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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-23rd October 2023

Google Launches DigiKavach Program to Fight Online Financial Frauds in India

Tech giant Google has taken a proactive step to address the growing concern of online financial frauds in India. Through its new program, DigiKavach, Google aims to combat these fraudulent activities by understanding the strategies employed by scammers and implementing countermeasures. This article explores the key components of the DigiKavach program and its potential impact on online safety in India.

Google’s DigiKavach program reflects the company’s dedication to creating a safer and more secure digital environment for Indian internet users. By analyzing scammers’ methods, implementing countermeasures, sharing insights with experts, and supporting organizations like the CyberPeace Foundation, Google aims to combat online financial frauds effectively. This initiative not only helps protect users from scams but also fosters a culture of digital literacy and empowerment, ensuring a more secure online experience for all.

Understanding DigiKavach

Analyzing Scammers’ Methods

Google’s DigiKavach program involves a comprehensive study of the methods and modus operandi used by online scammers. By gaining insights into the tactics employed by fraudsters, Google can better develop strategies to counter these fraudulent activities.

Implementing Countermeasures

One of the primary objectives of DigiKavach is to create and implement countermeasures to combat emerging online scams. Google is actively working to enhance its security infrastructure to protect Indian users from scams, malware, and online fraud.

Sharing Insights with Experts

To foster a safer digital ecosystem, Google is committed to sharing the insights gained through the DigiKavach program with experts and partners. This collaborative approach aims to create a collective defense against online financial frauds.

Partnering with FACE

Google has partnered with the Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE) as a priority flagger. This partnership focuses on identifying and combatting predatory digital lending apps on Google Play Store in India, where unsuspecting users are often targeted by fraudulent loan providers.

Support from Google.org

Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has announced a significant $4 million grant to the CyberPeace Foundation. This grant is aimed at equipping approximately 40 million Indian citizens with the necessary skills to combat misinformation and enhance digital literacy. It underscores Google’s commitment to promoting online safety and empowering users to navigate the digital landscape securely.

West Bengal Governor Presents ‘Durga Bharat Samman’ Awards

Hindustani classical vocalist and composer Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty has been conferred with the prestigious ‘Durga Bharat Samman’ by the Governor of West Bengal, C V Ananda Bose. The award, a testament to his remarkable contributions to the world of music, is a recognition of his invaluable role in preserving and promoting the rich heritage of Indian classical music. Bose also conferred the award, in its first edition, on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for its recent successful ‘Chandrayaan’ mission, besides the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).

The ‘Durga Bharat Samman’ awards reflect a celebration of excellence across diverse domains, from the enchanting world of classical music to the heights of educational institutions, space exploration, and maritime engineering. These laurels not only acknowledge the exceptional contributions of the recipients but also serve as an inspiration for future generations to strive for excellence in their respective fields.

Keypoints

  • In a commendable move, Visva-Bharati, a renowned central university, was also honored with the ‘Durga Bharat Samman.’ The accolade acknowledges the institution’s unwavering commitment to providing quality education, research, and its role in nurturing future leaders and thinkers.

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) added another feather to its cap by being acknowledged for its triumphant ‘Chandrayaan’ mission. The ‘Durga Bharat Samman’ recognizes ISRO’s remarkable achievements in space exploration and its commitment to advancing India’s capabilities in the field.

  • The Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) also received the ‘Durga Bharat Samman’ in this inaugural edition. This recognition celebrates their notable contributions to shipbuilding, engineering, and the defense sector, which have played a vital role in bolstering India’s maritime capabilities.

All four recipients of the ‘Durga Bharat Samman’ were not only honored with this prestigious award but were also presented with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each, a plaque, and a citation. These tokens of appreciation serve as a testament to their exceptional dedication, commitment, and achievements in their respective fields.

Mid-Planning Conference For Multilateral Naval Exercise (MILAN) – 24

The Indian Navy is all set to host the Mid-Planning Conference for MILAN 24 (Multilateral Naval Exercise- 2024) at Visakhapatnam from 19th February to 27th February 2024. This event follows a long-standing tradition of hosting the MILAN exercise, showcasing India’s commitment to fostering international maritime cooperation.

The Origins of MILAN

MILAN, a biennial multilateral naval exercise, was initiated by the Indian Navy in 1995. Initially, it was aligned with India’s ‘Look East Policy.’ However, as India’s international engagement evolved with the ‘Act East policy’ and the ‘Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’ initiative by Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi, MILAN opened its door to participation from Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs).

MILAN 22: A Glimpse of the Past

In 2022, MILAN 22 took place at and off Visakhapatnam from 25th February to 4th March. This iteration witnessed participation from a remarkable 39 countries, showcasing the exercise’s growing international appeal.

Harbour Phase Activities of MILAN 24

The upcoming MILAN 24 will consist of both a harbour phase and a sea phase. During the harbour phase, a variety of event and activities are planned, including International Maritime Seminar, City Parade at RK Beach, Swavlamban Exhibition, Subject Matter Expert Exchange and Milan of Young Officers. Ships, Maritime patrol aircraft and submarines of Friendly Foreign Countries would participate in the sea phase along with Indian Navy units.

Sea Phase Maneuvers

The sea phase of MILAN 24 will see the active involvement of naval assets from Friendly Foreign Countries alongside the Indian Navy Units. This phase will include Large-Foreign Maneuvers, Advanced Air Defense Operations, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare Operations.

Global Significance

MILAN 24 will coincide with India G20 Presidency and the conduct of the exercise would yet again realise the ‘G20 theme Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Scheduled from 19 – 27 Feb 24 at/ off Visakhapatnam, MILAN 24 is likely to witness the largest-ever participation to date with invites being extended to over 50 countries.

Indian Navy gets Third Guided Missile Destroyer Imphal

In a significant development for the Indian Navy, the state-of-the-art stealth guided missile destroyer, Yard 12706 (Imphal), has been officially transferred to Indian Navy on October 20, 2023. This momentous occassion marks a major milestone in India’s indegenous shipbuilding capabilities, enahncing its maritime strength in the Indian Ocean region.

What is Imphal or Yard 12706?

Imphal is the third vessel of Project 15B that was built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). The Project is a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers commissioned in the last decade. Imphal follows in the wake of her predecessors Indian Naval Ships Visakhapatnam and Mormugao commissioned in the past two years.

Indigenous Excellence

Imphal which is designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders stands as a symbol of India’s prowess in indigenous shipbuilding. With a displacement of 7,400 tons and an overall length of 164 meters, this guided missile destroyer boasts advanced weaponry and cutting-edge sensors, including surface-to-air missiles and torpedoes.

Impressive Performance of Imphal

Imphal, powered by a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion system featuring four gas turbines, can achieve speeds exceeding 30 knots (56 km/h). This remarkable speed and agility make the destroyer a formidable presence on the high seas, capable of swiftly responding to any situation.

High Indigenous Content

The Imphal boasts of a high indigenous content of approximately 75%. This includes Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (BEL, Bangalore), BrahMos Surface-to-Surface Missiles (BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi), Indigenous Torpedo Tube Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai), Anti-Submarine Indigenous Rocket Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai) and 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (BHEL, Haridwar). This reliance on indigenous technology showcases India’s ability to produce world-class military equipment.

A Remarkable Journey to Delivery

The keel for the Imphal was laid on 19 May, 2017 and was launched into water on 20 April, 2019. Maiden sea trials commenced on 28 April, 2023, and, ever since, has undergone a comprehensive schedule of trials in harbour and at sea, leading up to its delivery within a record timeframe of only six months. The time taken to build Imphal and for her trials is the shortest for any indigenous destroyer.

A Symbol of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’

The delivery of Imphal is an affirmation of the Indian Government’s commitment to ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat,’ which means to ‘self-reliant India.’ The ship’s induction into the Indian Navy is the result of collaborative efforts by numerous stakeholders, showcasing India’s capability to produce cutting-edge military assets domestically.

Gujarat’s Dhordo Awarded UNWTO’s Best Tourism Village 2023

The beautiful village of Dhordo in Gujarat has garnered international recognition after it secured a place on the list of the 54 best tourism villages announced by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Dhordo’s Recognition Celebrated by PM Modi and Amit Shah

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his delight at the recognition of Dhordo as the “best tourism village.” He lauded the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of the village and emphasized its potentials to attract visitors from around the world. Union Home Minister Amit Shah celebrated the achievement, acknowledging the PM’s efforts to transform the area into a world-class tourism site.

Dhordo’s Journey to Excellence

Dhordo village situated in the heart of Gujarat, has come a long way to earn its place on the global stage as a premier tourism destination. It recently hosted the inaugural Tourism Working Group Meeting of the G20, during India’s presidency of the influential group. This gathering of global leaders in the enchanting landscapes of Dhordo showcased the village’s capacity to host international events and highlighted its growing importance in the world of tourism.

UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages 2023 Accolade

The UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages 2023 accolade is a tribute to villages leading the way in nurturing rural regions, preserving landscapes, upholding cultural diversity, safeguarding local values, and celebrating culinary traditions. Launched in 2021, this initiative is a vital component of the UNWTO’s Tourism for Rural Development program, which aims to promote sustainable tourism practices.

UNWTO’s Third Edition Village Selection: 54 Chosen from Hundreds of Applications

In its third edition, the UNWTO’s initiative selected 54 villages from diverse regions out of nearly 260 applications. The announcement was made during the UNWTO General Assembly held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from October 16 to 20, where leaders and experts gathered to discuss the future of global tourism.

Global Villages Recognized Alongside Dhordo for Excellence

Alongside Dhordo, several other villages from around the world achieved recognition, including Barrancas in Chile, Biei in Japan, Cantavieja in Spain, Dahshour in Egypt, Dongbaek in the Republic of Korea, Douma in Lebanon, Ericeira in Portugal, and Filandia in Colombia, among others.

The Evaluation Process

The villages recognized by UNWTO are evaluated across nine key areas, including cultural and natural resources, the promotion and conservation of cultural resources, economic, social, and environmental sustainability, and tourism development.

These criteria ensure that recognized villages are not just beautiful destinations but also places where the local culture and environment are preserved and where tourism benefits the entire community.

The Essence of UNWTO’s Initiative

The initiative recognizes villages that have harnessed tourism as a catalyst for their development and well-being. Dhordo’s inclusion in this prestigious list signifies not only its natural beauty and cultural richness but also its commitment to sustainable tourism practices.

India’s First Semi-High-Speed Regional Rail Service ‘Namo Bharat’

India’s expanding transportation infrastructure is set to reach new heights with the country’s first semi-high-speed regional rail service, Namo Bharat. Previously known as RapidX, this innovative project is on the cusp of revolutionizing regional connectivity. This also marks the introduction of the Regional Rapid Train Service (RRTS) in India.

Revolutionizing Intercity Travel: The RRTS Advancement

The RRTS (Revolutionizing Regional Transit) is a cutting-edge regional transportation system that can compete with the world’s best. RRTS is a new kind of train system that’s faster than regular ones and runs frequently. It is a big plan to make intercity travel faster and more convenient. Trains will run every 15 minutes, and they can even run more often, every 5 minutes, if needed.

State-of-the-Art Features

The Namo Bharat trains are designed with the utmost passenger convenience and safety in mind. Each coach is equipped with six CCTVs, an emergency door-opening mechanism, and a communication button to connect with the train operator. Moreover, these trains offer features such as overhead luggage racks, Wi-Fi connectivity, and mobile and laptop charging outlets at every seat. A dedicated train attendant is present in the premium coach, ensuring a comfortable and secure journey.

Platform Screen Doors for Enhanced Safety

Safety is a paramount concern for Namo Bharat, and this is evident through the implementation of platform screen doors (PSDs) at every RRTS station. These PSDs are integrated with a signaling system, further enhancing passenger safety and minimizing the risk of accidents.

Ticketing Options for Commuters

Namo Bharat offers various ticketing modes to cater to the diverse needs of passengers. Commuters can opt for QR code-based one-time tickets or a card-based transit option for all their journeys. QR code-based tickets can be generated via ticket vending machines (TVMs) or purchased from ticket counters. The TVMs are UPI-enabled, ensuring a seamless and digital ticketing experience.

Fare Structure

Fare structures for Namo Bharat have been meticulously designed, taking into account the distance or stations covered. The minimum fare for the premium coach is set at Rs 40, with a maximum fare of Rs 100. For the five standard coaches operating on the priority section, fares range from a minimum of Rs 20 to a maximum of Rs 50.

Unprecedented Speed

The Namo Bharat trains will offer a remarkable average speed of 100 kilometers per hour, outperforming both traditional metro trains and passenger trains in the Indian Railways network. These state-of-the-art train sets have been manufactured by Alstom, a renowned company, right here in Gujarat, further bolstering India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Japan Becomes First Nation To Launch An Electromagnetic Railgun From An Offshore Vessel

Japan has recently achieved a significant milestone in the realm of defense technology. On October 17, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in collaboration with the Acquisition Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA), a division of the Japanese Ministry of Defense, successfully test-fired a medium-caliber maritime electromagnetic railgun from an offshore platform.

The First of Its Kind

ATLA made an official announcement on October 17, announcing the successful testing of the maritime electromagnetic railgun. This remarkable feat marks the first time any nation has managed to launch a railgun from an offshore platform. Typically, railguns are mounted on ships, but Japan aspires to employ this technology both on land and at sea, making this test an unprecedented advancement in the field.

Understanding the Railgun Technology

A railgun is a cutting-edge electromagnetic weapon designed to launch projectiles at incredibly high velocities, reaching speeds of approximately Mach 7, which is seven times the speed of sound. This technology is capable of targeting various objects, including ships, missiles, and aircraft. The primary goal of Japan’s railgun program is to integrate this technology with long-range missiles, augmenting its capacity to intercept aerial targets effectively.

Countering Aerial Threats

The utilization of railguns offers a promising solution for countering a range of aerial threats at sea. This includes the interception of incoming hypersonic cruise missiles and potentially even hypersonic ballistic missiles, given the remarkable speed at which projectiles can be fired from railguns. As Japan faces evolving security challenges in the region, the incorporation of railguns into its defense strategy signifies a significant step forward in safeguarding its national interests.

A Journey of Innovation

The development of maritime electromagnetic railguns in Japan has been a journey marked by continuous innovation and improvement. It began modestly with the initiation of a smaller 16mm railgun project by the agency’s Ground Systems Research Centre (GSRC) in 1990. Over the years, this concept evolved significantly. In 2016, ATLA embarked on a mission to create a prototype with anti-air and anti-missile capabilities. This undertaking reflects Japan’s determination to remain at the forefront of defense technology, adapting to emerging threats and challenges.

Impressive Power and Speed

According to a previous report published in Shephard Media, the ATLA railgun utilizes five megajoules (MJ), or five million joules (J), of charge energy. It can fire bullets at a speed of around 2,230m/s (Mach 6.5). ATLA envisions equipping it with 20 MJ of charge energy, further enhancing its capabilities. This significant energy and velocity make it a formidable weapon.

A Shift from Aegis Ashore

Japan had previously planned to add the Aegis Ashore land-based system to its missile defense arsenal, which includes Aegis destroyers and the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) ground-based system. However, the Japanese government abandoned this plan in 2020. The current idea aims to add railgun interceptors to the existing missile defense system.

Versatile Interceptors

Interceptors fired by railguns can vary in speed. Operators can change the rate at which an interceptor moves by manipulating the amount of electrical power used. These choices would be based on how quickly incoming missiles approach. Railguns are also somewhat stealthy due to the small size of their “bullets,” adding another layer of unpredictability to Japan’s missile defense strategy.

Anticipated Deployment

The system is expected to be ready for use in the second half of the 2020s. This next-generation railgun system is expected to give Japan multiple intercept capabilities in addition to long-range missiles, significantly strengthening its defensive capabilities. This achievement underscores Japan’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities in response to growing regional security threats.

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