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25-01-2023

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World Economic Forum’s 2023 Davos event ends: Here are the major takeaways

GS-3: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate


The World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting 2023, held in Davos, Switzerland, concluded recently. 

Despite the event taking place in a world that may have undergone significant changes, the conference proceedings and results remained relatively unchanged

Economic discussions were marked by cautious optimism, with many attendees believing that the worst was over. However, there was limited progress made on addressing climate issues.

The theme for this year's meeting was "Cooperation in a Fragmented World." 

 



Some Key takeaways from WEF Davos 2023

On Economy

  • Business leaders were optimistic about the economy with US and EU not facing a recession, but central banks warned of remaining concerns and high interest rates to control inflation. 
  • US Federal Reserve reminded investors that inflation remains high and policy will have to be restrictive. 
  • China opening up could lead to increased energy consumption and higher energy prices
  • Additionally, developed nations focusing on protecting their own workers, energy sufficiency, and supply lines could negatively impact developing economies.

On Ukraine

  • Ukraine emphasized its need for more military aid to continue fighting Russia and financial aid for post-war reconstruction, calling for the start of funding commitments now, not after the war ends. 
  • In his address, President Zelenskyy criticized the US and Germany for delaying the sending of tanks to Ukraine.

On Climate 

  • There was agreement on the need for green energy and funding to combat climate change. 
  • The WEF launched an initiative to fund and grow partnerships to unlock the $3 trillion needed annually to reach net zero, reverse nature loss and restore biodiversity by 2050. 
  • Pakistan brought up the need for a loss and damage fund for developing countries. 
  • The EU expressed concerns over a US green energy law that favors American-made products, but an USA senator stated that the goal is to benefit the environment, not harm other countries.


India at theWEF-2023

  • India highlighted its position as a resilient economy with strong leadership and stable policies for global investors at the WEF.
  • India's focus areas at the WEF this year are investment opportunities, infrastructural landscape and its inclusive & sustainable growth story. 
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has established three lounges to promote investment, sustainability and inclusive growth, and the presence of State lounges and business lounges of companies such as HCL, Wipro, Infosys and TCS strengthened India's presence at the event.
  •  The Indian government, businesses, and officials presented a unified front to showcase India at the global stage.

India Lounge at Promenade 68

  • This lounge was the center for business interactions and aligns with the priorities of the Government of India. 
  • It organized sessions, roundtables, and discussions on topics such as India's economic growth, energy transition, infrastructure, digitalization, fintech, healthcare, electronics and semiconductor supply chain, and startup ecosystem
  • It also featured a digital showcase of key manufacturing sectors, startups, India's G20 presidency, and infrastructure focus. 
  • Additionally, the lounge showcased authentic Indian One District One Product souvenirs and Indian food to highlight India's heritage and culture.

India Inclusivity Lounge at Promenade 63

  • The Inclusivity lounge aims to include the voices of small businesses, individual artisans, women's self-help groups, and people with disabilities in the Davos narrative. 
  • It displays hand-made products that represent India's rich heritage and cultural history and showcase the craftsmanship of all states and union territories of India. 
  • These products include coconut cutlery from Andaman, Khurja pottery from Uttar Pradesh and span across various sectors from textiles to handicrafts to social empowerment. 
  • The products are showcased not only physically but also through interactive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), allowing anyone to see the products at their home. 

India Sustainability Lounge at Promenade 49 

  • India showcases new and emerging technologies to address climate change through a lounge, highlighting its leadership in combating climate change and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
  • The technologies are grouped into five themes – 
  • Energy sector, 
  • Natural resource management, 
  • Sustainable infrastructure and mobility, 
  • Food and nutritional security, and 
  • Circular economy 
  • The lounge brings together policymakers, innovators, startups and thought leaders to discuss efforts in this space and enable collaboration and cooperation with businesses and industry bodies from around the world to support India's journey to net zero
  • It features an automated manual scavenging robot and 12 startup prototypes, an interactive screen with a carbon calculator and information on sustainable innovation, and held a fireside chat on climate change and technology innovation.
  • First Movers Coalition Leadership Meeting: India participated in the World Economic Forum's First Movers Coalition Leadership Meeting and discussed the need for clean energy technologies to address the global climate crisis
  • Industry leaders praised India's use of digital technologies in the fight against COVID-19 and appreciated the government's partnership with industry
  • The DPIIT highlighted India's role in democratizing the digital ecosystem and emphasized the country's push for the Startup 20 (S-20) agenda as G20 President. 
  • The Secretary also highlighted the need for mutually beneficial partnerships and investments in sustainable infrastructure at the Europe for Indian Business corridor.

 

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Assam’s Charaideo Moidams: India’s latest nominee to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites

GS-1: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

 

The government has chosen to nominate the Charaideo Maidams in Assam, which are similar to ancient Egyptian pyramids, for UNESCO World Heritage status this year. 

These maidams, which reflect the late medieval (13th-19th century CE) mound burial tradition of the Tai Ahom community in Assam, were chosen from a pool of 52 sites across the country vying for World Heritage Site recognition. 

Currently, there are no World Heritage Sites in the category of cultural heritage in the northeast


What is Moidam?

  • A moidam is a type of tumulus, which is a mound of earth built over a grave, that was used by Ahom royalty and aristocracy.
  • Out of the 386 Maidams or Moidams that have been explored so far, the 90 royal burials at Charaideo are the best preserved, most representative, and complete examples of the Ahom's mound burial tradition. 
  • While Charaideo is the location of moidams exclusively for Ahom royals, other moidams for aristocrats and chiefs can be found scattered throughout Eastern Assam, between the towns of Jorhat and Dibrugarh
  • Typically, a moidam at Charaideo contains one or more chambers within a vault. 
  • On top of these chambers is a hemispherical earthen mound that rises high above the ground and is covered in grass
  • On top of this mound, there is a pavilion known as the. chow chali
  • A low octagonal wall surrounds the mound with one entrance
  • Ahom kings and queens were buried inside these moidams. 
  • Unlike Hindus who cremate their dead, the Ahoms, who originated from the Tai people, practiced burial as their primary funerary method. 
  • The height of a moidam is typically indicative of the power and stature of the person buried inside, although most moidams, except for those of Gadhadhar Singha and Rudra Singha, remain unidentified. 
  • Inside the chambers of the moidam, the dead king would be buried along with items he needed for the “afterlife”, as well as servants, horses, livestock and even their wives


Charaideo Maidams

  • The name Charaideo is derived from three Tai Ahom words: Che-Rai-Doi
  • "Che" refers to a city or town, "Rai" means "to shine", and "Doi" means “hill”
  • In short, Charaideo means "a shining town located on a hilltop."


Ahom dynasty

  • While the Ahoms moved their capital city multiple times over their 600-year history, Charaideo is considered to be the first capital established in 1253 AD by King Sukaphaa
  • Throughout the Ahom rule, it remained a significant and ritual center of power due to its importance in the dynasty's foundation. 
  • Lachit Barphukan is a renowned Ahom general known for his battle against the Mughals in 1671.
  • They were finally annexed by the British in 1826.

 

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Fact File



What is BharOS software and how different is it from Google’s Android OS?

  • BharOS is an indigenous mobile OS developed by JandK Operations (incubated by IIT Madras).
  • It is funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • It aims to serve 100 crore mobile phone users in India as an alternative to Android and iOS
  • It focuses on enhancing user experience and security, contributing to the idea of self-reliant India
  • It can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets.


Difference with Android and iOS

  • BharOS will serve as an Android rival with a focus on app customization. 
  • It is currently in limited use and appears to be more specialized than Android and iOS
  • During launch, screenshots of the OS were shown, featuring a minimalistic home screen with the Indian flag, a list of app categories, and selected apps that passed the OS’ trust and security standards. 
  • It also offers Native Over The Air (NOTA) updates for automatic security and bug fixes, eliminating the need for manual updates.

Features

  • BharOS comes with the No Default Apps (NDA) setting, allowing users to have more control over their apps and not have to keep pre-installed apps that can slow down the device or drain battery life. 
  • The NDA design is intentional as it allows users to choose apps based on trust and data storage
  • It will also use Private App Store Services (PASS) to examine and curate safe apps for users, providing access to other apps that meet BharOS' standards.
  • BharOS is currently catering to organizations with strict privacy and security needs, as their users handle sensitive information, requiring extra secure and vetted mobile devices. 
  • These users also need access to private cloud services through private 5G networks. 























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