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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-20th June 2023

Intel and Germany Sign $32.8 Billion Chip Plant Agreement

  • Intel has commited to invest $32.8 billion in Magdeburg,a city in Germany for the establishment of two cutting-edge semiconductor facilities.

  • This collaboration, with financial support from Berlin, represents the largest foreign investment ever made in Germany.

  • The German government, recognizing the strategic importance of the semiconductor industry, has pledged to provide approximately 10 billion euros in financial support toward Intel’s overall investment in the country

  • The deal is poised to bolster the country’s semiconductor industry and solidify Intel’s position as a leading player in the market.

Static News

  • Intel is an US based Company which is one of the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

  • CEO of Intel is ‘Pat Gelsinger’

  • German Chancellor is ‘Olaf Scholz’

Sebi bans 6 entities from securities markets for violating insider trading norms

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has taken action against six entities for violating insider trading norms in the case of Shilpi Cable Technologies. The entities have been barred from participating in the securities markets for one year and have been ordered to pay penalties totaling Rs 70 lakh. Additionally, Sebi has directed them to disgorge the unlawful gains amounting to Rs 27.59 crore, along with 9 percent interest per annum from May 2017 until the date of payment.

Investigation and Proceedings

The investigation conducted by Sebi focused on the trading activities in the shares of Shilpi Cable Technologies Ltd (SCTL) from March to May 2017. The regulator sought to determine if certain entities had engaged in trading based on unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI), which is in violation of the Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) rules. The UPSI in question was related to a demand notice issued by Macquarie Bank Ltd on behalf of the petitioner, seeking payment of USD 3.01 million (approximately Rs 19.55 crore), which SCTL received on March 10, 2017.

Violation of Insider Trading Norms

Sebi’s final order confirmed that the noticees had engaged in insider trading on multiple occasions during the relevant period and had unlawfully avoided significant losses. Consequently, their trades in SCTL’s shares during the UPSI period were found to be in violation of PIT regulations.

Entities’ Connections and Penalties

Sebi observed that Dinesh Gupta, Dinesh Gupta HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), and Rajesh Gupta had frequent communication with the promoters-directors of SCTL, indicating a compelling case for considering them as connected persons and insiders under the PIT rules. Furthermore, Nirmala Gupta, who is a relative of Dinesh and Rajesh, was found to be a connected person as all the trades in her account were executed by her insider relatives.

Sebi also determined that Dinesh Gupta HUF, being the HUF of Dinesh Gupta, an insider, would also fall within the purview of insider trading. Additionally, Rajesh Gupta HUF, as the major shareholder of Ajay Fincap Consultants, was considered an insider of SCTL.

Penalties Imposed:

As a result, Sebi imposed fines as follows: Rs 15 lakh each on Dinesh Gupta, Dinesh Gupta HUF, and Rajesh Gupta; Rs 10 lakh on Nirmala Gupta and Ajay Fincap Consultants; and Rs 5 lakh on Rajesh Gupta HUF.

Separate Violation by Orix Corporation:

In a separate order, Sebi penalized Orix Corporation with a fine of Rs 5 lakh for violating Mutual Fund regulations.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), key points

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi): Sebi is the regulatory body for securities markets in India.

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

  • Establishment: Sebi was established on April 12, 1992.

  • Chairperson: Madhabi Puri Buch took charge of chairman on 1 March 2022, replacing Ajay Tyagi, whose term ended on 28 February 2022. Madhabi Puri Buch is the first woman chairperson of SEBI.

IPS officer Ravi Sinha selected as new chief of RAW

Ravi Sinha, a senior IPS officer, has been appointed as the new chief of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Sinha will take over from Samant Kumar Goel, who is completing his four-year term on June 30. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Sinha’s appointment as Secretary of RAW for a period of two years.

Who is Ravi Sinha?

Ravi Sinha, a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from the 1988 batch of the Chhattisgarh cadre, is presently serving as the Special Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat. With over two decades of experience, Sinha has been associated with the intelligence agency for a significant period. Prior to his promotion, he held the position of heading the operational wing of RAW. Sinha has gained extensive experience through his work in regions such as Jammu and Kashmir, the northeast of India, as well as other countries.

Achievements of Samant Kumar Goel

Samant Kumar Goel was appointed as the chief of RAW for a period of two years in June 2019. He was subsequently granted two one-year extensions, first in 2021 and then in June 2022. Goel is recognized as an expert in matters pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir and is believed to have played a crucial role in strategizing the surgical strike that took place in Balakot, Pakistan in February 2019. The surgical strike was carried out in response to the Pulwama terror attack, where a suicide bomber from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). On February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force executed the strike, targeting a JeM terrorist training camp in Balakot.

IndiGo Places Record-Breaking Order for 500 Airbus A320 Family Aircraft

Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo has made aviation history at the Paris Air Show 2023 by securing a monumental deal with Airbus. The airline has placed an order for 500 Airbus A320 family aircraft, marking the largest-ever single aircraft purchase by any airline from Airbus.

IndiGo Surpasses Air India’s Previous Mega Order

IndiGo’s latest order surpasses Air India’s record-breaking order of 470 aircraft placed earlier this year with both Airbus and Boeing. The significant purchase solidifies IndiGo’s position as the world’s biggest customer of the A320 Family, underlining its continued growth and success in the aviation industry.

IndiGo Places Record-Breaking Order for 500 Airbus A320 Family Aircraft

Expansion of IndiGo’s Fleet and Order-Book

IndiGo’s order of 500 aircraft complements its existing fleet of over 300 planes. When combined with a previous order of 480 aircraft, the airline’s order-book now approaches the remarkable milestone of 1,000 aircraft. This substantial acquisition guarantees a steady stream of deliveries from 2030 to 2035, contributing to IndiGo’s long-term growth strategy.

Enhancing the Strategic Partnership with Airbus

The purchase agreement, signed at the Paris Air Show 2023, strengthens the strategic relationship between IndiGo and Airbus. While the engine selection and specific mix of A320 and A321 aircraft are yet to be determined, this record-breaking order deepens the collaboration between the two entities.

Fuel Efficiency and Sustainability Advancements

IndiGo’s decision to invest in the fuel-efficient A320NEO family aircraft aligns with the airline’s commitment to reducing operating costs and enhancing fuel efficiency. The young and eco-friendly fleet will further support IndiGo in achieving its sustainability goals, building upon an already impressive 21% reduction in CO2 emissions between FY16 and FY23.

IndiGo’s Vision for Economic Growth and Connectivity

IndiGo’s CEO, Pieter Elbers, emphasizes that the nearly 1,000-aircraft order-book positions the airline to drive economic growth, social cohesion, and mobility in India. With a mission to democratize affordable air travel, IndiGo aims to boost India’s air connectivity within its domestic network and expand into international markets through its partnership with Airbus.

Airbus’ Commitment to India’s Aviation Market

Christian Scherer, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, expresses excitement about the partnership’s expansion and the positive impact it will have on India’s air travel landscape. By supporting the growth of India’s air connectivity, this landmark order with IndiGo will contribute to making affordable air travel accessible to millions of people in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.

Centre Discontinues Sale of Rice and Wheat Under OMSS to State Govts to Check Price Rise

The Indian government has decided to discontinue the sale of rice and wheat from the central pool under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to state governments. This move, aimed at curbing rising prices, will impact certain states, including Karnataka, that provide free grains to the poor. However, rice sales under the OMSS will continue for northeastern states, hilly regions, and states facing law and order issues or natural calamities.

Discontinuation of OMSS Sale to State Governments:

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has issued an order stating that the sale of wheat and rice to state governments under the OMSS (domestic) is discontinued. This decision has already been communicated to the Karnataka government, which had requested 13,819 tonnes of rice for its own scheme under the OMSS for July. The sale was sought at a rate of Rs 3,400 per quintal without e-auction.

Exemption for Certain States:

While the sale of rice and wheat to state governments is halted, rice sales under the OMSS will continue for northeastern states, hilly regions, and states facing law and order situations or natural calamities. The existing rate of Rs 3,400 per quintal will be maintained for these states.

Role of FCI:

The FCI may sell rice under the OMSS to private parties from the central pool stock as required to stabilize market prices. This measure aims to moderate inflationary trends while ensuring adequate stock levels in the central pool.

Objective: Control Inflation and Stock Management:

The decision to exclude state governments’ schemes from the OMSS (domestic) is intended to maintain control over inflationary trends and ensure sufficient stock levels in the central pool. The government aims to strike a balance between controlling open market prices and meeting the needs of the general public.

Stock Limits and Offloading:

In a recent announcement, the central government imposed stock limits on wheat until March 31, 2024, to combat hoarding. Additionally, the government plans to offload rice and wheat under the OMSS to cool down open market prices. While the quantity of wheat for sale under the OMSS has been fixed at 15 lakh tonnes, the quantity of rice has not been specified.

Upcoming Auction and Changes in Bid Quantities:

The first auction of wheat under the OMSS for the financial year 2023-24 is scheduled for June 28. The new OMSS (D) introduces changes in the quantity a bidder can purchase in a single bid. Previously, the maximum allowed quantity was 3,000 tonnes per bid for a buyer. However, this time, the range is reduced to 10-100 tonnes per bid to accommodate smaller buyers and ensure wider participation, enabling immediate distribution of stocks sold under the OMSS (D) to the general public.

Challenges of Monsoon and Rising Prices:

The decision to discontinue OMSS sales to state governments comes amid slow progress in monsoon rainfall and increasing prices of rice and wheat. Official data reveals that rice prices have risen by up to 10 percent over the past year at the mandi level, with an 8 percent increase in the last month alone. The monsoon season is critical as approximately 80 percent of the country’s total rice production occurs during the kharif season, with sowing scheduled to begin next month.The Indian government has decided to discontinue the sale of rice and wheat from the central pool under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to state governments. This move, aimed at curbing rising prices, will impact certain states, including Karnataka, that provide free grains to the poor. However, rice sales under the OMSS will continue for northeastern states, hilly regions, and states facing law and order issues or natural calamities.

Discontinuation of OMSS Sale to State Governments:

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has issued an order stating that the sale of wheat and rice to state governments under the OMSS (domestic) is discontinued. This decision has already been communicated to the Karnataka government, which had requested 13,819 tonnes of rice for its own scheme under the OMSS for July. The sale was sought at a rate of Rs 3,400 per quintal without e-auction.

Exemption for Certain States:

While the sale of rice and wheat to state governments is halted, rice sales under the OMSS will continue for northeastern states, hilly regions, and states facing law and order situations or natural calamities. The existing rate of Rs 3,400 per quintal will be maintained for these states.

Role of FCI:

The FCI may sell rice under the OMSS to private parties from the central pool stock as required to stabilize market prices. This measure aims to moderate inflationary trends while ensuring adequate stock levels in the central pool.

Objective: Control Inflation and Stock Management:

The decision to exclude state governments’ schemes from the OMSS (domestic) is intended to maintain control over inflationary trends and ensure sufficient stock levels in the central pool. The government aims to strike a balance between controlling open market prices and meeting the needs of the general public.

Stock Limits and Offloading:

In a recent announcement, the central government imposed stock limits on wheat until March 31, 2024, to combat hoarding. Additionally, the government plans to offload rice and wheat under the OMSS to cool down open market prices. While the quantity of wheat for sale under the OMSS has been fixed at 15 lakh tonnes, the quantity of rice has not been specified.

Upcoming Auction and Changes in Bid Quantities:

The first auction of wheat under the OMSS for the financial year 2023-24 is scheduled for June 28. The new OMSS (D) introduces changes in the quantity a bidder can purchase in a single bid. Previously, the maximum allowed quantity was 3,000 tonnes per bid for a buyer. However, this time, the range is reduced to 10-100 tonnes per bid to accommodate smaller buyers and ensure wider participation, enabling immediate distribution of stocks sold under the OMSS (D) to the general public.

Challenges of Monsoon and Rising Prices:

The decision to discontinue OMSS sales to state governments comes amid slow progress in monsoon rainfall and increasing prices of rice and wheat. Official data reveals that rice prices have risen by up to 10 percent over the past year at the mandi level, with an 8 percent increase in the last month alone. The monsoon season is critical as approximately 80 percent of the country’s total rice production occurs during the kharif season, with sowing scheduled to begin next month.

World Refugee Day 2023: Date, Theme, Significance and History

World Refugee Day is an internationally recognized day established by the United Nations to pay tribute to refugees worldwide. It is observed annually on June 20th and serves as a platform to acknowledge the bravery and determination of individuals who have been compelled to flee their homeland due to conflicts or persecution. This significant day encourages the cultivation of empathy and comprehension towards the predicament of refugees and acknowledges their remarkable strength in reconstructing their lives.

World Refugee Day is commemorated globally through a diverse range of events and activities that promote consciousness, unity, and assistance for refugees. These celebrations encompass exhibitions, cultural performances, film screenings, panel discussions, advocacy campaigns, and community initiatives. The primary objective is to foster comprehension, compassion, and action towards addressing the difficulties confronted by refugees and displaced individuals, while recognizing their resilience and valuable contributions to society.

World Refugee Day 2023 Theme

The theme of World Refugee Day is “Hope away from home,” emphasizing the significance of mental well-being in the process of refugees rebuilding their lives and striving for a brighter future. Enhancing the psychological welfare of refugees is essential in supporting their journey towards a more promising tomorrow.

World Refugee Day 2023 Significance

World Refugee Day holds great significance as it draws global attention to the plight of refugees and individuals forcibly displaced from their homes. It serves as a platform to raise awareness about the challenges they face, advocate for their rights, and cultivate empathy and compassion towards their circumstances. The day underscores the importance of international cooperation, support, and lasting solutions to address the refugee crisis, while also honoring the strength and resilience of those who have been compelled to flee. By shedding light on their experiences and contributions, World Refugee Day aims to foster a more inclusive and compassionate world that upholds the dignity and well-being of all individuals, regardless of their nationality or background.

History of World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day has its origins in the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution 55/76, which was passed on December 4, 2000. This resolution was introduced to raise awareness about the growing global population of refugees and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The 1951 Refugee Convention was created in the aftermath of World War II and laid the foundation for the legal framework governing the protection and rights of refugees. It established the criteria for identifying individuals as refugees, outlined their entitlements, and delineated the responsibilities of nations in offering them safety and support. The convention played a crucial role in safeguarding the rights and well-being of those who have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution or conflict.

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.


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