Daily Current Affairs for 16th July 2022

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NIRF Rankings 2022

GS Paper 2: Governance, Issues related to the development and management of the social sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resource
Important for
Prelims exam: NIRF ranking
Why in news
The Union Education Minister released the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) Rankings 2022 through a virtual conference.

About NIRF Ranking

• The NIRF was approved and launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development(now education ministry ) on 29th September 2015.
• The NIRF Rankings for colleges, universities, and institutes are adopted based on
o Quality of teaching, learning and resources
o Research and professional practice
o Graduation outcomes
o Outreach and inclusivity
o Peer perception
• This annual exercise outlines a methodology to rank HEIs(Higher Education Institute) across India in various categories and subject domains.
• NIRF Rankings 2022 for India was released in 11 categories including Overall, Universities, Management, Colleges, Pharmacy, Medical, Engineering, Architecture, ARIIA (Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements), and Law and Research Institutions.
Outcomes of the NIRF ranking
• Indian Institute of Technology, Madras retained the top position in NIRF Rankings 2022.
o It grabbed the 1st rank in India in the Overall and in Engineering categories, & 2nd rank in the Research in India category.
• In the Universities category, IISc Bangalore was ranked first, while AIIMS Delhi as the top medical college, and NLSIU Bengaluru as the best law institute. IIM Ahmedabad topped the management category, Miranda House topped the top college list in India whereas IIT Roorkee won the architecture category.
• IISc and JNU (rank 2) continue to retain their top slots, this year, Jamia Millia Islamia has improved its position from rank 6 last year to rank 3 by replacing Banaras Hindu University which has now slipped to rank 6. Calcutta University was ranked fourth in 2021 which has now slumped to rank 8.


GS Paper 2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests
Important for
Prelims exam: SCO
Mains exam: India and its neighbourhood
Why in news
The Indian city of Varanasi will be the first city to be granted the rotating title of “Cultural and Tourism Capital” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) region.
Aim of this title
The title aims to promote people-to-people contacts and tourism among the member states. India will chair SCO from September 2022 to September 2023. SCO will rotate the title of ‘Cultural and Tourism Capital’ among the member states.

What does the title mean?

• Every year, a city having cultural heritage from the member country that takes over the rotating Presidency of the organisation will be bestowed with the title.
• The title will help in promoting the cultural values of the city and add to values- economic, social, and more.
• According to Secretary-General of SCO, people-to-people cooperation is an important area under the SCO framework and member states are very proactive and positive and implemented a large number of cooperation in cultures.
• The new initiative will come into force after the Samarkand summit to be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 15-16, 2022. Thereafter, India will take over the Presidency and host the next Heads of the State summit.

About SCO

• The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.
• The historical meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held on 8-9 June 2017 in Astana. On the meeting the status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
• The SCO’s main goals are as follows: strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states;
o Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas.
o Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
• The organisation has two permanent bodies:
o the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and
o the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.
Thus, currently:
• the SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan;
• the SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Mongolia;
• the SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

INS Dunagiri

GS Paper 3: Developments in Science and Technology, Security challenges and their management
Important for
Prelims exam: INS Dunagiri, Project 17A
Mains exam: India’s role as a net security provider in Indian Ocean and Preparedness to deal with china’ threat.
Why in news
The Defence Minister launched the Indian Navy Ship (INS) Dunagiri into the Hooghly River near Kolkata. The ship is one of seven stealth frigates that India is constructing under Project 17A.

About Dunagiri

• Dunagiri is the reincarnation of an earlier frigate with the same name.
• The former one was a Leander class ASW frigate, which in her 33 years of service from May 1977 to October 2010, had witnessed various challenging operations and multinational exercises. It was decommissioned in October 2010.
• The 17A frigates were christened after the former-Nilgiri-class frigates, which served in the Indian Navy between 1972 and 2013.
• The first six ships of the series were allotted the names utilized by the older class Nilgiri, Himgiri, Taragiri, Udaygiri, Dunagiri, and Vindhyagiri.

Project-17Alpha frigates (P-17A)
The Nilgiri-class frigates, also known as Project-17 Alpha frigates (P-17A), are a line of guided-missile frigates being manufactured for the Indian Navy by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL) as well as Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).

Project 17
The Project 17 (P17) standard frigate (and the follow-on P-17A) will be the Indian Navy’s new stealthy multi-role surface combatant for the 21st century. Cabinet approval for this project was given in 1997, followed by a Letter of Intent (LoI) to the ship’s builders, Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) in February 1998. The Indian Navy formally ordered the first three units in early 1999. However, production commenced about two years later due to delays resulting from specification changes to the hull steel and protracted delivery schedule of the Russian-sourced D-40S steel along with the non-availability of design inputs from the Naval Design Bureau (NDB) for the weapons suite.

• All frigates of Project 17 are named after a mountain range in the country, starting with INS Shivalik launched in 2010, INS Satpura launched in 2011 and INS Sahyadri in 2012.

Religious significance

Lord Hanuman brought the whole Dronagiri mountain to bring the ‘sanjeevani booti’ for Lord Laxman.

Stealth aids in Naval defence missions
• INS Dunagiri is the fourth warship of Project 17A, the series of guided-missile frigates, currently being built for the Indian Navy by MDL and GRSE.
o The first two warships of Project 17A, INS Nilgiri and INS Himgiri were launched in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
o The third ship, INS Udaygiri was launched in May this year.
• This series includes highly advanced, 6,600-tonne, guided missile frigates with cutting-edge stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors, and platform management systems.
• The ships are designed with extensive use of low-observability technologies, including the use of composite materials and radar-absorbing coatings. These materials assist the vessel in maintaining a low radar cross-section (RCS).
• Further, the vessel’s physical profile also aids in stealth. It has an enclosed mooring deck, flush deck-mounted weapon systems and a reduced number of antennae.
• The ship has a discreet physical build and visual profile along with an improved roll stabilisation.
• This enables it to voyage into enemy territory in a trice during maritime conflicts.
A step towards ‘Aatmanir­bharta’
• All the guided missile frigates of Project 17A, including Dunagiri, have been designed indigenously by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND), which has also spearheaded the designs of many other classes of homemade warships in the past.
• This is a testimony of the nation’s unwavering efforts towards ‘Aatmanir­bharta’ as 75 percent of the orders for the warships’ equipment and systems are also being placed on indigenous firms, including MSMEs (medium, small and micro enterprises).
• The new vessels are built with indigenously developed steel.
• The Leander-class frigates are called “Nilgiri-class” after the first-of-class vessel. These were the first Indian warships that the Navy significantly designed and indigenised at multiple levels.

RoSCTL scheme

GS Paper 3: Mobilization of resources
Important for
Prelims exam: RoSCTL scheme
Mains exam: Trade promotion schemes by the government
Why in news
Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently extended the “Scheme for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL)” till March 31, 2024.
About RoSCTL Scheme
• The RoSL (Rebate of State Levies) initiative was superseded by the new RoSCTL (Rebate of State and Central Taxes Levies) scheme in March 2019 following the implementation of GST in 2017.
o To enhance the productivity of the garment and made-up sectors, it has been established as a successor for the old “Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) Scheme” to rebate all embedded State and Central Taxes and Levies.
• The scheme intends to compensate the State and Central Taxes and Levies in addition to the Duty Drawback Scheme on export of apparel/ garments and Made-ups by way of rebate.
o The Rebate of State Taxes and Levies includes VAT on fuel used in transportation, captive power, farm sector, mandi tax, duty of electricity, stamp duty on export documents, embedded SGST paid on inputs such as pesticides, fertilizers etc used in production of raw cotton, purchases from unregistered dealers, coal used in production of electricity and inputs for transport sector.
o However, the Rebate of Central Taxes and Levies includes central excise duty on fuel used in transportation, embedded CGST paid on inputs such as pesticides, fertilizer etc used in production of raw cotton, purchases from unregistered dealers, inputs for transport sector and embedded CGST and Compensation Cess on coal used in production of electricity.
Aim of the scheme
• RoSCTL Scheme was launched with the aim of reimbursing all embedded State and Central Taxes or Levies for exports of manufactured goods and garments.
• It seeks to enhance productivity in garment and made-up sectors as it rebates all the embedded State and Central Taxes & Levies.
• It further aims to compensate State and Central Taxes and Levies apart from the Duty Drawback Scheme on export of apparel or garments and Made-ups.
• Importer-Exporter Codes (IECs) are necessary in order to apply for the RoSCTL programme.

Importer-Exporter Codes (IECs)

• An Importer -Exporter Code (IEC) is a key business identification number which is mandatory for export from India or Import to India.
• No export or import shall be made by any person without obtaining an IEC unless specifically exempted. For services exports however, IEC shall not be necessary except when the service provider is taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy.
• Consequent upon introduction of GST, IEC being issued is the same as the PAN of the firm. However, the IEC will still be separately issued by DGFT based on an application.
• The nature of the firm obtaining an IEC may be any of the following- Proprietorship, Partnership, LLP, Limited Company, Trust, HUF, Society.

Time’s World’s 50 Greatest Places of 2022
Important for
Prelims exam: List of World’s 50 Greatest Places of 2022
Why in news
List of World’s 50 Greatest Places of 2022 was recently released ‘Time Magazine”. Ahmedabad and Kerala have been listed among 50 extraordinary places to explore.
Key facts about the list
• Both the places attract a large number of tourists, both from the country as well as abroad.
• While the southern state is famous for its beaches and backwaters, tourists visit the Sabarmati riverfront and Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad.
• Time Magazine has created profile pages for Kerala and Ahmedabad where it has highlighted the reasons why these places are part of its prestigious list.

About Kerala

• Kerala is one of India’s most beautiful states. With spectacular beaches and lush backwaters, temples, and palaces, it’s known as “God’s own country” for good reason.”
• This year, Kerala is boosting motor-home tourism in India to inspire a new pas de deux of exploration and accommodation.
About Ahmedabad
As India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City, Ahmedabad boasts both ancient landmarks and contemporary innovations that make it a mecca for cultural tourism.
Other cities in the list
Other destinations included in the list of top 50 are- Seoul, Buahan in Bali, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Arctic, Doha, Nairobi, Seoul, Ras Al Khaimah in UAE, International Space Station, Kyushu Island in Japan, Istanbul, Kigali in Rwanda etc.

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