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Collaboration between C-DOT and IIT, Kharagpur

Recently, a collaboration between C-DOT and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-K) aims to develop prototypes for 10-Gigabit-capable symmetric Passive Optical Network (XGS-PON) Optical Line Terminal (OLT) and Optical Network Unit (ONU).

  • These prototypes will enable the creation of state-of-the-art technology solutions for 10 Gbps upstream and downstream access networks.

Key Points

  • Funding Support: The project is supported by the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF) scheme of the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.
  • This scheme provides funding support to domestic companies and institutions engaged in the design, development, and commercialization of telecommunication products and solutions.
  • Role of IIT Kharagpur: IIT Kharagpur will lead the development of the prototypes for the XGS-PON OLT and ONU.
  • The institution's expertise in research and development will contribute to the creation of cutting-edge telecommunications technology.
  • Impact: The development of these prototypes is expected to pave the way for affordable broadband and mobile services in rural and remote areas of India.
  • By enhancing access network technology, the project will support the growth of telecommunications infrastructure across the country.
  • Commitment:Their combined efforts aim to drive innovation, development, and commercialization of advanced telecommunications solutions.

IREDA and IIT Bhubaneswar Ink MoU to Boost Renewable Energy Research and Innovation

On 12th February, 2024, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar have forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance innovation and research in the renewable energy sector.

Key Points

  • Collaboration Objective: The MoU, inked during the 100 Cube Start-up Conclave at IIT Bhubaneswar, aims to foster joint research endeavors, facilitate technology transfer, and nurture the start-up ecosystem in renewable energy.
  • Scope of Collaboration: The partnership will encompass various initiatives, including joint research projects, technology dissemination, and support for start-ups in the renewable energy domain.
  • Comprehensive Support: IREDA and IIT Bhubaneswar will also focus on capacity-building endeavors such as training programs, seminars, and workshops to enhance the skills and knowledge of officials involved in renewable energy initiatives.
  • Significance: Leveraging the expertise and resources of both entities, the collaboration aims to propel impactful research initiatives and sectoral growth.
  • Shared Vision: The collaboration reflects a shared vision to advance renewable energy technologies, address sustainability challenges, and contribute to India's energy transition towards cleaner and greener alternatives.
  • Commitment to Innovation: By combining resources and expertise, the partnership underscores a commitment to fostering innovation, promoting entrepreneurship, and catalyzing positive change in the renewable energy landscape.
  • Government Support: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy expressed its support for the collaboration, acknowledging its potential to drive transformative change and accelerate India's renewable energy goals.

B20 Summit

On 25th August, India’s Finance Minister participated in the three-day B20 Summit held in Delhi, along with the External Affairs Minister and Education Minister.

  • The B20 Summit serves as the official G20 dialogue platform for the worldwide business community.
  • With its establishment in 2010, it has maintained its significance as a prominent engagement group within the G20 framework.

Key Points:

  • Insights on Private Investment and Economic Performance: During her address, Finance Minister discussed crucial topics including private investment, the global standing of the Indian economy, and the necessity of managing inflation while fostering investment.
  • Union Minister's Perspective on MSMEs: Union Minister Piyush Goyal, in his B20 address, acclaimed Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as integral to the economy. He highlighted their substantial contribution to economic activities.
  • Organizer and Scale of the Summit: The B20 Summit is being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), serving as the B20 India Secretariat.

WTO Panel Rules against India

Recently, a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruled against India in a dispute with the European Union (EU), Japan, and Taiwan over import duties on IT products.

  • The WTO panel ruled that India violated global trading rules by imposing import duties of 7.5% to 20% on various IT products, including mobile phones, components, and integrated circuits, which exceeded the maximum rate.
  • The EU is India's third-largest trading partner, and Japan and Taiwan also filed similar complaints against India in 2019.
  • The panel recommended that India should bring its measures in line with global trading rules.
  • It remains unclear whether India will appeal the ruling, especially as the WTO's top appeals bench is not functioning due to the US's opposition to judges' appointments.

India Elected to UN Statistical Commission

Recently, India has been elected to the highest statistical body of the United Nations, the UN Statistical Commission, for a four-year term beginning on January 1, 2024.

  • India won the election with 46 out of 53 votes, leaving behind competitors Republic of Korea, China, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • India's expertise in the field of statistics, diversity, and demography has earned it a seat on the UN Statistical Commission according to External Affairs Minister.
  • A second candidate is yet to be decided between South Korea and China.
  • The balloting process to elect the remaining Asia Pacific states member is yet to be concluded, with a decision expected later in the day.

National Land Monetization Corporation

The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) as a wholly owned Government of India company with an initial authorized share capital of Rs 5000 crore and paid-up share capital of Rs 150 crore.

  • NLMC will undertake monetization of surplus land and building assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and other Government agencies.
  • The proposal is in pursuance of the Budget Announcement for 2021-22.
  • With monetization of non-core assets, Government would be able to generate substantial revenues by monetizing unused and under-used assets.
  • The Board of Directors of NLMC will comprise senior Central Government officers and eminent experts to enable professional operations and management of the company.The Chairman, non-Government Directors of the NLMC will be appointed through a merit-based selection process.

Indian Space Association (ISpA)

On 11th October 2021, the Indian Space Association (ISpA) was launched.

  • The Indian Space Association (ISpA) is the premier industry association of space and satellite companies.

Aim & Objective

  • ISpA aims to contribute to the Government of India’s vision of making India Atmanirbhar and a global leader in the space arena, which is fast emerging as the next growth frontier for mankind.
  • The association will engage with stakeholders across the ecosystem for the formulation of an enabling policy framework that fulfils the Government’s vision.
  • ISpA will also work towards building global linkages for the Indian space industry to bring in critical technology and investments into the country to create more high skill jobs.

ISpA is represented by leading home grown and global corporations with advanced capabilities in the space and satellite technologies.

Members

  • Its founding members include Bharti Airtel, Larson & Toubro, Nelco (Tata Group), OneWeb, Mapmyindia, Walchandnagar Industries and Alpha Design Technologies.
  • Other core members include Godrej, Hughes India, Ananth Technology Limited, Azista-BST Aerospace Private Limited, BEL, Centum Electronics, Maxar India.
  • Chairman: Mr. Jayant Patil, Whole time Director - Defence & Smart Technologies, is the first Chairman of ISpA
  • Vice Chairman: Mr. Rahul Vatts, Chief Regulatory Officer Bharti Airtel and Director – OneWeb India is the Vice Chairman
  • Director General: Lt Gen. A.K. Bhatt (Retd) is the Director General of the Association.

India elected to two Bodies of Universal Postal Union (UPU)

On 26th August 2021, India was elected to the Council of Administration (CA) and the Postal Operations Council (POC) of Universal Postal Union.

  • The vote was conducted at 27th Universal Postal Union Congress orgabised in Abidjan (a city of Côte d'Ivoire).

About UPU

  • Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne, is the second oldest international organization worldwide.
  • With its 192 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.

The UPU consists of 4 bodies:

  • The Congress: Congress is the supreme authority of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and meets every four years.
  • The Council of Administration: The Council ensures the continuity of the UPU's work between Congresses, supervises its activities and studies - regulatory, administrative, legislative and legal issues. The Council of Administration (CA) consists of 41 member countries.
  • The Postal Operations Council: The Postal Operations Council (POC) is the technical and operational mind of the UPU and consists of 40 member countries, elected during Congress.
  • The International Bureau: Fulfilling a secretariat function, the International Bureau provides logistical and technical support to the UPU's bodies.

'Indian Institute of Heritage' to be set up at Noida

  • The Union Government has decided to set up the ‘Indian Institute of Heritage’ at Noida, Gautam Buddha Nagar.
  • This will impact higher education and research in the field related to rich Indian heritage and its conservation leading to Masters and Ph.D courses in History of Arts, Conservation, Museology, Archival Studies, Archaeology, Preventive Conservation, Epigraphy and Numismatics, Manuscriptology etc. as well as conservation training facilities to in-service employees and the students of the Indian Institute of Heritage.
  • The Institute is being set up as Deemed to be University by integrating Institute of Archaeology (Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology), School of Archival Studies under National Archives of India, New Delhi, the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC), Lucknow, National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology (NMICHM) and Academic Wing of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi. These shall become various schools of Institute.

WIPO Initiative to protect Brand ‘Khadi’

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations for brand protection across the world, has ordered a Delhi-based firm against using a domain name www.urbankhadi.com, which illegally uses the brand name “Khadi”.

Other Recent Rulings to Protect the Brand

  • On June 4, Delhi High Court barred a Ghaziabad-based trader JBMR Enterprises from manufacturing and selling counterfeit Khadi Prakritik Paint.
  • On May 28, Delhi High Court restrained “Khadi Design Council of India” and “Miss India Khadi Foundation” from using “Khadi” brand name.
  • On May 3, an Arbitration Tribunal in Delhi had said that “Khadi” was not a generic name to be used by private individuals or firms while permanently restraining an individual from using the brand name Khadi.
  • In March this year, the Delhi High Court had also restrained a firm from using brand name Khadi and the Charkha symbol to sell its products under the name “IWEARKHADI”.

About WIPO

  • Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states.
  • Its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.
  • Its mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.
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