My Notes - 1-15 March 2024

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Sela Tunnel dedicated to the nation

  • The Sela Tunnel was “dedicated to the nation” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • It is a key border infrastructure project as it connects Guwahati to the strategic Tawang sector round-the-year, thus aiding faster military movement to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

CAA notified

  • More than four years after Parliament passed The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs notified the Rules to implement the law.
  • In December 2019, Parliament passed an amendment to The Citizenship Act, 1955, to include a provision for grant of citizenship to migrants belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian communities who entered India before December 31, 2014 from Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh.

Centre signs pact with Tripura govt

  • The Centre signed a tripartite agreement with the Tripura government and the state’s main opposition party, the TIPRA Motha.
  • The pace signed for a time-bound “honorable resolution” of the long-pending demands of the state’s tribal population, including economic, political, land, linguistic and cultural rights.

A new report card

  • The National Council for Educational and Research Training (NCERT) introduced a new ‘holistic progress card’ (HPC).
  • HPC will measure, apart from academic performance, a child’s progress in interpersonal relationships, self-reflection, creativity, and emotional application in classrooms.
  • The HPCs have been devised by Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH), a standard-setting body under the NCERT, for the foundational stage (Classes 1 and 2), preparatory stage (Classes 3 to 5) and middle stage (Classes 6 to 8), as per suggestions by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

Shanan hydropower project

  • The Centre ordered that status quo be maintained on the Shanan hydropower project, over which Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have made competing claims.
  • The British-era 110-MW hydel project, situated at Jogindernagar in Mandi district, was leased to Punjab in 1925.
  • The lease agreement was signed between the then ruler of Mandi, Raja Joginder Bahadur, and Col BC Batty, a British representative and Chief Engineer of Punjab. The 99-year-old lease came to an end on 2 March 2024.

India’s first indigenous Fast Breeder Reactor

  • The vital second stage of India’s three-stage nuclear programme got a boost with the commencement of ‘core loading’ at the country’s first indigenous Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Core loading is the process of placing nuclear fuel assemblies inside the core of a nuclear reactor.


India-built airstrip inaugurated in AgalEga

  • Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurated an airstrip and the St James Jetty on North Agalega Island in the Indian Ocean.
  • Agalega — a group of two islands with a total area of 26 sq km and a native population of about 300 people — lies approximately 650 nautical miles (1,050 km) north of Mauritius, and belongs to the island nation.
  • The development of the Agalega Islands is in the socio-economic and national security interest of Mauritius, and also aligns with India’s maritime vision.

India’s new naval base in Lakshadweep

  • Naval Detachment Minicoy commissioned as INS Jatayu, an upgraded naval base at the strategic Lakshadweep Islands.
  • Lakshadweep, ‘a hundred thousand islands’ in Sanskrit and Malayalam, is an archipelago of 36 islands located between 220 km and 440 km from Kochi.
  • The islands, only 11 of which are inhabited, have a total area of only 32sq km.



Fair and Remunerative Price for sugarcane (FRP)

  • The Centre announced a hike in the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane to Rs 340 per quintal for Sugar Season 2024-25 (October-September) from the existing Rs 315 per quintal.
  • FRP is the price that the Centre’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)
  • The FRP is based on the recovery of sugar from the cane. Sugar recovery is the ratio between sugar produced versus cane crushed, expressed as a percentage.
  • The higher the recovery, the higher the FRP, and the higher the sugar produced from the cane.

India signs trade agreement with EFTA

  • India signed a trade agreement with the four-nation European Free Trade Association (EFTA), an intergovernmental grouping of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
  • The deal builds in a plan to attract $100 billion in investment over 15 years and diversify imports away from China.


Science & Technology

Mission Divyastra success

  • India announced the successful testing of an Agni missile capable of carrying multiple warheads (MIRV technology) meant to hit multiple targets simultaneously.
  • The success of Mission Divyastra, as the test was named, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology can target multiple targets that can be hundreds of kilometers apart with a single missile.

First moon-landing by private company

  • US made spacecraft landed on the Moon on 23 February 2024, which also marks the arrival of private space companies on the lunar surface.
  • Odysseus, a spacecraft built by Intuitive Machines, a ten-year-old company based in Houston, used a Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX to take off from Earth.


  • MethaneSAT — a satellite which will track and measure methane emissions at a global scale — was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket from California.
  • Methane is an invisible but strong greenhouse gas, and the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide, responsible for 30 per cent of global heating since the Industrial Revolution.

India AI Mission

  • The Union Cabinet approved the India AI Mission with an outlay of Rs 10,372 crore for the next five years.
  • Under it, the government will allocate funds towards subsidising private companies that are looking to set up AI computing capacity in the country, among other things.

Fifth-gen fighter jet AMCA

  • The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared a Rs 15,000 crore project to design and develop the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), India’s fifth-generation fighter multirole fighter jet.
  • The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be the nodal agency for executing the programme and designing the aircraft.
  • It will be manufactured by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

India developed an atmospheric testbed

  • The first phase of India’s Atmospheric Research Testbed in Central India (ART-CI) was inaugurated at Silkheda in Sehore district, located about 50 km northwest of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The facility aims to conduct ground-based observations of weather parameters like temperature, wind speeds, etc. and in-situ (on-site) observations of the transient synoptic systems – like low-pressure areas and depressions that form in the Bay of Bengal – during the southwest monsoon season from June to September.



Hydrogen-powered ferry

  • Prime Minister launched India’s first indigenously developed hydrogen fuel cell ferry.
  • The vessel, manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), will be deployed for service at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell vessels do not use conventional batteries as the primary storage house of electrical energy. The vessels run on hydrogen fuel, which is stored in cylinders.

Venice Biennale

  • The 60th edition of the Venice Biennale, known as “the Olympics of the art world”, will open on 20 April 2024.
  • The Venice Biennale is one of the biggest and most prestigious art fairs in the world.

Man-made methane leak

  • Scientists revealed that a drilling incident, at an exploration well in the Mangistau region, southwestern Kazakhstan, led to one of the worst methane leaks in history.
  • It was possibly the second biggest man-made methane leak ever.
  • Methane is a potent greenhouse gas — it traps heat in the atmosphere and adds to global warming.
  • Leaks from fossil fuel operations are the biggest source of methane emissions. About 40% of human-caused methane emissions come from such operations.

Pi Day

  • March 14, or 3/14 as per the American convention, is celebrated as Pi Day worldwide as an ode to the most well-known approximation (3.14) of the mathematical constant Pi.
  • In 2019, UNESCO’s 40th General Conference designated Pi Day as the International Day of Mathematics.
  • Pi, represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference (boundary) to its diameter (a straight line between two points on the circle’s boundary, passing through its centre). Regardless of the circle’s size, this ratio always remains constant.

SIMA or Scalable Instructable Multiworld Agent

  • Google DeepMind revealed its latest AI gaming agent called SIMA or Scalable Instructable Multiworld Agent, which can follow natural language instructions to perform tasks across video game environments.
  • SIMA points to a future of gaming where AI agents could play a key role.

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