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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-21st July 2023

India supports U.N. on Black Sea initiative

India has thrown its weight behind the United Nations’ efforts to continue the Black Sea Grain initiative and has called for a swift resolution to the impasse. The Black Sea Initiative holds significant importance for Ukraine’s agricultural sector, known as “Europe’s breadbasket,” which faces disruptions due to the Russian invasion in February 2022.

Key Points:

Impact of the Russian Invasion:

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 disrupted the Black Sea trade route, historically responsible for 90% of Ukraine’s grain exports.

  • This interference, coupled with other challenges like droughts and COVID-19 supply disruptions, put immense pressure on the global food supply, leading to fears of a potential hunger crisis and surging food prices.

The Black Sea Grain Project:

  • In response to the food crisis, Turkey and the UN mediated the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2022.

  • The agreement allowed three Ukrainian Black Sea ports (Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi) to export commercial fertilizer and food.

  • Teams from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the UN were involved in inspecting ships leaving these ports, ensuring safe navigation through a predetermined path to Istanbul, avoiding minefields.

The Initiative’s Effects:

  • The Black Sea Grain Initiative ensured the continuity of Ukraine’s grain exports via the Black Sea route, contributing to stabilizing world food prices and preventing severe food shortages.

  • However, contrary to the UN’s initial vision, not all grain reached food-insecure regions, with China emerging as the largest purchaser, buying approximately 25% of Ukrainian grain shipments.

Impact on Ukraine’s Economy:

  • The Black Sea Grain Initiative played a crucial role in mitigating the economic hardship caused by the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

  • Since the war’s onset, Ukraine’s agricultural output has decreased by nearly 35%, with prolonged battles making planning and planting increasingly difficult and elevating costs.

  • Agricultural areas near conflict zones continue to face risks from landmines, even in areas liberated from conflict.

Challenges of Alternative Routes:

  • Due to insufficient infrastructure and capacity, utilizing train, truck, or canal routes into European ports to handle the same grain volumes remains a challenge.

  • Attempts to use alternate channels led to political unrest, as farmers in neighboring European nations expressed concerns about Ukrainian grain flooding local markets and driving up costs.

Japan becomes second Quad partner to sign semiconductor pact with India

In a significant move, India and Japan have solidified their partnership by signing an agreement to jointly develop the semiconductor ecosystem. The deal aims to bolster the resilience of the global supply chain, particularly in the crucial semiconductor industry. This marks Japan as the second Quad partner, after the United States, to join hands with India in this endeavor.

Diverse Scope of Cooperation

  • The memorandum signed by Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw, and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura, encompasses various areas of collaboration.

  • These include semiconductor design, manufacturing, equipment research, and talent development.

  • The ultimate goal is to enhance the semiconductor supply chain’s robustness and ensure its reliability.

Creation of an “Implementation Organization”

To facilitate efficient cooperation between the two nations, they will establish an “implementation organization.” This organization will foster government-to-government and industry-to-industry collaborations. By streamlining communication and coordination, both countries seek to expedite progress in the semiconductor ecosystem.

Japan’s Semiconductor Expertise

  • Japan’s prominence in the semiconductor industry cannot be understated. With approximately 100 semiconductor manufacturing plants, it stands among the top five countries with a robust semiconductor ecosystem.

  • As the semiconductor industry is projected to grow from USD 650 billion to a staggering USD 1 trillion, it necessitates significant talent growth across multiple locations worldwide.

  • Japan recognizes India’s complementary strengths and envisions a mutually beneficial partnership.

Transferring Key Technologies to India

  • The collaboration between Japan and India holds immense potential for India’s semiconductor ambitions.

  • Japan boasts global leaders in critical semiconductor elements such as raw wafer materials, chemicals, gases, and lenses used in chip manufacturing equipment and display technologies.

  • By transferring this valuable knowledge and expertise to India, both nations hope to achieve a momentous milestone in the semiconductor industry.

Gaganyaan Human spaceflight mission: ISRO successfully tested service module propulsion system

ISRO successfully tested Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight Mission on 19th July at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.

Whats’s in News?

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully tested Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight Mission on 19th July at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.

It involves sending a crew of three members to a 400 km orbit for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to Earth, with a planned landing in Indian Sea Waters.

Gaganyaan Human Spacecraft Mission:

Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight Mission has been successfully tested by ISRO on 19th July. It send a crew of three members to a 400 km orbit for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to Earth with a planned landing in Indian Sea Waters.

Gaganyaan Human Spacecraft Mission involved five liquid apogee motor (LAM) engines with a thrust of 440 Newton and 16 reaction control system (RCS) thrusters with a thrust of 100 N. The Gaganyaan project aims to demonstrate India’s capability for human spaceflight.

Service module of Gaganyaan:

The Service Module of Gaganyaan incorporates a regulated bi-propellant based propulsion system, fulfilling various critical functions such as orbit injection, circularisation, on-orbit control, de-boost manoeuvring and SM-based abort procedures during the ascent phase.

During the mission’s ascending phase, the 440 N thrust LAM engine provide the primary propulsive force, while the RCS thrusters ensure precise attitude correction.

Recent Hot Tests:

The recent hot tests of the System Demonstration Model simulated the fluid circuit of the Service Module Propulsion System, including the propellant tank feed system, helium pressurisation system, flight-qualified thrusters and control components. According to ISRO, the first hot test of the Phase-2 test series successfully demonstrated the integrated performance of the Gaganyaan SMPS. The test lasted for 250 seconds and involved continuous firing of LAM engines and RCS thrusters. The SMPS has advanced in demonstrating its integrated performance in the full configuration with the successful completion of this hot test.

Previous Hot Tests:

As part of the Phase-1 test series, ISRO conducted five hot tests which accumulated a total duration of 2,750 seconds. This earlier phase involved five 440 N engines of LAM and eight 100 N RCS thrusters.

RBI cancels licence of Uttar Pradesh-based United India Co-operative Bank

Due to inadequate capital and poor earning prospects, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to cancel the registration certificate of United India Cooperative Bank Ltd, based in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. Due to the revocation of its license, “United India Co-operative Bank Limited, Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh,” is now promptly restricted from conducting banking operations. This includes a range of activities, such as the acceptance and repayment of deposits, as defined in Section 5(b) read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

RBI’s Assessment

As per the RBI’s assessment, United India Cooperative Bank lacks sufficient capital and promising earning prospects. Moreover, the bank has failed to comply with the banking regulation act’s requirements.

The RBI has determined that the bank’s continuation poses a threat to the interests of its depositors, as its current financial position may hinder its ability to fully repay its depositors.

Central Bank Guidelines and United India Cooperative Bank’s Data

As per the central bank’s guidelines, in the event of liquidation, each depositor would be eligible to receive a deposit insurance claim amount for their deposits, subject to a monetary limit of Rs 5 lakh from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).

According to the data provided by United India Cooperative Bank, an overwhelming majority of its depositors, specifically 99.98%, are entitled to receive the full amount of their deposits from DICGC.

About co-operative bank

A co-operative bank is a relatively small financial institution where its members act as both owners and customers. These banks operate under the regulation of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and are officially registered under the States Cooperative Societies Act.

These banks are established with the aim of serving the financial requirements of a specific community, such as a village or a particular group of people. Members come together to pool their resources and offer essential banking services like loans and savings accounts to support the financial needs of their community.

Rakesh Pal appointed as 25th Director General of Indian Coast Guard

Rakesh Pal has been appointed as the 25th Director General (DG) of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). He is an alumnus of the Indian Naval Academy and joined the Indian Coast Guard in January 1989. The Ministry of Defence states that he underwent professional specialisation in Gunnery and Weapons Systems at Indian Naval School Dronacharya, Kochi, and completed an Electro-Optics Fire Control Solution course in the United Kingdom.

Rakesh Pal holds the distinction of being the First Gunner of ICG. He received the Tatrakshak Medal in 2013 and the President Tatrakshak Medal in 2018 for his outstanding service.

According to the Ministry of Defence

Rakesh Pal was promoted to the rank of Additional Director General in February 2022 and was stationed at the Coast Guard Headquarters in New Delhi. He was given the additional charge of Director General Coast Guard in February 2023. During the period, many significant operations and exercises were accomplished that includes the seizure of drugs and narcotic substances and gold worth crores of rupees, rescue of mariners during severe cyclonic storms, joint exercises with the Foreign Coast Guards, anti-poaching operations, humanitarian assistance during cyclones and naturals calamities and Coastal Security exercises.

Career of 34-year career

Throughout his distinguished 34-year career, Rakesh Pal has held numerous significant positions. Notably, he served as Commander Coast Guard Region (North West) in Gandhinagar, Deputy Director General (Policy & Plans), and Additional Director General Coast Guard at Coast Guard Headquarters, New Delhi.

Additionally, he has been entrusted with prestigious staff roles such as Director (Infra and Works) and Principal Director (Administration) at Coast Guard Headquarters, New Delhi.

Rakesh Pal possesses extensive sea experience and has commanded various classes of ICG ships, including ICGS Samarth, ICGS Vijit, ICGS Sucheta Kriplani, ICGS Ahalyabai, and ICGS C-03. Moreover, he has successfully commanded two Coast Guard bases in Gujarat’s forward area, namely Okha and Vadinar, as confirmed by the official statement.

Famed Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick Passes Away At Age 59

Kevin Mitnick, who was once one of the most wanted computer hackers in the world, has passed away at the age of 59. He spent five years in prison for computer and wire fraud following a two-year federal manhunt in the 1990s, but after his release in 2000 reinvented himself as a “white hat” hacker, renowned cybersecurity consultant and author. Mitnick grew up in Los Angeles and broke into a North American Air Defense Command computer as a teenager.

Life of Kevin Mitnick

  • In the 1990s he went on a hacking spree that saw him break into the country’s cell networks, breach government computer systems, and steal thousands of credit card numbers and data files. There is no evidence he ever used any of the 20,000 credit card numbers.

  • The government accused him of causing millions of dollars in damages to companies including Motorola, Novell, Nokia and Sun Microsystems by stealing software and altering computer code.

  • Mitnick had first been arrested for computer crimes at age 17 for walking into a Pacific Bell office and taking a handful of computer manuals and codes to digital door locks. For that, he served a year in a rehabilitation centre, deemed by a federal judge as being addicted to computer tampering.

  • He was dubbed as the “most wanted” computer hacker in the world by investigators.

  • A two-year-long nationwide FBI manhunt led to his 1995 arrest and he eventually pleaded guilty to computer and wire fraud.

  • Authorities believed he had access to corporate trade secrets worth millions of dollars.

  • In his 2011 memoir, Ghost in the Wires, Mitnick denied using his skills to steal or exploit information for financial gain.

Gruha Lakshmi Scheme: Benefits, Registration Started

Registration for Gruha Lakshmi starts on 19th July 2023, an effective scheme launched by the Karnataka Government to provide financial assistance to women heads of a household. The beneficiaries of Gruha Lakshmi Yojana would be able to register for free without being lured by any middleman.

Gruha Lakshmi Scheme Benefits?

  • In less than two months after assuming power, the government of Karnataka has made its promise of launching the Gruha Lakshmi Scheme. The registration of the Gruha Lakshmi Scheme starts on 19th July.

  • Gruha Lakshmi Scheme is an effective scheme launched to provide financial assistance of Rs.2000 per month to the women head of a household.

  • The beneficiaries will get the amount under the scheme from August 15-20 and the registration will continue for a year.

  • The scheme will benefit over 1,11,00,000 women and the amount set aside by the government is Rs.18,000 crore.

  • The scheme will benefit 12.8 million families in the state.

Ministry Responsible

Gruha Lakshmi Scheme has been launched by the Karnataka Government under the Ministry of Women and Child Development for the benefit of the women’s heads of households.

Gruha Laxmi Scheme Eligibility Criteria

  • According to the Minister of Women and Child Development, Laxmi Hebbalkar, all women whose names are there as the head of the family on BPL and APL cards are eligible the avail of the benefits under the scheme.

  • The women or their husbands should not fall under the category of income tax.

  • Women must not be government employees.

  • Only one woman in the family will be the beneficiary under the scheme.

Documents required for Gruha Lakshmi Scheme

  • Above Poverty Line Card (APL)/Below Poverty Line (BPL)/Antyodaya Card.

  • Bank-linked Aadhar Card

  • Bank details of the beneficiary.

  • Aadhar linked phone number.

Registration process under Gruha Lakshmi Scheme

Beneficiaries can get them registered either offline or online.

Offline Registration:

For offline registration, the beneficiary needs to approach to the assigned centers with all the required documents and there is no registration fee.

Online Registration:

For online registration, one must follow the following steps:

  • Visit the official portal of the ‘Seva Sindhu Guarantee Scheme’.

  • Choose and click on the ‘Gruha Lakshmi Scheme’ option.

  • Click on the ‘Click here to apply’.

  • Fill up all the required details and upload the documents.


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