Important Current Affairs for CLAT-22nd September 2022

World Rhino Day 2022 observed on 22 September

World Rhino Day is observed on 22nd September to spread awareness about the different Rhinoceros species and the dangers they face. This day also celebrates all five rhino species namely the Sumatran, Black, Greater One-horned, Javan, and White rhino species. The day offers NGOs, zoos, and the general public a chance to honour rhinos in their own special ways. This day aims to spread the importance of protecting these animals, as Rhinoceros have become critically endangered in the wild due to ongoing poaching and habitat loss over many years.

World Rhino Day 2022: Theme

This year’s World Rhino Day will be observed under the theme “Five Rhino Species Forever”. The goals of this day are to promote the noble cause of raising awareness about the need to save rhinos from danger to their lives. The rhinos are constantly under severe threat.

World Rhino Day 2022: Significance

Rhino is in danger of going extinct due to poaching, climate change, and disturbances to their natural environment. The yearly commemoration of the day emphasizes spreading awareness about the necessity of protecting and caring for the rhino species worldwide. Today, three species of rhino—black, Javan, and Sumatran are said to be critically endangered.

World Rhino Day: History

The day’s announcement was done in 2010 by WWF-South Africa. When Lisa Jane Campbell, the founder of Annamitici and owner of the Chishakwe Ranch in Zimbabwe, teamed up with Rhishja Cota, the event’s creative director in 2011 to raise awareness about the need to preserve or protect all five species of rhinos from extinction. The annual celebration gained recognition on a global scale. World Rhino Day was first observed in 2011, and every year since then, it has been observed worldwide.

India first MotoGP to be held in Noida’s Buddh circuit in 2023

India is set to host its maiden MotoGP World Championships race at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida in 2023. MotoGP commercial rights owner Dorna and Noida-based race promoters Fairstreet Sports signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to host the premier two-wheel racing event in India for the next seven years. Riders from as many as 19 countries will participate in the event, which will give a push to trade and tourism in the country, besides generating employment.

Important Points:

  • Grand Prix of Bharat will witness top manufacturers like Yamaha, Honda, Ducati, KTM, and Aprilia participate in the race. The event will have Noida-based race promoters Fairstreet Sports (FSS) and they will work closely with the organizers to ensure the success of the tournament.

  • MotoGP also has plans to also introduce MotoE into the Indian racing scenario, which will not only be a first in Asia but a significant green initiative with net zero carbon emission.

  • The Buddh International Circuit was once home to the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix, held for three consecutive years from 2011 till 2013, before it was discontinued due to financial, tax and bureaucratic hurdles.

Cabinet Approves An Additional PLI Plan For Solar Cells

The Union cabinet approved the second tranche of the Performance Linked incentive (PLI) scheme on ‘National programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’ for achieving manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt (GW) scale to boost manufacturing of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules in India, Union minister Anurag Thakur announced in a press briefing.

Govt Planning:

With the second tranche of the PLI scheme the government is hoping that about 65GW per annum manufacturing capacity of fully and partially integrated, solar PV modules would be installed in the country. “The second tranche of the PLI scheme for the national programme on ‘high efficiency solar PV modules’ has been approved with an outlay of Rs.19,500 crore. Through this we are looking at achieving manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt (GW) scale in solar PV modules in India, thereby reducing import dependence in the area of renewable energy. It will also strengthen the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and generate employment,” he said.

It’s Importance:

The move is significant as at present all manufacturing in the solar energy sector in India is restricted only to cells and modules. India currently has no manufacturing of solar wafers and polysilicon. Through this scheme, the government will push for solar parts manufacturing in three categories with the bulk of the focus being on producing integrated units, and the other two being equally divided between wafers-polysilicon and cells-modules.

Govt Target:

The government has also set a target of 500GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030 would roughly mean a capacity of 280-300GW of solar energy. Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had first announced the second phase of the PLI scheme in manufacturing solar modules in her budget speech on February 1 this year. “In order to support domestic manufacturing of solar panels for meeting the target of 280 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030, ₹19,500 crore for PLI for high-efficiency modules with priority to fully integrated units will be made in 2022-23,” she said while tabling the union budget for the Narendra Modi government.

By “fully integrated solar units”, the government means everything across the solar value chain, from polysilicon, ingots to cells and modules. The key difference in PLI tranche-I and tranche-II is that the minimum efficiency that was previously permitted has now been increased by one percentage point. The PLI that will now be disbursed will be based on local value addition, efficiency and there will be a tapering factor over five years which is a message to the industry that after five years they cannot remain dependent on subsidies and have to become competitive on their own.

Success Of The Previous Scheme:

Bids for the first tranche were awarded in November-December last year and it was for ₹4,500 crore. A total integrated capacity of 8.7 GW was awarded in the first tranche last year. “The bids received in that auction was about ₹24,000 crore. So, the balance amount of ₹19,500 crore was requested by our ministry as an additional demand which was announced in the budget as well. Today what has been approved by the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the bud design for the additional allocation of the ₹19,500 crore,” said Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, secretary, MNRE. While 29GW will be under the fully integrated plan, he added that 18GW of solar plants will be integrated from wafers to modules and another 18GW of plants integrated over cells and modules. The total expected annual manufacturing capacity is likely to be about 65GW.

What The Govt Said:

“Solar PV manufacturers will be selected through a transparent selection process. PLI will be disbursed for five years post commissioning of solar PV manufacturing plants on sales of high efficiency solar PV modules from the domestic market will be incentivised. The scheme is expected to bring direct investment of around Rs.94,000 crore and will also help in the creation of manufacturing capacity for balance of materials like EVA, Solar glass, backsheet, etc,” the government later said in a statement.

It is likely to provide direct employment of about 1,95,000 and indirect employment of around 7,80,000 persons. “We also hope that there will be import substitution of approximately Rs.1.37 lakh crore,” Chaturvedi said.

To promote indigenous production and curtail imports from China, the government last year on March 9 had announced basic custom duty on solar cells and modules. “After that announcement, the module manufacturing capacity in India has doubled from about 10GW to 20GW. Cell manufacturing capacity in India has also gone up from 3GW to nearly 4.5GW,” the MNRE secretary said.


PM CARES Fund: Govt appoints Industrialist Ratan Tata as Trustee

According to the prime minister’s office, Veteran industrialist Ratan Tata, former Supreme Court judge KT Thomas, and former deputy Lok Sabha speaker Kariya Munda have been nominated as trustees of the PM CARES Fund. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the PM CARES Fund, which was attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Both Shah and Sitharaman are the Trustees of PM Cares Fund. During the meeting, Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons; Justice KT Thomas, former SC judge, and Kariya Munda, former Deputy speaker appointed as the newly nominated trustees of the PM CARES Fund.

As per the PMO:

  • The trust further decided to nominate other eminent persons for the constitution of the Advisory Board to the PM CARES Fund.

  • These eminent personalities included: Rajiv Mehrishi, Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India; Sudha Murthy, Former Chairperson, Infosys Foundation, and Anand Shah, Co-founder of Teach for India and Former CEO of Indicorps and Piramal Foundation.

About the PM CARES Fund:

The PM CARES Fund was created during the Covid-19 pandemic. The primary objective of the fund is to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected individuals. The fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organizations and does not get any budgetary support.

Recession Unlikely To Hit India: S&P

Global rating agency S&P said even though the US and the Euro zone are headed to recession, India is unlikely to face the impact given the “not so coupled” nature of its economy with the global economy. The US and European recession depends on the central banks ignoring slowing growth and opting to fight inflation instead.

What They Said:

Indian economy is a lot decoupled from the global economy than we normally think of, given its large domestic demand, even though you (India) are a net importer of energy. But you have enough forex reserves on one hand and your companies have managed to maintain healthy balance sheets,” Paul F Gruenwald, S&P global chief economist and managing director, told reporters here. In fact, India was never coupled fully with the global economy and so is relatively independent of global markets, he said, adding that a lot depends on how global fund flows behave if there is a recession in the US and Europe. Their inflation numbers continue to dodge the monetary actions by their central banks as the gap between the US core inflation target and the actual number is three times at 6 per cent.

Regarding Other Economies:

Listing out the Infaltion and its resultant by the US Fed as the main threat to the US economy, he said, the world’s largest economy is headed towards recession, which is the result of an overheated economy because even after inflation hitting a four-decade high, unemployment rate is so low at 3.7 per cent. “Our house view is of a 50-50 chance of recession in the US as the output gap is still positive but the consumer and business sentiment is negative. Whether this will be a soft-landing or not, it will be known either later this year or early next year as the impact of the massive rate hikes by the US Fed will be known only by then,” Gruenwald added.

On the Euro zone, the managing director said the problem is more entrenched and structural. It will take time to recover as the crisis is the result of the geopolitical issues (Russia-Ukraine war) the sky-high energy prices after the EU nations began to lower their dependence on gas from the Russia since February. But again the EU joblessness rates are low at 6.5 per cent. The continent will face the crisis if joblessness becomes more pronounced, Gruenwald said, adding, the house view is less than a 50 per cent chance for a recession in the Euro zone which is saddled by the Russia-Ukraine war and by the resultant energy security issues. It will take a couple of years to recover if it falls into a recession unlike the US which may recover much faster.

Describing the Chinese slowdown as the worst in decades, he highlighted that this is a self-inflicted pain arising out of its zero tolerance policy towards Covid. According to him, China has never missed its growth targets as badly as this year (down from over 5 per cent to under 3 per cent or even less). The communist party congress in November may throw in some positive surprises, in which case the negative forecast may reverse.

Indian Scenario:

To a question given all these global headwinds whether the agency has a new view on Indian growth numbers, Crisil Ratings (which is majority-owned by S&P Global Ratings) chief economist D K Joshi told that they hold their recent forecast wherein they “expect the economy to grow at 7.3 per cent this fiscal and slow down to 6.5 per cent next fiscal, with more downside risks to both the numbers.” Joining Joshi, Gruenwald said, despite these headwinds, India will be doing a lot better than the rest of the world.

Indian Navy decommissions INS Ajay after 32 years of service

INS Ajay was decommissioned after rendering 32 years of service to the nation. The decommissioning of INS Ajay was conducted at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai in the traditional manner. The national flag, naval ensign, and the decommissioned pennant of the ship were lowered for the last time at sunset, signifying the end of the ship’s commissioned service.

The chief guest for the function was Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. The guest of Honour was Vice Admiral AG Thapliyal AVSM Bar (Retd), the first commanding officer of the ship.

Key Points related to decommissioning of INS Ajay

  • INS Ajay was commissioned on 24th January 1990 at Poti, Georgia in the erstwhile USSR, and was part of the 23rd Patrol Vessel Squadron under the operation control of Flag Officer Commanding, Maharashtra.

  • The INS Ajay was in active naval service for more than 32 years during her illustrious journey.

  • INS Ajay has participated in several naval operations including Op Talwar during Kargil War and Op Parakram in 2001.

  • The decommissioning ceremony of INS Ajay was attended by over 400 personnel including Flag Officers, Senior officers from the Army, IAF, and CG, Officers, and men of the Commissioning crew, crew of previous commissions as well as the ship’s present crew, and families.

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