- 1. Stolen Chola-era bronze idol of Hanuman has been brought to India.
- 2. Air Force Technical College and IISc Bangalore have signed MoU.
- 3. Uttar Pradesh Gunvatta Sankalp (Uttar Pradesh Quality Mission) launched at Lucknow on 23 March 2023.
- 4. Government has amended export policy for biofuels.
- 5. One World TB Summit addressed by PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on 24 March.
- 6. Indian men's and women's team won the Asian Kho-Kho Championship.
- 7. The first Urban Climate Film Festival is being organized by National Institute of Urban Affairs.
- 8. Royal Navy of Britain and the Indian Navy conducted a joint maritime exercise, Konkan 2023.
- 9. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched ‘DigiClaim’.
- 10. Ministry of ports, shipping and waterways has launched ‘Green Tug Transition Programme’ (GTTP).
- 11. India's first Mega Textile Park launched by Union Minister Piyush Goyal in Tamil Nadu.
- 12. The installation of 'Statue of Knowledge' dedicated to Ambedkar approved by Govt.
- 13. As per a new study, Venus has an active volcano.
- 14. RBI will set up new Data Centre and Cybersecurity Training Institute.
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Topic: Art and Culture
1. Stolen Chola-era bronze idol of Hanuman has been brought to India.
- A rare bronze idol of Hanuman of Chola-era has been brought to India by the Idol Wing CID of Tamilnadu Police after a long struggle.
- The idol of Hanuman was stolen from the Varadharajaperumal Temple of Ariyalur district in 2012.
- Unidentified persons looted bronze idols of Varadharaja Perumal, Sridevi, Bhoodevi and Hanuman.
- The idol was auctioned on March 19, 2014, with a sale price of US$ 37,500. It was owned by a private art collector residing in Australia.
- Chola Sculptures:
- Nataraja is the most popular Sculpture of the Chola period.
- Chola age bronze sculptures were made using the lost-wax casting technique.
- Chola bronzes Sculptures are famous for depictions of Shiva as the Lord of Dance, Nataraja.
- Large bronze images were created outside the temple for daily rituals, processions, and temple festivals.
2. Air Force Technical College and IISc Bangalore have signed MoU.
- The MoU will promote academic cooperation and research in defence related areas.
- It will enhance scientific understanding of adopted defence technologies.
- The MoU was signed by Air Commodore Ratnesh Gupta from the Technical College and Captain Sridhar Warrier from Indian Institute of Science.
- The partnership will also allow college Trainee Officers to use IISc libraries.
- Air Force Technical College was established in July 1949. It is located in Bangalore.
Topic: State News/Uttar Pradesh
3. Uttar Pradesh Gunvatta Sankalp (Uttar Pradesh Quality Mission) launched at Lucknow on 23 March 2023.
- It has been launched by the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Quality Council of India in collaboration with industry associations.
- The industry associations are Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Institute of Actuaries of India (IIA) and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).
- Deputy CM of UP, Shri Brajesh Pathak inaugurated the Sankalp.
- Minister of Cooperation (IC) Shri J. P. S. Rathore launched it.
- Jaxay Shah, Chairperson, QCI remarked UP is the first state that we have chosen to launch the Gunvatta Sankalp.
- Gunvatta Sankalp focuses on four key pillars - quality as a driver of the USD 1 trillion economy, MSMEs, healthcare services and education and vocational training.
Topic: Indian Economy
4. Government has amended export policy for biofuels.
- It has allowed export of biofuel from special economic zones and export oriented units for fuel and non-fuel purposes without any restriction.
- This is applicable only if the biofuel is produced by using imported feed stock.
- The restrictions on export of biofuels were imposed by the government on 28 August, 2018.
- Both the export and import of biofuels require a licence.
- Ethyl alcohol, petroleum oil and oils obtained from bituminous minerals and bio-diesel come under the biofuels.
- It is fuel derived from biomass or organic matter.
- Primary biofuels are organic materials that are used as an energy source without any prior treatment or processing.
- Secondary biofuels are used to generate energy after processing.
5. One World TB Summit addressed by PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on 24 March.
- On the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, the Prime Minister addressed the 'One World TB Summit'.
- The summit was organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Stop TB Partnership.
- The Stop TB Partnership (founded in 2001) is a United Nations-led organization that provides a voice for people, communities and countries affected by TB.
- During the event, the Prime Minister launched various initiatives, including the TB-free Panchayat Initiative, the official pan-India launch of a Brief TB Preventive Treatment (TPT), and the release of the India Annual TB Report 2023.
- In March 2018, during the 'End TB Summit' held in New Delhi, the Prime Minister called upon India to achieve the SDG targets related to TB by 2025, five years ahead of schedule.
- International delegates from more than 30 countries were present in this summit.
- The Prime Minister has also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various projects worth more than 1,780 crore rupees.
- He laid the foundation stone of Passenger Ropeway from Varanasi Cantt Station to Godaulia. It will be a unique facility for the pilgrims.
- India will be the third country in the world after Bolivia and Mexico to have a ropeway for public transport.
- The estimated cost of the project will be around Rs 645 crore. The length of the ropeway system will be 3.75 km.
- The ropeway will start from Varanasi Cantt station and will have five stations, including Cantt Railway Station, Kashi Vidyapeeth, Rath Yatra, Church and Godaulia.
- Under Pradhan Mantri Namami Gange Yojana, he laid the foundation stone of 55 MLD capacity sewage treatment plant at Bhagwanpur.
- The plant will be constructed at a cost of over Rs 300 crore.
(Source: News on Air)
6. Indian men's and women's team won the Asian Kho-Kho Championship.
- On 23 March, India won titles in both the men's and women's section of the Asian Kho-Kho Championship in Tamulpur, Assam.
- In the women's section, India beat Nepal by an innings and 33 points.
- In the men's section too, India won the title by defeating Nepal by an innings and six points.
- India has been remained unbeaten in both the categories in the championship.
- A total of 16 teams (men and women) participated in the event.
- The participating countries were Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and host India.
- Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly Biswajit Daimary and Minister U G Brahma distributed the prizes to the winners.
(Source: News on Air)
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Topic: National News
7. The first Urban Climate Film Festival is being organized by National Institute of Urban Affairs.
- It is being organized through the CITIIS program as part of U20 engagement events from 24 March 2023.
- It has been launched at the M.L. Bhartia Auditorium in New Delhi.
- It is being organised with the support from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the French Development Agency and the European Union.
- 11 films from nine countries will be showcased to create awareness of the impact of climate change on life in cities.
- The films will be screened at the festival in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.
- National Institute of Urban Affairs is a Central Autonomous Body. It comes under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. It is located in New Delhi.
- It is serving as the technical secretariat for U20. U20 is the urban engagement group of G20.
- CITIIS (City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain) Program:
- It is a joint program of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the French Development Agency (AFD), the European Union (EU), and NIUA.
- It is assisting 12 Smart Cities in India to implement innovation-driven and sustainable urban infrastructure projects.
8. Royal Navy of Britain and the Indian Navy conducted a joint maritime exercise, Konkan 2023.
- Konkan 2023 was conducted from 20th March to 22nd March 2023, off the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea.
- The joint exercise demonstrated operational readiness and enhanced interoperability.
- The exercises covered all domains of maritime operations, air, surface, and subsurface.
- INS Trishul, a guided missile frigate, took part in the exercise.
- HMS Lancaster, a Type 23 guided missile frigate, also participated in the exercise.
- India and UK agreed to new agreements on maritime information sharing.
- UK agreed to join India's Information Fusion Centre in Gurugram.
- The UK will be deploying a Carrier Strike Group in the Indian Ocean region this year (2023).
Topic: National News
9. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched ‘DigiClaim’.
- ‘DigiClaim’ has been launched for claim disbursal through National Crop Insurance Portal. It has been launched under the ambit of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
- Now, the claims will be disbursed electronically. It will benefit farmers of six states.
- It includes farmers from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Haryana.
- Under this module, claims will be processed directly to farmers in their respective bank accounts in a transparent and accountable manner.
- This technology has been enabled through the integration of the National Crop Insurance Portal (NCIP) and Public Finance Management System (PFMS).
- Insurance claims of over Rs 1260.35 crore have been disbursed through the DigiClaim Module to the farmers of six states.
- Under PMFBY, Rs 1.32 lakh crore claim amount has been disbursed to the insured farmers.
- Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the ‘Meri Policy, Mere Haath’ campaign played a key role in enhancing the awareness around PMFBY at the grassroot levels.
- Telangana and Jharkhand have indicated their willingness to come back under PMFBY.
- Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand have also been approached to rejoin the scheme.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
10. Ministry of ports, shipping and waterways has launched ‘Green Tug Transition Programme’ (GTTP).
- Under this programme, all tugboats running on non-fossil fuel like Methanol, Ammonia, and Hydrogen, will be converted into ‘Green Hybrid Tugs’.
- ‘Green Hybrid Tugs’ will be powered by Green Hybrid Propulsion systems.
- Sarbananda Sonowal said that the government has set a target for the initial Green Tugs to start working in all major ports by 2025.
- Around 50% of all Tugs will be converted into Green Tugs by 2030. It will help in reducing carbon emissions.
- Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also inaugurated India’s First National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping in Gurugram, Haryana.
- It has been established by a collaboration between the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
- It will act as the nodal entity for industry and will play a key role in the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14).
- It will work for meeting the targets under the Paris Agreement.
- Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also said that the government is aiming to make India a ‘Global Hub for Green Ship’ building by 2030.
Topic: State News/ Tamil Nadu
11. India's first Mega Textile Park launched by Union Minister Piyush Goyal in Tamil Nadu.
- On March 22, India's first PM Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) Park for the textile industry has been launched at E. Kumaralingapuram in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu.
- With an MoU inked between the State and the Center, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Union Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal jointly launched the park.
- The PM Mitra Mega Textiles Park will give a boost to the local economy of Virudhunagar, an aspirational district in Tamil Nadu.
- Under the Virudhunagar PM Mitra project, infrastructure work will be done with an estimated Rs 2,000 crore, which includes a central subsidy of Rs 500 crore.
- With an investment of over Rs 70,000 crore, the PM Mitra Park will significantly enhance the textile industry by creating a large number of job opportunities and giving "new work" to an estimated 20 lakh people.
- A total of 11 MoUs were exchanged between state authorities and companies on investment commitments in the PM Mitra project in Tamil Nadu.
- The mega textile park will be set up on 1,052 acres of land at E Kumaralingapuram in Virudhunagar district.
- The proposed project site is owned by the State Industries Promotion Corporation (SIPCOT).
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
12. The installation of 'Statue of Knowledge' dedicated to Ambedkar approved by Govt.
- The construction of a 75-foot-tall "Statue of Knowledge" dedicated to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in the city of Latur has received approval from the Maharashtra government.
- On March 21, the state government issued an order regarding the beautification of the statue and Ambedkar Park in the city.
- Rs 10 crore has been sanctioned for this entire project.
- Last year, a 75-foot replica of Ambedkar's statue was installed, and some organisations have been demanding that a permanent statue be installed in the city.
- On April 14, the foundation stone laying ceremony for the project will be performed on Dr. Ambedkar's birth anniversary.
13. As per a new study, Venus has an active volcano.
- A new analysis has found direct geological evidence of recent volcanic activity on the surface of Venus for the first time.
- NASA said that a change in shape of a volcanic vent has been observed and its size has increased in around 8 months.
- For years, scientists have known that Venus is geologically dead.
- Scientists made the new discovery through images taken by NASA’s Magellan spacecraft between 1990 and 1992.
- They observed Venus’ Alta Regio are where two of the biggest volcanoes of Venus- Ozza Mons and Maat Mons are located and noticed that the shape and size of the vent located on the north side of a domed shield Maat Mons volcano has changed significantly.
- The research indicates an eruption or flow of magma beneath the vent.
- Three new Venus missions would be launched including the European EnVision orbiter and NASA’s DAVINCI and VERITAS missions.
Topic: Banking System
14. RBI will set up new Data Centre and Cybersecurity Training Institute.
- Foundation stone for setting up of a ‘Greenfield Data Centre’ and ‘Enterprise Computing & Cybersecurity Training Institute’ has been laid by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.
- ‘Greenfield Data Centre’ and ‘Enterprise Computing & Cybersecurity Training Institute’ will be set up in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
- The institute will cater to the emerging requirements of the RBI and the financial sector.
- The Governor highlighted the need for augmenting the existing computing infrastructure of the RBI.