TABLE OF CONTENTS
- NATIONAL AFFAIRS ………………….………………………….
- INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS……………………………………..
- ECONOMIC AFFAIRS………………………………………………..
- Important dates & sports………………………………..
- Science & tech……………………………………………………
- REPORTS & INDEXES………………………………………………
IT (INTERMEDIARY GUIDELINES & DIGITAL MEDIA ETHICS CODE)
- 0Several amendments were made by the Central Government to the IT Rules related to online gaming and the spread of false and misleading information regarding government business.
- These amendments seek to enforce greater due diligence by online gaming and social media intermediaries.
- The Ministry of Electronics and IT allocated the matter related to online gaming rules on December 23, 2022. The draft amendments were uploaded for consultations on January 2, 2023.
- During the drafting process, stakeholders such as parents, school teachers, academics, students, gamers, and gaming industry associations, child rights bodies, were consulted to ensure the new rules take into account the interests and concerns of all parties involved.
- Obligations of Intermediaries
- According to the amended rules, online gaming intermediaries are obliged to make reasonable efforts to not host, publish or share any online game that can cause the user harm or that has not been verified as a permissible online game by an online gaming self-regulatory body/bodies designated by the Central Government.
- The self-regulatory body has the authority to inquire and satisfy itself that the online game does not involve wagering on any outcome and that the online gaming intermediary and the game comply with the rules.
- For online games involving real money, the amended rules cast obligations on online gaming intermediaries to display a mark of verification by the self-regulatory body on such games, inform their users of the policy for withdrawal or refund of deposit, manner of determination and distribution of winnings, fees and other charges payable, obtain the KYC details of the users, and not give credit or enable financing by third parties to the users.
- If in case a notification is issued by the Central Government in the interest of users or other specified grounds, the same rules and obligations will be applicable to even those games where the user is not required to make any deposit for winnings.
KERALA GREEN ENERGY CORRIDOR
- The Cabinet has given its approval for the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) project, which will be implemented by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), to secure a loan from the German development bank, KfW.
- The objective of this project is to facilitate grid integration and power evacuation of Renewable Energy power. The Central government and KfW signed an agreement on November 11, 2022, for the ₹1,457-crore Kerala GEC project.
- To move the loan proposal forward, a tripartite agreement will be signed by the State government, KSEB, and KfW.
- The Law and Finance departments have given the go-ahead for the proposal. At current rates, the project will be eligible for a KfW loan of 102.11 million euros (around ₹916 crore) at 3% to 4% Central government grants of ₹138.71 crore will also be available for the project.
- Three GEC projects will be undertaken under the programme.
- These include the North Green Power Corridor Project for Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasaragod districts, the Attappady Green Power Corridor Project in the tribal areas of the Attappady, Agali, and Kottathara regions, and the Ramakkalmedu Green Power Corridor Project, which will benefit Idukki district.
WHAT IS LIGO INDIA PROJECT?
- Recently, the government approved the construction of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project after seven years of in-principle approval.
- It will be built by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology with the S. National Science Foundation and several national and international research institutions.
- What is LIGO-India Project?
- The project aims to detect gravitational waves from the universe. The Indian LIGO would have two perpendicularly placed 4-km long vacuum chambers that constitute the most sensitive interferometers in the world.
- It is expected to begin scientific runs from 2030.
- Location: It will be located in the Hingoli district of Maharashtra, about 450 km east of Mumbai.
- Purpose and Significance:
- It will be the fifth node of the planned network and will bring India into a prestigious international scientific experiment. It will make India a unique platform that brings together the frontiers of science and technology of the quantum and the cosmos.
KUDANKULAM NUCLEAR POWER PROJECT (KKNPP)
- The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is India’s largest nuclear power plant located in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu. The plant was built in collaboration with Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and was constructed in two phases.
- The first phase involved the construction of Units 1 and 2, which started generating power on December 31, 2014. The second phase involves the construction of four additional reactors, which are currently under construction.
- Recently, a pressuriser was delivered for Reactor 5 of this power plant by AEM-Technologies Izhora, which is part of the machine-building division of Rosatom – Atomenergomash.
- The pressuriser is an important component of a nuclear power plant that is responsible for creating and maintaining pressure and coolant volume in the reactor. In the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, the pressuriser plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of the plant.
- The pressuriser used in Kudankulam was manufactured by the Italian company, Walter Tosto. It traveled 17,000 km via sea to reach the Kudankulam site.
- VVER: Water-Water Energy Reactor
- The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project uses the VVER (Water-Water Energy Reactor) technology, which is a pressurized water reactor design developed in the former Soviet Union.
- The VVER technology is one of the most widely used reactor designs in the world and is known for its safety and reliability.
NATIONAL CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK FOR SCHOOL EDUCATION
- Recently, the Ministry of Education released a pre-draft version of the National Curriculum Framework for School Education and has sought feedback from diverse stakeholders.
- The pre-draft was formulated by a committee led by K Kasturirangan, a former head of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
- What is the National Curriculum Framework?
- NCF is one of the key components of the New Education Policy(NEP) 2020, that enables and energizes this transformation, informed by the aims, principles, and approach of NEP 2020. The NCF has undergone four revisions in the past - in 1975, 1988, 2000, and 2005. The proposed revision, if implemented, would be the fifth iteration of the framework.
- It aims to help in positively transforming the school education system of India as envisioned in NEP 2020, through corresponding positive changes in the curriculum including pedagogy.
- It aims to realize the highest quality education for all children, consistent with realizing an equitable, inclusive, and plural society as envisaged by the Constitution of India.
ECI RECOGNISED 'AAP' AS NATIONAL PARTY
- The Election Commission of India has recognized the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a national party. The decision was made based on a review of the parties’ poll performances, including the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls and 21 state assembly polls since 2014.
- With this recognition, AAP joins the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), CPI(M), and National People’s Party (NPP) as the sixth national party in the country.
- This status ensures that the party’s symbol is reserved for its candidates across the country, and it gets land for an office in the national capital.
- In contrast, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Communist Party of India (CPI) have lost their national party status.
- The EC's decision was based on the criteria stipulated in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, of 1968. Among other conditions, a national party must get at least a 6% vote share in four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and have at least four MPs in Lok Sabha.
- In its review, the EC found that the TMC did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, while the NCP lost its state party status in Goa, Manipur, and Meghalaya. The CPI had its status as a state party withdrawn in West Bengal and Odisha.
HIMACHAL PRADESH SUKHASHRAYA ACT, 2023
- Himachal Pradesh passed Sukhashraya (Care, Protection, and Self-Reliance of Children of the State) Act, 2023 to ensure the welfare of orphans and persons with special needs.
- What are the Key Details of Sukhashraya Act, 2023?
- The Act defines orphans as those without biological parents or whose parents are incapacitated and includes children in need of care and protection such as those without homes or those at risk of forced marriage, crime, or drug abuse.
- The Act offers financial and institutional benefits to the beneficiaries between the age of 18-27 years, along with vocational training, skill development, and coaching to help them become active members of society.
- The Act is a step towards ensuring the protection and care of the most vulnerable section of society.
- Benefits under the Act:
- A Mukhya Mantri Sukhashraya Sahayata Kosh fund of Rs 101 crore has been formed, and a child welfare committee will be established in each district to oversee the scheme.
- Orphans and persons with special needs will become ‘children of the state’. Financial benefits include Rs 5,000 in summer and winter, Rs 500 for major festivals, and Rs 4,000 monthly allowance for daily expenses in college.
WHAT IS VIBRANT VILLAGES PROGRAMME?
- On April 7 this year, Home Minister Amit Shah unveiled the Vibrant Village program at Kibithu, a remote village located at an altitude of 9,000 feet above sea level, near the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. This program aims to transform rural areas into self-sufficient and prosperous communities.
- Kibithu is the easternmost village of India and is considered the gateway to the Land of the Rising Sun, Arunachal Pradesh.
- Despite its strategic location, the village lacks basic amenities such as electricity, healthcare facilities, and proper roads. These factors make it difficult for the residents to access necessary services.
- Vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat: Self-Reliant India
- The Vibrant Village program aligns with the government’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, which aims to make India self-reliant and self-sufficient. The program will help enhance the rural population’s quality of life and promote the overall economic growth and development of these regions. The government has allocated funds for the successful implementation of this initiative in a phased manner.
5TH CYCLE OF INDIA'S TIGER CENSUS
- India is home to the largest population of tigers in the world, and their protection and conservation is of utmost importance.
- The country conducts a scientific estimation of its tiger population once every four years, and the latest report was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently.
- The Total Number of Tigers in India
- The report revealed that as of 2022, India’s tiger population stands at 3,167, which is a significant increase from the 2006 figure of 1,411.
- This growth indicates that conservation efforts in India are working and that the government’s initiatives and measures are helping in preserving the species.
- Tiger Populations in Different Landscapes
- However, the report also shows a decrease in tiger population in the Western Ghats landscape. The Western Ghats have seen a significant decline in the tiger population due to the overlap between “wildlife and humans” caused by developmental activities. This area covers about 1,40,000 square km and is a cause of concern for conservationists.
- However, the tiger populations in areas outside of the reserves such as Wayanad landscape, BRT Hills, and the tiger areas on Goa-Karnataka border have decreased significantly.
CHINA & JAPAN SET UP MILITARY HOTLINE
- Recently, China and Japan set up military hotlines (a direct phone line set up for a specific purpose) to manage maritime, air incidents over disputed islands (Senkaku Island).
- China & Japan have a long-festering dispute over uninhabited East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China.
- Why was the Hotline Established?
- This move was made to strengthen their capability of managing and controlling incidents arising due to their aggressive patrolling of the disputed waters.
- The hotline will enrich the communication channels between the defense departments of China and Japan, strengthen the capabilities of the two sides to manage and control maritime and air crises, and help maintain regional peace and stability. This move will further maintain regional peace and stability.
AL AQSA MOSQUE: SIGNIFICANCE & CONTENTIONS
- Recently, a raid by Israeli police on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque sparked an intense reaction from Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and the wider Arab and Muslim world.
- The incident underscores the sensitivity and significance of the Al-Aqsa mosque, a flashpoint for deadly violence over matters of sovereignty and religion in Jerusalem.
- The Al-Aqsa mosque sits at the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City on a hill that is named by Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount, and by Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary. The site is a compound that overlooks the Western Wall, a sacred place of prayer for Jews.
- Significance of Al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims
- Al-Aqsa mosque is considered by Muslims as the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. The compound of Al-Aqsa mosque hosts two Muslim holy places: the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, also known as the Qibli Mosque, which was built in the 8th century AD.
- The compound holds great religious significance for Muslims, and any perceived threats or encroachments on it trigger strong reactions from the Muslim world.
AUSTRALIA GENDER PAY GAP LAW
- Australia has recently passed a new law aimed at
- addressing the gender pay gap in the country. The law requires companies with over 100 employees to reveal their gender pay gaps, a move towards transparency that is expected to make businesses accountable for their actions.
- The new law, which takes effect early, next year, will require the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) to publicly publish details of companies’ gender pay gaps.
- Until now, companies were required to report income inequality to the WGEA, which publishes the information by industry. However, the agency did not have the power to publicly publish details of the company.
- The new federal laws mandate the agency to release data for private businesses from early 2024 and for Commonwealth public sector employees from 2025.
- This move towards transparency is expected to help jobseekers get a clearer indication of a prospective employer’s commitment to ensuring the contributions of all employees are equally valued and rewarded.
INT. CONFERENCE ON DISASTER RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE
- Recently, the Prime Minister of India addressed the 5th International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) 2023.
- What is ICDRI?
- ICDRI is the annual international conference of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) in partnership with member countries, organizations and institutions to strengthen the global discourse on disaster and climate-resilient infrastructure.
- Highlights of ICDRI 2023:
- The Prime Minister said that since India is leading the G20 group, the CDRI will be included in many important discussions.
- This means that the solutions discussed in the CDRI will be considered at the highest levels of global policymaking.
- What is CDRI?
- CDRI is an Independent International Organization consisting of a global partnership of national governments, United Nations agencies and programs, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and academic and research institutions.
TWO MONTH LONG JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE NAMED 'EX KAVACH'
- The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) recently concluded a two-month-long joint military exercise named 'Ex KAVACH.'
- The exercise involved the assets of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard and aimed at fine-tuning joint warfare capabilities and enhancing interoperability and operational synergy between the forces.
- It involved amphibious landing, air-landed operations, heliborne operations, and rapid insertion of the Special Forces on a remote Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
UKRAINE SECURITY ASSISTANCE INITIATIVE
- The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has raised concerns over Ukraine’s security and stability. The United States has pledged significant military aid to Ukraine to help them defend themselves against Russian aggression.
- One such initiative is the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), a funding program aimed at increasing Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself.
- The US recently approved $2.6 billion military assistance for Ukraine. Major portion of this funding is for the USAI and the rest is for existing US stocks.
- Leadership and Purpose of USAI Program
- The USAI program is led by the U.S. Department of Defense and is designed to provide training, equipment, and advisory initiatives to Ukraine’s armed forces.
- The primary purpose of the program is to counter Russian aggression and support Ukraine’s sovereignty. The new military aid package for Ukraine is $2.6 billion, and it includes ammunition, rocket systems, small arms, equipment, and logistics support.
- The USAI package is worth $2.1 billion and includes additional munitions for air defenses, precision aerial munitions, Soviet-era GRAD rockets, anti-tank rockets, armored bridging systems, and fuel trailers.
FRANCE HOSTING MULTINATIONAL WARGAME 'ORION'
- France is hosting the multinational wargame codenamed Orion, which is expected to be held from the third week of April to May 5. This exercise will involve various countries, including India, and will test their combat capabilities in a simulated war scenario.
- Background of the Wargame
- The backdrop of this wargame is the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, where NATO led by the US is opposing Russian moves against Ukraine. The aim of the exercise is to test the preparedness of the participating countries’ air forces and their ability to operate in a multinational environment.
- Indian Participation in Orion
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in Orion with its Rafale fighter jets from the Western Air Command’s Golden Arrows squadron.
- The IAF has already inducted 36 Rafales, and these fighter planes have participated in wargames with foreign countries earlier, including Desert Knight with the French Air Force in Jodhpur.
- Other Participating Countries
- Apart from India, several other countries are taking part in the war games with their fighter planes. These include France, NATO, and other allies. The exercise is significant for the French defense forces as it is reportedly the largest ever multinational exercise they have carried out.
- This wargame involves not only their Air Force but also their Army and Navy along with their allies, the US and the UK.
PREVALENCE OF HAY FEVER IN JAPAN
- Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has recently vowed to tackle hay fever, a pollen allergy that affects a significant portion of the Japanese population.
- In a recent parliamentary committee, Kishida referred to hay fever as a “social problem” and pledged to work with ministers to devise a response to the issue.
- What is Hay Fever?
- Hay fever is a pollen allergy that typically causes itchy, watery eyes and sneezing. It is usually caused by the pollen of specific plants or trees, and its symptoms can range from mild to severe.
- Hay fever is a common ailment in many parts of the world and is estimated to affect up to 30% of the global population.
- Prevalence of Hay Fever in Japan
- In Japan, hay fever is particularly prevalent, with approximately 40% of the population experiencing symptoms. The main culprits responsible for the outbreak of hay fever in Japan are cedar and cypress trees, which are widely planted throughout the country.
25 YEARS OF GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT
- The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, is a historic peace agreement that ended the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, commonly referred to as “The Troubles.” The agreement was signed on April 10, 1998, by the British and Irish governments, along with political parties in Northern Ireland.
- The aim of the agreement was to establish a power-sharing government and bring an end to the decades-long conflict that had claimed more than 3,500 lives.
- The division in Northern Ireland was primarily between Unionists, who wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK, and nationalists, who wanted Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland.
- The conflict was fueled by deep-rooted political, social, and religious differences. Armed groups such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) used violence to advance their agendas, leading to a cycle of violence that lasted almost 30 years.
- Negotiators of the Good Friday Agreement
- The Good Friday Agreement was negotiated by political leaders from various factions, including Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern, and George Mitchell.
- The agreement addressed key issues such as power-sharing, policing, justice, and human rights. It also established the Northern Ireland Assembly, a devolved legislature with powers to make decisions on issues such as education, health, and the environment.
BALIKATAN DRILLS BETWEEN US & PHILIPPINES
- The Balikatan drills are annual military exercises conducted between the United States and the Philippines. The name “Balikatan” is derived from the Tagalog word “shoulder-to-shoulder,” reflecting the strong partnership between the two countries.
- Involvement and Types of Exercises
- More than 17,600 military personnel are involved in the Balikatan drills, with about 12,200 from the US and 5,400 from the Philippines.
- The drills involve various exercises, including live-fire exercises and a boat-sinking rocket assault. The drills are aimed at enhancing the interoperability and readiness of the US and Philippine armed forces.
- China’s Response
- China has expressed its concerns over the Balikatan drills, as it considers the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait as its own territory. The drills have the potential to inflame tensions in the region, which China claims as part of its sovereign territory.
AWARDS & HONOR
CR RAO TO RECEIVE 2023 INT. PRIZE IN STATISTICS
- Calayampudi Radhakrishna Rao, a prominent Indian-American mathematician and statistician, will be awarded the 2023 International Prize in Statistics, the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in the field.
- What are the Works of C R Rao?
- Rao's remarkable paper, published in 1945 in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society, demonstrated three fundamental results that paved the way for the modern field of statistics and provided statistical tools heavily used in science today.
- The Cramer-Rao Lower Bound: Provides a means of knowing when a method for estimating a quantity is as good as any method can be.
- The Rao-Blackwell Theorem: Provides a means of transforming an estimate into an optimal estimate. Together, these results form a foundation on which much of statistics is built.
- Information Geometry: Provided insights that pioneered a new interdisciplinary field that has flourished as "information geometry. Information geometry is the study of the geometrical structure of families of probability distributions.
ORDER OF THE WHITE EAGLE: POLAND'S HIGHEST ORDER
- Poland’s highest order, the Order of the White Eagle, has a rich history dating back to its official institution on November 1, 1705, by Augustus II the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony.
- Originally bestowed on only eight of his closest diplomatic and political supporters, the order has become a symbol of prestige, honor, and service to the nation.
- Over the centuries, the order has been awarded to the most distinguished Poles for their merits and to the highest-ranking representatives of foreign countries.
- The Order of the White Eagle is attached to a purple ribbon slung over the left shoulder to the right side, and the star of the order, once embroidered, is worn on the left side of the chest.
- The order has maintained its significance throughout the years, remaining one of the oldest distinctions in the world still in use.
- Volodymyr Zelensky’s Visit to Poland
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently visited Poland, a close ally that has provided refuge to millions of Ukrainian citizens and has assisted the Kyiv government with vital weaponry.
- As Ukraine prepared to conduct a counter-offensive to recapture its land in the east and south from Russian control, Zelensky’s visit held great significance.
- Poland and Ukraine share a border, and the former has played a critical role in persuading other Western powers to supply the latter with battle tanks and other weaponry for its offensive against Moscow.
- Awarding of the “Order of White Eagle”
- During his visit to Poland, President Zelensky was awarded the “Order of White Eagle”. In Warsaw, Zelensky met with President Andrzej Duda, who honored him with the order.
IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES
WORLD HEALTH DAY OBSERVED ON APRIL 7TH
- World Health Day is celebrated globally on April 7 every year to raise awareness about physical, mental, and social wellness.
- It is an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote health and well-being for all individuals.
- The day aims to raise awareness about health issues, encouraging conversations and discussions about ways to maintain good health, and advocating actions on a global scale.
- This year, it marks the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organization, which was established in 1948. Each year, WHO picks a specific theme relevant to the wellness and medical field? The theme for World Health Day 2023 is ‘Health for all”.
- The theme highlights the public health successes of the WHO that played a role in improving the quality of life of the past seven decades. It also calls on the world to address the present and future health-related challenges.
WORLD HOMEOPATHY DAY OBSERVED ON APRIL 10TH
- World Homeopathy Day is observed on April 10 to mark the birth of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy. This alternative form of medicine has been gaining popularity worldwide and is known for its gentle and natural healing approach.
- Homeopathy is an alternative form of medicine based on the principle of “like cures like.” The idea is to use a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person to treat similar symptoms in a sick person.
- Homeopathy aims to treat the entire person and not just the symptoms of an illness. This gentle approach is focused on natural healing and avoiding invasive medical procedures.
- Origins of Homeopathy
- Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, developed the principles of homeopathy in the late 18th century. He was disillusioned with conventional medical practices, such as bloodletting and the use of toxic substances like mercury.
- In the late 1700s, Hahnemann commenced brainstorming the idea of homeopathy, and by 1796, he published a book outlining his principles and practices. Hahnemann believed that homeopathy offered a safer and more effective alternative to conventional medicine.
Reports & indexes
WORLD ENERGY TRANSITIONS: OUTLOOK REPORT 2023
- The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released its World Energy Transitions: Outlook 2023 report, highlighting the need for a more aggressive approach to transition towards renewable energy sources.
- The report outlines the current state of renewable energy generation and provides insights into the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.
- Renewable energy has come a long way in recent years, and the report reveals that 40% of installed power generation globally comes from renewable sources.
- In 2022, renewable accounted for 83% of global power additions, indicating the growing trend towards cleaner energy. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve the target set by the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
- The Targets for the Energy Transition
- To keep the 1.5°C target alive, the report outlines that over 10,000 GW of renewable energy deployment must be achieved by 2030. Additionally, the report suggests that yearly investments of over $5 trillion are needed to stay on the 1.5°C pathway.
- To achieve this, the report highlights that 80% of planned investment by 2030 must go towards transition technologies, and USD 1 trillion of planned annual fossil fuel investment must be redirected towards transition technologies and infrastructure.
WORLD'S 'MOST CRIMINAL COUNTRIES' RANKING
- World of Statistics has shared the ranking of the world’s “most criminal countries”. On the list, Venezuela has been ranked top, followed by Papua New Guinea (2), Afghanistan (3), South Africa (4), Honduras (5), Trinidad (6), Guyana (7), Syria (8), Somalia (9) and Jamaica (10), respectively.
- India stood at 77 spots while the US and UK were ahead of India in the criminal ranking country. The USA was at 55th number and the UK at 65th rank, according to the World of Statistics.
- Turkey, Germany, and Japan was among the least criminal countries, ranking at 92nd, 100th, and 135th ranks.
- Separately, World Population Review (WPR) yesterday ranked Afghanistan in the fourth spot on the list of countries with the highest crime rate in 2023.
- It said that the country has the fourth-highest crime rate more than 76 crimes are committed in Afghanistan for every 100,000 people. The crimes have various forms including corruption, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and assassination.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
JUPITER ICY MOONS EXPLORER (JUICE) MISSION
- The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) is a mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) set to launch on April 13, 2023, from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
- The primary focus of JUICE’s science goals is the Jupiter system, with a particular emphasis on Ganymede as a planetary body and potential habitat.
- The mission objectives for Ganymede include the characterization of the ocean layers and detection of putative subsurface water reservoirs, topographical, geological, and compositional mapping of the surface, studying the physical properties of the icy crusts, characterizing the internal mass distribution, dynamics, and evolution of the interiors, investigating the exosphere, and studying Ganymede’s intrinsic magnetic field and its interactions with the Jovian magnetosphere.
- JUICE’s investigations on Europa will be focusing on the chemistry essential to life, including organic molecules. It will help in the understanding of the formation of surface features and the composition of non-water-ice material.
JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE
- The James Webb Space Telescope, launched in 2021, has captured a clear image of the planet Uranus and its rings.
- What are the Major Points Related to Uranus?
- Uranus is an ice giant due to the chemical makeup of its interior, with most of its mass being a hot and dense fluid of icy materials like water, methane, and ammonia.
- Uranus rotates on its side, with a roughly 90-degree angle from the plane of its orbit. This leads to extreme seasons and long periods of sunlight and darkness.
- Uranus is among only two planets in our solar system that rotate clockwise along with Venus.
- The planet takes 84 earth years to orbit the Sun. Uranus has 13 rings, with 11 visible in the image. Some of the rings are very bright and close together, appearing as a larger ring.
- The planet also has 27 known moons. Uranus has a unique polar cap that appears during summer and vanishes in the fall. Webb's data can help scientists understand this mechanism.
- In 1986, NASA's Voyager 2 made the first - and so far, the only - visit to Uranus. New Horizons passes the orbit of Uranus on its way to Pluto, becoming the first spacecraft to journey beyond Uranus' orbit since Voyager 2.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION (GI) TAG FOR BASOHLI PAINTINGS
- The world-famous Basohli Painting from the Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir has obtained the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag. This is the first time in the history of GI registration that the Jammu region got a GI tag for handicrafts.
- The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Jammu granted the GI tag to Basohli Painting after a long legal process.
- What is Geographical Indication (GI)?
- Geographical Indication (GI) is a type of Intellectual Property right granted to goods that originate in a specific geographical location and have distinct nature, quality, and characteristics that are linked to that location.
- GI tagging provides legal protection to registered products and promotes economic prosperity for producers and related stakeholders, including contribution to the GDP of the country.
- Initiation of the GI Tagging Process
- In December 2020, NABARD in consultation with the Department of Handicrafts and Handloom initiated the process for GI tagging of 9 products of the Jammu region during the difficult times of COVID. The GI tags have now finally been granted to these products, including Basohli Painting, after a long legal process.
WHAT IS COPYRIGHT ACT, 1957?
- Recently, the Bombay High Court has disposed of the petitions by an actor, who challenged the sales tax levied on her income from advertisements and performances in award shows.
- The case has raised questions about whether actors hold a Copyright for their performances and whether they are liable to pay sales tax for it. It also deals with how Intellectual Property is treated for taxation purposes.
- What is the Case about?
- The actor challenged the imposition of a sales tax on her revenue from advertisements and award show performances. The tax department argued that she was selling her copyright and thus owed an indirect tax.
- However, the actor argued that, as per Section 2 (d) of the Copyright Act, the producers of the shows are the original creators and possess the respective videos' copyright and she couldn't sell or transfer it adding that she is a ‘performer’ under the law and acquired performer’s rights under section 38 and 38A of Copyright Act.
UNITED NATIONS DEMOCRACY FUND
- India is the fourth highest donor to the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), which funds at least 68 projects worldwide linked to George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. India has put George Soros’s NGO on watchlist in 2016.
- What is UNDEF?
- UNDEF was established in 2005 by UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan as a United Nations General Trust Fund to support democratization efforts around the world.
- It was welcomed by the General Assembly in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit.
- UNDEF plays a unique role in complementing the UN's other work with governments to strengthen democratic governance around the world.
- UNDEF's Mandate and Projects:
- UNDEF funds projects that empower civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. The majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations (CSOs).
MADHYA PRADESH'S GOND PAINTINGS GRANTED GI TAG
- The well-known Gond painting of Madhya Pradesh has been granted the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) tag, which safeguards and acknowledges the work of tribal artists and requires approval from a committee for non-tribal artists to use the art.
- A GI tag is a symbol used on items that are exclusively produced in a specific geographical region and have characteristics or a reputation that are associated with that location.
- This tag is applied to a variety of goods, including food products, handicrafts, industrial items, agriculture products, and alcoholic beverages. The GI Tag certifies that only the registered and authorized user is permitted to use the name of the popular product.
- Patangarh village in Dindori district is a noteworthy village where every household has an artist, and their artwork is not only popular in the state but also internationally recognized.
- Narbadiya Armo, a physically disabled tribal woman from Khannat village, produces mouth paintings and serves as a role model for women who feel helpless.
- With the GI tag, Narbadiya Armo’s paintings will receive recognition, a unique identity, and a fair price for her artwork.