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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

Read today's headlines and TAKE TEST to keep a watch on current happenings

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

K. P. Sharma Oli Re-elected Chairman of Nepal's CPN-UML Party

  • Nepal's main opposition CPN-UML overwhelmingly re-elected former Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli as the chairman of the country's largest Communist Party for the second time.
  • Oli bagged 1,840 votes against his nearest rival Bhim Rawal, who got 223 votes, registering a landslide victory in the party's 10th general convention held in Chitwan district.
  • Oli was re-elected as the party chief for the next five years.

New Zealand's Opposition Party Picks Former Airline Boss as New Leader

  • New Zealand's main opposition National Party selected a former Air New Zealand chief executive as its new leader to face Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the next election in 2023.
  • Christopher Luxon, who helmed Air New Zealand for seven years until September 2019, had long been seen as the likely next leader of the conservative National party, which faced its worst defeat in the 2020 election.
  • He becomes the party's fifth leader in just four years after Judith Collins, who headed the National's campaign in 2020.

Honduras Votes in First Female President

  • Honduras looks set to elect its first female President, Xiomara Castro, after the ruling party conceded defeat.
  • Ms. Castro, the candidate for the left-wing Libre (Free) Party, has a preliminary lead of almost 20 percentage points over her rival.
  • Her victory will bring an end to the 12-year reign of the right-wing National Party, which has been plagued by scandals and corruption accusations.
  • Ms. Castro will replace the divisive President Juan Orlando Hernández.
  • He has been dogged by allegations of ties to the drugs trade after his brother Antonio was jailed for trafficking in the United States.
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ENVIRONMENT

Researchers Discover New Marine Reptile

  • Kyhytysuka sachicarum is a new marine reptile species discovered by an international team of researchers. It is an extinct species. It was discovered from fossils found in central Columbia. Earlier scientists believed that it belonged to Platypterygius genus. Recently, it was discovered that it is a different species. And thus it is now named as Kyhytysuka sachicarum.
  • Kyhytysuka means "the one that cuts with something sharp". The word belongs to the indigenous language of central Columbia.
  • The new species has been named Kyhytysuka sachicarum to honour the Muisca culture of central Columbia. The Muisca are also called Chibcha. They were conquered by the Spanish in 1537. They were mainly agrarians. They also extracted salt from the sea.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

HSBC Launches India's 1st Credit Card Made from Recycled PVC Plastic

  • HSBC India launched India's 1st credit card made from recycled PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) plastic. The cards were introduced in partnership with global cards manufacturer IDEMIA to gradually eliminate single-use PVC plastic. The cards are made from 85 per cent recycled plastic and each card will save 3.18 gm of plastic waste in addition to helping lower overall carbon emission.
  • The card was launched as a part of a new program launched by HSBC Group to introduce sustainable cards across all its global locations to support its global commitments to sustainability and a net-zero in its operations by 2030.

RBI Appoints Three-member Advisory Committee to Assist RCap's Administrator

  • After superseding the board of Reliance Capital (RCap), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed an advisory committee tasked with assisting the administrator appointed to the company in discharging his duties.
  • The three-member advisory committee includes State Bank of India's ex–deputy managing director (DMD) Sanjeev Nautiyal, Axis Bank's ex-DMD Srinivasan Varadarajan, and Tata Capital's ex-MD and chief executive officer Praveen P. Kadle.

Walmart Announces MoU with MP Government to Train and Support MSMEs

  • Walmart and its subsidiary Flipkart announced they will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Madhya Pradesh government to create an ecosystem of capacity building for MSMEs in the state.
  • Under the partnership with Department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the MP government, Walmart and Flipkart will help MSMEs digitize their businesses and enable them to sell products across India through online retail.
  • The initiative comes under Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Programme.
  • Launched in 2019, Walmart Vriddhi aims to train 50,000 Indian MSMEs with the business skills necessary to succeed as suppliers to Walmart, sellers on Flipkart, and other domestic and global marketplace platforms.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Researchers Create Self-Replicating Living Robots

  • Professor Joshua Bongard, a computer scientist and robotics expert at the University of Vermont, and his colleagues from Tufts University and Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, built the first living robots (Xenobots, assembled from cells of a frog species called Xenopus laevis) in 2020, discovered that these computer-designed and hand-assembled organisms can swim out into their tiny dish, find single cells, gather hundreds of them together, and assemble 'baby' Xenobots inside their Pac-Man-shaped 'mouth' — that, a few days later, become new Xenobots that look and move just like themselves; and then these new Xenobots can go out, find cells, and build copies of themselves.
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SPORTS

Messi Wins the Ballon d'Or Award

  • Argentina's Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or award for the best player in the world for a record-stretching seventh time, beating Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to lift soccer's most prestigious trophy yet again.
  • The forward added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 trophies after winning the Copa America for the first time with his country last July.
  • The women's Ballon d'Or went to Barcelona's Alexia Putellas.

Chelsea Takes Club of the Year Award at 2021 Ballon d'Or

  • Chelsea was announced as the inaugural winner of the Club of the Year award at the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris.
  • The award - which comprises the achievements of both the men's and women's team - comes at the end of a fantastic season for the club.
  • Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in Fulham, West London. Founded in 1905, the club competes in the Premier League, the top division of English football.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Govt. Seeks Names of Farmer Leaders for Panel on MSP, other Issues

  • To constitute a committee for discussion on MSP and other issues, the Centre has sought five names from the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) and it will be decided by the umbrella body of farmer unions in its December 4 meeting.
  • The move comes a day after both Houses of Parliament passed a Bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws against which farmers have been protesting for a year.
  • The SKM, an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions, has been spearheading the farmers' movement against the three farm laws and their other demands, including a legal guarantee for MSP.

India - ITU Joint Cyber Drill 2021

  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Department of Telecommunications operating under the Ministry of Communications conducted a Joint Cyber Drill 2021.
  • The cyber drill was conducted for the Critical Network Infrastructure operators of India. The Critical Network Infrastructure is the systems, assets and networks that are essential to ensure the security of a country.
  • It aimed to improve the cyber security readiness of India. Also, it aimed to improve the protection and incident response capability of the country.
  • During the cyber drill, the cyber attacks and information security incidents were simulated. And the participants were trained to defend and respond against such incidents. Thus, the drill helped to test the cyber capabilities of an organisation.

Government Launches 'Unique' Face Recognition Techology for Pensioners

  • Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh launched a "unique" face recognition technology for pensioners.
  • The face recognition technology would act as a proof of life certificate' for pensioners.
  • It will ensure ease of living for retired & elderly citizens.
  • All pensioners are required to submit their life certificate annually in order to receive pension.
  • Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions has also implemented a facility to give certificate digitally.
  • This face recognition technology has been devised by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in collaboration with the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India). The initiative to provide digital life certificates was launched by the Department of Pension and Pensioners' Welfare (DoPPW).
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Sanjay Dutt is Arunachal's Brand Icon

  • Sanjay Dutt was roped in as Brand Ambassador of '50 Years of Arunachal Pradesh' celebration.
  • Ha said that Arunachal Pradesh's culture, food and people are unique.
  • Dutt kicked off the media campaign for the month-long celebrations at Mechuka in Shi-Yomi district of the state.
  • Known erstwhile as North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA), Arunachal Pradesh came into existence as a Union Territory on January 20, 1972.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

BSF Celebrates 57th Raising Day

  • The Border Security Force (BSF) celebrated its 57th Raising Day on December 1, 2021. BSF was formed on December 1, 1965 as a unified central agency after the Indo-Pak and India-China wars for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected therewith. It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of the Union of India and stands as the world's largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.

World AIDS Day

  • World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.
  • World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Bunn and Netter took their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann, Director of the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS). Mann liked the concept, approved it, and agreed with the recommendation that the first observance of World AIDS Day should be on 1 December 1988.
  • The Theme of Worlds Aids Day 2021 was 'End inequalities. End AIDS'.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Govt. Approves Continuation of Scheme for Investment Promotion

  • The government approved the continuation of the Scheme for Investment Promotion (SIP) for five years (2021-26) with a financial outlay of Rs. 970 crore.
  • The scheme comprises a number of components and activities for the promotion of investment into the country; enhancing international co-operation for promoting FDI and capacity building.
  • To increase the investment inflow, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has been undertaking various initiatives and reforms such as the launching of Make in India, setting up of project development cells, creating a GIS-based Industrial Information System and National Investment Clearance Cell.

Bill Passed to Relax norms for Infra Requirement of Bihar pvt Varsities

  • The Bihar assembly introduced and passed an amendment Bill that seeks to relax norms for meeting infrastructure requirements of private universities in the state.
  • The Bihar Private Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021 proposes that such institutes will be allowed to function from makeshift venues, provided they meet all other conditions.
  • Besides, if they are unable to develop the prescribed built up area within the stipulated period of two years, they will get another two years to complete it.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

NCC to be Introduced as General Elective Credit Course

  • Recognizing the importance of NCC in shaping the youth of the country, University of Jammu issued a notification to incorporate NCC as a "General Elective Credit Course" under the Choice Based Credit System. This is in line with NEP 2020 from the upcoming academic session 2021-2022 of the University, with the objective of harnessing the full potential of NCC's capacity in youth development.
  • The syllabus of NCC adopted by University of Jammu for Senior Division/ Wing will be covered in 300 lectures over a three-year duration, in addition to two camps of 10 days each for becoming eligible to appear in the NCC 'B' and 'C' certificate examinations.

Lt Gen Manoj Kuma Mago to Head National Defence College

  • Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Mago took over as the Commandant of National Defence College (NDC), New Delhi.
  • Lt Gen Mago, who hails from Ludhiana, was commanding the 10 Corps at Bathinda before being given the assignment at NDC that entails evolving a strategic culture among the country's senior-most officials of the military, the civilian bureaucracy and the Indian Police Service. Lt Gen Mago, who passed out of Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, was commissioned into 7th Battalion of the Brigade of Guards in 1984. He later commanded 16 Guards.
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ART AND CULTURE

Work of Indian Photographers Displayed at Israel Embassy's Hanukkah Exhibition

  • The Israel Embassy in India exhibited photographs of Indian photographers during a cultural photo gallery event organised to mark the occasion of Hanukkah. The photo gallery showcased the cultural history of Israel's ancient capital Jerusalem through the camera lenses of Indians.
  • Titled 'Transcending Jerusalem', the exhibition presented the work of three Indian photographers who went to Jerusalem and captured the Holy City from an Indian perspective.
  • The photo exhibition was curated by Dr. Alka Pande and is open to the public from November 30 to December 15 at Museo Camera Centre for the Photographic Arts, Gurugram.
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Check out this section daily for all the Latest News and ace the GK section. Click on 'Start Test' to attempt a test on all the latest highlights.
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