Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 7th December 2023


National News

1.Indian-origin media executive Samir Shah to head BBC Board

  • A British-Indian has been picked by the U.K. government to head the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as its next chair. Sa- mir Shah, a 71-year-old former BBC non-executive and media execu- tive, was born in Auranga- bad and moved to the U.K. in 1960. He will head the public broadcaster as it fac- questions over its independence and financial challenges with the rene- wal of its charter.
  • The previous BBC chair, Richard Sharp, stepped down in June over his failure to disclose that he had helped arrange a £800,000 loan to former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The BBC chair's duties include overseeing the independence of the organisation.Mr. Shah, who has worked in media for over four decades and owns Juniper TV, a media compa- ny, has connections to the Conservative Party. He was also on the U.K. government's Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities which was established during the Boris Johnson administration in 2020, in connection with the Black Lives Matter movement and published a controver- its by blishments increase tion, with pushing of this Prime recently BBC said it was the broadcasts report in March 2021. 
  • The report said while ra- cism exists in Britain, socio-economic factors, cul- ture and religion, geography, family, affect opportunities more than the existence of racism.
  • Mr. Shah will take over the reins of the Board as the BBC is facing £500 mil- lion in cost-cutting with higher costs and a two year freeze on its licensing fee, which constitutes most of funding. The fee paid households and esta- is unlikely to to reflect the government back against a hike magnitude. U.K. Minister Rishi Sunak supported the making savings and appropriate that U.K. their at cuss stated 
  • The British broadcaster had ter di with The was cloth appropriately". The BBC, through its World Service in 42 languages, also had a weekly audience of some 426 million globally, according to its own estimates in 2019. The BBC is responsible for guarding the editorial independence of its World Ser- vice and the BBC chair and Foreign Secretary (or representatives) meet least once a year to dis- the World Service's performance against its objectives.
  • The Modi government in early 2023 affaired "India: The Question", a two-part documentary that was deeply critical of the government's relationship India's minorities. documentary, which banned in India, also revealed that a British government report had held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the 2002 Gujarat riots.

2.India reminds Myanmar to return to 'federal democracy'

  • A sistance groups and the Myanmar military in the Chin, Shan and Saga- provinces, India on Wednesday reminded Myanmar to return to the path of federal democracy. The message was deli- vered by Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who held a Foreign Office con sultation with a Myanma- rese delegation led by De puty Foreign Minister of Myanmar U Lwin.
  • "Both sides held discus- sions on a wide range of issues covering the situation along the border, security, trade, commerce, connec tivity, status of bilateral development projects in Myanmar and concerns related to crimes. 
  • The Indian side reiterat ed support to Myanmarfor a transition towards a
  • federal democracy," said a press note from the Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday. Myanmar's military has been battlingarmed insurgents who have forced it out of several townships over the past few weeks.
  • Following intense fight ing, thousands of Myanma nationals including formermilitary personnel recently sought refuge  India.
  • 'Deep concern' The Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi,  expressed "deep concern" over the conflict.
  • About Wednesday's dis cussion, Mr. Bagchi said the two sides discussed the "security situation, border management and transnacrimes".
  • "The Indian side said it continued to support people-centric socio-economic developmental projects, including connectivity pro- jects and projects under the Rakhine State Development  Programme and Border Area Development Programume for the benefit of the people of Myanmar," the MEA said.

3.Move away from colonial mindset, encourage use of Bharatiya languages: NCERT

  • On being asked if the Centre has received any re- commendation from a panel of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to use the word 'Bharat' in place of 'India' in text- books, the Ministry of Edu- cation in its reply in Parliament stated that India's Constitution recognises both India and Bharat as the official names of the country which can be used interchangeably.
  • "The NCERT duly acknowledges this spirit as en- shrined in our Constitution and does not differentiate between the two," the reply further said.
  • As we collectively move away from the colonial mindset and encourage the usage of the words in Bharatiya bhasha [Indian lan- guages], NCERT, as an autonomous. body under the aegis of the Ministry of Education involved in preparation of school curriculum and textbooks, will also do its best in furthering the same," the MoE reply said.
  • Communist Party of India Member of Parliament P. Santhosh Kumar said that "the India vs Bharat debate is artificially created to polarise opinion and divide the people".
  • A controversy erupted in October after recom- mendations of a high-level committee set up by NCERT aimed to revise school and proposed that 'India' should be replaced with 'Bharat' in the textbooks.
  • The NCERT had then said that it was 'too premature' to comment on the issue.

4.114 seats, migrant quota cleared for J&K Assembly

  • The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the and Kash mir Beservation (Amend ment) Bill, 2023, the form er seeking reserve seats "Kashmiri migranes, people displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir [Pok] and Scheduled Tribes in the yet-to-be constituted 114-seat Jak Assembly.
  • Responding to ments made by Opposition members that abrogation of Article 370 of the Consth tution in J&K could not put an to terrorism, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that he had never made such a claim. 
  • He said the reservation of seats for Kashmiri anl grants, who were dis placed from their own homes in the 1990s, will ensure that the voice of the community is heard "loud and clear in the J&K As sembly and if any such crisis arises in future, they are able to stop it The Reorganisation Bill
  • Increases the total number of seats in the J&K Assemb ly from 107 to 114, with reservation of nine seats for the Scheduled for the first time. It also em- powers the Lieutenant-Goverior to pominate three members in the Assembly two from the Kashmiri migrant community in cluding one woman, and the third member being a representative of people from PoK who took refuge in India following the wars with Pakistan in 1947, 1965 and 1971.

5.Char Dham project did not need EIA, Centre in Parliament

  • The Char Dham project in Uttarakhand, under which the Silkyara tunnel is being developed, did not require an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), the Union government told Parlia ment on Wednesday.
  • The Ministry of Environ ment, Forest and Climate Change, through its notification dated August 22, 2013, said expansion of National Highways by more than 100 km involving ad- ditional right of way or land acquisition of more than 40 metres on existing alignments and 60 metres on realignments required prior environment clearance.
  • Though the Char Dham projects totals 825 km, since it is being developed in smaller parcels of 53 projects, each with a length of less than 100 km, there was no environment clearance needed, the Centre said.
  • 'No requirement' "Each project is indepen- dent, having distinct start and end points which are important places on these highways. There was no requirement for EIA for these projects," Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said inbthe Rajya Sabha in response to a question from Rashtriya Janata Dal MP, A.D. Singh.
  • The Char Dham project envisages all-weather con- nectivity to four major pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand-Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri.
  • The Minister added that under the directions of Su- preme Court, the Ministry has constituted a High-Powered The committee is mandated to consider the impact of Char Dham Projects on the entire Himalayan valleys and give directions to con EIA and rapid EIA.

6.Garba dance of Gujarat makes it to UNESCO list

  • Gujarat's traditional dance form 'Garba' was on Wed- nesday included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO). Organization The popular dance form is the 15th cultural item from India make it to the UNESCO list. 
  • Kolkata's Durga Puja was the last one added two years ago. The inclusion has been made under the provisions of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intan- gible Cultural Heritage. The international cultural body described the 'Garba' as a ritualistic and devo- tional dance performed India.

7.Punjab Governor reserves Bills for President's nod

  • Punjab Governor Banwari- lal Purohit has reserved three Bills passed by the State Assembly for the con- sideration of the President. A statement issued from
  • The Governor House on Wednesday said, "The Hon'ble Governor, Punjab, has reserved the following three Bills for the consider- ation of the Hon'ble Presi- dent of India as per Article 200 of the Constitution of India."
  • The three Bills are - The Sikh Gurdwaras (Amend- ment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
  • Notably, the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill aims to replace the Governor with the Chief Minister as the Chancellor of State-run universities. Punjab State Assembly had passed these Bills during the June 19-20 session which the Governor had earlier termed illegal. 
  • The Sikh Gurudwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023, aims at freeing the rights to telecast Gurbani from Gol- den Temple in Amritsar. The Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill aims to bring about an independent mechanism for the selection and appointment of suita- ble persons to the post of the Director General of Police (head of police force).
  • As per the current practice, the States in the country send the name of all eligible officers to the Un- ion Public Service Commission for selecting the State police head. The UPSC suggests names of three officers, from which the State government chooses one for the post.
  • The tiff between the Governor and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann surrounding different issues has been on public display for a while now. The Chief Minister had on November 24 written to the Governor urging him to give his assent to the pending Bills passed by the Assembly.

International News

8.Johnson admits to making mistakes but defends COVID record

  • Former U.K. Prime Minis- ter Boris Johnson acknow- ledged on Wednesday that his government was too slow to grasp the extent of the COVID-19 crisis, but skirted questions about whether his indecisiveness had cost thousands of lives.
  • Testifying under oath at Britain's COVID-19 public inquiry, Mr. Johnson acknowledged that "we under- estimated the scale and the pace of the challenge" when reports of a new virus began to emerge from China in early 2020. The "panic level was not sufficiently high", he said.
  • Mr. Johnson conceded that the government had "made mistakes," but em- phasised collective failure rather than his own errors.
  • He said Ministers, civil ser- vants and scientific advis ers had failed to sound a "loud enough klaxon of alarm about the virus. "I was not being informed that this was something that was going to require urgent and immediate ac- tion," he said. Mr. Johnson acknowledged that he didn't attend any of the govern ment's five crisis meetings on the new virus in Febru ary 2020, and only "once or twice" looked at meeting minutes from the government's scientific advisory group. He said that he relied on "distilled" advice from his science and medicine advisers. 
  • He started his testimony with an apology for the pain and the loss and the suffering of the COVID victims", though not for any of his own actions.

9.Navigating the U.S.-China relationship

  • The story so far he US President Joe Biden and his Chinese countеrраст Jinpingbekd a menit, their second, in San Francio Of T November (5 on the societies of the Pacific Economic Cooperation coolerence. Their aim was to rестест а bateral tip that is now ab lowest point since Washington and Berging estabilated diplomatic in 1879
  • What did the meet accomplish? The most consequential cutcome was the decision to restore military to military communications between the two muchear weapons scales, critical to prevent Sellitary Maritime Consultative Agreemen that started in 1998. These channels were closed after Nancy Pelose's then Speuiker of the US, House of Regreencastres controversial visit to Tanwan in Ampast 2022, the fint visit by a Speaker in 25 years. A selfrruled island state, Taiwan's status remains a bone of commention between the world's big superpowers, with China pursuing the goal of is remification into the mainland Under China" policy Washingon accepts Beijing as the only legitimune government of China and adenowledges, but does not endorse, Taiwan as part of that crumery, and provides concrete security guarantees under the Taiwan Relations Act. President Biden has on several occasions pledged that the US would innervene if China Where does the trade dispute stand? Amid this hostile political environment, businesses from the world's two biggest economies are having to navigate an equilly volatile economic and trade policy framework.
  • President Xi, who has otten asserted his resolve to reunify the island. Beijing vented its ire by firing ballistic missiles off the Taiwan coast and conducted military drills as a deterrence exercise, even as Mes. Pelosi went ahead with her programme. More recently, Hoxase Speaker Kevin McCarthy receivedTaiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in April in California, the highest in official to do so on US soil.
  • This is in addition to the Trump administration's blacklisting in 2019 of several Chinese Artificial Intelligence (AI) start-ups for alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang More specifically, Washington and Beijing are leveraging their own areas of strength to inflict maximuan damage on the other. A case in point is the sweeping controls the Biden administration enacted in October 2022, further extended in October 2023, on exports of advanced computer chips for the manufacture of semiconductors. The curbs bar US and noo-U.S. firms, whose products contain American technology, from supplying hardware and software to specific Chinese companies, besides prohibiting American citinens and firms from collaborating with Chinese chip makers, except under special permission. The rationale behind the export hans is so underest Bejing's strides in Al and supercomputing, which have powered its spec weapons capability, which Wading views as detrimental to its security merests. On of barn on exports comes the oder issued in Acapust peshibating US investments in die high tas atena.
  • China has hat back in kled, clamping a ban in July on pallium and germundum exports, caw materials suted in the production of microchips and weapons systems. These are the items listed in the LUS imestory of materials critical for economic and national security. Additionally, curte were imposed is October on exports of various types of graphite, a viral mineral for the production of electric vehicle batteries, where China enjoys dominance in the global supply chain. The government further tightened is and espionage and data protection laws on the grounds of strengthening national security, forcing firms so designate for China" tools, set up China specific email ids and hive-off country endusive servers
  • What is the way forward? The escalation of the bilateral dispute was epitomised in the muscular approach that the US, adopted to shore up global hegemony during the Tramp presidency and, comversely, China's quest for world military and technological supremacy that has crystallised under The contours of this conflict have sot fundamentally altered under President Bident's leadership. But a slight dose of realism seems to have been infused navigating this complex relationship. There is in evidence a greater accent on exploring pragmatic avenues of coexistence through de-risking the two economies, rather than disengagement or decoupling. This is a mittle bur significant shift, and the e only hope in the short term that the superpowers will damb down from their hard positions. The writer is Director, Strategic Initiatives, AgnaShin Technologies

10.UAE's Mohammed Al Ramsi becomes President of the World Radiocommunication Conference 

  • The United Arab Emirates has appointed Mohammed Al Ramsi as the President of the World Radiocommunication ConferenceWRC 2023.
  • The conference is being held in Dubai, UAE from 20 November – 15 December 2023. The World Radiocommunication Conference is convened by the International TelecommunicationUnion every four years to revise the global use of the radio frequency spectrum for geostationary satellites and non-geostationary satellites in orbit.
  • This year, more than four thousand government officials and 900 international organizations from 193 countries are participating in the conference. The last World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. First World Radiocommunication Conference 1995 (WRC-95)
  • Held 23 October – 17 November 1995 in Geneva, Switzerland.  UNESCO Vice Chairman – Pakistan
  • Pakistan defeated India in the election for the post of Vice Chairman of UNESCO's Executive Board for 2023-2025 from the Asia Pacific Group, with the Islamabad candidate getting 38 votes while India got 18 votes.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Human Resource Development – which administers UNESCO in the Government of India and appoints the Indian representative in Paris – were assessing the causes and impact of the defeat.
  • India's representative to UNESCO, Vishal Sharma, who is a political appointee, was asked about the reasons for India's dismal performance, where it got less than 50 percent of the votes.
  • China has granted diplomatic status to Bilal Karimi, the Talibannominated official as Afghanistan's ambassador to the country. This is his first officially accredited envoy to any country since taking power in 2021. In this way it has formally recognized the legitimacy of the Taliban-run government in Kabul.
  • Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press conference that his country believes Afghanistan should not be excluded from the international community.
  • Wang, while emphasizing precautions against China's steps, stated, "We hope that Afghanistan will construct an open and inclusive political structure, embrace liberal and pragmatic domestic and foreign policies, confront all forms of terrorist forces firmly, and develop friendly relations."
  • No other country has formally recognized the Taliban government, but has criticized it for human rights violations and oppression of women. 
  • China, Pakistan and Russia have maintained their embassies in Kabul after the Taliban took power in August 2021 with the withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country.


  • China, which shares a border with Afghanistan, is also deeply concerned about the regrouping of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and pressure on the Taliban administration to crack down on the organization.
  • It is noteworthy that China's diplomatic recognition has come at a time when Beijing's all-time ally Pakistan is facing serious problems with the Taliban, which it once nurtured.
  • Pakistan is now blaming the Taliban government for repeated terrorist attacks in the country and has criticized it for not taking strict action against Pakistani Islamic terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan, especially the Pakistani Taliban.

11.Indonesia’s Marapi Volcano Eruption

  • Indonesia’s Mount Marapi, located in West Sumatra, recently erupted, leading to a tragic incident resulting in the loss of lives and the disappearance of several climbers. The eruption occurred on December 3, 2023, catching many by surprise as authorities scrambled to evacuate those in the vicinity.
  • As Mount Marapi unleashed its fury, a massive cloud of volcanic ash blanketed the sky and debris covered roads and vehicles. The eruption took place with 75 people in the area and while efforts were made to evacuate, 26 individuals were left behind.
  • Indonesia is situated on the “Ring of Fire,” a volatile tectonic region known for its seismic and volcanic activity. The country boasts 127 active volcanoes and Mount Marapi, standing at 2,891 meters (approximately 9,500 feet), is among the most active on Sumatra.

12.Italy Withdraws From China’s Belt And Road Project

  • Italy has officially withdrawn from China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) marking a significant departure from its previous stance as the only G7 nation to participate. This move comes more than four years after Italy initially joined the initiative in 2019 under the government of then Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. \
  • The Belt and Road Initiative, spearheaded by Chinese President Xi Jinping, aims to enhance China’s influence globally by investing in infrastructure projects across participating countries. With over 150 nations reportedly joining the initiative, it has become a cornerstone of China’s efforts to expand its economic and political clout internationally.

13.International Ranger Federation

  • It was established on 31 July 1992 in the Peak District National Park, UK. Its headquarters is in California, United States. World Ranger Day is celebrated across the world on 31 July.
  • The theme of 2023 World Ranger Day is '30 by 30' based on the 2022 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15)

14.Sri Lanka Reaches Agreement With India, Paris Club On Debt Treatment

  • Sri Lanka, in the throes of a severe economic crisis, has taken a significant step towards resolving its debt issues. An “agreement in principle” has been reached with India and the Paris Club group of creditors, including Japan.
  • This development is crucial for Sri Lanka as it paves the way for accessing the next tranche of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) nearly $3 billion recovery package.
  • The Paris Club, in a statement, announced that the OCC and Sri Lanka have agreed on the main parameters of a debt treatment consistent with those of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement between Sri Lanka and the IMF. While specific details were not disclosed, the OCC expressed readiness to formalize the agreement in the coming weeks through a Memorandum of Understanding with Sri Lanka.

State News

15.Lalduhoma Set To Assume Office As Mizoram’s Chief Minister

  • In a significant political development, Lalduhoma, the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) leader and legislature party leader, is poised to be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Mizoram on December 8.
  • A Raj Bhavan official confirmed that Lalduhoma, along with other members of his council of ministers, will take the oath of office at 11 am in a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan.
  • The ZPM emerged victorious in the Mizoram Assembly elections held on November 7, securing a total of 27 out of 40 seats. The electoral success resulted in the defeat of the incumbent Mizo National Front (MNF) led by Zoramthanga.

16.Tata Motors Opens Its 4th Scrapping Facility In Punjab

  • Homegrown auto major Tata Motors has taken a significant step towards promoting environmental sustainability with the inauguration of its fourth Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility (RVSF) in Chandigarh.
  • This cutting-edge facility, developed and operated by Tata Motors’ partner, Dada Trading Company, underscores the company’s commitment to responsible manufacturing and eco-friendly practices.
  • The Chandigarh RVSF is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, employing environmentally-friendly processes to safely and sustainably disassemble up to 12,000 end-of-life vehicles annually.
  • Tata Motors already boasts three RVSFs in Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, and Surat, reflecting the company’s strategic vision to establish a comprehensive network of scrapping facilities across the country.

17.First Asian Ranger Forum started in Guwahati, Assam

  • The first Asian Ranger Forum was held in Guwahati, Assam from 5-8 December 2023.
  • Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the Rangers are the true guardians of Asia's natural heritage.
  • More than 180 participants from 20 countries, including 35 women, 89 rangers and representatives of local communities have participated. A declaration for rangers, the Guwahati Declaration, will be made by rangers from 20 countries on 8 December.

  • The Guwahati Declaration will be included in the upcoming 10th IRF World Ranger Congress in 2024 (October 2024, France).
  • The manifesto emphasizes the vital role of rangers in nature conservation, the importance of promoting inclusivity and diversity in the ranger workforce, and makes recommendations to support and empower Asian rangers in carrying out their duties effectively and responsibly.
  • The event is being organized by the state forest department, biodiversity conservation organization Aranyak, International Ranger Federation (IRF), Ranger Federation of Asia (RFA) and Universal Ranger Support Alliance (URSA) in collaboration with other NGO partners.
  • During the event, Asian laureates of the IUCN WCPA International Ranger Awards, including ranger teams from Bhutan, Malaysia and the Philippines, will be honored for their outstanding contributions to the protection and conservation of natural heritage.
  • During the event, the Exploring Womanhood Foundation Forest Durga Conservation Award 2023 will also be presented to women rangers from Gujarat, Meghalaya and Rajasthan.

18.UP Municipality passed proposal to rename Firozabad as Chandra Nagar

  • Firozabad Municipal Corporation in Uttar Pradesh has approved the proposal to rename Firozabad as Chandra Nagar. 
  • Firozabad is famous for the construction of bangles. It is located 40 kilometres from Agra and 250 km from the capital city on the east side. Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow is about 250 km east from here. Two towns come under Tundla and Shikohabad under the Firozabad district.
  • Earlier the Indian Railways in October announced the renaming of three railway stations -Pratapgarh, Antu and Bishnathganj — in the Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Railways informed that the Pratapgarh station was renamed as ‘Maa Belha Devi DhamPratapgarh Junction’, Antu as Maa Chandika Devi Dham Antu, and Bishnathganj as ‘Shanidev Dham Bishnathganj’.
  • Varanasi’s Manduadih Rail Station has also been renamed as Banaras.
  • Uttar Pradesh government also renamed the Jhansi railway station as Veeranagana Laxmi Bai railway station.
  • Previously, the state government had renamed Mughalsarai and Allahabad railway stations as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction and Prayagraj Junction stations respectively.

Business News

19.3 PSUs of India are included in SIPRI's list of global 100 arms producing companies in 2022.

  • Three Indian PSUs have been included in the Swedish think Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) list of the world's top 100 arms producing companies in 2022, these include Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), Bharat Electronics (BEL) and Mazagon Docks ( MDL).
  • In arms sales, HAL was ranked 41st with $3.4 billion, BEL was ranked 63rd with $1.9 billion and MDL was ranked 89th with $1 billion.
  • All three benefited from major orders placed by the 14 lakh strong Indian armed forces. But last year,the share of these three in global arms sales of $597 billion was only 1%.
  • Last week, the Ministry of Defence approved an order of approximately 1.8 lakh crore rupees (about 22 billion dollars) for the Indian Air Force, which includes the enhancement of 97 Tejas Mk-1A combat aircraft, 156 advanced helicopters, and the upgrade of 84 Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKI combat aircraft.
  • Despite the government's emphasis on "Make in India", India remains in a strategically weak position of being the world's largest arms importer, accounting for 11% of total global imports in 2018–2022. 

20.World's top 100 arms producing companies

  • America dominates this list, but its revenue has declined by 7.9%. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and geopolitical tensions have led to a large increase in demand for weapons around the world.
  • Although worldwide arms demand grew rapidly in 2022, revenues of the 100 largest companies were 3.5% lower than in 2021 due to lagging actual production.
  • The top five companies are Lockheed Martin ($59 billion in arms sales), Raytheon ($40 billion), Northrop Grumman ($32 billion), Boeing ($29 billion) and General Dynamics ($28 billion).
  • According to earlier SIPRI data, India ($81.4 billion) is the world's fourth-largest military spender after the US ($877 billion), China ($292 billion) and Russia ($86.4 billion).
  • China has eight companies in the top 100 with total arms sales of $108 billion, the second largest share as a country in the list with 18%. SIPRI included only two Russian companies in the list due to lack of data.

Economy News

21.MP Index reduction under the NDA is flawed

  • Samuel fotfwon, aproksind literary critic audyti, go, "Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; It certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues Impracticable, and others extremely difficult." In sharp contrast, conventional measures of poverty in terms of income are limited and narrowly focused on scarcity of resources to eke out a bare subsistence. But there is much more to poverty than a bare subsistence, as emphasised by Johnson and others.
  • MP Index reduction under the NDA is flawed Nobel Laurate Amartya Sen ploneered a rich, innovative and broader perspective on well-being, focusing on capabilities and functionings. While capabilities are abilities to do this or that in a free and fair environment, functionings reflect achievements. An ability to live a healthy life, for example, is not necessarily related to affluence as it could result in obesity and vulnerability to non-communicable diseases. Achievements such as being healthy, on the other hand, require a nourishing diet and physical exercise. Professor Sen has, however, resisted aggregation of concepts such as capabilities into an overall measure of well-being as he believes that each capability is important in itself.
  • Unfortunately, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) seized upon capabilities to construct an overall measure of human development with uniform weights of the three health, education and standard of living and their sub-indices. Following this methodology, NITI Aayog and the released recently a National Multidimensional Poverty Index/MPI: A Progress Review 2023, also replicated in the UNDP Making Our Future: New Directions for Human Development in and the Pacific, released on November 7, 2023. Hence, these reports suffer from the same flaws as the UNDP human development index: aggregation with uniform weighting. But, the MPI story is further distorted, as elaborated on below. Astonishingly, the MPI 2023 estimates show a near halving of India's national MPI value and a decline from 24.85% to 14.96% between 2015-16 2019-21. This reduction of 9.89 percentage points implies that about 135.5 million people have exited poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21. 
  • Besides, the intensity of poverty, which measures the average deprivation among the people living in multidimensional poverty, reduced from 47.14% to 44.39%. But these estimates especially the rapid reductions in MPI cannot be taken at face value for various reasons. Indeed, these are misleading and ill-informed. First, the MPI relies upon National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4 and 5, which are not detailed enough for its estimation. Moreover, NIFHS 5 is blocked as its estimate of open defecation contradicted exaggerated official claim of its complete elimination. In fact, an eminent demographer, who led NFHS 5 was suspended. Intriguingly, while the survey was blocked for its alleged unreliability, NITI Aayog and the UNDP had no qualms about using it. Ideally, NFHS 4 and 5 should have been combined with the 75th Round of the NSS on household consumption expenditure. Unfortunately, this was abandoned too, as leaked poverty estimates indicated a rise. What casts further doubts is the havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21. 
  • Millions lost their livelihoods, thousands died in reverse migration and from a lack of access to vaccines and medical care. In fact, as a consequence of this epidemic, there was a huge economic shock from which the Indian economy has been struggling to recover. To illustrate, GDP growth has declined from 8% in 2015-16 to 3.78% in 2019-20 and slumped -6.60 in 2020-21, as also per capita income. 
  • Not just bare subsistence turned into a daunting challenge for millions but, equally seriously, public funding for maintenance and expansion of health and education and social safety nets suffered an irreparable blow. Focus on covariates Our recent analysis focuses on covariates of the MPI that include per capita state income, its square, share of criminals among State MPs, share of urban population, and health and education expenditure and unobsered state fixed effects (e.g., how progressive a State is). If we compare elasticities of MPI with respect to each covariate (d.e., proportionate change in MPI due to a proportionate change in a covariate such as State per capita income), the largest reduction In MPI is due to higher State per capita income. But since income decreased drastically, MPI spiked. The next in order of importance is urban location. A 1% increase in urban location results in a 0.90% increase in MPL. This is not surprising as rural urban migration is associated with growth of slums and sub-human living conditions. However, reverse migration during COVID-19 may explain why the effect on MPI is less than proportionate. Both health care and
  • education expenditure are associated with lower MPI-the elasticity of the latter is higher in absolute value), implying that a 1% increase in the latter reduces MPI more than the same increase in the former. As State-level estimates suggest a decline in educational expenditure, a rise in MPI is likely. Although State-level health expenditure rose to combat COVID-19, it fell far short of what was needed. If the
  • share of Members of Parliament with criminal cases in total State MPs exceeded 20%, the higher was the MPL. This is not surprising as criminal Members of the Legislative Assembly and MPs are notoriously corrupt and siphon-off funds allocated for social safety nets and area development programmes. Indeed, what is alarming is their rising share- 24% of the winners in the Lok Sabha election in 2004 had a criminal background; it rose to 30% in the 2009 general election, 34% in the 2014 election, and 43% in the 2019 election. If we go by our estimates of MP1, the reduction between 2015 and 2019-21 is considerably lower than the official estimate: 4.7 percentage points compared with 9.89 percentage points. 
  • MPI estimates shows that poverty rose in India's most populous State, Uttar Pradesh, by over seven percentage points. Of the States that went to the elections in November (Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana), we find that the MPI fell in Chhattisgarh (by over six percentage points), in Rajasthan (by two percentage points) and, most strikingly, in Madhya Pradesh (by about eight percentage points). In conclusion, not only does the MPI exaggerate the NDA's success in fighting deprivation but also perhaps more seriously obfuscates conventional measures of it which may unravel a contradictory story of poverty.
  • 'Food prices likely shot up in Nov? The cost of a typical food plate in India surged by 10% in November on a month-on-month basis, owing to rising onion and tomato prices, while the price of a non-vegetarian meal rose 5% over October, Crisil Market Intelligence and Analytics said in its monthly report on food prices on Wednesday.
  • Coming ahead of the official retail inflation numbers expected next week, the report assumes signifiance as it suggests food inflation may have hardened in November. In October, even as the overall retail inflation eased to a four-month low of 4.87%, food costs for households were virtually unchanged from September at 6.6%. The average vegetarian meal costs were at a three- month high of 30.3 in November, as per the report which calculates prices based on input costs.
  • Compared with November 2022, vegetarian food plates cost 9% higher last month and prices were flat for non-vegetarian meals.
  • "The uptick was attributable to a substantial 58% and 35% on-month in- crease in onion and tomato prices, respectively, prompted by festive demand and lower output in the kharif season due to erratic rainfall conditions," the research firm said.
  • But onion prices were not the only trigger as the cost of pulses, whose sowing has been lower than last year in this kharif season, surged 21%, higher than the 18.8% uptick recorded in the official consumer price inflation data for October.
  • The cost of the non-vegetarian plate increased at a slower pace than that of the vegetarian plate be- cause of a marginal 1%-3% decline in the prices of broilers, which account for about 50% of a non-vegetarian's food costs, the firm's analysts reckoned.

22.Creating certainty Healthier inflows from GST offer policy makers the bandwidth to fix its flaws

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which turns six and a half f years old this month, has yielded almost 3.4 lakh crore through October and November. While revenues in October marked the second highest monthly collections, November's kitty is the third highest. Both these months also recorded accelerated re- venue growth after a sequence of slowing upticks that culminated with September recording a 27- month trough of 10.2%. October's GST inflows were up 13.4% and November's by 15.1%, with re- venues from domestic transactions up 20%, the highest in 14 months.
  • Festive fervour surely bolstered last month's nearly 1.68 lakh crore of GST revenues, which were based on transactions in October, and that trend may persist this month as well on the back of anticipated last-minute Dee- pavali spending. Prior to this two-month spike, GST revenues had crossed 1.65 lakh crore on only three occasions, which were typically driven by year-end compliances. Now, the average monthly collection so far in 2023-24 stands at *1.66 lakh crore, and economists believe central GST receipts may surpass Budget estimates even if one factors in a relative slowdown in the final quarter of this year. 
  • With revenues buoyant, in no small part due to tighter compliance and a crackdown on tax evaders, the government must consider resetting its ambitions and work towards making the GST a truly good and simple tax, as it was promised to be. At a recent industry interaction, responding to concerns about the manner in which a spate of GST demand notices and investigations have unfolded in recent months, Finance Minister Nirma- la Sitharaman said the GST is still at a stage of moving from "uncertainty to certainty" on some grounds and those aspects are being sorted out now. That certainty needs to be pursued at a broader level to provide genuine comfort to investors about India's tax regime being stable and predictable. For one, pending taxpayer appeals against central GST levies have risen by a quarter this year to hit nearly 15,000 cases by October and it is necessary that appellate tribunals cleared by the GST Council become operational at the earliest to unwind this pendency and set clear precedents for future tax treatment disputes. 
  • It is equally critical to lay down a road map to bring in excluded items such as petroleum and electricity into the GST framework as well as the rejig of its complicated multiple rate structure. With the general election ahead, some dithering on such reforms may be understandable, but the GST Council must not lose focus of the unfinished agenda and keep deliberating on its to-do list, so that these steps can be fast-tracked after the Lok Sabha election.

23.Global Grain Price Outlook For 2024: Decline Expected, Rice A Standout Exception

  • The World Bank and research agency BMI, a unit of Fitch Solutions, have jointly forecasted a 6.5% decline in global grain prices in 2024. However, rice is expected to be an exception due to India’s export restrictions and concerns related to El Nino. 
  • The World Bank Commodity Outlook suggests that the overall decrease in grain prices will be driven by the anticipated improvement in global grain supplies. Despite higher rice prices, the continued decline in maize and wheat prices is expected to balance the overall trend.

24.CII Predicts Robust Growth For India’s Economy In FY24 And FY25

  • India’s economy is poised for a strong rebound, with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) projecting a growth of 6.8% in the current fiscal year (FY24) and an acceleration to 7% in the subsequent fiscal year (FY25).
  • CII attributes this optimistic outlook to the government’s unwavering commitment to infrastructure development and the facilitation of ease of doing business.  The CII’s initial estimate of 6.5-6.7% growth has been surpassed, with the current expectation set at 6.8% for the ongoing fiscal year.

25.Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase I Expenditure Reaches Rs 4.10 Trillion: Update By Nitin Gadkari

  • As of October 31, 2023, a total expenditure of Rs 4.10 lakh crore has been incurred under Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase I (BPP-I), according to Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) collected Rs 53,536.48 crore from 2020-21 until November 23, 2023, as user fees at toll plazas on national highways through FASTag.
  • NHAI has raised a significant amount of Rs 70,127 crore through the monetization of National Highways using Toll Operate and Transfer (TOT), Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvIT), and project-based financing modes.

26.Crude Oil Dips Below $78 A Barrel According To Industry Data

  • Crude oil futures faced a downward trend on Wednesday morning, with February Brent oil futures reaching $77.23, a marginal increase of 0.04 per cent. Simultaneously, January crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) experienced a dip, settling at $72.31, down by 0.01 per cent.
  • A significant contributor to the fluctuations in crude oil prices is the unexpected surge in US crude oil inventories. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), inventories increased by 594,000 barrels for the week ending December 1.
  • In the Indian market, December crude oil futures on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) were trading at ₹6046, down by 0.56 per cent from the previous close. January futures were also affected, trading at ₹6097, a 0.52 per cent decrease. These price movements reflect the interconnectedness of global events and their influence on local commodity markets.

Appointment News

27.Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi appoints as VC of Naval Staff

  • The Government of India has appointed Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi as the new Vice Chief of Naval Staff.
  • Currently, at the helm of the Indian Navy’s Western Command headquartered in Mumbai, Vice Admiral Tripathi is set to assume his new responsibilities on January 4, 2024.
  • The present Vice Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral SJ Singh, will be stepping into the role of the new Western Naval Commander.
  • Vice Admiral Tripathi has served in various prestigious roles, including Chief of Personnel at the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (Navy).
  • An alumnus of Sainik School Rewa and the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, he joined the Indian Navy in July, 1985. Specialising in Communication and Electronic Warfare, Tripathi has held key roles on frontline warships, such as Signal Communication Officer and Electronic Warfare Officer.
  • He has also served as the Executive Officer and Principal Warfare Officer of Guided Missile Destroyer INS Mumbai. Notable commands include Indian naval ships including Vinash, Kirch, and Trishul.

Recent Appointment in Defence Sector

  • Chief of Special Protection Group (SPG) – Alok Sharma
  • Command of The Eastern Fleet – Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar
  • Deputy Chief of Naval Staff – Vice Admiral Tarun Sobti (replace Sanjay Mahendru)
  • Interim director of Enforcement Directorate (ED) – Rahul Navin (replace Sanjay Kumar Mishra.) DG of Railway Protection Force – Manoj Yadava (replace Sanjay Chander)

Banking News

28. ACKO And PhonePe Collaborate To Make Insurance Accessible To Millions

  • ACKO General Insurance and PhonePe have joined forces to revolutionize the landscape of insurance accessibility in India. This strategic collaboration aims to provide users with a comprehensive range of car and bike insurance products directly through the PhonePe platform.
  • The collaboration between ACKO and PhonePe is a strategic alliance that leverages the strengths of both entities. ACKO, known for its customer-centric approach, combines forces with PhonePe’s extensive distribution network.
  • The integration of ACKO with PhonePe is made possible through a cutting-edge partnership API stack. PhonePe is the first in line to benefit from this technology, ensuring that ACKO’s personalized pricing, innovative SKUs, and consistent user experience are seamlessly delivered to all partners.

29.LIC Ranks Fourth Globally In S&P Global’s 2022 Insurance Report

  • In a recent report by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has secured its position as the world’s fourth-largest insurer. The ranking is based on the life and accident & health reserves of companies for the year 2022.
  • Allianz SE (Germany) secured the top spot with reserves amounting to $750.20 billion. China Life Insurance Company (China) claimed the second position with reserves totaling $616.90 billion. Nippon Life Insurance Company (Japan) grasped the third position with reserves reaching $536.80 billion. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) clinched the fourth spot globally, boasting reserves of $503.7 billion.

Important Day News

30.7 December – International Civil Aviation Day

  • The International Civil Aviation Day is observed every year on 7 December across the globe.
  • The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of civil aviation and its significant contribution to the world economy as well as other fields.
  • Theme 2023 – Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development
  • The celebration of the day is linked to the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is the regulatory body behind effectively managing international travel, security, and cooperation. ICAO is a United Nations body, which was formed 75 years ago and aims to maintain aviation safety worldwide
  • The celebration day of International Civil Aviation was established in 1994 while commemorating the 50th anniversary of signing the Convention on International Civil Aviation by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  • Later in 1996, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 7 to be observed as International Civil Aviation Day. The date marks the establishment of ICAO on December 7, 1944.

31.Armed Forces Flag Day 2023

  • Armed Forces Flag Day, celebrated on December 7 each year, holds a special place in our hearts as we pay tribute to the indomitable spirit and sacrifices of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who stand guard at our borders.
  • Established on August 28, 1949, by the Ministry of Defence, Armed Forces Flag Day was designated to honor the brave men and women in uniform.
  • This day serves as a reminder of the unwavering dedication of our armed forces and provides an opportunity for citizens to contribute towards their welfare.

Award News

33.Climate Champions: Michelle Zárate Palomec And Sebastian Mwaura Win UN Awards

  • Amidst the global efforts to combat climate change, two remarkable individuals, Michelle Zárate Palomec from Mexico and Sebastian Mwaura from Kenya, are set to be honored as winners of the UN Global Climate Action Awards.
  • At the age of 27, Zárate Palomec leads initiatives within Espacio de Encuentro de las Culturas Originarias to provide clean and sufficient water to marginalized indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her work addresses water scarcity challenges and combats social and gender inequalities exacerbated by water pollution.
  • Co-founder of Yna Kenya, 35-year-old Mwaura is recognized for his efforts in accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles. His organization focuses on establishing a robust charging network powered by renewable energy sources, while also creating employment opportunities for women through the HerGo program in the e-mobility transport sector.

34.Indian-Origin Novelist Meira Chand Receives Singapore’s Highest Arts Award

  • Singapore recently bestowed its prestigious Cultural Medallion upon three distinguished individuals, recognizing their artistic excellence and significant contributions to the nation’s rich arts and culture.
  • Among them, Meira Chand, an eighty-one-year-old Indian-origin writer, shares this esteemed accolade with novelist Suchen Christine Lim and Malay dance veteran Osman Abdul Hamid.
  • Meira Chand, of Swiss-Indian parentage, is renowned for her award-winning novels depicting multicultural societies. Her notable work, ‘The Painted Cage’ (1986), was longlisted for the Booker Prize

35.Social Innovators From India Win Accolades At The 4th Edition Of AIGIF In Malaysia

  • The 4th edition of the ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AIGIF), hosted by Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), concluded on November 30, 2023. The event celebrated grassroots and student innovators from India and across the ASEAN Member States (AMS).
  • Mr. Dipak Bharali, hailing from Sualkuchi, Kamrup, Assam, secured the 1st prize for his innovation, the Weft Insertion Device. Mr. Sunil Shinde, based in Jalna, Maharashtra, claimed the 3rd prize for his Silkworm Breeding Net Folding Machine. Ms. Aanchal Aggarwal from Delhi secured the 3rd prize in the student innovation category for her creation, Parkinson Lathi.

Books and Authors News

36.Taylor Swift Named Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year

  • Taylor Swift has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2023. This recognition comes on the heels of her title as the most-played artist on Spotify, underscoring the widespread impact of her music and influence.
  • This honour serves as a reflection of her multifaceted impact on music, culture, and society. Beyond the accolades and financial success, Swift’s ability to connect with audiences on a global scale showcases the enduring power of her artistry.
  • Swift faced tough competition for the Person of the Year title, standing out among a diverse group of finalists that included Barbie, King Charles III, and OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman. Time Magazine’s selection acknowledges not only Swift’s individual achievements but also her cultural resonance and influence.

37.Time Magazine Names Lionel Messi ‘Athlete Of The Year’ For 2023

  • Argentina’s football icon, Lionel Messi, has been named Time magazine’s Athlete of the Year for 2023. This prestigious honor comes on the heels of Messi’s historic eighth Ballon d’Or win, solidifying his status as one of the greatest footballers of all time.
  • Messi also played a pivotal role in Argentina’s triumph at the 2022 World Cup, securing their first title in 36 years. The Argentine captain led his team to victory in an thrilling final against defending champions France.
  • Beyond the playing field, Lionel Messi’s move to Inter Miami caused ripples of excitement among fans and sports enthusiasts. The announcement led to a surge in searches for match dates and tickets, reflecting the heightened interest in witnessing Messi’s magic firsthand.

Science and Technology News

38. Meta And IBM Launch ‘AI Alliance’ To Promote Open-Source AI Development

  • In a significant development within the artificial intelligence (AI) community, Meta and IBM have joined forces to establish the AI Alliance. This aims to promote an “open-science” approach to AI development, setting them apart from competitors such as Google, Microsoft and Open AI.
  • Led by IBM and Meta, the AI Alliance brings together industry heavyweights such as Dell, Sony, AMD, Intel and several universities and AI startups. The alliance emphasizes the importance of open scientific exchange, open innovation and the use of open-source technologies in shaping the future of AI.

39.Google Reveals ‘Gemini’, Its Biggest AI Model

  • Google parent company Alphabet made a significant announcement on December 6, unveiling Gemini, its latest and most advanced AI model to date. Gemini represents a major leap forward for the tech giant in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence. 
  • Gemini marks the first AI model to emerge from Alphabet following the merger of its renowned AI research units, DeepMind and Google Brain. The amalgamation has given rise to a unified division named Google DeepMind, helmed by DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis.
  • Gemini sets itself apart by being “multimodal,” demonstrating the ability to comprehend and process diverse types of information concurrently. This includes text, code, audio, images, and videos, positioning Gemini as a versatile tool for a wide range of applications.

40.China launches Egypt's remotesensing satellite 'MISRSAT-2

  • China launched a remote-sensing satellite ‘MISRSAT-2’ for Egypt on 4 December 2023 from the Long March 2C from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, Gobi Desert.
  • China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation confirmed the success of the launch within an hour of liftoff.

  • The MISRSAT-2 satellite meets the country's sustainable development goals through the use of space technology to develop critical sectors including agriculture, exploration of mineral resources, identification of surface water sources.
  • The MISRSAT-2 satellite will provide imagery with a resolution of 6.5 feet (2 m) per pixel in panchromatic mode, or visible light, and 26.2 feet (8 m) per pixel for multispectral images. China launches second Horus remote-sensing satellite for Egypt.
  • MISRSAT-2 and two other remotesensing satellites Starpool 02-A and Starpool 02-B have also been launched.
  • They were developed by the Chinese company Elliptical Space and Time (Ellipspace). All three satellites entered near-polar orbits.
  • The launch was China's 55th orbital mission of the year. According to CASC, this was the 499th Long March launch ever.

41.Science clear on the need to 'phase out' fossil fuel, says U.S. climate envoy John Kerry

  • "The science was clear on the need to phase out some fossil fuel," the U.S. lead climate negotiator, John Kerry, said at a press conference on Wednesday.
  • "Else we are not going to be able to make the goal of being net zero by 2050 or have a shot at keeping tem- peratures below 1.5 de- grees Celsius."
  • On Tuesday, a draft text of the Global Stock Take (GST), said to be the most important and contentious element of the climate talks ongoing here, for the first time mentioned that countries ought to be un- dertaking a "just and or- derly phase out of fossil fuels".

  • While this could mean all of the major fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - that are responsible for human- led greenhouse gas emis- sions, Mr. Kerry said that there would be some "tough negotiations" in the week ahead. He said that the U.S. and China had reached agreements on re- ducing methane emissions and the position of both countries as the "number one and two economies" of the world was critical to achieving these goals.
  • He endorsed the need for the use of "carbon capture and storage", a contested and largely unpro- ven technology, to capture carbon emissions as necessary towards achieving the 1.5 degrees Celsius target. "You can raise some very legitimate questions around it, [but] I believe it is working to some extent," he said.
  • Mr. Kerry, however, refrained from commenting on what potential road blocks to a deal on fossil fuels existed. In COP-26 at Glasgow, countries had veered close to a commitment to phase out coal un- til India objected to it and proposed instead that all fossil fuels be phased out. Ultimately, it was agreed that all countries would phase down' coal and "in efficient fossil fuel subsi- dies."

Ranks and Reports News

42.Nirmala Sitharaman And Three Other Indians Secure Spots On Forbes’ “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” Of 2023

  • In the latest release of Forbes’ annual list of “The World’s Most Powerful Women,” four notable Indian figures have garnered recognition.
  • These are : Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, HCL Corporation Chairperson Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Steel Authority Of India Chairperson Soma Mondal, and Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.
  • The top positions on the list are dominated by politicians, with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, claiming the number 1 spot. Following her are European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, US Vice President Kamala Harris, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Miscellaneous News

43.Meghalaya’s Lakadong Turmeric And Other Products Awarded Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

  • In a significant development, Meghalaya’s Lakadong turmeric, known for its exceptional quality, has been granted the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • Considered one of the finest turmeric varieties globally, Lakadong turmeric boasts an impressive curcumin content ranging from 6.8 to 7.5 percent.
  • Grown organically in the Lakadong area of Jaintia Hills, this turmeric is renowned for its dark color, and cultivation is carried out without the use of fertilizers.
  • Alongside Lakadong turmeric, three more products from Meghalaya were honored with the GI tag: Garo Dakmanda (traditional dress), Larnai pottery, and Garo Chubitchi (alcoholic beverage).

Sports News

44.India bags 3 gold, 5 silver, and 1 bronze medals in IBA Junior World Boxing

  • India bagged three gold, five silver, and one bronze medals at the IBA Junior World Boxing Championship 2023 in Yerevan, Armenia.
  • Akansha won gold in 70 kg category, Pari clinched gold medal in 48 kg weight category, while Nisha won gold in 52 kg category.
  • In 52 kg weight category, Vini won silver medal, while Srishti Sathe won silver medal in 63 kg weight category.
  • In the boys’ category, Jatin won the silver medal in the 54 kg category.

Indian polity

45.Govt. needs latitude to make peace, says CJI

  • Norting that the goverment should be given be way if a compromise is necessary to save the nation, Chief Justice of Indite DY Chandrachud said on Wednesday that the Assam Accord of 1985 and the new citizenship regime which followed in its wake might have been an "adjustment reached by the Rajiv Gandhi government to calm the waves of violent anti-immigrant prot ests that rolled over the northeastern State for years, and threatened peace
  • "You must give the government that latitude Even today, there are ad States in the northeast affected by insurgency and violerice, Chief Justice Chandrached, heading a Constitution observed.
  • The Bench was hearing a series of petitions filed by indigenous groups from Assam which have chal lenged section GA of the tizenalhép Act of 1955.
  • The petitioners, repte sented by senior advocate Shyam Divan, claimed the provision became a "bea con" for more foreign filtration into Лават, leading to the destruction of the local cultural identi ty. Not justified Mr. Divan said a justifica tion that there was aviolent political agitation, leading to a political settle ment, was not sufficient basis to single our Assam for implementing an en- tirely new citizenship re gime under Section 6A "Tilegal immigration in-Assam has been reward- ed with the benefits of indian citizenship, Mr. Divan submitted
  • "Obviously, every com promise made is never per fect. The State of Assam was riven with mrife at the time. Does the government arrive at this compacomine to bring peace to Astan or allow the strife-ridden State in costinue in its path of violence merely because the compromise mary "discriminate among States. These are vexed issues. Any solution found can be an inexact one,"

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