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29th March, 2023 Current Affairs

29th March, 2023 Current Affairs
29th March, 2023 Current Affairs

Aravalli Green Wall Project announced

  • The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, inaugurated the Aravalli Green Wall Project. The project aims to green the 5 km buffer area around the Aravalli Hill Range in four states – Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Delhi. The project was launched on the International Day of Forests and is a part of the National Action Plan to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation Through Forestry Interventions.
  • The Aravalli Green Wall Project aims to improve the ecological health of the Aravalli range, prevent land degradation, combat desertification, improve biodiversity, mitigate climate change, and promote sustainable development. The initial phase of the project focuses on the rejuvenation of 75 water bodies in the Aravalli landscape, starting with five water bodies in each district of the Aravalli landscape. The project aims to develop a synergy between restoration, socio-economic factors, and development activities to ensure that both conservation and development can be achieved.

Centre sanctions Rs 800 crore for setting up over 7000 public EV charging stations across country

  • MNPandeyMPCentre has sanctioned Rs800crore rupees under FAME Scheme Phase -2 for setting up seven thousand 432 public fast charging stations across the country.
  • The government has formulated Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) India Scheme in 2015 to improve the infrastructure required for the large-scale use of electric vehicles. A wide network of electric vehicle charging stations will be soon deployed across the country by Oil Marketing Companies.
  • The Committee headed by DG Bureau of Energy Efficiency has recommended certain changes to improve the viability of the development of public charging infrastructure. It includes supporting the upstream infrastructure, which generally cost up to 60 per cent of overall cost for setting up a Public Electric Vehicle charging station. This will make installation of charging stations easier by reducing the upfront cost. In addition, the earlier subsidy of 70 per cent on Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment will continue as before.

India reiterates commitment to provide support to African partner countries in all defence related matters

  • India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, foster stability and enhance the defence capabilities together.
  • The first edition of India-Africa Army Chiefs’ Conclave organised on the sidelines of 2nd Africa-India Joint Exercise ‘AFINDEX’ in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • The Conclave was attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and Chiefs & representatives of 31 African nations, along with other civil and defence dignitaries.
  • India’s commitment to provide support to African partner-countries in all defence related matters, including capability enhancement of their Armed Forces, to ensure their economic growth and social development. He emphasised that the full potential of a nation’s progress can be realised only when its security is ensured.
  • India has been at the forefront of providing training to the Armed Forces of African nations and equipping them with necessary skills to face the security challenges of the 21st century. The training programmes cover a wide range of areas, including counter-insurgency operations, peacekeeping, maritime security and specialised training in new domains such as cyber warfare and drone operations. It also encompasses training civilians in areas such as disaster management, humanitarian aid and medical assistance. A large number of African Countries’ Armed Forces personnel continue to visit India for training in different areas.

Day Two of G-20 Infrastructure Working Group meeting to take place in Vishakhapatnam

  • On Day Two of the G-20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) meeting in Vishakhapatnam March 29, the Presidency has planned a ‘health retreat’ for the delegates on the beachfront. During the retreat, the delegates will be introduced to Yoga, meditation, and sattvic food. Thereafter, the IWG will continue discussing the rest of the agenda, and the official IWG meeting will conclude.
  • IWG held discussions focused on the flagship priority, “Financing Cities of Tomorrow: Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable”, along with other priorities outlined in the 2023 Infrastructure Agenda.
  •  The flagship theme of “Financing Cities of Tomorrow- Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable” discussed various facets of making cities economic centres of growth, financing urban infrastructure, and building future-ready urban infrastructure. The meeting also discussed other important themes, such as innovative financing models to scale up private sector investment to address the infrastructure financing gap for creating future cities and discussing the potential application of the Quality Infrastructure Investment indicators across the infrastructure projects.

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Pakistan govt tables bill in Parliament to curb powers of Chief Justice

  • Pakistan's Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar on Tuesday tabled the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 in the National Assembly aimed to limit the discretionary powers to take suo motu notice by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The house has sent the proposed bill to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice for further deliberations and approval today, March 29.
  • The bill has already been approved by the federal cabinet. The government bill states that a committee comprising three senior judges will take the decision regarding the initiation of suo-motu notice.

Transboundary solutions important to curb air pollution in South Asia: World Bank

  • Concentration of fine particulate matter such as soot and small dust (PM 2.5) in some of  South Asia’s most densely populated and poor areas are up to 20 times higher than WHO standard of 5 microgram per cubic metre, says a World Bank report on air pollution released in Dhaka on Tuesday. It says South Asia is home to 9 of the world’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution, and Dhaka is one of them.
  • The report ‘Striving for Clean Air: Air Pollution and Public Health in South Asia’ says air pollution is responsible for about 20 percent of the total premature deaths in Bangladesh. In South Asia, it causes an estimated 2 million premature deaths each year and incurs significant economic costs.
  • Highlighting the trans-boundary nature of air-pollution, World Bank Director for Regional Integration for South Asia Cecile Fruman said South Asian Countries in the same airshed-common geographical areas that share the same air quality-can reduce the alarming level of air pollution only if they take a coordinated approach. By working together countries can get results better, faster and cheaper.
  • The World Bank report recommends coordinated transboundary actions. It urges policy makers to go beyond focussing on power plants, large factories and transportation to include small manufacturing, agriculture, residential cooking, and waste management to reduce PM 2.5 concentration across South Asia.

BARC B1201 developed

  • India’s Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) jointly developed BARC B1201, India’s first Bauxite Certified Reference Material (CRM). The launch of this CRM is a significant achievement, especially since it is the first of its kind in India and only the fifth in the world.
  • A CRM is a sample of a material that has been analyzed and certified for its composition, purity, and other important characteristics. It is used as a standard to compare other samples of the same material, ensuring that the results obtained from different laboratories are comparable.
  • BARC, short for Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, is India’s premier nuclear research facility. It was founded by Homi Jehangir Bhabha in January 1954 and is headquartered in Trombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
  • The purpose of BARC is to conduct a multidisciplinary research program essential for India’s nuclear program. It is also involved in other areas such as chemistry, physics, engineering, and biosciences.

Water and Heritage Shield award announced

  • Arizona’s Black Mesa Trust (BMT) has been awarded the prestigious ‘Water and Heritage Shield’ by the International Committee On Monuments and Sites International Science Committee (ICOMOS ISC) on March 25, 2023. The award recognizes BMT’s work to raise public awareness of the significance of water and indigenous sacred sites worldwide, including the Hopi’s Sípàapu.
  • The Sípàapu, a rocky dome made of limestone and a spring located on the Little Colorado river, holds immense importance for the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni tribes. The Hopi, in particular, hold a unique reverence for the environment and believe that living in a high desert environment would force them to attune their perceptions, leading to spiritual growth.
  • For the Hopi, the Sípàapu is the place from where their ancestors emerged from another world into this one. However, the Sípàapu, along with many other sacred sites, faces significant threats from mining and dams. Peabody Energy, a coal mining company, began mining coal in the Black Mesa Plateau and developed a coal slurry pipeline to transport the coal to the Mohave Generating Station in neighboring Nevada, further endangering the Sípàapu and the surrounding environment.
Published date : 01 May 2023 05:41PM

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