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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-29th June 2023

National Statistics Day 2023: Date, Theme, Significance and History

National Statistics Day is commemorated annually on June 29 to honor the significant contributions made by Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics and economic planning. Often hailed as the ‘father of Indian statistics,’ Professor Mahalanobis is renowned for developing the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure utilized to determine the disparity between a point and a distribution.

The Statistics Day 2023 event is taking place at the Scope Convention Centre, Scope Complex, Lodhi Road in New Delhi. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Rao Inderjit Singh, will grace the occasion as the Chief Guest.

Theme for National Statistics Day 2023

The theme of National Statistics Day, 2023 is “Alignment of State Indicator Framework with National Indicator Framework for Monitoring Sustainable Development Goals”.

Significance of National Statistics Day 2023

The significance of Statistics Day is to create public awareness in the young generation about the role and importance of statistics in strategizing, economic planning and policy formulation. The occasion is celebrated as a reminder to learn from the achievements of Professor Mahalanobis in the field of statistics.

The purpose of this day is to raise awareness among the public, especially the younger generation, about the role and significance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation, drawing inspiration from the late Mahalanobis.

History of National Statistics Day 2023

Indian government designated 29th June as National Statistics Day in recognition of the contributions made by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics and economic planning on June 5, 2007. The first National Statistics Day was celebrated on June 29, 2007 and it has been celebrated on the same day since then.

Professor Mahalanobis was part of the first planning commission of India and was instrumental in establishing the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 1931.

Who was Prof Mahalanobis?

  • Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis or Prof Mahalanobis was born on June 29, 1893, in Kolkata. He was a scientist and statistician and is best known for devising the “Mahalanobis Distance,” which is utilised in classification and cluster analysis. This formula is based on measurements in multiple dimensions and helps determine the distance between a point and its distribution points.

  • He was also a member of India’s first planning commission, where he utilised his knowledge and expertise to develop the country’s annual plan and oversee its implementation.

  • Prof Mahalanobis also established the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 1950. The public university was deemed an institute of national importance by the 1959 Act of the Indian Parliament.

  • He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1968 for his contribution to the sciences and for his service to the country.

  • Prof Mahalanobis passed away at the age of 78 on June 28, 1972, just a day before his 79th birthday in Kolkata.

RBI’s Financial Stability Report Highlights Strong Performance of Indian Banking Sector

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently released its 27th Financial Stability Report (FSR), presenting an assessment of the Indian financial system’s resilience and risks. Despite global uncertainties and challenges, the Indian economy continues to display robust growth supported by strong macroeconomic fundamentals. The banking sector, in particular, has performed well, outshining the turmoil experienced by advanced economies.

Here are the key highlights from the report:

  1. Robust Deposit Growth: Exceeding 10% Threshold Aggregate deposit growth, which had experienced a slight moderation in the previous two years, regained momentum and crossed the 10% mark, reaching 11.8% as of June 2, 2023. The primary driver of this growth was private-sector banks, as term deposits attracted healthy accretions in the rising interest rate cycle. Consequently, current account and savings account (CASA) deposits experienced a relative decline.

  2. Impressive Credit Growth: Surpassing 15% Benchmark The banking sector witnessed remarkable credit growth, driven equally by public sector banks and private banks. Credit growth reached an impressive 15.4%, with significant contributions from the personal loan segment. Personal loans, encompassing housing, credit card receivables, vehicle/auto loans, and education loans, experienced broad-based growth of 22.2% year-on-year.

  3. Enhanced Asset Quality: GNPA Reaches Decadal Low Banks have successfully improved their asset quality by reducing the proportion of non-performing assets. Scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) continued to enhance their asset quality, with the gross non-performing assets (GNPA) ratio falling to a 10-year low of 3.9% in March 2023. Additionally, the net non-performing assets (NNPA) ratio improved to 1.0%, a level last seen in June 2011.

  4. Decline in Large Borrowers: Retail Loans Gain Traction Over the past three years, the share of large borrowers in the gross advances of SCBs has consistently decreased. It dropped from 51.1% in March 2020 to 46.4% in March 2023, primarily due to the faster growth of retail loans compared to corporate borrowings. Consequently, the share of large borrowers in the GNPA of SCBs also substantially declined.

  5. Profit Margin Boost: Higher Net Interest Margin and Strong PAT Growth During the period of 2022-23, banks experienced a 30 basis points improvement in net interest margin (NIM), as the transmission of monetary policy tightening to deposit rates lagged behind the pass-through to lending rates. This resulted in a healthy 38.4% year-on-year growth in bank’s profit after tax (PAT), driven by a significant increase in net interest income (NII) and reduced provisions.

RBI Financial Stability Report, June 2023: Indian Economy and Financial System Remain Resilient

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the 27th issue of the Financial Stability Report (FSR), providing an assessment of risks to financial stability and the resilience of the Indian financial system. Despite global uncertainties, the Indian economy and domestic financial system exhibit strength, supported by robust macroeconomic fundamentals.

Global Economic Uncertainty:

Heightened uncertainty persists in the global economy due to fragility in certain banking systems, geopolitical tensions, and moderating but elevated inflation.

Resilience of Indian Economy:

Amidst global headwinds, the Indian economy demonstrates resilience, benefiting from continued growth momentum, moderating inflation, a narrowing current account deficit, rising foreign exchange reserves, ongoing fiscal consolidation, and a robust financial system.

Encouraging Signs for Indian Economy:

The healthy balance sheets of banks and corporates are fostering a new credit and investment cycle, brightening the prospects of sustained growth for the Indian economy.

Strong Capital Adequacy:

Scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) witnessed historical highs in capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) and common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio. As of March 2023, the CRAR stood at 17.1%, while the CET1 ratio reached 13.9%.

Cabinet Approves National Research Foundation Bill, 2023 to Strengthen Research Eco-system in India

The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the introduction of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023 in the Parliament. This significant move aims to establish the NRF, an apex body that will play a pivotal role in seeding, nurturing, and promoting Research and Development (R&D) while fostering a culture of research and innovation across universities, colleges, research institutions, and R&D laboratories in India.

Key Highlights:

  1. Establishment of NRF: The NRF Bill, upon approval by Parliament, will establish the National Research Foundation. This apex body will provide high-level strategic direction for scientific research in the country, aligning with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP). The estimated cost for NRF’s establishment and operation over five years (2023-2028) is approximately Rs. 50,000 crore.

  2. Administrative Department and Governing Board: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will serve as the administrative department for NRF. The foundation will be governed by a distinguished Governing Board comprising eminent researchers and professionals across various disciplines. The Prime Minister will be the ex-officio President of the Board, while the Union Minister of Science & Technology and the Union Minister of Education will serve as ex-officio Vice-Presidents. The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India will chair the Executive Council, which will oversee NRF’s functioning.

  3. Collaboration and Participation: NRF will facilitate collaborations between academia, industry, government departments, and research institutions. It will establish an interface mechanism to encourage active participation and contributions from industries and state governments, in addition to scientific and line ministries. The foundation will focus on creating a policy framework and regulatory processes to promote collaboration and enhance industry spending on R&D.

  4. Repeal of Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB): The NRF Bill will also entail the repeal of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) established in 2008 through an act of Parliament. SERB will be subsumed into NRF, which will have an expanded mandate covering activities beyond those of SERB.

DRDO organises ‘Anusandhaan Chintan Shivir’ to encourage Defence R&D

The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) recently unveiled a comprehensive list of 75 technology priority areas aimed at bolstering the indigenous defence manufacturing sector in India. This strategic move is expected to stimulate innovation, indigenization and self-reliance, placing the country on a trajectory towards enhanced military technology design and development. The unveiling of these priority areas, along with the DRDO Technology Foresight 2023 document, marks a significant milestone in promoting engagement between industry, academia and the defense research establishment.

Encouraging Indigenous Innovation

Under the guidance of the Chief of Defence Staff, the ‘Anusandhaan Chintan Shivir’ organized by the DRDO emphasized the critical role of indigenous defense technologies for the Armed Forces. Recognizing the need to reduce dependence on foreign imports, the event highlighted the importance of fostering innovation and self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing.

The DRDO Technology Foresight 2023

The DRDO Technology Foresight 2023 document serves as a comprehensive guide, listing various technology areas on which DRDO laboratories are currently working. It not only identifies ongoing technology development activities but also outlines future areas of focus necessary for the development of cutting-edge defense systems and strengthening national security.

Collaboration between DRDO, Industry, and Academia

To ensure seamless collaboration between stakeholders, the DRDO, Industry and Academia must work together synergistically. The Secretary of the Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of DRDO, Dr. Samir V Kamat, emphasized the need for concerted efforts to advance technologies from their nascent stages to a level suitable for large-scale production. This collaboration will facilitate the flow of knowledge, expertise and resources required to achieve technological advancements.

Strengthening National Security

The Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Lt General Johnson P Mathew & Air Marshal PK Ghosh, along with senior officers from the Ministry of Defence, were present at the event. Their presence underscores the significance of the DRDO’s initiatives in driving technological advancements aimed at enhancing national security.

DRDO’s Multidisciplinary Approach

With an extensive network of laboratories and centers, the DRDO is actively engaged in the development of defense technologies across various disciplines. These include aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing simulation, special materials, naval systems, life sciences, training information systems, and modern agricultural technologies. The organization’s primary focus remains achieving self-reliance in critical defense technologies by developing state-of-the-art weapon systems and equipment.

Rohit Jawa appoints as MD and CEO of Hindustan Unilever

The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) recently unveiled a comprehensive list of 75 technology priority areas aimed at bolstering the indigenous defence manufacturing sector in India. This strategic move is expected to stimulate innovation, indigenization and self-reliance, placing the country on a trajectory towards enhanced military technology design and development. The unveiling of these priority areas, along with the DRDO Technology Foresight 2023 document, marks a significant milestone in promoting engagement between industry, academia and the defense research establishment.

Encouraging Indigenous Innovation

Under the guidance of the Chief of Defence Staff, the ‘Anusandhaan Chintan Shivir’ organized by the DRDO emphasized the critical role of indigenous defense technologies for the Armed Forces. Recognizing the need to reduce dependence on foreign imports, the event highlighted the importance of fostering innovation and self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing.

The DRDO Technology Foresight 2023

The DRDO Technology Foresight 2023 document serves as a comprehensive guide, listing various technology areas on which DRDO laboratories are currently working. It not only identifies ongoing technology development activities but also outlines future areas of focus necessary for the development of cutting-edge defense systems and strengthening national security.

Collaboration between DRDO, Industry, and Academia

To ensure seamless collaboration between stakeholders, the DRDO, Industry and Academia must work together synergistically. The Secretary of the Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of DRDO, Dr. Samir V Kamat, emphasized the need for concerted efforts to advance technologies from their nascent stages to a level suitable for large-scale production. This collaboration will facilitate the flow of knowledge, expertise and resources required to achieve technological advancements.

Strengthening National Security

The Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Lt General Johnson P Mathew & Air Marshal PK Ghosh, along with senior officers from the Ministry of Defence, were present at the event. Their presence underscores the significance of the DRDO’s initiatives in driving technological advancements aimed at enhancing national security.

DRDO’s Multidisciplinary Approach

With an extensive network of laboratories and centers, the DRDO is actively engaged in the development of defense technologies across various disciplines. These include aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing simulation, special materials, naval systems, life sciences, training information systems, and modern agricultural technologies. The organization’s primary focus remains achieving self-reliance in critical defense technologies by developing state-of-the-art weapon systems and equipment.

Rohit Jawa took charges as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL). Jawa has replaced Sanjiv Mehta who retired on Monday after the company’s annual general meeting. Mehta handed over the baton to Jawa, who was appointed as an Additional Director and CEO-Designate from April 1, from the close of business hours on June 26. Mehta was at the helm for almost a decade and was with the company for more than 30 years.

Prior to this role, Jawa was the Chief of Transformation for Unilever in London. He had started his career with HUL as a management trainee in 1988 and has a proven track record of sustained business results across India, South East Asia, and North Asia. Mehta had taken over as the MD & CEO of HUL in October 2013.

About the Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL)

  • Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is a British-owned Indian consumer goods company headquartered in Mumbai. It is a subsidiary of the British company Unilever. Its products include foods, beverages, cleaning agents, personal care products, water purifiers and other fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs).

  • HUL was established in 1931 as Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Co. Following a merger of constituent groups in 1956, it was renamed Hindustan Lever Limited. The company was renamed again in June 2007 as Hindustan Unilever Limited.

  • Hindustan Unilever has been at the helm of a lot of controversies, such as dumping highly toxic mercury-contaminated waste in regular dumps, contaminating the land and water of Kodaikanal. (See: Kodaikanal mercury poisoning). The British company also faced major flak for an advertising campaign attacking the Hindu pilgrimage site at Kumbh Mela, calling it a “place where old people get abandoned,” a move that was termed racist and insensitive.[5]

  • As of 2019, Hindustan Unilever’s portfolio had more than 50 product brands in 14 categories. The company has 21,000 employees and recorded sales of ₹34,619 crores in FY2017–18.

  • In December 2018, HUL announced its acquisition of GlaxoSmithKline India’s consumer business for US$3.8 billion in an all equity merger deal with a 1:4.39 ratio. However the integration of GSK’s 3,800 employees remained uncertain as HUL stated there was no clause for retention of employees in the deal.[8] In April 2020, HUL completed its merger with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH India) after completing all legal procedures. In December 2022, HUL’s market cap was Rs. 638548.42 crore.

Banking on World Heritage: Depicting Cultural Treasures through Banknotes

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is set to host an extraordinary exhibition titled “Banking on World Heritage.” This unique exhibition, curated by Ms. Rukmini Dahanukar, founder of ‘Money Talks’ and an independent scholar, will showcase banknotes featuring world heritage sites listed by UNESCO. The exhibition aims to provide a novel perspective on these cultural treasures and will be held at IGNCA from June 30th to July 9th, 2023. This event holds significance as it aligns with India’s presidency of the G-20 Summit, India’s 75th year of independence, and the 50th year of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention.

Inauguration and Theme

The exhibition will be inaugurated by Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi. The inauguration ceremony will witness the presence of High Commissioners and Ambassadors from G20 countries. The theme of the exhibition, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth One Family One Future” perfectly encapsulates the outstanding universal values of world heritage.

Showcasing Global Heritage

This exhibition offers a remarkable opportunity for visitors to witness the depiction of UNESCO World Heritage Sites through banknotes. The member countries of the G-20 have contributed their currencies, making this collection a valuable representation of diverse civilizations. Each banknote serves as a miniature canvas, highlighting the grand monuments and historic wonders that have shaped our shared human history.

Educating through Currency

Through the medium of banknotes, the exhibition aims to educate millennials and younger generations about their culture and heritage. Ms. Dahanukar’s passion for collecting banknotes has culminated in this remarkable exhibition, which brings together the rich diversity of Indian languages and reflects the unity in India’s cultural tapestry. The exhibition will demonstrate how these banknotes become a projection of India and reflect the connection between humanity and culture.

Coins: Portals to the Past

Complementing the banknote exhibition, IGNCA will organize a panel discussion featuring distinguished speakers, including Sri Sudhakar Kazar, Prof. Poonam Mahajan, Sri Ashish Chandra, Sri Anand Kothari, and Ms. Rukamini Dahanukar. The discussion will shed light on the invaluable historical insights that coins provide. Coins serve as tangible artifacts that allow us to reconstruct ancient Indian history, providing glimpses into the reigns of kings, economic systems, the extent of empires, trade routes, and the art and religion of their respective eras.

8th Edition of the World’s Largest Urban Cleanliness Survey Begins

The field assessment of Swachcha Survekshan 2023 is going to be launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Assessment from 1st July 2023. As a part of Swachcha Bharat Mission, urban cleanliness survey is based on cleanliness of public spaces and toilets, feedback of residents and the performance of municipalities in waste collection, segregation and processing. Swachcha Survekshan 2023- Mera Sheher, Meri Pehechan is the 8th annual edition ranking released on the basis of cleanliness of the cities by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Assessment .

Ministry Responsible for Urban Cleanliness Survey

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Assessment release the annual ranking based on the cleanliness of public places and toilets, feedback of residents and the performance of municipalities which is known by the name Swachcha Survekshan.

More about Swachcha Survekshan 2023:

  • Swachcha Survekshan is a part of Swachcha Bharat Mission launched in 2016 with the objective to help the cities in achieving the goal of sustainable sanitation. Swachca Survekshan 2023 is the 8th edition of the Urban Cleanliness Survey, in the Swachca Survekshan 2023 about 3000 assessors will take the field assessment of about 4500+ cities within a month and their ranking will be released later in the year.

  • While talking about the Swachcha Survekshan 2022 only 4,354 cities were included in the urban cleanliness survey, out of which Indore topped the ranking.

Criteria for ranking released for the Urban Cleanliness Survery:

The cities will be marked out of 9,500 marks and the division is as follows:

• 53% is for service level progress out of which 40% of marks will be for the processing and disposal of waste, 33% for segregated collection and 27% for the used water management and protection of sanitation workers. • 23% for certification. • 23% for citizens feedback.


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