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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-7th April 2023

India elected as member of UN Statistical Commission Narcotic Drugs and the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint UN Program

India has recently been elected as a member of the United Nations (UN) Statistical Commission Narcotic Drugs and the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint UN Program.

India has recently been elected as a member of the United Nations (UN) Statistical Commission Narcotic Drugs and the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint UN Program, signaling the country’s increasing presence in the international arena. The decision was made during a vote held at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on April 6, 2023.

More About The India elected as member of UN Statistical Commission Narcotic Drugs:

India, along with South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and China, were vying for two seats from the Asia Pacific States category. In the first round of voting, South Korea received 23 votes, while China and the UAE received 19 and 15 votes, respectively.

In the second round, China and South Korea each received 25 votes, resulting in a tie. Under the Council’s rules of procedure, South Korea was elected for the second seat through the drawing of lots following two inconclusive rounds of secret-ballot voting.

About UN Statistical Commission Narcotic Drugs:

The UN Statistical Commission Narcotic Drugs is responsible for addressing issues related to drug control and ensuring compliance with international drug control treaties. India’s election to this commission is a significant achievement, as it will provide the country with a platform to contribute to global efforts to combat drug abuse and trafficking. It will also provide India with the opportunity to share its expertise and best practices in drug control with other member states.

Significance of the India’s election to the Programme Coordinating Board:

India’s election to the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint UN Program is also an important development. The Joint UN Program is responsible for coordinating efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, among other diseases. India’s membership on the board will provide it with a greater voice in global health policy-making and enable it to contribute to efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals related to health.

Andaman & Nicobar command conducts large scale joint military exercise ‘KAVACH’

On April 5, 2023, the Andaman & Nicobar command, which is India's sole tri-services unit, held a collaborative military drill named Exercise 'KAVACH.'

On April 5, 2023, the Andaman & Nicobar command, which is India’s sole tri-services unit, held a collaborative military drill named Exercise ‘KAVACH.’ The soldiers performed multiple exercises such as amphibious landing, air landing operations, heliborne operations, and swift insertion of special forces commandos.

The weaponry and equipment of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard were utilized by the soldiers participating in ‘EX-KAVACH.’ The primary objective of this joint service exercise was to enhance the coordination and joint warfighting capabilities of the various services.

More about joint military exercise ‘KAVACH’

The tri-service exercise ‘EX-KAVACH’ involved the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, aiming to enhance India’s joint warfighting capabilities against potential combat challenges.

The exercise included various operations, such as amphibious assault, maritime air strikes, and manoeuvres at sea, with the deployment of naval warships and different aircraft.

The exercise also focused on joint activities for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The exercise aimed to validate India’s ability to safeguard its island territories and perform joint operations with synergy during real war scenarios.

The exercise is crucial for India, considering the current global situation and the country’s neighbors on the northern and western borders.

RBI penalises Mahindra Finance, Indian Bank over disclosure of interest rates to borrowers

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it has imposed penalties on Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd, Indian Bank, and Muthoot Money Limited for non-compliance with regulatory norms.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it has imposed penalties on Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd, Indian Bank, and Muthoot Money Limited for non-compliance with regulatory norms. Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd has been fined Rs 6.77 crore for failing to comply with norms related to the disclosure of interest rates to borrowers at the time of loan sanction.

Meanwhile, Indian Bank has been fined Rs 55 lakh for contravention of certain Know Your Customer (KYC) norms, and Muthoot Money Limited has been fined Rs 10.50 lakh for non-compliance with certain provisions of the ‘Monitoring of Frauds in NBFCs (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2016‘. These penalties demonstrate the RBI’s commitment to enforcing regulatory guidelines and promoting transparency and compliance in the Indian financial system.

Need of the penalizing Mahindra Finance and Indian Bank:

The RBI had issued guidelines to all Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and banks in 2019, stating that they must disclose the applicable interest rates and other charges related to the loans given to the customers, in a transparent manner. This includes information about the interest rates, processing fees, prepayment charges, penal interest, and any other fees or charges that may be applicable.

However, during an inspection conducted by the RBI, it was found that Mahindra Finance and Indian Bank had failed to comply with these guidelines. Mahindra Finance was found to be non-compliant in 2019, while Indian Bank was non-compliant in 2020.

The RBI has stated that the penalties have been imposed based on the severity of the non-compliance and taking into account the size of the respective banks. The penalties are also aimed at sending a message to all NBFCs and banks that they must strictly adhere to the RBI’s guidelines regarding the disclosure of interest rates and other charges.

Mahindra Finance and Indian Bank have been instructed to take necessary measures to comply with the RBI’s guidelines and submit a compliance report to the RBI within a stipulated time frame.

Non-compliance with the guidelines:

This is not the first time that the RBI has penalized banks and NBFCs for non-compliance with its guidelines. The central bank has been taking a tough stance on such violations, in order to protect the interests of borrowers and ensure transparency in the lending process.

In conclusion, the penalties imposed by the RBI on Mahindra Finance and Indian Bank serve as a reminder to all banks and NBFCs to comply with the regulatory guidelines in order to avoid similar action by the RBI. The RBI’s efforts to ensure transparency in the lending process will go a long way in strengthening the Indian financial system.

Amit Shah Unveils 54-Feet-Tall Statue Of Lord Hanuman At Gujarat Temple

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has unveiled a 54-feet-tall statue of Lord Hanuman at a temple in Gujarat, India.

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has unveiled a 54-feet-tall statue of Lord Hanuman at a temple in Gujarat, India. The statue, made of bronze, was installed at the Hanuman temple in Shah’s hometown, Naranpura, in Ahmedabad.

More About The 54-Feet-Tall Statue Of Lord Hanuman:

The statue, which stands on a 48-feet-tall pedestal, has been built at a cost of around Rs 30 crore ($4 million USD) by the Hanuman Seva Samiti, a trust associated with the temple. It is said to be one of the tallest statues of Lord Hanuman in the world.

In his address at the unveiling ceremony, Shah said that the statue is not just a symbol of devotion but also a message of India’s cultural heritage and spirituality to the world. He added that the statue will become a major tourist attraction and boost tourism in the region.

The statue was installed with the help of a crane and the whole process took several hours to complete. The statue’s face was unveiled first, followed by the body and the tail. The entire process was telecast live on television channels.

Lord Hanuman is a Hindu deity who is worshipped for his strength, courage, and devotion. He is believed to have played a key role in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where he helped Lord Rama rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.

Significance of this:

The unveiling of the statue has been welcomed by many people in Gujarat, who see it as a symbol of pride and devotion. However, some have criticized the project, saying that it is a waste of public money and resources.

The installation of statues has been a contentious issue in India, with some accusing the government of promoting a particular religion through such projects. However, supporters argue that such statues help promote the country’s cultural heritage and boost tourism.

Chhattisgarh’s Nagri Dubraj rice variety gets GI tag

Chhattisgarh's Nagri Dubraj, an aromatic rice variety, has been granted a geographical indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indication Registry.

Chhattisgarh’s Nagri Dubraj, an aromatic rice variety, has been granted a geographical indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indication Registry. This will provide the brand with a unique identity and open up a wide market for it. Efforts have been made by authorities in Chhattisgarh for a long time to obtain the GI tag for Nagri Dubraj. The Indira Gandhi Agricultural University played a vital role in obtaining the rights, as it maintained regular communication with the relevant authorities. Additionally, the rice is produced by a self-help group of women.

The “Maa Durga Swasahayata Samuh,” a self-help group of women from Nagri in Dhamtari district, has been growing and harvesting Dubraj rice and applied for the GI tag. Last year, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel, pledged to take action to ensure that the fragrance of Dubraj rice returns to the farmers’ fields. Dubraj rice, also known as the “Basmati of Chhattisgarh,” is highly aromatic.

According to Dr. Girish Chandel, the Vice Chancellor of Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Dubraj rice is the second brand to receive a GI tag after Jeeraphool rice, which was awarded the GI tag in 2019. GI tags are given to entrepreneurs or groups of businessmen from specific areas, states, or countries. The issuance of GI tags is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999.

Bihar’s aromatic ‘Marcha Rice’ gets GI tag

The Mircha rice variety from West Champaran district of Bihar has recently been granted the GI tag. The grains of this rice are similar in size and shape to black pepper, which is why it is called Mir

The Mircha rice variety from West Champaran district of Bihar has recently been granted the GI tag. The grains of this rice are similar in size and shape to black pepper, which is why it is called Mircha or Marcha rice. The rice has a distinct aroma, and its grains and flakes are known for their palatability. The rice is also famous for its ability to produce aromatic chura (rice flakes). When cooked, the rice is fluffy, non-sticky, and sweet with a pleasant aroma resembling that of popcorn. The application for the GI tag was submitted by the Marcha Dhan Utpadak Pragatisheel Samuh, a registered organization of paddy cultivators.

Other agriculture and horticulture products from Bihar that have received GI tags include Zardalu mango, Katarni rice of Bhagalpur, Shahi litchi of Muzaffarpur, Magahi paan of Magadh region, and Makhana of Mithila.

About the Mircha or Marcha rice

The GI tag has been awarded to the indigenous variety of paddy called Mircha Rice, which is produced exclusively in the West Champaran region of Bihar. This unique rice has a grain size and shape similar to black pepper, which is the reason behind its name. It is known for its distinct aroma, palatability, and the quality of rice flakes (chura) it produces.

The application for the GI tag was submitted by the Marcha Dhan Utpadak Pragatisheel Samuh, a registered organization of paddy cultivators. The group is yet to receive the GI tag certificate formally, which is expected to be available in August. The rice is primarily grown in the Mainatand, Gaunaha, Narkatiaganj, Ramnagar, and Chanpatia blocks of West Champaran district, with an average yield of 20-25 quintals per hectare.

The tall plants of this paddy are ready for harvest in 145-150 days. Out of the 18 blocks in West Champaran, this rice is cultivated in six blocks.

India slams OIC for its ‘anti-India’ agenda

India has strongly criticized the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its "anti-India" agenda, accusing the organization of meddling in India's internal affairs and promoting extremism.

India has strongly criticized the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its “anti-India” agenda, accusing the organization of meddling in India’s internal affairs and promoting extremism. In a statement issued on April 4, 2023, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) expressed its “strong protest” against the OIC’s statement, which it called “unwarranted and factually incorrect.”

India and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC):

India has slammed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its “anti-India” agenda after the group issued a statement expressing concern about violence and vandalism targeting the Muslim community in several Indian states during Ram Navami processions.

In the statement, the OIC General Secretary denounced such acts of violence and vandalism as a manifestation of mounting Islamophobia and systemic targeting of the Muslim community in India. The OIC called on Indian authorities to take firm actions against the instigators and perpetrators of such acts and ensure the safety, security, rights, and dignity of the Muslim community in the country.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs responded to the OIC statement, calling it “factually incorrect” and accusing the group of indulging in “anti-India propaganda.” The ministry stated that India is a secular country where the constitution guarantees freedom of religion to all citizens, including Muslims. It further emphasized that the incidents mentioned in the OIC statement were isolated and did not reflect the general state of religious harmony in the country.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and The Kashmir issue:

India has previously criticized the OIC for its stance on the Kashmir issue, with the Indian government terming the group’s statements as interference in the country’s internal affairs. The OIC has been critical of India’s revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and its decision to bifurcate the state into two union territories.

About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC):

The OIC is a group of 57 Muslim-majority countries that aims to safeguard the interests of the Muslim world. However, India has maintained that the group has no locus standi on matters concerning the country’s internal affairs. India has also accused Pakistan, a member of the OIC, of using the platform to further its agenda against India.

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