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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-26th May 2023

Tipu Sultan’s Sword Created New Auction Record in UK with GBP 14 million

Tipu Sultan’s fabled sword was found in the private bedchamber as it has now broken all auction records for an Indian object for Bonhams in London by fetching over GBP 14 million at its Islamic and Indian Art sale this week. The sword from Tipu Sultan’s reign between 1782 and 1799, is described as a fine gold koftgari hilted steel sword referred to as sukhela, which is an emblem of authority.

The sword was found in the private apartments of Tipu Sultan and the Army of the East India Company presented it to Major General David Baird as a “token of their high esteem of his courage and conduct in the assault” which resulted in the killing of Tipu Sultan.

Tipu Sultan’s Sword Created New Auction Record in UK with GBP 14 million: Key Points

  • The spectacular sword of Tipu Sultan is the greatest of all the weapons linked to him still in private hands, according to the statement of Oliver White, Bonhams’ Head of Islamic and Indian Art and auctioneer.

  • He also remarked that it is a close personal association with the Sultan which is impeccable provenance traceable to the very day it was captured, and the outstanding craftsmanship that went into its manufacture make it unique and highly desirable.

  • The sword had a guide price between GBP 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 but it went on to surpass that estimate to fetch GBP 14,080,900.

  • Nima Sagharchi, Group Head of Islamic and Indian Art informed that the sword has an extraordinary history, astonishing provenance, and unrivaled craftsmanship. It was no surprise it was so hotly contested between two phone bidders and a bidder in the room.

Tipu Sultan’s Sword

  • The Historians claim that many weapons were removed from the palace of Tipu Sultan after his death which led to the fall of his rule in Seringapatam in May 1799.

  • Bruno Vinciguerra, CEO of Bonhams informed that it is one of the most astonishing objects Bonhams has had the privilege of bringing to auction. It is a stupendous price for a stupendous piece.

  • Manufactured by Mughal swordsmiths following the model of German blades introduced to India in the 16th century, the sword itself is of “exceptional” quality, with the blade inscribed “The Sword of the Ruler”.

Dream11 Founder Harsh Jain Elected Chairperson of IAMAI, Indian Entrepreneurs Lead the Way

In a significant development, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has elected Harsh Jain, the founder of Dream11, as its new chairperson. With this appointment, Indian entrepreneurs are seeking to assert their influence over policy-making in the rapidly evolving technology and startup sector. Rajesh Magow of MakeMyTrip has been appointed as the vice chairperson, and Satyan Gajwani of Times Internet will serve as the Treasurer. The newly formed 24-member governing council, devoid of any Big Tech representation, aims to pave the way for an industry-focused approach to foster growth and innovation.

I. The Rise of Harsh Jain: Dream11 Founder Takes the Helm Harsh Jain, renowned for his groundbreaking work in the fantasy sports industry, has been elected as the chairperson of IAMAI. As the founder of Dream11, a leading online fantasy gaming platform, Jain brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the position. His vision for the future of technology and startups in India is expected to shape IAMAI’s agenda during his tenure.

II. Rajesh Magow and Satyan Gajwani Assume Key Roles: Rajesh Magow, the co-founder and group CEO of MakeMyTrip, a prominent online travel company, will join Harsh Jain as the vice chairperson of IAMAI. Magow’s extensive knowledge of the travel and e-commerce sectors will be instrumental in driving industry-focused initiatives. Meanwhile, Satyan Gajwani, the managing director of Times Internet, will serve as the Treasurer, bringing his experience in digital media and content platforms to contribute to IAMAI’s strategic decisions.

III. IAMAI’s 24-Member Governing Council: A Diverse Lineup of Industry Experts The newly formed governing council of IAMAI comprises a diverse group of 24 industry leaders, representing various sectors within the technology and startup ecosystem. These individuals have been elected to the council based on their exceptional contributions and expertise. Among the notable members are Ajay Kaushal of Billdesk, Alok Mittal of Indifi, Aloke Bajpai of Ixigo, and Anant Goenka of Indian Express. Each member is expected to bring unique insights and perspectives to the table, fostering collaboration and innovation.

IV. Strengthening Industry Representation: A Transition Towards Homegrown Innovation With the absence of Big Tech members in the governing council, the election results underscore the Indian entrepreneurs’ desire to exert greater influence over policy-making and decision-making processes. This transition toward homegrown representation indicates a shift towards fostering indigenous innovation and nurturing startups that cater to the specific needs of the Indian market. By empowering local entrepreneurs, IAMAI aims to shape an ecosystem that fosters growth, competitiveness, and inclusivity.

V. IAMAI’s Commitment to Industry Advocacy and Growth: IAMAI, as an industry body, plays a crucial role in shaping policies that drive the growth and sustainability of the technology and startup sector in India. With Harsh Jain at the helm, supported by Rajesh Magow, Satyan Gajwani, and the newly appointed governing council, IAMAI is poised to be at the forefront of advocating for favorable regulations, promoting digital entrepreneurship, and fostering innovation. By actively engaging with stakeholders and policymakers, IAMAI aims to create an environment that enables India’s tech industry to thrive and excel on a global scale.

Gupshup Launches UPI Payments for Feature Phone Users, Bringing Financial Inclusion to All

Gupshup.io, a conversational engagement platform, has unveiled a groundbreaking solution that enables UPI payments for feature phone users through its native app called GSPay. This innovative approach allows seamless payment experiences using SMS, eliminating the need for internet connectivity. Leveraging the UPI 123 Pay system introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Gupshup.io is making digital payments accessible to a wider audience. In addition, users can conveniently scan QR codes to complete transactions, further enhancing the ease of use.

Expanding UPI Payments Beyond Traditional Channels

Traditionally, UPI payments have relied on internet connectivity, limiting the accessibility for feature phone users. Gupshup.io’s GSPay app breaks these barriers by leveraging SMS as the primary medium for UPI transactions. This breakthrough empowers feature phone users to register for UPI, link their bank accounts, and set UPI PINs, all within the embedded app on their phones. With a simple two-step process, users can initiate payments by entering the mobile number or UPI ID of the payee, the desired amount, and their UPI PIN. Once confirmed, the payment is processed, and the user receives a notification, ensuring a seamless and secure transaction experience.

Language Localization and Strategic Partnerships

Recognizing the linguistic diversity in India, GSPay app supports 12 Indian languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Odia, and Assamese, among others. This localization effort enhances user accessibility and promotes wider adoption across various regions of the country. To further expand its reach, Gupshup.io has partnered with Nokia (HMD Global) to integrate GSPay into select Nokia feature phones, extending the benefits of UPI payments to a larger user base.

The Significance of UPI123Pay

The launch of UPI123Pay by the RBI last year played a crucial role in enabling feature phone users to conduct UPI transactions without requiring an internet connection. UPI123Pay simplifies the transaction process into three easy steps, ensuring that more individuals can access digital experiences through their feature phones. This initiative highlights the commitment of the RBI and NPCI to promote financial inclusion and bridge the digital divide.

Driving Financial Inclusion and Fostering Growth

Digital payments in India have witnessed exponential growth in recent years, largely attributed to the success of UPI. However, UPI transaction volumes experienced a slight decline from INR 14.10 lakh crore in March 2023 to INR 14.07 lakh crore in April 2023. Gupshup.io’s GSPay app aims to reignite this growth by extending the reach of UPI payments to feature phone users, enabling a broader section of the population to participate in the digital economy. With PhonePe, Google Pay, and Paytm currently dominating the UPI transaction landscape, GSPay introduces a new contender that aims to foster competition and provide users with more options for secure and convenient digital payments.

SEBI approves HDFC Bank as new owner of HDFC AMC

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has granted approval for a change in control of HDFC Asset Management Company (HDFC AMC) due to the amalgamation of HDFC Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd. This move paves the way for HDFC Bank to become the new owner of HDFC AMC, subject to compliance with applicable regulations.

Amalgamation Completion Date Set for July

HDFC AMC announced in April that the merger between HDFC Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd would be completed by July of this year. Upon completion, the combined entity is expected to have a total asset value of approximately Rs 18 trillion, solidifying its position as a major player in the Indian financial market.

Shareholding Structure After Merger

As part of the amalgamation, existing shareholders of HDFC Ltd will hold a 41% stake in HDFC Bank. Conversely, HDFC Bank will be entirely owned by public shareholders. Under the merger agreement, HDFC shareholders will receive 42 shares of HDFC Bank for every 25 shares they currently hold, ensuring a fair distribution of ownership.

SBI Funds Management’s Acquisition

In a separate development, SBI Funds Management Ltd has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to acquire a 9.99% stake in HDFC Bank Ltd by November 15. However, the RBI has set a condition that SBI Funds Management must ensure its aggregate holding in HDFC Bank remains below 10% of the bank’s paid-up share capital or voting rights at all times.

SEBI’s Final Approval for Change in Control

HDFC AMC sought SEBI’s approval for the change in control, as per the regulations under the Sebi (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 2020 (PMS Regulations). In response, SEBI has granted its final approval, subject to compliance with the provisions outlined in the PMS Regulations and related circulars. This regulatory clearance paves the way for HDFC Bank to assume ownership of HDFC AMC.

Ministry of Ayush and Minority Affairs Collaborate for Development Unani Medicine System

Ministry of Ayush and Minority Affairs have joined hands to promote and help the development of the Unani System of Medicine in India. The Ministry of Minorities Affairs has granted RS 45.34 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK), which is a centrally sponsored scheme. Unani Medicine will be upgraded with the support of this scheme in Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Silchar, and Bengaluru. The grant approved by the Ministry of Minorities will help in the establishment of various facilities of Unani Medicine in the mentioned locations.

Key Points Related to Ministry of Ayush and Minority Affairs Collaborate for Development Unani Medicine System

  • The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) has sanctioned a grant of Rs 35.52 crore and the National Institute of Unani Medicine (NIUM) Bengaluru has sanctioned Rs 9.81 crore.

  • A center will be established in Hyderabad for the fundamental research in Unani Medicine at the National Research Institute of Unani Medicine for Skin Disorders at a cost of Rs 16.05 crore.

  • A preclinical laboratory facility has been proposed by the Ministry at the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Chennai, at a cost of Rs 8.15.

  • Rs 8.55 crore has been allotted for a center of Ilaj bit Tadbeer for musculoskeletal disorders at the Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Lucknow and Rs 2.75 has been allotted for a center of Ilaj bit Tadbeer for skin and lifestyle disorders at the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Silchar.

  • The NIUM Bengaluru has been allotted Rs 5.55 crore for the establishment of a Vishram Girah for patient attendants and Rs 4.26 crore for a skill center of model Unani Cosmetics care, small-scale Unani pharmacy, and Unani crude drug storage.

  • A meeting was held on 2nd March 2023, in which the proposals were considered by the Employment Committee of the Ministry of Minority Affairs and an amount of Rs 4.86 crore has been released to the CCRUM as the first installment or 25 percent of the total sanctioned cost of its three projects.

  • The CCRUM grant for the Hyderabad and NIUM projects will be released after the DPRs are approved and the other technicalities are finalized.

About Unani Medicine

Unani medicine is a traditional system of healing and health maintenance observed in South Asia. The origins of Unani medicine are found in the doctrines of the ancient Greek physicians. As a field, it was later developed and refined through systematic experiments by the Arabs.

The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), an undertaking of the Government of India, facilitated the translation of classical heritage, the organization of clinical trials, the improvement of drug standardization, and the investigation of toxicological and phytopharmacological properties of natural products that had long been used by Unani doctors.

GRSE Launches Innovation Nurturing Scheme For Ideas In Ship Design, Construction

In a move to address challenges in the ship design and construction industry, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd, a defence PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) based in Kolkata, has launched an innovation nurturing scheme. The GRSE Accelerated Innovation Nurturing Scheme – 2023 (GAINS) aims to generate a large number of ideas and support their development through a two-stage process.

Objective

The primary objective of GAINS 2023 is to identify and encourage the development of innovative solutions for technological advances in shipbuilding, particularly from startups. GRSE intends to leverage the ecosystem to address both present and emerging challenges in the ship design and construction industry. The focus areas for GAINS 2023 include artificial intelligence, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and efficiency enhancement.

Launching

The scheme was launched by G Surya Prakash, the youngest officer of GRSE and assistant manager in the finance department. The virtual event was attended by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, who emphasized that the partnership between GRSE and innovators is a “win-win” situation that will shape the future of technology and innovation in the ship design and construction industry.

Open innovation, a well-established and effective approach, will be used to gather ideas from outside the organization and create better solutions in a relatively short time. This initiative by GRSE is the first of its kind undertaken by a public sector undertaking to launch a startup challenge. The chairman and managing director of GRSE, Commodore P R Hari (retd), expressed that the aim is to tap into the inherent strength and capabilities of the Indian startup ecosystem to develop technologically innovative solutions.

Features and Functionality

The GRSE Accelerated Innovation Nurturing Scheme – 2023 (GAINS) follows a two-stage process:

  1. Idea Generation: The scheme invites innovators to participate in an open innovation challenge, encouraging them to submit their ideas. The focus areas for the ideas include artificial intelligence, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and efficiency enhancement in ship design and construction.

  2. Idea Selection and Nurturing: From the submitted ideas, a few promising ones will be selected for further development and nurturing. GRSE will provide support, resources, and mentorship to the chosen innovators to help them refine and implement their ideas.

Benefits

The launch of GAINS 2023 brings several benefits to the ship design and construction industry:

  1. Innovation Boost: By engaging with startups and encouraging open innovation, GRSE aims to generate a large number of innovative ideas. This will help the industry overcome existing challenges and stay ahead of emerging trends.

  2. Technological Advances: The scheme’s focus areas, including artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and energy efficiency, aim to promote technological advancements in shipbuilding. This will lead to more sustainable and efficient ships.

  3. Collaboration Opportunities: The partnership between GRSE and innovators provides an opportunity for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and mutual growth. It fosters a collaborative ecosystem that can drive innovation and enhance the ship design and construction industry.

Vision

The launch of GAINS 2023 reflects GRSE’s vision to foster innovation and leverage the Indian startup ecosystem for technological advancements in ship design and construction. By actively engaging with innovators and encouraging open innovation, GRSE aims to create a collaborative environment that accelerates the development and implementation of cutting-edge solutions in the industry. This vision aligns with the government’s focus on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in India’s defence sector, driving the country’s progress toward self-reliance and global competitiveness.

Giriraj Singh Launches SAMARTH Campaign to Promote Digital Transactions at Gram Panchayat Level

The Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Giriraj Singh, recently launched the ‘SAMARTH Campaign on Promoting Digital Transactions in 50,000 Gram Panchayats’ under the AzadiKaAmritMahotsav in Lucknow. This campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Rural Development, aims to promote digital transactions in rural areas, with a particular focus on empowering women. The launch event witnessed the participation of various dignitaries, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.

Promoting Digital Transactions in Rural Areas

Under the SAMARTH Campaign, the government seeks to foster the adoption of digital transactions in 50,000 Gram Panchayats across India. This initiative aligns with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s AzadiKaAmritMahotsav, which commemorates 75 years of India’s independence. The campaign commenced on February 1, 2023, and will continue until August 15, 2023.

Giriraj Singh Launches SAMARTH Campaign to Promote Digital Transactions at Gram Panchayat Level

Recognition of Self-Help Groups and BC Sakhis

During the launch, Minister Giriraj Singh commended the remarkable achievement of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), highlighting their reduction in non-performing assets (NPAs) from 9.58% in 2013 to below 2% at present. He urged banks to acknowledge the outstanding credit performance of SHG members and facilitate loans to them, recognizing their splendid performance. The Minister also applauded the contribution of BC Sakhis in the digital economy, emphasizing India’s global leadership in women empowerment.

Role of BC Sakhis in Digital Transformation

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath emphasized the significant role played by BC Sakhis in Uttar Pradesh, enabling over 5 crore 57 lakh digital transactions and providing doorstep banking services to the last mile of the population. These empowered women have not only served the underserved citizens but have also helped banks save costs on low volume transactions. The government of Uttar Pradesh is further integrating banking services into digital Gram Sachivalays in villages, enhancing accessibility.

Empowering Women and Transforming Lives

Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Minister of State for Rural Development, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, lauded the women of India for their multitasking abilities, acknowledging their contributions in managing households as well as bringing banking services to underserved citizens across the country. Deputy Chief Minister K P Maurya acknowledged the transformational impact of BC Sakhis, highlighting their increased earning capacity and the resulting empowerment of women in rural areas.

Inspirational Tales and Testimonies

The launch event witnessed the unveiling of a compendium comprising 75 inspirational tales of BC Sakhis, showcasing their remarkable achievements. Several BC Sakhis shared their success stories, narrating how their lives have been transformed through their involvement in the digital transactions ecosystem. The event also included the distribution of Biometric Point of Sale (PoS) machines and appointment letters to newly appointed BC Sakhis.

Nationwide Participation and Webcast

Approximately 1000 BC Sakhis from all over India participated in the event held in Lucknow. State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) and stakeholders from across the country joined the event through webcasts and live streaming on social media platforms. The involvement of senior officials from the government and the banking sector showcased the comprehensive support for the SAMARTH Campaign.


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