Central Bank Digital Currency: CBDC is the legal tender issued by a central bank in a digital form. It is the same as a fiat currency and is exchangeable one-to-one with the fiat currency, only its form is different. RBI has demarcated the digital rupee into two broad categories: general purpose (retail) and wholesale. This demarcation is based on the usage and the functions performed by the digital rupee and considering the different levels of accessibility. From November 1, 2022, RBI launched its first pilot project to use digital rupee in the wholesale market for secondary trade in government securities (G-secs). Wholesale CBDC has the potential to transform the settlement systems for financial transactions undertaken by banks in the government securities (G-Sec) segment, inter-bank market and capital market more efficient and secure in terms of operational costs, use of collateral and liquidity management. From December 1,2022, retail digital rupee (e-R) pilot was launched. In effect, the retail e-rupee is an electronic version of cash, and will be primarily meant for retail transactions. It is available for use by all — the private sector, non-financial consumers and businesses. It will be distributed through intermediaries, i.e., banks. It will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like deposits with banks.
M S Swaminathan Award: It was instituted in 2004 with the objective to recognise the lifetime contributions of eminent persons who have made great impacts and outstanding contributions to agricultural research and development and to the overall food security and sustainability of agriculture, with special reference to India. It is named after the doyen of Indian Agriculture, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman, M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai. It is a biennial award constituted by the Retired Indian Council of Agricultural Research Employees Association (RICAREA) and Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL).The award carries a Cash prize of Rs.2 lakhs (Rupees Two Lakhs only), a Medal, and a Citation. The award is open to all, irrespective of his/her nationality.
National Carbon Registry: Recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has developed open-source software that allows countries to effectively manage national data and processes for trading carbon credits. This software has recently been accredited as a digital public good (DPG). As a DPG, the registry uses open-source code, which allows countries to replicate and adapt the information to fit their own needs and contexts. The registry’s modules, software and technical documentation can be reused and tailored by countries, which could potentially reduce production costs and implementation timelines.
C-TAP initiative: Recently, the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) has announced three new licensing agreements acquired through the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). It was launched in May 2020 by the WHO and the Government of Costa Rica with the support of 44 Member States, UN Development Programme, Unitaid, UNAIDS, and implementing partners such as MPP. It works under the principles of the Solidarity call to action. It was designed to serve as a platform for developers of COVID-19 therapeutics, diagnostics, vaccines and other health products to voluntarily share their intellectual property, knowledge, and data to accelerate technological innovation and expand global production capacity.