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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-8th February 2023

Jupiter beats Saturn to become the Planet with most Moons

The battle for the most known moons in the Solar System is raging on. After losing its lead to Saturn in 2019, Jupiter has once again surged ahead.

The battle for the most known moons in the Solar System is raging on. After losing its lead to Saturn in 2019, Jupiter has once again surged ahead. Astronomers have counted 12 previously unknown moons in orbit around our Solar System’s biggest planet, bringing the known total to 92, and leaving Saturn, with its measly count of 83, in the dust.

The orbits of the moons, which are unnamed, have been published in the circulars of the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, which keeps records of all the small bodies discovered in the Solar System.

Who Led These Discoveries:

The observations were led by astronomer Scott Sheppard of Carnegie Institution for Science, who has spearheaded the discoveries after accidentally discovering a plethora of previously unknown Jovian moons during a hunt for the mysterious hypothetical Planet Nine in the outer Solar System. The details and confirmation of the new moons have been published quietly by the Minor Planet Center (MPC). 

The Jovian system is now a mini solar system in itself with these 92 moons. Jupiter was already the biggest planet in our solar system. The newly discovered moons are small and far out with their orbits stretching over 340 days. Meanwhile, nine of the 12 are among the 71 outermost Jovian moons, whose orbits are more than 550 days.

Sky and Telescope reported that three of the newly discovered moons are among 13 others that orbit in a prograde direction and lie between the large, close-in Galilean moons and the far-out retrograde moons.

Exploration of the Jovian Planet:

The discovery of the moons comes just a year before Nasa is preparing to send a mission to explore the jovian worlds. The Europa Clipper mission is preparing to conduct the first dedicated and detailed study of an ocean world beyond Earth. The probe will determine if this distant moon has conditions favourable for life. The expedition’s objective is to explore Europa to investigate its habitability.

The spacecraft will perform 45 flybys of Europa at closest-approach altitudes varying from 2700 kilometers to 25 kilometers above the surface. The spacecraft is not being sent to find life itself, but will instead try to answer specific questions about Europa’s ocean, ice shell, composition, and geology.

FORTUNE(R) Magazine: TCS named to World’s Most Admired Companies List

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been named to FORTUNE® magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies.

FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been named to FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies. Regarded as a barometer of corporate reputation, the list is based on a survey of business executives, directors and analysts around the globe. Companies are evaluated based on criteria such as innovation, social responsibility, quality of management, global competitiveness, talent management, and quality of products/services.

TCS partners with some of the world’s largest corporations in their innovation, growth, and transformation initiatives. Its industry-leading growth over the last decade has come from continually looking for new opportunities to add value to clients, proactively investing in newer capabilities, reskilling its workforce, and launching newer services, solutions, products, and platforms.

About the TCS

TCS has invested heavily in research and innovation, taking up promising themes in each industry to envisage and design innovative solutions. The company has over 6,500 dedicated researchers and innovators, with 2,694 granted patents to their credit. TCS’ global network of Pace Port™ co-innovation and advanced research centers based in New York, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, help customers drive innovation at speed and scale.

TCS’ employee-friendly workplace practices and continued investments in building up talent across the organization through professional development initiatives and digital skills programs, have made it a top employer globally and an industry benchmark for talent retention.

Reliance Jio and GSMA unveil Digital Skills Program in India

Digital Skills Program in India by Reliance Jio and GSMA: Reliance Jio in collaboration with GSMA has unveiled a nationwide Digital Skill initiative in India.

Digital Skills Program in India by Reliance Jio and GSMA

Reliance Jio in collaboration with GSMA has unveiled a nationwide Digital Skill initiative. This collaborative effort intends to provide rural women and people from low-income groups with training based on their specific needs.

What is the Digital Skill Initiative by Reliance Jio and GSMA?

As part of this effort, the GSMA and Jio teams collaborated to identify existing digital skill shortages and create need-based, India-specific digital skills training toolkits.

Following in-depth user input and field research, the toolkits were created. During the trial phase, more than 1,000 rural men and women from Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh took part and contributed to the improvement of the digital training toolkits.

The initiative is currently being implemented in 10 states with an emphasis on targeting women and underrepresented groups.

Through its extensive network and support from self-help organizations, Reliance Foundation will assist with the deployment.

Centre Notifies Appointment Of 5 Judges To Supreme Court of India, Working Strength Rises To 32

The Union government notified the appointment of five new judges to the Supreme Court. With their appointments, the number of judges in the Supreme Court will rise to 32.

The Union government notified the appointment of five new judges to the Supreme Court. With their appointments, the number of judges in the Supreme Court will rise to 32. Currently, the Supreme Court of India has a sanctioned strength of thirty-four Judges and is presently functioning with twenty-seven Judges.

Now there remain only two vacancies at the Supreme Court, which could be filled in the coming days if SC Collegium’s January 31 proposal to elevate Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar as SC judges, is accepted by the president.

The 5 newly-appointed judges are:

Justice Pankaj Mithal, the chief justice of Rajasthan High Court

Justice Sanjay Karol, the chief justice of Patna High Court

Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, the chief justice of Manipur High Court

Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, a judge of Patna High Court

Justice Manoj Misra, a judge of Allahabad High Court

Timeline of These Appointment:

The Supreme Court collegium had recommended the names of these judge for elevation on December 13.

The notification came a day after the Supreme Court had pulled up the Union government for delaying the appointments. The court had given the Centre 10 days to process the appointments, after , after Attorney General N Venkataramani had said that it would be done soon.

In the past few months, the Collegium has been releasing more information in public about its rationale for recommending judges, names pending with the government and inputs of intelligence agencies on judicial appointments.

On January 24, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju said that the releasing of certain portions of sensitive reports of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing was a “matter of grave concern”.

Traditionally, discussions that took place during collegium meetings were not recorded or released in any form, and only the names of the recommended candidates were released in the public domain.

Attorney General of India: R Venkataramani

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): e₹-R is in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender: Govt in Lok Sabha

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched the first pilot of Digital Rupee- Retail segment (e₹-R) on December 01, 2022.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched the first pilot of Digital Rupee- Retail segment (e₹-R) on December 01, 2022. This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Finance, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Key Thighs To Note Regarding CBDCs:

The Minister stated that the pilot is covering select locations in closed user group (CUG) comprising participating customers and merchants.

It is being issued in the same denominations that paper currency and coins are currently issued. It is being distributed through financial intermediaries, i.e., banks.

The e₹-R offers features of physical cash like trust, safety and settlement finality. As in the case of cash, it will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like deposits with banks.

Selected Cities:

The e₹-R pilot currently covers the five cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar and Chandigarh. The e₹-R is in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender.

Selected banks for Digital Rupee:

RBI has identified eight banks for phase-wise participation in the retail pilot project. These include the State Bank of India, the ICICI Bank, the Yes Bank and the IDFC First Bank, the Bank of Baroda, the Union Bank of India, the HDFC Bank and the Kotak Mahindra Bank. The participating banks have selected individuals/account holders for the trials.

The Minister further stated that a separate e₹ wallet has been conceived in the pilot considering that e₹ forms part of the currency system while other digital wallets form part of the payments system. Users will be able to transact with e₹-R through a digital wallet offered by the participating banks and stored on mobile phones / devices.

The RBI issues only one digital currency on behalf of Government of India, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), which is a liability of the Central Bank, the Minister stated.

Types of CBDC to be issued:

There are two categories of Central Bank Digital Currency: general purpose or retail (CBDC-R) and wholesale. According to the RBI report dated October 7, 2022, “CBDC can be classified into two broad types viz. general purpose or retail (CBDC-R) and wholesale (CBDC-W). Retail CBDC would be potentially available for use by all viz. private sector, non-financial consumers and businesses while wholesale CBDC is designed for restricted access to select financial institutions. While Wholesale CBDC is intended for the settlement of interbank transfers and related wholesale transactions, Retail CBDC is an electronic version of cash primarily meant for retail transactions.

PhonePe launches cross-border UPI payments service

PhonePe launches cross-border UPI payments service: PhonePe announced the debut of a service that will enable its Indian users to pay foreign businesses using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Cross-border UPI payments service launched by PhonePe

PhonePe announced the debut of a service that will enable its Indian users who are travelling overseas to pay foreign businesses using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). “UPI international” enables retail locations with a native QR (quick response) code in the UAE, Singapore, Mauritius, Nepal, and Bhutan. Similar to how they do with overseas debit cards, users would be able to make direct payments in a foreign currency from their Indian bank. The Walmart-backed finance app PhonePe claimed to be the first to do so in India.

Cross-border UPI payments service launched by PhonePe: Key Points

PhonePe, with a recent $350 million investment from General Atlantic and a $12 billion pre-money valuation, became the most valuable fintech company in India.

According to a report by Bain and Company, the money will enable PhonePe to expand its business and compete with Google Pay, Paytm, and Amazon Pay in the $350 billion Indian fintech market by 2026.

Users of PhonePe can use the PhonePe App to authorise their UPI-linked bank account for the service at the merchant location or in advance of their foreign travel.

To activate the service, the customer would need to enter their UPI pin.

Since its launch in December 2015, PhonePe has grown to become India’s top payments app. With 435 million registered users, PhonePe is currently used by one in four Indians.

RBI Keeps SBI, ICICI, HDFC as Domestic Systemically Important Banks

What all are the new features of India?

To make purchases at overseas merchant outlets, Indian shoppers must use foreign currency, their credit cards, or their forex cards.

They can now utilise their Indian bank account to make UPI payments thanks to a feature of PhonePe.

This year, UPI International will be expanded to new nations, according to plans by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and NPCI International Payments Limited. UPI was made by NPCI.

Chinese search engine Baidu announces Ernie in AI chatbot battle

Chinese search engine Baidu revealed its plans of launching a ChatGPT-style AI chatbot called ‘Ernie Bot’. Baidu's Hong Kong-listed shares jumped as much as 13.4% on the news.

Baidu announces Ernie in AI chatbot battle

Chinese search engine Baidu revealed its plans of launching a ChatGPT-style AI chatbot called ‘Ernie Bot’. Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed shares jumped as much as 13.4% on the news. Ernie, meaning “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration,” is a large AI-powered language model introduced in 2019. The news comes after years of work by Baidu to shift from online marketing to more advanced technologies, which has cost the company billions of dollars in research into AI.

About the ERNIE project 

Since then, the ERNIE project has evolved, allowing users to write poems and papers or use text prompts to automatically generate images, according to the spokesperson. It is now in its third iteration. Language models are trained on vast troves of data online in order to generate compelling responses to user prompts. Researchers are “continuously working” to upgrade the technology to allow it to learn multiple tasks like humans.

The ERNIE project is now the third revision. It can compose essays and poetry or use text prompts to produce graphics for its users automatically.

About the Google Bard

Google has announced the launch of its own AI chatbot, after the success of Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Google’s Bard is a new conversational AI chatbot, which the tech giant has decided to release to trusted users and is still in the testing stage. Google is planning to release the chatbot with a lightweight model version of LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), which will require less computing power and more feedback for the chatbot.

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