Current Affairs 14th March

National Affairs

1. In Odisha, Goa, and Karnataka, MIDH approves three Centers of Excellence for Horticultural Crops.

The three brand-new Centers of Excellence (CoEs) for horticulture crops were approved by the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) of the Government of India (GoI) on March 9, 2023.


The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru, Karnataka, at the Experimental Station in Hirehalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka, is the CoE for Kamlam (Dragon Fruit).


Under the Indo-Israel Action Plan, Panikoili in the Jajpur District of Odisha is the CoE for mango and vegetables.


CoE for Flowers and Vegetables under the Indo-Israel Action Plan at the Government

Farm for agriculture in Ponda, Ponda, Khandepar, Codar, Goa’s south.


CoE approved by MIDH:


Through bilateral cooperation or research institutes, CoEs are being established in a variety of states as part of the MIDH. So far, MIDH has approved 49 CoEs.


The most recent horticultural technologies are demonstrated and trained at these CoEs.


In addition, technology and knowledge in a variety of fields, such as post-harvest management, irrigation and fertilization, plant protection, the introduction of new varieties, pollination, and others, are transmitted through these CoEs.


CoE for the Dragon Fruit, or Kamlam, in Bengaluru, Karnataka:


Vision: to demonstrate the most recent production technologies for high-yield production and develop them following the international standard for off-season production.

Aim: to make Kamlam fruit production self-sustaining, to add value, and to boost the farming community’s economic growth.


CoE for Vegetables and Mango in Jajpur, Odisha:


Vision: to acquire knowledge regarding nursery management, cultivation methods, and the production of substantial quantities of high-quality planting material for mango and vegetable crops.


CoE for Flowers and Vegetables in Ponda, Goa:


The Center will concentrate on demonstrating a cutting-edge nursery management system that makes use of automated irrigation and fertigation to produce disease-free, disease-free seedlings of improved varieties of Goan vegetables and flowers.


2. PM Inaugurates 3rd Session of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi gave the opening address for the third session of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) on March 10, 2023, in New Delhi, Delhi. The session’s overarching theme was “Building Local Resilience in a Changing Climate.”


The PM’s 10-Point Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Agenda aligns with the main theme of the third NPDRR session: Utilize local initiative and capacity to enhance disaster risk reduction, particularly in light of the rapidly shifting climate change disaster risk scenario.


The National Platform for DRR Research (NPDRR) is a multi-stakeholder platform established by the Government of India (GoI) to foster dialogue through the sharing of experiences, viewpoints, and ideas, the implementation of action-oriented research, and the investigation of DRR opportunities.


The PM honoured the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2023 winners at the event: The Odisha State Catastrophe The executives

Authority (OSDMA) and the Lunglei Fire Station in Mizoram.


Under the direction of the Government of India and with the assistance of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) was established in 2019.

3. R K Singh, Union Minister of Power, launches the iDEEKSHA Portal and voluntary star labelling program.

The Voluntary Star Labeling Program for multi-door refrigerators, table- and wall-mounted fans, pedestal fans, and induction hobs was launched by Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh (R K Singh) at an event in New Delhi, Delhi, to celebrate the 21st Foundation Day of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).


During the event, he also unveiled a flyer, the iDEEKSHA (Industrial Decarbonization and EE KnowledgeSharing) Portal, and the iDEEKSHA Newsletter.


Additionally, he commended BEE for successfully completing a decade of the Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT) program, which was a flagship program of the mission carried out by BEE under the direction of the Ministry of Power.

4. From April 1, 2023, gold jewellery must carry a six-digit HUID.

The Department of Consumer Affairs announced that beginning on April 1, 2023, no gold artefacts or gold jewellery will be sold without a six-digit alphanumeric HUID (Hallmark Unique Identification) number made up of letters and numbers. On April 1, jewellery with a four-digit HUID number will also no longer be sold.


Every piece of gold jewellery will have an embossed Bureau of India Standards (BIS) hallmark, the purity of the gold (for instance, 0 22K916), and a six-digit HUID starting on April 1, 2023.


At the Assaying & Hallmarking Centre (AHC), the unique number is manually stamped on the jewellery.


The hallmark certificate proves that gold is pure in India. The gold hallmarking was voluntary up until June 16, 2021. In the first stage, 256 districts required it, and 32 more districts were added in the second stage, totalling 288 districts.


Using the BIS CARE app’s “verify HUID” feature, customers can verify the authenticity of hallmarked gold jewellery with a HUID number.

International Affairs

1. 2022 SIPRI Report: Despite an 11% decline in overall imports, India will continue to be the largest arms importer in the world from 2018 to 2022.

According to the Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s report “Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2022,” India remained the world’s top arms importer for the five years from 2018 to 2022 despite an 11% decrease in its imports from 2013 to 2017 to 2018 to 2022.


Russia was India’s biggest arms provider in both 2013-17 and 2018-22, nonetheless,

its portion of generally Indian arms imports declined from 64% to 45%, with France

arising as the second biggest provider between 2018-22.


Highlights in relation to India:


According to SIPRI data, India was the largest arms export market to three nations among the top 10 arms exporters from 2018 to 22: South Korea is the second largest export market after Russia, France, and Israel.


India was also South Africa’s third-largest market, placing it 21st on the list of arms exporters.


Russia accounted for 45 per cent of India’s imports, followed by France (29 per cent) and the United States of America (US).

Banking and Finance

1. Bandhan MF is the new name for IDFC Mutual Fund.

Since its rebranding as Bandhan Mutual Fund, IDFC Mutual Fund (MF) on March 13,

  1. In this regard, the name of each scheme will be changed to “Bandhan” instead of “IDFC.” It has also unveiled a new logo with new colours and styling.


Note: The use of the Bandhan Bank logo for mutual fund operations had been criticized by regulators.


Key Points:


In April 2022, a consortium led by Bandhan Financial Holdings, which included Bandhan Financial Holdings Limited (BFHL), GIC, and ChrysCapital, purchased IDFC Mutual Fund, which had previously been a part of the IDFC group. In November 2022, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) granted approval to the transaction.


Bandhan controls operations for 60% of the acquired entity, while the other two will each hold 20% of the AMC. The mutual fund’s sponsor will be BFHL.

Economy and Business

1. UNDP signs a pact with Euronav to Secure purchase of VLCC 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Euronav, a Belgian international shipping company, signed an agreement on March 9, 2023, to purchase a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) as part of an UN-coordinated operation to remove more than a million barrels of oil from a decrepit tanker off the coast of Yemen’s Red Sea, which poses a threat to human health and the environment.


The VLCC has supposedly been sold for USD 55 million. The operation is anticipating its arrival in early May 2023.


The substitution vessel is currently in drydock for changes and standard

upkeep prior to cruising to the Drifting Stockpiling and Offloading (FSO) More secure and secured around 9 kilometres off Yemen’s Ras Isa promontory. Since 2015, the FSO Safer has not been operational due to the Yemen conflict.


It has decomposed and has the potential to explode or break up, resulting in a significant spill that would affect the fishing communities on Yemen’s Red Sea coast and likely wipe out 200,000 jobs right away.


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