- 1. Bar Council of India allowed foreign lawyers and law firms to practice in India on a reciprocity basis.
- 2. India's milk production increased to 221.06 million tonnes in FY22.
- 3. An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Steel and selected companies under the PLI scheme.
- 4. President of India presented the President's Flag (President's Colour) to INS Dronacharya.
- 5. Deepak Mohanty appointed as chairperson of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
- 6. A joint commemorative postage stamp has been launched by India-Luxembourg.
- 7. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has been granted the ‘Governor of the Year’ Award at Central Banking Awards 2023.
- 8. AgriUnifest has been inaugurated by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar in Bengaluru.
- 9. Assam Finance Minister presented a Rs 935.23 crore deficit budget for the 2023-24 financial year.
- 10. Indian Navy is participating in ‘Sea Dragon 23’ exercise.
- 11. US, Australia and UK announced an agreement on Project AUKUS.
- 12. Svaya Robotics developed exoskeleton, the first indigenous quadruped robot in India.
- 13. Two consecutive successful flight tests of Very Short Range Air Defence System missile have been conducted.
- 14. RBI and Central Bank of UAE inked MoU to promote innovation in financial products and services.
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Topic: Indian Polity
1. Bar Council of India allowed foreign lawyers and law firms to practice in India on a reciprocity basis.
- The Bar Council of India has notified ‘Rules for the Registration and Regulation of Foreign Lawyers and Foreign Law Firms in India, 2022’.
- As per the notification, foreign law firms can set up offices in India to practice transactional and corporate work on a reciprocal basis.
- The rules state that foreign lawyers are entitled to practice law in India in non-litigious matters only.
- Foreign lawyers or foreign law firms cannot appear before any court, tribunals or other statutory or regulatory authorities.
- They are allowed to practice transactional work/corporate work such as intellectual property matters, drafting of contracts, etc.
- This step will help India in becoming a hub of International Commercial Arbitration.
- A lawyer with a foreign law degree is eligible to practice in India only if he/she is entitled to practice in his or her country and registered with the Bar Council of India.
- The rules also stated that the areas of law practice by a foreign lawyer or foreign law firm shall be laid down by the Bar Council of India.
Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors
2. India's milk production increased to 221.06 million tonnes in FY22.
- Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying Parshottam Rupala released an annual publication 'Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics 2022'.
- In 2021-22, India's milk production registered an annual growth rate of 5.29 %. The total milk production was 221.06 million tonnes in FY22.
- Rajasthan (15.05 %), Uttar Pradesh (14.93 %), Madhya Pradesh (8.06 %), Gujarat (7.56 %) and Andhra Pradesh (6.97 %) are the top five major milk-producing states.
- The per-capita availability of milk was 444 gram/day during 2021-22.
- The total egg production stood at 129.60 billion in 2021-22. It has increased by 6.19 % as compared to the previous year.
- Andhra Pradesh (20.41 %), Tamil Nadu (16.08 %), Telangana (12.86 %), West Bengal (8.84 %) and Karnataka (6.38 %) are the top five major egg-producing states in India.
- In 2021-22, the per-capita availability of eggs was 95 nos per annum.
- In 2021-22, the total meat production in India stood at 9.29 million tonnes. It has registered an annual growth of 5.62 %.
- Maharashtra (12.25 %), Uttar Pradesh (12.14 %), West Bengal (11.63 %), Andhra Pradesh (11.04 %), and Telangana (10.82 %) are the top meat-producing states in India.
- In 2021-22, the per-capita availability of meat was 6.82 kg/annum.
- During 2021-22, the total wool production was 33.13 thousand tonnes. It has declined by 10.30% as compared to the previous year.
Topic: MoUs/ Agreements
3. An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Steel and selected companies under the PLI scheme.
- On March 17, the Union Ministry of Steel has signed an MoU with selected companies under the Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Specialized Steel in New Delhi.
- During the event, 57 MoUs were signed with 27 companies.
- The objective of the Production-Linked Incentive scheme is to promote domestic manufacturing by cutting import costs by incentivizing local companies to expand existing manufacturing units.
- The scheme also encourages foreign companies to set up manufacturing units in India.
- The Union Cabinet had approved the PLI scheme for manufacturing-based specialty steel with a budget allocation of 6,322 crore rupees for five years from 2023-24.
- An MoU has been also signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Rural Development on 16 March.
- An MoU has been signed to cooperate in skilling rural poor youth and women by training them for AYUSH holistic health system under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya-Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY).
- The MoU valid for three years was signed by Dr. Manoj Nesari, Advisor (Ayurveda), Ministry of Ayush and Shri Karma Zimpa Bhutia, Joint Secretary, (Rural Skills), Ministry of Rural Development.
- It is a historic step for more Lakhpati Didis (women with annual earnings of one lakh rupees and more) from the Self-Help Groups.
4. President of India presented the President's Flag (President's Colour) to INS Dronacharya.
- The President of India, Draupadi Murmu, has presented the President's Flag (President's Colour) to INS Dronacharya at Kochi, Kerala on March 16, 2023.
- INS Dronacharya is Indian Navy’s gunnery school. It is the nodal centre for training Sagar Prahari Bal and navy’s center for training various Indian Ocean Region nations in constabulary operations.
- The President said that power at sea is vital to India's strategic, military, economic and commercial interests.
- For a country like India, apart from being the fifth largest economy in the world, having a long coastline, its island territories and a strong and modern navy with adequate seafaring population is of great importance.
- The President also visited India's first indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at the Cochin Shipyard.
- She said that India is among the few countries which have the capability to build aircraft carriers with indigenous technology.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National Appointments
5. Deepak Mohanty appointed as chairperson of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
- IES officer Mamta Shankar has been appointed as a whole-time member (economics) of the PFRDA.
- Shri Mohanty is a former Whole Time Member of PFRDA.
- Ms. Shankar was the Senior Economic Adviser in the Department of Food and Public Distribution.
- Their appointments were notified by the Department of Financial Services of the Union Finance Ministry in separate orders on March 14.
- Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) was established in October 2003. Its headquarters is in New Delhi.
- PFRDA board includes a chairperson and not more than 6 members. Out of these members, at least 3 should be whole-time members, to be appointed by the Central government.
Topic: International News
6. A joint commemorative postage stamp has been launched by India-Luxembourg.
- India and Luxembourg have launched a joint commemorative postage stamp to celebrate 75 years of friendship.
- Also, the contribution made by renowned artist Amar Nath Sehgal in people-to-people relations between the two countries was mentioned.
- India and Luxembourg established its diplomatic relations in 1948. Luxembourg opened its embassy in New Delhi in February 2002, one of five in Asia.
- Earlier, Gen. (Retd) Vijay Kumar Singh, then minister of state for external affairs, headed the Indian delegation to the 12th Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers' Conference, which took place in Luxembourg from November 4–7, 2015.
- India and Luxembourg have a long-standing cooperation in the steel sector.
- India and Luxembourg relations:
- Total bilateral trade between Luxembourg and India in 2020 stood at EUR 46.22 million (USD 52.69 million), registering a decrease of about 23% over the previous year.
- Luxembourg's total imports from India in 2020 stood at Euro 6.28 million (US$ 7.16 million).
- Exports from Luxembourg to India in 2020 totalled Euro 39.94 million (US$ 45.53 million).
- FDI inflows from Luxembourg to India from April 2000 to December 2020 stood at $3.339 billion, making it the 16th largest investor in India.
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Topic: Awards and Prizes
7. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has been granted the ‘Governor of the Year’ Award at Central Banking Awards 2023.
- He has received the 'Governor of the Year' 2023 Award from the international publication Central Banking.
- Shaktikanta Das has been granted the award because he steered the financial markets through multiple crises.
- These crises include the pandemic and inflation caused by the war in Ukraine.
- Former governor Raghuram Rajan was the first Indian to be granted this award in 2015.
- Das is currently in his second term as RBI governor. He is the 25th governor of RBI. He was appointed RBI governor in December 2018.
- He is an IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre. He was preceded by Urjit Patel as RBI governor.
Topic: Art and Culture
8. AgriUnifest has been inaugurated by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar in Bengaluru.
- AgriUnifest is a 5-day cultural program organized by Bangalore Agricultural University in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
- Over 2500 talented students have taken part, showcasing their skills in 18 events under 5 disciplines.
- These disciplines are Music, Dance, Literature, Theatre and Fine Arts.
- ICAR conceptualized and initiated the All India Inter Agricultural University Youth Festival during 1999-2000.
- Shri Tomar said that through events like "AgriUnifest" at different places, hidden talents emerge in various fields.
Topic: State News/ Assam
9. Assam Finance Minister presented a Rs 935.23 crore deficit budget for the 2023-24 financial year.
- Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog tabled a Rs 935.23 crore deficit Budget with an outlay of Rs 1,39,755 crore in the Assembly.
- The budget is focused on infrastructure, self-employment, education, eradication of poverty, agriculture, and health.
- The Budget Estimates for 2023-24 show a receipt of Rs 139443.88 Crore under the Consolidated Fund of the State.
- The aggregate expenditure for the year is estimated at Rs 3,21,081.75 crore.
- Government has announced that 40,000 candidates will be recruited for government jobs by May 10 and that another 18,000 will also be recruited soon.
- The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is estimated to grow to Rs 5.5 lakh crore during the next financial year. It was Rs 3.93 lakh crore in 2021-22.
- Assam government has allocated Rs 5,000 crore to promote micro-entrepreneurs and to transform 2 lakh unemployed youths into job creators.
- The finance minister also proposed the exemption of electricity duty on renewable energy generation.
- The government will launch a Mukhya Mantri Swa-niyojan Mission for self-employment.
- The government will start a Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojana. It will cover one lakh beneficiaries.
- The government has allocated Rs 800 crore for the Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojana.
- The budget has extended the tax holiday on agriculture income tax for the next three years.
- The Assam government will celebrate 200 years of Assam tea in 2023.
10. Indian Navy is participating in ‘Sea Dragon 23’ exercise.
- India, USA, Canada, Korea, and Japan are participating in this exercise.
- Sea Dragon 23 exercise is the third edition of the coordinated multilateral anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise for long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
- The United States Navy will host the exercise from 15-30 Mar 2023.
- The capability of aircraft in tracking simulated and live underwater targets will be tested in the Ex Sea Dragon 23.
- Indian Navy P8I along with P8A of the US Navy, P1 from the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force, CP 140 from the Royal Canadian Air Force and P3C from the Republic of Korean Navy (RoKN) are participating in the exercise.
- Exercise Sea Dragon consists of three parts: introduction and warm-ups, training exercises, and the Dragon Belt competition.
- The main aim of the exercise is to achieve high levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies.
11. US, Australia and UK announced an agreement on Project AUKUS.
- The US, Australia and Britain have announced an agreement to provide Australia with nuclear attack submarines.
- This decision is an important step towards countering China's growing activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
- US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the AUKUS project agreement at the US Naval Base in San Diego, California.
- Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the purchase of nuclear-powered submarines and the construction of indigenous warships is the biggest ever defense investment in his country's history.
- Mr Albanese said that under this deal Australia would buy five US-built nuclear-powered submarines and later work on building a new model with British and American technology as part of an ambitious plan.
- The submarines will be modeled after the United Kingdom's next-generation nuclear submarine design and will incorporate up-to-date American technology.
- The submarines will be known as "SSN-AUKUS" and will be built and used by both the UK and Australia.
- Britain will receive delivery of its first SSN-AUKUS submarine in the late 2030s, and Australia will take delivery of its first in the early 2040s.
- The ships will be manufactured by Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.
- The trilateral security partnership named "AUKUS" was signed between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States in September 2021.
(Source: News on Air)
Topic: New Development
12. Svaya Robotics developed exoskeleton, the first indigenous quadruped robot in India.
- India’s first indigenous quadruped (four-legged) robot and exoskeleton have been developed by Hyderabad-based Svaya Robotics for the defence sector as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
- Currently, these robots are imported from the US and Switzerland to help strengthen the India's defense capabilities.
- The indigenous robots and wearable exoskeletons have been created as technology demonstrators with their design inputs in partnership with the DRDO Labs, Research and Development Establishment (R&DE), Pune, and the Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru.
- Quadruped robots are four-legged robots that can walk or run over uneven and rough terrain.
- These are also useful in detecting terrorist activities and other vulnerable locations and capturing visuals that can be monitored from any part of the country.
- These robots can carry a 25 kg payload and accompany a soldier, and can also be used in nuclear plants and other industries.
13. Two consecutive successful flight tests of Very Short Range Air Defence System missile have been conducted.
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted successful flight tests of the Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) missile at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
- The flight tests have been carried out from a ground-based man-portable launcher against high-speed unmanned aerial targets.
- The test has successfully completed the objective of the mission and successfully intercepted the target.
- Ministry of Defence (MoD) accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to VSHORAD (IR Homing) missile variant in January, 2023.
- It is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD).
- It can neutralise low-altitude aerial threats at short ranges.
- Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners has developed and designed the VSHORADS.
- It has been designed for anti-aircraft warfare.
14. RBI and Central Bank of UAE inked MoU to promote innovation in financial products and services.
- Under the MoU, both central banks will work together towards Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC).
- They will also work for the interoperability between the CBDCs of CBUAE and RBI.
- They will conduct proof-of-concept and pilot tests of the bilateral CBDC to facilitate cross-border transactions of remittances and trade.
- This MoU will enhance efficiency and reduce costs in cross-border transactions. It will help in strengthening economic ties between both countries.
- Technical collaboration and knowledge sharing on matters related to Fintech and financial products and services are part of this MoU.
- This collaboration will help both central banks enhance their capabilities. It will contribute to the development of a robust financial ecosystem.
- It is an important step towards promoting innovation and collaboration in the field of FinTech.
(Source: News on AIR)