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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 29th March 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 29th March 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

LaQshya Programme:

The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare informed Lok Sabha about the LaQshya Programme.

  • It aims to ensure Quality of Care during intrapartum and immediate post-partum periods in Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatre.
  • It covers all Government Medical College Hospitals, District Hospitals & equivalent health facilities, designated FRUs as well as high case load CHCs.
  • Goal is to reduce preventable maternal and newborn mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in the Labour room and Maternity OT and ensure respectful maternity care.
  • Under the purview of LaQshya, one of the facility-level targets is to achieve a 5% or less Surgical Site Infection Rate in Maternity OT or at least a reduction of 30% from the baseline.
  • At the time of LaQshya certification, compliance with the above-mentioned requirement is verified by the independent empanelled NQAS assessors.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Moray eel : New Species

Researchers have discovered a new species of Moray eel at the Mudasalodai fish landing centre off the Cuddalore coast.

  • Moray eels or Muraenidae are a family of eels found worldwide
  • They have small eyes and rely primarily on their highly developed sense of smell to ambush prey. Their body is mostly patterned.
  • Moray eels live in shallow water among reefs and rocks in all tropical and subtropical seas.
  • Moray eels can be found in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
  • They are distinguished by two types of jaws: regular (oral) jaws with large teeth and the pharyngeal jaw (which drags prey inside the eel’s stomach).
  • The newly discovered species has been named after Tamil Nadu as Gymnothorax tamilnaduensis with common name as Tamil Nadu brown moray.

Marine Protected Areas:

The Union minister of state for science and technology and earth sciences recently said that India will continue to support setting up two Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Antarctica to protect marine life and its ecosystem services.

  • MPAs are areas of the ocean set aside for long-term conservation aims.
  • They support climate change adaptation and mitigation while providing other ecosystem services.
  • The specific purposes, legal authority, level of protection, management approaches, and use allowance of individual marine protected areas (MPAs) can vary greatly from site to site
  • Many MPAs allow people to use the area in ways that do not damage the environment. Some ban fishing. A few do not allow people to enter the area at all.
  • MPAs currently cover about 6.35% of the ocean. However, only just over 1.89% of that area is covered by exclusively no-take MPAs that do not allow any fishing, mining, drilling, or other extractive activities.

United Nations High Seas Treaty:

  • It is the first-ever treaty to protect the world’s oceans that lie outside national boundaries.
  • It is also known as the ‘Paris Agreement for the Ocean.’
  • It is a legally binding treaty to protect marine life in international waters.

India’s First Bauxite Certified Reference Material:

National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) have jointly developed India’s first Bauxite Certified Reference Material (CRM) named BARC B1201.

  • This is the fifth CRM of its kind in the world.
  • A Bauxite Certified Reference Material (CRM) is a standardized sample of bauxite that has been certified to have a known and consistent composition.
  • CRMs are used as calibration standards for analytical methods, instrument performance evaluation, and data quality control in routine analysis of bauxite.
  • The use of CRMs ensures the accuracy and reliability of analytical results and facilitates inter-laboratory


  • National Aluminium Company Limited (est. 1981; HQ: Bhubaneshwar) is a government company having integrated and diversified operations in mining, metal and power under the ownership of the Ministry of Mines.

Scheme Of Scholarship And Fellowship For Promotion Of Art And Culture:

The Ministry of Culture is implementing a Scheme by the name of ‘Scheme of Scholarship and Fellowship for Promotion of Art and Culture’ to protect all genres of artists including folk song artists.

  • The scheme has three components:
    • Award of Scholarships to Young Artists (SYA) (a Scholarship of Rs.5000/- per month)
    • Award of Senior/Junior Fellowships for cultural research
    • Award of Tagore National Fellowship for cultural research.
  • Folk art covers all forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture.
  • It is produced from an indigenous culture and is characterized by a native style, in which customary rules of proportion and perspective are not employed.

Gandhamardan Hills : Third Biodiversity Heritage Site In Odisha

Gandhamardan hills were named the third biodiversity heritage site in Odisha recently.

  • The Gandhamardan hill (Gandhamardan Reserve Forest) spreads in Bargarh and Balangir districts in Odisha.
  • This ecologically fragile ecosystem is rich in floral and faunal diversity and is protected under the Odisha Biodiversity Rules,2012.
  • Biodiversity heritage site are well-defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems.
  • They have a high diversity of wild and domesticated species, the presence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species.
  • Under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 the State Government in consultation with local bodies may notify the areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites.
  • There are 36 Biodiversity Heritage Site in India.

Depleted Uranium : UK To Provide Weapons

UK committed to provide weapons containing depleted uranium to Ukraine.

  • Depleted Uranium is a by-product of the process of creating enriched uranium, which is used in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons.
  • In comparison to enriched uranium, depleted uranium is much less radioactive.
  • It is incapable of generating a nuclear reaction.
  • It is denser than lead.
  • It is thus ,widely used in weapons as it can easily penetrate armour plating.
  • Apart from the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Pakistan produce uranium weapons.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park : Four Tiger Cubs Born

Four tiger cubs were born in Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park after 13 years.

  • It is a protected area near Mumbai in Maharashtra.
  • It was formerly known as Borivali National Park.
  • It was renamed to its present name in 1996, after Sanjay Gandhi who was the eldest son of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • It is part of the Western Ghats’ biodiversity.
  • It forms roughly 20.5% of Mumbai’s geographical area.
  • Kanheri Caves is situated within a national park

Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Vikas Yojna (PMJVM) : Update

The government made a statement in Lok Sabha saying that it is providing 15 lakh rupees per Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK) under the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Vikas Yojna (PMJVM).

  • Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Vikas Yojna was launched in 2018.
  • It seeks to improve tribal incomes through the value addition of tribal products.
  • The scheme will be implemented through the Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department.
  • Tribal Co-Operative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) will be the Nodal Agency at the National Level.


  • It was established in 1987 under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984 by the Government of India as a National level Cooperative body.
  • It was under the administrative control of the then Ministry of Welfare of India.
  • The objective of TRIFED is socio-economic development of tribal people in the country by way of marketing development of the tribal products
  • At the State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at the grassroots level.
  • Locally the Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.
  • A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra constitutes 10 tribal Van Dhan Vikas Self Help Groups (SHG), each comprising of upto 30 MFP gatherers or tribal handicraft artisans i.e. about 300 beneficiaries per Kendra.