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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-21st October 2022

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

CASHe tie-up with IRCTC to launch ‘travel now pay later’ facility

AI-driven financial wellness platform, CASHe, announced that it has partnered with the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), to provide a “travel now pay later” (TNPL) payment option on its travel app, IRCTC Rail Connect. This will enable travellers of Indian Railways to book their rail tickets instantly and pay for it later in pocket-friendly EMIs, ranging from three to six months. With CASHe’s payment option, booking and paying for rail tickets on the IRCTC travel app will now be easier and hassle-free for millions of Indian Railway passengers.

Benefits of the partnership:

  • The EMI payment option will be available on the IRCTC travel app’s checkout page for passengers booking their reserved and tatkal tickets. CASHe’s TNPL EMI payment option offers a seamless user experience by automatically qualifying all users to avail the TNPL facility without any documentation.

  • The IRCTC travel app has over 90 million downloads and powers over 1.5 million railway ticket bookings per day. This partnership will also tremendously aid CASHe to reach out to the millions of IRCTC’s customers and provide them with a never-before and convenient option to travel now and pay for their rail tickets later in easy EMIs.

  • The travel now and pay later as the segment has seen remarkable growth and the message from the travellers is clear – they want the choice to pay for their trips in instalments. With CASHe’s travel now pay later, we will significantly enhance the payment convenience and flexibility for IRCTC’s customers at checkout, thereby improving customer experience.”

About the CASHe’s:

CASHe’s unique proposition lies in its proprietary AI-based algorithm platform – Social Loan Quotient (SLQ). SLQ assesses the risk of a borrower based on the user’s social and mobile data footprints thereby providing credit to those that don’t qualify for credit from conventional lending. Besides offering faster credit decisions, SLQ has enabled CASHe to seamlessly capture untapped markets among the financially excluded sections of society. Its affordable interest rates, instant processing and flexible repayment options makes it India’s most preferred digital credit platform.

Drones can help raise $100-bn GDP boost, lakhs of jobs in India: WEF Report

Drones can help raise $100-bn GDP boost: The World Economic Forum (WEF) said in a new report that putting drones at the centre of a technology-led transformation of Indian agriculture can enhance the nation’s GDP by 1–1.5% and create at least five lakh employment in the next few years.

Drones can help raise $100-bn GDP boost: Key Points

  • The report created by WEF’s Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India in partnership with the Adani Group and released here, described how drone-based technology may revolutionise Indian agriculture.

  • The WEF report presents use cases for drones that combine military and civilian technologies and are made possible by digital adoption, analytics, digital financing, and a concerted local stakeholder effort.

  • It also offers a framework for the creation of scalable pilots that can be put into practise by different governments.

World Economic Forum Report (WEF Report): Other Important Highlights

  • Aviation industry is undoubtedly one of the most regulated in the world.

  • Indian efforts to promote unmanned aviation have been praised by a broad range of stakeholders for their audacity and caution.

  • The WEF underlined the enormous potential for enhancing farm outcomes through precision agriculture expertise and advising, which can lead to a 15% improvement in productivity in India’s $600 billion agricultural sector, by citing much research.

What is a green microcosm?

  • The establishment of a “green microcosm” in which an integrated “drone-centric rural hub” is set up and stabilised throughout crop cycles is required to support the mainstreaming of drones in agriculture.

  • India has over six lakh inhabited villages, all of which are reported to be engaged in agriculture to a respectable extent.

  • As per various reports the per-hectare production of a mechanised farm tends to be higher than that of a non-mechanized and irrigated farm, agricultural productivity is mostly influenced by the inputs utilised by farmers at the time of cultivation.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) report:

  • The report used a Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) report to demonstrate how digital technology-based agriculture can unlock an additional $65 billion in value by 2025.

  • It also claimed that the impact of digital agriculture on the gross domestic product (GDP) will be even greater.

  • Additionally, a 15% boost in productivity using precision agriculture know-how and farm advisory services based on numerous existing and emerging data sources (soil health cards, meteorological data, farm/tractor-based sensors) can create a $25 billion economic potential.

  • In a similar vein, digital interventions have the potential to create around $15 billion in agricultural loans and insurance.

According to the WEF, by 2025, there is a possibility for 40–60% of the agricultural surplus to be traded through digital marketplaces, and selling produce through electronic channels is expected to enhance farmers’ price realisation by 10%, opening up a $25 billion opportunity.

India Ranks 41st Among 44 Nations In Pension Index

As compared to 40th out of 43 countries in 2021, India ranked 41 out of 44 countries in the Mercer CFS Global Pension Index. The MCGPI is a comprehensive study of 44 global pension systems, accounting for 65 percent of the world’s population. The survey pointed out that the country needs to strengthen its regulatory framework and boost the coverage under private pension arrangements.

What The Report Said:

In the absence of social security coverage in the country, the adequacy and sustainability sub-indices can be improved significantly by boosting coverage under private pension arrangements,” the report based on the survey said.

About The Report:

Mercer CFS Global Pension Index studies 44 countries that account for 65 per cent of the world’s population. The index value was up from 2021 but below that in 2020. In 2020, India ranked 34 out of 39 countries with a value of 45.7. In 2022, the index value was 44.4.

The index measures the pension system in the country under three sub-heads, adequacy, sustainability and integrity. India’s score in these three measurements was 33.5, 41.8 and 61 respectively.

Overall Ranking:

Globally, Iceland had the highest overall index value (84.7), closely followed by the Netherlands (84.6) and Denmark (82.0). Thailand had the lowest index value (41.7).

About India:

The survey also highlighted that the penetration of private investment in India is low. With 95 per cent of the total workforce being in the unorganised sector, there needs to be an improvement in pension arrangements. “There is hope that new labour codes, when implemented, would give access to such coverage and drive the necessary improvement in the adequacy and sustainability sub-indices,” it added.

India Ranks 3rd in list of Centi-millionaires, to Overtake China by 2032

With levels of poverty, inflation and hunger notwithstanding, India ranks third in the world’s first-ever global study on the rise of centi-millionaires — individuals with assets of more than Rs 830 crore ($100 million), a new report has revealed.

What The Report Pointed:

Out of the world’s 25,490 centi-millionaires, India has 1,132, beating countries like the UK, Russia and Switzerland, in a swift growing and powerful class of super-rich tech titans, financiers, multinational CEOs, and heirs. By 2032, India will overtake China (number 2) as the fastest growing market for centi-millionaires, with an anticipated 80 per cent growth rate in individuals worth over $100 million, the report released by international investment migration advisory firm Henley & Partners stated.

What The Economists Said:

At around 57 per cent, the growth of centi-millionaires in Asia will be twice that of Europe and the US over the next decade. Concentrated primarily in China and India, the centi-millionaires in these countries are set to eclipse their European and American peers,” said Misha Glenny, a financial journalist and author.

Overall Ranking:

Of the world’s 25,490 centi-millionaires, the US, which ranks at number 1, is home to 38 per cent (9,730) of global centi-millionaires, despite constituting only 4 per cent of the world’s total population.

It is closely followed by big emerging markets of China and India in second and third place, with 2,021 and 1,132 centi-millionaires, respectively. The UK is in fourth place (with 968 centi-millionaires) followed closely by Germany in fifth place (with 966). Switzerland (808), Japan (765), Canada (541), Australia (463), and finally Russia (435) make up the rest of the top 10 countries for centi-millionaires.

New Benchmark Of Super Wealthy:

The report states that in the late 1990s, $30 million was considered the definition of ‘super wealthy’, but asset prices have risen significantly since then, making $100 million the new benchmark.

It further says that the number of centi-millionaires has doubled over the past 20 years, and “their capital accumulation has been dramatically accelerated by the economically and socially disruptive effects of technology and the recent Covid pandemic”. While a growing number of younger entrepreneurs who founded successful tech companies are newcomers to the club, Baby Boomers — people born from 1946 to 1964 — still tend to dominate the centi-millionaire circle despite many now cashing in their stock options and selling their businesses.

India, France Re-Elected as President and Co-President of International Solar Alliance

In the third assembly of ISA, Union Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh has been re-elected as the President of International Solar Alliance. France Minister of State for Development Chrysoula Zacharopoulou has been re-elected as Co-President.

3rd Assembly of the International Solar Alliance:

The Third Assembly of the International Solar Alliance has been attended by 34 ISA Members ministers. 53 Member countries and 5 Signatory and Prospective Member countries participated to the Assembly.

India and France were re-elected as the President and Co- President of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) for a term of two years at the virtual meeting of the Third Assembly held on 14 October. Four new Vice-Presidents were also chosen to represent the four regions of ISA. The representatives of Fiji & Nauru for Asia Pacific Region; Mauritius & Niger for Africa Region; UK & Netherlan

ds for Europe and others Region, and Cuba and Guyana for Latin America and Caribbean Region assumed the vice presidency.

What Has Been Said:

Speaking in the plenary, the President of the ISA assembly, India’s Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister, Mr R.K. Singh, appreciated the Alliance Members coming together to work for combating climate change. He welcomed the seventh initiative on heating and cooling to be introduced for discussion in the Third Assembly. Shri Singh said that Solar Energy has come a long way in last 5 years and is now the fastest growing energy source globally. He said, “Solar energy is already contributing around 2.8% of global electricity ,and if trends were to continue, by 2030, solar will become most important source of energy for electricity production in large part of the world.”

The Co-President of the Assembly Ms Barbara Pompili, France’s Minister for Ecological Transition underlined that ISA played an essential role to help redirect funding towards renewable energies, particularly in developing countries, and take up the challenge of an energy at the service of all. She reiterated France’s involvement: pointing out that of the 1.5 billion euros of financing France committed for solar projects in ISA member states up until 2022, 1.15 billion € has been committed to concrete projects.

Solar awards:

For the first time since the inception of the framework agreement of ISA, Solar awards were conferred on countries of the region as well as institutions working for solar. The assembly witnessed the conferment of the Visvesvaraya award which recognizes the countries with maximum floating solar capacity in each of the four regions of ISA. The awards went to Japan for the Asia Pacific region and the Netherlands for Europe and Others region.

A Report By The ISA:

The ISA assembly was presented the report prepared by the World Resources Institute (WRI). The report identifies the sources of funds, opportunities and constraints, in scaling up solar investments and the contribution of ISA in assisting Member countries. The assembly welcomed the move of the ISA to work with WRI to develop a roadmap for mobilization of USD 1 Trillion by 2030. The Kingdom of the Netherlands, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Climate Works Foundation providing the required financial and technical assistance for preparation of the Roadmap. The roadmap will also analyse the potential for mobilising further investments in solar energy going beyond solar power projects to solar energy applications in transportation and cooling and heating and for implementing the vision of One Sun, One World, One Grid.

About ISA: India’s Global Leadership:

The ISA is an initiative that was launched by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30 November 2015 at Paris, France on the side-lines of the COP-21. The overarching objective of the ISA is to collectively address key common challenges to the scaling up of solar energy in ISA member countries. It also aims to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, mobilize investments needed for massive deployment of solar energy, and pave the way for future technologies adapted to the needs. ISA has been positioned to help create the conditions that would make funding, developing and deploying solar applications on a large scale a reality. ISA is perceived as a key organisation working towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Pradeep Kharola named as CMD of India Trade Promotion Organization

Former Civil Aviation Secretary, Pradeep Singh Kharola was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO). Kharola, a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Karnataka cadre, retired as the Civil Aviation secretary in September last year. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has accepted Kharola’s appointment as Chairman and Managing Director, ITPO, on a contract basis for two years from the date of assumption of charge of the post.

According to the order, he will continue to serve as chairman of the NRA until a regular incumbent is appointed in his place. The ACC appointed B V R Subrahmanyam as the ITPO chief for two years last month, following his retirement as Commerce Secretary on September 30.

About the Pradeep Singh Kharola:

The 1985 batch IAS officer was appointed as the Chairman of the NRA in March of this year. He has also served as CMD Air India and Secretary, of Civil Aviation. He will continue to hold the charge of the post of chairman, NRA, till the appointment of a regular incumbent in his place. In March of this year, he was appointed chairman of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA), which is responsible for conducting computer-based Common Eligibility Tests for government job recruitment.

China’s Total Trade Surplus With India Exceeded 1 Trillion $ Mark

The favourable trade balance that China has enjoyed with India, since bilateral commerce began to boom in the early 2000s, has cumulatively exceeded $1 trillion, according to estimates. The trade gap has particularly widened in the past decade. In 2021, annual two-way trade crossed $100 billion for the first time, reaching $125.6 billion, with India’s imports accounting for $97.5 billion, pegging the imbalance at close to $70 billion.

Bilateral trade between India and China:

Trade ties between India and China began to grow in the early 2000s, driven by imports to India from China. A large portion of these imports, according to the Indian government, include footwear, iron and steel, copper, nuclear reactors, animal and vegetable fats, mineral fuels, and inorganic chemicals among others. In the past five years alone, imports from China have increased by nearly 30%, the Indian informed parliament in July.

Move Of Boycott of Chinese products:

The increase in Chinese imports has come amid growing calls in India to boycott Chinese products. Indian customers’ attitude towards Chinese products turned so hostile by the end of 2020 that some Chinese firms switched the “Made in China” label on their products to “Made in PRC” where PRC stands for the People’s Republic of China. This made the products’ country of origin a little less clear. Tensions between the two nations increased when India banned a host of Chinese apps and the Modi government reportedly advised all states to avoid signing any deals with China. None of these moves has apparently helped India. The country is now dependent on China more than it ever was.

Trade-deficit In 2022:

The imbalance in 2022 is set to surpass even last year’s record figure. In the six months ended June, India’s imports from China surged 34,5% to reach a record $57.51 billion, according to China’s trade figures released in July. India’s exports to China, however, shrank by 35% and accounted for only $9.57 billion of the $67.08 billion two-way trade. China’s third-quarter trade data, which was due to be released this week but has been delayed because of the ongoing Communist Party Congress, is expected to reflect continued growth in Indian imports. India’s biggest imports last year were electrical and mechanical machinery, chemicals used in industrial production, active pharmaceutical ingredients and auto components. India also imported medical supplies during the pandemic.


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