1. UNGA adopts India-led resolution declaring 2023 as Int’l Year of Millets
- The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution sponsored by India and supported by over 70 nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The International Year of Millets is aimed at raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain and its suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions.
- India’s Permanent Mission to the UN also distributed savoury millet snack murukku to all UN Member States.
- The 193-member General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution, declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
- The resolution titled International Year of Millets 2023′ was initiated by India with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia and Senegal and was co-sponsored by over 70 nations.
- The resolution considers the urgent need to raise awareness of the climate-resilient and nutritional benefits of millets and to advocate for diversified, balanced and healthy diets through the increased sustainable production and consumption of millets.
2. Australia building world’s first platypus sanctuary
- Australian conservationists have unveiled plans to build the world’s first refuge for the platypus, to promote breeding and rehabilitation as the duck-billed mammal faces extinction due to climate change.
- The Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the New South Wales State government said they would build the specialist facility, mostly ponds and burrows for the semi-aquatic creatures, at a zoo 391 km from Sydney, by 2022.
3. Mary Kom appointed chairperson of AIBA’s champions and veterans committee
- Six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom has been appointed as the Chairperson of the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) Champions and Veterans Committee. The 37-year-old was voted to the post by AIBA’s board of directors on March 03, 2021.
- The Committee was formed in December 2020. It consists of the most respected worldwide boxing veterans and champions who have achieved significant results and who are ready to share their experience.
4. India inks pact with the Philippines for sale of ‘defence equipment
- India has signed a key pact with the Philippines called “implementing arrangement” for “procurement of defence material and equipment”, as per which the country will buy the BrahMos cruise missiles from India.
- Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who was also present at the pact’s signing ceremony in Manila.
- The BrahMos missile is produced by an India-Russian joint venture “BrahMos Aerospace” and it can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or from land platforms.
- It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.
- Currently, the missile is used only by India, however, several countries including the Philippines, Vietnam, South Africa, Egypt, Oman, Chile and Brunei have expressed interest in the procurement of the missile.
5. Ease of Living Index 2020 released
- Bengaluru emerged as the top city on the government’s Ease of Living Index 2020 that was released by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Pune was second and Ahmedabad was ranked third among 111 cities.
- A total of 111 cities under the Smart Cities Program, participated in the assessment exercise that was conducted in 2020.
- Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in this category.
- This was followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai respectively.
Less than Million category
- In this group, Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living.
- This was followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.
6. 11th QS World University Rankings 2021 released
- The 11th edition of the QS World University Rankings was released on March 04, 2021. The QS World University Rankings 2021 ranks the top 1,000 universities from around the world, covering 80 different locations. There are 47 new entrants on the list.
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States has retained its top position as the best university for the ninth year in a row.
- Stanford University, the United States and the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom are the second and third best University globally in QS World University Rankings 2021.
- The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay has emerged as the best institution. It is placed at 172 positions. No institute in India is in the top 100.
7. Indore and NDMC tops Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020
- The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has released the final rankings of the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020. The ranking has classified municipalities into two categories based on their population which are: million-plus category and the less than million categories.
- The Municipal Performance Index will help Municipalities in better planning and management, filling the gaps in city administration, and improving the liveability of cities for its citizens.
Million plus population category
- Indore has topped this list, followed by Surat and Bhopal.
Less than a million category
- New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) emerged as the leader, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.
8. SpaceX successfully tests Starship SN10 prototype rocket
- Elon Musk owned private rocket company, SpaceX successfully tested its Starship prototype rocket “SN10 “ after two recent failed attempts. SpaceX launched the rocket prototype, to an altitude of 10,000 kilometres and then landed back on the ground. However, the rocket exploded about six minutes after landing.
- The SN10 is an early prototype of the Starship Mars rocket of SpaceX which aims to get people and payloads to the moon, Mars and other distant destinations.
- This rocket is also a part of the company’s strategy to phase out its other flight hardware including, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets and Dragon cargo and crew capsules, and let Starship shoulder the entire load.
9. WAN-IFRA names The Hindu Group ‘Champion Publisher of the Year 2020’
- The Hindu Group won two golds and two silvers at South Asian Digital Media Awards given by WAN IFRA (World Association of News Publishers), culminating in being named ‘Champion Publisher of the Year’, owing to the highest tally on the points table.
- The awards are presented in recognition of outstanding work done by news publishers, in digital media. The winners were honoured virtually at the Digital Media India 2021 Conference held on March 3, 2021.
10. Kieron Pollard becomes 3rd Man to Hit 6 Sixes in an over
- Kieron Pollard hit six sixes in an over to guide West Indies to a comprehensive four-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the first game of their three-match T20 series.
- Pollard joins former India batsman Yuvraj Singh as the only other player to hit six sixes in an over in T20 cricket, and just the third man to hit six sixes in an international match, emulating Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) and Yuvraj Singh (India).
- Pollard achieved the feat when he hit Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya out of the park 6 times in the 6th over of West Indies’ successful chase in the first T20I at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
- Sri Lanka leg-spinner Akila Dananjaya (3-62) was the unfortunate bowler, pummelled in all directions by Pollard, and this coming after he had taken a hat-trick in his previous over.
11. J&K tops medals tally at Khelo India Winter National Games
- Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir topped the medals tally in the second edition of the Khelo India Winter National Games. J&K won 11 gold, 18 silver and 5 bronze medals.
- The five-day mega sports event which began on the 26th of February concluded in the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The event was e-inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The second edition of the Khelo India winter games is a major step towards making Jammu and Kashmir a hub of the winter games.
- In the event, more than 1,000 athletes from 27 states and union territories took part.
- The event was organised by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in collaboration with the J&K Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir.
12. India to commemorate ‘Chabahar Day’ on 4 March
- The Ministry of External Affairs India will commemorate ‘Chabahar Day’ on March 4 on the sidelines of the Maritime India Summit 2021 being held in New Delhi.
- The virtual event will see the participation of ministers from Afghanistan, Armenia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.
- The Summit is being held from March 2-4, 2021. The ministerial-level opening session would be followed by two webinar sessions namely the ‘Boosting Business through Trade Promotion and Regional Connectivity’ and ‘Development of Port Infrastructure: Unleashing Opportunities’.