According to the ‘Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics 2022’, the 23rd series of annual publication of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (MoFAHD), India’s milk production increased to 221.06 million tonnes (MT) in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) from 209.96 MT in FY21 registering an annual growth of 5.29%.
· Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, MoFAHD, released the publication on March 15, 2023.
i.Milk:As per the publication, India’s milk production increased to 221.06 million tonnes (MT) in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) from 209.96 MT in FY21 registering an annual growth of 5.29%.
· Top 5 Milk producing States such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh together contribute 53.11% of India’s Milk production.
· The all-India average per capita availability of milk has increased from 333 grams (gm)/day in FY16 to 444 gm/day in FY22.
ii.Egg:India’s total egg production in FY22 was about 129.60 billion numbers
registering a growth of 6.19% compared to FY21.
iii.Meat:The total meat production in India in FY22 was about 9.29 MT registering an annual growth of 5.62% compared to FY21.
iv.Wool:The total wool production in India in FY22 was about 33.13 million kgs registering a negative growth rate of 10.30% as compared to FY21.
About Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (MoFAHD)
Union Minister – Parshottam Rupala (Rajya Sabha Gujarat )
Minister of State (MoS) – Sanjeev Kumar Balyan ; L. Murugan
Yaoshang Festival, one of the major festivals of Manipur, very similar to Holi, is annually celebrated during the full moon of Lamta month of the Meitei lunar calendar. The 5-day Yaoshang Festival usually falls in the month of February or March.
· Yaoshang Festival 2023 is celebrated from 7th March to 11th March 2023.
· The festival is celebrated by the Meitei people who are predominantly Hindu.
i. Unlike Holi celebrated in other parts of India, Yaoshang is also a festival of sports. The festival also denotes the coming of the spring season.
ii. The festival also marks the rejuvenation of the spirit of life and commemorates the birth anniversary of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a 15th-century saint who is believed to be the avatar of lord Krishna.
About Yaoshang Festival:
i. Yaoshang, unlike Holi, begins after sunset followed by Yaosang Mei Thaba, also known as Burning of the Straw Hut (Yaoshang).
ii. Children visit neighbours to ask for monetary donations, called Nakatheng.
iii. During these 5 days, Manipur has sporting events during the day and traditional “Thabal Chongba” dancing at night.
Bhumchu Festival celebrated at Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim
BhumChu festival (Buddhist festival) is an auspicious and age-old event observed annually at Tashiding monastery, Sikkim, with great faith and divinity by devotees from across the state and nearby areas, including Bhutan and Nepal.
· Bhumchu is celebrated on the 14th and 15th day of the 1st month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, around February – March.
· BhumChu festival 2023 is celebrated at the Tashiding Monastery in West Sikkim on 7th March 2023.
About Bhumchu Festival:
i. Bhumchu Festival is celebrated with great faith and divinity by devotees from across the state and nearby areas, including Bhutan and Nepal.
· The highlight of the festival is the unveiling of the Bhumchu, a small brass pot that is only opened once a year.
ii. According to tradition, three cups of holy water are taken out from the
vase, of which one cup is meant for the devotees. It is believed that the water
in the sacred vase makes important predictions for the state.
iii. The Bhumchu ceremony is the embodiment of good fortune, long life and prosperity, and for curing/averting diseases with supplications being made to Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig), the Buddha of compassion.
iv. The major attraction of the Bhumchu Festival 2023 are the Vase opening ceremony, Distribution of water, and Closing ceremony.
Singapore Changi Airport was crowned “World’s Best Airport” in 2023 at the World Airport Awards 2023 ceremony held at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on March 15, 2023. The rankings were based on the 2022–2023 World Airport Survey and released by Skytrax, a renowned airline and airport review and ranking site based in the United Kingdom (UK).
· Singapore Changi Airport has reclaimed its status as the world’s best airport after losing it to Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, for two years (2021 and 2022) during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.
Changi Airport was also named World’s Best Airport Dining, Best Airport for Leisure Amenities, and Best Airport in Asia in 2023.
· Skytrax has awarded Changi Airport with the title of “World’s Best Airport” for the 12th time.
· Changi Airport previously held the top spot on the list for eight years in a row before slipping a few positions in 2021 and 2022.
About Republic of Singapore:
Prime Minister – Lee Hsien Loong
Capital – Singapore
Currency – Singapore Dollar (SGD)
On March 15, 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been inked between Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to promote collaboration and facilitate innovation in financial products and services.
· This will include sharing knowledge and technical collaboration in the area of Fintech.
What is in the MoU?
i.Both central banks will collaborate on areas of FinTech, especially Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and explore interoperability between the CBDCs of CBUAE and RBI.
ii.Both sides will carry out proof-of-concept (PoC) and pilot(s) of bilateral CBDC bridge to facilitate cross-border CBDC transactions of remittances and trade.
· This testing of cross-border use case of CBDCs is expected to reduce costs, increase efficiency of cross border transactions and enhance economic ties between India and UAE.
Notably, India has been conducting CBDC pilots since 2022, and also
planning to launch a full-scale CBDC (retail) by the end of 2023.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
i.The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935, in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
ii.The Central Office of the Reserve Bank was initially established in Calcutta but was permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937.
iii.Though originally privately owned, since nationalization in 1949, the Reserve Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.
iv.Thus, 2023 marks the 75th year of public ownership of the Reserve Bank and its emergence as a national institution.
ICICI Bank Limited (ICICI Bank) has unveiled “Startup Ecosystem Banking,” a comprehensive suite of digital and physical solutions to meet all of the banking needs of startups at various stages of development.
· The “Startup Ecosystem Banking” solution includes personal banking services for founders and employees, as well as treasury and transaction banking solutions, lending solutions, digital integrations, handling Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and regulatory compliance.
i.ICICI Bank offers comprehensive solutions through its domestic network and international presence in New York (United States [US]), Toronto (Canada), London (United Kingdom [UK]), Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
ii.The ICICI Bank’s presence in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), a developing global financial and IT services hub based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, further strengthens the banking ecosystem.
· The Bank provides digital opening of the Global Foreign Currency Current Account (GFCCA) for foreign holding companies and subsidiaries of Indian startups at the GIFT City branch.
iii.The Ecosystem Banking solution also assists startups in opening Special Non-Resident Rupee (SNRR) accounts and deposit funds in both US Dollar (USD) and Indian Rupee (INR).
· For seamless and efficient capital flows, startups can also use escrow, custody services, and forex solutions.
iv.In addition, the Bank provides cutting-edge digital channels, including
Corporate Internet Banking (CIB), the InstaBIZ mobile application, Trade Online
for business-related transactions, the Integrated Payment System platform for
vendor and tax payments, and solutions for e-collections and e-mandates.
v.Furthermore, the bank provides a ‘API Developer Portal’ with over 250 Application Programming Interface (API), allowing startups to seamlessly co-create innovative customer solutions.
Startup Ecosystem in India:
i.According to the Economic Survey 2021-22, India has become the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem after the United States (US) and China.
· The Indian government has acknowledged over 14,000 new startups in 2021-22, up from 733 in 2016-17. With this, the total number of recognized startups in India has exceeded 61,400.
ii.A record number of 44 startups in India achieved Unicorn
status in 2021. Unicorns are companies having a valuation of more than USD 1
iii.India also surpassed the United Kingdom (UK) as the country with the third-highest number of unicorns, after only the US and China, which added 487 and 301 unicorns, respectively.
About the ICICI Bank Limited:
MD & CEO – Sandeep Bakhshi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 1994
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
(MoRTH), briefed about the loan agreement signed between the Government
of India (GoI) and the World Bank for the construction of the Green National
Highway Corridors Project (GNHCP) in four States such as Himachal Pradesh,
Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in an aggregate length of 781 km
with loan assistance of US $ 500 million against the total project cost of US $
1288.24 million (Rs. 7,662.47 crore).
Objective of GNHCP:
i.The project intents to deploy a safe and green highway using green technologies and climate resilience methodology.
ii.The highway’s construction will incorporate the provisions of conservation of natural resources using cement-treated sub-base/reclaimed asphalt pavement,
iii.To enhance the ability of MoRTH to bring Green technologies into the mainstream, the GNHCP construction will use local/ marginal materials such as lime, fly ash, waste plastic, bio-engineering measures for slope protection such as hydroseeding, coco/jute fibre etc.,.
About World Bank(WB)
World Bank Group President – David Malpass
Headquarters – Washington, DC, USA
Establishment – 1944
Go Digit General Insurance has launched 3 new plans under the Digit Health
Insurance policy – ‘Digit Double Wallet plan, Digit Infinity Wallet plan,
and Digit Worldwide Treatment plan’ to cater to the post-pandemic health
needs of people
i.All three plans will offer complimentary health check-ups, personal accident cover, psychiatric illness cover, organ donor cover and bariatric surgery cover.
ii.Digit Infinity Wallet Plan:
· The plan will offer the option of the unlimited back-up sum insured (SI) to support the medical care costs.
· The policyholder could make multiple claims in a single year without exceeding the SI under the policy.
iii.Digit Double Wallet Plan: The plan offers the
policyholders an option of double back-up SI, under which they could double the
iv.Digit Worldwide Treatment:
· This plan offers the policyholder with the option to get treated anywhere in the world, including India.
· The customer could get treatment abroad even if they are diagnosed with an illness in India.
On 15th March 2023, Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was named the “Governor of the Year” for 2023 at the Central Banking Awards 2023 by Central Banking, the international economic research journal.
· 2023 marks the 10th annual Central Banking Awards.
The National Bank of Ukraine won the Central bank of the year for the
effort by its staff to cope with the impact of the war and keep the economy
Note: In 2015, Raghuram Rajan, the former Governor of the RBI, was conferred the title “Governor of the Year.”
Central Banking Awards:
i. The Central Banking Awards recognises excellence in a community that has encountered difficult operational and policy issues due to heightened inflationary pressures, rapid technological change, and environmental transition.
ii. Central Banking has announced the winners for the categories Rish Manager (Bank Negara Malaysia) and Transparency (Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina).
The Central Banking Awards 2023 includes 13 central bank categories and 12 partner and service provider categories.
· The inaugural Central Banking Awards were presented in 2014.
About Shaktikanta Das:
i. Shaktikanta Das, a retired 1980-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, assumed charge as the 25th Governor of RBI in 2018.
ii. He served as Secretary of the Department of Revenue and Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance (MoF), from 2015 to 2017.
iii. He was appointed Union Economic Affairs Secretary by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) in 2014.
iv. For his efforts to strengthen the banking sector, Shaktikanta Das was conferred the “Central Banker of the Year, Asia-Pacific 2020” award from the London-based magazine “The Banker”.
Bengaluru (Karnataka) has won a $150,000 ‘2023 Partnership for Healthy Cities Award’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the inaugural Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit held in London, United Kingdom (UK).
· The summit was convened by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the WHO, Vital Strategies, and Mayor Sadiq Khan of London.
· The award has recognized its achievements in preventing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and injuries, and efforts in tobacco control.
This award is conferred upon 5 global cities. Along with Bengaluru, the
following cities honoured with this award:
i.Montevideo in Uruguay
It established nutritional standards for the preparation and sale of food in government agency offices and some public universities. It also focused on sodium reduction policies and developing media campaigns and educational materials.
ii.Mexico City, Mexico
It was recognised for improving road safety and safe and active mobility by launching a bike path on a busy road, leading to a 275 per cent increase in cyclists.
It made public health data more inclusive and accessible by launching an online public health data tool that tracks population health indicators
It honoured for increasing access to the opioid overdose reversal agent, naloxone, at community-based organisations and among healthcare professionals
i.The five winning cities each received $150,000 to further their work with the partnership.
ii.The cities were acknowledged for their positive contribution to the well-being of their residents and their sustainable efforts to prevent non-communicable diseases and injuries, which can serve as a model for other regions to follow.
iii.NCD including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases and injuries, are responsible for over 80 per cent of all deaths globally.
About Partnership for Healthy Cities:
Established in 2017, the Partnership for Healthy Cities is a worldwide coalition of 70 cities collaborating to prevent NCDs and injuries. It is backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, and in collaboration with the WHO and Vital Strategies.
The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Kavilmadam Ramaswami Parvathy (K. R. Parvathy) of India, as UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan with the approval of the host government.
· She took up her post as UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan on 15th March 2023.
Prior to her appointment as UN Resident Coordinator, K. R. Parvathy served
as Representative and Country Director for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in
Note: Resident coordinators, the highest-ranking official in the UN Development System, leads the UN Country Teams and report directly to the secretary-general.
About Kavilmadam Ramaswami Parvathy:
i. According to the UN, K. R. Parvathy has a career of over 30 years in International Humanitarian and development work.
· Her experience includes strategic planning, risk management, conflict analysis and humanitarian access negotiations.
ii. She actively contributed to the UN multi-sectoral response in support of
the efforts of the government to provide emergency assistance to the
iii. Previously, she has worked as Representative and Country Director for WFP in Liberia and as Deputy Country Director (Programme and Operations) for WFP in Afghanistan.
iv. She also has served in the Asia Pacific, West Africa, and the regional and global headquarters of WFP(Rome, Italy), further contributing to ending hunger in the world.
The National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s Parliament, elected Li Qiang as the country’s new Premier, succeeding Li Keqiang, who has been in charge of the second-largest economy for the past 10 years.
· The NPC is a ceremonial body that regularly passes the proposals of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
Li Qiang, a close ally to President Xi Jinping, will be the CPC government’s second-highest-ranking official after Xi, who was recently elected President of China for the third five-year term.
· After party founder Mao Zedong, Xi Jinping, 69, is the only leader to have served more than two five-year terms.
The 24th issue of the publication “Women and Men in India 2022” was released in New Delhi, Delhi, by Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
· “Women and Men in India” is a comprehensive and insightful publication that offers insights into an array of subjects, including political participation, employment, and health.
It provides data disaggregated by gender, urban-rural divide, and geographical region, which helps to understand the differences between distinct groups of women and men.
National Vaccination Day, also known as National Immunization Day, is annually observed across the globe on 16th March to create awareness about the importance of vaccines in human health.
· The day also highlights the significance of vaccines against fatal diseases.
· The day offers a platform to acknowledge and recognise the work of doctors and healthcare workers in ensuring that vaccination reaches every child.
Note: National Vaccination Day in India, also known as “Polio Ravivar”.
i.The Government of India launched the Pulse Polio Immunisation program to eradicate polio from India in 1995.
· National Vaccination Day in India was introduced in 1995, as a part of the National Polio Eradication Program (NPEP).
ii.On March 16, 1995, the first dose of the oral polio vaccine was administered in India as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which began in 1988
· Since 1995, 16th March has been annually observed as National Vaccination Day.
United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Women Judges(IDWJ) is annually observed across the globe on March 10 to promote full and equal participation of women at all levels of the judiciary. The day also celebrates the progress that has been made and rais awareness about the challenges ahead.
· International Day of Women Judges 2023 is observed on 10th March 2023.
IDWL 2023 is being observed with the campaign “Women in Justice, Women
for Justice” to encourage the full and equal participation of women at all
levels of the judicial system.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/75/274, drafted by the State of Qatar, on 28th April 2021 and proclaimed March 10 of every year as the International Day of Women Judges.
ii. The 1st ever International Day of Women Judges was observed on 10th March 2022.
i. On the occasion of the 1st International Day of Women Judges, Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Alma Zadi, the Minister of Justice of Austria, launched a new initiative “Women in Justice/for Justice” to promote representation and gender-responsive criminal justice.
ii. 40% of judges were women in 2017, which is 35% more than in 2008.
iii. Professional judges and magistrates are generally more often women than men in Europe; however, only 25% of court presidents and 41% of judges on national supreme courts are women.
Equality for Justice:
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) celebrated “Equality for Justice” to commemorate the International Day of Women Judges.
Women Judges in India:
i. Justice Anna Chandy (1905–1996) was the 1st woman Judge (1937) and then High Court Judge (1959) in India.
ii. In 1989, Justice Fathima Beevi became the first female judge of the Supreme Court of India. She was also the 1st Muslim woman in Higher Judiciary and the 1st woman to become a Supreme Court Justice in an Asian country.
iii. Justice Leila Seth (1930-2017) was the 1st woman Judge on the Delhi High Court and became the 1st woman to become Chief Justice of a State High Court (1991), Himachal Pradesh High Court.
The United Nations (UN)’s first-ever International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness was observed on 5th March 2023 to promote awareness and understanding of disarmament issues among the public, especially young people.
· Multilateral disarmament and arms limitation has been one of the UN’s central efforts to maintain international peace and security.
On 7th December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/77/51 and proclaimed the 5th March of every year as the “International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness”.
· 5th March 2023 marks the first observance of International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness.
About United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs(UNODA):
UNODA was established in January 1998 as the Department for Disarmament Affairs.
It was originally established in 1982 upon the recommendation of the UNGA’s 2nd Special session on disarmament (SSOD II).
High Representative– Izumi Nakamitsu
Headquarters– Vienna, Austria
i.On March 15, 2023,
the Finance Minister of Uttarakhand Premchand Aggarwal presented a
budget with a total income expenditure of Rs 77,407.08 crores for FY24 at
Bhararisain, the summer capital of the State located in Chamoli district’s
ii.The budget stressed upon startups, conservation of nature, self-reliance, good governance and self-employment.
iii.The budget for FY24 is 18.02 % higher than the Rs 65,571 crore which was announced in the FY23 Budget Estimates (BE).
iv.The largest allocation of Rs 10,459.55 crore is made for education, sports, youth welfare, and culture.
Chief Minister– Pushkar Singh Dhami
Governor– Gurmit Singh
Wildlife Sanctuaries– Binsar wildlife sanctuary, Mussoorie wildlife sanctuary
Assam FM Ajanta Neog Presents Rs 935.23 Crore Deficit Budget for FY 2023-24
Ajanta Neog, Finance Minister (FM) of Assam, has presented the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Assam government’s Rs 935.23 crore deficit
budget for fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24) in the assembly, with an
emphasis on social security, and has also announced various new schemes for
boosting micro-entrepreneurship and creating employment.
Major Highlights of the Assam Budget for FY24
i.The Assam government has announced the launch of the Mukhya Mantri Ayushman Asom Yojana, which will allow 27 lakh families to get Rs. 5 lakh worth cashless treatment, making it India’s largest health insurance scheme.
ii.The Mukhya Mantri Awaas Yojana, which will be launched in tandem with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for FY24 and for which Rs. 800 crore have been earmarked, would cover one lakh beneficiaries.
iii.The FM proposed the establishment of 3000 new model Anganwadi Centers equipped with all modern amenities.
iv.77 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Polytechnics would be transformed into “Centres of Excellence” (CoE) at an investment of Rs. 367 crore.
v.The Assam government intends on recruiting 40,000 employees by May 10, 2023.
Chief Minister– Himanta Biswa Sarma
Governor– Gulab Chand Kataria
Airports – Lilabari Airport; Silchar Airport; Tezpur Airport
Uttarakhand has become the first state in India to start ‘Resham Keet Bima’ scheme for protecting its sericulturists. This means the state government has implemented the Silkworm Insurance Scheme for Farmers of the state under which crop insurance will be provided to all farmers cultivating silk.
· This insurance will save the farmers from bearing the loss of natural calamities.
· It is implemented and managed by Saral Krishi Beema.
It was launched in the presence of Uttarakhand co-operative Silk Federation
Limited chairperson Ajeet Singh; CMD (Chairman and Managing Director) of
Agriculture Insurance Company (AIC) of India Limited Girijia Subramanian,
Director of silk directorate AK Yadav in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
i.Under the pilot project of scheme, 200 sericulturists from five blocks of four districts — Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital have been insured from the ill effects of climate change, scarcity of water and other hazards.
· The department and the AIC of India will accomplish this.
ii.This project will promote the production of silk in the state.
iii.Nearly 12,000 families are linked directly and indirectly to sericulture in the state.
· In 2022, nearly 300 metric tonnes of silk fibroin was produced in Uttarakhand by 6,000 stakeholders.
Tiger Reserves– Corbett Tiger Reserve, Rajaji Tiger Reserve
Zoological Park– Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant high altitude Zoological Park
Airports– Jolly Grant Airport, PantNagar Airport
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