Daily Current Affairs and GK | 14 March 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 14 Mar 2023 17:27 PM IST

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Topic: Defence

1. Exercise “La Perouse 2023” has been organized.

  • The third edition of the multilateral exercise “La Perouse” has been conducted from 13 to 14 March 2023 in the Indian Ocean region.
  • In this edition, the personnel, ships and integral helicopters participated from the Royal Australian Navy, French Navy, Indian Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Navy and United States Navy.
  • 'La Perouse' is a biennial exercise, which is organized by the French Navy.
  • It aims to enhance maritime domain awareness and maximize maritime coordination among participating navies in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The two-day exercise provides an opportunity for the like-minded Navies to develop closer ties on planning, coordination and information sharing for seamless maritime operations.
  • The exercise witnessed complex and advanced naval operations, including surface warfare, air defense exercises, cross deck landings and strategic manoeuvres.
  • In this edition of the exercise, indigenously built Guided Missile Frigate INS Sahyadri and Fleet Tanker INS Jyoti participated.
  • Indian Navy's participation in this exercise reflects the high level of synergy, coordination and interoperability between friendly navies and their commitment to the rule-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.

Topic: National AppointmentS

2. Mohit Joshi appointed as MD & CEO of Tech Mahindra.

  • Tech Mahindra has appointed Infosys President Mohit Joshi as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.
  • Joshi has been appointed for a period of 5 years with the effect from 20th December, 2023 to 19th December, 2028.
  • The current CEO CP Gurnani's term ends on December 19.
  • Mr. Joshi has been appointed as the MD & CEO and Key Managerial Personnel of the Company under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • Tech Mahindra Limited is a subsidiary of Mahindra Group.

Topic: State News/ Puducherry

3. Puducherry CM presented the budget for the 2023-24 financial year.

  • Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy presented an 11,600 crore rupees budget for 2023-24 in the Assembly.
  • Out of the 11,600 crore rupees, Puducherry’s own resources is 6,154.54 crore, 620 crore is as centrally sponsored schemes and Normal Central assistance including Disaster Fund is 3,117.77 crores.
  • 1,707.69 crores will be mobilized from open market borrowings and loans from Central Financial Institutions.
  • The state government has announced a scheme for the cultivation of millet.
  • Under the Jal Jeevan mission scheme, the water supply will be carried out with an estimated cost of rupees 28.27 crore.
  • 175.07 crore is allocated for water supply scheme under the AMRUT programme.
  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana urban scheme, the construction of 2500 houses will be completed.
  • The government will provide a subsidy of 300 on every cylinder for 12 LPG cylinders a year for all family ration cardholders at the cost of 126 crores.
  • 50,000 would be deposited for 18 years in the names of all newborn baby girls in a nationalised bank, under the 'Chief Minister’s female child protection’ scheme.
  • In the budget, 924.68 crores has been allocated for school education. 
  • 12 schools from Puducherry have been selected under the "PM schools for rising India" scheme.
  • The government will give a subsidy of 1% on land, buildings and machinery each for five years.
  • An IT park would be set up with the assistance of the Software Technology Park of India.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

4. IIT Roorkee researchers discovered a new antibacterial molecule ‘IITR00693’.

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee researchers have discovered a new antibacterial small molecule (IITR00693).
  • Antibacterial molecule ‘IITR00693’ not only strikes down the most stubborn bacteria but also prevents the emergence of resistance.
  • The antibacterial molecule has shown antibacterial activity against a wide range of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
  • This molecule ensures effectiveness for generations to come.
  • The findings of this research have been published in the American Chemical Society Journal – ACS Infectious Disease.
  • Prof Ranjana Pathania of the department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT Roorkee along with Mahak Saini and Amit Gaurav has led this research.
  • The main aim of researchers is to identify a small molecule that can enhance the effectiveness of currently used antibiotics.
  • IITR00693 potentiates the antibacterial activity of Polymyxin B against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Topic: Geography

5. Mount Merapi volcano exploded in Indonesia, many villages covered in ash.

  • On March 11, Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano, one of the world's most active volcanoes, erupted, sending smoke and ash spreading over nearby villages.
  • The volcano erupted on the island of Java near Yogyakarta, the cultural capital of Indonesia.
  • The ash cloud has reached 9,600 feet above the surface.
  • The area up to seven kilometers from the blast site has been restricted. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
  • In 2010, the volcano's last major eruption killed over 300 people and forced the evacuation of some 280,000 people.
  • Indonesia, which has about 130 active volcanoes, lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

Topic: Sports

6. India has qualified for the World Cricket Test Championship.

  • India has confirmed its place in the final of the Test Championship of the World Cup.
  • India will now take on Australia after New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by two wickets in Christ Church.
  • The International Cricket Control said that India and Australia will play in the final of the World Cup Test Championship at The Oval from June 7 to 11.
  • ICC World Test Championship:
    • It is a league competition for Test cricket run by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which started on 1 August 2019.
    • The first ICC World Test Championship began with the 2019 Ashes series and concluded in June 2021 with New Zealand winning the championship trophy after defeating India.
    • The second ICC World Test Championship began on 4 August 2021 with the Pataudi Trophy series.

Topic: Defence

7. India remains the world’s largest arms importer between 2018-22.

  • Despite a fall in overall imports by India, India remained the biggest arms importer between 2018-22 with an 11% share in total global arms imports.
  • According to the Swedish Think Tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India’s arms imports dropped by 11% between 2013–17 and 2018–22.
  • Russia remained the largest arms supplier to India from 2013 to 2022. Russia’s share in Indian arms imports has declined from 64% to 45%.
  • France remained the second largest arms supplier to India between 2018-22. India’s arms import from France includes 62 combat aircraft and four submarines.
  • According to the latest SIPRI data, India is the biggest arms export market for Russia, France and Israel.
  • India is the second-largest export market for South Korea while it is third largest export market for South Africa.
  • India’s tensions with Pakistan and China is the main cause for arms imports.
  • India’s arms import has decreased due to several factors including India’s slow and complex arms procurement process, efforts to diversify its arms suppliers and to produce arms domestically.
  • Between 2018–22, Russia’s arms export to China and Egypt increased by 39% and 44% respectively.
  • Between 2013–17 and 2018–22, arms imports by Pakistan increased by 14%.
  • The global level of international arms transfers has decreased by 5.1%.
  • Import of major arms by European countries has increased by 47% between 2013–17 and 2018–22.
  • The U.S. share of global arms exports has increased from 33% to 40%.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. India wins Golden & Silver Star at the International ‘Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2023 at ITB, Berlin.

  • The Ministry of Tourism has won the Golden & Silver Star in ‘TV/Cinema Commercials International and Country International’ Category.
  • The Promotional films / television commercials that received the award were part of the Ministry of Tourism Post Covid Promotional Global Campaign.
  • The Ministry of tourism has developed the new Incredible India brand films for welcoming foreign tourists to India after the pandemic.
  • The commercials have been produced in English with voiceovers in 9 international languages
  • Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary (Tourism) Government of India received the award.
  • ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show, was held from 7th to 9h March 2023.
  • The India Pavilion was inaugurated by Arvind Singh. Around 60 participants from India were present in the India Pavilion.
  • The Ministry of Tourism is promoting India as a “Must See, Must Visit” destination.
  • The ‘Golden City Gate’ is a creative multi-media international competition for countries, cities, regions and hotels.
  • The Golden City Gate Tourism Multi-media Award is given annually in the sectors of Tourism and Hospitality.
  • The award ceremony takes place at ITB Berlin.

Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2023 at ITB, Berlin

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National Appointments

9. Siddhartha Mohanty has been appointed as interim chairman of LIC for three months.

  • Siddhartha Mohanty’s appointment has become effective from March 14.
  • He was currently serving as MD and CEO of LIC Housing Finance.
  • He has taken place of M R Kumar, who completed his term as the Chairman on 13 March 2023.
  • M R Kumar’s term has been extended twice. First, the government had extended the term from June 30, 2021 till March 13, 2022, and then till 13 March 2023.
  • Life Insurance Corporation:
    • It is the country's biggest life insurer and the fifth-largest life insurer in the world.
    • It is also the tenth-largest insurance company in the world by total assets.
    • LIC has 13.35 lakh agents and services policies worth Rs 27.80 crore.
    • LIC is led by one Chairman and four MDs.

Topic: Personality in News

10. Surekha Yadav becomes the first women loco pilot to operate Vande Bharat Express.

  • Surekha Yadav becomes Asia's first female locomotive pilot to operate the newly-introduced semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express train.
  • She operated Vande Bharat Express from Solapur to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal (CSMT) in Maharashtra.
  • She became India's first female train driver in 1988.
  • She has won many awards at the state and national levels so far for her achievements.
  • On the occasion of International Women's Day, Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen Express and CSMT-Kalyan ladies' special local train was operated by the Central Railways with all women crews.
  • First Vande Bharat Express was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 February 2019 on the Delhi–Varanasi route.
  • Vande Bharat Express, also known as Train 18, can reach a maximum speed of 180 km/h (110 mph).

Topic: Important Days

11. International Pi Day: 14 March

  • Pi Day is observed every year on 14 March to mark the significance of the mathematical constant π.
  • Pi is a mathematical constant which is represented by the Greek letter π. Its value is 22/7 or 3.14.
  • The number π is used in many formulae across mathematics and physics.
  • The first calculation of π was done by Archimedes of Syracuse.
  • At UNESCO's 40th General Conference, 14 March has been proclaimed as the International Day of Mathematics in November 2019.
  • Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

12. First International Conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage began in New Delhi on 14 March.

  • In this, India's ancient historical relations with the countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be discussed.
  • The purpose of the two-day conference is to explore the commonalities between the Buddhist art, culture and archaeological heritage among the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
  • This first event under India's leadership in SCO has brought Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian and Arab countries on a common platform to discuss the "Common Buddhist Heritage".
  • SCO countries include member states, observer states, and dialogue partners, including China, Russia, and Mongolia.
  • The event is being organized by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of External Affairs and the International Buddhist Confederation.
  • Many Indian scholars of Buddhism will also participate in this program. The participants will get an opportunity to visit some of the historical places in Delhi.

Topic: Geography

13. 99 people confirmed dead in Cyclone Freddy in Malawi.

  • On 13 March, Cyclone Freddy made landfall in the southern portion of Malawi, killing at least 99 people.
  • Charles Kalemba, the country's commissioner for disaster management, said most of the deaths occurred in Malawi's commercial capital, Blantyre.
  • He said 99 people died in about seven places, with Blantyre city having the highest number of casualties at 85 and about 134 people being hospitalised.
  • He has said that this number may increase.
  • The government of Malawi has declared a state of emergency in the southern region of the country.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

14. A MoC signed between India and Sweden to strengthen cooperation in research.

  • Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of India, and The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), Stockholm, Sweden, has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC).
  • The MoC signed to strengthen cooperation and promote research networking between research institutions from both countries.
  • Dr. Andreas Göthenberg, Executive Director of STINT, and Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Secretary of SERB, signed the MoC on March 13, 2023.
  • The objective of this MoC is to promote mobility financing opportunities in both the countries.
  • It will facilitate academic collaboration through mobility activities as well as seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Both the institutes will facilitate and fund the mobility of the researchers through their regular funding programmes.
  • The partnership will advance joint science and technology efforts, especially in smart cities, artificial intelligence, quantum computers, transportation and many more future technologies.
  • This MoC will enable a smooth exchange of activities between young scientists from India and Swedish researchers.
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