12 -14 March 2023 The Hindu Current Affairs

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1) Consider the following statements about Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha

1. The institutions of Deputy Speaker originated in India in 1921 under the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1919.
2. Deputy Speaker is directly responsible to the House.
3. He presides over the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament in case the Speaker is absent from such a sitting.

Choose the correct statements:

a) 1 and 3
b) 1 only
c) 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

2) Consider the following statements about International Criminal Court (ICC)

1. It is the only permanent international criminal tribunal.
2. The UNSC can refer the situation/case to the ICC by granting jurisdiction.
3. India is not a member to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Choose the incorrect statements:

a) 1 and 2
b) 3 only
c) 2 only
d) None

3. Consider the following statements about NISAR satellite

1. It is a cooperation between ISRO and NASAR
2. NISAR is the first satellite mission that will collect radar data in two microwave bandwidth ranges.

Choose the correct statements:

a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

4) With reference to ‘MSME Competitive (LEAN) Scheme’, consider the following statements

1. The scheme can enable MSMEs to reduce wastage substantially, increase productivity and expand their markets
2. The government provides the entire implementation cost for MSME’s owned by women and those located in North East region
3. National Productivity Council has been appointed as one of the Implementing Agency in the implementation of MSME Competitive (Lean) Scheme.

Choose the correct answer using the code given below

a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 2 only
d) 1 and 3 only

Solution (d)

Statement Analysis:

Statement 1 Statement 2 Statement 3

Through the LEAN journey, MSMEs can reduce wastages substantially, increase productivity, improve quality, work safely, expanding their markets, and finally becoming competitive and profitable. Under the scheme, MSMEs will implement LEAN manufacturing tools like 5S, Kaizen, KANBAN, Visual workplace, Poka Yoka etc under the able guidance of trained and competent LEAN Consultants to attain LEAN levels like Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. The government will contribute 90% of implementation cost for handholding and consultancy fees. There will be an additional contribution of 5% for the MSMEs which are part of SFURTI clusters, owned by Women/SC/ST and located in Northeast region. NPC has been appointed as one of the Implementing Agency which will assist Ministry of MSME in the implementation of MSME Competitive (Lean) Scheme.

 Context – Union Minister for MSME launched the MSME Competitive (LEAN) Scheme recently.

2)With reference to the Great Indian Bustard, consider the following statements:

1. It is endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
2. The colour of feathers of males and females are same.
3. They are listed in Schedule I in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

1 and 2 only

2 and 3 only

1 and 3 only

1, 2 and 3

3)Nairobi and Tunis declarations sometimes seen in news are related to?

  1. Vaccine IPRs
  2. Disaster Risk reduction
  3. DNA cloning
  4. Illegal wildlife trade

Answer – Tunis declaration was adopted at the Africa Arab Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Tunis in 2018. Under it, 25 African countries have adopted DRR strategies and action plans aligned with the Sendai Framework. 

The Nairobi Declaration underlines the need to deliver commitments on the Programme of Action (PoA) for implementing the Sendai Framework (related to Disaster Risk Reduction) in Africa.

Prelims Specific News Items

1) Kamalam or Dragon Fruit

Kamalam or Dragon Fruit, a herbaceous perennial climbing cactus widely known as Pitaya, has its origin in Southern Mexico, Central America and South America. It is widely cultivated in South-East Asia, India, USA, The Caribbean Islands, Australia throughout the tropical and sub-tropical world. Pitaya, called as Dragon fruit in English, is popular by different names such as Pithaya in Mexico, Pitaya Roja in Central and Northern America, Pithajah in Thailand and Kamalam after the Sanskrit name lotus in India. It is also known as “Wondrous Fruit of the 21st century”.

                        The Kamalam (Dragon fruit) has recently drawn much attention of the growers worldwide, not only because of their red purple colour and economic value as food products but also for their enormous health benefits.

The skin of the fruit is covered with bracts or scales which may have attributed the fruits resembling the mythical creature “dragon’, hence the name dragon fruit.

Pitaya or dragon fruit is a climbing, fast growing perennial vine cactus species which originated from the tropical regions of Mexico and Central and South America. From its centers of origin, dragon fruit has spread over tropical and sub-tropical America, Asia, Australia and Middle East. Currently it is being cultivated in at least 22 countries of tropics. Historical evidence indicates that the French introduced the crop to Vietnam about 100 years ago and it was grown for the King. Later, it became popular among the wealthy families of the entire country.

2)“Shared Buddhist Heritage”

An international conference on “Shared Buddhist Heritage” will be held on 14-15 March, with focus on India’s civilizational connect with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations 2023 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

The event, a first of its kind, under India’s leadership of SCO (for a period of one-year, from 17 September, 2022 until September 2023) will bring together Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian and Arab countries on a common platform to discuss “Shared Buddhist Heritage”. The SCO countries comprise of Member States, Observer States and Dialogue Partners, including China, Russia and Mongolia. 

 The aim of the Conference is to re-establish trans-cultural links, seek out commonalities, between Buddhist art of Central Asia, art styles, archaeological sites and antiquity in various museums’ collections of the SCO countries.

3) La Perouse Exercise

The third edition of the multilateral exercise La Perouse is scheduled to be conducted in the Indian Ocean Region from 13 to 14 March 2023. This edition will witness participation of personnel, ships and integral helicopters of Royal Australian Navy, French Navy, Indian Navy, Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force, Royal Navy and the United States Navy.

Indigenously built guided missile frigate INS Sahyadri and fleet tanker INS Jyoti will be participating in this edition of the exercise.

4)The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted an ‘Infrastructure Finance Company (IFC)’ status to Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) today. It was earlier classified as ‘Investment and Credit Company (ICC)’.

With the IFC status, IREDA will be able to take higher exposure in RE financing. The IFC status will also help the company to access wider investor base for fund mobilisation, resulting in competitive rates for fund raising. 

The recognition of IREDA as an IFC will increase the investors’ confidence, enhance the brand value, and generate positive outlook in the market

4. Oscar and India

In the movie Elephant Whisperers, the two main leads Bomman and Bellie are from the Kattunayakar tribe of the Western Ghats and their traditional wisdom.

5. All about SEBI

About: SEBI is a statutory body established on April 12, 1992 in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.


Before SEBI came into existence, Controller of Capital Issues was the regulatory authority; it derived authority from the Capital Issues (Control) Act, 1947.

In April, 1988 the SEBI was constituted as the regulator of capital markets in India under a resolution of the Government of India.

Initially SEBI was a non statutory body without any statutory power.

It became autonomous and given statutory powers by SEBI Act 1992.


To protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and regulate the securities market.

It is the regulator of the securities and commodity market in India owned by the Government of India.

Powers & Functions:

It is a quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial body which can draft regulations, conduct inquiries, pass rulings and impose penalties.

  • To protect the interests of Indian investors in the securities market.
  • To promote the development and hassle-free functioning of the securities market.
  • To regulate the business operations of the securities market.
  • To serve as a platform for portfolio managers, bankers, stockbrokers, investment advisers, merchant bankers, registrars, share transfer agents and other people.
  • To regulate the tasks entrusted to depositors, credit rating agencies, custodians of securities, foreign portfolio investors and other participants.
  • To educate investors about securities markets and their intermediaries.

6. What is DEPA (Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA))

The launch of India’s Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA), a consent management tool, has generated both excitement and concern among stakeholders. On the one hand, DEPA has the potential to improve data protection and privacy for citizens by giving them greater control over the use and sharing of their personal information.

By allowing individuals to easily manage and control their data consents, DEPA could help to build trust in digital technologies and data governance.

However, there are also risks associated with DEPA, particularly in terms of security and privacy. If the consent management tool is not properly implemented or managed, there is a risk that personal information could be misused or misappropriated.

In a nutshell, DEPA empowers people to seamlessly and securely access their data and share
it with third party institutions
. A new type of private Consent Manager institution ensures that
individuals can provide consent as per an innovative digital standard for every granular piece
of data shared securely (using newly created standard APIs).

These Consent Managers should also work to protect your data rights.


An agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reestablish diplomatic relations has cast China in a leading role in Middle Eastern politics — a part previously reserved for longtime global heavyweights like the U.S. and Russia. It’s another sign that China’s diplomatic clout is growing to match its economic footprint.

Under strongman leader Xi Jinping, Chinese diplomacy has become known for angry outbursts against the West, threats against Taiwan, aggressive moves in the South China Sea and a refusal to condemn Russia over Ukraine.

The deal reached in Beijing Friday, under which the sides agreed to reopen their embassies and exchange ambassadors after seven years of tensions, shows a different side of Chinese diplomacy. Xi appears to have played a direct part in the talks by hosting Iran’s president in Beijing last month. He also visited the Saudi capital Riyadh in December for meetings with oil-rich Gulf Arab nations crucial to China’s energy supplies.


Why Iran agreed for the deal

Iran is going through one of the toughest phases of economic isolation and domestic pressure. Tehran knows that getting a reprieve from Western sanctions is not a nearterm possibility and at home, despite its crackdown, protests refuse to die down.
Its economy is deteriorating and its currency, the rial, is struggling. Iran wanted Chinese investments and support for the rial.

Why Saudi Arabia agreed to join

West Asia has been undergoing strategic realignments in recent years. In 2020, the UAE became the first Arab country to normalise relations with Israel in a quarter century. In the following years, Israel and Arab countries deepened their partnerships. In 2021, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies decided to end their failed blockade of Qatar.

The U.S. was also trying to broker a normalisation agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel. One of the key drivers of these realignments is the U.S.’s deprioritisation of West Asia.

8. India remains world’s largest importer of arms: SIPRI report

  • India remained the world’s largest arms importer for the five year period between 2018 and 2022 even though its arms imports dropped by 11% between 2013-2017 and 2018-2022, according to the Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
  • Russia was the largest supplier of arms to India from 2013 to 2022, but its share of total imports fell from 64% to 45% while France is the second largest supplier.
  • As per latest SIPRI data, among the top 10 arms exporters for the period 2018 to 2022, India was the biggest arms export market to three countries — Russia, France and Israel — and the second largest export market to South Korea.
  • India was also the third largest market for South Africa, which was ranked 21 in the list of arms exporters.
  • For the same period, India remained the largest arms importer followed by Saudi Arabia. Russia accounted for 45% of India’s imports followed by France (29%) and the U.S. (11%).
  • Also, India was the third largest arms supplier to Myanmar after Russia and China accounting for 14% of its imports.

Also Read : 9 Vulture Species in India and their IUCN status

9. Red Tide

A “red tide” is a common term used for a harmful algal bloom.Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae—plant-like organisms that live in the sea and freshwater—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or even fatal.

Red Tide

What is the cause of Red Tide?

Red tide is caused by a toxic algae species known as Karenia brevis. It occurs when the algae multiply in large numbers and form blooms, resulting in the water turning reddish-brown. The algae produce brevetoxins, which are fatal for aquatic life and capable of making humans sick.

10. All About Basava

About Jagadguru Basaveshwara

  • Born in Bagevadi (of undivided Bijapur district in Karnataka) during 1131 AD.
  • He belonged to the Brahmin community.
  • He was a 12th Century Kannada social reformer, poet and philosopher during the rule of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka.
  • He is the founding saint of the Lingayat sect.
  • His philosophy was based on the principles of Arivu (true knowledge), ethos (right conduct), and Anubhava (divine experience), which brought about a social, religious, and economic revolution in the 12th century.
  • He spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas. 

Major Contributions

  • As a social reformer: He worked towards uplifting the underprivileged classes & women and believed that all humans are equal, irrespective of class, caste, creed, and gender.
  • He preached that there is only one Supreme Being and that is Shiva and that all animate and inanimate are equal before the Supreme Being.
  • Socio-economic principles: He  gave  two very important socio-economic principles:
  • “Kayaka” (Work-Divine work)-  According to this, every individual of society should take up the job of his choice and perform it with all sincerity.
  • “Dasoha” (Distribution-Equal distribution)-There is no discrimination in vocations.

Workers (executives) can easily make a living with their hard-earned money. They should not conserve wealth or property for the future, rather they should use surplus money for the welfare of society and the poor.

Anubhava Mantapa: It was an academy of mystics, saints and philosophers of the Lingayat faith and acted as the fountainhead of thoughts on common human values and ethics.

It also had numerous Sharanas, people from the lower strata of society – as participants.

It is often referred to as the “first Parliament of the world”.

Sharana movement: Preaching egalitarianism, the movement was presided over by Basavanna.

The movement, which was too radical for its time, attracted people from all castes, and like most strands of the Bhakti movement, produced a corpus of literature, the vachanas, that unveiled the spiritual universe of the Virashaiva saints.

Kalyana Rajya: He established Kalyan Rajya in Karnataka, same in meaning to today’s welfare state.

11. The rise of the ESG regulations:- Over the last decade, regulators and corporations around the world
have embraced the idea that businesses should be measured not just on traditional economic metrics such as shareholder return, but also by their environmental impact, commitment to social issues and the soundness of their corporate governance and protection of shareholder rights.

While this development is partly due to the belief that companies have a distinct responsibility as corporate citizens, the main driver is the realisation that environmental, social and governance
considerations need to be included by investors in a company’s risk profile.

12. Glow scope

Researchers at Winona State University, Minnesota, have created a design for a Glow Scope, a Fluorescence Microscope.

  • With this setup, they were able to image the creatures’ brain, spinal cord, heart, and head and jaw bones.
  • They were able to zoom in and out using the smartphone camera and the clip-on lens.

What is Fluorescence Microscopy?

  • About:
    • An optical microscope views an object by studying how it absorbs, reflects or scatters visible light.
    • A fluorescent microscope views an object by studying how it reemits light that it has absorbed, i.e., how it fluoresces. This is its basic principle.
    • The object is illuminated with light of a specific wavelength. Particles in the object absorb this light and reemit it at a higher wavelength. These particles are called fluorophores; the object is infused with them before being placed under the microscope.

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