Important Current Affairs for CLAT-4th August 2022

India Navy and France Navy conducted exercise in the Atlantic Ocean

The Indian Navy guided-missile frigate INS Tarkash, while on her long-range overseas deployment, conducted a Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) with French naval ships in the North Atlantic Ocean on July 29 and 30. INS Tarkash and French Fleet Tanker FNS Somme carried out a replenishment at sea, followed by cooperative air operations with the maritime surveillance aircraft Falcon 50, taking part in several mock missile engagements and air defence drills.

The successful conduct of these surface and aerial exercises symbolise the high degree of professionalism and interoperability that exists between the two navies. India and France are maritime nations with dynamic maritime economy sectors like marine technology and scientific research, fisheries, port and shipping, to name a few. Possessing vast exclusive economic zones, their fate is closely linked to the sea and the ocean.

Senior-most judge of Supreme Court U U Lalit, in line to become next CJI

Senior-most judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice U U Lalit, who is in line to become the next Chief Justice of India (CJI). He has been part of several landmark judgements including the one which held the practice of divorce through instant ‘triple talaq’ among Muslims illegal and unconstitutional. Justice Lalit is in line to become the 49th CJI of India on August 27, a day after incumbent Justice N V Ramana demits the office.

Notably:

If appointed, Justice Lalit will become the second CJI who was directly elevated to the apex court Bench from the Bar. Justice S M Sikri, who became the 13th CJI in January 1971, was the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the top court bench in March 1964.

Important points about Justice U U Lalit:

  • Justice Lalit, who was a renowned senior advocate, was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014.

  • He has since been involved in the delivery of several landmark judgements of the apex court.

  • One of the path-breaking verdicts was the August 2017 judgement by a five-judge constitution bench which by a 3-2 majority ruled the practice of divorce through instant ‘triple talaq’ as “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

GST collection for July 2022 second highest ever at Rs 1.49 lakh crore

Goods Services Tax collection has risen 28 per cent to touch the second-highest level of Rs 1.49 lakh crore in July on the back of economic recovery and steps taken to curb tax evasion. Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection stood at Rs 1,16,393 crore in the same month a year ago. GST, introduced in July 2017, touched a record high of Rs 1.68 lakh crore in April 2022.

About the Goods Services Tax:

  • This is the sixth time that the monthly GST collection crossed the Rs 1.40-lakh-crore mark since the inception of GST and the fifth month at a stretch since March 2022.

  • In July, revenues from import of goods were 48 per cent higher and the revenues from domestic transactions (including import of services) were 22 per cent higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year.

  • Of the Rs 1,48,995 crore GST collected in July, Central GST is Rs 25,751 crore, State GST is Rs 32,807 crore, Integrated GST is Rs 79,518 crore (including Rs 41,420 crore collected on import of goods) and cess is Rs 10,920 crore (including Rs 995 crore collected on import of goods).

List of previous months of GST:

  • January: 1,40,986 crore

  • February: 1,33,026 crore

  • March: 1,42,095 crore

  • April: 1,67,540 crore

  • May: 1,40,885 crore

  • June: 1,44,616 crore

  • July: 1,48,995 crore

A new US-China Flashpoint Taiwan

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against meddling in China’s dealings with Taiwan during a phone call with his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, that gave no indication of progress on trade, technology or other irritants, including Beijing’s opposition to a top American lawmaker’s possible visit to the island, which the mainland(China) claims as its own territory.

President Xi also warned against splitting the world’s two biggest economies. Business-people and economists warn such a change, brought on by Chinese industrial policy and U.S. curbs on technology exports, might hurt the global economy by slowing innovation and increasing costs.

History Of The Issue:

Settlement of the Taiwan issue and realization of the complete reunification of China embodies the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. The Chinese government has worked persistently toward this goal in the past 50 years. From 1979, the Chinese government has striven for the peaceful reunification of China in the form of “one country, two systems” with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort. Economic and cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have made rapid progress since the end of 1987. Unfortunately, from the 1990s, Lee Teng-hui, the leader of the Taiwan authorities, has progressively betrayed the One-China Principle, striving to promote a separatist policy with “two Chinas” at the core, going so far as to openly describe the cross-Straits relations as “state to state relations, or at least special state to state relations.” This action has seriously damaged the basis for peaceful reunification of the two sides, harmed the fundamental interests of the entire Chinese nation including the Taiwan compatriots, and jeopardized peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chinese government has consistently adhered to the One-China Principle and resolutely opposed any attempt to separate Taiwan from China. The struggle between the Chinese government and the separatist forces headed by Lee Teng-hui finds its concentrated expression in the question of whether to persevere in the One-China Principle or to create “two Chinas” or “One-China, one Taiwan.”

China’s Perspective:

The One-China Principle is the foundation stone for the Chinese government’s policy on Taiwan. On Comrade Deng Xiaoping’s initiative, the Chinese government has, since 1979, adopted the policy of peaceful reunification and gradually evolved the scientific concept of “one country, two systems.” On this basis, China established the basic principle of “peaceful reunification, and one country, two systems.” The key points of this basic principle and the relevant policies are: China will do its best to achieve peaceful reunification, but will not commit itself to rule out the use of force; will actively promote people-to-people contacts and economic and cultural exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, and start direct trade, postal, air and shipping services as soon as possible; achieve reunification through peaceful negotiations and, on the premise of the One-China Principle, any matter can be negotiated. After reunification, the policy of “one country, two systems” will be practiced, with the main body of China (Chinese mainland) continuing with its socialist system, and Taiwan maintaining its capitalist system for a long period of time to come. After reunification, Taiwan will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, and the Central Government will not send troops or administrative personnel to be stationed in Taiwan. Resolution of the Taiwan issue is an internal affair of China, which should be achieved by the Chinese themselves, and there is no call for aid by foreign forces. The afore-mentioned principles and policies embody the basic stand and spirit of adhering to the One-China Principle, and fully respect Taiwan compatriots’ wish to govern and administer Taiwan by themselves.


UN General Assembly deemed healthy environment a Human Right

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution that recognised everyone’s right to a healthy environment. It was stated that the action is a crucial one in halting the alarming decline of the natural environment. India supported the resolution but abstained from one of the resolution’s key clauses. It expressed dissatisfaction with the resolution’s methodology and content.

KEY POINTS:

  • The UNGA recognises the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right, according to the resolution’s operative paragraph 1.

  • Ashish Sharma, a counsellor at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, asked that this comment be recorded in the meeting’s official records.

Decline of the natural world:

  • Globally, our natural world is changing. Many species have reached an alarming point, and many are close to being extinct.

  • For instance, habitat loss and climate change have made the migratory monarch butterfly an endangered, threatened species, according to the most recent IUCN Red List.

  • Mountain ranges and glaciers are also melting more quickly than previously imagined, according to scientists.

  • The effects of climate change are so obvious that people see them frequently. One such is the recent spike in temperature throughout Europe.

  • The UN intensified its efforts to safeguard nature before it was too late in response to its deteriorating status.

Resolution Adopted by UNGA:

  • The UN General Assembly passed a resolution designating access to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a fundamental human right with 161 votes in favour and eight against.

  • The resolution, which is based on a text identical to one the Human Rights Council endorsed last year, urges governments, non-governmental organisations, and private companies to step up efforts to maintain a healthy environment for all people.

  • The resolution that was adopted took fifty years to craft. The right was established in the Stockholm Declaration of 1972 and has since been incorporated into regional accords, national laws, and constitutions.

Background of the Environment Action Plan by UN:

  • The first international conference to make the environment a top priority was the United Nations Conference on Environment in Stockholm in 1972.

  • A set of guidelines for responsible environmental management were adopted by the participants.

  • The Stockholm Declaration launched a global conversation on the relationship between economic development, environmental pollution of the air, water, and oceans, and human well-being. It also elevated environmental issues to the top of the international agenda.

  • The establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme was one of the key outcomes of the Stockholm conference. The UN Human Rights Council officially declared a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment to be a fundamental human right in October 2021.

  • The Council urged States from all across the world to cooperate to implement this recently recognised right in resolution 48/13.

  • By designating a Special Rapporteur to focus solely on that subject, the Council also expanded its attention on the effects of climate change on human rights with a second resolution (48/14).

RBI permitted use of INR for foreign commerce invoices and payments

Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad, the Union Minister of State for Finance, informed the Rajya Sabha that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has permitted foreign trade invoices and payments to be made in the Indian Rupee. By means of a circular titled International Trade Settlement in Indian Rupees (INR) that was published on July 11, 2022, the central bank has permitted payments for international trade in the Indian currency.

KEY POINTS:

  • According to Paragraph 10 of the Circular, the approval process is that banks from partner countries may approach Authorised Dealer (AD) banks in India who may seek approval from RBI with information about the arrangement for the opening of Special INR Vostro accounts.

  • In order to maintain the Special INR Vostro Account, the AD bank must make sure that the correspondent bank is not from one of the nations or regions listed in the most recent FATF Public Statement on High Risk & Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions, for which FATF has called for countermeasures.

Rise in the RBI’s Financial inclusion index:

  • The RBI’s composite financial inclusion index (FI-Index), which measures the level of financial inclusion throughout the nation, increased to 56.4 in March 2022, indicating development in all areas.

  • The index records data on different facets of financial inclusion in a single number ranging from 0 to 100, where 0 denotes total financial exclusion and 100 denotes complete financial inclusion.

  • The value of the FI Index for March 2022 is 56.4 compared to 53.9% in March 2021, with rise shown across all sub-indices, according to a statement from the RBI.

  • The central bank stated in August of last year that the index was conceptualised as a thorough one, including information on the banking, investments, insurance, postal, as well as the pension sector, in cooperation with the government and relevant sectoral regulators.

  • There was no “base year” when the FI-Index was created, it represents the combined efforts of all stakeholders over time toward financial inclusion.

Parameters that make Financial Inclusion Index:

  • The three broad parameters that make up the FI-Index are Access (35%) Usage (45%), and Quality (20%).

  • Each of these parameters has various dimensions and is calculated using a number of indicators.

All About National Herald Case

The National Herald was a newspaper founded by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru along with other freedom fighters in 1938. It was meant to voice the concerns of the liberal brigade in the Indian National Congress(INC). Published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL), this newspaper became a mouthpiece of the Congress party after Independence. AJL also published two other newspapers, one each in Hindi and Urdu. In 2008, the paper closed down with a debt of over Rs 90 crore.

Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) was a brainchild of Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1937, Nehru started the firm with 5,000 other freedom fighters as its shareholders. The company did not belong to any person in particular. In 2010, the company had 1,057 shareholders. It incurred losses, and its holdings were transferred to Young India in 2011.

In 2012, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and advocate Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint before a trial court alleging that some Congress leaders were involved in cheating and breach of trust in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd by Young Indian Ltd (YIL). He alleged that YIL had ‘taken over’ the assets of the National Herald in a ‘malicious’ way.

Recent Development:

Both Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have been summoned by the ED in a probe related to the National Herald case. The National Herald case pertains to the alleged misappropriation of assets of over ₹2,000 crore in an equity transaction. The ED is currently probing the shareholding pattern, the financial transactions of AJL and YIL, and the role of party functionaries in the functioning of the two entities.

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