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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-9th January 2023

Taiwan Passes its Chips Act, Offers Tax Credits to Chipmakers.

Taiwanese lawmakers have passed new rules that let local chip firms turn 25% of their annual research and development expenses into tax credits, part of efforts to keep cutting-edge semiconductor technologies at home and maintain the island’s technology leadership. Officials there have repeatedly said they will ensure the latest chip technologies remain in Taiwan, a point that has been reaffirmed by executives at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and other local chip giants. While Taiwan’s assisted local chipmakers in the past with infrastructure construction and other measures, the island is now stepping up its efforts.

More About These new incentives:

The new incentives should take effect sometime from 2023. Chip companies in Taiwan can also claims tax credits on 5% of the annual costs of buying new equipment for advanced process technologies, the ministry said in what’s been dubbed the local version of America’s Chips Act. Any credits earned, however, cannot exceed 50% of the total annual income taxes a firm owes.

Procurement of equipment is the largest cost in setting up a new chip plant. For instance, ASML Holding NV’s essential extreme ultraviolet lithography machines now cost close to $200 million apiece.

The current runners-up in the fierce competition of producing semiconductors:

The USA used to dominate over 50% of the semiconductor market thanks to the advantages of the first-mover. Yet, Taiwan and Korea soon took the lead, reducing the USA’s market share to 12%. Through the Science and Chips Act, the US also officially competed with China. The country offers diverse incentives, along with laying the restrictions on countries that cooperate with China, while calling for setting up manufacturing plants in the US.

Korea and Taiwan – big player in the game:

Taiwan is leading the world with 92% when it comes to producing advanced semiconductors. At the same time, its local semiconductor manufacturer – TSMC has contributed to 54% of the global market share, dominating the market. This country also ranked second in the world for its investment budget in semiconductors.

Just behind Taiwan, Korea is the homeland of the largest world manufacturers, Samsung and SK Hynix Inc., to name a few. In Quarter II, 2021, Korea invested $USD 6,62 billion, up 48% over the same period in 2020 and ranking second globally. Besides, the Korean government planned to finance 950 billion won (approximately USD$ 700 thousand) to research and develop electrical and automotive chips from 2024 to 2030.

China – Big investor in semiconductors production:

A report by the global industry association SEMI shows that in the second quarter of 2021, China invested USD$ 8.22 billion in chip-making equipment, up 79% year-on-year and up 38% over the first quarter of 2021.

The heavy investment in semiconductor manufacturing is part of China’s strategy to become a technology powerhouse. The country has been trying to find a way out of dependence on foreign manufacturers in the semiconductor sector for decades.

Kevin McCarthy named as new speaker of the US House of Representation

The United States Parliament has elected Kevin McCarthy of the Republican Party as the speaker of the House of Representatives after 15 rounds of voting.

Kevin McCarthy

The United States Parliament has elected Kevin McCarthy of the Republican Party as the speaker of the House of Representatives after 15 rounds of voting. He is the 55th speaker of the US House of Representatives. He was serving as the House Minority Leader in the House. He has replaced Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives.

After the midterm elections held on November 8, the number of members of former President Donald Trump’s Republican Party has increased to222 in the 435-member House of Representatives. With this, President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party has come in the minority in the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy has become thethird most senior US position after US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

About Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy is a member of the Republican Party. He was elected as the House Minority Leader from 2019 to 2023. He previously served as the House Majority Leader from 2014 to 2019 under Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan. McCarthy has been elected as a member of the US Parliament 9 times. He was born in Bakersfield, California.

McCarthy’s Key Concessions and Promises

Throughout the negotiations, McCarthy made a series of concessions and promises

On crucial conservative bills like the balanced budget amendment, congressional term limits, and border security – THe House will hold votes

Call for a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair can be moved by any representative.

Restore the Holman rule

Align the nation’s debt ceiling with spending cuts.

Increase in Freedom Caucus representation on committees.

Provide a 72-hour review window for bills before they come to the floor of the House.

Build a probe panel for the ‘weaponization’ of the federal govt.

Why Joshimath declared as ‘landslide-subsidence zone’?

The appearance of cracks on many roads and houses across Joshimath, due to land subsidence, is neither a new phenomenon in this region — nor a reversible one.

Why Joshimath is sinking?

The appearance of cracks on many roads and houses across Joshimath, due to land subsidence, is neither a new phenomenon in this region — nor a reversible one. Such cracks have been observed in and around the town for several years now although this time, experts say, they are deeper than ever adding to growing anxiety and concern.

Problem in Joshimath:-

The soil here is weak, comprising mostly of debris brought about by landslides,

The area is also a highly seismic zone.

Unplanned construction,

Population pressure,

Tourist infrastructure,

Obstruction to natural flows of water,

Hydel power projects

The first warning signs were sounded in the year 1976 M C Mishra committee report that had highlighted the dangers of unplanned development in this area, and identified the natural vulnerabilities. After that there have been several studies, all flagging the similar concerns. But the town has grown several times since then. It is now the hub of tourists headed to at least three important shrines — Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib and Shankaracharya temple — as a result of which major infrastructure development has taken place. The problem has not been so much that these activities have been carried out as that they have been done in an unplanned, and often unscientific, manner.

The main problem in Joshimath has been the fact that the town has come up on relatively loose soil, deposited by landslides triggered by earthquakes. There are lots of loose soft rocks, moraine (material left behind by retreating glaciers), and sediments. The area also falls in a highly seismic zone, and experiences regular tremors, making the top soil unstable.

About Joshimath:-

Joshimath, also known as Jyotirmath, is a city and a municipal board in Chamoli District in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 6150 feet (1875 m), it is a gateway to several Himalayan mountain climbing expeditions, trekking trails and pilgrim centres like Badrinath. It is home to one of the four cardinal pīthas established by Adi Shankara. This area was severely affected by the 2021 Uttarakhand flood and its aftermath. The town is confirmed to be sinking due to its geographic location being along a running ridge.

CJI DY Chandrachud to be Conferred with “Award for Global Leadership”

Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession has announced Chief Justice of India Dr. DY Chandrachud as the 2022 recipient of its "Award for Global Leadership".

The Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession (HLS CLP) has announced Chief Justice of India Dr. DY Chandrachud as the 2022 recipient of its “Award for Global Leadership” in recognition of his lifetime service to the legal profession in India and across the world. The award will be presented to him in a virtual event on 11th January 2023.

CJI DY Chandrachud to be Conferred with “Award for Global Leadership” – Key Points

Professor David Wilkins of Harvard Law School will have a conversation with Chief Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud at the event.

The “Award for Global Leadership” is the Centre’s highest Professional Honor.

The Centre brings together leading academics, legal practitioners, and thought leaders to honor and recognize individuals whose achievements have been impactful to the legal profession.

Professor Wilkins has praised India and Justice Chandrachud’s contribution to issues such as the mental health and well-being of lawyers.

The last recipients include Ambassador Samantha Power, Former US Permanent Representative to the United Nations and current Director of the Agency for International Development; Brad Smith, Vice Chair of Microsoft, and Kenneth Frazier, former Chair and CEO of Merck.

Chief Justice Chandrachud, took oath as the Chief Justice of India in November 2022. He holds an LLM and an SJD from Harvard Law School.

List Of Chief Justice In India (1950-2021)

About Dr. DY Chandrachud

Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud is an Indian judge who is currently serving as the 50th Chief Justice of India. He is the former ex-officio executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority while being J1 of the Supreme court of India. He is also the former chief justice of Allahabad Highcourt and former judge of Bombay High Court.

RBI to Auction Green Bonds in 2 Tranches of ₹8,000 Crore each in Jan, Feb

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will auction ₹16,000 crore of sovereign green bonds (SGrBs) in two tranches.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will auction ₹16,000 crore of sovereign green bonds (SGrBs) in two tranches. The RBI will auction 5-year and 10-year green bonds worth ₹4,000 crore each on 25 January and on 9 February, and this would be a uniform price auction.

Focus Is On Public Sector Projects:

The proceeds will be deployed in public sector projects, which help in reducing the carbon intensity of the economy. As announced in the Union Budget 2022-23, the central government as part of its overall market borrowings will be issuing Sovereign Green Bonds for mobilising resources for green infrastructure.

What are Green Bonds:

Green bonds are issued by companies, countries and multilateral organisations to exclusively fund projects that have positive environmental or climate benefits and provide investors with fixed income payments.

The projects can include renewable energy, clean transportation and green buildings, among others.

Proceeds from these bonds are earmarked for green projects. This is unlike standard bonds, the proceeds of which can be utilised for various purposes at the discretion of the issuer.

The international green bond market has seen cumulative issuance worth more than USD 1 trillion since market inception in 2007.

By the end of 2020, 24 national governments had issued Sovereign Green, Social and Sustainability bonds totalling a cumulative USD 111 billion dollars, according to the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative.

What is the Significance of Sovereign Guarantee to Green Bonds:

Sovereign green issuance sends a powerful signal of intent around climate action and sustainable development to governments and regulators.

It will catalyze domestic market development and provides impetus to institutional investors.

It will provide benchmark pricing, liquidity and a demonstration effect for local issuers, helping to support the growth of a local market.

Objective of The Green Bonds:

The Finance Minister in the Budget 2022 announced that the government proposes to issue sovereign green bonds to mobilise resources for green infrastructure.

The proceeds will be deployed in public sector projects which help in reducing the carbon intensity of the economy.

The announcement is in sync with India’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.

New Book by Sanjeev Sanyal ‘Revolutionaries’ on role in India’s Freedom Struggle

Revolutionaries, New Book by Sanjeev Sanyal: There are numerous viewpoints on history, and a lot of them are influenced by the author and his or her ideological goals.

Revolutionaries: New Book by Sanjeev Sanyal

There are numerous viewpoints on history, and a lot of them are influenced by the author and his or her ideological goals. The more distorted a perspective is as the accepted version of history, the longer it holds sway.

Sanjeev Sanyal’s Book ‘Revolutionaries’: Key Points

The history that has been forced on Indians, who have lived under British colonial authority for more than 200 years and have been subject to constant outside aggression since the 11th century, is also not their own.

Herein lies the significance of Sanjeev Sanyal, an economist and banker by trade, who wrote The Ocean of Churn to refute the widely held belief that the seas played a little role in Indian history.

There were undoubtedly many other aspects to the Indian freedom movement, but the one that emphasises that it was predominately non-violent and that Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, among others, provided the leadership, continues to be the dominant one.

The revolutionaries who played a crucial role in the movement and whose courageous and violent actions of opposition to British authority made our colonial overlords realise that they could not control us indefinitely are simply mentioned in passing.

He reveals colonial and post-colonial biases in our historical works by drawing on evidence from genetics, archaeology, and popular cultures. The post-colonial prejudices placed Delhi as the centre of the universe, while the colonial biases overemphasised the significance of the West in Indian history.

This explains why, despite the Satavahanas being considerably more powerful kings, we know more about the Lodis. It must be emphasised at this point that Sanyal’s arguments are compelling on both sides of the ideological spectrum.

Revolutionaries by Sanjeev Sanyal: About the Book 

Sanyal tells stories really well. His book highlights the human side of these revolutions through tales and other nuances rather than being merely dry history. They are not merely cardboard cutouts thrown into a rewritten history of our quest for freedom.

The revolutionary aspect of our freedom movement has been minimized in current history in two ways: first, by making them minor footnotes in a mostly nonviolent mainstream conflict. The alternative is to reduce them to idealistic characters who have no plan other than to engage in occasional acts of bravery.

India Surpasses Japan to become 3rd Largest Auto Market Globally

India has surpassed Japan in terms of auto sales last year to become the third-largest auto market globally for the first time.

In a major development, India has surpassed Japan in terms of auto sales last year to become the third-largest auto market globally for the first time. India’s total sales of new vehicles stood at around 4.25 million units, based on preliminary results, topping the 4.2 million sold in Japan. While new vehicles that got delivered in India totaled 4.13 million during the period of January – November 2022, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ data, December’s sales volume reported by Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, led the total to hit the 4.25 million units mark. The figure for sales of new vehicles in India may witness even bigger rise as the country further expects inclusion of pending fourth-quarter sales data for commercial vehicles, along with year-end results yet to be released by Tata Motors and other automakers.

Impressive Progress In Indian auto industry:

The figures are impressive after fluctuations that were witnessed in the Indian auto industry between 2018-2020. From In 2019, volume had fallen even below the 4 million unit mark from the about 4.4 million figure of 2018. A lot of this downfall was a result of the credit crunch that had impacted the nonbank sector that year.

This was followed by the obvious decline in the year 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak when vehicle sales fell even lower than the 3 million unit mark. In 2021, the auto sales bounced back to close to 4 million unit again. However, the sales figure was hampered because of shortage of automotive chips.

In 2022, the automotive chip issue began to ease up, paving way for the sector to come to normalcy. Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and other automakers could see an increase in sales last year

A Further Growing Sector:

India is home to 1.4 billion people, and its population is expected to outstrip China sometime this year and continue growing until the early 2060s. Incomes are rising as well.

Only 8.5 per cent of Indian households owned a passenger vehicle in 2021, according to British research firm Euromonitor, meaning there is plenty of room for sales growth. The government has started offering subsidies for EVs amid a trade deficit resulting from petroleum imports.

China Is At The Top, Way beyond The World:

In 2021, China continued to lead the global auto market, with 26.27 million vehicles sold. The US remained second at 15.4 million vehicles, followed by Japan at 4.44 million units.

Downfall of Japan’s Auto Sales:

Japan’s auto sales had hit an all-time high of 7.77 million units in the year 1990. The sales have fallen by almost half ever since. And given the country’s dwindling population, there’s little chance of sales to rebound significantly in the future or anytime soon. Japan surpassed by China as the second-largest vehicle market in 2006. China further achieved good growth in the sector and overtook the United States to acquire the top slot for global market size in 2009.

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