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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-22nd June 2023

Tata Power becomes most attractive employer brand; Amazon follows: Report

According to the latest Randstad Employer Brand Research (REBR) 2023, Tata Power Company has emerged as India’s most attractive employer brand, followed closely by Amazon and Tata Steel. This marks a significant rise for Tata Power, which was ranked ninth in the previous year’s report. Additionally, the report highlights the preferences and expectations of the Indian workforce when choosing an employer, with work-life balance, good reputation, and attractive salary and benefits being the key drivers.

The Importance of Work-Life Balance:

One of the primary factors influencing the choice of an employer is work-life balance. The REBR 2023 reveals that the value placed on work-life balance has grown slightly in relative importance over the years. This aspect is particularly significant for women, who tend to emphasize work-life balance more than men. In fact, 49 percent of the respondents mentioned that they are willing to resign or have already resigned from their current job to improve their work-life balance.

Supplemental Income and Second Jobs:

The report highlights an interesting trend among employees, with 91 percent agreeing that an employer becomes more attractive if they are allowed to take up additional jobs or assignments for supplemental income. This sentiment is stronger among women (92 percent) compared to men (89 percent), indicating the prevailing gender pay gap. Notably, the desire to take up a second job is highest among employees aged 25-34 and gradually declines with age.

Changing Expectations and Long-Term Career Progression:

Viswanath P.S, MD & CEO of Randstad India, emphasizes that changing times lead to changing expectations among the talent community. It is becoming increasingly important for employees to envision their long-term career progression and job satisfaction. Organizations worldwide are recognizing the pivotal role of people in driving business success. Employees seek not only job stability but also non-material benefits associated with being part of an employer brand. This includes identifying a clear purpose at work, which plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining talent.

UNDP and DAY-NULM Collaborate to Empower Women Entrepreneurs

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) have joined forces in a collaborative partnership aimed at empowering women and enabling them to make informed career choices in the field of entrepreneurship. This partnership will provide crucial support to women who aspire to start or expand their own enterprises in various sectors, fostering entrepreneurship development and accelerating enterprise growth.

Supporting Women Entrepreneurs in Key Sectors:

The UNDP and DAY-NULM partnership will particularly focus on empowering women in sectors such as the care economy, digital economy, electric mobility, waste management, food packaging, and more. Recognizing the potential of these sectors in driving economic growth and sustainable development, the project will span over three years, with the possibility of extension beyond 2025. Initially, the project will cover eight cities, leveraging UNDP’s experience in connecting over 200,000 women with better employment opportunities.

National-Level Capacity Building:

One of the core aspects of the partnership will be the provision of national-level capacity building support by UNDP to DAY-NULM. This support will involve knowledge generation and management, including the compilation of compendiums of best practices related to urban poverty. These resources will enhance the implementation of national-level schemes, ensuring that women entrepreneurs have access to valuable information and tools to succeed in their ventures.

Piloting Innovative Solutions:

UNDP and DAY-NULM will collaborate on piloting innovative solutions, particularly in the care economy domain. Drawing on their extensive sectoral expertise, both organizations will work together to develop and test new approaches and strategies that address the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in these sectors. By fostering innovation, the partnership aims to create an enabling environment for women to thrive and succeed in their entrepreneurial pursuits.

On-Ground Mobilization and Business Development Support:

The partnership will involve on-ground mobilization activities, including identifying areas of urban poverty and potential entrepreneurs. UNDP and DAY-NULM will facilitate access to Business Development Services, providing handholding support to help women formalize their businesses, establish bank linkages, secure access to finance and markets. These comprehensive support services will play a vital role in empowering women entrepreneurs and ensuring the sustainability and growth of their enterprises.

Introducing Biz-Sakhis:

As part of the initiative, UNDP will contribute by developing community business mentors called Biz-Sakhis in selected project locations. These mentors, who possess valuable business knowledge, will serve as a resource for DAY-NULM and provide support to new and existing enterprises. The Biz-Sakhis will play a pivotal role in mentoring women entrepreneurs, sharing their expertise, and guiding them through the various stages of business development.

DAY-NULM’s Commitment to Empowering the Urban Poor:

The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) aims to uplift the urban poor by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development. The mission’s coverage extends to all 4,041 statutory cities and towns in India, encompassing a significant portion of the urban population. Through its grassroots initiatives and extensive outreach efforts, DAY-NULM has mobilized over 8.4 million urban poor women across India, forming more than 831,000 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in over 4,000 towns. By empowering marginalized sections of the urban population, including SCs/STs, minorities, female-headed households, street vendors, and rag pickers, DAY-NULM contributes to economic empowerment and amplifies their voices.

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program (PMEGP): Creating Employment Opportunities for India’s Youth

The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) is an ongoing plan scheme initiated by the Government of India to promote entrepreneurship and generate employment opportunities for unemployed youth. Implemented by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), PMEGP aims to assist in the establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector across the country. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) serves as the national-level nodal agency, while state offices of KVIC, State Khadi and Village Industries Boards (KVIBs), and District Industries Centers (DICs) act as implementing agencies. Additionally, the Coir Board is responsible for implementing the program in the coir sector.

Program Achievements:

Since its inception in 2008-09, the PMEGP has provided support to approximately 7.8 lakh micro enterprises with a subsidy amounting to Rs. 19,995 Crore. These enterprises have generated sustainable employment opportunities for an estimated 64 lakh individuals. Notably, around 80% of the assisted units are located in rural areas, and about 50% of the units are owned by individuals from SC, ST, and women categories.

Continuation and Enhancements:

The PMEGP has been approved for continuation over the 15th Finance Commission Cycle for a period of five years, from 2021-22 to 2025-26. The scheme has been allocated an outlay of Rs. 13,554.42 Crore during this period. To further enhance its impact, several modifications and improvements have been introduced:

  1. Increased Maximum Project Cost: The maximum project cost has been raised from Rs. 25 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh for manufacturing units, and from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh for service units. This increase aims to accommodate larger-scale enterprises and encourage their growth.

  2. Revised Definition of Village Industry and Rural Area: The definition of village industry and rural area has been modified. Areas falling under Panchayati Raj institutions will be accounted for as rural areas, while areas under municipalities will be treated as urban areas. This distinction allows for better classification and targeted support.

  3. Streamlined Application Processing: All implementing agencies are now authorized to receive and process applications in both rural and urban areas. This change simplifies the application process, ensuring equal opportunities for entrepreneurs across all regions.

  4. Special Category Applicants: PMEGP applicants belonging to aspirational districts and the transgender community will be treated as special category applicants. They will be entitled to a higher subsidy, recognizing the unique challenges they face and promoting inclusivity.

Impact and Coverage:

The PMEGP, with its revised provisions and enhanced funding, is expected to create sustainable employment opportunities for approximately 40 lakh individuals over the next five financial years. All states and union territories in India will be covered under the scheme, ensuring nationwide reach and benefit.

Margin Money Subsidy:

The subsidy rates under PMEGP vary based on the category of applicants and the project location:

  • Special category applicants, including SC, ST, OBC, women, transgender, physically disabled, applicants from the Northeastern region, aspirational districts, and border districts, will receive a higher subsidy. In rural areas, they will be eligible for a subsidy of 35% of the project cost, while in urban areas, the subsidy will be 25%.

  • General category applicants will receive a subsidy of 25% of the project cost in rural areas and 15% in urban areas.

Pakistan Considers Handing Over Karachi Port to UAE to Raise Emergency Funds

Pakistan has taken a significant step in its efforts to raise emergency funds by constituting a negotiation committee to finalize a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the handover of its Karachi port terminals. The move comes amid uncertainties regarding the revival of a stalled loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This article delves into the details of Pakistan’s decision and highlights the potential implications of this intergovernmental transaction.

  1. Negotiation Committee Formed for Commercial Agreement: Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Inter-Governmental Commercial Transactions where it was decided to establish a negotiation committee. This committee will facilitate the negotiation of a commercial agreement between the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and the UAE government. The committee, headed by Minister for Maritime Affairs Faisal Sabzwari, includes representatives from key departments and agencies.

  2. Draft Agreement to be Finalized: The negotiation committee has been granted permission to finalize a draft operation, maintenance, investment, and development agreement. This agreement will be established under government-to-government arrangements with a nominated agency of the UAE. The committee’s primary objective is to work out the details of the proposed transaction and ensure the smooth transfer of Karachi port terminals.

  3. UAE’s Interest in Karachi Port Terminals: Last year, the UAE government expressed interest in acquiring the Karachi port terminals, which were previously under the administrative control of the Pakistan International Containers Terminals (PICT). This recent move by Pakistan to constitute a negotiation committee indicates progress towards the first intergovernmental transaction facilitated by the Intergovernmental Commercial Transactions Act enacted last year.

  4. Urgency Due to IMF Loan Uncertainties: Pakistan’s urgent need for additional funds stems from uncertainties surrounding the revival of a USD 6.5 billion loan deal with the IMF. The initial agreement, signed in 2019, is set to expire by the end of this month. The government is seeking alternative sources of financing and aims to expedite the process under the Intergovernmental Commercial Transactions Act.

  5. Considerations and Challenges: Sources suggest that the Pakistani government must exercise caution when finalizing the deal with the UAE, as this will be the first transaction of its kind under the new law. Additionally, the outgoing operator, PICT, may present certain challenges during the transition process. It is crucial for the negotiation committee to address these concerns effectively and ensure a smooth transfer of operations.

  6. Prime Minister’s Efforts to Revive IMF Deal: In parallel with the negotiations for the UAE deal, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has engaged with key countries’ ambassadors to seek support in reviving the stalled IMF deal. During a recent meeting, the prime minister briefed ambassadors from various countries, highlighting the efforts made by Finance Minister Dar and himself. The government is particularly keen to secure at least a $1.2 billion tranche from the remaining $2.6 billion of the IMF loan.

PM Modi and President Biden Exchange Unique Gifts During White House Visit

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States and his meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House, both leaders exchanged unique and thoughtful gifts as a symbol of friendship and diplomacy. These gifts not only represented the cultural heritage of India and the United States but also showcased the personal connection between the two leaders. Here are the details of the gifts exchanged between PM Modi and President Biden:

Gifts from PM Modi to President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden:

  1. Special Sandalwood Box: Prime Minister Modi presented a special sandalwood box to President Biden. This box was meticulously handcrafted by a master craftsman from Jaipur, showcasing the exquisite artistry and craftsmanship of India. The box contained an idol of Lord Ganesha, a revered deity in Hinduism, symbolizing wisdom, success, and good fortune. Additionally, it included a Diya, an oil lamp that holds great spiritual significance in Indian culture.

  2. Lab-Grown Diamond: As a gesture of appreciation, PM Modi gifted a 7.5-carat lab-grown diamond to First Lady Jill Biden. This diamond was specifically chosen for its ability to reflect the chemical and optical properties of earth-mined diamonds. The exquisite diamond was placed in a Papier mache box called kar-e-kalamdani, adding to its uniqueness and elegance.

Gifts from President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden to PM Modi:

  1. Antique American Book Galley: President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden presented PM Modi with a handmade, antique American book galley from the early 20th century. This gift symbolized the rich literary heritage and shared love for knowledge between the United States and India. The book galley held historical significance, representing the importance of cultural exchange and intellectual collaboration.

  2. Vintage American Camera and Prints: Accompanying the book galley, the Bidens gifted PM Modi a vintage American camera, evoking the spirit of artistic expression and photography. The camera was accompanied by an archival facsimile print of George Eastman’s Patent of the first Kodak camera, paying homage to the invention that revolutionized photography. Additionally, a hardcover book on American wildlife photography and a signed, first edition copy of ‘Collected Poems of Robert Frost’ were included, celebrating American literature and nature.

China Blocks Proposal to Declare 26/11 Attacks Accused Sajid Mir as a Global Terrorist

China has once again blocked a proposal put forward by India and the United States at the United Nations Security Council to designate Sajid Mir, a Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, as a global terrorist. Sajid Mir is wanted for his involvement in the notorious 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. This move by China has raised concerns and further strained international efforts to combat terrorism effectively.

China’s Blockade:

Despite the joint efforts of India and the US, China prevented the proposal to blacklist Sajid Mir under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council. The proposal aimed to subject Mir to measures such as assets freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo. Beijing’s decision to block the designation raises questions about its commitment to global counter-terrorism efforts and its relationship with Pakistan.

Sajid Mir’s Notoriety:

Sajid Mir is one of India’s most wanted terrorists, and the US has placed a $5 million bounty on his head for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. He is a senior member of the Pakistan-based LeT and served as the operations manager for the attacks. The US State Department has acknowledged his significant involvement in planning, preparing, and executing the Mumbai attacks.

China’s Stance on Pakistan-based Terrorists:

China has frequently utilized its veto power to obstruct the designation of Pakistan-based terrorists under the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee. This pattern of behavior has raised concerns about China’s role in countering terrorism and its alignment with Pakistan. By blocking the proposal to designate Sajid Mir as a global terrorist, China has once again demonstrated its reluctance to take strong action against individuals involved in cross-border terrorism.

Impact on Global Counter-terrorism Efforts:

China’s decision to block the designation of Sajid Mir has serious implications for international efforts to combat terrorism. It undermines the collective resolve to hold perpetrators accountable and denies justice to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. By shielding individuals involved in terrorist activities, China risks enabling the continuation of such acts and impeding global security initiatives.

International Community’s Response:

China’s action has drawn criticism from the international community, particularly India and the United States, who have been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism. The move raises questions about China’s priorities and its commitment to combating global terrorism. It also highlights the need for stronger mechanisms to address challenges posed by countries using their veto power to protect individuals involved in terrorist activities.

Indian Navy Creates ‘Ocean Circle of Yoga’ on 9th International Yoga Day

As part of the International Day of Yoga, naval ships deployed in the Indian Ocean region are visiting ports of friendly foreign nations and promoting the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family). This initiative, known as the ‘Ocean Ring of Yoga,’ aims to strengthen bonds and foster harmony among nations.

Onboard Indian naval ships such as Kiltan, Chennai, Shivalik, Sunayna, Trishul, Tarkash, Vagir, Sumitra, and Brahmaputra, various yoga day events and activities are being organized. These ships are currently stationed in the Indian Ocean Region.

Indian Navy Promoting Yoga Globally through Port Calls and Collaborations

Indian naval ships have been making significant port calls at various locations, including Chattogram in Bangladesh, Safaga in Egypt, Jakarta in Indonesia, Mombasa in Kenya, Toamasina in Madagascar, Muscat in Oman, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Phuket in Thailand, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. During these visits, the Indian Navy is organizing yoga sessions in accordance with the “Common Yoga Protocol.”

A Remarkable Journey as Ambassadors of Yoga

Nearly 3,500 naval personnel on board 19 Indian Navy ships have embarked on an extraordinary journey, covering more than 35,000 kilometers in both national and international waters, while serving as ambassadors of yoga. Among them, over 2,400 personnel are currently stationed on 11 naval ships at foreign ports or in international waters.

Cross-cultural Celebrations and Collaborations

In a spirit of cross-cultural exchange, yoga day celebrations are also taking place on board ships of several foreign navies, in collaboration with India’s overseas missions. These celebrations involve the active participation of more than 1,200 foreign navy personnel, highlighting the universality of yoga’s appeal.

Prioritizing Awareness and Participation

Recognizing the transformative power of yoga, the Indian Navy had previously conducted extensive awareness campaigns to encourage maximum participation among naval personnel, defense civilians, and their families. These campaigns aimed to foster a deep appreciation for yoga’s physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.

The International Day of Yoga: A Global Recognition

The United Nations General Assembly, responding to a resolution proposed by India and co-sponsored by numerous countries, officially designated June 21 as the International Day of Yoga (IDY). Since its inception in 2015, this special day has been observed worldwide, promoting the practice of yoga and its positive impact on individuals and societies.

Through their port visits, collaborations, and awareness campaigns, the Indian Navy has demonstrated their commitment to sharing the essence of yoga with people across borders, fostering well-being, and spreading the message of harmony and unity.


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