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Current Affairs 21 March 2023

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PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference 2023 in New Delhi, DelhiPM inaugurates the GlobalOn March 18, 2023, the two-day Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference 2023 was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi at Subramaniam Hall, National Agriculture Science Complex (NASC), Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Campus, PUSA New Delhi, Delhi, to promote millets exports from India and give producers access to the market.

  • Indian millets are popularly referred to as “Shree Anna” in the international market.

The conference was organised by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI).
Other Related Events:
i.The PM inaugurated and visited the Exhibition cum Buyer-Seller-Meet Pavilion during the occasion.
ii.He also unveiled a commemorative coin and commemorative stamp.
iii.Following this, the PM launched a digital compendium of Indian millet (Shri Anna) startups and a millet book, “Shree Anna: A Holistic Overview,” based on millet standards developed by the FSSAI.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI):
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha – Maharashtra)
Ministers of State (MoS) – Anupriya Patel; Som Parkash
>> Read Full News

Agri Minister Narendra Singh Tomar holds Bilateral Meetings with the Ministers of Guyana, Suriname, Zambia, Mauritius & Sri LankaUnion Agriculture Minister ShriOn 19th March 2023, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from various countries like Guyana, Suriname, Zambia, Mauritius and Sri Lanka who participated in the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference 2023 held in New Delhi, Delhi.
During the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference 2023, the Government of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Food Programme (WFP)  of the United Nations for cooperation between 2023-2027.
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW):
Union Minister– Narendra Singh Tomar (Constituency- Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Sushri Shobha Karandlaje; Kailash Choudhary
>> Read Full News

Hindustan Zinc’s Mines Becomes 1st Greenco-certified Mines

Rampura Agucha Mine and Zawar Group of Mines of Hindustan Zinc Limited(HZL) become the first GreenCo-certified mines. They received the GreenCo Silver rating from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for their sustainable mining operations.

  • The mines were certified for their exemplary performance in waste & material management, green infrastructure & ecology, green supply chain, GHG (Green House Gas) emissions reduction, and renewable energy initiatives.
  • GreenCo Rating is the “first of its kind in the World” holistic framework that evaluates companies on the environmental friendliness of their activities using life cycle approach.

Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group Company, is one of the world’s largest and India’s only integrated producers of Zinc-Lead and Silver.

JSPL gets India’s first BIS licence to manufacture fire-resistant steel

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. (JSPL) has received India’s first Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) licence to produce India’s first fire-resistant steel at its Rail Mill and Special Profile Mill in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh.

The fire-resistant steel structures, manufactured as per IS 15103, can be used for high-temperature or fire-prone areas.

  • The fire-resistant steel can withstand temperatures up to 600 degrees Celsius for a maximum duration of 3 hours
  • The new BIS 15103 grade steel will be used to manufacture steel structures for infrastructure projects such as industrial structures, refineries, bridges, metro rail projects, hospitals, and commercial as well as residential buildings.


Water stress to hit India’s food production by 2050: GCEW ReportWater stress to hit India’s foodAs per the Global Commission on Economics of Water (GCEW) report ‘The What, Why and How of the World Water Crisis: Global Commission on the Economics of Water Phase 1 Review and Findings’, Food supply in India and across the globe will go down by at least 6% by 2050 as water crisis and heat stress caused by climate change will hit productivity.

  • Under this scenario, China is at the top where food supply would be reduced by 22.4%, followed by South America by 19.4%.

GCEW is convened by the Government of the Netherlands and facilitated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The report used a large dimensional computable general equilibrium model to project impacts on global irrigated food production and food security.

  • Food supply decreases were projected for two climate change scenarios or representative concentration pathways (RCP) based on the intensity of the greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The optimistic RCP 4.5 based on drastic cut in emissions and RCP 8.5 the worst.

Key Points:
i.Under the best-case climate change scenario of RCP4.5, most African countries experience an increase in people with severe food insecurity by more than one third.
ii.The “best case” scenario for India is 6.52% fall in food supply while it was 16.1% in the worst case scenario.
iii.Food insecurity affects 72-81 crore people globally and is linked to water insecurity.

  • The fall in production will push 100 crore people into severe food insecurity.

iv.Asian countries, including China and ASEAN members, who are currently net food exporters, would become net food importers by 2050.
v.The water supply availability in India is between 1100-1197 billion cubic meters (bcm). In contrast, the demand is expected to grow from 550-710 bcm in 2010 to around 900-1,400 bcm in 2050.
GCEW was launched in 2022 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and is composed of 17 experts, community leaders and practitioners from a broad range of science, policy and front-line practice expertise from all regions of the globe.

Note – In another report titled ‘Turning the Tide’, the GCEW issued a seven-point agenda for collective action: managing the global water cycle with just and equity, adopting an outcomes-focussed approach to water conservation, ceasing underpricing water, phasing out subsidies in agriculture and water, establishing just water partnerships, fortifying freshwater storage systems and reshape the multilateral governance of water.

IRENA Report on RE: Developing countries attracted only 15% of global renewable energy investments in 2022Developing countries attracted onlyAccording to the report by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), Global landscape of renewable energy finance, 2023, in February 2023, The developing and emerging countries, which house around 70% of the world’s population, received only 15%, or roughly US$75 billion, of global investments in renewables in 2022.

  • The bulk of RE investments is captured by countries like Brazil, Chile and India.
  • The report pointed out that global investments in the sector hit a record high of US $500 billion in 2022.

Key Finding of the Report:
i.The annual investments have been declining since 2018 at an average rate of 36%, it was about 27% in 2017 and 15% in 2020.
ii.In South Asia, investments per capita declined by 26% between 2015 and 2021; however in India the investment per capita grew by 34% in the same period.

  • Excluding India, investment per capita in South Asia declined by 76% from $20 per person in 2015 to $5 in 2021.

iii.Countries that are defined as least developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change attracted only 0.84 % of RE investments on average between 2013 and 2020
iv.Global investment in energy transition technologies, including RE, energy efficiency, electrified transport and heat, energy storage, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, reached a record high of USD 1.3 trillion in 2022.
v.The global investment in RE, specifically, reached a record high in 2022 at USD 0.5 trillion, it represented less than 40% of the average investment needed each year between 2021 and 2030 according to IRENA’s 1.5°C Scenario.
vi.In 2022, global investments in energy transition technologies hit $1.3 trillion, a 19% increase from 2021.


MoSPI’s Publication ‘Women and Men in India 2022’: Women in India hold 35.23% of Accounts in SCB with 20.07% of DepositsWomen in India own 35%According to the publication of Social Statistics Division(SSD), National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), “Women and Men in India 2022”, Women in India holds 35.23% of bank accounts in all Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCB), but only with 20.07% of total deposits.

  • The 24th annual publication “Women and Men in India 2022” (A Statistical Compilation of Gender related Indicators of India), was released by Rao Inderjit Singh, the Minister of State (Independent Charge), MoSPI, on March 15, 2023 at New Delhi, Delhi.
  • As per the publication, the total number of deposit accounts in SCBs at the end of January 2023 was 225.5 crore, out of which around 79.44 crore are owned by women.
  • As on January, 2023, out of total workforce in all SCBs, around 22.97% officers, 30.74% clerks and around 16.40% sub-ordinates are female.

About “Women and Men in India 2022”:
i.The publication was prepared by the SSD team led by Siljo V. K. Deputy Director General, Ms. R. Savithri, Additional Director General, Dr. Ziaul Haque, Director, Deputy Directors- Kuwar Alok Singh Yadav, Ms. Deepika Verma, Senior Statistical Officers – Rajesh Kumar Panwar, and Junior Statistical Officers – Ravi Kumar, Shri Rajiv Roshan.
ii.This publication which has been released by NSO since 1995 is a comprehensive document that provides data on a wide range of topics such as education, health, employment, and political participation, among others.
About Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI):
Ministers of state (independent Charges) – Rao Inderjit Singh (Gurugram, Haryana)
>> Read Full News

RBI Permits Tanzania & India to Trade in National Currencies via Special Rupee Vostro Accounts RBI allows India and TanzaniaThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved trading between India and Tanzania in national currencies, i.e., the Indian Rupee (INR) and Tanzanian Shilling (TSh), by enabling authorized banks in India to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) with correspondent banks in Tanzania, a step that will benefit the business community.

  • Making use of national currencies in bilateral trade settlements is anticipated to lower transaction costs, improve cross-border trade efficiency, conserve foreign exchange (forex), and facilitate seamless domestic payment transactions.
  • As a consequence, trade volumes and economic cooperation between India and Tanzania will improve.

The RBI has granted 60 applications from correspondent banks in 18 different countries to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) in order to settle payments in Indian rupees (INR).

  • These 18 countries that are currently covered under this arrangement: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Fiji, Germany, Guyana, Israel, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Russia, the Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom (UK).

About United Republic of Tanzania:
Prime Minister – Kassim Majaliwa
Capital – Dodoma City
Currency – Tanzanian Shilling (TSh)
>> Read Full News

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has launched new Guaranteed Income plan ‘ICICI Pru Gold’ICICI Prudential Life InsuranceICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited has launched ‘ICICI Pru Gold’ a protection and savings oriented participating life insurance plan, which will provide the protection of life cover along with a guaranteed regular income for whole of life which can be used to meet the customers long-term recurring financial requirements.

  • As per the savings needs, the insurance plan provides a choice of 3 plan options such as Immediate Income, Immediate Income with Booster and Deferred Income.

About the 3 plan options:
i.Immediate Income: Under this variant, the customers could receive a regular income at the end of every policy year/month followed by a lump sum on maturity (which begins after 30 days from the policy issuance date).
ii.Immediate Income with Booster: This variant could enable the customers to receive additional guaranteed income every 5th policy year in addition to the lifelong income, which begins after 30 days from the policy issuance date.
iii.‘Deferred Income’: Under this, customers could choose when they want to start receiving the income as per their financial needs. Customers can start receiving income as early as the second policy year or as late as the 13th policy year.
Additional Features:
i.ICICI Pru Gold also offers customers the option to accumulate their income in a Savings Wallet instead of receiving it as regular payments.
ii.It also includes the ‘Premium Offset’ feature which will provide the customers with the option to offset future premiums against the corpus accumulated in the Savings Wallet.
About ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited (ICICI Prudential Life):
It is promoted by ICICI Bank Limited and Prudential Corporation Holdings Limited.
MD & CEO– N. S. Kannan
Establishment – 2001
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra


OECD raises India’s FY24 growth forecast by 20 basis points to 5.9%OECD raises India's FY24The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its latest interim outlook report titled ‘Fragile Recovery’ has increased its growth projection for India by 20 basis points to 5.9% from 5.7% earlier.

  • India’s growth is projected to moderate to about 6% in FY2023-24, amid tighter financial conditions before picking up to recover to around 7% in FY25
  • Global growth is projected to remain low in 2023 and 2024, at 2.6% and 2.9%, respectively.

i.The report also highlighted some positive signs of improvement in the global economy, but warned that the outlook remains fragile due to risks such as the war in Ukraine, monetary policy changes, and pressures in global energy markets.
ii.The OECD also cautioned that many emerging-market economies, including low-income ones, could face increasing difficulties in servicing their elevated debt and deficits as global interest rates rise
iii.Major emerging Asian economies are expected to experience low (China) to moderate (India and Indonesia) inflation rates in 2023-24.

  • For India, OECD raised its inflation forecast by 80 basis points to 5.8%.       


Income Tax Department launches AIS app for taxpayersIT Department launches AIS app for taxpayersThe Income Tax Department has launched an Annual Information Statements (AIS) application for taxpayers to provide detailed information about each transaction to taxpayers and receive their feedback.

  • The AIS app is a free mobile application providing a comprehensive view of the Annual Information System, which is a collection of various information about taxpayers.
  • With the launch of the app, the taxpayer could check full details of taxes and TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) with just one click.
  • The information will be consistent throughout the mobile application and the web portal hence, the AIS Information could be accessible through a web portal and the AIS app.

About AIS App:
i.AIS is a comprehensive view of all the information for a taxpayer displayed on Form 26AS which include TDS and Tax Collected at Source (TCS) data, as well as information on advance tax and self-assessment tax.
ii.Taxpayers could give feedback on the app regarding the AIS information displayed.
iii.AIS shows the reported value and modified value (i.e., the value after feedback) under each section, namely, TDS, Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT), and other information.
iv.The app launch was intended to promote voluntary compliance and enable seamless prefilling of returns.


Tennis: BNP Paribas Open 2023: Carlos Alcaraz wins Singles Title & Reclaimed world No 1 rankingCarlos Alcaraz routs Daniil MedvedevCarlos Alcaraz (19 years old) of Spain defeated Daniil Medvedev (27 years old)of Russia by 6-3 6-2 to win the Men’s Singles title at BNP Paribas Open 2023(also known as Indian Wells Masters) held in Indian Wells, California, United States of America(USA) and regained the World’s No 1 rank in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings that he lost to Novak Djokovic (Serbia) in January 2023.

  • This marks Carlos’s maiden BNP Paribas Open title and his 3rd Masters 1000 title.

Rohan Bopanna & Matthew Ebden wins Men’s Doubles at BNP Paribas Open 2023
43-year-old Rohan Bopanna of India and Matthew Ebden (35 years old) of Australia defeated World No.1 Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Neal Skupski of the United Kingdom(UK) to win the Men’s Doubles title at BNP Paribas Open 2023.

  • With this victory, 43-year-old Rohan Bopanna surpassed his former partner Daniel Nestor of Canada and became the oldest ATP masters 1000 champion. 

>> Read Full News

Formula 1: Red Bull’s Sergio Perez wins Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023Sergio Perez wins Saudi Arabian GPOn 19th March 2023, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez(33 years old), Mexican racing driver, won the Formula 1 (F1) Saudi Telecommunication Company (STC) Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023, held in the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with 25 point.
Podium Positions:
i. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (Dutch) finished in 2nd place with 19 points and Aston Martin racing driver Fernando Alonso(Spanish), Two-time world champion, finished 3rd with 15 points.

  • This marks the 100th podium finish of Fernando Alonso.

ii. Pole Position- The British race driver George Russell who drove for Mercedes finished the race 4th with 12 points.
Click here for the Race Result
Key Points:
i. Max Verstappen still leads the championship standings with 44 points, Sergio Perez placed 2nd with 43 points, and Fernando Alonso third with 30 points.
ii. Red Bull is in first place in the Constructors’ Championship with 87 points. With 38 points each, Aston Martin and Mercedes are far behind in second and third position.
iii. The third round of the 2023 Formula 1 season is the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park on 2nd April 2023.
About Saudi Arabian Grand Prix:
i.The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix took place in 2021 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
ii.The race is scheduled to complete 50 laps at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit(6.174km), covering a total race distance of 308.450km.


Noted British Writer & Historian Patrick French Passed Away

British writer, historian, and academician Patrick French passed away at the age of 57 in London, the United Kingdom(UK). He was born on 5th March 1966 in England.
He won the Hawthornden Prize in 2009 for the authorized biography of VS Naipaul, “The World is What it is”. He has won several other awards including the Royal Society of Literature WH Heinemann Prize, the US National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Somerset Maugham Award

  • His noted works include Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer (1994), a biography of Francis Younghusband, Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land, and India: A Portrait.
  • He was the inaugural dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Ahmedabad University in 2017. He also held a visiting position at Ashoka University, the University of Warwick, the University of the South Pacific, and the University of Pennsylvania.


International Day of Happiness 2023 – March 20International Day of HappinessThe United Nations(UN)’s International Day of Happiness is annually observed across the globe on 20th March to recognise happiness, the fundamental goal of humans and to highlight its importance in the lives of people around the world.

  • The theme of International Day of Happiness 2023 is “Be Mindful, Be Grateful, Be Kind”.

i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/66/281 on 21st July 2012 and proclaimed the 20th March of every year as the International Day of Happiness.

  • The resolution was initiated by Bhutan, which recognized the value of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.

ii.The first-ever International Day of Happiness was celebrated on 20th March 2013.
World Happiness Report 2023 – Finland named Happiest Country in the World 
According to the 11th edition of World Happiness Report 2023, Finland remains in the top position for the 6th year in a row, followed by Denmark and Iceland in the 2nd and 3rd spot.
War-torn Afghanistan and Lebanon remain the 2 unhappiest countries in the world.
>> Read Full News

World Sparrow Day 2023 – March 20 World Sparrow DayWorld Sparrow Day (WSD) is annually observed across the globe on 20th March to create awareness about the importance of sparrows or common house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and to promote the efforts towards their  conservation.

  • The World Sparrow Day is annualy observed under the theme “I Love Sparrows” which is inspired by the hope that more and more of us will celebrate the relationship between PEOPLE AND SPARROWS.

i.World Sparrow Day(WSD) is an initiative of Nature Forever Society which is celebrated in more than 40 counties across the globe. The day was established in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation of France and other national and international organisations.
ii.The first-ever World Sparrow Day was observed on 20th March 2010.
>> Read Full News

World Oral Health Day 2023 – March 20World Oral Health DayWorld Oral Health Day(WOHD) is annually observed across the globe on March 20 to create awareness about the importance of oral health. The day is celebrated to encourage people to practise excellent oral hygiene, take care of their teeth, and educate them on how to avoid dental issues.

  • World Oral Health Day 2023 is observed on 20th March 2023 under the theme  “2023: Be Proud of Your Mouth for a lifetime of smiles”.

Why March 20?
The older people should have 20 natural teeth at the end of their lives, the children should have 20 baby teeth and the healthy adults should have a total of 32 and 0 dental cavities.

  • Expressed on a numerical basis, this can be mentioned as 3/20 which represents March 20.

i. World Oral Health Day is an initiative of the FDI World Dental Federation (FDI), an international organisation that unites the world of dentistry with the aim of achieving optimal oral health for everyone.
ii. WOHD was 1st declared in 2007 and was originally celebrated on 12 September, the birth anniversary of FDI founder Dr Charles Godon.
iii. The date was changed to March 20 in order to avoid a conflict with the FDI World Dental Congress, which was taking place in September, and the campaign was fully activated in 2013.
About the FDI World Dental Federation (FDI):
President– Ihsane Ben Yahya
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment- 1900
>> Read Full News

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People 2023 – March 20World Day of TheatreWorld Day of Theatre for Children and Young People is annually observed across the globe on March 20 to attract the attention of a wider public to the art of theatre for children and young people.

  • The day is a campaign led by the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ International).
  • The day is promoted and celebrated through the message ‘Take a Child to the Theatre Today’.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People 2023:
i. On 20th March 2023, ASSITEJ recognised theatre and performance artists for young audiences as essential workers.
ii. The 1st ever World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People was observed on 20th March 2001.
>> Read Full News


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S.noCurrent Affairs 21 March 2023
1PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi
2Agri Minister Narendra Singh Tomar holds Bilateral Meetings with the Ministers of Guyana, Suriname, Zambia, Mauritius & Sri Lanka
3Hindustan Zinc’s Mines Becomes 1st Greenco-certified Mines
4JSPL gets India’s first BIS licence to manufacture fire-resistant steel
5Water stress to hit India’s food production by 2050: GCEW Report
6IRENA Report on RE: Developing countries attracted only 15% of global renewable energy investments in 2022
7Women and Men in India 2022: Women in India holds 35.23% of Accounts in SCB with 20.07% of Deposits
8RBI Permits Tanzania & India to Trade in National Currencies
9ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has launched new Guaranteed Income plan ‘ICICI Pru Gold’
10OECD raises India’s FY24 growth forecast by 20 basis points to 5.9%
11Income Tax Department launches AIS app for taxpayers
12Tennis: BNP Paribas Open 2023: Carlos Alcaraz wins Singles Title & Reclaimed world No 1 ranking
13Formula 1: Red Bull’s Sergio Perez wins Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023
14Noted British Writer & Historian Patrick French Passed Away
15International Day of Happiness 2023 – March 20
16World Sparrow Day 2023 – March 20
17World Oral Health Day 2023 – March 20
18World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People 2023 – March 20