Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 22nd March 2024


National News 

1. ED arrests Kejriwal in excise policy case 

  • Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday on charges of corruption and money laundering in connection with the formulation and execution of the government's excise policy for 2021-22, which was la- ter scrapped. 
  • Mr. Kejriwal will be produced before a special court on Friday. 
  • AAP said it has moved the Supreme Court for quashing the arrest, and asked for hearing. an urgent
  • Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court declined to grant any immediate protection to Mr. Kejriwal from coercive action in the excise policy-linked money laundering case. 

2. 47th Meeting of National Committee of Archivists held in Srinagar 

  • The two-days’ 47th Meeting of the National Committee of Archivists (NCA) was concluded at the Sher-e Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), Srinagar.
  • Delegates from Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh participated in the meeting. 
  • The two-day meeting held with an aim to revitalise the archives administration and records management system across states and Union Territories. 
  • The next meeting of the NCA is likely to be held in Gujarat later in the year. 

3. 4th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Startup Forum organized in New Delhi 

  • The fourth edition of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Startup Forum was organized in New Delhi. 
  • The initiative focused on broadening startup interactions among the SCO Member States, fostering an environment conducive to innovation, promoting job creation, and inspiring young talent to develop innovative solutions. 
  • The plenary session of the forum witnessed physical participation from SCO Member States including a delegation of SCO startups, nodal agencies for startups at the Member States, senior government officials and diplomats. 

4. Central government announced to bring wheat and rice under Price Stabilization Fund 

  • As part of its retail intervention strategy to control inflation, the Government of India has announced to bring wheat and rice under the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF). This fund is used to create buffer stocks of major food commodities in India and strategically release these into the market when prices rise.
  • This is expected to help the government buy more wheat and rice from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and sell them as wheat flour and rice at highly subsidized prices under the Bharat brand. Bharat rice is sold at Rs 29 per kg, Bharat flour at Rs 27.50 and Bharat chana dal at Rs 60 per kg at retail outlets and e-commerce platforms. 
  • The government's procurement agencies, NAFED and NCCF, will procure wheat and rice directly from FCI. The government will give a subsidy of Rs 435 per quintal of wheat. Rs 200 per quintal for rice. NAFED and NCCF will process the rice and wheat and sell them in the market under the Bharat brand. 
  • The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has launched Bharat Brand to provide food grains and other essential goods to the people at subsidized prices. So far, the government has launched Bharat Flour, Bharat Dal and Bharat Rice for retail sale under the Bharat brand. 
  • Bharat brand items are sold through the outlets of National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), Kendriya Bhandar, National Cooperative Consumers Federation of India (NCCF) and ecommerce sites. 

Price stabilization fund 

  • The Government of India established the Price Stabilization Fund with ₹500 crore in 2014–15. The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution managed the fund. 
  • Buffer stocks of pulses (urad, moong, tur, masoor and gram), onion, tomato and potato are being maintained under the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) scheme. 
  • National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) was established on 2 October 1958 under the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Its headquarters is in New Delhi. 

5. Panel to study scope of altering power lines in bustard habitat 

  • The Supreme Drift on Thursday constituted an expert committee to balance the conservation and protection of the endangered Great Indian fastard bird population with the country's international commitments to promote renewable sources of energy. 
  • The large-winged birds are on the brink of extinction, and one of the causes is the frequent collision with high-powered power cables running adjacent to its core habitats in Gujarat and Rajasthan. 
  • A three judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said a blanket direction given by the top court in April 2019 for moving high voltage and low voltage power cables underground required "re-calibration". 
  • The court appointed the Director, Wildlife Institute of India; wildlife and forest conservation experts, including Hari Shankar Singh, Niranjan Kumar Vasu, B. Majumdar, and De vesh Gadhvi; and Joint Secretary with the Renewable Energy Ministry Lalit Bohra and his counterpart in the Environment Ministry 
  • The committee would also include Ashok Kumar Rajput, Member, Power Systems, Central Electrical Authority, and PC. Garg Chief Operating Officer, Central Transmission Dat ty of India Limited as special invitees. 
  • The remit of the panel would be to determine the scope, extent and feasibility of underground and overhead electric lines in areas identified as priority spots for the birds in Rajasthan and Gujarat 
  • The committee would explore alternatives to be larice sustainable development goals and conservation of the birds. It could recommend additional measures to identify additional priority areas. The panel has to file its report in the top court on or before July 31. 

6. ITU elects India as co-chair of its Digital Innovation Board 

  • Dr Neeraj Mittal, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, led a high-level delegation to Geneva for a series of crucial meetings at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Headquarters. 
  • The visit focused on fostering collaboration and exploring innovative initiatives in the telecommunications and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors. 
  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has selected 17 organizations from around the world to host Network of Acceleration Centres with the Global Innovation Centre at ITU Area Office and Innovation Centre, New Delhi, India to coordinate the efforts of Network Acceleration centres around the globe. 

International News 

7. US President announced a ban on the sale of petrol powered cars since the year 2035 

  • US President Joe Biden has announced the strict regulation of vehicle exit in the US to expedite the transfer of auto-industry towards electric cars. 
  • The US has been adopting a more generous stance than the European Union and Britain, which will ban all sales of petrol powered cars since 2035. This includes the target of making 56% of all the new American vehicles sold by 2032 - which is a huge increase from the current levels. 
  • According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the new regulation will prevent 7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the next 30 years. Vehicles sold today in the United States represent zero-furorean cars about 7.6%, which is about 6% in 2022 and only 3% in 2021. 
  • Environmental groups widely welcomed the remedy, although some activists expressed disappointment that it was not strong. 
  • According to the business publication Kelly Blue Book, the average sales price of EV last year was around $ 53,500, which was about $ 5,000 more than petrol powered cars. The average annual salary in the US is around $ 59,000. 
  • Transport is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States including California. The average estimated greenhouse for new EPA standard light-duty vehicles will represent a reduction of about 50% in the gas emission level and a 44% decrease for medium duty vehicles. 

8. IOC banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in nations parade at the inauguration ceremony of the Paris Olympic Games 

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that Russian and Belarusi athletes would not be allowed to attend the nations parade at the inauguration ceremony of the Paris Olympic Games. 
  • IOC director James McLeod said, who will compete in sports under the athlete neutral flag, they will not participate in parade and teams during the opening ceremony as they are individual athletes. 
  • He said, whether they will participate in the closing ceremony or not, the decision has not been taken yet. The Russian and Belarusian athletes, which qualifies for the Games, will do so without their flags and the national anthem. 
  • Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov said that this step is like destroying the Olympic idea. After Russia's full -scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, athletes of the two countries were banned from several international sports events. 
  • The IOC is allowing them to compete in individual sports if they do not support war and have no connection with Russia's army or security forces. 
  • Ukraine has urged the IOC to impose a complete ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes. IOC suspended the Olympic Committee of Russia last year, as it had unilaterally recognized regional sports organizations in four Ukrainian regions, which Russia illegally occupied in 2022. 

9. At IFFI last year, the government. denied nod to screen four foreign films 

  • The Union government defied permission to screen four films set in the Gaza Strip, Turkey, Hungary, and Bhutan at the 54th international Film Festival of India held in Goa last November, according to records from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. 
  • The films are A Gaza Weekend, a satire directed by Basil Khalil set in a post epidemic Israel where the Gaza strip becomes the safest place in the Levant; Explanation for Everything, a Hungarian drama directed by Gabor Reisz; The Monk And The Gun, a satire directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji, featuring mock elections in Bhutan; and Dormitory, a drama by Nehir Tuna about a teenager sent to a residential Islamic seminary by his father. 
  • Film festivals usually feature a range of international cinema, and considering the smaller overall size of the audiences, the government waives the requirement for a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). 
  • The Ministry still requires government clearance for films to be played in festivals in India. For this exemption from a CBFC certificate, organizers must form a "preview committee," "comprising persons who are related to the film industry or are critics writers connected with film, the guidelines framed in 2006 state.
  • The Monk And The Gun was Bhutan's official entry to the Oscars. Though it was denied a screening in November at IFFI, it was shown at the Jo MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai the previous mand even won an award 

State News 

10. After two weeks of search, elusive tiger captured in Kannur 

  • An elusive tiger, which had left residents near the forest fringes at Adakkathode at Kelakam in Kannur panic-stricken, was captured by the Kerala Forest department on Thursday. 
  • After over two weeks of search, the tiger, approximately two years old, was tranquilizer and caught. Forest officials used chemical immobilization to capture the weakened animal, which reportedly bore injuries from porcupine encounters on its face. The tiger has been transferred to the facility at the Kannavam forest range office for treatment and is likely to be shifted to Thrissur. 
  • Continuous reports of a tiger roaming the area prompted the Forest department to form a committee under the National Tiger Conservation Authority's guidelines. Initially suspected to be a big leopard, the animal's pre sence was confirmed by a resident's video. Subse quently, four cages were set up in the area. 
  • A team of 60 personnel from the Kannur forest division, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, and Rapid Response Force from Wayanad was set up to catch the tiger following the panel's recommendation. 

11. Rajasthan becomes the first state to launch portal for realtime information about water in dams, canals 

  • The first dedicated portal launched in Jaipur, Rajasthan will provide real-time information on the water level in dams and reservoirs and the quantity of water available in canals in different parts of the state. 
  • Launching the portal here, Water Resources Minister Suresh Singh Rawat said Rajasthan is the first state to develop a system that will bring information on water availability in the public domain. 
  • This portal will not only help in predicting drought and drought but will also enable better water management based on water availability. 
  • The Water Resources Department has developed this system under the National Hydrology Project. Mr Rawat said real-time information on water availability would greatly benefit farmers, who would plan their crop cycles and irrigation accordingly. This will be especially helpful in a rainfall deficient state like Rajasthan. 
  • Mr Rawat said monitoring of rainfall, waterlogging, temperature, groundwater status and surface water availability would help in better and sustainable management of water resources in the state. The portal will provide complete data of 805 dams, daily data of 242 dams and live data of 88 dams. 
  • In the Rainfall module, data analyzed from 326 rain gauge stations from 1957 to date can also be viewed through graphs or downloaded. Canal network information will be available in the Canal module. 
  • This network has also been mapped on GIS. Live data of Ganga and Bhakra Canal System, Bisalpur, Jawai, Gudha, Jawahar Sagar dams will be available through SCADA. 
  • Apart from this, real time data of rainfall, waterlogging, temperature etc. of 322 locations will be available every hour through Real Time Data Ambition System (RTDAS). 
  • Pre and post monsoon data of 9022 piezometers/dug wells/observation wells from the year 2011 will also be available in the groundwater module. 

Defence News 

12. Gorkha Rifles seek ivory from Kerala for display at unit; forest dept. rejects request 

  • Military establishments are increasingly seeking ivory from the Kerala Forest department to be displayed at their units after the State government recently cleared three such requests. 
  • The 4th Battalion of the 8th Gorkha Rifles is the latest military unit to approach the department for ivory. 
  • Though the unit sought two pairs of ivory, the request was turned down by the department stating that the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 did not encourage the display of wildlife trophies, including elephant tusks. The issuance and possession of such animal articles cannot be encouraged, according to the Forest department. 
  • However, the decision may land the department in the soup as it had set a precedent by recently clearing the requests for 46 pairs of wildlife trophies, including elephant tusks, from the department. 
  • The government had also imposed certain conditions for handing over the Th wildlife trophies for its M "safe custody". 
  • The three Army units will be provided the ivory w of wild elephants and not K that of the captive ones, which are brought to the ha office by the owners of the dead animals. Once the animal is dead, its owners should entrust the ivory with the department after completing the legal formalities, according to officials deer horns, and mount horn for the Pangode Military Station, the Grenadiers RC and the Madras Regiment for its "safe custody". 
  • The State government issued an order for providing the trophies after overlooking the objections raised by Forest B. 
  • Earlier, the department had unsuccessfully tried to obtain government clearance for incinerating a portion of the nearly 12 tonnes of ivory stocked in its vaults. 

13. India and Brazil hold '2+2' defense and foreign ministerial talks for the first time 

  • India and Brazil detected ways to increase cooperation in energy, important minerals, technology and anti -terrorism areas in their first '2+2' defence and foreign ministerial talks. 
  • Foreign Ministry spokesman Randhir Jaiswal said that various major areas of cooperation in negotiations were discussed on defense, space, energy, important minerals, technology, antiterrorism and other issues of regional, multilateral and mutual interest. 
  • It was co-headed by Additional Secretary GV Srinivas in the Ministry of External Affairs and Joint Secretary Vishwesh Negi, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defense. The Brazilian delegation was led by Marsello Camera, Director, Brazilian Foreign Ministry and rear Admiral Fernando de Luka Marx de Oliviera. 
  • Earlier, for the first time between India-UK, 2+2 foreign and defense talks were held on 16 October 2023 in New Delhi. India conducts '2+2' dialogues with major strategic partners America, Australia, Japan and Russia. From the year 2018, 2+2 meetings are being held every year with American leaders. 

Schemes & Committees News 

14. Ministry of Environment tightens rules on bioplastics 

  • The Environment Ministry has introduced rules that make it harder for makers of disposable plastic ware to label such products as 'biodegradable', introducing a stipulation that they must not leave any microplastics behind. Biodegradable plastic and compostable plastic are projected as These the two broad kinds of FC technological fixes to India's burgeoning problem mit of plastic waste pollution. 
  • Biodegradable plastic involves plastic goods becs/ing treated before they are sold. Compostable plases tics, on the other hand, do degrade but require industrial or large municipal waste management facilities to do so. 
  • A new set of amendments to India's Plastic II Waste Management ai (Amendment) Rules, 2024, made public last week, define biodegradable plastics as not only capable of ... degradation by biological processes in specific environment such as soil, landfill..." but also as mate- rials that do not leave "any microplastics...". 
  • Microplastics are reported as a major source of pollution. 
  • The caveat about microplastics in the updated rules does not specify which chemical tests can be used to establish the absence of microplastics, or to what extent microplastics must be reduced in a sample in order to consider them eliminated, says Sunil Panwar, CEO, Symphony Environmental India. The company offers technologies that, when added to regular single-use plastics, make them biodegradable. 
  • "... The current standards [in India] only recommend tests that can be done to determine the levels of microplastics but don't prescribe a definitive test... Should a standard for microplastics be eventually determined, it should, for fairness sake, include both compostable and biodegradable plastics," he told The Hindu. 
  • Microplastics have been reported as a major source of pollution affecting rivers and oceans. 
  • Several firms were left in the lurch as the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) refused to provide them with a 'provisional certificate' to license their products as biodegradable. This is because the CPCB only considers biodegradable a plastic sample that has 90% degraded, and such a process takes at least two years. 

Appointment News

16. Bhushan Gagrani appointed new Mumbai civic commissioner 

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed the Maharashtra government to appoint senior IAS officer Bhushan Gagrani as the new Mumbai municipal commissioner. 
  • Gagrani, till now serving as additional chief secretary in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), will replace Iqbal Singh Chahal, who has been moved out from the post of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner on EC orders. 
  • Maharashtra, which has 48 Lok Sabha seats, will vote in five phases in April-May. 

Recent Appointment 

  • CEO of P&G India – Kumar Venkatasubramanian 
  • Governor of Telangana and LG of Puducherry – C. P. Radhakrishnan (additional charge) 
  • Government spokesperson –Sheyphali Sharan (replace Manish Desai) 
  • Director General of All India Radio (AIR) – Maushami Chakraborty (replace Vasudha Gupta) 
  • National PwD icon by EC – Para Archer Sheetal Devi 
  • Chairman of Prasar Bharati – Navneet Kumar Sehgal (replace A Surya Prakash) 

17. M V Rao elected as chairman of Indian Banks’ Association 

  • MD and CEO of Central Bank of India, M V Rao has been elected as Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association. 
  • Rao has been elected as IBA Chairman for the term 2023-24 at a meeting of the Managing Committee of IBA. 
  • Three Deputy Chairmen for IBA would be Dinesh Kumar Khara, Chairman, State Bank of India (SBI); S L Jain, MD and CEO, Indian Bank and N Kamakodi, Managing Director and CEO, City Union Bank. 
  • Madhav Nair, Country Head and CEO, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, would be Honorary Secretary of the Association. 

18. Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • MD & CEO of Poonawalla Fincorp -Arvind Kapil 
  • President of ‘One Kotak’ – Jaideep Hansraj 
  • Part time Chairman of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd – Ravindran 
  • MD & CEO of Jana Small Finance Bank – Ajay Kanwal 
  • Chairperson & Independent Director of PayU – Renu Sud Karnad 

19. Naveen Jindal elected the President of ISA 

  • Noted industrialist and former member of Parliament Naveen Jindal has been elected as the President of the Indian Steel Association (ISA). 
  • He replaced Dilip Oommen, CEO, AMNS India and Executive Vice President, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India. 
  • Naveen Jindal is currently the chairman of Jindal Steel & Power (JSP), India’s leading Industrial conglomerate with interests in steel, mining and infrastructure sector. 

About Indian Steel Association (ISA) 

  • The Indian Steel Association was set up in 2014 as an apex body of steel producing companies of India. 
  • Headquarters – New Delhi 
  • It represents 65% of India’s crude steel production. 
  • The main function of the Indian Steel Association is to be the voice of the Indian steel industry both at national and international levels. 

Award News

20. ISRO honored with 'Aviation Week Laureates Award' for Chandrayaan-3 

  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has received the Aviation Week Laureates Award for its remarkable achievements in the Chandrayaan-3 mission. The award was accepted on behalf of ISRO by Sripriya Ranganathan, Deputy Ambassador at the Indian Embassy in the US. 
  • Aviation Week Network's Awards Winners Awards is a prestigious recognition of the extraordinary achievements of individuals and teams in the aviation and aerospace industry. 
  • These unprecedented achievements epitomize the spirit of exploration, innovation and foresight that inspire others to strive for progress, change and leadership. 
  • The recent celebration of ISRO's groundbreaking mission, Chandrayaan-3, highlights the award winner's reputation for recognizing extraordinary achievements within the aerospace industry. 
  • Previously received the Leif Erikson Moon Award from Husavik Museum for his unwavering commitment to lunar exploration. 

Chandrayaan-3 mission 

  • On July 14, 2023, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched Chandrayaan-3 from Sriharikota using a GSLV-Mark III (LVM-3) heavy-lift rocket. The spacecraft consists of a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan, this time there is no orbiter. The estimated budget of the mission is Rs 615 crore. The lander reached the Moon on August 23, 2023. 

21. GRID-INDIA is now a Miniratna Company 

  • Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-INDIA) achieved a significant milestone by being conferred with the status of Miniratna Category-I Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE). 
  • This recognition, bestowed upon by the Ministry of Power, Government of India, underscores GRID-INDIA’s pivotal role in the nation’s power landscape. 
  • Established in 2009, GRID-INDIA holds the crucial mandate of overseeing the seamless and uninterrupted operation of the Indian Power System, ensuring the efficient transfer of electric power within and across regions, facilitating trans-national power exchanges with a focus on reliability, economy, and sustainability. 
  • It facilitates competitive and efficient wholesale electricity markets and administer settlement systems. 

Science & Technology News 

22. India 'screwed up': How U.S. lobbied to reverse laptop rules 

  • India reversed a laptop licensing policy after behind-the-scenes lobbying by U.S. officials, who however remain concerned about New Delhi's coming pliance with WTO obligations and new rules it may issue, according to U.S. officials and government e-mails seen by Reuters. 
  • In August, India imposed rules requiring firms like Apple, Dell and HP to obtain licenses for all shipments of imported laptops, tablets, personal computers (PCs) and servers, raising fears that the process could slow down sales. But New Delhi rolled back the policy within weeks, saying it would only monitor the imports and decide on next steps a year later. 
  • U.S. officials have often been concerned about India's sudden policy changes which they say create an uncertain business environment. India maintains it announces policies in the interest of all stakeholders and encourages foreign investments, even though it often promotes local players over foreign ones. 
  • Some of the language in the documents was blunt, despite the bonhomie often displayed by both sides in public. U.S. officials mails obtained under a U.S. open records request underline the level of alarm the Indian curbs caused in Washington, and how the U.S. scored a rare lobbying win by persaud- Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to reverse policy were upset India's changes to laptop imports came "out of the blue", without notice or consultation, and were "incredibly problematic" for the business climate and $500 million worth of annual U.S. exports, the documents and emails showed. 
  • Counterpoint estimates India's laptop, PC market is worth $8 billion annually. 
  • U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai met Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on August 26, soon after the policy was announced. Although the USTR's public readout said Ms. Tai "raised concerns" about the policy and "noted" that stakeholders needed to be consulted, she privately told Mr. Goyal said during the meeting that the U.S. wanted India to "rescind the requirement", a USTR briefing paper showed. 
  • India's "surprise" an- nouncement "prompts U.S. and other firms to think twice about doing business in India," stated the 'talking points' of her briefing paper. 
  • 'Concede the mistake' Around the same time, a U.S. diplomat for trade in New Delhi, Travis Coberly, told his USTR colleagues that Indian officials had conceded the sudden rollout of the laptop licensing policy was a mistake. 
  • India's IT ministry "understands they (India) screwed up. They admitted as much. American companies here have been hammering them about this," he wrote. Mr. Coberly did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. The Embassy declined to comment on "private diplomatic communications", redirecting queries to the Indian government. India's IT ministry did not respond to a request for comment. Replying to queries, 
  • Brendan Lynch, acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South and Central Asia, said USTR was satisfied the current monitoring system so far had a minimal impact on trade but it was still closely tracking India's scrutiny of imported devices to make sure it was implemented in line with WTO obligations and was "not having a real negative impact on the trade relationship.” 

23. Electronics and IT Secretary S Krishnan launches 'BhashaNet Portal' in New Delhi 

  • Electronics and IT Secretary S Krishnan launched 'BhashaNet Portal' based on the concept of Universal Acceptance (UA) in New Delhi. The event was launched between the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on March 21, 2024, at the Dr. Ambedkar International Center in the national capital. 
  • The BhashaNet portal is an important step towards promoting digital inclusivity in India and is the gateway to universal acceptance. 
  • He said the government is proud to support this initiative that will connect users to a truly multilingual internet. Shri Krishnan also stressed on creating a world where language is not a barrier to online access. 
  • Universal acceptance ensures that all domain names, including new top-level domains, internationalized domain names, and email addresses, are treated equally and can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. 
  • The BhashaNet portal is a step aimed at making .in (dot in) a universally accepted domain. BhashaNetPortal has been developed by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing in collaboration with National Internet Exchange of India. 
  • The theme of the event, "LanguageNet: Driving Towards Universal Acceptance", highlights NIXI's dedication to ensuring that individuals, regardless of language or script, can fully participate in the digital world. 

Sports News

24. India, Mozambique, Tanzania Joint Maritime Exercise begins 

  • INS Tir and INS Sujata has participated in the second edition of India Mozambique Tanzania (IMT) Tri Lateral (TRILAT) Exercise. 
  • It is a joint maritime exercise scheduled from 21-29 Mar 24.
  • The first edition of IMT TRILAT exercise conducted in Oct 22, saw participation of INS Tarkash with the Tanzanian and Mozambique Navies. 
  • The current edition of the exercise is planned in two phases. As part of the harbour phase scheduled from 21-24 Mar 24, Naval ships Tir and Sujata will engage with the respective Navies at the ports of Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Maputo (Mozambique). 
  • The sea phase of the exercise is scheduled from 24-27 Mar 24 covering practical aspects of countering asymmetric threats, Visit Board Search and Seizure procedures, boat handling, manoeuvres and firing exercise. 

Recent Exercise 

  • Exercise “TIGER TRIUMPH 2024” between India and USA – Eastern Seaboard 
  • 10th edition of Military Exercise LAMITIYE-2024 between India and Seychelles – Seychelles 
  • 5th edition of Military Exercise ‘Dharama Guardian’ between India and Japan – Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan 
  • 12th edition of MILAN Naval Exercise – Visakhapatnam 
  • Indian Air Force Conduct Exercise Vayu Shakti-2024 – Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. 

Important days

25. 21 March – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

  • International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed every year on 21st March. 
  • This day reminds us about the negative consequences of racial discrimination. 
  • Theme 2024 – A Decade of Recognition, Justice, and Development: Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent 
  • This date marks the day when police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960. 

26. 21 March – World Down Syndrome Day 

  • World Down Syndrome Day is observed every year on 21 March. 
  • Objective – To raise awareness about the discrimination faced by people with Down Syndrome. 
  • In 2012, World Down Syndrome Day was officially announced by the United Nations to be celebrated on March 21 every year. 
  • The date was chosen keeping in mind the 21st chromosome that is responsible for causing Down Syndrome. Since then, the special day is observed every year on March 21. 

27. 22 March – Bihar Diwas 

  • Bihar Day is celebrated every year on 22 March in India. 
  • The day marks the anniversary of the founding of Bihar state in 1912.
  • The state was previously part of the Bengal Presidency. The first Bihar Diwas event was organized in 2010 to commemorate the 111th anniversary of the state. 

About Bihar 

  • Capital – Patna 
  • Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar (9th time) 
  • Deputy CM – Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha 
  • Governor – Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar 
  • Rajya Sabha – 16 seats 
  • Lok Sabha – 40 seats 

28. 22 March – World Water Day 

  • World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22 March. 
  • It is an occasion to realize the importance of freshwater, especially this year amid the ongoing Bengaluru water crisis. The tech hub is facing an acute water shortage due to failed monsoons and drying groundwater resources. 
  • Theme 2024 – Water for Peace 
  • In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro saw the first formal proposal of World Water Day under Agenda 21. 
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in December 1992 by which March 22 was declared World Water Day.

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