1. Multilateral Naval Exercise La Perouse 2023 Commences
- The third edition multi-lateral maritime exercise La Pérouse 2023 started between the navies of India, Australia, France, Japan, and the United States in the Indian Ocean Region from 13-14 March 2023.
- It is a biennial exercise, conducted by the French Navy.
- Aim: To enhance maritime domain awareness and optimize maritime coordination amongst the participating navies in the Indo-Pacific Region
- India's INS Sahyadri and fleet tanker INS Jyoti have participated.
National & International Appointments
2. Asia's first woman loco pilot, Surekha Yadav will operate Vande Bharat
- Asia's first female locomotive pilot, Surekha Yadav is now operating the Vande Bharat Express.
- She operated Vande Bharat Express from Solapur to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal (CSMT) in Maharashtra.
- She hails from Stara, Maharashtra, and become the country's first female train driver in 1988.
- She had won many awards at the state and national levels so far for her achievements.
- Union Minister of Railway: Ashwini Vaishnaw
Banking & Finance
3. IREDA received ‘Infrastructure Finance Company’ status from RBI
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) granted an ‘Infrastructure Finance Company (IFC)’ status to Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA).
- Earlier, it was classified as an Investment and Credit Company (ICC).
- With the IFC status, IREDA will be able to take higher exposure in RE financing.
- It will also help the company to access a wider investor base for fund mobilization, resulting in competitive rates for fundraising.
- Chairman of IREDA: Pradip Kumar Das
Banking & Finance
4. 38.58 crore loans extended since inception of MUDRA Yojana
- According to the Mudra portal (as of 27.01.2023), more than 38.58 crore loans have been extended since the inception of the Scheme in April 2015.
- Out of this, over 26.35 crore loans have been extended to Women Entrepreneurs (68%).
- SC/ST/OBC category borrowers received 19.84 crore loans (51%).
- As per the Ministry of Labour survey, PMMY helped in generating 1.12 crore net additional employment in the country from 2015 to 2018.
5. India and Sweden signed MoC to promote research networking
- India and Sweden signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to strengthen cooperation and promote research networking between research institutions from both countries.
- Aim: To promote mobility funding opportunities in both countries
- It facilitates academic cooperation through mobility activities as well as through seminars, workshops, and conferences.
- This partnership will take forward joint Science and Technology efforts particularly in smart cities, AI, and many more.
6. Ministry of Jal Shakti to Identify 75 Water Heritage Sites
- The Ministry of Jal Shakti had constituted a Committee to identify 75 Water Heritage Structure (WHS) in reference to 75 years of India's Independence.
- A total of 421 nominations were received and out of which, Committee has recommended 75 water heritage structures.
- It includes 5 WHS from Gujarat and 4 WHS from Andhra Pradesh.
- At present, there is no central fund allocated/disbursed for the maintenance of these sites.
Summits & Conferences
7. India to host SCO Tourism Ministers’ Meeting 2023 in Kashi
- India will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Tourism Ministers’ Meeting (TMM) on 17th -18th March 2023 in Kashi (designated as the first cultural capital of the SCO).
- During TMM, the Tourism Joint Action Plan on the Development of Cooperation in Tourism among SCO member countries would be adopted.
- India will also host the SCO Food Festival in Mumbai from 13-19 April 2023.
- India is the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Banking & Finance
8. Suryoday Small Finance Bank launches special women’s savings account
- Suryoday Small Finance Bank has launched a new savings account for women customers called the Blossom Women’s savings account.
- Women can earn up to 7% interest rate per annum
- An exclusive and free Rupay Platinum Debit Card that rewards women customers with discounts and cashback.
- Monthly Interest Pay-out in the account
- One complementary account for child (Savings Aditya Account)
- Average Monthly Balance (AMB) of ₹10,000
- CEO of Suryoday SFB: R Baskar Babu
9. Japanese Nobel-winning novelist Kenzaburo Oe passes away
- Japanese novelist, Kenzaburo Oe passed away at the age of 88 on March 3, 2023, due to age-related issues.
- He was known for his pacifist and anti-nuclear views.
- He was honoured with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994 for creating "an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today".
- His notable works are 'A Personal Matter' and 'The Silent Cry'.
Banking & Finance
10. India's retail inflation drops to 6.44% in February 2023
- According to the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), India's retail inflation has lowered to 6.44% in February 2023 from 6.52% in January 2023.
- But it remained above the upper band of the 4+/- 2 percent medium-term target of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the second consecutive month.
- While food inflation eased marginally to 5.95 percent in February 2023 from 6% in January 2023, inflation for cereals, milk, and fruits picked up.
11. India remains world’s largest arms importer: SIPRI Data
- According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, despite an 11% drop in arms import between 2013-17 and 2018-22, India remained the world’s largest arms importer from 2018 to 2022 followed by Saudi Arabia.
- Russia was India’s largest arms supplier in the periods between 2013-17 and 2018-22.
- But Russia's share of arms imports to India fell from 64 to 45%.
- While France emerged as the second-largest arms supplier to India followed by the US.
12. SIBC, Maharashtra Govt sign MoU in sustainable infrastructure and Defence
- Sweden India Business Council (SIBC) has signed an MoU with the Maharashtra government for cooperation in waste to energy, sustainable infrastructure & transportation, defense manufacturing, and investment.
- The MoU was signed between SIBC and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in the presence of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
- Both have also agreed to work together to explore and facilitate funding opportunities.
Banking & Finance
13. After Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank collapse
- New York-based Signature Bank was shut by regulators in the US, becoming the second bank in the country after Silicon Valley Bank.
- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has been appointed as a receiver, which typically means it will liquidate the bank’s assets to pay back its customers, including depositors and others.
- The standard insurance amount from FDIC is $250,000 per depositor, per bank, for each account ownership category.
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