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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-24th October 2023

SC refers electoral bond case to 5-judge Constitution Bench

The Supreme Court decided to refer a group of petitions challenging the electoral bond scheme for political party funding to a five-judge Constitution bench. The bench, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, received an urgent application requesting a conclusive judgment. The matter is set to be heard on October 30.

What are Electoral Bonds?

  • Electoral bonds are introduced as an alternative to providing cash donations to political parties. This change aims to make political funding more transparent and accountable.

Key Points

  • Urgent Referral: The Supreme Court received an urgent application requesting a larger bench to provide a conclusive judgment on the validity of the electoral bond scheme.

  • Date of Hearing: The matter is scheduled for a hearing on October 30, which was the previously fixed date for the hearing.

  • Previous Submissions: Earlier, lawyer Prashant Bhushan had emphasized the need for adjudication before the scheme’s implementation in the 2024 general elections. The court had decided to conduct a final hearing based on these submissions.

  • Pending PILs: There are four Public Interest Litigations (PILs) pending on this issue, indicating the public interest and concern regarding the electoral bond scheme.

  • Concerns Raised: One of the PIL petitioners had stated in March that a substantial amount, totaling Rs 12,000 crore, had been paid to political parties through electoral bonds. Furthermore, it was noted that a significant portion of this amount had been directed to a major political party, raising concerns about fairness and transparency.

HP Appoints Ipsita Dasgupta as Senior Vice President & MD for India

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has announced a significant leadership change with the appointment of Ipsita Dasgupta as the Senior Vice President & Managing Director for its India market. Ms. Dasgupta’s role will encompass overseeing all facets of HP’s strategy and profitability in the India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka regions.

Responsibilities and Reporting Structure

In her new role, Ms. Dasgupta will bear the responsibility of leading and steering HP’s operations, strategy, and profit and loss (P&L) for these vital South Asian markets. Her strategic vision and leadership will play a pivotal role in shaping HP’s continued growth and impact in the region. She is scheduled to officially assume her duties at HP on October 30, and she will directly report to David McQuarrie, HP’s Chief Commercial Officer.

An Accomplished Journey

Ipsita Dasgupta brings a wealth of experience and accomplishment to her role at HP. Her career includes key positions in esteemed organizations, further underscoring her value to HP’s leadership team. Prior to her role at HP, she held a variety of executive positions, including serving as the President of Corporate Strategy and Incubated Business at Star India, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Additionally, she has played a vital role as the Chief Commercial Officer for South Asia and Greater China at General Electric Company.

A Record of Excellence at Apple

Dasgupta’s association with Apple, one of the world’s foremost tech giants, is notable. Her role as the Senior Director of Marketing for Apple Services based at the company’s headquarters involved spearheading global synergy marketing, external partnership marketing, consumer insights, and market and competitive intelligence for Apple’s subscription services. Her experience at Apple has contributed to her expertise in navigating the dynamic and evolving tech industry.

A Seasoned Leader with Global Experience

With 24 years of international operating experience across various industries, Ipsita Dasgupta is a seasoned leader who possesses a profound understanding of the global business landscape. Her multifaceted career journey and her executive roles in both media and technology corporations position her as an ideal candidate to lead HP’s endeavors in the India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka markets.

HP’s strategic appointment of Ms. Dasgupta reflects the company’s commitment to harnessing top-tier talent to drive its growth and impact in critical regions. With her wealth of experience and exceptional track record, Ipsita Dasgupta is poised to lead HP into an exciting new chapter of progress and innovation in South Asia.

RBI initiates Pilot Run to Test E-Rupee for Inter-Bank Borrowing

The Reserve Bank of India has taken a significant step in the digital transformation of the nation’s financial landscape by initiating a pilot run to test the E-Rupee, a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), for inter-bank borrowing. The E-Rupee pilot project is a remarkable endeavor that seeks to harness the potential of blockchain technology and digital currency to revolutionize the way inter-bank transactions are conducted in India.

Expanding the Digital Horizon

The pilot project is believed to have been introduced via nine prominent banks, which were already part of the G-Sec pilot. These banks include:

  • State Bank of India

  • Bank of Baroda

  • Union Bank of India

  • HDFC Bank

  • ICICI Bank

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank

  • Yes Bank

  • IDFC Bank

  • HSBC

With these banking giants on board, the E-Rupee pilot project is set to make significant strides in the financial technology sector.

Retail CBDC Initiative

RBI’s journey into the realm of CBDCs began with the launch of the wholesale CBDC pilot in November 2022, aimed at facilitating settlement in the secondary government securities market. Later, in December 2022, the retail CBDC pilot was introduced, targeting peer-to-peer (P2P) and peer-to-merchant (P2M) transactions. This diversification showcases the central bank’s commitment to exploring innovative and inclusive financial solutions.

Aims and Progress of the Retail CBDC Pilot

One of the key objectives of the retail CBDC pilot is reach a daily transaction volume of 10 lakh (1 million) transactions by December 2023. RBI is diligently working to set the stage for achieving this target, focusing on crucial elements like interoperability among various stakeholders. The initial transactions rate of 18,000-20,000 transactions per day is expected to significantly increase in the coming months.

Testing User Behavior and Safety Measures

An essential aspect of the pilot project is to evaluate the behavioral patterns for users. The insights gathered during this phase will inform design choices and decisions on the policy framework. The ultimate goal is to facilitate financial transactions using CBDC while ensuring the safety and stability of the financial system.

Public Tech Platform for Frictionless Credit

In another remarkable development, RBI introduced a public tech platform for frictionless credit on August 17, 2023. This platform has garnered significant attention and participation from lenders. As of September 29, lenders have already disbursed over 7,000 loans worth Rs.1,400 crore using this platform. The system is designed to optimize costs and improve the turnaround time for loan sanction and disbursement.

Fintech Regulation and Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs)

RBI is taking a cautious and phased approach to fintech regulation. The Central bank recognizes the importance of regulating the fintech industry but wants to ensure that it is done thoughtfully and comprehensively. However, it has announced that the guidelines for self-regulatory organizations (SROs) will be introduced within this year. This move is expected to provide a structure framework for fintech entities to self-regulate and adhere to industry standards.

The Road Ahead

The E-Rupee pilot project and the developments in the digital financial landscape signal a transformation period for India’s banking and financial sectors. The initiatives by the RBI demonstrate the commitment to harnessing the potential of technology for the benefit of citizens and the economy. As the pilot progresses and the digital infrastructure strengthens, the RBI is poised to lead India into a more technologically advanced and efficient financial era.

RBI Revises KYC Rules, Offering Improved Guidance To Prevent Money Laundering

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently made significant revisions to its master direction on Know Your Customer (KYC) for regulated entities. These changes incorporate amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering rules and, importantly, deal with the requirement of beneficial owner (BO) identification for partnership firms.

Redefined Principal Officer (PO)

Under the revised norms, the definition of “Principal Officer” has been clarified. A Principal Officer is now defined as an officer at the management level nominated by the regulated entity (RE). This change aims to provide greater clarity regarding the individuals responsible for furnishing information. It ensures that senior management is held accountable for compliance with KYC regulations.

Refined Customer Due Diligence (CDD)

The revised guidelines have fine-tuned the definition of Customer Due Diligence (CDD). This step is crucial in enhancing the efficacy of KYC processes. The CDD now encompasses not only the identification and verification of the customer’s identity but also emphasizes the use of reliable and independent sources for this purpose.

Comprehensive Information On Business Relationship

Moreover, regulated entities must now obtain comprehensive information on the purpose and intended nature of the business relationship. This development underscores the importance of understanding the context in which a customer engages with the entity, which is essential for assessing potential money laundering or illicit activities.

Enhanced Beneficial Owner (BO) Identification

One of the most significant changes is the emphasis on identifying beneficial owners, particularly for partnership firms. Regulated entities and concerned officials are now required to take reasonable steps to understand the nature of the customer’s business, its ownership and control structure, and whether the customer is acting on behalf of a beneficial owner.

Preventing Misuse Of Financial Systems For Illegal Activities

Identifying the beneficial owner is crucial in combating money laundering and ensuring transparency. The RBI mandates that regulated entities must take all necessary steps to verify the identity of the beneficial owner, using reliable and independent sources. This change is in line with international standards and aims to prevent the misuse of financial systems for illegal activities.

Revised Ongoing Due Diligence

The definition of “Ongoing Due Diligence” has also undergone changes. Regulated entities are now directed to ensure that transactions in the customer’s account align with their knowledge about the customer, the customer’s business, and risk profile, as well as the source of funds or wealth. This continuous monitoring is essential in identifying suspicious or unusual activities promptly.

Implications for Regulated Entities

These amendments to the KYC guidelines have far-reaching implications for regulated entities in India. They underscore the importance of compliance with rigorous KYC requirements, which are essential for preventing money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial activities. Some of the key implications include:

National Police Commemoration Day 2023 Celebrates on 21 October

On October 21, 1959, ten courageous Policemen laid down their lives in a fierce ambush by heavily armed Chinese troops at Hot Springs in Ladakh. In their memory and that of all Police personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty, October 21 is observed as Police Commemoration Day. This day serves as a poignant reminder of the brave men and women who dedicated their lives to preserving national security and integrity.

Inaugurating the National Police Memorial

In 2018, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji dedicated the National Police Memorial (NPM) in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, to the nation on Police Commemoration Day. The NPM plays a pivotal role in giving Police Forces a sense of national identity, pride, unity of purpose, common history, and shared destiny. It reinforces their unwavering commitment to protect the nation, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.

The Components of the National Police Memorial

The NPM is a multifaceted tribute to the valor and sacrifice of Police personnel. It comprises three main components:

  • The Central Sculpture: This 30-foot-high granite monolith cenotaph symbolizes the strength, resilience, and selfless service of Police personnel. It stands as a testament to their unwavering dedication.

  • The Wall of Valour: Engraved with the names of martyrs, this wall serves as a steadfast acknowledgment of the bravery and sacrifice of Police personnel who have laid down their lives in the line of duty since Independence.

  • The Museum: Conceptualized as a historical and evolving exhibition on policing in India, the museum provides a comprehensive look into the history and role of the police in the country.

A Site of Reverence and Pilgrimage

The NPM is more than just a memorial; it is a site of pilgrimage and a place of reverence for Police personnel and citizens alike. It reminds all who visit of the tremendous sacrifices made by these brave men and women in uniform. The Memorial is open to the public on all days except Mondays.

Commemorative Events on Police Commemoration Day

October 21, Police Commemoration Day, is observed nationwide. The main function is held at the National Police Memorial and is customarily presided over by the Union Home Minister. The day includes a joint parade of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) along with Delhi Police, wreath-laying ceremonies, and an address by the Union Home Minister, highlighting the challenges of policing.

Honoring Martyrs and Their Families

During the commemoration period, which extends from October 22 to 30, various events are organized at the NPM. These include visits by family members of martyrs, Police Band Displays, motorcycle rallies, runs for martyrs, blood donation camps, essay and painting competitions, and video film displays showcasing the sacrifice, valor, and service of Police personnel.

Nationwide Commemorative Programs

Similar programs are organized across the country by all Police Forces during this period, ensuring that the sacrifices made by Police personnel are remembered and honored from the nation’s capital to the farthest corners of the country.

Police Commemoration Day, as observed in India, is a solemn occasion to remember and pay homage to the brave men and women in uniform who gave their lives to protect the nation and its people. The National Police Memorial stands as a powerful symbol of their valor and commitment to duty.

International Chef’s Day 2023 Celebrates On 20th October

Every year, on October 20th, International Chefs Day is celebrated worldwide, paying tribute to the art and science of cooking. This day, introduced by the late chef Dr. Bill Gallagher in 2004, serves as a platform to honor the contributions of chefs across the globe. This article explores the history, significance, and theme of International Chefs Day, emphasizing the importance of culinary expertise and a commitment to passing it on to the next generation.

The Origin of International Chefs Day

Dr. Bill Gallagher’s Legacy

International Chefs Day owes its existence to the vision of the late chef, Dr. Bill Gallagher. Established in 2004, this annual celebration is dedicated to recognizing and appreciating the culinary community’s significant role.

International Chefs Day: Theme 2023

‘Growing A Healthy Future’

According to the World Chefs official website, the theme for this year’s International Chefs Day celebration is ‘Growing A Healthy Future.’ This theme underscores the importance of ensuring a healthy and sustainable planet for future generations through culinary practices.

A Glimpse into Culinary History

The Ancient Roots

The culinary profession has a rich history dating back centuries. Roman gourmet Marcus Apicius authored the world’s first cookbook in the first century A.D., featuring over 400 recipes. This historical fact highlights the enduring existence of culinary arts.

The Birth of the Restaurant

In 1765, a Parisian named Boulanger opened the first restaurant, which he called ‘restoratives’ or ‘restaurant.’ He believed that his recipes had the power to “restore life,” ushering in a new era of dining experiences.

Auguste Escoffier’s Legacy

In 1846, Auguste Escoffier, a renowned French chef, established the Brigade System. This innovative culinary system sought to reduce work hours for cooks and streamline kitchen tasks for maximum efficiency. Escoffier’s contribution transformed the culinary world.

The Significance of International Chefs Day

Honoring Culinary Excellence

International Chefs Day is a day to pay homage to chefs across the world. It is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate their dedication and passion for the culinary arts.

Embracing the Chef Within

This day serves as a reminder that each of us possesses the potential to experiment in the kitchen. Whether as children or adults, almost everyone has dabbled in cooking. International Chefs Day underscores the idea that culinary creativity is within everyone’s reach.

Promoting Healthy Eating

In addition to celebrating culinary expertise, International Chefs Day highlights the importance of incorporating healthy dietary habits into our daily routines. It encourages us to make mindful food choices for our well-being.

Who Attacked First Israel Or Palestine 2023?

In 2023, a significant and distressing conflict unfolded between Israel and Palestine, sparked by a series of events that escalated tensions to a critical level. Here’s a concise overview for students who seek to comprehend this complex situation. On October 7, 2023, the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, unleashed a sudden and intense attack by launching approximately 3,000 rockets towards major Israeli cities in a mere 20 minutes. This act of aggression marked the beginning of the conflict.

Israel’s Response

In response to this severe threat, Israel took swift and decisive action. They launched airstrikes on Gaza Strip, targeting areas associated with Hamas. The situation escalated further when Israeli ministers declared a “Complete Siege” on Gaza, an already blockaded region. This siege cut off vital supplies like food, water, and electricity to its two million residents, causing immense suffering.

Kidnappings and Escalation

Adding to the gravity of the situation, Hamas kidnapped over a hundred Israeli citizens, including soldiers and foreigners. This not only intensified hostilities but also raised concerns about the safety of the abducted individuals.

Historical Context

This conflict is noteworthy for being the first direct Israel-Gaza conflict within Israel’s borders since the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. Hamas militants breached the Gaza-Israel barrier, infiltrating Israeli settlements and military installations via the Gaza border crossing. Their offensive began with a vehicular attack and a barrage of rockets, targeting military bases and civilian communities.

Potential “Intifada”

Some observers have labeled this conflict as the potential start of a third Palestinian Intifada, which are periods of heightened Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation.

Human Toll and Ongoing Crisis

As of October 18, 2023, the situation is grim. A hospital in Gaza has been hit, resulting in a considerable loss of life. The death toll continues to rise, with over 900 casualties in Israel and more than 2,300 in Gaza. Thousands have been injured on both sides, causing widespread suffering.

Combined Impact

In total, the death count has exceeded 4,000 when considering both Israeli and Palestinian casualties. This conflict underscores the urgency for peaceful resolution in this longstanding and deeply rooted conflict. Students studying this subject should explore the historical background, humanitarian concerns, and the importance of diplomacy and peace-building in the region.


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