• Written By Alekhya_J
  • Last Modified 10-04-2023

Current Affairs March 2023 – Check Latest Top Stories


Current Affairs March 2023:  Did you ever notice the General Awareness section of any banking exam or any competitive exam is the easiest and most qualifying section of all? But only if you follow the current affairs or happenings daily! All you have to do to follow the topmost current affairs for that particular day is to just bookmark this page and the information will be presented to you on a daily basis.

Current affairs or the general knowledge 2023 will aid in uplifting your scores in banking exams. Moreover, this section only demands a very few minutes per day and you are all set for the examination. This article on Current Affairs March 2023 will provide you every day with the top current affairs for that particular day of March 2023 by informing you on the insights of happenings around the world, so that you will not miss anything important. No matter what exam you are preparing Current Affairs March 2023 will help you prepare for the general awareness section of all banking exams as well as other competitive exams like IBPS, SBI, RBI, SSC and so on.

Pink Bollworm-resistant GM cotton gets the green light for field trials in Haryana

  • Within months of approving new field trials for an array of genetically engineered crops, including mustard, potatoes and rubber, in the country for the first time in 16 years, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has approved confined field trials for Pink Bollworm-resistant GM cotton in Hisar, Haryana. 

What is Pink Bollworm?

  • It is one of the most destructive pests of cotton
  • Scientific name: Pectinophora gossypiella
  • Originally native to India, it is now recorded in nearly all the cotton-growing countries of the world

Pink Bollworm life cycle:

  • The adults are small moths about 3/8 inch long and are dark brown with markings on the forewing
  • The larval stage is the destructive and identifiable stage
  • The larvae have distinctive pink bands and can reach a length of ½ inches right before they pupate

Why is it a threat to Ecology?

  • Pink bollworms are major pests of cotton 
  • Adults only last for two weeks, but females will lay 200 or more eggs
  • Adults lay eggs on cotton bolls; once hatched, the larvae eat the seeds and damage the fibres of the cotton, reducing the yield and quality
  • When the larvae mature, they cut out the boll, drop to the ground and cocoon near the soil surface 
  • It also damages hibiscus, okra, and hollyhock plants.

SAG Awards 2023: Ke Huy Quan becomes the first Asian male to win the SAG Award

  • The 29th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were held recently at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles to honour the year’s best acting performances, and actor Ke Huy Quan created history by winning the Best Supporting actor award for his role as Waymond Wang in the film ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’.


  • The win makes Quan the first Asian male to win a film acting award at the annual guild ceremony since its inception in 1994. 
  • He’s also only the second Asian actor to win any individual SAG prize in either film or television, one year after Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae won for male actor in a drama series, according to Variety.

What are Screen Actors Guild Awards?

  • Screen Actors Guild Awards are accolades given by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists 
  • The award was founded in 1952 to recognise outstanding performances in movies and prime-time television
  • First awarded: 1995; 28 years ago
  • Presented by: SAG-AFTRA

IAF develops an indigenous ‘Vayulink’ platform for jammer-proof communication

  • The Indian Air Force has developed an innovative solution that would help pilots deal with bad weather and provide them with jammer-proof uninterrupted communication with the base station.

What is Vayulink?

  • “Vayulink is an ad-hoc data link communication system, which, when installed in an aircraft, gives the position of other aircraft close by encrypted traffic data over a secured channel.
  • ‘Vayulink’ uses the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)
  • The advantage of the system is that it prevents fratricide when you are going into combat. 
  • It means you are able to know where our ground forces are present.


  • This helps the pilots to get accurate and precise information about the weather. In particular, it also helps in providing accurate communication to aircraft flying over hills.
  • By this, mutual collision of fighter planes can also be prevented, which provides an accurate teaming system service. It also helps in setting real-time targets with the help of which multiple teams can attack the target simultaneously.
  • The indigenous jammer-proof communication platform ‘Vayulink’ is helpful to all three services of the country.

Scientists have discovered a new layer at Earth’s inner core

  • A team of researchers has found evidence of a new, distinct layer within our planet Earth’s inner core. 
  • According to seismologists from the Australian National University (ANU), data gathered from seismic waves caused by earthquakes has shed new light on the deepest parts of the Earth’s inner core.


  • It is solid due to high pressure deep within the Earth that stops iron alloy from melting. 
  • It is a crystallised structure within the inner core’s innermost region that is different from the outer layer.
  • First hypothesised about 20 years ago, it was identified through data gathered from seismic waves caused by earthquakes.

Four layers of Earth’s structures:

  • Crust: Topmost or outermost layer of Earth, which makes up 1% of Earth’s Volume. It has two parts—a thinner Oceanic Crust and a thicker Continental Crust. 
  • Mantle: Solid/plastic layer of Earth which makes up about 84% of Earth’s Volume. 
    • It is divided into two parts—Upper Mantle and Lower Mantle. 
    • The uppermost mantle and crust constitute the lithosphere. 
  • Outer core: Liquid portion of the core, composed of 80% iron along with nickel and some other lighter elements. 
  • Inner core: Solid portion of the core, composed of Iron and nickel with the presence of heavy elements like gold, platinum, palladium, silver and tungsten.  

What is the Significance of the ‘Fifth’ layer?

  • It provides information on past events on Earth that happened hundreds of millions to billions of years ago. 
  • It provides a new way to probe Earth’s inner core and its centremost region. 
  • It provides information about the evolution of the Earth’s magnetic field.

Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to begin the first synchronised vulture survey

 Environment and Ecology

  • The Kerala Forest and Wildlife department, along with its counterparts in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, has organised the first synchronised vulture survey in select regions of the Western Ghats.


  • Synchronized Vulture Survey-2023 involved the Wildlife Conservation Foundation (an NGO) and forest departments of three states to survey vultures in 
    • Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve and all other forests in Karnataka. 
    • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS), Kerala. 
    • Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu.

Why synchronised survey?

  • The synchronised survey is to avoid duplication of data when surveys are conducted at different time periods.

About vultures:

  • Nine species of vultures are found in India, with the Himalayas, Rajasthan, Gange Plain and the north side of the Indian subcontinent as the main geographic ranges.
  • Of 9, 3 species are migratory (cinereous, Griffon and Himalayan vultures).
  • Considered to be the most efficient scavengers, they have a unique and important ecological role, as they prevent the spread of diseases from rotting corpses.
  • Its population was dwindling due to exposure to the drug diclofenac, electrocution, illegal wildlife trade, and poaching, among other things.

About Vulture conservation initiatives:

  • Ban on veterinary use of Diclofenac in 2006. 
  • ‘Action Plan for Vulture Conservation’ prevents species extinction. In situ conservation programmes like promoting vulture restaurants, satellite tagging of vultures, etc.

Karnataka to get country’s first marina to promote Coastal Tourism

  • To promote coastal tourism in Karnataka, the country’s first marina will be constructed at Byndoor in the Udupi district.
  • The project has been initiated to promote coastal tourism in Karnataka.
  • The government will also seek permission from the Centre for the relaxation of the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) to take up beach tourism in coastal areas and pilgrim tourism.
  • This will not only help the development of tourism but also help people understand the rich history of the state.


  • According to the CM, the history of the greatest dynasties such as Ganga, Kadamba, Rashtrakoota, Chalukya and Hoysala will be collected from the Department of Archaeology and develop historic tourism.
  • The government has proposed to build a corridor of ancient temples like Madhukeshwara in Banavasi and Dattatreya in Ganagapura and promote ‘Yatra tourism’. 
  • The government will develop the Benakal area while Anjanadri Hill is under development. 
  • There is also a scheme to pay a monthly honorarium of ₹5,000 to the recognized tourist guides. 
  • Karnataka is blessed with nature’s bounty. It has a 350 km coastal area, ten different weather zones, 400 km of the Western Ghats, a rich biodiversity with sunshine for 300 days, and several rivers.

1- Entrepreneur of the Year 2022: Sajjan Jindal

  • Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri honoured Indian industrialist Sajjan Jindal recently with the Best Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the year 2022.
  • At the same function, the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to KP Singh, Chairman of DLF Group.
  • KP Singh is especially known for setting up DLF City in Gurgaon.
  • Pratapaneni (Co-founder of MedGenome) was awarded in the startup category at the same event.
  • Sajjan Jindal is the Chairman and Managing Director of the JSW Group of Companies. It is because of his vision and foresight that the group has gained a distinct place in the business from steel to mining, energy, sports, infrastructure and software.

2- Siang unying festival 

  • Siang Unying Festival is an important festival of the Adi community celebrated at Boleng, Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • It is celebrated to mark the beginning of the Adi community’s new year, i.e., the arrival of the spring season, and to strengthen the bond among the community. 
  • Adi constitutes a major group and inhabits the lower part of the Lower Dibang Valley district, especially the Roing and Dambuk areas. Adis are basically dependent on agriculture. 
  • Both wet rice cultivation and shifting cultivation are practised. Padams, Milangs, Komkars, Minyongs and Pasis collectively call themselves Adi, meaning hill people.

3- Bisphenol A

  • Bisphenol A (BPA) can significantly shorten the breeding time of southern house mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus) and thereby aid in its quick multiplication
  • Culex quinquefasciatus is a major carrier of the West Nile virus, Rift Valley fever virus and avian pox in tropical and subtropical countries.

What is BPA?

  • Bisphenol A is a chemical compound primarily used in the manufacturing of various plastics (softening plastics), paints and other products.
  • Impact on humans: It disrupts the endocrine system by interfering with the hormones and affects the brain and prostate gland of foetuses, infants and children.
  • The chemical can cause high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults.
  • It can indirectly aid in the spread of vector-borne diseases in humans and animals.

4- MIT professor Hari Balakrishnan wins the 2023 Marconi Prize

  • Computer scientist Hari Balakrishnan has been awarded the 2023 Marconi Prize. Dr Balakrishnan is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • The Marconi Prize is a top honour for computer scientists and is awarded by the US-based Marconi Foundation. It is given to those “who have made a significant contribution to increasing digital inclusivity through advanced information and communications technology”.
  • Dr Balakrishnan has been cited “for fundamental contributions to wired and wireless networking, mobile sensing, and distributed systems”.
  • Dr Balakrishnan has previously won the Infosys Prize (2020) and the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award (2021).
  • Previous winners of the Marconi Prize include Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke.

Important Days on 1st March

Zero Discrimination Day 2023

  • On Zero Discrimination Day, 1st March, we celebrate the right of everyone to live a full and productive life and live it with dignity.
  • Zero Discrimination Day highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change. 
  • Zero Discrimination Day is helping to create a global movement of solidarity to end all forms of discrimination.


  • This year, under the theme “Save lives: Decriminalise”, United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) highlights how decriminalising key populations and people living with HIV saves lives and helps advance the end of the AIDS pandemic.

World Seagrass Day 2023

  • World Seagrass Day is celebrated annually on 1st March to raise awareness about seagrass and its important functions in the marine ecosystem. 
  • The seagrasses are grass-like plants that live close to the sea. They are the only flowering plants to grow in the marine environment. 
  • There are more than 60 seagrass species in the world. They act as the best carbon sink and provide food for marine life.

World Civil Defence Day 2023

  • World Civil Defence Day is observed on 1st March to raise awareness about the importance of civil defence measures in protecting people and their property from natural disasters, accidents, and other emergencies. 
  • The day honours the work of several civil defence organisations. The day also recognises the efforts put in by the organisations to protect communities and save lives. 
  • The day also recognises the contribution of civil defence personnel, who work tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of their communities.


  • The theme for this year is “Uniting the world’s leading specialists for the safety and security of future generations”.

Three national flagship programmes focused on fisheries launched

 Government schemes and programmes

  • Union Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy Minister Parshottam Rupala inaugurated and launched three national flagship programmes at the ICAR-CIBA campus in Raja Annamalaipuram, Chennai. 
  • These programmes include the Genetic Improvement Programme of Indian White Shrimp (Penaeus indicus), the National Surveillance Programme on Fish Diseases, the Aquaculture Insurance Product, and the Genetic Improvement Facility.

Phase-2 National Surveillance Programme on Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD):

  • Phase-2 is sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana programme (PMMSY). 
  • Phase-1 has been implemented since 2013. The phase-2 will be implemented at the pan-India level, and state fisheries departments to be an integral part. 
  • Envisages development of the National Information System on Aquatic Diseases.


  • This will strengthen farmer-based disease surveillance systems. Help in the reduction of revenue losses due to diseases and will increase exports.

Genetic Improvement Programme of Indian White Shrimp (Penaeus indicus).

  • Program sanctioned with an outlay of ₹25 crores under PMMSY to establish a National Genetic Improvement Facility for shrimp breeding.


  • The shrimp farming sector mostly depends on one exotic Specific Pathogen stock of Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) species. 
  • The program will help to break single-species dependence and promote indigenous species  vis-à-vis exotic shrimp species. 

Shrimp Crop insurance product developed by ICAR-CIBA 

  • Product charges a differential premium based on location and requirements of individual farmers from 3.7 to 7.7% of input costs. 
  • Farmers will be compensated to the tune of an 80% loss of input cost in the event of total crop loss (more than 70%).


  • Help in establishing farmers’ access to insurance and institutional credit facilities. 
  • This will help in doubling farmers’ income. 

Russia suspends its participation in the New START TREATY

  • Recently, Russia announced suspending its participation in the New START TREATY, the last remaining major military agreement with the United States.
  • Russia claimed that the USA had not complied with the treaty’s provisions and had attempted to undermine Russia’s national security.

What is the New START treaty?

  • The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia (signed in 2010). 
  • It entered into force in 2011. 
  • It replaced the previous START treaty that had expired in 2009. 

Objectives of the treaty:

  • Its objective was to limit and reduce the number of strategic nuclear warheads and delivery systems deployed by both countries 
  • It aimed to enhance strategic stability and build mutual trust between the two nations

What were the bindings of this treaty?

  • Deploying not more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads and a maximum of 700 long-range missiles and bombers 
  • A limit of 800 intercontinental ballistic missiles in deployment 
  • Each side can conduct up to 18 inspections of strategic nuclear weapons sites yearly to ensure the other has not breached the treaty’s limits 
  • In 2021, the United States and Russia agreed to extend the treaty till 2026

What are the implications of the suspension of this treaty?

  • It disturbs the fragile calculus of nuclear arms controls between the two largest nuclear powers (together hold 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal). 
  • It could also give an opportunity to other nuclear-armed countries, like China, Pakistan, Iran, etc., to increase their arsenals.

J&K wins best adventure tourism destination award

  • The India Today Tourism Survey has chosen Jammu and Kashmir Tourism for the best adventure tourism award. The awards were given away in New Delhi by Union Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal.
  • The award has been given to the J&K Tourism Department in recognition of its efforts in promoting ‘Gulmarg’ as an adventure destination of international order.


  • During the last two years, the department has taken several new initiatives to revive tourism at UT quickly. 
  • This winter, besides Gulmarg, the resorts of Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Doodhpathri and others were kept open, and these destinations received considerable footfall.
  • Besides, new trekking routes, rafting and adventure activities were added to the recreation portfolio to sustain the interest of coming tourists. 
  • This is besides opening new areas like Gurez and other border areas for tourism, which have enhanced the attraction and urge for visiting J&K. 
  • Last year Gurez was adjudged the best offbeat holiday destination in the country.

ASI discovers 1,300-yr-old Buddhist Stupa

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) stumbled upon a 1,300-year-old stupa right in the middle of a mining site in Odisha’s Jajpur district from where Khondalite stones were supplied for the beautification project around the 12th Century Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri.


  • The stupa could be 4.5 metres tall, and initial assessment showed it might belong to the 7th or 8th century.
  • It was found at Parabhadi, which is situated near Lalitagiri, a major Buddhist complex with a large number of stupas and monasteries.
  • Lalitgiri Buddhist site is believed to be the most sacred among the three sites (Lalitagiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri) as it unearthed a massive stupa where a relic of Buddha was discovered inside a stone casket.

What are the Khondalite Stones?

  • Khondalite is a type of metamorphic rock that is found in the Eastern Ghats region of India, particularly in the state of Odisha. It is named after the Khondalite Group of rocks, which is believed to have formed around 1.6 billion years ago during the Proterozoic era.
  • Khondalite is primarily composed of feldspar, quartz, and mica and has a distinct pinkish-grey colouration.

What is Stupa?

  • Stupas were burial mounds prevalent in India from the Vedic period.
  • Stupas consist of a cylindrical drum with a circular anda and a harmika and a chhatra on the top.
  • Different components of Stupas include:
  • Anda: Hemispherical mound symbolic of the mound of dirt used to cover Buddha’s remains
  • Harmika: Square railing on top of the mound.
  • Chhatra: Central pillar supporting a triple umbrella form.

Kerala temple becomes India’s first to induct robotic elephants for festival and ritual duties

  • In a first in Kerala, a life-like robotic elephant was recently dedicated to the deity in a temple near here for performing daily rituals from now on, instead of a real pachyderm. 
  • Four Kerala men have designed this robotic elephant to be used in temple festivals.
  • Iringadanpally Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur district performed the ‘Nadayiruthal’ ceremony of the mechanical elephant named ‘Irinjadapilli Raman’. 
  • The robotic elephant has a height of almost 11 feet, and four people can sit atop the elephant at the same time. 
  • The elephant has been built at the cost of ₹5 lakh. 
  • The life-sized mechanical elephant, with mounted wheels in its legs, can perform a procession.

India shocks England to win the Women’s Snooker World Cup

  • India ‘A’, represented by Amee Kamani and Anupama Ramachandran, defeated England ‘A’ 4-3 in the Women’s Snooker World Cup to win the title at Hi-End Snooker Club. Despite being unranked on the tour, the Indian duo exhibited skill and determination, overcoming established players like 12-time world champion Reanne Evans and world number four Rebecca Kenna.
  • Amee Kamani expressed her pride in making her nation India proud after winning the Women’s Snooker World Cup with her teammate Ramachandran. 
  • Kamani added that she aims to keep winning every world title and that the hard work has paid off. 
  • The duo only decided to enter the team event shortly before the entry deadline, looking to gain valuable match practice ahead of the upcoming World Championship.
  • The World Women’s Snooker Championship will begin in Thailand on Tuesday and run until 4 March.

Aramane Giridhar gets extension as Defence Secretary

  • Defence Secretary Aramane Giridhar has been given an extension in service till October 2024.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his extension in service as Secretary, Department of Defence, beyond the age of superannuation for a period up to 31 October 2024.
  • He was due to retire in June after completing 60 years of superannuation.
  • As per the notification, Giridhar will remain in his post until 31 October 2024 or till further order, whichever is earlier.
  • Giridhar is a 1988-batch Indian Administrative Service officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre.
  • He took over as the defence secretary on 1 November last year.

New security mechanism for Aadhaar authentication

  • The new security uses AI and Machine Learning based security mechanisms using both finger minutia and finger image to check the liveness of the fingerprint captured.
  • Benefits include validating the genuineness (liveness) of the fingerprint, faster detection of spoofing attempts, ensuring privacy, curbing financial fraud, etc.
  • UIDAI is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of the Aadhaar life cycle. 
  • It is a statutory authority under the Ministry of Electronics and IT.

One Rank-One Pension (OROP)

  • Following the Supreme Court’s observations, the defence ministry instructed the Controller General Defence Accounts (CGDA) to release all One Rank-One Pension (OROP) arrears in a single instalment.
  • OROP means the payment of the same pension to military officers for the same rank for the same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement. Before OROP, ex-servicemen used to get pensions as per the Pay Commission’s recommendations of the time when they had retired. Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have the highest number of OROP beneficiaries.
  • The implementation of the scheme was based on the recommendation of the Koshiyari committee formed under the chairmanship of Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.

PM inaugurated Shivamogga airport

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Shivamogga airport at Sogane, Karnataka.
  • The new airport has a lotus-shaped terminal and has been developed at a cost of around ₹450 crore.
  • The passenger terminal building of the airport can handle 300 passengers per hour.
  • Built on 775 acres of land, the airport has a 3.2 km long runway, and the passenger terminal has a built-up area of 4,320 sqft.
  • The airport can handle aircraft ranging from the ATR 72 to the Airbus 320.
  • It is considered the second largest airport in the State, after Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.

Khushbu Sundar is nominated as a member of the National Commission for Women

  • Actor-politician Khushbu Sundar from Tamil Nadu has been nominated as a member of the National Commission for Women. She is presently a member of the BJP’s national executive committee.
  • The order issued by the NCW Director said that the nomination is for three years from the date of assumption of charge or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • Besides Sundar, the Centre has also nominated Mamta Kumari and Delina Khongdup as members of the commission.
  • After marking a long stint in the acting industry, Khushbu joined politics in 2010.

US-led ‘Fab 4’ chip alliance meets to coordinate supply chain resilience

  • A semiconductor alliance comprising the world’s top producers of semiconductors— the US, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea has been convened recently.
  • Serve as an early warning and mutual reminder system to ensure a stable supply chain for chip manufacturers.
  • Prevent the occurrence of chip shortages and supply chain disruptions.
  • To reduce the world’s dependence on China.
  • India has limited fabs, or semiconductor fabrication plants, which manufacture chips and mostly is dependent on imports.

Organ-on-a-Chip technology 

  • The recent US Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act 2.0 has approved computer-based and experimental alternatives to animals to test new drugs.
  • Although using animals as drug testbeds will continue

What are Organ-on-a-Chips?

  • They are small devices containing human cells that are used to mimic the environment in human organs, including blood flow and breathing movements, serving as synthetic environments in which to test new drugs.


  • Boost the research and development of Organ chips
  • Reduce the cost of R&D of drugs
  • Animal models often poorly mimic human diseases, which has led scientists to develop alternative models
  • Reduce the chances of contamination and spread of disease from animals being experimented on.
  • Organ chips can be used to develop personalised therapies for individual patients
  • Minimise ethical dilemmas associated with the use of animals for testing (treatment of animal and their well-being)

Researchers in India are also developing organ-on-a-chip models, including a skin-on-chip model, which is being tested for studying skin irritation and toxicity, and a retina-on-chip model.

First Bodoland International Knowledge Festival

  • The first Bodoland International Knowledge Festival recently began in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
  • The festival is being hosted by Bodoland University with support from the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) government.
  • It seeks to provide a platform for thought leaders, educators, Research scholars, researchers, and practitioners to engage with constituents of Higher Education Institutions in BTR through participation.

Check out the Highlights of the Economic Survey 2022-23 by clicking on the link given below:
Economic Survey 2022-23

Indian, Japanese air forces take part in Shinyuu Maitri bilateral exercise

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating in Exercise Shinyuu Maitri with the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF). 
  • The exercise is being organised on the sidelines of the Indo-Japan Joint Army Exercise, Dharma Guardian, which is being conducted from 13 February to 2 March at Komatsu in Japan.


  • The exercise aims to enhance mutual understanding and interoperability between the two air forces. 
  • The IAF is participating in Exercise Shinyuu Maitri 23 with one C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. 
  • The exercise’s first phase includes discussions on transport operations and tactical manoeuvring, followed by the second phase of flying drills by IAF’s C-17 and JASDF C-2 transport aircraft.

Indo-Japan Defence Corporation:

  • Exercise Shinyuu Maitri 23 marks a significant step in the expanding defence cooperation between India and Japan. 
  • The exercise also allows the respective subject matter experts to interact and study each other’s operational philosophies and best practices.
  • It comes at a time when the IAF’s heavy lift transport aircraft fleet is also taking part in Exercise Desert Flag VIII in the UAE and Exercise Cobra Warrior in the UK.

India’s first prospective DNA vaccine against dengue

  • In a significant development in DNA vaccination research, India’s first and only DNA vaccine candidate for dengue has shown promising results. 
  • In preliminary trials on mice, the candidate generated a robust immune response and improved survival rates after exposure to the disease.
  • Earlier, the world’s first DNA vaccine—ZyCoV-D, was approved in 2021 for emergency use against COVID-19.

About DNA and RNA vaccines:

  • A DNA vaccine uses a copy of a genetic sequence from a part (i.e., outer or spike-protein) of a pathogen (virus or bacteria) to stimulate the body’s immune system. 
  • More specifically, it is known as a “plasmid DNA vaccine”. 
  • Whereas RNA vaccine uses a copy of a natural chemical called messenger RNA (mRNA) to produce an immune response in humans. 
  • Delivery of mRNA is achieved by lipid nanoparticles. The DNA vaccine is more stable than the RNA vaccine. Unlike RNA vaccines, DNA vaccines have the potential to integrate into the host cell genome.

Benefits of DNA vaccine:

  • Stability and safety: Vaccines are non-infectious; carry no potential toxicity from viral vectors. 
  • Efficacy and boosting: Stimulate both humoral and cellular arms of the adaptive immune system; pose minimal risk of anti-vector immunity. 
  • Rapid and Scalable manufacturing: Lower cold chain requirements.

Major Issue:

  • Relatively limited data on safety and efficacy in humans, risk of development of antinuclear antibodies, and induction of antibiotic resistance.

India hosts the first meeting of Governing Board of BIMSTEC Energy Centre (BEC)


  • India hosted the first meeting of the Governing Board of BIMSTEC Energy Centre (BEC) recently in Bengaluru.
  • India welcomed the delegates from BIMSTEC member countries and briefly explained ongoing cooperation among BIMSTEC countries.


  • India’s “Neighbourhood first” and “Act East” policies were highlighted during the meeting. A snapshot of areas where BIMSTEC countries could learn from each other was also presented.
  • As the Host of the BIMSTEC Energy Centre, India presented on establishing the BIMSTEC Energy Centre (BEC) in India. 
  • It was conveyed to the member countries that the BEC will be housed on the premises of the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), Bengaluru.


  • The meeting witnessed active participation from member countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

BIMSTEC Energy Centre:

  • Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand ( BIST- EC) – Economic Cooperation was formed at a meeting in June 1997
  • Myanmar was admitted in Dec 1997, and the organisation was renamed BIMST-EC

Adopt a Heritage scheme


  • Private firms, companies, and public sector units can enter into agreements with the Union Ministry of Culture to adopt and maintain State-owned archaeological sites or monuments. 
  • To conserve the country’s cultural heritage, the government aims to include the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) for businesses in India.

About the scheme:

  • The President of India launched the Adopt a Heritage Scheme on World Tourism Day, i.e., 27 September 2017.
  • Private firms, companies, and public sector units can enter into agreements with the Union Ministry of Culture to adopt and maintain State-owned archaeological sites
  • Businesses that enter such agreements are going to be known as Monument Mitras
  • The scheme can lead to the adoption of 500 protected sites by 15 August 2023 and another 500 sites shortly after that.
  • Fund allocation: Businesses may use their Corporate Social Responsibility funds at select sites to construct and maintain ticket offices, restaurants, museums, interpretation centres, toilets, and walkways.
  • The Ministry of Tourism has the power of term of MoU of Monument Mitras in case of non-compliance with guidelines, expression of interest (EoI), or any other reason for non-performance.

List of TEN Monuments adopted by companies under the Adopt a Heritage scheme:

  • Red Fort
  • Gandikota Fort
  • The area surrounding Gangotri Temple and Trail to Gaumukh
  • Stok Kangri Trek in Ladakh
  • Jantar Mantar
  • Surajkund
  • Qutub Minar
  • Ajanta Caves
  • Leh Palace
  • Hazara Rama Temple in Hampi

Vinod Kumar Shukla wins the 2023 PEN/Nabokov lifetime achievement award

 Awards and Recognitions

  • Vinod Kumar Shukla, at 87, has won the PEN America award for lifetime achievement in literature, one of the most coveted literary prizes worldwide, after decades of composing acclaimed novels like Naukar Ki Kameez (1979) and poetry collections like Sab Kuch Hona Bacha Rahega (1992).

PEN/Nabokov Award:

  • The PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature is awarded biennially by PEN America (formerly PEN American Center) to writers, principally novelists, “whose works evoke to some measure Nabokov’s brilliant versatility and commitment to literature as a search for the deepest truth and the highest pleasure— what Nabokov called the ‘indescribable tingle of the spine’.”
  • It is one of the most coveted literary prizes worldwide. The winner is awarded $50,000. 
  • The award is financed by the Vladimir Nabokov Foundation, founded by Dmitri Nabokov. It has been called one of the most prestigious PEN prizes.
  • The PEN American Center awards have been characterised as being among the “major” American literary prizes.

Precision Attack Loitering Munition (PALM 400)

  • The Indian Army is going to conduct PALM 400 drone tests in Pokhran. 
  • PALM 400 is an armed remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) built by AVision Systems. 
  • It is a joint venture between Israeli firm UVision Air Ltd and Hyderabad-based Aditya Precitech Private Ltd. 
  • It is a high-precision loitering system launched from a canister which can loiter for up to 120 minutes. Speed: 50-140 knots (90-260 km per hour), Height: 3,000-4,000 feet above the ground. 
  • It picks out its target and fires an armour-penetrating projectile from the top – where its armour protection is the least.

New Indian Air Force base in CWS in Eastern Ladakh 

  • The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has cleared the setting up of an Air Force base in CWS in Eastern Ladakh. 
  • CWS is located in Ladakhi Changthang plateau in the Leh district of Ladakh, UT. 
  • It covers lakes like Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri and Tso Kar. 
  • Fauna: Snow Leopard, Tibetan Antelope, Tibetan wolf, wild yak, bharal, etc. 
  • Flora: Devoid of trees, rare and endangered plants can be found throughout the region.

10 yrs post-retirement, a life-size statue of Sachin Tendulkar at Wankhede

  • A decade after his retirement, there is news about plans to install a life-size statue of Sachin Tendulkar inside the iconic Wankhede stadium, where he played his last game for India.
  • Tendulkar already has a stand named after him at Wankhede Stadium. 
  • Apart from Sachin, MCA has also honoured former Indian Captain Sunil Gavaskar with a corporate box and batsman Dilip Vengsarkar with a stand. 
  • Life-size statues of cricketers inside stadiums are rare in the country.
  • However, there are wax statues of several players with stands named after them in their respective state associations. 
  • Also, many former cricketers have their statues at Madame Tussauds in London.
  • Tendulkar played 200 Test matches, 463 one-day internationals, and one T20 for India. His record of most centuries (100) and most runs in international cricket (34,357) still stands tall and unbroken.

Ravichandran Ashwin replaces James Anderson as number 1 ranked test bowler

  • Veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recently jumped to the top of the latest ICC Men’s Test Bowling Rankings, replacing England pacer James Anderson.
  • Ashwin claimed the top spot after taking six wickets in India’s emphatic victory over Australia in the second Test in New Delhi. 

Ravichandran Ashwin:

  • He has the record for most wickets in a career which is 686 wickets.
  • He has the record for most balls bowled in a career which is 31556 balls.
  • He also has the record for most wickets taken and caught, which is 382 wickets.
  • He also has the record for the most wickets taken by a fielder, which is 323 wickets.

Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar takes over as Vice Chief of Army Staff

  • Lieutenant General MV Suchindra Kumar has taken up the post of Vice Chief of the Army Staff as of 01 March 2023. 
  • He has replaced Lieutenant General BS Raju, who has taken over as the head of the Sapta Shakti Command in Jaipur.
  • Before taking on his new role, Lieutenant General MV Suchindra Kumar served as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Strategy) at Army HQ. 
  • His recent appointments demonstrate his expertise in intelligence, operations, force structuring, operational logistics, and tech infusion.
  • The new Vice Chief of the Army Staff is an alumnus of Sainik School Bijapur and the National Defence Academy. 
  • He was commissioned into the 1 ASSAM REGIMENT in June 1985 and has served in various capacities, including as a commander of the 59 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion (ASSAM).

Karnataka launches ‘Stop Tobacco’ app to curb public smoking

  • The Karnataka Tobacco Control Cell launched the GPS-based mobile app ‘Stop Tobacco’. The app protects non-smokers from being exposed to cigarette smoking in public places.
  • If anyone is found smoking in a public place, all that needs to be done is to take a picture of the violator and upload it on the app. 
  • The squad from the tobacco control cell will rush to the spot and slap a fine on the violator. 
  • Out of 22.8% of adults in Karnataka who use tobacco products, 8.8% are smokers, and 16% use smokeless tobacco products. 

Assam CM lays the foundation stone for northeast India’s first compressed biogas plant project

  • The foundation stone-laying ceremony for the first-ever compressed biogas plant project in northeast India occurred at Domora Pathar in Sonapur under the Kamrup district.
  • The plant is being built by businessmen Pankaj Gogoi and Rakesh Doley under the name Redlemon Technologies.
  • The plant will have a 5-tonne-per-day production capacity for compressed biogas from raw materials like municipal solid wastes and cattle manure.

SCO’s First International Conference and Expo on Traditional Medicine inaugurated by Ayush Minister

  • Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, inaugurated the first B2B Global Conference and Expo on Traditional Medicine under Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Guwahati recently. 
  • More than 150 delegates from 17 SCO (4 virtually) countries and partners attended the inaugural ceremony. 
  • The four days Expo on Traditional Medicine was also inaugurated by Shri Sonowal in the same premises.


  • India puts a lot of effort into the quality assurance of education and practices of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa, and Homeopathy (Ayush). 
  • India has also taken the lead in developing the country’s “integrative Medicine Policy” to integrate Traditional systems of medicine and western medicine while ensuring their training, research and safety. 

About  AYUSH:

  • The Ministry of Ayush, the ministry of the Government of India, is responsible for developing education, research and propagation of traditional medicine systems in India. 
  • Ayush is a name devised from the words the alternative to healthcare systems covered by the ministry: Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy. 
  • It was established in the year 2014, and the current minister is Sarbananda Sonowal. 

About SCO:

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, and International security and defence organisation. 
  • It is the world’s largest regional organisation in terms of geographic scope and population, covering approximately 60% of the area of Eurasia, 40% of the world population, and more than 30% of the global GDP. 
  • It was formed in 1996 between the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. It is headquartered in Beijing. 

Union Cabinet approves contract for three Cadet Training Ships under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category

  • The Union Cabinet has accorded approval to sign a contract with Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) for the acquisition of three Cadet Training Ships, at an overall cost of ₹3,108.09 crore, under Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)} category. The delivery of ships is scheduled to commence in 2026.


  • These ships will cater to the training of officer cadets, including women, at sea after their basic training to meet the future requirements of the Indian Navy. 
  • The ships would also provide training to cadets from friendly countries with the aim of strengthening diplomatic relations. 
  • The ships can also be deployed for evacuation of people and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).

About the ships:

  • The ships will be indigenously designed, developed and constructed at the L&T shipyard in Kattupalli, Chennai. 
  • The project will generate employment of 22.5 lakh man-days over a period of four-and-half years. 
  • This will encourage the active participation of Indian shipbuilding and associated industries, including MSMEs. 
  • With the majority of the equipment and systems sourced from indigenous manufacturers, these vessels will be proud flag bearers of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in accordance with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.

India tops the list of internet shutdowns

  • In 2022, the Indian government ordered 84 internet shutdowns. 
  • India has been at the top of the list for cutting off the internet to its citizens for five years consecutively, as per a report by The Indian Express. 
  • The shutdowns were exercised for various reasons, including protests, school exams, and elections.


  • The title of the report is: “Weapons Of Control, Shields Of Impunity — Internet Shutdowns”.
  • India saw 84 shutdowns out of the total 187 worldwide.
  • Ukraine saw the second-highest number of shutdowns, with 22 imposed by external forces during the armed conflict in the country and Yemen.
  • Iran remained in third position with 18 shutdowns.

Key Findings:

  • Authorities disrupted internet access at least 49 times in Jammu and Kashmir due to political instability and violence.
  • This included a string of 16 back-to-back orders for three-day-long curfew-style shutdowns in January and February 2022.

Laws related to Telecommunications in India:

  • The proposed Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill has empowered central and state governments with unrestricted powers to impose shutdowns when “necessary and expedient”, signals the government’s intention to continue down this troublesome path, violating fundamental rights of expression and assembly and providing opportunities to cover up human rights abuses.
  • In Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, the SC had laid down procedural safeguards to be followed by the government before resorting to internet shutdowns.

NTPC commissions India’s first Air cooled condenser

  • NTPC has commissioned India’s first Air Cooled Condenser installed Super Critical plant to demonstrate its commitment towards water conservation through the three R’s—reduce, reuse and recycle.


  • This project has been envisaged with Air Cooled Condenser (ACC), which has almost 1/3rd water footprint as compared to a conventional Water Cooled Condenser (WCC).
  • NTPC will further imbibe the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) for water conservation and management while carrying out its core business activity of power generation.

What is an air cool condenser:

  • An air-cooled condenser (ACC) is a direct dry cooling system where steam is condensed inside air-cooled finned tubes.
  • The cool ambient airflow outside the finned tubes is what removes heat and defines the functionality of an ACC.
  • In air-cooled condensers, condenser heat is rejected directly to the ambient air.
  • The obvious advantage of air-cooled condensers relative to water-cooled condensers is that cooling water is unnecessary.

About National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC):

  • NTPC Limited, formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, is an Indian central public sector undertaking under the ownership of the Ministry of Power, Government of India which is engaged in the generation of electricity and allied activities.
  • NTPC is currently meeting 24 per cent of the country’s demand through coal, gas, hydro, solar and wind plants.

Gold Mines found in three districts of Odisha

  • Gold mines have been found at different locations in three districts of Odisha, informed Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik recently in the state assembly.


  • Surveys by Odisha’s Directorate of Mines and Geological Survey of India (GSI) have confirmed gold deposits in three districts, including Deogarh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj.
  • These gold deposits have been found at four places in the Keonjhar district, four places in the Mayurbhanj district and one place in the Deogarh district.
  • It is noteworthy that after the confirmation of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir last month, now the indication of gold reserves in Odisha is an important achievement for the country.
  • Surveys were done in these areas of Odisha in the 1970s and 80s. The survey campaign was conducted by the Directorate of Mines and Geology and the GSI. At that time, the report of this survey was not made public.
  • According to State Mining Minister Prafulla Kumar Malik, GSI had again conducted surveys in these three districts in the last two years.

Vietnam parliament elects new President Vo Van Thuong

  • Vo Van Thuong has been elected as the new President of Vietnam. The country’s top legislature convened a special meeting and elected Thuong with an approval rate of 98.38%.
  • Born in December 1970, Thuong is the youngest member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam. 
  • He hails from Mekong Delta’s Vinh Long province and holds an M.A. in Philosophy and an advanced degree in political theory from the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.
  • Huong’s election comes after the resignation of the former President, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, for personal reasons. 
  • The National Assembly appointed Vo Thi Anh Xuan as the acting President the next day after Phuc’s resignation. 

Raisina Dialogue 2023

  • It is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community, held annually in New Delhi since 2016. 
  • It takes its name from Raisina Hill- the seat of the Indian government. 
  • It is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs. 
  • It brings together global leaders in policy, business, media, civil society, defence and foreign policy.

‘SWAYATT’ Start-ups Women and Youth Advantage Through e-transactions

  • A function was held to commemorate the success of “SWAYATT”, an initiative on Government e-Marketplace (GeM). 
  • About SWAYATT: The initiative was first launched in 2019. 
  • It aims to promote the inclusiveness of various categories of sellers and service providers on the GeM portal. 
  • GeM has been set up (under the administrative control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry) for the procurement of goods and services by Central Ministries, State Departments, PSEs and Autonomous Bodies.

Hekani Jakhalu and Salhoutuonuo Kruse become 1st women MLAs from Nagaland

  • In a significant milestone, people in Nagaland have elected two women candidates after 60 years since it attained statehood. Salhoutuonuo Kruse and Hekani Jakhalu.
  • Both are from the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, which made history by becoming the first women candidates to be elected in the state assembly election. Kruse won from Western Angami AC, and Jakhalu clinched the Dimapur-III constituency.

Indian Army to buy 310 Indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System

  • Following extensive trial firings over several years, the Indian Army has submitted a proposal to acquire the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), an indigenously built weapon capable of being deployed in high-altitude areas.
  • The ATAGS has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with the Kalyani Group and Tata Advanced Systems Limited.
  • The gun is capable of being deployed in high-altitude regions along India’s frontier with Tibet, where the Army is locked in a tense standoff with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
  • The indigenous gun boasts unparalleled range capabilities, with its Extended Range Sub-Bore Boat Tail (ERFB BT) ammunition capable of striking targets at 35 km and ERFB BB (Base Bleed) ammunition reaching a range of approximately 45 km. Notably, in 2017, the ATAGS was successfully fired at an impressive range of 47 km.

HDFC Bank and IRCTC launch India’s most rewarding co-branded travel credit card

  • Indian Railway-backed catering services provider IRCTC tied up with the largest private sector lender HDFC Bank today launched one of India’s most rewarding co-branded travel credit cards. 
  • The co-branded card, called “IRCTC HDFC Bank Credit Card”, will be in a single variant exclusively available on NPCI’s Rupay network.
  • The card will provide exclusive benefits and maximum savings on train ticket bookings through the IRCTC’s ticketing website and the IRCTC Rail Connect app. 
  • IRCTC HDFC Bank Credit cardholders will enjoy an attractive joining bonus, discounts on bookings and access to the several executive lounges at railway stations across the country.

India wins GSMA Government Leadership Award 2023

  • GSM Association (GSMA) has conferred Government Leadership Award 2023 to India for implementing best practices in telecom policy and regulation.
  • GSMA, which represents more than 750 mobile operators and 400 companies in the telecom ecosystem, recognises one country every year. 
  • India was declared the winner in the Mobile World Congress Barcelona ceremony on 27 Feb 2023.

Kerala, UN body ink pact to boost women-friendly tourism activities

  • The Kerala government signed an MoU with the UN Women to boost women-friendly activities in the State’s tourism sector.
  • The MoU signed by Kerala Tourism and UN Women India agreed to work towards promoting gender-inclusive tourism sites in the State.
  • The MoU was signed by Kerala Tourism Director P B Nooh and UN Women India representative Susan Ferguson.
  • Both parties agreed to work towards promoting gender-inclusive tourism sites in the State.
  • It would be implemented by the Responsible Tourism Mission.
  • It will be done by creating modules and capacity-building of relevant stakeholders.

Pepsi Appoints Ranveer Singh as its New Brand Ambassador

  • Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh becomes the Brand Ambassador of the beverage manufacturing company Pepsi.
  • This youth-focused corporation has invented a new tagline, “Rise Up Baby”.
  • This step has been taken up for the upcoming summer campaign in order to increase sales. Famous Kannada actor Yash has also been selected as the new face of Pepsi.
  • Ranveer Singh reportedly had a brand value of $158.3 million and saw an improvement in brand rankings in 2021.
  •  After cricketer Virat Kohli, Singh had the second-highest brand value in the rankings. Singh has 45 brand endorsements.

ISRO organises Flight Acceptance Tests of CE-20 Engine

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully concluded the flight acceptance of the CE-20 Cryogenic Engine.
  • This engine intends to power the Cryogenic Upper Stage of the LVM3 launches vehicle for the Lunar Mission, Chandrayaan-3.
  • This cryogenic engine is further integrated with propellant tanks, associated fluid lines, and space structures, as described by the Space Agency.
  • This flight acceptance hot test comes a day after the Chandrayaan-3 lander successfully completed the crucial EMI-EMC (Electromagnetic Interference/ Electromagnetic Compatibility) test.
  • Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third moon mission and is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface. 
  • The mission is slated to be launched later this year by Launch Vehicle Mark 3 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.

World Bank signs USD 1 billion loan to support India’s health sector

  • The World Bank is lending up to $1 billion to help India with preparedness for future pandemics as well as to strengthen its health infrastructure. 
  • The lending will be divided into two complementary loans of $500 million each.
  • This combined financing of USD 1 billion will support the Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), launched in October 2021, which aims to improve the public healthcare infrastructure across the country.


  • One of the loans will prioritise health service delivery in seven states, including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh, as per the release. 
  • The loans will focus on improving the healthcare infrastructure in these states, which will benefit the populations of these states and generate positive spillovers for other states.

Indian healthcare system stat:

  • India’s performance in health has improved over time. According to World Bank estimates, India’s life expectancy has increased from 58 in 1990 to 69.8 in 2020. 
  • This is higher than average for the country’s income level. The under-five mortality rate (36 per 1,000 live births), the infant mortality rate (30 per 1,000 live births), and the maternal mortality ratio (103 per 100,000 live births) are all close to the average for India’s income level, reflecting significant achievements in access to skilled birth attendance, immunisations, and other priority services.

About World Bank:

  • The World Bank provides financing, advice, and research to developing nations to boost their economies
  • It was founded along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Bretton Woods Agreement to serve international governments
  • The World Bank Group includes five cooperative organisations, often referred to as the World Banks
  • David R. Malpass is the President of the World Bank Group
  • It was established in July 1944
  • Its headquarters are based in Washington D.C, United States

Madhya Pradesh govt launches Ladli Bahna scheme

  • The Madhya Pradesh government has launched a unique scheme today to make women financially independent.
  • In this scheme, named Ladli Bahna, each woman will be given ₹1,000 per month.

About the Ladli Bahna Yojna:

  • The Mukhyamantri Ladli Bahna Yojana is being implemented in the state with the goals of increasing women’s economic independence, improving their health and nutrition, and increasing their control over family decisions.
  • The plan will see ₹1,000 each month deposited into the accounts of local women aged 23 to 60. 


  • The government aims to reach out to one crore women in the state, for which a provision of ₹8,000 crore has been made in the Budget presented recently.
  • Applications for the plan will be accepted from 15th March through 30th April, after scrutiny, a list of beneficiaries will be put out on 1 May and the final list on 31 May, they added. Money being distributed beginning on 10th June.


  • Women above the age of 23 will be eligible for the scheme. 
  • Ladies over the age of 60 who are currently receiving a pension of ₹600 will now be eligible for a pension of ₹1,000. 
  • The “Ladli Behna Yojana” is projected to help women whose yearly family income is less than ₹2.5 lakh. 

USA to host World Culture Festival 2023

  • The fourth World Cultural Festival will be held in the American capital this fall, organiser Art of Living has announced.
  • The previous three editions of the World Culture Festival were held in Bengaluru (2006), Berlin (2011) and New Delhi (2016).


  • The First World Cultural Festival was attended by 3.5 million people in the audience, and over 37000 artists were a part of the festival, which lasted over three days in New Delhi in 2016. It is one of the flagship programmes under the purview of the Art Of Living Foundation.
  • It was chaired by Justice RC. Lahoti and Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali from the United Nations were also asked to be a co-chair but were not able to be a part of it due to his death which took place prior to the event.
  • The festival was highly criticised in the news and media due to environmental reasons, and the Art of Living Foundation was involved in a legal battle with the National Green Tribunal (NGT). 
  • It had directed the foundation to pay a fine of ₹5 crore, i.e., USD 630,000, prior to the commencing of the event. 

What is the World Cultural Festival chronicle?

  • The four World Cultural Festivals were held in Bangalore (2006), Berlin (2011), New Delhi (2016) and Australia (2018) simultaneously and respectively, and now the US is all set to host the World Cultural Festival at Washington DC in 2023 at the National Mall from 29 September till 1 October 2023. 
  • This will be the fourth in the Chronicle and Saga of the Art of Living Foundation World Cultural Festivals and Fifth in the overall World Cultural Festivals if we count the World Cultural Festival held in the HCM-city of Vietnam in 2017.


  • Its true Motto is “One World, One Family” as explained beautifully by the terminology 

Karnataka won the Santosh Trophy 2022-23 after 54 years by defeating Meghalaya

  • Karnataka ended their 54-year wait recently by winning the Santosh Trophy National Football Championship recently, beating Meghalaya 3-2 in a pulsating final at the King Fahd International Stadium in the Saudi Arabia capital, Riyadh.


  • Egged on by vociferous support from the stands, Karnataka, who last played the senior national championships final 47 years back (1975-76), trumped the first-time finalists, breaching their defence at will and pumping in three goals in the first half to set the tone as well as settle the eventual outcome.
  • Earlier, Services won third place beating Punjab 2-0 in the play-off match held before the final. 

About Santosh Trophy

  • The National Football Championship or Hero Santosh Trophy, due to sponsorship ties with Hero MotoCorp also known as the Hero National Football Championship, or simply Santosh Trophy, is a state-level national football competition contested by the state associations and government institutions under the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the sport’s governing body in India.
  • Before the starting of the first national club league, the National Football League, in 1996, the Santosh Trophy was considered the top domestic honour in India.
  • The tournament was started in 1941 by the Indian Football Association (IFA), which was the then de facto governing body of football in India. 
  • It was named after the former president of the IFA, Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhury, the Maharaja of Santosh, who had died at the age of 61 in 1939.

Academicdom Index Report

  • In a 2023 update to its ‘Academicdom Index’, the V-Dem Institute has noted that India is among 22 countries and territories out of 179 in the world, where institutions and scholars enjoy ‘significantly lessdom today than 10 years ago’.

What is the Academicdom Index?

  • It has been published by Global Public Policy Institute as a part of a global time-series dataset (1900-2019) in close cooperation with Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Scholars at Risk and the V‑Dem Institute.
  • The report provides an overview of academicdom in 179 countries by assessing five indicators. It is based on assessments by more than 2,197 country experts from around the world.


  • Freedom to research and teach
  • Freedom of academic exchange and dissemination
  • Institutional autonomy of universities
  • Campus integrity
  • Thedom of academic and cultural expression

Data about India:

  • According to the report released recently, India scored 0.38 on a scale of 0 (low) to 1 (high), which is lower than Pakistan’s score of 0.43 and the United States’ score of 0.79. 
  • It performed poorly in campus integrity, institutional autonomy and academic and cultural expression. 
  • It did slightly well indom to teach and research and space for academic exchange and dissemination. China scored 0.07, putting it in the bottom 10% of the countries. 
  • The report noted the pressure on all aspects of academicdom in the country.

Mumbai’s famous “vada pav” ranked 13th in the list of best sandwiches in the world

  • Mumbai’s famous street food, “vada pav”, has been ranked number 13 on a list of the top 50 best-rated sandwiches in the world.
  • The list is published by TasteAtlas, a Croatian-based food travel guide website. 
  • Turkey’s tombik sandwich tops the list. Second is Peru’s Butifarra Sandwich, and Argentina’s De Lomo Sandwich is third.
  • Vada pav street food is said to have originated from a street vendor named Ashok Vaidya, who operated near Dadar railway station in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Traditionally vada pav is made of spiced mashed potatoes, deep fried in chickpea batter and pav, which is also known as a white bread roll.

Mauganj became the 53rd district of Madhya Pradesh

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on 4 March to make Tehsil Mauganj of Rewa district the 53rd district of the state.
  • Mauganj district, bordering Uttar Pradesh, will have four tehsils – Mauganj, Hanumana, Naigarhi and Devtalab with a population of more than six lakhs.
  • The purpose of this move of the government is to end the discontent against the government regarding the lack of adequate representation for the politically important Vindhya region in the state cabinet.

The US and South Korea announce the largest field exercises in 5 years

  • The South Korean and U.S. militaries announced to hold off on their most extensive joint field exercises in five years as the US flew a long-range B-1B bomber to the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea.
  • It is going to be conducted from 13 to 23 March 2023.
  • The South Korean and U.S. military will conduct thedom Shield exercise, a computer-simulated command post training, to strengthen their defence and response capabilities, and separate large-scale joint field training exercises called ‘Warrior Shield FTX.’
  • The two countries last conducted Foal Eagle in 2018.
  • Recently, both countries have been expanding their joint military exercises in the face of an evolving North Korean nuclear threat.

The World Bank has released India’s score for the index on the life cycle of a working woman

  • The World Bank has released India’s score for the index on the life cycle of a working woman obtained down to 74.4 out of a possible 100.
  • A score of 100 on the ‘Index’ means that women are in equal standing with men on all the eight indicators being measured.
  • Title of the report: The index was developed based on a report named ‘Women, Business and the Law 2023’.

Phytoplankton Blooms

  • Huge blooms of phytoplankton—microscopic algae floating on the ocean’s surface—have become larger and more frequent along the world’s coastlines.
  • Marine animals such as fish and whales eat phytoplankton.
  • It can also prove toxic in large amounts, starving the ocean of oxygen and leading to “dead zones” that wreak chaos on the food chain and fisheries.


  • Warmer sea surface temperatures.
  • Changes in climate can also mess with ocean circulation, affecting the mixing between ocean layers and how nutrients move around the ocean.
  • Human development also plays a role. Fertiliser runoff from agriculture can spike nutrient loads in the ocean, leading to blooms.

Health Ministry gets Porter Prize 2023

  • The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry recently received the Porter Prize 2023.

This prize is given for:

  • The government’s strategy for managing COVID-19, 
  • Also, the approach and involvement of various stakeholders, especially the involvement of ASHA workers in the industry, to create PPE Kits.
  • Its contribution to developing and manufacturing vaccines

What is the Porter Prize?

  • It is named after award-winning economist Michael E. Porter.
  • He has brought economic theory and strategy concepts to bear on many of the most challenging problems faced by corporations, economies and societies, including market competition and company strategy, economic development, the environment and healthcare.

Mansukh Mandaviya and Ashwini Vaishnaw flag off ‘Jan Aushadhi Train’

  • Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Railways, flagged off a Jan Aushadhi Train (Chhattisgarh Sampark Kranti Express) from New Delhi recently. 
  • This train has been wrapped with the branding of the Jan Aushadhi scheme to spread awareness about Jan Aushadhi Generic medicines which are available through more than 9000 Kendra at affordable prices. 
  • This train will travel to more than four States for two months.
  • The Government has set a target to increase the number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras to 10 thousand by the end of this year. 
  • Medicines available at Jan Aushadhi Kendra are priced 50 to 90 per cent less than the prices of branded medicines.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Belarus

  • Ales Bialiatski, Belarus’s top human rights advocate and one of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize winners, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Minsk.
  • Bialiatsky was sentenced for activities disturbing public order, financing and smuggling. The Leninsky District Court of the capital Minsk also imposed a fine of US $65,000 on 60-year-old Bialiatsky.
  • Bialiatsky is the head of the Vesna Human Rights Center. Along with Bialiatsky, representatives of the Vesna Human Rights Center, Valentin Stefanovich and Vladimir Labkovich were also sentenced to 9-7 years.
  • Bialiatsky was honoured by the Nobel committee in October in Oslo along with the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties.
  • Bialiatsky, 60, has been an advocate of democracy in Belarus since the 1980s and formed Vyasna, which means “spring”.
  • He had earlier also been jailed between 2011 and 2014 for tax evasion.

Hockey India appoints South African Craig Fulton as the new Chief Coach of the Indian men’s hockey team

  • Hockey India has appointed Craig Fulton of South Africa as the new head coach of the Indian men’s hockey team.
  • Craig Fulton will replace Graham Reid, who resigned in January 2023 following India’s poor performance in the World Cup.
  • Craig Fulton represented South Africa at the Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004 Olympics and earned 195 international caps in a career spanning more than a decade.
  • Fulton managed the Irish men’s hockey team between 2014 and 2018 and helped them qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
  • He also won the FIH Coach of the Year in 2015 while with the Irish team.
  • Fulton has nearly 25 years of coaching experience and has earned 195 caps for South Africa over a span of 10 years.
  • He also played in the Atlanta and Athens Olympics.

Hekani Jakhalu became the first female MLA of the Nagaland Assembly

  • Hakani Jakhalu of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) became the first female MLA to be elected to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
  • No female MLA has been elected in a total of 13 state assembly seats in the state to date.
  • Jakhu won the Dimapur III seat by defeating Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Azheto Jhimomi by 1,536 votes.
  • Another NDPP female candidate, Salhunuonu Cruce, defeated her independent rival by just seven votes in the Western Angami constituency. Both became the first female MLAs from Nagaland.
  • In 2019, she won the Nari Shakti Puruskar from the Ministry of Child and Women Development.

Exercise FRINJEX-23 commences in Thiruvananthapuram

  • The maiden Joint Military Exercise FRINJEX-23 between Indian Army and French Army is being conducted at Pangode Military Station, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on 7 and 8 March 2023. 
  • It is the first time armies of both nations have engaged in this format, with each contingent comprising a Company Group each from the Thiruvananthapuram-based Indian Army troops and French 6th Light Armoured Brigade.
  • The Joint exercise will further cement defence cooperation with France, a key aspect of the overall Indo-France strategic partnership.


  • The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, coordination and cooperation between both forces at a tactical level. 
  • The scope of the exercise involves establishing and operationalising a joint command post to secure an envisaged area for undertaking joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, establishing an Internally Displaced Population (IDP) camp and move of disaster relief material.

 About Pangode Military Station:

  • Located in the city of Trivandrum, Kerala, Pangode is an area that has consistently maintained its reputation for cleanliness. 
  • The incredible views available while travelling the stretch include the battle tank on display, The war memorial, The humongous Pangode House- the official residence of the officer in charge of the entire brigade, The quarter guard, where most ceremonies take place and The Colochal stadium.

Naval commanders’ conference begins on INS Vikrant

  • THE FIRST edition of the Naval Commanders’ Conference-2023—to be held at sea aboard indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant—has begun today, 7 March.
  • This Conference will serve as a platform for discussing key security issues at the military-strategic level and interacting with government officials through institutionalised forums. 


  • The decision to hold the meeting aboard INS Vikrant echoes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s long-standing vision that commanders’ meetings should not simply be confined to the country. 
  • It was done in the light of not only in the capital but also in other areas of application, according to the government statement. 
  • An operational demonstration at sea is also planned as part of the activities on the first day. 
  • The Naval Commanders’ Conference serves as a platform for officers to discuss critical security issues at the military-strategic level and collaborate with government officials. 

Navy test-fires ship-launched version of BrahMos missile

  • The Navy recently successfully test-fired the ship-launched version of BrahMos supersonic missile with an indigenous seeker and booster in the Arabian Sea.
  • The missile is equipped with an indigenous booster designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The air-launched missile can hit targets within a range of around 400 km.

About BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd:

  • It was developed by BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd, an India-Russian joint venture that produces supersonic cruise missiles that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms.
  • It flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach, or almost three times the speed of sound.
  • In April 2022, the anti-ship version of the supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired jointly by the Indian Navy and the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
  • These missiles are also being exported by India and had sealed a $375 million deal with the Philippines to supply three batteries of the missile in January 2022.


  • In January last year, India signed a $375 million deal with the Philippines to supply the missile. India is also eyeing other countries such as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt to sell the missiles.

UN members reach an accord to protect marine life on the high seas

  • For the first time, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas – nearly half the planet’s surface – concluding two weeks of talks in New York.
  • The treaty was negotiated under the United Nations Convention on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, which governs the rights of countries regarding marine resources.

About the treaty:

  • The Treaty of High Seas, also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Treaty, will create a new body to manage the conservation of ocean life and establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on high seas. 
  • It will put limits on how much fishing can take place, exploration activities like deep sea mining, etc.

Maritime boundary definition:

  • Inland Waters – These represent the water available on the landward side of the earth’s surface. It constitutes water bodies like rivers, bays, and lakes, which are connected to the sea.
  • Territorial seas – These extend to roughly a distance of twelve nautical miles from the state’s maritime borders. The country or the state exercises its jurisdiction and executive sovereignty over the components of the territorial seas like the seabed, airspace, and the subsoil beneath the territorial seas.
  • Contiguous Zones – These zones are beyond the limits of the territorial seas and extend up to a distance of twenty-four nautical miles from the state’s maritime boundaries. The enforcement authorities of that Region have to ensure and prevent any potential risks of theft or infringement in some components or work machinery such as customs, a breach in immigration rules or in fiscal laws and specific regulations, and also strict punishment should be devised of those found guilty of breach or infringement of the specific laws and the rules and regulations prescribed for the international border in the sea.
  • Especially exclusive economic zones – This is a zone that stretches beyond the distance of territorial seas and contiguous zones in the sea borders map. It is said to extend up to a distance of two hundred nautical miles from a specific region’s maritime boundaries. The country or the state has jurisdiction and executive rights over an exclusive economic zone. It also has the right to undergo exploration in exclusive economic zones in search of various sources of natural energy. 
  • Continental Shelf – It constitutes the soil lying underneath the water surface and the underground seabed of the extended submarine area. It extends up to a length of two hundred nautical miles from the maritime boundaries of the particular state or country. 

What is the High sea?

  • High seas begin at the border of countries’ EEZ, which extend up to 370 km from coastlines.
  • They comprise more than 60% of the world’s oceans and nearly half the planet’s surface. 
  • Only about 1% of high seas are currently protected.  

The rationale of this treaty:

  • Significance of treaty Enforcing UN Biodiversity Conference’s pledge to conserve 30% of the world’s land and ocean by 2030 (Achieving 30×30 Goal) 
  • Obligates countries to conduct environmental impact assessments of proposed activities on high seas
  • Combine different regional treaties to address threats and concerns across species’ ranges


  • UNCLOS (HQ: Montego Bay, Jamaica) define coastal and maritime boundaries to regulate seabed exploration, not within territorial claims. Membership: 168 parties, including India.

National Remote Sensing Centre released the Landslide Atlas of India

  • Recently, for the first time, National Remote Sensing Centre Hyderabad scientists did a risk assessment on landslides recorded between 1988 and 2022 in 147 districts in 17 states and two union territories to build a Landslide Atlas of India. 
  • An Atlas, prepared under the Disaster Management Support Programme of ISRO, provides state-wise geospatial distribution of landslides using space data and geospatial models. 
  • National Remote Sensing Centre is responsible for managing data from aerial and satellite sources.

What is Landslide?

  • A landslide is described as a mass of rock, debris or earth moving down a slope. 
  • Landslides are a form of mass waste under the direct influence of gravity that indicates any down-slope movement of rock and soil.

What are the causes of landslides?

Take a look at the five factors that trigger landslides in India:

  • Deforestation- Landslides due to human intervention is one of the causes of landslides in India
  • Shifting Cultivation- Shifting cultivation is common in hilly regions and Northeast areas
  • Heavy Rainfall and Earthquakes
  • Mining
  • Urbanisation

What are the four types of landslides?

  • falls
  • topples
  • slides (rotational and translational)
  • flows

Impact of landslides: 

  • Loss of lives and infrastructure, and the risk of floods, create a financial burden for rebuilding infrastructure.

About National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC)

  • National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) at Hyderabad is responsible for remote sensing satellite data acquisition and processing, data dissemination, aerial remote sensing and decision support for disaster management. 
  • NRSC has a data reception station at Shadnagar near Hyderabad for acquiring data from Indian remote sensing satellites as well as others.
  • National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) at Hyderabad has been converted into a full-fledged centre of ISRO since 1 September 2008. 
  • Earlier, NRSC was an autonomous body called the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) under the Department of Space (DOS).

Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has prohibited the sale of hallmarked gold jewellery or gold artefacts without HUID after 31 March 2023. 
  • Hallmarking of Gold jewellery is done as per Indian Standards specified in IS 1417: 2016 with three symbols, with the BIS logo as the first symbol. 
  • Purity and fineness of gold as the second symbol
  • HUID, as the third symbol, is a unique 6-digit alphanumeric code given to every piece of jewellery to enable traceability. 
  • It can be verified in the BIS CARE app. Benefit: Provide third-party assurance on purity and fineness of gold jewellery.

Swachh Sujal Shakti Samman 2023

  • 36 Women WASH Champions across the country receive Swachh Sujal Shakti Samman 2023 from the President of India. 
  • The event was organised by the Ministry of Jal Shakti to felicitate exceptional and exemplary work being done at the grassroots level by women in the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin (SBM-G); Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM); Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain (JSA-CTR). Other highlights: Release of National Water Mission’s (NWM) SoPs on Source Sustainability, the launch of JSA-CTR 2023.

Bamboo Crash Barrier

  • India has installed the world’s first Bamboo crash barrier on the Wani-Warora highway in Maharashtra. 
  • The 200m long Bamboo Crash Barrier, named Bahu Balli, is made from Bambusa Balcooa species of bamboo. 
  • Bambusa Balcoa, also known as ‘female bamboo’, is a tropical clumping bamboo mainly grown in Northeast India and West Bengal. 
  • It is commonly used in building materials for houses, bridges, fishing floats, scaffolding, baskets, etc. 
  • Benefits as Crash Barrier: An alternative to current steel barriers, bamboo barriers have a higher recycling value (50-70%) than steel barriers (30-50%). 

Global Education Monitoring Report by UNESCO

  • The report was released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 
  • Key findings: Only 17% of countries cover sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression issues – the least covered areas in CSE curricula. 
  • Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality. 
  • Only 20% of countries have laws, and 39% have a national policy specifically addressing Sexuality education. 
  • Sexuality education in primary education is compulsory in 68% of countries and secondary education in 76%. Contraception issues are covered in school curriculums in two-thirds of countries.

Great Seahorse Migration

  • As per a new study, extensive fishing off the Coromandel coast could be forcing great seahorses to migrate toward Odisha. Seahorses are a type of fish with horse-like heads. 
  • They are poor swimmers but migrate by rafting (clinging to floating substrata). 
  • There are 46 species of seahorses reported worldwide. 
  • Coastal ecosystems of India house 9 out of 12 species found in the Indo-Pacific. Habitat: Seagrass, mangroves, macroalgal beds, and coral reefs. 
  • IUCN status: Vulnerable. 

INS Trikand

  • INS Trikand is participating in the International Maritime Exercise/ Cutlass Express 2023 (IMX/CE-23) being held in the Gulf region from 26 Feb to 16 Mar 2023. 
  • Exercises are being held with participants from over 50 nations and international maritime agencies to enhance maritime security and keep sea lanes in the region safe for maritime commerce.
  • IMX/CE-23 is one of the largest multinational maritime exercises in the world. While this is the Indian Navy’s maiden IMX participation, it also marks the second occasion where an Indian Naval ship is participating in an exercise conducted by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). In November 2022, INS Trikand participated in the CMF-led Operation Sea Sword 2 in the Northwest Arabian Sea.

Mirabai Chanu became “BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year” for the second time in a row

  • Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has won the 2022 ‘BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year award’ after a public vote. 
  • The former captain of the Indian women’s hockey team Pritam Siwach was conferred with the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Indian sports and for inspiring generations of players.
  • Chanu becomes the first athlete to win the award twice in a row after winning for the year 2021.
  • At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she became the first Indian to win a silver medal in weightlifting and, in 2022, secured gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.  She won a silver medal at the World Weightlifting Championships in 2022.  
  • The other shortlisted contenders for BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year were wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, boxer Nikhat Zareen, and badminton player PV Sindhu.

The first Labour 20 (L20) meeting will be held in Punjab’s Amritsar on the 19th and 20th of March

  • The first Labour 20 (L20) meeting is scheduled to be held in Punjab’s Amritsar on the 19th and 20th of this month. 
  • L20 comprises leaders and representatives of trade union centres of G20 countries. 
  • They provide analysis and policy recommendations aimed at addressing labour-related issues.
  • Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) is the lead national trade union centre organising the L20 inception meeting under the India G20 presidency. 
  • Apart from the meeting, the participants of the L20 meeting would be taken to various excursion sites to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Amritsar.

India on 108th position in Electoral Democracy Index 2023

  • India has now been ranked at 108th spot globally for electoral democracy, far behind nations like Tanzania, Bolivia, Mexico, Singapore, and even Nigeria, which comes in at a modest 91st spot by V-Dem Institute in its Electoral Democracy Report for 2023. 
  • This ranking may come as a shock to many, but it is also worth noting that India’s rank is far below nations like Tanzania, Bolivia, Mexico, and Singapore.

Indian Navy successfully test-fires indigenous surface-to-air missile

  • The Indian Navy recently carried out a successful test-firing of a Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) from the frontline warship INS Visakhapatnam.


  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) jointly developed it. It reflects the Indian navy’s commitment to “Atamanirbhar Bharat”. 
  • It is designed to destroy hostile aircraft at a 70 km range. 
  • The latest test-firing came two days after the Navy successfully test-fired the ship-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic missile. 
  • In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, manoeuvrable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy, or battle group and defend them against powerful short-range attackers.

About INS Visakhapatnam: 

  • INS Visakhapatnam is the lead ship and the first of the Visakhapatnam-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy. 
  • The ship, commissioned on 21 November 2021, is one of the largest destroyers in service with the Indian Navy. 
  • Visakhapatnam was delivered to the Indian Navy on 28 October 2021 and commissioned on 21 November 2021 by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command, headquartered in Mumbai.

About IAI:

  • Israel Aerospace Industries is Israel’s major aerospace and aviation manufacturer, producing aerial and astronautic systems for both military and civilian usage. IAI is completely state-owned by the government of Israel.

International Women’s Day 2023

  • Every year, March marks Women’s History Month – an annual month-long celebration highlighting the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. 
  • On 8 March, people commemorate International Women’s Day. 


  • This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is Embrace Equity or #EmbraceEquity. 

History and Significance:

  • According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century across North America and Europe. 
  • UNESCO states, “The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February 1909”.
  • which the Socialist Party of America dedicated in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York where women protested against harsh working conditions. 
  • In 1917, women in Russia chose to protest and strike under the slogan “Bread and Peace” on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Their movement ultimately led to the enactment of women’s suffrage in Russia.
  • In 1977, the United Nations (UN) started celebrating International Women’s Day. It was officially agreed that the day would be widely observed every year on 8 March.

Centre releases guidelines for celebrities, social media influencers

  • The Centre recently released a set of guidelines for celebrities, influencers, and virtual influencers on social media platforms to ensure that individuals do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products or services.


  • The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has released a set of guidelines called ‘Endorsements Know-hows’ which ensures that Individuals do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products and services. 
  • Endorsements are in compliance with Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 2019. 
  • Guidelines provide clarification with reference to ‘Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’, which are issued under CPA 2019.

What is the need for these Guidelines?

  • Increased use of social media for promotional activities and influencer violations comprising almost 30% of ads taken up by the Advertising Standards Council of India. 
  • India’s social media influencer market is expected to reach ₹ 2,800 crores by 2025 (from ₹ 1,275 crore in 2022).

Key highlights: 

  • Endorsements must be made in simple, clear language. 
  • Terms including advertisement, sponsored, collaboration and paid promotion can be used, which must be indicated as a hashtag or headline text. 
  • Individuals must not endorse any product and service that they have not personally used or experienced or in which due diligence has not been done by them. 
  • Failure to disclose any material connection or non-compliance with CPA 2019 and the rules made thereunder would make such violators liable for strict action under the law. 

India to launch a global alliance for big cats

  • INDIA has proposed to launch a mega global alliance under its leadership to protect big cats and assured support over five years with guaranteed funding of $100 million (over ₹800 crore), according to records reviewed.
  • The proposed International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) will work towards the protection and conservation of the seven major big cats—tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar and cheetah. Membership to the alliance will be open to 97 “range” countries, which contain the natural habitat of these big cats, as well as other interested nations, international organisations, etc.


  • India is the only country in the world to have five big cats in the wild (except pumas and jaguars). 
  • IUCN Status: Endangered (Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lions); Vulnerable (Snow Leopards, African Cheetahs); Least Concerned (Common Leopard).

About IBCA Membership: 

  • Open to 97 “range” countries, which contain the natural habitat of these big cats, as well as other interested nations, international organisations, etc.

How will this body work?

  • IBCA’s governance structure has a General Assembly consisting of all member countries. 
  • Council of at least seven but not more than 15 member countries elected by the General Assembly for a five years term, and a Secretariat. 
  • Upon recommendation of the Council, the General Assembly will appoint IBCA Secretary General for a specific term.

Why do we need to protect big cats?

  • Cats are apex predators whose loss can set off a “trophic cascade”, wherein prey populations may explode, resulting in overgrazing and degrading the health of the landscape. 
  • Protecting tiger habitats means protecting forests which facilitate fighting climate change and thereby supporting economies through ecotourism.

Isro successfully deorbits dead Megha Trophiques satellite

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently successfully deorbited a satellite after the end of its mission. 
  • Megha Trophiques-1 was brought down from its orbit as it disintegrated and burned up in the skies above the Pacific Ocean.

What is Megha-Tropiques-1?

  • The Megha-Tropiques-1 (MT1) is a joint satellite venture of ISRO and the French space agency, CNES, for tropical weather and climate studies. 
  • It was launched on October 12 and was supposed to have a mission life of three years. 
  • However, it continued to provide valuable data services for over a decade, supporting regional and global climate models until 2021. 
  • The name Megha-Tropiques-1 is derived from Sanskrit and French, meaning ‘cloud’ and ‘tropics,’ respectively.

Reason for crashing the satellite:

  • ISRO is crashing the satellite as part of its commitment to the United Nations Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (UNIADC) following the end of its mission life. 
  • The UN guidelines state that at the end of its life, the satellite should be deorbited, preferably through controlled re-entry to a safe impact zone or by bringing it to an orbit where the orbital lifetime is less than 25 years. 
  • The other option was to leave it in orbit as it continued to decay, but that would have resulted in an orbital lifetime of over 100 years. 
  • The spacecraft still has about 125 kg of onboard fuel that could pose risks for the accidental break-up, making it critical for ISRO to deorbit it. 
  • The UN/IADC space debris mitigation guidelines recommend deorbiting a Low Earth Orbit object at its end-of-life, preferably through controlled re-entry to a safe impact zone or by bringing it to an orbit where the orbital lifetime is less than 25 years. 
  • It is also recommended to carry out the “passivation” of onboard energy sources to minimise the risk of any post-mission accidental break-up.


  • Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have planned research on “organoid intelligence (OI)” to create biocomputers. 
  • Organoids are tiny, self-organised three-dimensional cells or tissues derived from stem cells. The planned research will use brain organoids, i.e., cultures of brain cells, as biological hardware.
  • Biocomputers are defined as computers that use components of biological origin (such as molecules of DNA) instead of electrical components. 
  • Benefits: Greater Energy and Data efficiency; Multitasking via parallel computation; improved AI capabilities; ability to self-organise and self-repair; decoding pathology of drug development for neuro-developmental and degenerative diseases, etc.

Indian Railways ties up with ISRO for real-time train tracking

  • The Indian Railways is utilising data analytics for seamless transit. Under the Real Time Train Information System (RTIS) project, it has started a project that will now allow real-time tracking of train movements with the help of satellite photography.
  • Railways have integrated their systems with NavIC and Bhuvan while using bandwidth provided by ISRO.
  • Every locomotive is equipped with a gadget and a SIM card that broadcasts the train’s precise location to a satellite and allows for feedback. A three-second update is made to the movement.
  • When it’s necessary to determine a train’s precise location to assist in the event of an accident, flood, or landslide, real-time rail tracking can be helpful.

400 Chhattisgarh Tribes to be selected by CRPF

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs instigated the special recruitment drive to onboard 400 tribal youths as Constables.
  • The training and selection will solely be conducted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) organisation of India.
  • The mission is to tackle the Naxalites in accordance with the Anti-Maoist Operations that have been carried out for years.

Sri Lanka’s use of INR to alleviate the currency crisis

  • Facing the economic crisis, Sri Lanka has initiated the use of the Indian Rupee (INR) for economic transactions with India. This move will not only assuage Sri Lanka’s currency crisis but also will improve its bilateral ties with India.
  • State Bank of India and the Indian Bank have shared their experiences and informed the audience that they had started carrying out INR-denominated trade transactions through their respective Vostro/Nostro accounts.
  • The benefit of settling in INR was also discussed by the participating banks, including quicker timescales, cheaper exchange rates, and simpler access to trade credits, among other factors. 
  • The initiative’s beneficial effects on the travel and hotel industries were also emphasised, as was its contribution to growing collections that other industries may make use of.

Qatar’s top diplomat takes oath as new Prime Minister

  • Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Bin Abdulaziz Al Thani had served as Prime Minister, and the interior minister responsible for domestic security had been replaced by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Jassim Al Thani. 
  • He has served as foreign minister since 2016 and was the public face of Qatar as it navigated a three-and-a-half-year economic boycott by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
  • He replaced Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, who had served as prime minister and interior minister and was responsible for domestic security.

S.S. Dubey takes charge as the new Controller General of Accounts

  • Shri Dubey, a 1989-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer, has been appointed by the Government of India as the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) effective 6 March 2023. Before this, he was serving as the Additional Controller General of Accounts, Public Financial Management System (PFMS).
  • Shri Dubey has held various important positions in the Indian government:
  • Chief Controller of Accounts in the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, and 
  • Controller/Deputy Controller of Accounts in the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Revenue, and Department of Supply. 
  • He has also served as the Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer at Bank Note Press, Dewas. 

Lt Gen Sahi assumes Spear Corps (Three Corps) command in Dimapur

  • Lt Gen HS Sahi AVSM, YSM, SM assumed the command of the Dimapur-based Spear Corps (3 Corps) on 6 March.
  • Lt Gen Sahi was commissioned in the RAJPUT Regiment in 1988. He is an alumnus of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun Defence Services Staff College Wellington, Army War College, Mhow and National Defence College, New Delhi.
  • He is also a recipient of the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, and Chief of Army Staff and General Officer Commanding in Chief Commendations as recognition of his professional contribution both during Command and Staff assignments.

Odisha CM unveils Biju Patnaik’s iconic Dakota aircraft for public display

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has unveiled former CM Biju Patnaik’s iconic “Dakota” DC3 (AT-AUI) aircraft for public display at Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar.
  • On 18 January 2023, the ace pilot Biju Patnaik’s Dakota DC-3 aircraft was transported from Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport to the capital of Odisha, where it was rebuilt before being shown to the general public at the Biju Patnaik International Airport.
  • A 10-member team of Aerospace Research Development required 12 days to dismantle the aircraft and pack it in proper shape for public viewing.
  • This is perhaps the first airport in the world where an aircraft is being displayed at the entrance for public viewing.

Navy gets first-ever made-in-India fuze for underwater anti-submarine rockets

  • In what is being seen as a major success for the “Make in India” initiative in the defence sector, the Indian Navy has received a fully indigenised fuze for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) underwater rocket manufactured for the first time by private Indian industry.


  • Fully indigenised fuze YDB-60 for underwater anti-submarine warfare (ASW) rocket RGB-60 used from major warships through a private manufacturer, M/s Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), Nagpur.
  • Fuze is part of the weapon or ammunition that initiates its function. In torpedoes, the function is to explode.
  • Fuze may have electronic or mechanical parts. There are different fuze types: artillery fuze, hand grenade fuze, aerial bomb fuze, landmine fuze, naval mine fuze, etc. Apart from this, there are time fuzes, impact fuze, proximity fuze, barometric fuze, combination fuze, etc.

About RGB-60 rocket:

  • RGB-60 is a rocket used to hit submarines. 
  • It is 212 mm in diameter and 1830 mm in length. 
  • The range of RGB-60 is 300m to 5,500m. It operates with a two-stage motor. It is charged with Torpex. Torpex is a mixture of RDX, aluminium, and TNT. Torpex is mainly used in underwater firings.

Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX-23)

  • Indian Navy’s major Operational level exercise TROPEX for the year 2023, conducted across the expanse of IOR (Indian Ocean Region) over a duration of four months from Nov 2022 – Mar 2023, culminated this week in the Arabian Sea. 
  • The overall exercise construct included the Coastal Defence exercise Sea Vigil and the Amphibious Exercise AMPHEX. Together, these exercises also witnessed significant participation from the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Coast Guard. 

Details of the Exercise:

  • Set in the Indian Ocean, including the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, the theatre of operations for the exercise extended approximately 4300 nm from North to South up to 35 deg South Latitude and 5000 nm from the Persian Gulf in the West to North Australia coast in the East, spanning an area of over 21 million square nautical miles. 
  • TROPEX 23 witnessed the participation of approximately 70 Indian Navy ships, six submarines and over 75 aircraft. 

MOT inaugurated a pavilion at ITB, Berlin 2023, under its “Incredible India” brand line

  • The Ministry of Tourism (MOT), Government of India, under its “Incredible India” brand line, is participated in ITB, Berlin 2023, showcasing India’s rich and diversified tourism potential and providing a platform to the tourism stakeholders to showcase the various tourism destinations and products including niche products. 
  • It also participated with the aim of promoting India as a ‘Must See, Must Visit’ destination.
  • The Indian Pavilion was inaugurated by Mr Arvind Singh, Secretary of Tourism, Government of India.


  • In view of holistically promoting Incredible India, the Ministry of Tourism developed five thematic television commercials on different themes: Adventure Tourism, Heritage Tourism, MICE Tourism, and Art and Craft and Wellness Tourism. 
  • The promotional films will provide a glimpse of what India has to offer to the World. 

Theme G20:

  • Encouraging inbound travel and particularly in the backdrop of India’s G20 Presidency as well as grand celebrations of India@75 – ‘Azadika Amrit Mahotsav’, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has declared “Incredible India! Visit India Year 2023”.
  • The focus is on inbound travel to India to highlight the varied tourism offerings of our country and showcase them to global tourists. 
  • The priorities include highlighting the unique tourism offerings of every state by leveraging the country’s richness in culture, heritage, spirituality, and natural beauty and focusing on promoting diverse categories of tourism like sustainable tourism, rural tourism, medical tourism, MICE, and others.

What is ITB?

  • The ITB is a prestigious platform among the top international travel shows, where travel professionals connect and showcase destinations and tourism products.

5th ASEAN-India Business Summit

  • The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology recently addressed the 5th ASEAN-India Business summit.
  • It was held as part of the ASEAN-India Year of Friendship to commemorate the more than three-decade-long engagement between India and the 10-member bloc in Kuala Lumpur.


  • It is a group of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, established in 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok declaration
  • Founding members: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
  • Presently ASEAN comprises ten member states: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam
  • It promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration between its members and other countries in Asia

Scientists discover the oldest known fossils of Pollen-Carrying Insects

  • Scientists have recently discovered 280-million-year-old fossils of insects and the world’s first plant pollinators called tillyardembiids preserved with pollen on their bodies.
  • They were found along the riverbank, close to the village of Chekarda in Russia.
  • These record-setting remains are around 120 million years older than the previously oldest known fossils of pollen-carrying insects.
  • The team examined 425 fossils of an insect called Tillyardembia and realised that six were preserved with pollen on their heads, bodies or legs.
  • Tillyardembiids are earwig-like insects with flattened bodies.
  • They are older than mosquitoes found in Jurassic Park, which is around 200 million years old. 
  • The rock on which the insect fossil was found is a sedimentary rock. It was under a lagoon about 280 million years ago.

Anupama Ramachandran wins the Women’s Snooker World Cup

  • India’s Anupama Ramachandran won the under-21 title in the world women’s snooker championships with a 79-13, 61-63, 31-76, 83-55, 53-42 victory over Ploychompoo Laokiatphong of Thailand in the final.
  • The Women’s Snooker World Cup is being held in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • The India ‘A’ team featuring Amee Kamani and Anupama Ramachandran have made history by winning the Women’s Snooker World Cup for India at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok.

Manik Saha sworn in as 13th CM of Tripura

  • Manik Saha took oath as the 13th chief minister for the second time as Tripura Chief Minister after the BJP clinched a victory in the 16 February Assembly polls. Eight other ministers were sworn in. Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya administered the oath of office and secrecy.
  • Tripura Capital: Agartala
  • Tripura Governor: Satyadeo Narain Arya

Visit of French Navy Ships to Kochi

  • French Navy Ships FS Dixmude, an amphibious helicopter carrier and La Fayette, a frigate, are on a visit to Kochi from 06 – 10 March 2023 as part of a circumnavigation mission and will be discussing a wide range of issues of maritime cooperation between the two Navies.  
  • During the ongoing visit, the French team visited professional training schools and ships of Southern Naval Command. Cross-training visits, and professional and social interaction, including sports fixtures, were some of the highlights of the visit. 
  • The French Army embarked onboard ships and will also conduct joint military exercises with the Indian Army. 
  • Indo-French Naval cooperation is a key element in strengthening regional maritime security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. 
  • The visit of the French ships significantly contributed towards strong bilateral defence ties and strategic partnerships between the two nations.

Rest of India (ROI) beat Madhya Pradesh to win Irani Cup

  • The Rest of India (ROI) team has captured the Irani Cup for the 25th time by defeating Madhya Pradesh by a margin of 238 runs in the final.
  • The Rest of India became champions for the second time in a row.
  • Earlier, they had managed to defeat Saurashtra in the 2019–20 season. The Irani Cup was not held in 2020–21 due to the Corona pandemic.
  • Yashasvi Jaiswal was awarded Player of the Match for his role as a centurion in both innings of the match against Madhya Pradesh.
  • Mumbai opener Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 213 in the first innings and 144 in the second innings.

Ashwini Vaishnaw releases ‘Go Green, Go Organic’ cover for Sikkim

  • Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and four Sikkim ministers released a unique cover of the Department of Posts, ‘Go Green, Go Organic’ for Sikkim.
  • The Union Minister thanked the Department of Posts for this release and congratulated Sikkim State on becoming the world’s first state to get recognised as an Organic state by the World Book of Records (London).
  • The Department of Posts has played an important role in promoting the country’s culture and heritage through its special covers.
  • This release is a tribute to the rich culture of Sikkim and its contributions to the country’s agriculture sector.

Navy gets first-ever made-in-India fuze for underwater anti-submarine rockets

  • In what is being seen as a major success for the “Make in India” initiative in the defence sector, the Indian Navy has received a fully indigenised fuze for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) underwater rocket manufactured for the first time by private Indian industry.


  • Fully indigenised fuze YDB-60 for underwater anti-submarine warfare (ASW) rocket RGB-60 used from major warships through a private manufacturer, M/s Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), Nagpur.
  • Fuze is part of the weapon or ammunition that initiates its function. In torpedoes, the function is to explode.
  • Fuze may have electronic or mechanical parts. There are different fuze types: artillery fuze, hand grenade fuze, aerial bomb fuze, landmine fuze, naval mine fuze, etc. Apart from this, there are time fuzes, impact fuze, proximity fuze, barometric fuze, combination fuze, etc.

About RGB-60 rocket:

  • RGB-60 is a rocket used to hit submarines. 
  • It is 212 mm in diameter and 1830 mm in length. 
  • The range of RGB-60 is 300m to 5,500m. It operates with a two-stage motor. It is charged with Torpex. Torpex is a mixture of RDX, aluminium, and TNT. Torpex is mainly used in underwater firings.

Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX-23)

  • Indian Navy’s major Operational level exercise TROPEX for the year 2023, conducted across the expanse of IOR (Indian Ocean Region) over a duration of four months from Nov 2022 – Mar 2023, culminated this week in the Arabian Sea. 
  • The overall exercise construct included the Coastal Defence exercise Sea Vigil and the Amphibious Exercise AMPHEX. Together, these exercises also witnessed significant participation from the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Coast Guard. 

Details of the Exercise:

  • Set in the Indian Ocean, including the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, the theatre of operations for the exercise extended approximately 4300 nm from North to South up to 35 deg South Latitude and 5000 nm from the Persian Gulf in the West to North Australia coast in the East, spanning an area of over 21 million square nautical miles. 
  • TROPEX 23 witnessed the participation of approximately 70 Indian Navy ships, six submarines and over 75 aircraft. 

MOT inaugurated a pavilion at ITB, Berlin 2023, under its “Incredible India” brand line

  • The Ministry of Tourism (MOT), Government of India, under its “Incredible India” brand line, is participated in ITB, Berlin 2023, showcasing India’s rich and diversified tourism potential and providing a platform to the tourism stakeholders to showcase the various tourism destinations and products including niche products. 
  • It also participated with the aim of promoting India as a ‘Must See, Must Visit’ destination.
  • The Indian Pavilion was inaugurated by Mr Arvind Singh, Secretary of Tourism, Government of India.


  • In view of holistically promoting Incredible India, the Ministry of Tourism developed five thematic television commercials on different themes: Adventure Tourism, Heritage Tourism, MICE Tourism, and Art and Craft and Wellness Tourism. 
  • The promotional films will provide a glimpse of what India has to offer to the World. 

Theme G20:

  • Encouraging inbound travel and particularly in the backdrop of India’s G20 Presidency as well as grand celebrations of India@75 – ‘Azadika Amrit Mahotsav’, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has declared “Incredible India! Visit India Year 2023”.
  • The focus is on inbound travel to India to highlight the varied tourism offerings of our country and showcase them to global tourists. 
  • The priorities include highlighting the unique tourism offerings of every state by leveraging the country’s richness in culture, heritage, spirituality, and natural beauty and focusing on promoting diverse categories of tourism like sustainable tourism, rural tourism, medical tourism, MICE, and others.

What is ITB?

  • The ITB is a prestigious platform among the top international travel shows, where travel professionals connect and showcase destinations and tourism products.

5th ASEAN-India Business Summit

  • The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology recently addressed the 5th ASEAN-India Business summit.
  • It was held as part of the ASEAN-India Year of Friendship to commemorate the more than three-decade-long engagement between India and the 10-member bloc in Kuala Lumpur.


  • It is a group of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, established in 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok declaration
  • Founding members: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
  • Presently ASEAN comprises ten member states: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam
  • It promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration between its members and other countries in Asia

Scientists discover the oldest known fossils of Pollen-Carrying Insects

  • Scientists have recently discovered 280-million-year-old fossils of insects and the world’s first plant pollinators called tillyardembiids preserved with pollen on their bodies.
  • They were found along the riverbank, close to the village of Chekarda in Russia.
  • These record-setting remains are around 120 million years older than the previously oldest known fossils of pollen-carrying insects.
  • The team examined 425 fossils of an insect called Tillyardembia and realised that six were preserved with pollen on their heads, bodies or legs.
  • Tillyardembiids are earwig-like insects with flattened bodies.
  • They are older than mosquitoes found in Jurassic Park, which is around 200 million years old. 
  • The rock on which the insect fossil was found is a sedimentary rock. It was under a lagoon about 280 million years ago.

Anupama Ramachandran wins the Women’s Snooker World Cup

  • India’s Anupama Ramachandran won the under-21 title in the world women’s snooker championships with a 79-13, 61-63, 31-76, 83-55, 53-42 victory over Ploychompoo Laokiatphong of Thailand in the final.
  • The Women’s Snooker World Cup is being held in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • The India ‘A’ team featuring Amee Kamani and Anupama Ramachandran have made history by winning the Women’s Snooker World Cup for India at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok.

Manik Saha sworn in as 13th CM of Tripura

  • Manik Saha took oath as the 13th chief minister for the second time as Tripura Chief Minister after the BJP clinched a victory in the 16 February Assembly polls. Eight other ministers were sworn in. Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya administered the oath of office and secrecy.
  • Tripura Capital: Agartala
  • Tripura Governor: Satyadeo Narain Arya

Visit of French Navy Ships to Kochi

  • French Navy Ships FS Dixmude, an amphibious helicopter carrier and La Fayette, a frigate, are on a visit to Kochi from 06 – 10 March 2023 as part of a circumnavigation mission and will be discussing a wide range of issues of maritime cooperation between the two Navies.  
  • During the ongoing visit, the French team visited professional training schools and ships of Southern Naval Command. Cross-training visits, and professional and social interaction, including sports fixtures, were some of the highlights of the visit. 
  • The French Army embarked onboard ships and will also conduct joint military exercises with the Indian Army. 
  • Indo-French Naval cooperation is a key element in strengthening regional maritime security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. 
  • The visit of the French ships significantly contributed towards strong bilateral defence ties and strategic partnerships between the two nations.

Rest of India (ROI) beat Madhya Pradesh to win Irani Cup

  • The Rest of India (ROI) team has captured the Irani Cup for the 25th time by defeating Madhya Pradesh by a margin of 238 runs in the final.
  • The Rest of India became champions for the second time in a row.
  • Earlier, they had managed to defeat Saurashtra in the 2019–20 season. The Irani Cup was not held in 2020–21 due to the Corona pandemic.
  • Yashasvi Jaiswal was awarded Player of the Match for his role as a centurion in both innings of the match against Madhya Pradesh.
  • Mumbai opener Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 213 in the first innings and 144 in the second innings.

Ashwini Vaishnaw releases ‘Go Green, Go Organic’ cover for Sikkim

  • Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and four Sikkim ministers released a unique cover of the Department of Posts, ‘Go Green, Go Organic’ for Sikkim.
  • The Union Minister thanked the Department of Posts for this release and congratulated Sikkim State on becoming the world’s first state to get recognised as an Organic state by the World Book of Records (London).
  • The Department of Posts has played an important role in promoting the country’s culture and heritage through its special covers.
  • This release is a tribute to the rich culture of Sikkim and its contributions to the country’s agriculture sector.

CAG to chair G20 SAI meeting on ‘Blue economy’ in Assam

  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, Girish Chandra Murmu, has been appointed as the chairperson for the G20 SAI (Supreme Audit Institutions) meeting being held in Guwahati, Assam from 13 to 15 March.
  • Murmu is leading the Supreme Audit Institutions-20 (SAI20) Engagement Group as the Chair under India’s G20 Presidency. As part of this role, the CAG will preside over the SAI20 Delegates Meeting.


  • The event will see the participation of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Oman, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

What is the ‘Blue Economy’?

  • ‘Blue Economy’ refers to the sustainable utilisation of ocean resources to promote economic growth, improve livelihoods, and create jobs while preserving the health of our ecosystem.

Role of AI:

  • On the other hand, ‘Responsible AI’ is a governance framework that aims to establish guidelines for collecting and utilising data, evaluating AI models, and deploying and monitoring these models.


  • Guwahati, known as the Gateway to Northeast India, is a cosmopolitan city famous for its rich culture and tradition, the celebration of festivals, cuisine, and people.

Institution of Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla, MVC Memorial Trophy at Navy Children School

  • Smt Ameeta Mulla Wattal and Smt Anjali Kaul, daughters of Late Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla, MVC, instituted a trophy at Navy Children School (NCS) Delhi on 11 Mar 2023 in honour of their father. 

Who was Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla?

  • During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, on the night of 09 December 1971, INS Khukri was hit by torpedoes fired by an enemy submarine and sank. 
  • Captain Mulla, without regard for his own personal safety, supervised the arrangements for the rescue of his ship’s company in a very relaxed, calm and methodical manner. 
  • His actions, behaviour and the example he set have been in keeping with the highest traditions of the Service. 
  • Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla displayed conspicuous gallantry and dedication and was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.

Who has received the maiden trophy:

  • The award has been named ‘Captain MN Mulla, MVC, Memorial Outstanding Student Award’ and would be awarded to two students of NCS Delhi (a boy and a girl) selected based on Clarity of Vision, Courage of Conviction and Commitment.
  • An amount of ₹1.50 lakhs and a Rolling Trophy were handed over to the school on this occasion. 

India gets the world’s longest railway platform at Hubballi in Karnataka

  • Indian Railways’ South Western Railway (SWR) zone’s Hubballi got its name registered recently in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest railway platform in the World at Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji station. 

About Hubballi station:

  • The Hubballi station has been constructed at the cost of ₹20.1 crores as part of the remodelling of the Hubballi yard. 
  • To facilitate the easy receipt and dispatch of trains at Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji Hubballi Station, the yard remodelling was successfully commissioned with electronic interlocking in February 2021.
  • This station caters to the future transportation needs of the Hubballi-Dharwad region.
  • Station also enhances the operational capacity of the yard, addressing the need to hold/run additional trains in the future.
  • Simultaneously trains can be started in two directions.
  • The station avoids the detention of express trains while entering the station and saves time for passengers.


  • Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji Railway station Hubballi is an essential junction in Karnataka. Hubballi is a major hub of trade and commerce in the North Karnataka region. 
  • This station is situated on the junction connecting railway lines towards Bengaluru (Davanagere side), Hosapete (Gadag side), and Vasco-Da-Gama/Belagavi (Londa side).
  • One of which, i.e., platform No. 8, measuring 1507 m, has earned the distinction as the longest railway platform in the world.

Poet Gayatribala Panda receives Kendriya Sahitya Akademi award

  • Poet Gayatribala Panda recently received the Central Sahitya Akademi Award for 2022 in New Delhi.
  • She received a prestigious award for her book of poetry ‘Daya Nadi’. 
  • The book is about the Kalinga war, fought on the foothills of Dhauli, located on the banks of the Daya River.


  • She received a cash prize of ₹1 lakh, a copper plaque, and a shawl which were given away at the event by Akademi president Madhav Kaushik.
  • She has so far authored 25 books that, include 12 collections of poems, two collections of short stories, four novels and one collection of essays.

About Sahitya Akademi Award:

  • The Sahitya Akademi Award is a literary honour in India, which the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, annually confers on writers of the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the 22 languages of the 8th Schedule to the Indian constitution as well as in English and Rajasthani language.
  • Established in 1954, the award comprises a plaque and a cash prize of ₹1,00,000.
  • The award’s purpose is to recognise and promote excellence in Indian writing and also acknowledge new trends.


  • She also edits a literary magazine, ‘Anya’. 
  • She is also the recipient of the first Kendra Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar in Odia for her poetry collection ‘Gaan’ in 2011. 
  • The ceremony also marked the beginning of Akademi’s literary festival, the Festival of Letters.

First India-Australia Annual Summit

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently held delegation-level bilateral talks in New Delhi.
  • During the first India-Australia Annual Summit, both countries shared their commitment to further deepening Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. 


  • Both nations exchanged MoU for cooperation in sports and audio-visual co-production. 
  • The two countries signed MoUs on cooperation in sports and audio-visual co-production and also exchanged terms of reference for Solar Taskforce.
  • The Indian and Australian sides also exchanged Terms of Reference for the India-Australia Solar Task Force, a Letter of Intent between the Atal Innovation Mission and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

India-Australia Relations:

  • The diplomatic relations were established with the establishment of the India Trade Office in Sydney in 1941. 
  • The bilateral relationship was upgraded to a Strategic Partnership (2009) and later to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2020. 
  • Economic Cooperation: Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) came into force from Dec 2022 and has resulted in 0% duty on almost 96% of Indian Exports to Australia. Bilateral trade was US$ 27.5 billion in 2021 (India has a trade deficit).
  • Defence cooperation: 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), joint military exercises like Malabar and AUSINDEX.

Cyclone Freddy

  • The Freddy cyclone, active for 33 days, is on track to become the longest-lasting tropical cyclone. 
  • The current record is held by Hurricane/Typhoon John (1994), which lasted for 31 days. 
  • As per climate experts, Freddy’s long life is fuelled by energy provided by the warm ocean surface. Also, there has not been much land interaction. 
  • Conditions favourable for Tropical cyclone formation: 
    • Large sea surface with a temperature higher than 27° C
    • Presence of Coriolis force
    • A pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation 
    • Upper divergence above sea level system

Indian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes)

  • In a first, Gujarat set to shift 10 Indian grey wolves from a conservation breeding centre to forested areas in an attempt to check the population of wild herbivores. 
  • Indian wolf is a subspecies of the grey wolf inhabiting semi-arid and arid areas extending from the Indian subcontinent to Israel. 
  • Threats include habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, retaliatory killing, and disease threats.
  • IUCN status: Least Concern.

IDFC Mutual Fund rebrands as Bandhan Mutual Fund

  • IDFC Mutual Fund, one of India’s largest mutual fund firms, is set to adopt a new brand identity as Bandhan Mutual Fund from 13 March 2023. 
  • As part of the rebranding exercise, every scheme of the fund house will be renamed, with the word ‘IDFC’ being replaced by ‘Bandhan’. 
  • The mutual fund firm stated that despite the change in name and logo, the underlying investment strategy, processes, and team would remain the same, allowing investors to benefit from the same high-quality investment approach that the fund house is renowned for.
  • The fund house has changed not only its name but also its logo to become Bandhan Mutual Fund. 
  • Following the makeover, customers will notice the fresh IDFC Mutual Fund name and logo and exposure to the fund house’s dedicated website.

Karnataka: Senior citizens and people with disability to get the vote-from-home option

  • Chief Election Commissioner of India Rajiv Kumar recently announced that all senior citizens above 80 and people with disability would get a vote-from-home option in the Karnataka Assembly elections.
  • The term of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly is up to the time of 24 May 2023. So, the new Assembly has to be in place, and elections have to be completed before that.
  • Form 12D will be available within five days of the notification so that any 80-plus or PwD voter desirous of voting from home can be facilitated.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar releases the book on Mundaka Upanishad

  • Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar released the book ‘Mundaka Upanishad: The Bridge to Immortality’ on 9 March 2023.
  • The book is authored by Former Parliamentarian Dr Karan Singh at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas in New Delhi.
  • Karan Singh is an Indian Politician and Philosopher.
  • He is the son of the last ruling maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Hari Singh.
  • He was the prince regent of Jammu and Kashmir until 1952.

Scientists discover how to make electricity out of thin air

  • Australian scientists made a world-first discovery to make electricity out of thin air. 
  • Monash University researchers discovered an enzyme called Huc, produced by a common bacteria found in soil, which naturally converts hydrogen in the air into electricity. 
  • Experiments revealed it is possible to store purified Huc for long periods atzing temperatures without losing power to generate electricity.
  • The enzyme, named Huc, proved to be “astonishingly stable” and incredibly effective at generating “energy from thin air.
  • Unlike all other known enzymes and chemical catalysts, it uses hydrogen at amounts below atmospheric levels – as little as 0.00005 per cent of the air we breathe.
  • Experiments showed that purified Huc can be stored for extended amounts of time atzing temperatures or up to 80 degrees Celsius without losing its ability to produce energy.

Army instals tallest Iconic National Flag in hilly Doda district, Jammu and Kashmir

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, the Army recently installed the tallest ‘Iconic National Flag’ in the hilly Doda district. 
  • The Tricolour installed on a 100 feet-high pole, the highest Tricolour in the Doda district, was unfurled by GOC Delta Force Maj Gen Ajay Kumar, along with Commander 9 sector RR Brig. Samir K Palande.
  • The 100-foot-high mast national flag, the first of its kind in the Doda district, is not only a proud moment for the Army only but for all the residents of the hilly district.

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupts, covering villages in ash

  • Indonesia’s Mount Merapi, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupted recently, spewing-pout smoke and ash that blanketed villages near the crater.  
  • The Merapi Volcano Observatory estimated the ash cloud reached 9,600 feet above the summit.
  • The volcano is located on Java Island, near Indonesia’s cultural capital Yogyakarta.
  • The volcano’s last major eruption in 2010 claimed more than 300 lives and forced the evacuation of some 280,000 people. 
  • Indonesia, which has nearly 130 active volcanoes, sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

Rajasthan man sets Guinness World Record for the longest bicycle journey

  • Narpat Singh Rajpurohit, 34, from Rajasthan’s Barmer, has set a Guinness World Record for the longest bicycle journey in a country by cycling 30,121.64 km.


  • Rajpurohit, who got his certificate, said he started his journey from Jammu in January 2019 and completed it in April 2022 in Jaipur. The journey covered 29 states.
  • He also planted 93,000 saplings during his journey.

About Guinness World Record: 

  • It is known from its inception in 1955 until 1999 as The Guinness Book of Records and in previous United States editions as The Guinness Book of World Records; it is a reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. 

Exercise La Perouse – 2023

  • The third edition of the two-day multilateral maritime exercise La Perouse began in the Indian Ocean region on 13 March 2023.
  • This edition is witnessing the participation of personnel, ships and integral helicopters of the Royal Australian Navy, French Navy, Indian Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, Royal Navy and the United States Navy.

Rationale/Details of Exercise:

  • The biennial exercise La Perouse is conducted by the French Navy and is aimed at enhancing maritime domain awareness and optimising maritime coordination amongst the participating navies in the Indo-Pacific Region. 
  • The two-day exercise provides an opportunity for like-minded navies to develop closer links in planning, coordination and information sharing for seamless maritime operations. 
  • The exercise will witness complex and advanced naval operations, including surface warfare, anti-air warfare, air defence exercises, cross-deck landings and tactical manoeuvres. 


  • Indigenously built guided missile frigate INS Sahyadri and fleet tanker INS Jyoti is participating in this edition of the exercise.
  • Participation of the Indian Navy in the exercise showcases the high levels of synergy, coordination and interoperability between the friendly navies and their commitment to a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.

Indian Navy to get 200 BrahMos missiles in a historic USD 2.5 billion deal

  • BrahMos Aerospace is set to bag USD 2.5 billion cruise missiles ordered from the Indian Navy. 
  • The Indo-Russian joint venture company has recently carried out test firings of the missile with a high level of indigenous content. It is also going to equip the missile with an indigenous seeker too.

The rationale behind this acquisition: 

  • It will help the Indian Navy stock the missiles in its arsenal, which are deployed on warships.
  • These will also be part of the mobile coastal missile batteries of the force.

About the latest BrahMos:

  • The strike range has been increased from 290 km to more than 400 km.
  • The indigenous content in the missile system has also been increased.
  • Its system has been upgraded and indigenized to increase the participation of Indian industry and manufacturers.
  • The Missile system is exported to the Philippines as well.

About BrahMos Aerospace

  • It is headed by Atul Rane, and he is working towards achieving a USD 5 billion export target. 
  • After the first export deal with the Philippines at $375 million his team is targeting USD 5 billion by 2025.

Two big wins for India at Oscars 2023

  • The 95th Academy Awards saw India win two trophies. The Best Original Song was won by RRR’s Naatu Naatu. 
  • As MM Keeravaani and Chandrabose picked the trophy, the music composer sang a song dedicating his award to India. 
  • The Elephant Whisperers won the award for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 95th Academy Awards.

Important points to remember from oscar-2023:

  • “Naatu Naatu” from RRR wins Best Original Song, making it the first Indian production to win an Oscar in this category
  • “The Elephant Whisperers” wins Best Documentary Short, bringing another Oscar to India
  • Deepika Padukone presents at the Oscars and introduces the live performance of “Naatu Naatu”
  • “Everything Everywhere All At Once” wins five Oscars out of its 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing
  • Michelle Yeoh wins Best Actress for “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, becoming the first Asian winner of the award
  • Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis win Best Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively, for “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
  • Jr NTR releases a statement expressing his elation over RRR’s win and congratulating the team of “The Elephant Whisperers”
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates the team behind RRR for their exceptional win and praises the popularity of Naatu Naatu
  • The wins for “RRR” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once” at the 95th Academy Awards demonstrate the growing influence of Indian cinema in the global film industry

About Elephant Whisperers:

  • The Elephant Whisperers is a 2022 Indian-American Tamil short documentary film directed by documentary filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves in her directorial debut. 
  • The documentary is about the bond that develops between a couple and an orphaned baby elephant, Raghu, who was entrusted to their care. 

About RRR:

  • RRR is an Indian Telugu-language period action film directed by S.S. Rajamouli and produced by D. V. V. Danayya. 
  • The film stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Alia Bhatt, and Ajay Devgn in lead roles.
  • RRR is a fictional story set in the 1920s and is based on the lives of two revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem. N. T. Rama Rao Jr. plays the role of Komaram Bheem, while Ram Charan plays Alluri Sitarama Raju.


  • As of 2022, apart from Mother India, only two Indian films have been nominated for the Oscars—Salaam Bombay! (1988) and Lagaan (2001).

The first methanol-run buses were unveiled in Bengaluru

  • Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, unveiled the pilot trial of MD15 buses and the Prototype launch of M100 (100% Methanol). 
  • The event was organised by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) at Vidhana Soudha recently.
  • The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), NITI Aayog, Indian Oil Company (IOC), and Ashok Leyland are working together to carry out the initiative, which aims to lower the level of pollutants.

About Methanol:

  • Methanol can be produced through the reaction of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen, which are also known as syngas. The syngas can be produced from various sources, such as natural gas, coal, or biomass.
  • Methanol can be blended with gasoline or used as a standalone fuel in vehicles with modified engines. It has a high octane rating, which means it can improve engine performance and reduce harmful emissions.
  • The project came at a time when many state governments and the Union Government were working on providing cleaner fuel options. The National Biofuel policy also talks about ethanol blending, which is a clean, low-cost alternative to fossil fuel-based products.

MoD inks over ₹900 crore contract for Normal Refit of Sindhukirti Submarine at Hindustan Shipyard Limited

  • In another boost to achieve ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the Ministry of Defence, on 13 March 2023, signed a contract for Normal Refit of Sindhukirti Submarine at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam at an overall cost of ₹934 crore. 
  • Sindhukirti is the 3rd-kilo-class diesel-electric submarine. After completion of the refit, Sindhukirti will be combat-worthy and will join the active submarine fleet of the Indian Navy. 
  • This refit has been offloaded to develop alternate repair facilities for submarines and is a further step towards undertaking a Medium refit with Life Certification at HSL. 
  • The project involves more than 20 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and would lead to employment generation of 1,000 man-days per day for the project duration. 

TCS marks its debut on the Forbes list of America’s Best Large Employers

  • This recognition is based on an independent survey of 45,000 employees working for American companies with more than 1,000 employees.
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading software major, announced recently that it has been featured on the Forbes annual list of America’s Best Large Employers. 
  • The list is based on an independent survey of 45,000 employees working for American companies with more than 1,000 employees. TCS claims to have hired over 21,000 people in the last three years and boasts a diverse and engaged workforce of more than 45,000 people across the US.
  • Top 3 Companies on Forbes List of America’s Best Large Employers
  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Houston Methodist
  3. Mayo Clinic

Biden announces nuclear-powered submarines for Australia

  • President Joe Biden together with the leaders of Australia and the United Kingdom has recently announced that Australia will purchase nuclear-powered attack submarines from the US. 
  • This step is taken by Australia due to the growing concerns about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The agreement “represents the biggest single investment in Australia’s defence capability in all of our history”, said the Australian Prime Minister.
  • It is also the first time in 65 years that the US has shared its nuclear propulsion technology.
  • Two submarines, the USS Missouri and the USS Charlotte are “nuclear powered, not nuclear-armed.”
  • These boats will not have any nuclear weapons of any kind. 

India remains world’s top arms importer: SIPRI report

  • India remains the world’s top arms importer between 2018-2022 despite the Narendra Modi government’s push towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing, says Stockholm International Peace Research (SIPRI) in its latest report after tracking arms sales around the world.
  • As India accounts for 11 per cent of the world arms’ imports, followed by Saudi Arabia (9.6 per cent) and Qatar (6.4), the SIPRI report also depicts the rise of French companies as key suppliers, with Paris displacing Washington as the second biggest supplier of arms to New Delhi.
  • Russia continues to be India’s Numero Uno provider of military hardware; however, its share in total Indian arms imports fell from 64 per cent to 45 per cent between the two-time frames.

Bank run

  • Since the 2008 financial crisis, Silicon Valley Bank has been the largest bank to fail in the US. 
  • Also, Signature Bank met the same fate. 
  • The failure, which was due to a consistent increase in interest rates, led to the Bank’s run. 
  • A bank run occurs when a large number of people simultaneously take out their money deposited with a bank or any other financial institution over fears that it could go out of business. 
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was established in 1933 in response to the bank run during the period of the Great Depression. 

Operation Trishul

  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has extradited 33 fugitives involved in various criminal activities under its ‘Operation Trishul’ since 2022. 
  • Under ‘Trishul’, CBI geolocates criminals with the help of Interpol channels and seeks their deportation or extradition through a formal route. 
  • It utilises Interpol’s Star Global Focal Point Network, analysis of financial crime files and using Interpol’s channels to identify the dispersal of proceeds of crime.

Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) or Bhu-Aadhaar

  • The Department of Land Resources is organising the National Conference – Bhumi Samvaad IV on the implementation of the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) or Bhu-Aadhaar on 17th March 2023 in New Delhi.
  • About the conference:
    • The theme of the National Conference is – “Digitizing and Geo-Referencing INDIA with Bhu-Aadhaar (ULPIN)”. 
    • This conference is being organised under the Bhumi-Samvaad series of Dialogues and Deliberations on Land Administration and Governance in the country. 
    • It is the 4th such conference with States/ UTs, Ministries and Departments, and other stakeholders like the Geospatial community, startups, and academia.


  • The Bhu-Aadhaar or ULPIN is a 14-digit alpha-numeric number generated based on the latitude-longitude of the vertices of each land parcel. 
  • It is a single, authoritative source of truth of information on any parcel of land or property to provide integrated land services to the citizens as well as all stakeholders.

Uttarakhand govt approves 10% horizontal reservation for statehood activists


  • The government of Uttarakhand has approved a 10% horizontal reservation for statehood campaigners in state government positions. Under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the decision was made during a cabinet meeting held in Bhararisain recently.
  • The proposal to increase the MLA Local Area Development Fund from ₹3.75 crore to ₹ 5 crore annually also got approval from the Cabinet.
  • Other significant decisions made by the Cabinet include increasing the money granted for beautifying temples from ₹25 lakh to ₹50 lakh and increasing the financial help given to Mahila Mangal Dal from ₹25 lakh to ₹40 lakh.

About Uttarakhand

  • Capital – Dehradun
  • Formation – 9 November 2000, as the 27th state of India
  • Chief Minister – Pushkar Singh Dhami
  • Governor -Gurmit Singh

World Consumer Rights Day 2023: 15 March

  • Reason to Celebrate: On this day, people all across the globe promote the Fundamental Rights of all consumers, call for their protection and observance, and denounce unfair trade practices.
  • Commemoration date: The day was first observed on 15 March 1983.


  • This year the theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2023 is “Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy Transitions.” It aims to raise awareness about consumer empowerment and their role in pushing for a faster clean energy transition.

RBI granted ‘Infrastructure Finance Company’ status to IREDA

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted an ‘Infrastructure Finance Company (IFC)’ status to Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA).
  • The recognition of IREDA as an IFC will boost the brand’s value, inspire investor trust, and produce a favourable prognosis for the market.
  • With the IFC designation, IREDA will continue to support the Center’s goal of installing 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030.

About RBI:

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Established: 1 April 1935
  • Governor: Shaktikanta Das

About IREDA: 

  • Full form: Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

M Jagannath and Tablesh Pandey appointed MDs of LIC

  • M Jagannath and Tablesh Pandey have been appointed recently as the Managing Directors of the Life Insurance Company of India (LIC).
  • The LIC now has four MDs, and two of them will retire in the next two months. Raj Kumar and BC Patnaik are two of the four LIC directors retiring this week. M Jagannath and Tablesh Pandey are most likely to fill the two roles after the two existing MDs of LIC resign at the end of their term.

About LIC: 

  • Founded: 1 September 1956 (66 years ago)
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

First international conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage began in New Delhi

  • With an emphasis on India’s civilisational connections with the SCO states, the first international conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Shared Buddhist History was inaugurated in New Delhi recently.
  • The two-day conference aimed to reestablish cross-cultural linkages and look for similarities among Central Asian Buddhist art, art movements, archaeological locations, and antiquity in various SCO country museum collections.

About SCO states: 

  • SCO has eight member States, viz., India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Chad is the most polluted nation, while Lahore is the most polluted city

  • In 2022, Lahore in Pakistan had the worst air in the world, according to a global assessment conducted annually by a Swiss air purifier manufacturer.
  • According to the IQAir study released recently, Chad in central Africa replaced Bangladesh as the country with the most polluted air last year.

The upper age limit for registration to receive deceased donor organs removed by the government

  • The 65 years as the upper age limit for registration to receive deceased donor organs has been removed by the government. Now, anyone of any age can sign up to receive the deceased donor organ.

DRDO conducts two consecutive successful flight tests of VSHORADS missiles in Odisha

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently conducted two consecutive successful flight tests of the Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) missile at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
  • VSHORADS is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) meant for neutralising low-altitude aerial threats at short ranges. It has been designed and developed indigenously by Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad, in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian industry partners.

About DRDO: 

  • Full form: Defence Research and Development Organisation of India
  • Chairman: Dr Samir V Kamat
  • Formed: 1958
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Uttarakhand will get the first Electric Pilgrimage Corridor in the country

  • The country’s first electric pilgrimage corridor is being developed on the 900 km long Char Dham Yatra route, and charging points are also being made at every 30 km for private electric vehicles.
  • All the guest houses too will have charging point facilities. Locations for EV charging stations have also been marked.

Denmark, the first country to import CO2 and bury it undersea

  • Denmark recently inaugurated a project to store carbon dioxide 1,800 metres beneath the North Sea, the first country in the world to bury CO2 imported from abroad.
  • The CO2 graveyard, where the carbon is injected to prevent further warming of the atmosphere, is on the site of an abandoned oil field. 
  • Led by British chemical giant Ineos and German oil company Wintershall Dea, the “Greensand” project is expected to store up to eight million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030. 

Curtain Raiser Award of President’s Colour to INS Dronacharya

  • The President of India will visit Kochi on 16 March to present the President Colours Award to Indian Navy INS Dronacharya. 
  • It would be the first time President Droupadi Murmu would be visiting Kerala after becoming President. 

About INS Dronacharya:

  • INS Dronacharya is a weapons training centre for sailors. It is situated in Fort Kochi, where sailors from India and abroad are trained. 
  • It is an important training centre for the Indian Navy, offering training in using pistols, missiles, radars, etc., 820 officers and 1200 others are trained annually. 
  • Facilities of Dronacharya are SRGM Gun Mount, Maritime Museum, Maritime Education Centre, Fire Control System, Stimulator, Air Defense, IGLA Stimulator, etc. 
  • Dronacharya also handled the security of the naval base and port. Dronacharya also has a huge arsenal of weapons ranging from small guns to missiles.

About President’s Colour Award:

  • It is the highest recognition given to armed forces units. Officers of the unit will also get a special insignia called ‘Nishan’ worn on the right arm of their uniform. 
  • The distinguished service award is presented by the President, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. 

Uttarakhand became India’s first state to start an insurance scheme for sericulturists

  • State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Ganesh Joshi recently participated in the inauguration program of ‘Saral Krishi Beema’ by the Indian Agricultural Insurance Company in collaboration with the Silk Directorate, Uttarakhand.
  • According to state agriculture minister Ganesh Joshi, Uttarakhand has started the nation’s first “Resham Keet Bima” scheme to protect its sericulturists.
  • In the first phase of the pilot project, which began in Uttarakhand, 200 sericulturists from five blocks across four districts — Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar, and Nainital — received insurance against the negative impacts of climate change, water shortage, and other hazards.

About Sericulture:

  • Sericulture is an agro-based industry.
  • It involves the rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk, which is the yarn obtained out of cocoons spun by certain species of insects. 
  • Cultivation to feed the silkworms that spin silk cocoons and reel the cocoons to unwind the silk filament for value-added advantages like process and weaving are the major activities of sericulture.

National Vaccination Day 2023: 16 March

  • The Government of India observes 16 March as National Vaccination Day to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work of frontline healthcare workers to ensure the vaccination of every child.
  • The day was first observed on 16 March 1995, when the Indian government introduced the Pulse Polio Immunisation program to combat polio.

Additional Information about Polio

  • Causes: Poliovirus spread by the faecal-oral route
  • Prevention: Polio vaccine
  • Father of polio vaccine: Jonas Edward Salk

India- Kyrgyzstan hold 10th edition of joint exercise ‘Khanjar’

  • Exercise Khanjar is an annual joint military exercise with Kyrgyzstan that aims to strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries.
  • This year marks the 10th edition of the joint special forces military training, which commenced at Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan

Additional Information of Indian Army

  • Indian Army Day: 15 January
  • First Commander in Chief of the Indian Army: K.M. Cariappa
  • Current Commander in Chief of the Indian Army: General Manoj Pande

Indian Coast Guard Region (North East) is conducting the 4th edition of the Table top exercise

  • Indian Coast Guard Region (North East) is conducting the fourth edition of Table top exercise under the aegis of Colombo Security Conclave from 14 March to 16 March. 
  • A table top exercise means a security incident preparedness activity, taking participants through simulated incident scenarios and providing hands-on training for participants that can then highlight flaws in incident response planning. 
  • Colombo Security Conclave representatives and observer countries, including Seychelles and Bangladesh, are participating in the exercise. 
  • Discussions are being held on the topic of challenging maritime domains such as sea threats, anti-national elements, marine pollution response, and search and rescue operations.
  • Colombo Security Conclave was formed in 2011 as a trilateral maritime security grouping of Sri Lanka, India and Maldives. Later, Mauritius was included as the fourth member. 
  • The objective concerns the shared security of all littoral nations in the Indian Ocean Region.

Sikkim hosts the B20 meeting under India’s G20 presidency

  • Sikkim today hosted a B20 or Business20 meeting under India’s G20 presidency in Gangtok
  • The B20 is one of the most well-known engagement groups of the G20 and is the official G20 dialogue forum with the international business community.

13th edition of the joint exercise “Bold Kurukshetra” between Indian Army and Singapore Army


  • A bilateral armour training exercise called Operation Bold Kurukshetra took place in Jodhpur Military Station in India from 6 to 13 March 2023. The Singapore Army and the Indian Army both participated in the 13th edition.
  • Exercise Bold Kurukshetra is carried out in accordance with the bilateral agreement between the Indian Army and the Singapore Army for joint army training and exercises.
  • This exercise, which was first conducted in 2005, emphasises the long-standing bilateral defence relationship between the two nations and strengthens coordination between the two forces.

RBI’s Shaktikanta Das bags “Governor of the Year” award

  • Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been conferred recently with the Governor of the Year award by Central Banking Publications. 
  • The financial publisher is known for its specialisation in public policy and financial markets, with a particular emphasis on central banks and international financial institutions. 
  • Das has been instrumental in managing the Indian economy through challenging times since his appointment, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. Das succeeds his predecessor Raghuram Rajan, who had won the award back in 2015.

About Das:

  • Das, a veteran Tamil Nadu cadre officer, was appointed as the Union Revenue Secretary in June 2014. 
  • As an economic affairs secretary, Das played a pivotal role in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout soon after the Modi government took charge. 
  • He was also the key man behind the planning and execution of the demonetisation drive. 
  • In December 2018, Das was appointed as the RBI Governor, succeeding Urjit Patel, who had left the post abruptly, citing ‘personal reasons’. 
  • Das was instrumental in establishing the Monetary Policy Committee.

R Ashwin regains top spot in ICC Test bowlers rankings

  • Senior India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s impressive performance in the fourth Test against Australia has helped him regain the top spot among bowlers in the latest ICC Rankings. 
  • He reclaims the top spot in ICC Bowlers Rankings after a stellar performance in Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
  • Ashwin grabbed six wickets for 91 runs in the drawn fourth Test and was the leading wicket-taker in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 25 scalps. 
  • England seamer James Anderson is 10 rating points behind Ashwin in second place. 
  • Meanwhile, Indian spinner Axar Patel climbed six places to 28 among bowlers and reached fourth place in the all-rounder’s list.
  • Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli moved up seven places to the 13th position in the latest ICC batting rankings after his Player of the Match performance against Australia in the fourth Test. 

The US recognises McMahon Line as the international boundary between India and China

  • The United States recognises the McMahon Line as the international boundary between China and India’s Arunachal Pradesh, according to a bipartisan Senate resolution that sees Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India.  
  • The resolution also pushes back against the People’s Republic of China (PRC) claims that Arunachal Pradesh is PRC territory, which is a part of the PRC’s increasingly aggressive and expansionist policies.
  • “This bipartisan resolution expresses the Senate’s support for unequivocally recognising the state of Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India, condemning China’s military aggression to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control, and further enhancing the US–India strategic partnership and the Quad in support of the and Open Indo-Pacific”, Senator Bill Hagerty, who along with Senator Jeff Merkley introduced a resolution in the Senate said on 15 March.
  • The resolution, which comes following the biggest clash between the Republic of India and China in the Eastern Sector along the Line of Actual Control in six years, reaffirms that the United States recognises the McMahon Line as the international boundary between China and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Kerala tops in literacy rate, followed by Lakshadweep, Mizoram: MoE

  • According to the data shared by the education ministry Kerala has the highest literacy rate (94 %), followed by Lakshadweep (91.85%) and Mizoram (91.33 %). 
  • The literacy rate in rural India is 67.77 per cent as compared to 84.11 per cent in urban India.
  • According to the data shared by the Ministry of Education, Bihar (61.8 pc) has the lowest literacy, followed by Arunachal Pradesh (65.3 pc) and Rajasthan (66.1 pc).
  • Union Minister of State for Education Annapurna Devi shared this information in response to a written question in Lok Sabha.
  • For Improvement of Literacy Rate: 
    • The central government assists states and union territories in implementing the Samagra Shiksha Scheme as a program.
    • To improve adult literacy rates, a centrally sponsored scheme called Saakshar Bharat was implemented in rural areas of 404 districts in 26 states and one union territory, which had a female literacy rate of 50% or below, according to Census 2001.

Bengaluru honoured with a $150,000 global award for tobacco control efforts

  • Bangalore was among the five cities to win a prestigious $150,000 award from the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday in recognition of its tobacco control initiatives, particularly its efforts to reduce smoking in public areas.
  • The other four winning cities are Vancouver (making public health data more inclusive and accessible), Montevideo (access to improved nutrition for individuals), Athens (efforts to reduce drug use), and Mexico City (increasing road safety).

Indian Navy, Royal Saudi Navy prepare for India-Saudi Arabia Naval Exercise ‘Al-Mohed-Al Hindi-23’

  • Indian Navy Forces, Royal Saudi Naval Forces on Thursday met in Mumbai and gave final touches to preparations for India-Saudi Arabia Naval Exercise ‘Al-Mohed-Al Hindi-23′ planned for May 2023 in Saudi Arabia’s Jubail.
  • This naval exercise will be the second of its kind. The first one happened in August 2021.
  • The exercise aims to carry out tactical manoeuvres, search and rescue operations, and an electronic warfare drill to enhance interoperability.

Delhi airport adjudged best airport in South Asia: Skytrax

  • According to the worldwide air transport rating agency Skytrax, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has been awarded the best airport in India and South Asia.
  • According to an announcement, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the capital city rose to the 36th spot this year from the 37th in 2022.
  • According to an announcement on Thursday, 16 March, Delhi Airport is the only airport in India to be listed among the top 50 airports in the world since 2020.
  • The annual worldwide airport customer satisfaction survey, which was conducted between August 2022 and February 2023, is the foundation for the Skytrax World Airport Awards.
  • The survey measured important performance factors for airport services and goods from check-in through departure at the gate, including transfers, shopping, security, and immigration.

India approves purchase of military equipment worth $8.5 billion

  • The Defence Acquisition Council on 16 March approved the purchase of $8.5 billion worth of missiles, helicopters, artillery, and electronic warfare weapons.
  • The Defence Ministry announced in a statement that the orders totalling ₹70,500 crore for all of its services had been accepted by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the highest government body for capital procurement approvals for the Indian military.

Additional information about the Indian Army

  • Indian Army Day: 15 January
  • First Commander in Chief of the Indian Army: K.M. Cariappa
  • Current Commander in Chief of the Indian Army: General Manoj Pande

Additional information about the Indian Navy

  • Indian Navy Day: 4 December
  • First Commander in Chief of the Indian Navy: Ram Dass Katari
  • Current Commander in Chief of the Indian Navy: Admiral R. Hari Kumar

Additional information about the Indian Air Force

  • Indian Air Force Day: 8 October
  • First Chief of the Air Staff of India: Subroto Mukerjee 
  • Current Chief of the Air Staff of India: Vivek Ram Chaudhari

7th International Diabetes Summit 2023 inaugurated in Pune

  • The 7th International Diabetes Summit 2023, organised by Chellaram Diabetes Institute, was inaugurated recently in Pune.
  • The three-day summit focused on discussing the management of diabetes complications, cost-effective diabetes care, new advances and the role of technology in diabetes management. More than 2000 delegates attended the event.
  • The 7th International Diabetes Summit 2023 was organised by Chellaram Diabetes Institute.
  • The Chellaram Diabetes Institute (CDI), well known for its commitment towards the fight against Diabetes, has been organising Annual International Diabetes Summits (IDS) since 2017 with huge success.

Journalist Dhanya Rajendran awarded the Chameli Devi Jain Award for 2022

  • Dhanya Rajendran, co-founder and editor-in-chief of ‘The News Minute’, has been chosen to receive the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Women Media Persons in 2022.
  • The prize, which honours outstanding Indian women journalists and is named after thedom fighter Chameli Devi Jain, was established in 1982 by ‘The Media Foundation’.

Atal Innovation Mission launches ATL Sarthi

  • Atal Innovation Mission – NITI Aayog has launched “ATL Sarthi”, a comprehensive self-monitoring framework to strengthen the ecosystem of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL).
  • Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories in schools across the country to foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds. 
  • Atal Tinkering Labs Sarthi is a charioteer, and it will enable the Atal Tinkering Labs to be efficient and effective.
  • This is an important initiative taken by the Government of India to promote the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.

Indian Navy announces instituting two trophies in memory of General Bipin Rawat

  • The Indian Navy has announced instituting two awards in memory of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat.
  • The Navy made the announcement on the eve of the late General’s 65th birth anniversary on 16 March.
  • The first trophy would be Gen Bipin Rawat’s rolling trophy for the ‘Women Agniveer Trainee standing first in overall order of merit’.
  • The trophy for the current year will be presented by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar during the ‘Passing Out Parade’ of the first batch of Navy Agniveers on 28 March at the Navy’s premier sailors training centre INS Chilka.
  • The second award would be Gen Bipin Rawat’s rolling trophy for the ‘Most Spirited Officer’ undergoing the Naval higher command course at Naval War College (NWC) in Goa.
  • Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 12 other military personnel were killed in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on 8 December 2021.

Eric Garcetti, former Los Angeles mayor, confirmed as the US Ambassador to India

  • Eric Garcetti has been confirmed as the new US ambassador to India and will take up a position that has been vacant since Jan 2021.
  • He was originally nominated by President Joe Biden in July 2021 and renominated in January this year.
  • In New Delhi, the 52-year-old will succeed Ken Juster, who was nominated by then President Donald Trump and became the envoy to India in May 2017 and resigned after the change in presidency from Trump to Biden.
  • The position has remained vacant for more than two years.
  • Kenneth Juster, the last occupant of the ambassadorial residence of the US in New Delhi, stepped down in January 2021 after the change of government in America.

‘Hello Ujjivan’ app wins the prestigious 13th Aegis Graham Bell Awards

  • The ‘Hello Ujjivan’ app has won the 13th Aegis Graham Bell Awards (AGBA) in the “Innovation in Consumer Tech” category. 
  • The thirteenth edition of the prize is an initiative of Aegis School of Data Science, backed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology; NITI Aayog and Skill India to foster an innovative culture in India.
  • The ‘Hello Ujjivan’ is the first mobile banking app in India that enables speech, visual, and vernacular features to give the bank’s MicroBanking and Rural customers access to banking financial services who have limited reading and writing abilities.
  • It is available in 8 regional languages – Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Oriya and Assamese.
  • It is an industry first – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI & ML) enabled. Hence, the app will have the ability to even understand different dialects of the same language.

Tamil writer Sivasankari will be honoured with ‘Saraswati Samman 2023’

  • Tamil writer Sivasankari will be awarded the Saraswati Samman 2022 for her 2019 memoir ‘Surya Vamsam’.
  • It is announced by the KK Birla Foundation.
  • Sivasankari’s literary career spans over five decades.
  • She is the author of 36 novels, 48 novellas, 150 short stories, 15 travelogues, seven collections of essays and three biographies, including one on former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • Many of Sivasankari’s works have been translated into several Indian languages and into English, Japanese and Ukrainian.
  • The Saraswati Samman is one of the three literary awards instituted by the foundation in 1991. It is the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature in the country and carries a cash prize of ₹15 lakh, a plaque and a citation.
  • Every year, the Saraswati Samman is given for an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language by an Indian citizen in the last ten years preceding the specified Samman year. 
  • The Chayan Parishad chooses the recipient under the chairmanship of former Supreme Court judge Arjan Kumar Sikri, which comprises outstanding scholars and writers of the country.
  • Besides the Saraswati Samman, the Bihari Puraskar and the Vyas Samman are other literary awards instituted by the foundation.

4th Defence Cooperation Dialogue between India and the Maldives held in Male

  • India and the Maldives conducted the fourth Defence Cooperation Dialogue (DCD) in Male on 19 March 2023. 
  • The dialogue was co-chaired by Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane and his Maldivian counterpart, Chief of Defence Force, Maldives National Defence Forces Major General Abdulla Shamaal.
  • The Maldives is one of India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region. The bilateral defence and security ties have been on an upward trajectory in the past couple of years.

What is DCD?

  • This DCD is the highest institutionalised interactive mechanism between the two countries.
  • Its significance in chartering the future course of relations between both the Armed Forces was highlighted by the importance given to the talks by the two nations.
  • During the interaction, ongoing bilateral defence cooperation activities were reviewed, and both sides expressed satisfaction at the increasing engagements. 
  • The talks covered the existing bilateral exercises, with both countries agreeing to increase the complexity of these drills.

Bhutan dropped from the UN list of least developed countries

  • At the United Nations Least Developed Countries (LDCs) summit, which concluded in Doha, Qatar on 9 March, the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan has now dropped out of the list of LDCs and has become the seventh country to drop out of the list.
  • Bhutan was first admitted into the group of LDCs in 1971. 
  • However, it has made amazing progress on various socio-economic parameters in the last few decades.
  • Bhutan first completed the qualification required for postgraduates in 2015 and again in 2018.
  • Bhutan was therefore planned to be postgraduate in 2021.
  • Currently, 46 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific are categorised as LDCs. The LDCs host about 40% of the world’s poor.
  • Some countries on the LDC list are Burkina Faso, Senegal, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Solomon Islands, and Haiti.

National Institute of Ocean Technology to set up a green, self-powered desalination plant in Lakshadweep

  • The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an autonomous institute under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), is establishing a Green and Self-powered Desalination Plant in Lakshadweep.
  • The NIOT is working on an initiative to provide potable water in six islands of Lakshadweep using Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) technology.
  • Currently, the desalination plants, each of which provides at least 100,000 litres of potable water every day, are powered by diesel generator sets.
  • The plant will be equipped with reverse osmosis (RO) technology to desalinate seawater and produce potable water. The NIOT plans to set up the plant in one of the islands, where there is a high potential for renewable energy generation.
  • The plant is the first of its kind in the world as it will generate drinking water from seawater using indigenous technology, green energy and environmentally friendly processes, and it is self-powered.

India ranks 13th: Global Terrorism Index

  • Afghanistan retains the top spot in the list of countries impacted by terrorism in the new Global Terrorism Index report. 
  • Afghanistan has topped for the fourth consecutive year, despite attacks and deaths falling by 75 per cent and 58 per cent, respectively. 
  • India ranked 13th on the index, marking only a marginal decrease from the previous year.
  • According to the GTI report, Afghanistan recorded 633 fatalities in 2022, despite terrorism-related deaths declining by 866 in 2022. Following the Taliban’s takeover of the nation, GTI claimed that the Islamic State-Khorasan (Daesh) had become “the most active terrorist group” in Afghanistan. 
  • Pakistan saw the second-largest increase in terror-related fatalities globally last year, with a total of 643 deaths.
  • India’s GTI score was 7.175, whereas Afghanistan’s score, which led the index, was 8.822.

Gianni Infantino re-elected as FIFA President for 3rd time

  • On 16th March 2023, Gianni Infantino (52-year-old), Swiss football administrator, was re-elected as the president of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA – Fédération Internationale De Football Association) for the 3rd time at the 73rd FIFA Congress held in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • He has been re-elected as president of FIFA for a 4-year term from 2023 to 2027 after running unopposed at the 73rd FIFA Congress.
  • Gianni Infantino started working with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Europe’s football confederation, in August 2000 and held the position of UEFA’s General Secretary in 2009.

India to host 2023 SAFF Championships

  • The All India Football Association (AIFF) announced that Bengaluru, India, will host the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2023 from 21 June to 3 July.
  • India will be hosting the competition for the fourth time overall. It is India’s first since the 2015 edition, which took place in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • The 13th edition of the competition is likely to have participation from all of the South Asian Football Federation’s (SAFF) member associations, according to the AIFF.

TIME’s list of World’s Greatest Places of 2023 released, 2 Indian places made it to the list

  • Two Indian places grab spots in the World’s Greatest Places of 2023 list—India’s Mayurbhanj and Ladakh are two of the 50 locations featured in TIME Magazine’s list of the world’s greatest places in 2023.
  • India’s Mayurbhanj and Ladakh, which have been chosen for their endangered tigers and historic temples, as well as their adventures and cuisine, respectively, are two of the 50 locations featured in TIME Magazine’s list of the world’s greatest places in 2023. 

Top 5 World’s Greatest Places of 2023:

  • Tampa, Florida
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Yosemite National Park, California

Svaya robotics unveils India’s first homegrown quadruped robot and exoskeleton

  • As part of the “Made in India” policy, the DRDO is spearheading the development of domestic robots with the help of industry partners such as Svaya Robotics.
  • These robots are now being imported from the United States and Switzerland to meet the nation’s defence requirements and strengthen its capabilities.

Quadruped robot

  • The robots have four legs or limbs and have a pattern of walking of quadruped animals. 
  • They are more swift and stable than biped robots.
  • Developed domestically by Svaya in collaboration with DRDO. 
  • Robots in unstructured terrains are mainly used to facilitate remote surveillance and inspection for the military and security forces in settings where the human operation would be hazardous.
  • These are industrial and medical robots with a wide variety of uses.


  • This means a hard structure exterior of the body to protect the body’s soft tissues and muscles. 
  • Designed domestically by Svaya in collaboration with DRDO.


Assam hosts the Asian Kho Kho Championship 2023 in Tamulpur

  • The 4th Asian Kho Kho Championship began at Tamulpur in Baksa district in Bodoland Territorial Area (BTR) in Assam on 20 March 2023.
  • A total of 17 teams (both men and women) are participating in the event.
  • The participating countries are – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and the host, India.
  • The event is being organised by the Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) and is being hosted by the Assam Kho Kho Association (AKKA) with support from the BTR Government.
  • Eight matches will take place each day in the four-day event. On 23 March, the last day of the event, only the semifinals and the final will take place.

Hardik Singh and Savita Punia win Hockey India men’s and women’s Player of Year awards

  • Midfielder Hardik Singh and goalkeeper Savita Punia have won the Hockey India Balbir Singh Award for Player of The Year 2022 in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively.
  • The 24-year-old Hardik beat his illustrious senior players like Manpreet Singh and Harmanpreet Singh to win the coveted award for 2022 named after hockey legend Balbir Singh senior at the fifth Hockey India Annual Awards.
  • Hardik was the most impressive player for India in the FIH World Cup held in Odisha in January before he was ruled out of the tournament due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the second group match against England.
  • Both Hardik and Savita received ₹25 lakh each, along with a trophy. The total prize money for the wards was over ₹2.7 crore.
  • The award carries ₹30 lakh and a trophy.
  • Current national team captain Harmanpreet was named the best defender for 2022.

Rohan Bopanna becomes the oldest tennis player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title

  • Rohan Bopanna, a 43-year-old Indian tennis player, and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden have become the oldest duo to win an ATP Masters 1000 title. 
  • They won the men’s doubles final recently at the Indian Wells Masters 2023 tournament in California by defeating the top-seeded team of Wesley Koolhof and Neil Skupski. 
  • Bopanna and Ebden won the first set 6-3 but lost the second set 2-6. However, they managed to win the match by clinching the deciding tie-breaker 10-8.
  • Bopanna has now won 24 ATP titles, including five ATP Masters 1000, and has become the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title, breaking the record of Canadian Daniel Nestor, who won the 2015 Cincinnati Masters at the age of 42. 
  • This was Bopanna’s second title this year, having won the Qatar Open with Ebden last month.

Pankaj Advani defends Asian Billiards Title

  • Pankaj Advani won the Asian Billiards Championship that was played on 20 March in Doha, Qatar, in a commanding exhibition of billiards.
  • Brijesh Damani, the current national champion, was defeated by Pankaj Advani (India) 5-1.

Sampanna Ramesh Shelar becomes the fastest Indian to swim across Palk Strait

  • Pune-based swimmer Sampanna Ramesh Shelar has become the fastest Indian in the under-21 groups to swim across the Palk Strait from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanuskodi in Tamil Nadu.
  • He created this record by completing the distance of 29 km in 5 hours and 30 minutes. The previous record was 8 hours and 26 minutes.
  • With this achievement, Mr Shelar plans to do solo swims across the English and Catalina Channels soon, to eventually complete swimming across the seven oceans popularly known as the Oceans Seven Challenge.
  • His swim commenced at 6:00 am on 16 March from Talaimannar and he reached Dhanushkodi at 11:26 am completing the distance of 29 km. 
  • He is a Bachelor of Physical Education student and trains under the guidance of Mr Jitendra Khasnis.
  • He is also the youngest and fastest swimmer in the world to swim the Bangla Channel twice. This record is also recorded in the Limca Book of Records.

Kerala Bar Council gets its first transgender advocate

  • Padma Lakshmi was among the more than 1,500 law graduates who received their Bar enrolment certificates at an event organised by the Bar Council of India on 19 March, making history by becoming the first transgender lawyer in Kerala.
  • Padma Lakshmi graduated from Ernakulam Government Law College with a degree in law.
  • P. Rajeev lauded the young attorney’s attempts to create her own career in a society that is not always kind or encouraging.


  • Kerala was the first Indian state to adopt a policy for transgender individuals.
  • In 2018, Sathyasri Sharmila became India’s first transgender solicitor. 
  • West Bengal’s Joyita Mondal became India’s first transgender judge in 2017.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin announces Navaratna schemes for women police

  • Marking the 50th anniversary of enlisting women into the police force in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister MK Stalin has made a ‘Navaratna’ announcement for women police.
  • During the event, the Chief Minister announced a nine-point scheme, ‘Navaratna’, for women in the police force.

Related Announcements:

  1. Roll-call for women changed to 8 am from 7 am
  2. Lodging facility for women cops
  3. Separate retiring rooms for women cops
  4. Child care centres for women cops will be gentrified
  5. Felicitation with Kalaignar police cup
  6. Transfers and holidays to accommodate a women cop’s familial commitments
  7. An all-women shooting contest
  8. An annual national summit for women cops
  9. Setting up a work consultation committee

Virat Kohli named Luxor’s brand ambassador

  • Luxor, the Indian stationery brand, has partnered with Germany’s Schneider Pen to launch a premium line of creative writing tools in India.
  • As part of this collaboration, Indian cricketing icon Virat Kohli has been named as the brand ambassador for Luxor. 
  • The partnership aims to increase the appeal of the stationery brand, particularly among the youth demographic, and establish Luxor as a top-performing writing instrument brand in India.
  • Established in 1963, Luxor International Private Limited is a prominent Indian stationery manufacturer that produces a wide range of writing instruments under its brand name, including popular products like Pilot, Parker, and Waterman. 
  • The company is headquartered in Noida, India.

Lalit Kumar Gupta appointed as CMD of Cotton Corporation of India (CCI)

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Lalit Kumar Gupta as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), a PSU under the Ministry of Textile.
  • Gupta has been appointed as CMD of CCI with effect from the date of his assumption of charge of the post for a period of five years, or till the date of his superannuation, or until further orders, whichever is the earlier.
  • The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) panel recommended Gupta for the post of CMD of CCI. Presently, he is serving as Director (Finnane) in the same organisation.
  • Gupta has been associated with the Cotton Corporation of India for about 25 years. He joined CCI in August 1994.
  • CCI was established on 31st July 1970 under the administrative control of the Ministry of Textiles as a Public Sector Undertaking under the Companies Act 1956.


Shaheed Diwas or Martyrs’ Day 2023

  • Shaheed Diwas, or Martyrs’ Day, is observed in India on the 23rd of March every year to pay homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for thedom of India. This day marks the anniversary of the execution of three Indiandom fighters- Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru in 1931.
  • In an attempt to seek revenge for Lala Lajpat Rai’s death, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev planned to attack the Central Legislative Assembly and prevent the passing of the Public Safety Bill and the Trade Dispute Act.
  • On 8 April 1929, they tried to bomb the Central Legislative Assembly but were caught. As a result, all three were sentenced to death. On 23 March 1931, they were executed at the age of 23, 24, and 22, respectively.
  • Notably, Martyrs’ Day is also observed in India on 30 January to pay respect to Mahatma Gandhi ji. On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in the compound of Birla House.


World Water Day 2023

  • Wednesday, 22 March 2023, was observed as World Water Day. The purpose of World Water Day, which was first commemorated in 1993, was “to raise awareness and motivate action to address the water and sanitation crisis”. 
  • The theme for World Water Day in 2023 is “Accelerate reform to end the water and sanitation crisis”. 


  • About 2.5% of the water on the surface of the Earth is fresh and appropriate for human use.
  • The natural recycling mechanism ensures that the amount of freshwater on Earth remains constant. Still, rising demand for clean water and population growth are emerging as significant threats to the conservation of freshwater.
  • Using water inefficiently can have huge effects on future generations.
  • The United Nations (UN) observes World Water Day in conjunction with UN Water. The United Nations also released a World Water Development Report.

Indian navy to conduct the ‘sam no varunah’ coastal car rally

  • The Indian Navy, in association with Navy Welfare and Wellness Association (NWWA), is embarking on a maritime awareness coastal motor car expedition called “SAM NO VARUNAH”. 
  • The SAM NO VARUNAH expedition is a unique initiative by the Indian Navy to promote sea consciousness and create awareness about the nation’s rich maritime heritage. 
  • The rally will cover the entire Indian coastline and promote career opportunities in the Navy, community development, and environmental awareness. 
  • The participation of serving women officers and naval wives will showcase the strength of women in the armed forces.
  • The rally promotes sea consciousness and celebrates the nation’s rich maritime heritage. The expedition will cover the entire Indian coastline, which is more than the length of land borders India shares with China and Pakistan combined.

Uganda passes a law making it a crime to identify as LGBTQ

  • Uganda’s parliament recently passed a law making it a crime to identify as LGBTQ, handing authorities broad powers to target gay Ugandans, who already face legal discrimination and mob violence.
  • More than 30 African countries, including Uganda, already ban same-sex relationships. The new law appears to be the first to outlaw merely identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ), according to the rights group Human Rights Watch.
  • Violations under the law draw severe penalties, including death for so-called aggravated homosexuality and life in prison for gay sex. Aggravated homosexuality involves gay sex with people under the age of 18 or when the perpetrator is HIV positive, among other categories, according to the law.
  • Sixty-nine countries have laws that criminalise homosexuality, and nearly half of these are in Africa.

Some of the examples are:

  • Southern and east Africa, the Middle East and south Asia persist with the most draconian approaches. Western Europe and the western hemisphere are the most tolerant.
  • In Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, homosexuality is still punishable by death under sharia law. 
  • The same applies in parts of Somalia and northern Nigeria. In two other countries – Syria and Iraq – the death penalty is carried out by non-state actors, including Islamic State.


Check out the Highlights of Union Budget 2023 by clicking on the link given below:
Union Budget 2023-24

Chhattisgarh passes Bill for protection of media persons

  • Recently, the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly enacted the “Chhattisgarh Mediapersons Protection Bill 2023”, which aims to safeguard journalists and prevent violence against them. 
  • The measure was introduced for debate in the House by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who described the occasion as “historic”.
  • Prior to the 2018 Chhattisgarh assembly elections, Congress promised in its manifesto to pass a law protecting journalists in the state. 


  • To prevent violence against journalists, performing duties in Chhattisgarh.
  • To protect the property of journalists and media institutions.
  • To avoid acts of violence that endanger the lives of journalists and damage and destroy the property of journalists and media institutions.
  • If a private individual is responsible for assault, harassment, or intimidation against a journalist, the committee, after considering the case and hearing both parties, can impose a ₹25,000 fine on the offender.


Africa-India field training exercise, ‘AFINDEX-23’ begins in Pune, India

  • The 10-day Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX 2023) began in Pune, India, recently to strengthen the military ties between the countries. The exercise will be held till 30 March 2023.
  • The theme of the exercise is “humanitarian mine action and peacekeeping operations”.
  • The primary focus of the joint exercise will be on tactical drills, procedures and the ability to operate jointly with seamless interoperability.
  • The exercise will promote the idea of Africa-India Militaries for Regional Unity (AMRUT).
  • The exercise is also considered an essential element of India’s diplomatic ties with African countries.

Swiss Open badminton tournament 

  • The 2023 Swiss Open badminton tournament started in Basel, Switzerland on 21st March 2023.
  • The tournament will be played till the 26th of this month. 
  • Some of the best players in the world, like Victor Axelsen, Lee Zii Jia, Wang Zhiyi, and Carolina Marin, will be competing in the tournament.
  • India will be represented by stars like P.V. Sindhu, Prannoy HS, Lakshya Sen, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.
  • The Swiss Open was first held in 1955 and is one of the oldest badminton tournaments. So far, 59 editions of the tournament have been held. The 2023 Swiss Open is going to be the 60th edition of the tournament.
  • The Swiss Open is currently sponsored by Yonex, and the tournament’s total prize pool is $210,000.
  • Saina Nehwal became the first Indian to win the Swiss Open. 
  • She won the Women’s Singles in 2011. 
  • Srikanth Kidambi became the first Indian man to win the Swiss Open when he won the Men’s Singles in 2015.
  • P.V. Sindhu won the women’s singles in 2022 and came into the 2023 Swiss Open as a defending champion.

Actor Ranveer Singh dethrones Virat Kohli as India’s most valued celebrity of 2022

  • Actor Ranveer Singh is India’s most valued celebrity of 2022, according to a report by corporate investigation and risk consulting firm Kroll.
  • With a brand value of $181.7 million, Singh has dethroned cricketer Virat Kohli, who occupied the top spot for five years, according to the report titled “Celebrity Brand Valuation Report 2022: Beyond the Mainstream”.
  • Kohli fell to the second spot with a brand value of $176.9 million.
  • Actor Akshay Kumar remained in third position with a brand value of $153.6 million. 
  • With a valuation of $102.9 million, actress Alia Bhatt also retained the fourth spot and the title of the most valued female celebrity.
  • Deepika Padukone’s brand valuation of $82.9 million earned her the fifth spot.
  • Former cricketer MS Dhoni occupied the sixth spot on the list with a brand value of over $80 million. 
  • Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and Shah Rukh Khan were other big names from the film industry that made it to the top 10 list of most valued celebrities.

Nepal’s Aasif Sheikh wins CMJ Spirit of Cricket award

  • Nepal wicketkeeper Aasif Sheikh has won the 2022 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award for his act of sportsmanship in a T20 international.
  • Sheikh was awarded for his sportsmanship shown in the men’s T20 International between Nepal and Ireland in February 2022.
  • Sheikh was also honoured with the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award in January 2022 for his work.
  • The Spirit of Cricket Award was created in 2013 by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the BBC in memory of former MCC president and BBC Test Match Special commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins (CMJ), who was passionate about promoting the spirit of the game.
  • For the first time in its history, MCC and BBC invited public nominations for the award in December 2022, and Sheikh’s conduct for Nepal was judged to be the winning entry.

Annual Bilateral Maritime Exercise KONKAN 2023

  • The annual bilateral maritime exercise was conducted recently between the Indian Navy and the UK’s Royal Navy. It was held off the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea from 20 to 22 Mar 2023. The Indian Navy conducts or participates in bilateral maritime exercises with friendly foreign countries on a regular basis.
  • INS Trishul and HMS Lancaster participated in this edition and undertook multiple maritime drills to enhance best practices.
  • The exercises covered all domains of naval operations, air, surface and subsurface.
  • They included gunnery shoots on the inflatable surface target ‘Killer Tomato’, helicopter operations, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), ship manoeuvres and exchange of personnel.
  • The exercise holds major significance, such as enhancing training value to personnel of both navies. The focus personnel exhibited on op-readiness, enhancing interoperability and improving the ability to conduct joint operations will go a long way in bolstering the combined efforts of the Indian Navy and Royal Navy to strengthen maritime security and uphold a rules-based order in the region.
  • It is the second frigate of the Talwar class of the Indian Navy. Trishul, the guided missile frigate, joined the arsenal of the Indian Navy in 2003. The ship was commissioned by the then Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Arun Prakash, at St Petersburg, Russia, on 25 June 2003.

Indian Army and Air Force conduct joint drills Vayu Prahar along LAC in the eastern command

  • According to sources, the Indian Army and the Air force jointly conducted a Multi Domain Air-Land Exercise Vayu Prahar along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern command. The exercise validated and refined procedures essential for synergised joint operations. Army Formations, Special Forces, along with Indian Air Force, participated in the 96-hour exercise in the Eastern Theatre.
  • In the second week of March 2023, the Indian Army and the Air force jointly conducted a Multi Domain Air-Land Exercise Vayu Prahar in the Eastern Theatre to validate joint plans to prosecute synergised multiple domain operations. 
  • It included the rapid mobilisation of an earmarked Rapid Reaction Force from the hinterland to undertake air-landed operations in a nominated Advance Landing Ground.
  • The air landed force further executes contingency tasks as per a realistic exercise scenario in challenging high-altitude terrain conditions.
  • Multi-Domain operations aim to orchestrate military activities across all domains to deliver converging effects.
  • It enabled coordination and rehearsal amongst various agencies for quick mobilisation, transportation and deployment of forces. 
  • Meanwhile, China has said that the border dispute with India is a bilateral issue and that foreign interference will not help solve the problems.

Ramnath Goenka Awards for excellence in journalism

  • Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud recently presented the 16th Ramnath Goenka Awards for excellence in journalism under various categories. A total of 43 winners from 2019 and 2020, who were not honoured earlier due to the coronavirus pandemic, were felicitated this year at the event. The event took place in New Delhi. 


  • In the category of ‘Hindi journalism in print media’, Anand Choudhary from Dainik Bhaskar bagged the prestigious award for exploring the dark underbelly of Rajasthan’s villages in its three tribal districts where children can be bought for just ₹50–₹150.
  • Jyoti Yadav and Bismee Taskin from The Print, a news portal, won the honour for their story on the migrant exodus across rural Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • Sushil Kumar Mohapatra from NDTV India won the award in the category of ‘broadcast (Hindi) journalism’.
  • Ashutosh Mishra from Aaj Tak news channel won the award for his story on the bodies floating in the Ganga river during the pandemic in May 2021.


President Biden presents National Humanities Medals to Indian-American actress Mindy Kaling and 11 others

  • US President Joe Biden has presented the prestigious 2021 National Humanities Medals to Indian-American actress and producer Mindy Kaling, with several others, in recognition of her giving voice to a new generation of storytellers, at a White House ceremony.
  • The National Medal of Arts is the highest award, given to artists, arts patrons, and groups by the US government.
  • The President previously awarded a National Humanities Medal to Sir Elton John in September 2022, during a White House event, “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme”.
  • Mindy Kaling is a writer, producer and actor.
  • Mindy Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer, producer, and New York Times best-selling author, director, and actor. Mindy has also lent her voice to multiple blockbuster animated comedies, including the Oscar-winning Pixar film, “Inside Out”.


World’s Top 10 Billionaires list released by Hurun research platform

  • According to the recently released Hurun Global Rich List, Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries and the richest man in Asia, is the only Indian to be ranked among the top 10 billionaires in the world.
  • The Hurun Global Rich List for 2023 ranked a total of 3,112 billionaires from 69 countries and 2,356 companies, which is a decrease from last year’s 3,384 billionaires.
  • The number of billionaires dropped by 8 per cent, and their total wealth dropped by 10 per cent compared to last year.
  • Out of the total number of billionaires, 1,078 individuals witnessed an increase in their wealth, including 176 new faces.
  • Among the top billionaires, Jeff Bezos of Amazon saw her wealth deplete by $70 billion in 2023 to $118 billion, followed by Tesla’s Elon Musk, who saw his fortunes dip by $48 billion to $157 billion.
  • The top 4 billionaires in the US (Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Elon Musk) have lost a combined $200 billion in wealth in 2022-23.
  • Hurun Report is a research, luxury publishing and events group established in London in 1998. It has a presence in India, China, France, the UK, the US, Australia, Japan, Canada and Luxembourg.

Anti-submarine warfare craft ‘INS Androth’ launched in Kolkata

  • The second anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft (ASW SWC), named INS Androth, was launched recently at Garden Reach Ship Builders in Kolkata.
  • It is used to protect the coastal low draft region wherever they are deployed. The first Arnala was launched last year.
  • These ships are also capable of full-scale subsurface surveillance of coastal waters and various surface platforms and coordinated ASW operations with aircraft.
  • These ships are 77.6 metres long and 10.5 metres wide and require a draught of only 2.7 metres. Propelled by three diesel-driven water jets, these ships can attain a maximum speed of 25 knots.
  • The ship is equipped with hull-mounted sonar, low-frequency variable depth sonar, lightweight torpedoes, ASW rockets and mines, a close-in weapon system (with a 30 mm gun) and 16.7 mm stabilised remote-controlled guns.

ISRO to launch OneWeb India-2 mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the ‘OneWeb India-2 mission’ from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on 26 March.
  • Under a commercial agreement with NewSpace India Ltd, it will launch 72 satellites of UK-based Network Access Associates Ltd and place them in low Earth orbit.
  • NewSpace is the commercial wing of ISRO.
  • The first set of 36 satellites was launched on 23 October 2022 by an LVM3 M2 launch vehicle.
  • In the second mission on 26 March, the remaining 36 satellites, each weighing approximately 5805 kg, will be placed in a 450 km circular low earth orbit by the LVM3 M3 launch vehicle.
  • After launch, Access Associates Ltd will have more than 600 satellites in space offering internet from space services to various countries.

Which organisation will launch the OneWeb India-2 mission?





Answer: B

Maha Metro Nagpur receives prestigious ‘Asia Book of Record’ citation

  • Being awarded “Guinness World Records” and two “Asia Book of Records” earlier, Maha Metro Nagpur was honoured with the prestigious Asia Book of Records certification for three categories. 
  • The certification and citation were presented by Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis at Metro Bhawan recently.
  • The categories for which Nagpur Metro was presented with Asia Book of Records certification are ‘Longest Length of Metro Rail Corridor Construction in Shortest Time’, ‘First Solar PV System in a Metro Rail Project for Integrated Consumption’ and ‘Heaviest Single Span Double Decker Steel Bridge Truss over Railway tracks in Urban Area’, in Asia
  • The citation and medal were handed over to Maha Metro MD Dr Brijesh Dixit by Fadnavis.


World Tuberculosis Day-2023

  • World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on 24 March to raise awareness about Tuberculosis, a serious respiratory infection. 
  • The day also highlights the progress being made in the battle against the disease and focuses on the commitment to eradicate the infection.


  • The theme for World Tuberculosis Day 2023 is “Yes! We can end TB!”. According to the World Health Organization website, this theme aims to hope and encourage high-level leadership, increased investments, adoption of innovations, accelerated action, and multisectoral collaboration to combat the Tuberculosis epidemic.


Rajasthan becomes the first state to pass the Right to Health Bill

  • Rajasthan became the first state in the country to legislate a “right to health”. 
  • The Right to Health Bill passed by the Rajasthan assembly gives every resident of the state “the right to a consultation, drugs, diagnostics and emergency care at all public hospitals”.
  • The government will reimburse the health care provider if a patient does not pay the charges after emergency care, stabilisation and referral.
  • As part of the Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme, the Rajasthan government provides health insurance of ₹10 lakh and bears organ transplant expenses. 
  • In his budget speech, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that this amount would be increased to ₹25 lakh.

The passenger ferry service between Sri Lanka and India to start from April

  • The long-delayed passenger ferry service between Sri Lanka and India is scheduled to begin by the end of April.
  • Ferry service between Puducherry’s Karaikal and Kankesanthurai, a port city in Lanka’s Jaffna district, is likely to begin on 29 April.
  • A passenger terminal is currently being constructed at the Kankesanthurai Port to facilitate the ferry service by the Sri Lanka Navy.

Mumbai Indians win Women’s Premier League inaugural title

  • Harmanpreet Kaur-led Mumbai Indians won the inaugural Women’s Premier League title on 26 March after registering a thrilling seven-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals in the summit clash at the Brabourne stadium
  • Hayley Matthews claimed the purple cap 
  • Meg Lanning won the orange cap
  • Hayley Matthews was the most valuable player
  • All-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt was awarded as the player of the match
  • Hayley Matthews won the award for the catch of the season

EC chooses transgender folk artiste Manjamma Jogati as the poll icon for the community

  • Manjamma Jogati, a transgender person, has been selected by the Election Commission (EC) as a poll icon to inspire the community to register to vote and cast ballots for the first time in the State.
  • Jogati, the transgender folk dancer, the former chairperson of Karnataka Janapada Academy and a Padma Shri awardee, has been chosen as a poll ambassador apart from other icons.
  • Apart from her, cricketer Rahul Dravid, Jnanpith awardee Chandrashekar Kambar, visually challenged person from Belaku Academy Ashwini Angadi, and Paralympian Girish Gowda are the other poll icons in the state.

The first-ever joint naval exercise conducted between the EU and the US

  • A joint naval exercise between the European Union and the United States of America took place on 23 and 24 March.
  • The joint naval exercise took place in the framework of the EU and U.S. patrolling and exercising high seasdom of navigation.
  • The exercise involved USS PAUL HAMILTON, as well as EU Naval Force Operation Atalanta’s Spanish Ship REINA SOFIA and Italian Ship CARLO BERGAMINI.
  • It included professional exchanges, onboarding procedures, ship navigation, and training designed to improve interoperability and integration.

Bharat 6G project: India plans to roll out high-speed internet by 2030

  • By 2030, India plans to introduce 6G high-speed communication services.
  • Bharat 6G project to identify and fund research and deployment of the next-generation technology in the country,
  • India’s 6G project will be implemented in two phases, and the government has also appointed an apex council to oversee the project and focus on issues such as standardisation, identification of the spectrum for 6G usage, create an ecosystem for devices and systems, and figure out finances for research and development, among other things.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty win Swiss Open title

  • The Indian men’s badminton doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty defeated China’s Tan Qiang and Ren Xiang Yu to win the BWF Super 300 tournament in Basel.
  • Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, sixth in the badminton rankings, got the better of the world No. 21 Chinese pair 21-19, 24-22 to win their first title of the 2023 badminton season.

One World TB Summit” at Varanasi

  • PM recently addressed the One World TB Summit in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • PM Launched the TB-Mukt Panchayat initiative, an official pan-India rollout of a shorter TB Preventive Treatment and Family-centric care model for TB.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted India’s powerful pharmaceutical industry as a significant advantage in the global battle against TB. He also mentioned that India had set a goal of eradicating TB by the year 2025, which is five years ahead of the global target of 2030.

Intel co-founder and creator of Moore’s Law, Gordon Moore dies at the age of 94

  • Gordon Moore, a pioneer in the microprocessor industry and a co-founder of Intel, which at one time was the world’s largest semiconductor maker, has died at the age of 94.
  • Moore was a giant in the technological transformation of the modern age, helping companies bring ever more powerful chips to smaller and smaller computers.
  • An engineer by training, he co-founded Intel in July 1968, eventually serving as president, chief executive and chairman of the board.
  • Moore’s law is the observation that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit (IC) doubles about every two years. 

Saurashtra Tamil Sangam will be held at Somnath from 17 to 26 April

  • Mansukh Mandaviya, the union health minister, announced that the Saurashtra Tamil Sangam, which would connect Tamil Nadu and Saurashtra, will take place from 17 April to 26 April in Somnath, Dwarka, and other locations in Gujarat.
  • Additionally present were BJP State President Annamalai, Gujarat Ministers Kunvarji Bavaliya and Jagdish Vishwakarma, and Union Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy L. Murugan.
  • Additionally, Shri Mandaviya introduced a website for Saurashtra Tamil Sangam registration. He said the Sangam would highlight the long-standing connection between Somnath and Rameshwaram.
  • The state of Tamil Nadu is home to around 21 lakh Saurashtrians, and this festival will open up communication between Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah chairs Regional Conference on “Drug Trafficking and National Security” in Bengaluru

  • Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah chaired the Regional Conference on “Drug Trafficking and National Security” recently at Bengaluru.
  • Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Government of India has adopted a “Zero Tolerance” policy against drugs to make a drug-India.
  • The Union Home Minister emphasised that in order to crack down on the entire network, narcotics cases should be thoroughly investigated, with a “bottom to top and top to bottom” approach involving other states and institutions.
  • The government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has four main pillars in its campaign to eliminate drugs from the country: Detection of drugs, Destruction of the network, Detention of culprits and Rehabilitation of drug addicts.
  • The government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has adopted a “Whole of Government Approach” against drugs. 
  • The government is moving towards making a drug-India by increasing cooperation, coordination and collaboration between all departments and agencies.
  • Union Home Minister inaugurated five new zonal offices of NCB, and the regional office of the bureau headed by the Deputy Director General in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, was also inaugurated.
  • In the presence of the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between “Rashtriya Raksha University” and the Government of Karnataka to open a new campus in Shivamogga.

M T Vasudevan Nair awarded Kerala’s highest civilian honour

  • Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan has presented the maiden ‘Kerala Puraskarangal’ to eminent personalities in various fields who have made an outstanding contribution to society.
  • The awards were given in three categories, namely “Kerala Jyothi”, “Kerala Prabha”, and “Kerala Shri”.
  • Kerala’s highest civilian honour, “Kerala Jyothi”, was awarded to writer M T Vasudevan Nair.
  • The second-highest award, “Kerala Prabha”, was shared by actor Mammootty, former civil service officer T Madhava Menon and writer Omchery NN Pillai.
  • Kerala Shri Puraskaram has been awarded to writer and activist MP Parameswaran, magician Gopinath Muthukad, sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman, businessman and social worker Kochouseph Chittilappilly, musician Vaikom Vijayalakshmi and biologist Sathyabhama Das Biju.
  • In 2021, the government of Kerala instituted the civilian award “Kerala Puraskarangal ” on the model of the Padma awards.

Kashmir’s Aliya Mir gets Wildlife Conservation Award 2023

  • Alia Mir has been honoured with the wildlife conservation award by Lt Governor of the Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, becoming the first woman in the Union Territory for her conservation efforts in the region.
  • Alia Mir is also Kashmir’s first woman who works for the charity Wildlife SOS organisation, which is part of the Wildlife Rescue Team. 
  • Lt Manoj Sinha facilitated her with the wildlife honour. 
  • The eminent sociologist Alia Mir was awarded at the World Forestry Day celebrations organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Collective Forests.
  • The wildlife rescue helpline, which she started in 2021, works closely with the J&K Wildlife Protection Department to save snakes and other wild animals.

Isha Ambani wins “GenNext Entrepreneur” award at the Forbes India Leadership Awards 2023

  • Isha Ambani, the chairperson of Reliance Industries’ retail unit, Reliance Retail, has won the “Gennext Entrepreneur” award at Forbes India Leadership Awards 2023 at the ceremony held on 24 March.
  • The other big names include CK Venkataraman, managing director of Titan Company, who was felicitated with the “CEO of the Year” award and Abhay Soi, chairman and managing director of Max Healthcare, who was awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.
  • Isha Ambani is the daughter of Mukesh Ambani, who is the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited.
  • She was ranked second on the “Youngest Billionaire Heiresses” list by Forbes in 2008 and had an estimated net worth of ₹471 crore.
  • At the 2016 Lakme Fashion Week, Isha also launched the online fashion retailer AJIO, a subsidiary of Reliance Retail managed by her.

PM Modi launched the “Call Before u Dig” app

  • he Prime Minister recently launched the “Call Before u Dig” (CBuD) app to tackle uncoordinated digging and excavation.
  • The mobile application is an initiative of the Department of Telecom, Ministry of Communications.
  • It aims to prevent damage to underlying assets such as optical fibre cables, which is caused by unorganised quarrying and mining, which leads to a loss of about ₹3,000 crore every year.
  • This will save potential business losses due to lesser disruption of essential services like road, telecom, water, gas and electricity and reduce the inconvenience caused to citizens.
  • The app will connect excavators and property owners so that planned excavation can be carried out in the country while ensuring the safety of underground assets.

Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Autobiography “Azaad” to be released soon

  • Ghulam Nabi Azad, a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Minister, has written an honest and forthright autobiography, which will be launched in New Delhi on 5 April.
  • Titled “Azaad”, the book chronicles Azad’s political journey and provides insights into the significant political changes that India has undergone over the past five decades. 
  • Published by Rupa Publications India, ‘Azaad’ is a candid account of Azad’s life and career, including his interactions with influential leaders in India and around the world.

Launch Vehicle Mark- 3 (LVM-3)

  • Recently, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) LVM3 or GSLV-Mk3 successfully put into space 36 satellites of Bharti-backed OneWeb.
  • It was previously known as the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark–III.
  • The recent launching of 36 satellites was the sixth launch of India’s heaviest rocket, LVM-3.
  • It was the second dedicated commercial satellite mission undertaken by Space PSU NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) for Network Access Associates Ltd (OneWeb).
  •  GSLV is a 3-stage space launch vehicle operated by the ISRO to launch satellites and other space objects into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits (GTO ~37,000 km).
  • The third stage of this vehicle uses a Cryogenic engine, which uses liquefied oxygen and hydrogen as fuel.
  • NewSpace India Limited is a Central Public Sector Enterprise established in 2019.
  • It is the second commercial entity of the Department of Space (DoS) after Antrix Corporation Limited, which was set up in 1992 to market the products and services of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Water and Heritage Shield Award

  • A site called Sípàapu, located in Arizona, United States and sacred to the Hopi Native American Nation has been awarded a “Water and Heritage Shield” by the International Committee On Monuments and Sites International Science Committee.
  • The purpose of the Shield is to help the public become aware of the significance of water and indigenous sacred sites all over the world and the right to cultural and historical memory.
  • The Sípàapu is a rocky dome made of limestone as well as a spring located on the Little Colorado River, a tributary of Colorado.
  • Little Colorado joins the main stem of the river within the Grand Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The ancestors of the Hopi dwelled throughout the Grand Canyon before the 1250 Common Era.

Operation Interflex 

  • Operation Interflex is a part of the United Kingdom’s (UK) commitment of £2.3 billion for military aid and support to Ukraine. 
  • Under it, the UK and other countries, including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, and the Netherlands, are training Ukraine’s military. 

India’s First Cable-Stayed Railway Bridge

  • The first cable-stayed railway bridge of India on the Anji River (a tributary of the Chenab River) in Jammu and Kashmir is expected to be ready by May 2023.
  • Anji bridge between Katra and Reasi stations falls in the Reasi district of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • The upcoming structure is part of the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla-Rail Link (USBRL) project. 
  • The project was declared a National Importance Project in March 2002. It is also the biggest mountain railway project since independence.
  • The bridge will also have an integrated monitoring system with numerous sensors installed at various locations.

Women’s World Boxing Championship

  • Recently, Nikhat Zareen (2nd world title) and Lovlina Borgohain (1st world title) won two gold medals for India in the Women’s World Boxing Championship.
  • The Women’s World Boxing Championship was organised by the International Boxing Association (IBA). The mission of the IBA is to promote, support and govern the sport of boxing worldwide in accordance with the requirements and spirit of the Olympic Charter.
  • The Olympic Charter is the codification of the fundamental principles of Olympism and the rules and bye-laws (a set of rules or laws established by an organisation or community so as to regulate itself) adopted by the International Olympic Committee.

President Murmu to launch ‘Gaj Utsav’ in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park

  • dent Droupadi Murmu will launch a two-day “Gaj Utsav” in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park on 7 April to commemorate the successful completion of Project Elephant’s 30th year and to boost conservation efforts.
  • In 1991-92, India launched Project Elephant as a government-sponsored initiative to protect elephants, their habitat, and corridors, to prevent human-elephant conflict, and to ensure the welfare of captive elephants in India.
  • The elephant is a national heritage animal protected under Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.
  • India accounts for more than 60 per cent of the global wild elephant population. These are distributed majorly in southern and north-eastern India, east-central and northern regions.

Manmeet Colon first Sikh woman to take charge as Connecticut’s assistant police chief

  • Indian-origin Sikh Manmeet Colon has been sworn in as the first assistant police chief of Connecticut’s New Haven city, recently becoming the department’s first Indian-American and second woman assistant chief of colour to rise to the top post.
  • The Board of Police Commissioners in New Haven unanimously approved the appointment of Colon, 37, who was previously a lieutenant in the internal affairs office.
  • lon graduated from the police academy in December 2008 and studied criminal justice at the University of New Haven.
  • New Haven is a coastal city on Long Island Sound in Connecticut, United States.
  • New Haven was one of the first planned cities in the U.S.
  • New Haven is the home of Yale University.

Pakistan-origin Humza Yousaf becomes Scotland’s first Muslim leader

  • Humza Yousaf beat his competitors to become the head of the governing Scottish National Party (SNP). 
  • The 37-year-old Humza Yousaf became the first Muslim leader of a major UK political party and also the first Muslim to lead a country in Western Europe.
  • Humza Yousaf beat Kate Forbes and Ash Regan to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader. He will take over as head of the semi-autonomous government once he wins an approval vote in the Scottish Parliament. 
  • He was elected to the Scottish Parliament as an additional member for the Glasgow region in 2011. 

India’s first cloned indigenous Gir female calf produced at NDRI, Karnal

  • Scientists of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in Karnal have achieved a new milestone by producing the country’s first Indigenous Gir cow clone calf.
  • The female calf named Ganga was born on 16 March, but the achievement was disclosed on 26 March after observing her health for around ten days. 
  • The weight of the calf at the time of birth was 32 kg, and the newborn is keeping in good health.
  • Gir, a native breed of Gujarat, is becoming popular among dairy farmers because of its docile nature and the goodness of milk.

Lovlina Borgohain becomes world champion in the 75 kg category

  • Lovlina Borgohain defeated Australia’s Caitlin Parker in the 75 kg final to win the gold medal at the World Women’s Boxing Championship in New Delhi.
  • She defeated Australian boxer Caitlin Parker 5-2 to take the top prize in the 75 kg category and win her first-ever World Championship gold medal.
  • Lovlina had won the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics. She is only one of two Indian women to win an Olympic medal in boxing.
  • Legendary boxer Mary Kom has won a record six gold medals in the history of the World Championships.
  • Earlier on Sunday, Nikhat Zareen won her second World Championships Gold medal, dominating the 50 kg final. Nitu Ghanghas (48 kg) and Saweety Boora won the Gold medals in their respective weight categories on Saturday in New Delhi.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman honoured with a literary award

  • The Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL) honoured Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with a special literary award for his trilogy – Unfinished Memoirs, The Prison Diaries and The New China 1952.
  • The award was presented at the ceremony to Bangladeshi writers and researchers Ramendu Majumdar and Mofidul Haque by eminent Punjabi novelist and founder president of FOSWAL Ajit Kaur.
  • The award was given to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for his outstanding literary excellence, as he is a towering figure of national emancipation of the oppressed people of the world.
  • A citation by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature compares him with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, saying that no power on earth can erase them from history.
  • SAARC Writers and Literature Foundation (FOSWAL) was established in 1987 as a non-profit organisation with the objective of promoting regional cooperation and cultural exchange among SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries through literature and the arts.
  • Its founding members were writers and poets from SAARC countries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.

The first joint conference of army chiefs of India and African countries held

  • The inaugural joint conference between the Indian and African army chiefs took place in Pune, with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh as the guest of honour and Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pandey in attendance. 
  • This marks the first-ever conference of its kind between these nations, with ten army chiefs and 31 representatives from African countries in attendance. 
  • Additionally, an exhibition under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative was held to showcase defence products and target the African market.

Japan to connect landlocked North East with Bangladesh

  • Northeast India may soon get a trade gateway through Matarbari deep seaport in Bangladesh. 
  • Japan is supporting Bangladesh in the development of Matarbari port and improving connectivity in the region through the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B) initiative. 
  • BIG-B aims to accelerate industrial agglomeration along Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar belt area and beyond, encompassing developing economic infrastructure, improving the investment environment and fostering connectivity. 
  • Recently, the Japanese PM, while outlining Japan’s Indo-Pacific strategy, stated that Japan would promote the Bay of Bengal-Northeast India industrial value chain concept to foster the growth of the entire region. Japan is also assisting in road connectivity in NER to connect to Japanese-assisted projects in Bangladesh.
  • Japan has been working closely with India to support the development of NER through India-Japan Act East Forum (AEF)

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to issue Heat Index (HI) reading

  • IMD, in addition to giving out the day’s maximum and minimum temperatures, will soon issue a HI- a reading that gives an estimation of what temperature actually feels like.
  • It factors in the day’s relative humidity, wind speed, maximum temperature, and cloud cover. 
  • A colour-based warning will also be issued, based on the expected HI, listing precautions people can take.
  • Calculation of HI will help states in formulating better Heat Action Plans (HAPs) for heatwave assessment, forecast, preparedness and mitigation.
  • Heatwave is considered if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C for Plains and at least 30°C for Hilly regions.

‘Ironman’ Krishna Prakash becomes the first person to swim from Gateway of India to Elephanta Caves

  • The ‘Ironman’ achieved another milestone by becoming the first person to swim from the Gateway of India to the famed Elephanta Caves (located at Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour).
  • The police officer wrote how he took the opposite route from the popular swimming route, from the Elephanta Caves to the Gateway of India, and covered 16.20 kilometres within five hours and 26 minutes.
  • In 2017, he completed the Ironman Triathlon, one of the most challenging sports events in the world. 
  • This three-day event requires the participants to complete a 3.8-kilometre swim, a 180.2-kilometre bicycle ride, and a 42.2 km run in 16–17 hours. 
  • This achievement earned Prakash the ‘Iron Man’ title and a mention in the World Book of Records. 
  • He was the first Indian Government Civil Servant and Uniformed Services Officer, including Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces, to earn this title!

Conservation Plan for Great Indian Bustards

  • To conserve and protect the Great Indian Bustard, which is considered one of the largest flying birds in the world, the Government of India is implementing various measures throughout the country. 
  • However, apart from certain regions in Rajasthan and Gujarat, the birds have disappeared from 90% of their original habitat. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified the species as “critically endangered”.
  • The Government of Rajasthan has proposed an in-situ conservation plan for the Great Indian Bustard, which requires approval from the State Board for Wild Life before funding support can be considered from the State plan or State CAMPA funds.
  • The Great Indian Bustard is granted the highest level of legal protection from hunting as it is included in Schedule-I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Important habitats of the species are designated as National Parks or sanctuaries to ensure their safeguarding.
  • The conservation of the Great Indian Bustard is identified as a priority under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme – Development of Wildlife Habitats, which provides financial and technical assistance to State and Union Territory Governments for conservation efforts.
  • The Great Indian Bustard is a large bird native to the Indian subcontinent. It is considered one of the heaviest flying birds in the world, with males weighing up to 18 kilograms and standing up to one metre tall.

Lionel Messi scores his 100th international goal for Argentina

  • Argentina captain Lionel Messi scored his 100th international goal for his country in a friendly match against Curacao.
  • Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi opened the scoring against the Caribbean island minnows in 20 minutes in Santiago del Estero.
  • It came 17 years after he opened his Argentina account in a 3-2 defeat to Croatia in March 2006.
  • Messi, 35, remains third on the all-time men’s list of leading international scorers behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who achieved a century of goals in September of 2020, and now has 120, and Iran’s Ali Daei, who scored 109 before retiring in 2007.
  • Messi has scored 13 times in the Copa America and is the highest goalscorer for Argentina at World Cup competitions, having netted 13 goals in 26 matches spanning five editions, starting in 2006.

Uttarakhand hosts first G20 summit

  • Ramnagar in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district hosted the first G20 summit in the state from 28 to 30 March.
  • Roads outside the airport have been decorated to provide a glimpse of the state’s culture to foreign guests.
  • The three-day G20 meeting in Ramnagar saw the participation of 70 foreign guests and 30 Indian officials.
  • Security had been tightened in the area in view of the Summit, and all arrangements were in place.
  • The roadside walls were decorated with paintings and carvings of the culture of Uttarakhand for both Indian and foreign delegates to know and learn about it.
  • To acquaint the delegates with local products, the district administration organised an exhibition based on local products, in which various types of local products were displayed.
  • The murals also depicted the lifestyle and musical instruments of Uttarakhand. 
  • The delegates were also served the traditional food of Uttarakhand and modern food.

Female cheetah Sasha, brought from Namibia to MP’s Kuno National Park, dies due to illness

  • Five-and-a-half-year-old Sasha, who was brought to India in the first batch of cheetahs from Namibia, died due to suspected renal failure.
  • It was one of the eight cheetahs brought from Namibia to India last year.
  • It is reported that when Sasha was diagnosed with kidney ailment back in January this year, the Madhya Pradesh department dispatched an emergency medical response team to Kuno.
  • While four cheetahs from the first batch of eight were released into the wild between 11 and 25 March, Sasha and two others, Siyaya and Savannah, remained in their hunting enclosures after experts expressed concerns over their chances of survival in the wild.
  • The cheetahs (five females and three males) were brought from Namibia in Africa as part of ‘Project Cheetah’.
  • It was the first time in the world that a large carnivore was translocated from one continent to another.

IIT Madras develops cheap and portable devices to check milk adulteration in 30 seconds

  • IIT Madras researchers have developed a cost-effective and portable 3D paper-based device that can detect milk adulteration in just 30 seconds. 
  • Unlike conventional laboratory-based methods, this new technology can be used at home and requires only a millilitre of the liquid sample to test for adulterants.
  • The device can detect various commonly used adulterating agents such as detergents, soap, hydrogen peroxide, urea, starch, salt, and sodium-hydrogen-carbonate.
  • The research was led by Dr Pallab Sinha Mahapatra, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Madras, along with research scholars Subhashis Patari and Driyankan Datta.
  • The adulteration of milk is a growing concern, particularly in developing countries such as India, Pakistan, China, and Brazil.

World Bank approves $108 million loan to improve disaster preparedness for Assam

  • The World Bank has approved a $108-million loan to help Assam improve disaster preparedness and enhance flood forecasting, benefitting around 6 million people in a state where flood is a perennial problem.
  • Assam had in 2022 suffered one of its worst floods that affected over 89 lakh people in 34 districts and killed 199.  Altogether 2,04,348 houses were also either severely or partially damaged.
  • The loan, approved by the World Bank’s executive board of directors, is part of a larger $500-million investment programme for Assam, having a maturity of 11.5 years and a grace period of four years.
  • The Assam government has projected an increase in extreme rainfall events by 5-35 per cent and an increase in the rise of flood events by more than 25 per cent due to climate change.

Passing out parade of the first batch of Agniveers at INS Chilka

  • The first batch of 2,585 Agniveers celebrated their passing out parade at INS Chilka in Odisha on 28 March.
  • The parade was held under the aegis of Southern Naval Command. 
  • The parade was reviewed by Adm R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, in the presence of Honourable Member of Parliament PT Usha, eminent sports personality Mithali Raj and eminent naval veterans.
  • There are also 272 women Agniveers among those passing out in the parade.
  • Khushi Pathania was awarded the General Bipin Rawat Trophy for Best Female Agniveer at first passing out parade of Agniveers at INS Chilka.
  • Khushi, 19, from Pathankot, is the granddaughter of a Subedar Major and the daughter of a farmer.
  • Amalakanti Jayaram, Agniveer (SSR), Ajith P, Agniveer (MR) were awarded the Chief of the Naval Staff Rolling Trophy and Gold Medal for Best Agniveer SSR and MR in the men’s category, respectively.

Naveen Jindal conferred with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the University of Texas

  • Jindal Steel and Power Chairman, Naveen Jindal, was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of Texas (Dallas), and the award ceremony was held on 25 March 2023.
  • Jindal, an alumnus of UT Dallas 1992 batch, was awarded for his outstanding achievements in industry, politics and academia.
  • Jindal is the second person after Nobel laureate Aziz Sansar to receive this prestigious award from the University of Texas, Dallas.
  • As a student at UT Dallas, Jindal served as both vice president and president of the student government and was honoured with the Student Leader of the Year award and also received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010.
  • In 2011, to celebrate Jindal’s massive success, UT Dallas renamed its School of Management the Naveen Jindal School of Management.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the University of Texas (Dallas) to individuals who have made significant contributions in a variety of fields over a distinguished career of at least 25 years.
  • Past laureates include Mary McDermott Cook, Ralph Hawkins, and Robert S. Kaplan.

Defence Ministry signs three contracts worth about ₹5400 crore to bolster defence capabilities

  • The Defense Ministry has signed three contracts with domestic manufacturers at a total cost of about ₹5,400 crore to enhance the country’s defence capabilities.

1st Contract

  • The first contract has been signed with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which pertains to the procurement of Project Akashtir, an automated air defence control and reporting system worth ₹1,982 crore for the Indian Army.

2nd Contract

  • The second contract with BEL pertains to the acquisition of the Sarang Electronic Support Measure System for the Indian Navy at a total cost of ₹412 crore.
  • Sarang is an advanced electronic support measure system for helicopters of the Indian Navy.
  • Both will empower the air defence units of the Indian Army to operate effectively in an integrated manner.

3rd Contract

  • The third contract with New Space India Limited pertains to the procurement of GSAT 7B, an advanced communication satellite for the Indian Army, at a total cost of ₹2,963 crore.
  • The satellite will significantly enhance the communications capability of the Indian military by providing mission-critical beyond-line-of-sight communications for troops and formations as well as weapon and airborne platforms.

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