Updated: Nov 23
New Zealand Supreme Court Rules Voting Age of 18 is Discriminatory in the Country
New Zealand’s voting age has been ruled discriminatory by the country’s highest court. The case was brought by advocacy group make it 16 in 2020, in a bid to lower the voting age from 18 to 16.
More About This:
The Supreme Court found the current voting age of 18 was inconsistent with the country’s Bill of Rights, which gives people a right to be free from age discrimination when they turn 16.
The group argues there is no reason to stop 16 year olds voting when they can drive, work full-time and pay tax.
What Others Are Saying:
Political parties in New Zealand have mixed views on the subject.
The Green Party wants immediate action to lower the voting age to 16, but the largest opposition party, the National party, does not support the shift.
“Obviously, we’ve got to draw a line somewhere,” National party leader Christopher Luxon said. “We’re comfortable with the line being 18. Lots of different countries have different places where the line’s drawn and from our point of view, 18 is just fine.”
The centre-right National party opposes the move, while the Labour party is yet to state whether it would support a change in voting age or not.
Following the ruling, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she personally supported reducing the voting age to 16, but added that “it is not a matter simply for me or even the government, any change in electoral law of this nature requires 75% of parliamentarian support“.
South Western Command conducts Integrated Fire Power Exercise in Rajasthan
South Western Command of the Indian Army conducted Integrated Fire Power Exercise, “SHATRUNASH’’ at MFFR in Thar desert of Rajasthan. The exercise witnessed use of multi farious firing platforms in an integrated manner involving both ground & aerial manoeuvres. Various actions included ion of troops, offensive ground actions involving comprehensive coordination incorporating contemporary technologies in a multi domain environment. Real time communication and sharing of common operating picture amongst various participants to overcome emerging threats were practised & skills were honed.
Lieutenant General A S Bhinder, General Officer Commanding In Chief, Sapta Shakti Command appreciated the participation & synergy amongst various combat & combat support arms. He also commended exploitation of capability of indigenous platforms inducted as part of the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ or ‘Make in India’ initiative. Furthermore, the General Officer Commanding In Chief reiterated the need to constantly explore new fighting methodology and enhancement of own capability to fight future wars.
Karnataka has Highest Installed Grid-interactive Renewable Power Capacity in India
Karnataka came at the top position while comparing the total installed capacity of grid-interactive renewable power of all the states of the country. The state had a total installed capacity of 15,463 megawatts (mw), according to an RBI publication.
What The Report Finds:
Tamilnadu with 15,225 mw, came at the second; Gujarat, with 13,153 mw, was at third position while Maharashtra, with 10,267 mw, was at the fourth, according to Handbook of Statistics on Indian States 2021-22, which was the seventh edition of its statistical publication, released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Through this publication, the Reserve Bank has been disseminating wide-ranging data on the regional economies of India.
About The Other States:
Maharashtra was followed by Rajasthan (10,205 mw), Andhra Pradesh (8,969 mw), Madhya Pradesh (5,206 mw), Telangana (4,378 mw), Uttar Pradesh (3,879 mw), Punjab (1,617 mw) and Himachal Pradesh (988 mw) and Uttarakhand (713 mw) in that order.
What The RBI Pointed:
According to the RBI statement, renewable power includes power from various sources namely bio-power, solar power, small hydro power, waste to energy and wind power.
About The Report:
Reserve Bank of India released the seventh edition of its statistical publication titled ‘Handbook of Statistics on Indian States 2021-22’. This publication covers sub-national statistics on socio-demographics, state domestic product, agriculture, price and wages, industry, infrastructure, banking and fiscal indicators across Indian states over various time periods ranging from 1951 to 2021-22. In the current edition of the Handbook, two new sections namely, health and environment are introduced.
India to Take Over Chairmanship of the Global Partnership on AI from France
India will take over the chair of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence for 2022-23 at a meeting of the body in Tokyo, the Ministry of Electronics and IT said. This development comes on the heels of assuming the Presidency of the G20, a league of the world’s largest economies.
More About This Development:
In the election to the Council Chair, India had received more than a two-thirds majority of first-preference votes while Canada and the United States of America ranked in the next two best places in the tally – so they were elected to the two additional government seats on the Steering Committee, the ministry said in a statement.
About Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence(GPAI):
GPAI is an international initiative to support responsible and human-centric development and the use of Artificial Intelligence. GPAI is a congregation of 25 member countries, including the US, UK, European Union, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, and Singapore. India joined the GPAI in 2020 as a founding member.
About AI & India:
Artificial Intelligence is expected to add 967 billion US dollars to the Indian economy by 2035. It is also expected to add 450 to 500 billion US dollars to India’s GDP by 2025 accounting for 10 per cent of the country’s 5 trillion dollar GDP target. India occupying the chair also signifies how the world today perceives it as a Trusted Technology partner and one that has always advocated for the ethical use of technology for transforming citizens lives.
Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong gets UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for 2022
UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for 2022:
The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, for this 2022 Edition, has been given to Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong from Cameroon, President of the NGOs #Afrogiveness and Positive Youths Africa. The Prize is named after its benefactor, former Indian artist, writer and diplomat Madanjeet Singh (1924-2013) who was also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
Who is Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong?
Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong, with 7-year experience as a journalist, strived to change the perception related to mental illness.
With training in art therapy and psychology, she founded two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – Afrogiveness Movement and Positive Youths Africa (PYA).
These two NGOs are peace education initiatives that aim to help traumatized survivors of interfaith and intercultural conflicts in African countries to heal using the universal language of the arts.
They operate in nine African countries – Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, and Togo.
Through these NGOs, Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong is promoting tolerance and non-violence by reintegrating survivors from opposing sides of war and conflicts into their host communities.
She is providing psycho-social and educational support (art therapy), socio-economic aid (distribution of university scholarship, diploma training, hygienic products, and books), and legal assistance.
She is also combating online hate speech by promoting digital citizenship education.
About UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize
The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence is conferred every two years by UNESCO. The award was created based on the ideals of UNESCO’s Constitution, which states that “peace if it is not to fail, must be founded on the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind”.
It was unveiled in 1996 after the 1995 United Nations Year for Tolerance and in connection with the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The award was funded by a donation from Madanjeet Singh – the former Indian artist, writer and diplomat who served as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
The award recognizes exceptional contributions of institutions and individuals involved in the promotion of tolerance and non-violence through the arts, education, culture, science and communication. The award includes 100,000 USD prize money. It is managed by the Social and Human Sciences Sector of UNESCO.
Kathak exponent Uma Sharma received Sumitra Charat Ram Award
Sumitra Charat Ram Award 2022:
Kathak exponent Dr. Uma Sharma has received the prestigious ‘Sumitra Charat Ram Award’ for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of her contribution in the field of Indian classical music and dance. She is a renowned classical dancer who has been awarded Padma Shri (1973) and Padma Bhushan (2001) for her unique contribution to the cultural tradition of this country. She received the award from former governor of Jammu and Kashmir Karan Singh and Sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in a ceremony organized at Kamani Auditorium by Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK).
About the Sumitra Charat Ram Award:
For the last 11 years ‘Sumitra Charat Ram Award’ for Lifetime Achievement has been presented to honour eminent Artists who have made a lasting contribution to the field of Indian Classical Music & Dance.
The first award was presented to Pt. Birju Maharaj, the doyen of kathak Dance followed by Smt. Kishori Amonkar (Hindustani Vocal Music), Shri Mayadhar Raut (Odissi Dance), Smt. Kumudini Lakhia (Kathak Dance), Pt. Jasraj (Hindustani Vocal Music), Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia (Hindustani Instrumental Music, Flute), Smt. Girija Devi (Hindustani Classical Music, Vocal), Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (Hindustani Classical Music, Sarod) and lastly to Dr. Sonal Mansingh (Indian Classical Dance Guru, Motivational Speaker).
India and EU Sign Agreement for Cooperation in High-Performance Computing
India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), and the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), European Commission signed an “Intent of Cooperation on High Performance Computing (HPC), Weather Extremes & Climate Modeling and Quantum Technologies”.
More About this:
The agreement builds on commitments by both sides for deepening technological cooperation on quantum and high-performance computing during the India-EU leaders meeting on May 8. “Moreover, the signing of the agreement assumes significance in the context of the decision to set up EU-India Trade and Technology Council (TTC)” on April 25, an EU statement said.
Significance Of This Development:
The agreement signed is aimed at facilitating collaboration on high performance computing applications using Indian and European supercomputers in areas such as bio-molecular medicines, Covid-19 therapeutics, mitigating climate change, predicting natural disasters and quantum computing, the statement said.
What Has Been Said:
MeitY secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma said high performance computing is tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges and the demand for such systems is increasing rapidly in various domains. Under this partnership, India and the EU will leverage expertise from both sides to optimise high performance computing towards developing advanced technology solutions in multiple fields.
DG CONNECT director general Roberto Viola said combining the experience and expertise of India and the EU, and building on long-standing cooperation and trust can “help one another overcome the greatest challenges of our age, Covid-19 and climate change”. The agreement will also allow the two sides to jointly explore the frontiers of quantum technologies, he said.
About India-EU Trade and Technology Council(TTC):
The India-EU TTC is a strategic mechanism that gives New Delhi access to advanced technologies and allows the two sides to set standards in crucial areas such as 5G and artificial intelligence. This is the first such trade and technology council set up by India with any of its partners. For the EU, it is only the second such body, following the first one set up with the US.
The proposal for setting up the council came from the EU side and India agreed to it as it will allow the two sides to work on issues such as 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, climate modelling and health-related technology.