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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-23rd September 2023

TCS Partners with BankID BankAxept to Bolster Norway’s Financial Infrastructure

In a strategic move, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a prominent player in the IT industry, has joined forces with Norway’s national payment and electronic identity system, BankID BankAxept. This collaboration is set to fortify Norway’s financial infrastructure, focusing on resilience, security, and availability.

BankAxept and BankID: Pillars of Norway’s Financial Landscape

BankAxept: The Backbone of Payment Systems

  • Norway’s national payment system, BankAxept, stands at the core of the country’s payment ecosystem.

  • Remarkably, 80% of card payments in Norway are processed through the BankAxept card.

BankID: The Trusted eID Verification Solution

  • BankID is the go-to electronic identity verification solution in Norway.

  • More than 90% of Norway’s population, financial institutions, public entities, and commercial enterprises rely on BankID for secure identity verification.

TCS’s Role in Strengthening Norway’s Financial Infrastructure

Establishment of an Operations Command Centre

  • TCS is committed to establishing a cutting-edge operations command centre in Oslo, Norway.

  • This centre is poised to provide swift responses to any disruptions in services, security incidents, or client requests pertaining to Norway’s national payment and electronic identity verification systems.

Compliance and Security

  • New regulations mandate BankID to deliver a compliant, trustworthy, and secure electronic identity solution.

  • The partnership emphasizes round-the-clock support to ensure the highest standards of reliability.

The 24×7 Operations Command Centre in Oslo

Meeting Critical Needs

  • TCS’s command centre in Oslo will cater to all users and clients of BankID BankAxept AS.

  • Its primary objective is to ensure rapid responses to service interruptions, security concerns, or client inquiries related to Norway’s vital payment and electronic identity verification systems.

Advanced Monitoring Framework

  • TCS will implement a robust monitoring framework within the command centre.

  • This framework is designed to anticipate, address, and preempt issues across the financial services value chain, safeguarding the broader ecosystem.

Streamlined Communication and Issue Resolution

  • The framework includes a streamlined communication mechanism with a team of experts and vendors.

  • It expedites the identification of root causes and facilitates collaborative issue resolution.

Effective Oversight

  • The command centre is fully equipped to oversee teams and vendors, ensuring prompt resolution of disruptions, urgent security alerts, or events.

  • Additionally, it can integrate value-added services from partner ecosystems, further enhancing its capabilities.

Conclusion

The collaboration between Tata Consultancy Services and BankID BankAxept represents a significant step towards reinforcing Norway’s financial infrastructure. With a strong focus on resilience, security, and availability, this partnership aims to provide a robust foundation for the nation’s payment and electronic identity systems, ensuring compliance and trust for users across the country. The establishment of the operations command centre in Oslo signifies a commitment to swift and effective responses, ultimately contributing to the stability and reliability of Norway’s financial landscape.

Sports Minister Cancels Visit to Asian Games Due to China’s Denial of Entry to Arunachal Players

Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has called off his trip to the Asian Games in protest of China’s refusal to grant entry to Indian Wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh. This decision has come amidst an official protest by the Indian government against China’s discriminatory treatment of these athletes.

Denial of Entry Despite Valid Accreditation:

  • Three players, Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega, and Mepung Lamgu, were denied entry into China despite possessing valid e-accreditations from the event organizers.

  • Ms. Wangsu couldn’t board her flight, while the other two were allowed to travel only up to Hong Kong. This casts doubt on their participation in the event scheduled for Sunday.

Surprise and Strong Action:

  • The Indian government expressed surprise at China’s treatment of the Arunachal Pradesh athletes, considering their valid accreditation.

  • Minister Anurag Thakur was originally scheduled to attend the Asian Games inauguration by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hangzhou but decided to cancel the visit upon learning of the athletes’ situation.

  • India lodged official protests with Beijing in response.

Accreditation Cards as Visas:

  • The Asian Games protocol stipulated that accreditation cards served as visas for entry into China, rather than visas on athletes’ passports.

  • It is believed that an “oversight” by Chinese sporting officials led to this situation.

Targeted Discrimination and Indian Protest:

  • The Indian Ministry of External Affairs accused China of “targeted and pre-meditated” discrimination against Indian sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh.

  • India firmly rejected differential treatment based on domicile or ethnicity.

  • As a mark of protest, Minister Anurag Thakur canceled his visit to China for the Games.

OCA’s Response:

  • The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Games organizing committee welcomed the Indian contingent into the Athletes’ Village but refrained from commenting on the Arunachal Pradesh athletes’ issue.

  • The OCA pledged to work towards a swift solution to the problem and was discussing it with the government.

China’s Perspective:

  • Wei Jizhong, honorary life vice-president of the OCA executive board, claimed that China had issued visas, but the Indian athletes had not accepted them.

  • The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated that they have never recognized Arunachal Pradesh as a separate entity.

Past Incidents:

  • In a previous case in July, members of the Wushu team from Arunachal Pradesh were given “stapled visas” for the World University Games, which India deemed unacceptable.

  • In February 2022, India announced a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing due to China’s decision to include a People’s Liberation Army soldier in the event.

The Zagorochoria, Nestled On Mount Pindos In Epirus Added To UNESCO’s World Heritage List

A cluster of traditional, picturesque villages on Mount Pindos in Epirus, known as the Zagorochoria (or villages of Zagori), was recently inducted onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This momentous decision was made during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, marking a significant milestone in Greece‘s cultural heritage preservation efforts.

A Cultural Milestone for Greece

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni expressed her elation, stating, “It is the first time that a cultural area of Greece that comprises an outstanding example of our modern cultural heritage is listed.” This recognition is a historic achievement for Greece as it diverges from the typical ancient Greek and Byzantine focus of previous listings on the World Heritage List.

UNESCO Recognition and Cultural Preservation Obligation

UNESCO recognized the remarkable ecumenical value of Zagori architecture, showcasing its exemplary fusion of Byzantine and Ottoman architectural influences. Furthermore, UNESCO acknowledged the area’s authenticity and integrity as essential criteria for its prestigious inclusion on the World Heritage List. The Culture Minister emphasized that this listing serves as both an invitation and a solemn obligation for Greece to safeguard and preserve the cultural legacy of Zagorochoria.

The Enchanting Zagorochoria Villages

Located in a remote rural landscape in northwestern Greece, Zagorochoria consists of small stone villages that sprawl along the western slopes of the northern part of the Pindus mountain range. These traditional villages are typically organized around a central square, featuring ancient plane trees and surrounded by sacred forests meticulously maintained by local communities. What makes these villages truly remarkable is their architecture, perfectly adapted to the rugged mountain topography.

A Network of Tradition

A network of stone-arched bridges, stone-cobbled paths, and stone staircases seamlessly connects these charming villages, forming a system that once served as a political and social unit, linking the communities of the Voidomatis River basin. These historic structures are not just testaments to architectural prowess but also symbolic of the deep-rooted traditions and sense of community that define Zagorochoria.

Prime Minister’s Praise

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed the inclusion of Zagorochoria on the UNESCO World Heritage List via social media. He applauded the efforts of the culture ministry and the Epirus Regional Authority, noting that this achievement aligned with his own personal commitment since 2019. The inclusion of Zagorochoria showcases the fruitful collaboration between government bodies, local communities, and cultural enthusiasts in preserving Greece’s rich heritage.

I2U2 Group of India, Israel, UAE & US announces joint space venture

The I2U2 group comprising India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States has unveiled an ambitious joint space venture. This collaborative initiative aims to create a groundbreaking space-based tool with wide-ranging applications for policymakers, institutions, and entrepreneurs. The announcement follows India’s recent successful lunar mission, marking a significant milestone for the quartet’s space exploration efforts.

The I2U2 Group’s Space Endeavor

Exploring Space Collaboration

  • Against the backdrop of India’s triumphant lunar soft-landing, the I2U2 group, consisting of four nations deeply engaged in space exploration, has come together to pioneer a unique space-based tool.

Partners Committed to the Artemis Accords

India, Israel, UAE, and the United States, all signatories of the Artemis Accords—a pivotal international agreement in space exploration—jointly announced this groundbreaking initiative during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Harnessing Space-Based Observation Data

  • The core of this project revolves around harnessing the space-based observation data and capabilities possessed by the four I2U2 partner nations.

  • The objective is to leverage this data to create a distinctive tool with applications spanning multiple domains.

Applications of the Space-Based Tool

Empowering Decision-Makers

  • This innovative space-based tool is envisioned to empower policymakers, institutions, and entrepreneurs.

  • It will serve as a valuable resource for making informed decisions in various sectors.

Addressing Environmental and Climate Change Challenges

  • One of the primary focuses of this initiative is to aid in addressing environmental and climate change challenges.

  • The tool will provide critical data and insights to combat pressing global issues.

Advancing Space Data Applications for Humanity’s Benefit

  • The overarching goal is to further cooperation in applying space data for the greater good of humanity.

  • By fostering collaboration among these nations, the venture seeks to unlock the full potential of space technology for the betterment of society.

I2U2: The West Asian QUAD

An Emerging Force in Space Exploration

  • Often referred to as the West Asian QUAD, I2U2 is a collaborative grouping that has its sights set on mobilizing private sector capital to achieve a diverse range of objectives.

Global Impact

  • The I2U2 partnership is not constrained by geographic boundaries.

  • It is actively exploring opportunities wherever it can make a positive impact, emphasizing a global perspective.

Conclusion

The I2U2 group’s joint space venture represents a remarkable convergence of capabilities, resources, and vision in the field of space exploration. With a shared commitment to the Artemis Accords and a dedication to leveraging space-based data, these four nations are embarking on a journey to create a transformative space tool. This tool is poised to empower decision-makers, confront environmental and climate challenges, and advance the application of space data for the betterment of humanity. As the I2U2 partnership continues to evolve, it stands as a testament to the potential for international collaboration to unlock the mysteries of space and address pressing global issues.

Quad Foreign Ministers Meet on the Sidelines of UNGA

On the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Foreign Ministers from the Quad nations – India, Australia, Japan, and the U.S. – convened to discuss various important issues.

Reaffirming Commitment to a “Free and Open” Indo-Pacific

The Quad ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region, emphasizing the resolution of disputes in accordance with international law. They also pledged allegiance to the principles outlined in the UN charter and voiced support for UN reform.

Addressing Counterterrorism

During the meeting, the Quad ministers discussed the findings of the Quad Counterterrorism Working Group’s Consequence Management Exercise, which focused on how the Quad could assist countries in the region that have faced terror attacks. Plans for a future tabletop exercise in Hawaii were also on the agenda. The ministers emphasized their dedication to countering terrorism in all its forms, including addressing terror financing, cross-border movement of terrorists, and the misuse of emerging technologies for terror activities.

Concerns Over Ukraine Conflict

The Quad ministers expressed “deep concern” about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine without directly naming Russia as the aggressor. They called for a “just” and “lasting” peace in Ukraine, aligning with international law and the principles of the UN Charter.

Support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative

The Quad lent support to the UN’s efforts to restart the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), a crucial agreement for the export of grain from Ukraine and Russia. The previous agreement had expired in July, prompting calls for its resumption, including at the G-20 summit in New Delhi.

Push for Comprehensive UN Reform

The Quad nations stressed the need for comprehensive UN reform, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent representation on the UN Security Council. They also voiced concerns about attempts to undermine the international system, possibly alluding to Russia’s use of the veto in the Security Council concerning the Ukraine conflict.

References to China and Freedom of Navigation

In the joint statement, there were indirect references to China, particularly regarding the importance of respecting freedom of navigation and overflight as determined by UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). The statement also expressed opposition to changes in the status quo through coercion.

Condemnation of North Korea and Support for Myanmar Transition

The Quad nations condemned North Korea’s “destabilizing” missile launches and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Regarding Myanmar, they expressed support for a transition to an “inclusive federal democracy” and the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus, an agreement reached in April 2021 between the Myanmar junta and the ASEAN group of countries.

Commitment to Practical Initiatives

The Quad ministers reiterated their commitment to practical initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Quad Infrastructure Fellowship Programme, pandemic preparedness exercises, and the development of a “trusted and secure” telecommunications network.

PM Modi attends the ‘International Lawyers Conference’ in New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘International Lawyers’ Conference 2023‘ at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan today. This conference, organized by the Bar Council of India, has brought together legal experts from across the globe to deliberate on the theme ‘Emerging Challenges in Justice Delivery System.’ The event, scheduled for September 23 and 24, marks the first of its kind in India and aims to facilitate discussions on pressing legal issues of both national and international significance.

A Platform for Dialogue and Collaboration

The primary objective of the International Lawyers’ Conference 2023 is to serve as a platform for meaningful dialogue and discussion on various legal topics. The conference is designed to foster the exchange of ideas and experiences among legal professionals and strengthen international cooperation while enhancing the understanding of legal issues.

The theme ‘Emerging Challenges in Justice Delivery System‘ holds immense relevance in the current global context. The justice delivery system plays a pivotal role in maintaining the rule of law, protecting human rights, and ensuring access to justice for all. Therefore, this conference is expected to offer valuable insights and solutions to address the evolving challenges in the legal sphere.

International Lawyers’ Conference 2023: Key Discussion Areas

Throughout the two-day event, experts and participants will delve into a wide range of topics that are shaping the legal landscape. Some of the key discussion areas include:

Emerging Legal Trends: The legal profession is constantly evolving, influenced by societal changes and technological advancements. Legal experts will share their insights into the latest trends and developments in the field.

Challenges in Cross-Border Litigation: As globalization continues to connect nations, cross-border litigation poses unique challenges. The conference will explore strategies and best practices to address these complex legal matters.

Legal Technology: Technology is transforming the legal profession, from research and documentation to dispute resolution. The event will feature discussions on the role of technology in modern legal practice.

Environmental Law: With growing concerns about climate change and environmental conservation, legal experts will discuss the role of law in addressing environmental challenges and promoting sustainability.

Inauguration by Distinguished Leaders

Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, inaugurated the event alongside Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India, representing the highest authority in the Indian judiciary. The inaugural ceremony also featured Union Law Minister Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal as the Guest of Honour, enhancing the event’s prestige. Furthermore, the valedictory session witnessed the participation of Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah and The Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom. This distinguished gathering also included Judges from the Supreme Court of India, making it a truly momentous occasion in the legal arena.

Global Scholars and Legal Luminaries

In addition to the distinguished judges and leaders, the conference is set to host a record number of esteemed scholars. These scholars hail from the Supreme Court and various High Courts of India, bringing a rich diversity of perspectives to the table. Their insights and research will enrich the discourse and contribute to the conference’s mission of promoting meaningful dialogue.

International Day of Sign Languages 2023: Date, Theme, Significance and History

The United Nations General Assembly has designated September 23rd as the International Day of Sign Languages to raise awareness about the crucial role sign language plays in upholding the human rights of individuals who are deaf.

Each year on September 23rd, the International Day of Sign Languages is observed as an opportunity to promote and safeguard the linguistic and cultural heritage of the deaf community. Sign language serves as a unifying tool, making it essential to acknowledge and commemorate this day. It’s important to note that each year, the International Day of Sign Languages adopts a different theme. It is encouraged for everyone to actively engage in related activities and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of sign language.

History of International Day of Sign Languages 2023

The concept of the International Day of Sign Languages was introduced by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), an organization representing the human rights of approximately 70 million deaf individuals through its 135 national member associations. The inaugural celebration took place in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf.

Theme of International Day of Sign Languages 2023

The theme for this year is “A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere!”. This theme underscores the unifying power of sign languages, emphasizing its importance for deaf communities, governments, and civil society organizations.

Significance of International Day of Sign Languages 2023

The significance of IDSL is to:

  • Promote the linguistic identity and cultural heritage of deaf people.

  • Advocate for the recognition and protection of sign languages as full and equal languages.

  • Raise awareness of the challenges faced by deaf people in accessing information and services in sign language.

  • Promote the use of sign language in all aspects of life, including education, employment, healthcare, and government.

Sign languages are the natural languages of deaf people. They are fully developed languages with their own grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Sign languages are used by deaf people all over the world to communicate with each other and with hearing people who know sign language.

IDSL is an important opportunity to celebrate the diversity of sign languages and to promote their use in all aspects of life. It is also a day to raise awareness of the challenges faced by deaf people and to advocate for their rights.


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