Important Current Affairs for CLAT-4th November 2022

Gender Wealth Gap(GWG) in APAC Largest in India at 64%: Report

A new study revealed that India has the widest gender wealth gap (64%) as compared to other APAC countries. This is largely due to the higher burden of caregiving responsibilities. The 2022 WTW Global Gender Wealth Equity report found that opportunities for women in leadership positions are also limited, with only 3% of women in the workforce occupying senior positions in India.

What Has Been Said:

“Women also tend to assume childcare responsibilities at a young age for the region, resulting in financial impacts from which women have limited capacity to recover. Compounding this is that long term financial decisions generally rest with men and financial literacy for working women tends to be lower,” stated the report.

World Scenario:

South Korea has been found as the best performing country in the APAC region in terms of gender wealth gap. “In South Korea, the earnings limits embedded in social security benefits limit the accumulation of male relative to female wealth,” the report said. The report highlights that across the 12 markets in the APAC region, the gender wealth gaps ranges from 64 per cent in India to 90 per cent in South Korea.

Women, when they retire from work, will just have 74 per cent of the wealth accumulated by men. The report said APAC has one of the lowest global wealth gaps on average for gender wealth equity. Women in the region will likely accumulate just over three-quarters or 76 per cent of men’s wealth levels, and just two points above the global average.

The Case At Higher Levels:

The study shows that overall, the gender wealth gap at retirement increases with seniority. At the global level, women in senior expert and leadership roles were found to have less than two-thirds or just 62 per cent of the accumulated wealth of their male counterparts at the time of retirement. A substantial gap of 69 per cent was found at the mid-level professional and technical roles, but it narrowed considerably to 89 per cent for frontline operational roles.

The Best Performing Countries:

According to the report, a total of six markets included in the analysis have a higher wealth index at retirement for women compared to the global average, and among them are China (78 per cent), Japan (82 per cent), Philippines (79 per cent) and Singapore (79 per cent).

VR Krishna Gupta named as Chairman of BPCL

Vetsa Rama Krishna Gupta has taken over the additional charge of Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), post-superannuation of Arun Kumar Singh. According to Bharat Petroleum’s official statement, Gupta has an illustrious career spanning over 24 years at the company, in various Finance roles, V R K Gupta is Director (Finance) in the company and holds the additional charge of Director (HR).

How his experience helps BPCL?

  • Under his able leadership, BPCL swiftly completed the merger of BORL and BGRL, wholly owned subsidiaries, with BPCL, along with smooth onboarding of BORL and BGRL employees into the BPCL family.

  • He is currently a Board member in BPRL (Bharat Petro Resources Limited) and Fino Paytech Limited and was also a Board member in the recently amalgamated companies BORL (Bharat Oman Refineries Limited) & BGRL (Bharat Gas Resources Limited), as well as, MAFFL (Mumbai Aviation Fuel Farm Facility Private Limited).

Career of Vetsa Rama Krishna Gupta:

Gupta joined BPCL in August 1998 and has a well-rounded experience across Finance functions covering Commercial Finance, Corporate Accounts, Risk Management, Business plan, Budgeting, Treasury operations, etc. A big advocate of digitalisation, he envisions the massive-scale digital transformation being implemented at Bharat Petroleum as a far-reaching initiative that is reinforcing Trust, Convenience and Personalization for consumers and enhancing efficiencies and transparency in operations.

Netanyahu And Allies Again Wins Israel Elections

Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sealed his return to power, as the final vote count from elections this week gave him and his far-right allies a clear majority in parliament. Results released by the electoral commission said that with 99 per cent of votes counted, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party had earned 32 seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset.

The Current Scenario:

Combined with 18 for two ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties and 14 for the rising extreme-right alliance called Religious Zionism gave the bloc supporting Netanyahu 64 seats.

The parties backing centrist caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid won 51 seats, a definitive win for Netanyahu that spells an end to Israel’s unprecedented era of political deadlock, which forced five elections in less than four years.

The Most Far Right Govt:

The result sets Netanyahu up to form what may be the most right-wing government in Israeli history. He received quick congratulations from Italy’s far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Hungary’s Viktor Orban — a long-standing Netanyahu ally — and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who voiced hope for a “new page” in bilateral relations.

The Coalition Talks:

Netanyahu, who has served as premier for longer than anyone in Israel’s 74-history, will then begin sharing out cabinet posts with his coalition partners. That will likely mean prominent roles for the co-leaders of far-right Religious Zionism, which has doubled its representation since the last parliament.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, a firebrand known for anti-Arab rhetoric and incendiary calls for Israel to annex the entire West Bank, has said he wants to be public security minister, a post that would put him in charge of the police.

In recent days, Ben-Gvir has called repeatedly for the security services to use more force in countering Palestinian unrest. “It’s time we go back to being masters of our country,” Ben-Gvir said on election night.

Religious Zionism’s Bezalel Smotrich has said he wants to be defence minister.

The Arab-Split:

While many candidates cited security as a concern, none pledged to revive moribund peace talks with the Palestinians. Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the projected results highlighted “growing extremism and racism in Israeli society”.

A key factor seen as boosting Netanyahu was the split among Arab parties, who ran as three separate factions instead of the joint list that saw them win a record number of seats in March 2020. Separately, not all the factions reached the threshold for representation in parliament, meaning their votes were wasted.

Sami Abou Shahadeh, the head of the Balad party, defended his party’s decision to run independently, even though it was set to be shut out of parliament. “We may be losing our representation in the Knesset but we won the love of our people,” he said.

7 Indian states & 2 UTs celebrated their formation day on November 1st

On November 1st, Seven of the 28 Indian states and two Union Territories observed their formation day. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab besides the Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry were formed on this day, though in different years. Besides 28 states, India has eight Union Territories.

While Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh came into being in 1956, Punjab and Haryana were carved out as separate states in 1966 while Chhattisgarh was granted statehood in 2002. It was the first time in 1956 that several states were formed on linguistic grounds under the State Reorganisation Act. All these states and the Union Territory of Puducherry celebrate their formation days on November.

“Permacrisis” Is Collins Dictionary’s Word Of The Year

Permacrisis has been chosen as the Collins Dictionary’s word of the year. The word means an extended period of instability and insecurity. “Permacrisis sums up just how truly awful 2022 has been for so many people,” Alex Beecroft, head of Collins Learning told AFP.

‘Permacrisis’ is a word that describes living in an age of continued upheaval; Collins defines the noun as ‘an extended period of instability and insecurity’. According to The Guardian, Collins chose permacrisis as the word of the year as it “sums up quite succinctly how truly awful 2022 has been for so many people”. It is the top word in the annual compilation of the 10 new or noteworthy words from the 18-billion word database monitored by Collins and from other sources like social media. Permacrisis is also one of six new words on the list added to CollinsDictionary.com.

Notably: Permacrisis was Beating off competition from the likes of “Kyiv”, “sportswashing” and “partygate”, the term “permacrisis” was named as Britain’s word of the year in recognition of a dismal 2022.

Indian Exim Bank Inks Pact With Southern Africa’s Leading Bank to Boost India-Africa Trade

Export-Import Bank of India (India Exim Bank) has concluded a Master Risk Participation Agreement for supporting trade transactions with FirstRand Bank (FRB) Limited. The agreement was signed in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the India – Southern Africa Regional Conclave.

Importance Of Africa As A Whole:

  • Africa has positioned itself as a key partner in the global arena, a global investment and trading hub, a US$ 2.2 trillion market and a population base of over 1 billion, Africa offers a great market potential .

  • With a largest arable landmass in the world, housing 30% of global minerals reserves, and 8% of the world’s oil reserves , the continent offers promising long-term sustainable growth prospects which would be further enhanced by deeper integration of Africa into the global economy.

  • In fact, in the coming years, Africa is to benefit from strong fundamentals including a young and growing population, the world’s fastest urbanization rate, and accelerating technological change .

  • The continent’s young population with a growing labour force is a highly valuable asset in an ageing world. By 2034, Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working-age population of 1.1 billion.

  • Urbanisation is a common feature of most economies in Africa, according to estimates, an addition of 187 million Africans are expected to live in cities. This urban expansion is contributing to rapid growth in consumption by households and businesses. Further, penetration of smart phones is expected be more than 50% in 2020 from only 2% in 2010.

GOI’s initiatives in Promoting Bilateral Relations:

  • India and Africa have had a long-standing relationship that is marked with historic, cultural, economic and political exchanges and cooperation. The recent years have witnessed tremendous increase and deepening of economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between India and Africa.

  • With a view to significantly enhance India’s trade with Africa, the Government of India (GOI) launched an integrated programme ‘Focus Africa’ from the year 2002-03. The main objective of the programme is to increase interactions between the two regions by identifying the areas of bilateral trade and investment. The ‘Focus Africa’ programme has been extended to cover the entire African continent.

  • These developments can be attributed to the growing prowess of African and Indian companies, with GOI playing a pivotal role in creating an enabling environment. Moreover, Africa has emerged as one of India’s major export destinations (from US$ 14.8 billion in 2008-09 to US$ US$ 25 billion in 2015-16), on account of GOI’s Initiatives such as Focus Market Scheme, among others.

  • Effectiveness of the bilateral initiatives that exists between India and Africa can be gauged from the recent robust trends in Indo-Africa trade relations, wherein bilateral trade has increased around five-fold in the last decade, which stood at US$ 56.7 billion in 2015-16. African region has now accounted for nearly 10% of India’s global exports and supplies 8.3% of India’s global imports.

  • At the same time, Indian private investment in Africa has surged with major investments having taken place in the telecommunications, IT, energy, and automobiles sectors . According to the RBI, Africa accounted for nearly one-fifth of Indian overseas direct investments during April 1996 to March 2016, with Mauritius, Mozambique, Sudan, Egypt and South Africa being some of the major investment destinations.

  • India’s partnership with Africa has been driven by the aim of empowerment, capacity building, human resource development, access to Indian market, and support for Indian investments in Africa.

  • International Solar Alliance (ISA), one of the recent major initiatives of the Government of India, was conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. The proposed ISA members would include solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. GOI would support ISA by hosting its Secretariat for an initial period of five years and thereafter it is expected to generate its own resources and become self-financing.

Bank of Baroda Launches BoB World Opulence, BoB World Sapphire premium debit cards

Bank of Baroda and Visa has announced the launch of two new premium debit cards for Bank of Baroda customers – bob World Opulence – a super-premium Visa Infinite Debit Card (Metal Edition) and bob World Sapphire – a Visa Signature Debit Card.

New Offering:

The bob World Sapphire card will come in two sub variants – bob World Sapphire (Male) and bob World Sapphire (Female), offering customised privileges to customers.

What Has Been Said:

Shri Joydeep Dutta Roy, Executive Director, Bank of Baroda said, “As our customers’ requirements, preferences and aspirations evolve, so have our offerings. We are adding two premium debit card offerings to our portfolio and are pleased to enter into a collaboration with Visa for the launch of two high-end variants for our high networth customers. Our customers have clear expectations and are looking for a differentiated and rewarding experience. The bob World Opulence – Visa Infinite (Metal Edition) and bob World Sapphire – Visa Signature range of debit cards promise to deliver that and more.”

Shri Akhil Handa, Chief Digital Officer, Bank of Baroda said, “The bob World Opulence – Infinite (Metal Edition) debit card is truly a status symbol, offering a world of lavish privileges and benefits combined with a distinctive card design. The bob World Sapphire card offers a signature experience with a Him and Her concept. We are delighted to launch these two new debit card variants, which our customers will truly value.”