Current Affairs - Miscellaneous

Supreme Court Data Integrated with National Judicial Data Grid Portal

On 14th September, 2023, Chief Justice of India announced the integration of the Supreme Court's data with the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) portal, marking the completion of a comprehensive merger of all three tiers of the Indian judiciary on this platform.

Key Points

  • Integration of Supreme Court Data: The portal is designed to provide real-time updates and comprehensive information about the Supreme Court, including monthly and annual statistics on filed cases, cases disposed of, and pending cases, readily accessible with a simple click.
  • Efficient Management of Oldest Cases: This integration will provide a robust database for the Chief Justice of India to expedite the resolution of these longstanding cases.
  • Accessing the NJDG-SCI Portal: The NJDG-SCI portal can be conveniently accessed through the Supreme Court's official website. Users can simply click on the tab labeled "NJDG SUPREME COURT OF INDIA" to access the integrated data.

President of India Inaugurates 'National e-Vidhan Application' (NeVA)

On 13th September, 2023, the President of India officially launched the 'National e-Vidhan Application' (NeVA) and delivered an address at the Gujarat Legislative Assembly in Gandhinagar.

Key Points:

  • Digital Transformation of the Assembly: President highlighted that the inauguration of the E-Assembly, powered by the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA), signifies a significant step toward transforming the Assembly into a Digital House.
  • Enhancing Efficiency and Transparency: NeVA would enable the members of the Assembly to adopt and learn from the best practices of the Parliament and other Legislative Assemblies across the nation.
  • This initiative, aligned with the goal of "one nation one application," would enhance the speed and transparency of the Assembly's operations while facilitating a paperless environment, promoting environmental conservation.

'Nation First Transit Card' for Seamless Commuting and Digital Payments

Recently, State Bank of India (SBI) introduced the 'Nation First Transit Card' to enhance customer commuting convenience, enabling digital fare payments for metro, buses, water ferries, and parking using a single card.

Key Points:

  • Enhancing Commuting Experience: The card aims to provide a seamless and convenient commuting experience, allowing digital ticketing fare payments for various modes of transportation, including metro, buses, water ferries, and parking, all through a single card.
  • Expanding Use Cases: In addition to transportation, the RuPay NCMC Prepaid Card can be used for retail and e-commerce payments.
  • RuPay and NCMC Technology: The 'Nation First Transit Card' is powered by RuPay and National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) technology.
  • Alignment with National Vision: SBI's Chairman noted that the card aligns with the national vision of "One Nation One Card."

World's Tallest 'Nataraja' Statue Installed at G20 Summit Venue

Recently, a towering 28-feet-tall statue of 'Nataraja', believed to be the world's tallest, has been placed at Bharat Mandapam, the host site for the upcoming G20 Summit in Delhi, symbolizing Lord Shiva as the 'Lord of Dance' and his cosmic power.

Key Points:

  • Cosmic Power Depiction: The statue embodies the cosmic power of creation and destruction associated with Lord Shiva.
  • Culture Corridor: The Ministry of Culture will unveil a 'Culture Corridor' at Bharat Mandapam on the summit's opening day.

Chokuwa Rice Receives Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

Recently, Chokuwa rice, known as "Magic rice," has been honoured with the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag, recognizing its exceptional qualities and historical significance in Assam's culinary heritage.

Key Points:

  • Ancient Legacy: Chokuwa rice, often referred to as Magic rice, has been a dietary staple for centuries. It holds a significant place in history as a primary food source for the troops of the esteemed Ahom dynasty.
  • Geographical Origin: The cultivation of Chokuwa rice is exclusive to the Brahmaputra River region, spanning areas such as Tinsukia, Dhemaji, and Dibrugarh in Assam.
  • Sali Rice Base: Chokuwa rice is a semi-glutinous winter rice variety, specifically categorized as Sali rice. Its uniqueness lies in its sticky and glutinous characteristics, further categorized into Bora and Chokuwa types based on their amylose content.

'India AI' and Meta, India Sign MoU to Advance AI & Emerging Technologies

On 26th July, India AI, an IBD under Digital India Corporation, and Meta, India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster collaboration in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Emerging Technologies.

Key Points:

  • Collaboration in AI and Emerging Technologies: The objective is to establish a framework for cooperation between the two entities and make Meta's open-source AI models available for use in the Indian AI ecosystem.
  • Joint Research and Development Endeavors: The partnership aims to tackle large-scale challenges by leveraging cutting-edge AI technologies like Llama and other open-source solutions.
  • Establishing a Centre of Excellence: 'India AI' and Meta may consider establishing a Centre of Excellence to nurture the AI and other Emerging Technologies startup ecosystem.
  • The partnership will focus on building datasets in Indian languages, particularly for low-resource languages, to enable translation and large language models, promoting social inclusion and improving government service delivery.
  • Enhancing Accessibility to AI Compute Resources: Both organizations aim to enhance accessibility to AI compute resources for researchers, startups, and organizations with limited resources.
  • Workshops, seminars, conferences, and other platforms will facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration in AI and Emerging Technologies.
  • Developing AI Talent: 'India AI' and Meta are committed to developing programs and initiatives that enhance AI and Emerging Technologies skills and expertise among researchers, professionals, and students in India.
  • Promoting Responsible AI Practices: The collaboration seeks to raise awareness about AI's potential benefits and risks among various stakeholders, including policymakers, businesses, civil society, and the general public.

UAE's Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi Elected Chair of WTO's 13th Ministerial Conference

On 25th July, 2023, Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE's Minister for Foreign Trade, was elected as the chair of the World Trade Organisation's 13th Ministerial Conference scheduled for February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Key Points:

  • The announcement was made during the WTO General Council in Geneva, where Dr Al Zeyoudi met with the WTO director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
  • The conference will convene representatives from the 164 countries and customs blocs that constitute the WTO.
  • The conference's agenda includes reviewing the trading system's performance, making decisions on future work, and setting up the roadmap for the subsequent conference.

India and UK Conclude 11th Round of Talks on Free Trade Agreement

On 18th July, 2023, India and the UK have successfully concluded the eleventh round of negotiations for a proposed free trade agreement (FTA).

Key Points:

  • Hybrid Negotiations: As with previous rounds, the talks were conducted in a hybrid fashion, with some Indian officials present in London for negotiations while others participated virtually.
  • Technical Discussions: The negotiations involved nine policy areas and more than 42 separate sessions of technical discussions.
  • Upcoming 12th Round of Negotiations: The 12th round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in the coming month.

Foreign Investors Infuse Nearly Rs 44,000 Cr into Indian Equities in July

Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have continued their buying streak in Indian equities, investing nearly Rs 44,000 crore into the Indian equities market so far in July.

Key Points:

  • Total Investment: The total investment in the Indian capital markets reached Rs 46,427 crore.
  • Continuous Surpassing of Rs 40,000 Crore Mark: This marks the third consecutive month when net flows have exceeded the Rs 40,000 crore mark.
  • Continued Positive Trend: The consistent influx of foreign investment showcases the sustained confidence of foreign investors in the Indian equities market.

The da Vinci glow

On May 19, 2023, a glimpse of the Da Vinci glow was witnessed. It is a phenomenon that can happen around sunset when a crescent moon is on the horizon, but the outline of a full moon is visible.

About da Vinci glow

  • Named after Leonardo da Vinci: This phenomenon is named after the legendary Renaissance artist and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Leonardo da Vinci, in the 16th century, became the first person to describe this spectacle, intertwining his artistic perception with scientific curiosity.
  • Sky Retains A Touch Of Darkness: During the Da Vinci glow time, the sky retains a touch of darkness but is not completely devoid of light.
  • Emanates From Light Reflected By The Earth: This enchanting glow, also known as earthshine, emanates from light reflected by the Earth onto the moon's surface, making the lunar night an astounding 50 times brighter than a typical full-moon night on Earth.
  • Provided A Deeper Understanding: Although da Vinci's original explanation had flaws, subsequent advancements in technology and lunar missions have provided a deeper understanding of the da Vinci glow, enhancing the appreciation of this celestial phenomenon.
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