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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

12 Sep 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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President Of India Addresses India-Iceland Business Forum

  •  The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed the India-Iceland Business Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland on September 11, 2019.
  • The President said that India's growth and commitment to sustainability and Iceland's business strengths make for a natural partnership.
  • Iceland's capacity in the fields of geothermal energy, circular economy, financial services, fisheries, food processing, shipping, tourism and innovation are second to none.
  • It is a pioneer in green technologies, be it carbon capture, energy efficient buildings or waste-to-wealth projects.
  • Its economic success is a story that many would like to emulate. India's transformative growth programmes and next-generation infrastructure projects present immense opportunities for Icelandic companies.
  • The President met Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir of Iceland at a working lunch hosted in his honour.
  • The President will leave for Switzerland – the second leg of his visit.

India Participates in Thessaloniki International Fair in Greece

  •  An Indian delegation led by Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce and Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri participated in the 84th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) in Greece.
  • Senior officials and businessmen and prominent Indian entrepreneurs were part of the delegation.
  • India is the honoured country at the 84th TIF. 
  • New India Pavilion was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri on 7th September, 2019.
  •  The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry held a press interaction during the trade fair and highlighted the prospects for the development of Indian business in Greece and the wider region of Southeast Europe to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the two countries.
  • Hardeep Singh Puri said that India's economy is expected to reach USD 5 trillion in 2025 and it will be among the largest in the world. 

St. Vincent and Grenadines, 79th country to join India-led Intl Solar Alliance

  •  Saint Vincent and Grenadines became the 79th country to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative by India aimed at combating the threats of climate change and global warming.
  • Countries which have signed the agreement until now include Bolivia, Palau, France, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Japan, amongst others.
  • The agreement was opened for signature during the COP22 at Marrakech on November 15, 2016.
  • The International Solar Alliance is a group of 121 solar resource-rich countries with headquarters in Gurugram, India.
  • The organisation aims to deploy over 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy and mobilise more than USD 1,000 billion into solar power by 2030, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

ENVIRONMENT

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Two New Species Of Ginger Discovered From Nagaland

  •  Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered two new species of Zingiber, commonly referred to as ginger, from Nagaland. While Zingiber perenense has been discovered from the Peren district of Nagaland, Zingiber dimapurense was found in the Dimapur district of the State.
  • Details of both discoveries were published in two peer-reviewed journals earlier in 2019. Of the two species, Zingiber dimapurense is taller in size, with leafy shoots measuring 90-120 cm high, whereas the leafy shoots of Zingiber perenense reach up to 70 cm in height.
  • For Zingiber dimapurense, the lip of the flower (modified corolla) is white in colour, with dense dark- purplish red blotches.Its pollen is a creamy-white and ovato-ellipsoidal, whereas the fruit is an oblong 4.5 cm-5.5 cm long capsule.
  • In the case of Zingiber perenense, which was discovered about 50 km from where the other species was found, the lip of the flower is white with purplish-red streaks throughout, and the pollen is ellipsoidal.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Airtel Xstream Fiber Broadband Plan With 1Gbps Speed Launched At Rs 3,999

  •  To counter Reliance Jio Fiber's broadband plans offering internet speeds of up to 1Gbps, Airtel has come up with a similar high-speed plan of its own. India's largest wired broadband firm has launched the Xstream Fiber service which delivers broadband speed of 1Gbps.
  • Along with breakneck internet speed Airtel Xtream Fiber also comes bundled with unlimited calls and the host of content benefits.
  • Airtel has priced the Xstream Fiber service at Rs 3,999 per month. Notably, Reliance Jio Fiber offers 1Gbps network speed with its Platinum and Titanium plans worth Rs 3,999 and Rs 8,499 respectively.

Mahindra Partners with Salesforce For Digital Transformation in Customer Experience

  •  Mahindra & Mahindra announced its partnership with global customer relationaship management (CRM) firm Salesforce to digitise the customer experience value chain.
  • This will be a unique digital transformation in the Indian automobile industry.
  • Mahindra has embarked on a digital transformation journey to deliver an industry-leading connected customer experience, connected employees experience and an intelligent dealer engagement.
  • For this, it has partnered with Salesforce, Sitecore and PwC India to move from various solutions to a single unified platform to provide a holistic, coherent and connected view of its customers by capturing all customer data in one place.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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Govt Launched Multilingual 'CHC Farm Machinery' Mobile App For Farmers

  •  The Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Purushottam Rupala launched a multilingual mobile app 'CHC Farm Machinery' during the National Conference on crop residue Management for farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
  • Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister also shared his ideas among farmers to ensure zero burning in all villages and also thanked farmers for bringing down incidents of stubble burning.
  • While launching the mobile app several farmers shared experiences and gave suggestions about crop residue management.
  • It was claimed by the ministry that more than 1000 farmers attended the conference from four States.

Gurugram Police Ties Up With Google for Traffic Updates

  •  The Gurugram traffic police have tied up with Google maps for dissemination of traffic related information in real time for public use.
  • The information such as planned road closures, diversions, traffic alerts regarding road crash etc. is now shared by Gurugram traffic police with Google maps.
  • Based on the information shared by the traffic police, Google maps immediately updates the information on its public maps.
  • For instance, if traffic police plans to close a particular road on a particular date and at a particular time for a proposed marathon, then this information is passed on to Google maps in advance.
  • Google maps then shows the road as closed and automatically redirects the commuters to alternate roads.

SPORTS

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India Holds Asian Champion Qatar To Goalless Draw - Match In Numbers

  •  Igor Stimac's Indian football team put up a resolute defensive display to hold reigning Asian champion Qatar to a goalless draw during their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Doha's Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
  • Qatar had the better of chances, as many as 17 of them, but could not find the back of the net owing to some phenomenal goalkeeping from stand-in captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
  • The Indian defence stood strong and the forwards even managed to work out a couple of chances, but neither side could break the deadlock and shared the spoils.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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400 Punjab Farmers to Participate In National Conference on Crop Residue Management

  •  As many as 400 innovative and progressive farmers from Punjab will participate in National Conference of Farmers on Crop residue Management to be held in New Delhi.
  • Punjab agriculture department spokesperson said that nearly 1000 farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh would be part of this conference and also share their innovative ideas adopted for in-situ crop residue management.
  • This conference being organized by the Government of India at NASC Complex, New Delhi would go a long way in mitigating the problem of stubble burning besides creating awareness among farming community.
  • Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will give inaugural address in this conference.

PM Modi In Mathura

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Mathura for the day to inaugurate several programmes met women who pick up plastic waste from garbage in the city and extended a helping hand to them.
  • PM Narendra Modi, who is on a mission to completely eradicate single-use plastic waste from the country, was seen segregating plastic from garbage piles along with the women at the 'Swacchata Hi Seva' programme in Mathura.
  • PM is slated to launch a campaign against single-use plastic products.
  • PM Modi, also visited a cattle farm and was seen playing with a calf. 
  • Narendra Modi will be launching the 'National Animal Disease Control Programme'  as well as the 'National Artificial Insemination Programme'.

GeM And Punjab Government Sign MoU For Setting Up Project Management Unit

  •  Government e Marketplace (GeM) under the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Government of Punjab, signed MoU to set up a GeM Organizational Transformation Team (GOTT) Project Management Unit (PMU) in the state.
  • The MoU was signed by Additional CEO,GeM, S. Suresh Kumar, and Director Industries, Government of Punjab, C. Sibinat Chandigarh on 10th September, 2019.
  • It is projected that through the initiatives of GOTT PMU, Government of Punjab will be able to transact around Rs 1700 crore in terms of annual Gross Merchandize Value (GMV) on GeM platform in the first year and over Rs 3000 crore per annum, over a period of time.

DEFENCE

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DRDO Successfully Test Fires Indigenously Developed Anti-Tank Guided Missile System

  •  Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired an indigenously-developed Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) system on September 11, 2019. This test was conducted at Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
  • This missile system will be used by Army very soon as it was the third series of successful testing of MPATGM. Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO for the successful test of the missile.
  • The Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) is an indigenous missile which is based on the fire-and-forget system.
About Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile
  •  It has been developed by DRDO in partnership with Bharat Dynamics Limited.
  •  It is low weight (approx 14.5 kg) with command launch unit weighing 14.25 kg. 
  • It can hit a target up to 2.5 km; it is equipped with an advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IIR) with state-of-the-art avionics.
  •  India started working on MPATGM in 2005.The first trial of the MPATGM was conducted on September 15, 2018, and Second trail was made on 16 September, 2018. 
  • After that, DRDO test-fired this missile for the first time on 13 March 2019 and the second test was conducted on 14 March, 2019 in the Rajasthan desert.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Former Indonesian President Habibie Dies, Aged 83

  •  Former Indonesian president B J Habibie has died at the age of 83. He died of heart failure at Jakarta's Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital.
  • Habibie, whose full name was Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, was Indonesia's third president following Suharto's more than 30-year rule. 
  • An engineer by training, he was in office for less than two years. He saw Indonesia through the Asian financial crisis and ordered a referendum for East Timor's independence.
  • The body of the late president will be taken to his house in Kuningan, Jakarta. He will be buried next to his wife in the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery. 

Pramod Kumar Mishra Is Principal Secy To PM Narendra Modi

  •  Pramod Kumar Mishra was appointed principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, succeeding Nripendra Misra. Former cabinet secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha was appointed principal adviser to the prime minister.
  • Mishra, who had been additional principal secretary to the PM since 2014, was promoted after Mishra sought to be relieved of his duties.
  • Mishra served as principal secretary to Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister between 2001 and 2004.
  • Sinha's appointment order did not say whether he would be given the status of a cabinet minister like his senior counterparts in the Prime Minister's Office — PK Mishra and national security adviser Ajit Doval. Both Mishra and Sinha will report to the prime minister.

AWARDS AND HONOURS

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Usha Khanna Confers with 'Lata Mangeshkar Award

  •  Veteran music director Usha Khanna has been conferred the Maharashtra government's "Lata Mangeshkar Award" for the year 2019-20, Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde announced.
  • The award, instituted in 1993, has been given to senior musicians for their contribution to the industry.
  • The award, named after the legendary singer, consists of Rs 5,00,000 cash, a citation and a memento.
  • Khanna, 78, is one of the few women musicians in the Indian film industry who carved out a niche for herself in the otherwise male-dominated field.

Geoffrey Boycott, Strauss Given Knighthoods

  •  England cricket greats Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss have been given knighthoods by Theresa May in her resignation honours list.
  • Boycott and Strauss both received the honour for their services to sport after outstanding careers for England. 
  • Former England and Middlesex batsman Strauss hit 7,037 runs in 100 Tests from 2004 to 2012.
  • Sir Geoffrey Boycott OBE is a retired cricketer, who formerly played cricket for Yorkshire and England. 

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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Kerala To Set Up India's First Global Trade Centre For Women

  •   Kerala is all set to set up India's first International Women's Trade Centre (iWTC), in consonance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDs), in Kozhikode.
  • This initiative aims to accelerate women entrepreneurship and secure gender parity while providing women with a safe place away from home to start new businesses, set up or expand, and get their products marketed globally.
  • The first phase of iWTC, being executed under the Gender Park's "Vision 2020", is scheduled to be completed by 2021.

Tata Group Private Partner in Indian Institute Of Skills, Mumbai

  •  Tata Education Development Trust will invest ₹300 crore in the PPP, not-for-profit facility.
  • Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), laid the foundation stone for Indian Institute of Skills (IIS) at Mumbai.
  • Union Minister Sanjay Dhotre launches Curriculum for Life Skills (Jeevan Kaushal) designed by University Grants Commission (UGC)
  • UGC constituted Expert Committee prepared a Curriculum for Life Skills (JeevanKaushal) for Under Graduate Programme.
  • The curriculum is designed to impart and strengthen the knowledge, skills and dispositions believed to be the best requisites of the current Industry and thereby empower the talent inherent in each learner. 

LSE To Host New Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships

  •  The trust responsible for installing Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament Square in 2015 announced a fund for scholarships named after the iconic leader of India's freedom struggle for deserving Indian students at the London School of Economics.
  • Meghnad Desai, member of the House of Lords and chair of the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, said it is donating £100,000 as an endowment towards the scholarships in keeping with its mandate to spread the message of Gandhi.
  • The seed money is expected to be joined by other donations so that a corpus would be built up in time, the trust said, adding that its endowment has been welcomed by the LSE director, Minouche Shafik, who is currently on a visit to India.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

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A Book Titled "Savarkar: Echoes From a Forgotten Past, 1883-1924" Released

  •  A book titled "Savarkar: Echoes from a forgotten past, 1883-1924″ is penned by Bengaluru-based historian Vikram Sampath and published by Penguin.
  • This book describes the life of freedom fighter and Philosopher Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar.
  • This first volume of the two-volume series covers the life of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar), from his birth in 1883 to his conditional release to Ratnagiri in 1924.
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