Current Affairs 23rd March

National Affairs

1. In order to implement green hydrogen projects in Army facilities, NTPC REL and IA sign a memorandum of understanding.

NTPC Sustainable power Ltd (NTPC REL), an auxiliary of NTPC Ltd, has gone into a settlement with the Indian Armed force (IA) to foster green hydrogen drives at military

foundations through a Form, Own, and Work (BOO) plan.


Potential locations for the construction of electricity-generating green hydrogen projects will be jointly identified as part of this collaboration.


This agreement, which provides energy security for India’s defence lines, is the first of its kind to support border security.


Objective: to speed up decarbonization, reduce complex logistics, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.




Mohit Bhargava, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NTPC REL, and Lieutenant The Indian Army’s Quartermaster General (QMG) are General Rajinder Dewan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM.


Key Points:


In accordance with this, NTPC REL will phase in the design, development, and installation of hydrogen energy storage systems and renewable energy projects.


In accordance with the NTPC’s commitment to serving the nation and supporting its decarbonization objectives, this will result in the modernization of IA.


The process of using low-carbon energy sources to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions leads to a lower level of greenhouse gas emissions and a low-carbon economy.


In keeping with the Panchamrit vision of the Central Government and Carbon Neutral Ladakh, IA wants to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and their logistics for heating and power generation.


A portfolio of 3.6 GW of RE capacity is currently under construction at NTPC REL.

Hitachi Energy won a contract with NTPC REL in 2022 to supply power transformers to the 4.75 GW (Giga Watt) renewable energy park in Gujarat owned by NTPC.

2. AFINDEX-2023: Pune marks the beginning of the Africa-India Field Training Exercise’s second edition.

On March 21, 2023, the training of the contingents participating in the second edition of the Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX-2023) between India and 23 African nations began at the Foreign Training Node in Aundh, Pune, Maharashtra.


Humanitarian Mine Action and Peace Keeping Operations are the focus of the exercise.

Countries that are taking part: 100 people from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are participating in the field training exercise.


Key Points:


The exercise aimed to improve peace and security while also bolstering relations between India and Africa.


The most important aspects of the exercise were tactical drills, procedures, and the capacity to work together seamlessly.


There were four stages planned for the exercise. Training the trainer was the first step, followed by a Humanitarian Mine Action, Peace Keeping Operations, and a validation exercise to evaluate the training’s outcomes.


India also planned to hold the Defence Chief’s conclave on the sidelines of the exercise from March 28 to March 30, 2023.


The exercise also had the goal of fostering regional unity between Africa and India for the sake of regional growth and security (SAGAR). Note that the India-Africa Summit in 2008 set the stage for the joint exercise, which took place in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

3. The MoEF&CC Issues 14 Guidelines for Mitigating Conflicts Among Humans and Wild Animals

14 guidelines to address human-wildlife conflict (HWC) were issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), which is headed by Union Minister Bhupender Yadav. There are 10 species-specific guidelines and 4 cross-cutting issues guidelines among the 14 guidelines.


Aim: to help key stakeholders in India come to a common understanding of what makes HWC mitigation effective and efficient.


Beginning in 2023, the guidelines will be reviewed every five years.


The MoEF&CC is working with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the state forest departments of Karnataka, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal on the Indo-German cooperation project on HWC Mitigation to develop these guidelines.


The Guidelines for Mitigating Human-Elephant, Human-Gaur, Human-Leopard, Human-Snake, Human-Crocodile, Human-Rhesus Macaque, Human-Wild Pig, Human-Bear, Human-Blue Bull, and Human-Blackbuck Conflict are among the ten species-specific guidelines.

4. Fumio Kishida, PM of Japan, pays a visit to India on March 20 and 21, 2023.

The “Japan-India Summit Meeting 2023” was held with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Fumio Kishida’s two-day visit to India on March 20 and 21, 2023, to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in a variety of areas, including high technology, trade and investment, and defence and security. The Summit Meeting’s Highlights:


Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, spoke about the “Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership” and efforts to create a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP), focusing on India’s growing role in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).


Fumio Kishida visited Delhi’s Buddha Jayanti Park in addition to giving the 41st Sapru House Lecture on “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).”


Related to Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida’s visit to India on Walk 20, 2023, two

arrangements were endorsed between India and Japan.

Banking and Finance

1. The RBI’s Monthly Bulletin for March 2023: India’s recovery from the pandemic is strong; Outward settlements in April-January FY23 Outperform FY22


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s State of the Economy report reveals that India’s recovery from the pandemic has been more robust than anticipated, with a steady increase in momentum beginning in Q2FY23. For the fourth quarter of FY23, the RBI’s nowcast model predicts real GDP growth of 5.3%.


Outward remittances under the RBI’s liberalized remittance scheme (LRS) totalled $22.08 billion between April 2022 and January 2023, as reported in the RBI’s March monthly bulletin.


RBI’s data from March 2023 showed that in January 2023, it bought $12.90 billion and sold $13.29 billion.


In January 2023, the RBI sold $384 million in the net on-the-spot foreign exchange market.

2. IndiaFirst Extra security gets SEBI endorsement to send off Initial public offering

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has granted IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company (IndiaFirst Life) final approval to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to raise funds.


The Bank of Baroda promotes IndiaFirst Life, which it owns 65 per cent of, with partners Warburg Pincus (26 per cent) and Union Bank of India (9 per cent). On October 21, 2022, IndiaFirst Life submitted preliminary IPO documents to SEBI.


IndiaFirst Life’s promoters and current shareholders will offer for sale (OFS) up to 14.1 million equity shares as part of the initial public offering (IPO). The new issue will be worth up to Rs 500 million.

Science and Technology

1. Androth’s INS: In Kolkata, the second ASW SWC ship was launched.

The second of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASW SWC) was launched on March 21, 2023, in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Androth. VAdm Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-IN-C) West, presided over the launch.


Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), based in Kolkata, West Bengal, constructed the INS Androth.


They have a length of 77.6 meters, a displacement of 900 tons, and a top speed of 25 knots.

The ship was given the name “Androth” to represent the importance of the island of Androth in the maritime world. It is about 170 nautical miles northwest of Kochi in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.




On April 29, 2019, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, signed a contract to construct eight ASW SWC ships.


In December 2022, the INS Arnala, the series’ first ship, was launched. The Indian Navy’s currently operational Abhay class ASW Corvettes will be replaced by ships of the Arnala class. 


The largest and longest island from Andrott Island, also known as Androth Island, in the Lakshadweep archipelago, inspired the design of the INS Androth.


Characteristics of ASW SWC Ships:


Anti-submarine operations in coastal waters, Low-Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO), Mine Laying operations, and subsurface surveillance in littoral waters are all capabilities of the ASW SWC ships.


These ships have three diesel-powered water jets that propel them to a maximum speed of 25 knots.


In addition, the ships are equipped to carry out coordinated ASW operations with aircraft and full-scale subsurface surveillance of various surface platforms and coastal waters.


A close-in weapon system with a 30 mm gun, ASW rockets and mines, and 16.7 mm stabilised remote-controlled guns could also be carried by them. 


A low-frequency variable depth sonar and hull-mounted sonar will be added to the INS Androth and other vessels. Note that GRSE has delivered 70 warships to the Indian Navy over the course of its 63-year partnership, with 15 more in various stages of construction.

2. LAToT is signed by CUMI and DRDO RCI Laboratory.

Carborundum Universal Limited (CUMI), which is owned by the Murugappa Group, has signed a Licensing Agreement for the Transfer of Technology (LAToT) with DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) Laboratory to license the technology to manufacture “Ceramic Radomes (GELCAST Process) Technology,” which is used in missile systems. All over the world, Ceramic Radomes Technology is regarded as “state-of-the-art.”


On February 15, 2023, the LAToT was presented at AERO INDIA 2023 in Bengaluru in the presence of the Minister of Defense, Rajnath Singh.


Armoured vehicles can benefit from the highest levels of ballistic and blast-proof protection thanks to CUMI’s lightweight, high-performance ceramic materials.


One of the first Indian companies to produce graphene for use in aerospace and defence is CUMI.


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