles competing for a tree branch in Alaska’s Chilkat Bald Eagle Sanctuary, which helped him win over 5,000 entries in four categories (Nature, People, Places, and Animals) and claim the coveted top spot.

Every fall, over 3,000 bald eagles migrate to Alaska, congregating in the area of Haines, where Subramaniam camped out on the final day of his seven-day shooting excursion to observe the raptors swoop in to eat on fish.

The photographer witnessed a bald eagle bump intimidating another predatory bird into giving up its vantage point for a clear view on the fish being chased by their peers shortly after setting up his camera on a wood near the shore.

The picture will be displayed in the May issue of National Geographic.

Khalistan Tiger Force and Jammu and Kashmir Ghaznavi Force declared as terrorist organisations

The Centre banned two groups and declared an individual a terrorist for their subversive and anti-India activities. The two groups are the Jammu & Kashmir Ghaznavi Force and the Khalistan Tiger Force.

The Centre banned two groups and declared an individual a terrorist for their subversive and anti-India activities. The two groups are the Jammu and Kashmir Ghaznavi Force (JKGF), which has been formed with cadres from terrorist organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed; and the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), which aims to revive terrorism in Punjab.

More About This Development: Jammu & Kashmir Ghaznavi Force and Khalistan Tiger Force:

The home ministry said Punjab-resident Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda, who was one of the masterminds behind an attack on the intelligence headquarters of the Punjab Police in 2021, was declared a terrorist.

The JKGF has been involved in infiltration bids, narcotics and weapon smuggling, terror attacks in the Union Territory, and issuing threats to security forces.

The JKGF draws its cadres from various proscribed terrorist organisations, such as the Lashker-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami and others, the home ministry said.

The KTF came into existence in 2011 as an offshoot of the Babbar Khalsa International, a proscribed terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The KTF is a militant outfit and it aims reviving terrorism in Punjab with a view to achieve its agenda of formation of a separate state of Khalistan, and thereby challenges the territorial integrity, unity, national security and sovereignty of India, the home ministry said.

The KTF promotes acts of terrorism, it said, adding investigation agencies have found involvement of its cadres in various terrorist cases, including targeted killings.

Its members in India are receiving financial and logistics support including sophisticated weaponry from their foreign-based handlers, it said.

Sandhu alias Rinda, who is currently based in Lahore and associated with the banned group Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), has been declared a terrorist.

Sandhu is alleged to be one of the masterminds behind an attack on the intelligence headquarters of the Punjab Police in 2021.

A Red Corner Notice was also issued against him by the Interpol.

The home ministry said the JKGF has been using various social media platforms to incite the people of Jammu and Kashmir to join terrorist outfits against India.

A National Security Threat:

The terror group is detrimental to national security and the sovereignty of India and is involved in terrorism. It has committed and participated in various acts of terrorism in the country, the ministry said. In exercise of powers conferred by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the JKGF and KTF have been designated as terror groups, the notification stated. The JKGF is the 43rd and KTF 44th terror group to be declared outlawed under the anti-terror law.

Pakistan-based terrorist groups and India’s Sovereignty:

The home ministry further said Harwinder Singh Sandhu has direct links with Pakistan-based terrorist groups and is also involved in cross-border smuggling of arms, ammunition and militant hardware, besides drugs on a large scale.

He was involved in various criminal offences like murder, attempt to murder, contract killing, robbery and extortion in Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the ministry said. Singh is now the 54th individual to be designated as a terrorist by the government.

EU formally bans gas, diesel car sales from 2035

In a move to boost the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), the European Parliament has approved the law to ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars in the EU, starting in 2035.

In a move to boost the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), the European Parliament has approved the law to ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars in the EU, starting in 2035. The new legislation sets the path towards zero CO2 emissions for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in 2035.

Why the new decision by the EU:

EU is planning on reducing the carbon dioxide emissions from cars and vans. A 100% reduction has been planned as compared to 2021.

What is the plan of the EU:

The EU will prepare a plan and present it by 2025. The plan will assess the emissions released by the cars and vans throughout their lifetime. The 2030 targets have been revised.

Significance of this move by the EU:

EU had set a target of reaching “Climate Neutrality” by 2050. According to European Union, the law will play a significant role in achieving this target.

About European Union(EU):

The European Union is a group of 27 countries that operate as a cohesive economic and political block. 19 of these countries use EURO as their official currency. 8 EU members (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden) do not use the euro.

The EU grew out of a desire to form a single European political entity to end centuries of warfare among European countries that culminated with World War II and decimated much of the continent.

The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in matters, where members have agreed to act as one.

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