1) Modi becomes first Indian PM to visit Sri Lanka in 28 years:
--> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 March 2015 flew into Colombo in the early hours for a historic visit.
--> Modi was received by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe at the airport after he arrived in Colombo for a two-day visit at 5.25 am. following an overnight journey from Port Louis in Mauritius in a special Air India plane.
--> Sri Lanka is the final stop of his three-nation tour of Indian Ocean island nations that took him to Seychelles and Mauritius.
--> Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Lanka in 28 years.
--> His trip to Lanka is also the first standalone prime ministerial visit to the island nation since the 1987 Rajiv Gandhi visit.
--> Modi is accompanied by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
2) Iceland withdraws its application to join the EU:
--> The North Atlantic island of Iceland has withdrawn its bid to join the European Union, with the government saying that its interests are best served outside the 28-nation EU.
--> Iceland started its membership negotiations in 2010 looking to better anchor itself to Europe two years after its economy imploded amid a banking collapse.
--> Iceland’s foreign ministry had announced on 12 March 2015 that the application was withdrawn.
3) INS Alleppey decommissioned:
--> INS Alleppey, one of the six Ponchicherry class coastal minesweepers purchased from the erstwhile USSR in the 1970s, was on 13 March 2015 decommissioned at sunset after nearly 35 years of service under the Western Naval Command.
--> After INS Alleppey’s decommissioning, the Indian Navy will be left with five other operational minesweeper vessels.
--> The ship was decommissioned by Rear Admiral MS Pawar, Flag Officer Commanding, Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area, at Mumbai Naval Dockyard.
4) RBI, Sri Lankan central bank agreed on currency swap deal:
--> Reserve Bank of India has agreed for a $1.5-billion currency swap agreement with the Sri Lankan central bank to help the island nation keep its currency stable, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on 13 March 2015.
--> The agreement was announced after a meeting between Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.
--> At the current valuation, one Indian rupee is equivalent to 2.12 Sri Lankan rupees. It has lost almost three per cent value in comparison to the Indian rupee so far in 2015.
5) World Sleep Day observed:
--> World Sleep Day is observed on the Friday of the second week of March.
--> This day is being organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) since the year 2008.
--> The aim of this day is to celebrate the benefits of good and healthy sleep and to draw society attention to the burden of sleep problems and their medicine, education and social aspects; to promote sleep disorders prevention and management.
6) UAE to host Asian Cup Football in 2019:
--> United Arab Emirates won a unanimous vote to host the Asian Cup in 2019, the Asian Football Confederation said.
--> It will be the second time that the UAE has organised the continent's showcase tournamnent having previously staged it in 1996, when the hosts lost a penalty shootout in the final to Saudi Arabia.
7) Pakistan tested 1st indigenous armed drone Burraq and laser guided missile Barq:
--> Pakistan on 13 March 2015 successfully tested its first indigenously built all-weather armed drone named Burraq and a laser guided missile named Barq.
--> By successfully testing of Burraq, Pakistan became the 9th country in the World to develop an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) domestically.
8) Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed sentenced to 13-year imprisonment:
--> Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed was on 13 March 2015 sentenced to 13-year imprisonment by a criminal court of Maldives under the anti-terrorism laws.
--> He was charged under the island nation’s Anti-Terrorism Act, 1990 for his order to arrest a Criminal Court judge Abdulla Mohamed in 2012.
9) Dr. Alka Beotra becomes Member of the Executive Board of WAADS:
--> Dr. Alka Beotra, Scientific Director, National Dope Testing Laboratory, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, has been nominated to the Executive Board of WAADS (World Association of Anti Doping Scientists).
--> Her tenure on the Executive Board of WAADS will be for a period of three years, i.e. from March 2015.
--> The WAADS is an organisation comprising anti doping scientists from all the WADA- accredited labs across the world.