Daily Current Affairs and GK | 11 March 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 11 Mar 2023 18:59 PM IST

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Current Affairs

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Topic: Books and Authors

1. A book on Mundaka Upanishad written by Dr Karan Singh has been released.

  • The book 'Mundaka Upanishad: The Bridge to Immortality' has been released by Vice President, Jagdeep Dhankhar on 9 March 2023.
  • On this occasion Vice President, Jagdeep Dhankhar said that lessons from Upanishads are eternal and contemporaneously relevant.
  • It is written by former Parliamentarian Dr Karan Singh.
  • Dr Karan Singh is the son of Shri Hari Singh, the last ruling maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • SatyamevaJayate, which is the national motto of India, has been taken from the Mundaka Upanishad.
  • Mundaka Upanishad:
    • It is a collection of philosophical poems used to teach meditation and spiritual knowledge related to the true nature of Brahma and the Self (Atman).
    • It is composed of three main parts (mundakas).
    • The 64 verses of the "Mundaka Upanishad" are composed in the form of mantras.
    • It is included in Atharva Veda.

Topic: International News

2. Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to resume diplomatic relations between them.

  • A joint statement has been issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the People’s Republic of China.
  • Saudi Arabia and Iran have reached an agreement to resume diplomatic relations between them.
  • They have agreed to re-open their embassies and missions within two months.
  • They have also agreed to respect the sovereignty of each other and the non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
  • They also agreed that foreign affairs ministers of both countries will meet to implement this agreement.
  • Saudi Arabia, Iran and China have also expressed their desire to exert all efforts for enhancing regional and international peace and security.
  • The delegation of Saudi Arabia was headed by Dr. Musaad bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Minister of State and National Security Advisor.
  • Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council headed the delegation of Iran.
  • The delegation of Iran and China met from 6-10 March 2023 in Beijing.
  • Saudi Arabia and Iran’s relations were suspended after the death of Nimr al-Nimr and an attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in 2016.
  • Both countries are major oil and gas exporters. Energy policy is one of the main reasons for conflict between both countries.

Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to resume diplomatic relations

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Punjab

3. Punjab Government has presented the state budget for fiscal year 2023-24 in the State Assembly.

  • On 11 March, Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema presented a 1.96-lakh-crore rupees state budget for financial year 2023-24 in the State assembly.
  • The budget is an increase of 26% over the previous year, with no new taxes.
  • The main focus of the AAP government's first full budget is on agriculture, education and health.
  • Capital expenditure is estimated at Rs 11,782 crore, a 22% increase over the previous year.
  • The effective revenue deficit and fiscal deficit have been pegged at 3.32 per cent and 4.98 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), respectively.
  • Rs 13,888 crore has been allocated for agriculture and allied sector, which is 20% more than the previous budget.
  • An amount of Rs 1,000 crore has been allocated for crop diversification.
  • Rs 9,331 crore has been allotted for free power in the state and Rs 7,780 crore for power subsidy to domestic consumers.
  • The Punjab budget has allocated 5 crore rupees to create a brand image and publicity campaigns for tourism sector in the state.
  • The Punjab budget has allocated 4,781 crore rupees for health and family welfare, an increase of 11% over the previous year.      
  • The transport sector received an allocation of Rs 567 crore, a 42% increase over the previous year.
  • The Punjab budget has allocated 3,319 crore rupees for rural development and panchayats and 10,523 crore rupees for police and law and order, witnessing an 11% increase over previous years in each category.
  • A provision of Rs 30 crore has been proposed to effectively deal with cybercrime.
  • An outlay of Rs 3,751 crore has been made for financial incentives to industries, which is 19% more than the previous year.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. India and Australia agree to strengthen Comprehensive Strategic Partnership at the first annual summit in New Delhi.

  • On 10 March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese held bilateral talks in New Delhi.
  • During the first India-Australia Annual Summit, both the countries committed to further deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
  • Both countries exchanged MoU for cooperation in sports and audio-visual co-production.
  • The Indian and Australian sides also exchanged the terms of reference for the India-Australia Solar Task Force, the Atal Innovation Mission and the letter of intent between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
  • Mr Modi said the two countries also discussed further deepening their security and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • He said that both India and Australia are members of the Quad grouping and he would be traveling to Australia for the Quad leaders' conference in May this year.
  • Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that Australia's relations with India are multifaceted.
  • He said that both the leaders have agreed to conclude the ambitious India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement at the earliest.
  • India and Australia have friendly relations. Last year, the both countries signed a Free Trade Agreement for economic cooperation and trade.
  • In 2021-22, the bilateral trade between the two countries was estimated to be around $27 billion.
  • It is expected to reach 45 to 50 billion dollars by the year 203     

Topic: Defence

5. Six Donier-228 aircraft will be bought from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the IAF.

  • The Ministry of Defense has signed an agreement to buy six Donier-228 aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force at a cost of Rs 667 crore.
  • These aircraft will be used for cargo and communication work. They will also be used for training of cargo pilots.
  • The current batch of six aircraft are being procured with advanced and fuel-efficient engines with five bladed composite propellers.
  • The aircraft is ideally suited for medium range operations activities off the limited prepared/short runways of the North Eastern region and island chains of India.
  • The induction of these six aircraft will further enhance the operational capability of the Indian Air Force in remote areas.

Six Donier-228 aircraft

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: International Appointment

6. Xi Jinping ally Li Qiang, named as new premier by China’s parliament.

  • On March 11, Li Qiang has been nominated by Chinese President Xi Jinping to become Premier during the ongoing annual meeting of China's parliament.
  • Mr. Qiang will succeed Li Keqiang, who has retired after two terms.
  • On March 12, the new Foreign Minister of China, Qin Gang, is likely to be appointed, who was recently in India for the G20 meeting.
  • He will take over from Wang Yi, who has been promoted to the Politburo.
  • The appointment likely means Mr. Qin will take over as the Special Representative on India-China border negotiations.
  • On March 10, 2023, Chinese leader Xi Jinping was formally reappointed as President for a third five-year term.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
February Monthly Current Affairs January Monthly Current Affairs
December Monthly Current Affairs November Monthly Current Affairs

Topic: National News

7. Central Railway has achieved complete electrification of its 3,825 kilometers long broad gauge network.

  • This will reduce more than 5 lakh tonnes of carbon footprints annually. It will help in savings of 1670 crore rupees. It will help earn carbon credit. 
  • The central railway said the 52-kilometre Ausa Road-Latur Road stretch was the last non-electrified section.
  • It lies in the Solapur division. Its electrification was completed on the 23rd of February 2023.
  • Central Railway is one of the 19 zones of Indian Railways. It is headquartered at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai.
  • Carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual or organization. It is expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent.
  • Carbon credit is a tradable certificate. It represents right to emit certain amount of carbon dioxide or equivalent amount of other greenhouse gas.

Central Railway has achieved complete electrification

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Reports and Indices

8. NITI Aayog released a task force report on 10 March 2023.

  • The report is titled “Production and Promotion of Organic and Bio fertilisers with Special Focus on Improving Economic Viability of Gaushalas”. 
  • This report has been released by Prof Ramesh Chand, Member (Agriculture), NITI Aayog in the presence of Taskforce members. 
  • This Task Force has been constituted by NITI Aayog to make gaushalas economically viable and to solve the problem of stray and abandoned cattle. 
  • It has also been constituted to work for the effective utilization of cow dung and cow urine in the agriculture and energy sectors. 
  • Cattle are an integral part of the traditional farming system in India and Gaushalas will help in promoting natural farming and organic farming. 
  • The task force report will strengthen the waste to wealth initiative. It will promote the use of organic & bio fertilisers.
  • The report provides factual estimates of costs and investments involved in setting up the Bio-CNG plant and PROM (Phosphate Rich Organic Manure) plant in Gaushalas.
  • It gives recommendations for improving the financial and economic viability of Gaushalas.
  • One of the recommendations of the task force is to make it mandatory for fertilizer companies to sell at least 10-20% of organic manure as part of their mix.
  • Ramesh Chand said the implementation of the report would help achieve the target of bringing 25% cultivable area (of gross cropped area of 196 million hectares) under organic/natural farming by 2030.
  • He said the recommendations will help gaushalas become at least 50% economically viable.   
  • The task force was set up by NITI Aayog under the chairmanship of Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog.

Topic: Space and IT

9. ISRO successfully carried out controlled re-entry experiment for the decommissioned Megha-Tropiques-1 (MT-1) satellite.

  • MT-1 satellite was launched in 2011 for carrying out tropical weather and climate studies.
  • ISRO successfully executed the final two de-boost burns at 11:02 UTC and 12:51 UTC respectively on March 7.
  • ISRO carried out a series of 20 manoeuvres from August 2022 to slowly lower the satellite’s orbit by spending about 120 kg of fuel.
  • The final perigee was estimated to be less than 80 km. The re-entry aero-thermal flux analysis has confirmed that no large debris fragment has remained.
  • The entire sequence of events was carried out from the Mission Operations Complex in Bengaluru's ISTRAC (ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network).
  • An uninhabited area in the Pacific Ocean was identified for the re-entry zone for MT1.
  • The experiment was challenging because MT1 was not designed for a controlled re-entry.
  • Megha-Tropiques-1 (MT-1) satellite:
    • Megha-Tropiques-1 was developed as a joint mission of India and France to study the water cycle and energy exchanges of tropics.
    • It was launched in 2011 with a mission life of three years.
    • It provided valuable data service and supported regional and global climate models till 2021.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

10. India’s first death from H3N2 virus has been reported in Karnataka.

  • An 82-year-old man died from the H3N2 virus in Karnataka. He was suffering from diabetes and hypertension.
  • The Health Department said the patient was admitted to the hospital on February 24 and died on March 01.
  • As per the guidelines of the centre, 25 tests per week have to be done to keep track of the variants.
  • One death from the H3N2 virus has been also reported in Haryana. Around 90 cases of this virus have been reported across the country.
  • H3N2 virus:
    • H3N2 virus is a subtype of Influenza A. It is an influenza virus that causes respiratory infection.
    • Its symptoms are similar to the flu including Cough, fever, body ache and headache, and sore throat.
    • The infection caused by H3N2 generally lasts for five to seven days. However, the coughing could persist for up to three weeks.
    • It commonly infects children under 15 years of age and senior citizens over 65 years of age. It can also affect pregnant women more easily.
    • Various measures like cleanliness, preventing crowding and hand hygiene can prevent the spread of infection.
    • It can be transmitted from one person to another through droplets released when coughing, sneezing, or talking.
    • It can also infect birds and mammals.
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Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
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Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

11. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh virtually attended the 19th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok.

  • On 9 March, Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh virtually joined the 19th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok.
  • Thailand hosted this meeting.
  • Several documents including the Core BIMSTEC Working Mechanism, Regional BIMSTEC and Rules of Procedure for BIMSTEC External Relations were approved for presentation at the 6th BIMSTEC Summit.
  • The meeting also approved a draft Host Country Agreement between India and the BIMSTEC Secretariat for establishing BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate in India.
  • The Terms of Reference for an Eminent Persons Group on the future direction of BIMSTEC was also approved in the meeting.
  • The Terms of Reference were finalised as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's special scheme for institution building at the 5th BIMSTEC Summit in Colombo.
  • Apart from this, BIMSTEC Bangkok Vision 2030 was also approved. This will be brought up at the 6th BIMSTEC Summit.
  • The meeting revised Financial Rules and Regulations and also gave its approval to the Administrative and Disciplinary Rules of the Secretariat of the BIMSTEC Secretariat.
  • The 5th BIMSTEC Summit was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 30th March 2022.
  • BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation):
    • It is an international organization of seven countries for multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation.
    • It was founded on 6 June 1997 and is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    • Its members are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.

19th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

12. An MoU signed between India and US on semiconductor Supply Chain and Innovation Partnership.

  • On 10 March, an MoU has been signed between India and the United States on semiconductor Supply Chain and Innovation Partnership following the Commercial Dialogue 2023 in New Delhi.
  • An MoU on this agreement was signed between Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in New Delhi.
  • The objective of the MoU is to establish a collaborative arrangement between the two governments on the resiliency and diversification of the semiconductor supply chain in light of the US Chips and Science Act and India's Semiconductor Mission.
  • It aims to leverage the complementary strengths of both countries and facilitate commercial opportunities and development of semiconductor innovation ecosystems through discussions on various aspects of the semiconductor value chain.
  • The MoU envisages mutually beneficial R&D, talent and skill development.

MoU signed between India and US on semiconductor Supply Chain

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Defence

13. Central government announced 10% reservation for ex-Agniveers in BSF recruitment.

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the Border Security Force, General Duty Cadre (Non-Gazetted) Recruitment Rules, 2015 to give 10% reservation for ex-Agniveers in BSF recruitment.
  • Border Security Force, General Duty Cadre (Non-Gazetted) (Amendment) Recruitment Rules, 2023, has come into force from 9th March.
  • According to the notification issued by MHA on March 6, the upper age limit will be relaxed by five years for the candidates of the first batch of ex-Agniveers in the recruitment of constables.
  • The subsequent batch of Agniveers will get age relaxation of up to three years.
  • As per the notifications, ex-Agniveers have been exempted from the Physical Efficiency Test in BSF recruitment.
  • Agnipath scheme:
    • The government launched the Agneepath scheme on June 15, 2022.
    • Under the scheme, both male and female candidates are recruited as Agniveers in the 'below officer's rank' cadre of the three services of the country for four years.
    • Only 25 per cent of the Agniveers will be absorbed in defence forces upon the completion of their four-year course.

Topic: State News/ Maharashtra

14. 'Beggar-free city' initiative has been started in Nagpur.

  • A new initiative called 'beggar-free city' has been started in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
  • It is a joint effort of Nagpur City police and Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) social welfare department.
  • Nagpur Municipal Corporation has made special arrangements to accommodate homeless people in the shelters.
  • Nagpur Municipal Corporation has kept a bus and an ambulance ready to shift the beggars to its shelter home.
  • According to government data, West Bengal has the highest number of beggars. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • A total number of 4,13,670 beggars are residing in India. Out of the total, 2,21,673 are males and 1,91,997 are females.





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