Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 March 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 16 Mar 2023 00:29 AM IST

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Current Affairs

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. BIS launched the 'Learning Science via Standards' initiative.

  • The ‘Learning Science via Standards’ initiative has been launched by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for students.
  • This initiative will focus on lesson plans which will help students in understanding scientific concepts, principles, and laws in a better way.
  • The student will understand the practical application of scientific concepts in manufacturing, functioning, and quality characteristics of different products.
  • The topics of lesson plans are related to products used in day-to-day life and have been selected based on their relevance in education.
  • These lesson plans will also be uploaded on the BIS website. These lesson plans will aware students of schools and colleges about the significance of quality and standards.
  • ‘Learning Science via Standards’ initiative is in the continuum with an earlier BIS initiative ‘Standards Clubs’.
  • More than 4,200 ‘Standards Clubs’ have already been formed with over one lakh student members.
  • Under this initiative, more than 3400 science teachers have been trained to act as Mentors.
  • BIS provides financial support to these Clubs for undertaking up to three activities in a year.
  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):
    • It is a statutory body that was established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.
    • It is an Indian national standard body that works under the aegis of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
    • Pramod Kumar Tiwari is the current Director-General.

Topic: Defence

2. 13th edition of Exercise Bold Kurukshetra concluded at Jodhpur.

  • The Singapore Army and Indian Army took part in the exercise from 06-13 March 2023.
  • The exercise was hosted by Indian army. It included soldiers from the 42nd Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment and an Armoured Brigade of Indian Army.
  • Both armies for the first time took part in a command post Exercise.
  • It involved Battalion and Brigade level planning elements and computer wargaming.
  • Exercise Bold Kurukshetra was first conducted in 2005. It emphasizes strong bilateral defence relationship between two countries.
  • It enhances cooperation between the Singapore Army and the Indian Army.  

Topic: State News/Rajasthan

3. India’s first behavioural lab will be established in Jaipur.

  • ₹ 1.22 crore has been approved for the lab, which will be established at Harish Chandra Mathur Rajasthan Institute of Public Administration (HCM-RIPA).
  • The lab will be managed and run by IIM Udaipur. Its faculty will provide training.
  • International level experts will conduct experiments and workshops at the lab.
  • Human behavior will be studied with the help of innovative technology in the lab.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: National Appointments

4. Shreya Ghodawat has been appointed as the India Ambassador of She Changes Climate.

  • A special initiative for International Women’s Day was launched by Global non-profit organisation ‘She Changes Climate’.
  • It was titled ‘Embrace Equity’. Its aim is to raise the voices of women around the impacts of climate change.
  • Shreya Ghodawat hosted an event at One8 Commune, Pune. Shreya Ghodawat is a climate entrepreneur.
  • As part of the event, a special film was screened on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
  • The SHE Changes Climate film was nominated for awards from The Earth Future Festivals.
  • The film was created by the She Changes Climate in partnership with Visionary Picture.

Topic: Defence

5. DRDO successfully completed the first flight of Power Take Off Shaft (PTO) on Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully carried out the first flight of Power Take-Off Shaft (PTO) on Light Combat Aircraft Tejas in Bengaluru.
  • The shaft has been indigenously developed and designed by the Defense Research and Development Organisation's Fighter Research and Development Institute- CBRDE, Chennai.
  • Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has appreciated DRDO, PSUs and Industry and said that successful operation of PTO shaft is a major achievement towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • PTO shaft is an important part of the aircraft, which will be helpful for the requirement and design of future fighter aircraft.
  • The PTO shaft is designed and manufactured with the unique innovation Patented ‘Frequency Spanning Technique’, which enables a variety of operating engine speeds.
  • Lightweight high-speed, lubrication-free PTO shaft transmits high power between the aircraft engine gear box and aircraft mounted accessory gear box while accommodating misalignment that occurs in the driveline.

first flight of Power Take Off Shaft

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

6. Atal Innovation Mission has launched ATL Sarathi.

  • NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) launched ATL SARATHI, a comprehensive self-monitoring framework, to strengthen the Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL)' growing ecosystem.
  • AIM is setting up ATLs in schools across India to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds and to develop skills such as Design Thinking Mindset, Computational Thinking, Adaptive Learning, Physical Computing etc.
  • So far AIM has provided financial assistance to 10,000 schools to set up Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs).
  • AIM is continuously strengthening the ecosystem by developing tools and frameworks to enhance the performance of ATL and achieve the desired objectives.
  • ATL Sarathi is one such initiative in this direction.
  • The initiative has four pillars which will ensure performance enhancement of ATL through regular process improvements.
  • The objective of ATL Cluster is to provide a self-sustainable model for ATLs and local authorities to work closely with each other and monitor, to form clusters of 20-30 ATLs in a particular area.
  • These ATLs can learn from each other through training, collaboration, events and best practices.
  • As a pilot project, AIM implemented ATL Sarathi with various partners in regions like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat.

Atal Innovation Mission

(Source: News on Air)

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Topic: Banking System

7. New York-based commercial bank, Signature Bank has been shut down.

  • It has become 2nd US bank to be shut down by regulators in the US.
  • Recently, Silicon Valley Bank was shut down by United States regulators.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has been appointed as a receiver.
  • This means that FDIC will liquidate the assets of Signature Bank to pay back depositors and others.
  • In order to protect depositors, FDIC transferred all the deposits of Signature Bank to Signature Bridge Bank, N.A.
  • Signature Bridge Bank is a full-service bank that will be operated by the FDIC.
  • Both depositors and borrowers will become customers of Signature Bridge Bank. They will have uninterrupted customer service.
  • Bridge bank is a chartered national bank. It operates under a board. The board is appointed by the FDIC. Bridge bank purchases assets of a failed bank.

Topic: National News

8. Additional financial aid of more than 1,816 crore rupees under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) has been approved.

  • Centre has approved the aid to five states which were affected by the floods, landslides, and cloudbursts in 2022.
  • These states are Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
  • Over 520 crore rupees have been approved for Assam. 239 crore rupees have been approved for Himachal Pradesh.
  • 941 crore rupees have been approved for Karnataka. 47 crore rupees have been approved for Meghalaya. Around 68 crore have been approved for Nagaland.
  • A High-Level Committee chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah has approved the assistance.
  • This additional financial aid is over and above the funds released by the Centre to the States in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).  
  • During the financial year 2022-23, over 15,770 crore rupees have been released by the Central government to 25 States in their SDRF.
  • Around 502 crore rupees have been released to 4 States from NDRF.
  • National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF):
    • It is a fund managed by the central government to meet expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation due to a dangerous disaster situation or disaster.
    • This is defined in section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Topic: National News

9. National Horticulture Board introduced a simplified process for filling and approving applications under Subsidy Schemes.

  • The new process will reduce the time from 6 to 8 months to less than 100 days. It will help the farming community.
  • The new scheme design became effective on 15 March.
  • National Horticulture Board has removed the two-stage system of In-Principle Approval and Grant of Clearance.
  • Now, In-Principle approval is not required and the applicant can straightaway apply for Clearance of applications to NHB.
  • The application process is completely digital including examination and sanction of applications.
  • The stage of inspection of the location for Grant of Clearance has been replaced with a mobile app-based self-inspection.
  • This decision has been taken after considering the demand of the farming community to simplify the documentation and sanctioning process.
  • The NHB under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare operates capital investment subsidy schemes for the promotion of commercial horticulture and cold chain infrastructure.
  • The government under this scheme, provide a subsidy from 35 to 50 per cent for various components as per the prescribed cost norms.
  • National Horticulture Board (NHB):
    • It was set by the government in 1984 as an Autonomous organization under the administrative control of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
    • The main of the board is to develop production clusters/hubs for integrated Hi-tech commercial horticulture.

National Horticulture Board

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

10. CBI extradited 33 fugitives in a year under ‘Operation Trishul’.

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has extradited 33 fugitives involved in various criminal activities in the last year.
  • Currently, extradition requests for certain criminals are underway and the CBI is working to bring these criminals to India.
  • CBI has deported Mohammed Hanif Makkat, who was allegedly involved in a kidnapping, murder case, from Saudi under 'Operation Trishul'.
  • CBI said that the extradition process of big fugitives like Nirav Modi is also processing at a good pace.
  • Operation Trishul helps in geo-locating criminals in other countries with help from Interpol.
  • Other operations of CBI are given below:
    • CBI launched a multi-phase Operation GARUDA to dismantle drug networks with international linkages in September 2022.
    • Operation 'Megha Chakra' was launched by CBI against the sharing and dissemination of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online.

Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand

11. 10% horizontal reservation approved by Uttarakhand govt for statehood activists in state govt jobs.

  • The Uttarakhand government has given its approval to give 10% reservation in state government jobs to those agitating for the formation of the state.
  • This decision has been taken in the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in Bharadisain.
  • The decision on reservation for people agitating for the formation of a separate state is significant because earlier the governor had rejected the bill, giving 10 percent reservation to the people agitating for the formation of the state.
  • The state agitators were not getting the benefit of reservation in government jobs for the last twelve years.
  • The cabinet also approved the new solar policy and the proposal to increase the MLA Local Area Development Fund from Rs 3 crore 75 lakh to Rs 5 crore per year.
  • Among other major decisions, the cabinet approved enhancement of financial assistance to Mahila Mangal Dal from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 40 lakh and grant for beautification of temples from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.

Topic: Important Days

12. World Consumer Rights Day 2023: 15 March

  • Every year on March 15, World Consumer Rights Day is commemorated.
  • The objective of this day is to ensure that the rights of consumers are respected and they are protected from unfair market malpractices.
  • The theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2023 is “Empowering consumers through clean energy transitions”.
  • In 2019, the Government has constituted the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 by replacing the old 1986 act to protect the interest of consumers and timely settlement of disputes.
  • World Consumer Rights Day was first celebrated in 1983.
  • Every year on 24 December, India commemorates National Consumer Day.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

13. RBI granted ‘Infrastructure Finance Company’ status to IREDA.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) accorded ‘Infrastructure Finance Company (IFC)’ status to Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA).
  • IREDA was earlier classified as an ‘Investment and Credit Company (ICC)’.
  • Now, IREDA will be able to take higher exposure in RE financing. This status will also help in accessing a wider investor base for fund mobilisation.
  • With IFC status, IREDA will contribute more to achieving the government target of 500 GW installed capacity of non-fossil fuels by 2030.
  • IFC status is a significant milestone for IREDA and is a reward for its infrastructure financing and development with a focus on Renewable Energy.
  • IREDA with the motto: “Energy for Ever” is supporting financing new and renewable sources of energy since 1987.
  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA):
    • It is a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Enterprise.
    • It is a Public Limited Government Company established as a Non-Banking Financial Institution in 1987.
    • It provides financial support to specific projects and schemes for generating electricity through new and renewable sources.
    • It is under the control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Topic: Sports

14. Union Minister inaugurated Khelo India Dus Ka Dum Tournament in New Delhi.

  • The Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry is organizing the Khelo India Dus Ka Dum tournament from the 10th to the 31st March.
  • Around 15000 women athletes from 50 countries are participating in the tournament. This tournament will have 10 sports.
  • The main objective of the tournament is to provide a platform to the women athletes who were unable to participate in national or state-level competitions.
  • Additionally, it aims to ensure that competitive sports reach remote geographic regions of India.
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