Current Affairs 20th March

National Affairs

1. Seven PM MITRA Park Sites for the Textile Industry were announced by GoI.


The locations for seven PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks for the textile industry in the states of Tamil Nadu (TN), Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Uttar Pradesh (UP), and Maharashtra were announced by the Government of India (GoI) on March 17, 2023.


Union Minister Piyush Goyal’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) provided the information for the same.


The Ministry of Textiles will be in charge of executing these parks. In addition, a Joint Venture (JV) Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) owned by the Centre and State Governments will be established for each park to carry out the project.


The Park SPV will receive financial assistance from the Ministry of Textiles in the form of Development Capital Support up to Rs 500 crore per park.

2. Cabinet grants NTPC permission to invest more than the allowed amount in NGEL; accepts IREDA’s listing on stock exchanges.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, exempted NTPC Limited from the current delegation of power to Maharatna CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) guidelines on March 17, 2023, so that it could invest in NTPC Green Energy Limited (NGEL), a subsidiary company of NTPC Ltd. NGEL’s investment in NTPC Renewable Energy Limited (NREL) and its other joint ventures and subsidiaries were also exempt from the CCEA, subject to a cap of 15% of its net worth above the monetary ceiling of Rs 5,000 crore to Rs. 7,500 crores toward NTPC Limited’s goal of 60 GW of renewable energy capacity.


The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) was also approved by the CCEA for initial public offering (IPO) listing on stock exchanges through the partial sale of the government’s stake in the public sector entity.

3. India Post and Shiprocket and Pickrr sign a memorandum of understanding to benefit MSMEs and improve e-commerce.

India Post, a government-run postal service, and logistics aggregator Shiprocket and Pickrr signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 17, 2023, to assist MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) and improve last-mile e-commerce delivery services across India.


Alok Sharma, Director General of Postal Services, and representatives from Shiprocket and Pickrr signed the MoU at Dak Bhawan in New Delhi, Delhi.


Key Features:


India Post and Shiprocket will, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding, provide shipping and last-mile delivery services to Shiprocket’s three lakh strong seller base, which includes numerous startups and SMEs.


The Memorandum of Understanding is anticipated to benefit millions of customers across India and represents a significant step toward bringing e-commerce to the final mile.


According to Director General Alok Sharma, the partnership will fulfill the desires of rural youth to benefit from India’s e-commerce revolution.


The last-mile connectivity that the player in the e-commerce market needs will be provided by the India Post network, which will also make it simpler for e-commerce services to extend beyond large cities and towns.


It would enable automated shipping and quick delivery for retailers, resulting in cost savings and expansion.


In order to facilitate this partnership and improve customer service, India Post ensured IT integration with Shiprocket’s systems. Note: Bigfoot Retail Solutions Private Limited’s Shiprocket brand is a news aggregator with 70 million annual customers and 35,000 sellers. 


Additional Details:


Shiprocket and the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2022 to help MSME exporters in India advertise their goods on the Indian Business Portal (IBP). Shiprocket was already integrated with Amazon, Shopify, and many other marketplaces, allowing IBP sellers and FIEO members to ship B2C (business-to-consumer) orders for products sold on those marketplaces to more than 220 countries.

International Affairs

1. Mayurbhanj, Ladakh, India, was included in TIME’s list of the 50 best places in the world for 2023.

The Odisha district of India’s Mayurbhanj and the Ladakh Union Territory (UT) were included on TIME Magazine’s list of the “World’s Greatest Places of 2023,” which highlights 50 extraordinary places to visit worldwide.


Mayurbhanj and Ladakh have been chosen for their respective “adventures and eats” and “rare tigers and ancient temples.”


From Egypt’s Giza and Saqqara to France’s Dijon, the list includes fifty “far-flung and familiar spots.” Regarding Mayurbhanj:


It is said to be the only place on earth where you can see the extremely endangered black tiger.


Over forty mammal species can be found in Mayurbhanj’s Simlipal National Park, including Bengal tigers and Asian elephants.


India established its first Dark Sky Reserve in 2023 in Hanle Village, 168 miles southeast of Leh, the capital of Ladakh.

Banking and Finance

1. In Bangladesh, VA Tech Wabag wins a World Bank and AIIB-funded project worth Rs 800 million.

VA Tech Wabag Ltd, a water technology company based in Chennai (Tamil Nadu), has been awarded a project in Bangladesh for Rs 800 crore that will be funded by the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).


VA Tech Wabag will configure, construct and work a sewage treatment plant with a

limit of 200 million liters for each day(MLD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

In the future, this project could be expanded to 600 MLD.


It will run on active sludge treatment technology, which generates the green energy needed to run the plant from biogas produced during wastewater treatment.


Additionally, this procedure complies with environmental regulations and contributes to the fight against climate change through the production of renewable energy.


The project was successful in the face of international competition due to its technological superiority and competitiveness.


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