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20th March, 2023

two-day G20 Research and Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) Conference,450 MW Seti River-6 Hydropower Project, 156 critical infrastructure gaps,PM Gati Shakti initiative, Centre for Processing Accelerated Corporate Exit (C-PACE),Indian Higher Education Meet 2023, India’s first National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping, DigiClaim,‘MeitY Start-up Hub’,Unique Identification Authority of India,Sagar Manthan dashboard,Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, 1st G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting,Aravalli Green Wall Project, National Science Centre, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS),India’s first Human Space Flight Programme or the Gaganyaan,second Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group,Vaikom Satyagraha,”Gajamitra (Friends of Elephants)”,midday meal programme,Hawking Defence Services, ‘Vayu Prahar’,‘Arudhra’ radar,“Project Himshakti”,Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan, new Accreditation Master Agreement (AMA), two short-range ballistic missiles, BRICS New Development Bank,UAE Food Bank,QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),“2023 Global Payments Report”, Competition Commission of India,Mahindra & Mahindra, ‘Greenfield Data Centre’,Geojit Financial Services,Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC),Asian Development Bank,Bharat BillPay, International Financial Services Centre Authority,Commercial Indo Bank LLC (CIBL),Abu Dhabi Investment Authority,Karur Vysya Bank,of Dearness Allowance/ Dearness Relief,Finance Bill 2023,Martyrs’ Day/Shaheed Diwas,International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, World TB Day, Earth Hour,“2023 M3M Hurun Global Rich List- Global and India-Specific”., safety “Ispat Suraksha Puraskar”, Mesut Özil,Rudranksh Balasaheb Patil,8th ISSF World Cup Shooting Championship,Mumbai Indians,Women’s World Boxing Championships, Swiss Open (badminton) tournament 2023, Abhay Chhajlani,Pradeep Sarkar,Gordon Moore,,

  1. The two-day G20 Research and Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) Conference will be held at Dibrugarh, Assam.
  2. Investment Board Nepal (IBN) has permitted NHPC Limited, India, to carry out a study of the 450 MW Seti River-6 Hydropower Project.
  3. As many as 156 critical infrastructure gaps to ports and for movement of bulk commodities such as coal, cement, fertilizers and foodgrains, have been identified for intervention under the PM Gati Shakti initiative.
  4. Ministryof Corporate Affairs has set up a Centre for Processing Accelerated Corporate Exit (C-PACE) at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) in Haryana to enable quick and faceless decision-making on requests from companies for winding up operations and exit.
  5. Indian Higher Education Meet 2023 will be held at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  6. Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated India’s first National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS) in Gurugram, Haryana.
  7. Central Government has launched a digitised claim settlement module — DigiClaim — under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to help farmers receive the disbursed amount electronically like in the case of PM-Kisan.
  8. Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) has collaborated with ‘MeitY Start-up Hub’ to organize a Hackathon for Indian tech start-ups to find solutions to address the challenges of tolling and traffic management on the National Highways in India.
  9. Unique Identification Authority of India and state-owned Society for Electronic Transactions and Security signed a pact to conduct joint research for the development of tools and products in deep tech domains.
  10. Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) launched Sagar Manthan dashboard to monitor and track the progress of the ministry’ projects.
  11. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has extended the subsidy of Rs 200 per LPG cylinder for a period of one year under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
  12. The 1st G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting under India’s G20 Presidency is scheduled in Mumbai, from March 28th − 30th, 2023.
  13. Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav launched the Aravalli Green Wall Project, a major initiative to make the 5 km buffer area around the Aravalli Hill Range green in four states.
  14. National Science Centre, Delhi organized the inaugural ceremony of the Innovation Festival to provide a unique platform to Innovative and creative Innovators.
  15. The Central government has raised the daily wage rates under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) by up to 4% for FY24 from a year before.
  16. The four astronauts have been selected for India’s first Human Space Flight Programme or the Gaganyaan have successfully completed the first semester of crew training.
  17. The second Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group meeting was held under India’s G20 presidency at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre at Gandhinagar in
  18. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin will jointly inaugurate the State-level celebrations in connection with the centenary year of the Vaikom Satyagraha at Vaikom.
  19. West Bengal has launched a unique human-driven initiative, named “Gajamitra (Friends of Elephants)” to check the rising incidents of human-elephant conflict (HEC).
  20. Uttar Pradesh has announced to include millets in the midday meal programme in schools and will also be made available to people through public distribution system.
  21. Karnataka government launched three programmes aimed at Mysuru and other parts of the southern state to expand the information technology (IT) and startup ecosystem beyond the capital city of Bengaluru.
  22. Hawking Defence Services, an Indian defence firm, has entered into an agreement with Amphibian Aerospace Industries (AAI), an Australia-based aircraft manufacturer, to manufacture the Albatross Amphibious Aircraft.
  23. Indian Army and the Indian Air Force conducted a multi-domain air-land exercise ‘Vayu Prahar’ in Arunachal Pradesh.
  24. Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for buying ‘Arudhra’ radar and DR-118 RWR worth Rs 3,700 Crore for Indian Air Force (IAF).
  25. The annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and UK’s Royal Navy was conducted off the Konkan coast in Western Ghat Region of India in the Arabian Sea.
  26. Ministry of Defence has launched the “Project Himshakti” for procuring two Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Hyderabad at an overall cost of approximately Rs 3,000 crore.
  27. Minister of Textile, Piyush Goyal and Tamil Nadu govt have signed an MOU to establish the first PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel (PM MITRA) Park in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district.
  28. Department of Social Justice & Empowerment has signed an MOU with Sant Nirankari Mandal to spread the awareness about the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan.
  29. UNDP and Green Climate Fund have signed a new Accreditation Master Agreement (AMA) to deliver vital climate finance to countries in critical decade for action.
  30. North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles. The country has also tested its nuclear capable drone named ‘Haeil’.
  31. Egypt has joined the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). The approval for the same was granted in 2021.
  32. UAE Food Bank has been launched to remove food waste and distribute 3 million meals during Ramadan.
  33. QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 has been released.
  34. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the Synthesis Report on IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report 2023.
  35. FIS (global fintech company) has released the “2023 Global Payments Report”.
  36. Competition Commission of India has approved LIC Mutual Fund’s acquisition of IDBI Mutual Fund.
  37. World Bank’s global development institution IFC has announced to invest Rs 600 crore in a new last mile mobility (LMM) company set up by Mahindra & Mahindra.
  38. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das laid the foundation stone for establishment of a ‘Greenfield Data Centre’ and ‘Enterprise Computing & Cybersecurity Training Institute’ in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
  39. Brokerage firm Geojit Financial Services has entered into an agreement with ESAF Small Finance Bank to offer a special 3-in-1 bundled account to the ESAF SFB customers.
  40. Power Finance Corporation has signed an agreement with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for a loan of about Rs 165 crore (JPY 2.65 billion).
  41. Asian Development Bank (ADB) and SAEL Industries Limited have signed an agreement of up to ₹7.54 billion to promote the generation of biomass energy using agricultural residue to diversify India’s energy mix and reduce carbon intensity.
  42. Amazon Pay has collaborated with Bharat BillPay, the biller platform of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), to strengthen its loan repayment facility.
  43. International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) has formed a committee, chaired by Padmanabhan (former Executive Director of RBI), to provide measures required to encourage the Indian fintech and startups domiciled abroad to relocate to GIFT IFSC.
  44. Canara Bank has sold its stake in Russian joint venture Commercial Indo Bank LLC (CIBL) to the other venture partner State Bank of India (SBI) for about Rs 121.29 crore.
  45. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has acquired 10% stake in Indian eyewear startup LenskartSolutions Pvt for $500 million.
  46. Karur Vysya Bank has signed a bancassurance agreement with SBI Life Insurance to sell the insurance via bank’s branches.
  47. Union Cabinet has increased the rate of Dearness Allowance/ Dearness Relief for Central Governments employees and pensioners respectively by 4% over and above the existing rate of 38% of the Basic Pay/Pension.
  48. Finance Bill 2023 has been passed by Lok Sabha. Changes in the Finance Bill –
  49. March 23 – Martyrs’ Day/Shaheed Diwas (in honour of the freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar)
  50. International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
  51. World TB Day; Theme – Yes, We can end TB!
  52. Earth Hour is an annual event that takes place on the last Saturday of March. This year, it was celebrated on March 25 at 8.30 pm local time.
  53. Hurun India has released the “2023 M3M Hurun Global Rich List- Global and India-Specific”.
  54. RINL Visakhapatnam received the national-level safety “Ispat Suraksha Puraskar”, given by the Joint Committee on Safety, Health & Environment in the Steel Industry.
  55. Mesut Özil (German former professional footballer) has announced retirement.
  56. India’s Rudranksh Balasaheb Patil won a bronze medal in the 10m Air Rifle event in the 8th ISSF World Cup Shooting Championship held at the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy of Excellence in
  57. Mumbai Indians (captain – Harmanpreet Kaur) has won the first edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) held at Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
  58. India has won 4 gold medals at the Women’s World Boxing Championships at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.
  59. Swiss Open (badminton) tournament 2023 Men’s Singles: Koki Watanabe (Japan); Women’s Singles: Pornpawee Chochuwong (Thailand)
  60. Abhay Chhajlani (Indian Journalist and Padma Shri Awardee) has passed away.
  61. Pradeep Sarkar (an Indian writer and director who worked in Bollywood) has passed away.
  62. Intel co-founder and creator of Moore’s Law, Gordon Moore (American) passed away.

Table of Content

National News

  1. The two-day G20 Research and Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) Conference will be held at Dibrugarh, Assam.
      • The department’s secretary Dr Srivari Chandrasekhar, who is the G20 RIIG Chair, will lead the conference proceedings.
  2. Investment Board Nepal (IBN) has permitted NHPC Limited, India, to carry out a study of the 450 MW Seti River-6 Hydropower Project.
      • The proposed project will be constructed in Doti and Achham districts.
  3. As many as 156 critical infrastructure gaps to ports and for movement of bulk commodities such as coal, cement, fertilizers and foodgrains, have been identified for intervention under the PM Gati Shakti initiative.
      • So far, 44 Network Planning Group meetings held at the central level, wherein 66 major infrastructure projects worth Rs 5 lakh crore, have been evaluated.
  4. Ministryof Corporate Affairs has set up a Centre for Processing Accelerated Corporate Exit (C-PACE) at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) in Haryana to enable quick and faceless decision-making on requests from companies for winding up operations and exit.
      • The new body set up under section 396 of the Companies Act, 2016 comes into force from 1 April.
      • The new centralised facility will make decisions on corporate requests for winding up and companies will no longer have to go to the Registrar of Companies (RoCs) in the state where they are registered.
  5. Indian Higher Education Meet 2023 will be held at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
      • It is being conducted under the aegis of the Study in India programme in Dhaka.
Knowledge Nuggets -
• The ‘Study in India’programme is a flagship project launched by the Ministry of Education, Government of India in 2018.
• The programme is designed to encourage and invite the global student community to pursue their higher education in India.
• Since its inception, the Study in India programme has drawn students from over 150 countries, including Bangladesh.
  1. Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated India’s first National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS) in Gurugram, Haryana.
      • The centre is housed within the TERI complex in Gurugram. It will work towards meeting the obligations under the Paris Agreement.
      • NCoEGPS will act as a technological arm of MoPSW for providing the needed support on Policy, Research and Cooperation on Green Shipping areas for Ports.
      • The Ministry also launched the ‘Green Tug Transition Programme’ (GTTP).
      • A tug is a small powerful boat that is used for pulling ships into a port, etc.
      • The ‘Green Tug Transition Programme’ aims to have green tugs in all major ports by 2025. At least, 50% of all the Tugs are likely to be converted into Green Tugs by
Knowledge Nuggets -
• India aims to become the global hub ofGreen Ship Building by 2030.
• India aims to reduce Carbon emissions per ton of cargo handled by ports in India by 30% by 2030.
• India has been selected as the first country under the IMO Green Voyage 2050 project to conduct a pilot project related to Green Shipping.
• The ministry has already identified Paradip Port, Deendayal Port and V.O. Chidambaram Port to developed as Hydrogen Hubs - capable of handling, storing and generation of green hydrogen by 2030.
  1. Central Government has launched a digitised claim settlement module — DigiClaim — under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to help farmers receive the disbursed amount electronically like in the case of PM-Kisan.
      • It has been made operational in six States with demonstration of actual transfer of claims in bank accounts of beneficiary farmers.
      • Through the DigiClaim module, insurance claims of ₹1,260.35 crore were disbursed to farmers in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Haryana.
      • The technology has been enabled through the integration of National Crop Insurance Portal (NCIP) and Public Finance Management System (PFMS).
  2. Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) has collaborated with ‘MeitY Start-up Hub’ to organize a Hackathon for Indian tech start-ups to find solutions to address the challenges of tolling and traffic management on the National Highways in India.
      • The theme of the hackathon was barrierless tolling system and Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS) that will enhance safety and efficiency on our National Highways.
      • The eminent panel of jury consisting of senior officials from NHAI, MeitY and IIT Madras shortlisted top 5 applicants in each of the two categories of Barrierless Tolling and ITMS.
      • The shortlisted Startups were provided a seed money of Rs. 10 lakh each to conduct a Proof of Concept (POC). The POCs were conducted by these applicants in the month of February 2023 at various identified locations in Delhi NCR.
  3. Unique Identification Authority of India and state-owned Society for Electronic Transactions and Security signed a pact to conduct joint research for the development of tools and products in deep tech domains.
  4. Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) launched Sagar Manthan dashboard to monitor and track the progress of the ministry’ projects.
      • It will ensure the timely completion of projects, informed decision-making, increased efficiency & effectiveness of projects.
  5. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has extended the subsidy of Rs 200 per LPG cylinder for a period of one year under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
      • The subsidy of Rs 200 per LPG cylinder will be provided to the beneficiaries for up to 12 refills per year.
      • The total expenditure on it in 2022-23 will be Rs 6,100 crore and in 2023-24 will be Rs 7,680 crore.
      • The average LPG consumption of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana consumers has increased by 20% from 3.01 refills in 2019-20 to 3.68 in 2021-22.
      • Government had launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in May 2016 to provide deposit-free LPG connections to adult women of poor households.
  6. The 1st G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting under India’s G20 Presidency is scheduled in Mumbai, from March 28th − 30th, 2023.
      • An International Conference on ‘Trade Finance’ will be held during the meet. This conference will be organized by Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India and Exim Bank.
  7. Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav launched the Aravalli Green Wall Project, a major initiative to make the 5 km buffer area around the Aravalli Hill Range green in four states.
      • Aravalli Mountain Range is spread across Gujarat-Delhi-Rajasthan-Haryana.
      • The project was launched during the celebrations of International Day of Forests at Tikli Village in Theme of the Day is Forests and health.
      • In the initial phase, 75 water bodies will be rejuvenated under the project, starting with five waterbodies each in every district of Aravalli landscape on March 25th.
      • The project will cover degraded land in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bhiwani, Mahendergarh and in Rewari districts of Haryana.
      • At the event, the National Action Plan to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation Through Forestry Interventions was also launched.
      • India aims to achieve the national goal of creating an additional 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon sink by 2030.
  8. National Science Centre, Delhi organized the inaugural ceremony of the Innovation Festival to provide a unique platform to Innovative and creative Innovators.
  9. The Central government has raised the daily wage rates under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) by up to 4% for FY24 from a year before.
      • In absolute terms, the daily wages have been raised in the ₹7-26 range.
      • The revised wages for different states and Union territories range from ₹221 per day (Chhattisgarh/Madhya Pradesh) to ₹357 (Haryana) for FY24.
      • Rajasthan saw the highest increase (10.4%) in the wage rate for FY24 and Goa the lowest hike (2.2%).
      • According to the government’s revised estimate, spending on the MGNREGS is expected to rise to Rs 89,400 crore this fiscal year from the budgeted Rs 73,000 crore.
      • The government has budgeted Rs 60,000 crore for FY24.
  10. The four astronauts have been selected for India’s first Human Space Flight Programme or the Gaganyaan have successfully completed the first semester of crew training.
      • The candidates who are Indian Air Force (IAF) test pilots have been undergoing Gaganyaan Mission specific training at the Astronaut Training Facility in Bengaluru.
      • The first trial (uncrewed flight) for Gaganyaan is being planned by the end of 2023 or early 2024. This will be followed by sending Vyom Mitra, a humanoid and then with the crew onboard.
  11. The second Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group meeting was held under India’s G20 presidency at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre at Gandhinagar in
      • The meeting focused on thematic areas like arresting land degradation, accelerating ecosystem restoration and enriching biodiversity, encouraging resource efficiency and Circular economy, and promoting a sustainable and climate-resilient blue economy.

State News

  1. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin will jointly inaugurate the State-level celebrations in connection with the centenary year of the Vaikom Satyagraha at Vaikom.
      • Vaikom Satyagraha was a non-violent agitation from 30 March 1924 to 23 November 1925 for access to the prohibited public environs of the Vaikom Temple in the Kingdom of Travancore.
  2. West Bengal has launched a unique human-driven initiative, named “Gajamitra (Friends of Elephants)” to check the rising incidents of human-elephant conflict (HEC).
      • Under this scheme, the state Forest Department has started the process of appointing 600 local youth from HEC-prone areas.
      • The selected youths will procure advance information about the movement of elephant herds, alert the forest department and local people, so that preventive measures can be taken for avoiding HEC.
  3. Uttar Pradesh has announced to include millets in the midday meal programme in schools and will also be made available to people through public distribution system.
      • The state government is running ‘Shree Anna Punaruddhar Karyakram (Shree Anna rejuvenation programme)’ with a proposed expenditure of Rs 186 crore in the next four years.
  4. Karnataka government launched three programmes aimed at Mysuru and other parts of the southern state to expand the information technology (IT) and startup ecosystem beyond the capital city of Bengaluru.
      • As part of the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM), the state launched Mysuru Cluster Seed Fund (MCSF), Mysuru Global Technology Centre (MGTC) and Karnataka Accelerator Network (KAN).
      • The Rs 25-crore Mysuru cluster seed fund is expected to benefit 70-80 startups in that region.
      • Karnataka Accelerator Network is expected to address the challenges involved in the startup journey.

Defence News

  1. Hawking Defence Services, an Indian defence firm, has entered into an agreement with Amphibian Aerospace Industries (AAI), an Australia-based aircraft manufacturer, to manufacture the Albatross Amphibious Aircraft.
      • It is a 28-seater aircraft that can land and take off from land, snow, and water.
  2. Indian Army and the Indian Air Force conducted a multi-domain air-land exercise ‘Vayu Prahar’ in Arunachal Pradesh.
  3. Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for buying ‘Arudhra’ radar and DR-118 RWR worth Rs 3,700 Crore for Indian Air Force (IAF).
  4. The annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and UK’s Royal Navy was conducted off the Konkan coast in Western Ghat Region of India in the Arabian Sea.
      • INS Trishul, a guided missile frigate, and HMS Lancaster, a Type 23 guided missile frigate, participated in ‘Konkan 2023’.
  5. Ministry of Defence has launched the “Project Himshakti” for procuring two Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Hyderabad at an overall cost of approximately Rs 3,000 crore.
      • The project is under the Buy {Indian – IDMM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured)} category comprising contemporary and niche technologies.
      • This category and other such procedures for procuring defence goods have been elucidated in the Defence Procurement Procedures 2020.

Memorandum of Understand

  1. Minister of Textile, Piyush Goyal and Tamil Nadu govt have signed an MOU to establish the first PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel (PM MITRA) Park in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district.
      • The Parks will come up in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  2. Department of Social Justice & Empowerment has signed an MOU with Sant Nirankari Mandal to spread the awareness about the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan.
      • The Ministry has initiated ambitious Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) currently operational in 372 districts of the country with an aim to create awareness about ill effects of substance abuse among the youth.

International News

  1. UNDP and Green Climate Fund have signed a new Accreditation Master Agreement (AMA) to deliver vital climate finance to countries in critical decade for action.
      • UNDP signed its first AMA with the GCF in 2017 covering a five-year period of partnership from 2017-2021. This second AMA now extends UNDP’s accreditation for other five-years from 2023-2027.
      • This agreement allows UNDP to use GCF for providing finances to developing and least-developed countries for adopt to climate-friendly technology.
Knowledge Nuggets -
• The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund established within the framework of the UNFCCC to provide finances to developing countries for countering climate change.
• GCF HQ - Incheon, South Korea
• The Secretariat is headed by the Executive Director (Yannick Glemarec), who is appointed by and accountable to the Board.
  1. North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles. The country has also tested its nuclear capable drone named ‘Haeil’.
  2. Egypt has joined the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). The approval for the same was granted in 2021.
      • United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay and Bangladesh also received the approval in 2021 to join NDB.
      • 2023 BRICS Summit – South Africa
Knowledge Nuggets -
• The New Development Bank (NDB) is a multilateral development bank established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).
• NDB was set up in 2015, with headquarter in Shanghai, China.
  1. UAE Food Bank has been launched to remove food waste and distribute 3 million meals during Ramadan.
      • UAE Food Bank aims to raise public awareness regarding the crucial goal of achieving zero food waste.
      • The organisation has partnered with Ne’ma -the national initiative to reduce food loss and wastage, to enhance community awareness, education, and empowerment in making better decisions regarding food consumption.

Reports And Indices

  1. QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 has been released.
      • The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 cover a total of 54 disciplines, grouped into five broad subject areas.
SubjectWorld’s Best India’s Best
Arts & Humanities Harvard University -
Engineering and Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) IIT-Bombay (47th rank)
IIT-Delhi (48th rank)
Life Sciences & Medicine Harvard University -
Natural Sciences Harvard University Mathematics (Sub-category in Natural Sciences)
IIT-Bombay (92nd)
IIT-Madras (98th)
Social Sciences & Management Harvard University -
  1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the Synthesis Report on IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report 2023.
      • This Synthesis Report (SYR) of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) summarises the state of knowledge of climate change, its widespread impacts and risks, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
      • It integrates the main findings of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which was released in three parts in 2021 and 2022.
      • The AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023 summarizes five years of reports on global temperature rises, fossil fuel emissions and climate impacts.
      • The last report i.e., fifth assessment report was released in 2014.
Main Findings of this report -
• Human-caused environmental damages are causing economic and human losses.
• GHG emissions will lead to increasing global warming in the near term, and it's likely this will reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2035.
• At present, the global temperature is around 1.1°C and current climate policies are projected to increase global warming by 3.2°C by 2100.
• To keep within the 1.5°C limit, emissions need to be reduced by at least 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, and at least 60% by 2035. This is the decisive decade to make that happen.
  1. FIS (global fintech company) has released the “2023 Global Payments Report”.
      • As per the report, cash use in POS transaction has reduced from 71% of value in 2019 to just 27% in 2022 in India.
      • India has emerged as a global leader in payments with the development of its next-generation real-time payments (RTP) infrastructure.
      • India’s e-commerce account-to-account (A2A) payments grew up to US $12 billion, up 53% from 2021 to 2022 and digital wallets growth from 5% to 35% of POS value.
      • Cash use is expected to decline by 34% in transaction value by 2026 and digital wallets are expected to rise in transaction value by 88% by 2026.
      • The e-commerce market size is expected to grow by 82% by 2026 providing a greater boost to digital payments.
      • India’s e-commerce market is projected to grow from US $83 billion in 2022 to US $150 billion in 2026.

Banking and Economy

  1. Competition Commission of India has approved LIC Mutual Fund’s acquisition of IDBI Mutual Fund.
      • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the sponsor of LIC Mutual Fund (LIC MF) and the parent entity of LIC AMC and LIC TC.
  2. World Bank’s global development institution IFC has announced to invest Rs 600 crore in a new last mile mobility (LMM) company set up by Mahindra & Mahindra.
      • The new company will have the last mile mobility division, including three-wheelers (Alfa, Treo, Zor) and four-wheeler SCVs (Jeeto).
      • IFC’s financing will scale up electric mobility in last mile connectivity of passenger and cargo segments and will enable the development and manufacturing of new generation products in this space.
  3. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das laid the foundation stone for establishment of a ‘Greenfield Data Centre’ and ‘Enterprise Computing & Cybersecurity Training Institute’ in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
  4. Brokerage firm Geojit Financial Services has entered into an agreement with ESAF Small Finance Bank to offer a special 3-in-1 bundled account to the ESAF SFB customers.
      • Under this one of its kind 3-in-1 bundled account service, ESAF SFB savings account holders can open Geojit demat account and trading account for free.
  5. Power Finance Corporation has signed an agreement with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for a loan of about Rs 165 crore (JPY 2.65 billion).
      • Under this facility, JBIC has proposed to finance some of PFC’s projects which ensure effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and conservation of the global environment.
      • This pact was executed under a general agreement signed between PFC and JBIC for JPY (Japanese Yen) 30 billion.
  6. Asian Development Bank (ADB) and SAEL Industries Limited have signed an agreement of up to ₹7.54 billion to promote the generation of biomass energy using agricultural residue to diversify India’s energy mix and reduce carbon intensity.
      • SAEL Industries Limited has developed a business model to use crop residues as fuel in waste-to-energy projects.
      • The company aims to grow its portfolio to 3.5 GW over the next four years by adding 100 MW of new biomass and 600 MW of new solar capacity annually.
  7. Amazon Pay has collaborated with Bharat BillPay, the biller platform of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), to strengthen its loan repayment facility.
      • Loan repayment is one of the top categories in terms of bill payment, amongst other options such as electricity and municipal tax payments.
      • The category facilitates loan repayment option for customers who avail of their loans through banks, microfinance institutions, and NBFCs, and need a convenient payment option to pay their EMIs on time.
  8. International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) has formed a committee, chaired by Padmanabhan (former Executive Director of RBI), to provide measures required to encourage the Indian fintech and startups domiciled abroad to relocate to GIFT IFSC.
      • The committee would identify issues that are critical to the development of GIFT IFSC as a global Fintech Hub.
      • In the 2023-24, the government proposed an extension of tax benefits to funds relocating to IFSC, GIFT City till March 31, 2025.
  9. Canara Bank has sold its stake in Russian joint venture Commercial Indo Bank LLC (CIBL) to the other venture partner State Bank of India (SBI) for about Rs 121.29 crore.
      • CIBL, incorporated in 2003, is a joint venture in Russia between SBI (60%) and Canara Bank (40%).
  10. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has acquired 10% stake in Indian eyewear startup LenskartSolutions Pvt for $500 million.
      • Lenskart got a valuation of $4.2 billion.
  11. Karur Vysya Bank has signed a bancassurance agreement with SBI Life Insurance to sell the insurance via bank’s branches.
  12. Union Cabinet has increased the rate of Dearness Allowance/ Dearness Relief for Central Governments employees and pensioners respectively by 4% over and above the existing rate of 38% of the Basic Pay/Pension.
      • The rate is effective from 01.01.2023.
      • The govt has already released the additional instalment of DA/DR with an increased rate of 42%.
      • The combine impact on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief would be Rs.12,815.60 crore per annum.
  13. Finance Bill 2023 has been passed by Lok Sabha. Changes in the Finance Bill –
A) LTCG Tax on Debt Mutual Funds
    • Ministry of Finance has scrapped the long-term capital gains treatment (with indexation benefits) for income from debt mutual funds and other schemes that invest up to 35% in equity shares of domestic companies.
    • The returns from such funds will now be treated as short term capital gains.
    • Currently, capital gains arising from transfer of mutual fund units (except for equity funds) held for more than 3 years, are considered as long-term investments and taxed at 20% with indexation benefits.
    • These rules will impact investments made on or after 1 April 2023.
Knowledge Nuggets -
    • Indexation means adjusting the returns on investment against the inflation rate to reduce overall tax liability.
B) Securities Transaction Tax (STT) on F&O
    • Ministry of Finance has also raised the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) on futures and options contracts in the stock market by 25% from April 1, 2023.
    • Options contracts will now attract 0.0625% STT, from 0.05% earlier, and futures contracts will attract a levy of 0.0125%, up from 0.01%.
C) GST on Tobacco
    • The maximum GST compensation cess rate for pan masala will be 51% of the retail sale price per unit compared with 135% ad valorem at present.
    • The cess rate for tobacco has been fixed at Rs 4,170 per thousand sticks plus 290% ad valorem or 100% of the retail sale price per unit.
    • The cess is levied over and above the highest GST rate of 28%.

Important Days

  1. March 23 – Martyrs’ Day/Shaheed Diwas (in honour of the freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar)
  2. March 24
      • International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
      • World TB Day; Theme – Yes, We can end TB!<
          • WHO D-G Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is implementing #EndTB initiative for 2023-27.
          • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the One World TB Summit 2023 in Varanasi. India aims to eliminate this high-burden infectious disease by 2025, 5 years ahead of the global goal of 2030. This vision was first articulated by the PM at the Delhi End TB Summit in March 2018.
          • PM has also released the “Annual India TB Report 2023”, which is a compilation of the country’s efforts towards making India TB-free by 2025.
          • The PM also launched the TB-Mukt Panchayat initiative to spread awareness about TB with the support of over 2.5 lakh gram panchayats. The initiative will also eliminate the stigma attached to the disease and help monitor and improve the uptake of services.
          • PM Modi also laid the foundation stone of the National Centre for Disease Control & High Containment Laboratory and inaugurated the site for the Metropolitan Public Health Surveillance Unit in Varanasi.
          • Awardsfor making progress in TB elimination –<
              • States for making progress in TB elimination – Karnataka and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir
              • Districtsfor making progress in TB elimination – Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu), Pulwama (J&K) and Anantnag (J&K)
  3. Earth Hour is an annual event that takes place on the last Saturday of March. This year, it was celebrated on March 25 at 8.30 pm local time.

Awards

  1. Hurun India has released the “2023 M3M Hurun Global Rich List- Global and India-Specific”.
      • World’s Richest Person – Bernard Arnault (France) owner of LVMH, followed by Elon Musk, owner of Tesla
          • From India, Mukesh Ambani features on the list on 9th rank.
          • Cyrus Poonawalla, founder of Serum Institute of India, ranks at 46th rank. He is the richest billionaire in the healthcare sector. He is the 3rd richest billionaire in India.
      • India’s Richest Person – Mukesh Ambani
  2. RINL Visakhapatnam received the national-level safety “Ispat Suraksha Puraskar”, given by the Joint Committee on Safety, Health & Environment in the Steel Industry.
      • RINL Visakhapatnam also bagged Prestigious Award for “Zero Fatal Accident involving Contract Labour” for the year 2022.
Knowledge Nuggets -
• The 'Joint Committee on Safety, Health & Environment in the Steel Industry' (JCSSI), formerly known as 'Standing Committee on Safety for the Steel Industry' (SCSSI) came into existence on 27th April 1973.
• The committee aims at safeguarding valuable human resource against possible hazards in steel industry.
• JCSSI is a unique National level bipartite forum of management and trade union representatives from both the public and private sector steel companies.

Sports

  1. Mesut Özil (German former professional footballer) has announced retirement.
  2. India’s Rudranksh Balasaheb Patil won a bronze medal in the 10m Air Rifle event in the 8th ISSF World Cup Shooting Championship held at the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy of Excellence in
      • India finished second with a total of five medals (one gold, one silver and three bronze).
      • China is at the top with a total of eight medals.
  3. Mumbai Indians (captain – Harmanpreet Kaur) has won the first edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) held at Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
      • Mumbai Indians defeated Delhi Capitals.
  4. India has won 4 gold medals at the Women’s World Boxing Championships at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.
      • Medallists – Lovlina Borgohain (75 kg), Nikhat Zareen (50 kg), Nitu Ghanghas (48 kg) and Saweety Boora (81 kg)
      • Nikhat Zareen created history by becoming World Champion for the second successive time. She has become only the second Indian woman boxer after Mary Kom to bag more than one world titles.
  5. Swiss Open (badminton) tournament 2023 Men’s Singles: Koki Watanabe (Japan); Women’s Singles: Pornpawee Chochuwong (Thailand)
      • Men’s Doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty

Miscellaneous

  1. Abhay Chhajlani (Indian Journalist and Padma Shri Awardee) has passed away.
  2. Pradeep Sarkar (an Indian writer and director who worked in Bollywood) has passed away.
  3. Intel co-founder and creator of Moore’s Law, Gordon Moore (American) passed away.
CEO of Anujjindal.in

About Anuj Jindal

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Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Education.

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