Current Affairs in Short: 23 September 2021

The Supreme Court will set up a technical expert committee to probe into the reports of the government allegedly using Israeli software Pegasus to spy on activists, politicians, and journalists.

Created On: Sep 23, 2021 18:15 IST
Current Affairs in Short: 23 September 2021
Current Affairs in Short: 23 September 2021

Australian Trade and Investment Minister to visit India next week

•Australia Minister for Trade and Investment Dan Tehan will be visiting India next week to seek a further advance on progress towards a free trade agreement known as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

•The PM Modi-led government has started promoting a free trade narrative and is seeking closer economic ties with like-minded nations including Australia, said Tehan.

•There are significant growth opportunities for Australia in the fields of critical minerals, energy, infrastructure, technology, education, agriculture, and space. These sectors will be emphasized in the government’s soon-to-be-released Peter Varghese’s India Economic Strategy.

SC to set up technical expert committee to probe Pegasus snooping case

•The Supreme Court on September 23, 2021, said that it will set up a technical expert committee to probe into the reports of the government allegedly using Israeli software Pegasus to spy on activists, politicians, and journalists.

•A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana wants to pass the order this week however finalizing of experts of the committee is taking time. The Court will finalize the members soon.

•The Court announced that it will pass an interim order in 2-3 days on pleas seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus row. Several petitions are pending before the apex court in the same matter.

•The pleas state that Pegasus surveillance is using military-grade spyware which is a violation of the right to privacy, which is a fundamental right under Articles 14, 19, and 21 by the Supreme Court in the KS Puttaswamy case (2017).

Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) in Shimla opens

•The 18th-century British-Era building of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) in Shimla was opened for visitors almost after a gap of over 5 months.

•The building of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) in Shimla was closed from April 2021. Now it will be opened for visitors from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm with strict Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) amid the COVID19 pandemic.

•Shimla served as the summer capital of the British. 13 Viceroys stayed in Vice Regal Lodge. The building used to be a key center of the British administration during 1888 and 1946. After Independence, it got renamed Rashtrapati Niwas. In 1965, Dr S Radhakrishnan decided to start the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS).

India, UAE to hold first round of negotiations for CEPA on September 23

•India and UAE will hold the first round of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiation on September 23, 2021. The Agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to 100 billion dollars within 5 years.

•Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Foreign Trade of United Arab Emirates Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi had launched India-UAE CEPA negotiations on September 22, 2021.

•CEPA aims at creating new jobs, provide wider social and economic opportunities, and raise living standards in both nations. Dr Zeyoudi and a high-level UAE delegation have arrived in New Delhi to hold talks that aim to improve bilateral economic relations that includes expanding investment and existing trade relationship.

•Both nations are expecting to conclude the negotiations by December 2021 and sign a formal agreement in March 2022. India and UAE are each other’s largest trading partners.

Karnataka govt passes bill to ban gambling or betting

•The Karnataka government on September 21, 2021, passed the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill to ban online gambling or betting across the state. The government has imposed maximum imprisonment of 3 three years and a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh.

•The Bill band online games on both the internet or mobile that involve any kind of betting or wagering. It has banned virtual currency or the transfer of any funds relating to any game.

•Tamil Nadu in August 2021 had passed a similar bill to band rummy, poker, and any other online games that included playing for a wager, money, bet, or other stakes. The bill was struck down by Madras High Court after a petition filed by Junglee Games and other online gaming companies.

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