Daily Current Affairs – 26-08-2023

    0
    721

    India-Iran drop Foreign Arbitration clause in Chabahar Port Issue

    Syllabus: GS2/ International Relations

    In News

    • India and Iran have agreed to drop the clause for arbitration in foreign courts concerning the Chabahar port.

    More about the News

    • This had been a hurdle for the framing of a long-term agreement around the facility.
    • This major development coincided with the decision of the BRICS grouping to admit Iran along with five other countries.
    • Both sides have agreed to pursue arbitration under rules framed by the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) which is favoured by India over other international trade arbitration mechanisms.

    Significance 

    • A longer- term agreement between India and Iran over Chabahar will ensure greater predictability and boost the confidence of stakeholders in the feasibility of the facility which is located in southeastern coast of Iran. 
    • The move is being interpreted as a step by India to stay ahead of China which has been showing interest in Iranian ports and infrastructure projects.
    • Apart from India and Iran, the resolution of the contentious issue will also help sanctions-hit Russia which has been eager to reach the Indian Ocean region through the 13-nation International North South Transport Corridor which passes through Chabahar.

     

    United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) 

    • About: It is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.
      • UNCITRAL was established in 1966 with a recognition that “international trade cooperation among States is an important factor in the promotion of friendly relations and, consequently, in the maintenance of peace and security”.
      • Its business is the modernization and harmonization of rules on international business.
      • There are 60 members in UNCITRAL elected for six years: 14 from Asia, 14 from Africa, 10 Latin American and Caribbean, 8 Eastern European and 14 western European and other states.
      • India in the recent past had described UNCITRAL as the “core legal body under the U.N. system in the field of international trade law
    • Role of UNCITRAL: UNCITRAL is formulating modern, fair, and harmonized rules on commercial transactions. Includes:
      • Conventions, model laws and rules which are acceptable worldwide
      • Legal and legislative guides and recommendations of great practical value
      • Updated information on case law and enactments of uniform commercial law
      • Technical assistance in law reform projects
      • Regional and national seminars on uniform commercial law

    Chabahar Port: Key Facts

    • Location: It is a seaport in Chabahar located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman.
      • It consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti.
      • It is only about 170 kilometres west of the Pakistani port of Gwadar.

    • History: Development of the port was first proposed in 1973 by the last Shah of Iran, though development was delayed by the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

    • Strategic location: India needs access to iron from Afghanistan’s Hajigak mine and other natural resources from the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, which is made possible by the Chabahar port. 
    • Central Asia Region: Central Asia is a subregion of Asia that stretches from the 
      • Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east 
      • From Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. 
      • The region consists of the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
      • Major rivers of the region include: The Amu Darya, the Syr Darya, Irtysh, the Hari River and the Murghab River

    Source: TH

    7th GEF Assembly 

    Syllabus: GS3/ Environment, Conservation

    In News

    • Environmental leaders from 185 countries gathered in Vancouver, Canada for the Seventh Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

    About

    • This meeting comes at a time of significant diplomatic momentum with the historic Global Biodiversity Framework deal reached at COP15 and the high seas treaty agreed on in New York City, New York, in March 2023.

    Global Environment Facility (GEF)

    • It is the global body that coordinates financing for international efforts to address climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and factors inhibiting land and ocean health.
    • It was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and meets every 4 years. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a founding member of the GEF.
    • The GEF Trust Fund was established to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Funds are available to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements.
    • The GEF was selected to manage the new fund at the COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity summit in December 2022

    Key Highlights of Meeting

    • Establishment of Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF): The Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) was finally ratified and launched . 
      • The new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) has been designed to mobilize and accelerate investment in the conservation and sustainability of wild species and ecosystems, whose health is under threat from wildfires, flooding, extreme weather, and human activity including urban sprawl.
      • Governments, non-profits and the private sector can now contribute their funds here to ensure that the world meets the goals and targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) formulated by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) by 2030. 
    • Prioritizing  LDSs: It will also prioritize support for Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries, which will receive more than a third of the fund’s resources. This is the first time there would be funds channeled to non-state actors like the indigenous communities.
      • Under Target 19 of GBF, at least $200 billion per year will need to be raised by 2030.

    Need of such an initiative

    • The launch of the GBFF has been particularly significant as it aims to address and assist the brunt of climate change borne by developing countries. 
    • By allocating a third of the funds resources to least developed states and 20% to indigenous communities, it aims to take concrete steps in conserving wild species and protecting biodiversity for future generations.

    Source: DTE

    China-Bhutan boundary dispute and its impacts on India 

    Syllabus :GS 2/International Relations 

    In News

    • The 13th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the China-Bhutan boundary issues was held recently .

    Key Highlights 

    • Both the countries have agreed to establish a joint technical team and to take “simultaneous steps” to expedite the implementation of a ‘three-step roadmap’ that will lead to the demarcation of boundaries.
    • The two sides also agreed upon keeping the positive momentum of frequent Expert Group Meetings, holding the 14th Expert Group Meeting on the China-Bhutan Boundary Issues as soon as possible and maintaining communication on holding the 25th Round of China-Bhutan Boundary Talk

    Dispute 

    • Bhutan shares a 477 km-long border with China and among all the contentious places, the key issue is a strategic plateau called Doklam 
    • Doklam is an area comprising a plateau and a valley at the trijunction between India, Bhutan and China.
    •  It is surrounded by the Chumbi Valley of Tibet, Bhutan’s Ha Valley and Sikkim.
      • Despite several rounds of engagement between China and Bhutan, the dispute between the two over Doklam has not been resolved.

    Various Agreements

    • The boundary talks between Bhutan and China began in 1984, and the 24th round was held in 2016.
      • They also signed two agreements: the Guiding Principles on the Settlement of the Boundary Issues in 1988, and the Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the border areas in 1998 to set the base for their talks that basically focus on disputed areas to Bhutan’s North, and to its West, abutting the Doklam plateau. 
    • However, these have been stalled since 2016, especially after the 2017 Doklam incident between the Indian and Chinese armies.

    Impacts on India 

    • Experts in India have said any deal between Bhutan and China that accedes to a “swap arrangement” between areas to the North (Jamparlung and Pasamlung valleys) with Doklam to the West would be of concern to India, given the proximity to India’s narrow “Siliguri corridor” that connects northeastern states with the rest of India. 
      • India and China were involved in a stand-off in Doklam near the India-China-Bhutan trijunction in 2017.
    • It views Chinese presence near Doklam as a major security concern close to the strategic Siliguri corridor. 

    Way Ahead for India 

    • Doklam is near India’s Siliguri corridor and was the site of a long standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in 2017.
    • Any development in the China-Bhutan boundary negotiations will be keenly watched by India
    • India will monitor any move to take forward the China-Bhutan talks. 

    Source: TH

    Indian Coast Guard signs MoU with Philippines Coast Guard 

    Syllabus: GS-2/International Relations

    Context: 

    • Recently, the Indian Coast Guard has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Philippine Coast Guard to enhance maritime cooperation.

    About

    • The MoU seeks to enhance the professional linkage between the two Coast Guards in the domain of Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE), Maritime Search & Rescue (M-SAR) and Marine Pollution Response (MPR). 
    • It will enhance bilateral maritime cooperation between the two nations for ensuring safe, secure and clean seas in the region.

    India-Philippines Relations

    • Background: 
      • The pre-colonial ties are evident in centuries-old ancestral gold jewelry from the maritime kingdoms of the Philippines depicting the “kinnari” of Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
      • Soon after both nations got independence in 1949, they formally established diplomatic ties. On July 11, 1952, India and the Philippines signed a Treaty of Friendship in Manila to solidify and maintain their cordial ties.
    • Political:
      • In 1992, India began implementing its Look East Policy and expanding its relationship with ASEAN. This led to closer bilateral and regional ties with other nations in the region, including the Philippines.
      • The connection with the Philippines has expanded further into the areas of political security, trade and industry, and people-to-people relations since the implementation of the Act East Policy in 2014.
      • India’s bid for non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council for the period 2011–12 was supported by the Philippines, and discussions between the delegations of the two nations in the UN and other multilateral areas.
    • Defence:
      • The mainstay of bilateral defence cooperation continues to be capacity building and training, exchange visits of delegations and naval and coast guard ship visits. 
      • The Philippines attended the Def-Expo in April 2018 and is scheduled to attend the Lucknow-based Def-Expo in 2020.
    • Economic:
      • Improvements in market access to the Philippines and invitations to Indian businesses operating in several areas.
      • The bilateral investment promotion and protection pact is now being renegotiated.
      • Both nations often hold extensive discussions on regional and global matters of shared interest, placing special emphasis on the peaceful resolution of problems and observance of international law.
    • Maritime:
      • The importance of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is emphasized by the ministers, who also urge the operationalization of the SOP for the White Shipping Agreement between the Indian Navy and the Philippines Coast Guard.
      • The two countries’ coast guards are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on improved maritime cooperation soon.

    Source: PIB

    India-Greece Relations

    Syllabus: GS2/International Relations

    In News

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic.

    Outcomes of the Summit

    • Upgrade in Relations: Both the countries upgraded Greek-Indian bilateral ties to the level of a “Strategic Partnership” and agreed to work to further expand bilateral cooperation in political, security and economic spheres.
    • Bilateral Trade: The leaders also directed that both sides shall work to double bilateral trade by 2030.
    • MOU: They took note of the signing of the MOU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture, including the establishment of a Hellenic-Indian Joint Sub-committee on Agriculture for facilitating sectoral cooperation for mutual benefit. 
    • Free Movement of Workforce: Both leaders agreed that an early finalization of a Mobility and Migration Partnership Agreement (MMPA) would be mutually beneficial, facilitating in particular the free movement of workforce between the two countries.

    Tomb of Unknown Soldier

    • The Prime Minister paid tributes at the ‘Tomb of Unknown Soldier’ in Athens.
    • It is a war memorial located in Syntagma Square in Athens, in front of the Old Royal Palace. It is a cenotaph dedicated to the Greek soldiers killed during various wars.
    • Thereafter, he was accorded a Ceremonial Guard of Honour.

    Grand Cross of the Order of Honour

    • The Prime Minister was conferred with the Grand Cross of the Order of Honour by the President of Greece.
    • He is the first foreign Head of Government to receive this honour.
    • The Grand Cross of the Order of Honour is conferred by the President of Greece to prime ministers and eminent personalities who by reason of their distinguished position, have contributed to enhancing the stature of Greece.
      • The Order of Honour was established in 1975. 

    Overview of India and Greece Relations

    • Diplomatic relations between Greece and India were established in 1950.
    • Greece participated with India in the Six-National Delhi Declaration on Nuclear Disarmament in 1985. 
    • Both the countries pledged reciprocal support for election to the non-Permanent seat in UNSC. 
      • It supported India at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group in 2008, and 2016, MTCR, WASSENAAR arrangements, Australia Group. 
    • The country has also refrained from taking a diplomatic position on controversial issues in India’s domestic politics.
    • Institutional Mechanism: The two main forums for conducting bilateral talks are: Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and Foreign Office Consultations (FOC).  It meets alternatively in Delhi and Athens.
    • Greece has consistently been supportive of India’s core foreign policy objectives and India concurs with Greece’s emphasis on promoting international law and regional security.
    • The economic and commercial relations between the two countries continue to grow. The bilateral trade stood at nearly $2 billion in 2022-23.
    • At the military level, India and Greece had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defence Cooperation in 1998, which was followed by joint programmes of the two militaries and periodic visits of Indian warships at the Souda Bay in Crete, the most important naval base in the Mediterranean Sea.
      • After 1998, military interactions have been visiting by our NDC teams (2002, 2003, 2008 and 2022), transits by IAF Mirage 2000 ferries in 2004 involving a landing in Greece and two port calls by 2 Indian Naval Ships in 2003 and visits of 4 Indian Naval ships in July 2006 and 2009.

    Significance of India-Greece Cooperation

    • Location and Position of Greece: Greece is a member of both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union (EU), and its location in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea makes it a country embedded in the Western security network. 
      • It has emerged as a dynamic independent sea power in the Mediterranean, upgrading its military power, diplomatic network with its allies especially the United States (US) and France, and also with both Israel and the Arab states.

    • A new international order uniting three major seas (Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Gulf) and three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) is being witnessed. 
    • The addition of India as the major pole of this network shall create a powerful bloc, extending from Europe and the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean and the Himalayas. 
    • Support on Mutual Interest: At the diplomatic level, India and Greece can support each other on issues of mutual interest. 
    • Indo- Pacific Region: Greece is a seafaring nation and it currently hosts one of the greatest merchant fleets globally and thus its vital interests are structurally intertwined with freedom of movement in the seas. This is a common ground with India, a leading power in the Indo-Pacific region.
    • Joint Exercises: The presence of Indian naval forces in the Mediterranean in the framework of joint Indo-Greek aeronautical exercises would be a clear symbolic and practical message of power projection across the Eurasian landmass. 
      • Strategic partnership with Greece, a NATO and EU member, would further strengthen the notion of India as a valuable partner of Europe in Asia.

    Way Ahead

    • A few decisive steps have already been undertaken to promote relations between the two countries, and some specific additional steps can further enhance and deepen the strategic cooperation between India and Greece.
    • India is the core state of Asia and a global power, while Greece is an essential partner in the Mediterranean Sea and a member of both NATO and the EU. The two countries can deepen their cooperation in various fields by building on their military and diplomatic synergies
    • The strategic alignment of India and Greece in the new geopolitical environment would cater to the national interests of both countries.

    Source: TH

    Near vs Far sides of the Moon

    Syllabus:GS3/Science and Technology, Space

    News

    • The Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-3 landed on the near side of the moon.

    What is the near side of the moon?

    • The near side refers to the portion of the moon (about 60%) that is visible to us. 
    • It is always the same side that is visible from Earth because the moon takes the same time to rotate about its axis as it does to circle around the Earth. However this doesn’t imply that half the moon is in perpetual darkness.

    What is the far side of the moon?

    • The ‘dark side’ is always faced away from the Earth.Thus it is dark only in the sense that it is mysterious and its various topographical features are hidden. 
    • The ‘new moon’ or when the moon is invisible from Earth is the time when the other ‘far side’ of the moon is bathed in sunlight and continues to receive light for nearly a fortnight. 
    • Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 in 1959 photographed it and the Soviet Academy of Sciences released an atlas of these images. Astronauts aboard the Apollo 8 mission of 1968 were the first humans to see the far side of the moon.

    Difference between the Near side and far side

    • The major difference between the two sides is that the near side is relatively smoother and has many more ‘maria’ or large volcanic plains compared to the far side. 
    • On the far side, there are huge craters, thousands of kilometers wide, which have likely resulted from collisions with asteroids. 
    • While both sides of the moon in its formative phase were similarly bombarded, the crust on the near side is thinner because of which, the volcanic lava in the lunar crust has flowed more extensively into the thinner side and filled up its craters. 
    • The resulting plains that have thus formed are far more conducive to space missions because they provide relatively flat terrain for landers and rovers.

     

    Source:TH

    Facts In News

    Tele-Law 2.0

    Syllabus: GS2/Governance, Government policies & intervention

    News

    • The Tele-Law 2.0 initiative was launched by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice.

    What is Tele-Law?

    • Tele-Law means the use of communications and information technology for the delivery of legal information and advice. This is an e-interaction between lawyers and people through the video-conferencing infrastructure available at the Common Services Center( CSCs).
    • The Tele-Law programme was launched by the Ministry of Law and Justice in 2017 to address cases at the pre–litigation stage.
    • The program is operating under the DISHA Scheme to advance the cause of access to justice.

    Objective of Tele-Law

    • The concept of Tele-Law is to facilitate delivery of legal advice through a panel of lawyers stationed at the front office of Legal Services Authorities and CSC. 
    • It is a service that uses video conferencing facilities and telephone services to connect lawyers to litigants who need legal advice.
    • The program is a commitment to fulfill the Constitutional mandate of Article 39 A to ensure access to justice.

    Tele-Law 2.0

    • This event integrates legal advice service under Tele-Law with legal representation services under Nyaya Bandhu (Pro Bono) programme.
    • This seamless amalgamation is set to establish a direct connection between those seeking legal aid and pro bono advocates, fostering a dynamic ecosystem that guarantees accessible justice for all citizens.

    Nyaya Bandhu program

    • The initiative is to establish a framework for dispensation of pro bono legal services across the country. Under the program, practicing advocates, interested in volunteering their time and services, are connected, via mobile technology, with eligible marginalized beneficiaries. 
    • Under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authority Act 1987, applicants who are marginalized or disadvantaged including ST, SC, victims of trafficking or begging, women or children, PWDs, and other eligible categories, are entitled to get free legal aid & advice through the Department of Justice’s Nyaya Bandhu program.

    Designing Innovative Solutions for Holistic Access to Justice” (DISHA) Scheme

    • The scheme aims to design and consolidate various initiatives to provide citizen- centric delivery of legal services.It was launched for a period of five years 2021-2026.
    • Under DISHA at present Tele-Law: Reaching the Unreached, Nyaya Bandhu (Pro Bono Legal Services) and Legal Literacy and Legal Awareness programmes are being implemented at a pan India level.

    Source: PIB

    G. Padmanabhan Committee

    Syllabus: GS3/ Economy

    Context:

    • International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) forms a committee to ‘Onshoring the Indian Innovation to GIFT IFSC’.

    About the Committee:

    • It is chaired by G. Padmanabhan, former executive director, Reserve Bank of India, focusing on the nuances from regulatory, tax, legal and other perspectives.
      • To identify measures to encourage new Fintechs to have a global outlook to set up their commercial presence in GIFT IFSC.
    • Members: It comprised representatives from leading Venture Capital funds, Startups, Fintechs, Law firms, Tax firms and other domain experts.

    Objectives of the Committee:

    • Understanding the reasons for shifting of Indian startups outside India;
    • To avoid externalisation of startups in the future;
    • To persuade startups, currently externalised, to redomicile back;
    • To examine the provisions of the RBI directions pertaining to transfer of stressed loans by lending institutions to entities in IFSCA;

    About International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA)

    • It was established in 2020 under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019.
    • It is headquartered at GIFT City, Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

    Role of IFSCA

    • It is a unified authority for the development and regulation of financial products, financial services and financial institutions in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in India.
    • At present, the GIFT IFSC is the maiden international financial services centre in India.
      • Prior to the establishment of IFSCA, the domestic financial regulators, namely, RBI, SEBI, PFRDA and IRDAI regulated the business in IFSC.

    Objectives:

    • The IFSCA was established as a unified regulator to promote ease of doing business in IFSC and to provide a world class regulatory environment.
    • To develop a strong global connect and focus on the needs of the Indian economy as well as to serve as an international financial platform for the entire region and the global economy as a whole.

    PIB

    C-DOT’s TRINETRA

    Syllabus: GS3/ Security

    Context

    • Center for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) inaugurated the Enterprise Security Operation Centre (ESOC) at C-DOT campus, New Delhi and launched TRINETRA, a cyber threat detection and resolution system.

    About TRINETRA

    • It is a combination of multiple security systems like Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Security Orchestration and Automated Response (SOAR), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), User Entity and Behaviour Analytics (UEBA), Multi-Source Threat Intelligence and others.
    • It provides 24X7 real-time actionable cyber-security status and detection and resolution of cyber-threats (Virus, Malware, Ransomware, Spyware etc) by providing end-to-end security solutions to the organisations for detection, analysis and mitigation of cyber security threats.
    • TRINETRA is capable of protecting critical digital infrastructure of various Government departments from ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.
    • It performs security evaluation of IT assets of organisations by protecting endpoints including PC, Laptop, Servers and virtual machines (VMs) by detection, analyses and mitigation of vulnerabilities.
      • It is designed to generate AI enabled automated responses to cyber threats ensuring protection of sensitive data.

    About Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT)

    • It was established in August 1984 as an autonomous Telecom R&D centre of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India.
    • It is a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
    • It is a registered ‘public funded research institution’ with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.
    • It observed its 40th Foundation Day celebration on 25 August 2023.

    PIB

    G20 Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting

    Syllabus: GS2/Important International Institutions

    In News

    • Trade and Investment Ministers of G20 nations agreed recently to map global value chains, integrate small businesses with them and ease trade documentation. 

    About

    • The three annexes sum up the outcomes of the meet.
      • First, a G20 generic framework for mapping global value chains, to understand where the problems are and what needs to be done to make value chains more inclusive, sustainable and shock-proof. 
      • Second annexe addresses micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It’s a Jaipur call for action for enhancing MSMEs’ access to information and to strengthen the ability of MSMEs.   
      • The third annexe relates to high-level principles on digitalisation of trade documents so that paper documents and impediments to seamless flow of goods and services will be curbed.

    G20 Grouping

    • The G20 is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the IMF and the World Bank.
    • The G20 membership accounts for 
      • two-thirds of the world’s population, 
      • 85% of global gross domestic product, 
      • 80% of global investment and 
      • over 75% of global trade.
    • The members of the G20 are 
      • USA, Canada, Mexico; 
      • Argentina, Brazil;
      • EU, Germany, France, UK, Italy;
      • South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Turkey;
      • India; Indonesia; Australia;
      • Russia, China, South Korea and Japan.
    • The G20 Summit is held annually with a rotating presidency, and in 2023, India holds the presidency. 
    • The group does not have a permanent secretariat and is supported by the previous, current, and future holders of the presidency, known as the troika.
    • The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.

    Source: TH

    India Smart Cities Awards Contest (ISAC) 2022

    Syllabus: GS2/ Governance

    In News

    • India Smart Cities Awards Contest (ISAC) 2022 winners have been announced recently.

    Smart Cities Mission 

    • It was launched in 2015, aimed at providing core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment and a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of ‘smart solutions’.
    • The Mission is operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. 
    • 100 Smart Cities have taken up projects across diverse sectors related to mobility, energy, water, sanitation, solid waste management, vibrant public spaces, social infrastructure, smart governance, etc. 
    • The six fundamental principles on which the concept of Smart Cities is based are:

    • Of the total proposed projects under SCM, 76% projects have been completed and the remaining will be completed by 2024.
    • Most notable milestone achieved in the Mission has been the Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC) which is operational in all 100 Smart Cities. 
      • These ICCCs work as the brain and nervous system for city operations, using technology for urban management. 

    The India Smart Cities Award Contest (ISAC)

    • ISAC is organized under the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India. 
    • Pioneering city strategies, projects and ideas are recognized to award exemplary performance, enable peer-peer learning and disseminate best practices. 
      • The ISAC recognizes and rewards the cities, projects and innovative ideas that are promoting sustainable development across the 100 smart cities, as well as stimulating inclusive, equitable, safe, healthy and collaborative cities, thus enhancing quality of life for all.
    • In the past, the ISAC has witnessed three editions in 2018, 2019 and 2020. 
    • The ISAC 2022 award had a two-stage submission process consisting of ‘Qualifying Stage’, which involved overall assessment of the city’s performance, and the ‘Proposal Stage’ which required the smart cities to submit their nominations for six award categories as follows:
      • Project Awards: 10 different themes,
      • Innovation Awards: 2 different themes,
      • National/Zonal City Awards,
      • State Awards,
      • UT Award, and
      • Partners Awards, 3 different themes

    Source: PIB

    Nagarnar Steel Plant

    Syllabus: GS3/ Economy

    Context

    • The Nagarnar Steel Plant has started the production of Hot Rolled (HR) Coil, its final product.

    About the NMDC’s Integrated Steel Plant at Nagarnar (NISP)

    • It is located in the Nagarnar in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
    • The Plant is set to produce high grade Hot Rolled (HR) steel, with a capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).
    • Its competitive advantage also stems from its iron ore supply linkage with Bailadila mines, barely 100 kms from Nagarnar. 
    • It has the unique distinction of internationally being the only steel plant to be set up by a mining company.

    National Mineral Development Corporation (NDMC):

    • It is the largest producer of iron ore in India, and was incorporated in 1958 as a Government of India public enterprise, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel.
    • It has been involved in the exploration of a wide range of minerals including copper, rock phosphate, limestone, magnesite, diamond, tungsten and beach sands amongst others in some of the most remote corners of the country.

    Applications

    • Products, specifically Hot Rolled, are required in the manufacturing of LPG cylinders, bridges, steel structures, ships, large diameter pipes, storage tanks, boilers, railway wagons and pressure vessels and in construction of tanks, railway cars, bicycle frames, engineering and military equipment, automobile & truck wheels, frames and body parts.

    PIB

    John Warnock

    Syllabus: GS3/ Miscellaneous

    Context

    • Recently, John Warnock (the co-founder of Adobe) has passed away, leaving behind the legacy of technological innovation.

     About John Warnock

    • He is known for creating  the Portable Document Format (PDF).
    • Both Warnock and Charles Geschke founded Adobe in 1982. 
    • In 2009, Warnock and Geschke were awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. 
      • The award is the highest US honor for technological innovation and achievement.
    • They developed PostScript, which is useful for small-scale printing and paves the way for ground-breaking PDF technology. He also developed InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

    What is a Portable Document Format (PDF)?

    • The PDF is an open standard, maintained by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). 
    • PDF documents can contain links and buttons, form fields, audio, video and business logic. 
    • They can be signed electronically and you can easily view PDF files on Windows or Mac OS using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
    • In 1991, Warnock launched the paper-to-digital revolution with an idea he called, The Camelot Project. 
    • The goal was to enable anyone to capture documents from any application, send electronic versions of these documents anywhere and view and print them.

    Source: IE

    Chess World Cup

    Syllabus :Miscellaneous

    In News

    • 18-year-old chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa has finished as runner-up in the FIDE Chess World Cup held at Baku, Azerbaijan. 
      • He lost the summit clash to Norway’s world No.1 Magnus Carlsen.

    About Chess World Cup

    • It has been the major  chess event since its inception in 2000.
    • It is organised by the International Chess Federation(FIDE).
    • Since 2005, it has been a 128-player single-elimination chess tournament.
    • This event is held every two years.
    • The FIDE World Cup 2023 (hereinafter referred to as World Cup) was organised in Baku from 29 July to 25 August 2023. 

    Source: IE