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Current Affairs 04 January 2023

CONTENTS

  1. Draft Rules for Online Gaming
  2. Savitribai Phule
  3. Systemically Important Banks
  4. Heat dome
  5. Purchasing Managers Index
  6. Stem Cell-derived Mitochondria Transplantation

Draft Rules for Online Gaming


Context:

Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has released the Draft Rules for Online Gaming.

  • The proposed rules have been introduced as an amendment to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Draft Rules for Online Gaming:
  2. Online gaming sector in India
  3. What is the Need for the Rules?
  4. What are some of the concerns?

About Draft Rules for Online Gaming:

Self Regulatory Body:

  • Only games that have been approved by the self-regulatory organisation will be permitted to legally function in India. Online games will need to register with the body.
  • There may be more than one self-regulatory body, and all of them must inform the Centre about the games they have registered along with a report outlining the requirements for registration.
  • The self-regulatory body will have a board of directors with five members from diverse fields, including online gaming, public policy, IT, psychology, and medicine.

Additional due diligence

  • Online gaming companies will need to conduct more due diligence, such as user KYC, transparent money withdrawal and refund processes, and a fair distribution of wins.
  • They must adhere to the KYC guidelines established for firms under Reserve Bank of India regulation (RBI).

Random Number Generation Certificate:

  • A Random Number Generation Certificate, which is often utilised by platforms that offer card games to ensure that game outputs are statistically random and unpredictable, will also be required of gaming companies.
  • Additionally, they must obtain a “no bot certificate” from a reputable certification organisation.

Betting:

  • Online gaming companies will not be allowed to engage in betting on the outcome of games.

Appoint a compliance officer

  • Similar to social media and e-commerce companies, online gaming platforms will also have to appoint a compliance officer who will ensure that the platform is following norms, a nodal officer who will act as a liaison official with the government and assist law enforcement agencies, and a grievance officer who will resolve user complaints.

Online gaming sector in India

  • The revenue of the Indian mobile gaming industry is expected to reach $5 billion in 2025.
  • The industry grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38 per cent in India between 2017-2020, as opposed to 8 per cent in China and 10 per cent in the US.
  • It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 per cent to reach Rs 153 billion in revenue by 2024, as per a report by VC firm Sequoia and management consulting company BCG.

What is the Need for the Rules?

  • The fact that between 40 and 45 percent of gamers in India are female makes maintaining the security of the gaming industry even more crucial.
  • It is thought to be a fantastic first step toward complete regulation of online gaming and will lessen the state-by-state regulatory fragmentation that has been a major obstacle for the sector.

What are some of the concerns?

  • The rules still bucket all gaming intermediaries into a broad category irrespective of size or risk.
  • They all require similar compliances, including the need to have India based officers.
  • This can make it difficult for global players to start their services in India.

-Source: The Hindu, Indian Express


Savitribai Phule


Context

On her 192nd birth anniversary, a look at the life of Savitribai Phule, India’s first woman teacher

Relevance:

GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Who was Savitribai Phule?
  2. The loud opposition to Phules’ schools
  3. Phule’s role as a social reformer, beyond education
  4. Savitribai’s literary works

Who was Savitribai Phule?

  • A Dalit woman from the Mali community, Savitribai was born on January 3, 1831, in Maharashtra’s Naigaon village.
  • Married off at the tender age of 10, her husband Jyotirao Phule is said to have educated her at home.
  • Later, Jyotirao admitted Savitribai to a teachers’ training institution in Pune.
  • Throughout their life, the couple supported each other and in doing so, broke many social barriers.
  • At a time when it was considered unacceptable for women to even attain education, the couple went on to open a school for girls in Bhidewada, Pune, in 1848.
    • This became the country’s first girls’ school.

The loud opposition to Phules’ schools

  • The Phules opened more such schools for girls, Shudras and Ati-Shudras (the backward castes and Dalits, respectively) in Pune, leading to discontent among Indian nationalists like Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
    • They opposed the setting up of schools for girls and non-Brahmins, citing a “loss of nationality”, and believing not following the caste rules would mean a loss of nationality itself.
  • The opposition to the couple was so hostile that eventually Jyotirao’s father Govindrao was forced to kick them out of his house.
  • Savitribai herself faced great animosity from the upper castes, including instances of physical violence.
  • But this would not deter the work and the schools came to be hailed as a success.

Phule’s role as a social reformer, beyond education

  • Savitribai Phule advocated inter-caste marriages, widow remarriage, and eradication of child marriage, sati and dowry systems, among other social issues.
  • The Phules also adopted Yashwantrao, the child of a widow, whom they educated to become a doctor.

Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha

  • Along with Jyotirao, Savitribai started the Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha (‘Home for the Prevention of Infanticide’) for pregnant widows facing discrimination.
  • This was inspired by a turn of events wherein a young Brahmin widow was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Andamans after she killed her newborn child.
  • The man who had raped the illiterate widow refused to take up any responsibility for the child, driving the widow to infanticide.

Satyashodhak Samaj:

  • In 1873, the Phules set up the Satyashodhak Samaj (‘Truth-seekers’ society’), a platform open to all, irrespective of their caste, religion or class hierarchies, with the sole aim of bringing social equity.
  • As an extension, they started ‘Satyashodhak Marriage’ – a rejection of Brahmanical rituals where the marrying couple takes a pledge to promote education and equality.

Balyata Pratibandak Gruha:

  • The couple also set up ‘Balyata Pratibandak Gruha’, a childcare centre for the protection of pregnant widows and rape victims.
  • Urging women to break free of caste barriers, Savitribai encouraged them to sit together at her meetings.

Husband’s funeral procession

  • At her husband’s funeral procession on November 28, 1890, Savitribai again defied convention and carried the titve (earthen pot).
  • Walking ahead of the procession, Savitribai was the one who consigned his body to the flames, a ritual which is still predominantly carried out by men.

Death:

  • Setting an extraordinary example of living a life of compassion, service and courage, Savitribai became involved in relief work during the 1896 famine in Maharashtra and the 1897 Bubonic plague.
  • She herself contracted the disease while taking a sick child to the hospital, and breathed her last on March 10, 1897.

Savitribai’s literary works

  • Savitribai Phule published her first collection of poems, called Kavya Phule (‘Poetry’s Blossoms’), at the age of 23 in 1854.
  • She published Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar (‘The Ocean of Pure Gems’), in 1892.
  • Besides these works, Matushri Savitribai Phlenchi Bhashane va Gaani (S’avitribai Phule’s speeches and songs’), and her letters to her husband have also been published.

-Source:  Indian Express


Systemically Important Banks


Context:

State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank have again been named as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Relevance:

GS III: Indian economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are Systemically Important Banks (SIBs)?
  2. How are D-SIBs determined?
  3. What regulations do these banks need to follow?

What are Systemically Important Banks (SIBs)?

  • Certain large banks in the nation or the world are thought of as SIBs. They have a big customer base, participate in cross-sector activities, and are seen as “Too Big to Fail (TBTF)” companies.
  • The system of D-SIBs was implemented in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which was made worse by the failure of numerous systematically important banks in numerous regions. A failure of one of these banks might result in a substantial and systemic disruption of the nation’s vital economic services and a financial panic.
  • Because of their significance, the government is expected to support major banks during economic downturns in order to prevent further harm.
  • D-SIBs follow a different set of regulations in relation to systemic risks and moral hazard issues.
Types of SIBs
  • Global SIBs: They are identified by BCBS (BASEL Committee on Banking Supervision)
  • Domestic SIBs: They are declared by Central Bank of the country

How are D-SIBs determined?

  • The list of all D-SIBs has been made available by the RBI since 2015.
  • They are divided into five buckets based on how significant they are to the overall economy.
  • The banks are further categorised on the extent of their importance across the five buckets and must have assets that exceed 2 percent of the national GDP in order to be recognised as a D-SIB.
  • The first bucket contains ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, the third bucket has SBI, and the fifth bucket contains the most significant D-SIBs.

What regulations do these banks need to follow?

  • Due to their economic and national importance, the banks need to maintain a higher share of risk-weighted assets as tier-I equity.
  • SBI, since it is placed in bucket three of D-SIBs, has to maintain Additional Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) at 0.60 percent of its Risk-Weighted Assets (RWAs).
  • ICICI and HDFC on the other hand, have to maintain Additional CET1 at 0.20 percent of their RWA due to being in bucker one of D-SIBs.

-Source:  The Hindu


Heat Dome


Context:

At least seven countries have recorded their hottest January weather ever. These included Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia. According to The Washington Post report, the continent is experiencing an extreme warm spell because of the formation of a heat dome over the region.

Relevance:

GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is a heat dome?
  2. How is a heat dome formed?

What is a heat dome?

  • A heat dome occurs when an area of high-pressure traps warm air over a region, just like a lid on a pot, for an extended period of time.
  • The longer that air remains trapped, the more the sun works to heat the air, producing warmer conditions with every passing day.
  • Heat domes generally stay for a few days but sometimes they can extend up to weeks, which might cause deadly heat waves.
  • Scientists suggest that any region of high pressure, whether a heat dome or not, forces air to sink and once it reaches the ground, it gets compressed and becomes even warmer.
  • Moreover, when air sinks, it gets drier and further raises the temperature of the area.

How is a heat dome formed?

  • The heat dome’s formation is related to the behaviour of the jet stream — an area of fast-moving air high in the atmosphere.
  • The jet stream is believed to have a wave-like pattern that keeps moving from north to south and then north again.
  • When these waves get bigger, they move slowly and sometimes can become stationary. This is when a heat dome forms.
  • Although heat domes are likely to have always existed, researchers say that climate change may be making them more intense and longer. 

-Source:  Indian Express


Purchasing Managers Index


Context:

As per the S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), the manufacturing sector in India had its most significant production growth in 13 months in December 2022.

  • For the October to December quarter, the PMI averaged 56.3, the highest in a year. It indicates that the manufacturing sector is performing well and may be contributing to job creation.

Relevance:

GS-III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development of Indian Economy, Mobilization of Resources)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)?
  2. Understanding PMI

What is Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)?

  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors.
  • It consists of a diffusion index that summarizes whether market conditions, as viewed by purchasing managers, are expanding, staying the same, or contracting.
  • The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision makers, analysts, and investors.
  • In simple words, Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is a measure of the prevailing direction of economic trends in manufacturing.
  • PMI is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception about key business variables as compared with the previous month.
  • The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision makers, analysts, and investors.
  • It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is also constructed.
  • PMI is compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide – IHS Markit is a global leader in information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide.

Understanding PMI

  • The PMI is a number from 0 to 100.
  • A print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction.
  • A reading at 50 indicates no change.
  • If PMI of the previous month is higher than the PMI of the current month, it represents that the economy is contracting.
  • It is usually released at the start of every month. It is, therefore, considered a good leading indicator of economic activity.
  • It is different from the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which also gauges the level of activity in the economy.
  • IIP covers the broader industrial sector compared to PMI.
  • However, PMI is more dynamic compared to a standard industrial production index.

-Source: The Hindu


Stem Cell-derived Mitochondria Transplantation


Context:

Recently, six children with rare disorders caused by deletion in the genomes of their mitochondria were successfully treated for the first time by Stem-cell derived Mitochondria Transplantation.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

What is the Stem Cell-derived Mitochondria Transplantation?

  • The process involved the mitochondrial transplant from donor mothers into children’s haematopoietic stem cells, which give rise to all types of blood cells.
  • It involves the spontaneous mitochondrial transfer of the stem cell to rescue the injured cells or the injection of stem cell isolated mitochondria into the injured area to repair the damage.
  • Stem cells are the most primitive cells at the top of the origin of cell lines, and they have a high capacity for differentiation and self-renewal.
  • In addition, stem cells can differentiate into various tissues, organs, or functional cells of the human body; therefore, stem cells hold great promise for therapeutic tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

-Source: The Hindu


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