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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-25th September 2023

Apple Plans to Boost Production in India Fivefold to $40 Billion Over Next 4-5 Years

Apple, the renowned iPhone maker, is gearing up to significantly expand its manufacturing operations in India. Government sources report that the company aims to increase its production in the country by over fivefold, reaching approximately $40 billion (about 3.32 lakh crore) within the next 4-5 years.

This ambitious move follows Apple’s successful crossing of the $7 billion production mark in the previous fiscal year. In addition to iPhones, Apple is poised to commence manufacturing AirPods in India. However, it appears that the company currently has no immediate plans to produce iPads, laptops, or participate in IT hardware Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes.

Production Growth Targets:

  • Apple plans to scale up its production in India from $7 billion to a remarkable $40 billion within the next 4-5 years.

  • The company aims to establish itself as a major player in India’s manufacturing landscape.

Product Expansion:

  • Apple, known for manufacturing iPhones in India, is set to diversify its production by adding AirPods to its manufacturing portfolio.

  • While iPhones are already being produced in India, the manufacturing of AirPods is expected to commence in the near future.

No Immediate Plans for iPads and Laptops:

  • Despite its expansion in smartphone and accessory production, Apple currently has no intentions to manufacture iPads or laptops in India.

  • The company is not participating in IT hardware PLI schemes at this time, with potential future considerations.

Global Sales Overview:

  • In the last fiscal year, Apple achieved impressive global sales figures, including $191 billion from iPhone sales and $38.36 billion from the wearable, home, and accessories segment.

  • Although the company reported a slight dip in iPhone sales and the wearable, home, and accessories segment in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, it remains a global tech giant.

Becoming the Leading Mobile Phone Exporter:

  • Apple has successfully become the largest exporter of mobile phones from India, solidifying its presence in the country’s manufacturing and export sectors.

Strong Demand for iPhone 15 Series:

  • The launch of Apple’s iPhone 15 series witnessed remarkable growth, with sales surpassing the previous iPhone 14 series.

  • India is among the top-five markets for Apple, underscoring the increasing demand for its products in the country.

Same-Day Availability of ‘Made-in-India’ iPhones:

  • Apple’s latest move includes making ‘made-in-India’ iPhones available for purchase on the same day as their global launch.

  • This signifies the company’s commitment to India as a significant market for its products.

Market Dominance in Ultra-Premium Segment:

  • According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple holds a commanding 59 percent market share in the ultra-premium smartphone segment (phones priced above Rs 45,000) during the first quarter of 2023.

  • India has emerged as one of the top-five markets for Apple, indicating its growing influence and market presence.

Goa Has Approved A New Beach Shack Policy To Promote Local Tourism Within The State

Goa, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Orient,” is a coastal paradise in India known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history. Recently, the government of Goa has approved a groundbreaking policy named “Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026” to enhance the beach experience for tourists while promoting sustainable tourism and economic opportunities for the local community. This policy is set to redefine the beach scene in Goa.

Seasonal Structures by the Sea

One of the most exciting aspects of the “Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026” is the provision for the creation of seasonal structures along the beaches. These structures, including deck beds, umbrellas, and beach shacks, are designed to elevate the beach experience for visitors during the upcoming tourist seasons. This innovative approach aims to strike a balance between enhancing tourism and preserving Goa’s natural beauty.

Eco-Friendly Beach Shacks

Beach shacks, in particular, have always been a favorite among both domestic and international visitors. What makes these beach shacks even more appealing is their eco-friendly construction using raw materials such as wooden poles and bamboo. Not only do they blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, but they also provide employment opportunities for the local Goan population.

  • Temporary Operation and Dismantling

According to the policy, these beach shacks will operate during the temporary tourist season, spanning from September 1 to May 31st. However, in a bid to maintain the pristine beauty of Goa’s beaches, the shacks are required to be dismantled by June 10 each year, ensuring minimal environmental impact.

  • Allotment of Beach Shacks

The policy outlines strict guidelines for the allotment of beach shacks. In South Goa, a total of 105 shacks are permitted, while North Goa will have 259 shacks. The allocation of licenses for operating these shacks is determined through a draw of lots, with only one shack permitted per family. This approach ensures fairness and equal opportunities for all interested parties.

  • Age Criteria

Applicants for beach shack licenses are required to be between the ages of 18 and 60. However, a significant portion of the shacks, 90 percent, will be allocated to applicants with a minimum of one year of experience in running beach shacks, while the remaining 10 percent will be reserved for those without such experience. This approach seeks to strike a balance between preserving traditional beach shacks and fostering innovation in the industry.

“Digital Coast” Initiative

Another exciting aspect of the policy is the introduction of the “Digital Coast.” Shack allottees will be provided with Point of Sale (POS) machines to facilitate digital transactions, ensuring convenience for customers and transparency in financial transactions.

Penalties for Violations

In an effort to enforce the policy’s guidelines and maintain quality standards, penalties have been introduced. For instance, the penalty for subletting a shack has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. Additionally, there is a provision for imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 in case a toilet facility is found to be unhygienic, emphasizing the importance of cleanliness and sanitation on the beaches.

Balancing Tourism, Environment, and Local Economy

The “Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026” is poised to bring about significant changes to the beach tourism landscape in Goa. While it faces its fair share of controversies, the policy aims to strike a balance between promoting tourism, preserving the environment, and providing economic opportunities for the local community. As Goa continues to enchant visitors with its breathtaking beaches, this policy sets a new standard for sustainable and responsible beach tourism.

India Celebrates Milestone with 75% of Villages Declaring ODF Plus Status

India’s Jal Shakti minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, recently announced a significant achievement in the country’s sanitation efforts. He reported that 75% of Indian villages, totaling about 4.4 lakh, have attained the coveted ‘Open Defecation Free Plus’ (ODF Plus) status. This milestone signifies a crucial step toward fulfilling the goals of the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin by 2024-25.

What is ODF Plus?

An ‘ODF Plus’ village is one that has not only maintained its Open Defecation Free (ODF) status but has also successfully implemented either solid or liquid waste management systems.

National Progress:

  • Over 4.43 lakh villages in India have voluntarily declared themselves as ODF Plus.

  • This achievement is a significant stride in the nationwide sanitation campaign.

State-wise Success:

  • Villages in 14 states and Union Territories (UTs) have achieved ODF Plus Status.

  • Four among them have been declared as ‘ODF Plus Model’ villages.

Top Performing States and UTs:

The following states and UTs boast 100% ODF Plus villages:

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands

  • Dadra Nagar Haveli

  • Goa

  • Gujarat

  • Himachal Pradesh

  • Jammu & Kashmir

  • Karnataka

  • Kerala

  • Ladakh

  • Puducherry

  • Sikkim

  • Tamil Nadu

  • Telangana

  • Tripura

‘ODF Plus Model’ Villages:

  • Among these, Andaman and Nicobar, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim have achieved the coveted ‘ODF Plus Model’ status, showcasing exemplary sanitation and waste management practices.

ODF Plus Villages Classification:

Out of the 4,43,964 ODF Plus villages, the breakdown is as follows:

  • 2,92,497 villages are categorized as ‘ODF Plus Aspiring’ with arrangements for either solid waste or liquid waste management systems.

  • 55,549 villages fall under ‘ODF Plus Rising’ with arrangements for both solid and liquid waste management.

  • 96,018 villages have achieved the status of ‘ODF Plus Model,’ demonstrating comprehensive waste management systems.

Waste Management Infrastructure:

  • India’s progress in waste management is evident with 2,31,080 villages having arrangements for solid waste management.

  • Additionally, 3,76,353 villages have established systems for handling liquid waste.

Antyodaya Diwas 2023: Date, History and Significance

Antyodaya Diwas is an annual celebration in India that commemorates the birth anniversary of the revered Indian leader, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. This day serves as a tribute to his life and enduring legacy, honoring one of the most influential figures in India’s political history. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was not only a co-founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) but also a profound thinker associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). His relentless efforts to uplift the marginalized and less fortunate in society are at the core of this celebration, which takes place every year on September 25th.

Who Was Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya?

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, born in Mathura on September 25, 1916, holds a significant place in India’s history. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Modi declared this day a national holiday in his honor. Tragically, he passed away in 1968 near the Mughalsarai Junction railway station. In recognition of his contributions, the Uttar Pradesh government renamed the station as ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction’ in 2018. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya’s legacy also extends to the realm of rural development, as in 2014, on this day, the Ministry of Rural Development reintroduced “Aajeevika Skills,” a skill development program under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), later renamed Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-NRLM in November 2015.

Early Life and Association with RSS

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya grew up in a Brahmin family under the care of his maternal uncle. His educational journey included high school in Sikar and intermediate education in Pilani, Rajasthan. He began pursuing a BA degree at Sanatan Dharma College in Kanpur but was unable to continue his studies. His association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) commenced in 1937 while he was studying at Sanatan Dharma College. Introduced to the RSS by a classmate, he had the privilege of engaging in intellectual discussions with the RSS founder, KB Hedgewar, during gatherings.

Significance of Antyodaya Diwas

Antyodaya Diwas holds profound significance as it aligns with the Antyodaya Mission’s core objective, to reach out to all, especially the underprivileged and rural youth of India. The day is dedicated to facilitating opportunities for them, whether at the local, national, or global level. It emphasizes the importance of protecting and caring for the most vulnerable members of society. To raise awareness and fulfill this mission, the government organizes a range of activities across the country, including symposiums, blood donation camps, programs, and orientation sessions. Antyodaya Diwas stands as a reminder of our collective responsibility to assist those who lack basic necessities and uplift the marginalized. It encapsulates the spirit of compassion and inclusivity that Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya championed throughout his life.

Conclusion

Antyodaya Diwas is a day to celebrate the enduring legacy of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and to reaffirm our commitment to serving the underprivileged and marginalized sections of society. It is a day that symbolizes compassion, inclusivity, and the relentless pursuit of social equity, an embodiment of the ideals that Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya dedicated his life to. As we commemorate this day, let us strive to make a positive impact in the lives of those who need it most, in honor of this great leader’s vision.

India Introduces A Policy To Uphold Dignity Of Border Roads Workers

India, on a mission to enhance its infrastructure along the country’s remote frontiers, has recently unveiled a groundbreaking policy aimed at dignifying the lives of casual workers employed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved this policy, which not only addresses the preservation and transportation of mortal remains but also raises funeral expenses. This move emphasizes the perilous nature of the work undertaken by these individuals in challenging terrains.

Preservation and Transportation of Mortal Remains

Until now, the facility for preserving and transporting mortal remains at government expense was exclusively available to BRO’s General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) personnel. However, recognizing the invaluable contribution of casual laborers, this policy extends this privilege to them as well.

Enhanced Funeral Expense Policy for BRO Casual Workers

BRO employs approximately one lakh casual workers who labor tirelessly to construct critical border infrastructure spanning regions from Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim to Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. These projects encompass roads, bridges, tunnels, airfields, and helipads. Unfortunately, the tough working conditions and adverse climates sometimes result in casualties.

When these workers meet an untimely demise, the burden of transportation falls upon their grieving families, often faced with financial constraints. This policy raises funeral expenses from ₹1,000 to ₹10,000 for those whose last rites are performed at the worksite, providing some relief to these families.

Comprehensive Welfare Measures for Forward Worksite Laborers

Recognizing the challenges faced by laborers at forward worksites, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has issued directives to the Border Roads Organization (BRO) to establish appropriate welfare measures. These initiatives go beyond the preservation and transportation of mortal remains and encompass a wide range of support areas.

The welfare measures include:

  • Preservation and Transportation of Mortal Remains: Ensuring respectful handling and transportation of deceased workers.

  • Portable Cabins: Providing comfortable and functional living spaces.

  • Prefabricated Shelters: Offering sturdy and weather-resistant accommodation.

  • Bio-Toilets: Ensuring hygienic sanitation facilities.

  • Snow Tents with Polyurethane Insulation Panels: Shelter from extreme weather conditions.

  • Special Winter Clothing: Equipping workers for harsh winters.

  • Rations for High Altitudes: Adequate food supplies for high-altitude regions.

  • Healthcare Facilities: Access to medical care in remote areas.

  • Training in Emergency Medical Management: Enhancing emergency response skills.

  • Makeshift Schools for Children: Providing education opportunities for their children.

This comprehensive approach reflects a sincere acknowledgment of the invaluable contributions made by these unsung heroes at the forward worksites.

Independence Day Recognition

The significance of the BRO’s role was further highlighted on the 77th Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort when 50 BRO workers were invited as special guests, underscoring their integral part in India’s development.

BRO’s Crucial Role

The BRO is at the epicenter of India’s border infrastructure development. Over the past three years, it has successfully completed nearly 300 pivotal projects amounting to ₹8,000 crore. India may lag behind China in border infrastructure, but it is rapidly narrowing the gap through efficient execution of strategic projects, increased financial allocations, and the deliberate adoption of cutting-edge technology and techniques. These measures have gained prominence since the standoff with China in May 2020.

A Surge in Funding

Funding for the BRO has surged over the years to expedite infrastructure development. In recent years, this trend has continued, with a projected expenditure of approximately ₹15,000 crore in 2023-24.

Inauguration of Bharat Drone Shakti-2023 Exhibition by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is set to inaugurate the Bharat Drone Shakti-2023 exhibition at Hindan Air Base in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. In addition to the exhibition, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will formally induct the C-295 transport aircraft into the Indian Air Force. Key military officials, including IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, will be in attendance for this significant event.

Details of the C-295 Aircraft

  • The Indian Air Force recently received its first C-295 aircraft, marking a significant milestone.

  • This acquisition follows a Rs 21,935-crore deal between New Delhi and Airbus Defence and Space, which was signed two years ago.

  • Airbus is responsible for delivering the initial 16 aircraft in a ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, with completion expected by 2025.

  • An industrial partnership between Airbus and Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India will oversee the manufacturing and assembly of the subsequent 40 aircraft.

Distinguished Presence

  • IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, along with other top military officials, will join Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in inaugurating the Bharat Drone Shakti-2023 exhibition.

This event not only highlights the Indian Air Force’s modernization efforts but also showcases India’s growing capabilities in the field of defense technology.

Arunachal Pradesh to Gain Three New Air Routes by October

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia recently announced the imminent launch of three additional air routes in Arunachal Pradesh, set to be operational by October of this year. These new routes will connect Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, to Rupsi, Jorhat, and Delhi as part of the UDAN-5 scheme. UDAN, or Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik, is a regional connectivity initiative designed to enhance accessibility to aviation services for the common citizens. The development comes after the inauguration of enhanced infrastructure at the Tezu airport in Lohit district.

A Boost for Arunachal Pradesh

  • Arunachal Pradesh is set to benefit significantly from the expansion of air routes, making travel more convenient for its residents.

  • The Tezu airport, now equipped with upgraded facilities, will play a pivotal role in facilitating these new air connections.

UDAN-5 Scheme

  • The UDAN-5 scheme aims to bolster regional connectivity by upgrading smaller regional airports across India.

  • Arunachal Pradesh has already seen the development of several airports, including Donyi Polo, Pasighat, and Ziro, with Tezu airport being the latest addition.

  • The expansion of air routes aligns with the government’s goal to make aviation services more accessible to the masses.

Government’s Aviation Milestones

  • Minister Scindia highlighted that, within the last nine years of the BJP government’s tenure, 75 new airports have been constructed across India, a substantial increase compared to the previous 65 years.

  • He emphasized the collaborative efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pema Khandu in elevating Arunachal Pradesh.

Northeast Development

  • The northeastern states, which had long been underdeveloped, have witnessed significant growth since Prime Minister Modi’s ascent to power in 2014.

  • This development has transformed the region into a vital part of India and offers great potential in terms of horticulture, agriculture, and regional trade.

Gateway to Southeast Asia

  • Arunachal Pradesh’s geographical location positions it as a gateway for India to Southeast Asian countries, leveraging its horticultural and agricultural resources.

  • Minister Scindia emphasized that India’s influence has expanded, exemplified by the participation of various international leaders in the G20 meeting hosted in New Delhi.

Historical Connection

  • Minister Scindia shared a personal connection to Arunachal Pradesh, highlighting the historical significance of his family’s ties to the region.

  • He recounted an anecdote about naming a bordering village, which is now known as Vijaynagar, during the 1960s.

Infrastructure Enhancements

  • The Tezu airport’s infrastructure has been significantly upgraded, including an extended runway, a new apron, a modern terminal building, a fire station, and an air traffic control (ATC) tower.

  • The total cost of these enhancements amounts to Rs 170 crore, signifying a substantial investment in the region’s aviation infrastructure.

Operational Details

  • The Tezu airport, situated on 212 acres of land, is now equipped to handle operations for ATR-72-type aircraft.

  • The Airports Authority of India led the upgrade project.

  • The airport, operationalized in 2018 under UDAN, currently offers regular scheduled flights to Dibrugarh, Imphal, and Guwahati through Alliance Air and Flybig Airlines.

Enhanced Passenger Facilities

  • The terminal building boasts an impressive 4,000 square meters of space and can accommodate up to 300 passengers during peak hours.

  • The number of check-in counters is set to increase from five to eight in the future.

  • Additionally, the airport has two arrival carousels and two parking bays for ATR-72-type aircraft.

Economic and Social Impact

  • The airport’s upgrades are expected to enhance its capacity to handle increased air traffic, thus improving connectivity within the northeastern region and fostering tourism, trade, and job creation.



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