- 1. Exercise “La Perouse 2023” has been organized.
- 2. Mohit Joshi appointed as MD & CEO of Tech Mahindra.
- 3. Puducherry CM presented the budget for the 2023-24 financial year.
- 4. IIT Roorkee researchers discovered a new antibacterial molecule ‘IITR00693’.
- 5. Mount Merapi volcano exploded in Indonesia, many villages covered in ash.
- 6. India has qualified for the World Cricket Test Championship.
- 7. India remains the world’s largest arms importer between 2018-22.
- 8. India wins Golden & Silver Star at the International ‘Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2023 at ITB, Berlin.
- 9. Siddhartha Mohanty has been appointed as interim chairman of LIC for three months.
- 10. Surekha Yadav becomes the first women loco pilot to operate Vande Bharat Express.
- 11. International Pi Day: 14 March
- 12. First International Conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage began in New Delhi on 14 March.
- 13. 99 people confirmed dead in Cyclone Freddy in Malawi.
- 14. A MoC signed between India and Sweden to strengthen cooperation in research.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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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