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Current Affairs (30th March, 2023)

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 30-Mar-2023

India's government started the National Rabies Control Program

  • Recently, the Central Government has launched the National Rabies Control Program (NRCP) for prevention and control of Rabies.
  • The "National Action Plan for Dog Mediated Rabies Elimination (NAPRE) from India by 2030" was launched jointly by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the Ministry of Fisheries Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
  • The local authorities are responsible for stray dog population control and management. The local government has outlined the Creature Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2023 which is to be executed by the nearby local authorities to control the population of the stray dogs.
  • The primary focus is on anti-rabies vaccination of stray dogs and neutering of stray dogs as means of population stabilization.

Axis Bank launched ‘MicroPay’

  • For accepting digital payments, Axis Bank has launched a PIN on mobile solution, ‘MicroPay’ with Ezetap by Razorpay & MyPinpad as the technical solution partners.
  • MicroPay is the first pocket-sized swipe machine in India. It is a ground-breaking 'PIN on Mobile' solution that transforms a merchant's smartphone into a Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal, simplifying digital payments and providing a unique customer experience.

Connecticut’s first Asian assistant police chief

  • Lieutenant Manmeet Colon, a 37-year-old Sikh woman officer of Indian descent, has been appointed assistant police chief in the US state of Connecticut. She is the department's first Asian-American second-in-command.

Children's Champion Award given to Assam NGO

  • The Health and Nutrition category of the Children's Champion Award 2023 was won by an Assam-based non-profit organization that assists children with special care.
  • The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights established the award in 2022 to honour individuals and organizations that champion children's rights in sports, education, justice, health, nutrition, and artistic expression.

NASA to send humans to live on Mars

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is training four individuals to live on Mars. The four "Martians" will be part of NASA's human exploration mission to Mars.
  • NASA has likewise sent satellites, lander called InSight to give the Red Planet its first thorough check-up, and a rover mission that includes the rover Perseverance, the small robotic helicopter Ingenuity, and associated delivery systems.

Saudi Arabia to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

  • On 29th March 2023, Saudi Arabia’s cabinet agreed to the decision of joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) despite the U.S. security concerns.
  • According to the state news agency SPA, Saudi Arabia has approved a memorandum granting the kingdom the status of a dialogue partner in the SCO.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

  • It is a political and security union of countries spanning much of Eurasia, including China, India and Russia.
  • It was formed in 2001 by Russia, China and former Soviet states in Central Asia, the body has been expanded to include India and Pakistan. Iran also signed documents for full membership last year.

PFRDA to increase the ombudsman age limit

  • The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) ombudsman upper age limit has been increased by 5 years.
  • According to the PFRDA (Redressal of Subscriber Grievance) Regulations 2015, the upper age limit was 65 years which is now extended to 70 years.

International Booker Prize in 2023

  • The Tamil novel "Pyre" written by Perumal Murugan has been chosen for the 2023 International Booker Prize.
  • The book is a translation of his original work in Tamil called "Pukkuli” which was later translated in English by Aniruddhan Vasudevan.

Rise in India's defence exports

  • Recently during his speech at Symbiosis Internation University Pune, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that Indian defence exports are expected to reach Rs 35,000-40,000 crore by the year 2026.
  • He also stated that the defence industry gets 80% of its products from indigenous suppliers.

SBI to donate ₹48 lakhs for tree plantation

  • The State Bank of India has announced to make a donation of worth ₹48 lakhs for branching of 32,000 tree saplings at Nursery City College, Bengaluru, in association with an NGO.
  • The Miyawaki Technique is being used to carry out the project. Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist, invented the Miyawaki method, which aids in the establishment of native, dense forests.

Miyawaki Technique:

  • Miyawaki is a technique pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, that helps build dense, native forests in a short time.
  • This method includes planting trees (only native species) as close as possible in the same area which not only saves space, but the planted saplings also support each other in growth and block sunlight reaching the ground, thereby preventing the growth of weed.
  • The saplings become maintenance-free (self-sustainable) after the first three years.
  • The approach is supposed to ensure that plant growth is 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual.
  • Miyawaki method helps to create a forest in just 20 to 30 years, while through conventional methods it takes anywhere between 200 to 300 years.

Zero Waste International Day

  • On December 14, 2022, the UN General Assembly formally acknowledged the significance of zero-waste initiatives and designated March 30 as the International Day of Zero Waste, which will be observed annually beginning in 2023.
  • The International Day of Zero Waste aims to raise awareness about how zero-waste initiatives advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promote sustainable consumption and production practices.

Ajay Singh to be the president of ASSOCHAM

  • Ajay Singh, the CEO of SpiceJet, is now in charge of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). Sumant Sinha, the Managing Director of Renew Power, has left the chamber and is being replaced by Ajay Singh.

ASSOCHAM

  • ASSOCHAM as a Knowledge Chamber, initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920.
  • It has contributed significantly in shaping up the Trade, Commerce and Industrial environment of the country.

Axis Securities' new MD and CEO

  • Pranav Haridasan has been appointed as the CEO and managing director of Axis Securities for a period of three years.
  • Haridasan is currently managing director and co-head of equities at Axis Capital.

Great Indian Bustard Conservation

  • The Great Indian Bustard, which is regarded as one of the world's largest flying birds, is the subject of several initiatives being carried out throughout by the Indian government.
  • However, the bird has disappeared from 90% of its original habitat, except for a few areas in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • The species has been labelled "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

  • Headquartered in Switzerland, IUCN was established in 1948. It is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
  • It is a membership union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations.
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

India moving towards all time high exports

  • Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal said that India's general products have crossed an unequal high of $750 billion.
  • He said that the country's exports have increased from $500 billion in 2020-2021 to $750 during extreme difficult times including the Ukraine war.

Government introduce surcharge for Gpay and other payment apps

  • From April 1, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will charge merchant UPI transactions made with prepaid payment instruments interchange fees of up to 1.1%.
  • UPI payments of more than 2,000 rupees to large and small merchants will be subject to the charge, which will start at 0.5% depending on the MCC (merchant category code).

G20 Trade and Investment Working Group

  • From March 28 to March 30, 2023, the first G20 Trade and Investment Working meeting under India's G20 presidency was scheduled in Mumbai.
  • The topic of the panel discussions was how to speed up investments and trade around the world.
  • The panellists emphasized the significance of trade in fostering universal prosperity.

India positions at 144th in Passport Index 2023

  • According to the most recent Passport Index update, India's Mobility Score has decreased.
  • With a mobility score of 181, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) topped the ranking. With a joint mobility score of 174, it was followed by Sweden, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Austria.

Passport Index

  • The Passport Index is the original interactive passport ranking tool in the world.
  • Invented and empowered by Arton Capital, it is the only real-time global ranking of the world’s passports.