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  • Published
    29th Mar, 2023

Polity and Governance

First-ever batch of women sailors’

The first batch of Agniveers, including 273 women, of the Indian Navy passed out from Odisha coast.


  • The first batch of 2,585 Agniveers, of the Indian Navy passed out from the portals of INS Chilka in Odisha in a first of its kind- ceremonial night passing out parade held under the aegis of Southern Naval Command.
  • Though passing out parades (POPs) are traditionally conducted in the morning hours, it was the first occasion when the PoP was conducted post-sunset, a first-of-its-kind in the Indian Armed Forces.

Who are Agniveers?

  • The Agnipath Scheme was launched by the government on June 14, 2022.
  • Subsequently, the Indian Navy had carried out a pan-India merit-based Agnipath recruitment scheme and leveraged the opportunity to commence the entry of women Agniveers into service.

Art and Culture

Hybrid gamosa

Amid rising controversy over an Assamese-Bangla paired gamosa, the Bangla Sahitya Sabha, Assam, (BSSA) tendered an apology for hurting sentiments through its act of cutting Assamese and Bengali 'gamosas' and mixing its designs.


  • Hybrid gamosa was made using the designs of Assamese gamosa and Bengali gamcchhas.
  • Half of the scarf it had used was a red-and-white phulam gamosa — considered a symbol of Assamese identity — while the other half was a red-and-white chequered pattern gamchha used by Bengalis.

Polity and Governance

Licences of 18 pharma firms cancelled

About 18 companies who are identified manufacturing spurious or substandard drugs, regulators have been either cancelled licenses of or halted manufacturing.


  • Permission to manufacture particular products was also cancelled for three companies, according to sources in the Union Health Ministry.
  • The government has identified 203 companies based on reports of samples collected at random.
  • The action was initiated around 15 days ago to ensure that companies do not manufacture spurious or substandard drugs.
  • It was also to ensure that they follow good manufacturing practices.


EPFO marginally hikes interest rate on Deposits

The Central Board of Trustees of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has decided an increase of 0.05% in the interest for Provident Fund deposits.


  • The new rate, applicable for 2022-23, will be 8.15%.

Employment Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO):

  • EPFO is one of the World's largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.
  • At present it maintains 24.77 crore accounts (Annual Report 2019-20) pertaining to its members.
  • The central board of trustees which administers the EPFO runs three schemes - EPF Scheme 1952, Pension Scheme 1995(EPS) and Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI).  

Science  and Technology

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

The UBports Foundation announced the general availability of the first Ubuntu Touch OTA release based on the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series.


  • Ubuntu can best be described as an African philosophy that places emphasis on 'being self through others'.
  • It is a form of humanism which can be expressed in the phrases 'I am because of who we all are' and ubuntu ngumuntu ngabantu in Zulu language.
  • The African word Ubuntu, which means ‘humanity to others’, invokes a spirit of collective, global and regional inter-governmental action, as well as communal and individual efforts to resolve the complex climate crisis.
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