Current Affairs -3rd January 2023

1 ) MHA constitutes HPC Chaired by MoS Nityanand Rai to protect Ladakh’s Culture, Language & Employment

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has constituted a 17-member High Powered Committee (HPC) to discuss measures for the protection of Ladakh’s unique culture, language and employment. It will be chaired by Minister of State (MoS) Nityanand Rai, MHA.

Key points:

• To discuss the protections of Culture and Language considering the geographical location and strategic importance of Ladakh.
• To discuss the protections to land and employment for the people, inclusive development, employment generation, and measures related to empowerment of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil.
• This development follows the months of protest in Ladakh over the protection of the rights of the Ladakhi people after the revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in August 2019 and the carving out of Ladakh as a separate Union Territory (UT).

2 ) GoI Introduces National Geospatial Policy 2022

Ministry of Science and Technology (MoS&T) announced the ‘National Geospatial Policy, 2022’, following liberalizing the usage of geospatial data under the draft Geospatial Data Policy in February 2021. The Government of India (GoI) has now defined a 13-year guideline for the growth of India’s geospatial data industry, including the creation of a national framework for using geospatial data to improve citizen services and other initiatives.

Key points:

• The National Geospatial Policy, 2022 is a citizen-focused policy that aims to strengthen the geospatial sector to support national development, economic prosperity, and a growing information economy.
• The GoI proposes to establish an “Integrated Data and Information Framework” (IDIF) under which a “Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure” (GKI) + will be developed by 2030.
• The policy also calls for the establishment of a national apex body, the Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee (GDPDC).

3 ) NCISM & CCRAS Launches ‘SMART’ Programme to Boost R&D in Ayurveda

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) and the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) launched the SMART (Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research in Teaching Professionals) programme.

Key points:

• The programme aims to identify, support and promote innovative scientific research in priority healthcare research areas like Osteoarthritis, Iron Deficiency Anaemia, Chronic Bronchitis, Dyslipidemia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Psoriasis, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) through Ayurveda colleges and hospitals.
• The program was launched by Vaidya Jayant Deopujari, Chairman, NCISM and Prof. Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General, CCRAS in the presence of Prof. B. S. Prasad, President of Board of Ayurveda, NCISM and other senior officials.
• NCISM and CCRAS are the institutes under the Ministry of AYUSH for regulating medical education and conducting scientific research respectively.

4 ) KMRC: India’s First Underwater Metro Services to be Operational by December 2023

The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) announced that the East-West Metro Corridor project, India’s first underwater metro service, in Kolkata will be completed by December 2023. The 16.6 km corridor will run through the Hooghly river, connecting Howrah and Kolkata Sealdah railway stations including the north-south line of the Kolkata Metro at Esplanade. This will reduce the travel time from 90 minutes to 40 minutes.

Key points:

• The 520-metre-long tunnel under the river Hooghly is a part of Kolkata’s East-West Metro Corridor. The metro trains will take just 45 seconds to cross the 520- metre tunnel.
• The tunnel is built at the cost of Rs 120 crore per kilometre. The completion cost of the East-West Metro Corridor Project has been estimated at Rs. 8,575 crore.

5 ) SBI, HDFC & ICICI Banks in the RBIs 2022 list of D-SIBs

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the 2022 list of Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) based on the data from March 31, 2022. In this, State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank kept the status as D-SIBs, under the same bucketing structure as in the 2021 list of D-SIBs.

Key points:

• The additional CET-1 requirement for D-SIBs was launched on April 1, 2016, and became effective from April 1, 2019.
• The additional CET1 requirement will be in addition to the capital conservation buffer.
• SBI and ICICI Bank were designated as D-SIBs in 2015 and 2016 respectively while HDFC Bank became D-SIB in 2017.
• SBI will be in the 3rd bucket with an Additional Common Equity Tier (CET)- 1 requirement as a percentage of Risk Weighted Assets (RWAs) of 0.60%.
• ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank will be in the 1st bucket with an Additional CET-1 requirement as a percentage of RWAs of 0.20%.

6 ) Bandhan Bank launches ‘Jahaan Bandhan, Wahaan Trust’ campaign featuring Sourav Ganguly

Bandhan Bank launched its integrated marketing campaign ‘Jahaan Bandhan, Wahaan Trust’ featuring the Bank’s brand ambassador, cricketing legend, Sourav Ganguly.

Key points:

• The ‘Jahaan Bandhan, Wahaan Trust’ campaign was conceived by Leo Burnett Orchard, who was brought in as Bandhan Bank’s creative agency in August 2022.
• The campaign emphasises the ‘trust’ that the brand has been able to earn in a span of seven years as a Bank and over the last two decades in the various avatars prior to the Bank.
• The campaign uses the analogy of Ganguly’s career, who became the bank’s customer soon after the bank was launched 7 years ago.

7 ) CJI DY Chandrachud launches E-SCR Project for Digital Version of Judgments Reported in SC

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Yashwant (DY) Chandrachud launched the Electronic Supreme Court Reports (E-SCR) project to provide free access to about 34,000 judgements of SC to lawyers, law students and the common public. This project is an initiative to provide the digital version of the SC’s judgments in the manner as they are reported in the official law report i.e. SCRs. The project has been launched as a tribute to the nation in the New Year.

Key points:

• The verdicts of SC will be available on the SC website, its mobile app and on the judgement portal of the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG).
• As of now, the judgements delivered till January 1, 2023, were made available.
• Under this project, all judgements will be placed online within 24 hours.
• Neutral citations will also be introduced. A committee comprising three judges viz. Justice Rajiv Shakdher of the Delhi High Court, Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan of the Kerala High Court and Justice Suraj Govindraj of the Karnataka High Court – have been constituted to work on the process of neutral citations.
• Delhi and Kerala High Courts were already using the neutral citation.
• Note – Under neutral citation, a unique number will be uploaded for every judgment to ease the search for orders and judgments.
• This project is a step forward towards the objective of digitization of the Indian Judiciary and bringing in  positive change for the benefit of all the stakeholders of justice.

8 ) Gaganyaan: India’s 1st Atmanirbhar human space flight to be launched by 2024

Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister for Science and Technology, announced that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is ready to launch India’s 1st Atmamirbhar human flight “Gaganyaan” by the year 2024.

Key points:

• There will be two preliminary launches in 2024. The 1st will be unmanned, and in the 2nd launch, the robot will be there as a human replica. On the third launch, humans will be sent into space.
• If the 2 tests are a complete success, it is reported that humans will travel for the 3rd time.

9 ) World Boxing Council to Create Transgender Category

The World Boxing Council (WBC), one of the four governing bodies for Boxing, will introduce a transgender category from 2023 to ensure safety and inclusion.

Key points:

• Previously, WBC banned trans-identified males from competing against women. Woman-to-man or manto- woman transgender change will not be allowed to fight a different gender by birth.
• The WBC will not sanction a new championship or title belt but will create an event for the transgender fighters to take part in the boxing sport.

10 ) Shashi Tharoor’s Latest Book “Ambedkar: A Life” Launched

Renowned Author Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament (MP – the Lok Sabha – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala), has launched his latest book “Ambedkar: A Life”, a biography of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar at the Kitaab Kolkata Event, which was organised by the Prabha Khaitan Foundation (PKF) at the ITC Sonar presented by Shree Cement.

Key points:

• The book is published by Aleph Book Company, and promoted by Rupa Publications India.
• Shashi Tharoor won the Sahitya Akademi Award 2019 for “An Era of Darkness: The Britsh Empire in India”.
• He is also a recipient of several awards that include a Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India’s highest honour for overseas nationals.

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