India falls 6 spots to rank 144 in Passport Index 2023.

  • According to the Passport Index 2023, released by Arton Capital, the India passport ranking for 2023 has slipped to 144 with a mobility score of 70.
  • In 2023, India ranked 138th out of 199 countries.
  • The ranking was topped by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a mobility score of 181, followed by Sweden, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Austria.
  • Note: India ranked 85th out of 199 countries in the Henley Passport Index 2023.

World Bank approves $363 million loan to Karnataka for rural water supply.

  • The World Bank's Executive Board of Directors has approved a USD 363 million loan to the Indian state of Karnataka.
  • Reason: To provide a clean drinking water supply to two million rural households in the state through a piped water connection in their homes.
  • The USD 363 million loan from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
  • The loan has a maturity of 13.5 years including a grace period of two years.

India targeting defence exports worth Rs 40,000 crore by 2026.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed the Rising India Conclave in New Delhi on March 30, 2023.
  • During the event, he informed that India aims to achieve defence equipment exports target worth 40 thousand crore rupees by 2026.
  • In the last few years, defence exports have witnessed a quantum jump from 900 crore rupees to 14 thousand crore rupees (FY23).
  • He also highlighted the progress made by the country in all sectors.

World Bank announces $100 million as loan for Odisha.

  • The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has approved a $100 million loan to Odisha.
  • Reason: To robust its early forecasting systems for improved response to disasters and enhance its social protection coverage for poor and vulnerable households through digital platforms.
  • Odisha is vulnerable to natural disasters with cyclones hitting the state every 15 months on average.
  • The Program has a maturity of 12.5 years with a grace period of 3 years.

PNGRB approves unified tariff for natural gas pipeline.

  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board approved a unified tariff for a natural gas pipeline of Rs 73.93 per metric million British thermal units (MMBtu), effective from April 1, 2023.
  • Aim: To boost the consumption of natural gas and increase its share in India’s energy basket from 6.2% to 15% by 2030.
  • Three zones for unified tariff:
    • 1st: Up to the distance of 300 km from the source
    • 2nd: More than 300 km and up to 1,200 km
    • 3rd: Remaining length of the grid system

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