GoI announced Seven PM MITRA Park sites i.On March 17, 2023, the Government of India (GoI) announced the sites for setting up of 7 PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks for the Textile industry in the state’s of Tamil Nadu (TN), Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Maharashtra.
ii.The information for the same was provided by the Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI).
iii.The execution of these parks will be overseen by the Ministry of Textiles. Also, a Special purpose Vehicle (SPV) owned by Centre and State Government in Joint Venture (JV) mode will be set up for each park for the implementation of the project.
iv.The Ministry of Textiles will provide financial support in the form of Development Capital Support upto Rs 500 crore per park to the Park SPV.
About Ministry of Textiles:
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal (Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS)– Darshana V Jardosh (Constituency- Surat, Gujarat)
Cabinet approves exemption to NTPC to invest beyond prescribed limit in NGEL; Approves listing of IREDA on Stock Exchangesi.On March 17, 2023, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has granted exemption to NTPC Limited from the extant guidelines of delegation of power to Maharatna CPSEs for making investment in NTPC Green Energy Limited (NGEL), a subsidiary company of NTPC Ltd.
ii.The CCEA also exempted NGEL’s investment in NTPC Renewable Energy Limited (NREL) and its other JVs/subsidiaries subject to a ceiling of 15% of its net worth beyond the monetary ceiling of Rs 5,000 crore to Rs. 7,500 crore, towards achieving a target of 60 GW Renewable Energy (RE) Capacity by NTPC Limited.
iii.The Union Cabinet also approved listing of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) on stock exchanges through an initial public offer (IPO) by part sale of government’s stake in the public sector entity.
About Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA):
Chairman & Managing Director– Pradip Kumar Das
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
India Post signs MoU with Shiprocket & Pickrr to benefit MSMEs & enhance Last-Mile E-Commerce PenetrationOn 17th March 2023, India Post, a government-operated postal system, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with logistics aggregator firms Shiprocket and Pickrr to help MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) and enhance last-mile e-commerce delivery services across India.
- The MoU was signed at Dak Bhawan in New Delhi, Delhi, in the presence of Alok Sharma, Director General of Postal Services, and representatives from Shiprocket and Pickrr.
i. According to the MoU, India Post and Shiprocket will provide shipping and last-mile delivery services to Shiprocket’s three lakhs strong seller base which includes many startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
- The MoU marks a significant milestone for taking e-commerce to the last mile and is expected to benefit millions of customers all over India.
ii. Director General Alok Sharma stated that the partnership will fulfil the aspirations of rural youth to be benefitted from the e-commerce revolution in India.
iii. The India Post network will provide last-mile connectivity to the player in the e-commerce market and will make it easier for E-commerce services beyond large cities and towns.
- For retailers, it would allow automated shipment and faster delivery, which would lead to cost-effectiveness and business growth.
iv. India Post has ensured IT integration with Shiprocket’s IT systems to facilitate this partnership and to provide better services to customers.
Note: Shiprocket, a brand of Bigfoot Retail Solutions Private Limited, is an emerging aggregator company with 3 lakh sellers and 70 million consumers annually.
In December 2022, Shiprocket signed an MoU with the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) to support MSME exporters in India in showcasing their products on the Indian Business Portal (IBP).
Shiprocket had already integrated with Amazon, Shopify and many more, enabling IBP sellers and FIEO members to ship products sold on various marketplaces through their B2C (business-to-consumer) orders to more than 220 countries.
Ministry of Steel Signs 57 MoUs with 27 Companies Under PLI Scheme for Specialty SteelThe Ministry of Steel signed 57 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with 27 companies covering 20 sub-categories for specialty steel under the Rs. 6322 crores Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme at an event held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, Delhi.
- The MoUs were presented to the company representatives by Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ministry of Steel & Ministry of Civil Aviation, and Minister of State (MoS) Faggan Singh Kulaste, Ministry of Steel.
PLI Scheme for Specialty Steel
i.The Union Cabinet approved the PLI Scheme for specialty steel in July 2021, with a 5-year financial investment of Rs. 6322 crore.
- Objective: To boost domestic manufacturing by attracting capital investment, generate employment, and foster technological advancement in the steel sector.
ii.The PLI scheme includes all of India’s leading steelmakers, notably Tata Steel, JSW Steel, the Steel Authority of India, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India, and Jindal Steel & Power, either directly or through subsidiaries.
About Tata Steel Limited:It was established in India as Asia’s first integrated private steel company in 1907.
CEO & MD – T V Narendran
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
‘Kashi’ declared as 1st Tourism & Cultural Capital of SCOOn 17th March 2023, ‘Kashi’ has been declared the First Tourism & Cultural Capital of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the Meeting of Heads of SCO Tourism Administrations held in Kashi, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
- The initiative will gather more attention by highlighting Kashi’s spiritualism, mysticism, and learning, which is also the birthplace of Indian civilization.
The action plan for “Year of Tourism Development in the SCO Space in 2023” was also adopted at the meeting.Note: The next meeting of the SCO Heads of Tourism Administrations was scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan in 2024.
India’s Mayurbhanj, Ladakh listed among TIME’s Top 50 World’s Greatest Places of 2023On March 16, 2023, India’s Mayurbhanj District, Odisha and the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh took place in the TIME Magazine’s list of “World’s Greatest Places of 2023,” which is highlighting 50 extraordinary destinations to explore.
- The Mayurbhanj and Ladakh have been selected for their ‘rare tigers and ancient temples’, and ‘adventures and eats’, respectively.
The list includes 50 ‘far-flung and familiar spots’ from Giza and Saqqara in Egypt to the gastronomy hot spot of Dijon, France.
i.It is mentioned as the only place on earth to spot the exceedingly rare black tiger.
ii.Simlipal National Park in Mayurbhanj is home to over 40 mammals including Asian elephants and Bengal tigers.
iii.In 2023, India designated its first Dark Sky Reserve, in Hanle village, about 168 miles southeast of Ladakh’s capital, Leh.
Lieutenant Governor – Brigadier B.D. Mishra (Retired.)
Wildlife Sanctuary – Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary
River – Indus River [Origin (Mansarovar lake, Tibet)]
VA Tech Wabag wins Rs 800 cr World Bank & AIIB Funded Project in BangladeshChennai (Tamil Nadu)- based VA Tech Wabag Ltd, a water technology firm, has won an Rs 800 crore project funded by the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Bangladesh.VA Tech Wabag will design, build and operate a sewage treatment plant with a capacity of 200 million litres per day(MLD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- This project has the potential to be expanded to 600 MLD in the future.
- It will run on an active sludge treatment technology, using biogas produced during the wastewater treatment process to produce the green energy necessary to run the plant.
- This procedure also complies with environmental regulations, and the creation of renewable energy contributes to the fight against climate change.
- Based on technological supremacy and competitiveness, the project was successful against international competition.
BPCL appoints G Krishnakumar as Chairman and Managing DirectorThe Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) for the appointment of G Krishnakumar as the new Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), an oil marketing company (OMC).
- He is currently serving as its Executive Director.
- He will succeed Arun Kumar Singh, who retired as chairman in October 2022. After that, BPCL’s Director (Finance) Vetsa Ramakrishna Gupta was handling the additional charge of CMD.
- G Krishnakumar will hold the position of CMD until April 2025 or until any further notice, whichever is earlier.
i.Krishnakumar is an electrical engineer from NIT- National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu) and has done his Masters in Financial Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai (Maharashtra).
ii.Krishnakumar has been with the Maharatna Company BPCL for 36 years, and developed and nurtured winning brands like Petro Card, SmartFleet, Speed, In & Out.
Ram Sahaya Prasad Yadav elected as Vice-President of Nepal According to the data of the Election Commission of Nepal, Ram Sahaya Prasad Yadav, the Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) candidate and former Minister for Forests and Environment of Nepal, won the Vice President elections on 17th March 2023, with 30,328 votes and became the Vice President of Nepal.
- Ram Sahaya Prasad Yadav becomes the 3rd Vice President of Nepal and the 1st from the Madhes region, bordering India.
- He defeated his closest competitor Ashta Laxmi Shakya of the Communist Party of Nepal(Unified Marxist–Leninist) (CPN-UML).
Result of the Election:
Out of the total of 52,628 weighted votes in the election, Ram Sahay received 30,328 (58.02%) votes while Asta Laxmi Shakya of the CPN-UML received 16,328 (31.23%) and Mamata Jha of the Janamat Party got 2,537.
About Ram Sahaya Prasad Yadav:
i. Ram Sahaya Yadav started his political career in 1990 by joining Nepal Sadbhawana Party.
ii. He was a member of the 1st Federal Parliament of Nepal and later became the founding general secretary of the Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum.
iii. He was involved in the 2007 Madhesh Movement and was 1st elected from the Bara district to the first Constituent Assembly in 2008. He was re-elected in 2017.iv.In the 2017 Nepalese general election, he was elected from the Bara 2 constituency, one of 4 parliamentary constituencies of the Bara District in Nepal
About Vice Presidential Election:
i. Janata Samajbadi Party candidate Pramila Yadav, who had announced a withdrawal from her candidacy, received 48 weighted votes.
ii. According to the election official Mahesh Sharma Paudel, 4 provincial lawmakers’ votes were invalid.
- A total of 311 votes from federal lawmakers and 514 votes from members of the provincial assemblies were deemed valid.
- Of the 882 (federal and provincial) lawmakers, who were eligible to vote, 829 participated in the election.
Prime Minister- Pushpa Kamal Dahal
Currency- Nepalese Rupee
Deepak Bagla Resigns as MD & CEO of Invest IndiaDeepak Bagla, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer(MD&CEO) of Invest India, an investment promotion and facilitation body under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has resigned from his post on March 17 2023.
About Deepak Bagla:
i.He has a bachelor’s degree with Honors in Economics from St Stephens College, New Delhi, and a dual Masters in International Diplomacy and International Trade and Finance from The School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington DC.
ii.He has a professional career of over three decades, with the World Bank, Citibank, and Private Equity having responsibilities across Europe, Africa and Asia.
iii.Bagla is the president of the Geneva-based World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (with a membership of 105 countries).
iv.He is also a special invitee of the Prime Minister’s Science Technology & Innovation Advisory Council.
v.He was a member of the Investment Committee for the Government US $ 1.5 billion “Fund of Funds for Start-ups” and the Advisory Board of the Government’s $7 billion “Fund of Funds for MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises)”.
vi.He has also been conferred with “Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia” by the President of the Republic of Italy.
About Invest India
i.It is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency promoted by the Government of India formed in 2009.
ii.Invest India’s 51% shareholding is currently with industry bodies (17% each with FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), and Nasscom (National Association of Software and Service Companies)), and the remaining 49% with the central and 19 state governments.
iii.It is also the executing agency for Start-up India and the Prime Minister’s Science and Technology initiative.
iv.Invest India has also been elected as the President of the Geneva-based World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) for 2021-23.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS) – Anupriya Singh Patel; Som Parkash
Anup Bagchi to take over as CEO of ICICI Prudential Life in June 2023The board of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited (ICICI Prudential Life) approved the appointment of Anup Bagchi, who is presently serving as Executive Director (ED) of ICICI Bank Limited, as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for 5 years with effect from 19th June 2023.
- Anup Bagchi will succeed N S Kannan, the current MD & CEO who will superannuate from his services after the completion of his term in June 2023.
- The Board of ICICI Prudential Life has also approved his appointment as the Executive Director & COO (Chief Operating Officer) with effect from May 1, 2023.
- Anup Bagchi has been with the ICICI Group since 1992. In 2017, he was appointed as an Executive Director of ICICI Bank.
- He has represented the ICICI Group in various regulatory committees of key bodies such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Boat elevates Vivek Gambhir as Chairman; co-founder Sameer Mehta elevates as CEOOn 16th March 2023, boAt, an electronics brand, owned by Imagine Marketing Limited elevated Vivek Gambhir, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of boAt, to the position of Chairman.
- Vivek Gambhir will lead strategy, organisational development, culture and future growth
- Before joining boAt, he worked as a whole-time Director at Godrej Consumers Products. He also worked as a partner with Bain & Company.
Meanwhile, Sameer Mehta, co-founder of boAt, has been elevated to the position of CEO and Managing Director (MD).
- Sameer Mehta had previously found 2 companies: Redwood Interactive and Imagine Marketing. He also served as an executive director at Kores (India) Ltd.
Former Australia Test Cricket Captain Tim Paine retires from First-Class CricketOn 17th March 2023, Wicketkeeper Timothy David Paine (Tim Paine) (38-year old), a former Australia Test Cricket Captain, announced his retirement from first-class cricket following the conclusion of the Sheffield Shield first-class match of Tasmania against Queensland at Blundstone Arena, Australia.
- Between early 2018 and early 2021, wicketkeeper Paine led Australia in 23 tests while participating in 35 tests overall.
- With Steve Smith’s resignation from the captaincy during Australia’s 2018 tour of South Africa, Tim Paine became the 46th Test captain of Australia.
Tim Paine made his debut in cricket in 2005 and played for Tasmania for more than 18 years. He ended his career after playing 154 first-class games.
- Tim Paine also played 35 ODI’s for the Baggy Greens.
Note: The baggy green is a cricket cap of dark myrtle green colour, which has been worn by Australian Test cricketers since around the turn of the twentieth century.
Ordnance Factory Day 2023 – March 18Ordnance Factory Day is annually observed across India by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) on March 18 to mark the foundation of the 1st Ordnance Factory at Cossipore near Kolkata, West Bengal, in 1801 and honour the contribution of the Indian Ordnance Factories (IOFs) in strengthening India’s defence capabilities.
The day is celebrated by the Indian Ordnance Factories (IOF), under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
- Ordnance Factory Day 2023 was observed on 18th March 2023.
The day is celebrated by hoisting the Indian flag, singing the national anthem and then exhibiting various artillery and other items used by the Indian Armed Forces, to the public.
About Ministry of Defence(MoD):
Union Minister- Raj Nath Singh (Constituency- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS)- Ajay Bhatt (Constituency- Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)
About Ordnance Factories Board (OFB):
Director General Ordnance- Sanjeev Kishore
Headquarters- Kolkata, West Bengal
6th Global Recycling Day – 18th March 2023Global Recycling Day is annually observed across the globe on March 18 to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and encourage people to take action to reduce waste and protect the environment.
- It is a day of action to promote recycling on a global scale and to encourage governments, corporations, communities, and individuals to agree to seven unambiguous principles.
The theme of Global Recycling Day 2023 is “Creative Innovation”.
- 18th March 2023 marks the observance of the 6th Global Recycling Day
i. The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), the international trade association for the recycling sector, established Global Recycling Day to promote the sustainable growth of recycling.
ii. The day is promoted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Global Recycling Foundation, established by the BIR in 2018.
iii. The 1st ever Global Recycling Day was observed on 18th March 2018, which also marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of BIR.
About the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR):
President- Tom Bird
Headquarters- Brussels, Belgium
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren Launches ‘Jharniyojan Portal’ for Employment RegistrationOn March 17, 2023, Jharkhand Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren launched a portal for Employment registration named “Jharniyojan Portal,” created by the Department of Labour, Employment, Training & Skill Development, Government of JharkhandThe portal which can be accessed at http://jharniyojan.jharkhand.gov.in/home will act as an effective platform for employers and job seekers in the state.
- The objective of the portal is to provide 75% employment of Local Candidates in the Private Sector by Employers in the State of Jharkhand.
- Candidates can register themselves and seek employment that meets their profile, and employers can share information about their firm and the people associated with it on the portal.
i.The ‘Jharkhand State Employment of Local Candidates in the Private Sector Act, 2021’ was passed by the Government of Jharkhand, effective September 20, 2022, with the goal of providing job opportunities to unemployed youths in Jharkhand at the local level.
ii.As a result, the Governor of Jharkhand has named the rules ‘The Jharkhand State Employment of Local Candidates in the Private Sector Rules, 2022’.
iii.According to this rule, a dedicated portal called the Designated Portal must be created to provide Registration of Employers in Jharkhand.
i.The Jharkhand State Employment of Local Candidates in Private Sector Act, 2021, mandates that employers in the state of Jharkhand hire 75% of local candidates in the private sector.
- It encompasses the entire state of Jharkhand.
ii.This Act applies to Shops, Establishments, Mines, Enterprises, Industries, Companies, Societies, Trusts, Limited liability partnership firms, Partnership firms, and any individual employing 10 or more persons in the private sector.
iii.Such employers, if notifying vacancies for recruitment of manpower having a monthly salary up to 40,000 shall have to ensure the 75% recruitment of local candidates against the total vacancies notified.
iv.The provisions of this Act shall apply to the organization that provides outsourced services to Central Government or State Government establishments/undertakings, but not to Central Government or State Government undertakings.
v.The Act/Rules require each employer to submit quarterly reports on vacancies and employment.
vi.A committee to monitor compliance with the Act/Rules has also been established, chaired by the Principal Secretary, Department of Labour, Employment, Training & Skill Development, Government of Jharkhand.
Chief Minister (CM) – Hemant Soren
Governor – C.P. Radhakrishnan
Wildlife Sanctuaries – Palamu Wildlife Sanctuary; Palkot Wildlife Sanctuary
Zoological Park – Tata Steel Zoological Park; Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot Announces Creation of 19 New Districts, 3 New Divisional HeadquartersOn March 17, 2023, Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan announced the state government’s decision for the formation of 19 new districts and 3 new divisional headquarters in the State.
i.New Districts: The 19 new districts include Anoopgarh (Ganganagar); Balotra (Barmer); Beawar (Ajmer); Kekri (Ajmer); Deeg (Bharatpur); Deedwana-Kuchaman (Nagaur); Dudu (Jaipur); Gangapur City (Sawai Madhopur); Jaipur North; Jaipur South; Jodhpur East; Jodhpur West; Kotputli-Behror (Jaipur-Alwar); Khertal (Alwar); Neem kaThana (Sikar); Phalodi (Jodhpur); Salumber (Udaipur); Sanchore (Jalore); and Shahpura (Bhilwara).
ii.3 new divisional headquarters: Banswara, Pali and Sikar
iii.The new districts are being created for the first time since 2008 and due to the addition of new districts the total number of districts in the state was increased to 50.
iv.The state govt has allocated Rs 2,000 crore for the first phase of the development of infrastructure for the new districts.
Governor – Kalraj Mishra
Wildlife Sanctuary – Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary, Tal Chhapar Sanctuary
Zoological Park – Nahargarh Biological Park (Jaipur Zoo), Machia Biological Park (Jodhpur Zoo)