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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-28th February 2023

Nokia updates their logo to mark the beginning of a new era

Nokia updates their logo: Nokia will no longer use the colour blue and will instead use whatever is more fitting given the circumstances, therefore no particular colour scheme is allocated.

Nokia updates their logo

Nokia will no longer use the colour blue and will instead use whatever is more fitting given the circumstances, therefore no particular colour scheme is allocated. Nokia is now a “enterprise technology company,” according to Lundmark, rather than just a maker of smartphones.

Nokia updates their logo: Key Points

Nokia will put more of an emphasis on selling equipment to other companies while also expanding its telecom equipment business.

They include tools for automated manufacturing and private 5G networks, positioning the business as a rival to Microsoft and Amazon in the industry.

A “three-phased approach to generate sustainable, profitable growth” is being developed by Nokia. It was stated that Nokia will “continue to accelerate” following the reset phase to establish itself as “an unchallenged technology leader.”

The announcement on Sunday is consistent with Nokia’s long-term financial objectives, which were reaffirmed with Q4 2022 results.

Nokia’s New Logo

About Nokia’s New Logo:

Nokia made the first modification to the company’s brand identification in nearly 60 years.

The overhaul, which comes with a brand-new logo, is a part of the Finnish 5G equipment manufacturer’s goal on expansion and “be in businesses where we can see global leadership.”

The logo isn’t blue anymore. The word “NOKIA” is now rendered in a variety of colours and five different shapes.

“The company’s new logo expresses the principles and mission of Nokia in a vibrant, energetic, and modern way. It was created as a representation of teamwork, which, in Nokia’s opinion, is essential for networks to reach their full potential and achieve improvements in sustainability, productivity, and accessibility.”

Amazon will join the ONDC network in India

What’s Nokia’s plan?

Nokia is focused on four major “enablers” to meet the targets: creating future-ready talent, investing in long-term research, particularly in important areas like 6G, digitising internal operations to increase agility and productivity, and rebranding.

Nearly ten years ago, Nokia stopped manufacturing mobile phones. According to CEO Lundmark, the redesign was done to disassociate the company’s name from its products.

Britain, EU reach agreement on Northern Ireland post-Brexit trade

Britain and the EU have reached an agreement on new trade rules in Northern Ireland in an attempt to resolve a thorny issue that has fueled post-Brexit tensions in Europe and on the island of Ireland.

The Britain and the European Union(EU) agreed on a new trading arrangement for Northern Ireland, a move aimed at ending years of friction caused by Brexit and allowing greater cooperation between both sides at a time of mounting geopolitical risk to Europe from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

More About The Britain-EU Agreement:

The U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meet in Windsor, near the royal castle here, to shake hands on a new agreement that allows British goods destined for Northern Ireland to enter without customs checks, while creating a separate process for goods going to Ireland through the province.

The deal also gives the Northern Ireland assembly the power to ask the U.K. government to veto new EU regulations or laws that would apply to the province.

Significance of This Deal:

The deal effectively left Northern Ireland in the EU’s customs union and subject to some of the bloc’s laws and rules over which the people of Northern Ireland had no say. It also meant that goods traveling within two parts of the U.K. would be subject to EU customs checks and different tax regimes.

Placing of customs border by the Britain:

Under its Brexit divorce deal, Britain agreed to place a customs border within its own country to avoid creating a hard border between Ireland, an EU member, and the British province of Northern Ireland. Both sides feared doing so would inflame sectarian tensions in the region between unionists, who favor continued British rule, and republicans, who want political union with the rest of Ireland.

The US Role In This Agreement:

The U.S., which helped broker the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, had also been urging the U.K. and EU to reach a deal to avoid jeopardizing the pact, which brought peace to Northern Ireland after years of conflict. President Biden hailed the agreement as “an essential step to ensuring that the hard-earned peace and progress of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement is preserved and strengthened.”

The Further Course of This Agreement:

Mr. Sunak now will have to sell the agreement to both his Conservative Party and pro-U. K. unionists in Northern Ireland. They have complained that a 2019 Brexit divorce deal left Northern Ireland cut off from the rest of Britain, causing political paralysis in the province and threatening its peace. If Mr. Sunak, who took over as prime minister in October, meets with success, his leadership will be given a big boost. If he fails, he will be only the latest Conservative prime minister to be undone by Brexit.

IOC to set up green hydrogen plants at all refineries

India's top oil firm IOC will set up green hydrogen plants at all its refineries as it pivots a Rs 2-lakh crore green transition plan to achieve net-zero emissions from its operations by 2046.

India’s top oil firm IOC will set up green hydrogen plants at all its refineries as it pivots a Rs 2-lakh crore green transition plan to achieve net-zero emissions from its operations by 2046, its chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said.

More About The Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC’s) re-modelling of business:

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is re-modelling business with an increased focus on petrochemicals to hedge volatility in the fuel business, while at the same time turning petrol pumps into energy outlets that offer EV charging points and battery swapping options besides conventional fuels as it looks to make itself future-ready, he said.

India’s Increasing Oil Demand:

The company intends to expand its refining capacity to 106.7 million tonnes per annum from 81.2 million tonnes as it sees India’s oil demand climbing from 5.1 million barrels per day to 7-7.2 million bpd by 2030 and 9 million bpd by 2040.

Significance of IOC’s Hydrogen Push:

Hydrogen — the cleanest known fuel that discharges only oxygen and water when burnt — is being touted as the fuel of the future, but its relatively higher cost then alternate fuel currently limit its usage in industries. Refineries, which turn crude oil into fuel such as petrol and diesel, use hydrogen to lower the sulfur content of diesel fuel.

This hydrogen is currently produced using fossil fuels such as natural gas. IOC plans to use electricity generated from renewable sources such as solar to split water to produce green hydrogen. Vaidya said the company will set up a 7,000 tonnes per annum green hydrogen producing facility at its Panipat oil refinery at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore by 2025.

Currently, IOC’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, emanating majorly from the company’s refining operations, is 21.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) per annum. This will rise to 40.44 MMTCO2e by 2030 after considering the expansions planned and taking the emissions of its subsidiaries into account.

The company plans to use natural gas in refineries in place of liquid fuels as well as replace grey hydrogen (produced from fossil fuel) with green one that is manufactured from renewable power.

It plans for green hydrogen to account for 50 per cent of its overall hydrogen output in 5-10 years and 100 per cent by 2040.

Vaidya also said IOC plans to raise renewable energy capacity to 12 gigawatts from current 256 MW, and would have electric vehicle charging facilities at 10,000 fuel stations in two years.

Services exports to cross USD 300 billion this fiscal: Piyush Goyal

Services exports are recording a healthy growth rate and going by this trend, the outbound shipments will cross USD 300 billion in 2022-23.

The country’s services exports are doing “extremely well” and going by the current trend these outbound shipments would register about 20 per cent growth in this fiscal and cross the USD 300 billion target despite global economic uncertainties, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.

Healthy Growth In Exports:

Minister Piyush Goyal further said that on the merchandise front also, exports are so far registering healthy growth despite the world being under recession, huge inflationary pressure, and overstocking of various commodities. With all these stress, where every global leader is talking of “very” tough times, India’s exports rose 9 per cent year-on-year during April-December 2022-23.

During April-December 2022-23, overall exports rose 9 per cent to USD 332.76 billion while imports increased 24.96 per cent to USD 551.7 billion.

Widening Trade Deficit:

Trade deficit during the nine-month period widened to USD 218.94 billion as against USD 136.45 billion in April-December 2021-22. In last fiscal year, the country’s merchandise shipments touched an all-time high of USD 422 billion.

India’s exports contracted 12.2 per cent to USD 34.48 billion in December 2022, mainly due to global headwinds, and the trade deficit widened to USD 23.76 billion during the same period. The minister said individual months have seen some ups and downs, but overall the exports sector is doing well so far despite global economic uncertainties.

Meta launches LLaMA model, a research tool more potent than OpenAI’s GPT-3

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Meta Platforms' impending release to researchers of a new large language model called LLaMA (Large Language Model Meta AI).

LLaMA (Large Language Model Meta AI)

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Meta Platforms’ impending release to researchers of a new large language model called LLaMA (Large Language Model Meta AI). It’s raining chatbots! After OpenAI’s ChatGPT sparked a revolution, Google introduced its BARD and several others followed suit. The model, developed by Meta’s Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team, is intended to aid scientists and engineers in exploring AI applications and functions such as answering questions and summarizing documents.

Notably: LLaMA, a set of foundation language models that range from 7B to 65B parameters. LLaMA-13B surpasses OpenAI’s GPT-3 (175B) while being over ten times smaller, and LLaMA-65B is comparable to DeepMind’s Chinchilla-70B and Google’s PaLM-540B.

The release of LLaMA comes as tech companies race to promote advances in AI techniques and integrate technology into their commercial products. As CNBC notes, Meta’s release is distinguished from competitors’ models as it will be available in a selection of sizes, from 7 billion parameters up to 65 billion parameters. Meta’s launch of LLaMA may mark a major development in AI language models. The social media giant’s commitment to open science and allowing researchers to study under a non-commercial license will limit the model’s misuse. LLaMA’s versatility and problem-solving potential may provide a glimpse of AI’s substantial potential benefits to billions of people at scale.

Pakistan Govt raises policy interest rate by 200 bps for IMF Bailout

Pakistan's government has agreed to increase the policy interest rate by 2% or 200 basis points to meet another condition set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Amid the severe economic crisis, Pakistan’s government has decided to raise the policy rate to 19 per cent or 200 basis points, which will be an increase of 2 per cent. Currently, it stands at 17 per cent.

A new high in Pak’s level of Interest rate:

The increase is based on rates the government set in the auction to raise domestic debt. This will push the interest rate to 19%, just below the previous record of 19.5% set in October 1996.

Part of Pak-IMF Deal:

With the new decision, the Pakistan government has accepted another pre-condition of the IMF for the release of USD 1.1 billion in critical funding, a part of the USD 6.5 billion bailout package.

Sources in the Ministry of Finance maintained that a technical level discussion had virtually taken place between Islamabad and the IMF review mission. They said that there was expectation that Islamabad would increase the interest rate by two per cent.

It was noted said that most of the pre-conditions of the global money lender’s had been fulfilled.

It was further learnt that Pakistan had given a detailed briefing to the IMF officials on the sources of foreign exchange till June.

Earlier this month, the relevant Pakistani officials and the IMF staff concluded the ninth review of the $6.5 billion bailout package without a staff-level agreement. However, both sides agreed to a set of measures that could still help clinch the deal.

Policy suggestions by IMF to Pak:

The Pakistani authorities had hoped that they would convince the IMF about implementing the conditions in a gradual manner but the hopes were dashed during the 10-day visit by the IMF mission.

Pakistan agreed to implement the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), which contained policy suggestions by IMF. Officials still hoped that the staff-level agreement could be reached soon.

There was a broad consensus with regard to leaving the rupee value to be determined by the market forces, lifting of the restrictions on the imports and allowing the already imported goods to be cleared.

Power Sector Crisis In Pak:

Sources said that discussion on some issues of the power sector was in the final stage after which the staff-level agreement with the IMF would be reached.

Also the power tariff was to be increased and new taxes imposed to pave the way for the deal. However, because of a severity of the economic crisis, every agreed measure would be tough on an overwhelming majority of the Pakistani people.

Shailesh Pathak named FICCI Secretary General

Former bureaucrat Shailesh Pathak has been appointed as the new Secretary General of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

Former bureaucrat Shailesh Pathak has been appointed as the new Secretary General of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). He will take over the charge on March 1. In a career spanning 37 years, Pathak has worked with the government as an IAS officer as well as helmed large companies in the private sector. He has an MBA degree from IIM Calcutta in 1986 after graduation. He has completed an LLB and a Diploma in Ornithology. He has scaled a 6831 metre peak in the Himalayas and has trekked extensively.

Ficci also announced that Arun Chawla, Director General, will superannuate on June 30, 2023, and transition to an advisory role.

About the FICCI:

Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. Its history is closely interwoven with India’s struggle for independence, its industrialization, and its emergence as one of the most rapidly growing global economies.

A non-government, not-for-profit organisation, FICCI is the voice of India’s business and industry. From influencing policy to encouraging debate, engaging with policy makers and civil society, FICCI articulates the views and concerns of industry. It serves its members from the Indian private and public corporate sectors and multinational companies, drawing its strength from diverse regional chambers of commerce and industry across states, reaching out to over 2,50,000 companies.

FICCI provides a platform for networking and consensus building within and across sectors and is the first port of call for Indian industry, policy makers and the international business community.


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