Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 04 September 2023

NITI Aayog, UNDP join hands to fast-track SDGs

GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

Central think tank NITI Aayog and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise a cooperative framework to fast-track India's pursuit to achieve its sustainable development goals (SDGs), the Aayog said.

More about the memorandum of understanding

  • The memorandum of understanding will focus on the two organisations' cooperation on a range of areas, including SDG localisationdata-driven monitoringAspirational Districts and Blocks, among others.
  • Over the years, NITI Aayog and UNDP's collaboration has grown from strength to strength. This partnership would foster data-driven policy interventions and programmatic action.
  • NITI Aayog is the nodal body for the monitoring of SDGs in India and reviews the process through a nationwide SDG index. The memorandum of understanding between the think tank and UNDP was signed for a period of years.
  • Midway to 2030, India's leadership is critical for making the SDGs a reality. India nearly halved multidimensional poverty between 2015-2016 and 2019-2021, demonstrating that despite complex challenges, accelerating progress towards the Goals is possible.
  • Through this memorandum of understanding with NITI Aayog, UNDP will also provide support for NITI Aayog's work on women's livelihoodsinnovation, and Mission LiFE.

 G20 agree to boost information flow to small business

GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

Trade ministers from G20 nations agreed to a ‘Jaipur Call for Action’ to boost information flow to small businesses to increase their participation, while seeking to build a ‘generic framework’ for mapping global value chains, cautioning against concentration of suppliers and markets.

More about the agreement

  • In addition, 10 high level principles on digitisation of trade documents were also agreed upon as countries seek to reduce the cost of trading across borders.
  • Although a communique could not be issued given the divergent position on Ukraine with Russia and China sticking to their stands, and the G7 seeking to highlight the conflict, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told reporters that the contents of the outcome document and the chairs summary were decided unanimously.
  • Every country has agreed to all the issues… only paragraph 32, which is less than a quarter of a page out of a 17-page document, is an area where we could not get consensus for obvious reasons.
  • Since the first G20 ministerial meeting under India’s presidency, a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Bengaluru, the Ukraine conflict has driven a wedge between the members of the all-powerful alliance.
  • In the coming years, various agencies will work on putting together the framework to implement the decisions.
  • The move on global value chains will help all developing countries and cited the example of mobile manufacturing in India, arguing that it will help create a production eco-system and also generate jobs and investment.
  • The minister underlined the importance of MSMEs, an issue that was flagged by PM Narendra Modi.
  • There are concerns over Big Tech and its dominance. Equal and affordable access for all has to be ensured.
  • The push is in line with the government’s initiatives such as ONDC and UPI, which are open source frameworks offering ease to consumers as well as a level playing field to businesses.
  • The outcome document took note of theuncertain near-term outlook for global trade and investments and underlined the need for “rules-basednon-discriminatoryfairopeninclusiveequitable, sustainable and transparent multilateral system, with WTO at its core”.
  • It also called for apredictable and transparent regime for services trade, with easier rules for movement of professionals across borders —an issue which is of particular interest to India.

World's Most Advanced Arabic Large Language Model

GS Paper - 3 (ITC)

unit of Abu Dhabi AI company G42, has released 'Jais', the world's most advanced Arabic large language modelJais is a bilingual Arabic-English model that has been trained on a massive dataset of text and code. It can be used for a variety of tasks, such as machine translationtext summarization, and question answering.

More about the Model

  • It was trained on the Condor Galaxy, the world's largest AI supercomputer, using 116 billion Arabic tokens and 279 billion English tokens.
  • It is also open-source, which means that anyone can use it or contribute to its development. Jais is available to download on the Hugging Face machine learning platform.
  • The release of Jais is a significant step forward for the development of AI in the Arabic world.
  • It is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the lives of millions of people. Potential applications of Jais include, Machine translation, which can be used to translate text from Arabic to English and vice versa.
  • This could be used to improve the accessibility of information to Arabic speakers, as well as to facilitate communication between Arabic speakers and speakers of other languages.
  • Moreover, Jais adeptly distills extensive textual content, from news articles to research papers, into succinct and comprehensible summariesenhancing accessibility and comprehension.
  • Additionally, Jais shines in responding to queries about text, enabling educational tools like responsive chatbots for students or robust customer service applications for client inquiries.
  • Earlier, the UAE created an open-source large language model (LLM) called Falcon through the state-owned Technology Innovation Institute.

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