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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-2nd May 2023

India to join international climate action in civil aviation from 2027

India has announced that it will participate in the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) CORSIA and the Long-Term Aspirational Goals (LTAG) from 2027.

India to Join International Climate Action in Civil Aviation from 2027:

India has announced that it will participate in the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the Long-Term Aspirational Goals (LTAG) from 2027. The decision was made at a meeting of the Parliament’s Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation held in New Delhi and chaired by the Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia.

ICAO’s Focus on Reducing Carbon Emissions:

ICAO has been tasked with reducing carbon emissions from international civil aviation. To achieve this goal, the global body has adopted several key aspirational goals, including a two per cent annual fuel efficiency improvement through 2050, carbon neutral growth, and net zero by 2050. These goals are clubbed under CORSIA and LTAG.

Implementation of CORSIA:

CORSIA is to be implemented in three phases, and financial implications due to offsetting have to be borne by individual airlines, depending upon their international operations. It is applicable only to flights originating from one country to another.

Why India is Joining ICAO’s Climate Action Measures from 2027?:

The Indian Ministry has stated that “this will enable airlines of developing countries like India to get time to grow more so that they do not face any adverse financial consequences due to CORSIA.” The financial implications of offsetting would have had a significant impact on airlines in developing countries. Joining the initiative in 2027 will give Indian airlines time to expand their operations and avoid any adverse financial consequences.

About International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO):

ICAO is an intergovernmental specialized agency associated with the United Nations (UN) that was established in 1947 by the Convention on International Civil Aviation (1944) known as the Chicago Convention. The headquarters of ICAO is located in Montreal, Canada.

Functions of ICAO:

ICAO is dedicated to developing safe and efficient international air transport for peaceful purposes and ensuring a reasonable opportunity for every state to operate international airlines. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security and facilitation, efficiency, and economic development of air transport, as well as to improve the environmental performance of aviation. It also serves as a clearinghouse for cooperation and discussion on civil aviation issues among its 193 member states. ICAO promotes regional and international agreements aimed at liberalizing aviation markets. It helps to establish legal standards to ensure that the growth of aviation does not compromise safety, and encourages the development of other aspects of international aviation law.

What is Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)?:

CORSIA is a global market-based measure designed to offset international aviation CO2 emissions in order to stabilize the levels of such emissions. Offset of CO2 emissions will be achieved through the acquisition and cancellation of emissions units from the global carbon market by aeroplane operators. It does not apply to domestic aviation. Under it, aircraft operators will begin monitoring their emissions from international flights and begin acquiring offsets for their emissions growth.

ASEAN India Maritime Exercise, AIME-2023

ASEAN India Maritime Exercise: Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Delhi arrived in Singapore to participate in the inaugural ASEAN India Maritime Exercise (AIME-2023).

ASEAN India Maritime Exercise

Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Delhi on May 1st, 2023, led by RAdm Gurcharan Singh, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, arrived in Singapore to participate in the inaugural ASEAN India Maritime Exercise (AIME-2023). The exercise is scheduled to take place from May 2nd to May 8th, 2023.

ASEAN India Maritime Exercise: Key Points

The Harbor Phase of AIME-2023 will be held at Changi Naval Base from May 2nd to May 4th, 2023, and the Sea Phase will take place in the South China Sea from May 7th to May 8th, 2023.

The primary goal of AIME-2023 is to provide an opportunity for the Indian Navy and ASEAN navies to work together closely and conduct seamless operations in the maritime domain.

Operation Kaveri launched to evacuate Indians from Sudan

About INS Delhi and INS Satpura:

INS Delhi, India’s first indigenously-built guided missile destroyer, and INS Satpura, an indigenously-built guided missile stealth frigate, are part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet based in Visakhapatnam.

Both of these ships are fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors and function under the operational command of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command.

During their port call at Singapore, the ships will also participate in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX-23) and the International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC), which are both being hosted by Singapore.

Science 20 Engagement Group meeting under India’s G20 Presidency begins

Science 20 Engagement Group meeting under India's G20 Presidency: Science 20, had the opening session of the Thematic Conference on Universal Holistic Health in Bangaram Island, Lakshadweep, India.

Science 20 Engagement Group meeting under India’s G20 Presidency

Science 20, during the opening session of the Thematic Conference on Universal Holistic Health in Bangaram Island, Lakshadweep, India emphasized the significance of respecting and acknowledging cultural diversity in promoting universal holistic health.

Science 20 Engagement Group meeting: Key Points

Co-chair of Science 20 and President of Indian National Science Academy, Prof. Ashutosh Kumar Sharma, underscored the importance of incorporating traditional healing practices into modern healthcare systems in upholding cultural identity and values, aside from health and well-being.

He also expressed the need for various approaches to facilitate inclusive, equitable, and fair delivery of holistic healthcare.

In addition, Professor Sharma called for the implementation of a robust mental health policy that emphasizes mental health as a fundamental human right that affects individuals, families, communities, and societies at large.

He lamented the global mental health crisis caused by the stigma, neglect, and ignorance surrounding mental health and encouraged the scientific community to prioritize mental health and address the challenges it poses.

The two-day event, which had 48 delegates from G-20 countries, takes place as part of India’s G20 Presidency.

New GST regulations for businesses with turnover of over ₹100 crore

New GST regulations for businesses with turnover of over ₹100 crore: Starting from May 1, 2023, businesses with an annual turnover of Rs 100 crore or more will be required to abide by a new GST rule.

New GST regulations for businesses with turnover of over ₹100 crore

Starting from May 1, 2023, businesses with an annual turnover of Rs 100 crore or more will be required to abide by a new GST rule. This rule mandates the uploading of electronic invoices on the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) within seven days of their issue. The IRP is utilized to validate that these invoices are actually genuine and to assign them a unique Invoice Reference Number for GST purposes.

New GST regulations for businesses: Key Points

This new rule replaces the current system in which businesses upload the invoices on the IRP on the day on which they are issued, regardless of their actual issue date.

The GST Network (GSTN) has issued an advisory to taxpayers regarding this development, stating that the government has decided to impose a time limit for reporting old invoices on the e-invoice IRP portals for those companies with an aggregate annual turnover equal to or greater than Rs 100 crore.

Therefore, companies subject to this rule must ensure that they upload invoices promptly to comply with the new requirements.

According to GSTN, this restriction will only be applicable to invoices and there will be no time restrictions imposed on the reporting of debit/credit notes.

For instance, if an invoice has a date of April 1, 2023, it must be reported by April 8, 2023, as the system will not allow reporting after the 7-day window.

Therefore, taxpayers must ensure that they report the invoice within the given time frame as they cannot avail the Input Tax Credit (ITC) if the invoice is not uploaded on the Integrated Reporting Portal (IRP).

India and Russia to Explore Acceptance of RuPay and Mir Payment Cards for Cross-Border Transactions

What are the current rules for GST on buisnesses?

Currently, businesses with a turnover of ₹10 crore and above are mandated to generate electronic invoices for B2B transactions. Companies with a turnover of over ₹500 crore were initially required to generate B2B e-invoices, which was later extended to those with a turnover of over ₹100 crore effective January 1, 2021.

From April 1, 2021, businesses with a turnover of over ₹50 crore generated B2B e-invoices, and from April 1, 2022, the threshold was further lowered to ₹20 crore.

As of October 1, 2022, the threshold was reduced to ₹10 crore.

Tax officers detected GST evasion worth over ₹1.01 lakh crore in the just-concluded fiscal year, almost double the amount from the previous year.

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) recovered ₹21,000 crore during the same period.

The government is utilizing data analytics and human intelligence to identify fraud while taking steps to increase compliance. The official stated, “In 2022-23, the DGGI officers detected evasion amounting to ₹1,01,300 crore, with a recovery of ₹21,000 crore made.” In the prior year, the DGGI uncovered over ₹54,000 crore in evasion and recovered more than ₹21,000 crore in taxes. In 2022-23, approximately 14,000 GST evasion cases were detected, up from 12,574 in 2021-22 and 12,596 cases in 2020-21.

NTPC and NPCIL sign agreement for joint development of nuclear power plants

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) signed a supplementary joint venture agreement with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to develop nuclear power projects in the country.

NTPC and NPCIL sign joint venture agreement to develop nuclear power projects:

India’s push towards clean energy sources took another leap forward on May 1, when the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) signed a supplementary joint venture agreement with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to develop nuclear power projects in the country. The two companies will initially focus on developing two pressurised heavy-water reactor (PHWR) projects: the Chutka Madhya Pradesh Atomic Power Project (2×700 MW) and the Mahi Banswara Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (4×700 MW). These projects were identified as part of fleet mode nuclear projects.

NTPC, which is India’s largest power producer, is aiming to generate 2,000 MW of nuclear energy by 2032, 4,200 MW by 2035, and eventually scale up to 20,000 MW by 2050. As well as adding capacity through PHWRs, the company is also planning to use small modular reactors. To ensure feedstock availability, it is also planning fuel tie-ups with Uranium Corporation of India Limited.

India’s nuclear power capacity and the push for clean energy:

According to the Central Electricity Authority, India’s installed nuclear power capacity currently stands at 6,780 MW, which represents just 2% of the country’s total energy mix (including thermal, hydro, and renewables). The Indian government has approved the installation of 10 nuclear reactors to meet the country’s growing power demand, which will be set up progressively by 2031 in fleet mode, at a cost of Rs. 1,05,000 crores. These reactors are expected to generate a total of 7,000 MW.

As well as adding to India’s energy mix, the development of nuclear power projects is a crucial step towards the country’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070. Nuclear energy is a zero-emission clean energy source, as it generates power through fission, which involves splitting uranium atoms to produce energy. The heat released by fission is then used to create steam that spins a turbine, generating electricity without harmful by-products emitted by fossil fuels.

Project implementation and costs:

The Chutka and Mahi Banswara nuclear projects will be implemented through a joint venture between NTPC and NPCIL called ASHVINI. The Chutka project is expected to cost approximately Rs. 25,000 crore, while the Mahi Banswara project will cost approximately Rs. 50,000 crore.

The 10 reactors approved by the Indian government will be installed at four locations, with two each at Kaiga (Karnataka), Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), and Chutka (Madhya Pradesh). Four reactors will be installed at Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan).

IIT Madras researchers develop machine learning tool to detect tumour in brain, spinal cord

Researchers at the IIT Madras have developed a machine learning-based computational tool called GBMDriver to improve the detection of cancer-causing tumours in the brain and spinal cord.

IIT-Madras Researchers Develop Computational Tool to Detect Cancer-Causing Tumours in the Brain and Spinal Cord:

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed a machine learning-based computational tool called GBMDriver to improve the detection of cancer-causing tumours in the brain and spinal cord. The tool is freely accessible and was primarily developed to identify driver mutations and passenger mutations in glioblastoma, a rapidly proliferating tumour.

Understanding the Development of GBMDriver:

The study involved examining 9386 driver mutations and 8728 passenger mutations in glioblastoma. The researchers took into account a number of variables, including the characteristics of amino acids, di- and tri-peptide motifs, conservation scores, and Position Specific Scoring Matrices (PSSM), in the development of the web server.

Superior Accuracy in Detection:

The researchers found that GBMDriver can detect driver mutations in glioblastoma with an accuracy of 81.99%, which is superior to current computational techniques. The approach relies entirely on the sequence of proteins, and the study identified the crucial amino acid characteristics that distinguish cancer-causing mutations.

Potential Impact on Cancer Treatment:

The researchers hope that GBMDriver could help prioritize driver mutations in glioblastoma and assist in identifying potential therapeutic targets, thus helping to develop drug design strategies. Glioblastoma tumours have been studied intensively in the past, but there are only a few therapeutic options available, and the predicted survival rate after diagnosis is less than two years.

Future Scope of GBMDriver:

Medha Pandey, a PhD student at IIT Madras, said that she envisages that the present method would be helpful in identifying therapeutic targets and prioritizing driver mutations in glioblastoma. With the development of GBMDriver, there is a potential for identifying novel therapeutic targets and improving the prognosis for patients with glioblastoma.

India and Russia to Explore Acceptance of RuPay and Mir Payment Cards for Cross-Border Transactions

India and Russia have agreed to explore the possibility of accepting each other's payment cards, RuPay and Mir, for hassle-free payments between the two countries.

India and Russia have agreed to explore the possibility of accepting each other’s payment cards, RuPay and Mir, for hassle-free payments between the two countries. The decision was made during the latest meeting of the Internal Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological, and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), which was jointly chaired by External Affairs Minister of India S Jaishankar and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.

Benefits of Mutual Acceptance of RuPay and Mir Cards:

Mutual acceptance of RuPay and Mir cards will facilitate transactions in Indian rupees and Russian rubles, making it easier for citizens of both countries to carry out cross-border payments. Currently, overseas payments from India and Russia are made through the SWIFT network, and exploring alternative payment options is necessary to minimize the impact of sanctions imposed on Russia by the West.

Exploring Interaction between UPI and FPS:

In addition to the mutual acceptance of payment cards, the meeting also explored the possibility of interaction between India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Russia’s Faster Payments System (FPS). This move aims to further simplify cross-border payments between India and Russia.

Adoption of the Russian Financial Messaging System:

Both countries also agreed to explore the adoption of the Russian financial messaging system, the Services Bureau of Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia, for cross-border payments. This system is expected to provide a more secure and reliable platform for cross-border transactions.

Cross-Border Connectivity between UPI and PayNow:

The meeting’s participants also discussed the recent launch of the cross-border connectivity between UPI and Singapore’s PayNow. This linkage enables people in both countries to undertake faster and cost-efficient digital transfers, benefiting the Indian diaspora in Singapore, including migrant workers and students.

Facilitation of Inward and Outward Remittances:

Both inward and outward remittances will be facilitated by the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, and ICICI Bank, whereas Axis Bank and DBS India will only facilitate inward remittances. UPI has emerged as the most popular and preferred payment mode for person-to-person and person-to-merchant transactions in India, accounting for 75% of total digital payments.

Resilient Payment and Settlement Infrastructure in India:

Since its inception in 2008, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has established a resilient payment and settlement infrastructure in India, enabling transactions through a range of retail payment products like RuPay card, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), UPI, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC Fastag), and Bharat BillPay.

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