Today Current Affairs PDF 31 March 2023
Important Current Affairs for General pepar 2 and 3 – 30 march
(Governance, constitution, polity, social justice, and international affairs)
This news is mainly important for GS Paper 1 and 2, the given pdf covers the major points you will be having on it. You can get its complete information in PDF very well.
1- Saudi Arabia joins Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved on March 29 a decision to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as Riyadh builds a long-term partnership with China despite U.S. security concerns.
Saudi Arabia has approved a memorandum on granting the kingdom the status of a dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), state news agency SPA said.
The SCO is a political and security union of countries spanning much of Eurasia, including China, India, and Russia.
Riyadh’s growing ties with Beijing have raised security concerns in Washington, its traditional ally.
Washington says Chinese attempts to exert influence around the world will not change U.S. policy toward the Middle East.
The decision followed an announcement by Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) which raised its multibillion dollar investment in China on March 28, by finalising a planned joint venture in northeast China and acquiring a stake in a privately controlled petrochemical group.
2- Russia arrested American journalist
Russia on Thursday arrested an American journalist working for the Wall Street Journal on charges of espionage. Russia’s Federal Security Service i.e. FSB alleges that this journalist named Ivan Gershinkomovich was collecting information about Russia’s Military Industrial Complex at the behest of America.
The FSB said that Ivan was arrested in the town of Yektorambagan, about 900 miles from Moscow. The press statement said that a case has been filed against Ivan under Section 276 of the Criminal Code of Russia.
Could be 20 years imprisonment
His arrest comes amid rising tensions between Russia and the US over the war in Ukraine. The FSB alleged that Gershinkomovich was “gathering classified information about the activities of an enterprise of the Russian military industrial complex on the orders of the US.”
The FSB did not specify where the arrests were made. If convicted, Geshenkomovich could face up to 20 years in prison.
A similar arrest took place in the year 1986.
In the year 1986, the Moscow correspondent of US News & World Report, Nicolas Daniloff, was arrested by the KGB. Mancolas in exchange for the release of an employee working in the United Nations mission to the Soviet Union20 Madan was later released without charges. The employee was arrested by the FBI.
3- NGT upholds Rs 10 crore fine on Kerala
The National Green Tribunal (NGT), in March 2023, imposed a penalty of Rs 10 crore on the Kerala government for failing to protect the Vembanad and Ashtamudi lakes, which are included in the Ramsar list of wetlands.
The Principal bench in New Delhi, chaired by Adarsh Kumar Goel, noted that the penalty levied per the ‘polluter pays principle’ should be deposited in a ring-fenced account. The amount to be utilized under the chief secretary’s authority and must be for conservation or restoration measures.
Polluter Pays Principle
(PPP) states that those who pollute the environment should bear the costs of their actions to prevent or mitigate damage to the environment. The PPP is based on the idea that the polluter should pay for the costs of pollution, rather than passing them on to others.
The PPP was first introduced in 1972 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The principle has since been incorporated into various international environmental treaties and agreements, including the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
- Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance as per UNESCO’s 1971 Convention on Wetlands held in Ramsar, Iran.
- It is said that the certification brings visibility to ecologically sensitive wetlands and helps in conservation.
Why NGT slaps Penalty on Kerala Govt
- The order by NGT was made in lines with a petition alleging failure of statutory and administrative authorities in taking remedial action for protection of the Vembanad and Ashtamudi lakes hit by illegal waste dumping.
- The penalty was imposed on the basis of the ‘polluter pays principle’ which had to be deposited in a ring-fenced account to be operated under the authority of the Chief Secretary.
- The penalty of Rs. 10 crore has been imposed which had to be made within a month.
NGT Observations and Order
- The Bench said that the penalty imposed on the basis of the ‘polluter pays principle’ had to be deposited in a ring-fenced account to be operated under the authority of the Chief Secretary.
- The penalty of ₹10 crore had to be utilized for conservation/restoration measures by preparing an action plan to be preferably executed within six months.
National Green Tribunal
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is a specialized judicial body established in India in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, to handle cases related to environmental protection and conservation.
- The tribunal is headquartered in New Delhi.
- The tribunal comprises a chairperson and several judicial and expert members, who are appointed by the central government.
4- NCLAT upholds Rs 1,337 crore penalty on Google
In a significant ruling, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has upheld a penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore imposed by India’s competition regulation body on Google, for its anti-competitive conduct in the Android ecosystem. The tribunal held that a number of Google’s practices pointed to an abuse of dominance.
Key highlights of the order passed by NCLAT
- No confirmation bias in CCI’s order- NCLAT held that the CCI’s order does not suffer from any confirmation bias.
- Anti-competitive practices by google- Furthermore, NCLAT has held that Google asking the OEMs to pre-install the entire Google Suite of 11 applications amounts to imposition of unfair conditions.
- Google reduces the incentive of the OEMs to develop their own version of Android (Android
What is the background of the present case?
- In 2018, Android users moved the competition watchdog (CCI) alleging that Google was abusing its dominant position in the mobile operating system-related market.
- The CCI subsequently ordered an investigation by the director general (DG) of its investigative arm into this matter.
- In 2019, the CCI expressed a prima facie opinion that current practices followed by Google amounted to the imposition of unfair conditions on device manufacturers.
Why CCI had fined Google?
- CCI said that Google used its dominant position to make it mandatory that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) pre-install its entire Google Mobile Suite on their phones and place them prominently.
- The Mobile Suite includes Search, Chrome, YouTube, Google Play store, Maps, and Photos, among others.
- The CCI found that this mandate amounts to imposition of unfair conditions on the device manufacturers.
What CCI wants to change in Google?
- Apart from imposing monetary penalty, the commission has issued cease and desist orders against Google from indulging in the found anti-competitive practices.
- It also says that OEMs should not be mandated to choose Google’s proprietary applications and services to be pre-installed and placed as Google says.
5- India jumps 6 places to 144th rank in Passport Index 2023
On March 29 (Wednesday) the Passport Index published Passport Power Ranks for 2023. It shows the mobility scores of various countries across the world.
India’s ranking significantly declined by 6 places this year and the nation is positioned at 144th in 2023 as compared to 138 in 2022.
By whom is the ranking released?
- The Passport Index is the original interactive passport ranking tool in the world.
- Invented and empowered by Arton Capital, Canada it is the only real-time global ranking of the world’s passports, updated as frequently as new visa waivers and changes are implemented.
Reasons behind the decline of India:
India’s sharp decline has been linked to the European Union’s policy of introducing visa requirements for Indian nationals, placing pressure on countries like Serbia in 2023.
Despite record increases in mobility as the global and national economies reopen after the pandemic, India’s mobility score has dropped from 73 in 2022 to 70 in March 2023.
Base of the ranking
- To determine the individual rank of each passport, a three-tier method
- Mobility Score (MS) – includes visa-free (VF), visa on arrival (VOA), eTA and eVisa (if issued within 3 days)
- VF portion of their score vs VOA
- United Nations Development Program Human Development Index 2018 (UNDP HDI) is used as a tie breaker. The UNDP HDI is a significant measure on the country’s perception abroad.
Countries with the Most Powerful Passport Scores
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was on top of the passport ranking with an overall score of 181.
- Sweden beats Germany as it escalates to the 2nd number.
- South Korea bagged the 12th position. Japan got 26th place.
- China is currently ranked at 118th position in the Passport Index 2023.
Gk Current Affairs Questions and Answer
Q-1:- NASA to send 4 humans to live on Mars from which year?
a) June 2023
b) June 2024
c) June 2025
d) June 2026
Ans– a) June 2023
Q-2:- Recently, which country joins Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) as a ‘dialogue partner’?
a) Saudi Arabia
d) United Arab Emirates
Ans– a) Saudi Arabia
Q-3:- Which Indian-origin Sikh woman sworn as Connecticut’s first assistant police chief of Asian descent?
a) Manmeet Colon
b) Manpreet Monica
c) Nirbhai Kaur / Manbhanai Kaur
d) Tejal Mehta
Ans– a) Manmeet Colon
Q-4 :- According to Rajnath Singh, India’s defence exports will rise up to Rs 40,000 crore by which year?
Ans– a) 2026
Q-5:- Odisha declares which of the following Hill as biodiversity heritage site, recently?
Ans– a) Gandhamardan
Q-6 :- Which bank announces donation of ₹48 lakh for tree plantation, recently?
c) HDFC Bank
d) IDFC Bank
Ans– a) SBI
Q-7:- Recently, Who is appointed as IBA vicepresident?
a) Ajay Singh
b) Vijay Singh
c) Ansul punia
d) Barun Singh
Ans- a) Ajay Singh
Q-8:- Who will be the new brand ambassador of Star Sports in IPL-2023?
a) Ranveer Singh
b) Virat Kohli
c) Akshay Kumar
d) Hardik Pandya
Ans– a) Ranveer Singh
Q-9 :- Which brand is Announced by BCCI as its Official Partner for TATA IPL 2023?
Ans– a) Herbalife
Q-10 :- Who is the writer of the Book ‘War and Women’ unveiled at UN building?
a) Dr MA Hasan
b) Dr NA Hasan
c) Dr MA Hussain
d) Dr. NA Hassain
Ans– a) Dr MA Hasan
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