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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-30th September 2023

ADB’s Capital Reforms to Unlock $100 Billion for Asia and Pacific

In a significant move, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently endorsed capital management reforms, unleashing a substantial $100 billion fund over the next ten years. These reforms, integrated into ADB’s updated Capital Adequacy Framework (CAF), mark a vital step in addressing the multifaceted crises and climate challenges faced by Asia and the Pacific region.

Key Reforms and Expansion:

The updated CAF paves the way for ADB to extend its annual new commitments capacity to over $36 billion, indicating a notable 40% increase, approximately $10 billion more than previous capacities. These reforms are designed to tackle the region’s simultaneous crises, providing much-needed financial impetus.

President’s Perspective:

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa emphasized the significance of these reforms, stating that they substantially enhance ADB’s ability to support critical development initiatives across Asia and the Pacific. One of the primary focuses lies in providing concessional resources to the region’s vulnerable members, ensuring comprehensive assistance to those in need.

Challenges Addressed:

The Asia-Pacific region grapples with a myriad of challenges. ADB’s reforms aim to address the intertwined issues of escalating crises and climate change. The vulnerable populations, constituting 3.9% of the region’s populace, face acute poverty, health hazards, compromised education, and livelihood threats. Moreover, the rising cost of living, particularly affecting women, has made essential commodities and services unaffordable for many.

Impact and Implications:

The infusion of $100 billion into the region over the next decade holds immense promise. It signifies not only an increased financial capacity for ADB but also a bolstered commitment to alleviating poverty, enhancing healthcare, and supporting education and livelihood programs. The impact is expected to be far-reaching, fostering resilience and sustainability across various sectors in Asia and the Pacific.

International Day of Non-Violence 2023, Date, Theme, History and Significance

The International Day of Non-Violence, celebrated on October 2nd each year, holds a special place on the global calendar. This day marks the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, a towering figure in the Indian independence movement and a pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. Beyond honoring his legacy, the day serves as a call to action to educate and inspire young people to develop the skills necessary for resolving conflicts peacefully. Established in 1993, the Non-Violence Project Foundation plays a pivotal role in advancing this cause. This article explores the significance of the International Day of Non-Violence, its historical roots, and its relevance in today’s world.

International Day of Non-Violence 2023, Significance

The Power of Nonviolent Strategies

Recent research has shown that nonviolent strategies are twice as effective as violent ones in achieving meaningful and lasting change. The International Day of Non-Violence serves as a platform to raise awareness about the efficacy of non-violence as a means of resolving conflicts and addressing societal issues.

Spreading Global Awareness

One of the primary objectives of this day is to disseminate the message of non-violence across the world. It underscores the importance of peaceful solutions and encourages individuals and communities to adopt nonviolent approaches to resolve disputes.

Building a Culture of Peace

Non-violence is a potent tool for effecting change, not only on a societal level but also within individuals. It has the capacity to reduce anger and violence in people, promoting personal growth and harmonious relationships. The International Day of Non-Violence encourages the cultivation of a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding, and non-violence.

International Day of Non-Violence 2023, Theme

No Special Theme

Unlike some other observances, the International Day of Non-Violence does not have a specific theme for 2023. Instead, the event aims to disseminate the message of non-violence through education and public awareness while reaffirming the desire for a culture characterized by peace, tolerance, understanding, and non-violence.

International Day of Non-Violence 2023, History

The Proposal

In 2004, Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi proposed the idea of an International Day of Non-Violence. This concept garnered support, particularly from leaders of India’s Congress Party. They actively called upon the United Nations to adopt the idea, recognizing the profound significance of honoring Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy and principles.

UN Adoption

On June 5, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution to establish the International Day of Non-Violence. This significant decision solidified the annual observance of Gandhi’s birth anniversary as a day to commemorate his non-violent struggle for freedom and justice.

Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary

The International Day of Non-Violence, celebrated on October 2nd, aligns with the birth anniversary of Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi, a man who championed non-violence as the greatest force available to humanity. His legacy continues to inspire individuals and nations to strive for a world characterized by peace and compassion.

As we observe the International Day of Non-Violence in 2023, let us reflect on the enduring wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi and the transformative power of non-violence. It reminds us that in a world often marred by conflict and discord, there is a path to change that embraces peace and understanding.

Co-Founder Of Asian Paints, Ashwin Dani passed away At 79

The world of business recently bid farewell to a visionary leader, Ashwin Dani, the Co-founder & non-executive director of Asian Paints, who passed away on 28 September 2023 at the age of 79. Ashwin Dani’s contributions to Asian Paints and the global paint industry have left an indelible mark.

The Asian Paints Legacy

Ashwin Dani’s association with Asian Paints was nothing short of legendary. This iconic company, which began its journey in 1942, was founded by his father and three others. Ashwin Dani joined Asian Paints in 1968, and under his leadership, the company witnessed unprecedented growth and expansion.

One of Ashwin Dani’s most significant achievements was the global expansion of Asian Paints. He played a pivotal role in transforming the company into one of the leading paint manufacturers worldwide. Dani’s visionary approach helped Asian Paints establish a strong global presence.

Innovation and Technological Advancements

Ashwin Dani was not just a leader but also a pioneer in the field of paint technology. He introduced groundbreaking innovations, including the first computerized color mixing program in India. His commitment to technological advancements set new industry standards and elevated the brand’s reputation.

A Journey of Education and Expertise

Ashwin Dani pursued a Bachelor of Science from the Institute of Science, University of Mumbai. He later earned a Master’s degree in polymer science from the University of Akron, Ohio, showcasing his dedication to gaining expertise in the field.

Before joining Asian Paints, Ashwin Dani gained valuable experience working as a development chemist at Inmont Corp in Detroit, USA. This international exposure broadened his perspective and contributed to his global outlook.

Beyond Business

While Ashwin Dani was renowned for his business acumen, he had diverse interests beyond the corporate world. He was a dedicated yoga practitioner and had a passion for art collection. His multifaceted interests reflected his zest for life and creativity.

A Remarkable Legacy

Ashwin Dani’s contributions to Asian Paints and the paint industry as a whole cannot be overstated. According to Forbes, his family’s net worth stands at ₹68,000 crore, a testament to his enduring impact on the business world.

Ashwin Dani’s legacy will forever remain etched in the annals of the paint industry’s history. His vision, innovation, and commitment to excellence continue to inspire future generations of leaders, ensuring that his impact endures long into the future.

Banmali Agarwal Appointed Chairman of Tata Advanced Systems

Tata Sons, the prestigious conglomerate, has announced a significant change in leadership within its aerospace and defense solutions unit, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL). Banmali Agarwal has assumed the role of Chairman at TASL, succeeding Vijay Singh, who has retired. This move comes as part of Tata Group’s continued commitment to bolstering its presence in the aerospace and defense sector. In this article, we delve into the key details surrounding this transition and TASL’s strategic initiatives.

Banmali Agarwal, The New Chairman

Banmali Agarwal, a distinguished figure within the Tata Group, has taken over as Chairman of TASL. His appointment follows the retirement of Vijay Singh, who had played a crucial role in steering TASL’s growth. Agarwal brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role, which includes his position as a senior advisor to Tata Sons and his role as Chairman of Tata Electronics.

Vijay Singh’s Contributions

Vijay Singh, the outgoing Chairman of TASL, also holds the position of Vice Chairman at Tata Trust. His tenure at the helm of TASL witnessed significant developments and strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening the Tata Group’s presence in the aerospace and defense sector.

Tata Advanced Systems Limited: A Strategic Arm

TASL’s Role within Tata Group

Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) operates as the strategic aerospace and defense arm of Tata Sons, the parent company of the Tata Group. TASL holds a pivotal role in shaping the group’s defense-related endeavors, encompassing both operational and holding functions.

Consolidation of Defense Entities

In 2018, Tata Sons initiated the consolidation of various group entities under a single defense vertical. This strategic move brought together companies like Tata Power SED, TAL Manufacturing, Tata Advanced Materials, and the defense division of Tata Motors, all of which were consolidated into TASL. This consolidation streamlined the group’s defense capabilities and facilitated a more coordinated approach to defense projects.

Focus on Defense Systems and Equipment

Make in India Initiative

TASL has set its sights on enhancing its execution capabilities to actively participate in major defense contracts offered by the Indian government. These efforts align with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, which encourages the domestic production of defense systems and equipment, often in collaboration with foreign defense equipment manufacturers.

Partnership with Airbus

TASL’s Ambitious Plans

One of TASL’s most ambitious endeavors is to become India’s first private manufacturer of military aircraft. To realize this goal, TASL entered into a strategic partnership with Airbus, a global aviation giant. This collaboration aims to manufacture 40 Airbus C295 aircraft.

Government Approval for Airbus Deal

The Indian government granted approval for the ₹21,000 crore deal between TASL and Airbus in September last year. Under this agreement, Airbus will deliver 16 aircraft in fly-away condition within four years, while the remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by TASL at its newly established facility in Vadodara.

Remission Of Duties And Taxes On Exported Products (RoDTEP) Scheme extended till 30th June 2024

The Central Government extended support for exports under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme till 30 June 2024. The RoDTEP support was originally notified until 30 September 2023, but this extension comes at a crucial time when the country’s exports are facing challenges due to the global economic slowdown.

Addressing Global Headwinds

The decision to extend the RoDTEP scheme is a strategic move by the government to support the exporting community in navigating the uncertain international trade landscape. Major economies around the world have been experiencing a slowdown, which has directly impacted the demand for Indian exports. By extending the scheme, the government aims to provide exporters with a better negotiating position for international contracts.

WTO-Compatibility and IT Implementation

One noteworthy aspect of the RoDTEP scheme is its alignment with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and its implementation in an end-to-end IT environment. This ensures transparency and efficiency in the disbursement of benefits, making it easier for exporters to access the support they are entitled to.

Origins of the RoDTEP Scheme

The government introduced the RoDTEP Scheme as a duty remission scheme on exports, officially launching it on 1 January 2021. This scheme operates within a budgetary framework, with a budget allocation of Rs. 15,070 crore earmarked for the fiscal year 2023-24.

Key Features of RoDTEP

The RoDTEP scheme serves as a mechanism for the reimbursement of duties, taxes, and levies. These are costs that export entities incur during the manufacturing and distribution process of exported products. Importantly, these costs are not typically refunded through other mechanisms at the central, state, or local levels.

RoDTEP Committee’s Role

To ensure the scheme’s effectiveness and relevance, the RoDTEP Committee has been reconstituted within the Department of Revenue. This committee is responsible for recommending and reviewing the ceiling rates for different export sectors under the RoDTEP Scheme.

On 26 September 2023, the committee held its first interaction with the Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) and Chamber of Commerce to discuss the methodology and other issues related to the RoDTEP Scheme and its implementation.

EPCs’ Call for Increased Support

During the discussions with the RoDTEP Committee, the Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) emphasized the need for enhancing the RoDTEP budget allocation. They also advocated for higher rates to be made available for all export items, aiming to provide greater market access for Indian products abroad.

Financial Commitment

Between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2023, a total of Rs. 27,018 crore was disbursed under the RoDTEP scheme. For the current financial year, approximately Rs. 15,070 crore has been allocated to support 10,610 product lines, indicating the government’s commitment to bolstering the Indian export sector.

Strengthening India’s Global Trade Position

The extension of the RoDTEP scheme until June 2024 is a proactive step by the Central Government to support the export community amid global economic challenges. By providing exporters with continued financial relief and ensuring WTO-compatibility, the government aims to strengthen India’s position in international trade and boost its exports.

Gandhi Jayanti 2023: Date, Theme, History and Significance

Gandhi Jayanti, celebrated on October 2nd every year, is a day of profound significance in India and around the world. It marks the 154th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly known as Mahatma Gandhi, Bapu or the Father of the Nation. This day is a tribute to the life and principles of a man who dedicated his existence to India’s struggle for independence and left an indelible mark on the world with his unwavering commitment to truth and non-violence.

Theme of Gandhi Jayanti 2023

“Ek Tareekh Ek Ghanta Ek Saath” is the theme for 2 October Gandhi Jayanti, A national call to action for 1 Hour of citizen-led shramdaan for swachhata on 1st Oct, 2023 at 10 am.

A Historical Overview of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. His early life was marked by a modest upbringing and a strong sense of ethics instilled by his parents.

Pillars of Mahatma Gandhi’s Philosophy: Satyagraha and Ahimsa

Gandhi initiated two pivotal movements- Satyagraha (truth force) and Ahimsa (non-violence), which became the cornerstone of his philosophy and tools for resistance.

Role of Mahatma Gandhi in India’s Freedom Struggle

Under British colonial rule, Gandhi’s non-violent approach and his ability to win people over with love and tolerance had a profound impact on India’s civil rights movements.

Assassination and Legacy

Tragically, on January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, but his legacy continued to shine as a guiding light for those who believed in the power of non-violence.

Significance of Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti 2023

Mahatma Gandhi’s life and work left an indelible mark on India’s history. His dedication to the principles of truth, non-violence and social justice inspired millions of people not only in India but around the world. Gandhi Jayanti provides an opportunity for people to pay their respects to this great leader, who made immense sacrifices for the betterment of his country.

Commemorative Activities on Gandhi Jayanti 2023

On Gandhi Jayanti a wide array of activities takes place across the nation to honor Mahatma Gandhi’s memory. These includes:

  1. Prayer Meetings: People gather in various places, including Gandhi Ashrams, to participate in prayer meetings. These meetings reflect the spiritual and philosophical aspects of Gandhi’s life.

  2. Devotional Songs: One of Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite bhajans, “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram,” is sung with great devotion during these gatherings. The song carriers a message of unity and harmony.

  3. Award Presentations: To acknowledge individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to society in line with Gandhi’s principles, awards are presented on this day.

  4. Rallies: Peaceful rallies and processions are organized to promote the ideals of non-violence and social justice that Gandhi stood for.

Gandhi Jayanti 2023 Celebrations Across India

Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday observed in all Indian states and union territories. The day sees beautiful celebrations at schools and colleges, where students participate in various competitions to commemorate Gandhi’s legacy. Prizes are awarded to the best performers, fostering a sense of responsibility and leadership among the youth.

Symbols

Several places hold significance in the commemoration of Gandhi Jayanti:

  1. The Martyr’s Column: This is the site where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948.

  2. The Raj Ghat: This is the location where Mahatma Gandhi’s body was cremated on January 31, 1948.

  3. The Triveni Sangam: This is where the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati converge. It symbolizes the unity and diversity that Gandhi sough to promote throughout his life.

Eurozone Inflation Hits Two-Year Low

Inflation in the Eurozone has dropped to its lowest level in almost two years, providing potential relief for the European Central Bank (ECB) and raising questions about the continuation of its rate-hiking cycle.

Inflation Figures and Forecasts

  • Official data from Eurostat reveals that consumer prices in the 20-nation Eurozone rose at an annual rate of 4.3 percent in September, down from 5.2 percent in August. This marks the lowest level of inflation since October 2021.

  • Analysts had anticipated a slower decline in inflation, with a consensus forecast of 4.5 percent for September, according to data firm FactSet. However, it’s important to note that inflation remains well above the ECB’s target of two percent.

Implications for ECB’s Rate-Hiking Cycle

  • The decline in inflation has raised hopes among investors that the ECB may reconsider its ongoing rate-hiking cycle. The central bank had been raising interest rates in response to elevated inflation, but this has had repercussions across the Eurozone economy.

  • Core inflation, which excludes volatile elements like energy, food, alcohol, and tobacco prices, also decreased from 5.3 percent in August to 4.5 percent in September. Core inflation is a critical factor for the ECB’s policy decisions.

  • Some economists, like Jack Allen-Reynolds from Capital Economics, suggest that the ECB may have completed its interest rate increases. However, they predict that rate cuts are unlikely until late 2024.

  • ECB Chief Christine Lagarde defended the rate hikes, stating that they were necessary to combat inflation, despite acknowledging the associated difficulties.

  • Notably, European governments, including France, have voiced opposition to further rate hikes by the ECB.

Factors Influencing Inflation Trends

  • Inflation has been on a downward trajectory since reaching its peak at 10.6 percent in October 2022, primarily due to the economic repercussions of Russia’s war on Ukraine across Europe.

  • Economists caution against expecting a rapid decline in inflation to reach the ECB’s target. Factors such as higher energy and wage costs could keep inflation elevated.

  • Rising oil prices are a concern, with expectations that they may contribute to higher inflation at the beginning of the next year.

  • However, energy prices in the Eurozone decreased in September, falling by 4.7 percent, following a 3.3 percent drop in the previous month.

  • The increase in food and drink prices also slowed, with a rate of 8.8 percent in September compared to 9.7 percent in August, according to Eurostat.

  • The Netherlands was the only Eurozone country where consumer prices actually fell, dropping by 0.3 percent, according to Eurostat figures. Meanwhile, Germany saw a notable reduction in inflation from 6.4 percent in August to 4.3 percent in September, as per Eurostat data.

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