- 1. World's first 200-meter-long Bamboo Crash Barrier has been installed on Vani-Warora Highway.
- 2. Archaeologists found well-preserved 500-year-old spices off Sweden's Baltic coast.
- 3. Nano liquid DAP fertilizer approved by the Government for farmers.
- 4. First 'High Sea Treaty' has been signed by United Nations.
- 5. First Naval Commanders' Conference of 2023 started on board the indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant on 6 March.
- 6. International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness 2023: 5 March
- 7. Hydrogen-based advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) launched by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in New Delhi on 06 March 2023.
- 8. Karnataka defeated Meghalaya by 3-2 to win the Santosh Trophy football after 54 years.
- 9. Union Minister Parshottam Rupala inaugurated Camel Product Processing Utilisation & Training Wing at ICAR-National Research Centre on Camel in Bikaner.
- 10. India is in the 108th position on Electoral Democracy Index 2023.
- 11. Indian and French Armies will take part in a joint military exercise ‘FRINJEX-23’.
- 12. Former Chief Justice of India AM Ahmadi passes away at the age of 90.
- 13. Women’s Premier League started in Mumbai on 4 March 2023.
- 14. Jerdon’s narrow-mouthed frog endemic to Western Ghats has been rediscovered.
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Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
1. World's first 200-meter-long Bamboo Crash Barrier has been installed on Vani-Warora Highway.
- In Vidarbha, 200-meter-long Bamboo Crash Barrier has been installed on the Vani-Warora Highway.
- This Bamboo Crash Barrier has been named ‘Bahu Balli’.
- It was tested rigorously at various government-run institutions such as the National Automotive Test Tracks (NATRAX) in Pithampur, Indore.
- During the Fire Rating Test at the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) in Roorkee, it was rated as Class 1.
- It has been also approved by the Indian Road Congress.
- The recycling value of the bamboo barrier is 50-70 percent while the recycling value of steel barriers is 30-50 percent.
- It is a milestone for the bamboo sector. This crash barrier offers a perfect alternative to steel.
(Source: News on AIR)
2. Archaeologists found well-preserved 500-year-old spices off Sweden's Baltic coast.
- Archaeologists found 500-year-old spices, having saffron, peppercorns and ginger, on the wreck of a ship that was sunk near Sweden's Baltic coast.
- The Gribshund ship was owned by King Hans of Denmark and Norway. It is believed that it sank due to a fire.
- It was rediscovered by sports divers in the 1960s.
- An excavation led by Brendan Foley has found the spices buried in the silt of the boat.
- The spices would have been a symbol of high status and only the wealthy could afford goods such as saffron or cloves.
- It is very unique as it is the only archaeological context where saffron has been found from ship.
- In 1501, a Portuguese expedition under the command of Pedro Álvares Cabral was the first to bring spices from India to Europe via the Cape of Good Hope way.
- Cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, and turmeric were important items of commerce in the earliest evolution of trade.
Topic: Agriculture and Allied Sectors
3. Nano liquid DAP fertilizer approved by the Government for farmers.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that the approval of Nano liquid DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) fertilizer will make life easier for farmers.
- Government approval for Nano Liquid DAP fertilizer will benefit farmers and make the country Atmanirbhar.
- Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said that the Ministry of Agriculture has also approved it.
- Nano DAP will be produced by IFFCO and it will prove to be a revolutionary change for the country's agriculture and economy.
- In December, the government had previously stated that IFFCO would soon introduce nano DAP at a price of Rs 600 for a 500-ml bottle.
- This move will help India to save foreign exchange and significantly reduce government subsidies.
- One bottle will be equal to one bag of DAP, which currently costs Rs 1,350.
- In May 2022, PM Modi inaugurated world’s first Nano Urea (Liquid) Plant in Gujarat.
- Nano Urea is a nanotechnology based urea. It has a desirable particle size of about 20-50 nm and more surface area and number of particles in comparison to conventional urea.
(Source: News on AIR)
4. First 'High Sea Treaty' has been signed by United Nations.
- The treaty has been signed to protect the oceans of the world.
- The treaty is the result of a decade of negotiations on this environmental concern.
- On 4 March, the agreement was reached after 38 hours of talks at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
- Previous talks failed to conclude because of disagreements over funding and fishing rights.
- The last international agreement on ocean protection, the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’, was signed in 1982.
- The UN High Seas Treaty will now protect 30% of the world's oceans by 2030. It will increase funding for marine conservation, and bring new restrictions for offshore mining.
- The aim of the treaty is to protect oceans against potential impacts, such as deep-sea mining. It is the process of collecting minerals from the ocean bed.
- Earlier, these water bodies were open for fishing, shipping and research and only about 1 percent high seas were under protection.
- This left marine life in these waters at high risk of exploitation from threats including overfishing, climate change and shipping traffic.
- According to the Red Data Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), about 10 percent of marine species were found to be at risk of extinction.
- In addition, the IUCN estimates that 41 percent of threatened species are also affected by climate change.
5. First Naval Commanders' Conference of 2023 started on board the indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant on 6 March.
- Through this conference, the Naval Commander held institutional level discussions with senior officers of the Government on important security issues.
- The first phase of the Commanders' Conference held for the first time onboard the indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
- Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh addressed the Naval Commanders onboard INS Vikrant on the inaugural day of the conference.
- Its purpose is to create an environment conducive to normal operations between the forces, as well as to solve problems related to the defense of the nation and the coordination between the three forces and quick action in the national interests of India.
- A display of operations at sea is also planned as part of the activities on the first day of the conference.
- The Chief of the Naval Staff, along with other Naval Commanders, reviewed the major operational, material, logistics, human resource development, training and administrative activities undertaken by the Indian Navy in the last six months.
- The Naval Commanders were apprised of the latest status of the Agneepath scheme during the conference. This scheme was implemented in November 2022.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Important Days
6. International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness 2023: 5 March
- The first-ever International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness was celebrated on 5 March across the world.
- The day aims to raise public awareness and understanding of disarmament issues, especially among young people.
- Secretary-General of UN said that the number of nuclear weapons held in stockpiles worldwide is approximately 13,000, which is more than enough to destroy our planet many times.
- Kyrgyzstan had proposed to the international community to declare March 5 as the International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness.
- On March 5, 1970, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons entered into force.
- In 2021, the global military spending reached $2.1 trillion.
- On December 7, 2022, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously supported Kyrgyzstan's initiative and adopted a resolution declaring March 5 as the International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness.
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Topic: National News
7. Hydrogen-based advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) launched by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in New Delhi on 06 March 2023.
- The launch of the FCEV is an effort of the centre under its commitment toward cleaner energy and low-carbon pathways.
- This project is the same as the one launched earlier at Kevadia in Gujarat.
- Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri said as part of the central scheme the government wants to introduce city buses running on green hydrogen.
- He had said that the government will use these buses in modal urban centre.
- Last month, PM Modi flagged off Oil India Limited’s indigenously developed hydrogen fuel cell-based e-bus at the India Energy Week in Bengaluru.
- Benefits of Fuel Cell electric vehicles (FCEV):
- No harmful emissions
- More energy efficient
- Equivalent range and performance to gasoline counterparts
- The greatest challenge associated with use of hydrogen as a fuel is its transportation and storage.
8. Karnataka defeated Meghalaya by 3-2 to win the Santosh Trophy football after 54 years.
- Karnataka won the Santosh Trophy National Football Championship on 05 March 2023.
- It defeated Meghalaya by 3-2 in a final at the King Fahd International Stadium in the Saudi Arabia capital, Riyadh.
- Karnataka last played the senior national championships final 47 years back (1975-76).
- M Sunil Kumar, Bekey Oram and Robin Yadav scored goals for Karnataka.
- Earlier, Services defeated Punjab in the play-off match held before the final and won third place.
- The semifinals and finals of the Santosh Trophy were played outside the subcontinent for the first time after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed an MoU with the Saudi Arabia Football Federation.
- Santosh Trophy:
- Santosh Trophy is a state-level national football competition.
- It is played by government institutions and state associations under the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
- The 2022–23 Santosh Trophy is the 76th edition of the Santosh Trophy.
Topic: National News
9. Union Minister Parshottam Rupala inaugurated Camel Product Processing Utilisation & Training Wing at ICAR-National Research Centre on Camel in Bikaner.
- The main aim of the Product Processing Utilisation & Training Wing is to explore the immense opportunities in the camel product processing sector.
- On this occasion, Parshottam Rupala interacted with pastoralists and the pastoral community at the research centre.
- He said that the Animal Husbandry sector has emerged as one of the key pillars of economic growth and rural income.
- Parshottam Rupala also interacted with the dignitaries present at the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav.
- During the event, people from different areas of work came together on one platform and they share their ideas with each other.
- ICAR-National Research Centre on Camel, Bikaner:
- It is a premier Research Centre of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
- It is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
- It is focused on camel breeding and health, utilisation of camel milk.
- In 1984, the Government of India established a Project Directorate on Camel at Bikaner (India) under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
- It was upgraded to National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC) on September 20, 1995.
Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking
10. India is in the 108th position on Electoral Democracy Index 2023.
- India ranks 108th in the Electoral Democracy Index of the V-dem Democracy report 2023.
- India ranks below countries such as Tanzania, Bolivia, Mexico, Singapore and even Nigeria.
- In 2022, India’s ranking was 100th position in Electoral Democracy Index (EDI).
- This report has named India as one of the top 10 autocratising countries in the last 10 years.
- India has been ranked 97th in the Liberal Democracy Index. India has been placed in the bottom 50 percent of the LDI index.
- Demark is in the first position with a score of 0.89 in the Liberal Democracy Index.
- Sweden is in the second spot with a score of 0.87 while Norway is in the third spot with a score of 0.86.
- Pakistan slipped to 106th in the LDI and 110th in the EDI.
- Liberal Democracy Index measure both liberal and electoral aspects of democracy based on 71 indicators.
- The Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) report is based on the dataset on democracy with over 31 million data points for 202 countries from 1789 to 2022.
Liberal Democracy Index
11. Indian and French Armies will take part in a joint military exercise ‘FRINJEX-23’.
- Indian Army and French Army will participate in the ‘FRINJEX-23’, a joint military exercise on 7- 8 March.
- For the first time, armies of both countries are engaging in this format with each contingent comprising a Company Group.
- The aim of the exercise is to enhance inter-operability, coordination, and cooperation between both forces.
- Thiruvananthapuram-based Indian Army unit and the French 6th light armoured brigade will take part in this exercise.
- The French contingent is part of the French Marine Regiment on board the DIXMUDE mission.
- The theme for the exercise is based on “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations in a Contested Environment”.
- This exercise will strengthen the Indo-France strategic partnership at the tactical level.
- India-France recent exercises are given below:
- The French and Indian navies took part in a bilateral naval exercise, Varuna 2023 from 16 to 20 January 2023.
- India and France participated in the Garuda VII exercise in Jodhpur from October 26 to November 12, 2022.
Topic: Personality in News
12. Former Chief Justice of India AM Ahmadi passes away at the age of 90.
- Former Chief Justice of India AM Ahmadi died at his home.
- He was the Chief Justice of India from 1994 to 1997.
- He started his career as City Civil and Session Court judge in Ahmedabad.
- He is the only Chief Justice of India who started at the very lowest rank and attained the highest position in the Indian Judiciary.
- He is one of the longest-serving Chief Justices of India. He was part of various important Commissions.
- He was an expert in various fields such as human rights, freedom of speech, criminal, taxation, and centre-state and interstate relations.
- He also served as the Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.
13. Women’s Premier League started in Mumbai on 4 March 2023.
- For the first time, the Women’s Premier League (WPL 2023) started in Navi Mumbai.
- BCCI has organised WPL on the lines of the famous Indian Premier League.
- A total of five teams are participating in the first edition of the league. These are Mumbai Indians (MI), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Capitals (DC), UP Warriorz (UPW) and Gujarat Giants (GG).
- Teams and their captains are given below:
- Mumbai Indians- Harmanpreet Kaur (Indian team captain)
- Royal Challengers Bangalore- Smriti Mandhana
- Delhi Capitals- Meg Lanning (Australian skipper)
- Gujarat Giants- Beth Mooney (Australian cricketer)
- UP Warriorz- Alyssa Healy (Australian wicketkeeper and batter)
- On 26 March 2023, the final match of the tournament will be played at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
14. Jerdon’s narrow-mouthed frog endemic to Western Ghats has been rediscovered.
- After 89 years, Jerdon’s narrow-mouthed frog (Uperodon montanus) has been spotted in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats.
- The species was last studied in 1934 after which, it was rarely spotted by researchers.
- This species of frog has a longish snout, shiny brown skin with darker brown, red and golden spots on its body.
- These are found in rock pools or tree holes filled with rainwater.
- This frog is considered a montane species and is mainly found at higher altitudes of 800-1700 metres.
- They are distributed from near Wayanad south across the Palghat and the Shencottah gaps to the Agasthyamalai hills.
- Jerdon’s narrow-mouthed frog is classified as “Near Threatened” in the IUCN list.
- Tadpoles are free-swimming and exotrophic i.e. they feed on other species.