Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 29 December 2021
Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 29 December 2021
‘e-RUPI’ payment mode on anvil for students in Karnataka govt scholarship programme
The Karnataka government’s e-Governance department has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and State Bank of India (SBI) for enabling and implementing ‘e-RUPI’, a cashless and contactless payment solution to students under its scholarship programme.
e-RUPI will be used to ensure a leak-proof delivery of education fees of eligible students by paying digitally to the college or institute by the Karnataka government.
The Karnataka government will get e-vouchers delivered to the mobiles of eligible students. The voucher code can be received on the feature phone also. The students will be able to redeem e-RUPI at the identified colleges or institutes for the intended purpose of fees payment, NCPI said in a release.
For redeeming e-RUPI, the identified institutes will scan the QR code or SMS string displayed by the students using an Application or POS machine, and this process will remove the requirement of any physical token delivery for the students to avail of the scholarship, it said.
“e-RUPI is indeed a very powerful tool for governments to use as it allows direct transfer of the benefits to the targeted beneficiary, with safety and security. The instrument ensures that the beneficiary gets the benefit as per the guidelines of the scheme. Under this initiative, each transaction is mapped with the beneficiary and the institution ensuring that the e-Voucher can be redeemed by the college where the student has enrolled,” Additional Chief Secretary, DPAR (e-governance) Rajiv Chawla said.
The Karnataka government has on-boarded around 176 schemes of 35 departments of the state government on the Direct Benefit Transfer Platform.
Following the successful implementation of this pilot project, the state is examining the use of e-RUPI Voucher in other schemes such as seed distribution, fertiliser distribution, micro irrigation schemes, issue of laptops to students, and Imparting skilled training, the release said.
NATO says its jets scrambled 290 times due to Russian planes
NATO fighter jets were scrambled hundreds of times this year to intercept aircraft, most of them Russian warplanes in northwest Europe that were flying too close to the airspace of its member countries, the military organization.
NATO said that 290 of around 370 total missions were flown in 2021 in response to the activities of Russian aircraft. Most of those took place in the Baltic region around Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, where the organization has an air-policing operation.
“Generally, intercepts occurred without incident as NATO planes take off to identify the approaching aircraft and escort it out of the area. Very few intercepted flights entered allied airspace,” a statement from the 30-country US-led alliance said.
NATO intercept flights are a routine occurrence. But despite high tensions between NATO and Moscow over the activities of Russian armed forces near Ukraine’s borders in recent months, the number of Russia-linked intercepts decreased this year.
In 2020, NATO jets scrambled around 350 times in response to Russian planes.
More than 60 NATO jets are on round-the-clock alert across Europe to respond to things like unannounced military flights or civilian planes losing communication with air-traffic controllers for any reason, which could range from technical problems to hijacking.
Commercial 5G services will be rolled out in 13 cities in 2022: DoT
Commercial 5G services will be rolled out in 13 cities in India, including the metropolises, in 2022, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said in a statement.
These cities are Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and Jamnagar. “These metros and big cities would be the first places for the launch of 5G services in the country next year,” the DoT said.
5G trials are being carried out by BhartiAirtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. The companies have also demonstrated India-specific use cases in fields of education, enterprises, mobility and security.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also released a consultation paper to seek industry feedback on various issues related to spectrum auction, such as pricing, valuation, and rollout obligation. The minister for communications, AshwiniVaishnav, had last month said that the 5G spectrum auction would be held in April-May of 2022. However, the auction is likely to be delayed until July as Trai is expected to submit its recommendations only in.
The actual rollout would depend upon industry preparedness, though the government has been keen on the Independence Day launch.
Telecom service providers have demanded that the government keep 5G spectrum prices affordable to enable maximum industry participation. Access to adequate low-cost spectrum and easy payment terms are essential for companies to plan their investments, the companies have told the government.
The government is promoting the development of an indigenously developed 5G standard, called the 5Gi, as an alternative to the globally used 3GPP standard. The indigenous 5G testbed has been funded by the government and developed by the Indian Institute of Technology. The project is likely to be complete by December-end.
::SCIENCE AND TECH::
China develops AI 'prosecutor' that can press charges with ‘97% accuracy’
China has been making rapid advancements in the technology field. And now, Chinese scientists have claimed that they have developed a machine that can charge people with crime using artificial intelligence. This is the world’s first such machine.
The AI “prosecutor” can charge people with over 97 per cent accuracy, the researchers further claimed, adding that it works on verbal description.
The machine was built and tested by the Shanghai Pudong People’s Procuratorate, the country’s largest and busiest district prosecution office, reported South China Morning Post.
Project’s lead scientist told local media that the machine has been created to reduce the current workload of prosecutors. "The system can replace prosecutors in the decision-making process to a certain extent," Professor Shi Yong, the lead scientists of the project, was quoted as saying by one of the publications.
It can also identify “dissent” against the state, the researchers further claimed.
Explaining how the computer programme works, the scientists said that it can press charges based on 1,000 human-generated case description texts.
The cases given to the AI machine during training involved credit card frauds, gambling crimes, dangerous driving, theft and obstruction of official duties, according to South China Morning Post.
The researchers are now hoping that their machine can soon replace prosecutors in the “decision-making” process to certain extent. With more training, it will become perfect in recognising more types of cases and pressing charhes accordingly.
Pankaj Advani won the National Billiards title 2021
Ace cueist PankajAdvani defended his national billiards title -- his 11th in the tournament -- after he defeated his PSPB teammate DhruvSitwala 5-2 in a best of nine games final. Advani responded with breaks of 56 and 46 to restore parity at 1-1 after Sitwala's breaks of 64 and 42 late on Monday evening.
Sitwala, displaying excellent in-offs, pots and cannons, surged ahead by pocketing the third game with a sizeable break of 84. He was on course to even wrest the fourth game after he compiled a wonderful effort of 101, but a costly lapse by him gave a window of opportunity to Advani.
Composing himself, in a superb rally the maestro chalked up a classy break of 127 to snatch the game and draw level once again at 2-2.
Then Advani struck a purple patch, cajoling and nursing the balls at the top of the table to craft identical unfinished breaks of 150 in the fifth and sixth games to run up a crucial 4-2 games lead.
Not giving up, Sitwala put up a tremendous show of skill, patience and temperament to strike a break of 134, but sadly, when in prime position he could not hold the balls together to give another chance to Advani after a sequence of safety exchanges.