Today Current Affairs: 8th December 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Fifth Edition Of The European Union-India Competition Week:
The fifth edition of the European Union-India Competition Week is being held from December 5 to 7 this year in New Delhi.
- The European Union-India Competition Week is organized every year to provide a platform for exchanges between officials from the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition and the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
- Representatives from the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) and the Competition Commission of India participated in the fifth edition of the EU-India Competition Week.
- Belgian and French competitive authorities also took part in the 2022 edition.
- The discussions focused on best practices in competition policy and enforcement.
- The event covered wide range of topics like antitrust cases in the digital economy, the design and implementation of digital market regulations, and the investigation of certain agreements related to the transport sector and other atypical cartels.
- The focus was also given to sustainability goals in relation to the competition enforcement.
- It also focused on how regulations can supplement competition enforcement, as the EU has enacted the Digital Markets Act, which seeks to make digital economy more fairer and contestable.
India Inequality Report 2022: Digital Divide
According to ‘India Inequality Report 2022: Digital Divide’ released by the NGO Oxfam India – growing inequalities based on caste, religion, gender, class, and geographic location are being worryingly replicated in the digital space in India. Digital divide is a term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology (ICT), and those that do not or have restricted access.
Key Highlights of the report:
- Women constitute only one-third of internet users in India
- 61% of men-owned mobile phones compared to just 31 % of women in 2021
- Only 31 per cent of the rural population uses the Internet compared to 67 per cent of their urban counterparts
Maharashtra has the highest internet penetration, while Bihar has the lowest.
- Sikhs have the highest likelihood of having a computer followed by Christians, Hindus and lastly Muslims.
- The tendency to use formal financial services is lowest for ST households, followed by SC households and OBC households.
- The chances of having a computer are higher with higher levels of education as well as income.
- The likelihood of a digital payment by the richest 60 per cent is four times more than the poorest 40 per cent in India.
Set Up Divyang Department : Maharashtra
The state government of Maharashtra recently approved the formation of a separate government department for the divyang (differently abled).
- The announcement of this development came on the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons.
- This comes after 20 years of demand for a separate department for the welfare and security of differently abled people.
- Maharashtra is the first state in India to set up a separate department for Divyang .
- This department is established to serve the physically and mentally disabled people in the state both educationally and professionally.
- It seeks to ensure the welfare of the Divyangs and effectively implement various government schemes targeting them.
- As many as 2,063 posts have been created in the new department and a total outlay of Rs.1,143 crores is provided for it.
- Earlier, all complaints and issues related to differently-abled people came under the jurisdiction of Social Justice Department headed by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- All sections looking into the concerns of differently-abled people under the Social Justice and Special Assistance department will be clubbed together to form the Divyang department.
- All schemes implemented for the divyangs will be brought under one roof.
- Earlier, they are routed through the social justice and welfare department.
It has been reported that a cyclone may impact the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from 8th December 2022 onwards.
- Cyclone Mandous is a slow-moving cyclone that often absorbs a lot of moisture, carries a humongous amount of rainfall and gains strength in the form of wind speeds.
- The name has been suggested by the United Arab Emirates.
- India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) predicted that the storm system may move in the west and northwestward directions and intensify into a depression by the evening of December 6.
- It may subsequently strengthen further into a cyclone over southwest Bay of Bengal and move towards the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts by the morning of December 8.
- Cyclones that form in every ocean basin across the world are named by the regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs).
- There are six RSMCs in the world, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and five TCWCs.
- In 2000, a group of nations called WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), which comprised Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, decided to start naming cyclones in the region.
- After each country sent in suggestions, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) finalised the list.
National Security Advisor Meet:
The National Security Advisor (NSA) of India, for the first time, hosted a special meeting with his counterparts from Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- Earlier in January 2022, the Prime Minister of India hosted the first India-Central Asia Summit in virtual format.
Highlights about the Meetings of NSAs:
- This was the first time that NSAs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were in Delhi for a high-level security meeting.
- The meeting coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and the Central Asian countries.
- The focus was mainly on the security situation in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism originating from the country under the Taliban.
- The NSAs supported India’s proposal to include Chabahar port within the framework of the INSTC (International North-South Transport Corridor) connecting Iran to Russia via Central Asia.
- Deliberations over the need for collective and coordinated action against the “misuse of new and emerging technologies, arms and drugs trafficking, abuse of cyber space to spread disinformation and unmanned aerial systems”.
- During the summit, the leaders agreed to institutionalise the Summit mechanism by deciding to hold it biannually.
- An India-Central Asia Secretariat in New Delhi would be set up to support the new mechanism.
National Security Advisor in India:
- The National Security Advisor (NSA) is the primary advisor to the Prime Minister of India.
- He also presides over the National Security Council (NSC).
- The current NSA is Ajit Doval.
Growth Forecast For India’s Economy : World Bank
The World Bank recently lifted its growth forecast for India’s economy this year to 6.9%, after having downgraded it to 6.5% in October, 2022, citing resilience in economic activity despite a deteriorating external environment.
- It was released by World Bank.
- India Development Report titled ‘Navigating the Storm’.
- It revised the GDP forecast considering the strong upturn in the July to September quarter of 2022-23, when it grew 3% despite inflationary pressures and tighter financing conditions, “driven by strong private consumption and investment”.
- The government’s focus on bolstering capital expenditure also supported domestic demand in the first half of 2022-23.
- It expects the Indian economy to grow at a slightly slower 6.6% in 2023-24 as a challenging external environment and faltering global growth will affect its economic outlook through different channels.
- The report said that while a one percentage point decline in growth in the United States is associated with a 0.4 percentage point decline in India’s growth, the effect is around 1.5 times larger for other emerging economies, and the result is similar for growth spillovers from the EU and China.
- It cautions about trade-offs between trying to limit the adverse impact of global spillovers on growth and the available policy space.
- The RBI’s gradual withdrawal of liquidity and policy rate hikes have been aimed at anchoring inflation expectations.
- However, this has increased borrowing costs, which along with elevated input prices have potentially constrained private investment.
- RBI’s management of short-term volatility in exchange rates has contributed to a decline in reserves, though they are still at a relatively high level.
- A widening goods trade deficit, driven by rising imports and softening exports, has expanded India’s current account deficit to 2.8% of GDP in Q2 this year from 1.5% in the first quarter.
India Digital Payments Report For The Third Quarter Of 2022:
According to the ‘India Digital Payments Report’ for the third quarter of 2022, UPI clocked over 19.65 billion transactions worth ₹32.5 trillion.
- UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application.
- It does so by merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
- The interface is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.
- It was launched in 2016, by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
- In UPI, a user just needs to download the UPI app, register details, and create a virtual payment address (VPA). The user needs to link the VPA to their bank account.
- This VPA becomes the users’ financial address and the user need not remember the details like beneficiary account number, IFSC codes, or net banking user id and password for sending or receiving money.
- The UPI interface allows multiple bank accounts to be added into a single mobile application.
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
- National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.
- It is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, for creating a robust Payment & Settlement Infrastructure in India.
- It has been incorporated as a Not for Profit Company with an intention to provide infrastructure to the entire banking system in India for physical as well as electronic payment and settlement systems.
- The Company is focused on bringing innovations in the retail payment systems through the use of technology for achieving greater efficiency in operations and widening the reach of payment.
Artificial Intelligence-Powered ChatGPT
An artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT was released on the internet.
- The tool has been developed by OpenAI, a research institute founded in 2015.
- This tool ‘knew’ every topic under the sun; it could answer questions and carry on a conversation.
- This tool interacts with humans in natural language and is impressive because aside from answering general queries, it has many other functions.
- ChatGPT is much more than a chat bot.
- For example, you can ask it to write a program or even a simple software application.
- It can also do creative tasks such as writing a story. It can explain scientific concepts and answer any question that needs factual answers.
- ChatGPT is called a Language Model, rather than a chat bot.
- A language model is a software that prints out a sequence of words as output that are related to some words given as input with appropriate semantic relation; in practical terms, it means that it can perform tasks like answering questions and carrying on a conversation with humans.
- It is often used in natural language processing (NLP) applications, such as speech recognition, automatic translation, and text generation.
- The accuracy of ChatGPT or any language model can be measured using standard techniques.
- OpenAI is a research institute and company that focuses on developing artificial intelligence technology in a responsible and safe way.
- It was founded in 2015 by a group of entrepreneurs and researchers, including Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and Greg Brockman.
Print And Digital Media Association : Approved As a Self-Regulatory Body
The government has approved the Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA) as a self-regulatory body for publishers of news and current affairs across the country.
- The organisation with 47 digital news publishers on board will look at grievances related to digital media news content on their platforms.
- With this, the Ministry has approved nine self-regulatory bodies since May 2021 under rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
- They include DIGIPUB News India Foundation, Confederation of Online Media (India), and NBF- Professional News Broadcasting Standards Authority, among others.
- Self-regulatory bodies will “oversee and ensure adherence by the publisher to the code of ethics; address grievances which have not been resolved by publishers within 15 days; hear appeals filed by the complainant against the decision of publishers etc.
Jeevan Pramaan Patra : Digital Service For Pensioners
The Jeevan Pramaan Patra have been disbursed by the Government using the network of Postmen and Gramin Dak Sevaks in the country.
- Jeevan Pramaan is a biometric enabled digital service for pensioners.
- Pensioners of Central Government, State Government or any other Government organization can take benefit of this facility.
- The scheme was launched on November 10, 2014.
- In order to get this life certificate the individual drawing the pension is required to either personally present oneself before the Pension Disbursing Agency or have the Life Certificate issued by authority where they have served earlier and have it delivered to the disbursing agency.
- Using Jeevan Pramaan, a pensioner can now digitally provide proof of his/her existence to authorities for continuity of pension every year instead of requiring to present himself/herself physically or through a Life Certificate issued by specified authorities.
- The Digital Life Certificate facility is not available to Remarried or Re-employed Pensioners.
- They are required to submit the Life Certificate the conventional way to their Pension Disbursing Authority.