- 1. Japan joined the alternative mechanism for resolving disputes in the World Trade Organisation.
- 2. INS Sahyadri joined a two day maritime exercise with the French navy.
- 3. Net-zero waste will be mandatory for buildings.
- 4. Union minister Narayan Rane launched MSME Competitive (LEAN) scheme.
- 5. ‘Naatu Naatu’ has won Best Original Song in Oscars 2023.
- 6. India's net direct tax collection up 17% to Rs 13.73 lakh crore till March 10.
- 7. The first Supreme Audit Institution 20 (SAI20) Senior Officers Meeting started in Guwahati on 13 March 2023.
- 8. Kochi Metro has become the first metro to accept digital currency in its parking facilities.
- 9. PM Modi dedicated the world’s longest railway platform to the nation.
- 10. Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel inaugurated the 3rd Divya Kala Mela at Bhopal.
- 11. Chief Election Commissioner inaugurated Vote Fest 2023 in Bengaluru.
- 12. Silicon Valley Bank is shut down by United States regulators.
- 13. PM Modi inaugurated the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway on 12 March 2023.
- 14. Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal chaired the 6th meeting of National Startup Advisory Council in New Delhi.
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Topic: International News
1. Japan joined the alternative mechanism for resolving disputes in the World Trade Organisation.
- Japan joined the Multi-party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA).
- The MPIA is an alternative mechanism for resolving WTO disputes.
- It was set up by the EU and their key partners. 26 WTO members are currently part of MPIA.
- Under MPIA, the first appeal will be heard on anti-dumping duties imposed by Colombia on frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
- WTO members are committed to place a reformed and fully functioning dispute settlement system by 2024.
- Generally, disputes are resolved through negotiations. If negotiations failed then WTO Members can request the establishment of a panel to settle the dispute.
- The report of the panel can be appealed before the WTO's Appellate Body.
- World Trade Organization:
- It set the global rules of trade between nations.
- 164 countries are its members which represent more than 98% of global trade and global GDP.
- It started its operation on 1 January 1995 after Marrakesh Agreement.
- Its headquarters is located at Geneva, Switzerland.
- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the current Director-General.
2. INS Sahyadri joined a two day maritime exercise with the French navy.
- The exercise reaffirmed the interoperability and cooperation between the two navies.
- The exercise was carried out in the Arabian Sea on 11 March and 12 March 2023.
- In the exercise, French Navy deployed Mistral-class amphibious assault ship FS Dixmude and La Fayette class frigate FS La Fayette.
- INS Sahyadri is Indian Navy’s indigenous guided missile frigate. It is a part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
3. Net-zero waste will be mandatory for buildings.
- A directive will be issued by the Centre to state governments to add the requirement in building bylaws under the efforts to eradicate manual scavenging.
- The Centre has proposed to impose a fine for violations.
- It will be mandatory for all upcoming housing societies and commercial complexes in the country to ensure net zero waste and have their liquid discharge treated.
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is likely to send a directive by the end of March.
- The Ministry is also considering the integration of septic tank design into building by-laws.
- It is also considering geo-tagging all septic tanks and manholes for proper tracking, and reducing GST on mechanised cleaning vehicles.
- In the budget speech for 2023-24, Finance Minister announced that all towns and cities will be enabled for complete transition of septic tanks and sewers from manhole to machine-hole mode.
- Indian standards for mechanised cleaning equipment will also be reviewed by the government.
- SDG 6.3 aims at “halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increase recycling and safe reuse globally” by 2030.
- India presently generates 72,368 million litres per day of urban wastewater. Out of this, only 28% is treated.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
4. Union minister Narayan Rane launched MSME Competitive (LEAN) scheme.
- The main aim of the MSME Competitive (LEAN) scheme is to provide a roadmap for global competitiveness for MSMEs.
- The main aim of scheme is to improve the quality, productivity and performance of MSMEs and to change the mindset of manufacturers.
- It is an initiative to create awareness among MSMEs about LEAN manufacturing practices.
- It motivates and incentivizes MSMEs to attain LEAN levels and encourages them to become MSME champions.
- LEAN manufacturing tools like 5S, Kaizen, KANBAN, visual workplace, and Poka Yoka will be implemented under the scheme.
- LEAN manufacturing tools will be used under the able guidance of trained and competent LEAN consultants to attain LEAN levels.
- These will help in reducing wastage and improve quality and make MSMEs competitive.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
5. ‘Naatu Naatu’ has won Best Original Song in Oscars 2023.
- The song 'Naatu Naatu' from SS Rajamouli's RRR has created history by becoming the first Indian feature film to win an Oscar.
- MM Keeravani's 'Naatu Naatu' soundtrack was awarded Best Original Song at the 95th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, United States.
- Composer Keeravani, along with lyricist Chandrabose, received the award.
- Music director MM Keeravani composed the song, which was sung by Kaal Bhairav and Rahul Sipligunj, with lyrics penned by Chandrabose.
- The film features an ensemble cast of Jr NTR, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Olivia Morris, Samuthirakani, Alison Doody and Ray Stevenson.
- The 2008 British film Slumdog Millionaire's song 'Jai Ho,' composed by AR Rahman and written by Gulzar, was the first Hindi song to win an Academy Award in 2009 in the same categories.
- Earlier this month, ‘Naatu Naatu’ won the Golden Globe for the best song and also won Best Song as well as Best Foreign Language Film at the 28th edition of the Critics' Choice Awards.
- The Elephant Whisperers, directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and produced by Guneet Monga, has won the Best Documentary Short Subject award at the 95th Academy Awards.
- The Elephant Whispers has created history as the first Indian film to win an Oscar in this category.
- The complete list of the Oscar Award 2023:
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
Brendan Fraser (The Whale)
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Schienert (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
Best Original Song
“Naatu Naatu” (RRR)
Top Gun: Maverick
Best Original Screenplay
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Schienert
Best Animated Feature Film
Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pinocchio’
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Ke Huy Quan in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’
Best Documentary Feature Film
‘Navalny’ by Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris
‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ by James Friend
Best International Feature Film
‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ – Germany
Best Documentary Short Film
‘The Elephant Whisperers’ by Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga
(Source: News on Air)
Topic: Indian Economy
6. India's net direct tax collection up 17% to Rs 13.73 lakh crore till March 10.
- So far this fiscal year, net direct tax collection has reached 13.73 lakh crore rupees, which is around 17% higher than net collections for the same period last year.
- This collection is over 97% of the total budget projections and more than 83% of the total revised estimates of Direct Taxes for Fiscal Year 2022-23.
- The gross collection so far is ₹16.68 lakh crore, which is 22% higher than the gross collection for the same period last year, according to Central Board of Direct Taxes.
- From April 1, 2022 to March 10, 2023, Rs 2.95 lakh crore in refunds were issued, which is 59 percent more than the refunds issued during the same period last year.
- The net growth in corporate income tax collections, after refund adjustments, is 13.62%, while the net growth in personal income tax collections, including Securities Transaction Tax, is 20.06%.
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7. The first Supreme Audit Institution 20 (SAI20) Senior Officers Meeting started in Guwahati on 13 March 2023.
- The meeting is part of the G20 summit. It started with the themes -‘Blue Economy’ and ‘Responsible Artificial Intelligence’.
- SAI20 is aimed at bringing together an ecosystem in which SAI are active partners in governance.
- Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Girish Chandra Murmu will chair the meeting. The meeting will conclude on 15th March.
- 44 delegates from G20 member countries, guest countries and other International Organizations reached Guwahati to attend the meeting.
- SAIs of Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Oman, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, and UAE are taking part in-person.
- During the meeting, SAI India will introduce the concept themes on Blue Economy and Responsible AI respectively. Participant SAIs will share their experiences.
- SAI20 Engagement Group of G20 was set up in 2022 during Indonesia’s Presidency of the G20.
- It was established to enhance economic governance through collaborative oversight.
8. Kochi Metro has become the first metro to accept digital currency in its parking facilities.
- IDFC First Bank has entered into partnership with Anantham Online to enable acceptance of digital rupee at Kochi Metro’s parking facilities.
- Anantham Online is a technology startup focused on digital parking.
- With the help of this initiative, Kochi Metro users will be able to pay from their respective bank’s CBDC wallet.
- Presently, CBDC is in the first phase of implementation with four banks. IDFC First Bank is one of them.
- Recently, RBI announced launch of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for retail users.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
9. PM Modi dedicated the world’s longest railway platform to the nation.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the "longest railway platform in the world" at Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji Hubballi Station of Karnataka.
- It is a 1,507 m long platform which has been built at a cost of about Rs 20 crore.
- Platform number 8 measuring 1,507 m has got the recognition of the longest railway platform in the world.
- The platform is a part of the Hubballi Yard re-modeling project.
- The Guinness Book of World Records recognized this as the longest railway platform globally on 2nd March 2023.
- Gorakhpur Junction railway station in Uttar Pradesh has the world's second-longest railway platform in the world.
- During the event, PM Modi dedicated the electrification of Hosapete Hubballi Tinaighat section and the upgradation of the Hosapete station.
- It will improve connectivity in the region and has been developed at a cost of Rs 530 crore.
- He also laid the foundation stone for various projects of Hubballi-Dharwad smart city.
- He also laid the foundation stone of the Jayadeva Hospital and Research Centre.
- He also laid the foundation stone for Tupparihalla Flood Damage Control Project. It will help in reducing the damage caused by floods.
Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh
10. Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel inaugurated the 3rd Divya Kala Mela at Bhopal.
- In the presence of Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar, Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel inaugurated this 10-day fair.
- It will be organized at Bhopal Haat from 12-21 March 2023.
- The 3rd Divya Kala Mela is an opportunity for Divyangjan to become entrepreneurs and artisans.
- Around 150 Divyang artisans, artists and entrepreneurs from 21 states and union territories are participating in the Divya Kala Mela.
- On this occasion, Union Minister Virendra Kumar said the government is aiming for all-round development so that the disabled can participate equally in this process.
- For the first time, Divya Kala Mela is being organized in Madhya Pradesh after Delhi and Mumbai.
- On this occasion, cultural programs will be organized by Divyang and other artists.
- Home decor, lifestyle, clothing, stationery, eco-friendly products, etc. will be displayed at the fair.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
11. Chief Election Commissioner inaugurated Vote Fest 2023 in Bengaluru.
- Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and other members of ECI inaugurated Vote Fest 2023 in Bengaluru.
- The main aim of the fest is to create awareness on the election process.
- They also inaugurated Electhon 2023 which is a 30-hour hackathon for securing the electoral future.
- It will seek people's suggestions on improving voter turnout and registration of new voters. It will also ensure the involvement of urban youth in the democratic process.
- During the Vote Fest, under the SVEEP initiative, eight LED screen-fitted vehicles were flagged off by the Election Commissioners. These vehicles will travel across 28 constituencies in Bengaluru.
- They also inaugurated two exhibitions. One is based on the history of elections in Karnataka and another on Voters' awareness under SVEEP.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Banking System
12. Silicon Valley Bank is shut down by United States regulators.
- Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the 16th largest bank in US, has been shut down by regulators due to the sudden shutdown of Silvergate Capital Corp and the unmindful fundraising of SVB.
- It is the second biggest bank failure in U.S history after the collapse of Washington Mutual in 2008.
- Due to the shutdown of SVB, there has been a loss of more than $ 100 billion in the market value of the shares of American banks.
- The main office and all branches of Silicon Valley Bank will reopen on March 13.
- Financial regulators have taken control of its deposits. According to the FDIC, 89% of the bank's $175 billion in deposits were uninsured by the end of 2022.
- FDIC has created the Deposit Insurance National Bank of Santa Clara.
- The FDIC’s standard insurance covers up to $250,000 per depositor.
- SVB is a key player in the tech and venture capital community. Around half of the U.S. technology and healthcare companies were Silicon Valley Bank customers.
- In the last 18 months, Technology sector stocks have declined sharply. It added troubles for Silicon Valley Bank.
- It suffered a major loss due to the increase in interest rates by the US central bank.
- Silicon Valley Bank is based in Santa Clara, California. Its total asset was $209 billion.
Topic: State News/ Karnataka
13. PM Modi inaugurated the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway on 12 March 2023.
- It is 118 km long project that has been developed at a cost of Rs 8480 crore.
- The project involves six-laning of the Bengaluru-Nidaghatta-Mysuru section of NH-275.
- The expressway comprises six bypasses at Bidadi (7 km), Ramanagara and Channapatna (22 km), Maddur (7 km), Mandya (10 km) and Srirangapatna (7km).
- This expressway will reduce the travel time to around 75 minutes between Bengaluru and Mysuru from around 3 hours.
- Apart from this, PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for Mysuru-Kushalnagar four-lane highway.
- The highway is spread over 92 Km and will be developed at a cost of Rs 4,130 crore.
- The project will boost the connectivity of Kushalnagar with Bengaluru.
- It will also reduce the travel time from about 5 hours to only 2.5 hours.
- As of 2019-20, the total road length in Karnataka is 273914 kms.
- In 2018, the total length of National Highways in Karnataka including in-principle NH is 13,565 km.
- The Shiradi Ghat Tunnel, spanning a total length 23.60 km is being built at a cost of Rs. 10,000 Crore. It will reduce travel time between Mangaluru and Bengaluru by 3 hours.
Topic: Indian Economy
14. Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal chaired the 6th meeting of National Startup Advisory Council in New Delhi.
- NSAC deliberated upon matters important for the emergence of startup ecosystem in India.
- India is the third largest start up ecosystem globally.
- Discussion on topics like Tech Landscape and the Way Ahead, Innovation in Logistics, Making India the Global Skill Market, Innovation Hub, Women Entrepreneurship, Capacity Building for Domestic Capital and Thematic Seed Funds took place during the meeting.
- Mr. Goyal also launched the Startup India Investor Connect portal. The portal is ideated by the NSAC and co-developed by DPIIT and SIDBI.
- The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) constituted the council.
- It is chaired by the Minister of Commerce and Industry.
- Joint Secretary, DPIIT, is the convenor of the council.
- It was constituted to advise the government on measures required to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in India.