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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

25 Sep 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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UK Supreme Court Rules Suspension Of Parliament Illegal

  •  In a major blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Britain's highest court ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks in the crucial countdown to the country's Brexit deadline was illegal.
  • The unanimous Supreme Court ruling declared the order to suspend Parliament "void and of no effect."
  • Supreme Court President Brenda Hale said the suspension was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.

India Announces 12 Million Dollar Grant For High Impact Developmental Projects In Pacific Island Countries

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi met leaders of the Pacific Islands Developing States (PSIDS) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.
  • The Prime Minister demonstrated India's commitment to advancing their development priorities.
  • External Affairs Ministry said, in the spirit of his fundamental Mantra "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas", Prime Minister Modi announced the allocation of 12 million US Dollar grant towards the implementation of high impact developmental project in the area of their choice.

After Thomas Cook Collapse, U.K. Launches Largest Peacetime Repatriation Operation

  •   British travel company Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy, stranding hundreds of thousands of holiday-makers and prompting the British government to initiate what it is calling the largest peacetime repatriation in the nation's history.
  • The effort, dubbed Operation Matterhorn, aims to fly 150,000 travelers who were booked on Thomas Cook flights back home to Britain.
  • The mammoth task is expected to cost more than $120 million, said the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
  • The organization has chartered dozens of planes to fly Thomas Cook travelers home free of charge. Other travelers will be booked on already scheduled flights by other airlines.

ENVIRONMENT

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UN Climate Summit

  •  A new leadership group, to be led by India and Sweden, was announced at the United Nations Climate Action Summit to help guide the world's heaviest greenhouse gas emitting industries towards low-carbon economy.
  • Besides India and Sweden, the other countries which are the part of the initiative include Argentina, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Korea and the UK.
  • Several companies are also an active part of the group. The new leadership group will drive transformation in hard-to-decarbonise and energy-intensive sectors.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Infosys Ranks 3rd In Forbes' List Of 'The World's Best Regarded Companies'

  •  As many as 17 Indian companies, including Infosys, TCS and HDFC, have been named in the list of World's Best Regarded Companies compiled by Forbes.
  • IT major Infosys has been ranked third in the list of World's Best Regarded Companies, along with global payments technology company Visa and Italian car-maker Ferrari on the first and second position, respectively.
  • Tata Consultancy Services (22nd position) and Tata Motors (31) featured among the top 50 in the coveted list.
  • Other Indian companies in the list include Tata Steel (105), Larsen & Toubro (115), Mahindra & Mahindra (117), HDFC (135), Bajaj Finserv (143), Piramal Enterprises (149), Steel Authority of India (153), HCL Technologies (155), Hindalco Industries (157), Wipro (168), HDFC Bank (204).

Asian Development Bank Sharply Cuts India's GDP Growth Forecast To 6.5 Pc For FY20

  • The Asian Development Bank sharply cut India's growth forecast to 6.5 per cent for the current fiscal, weighed down by the GDP growth rate dipping to a six-year low in the first quarter.
  • In its supplement to the Asian Development Outlook, the Manila-headquartered multi-lateral funding agency cut the country's GDP growth estimate to 7 per cent for 2019-20 on the back of fiscal shortfall concerns.
  • Abrupt declines in manufacturing and investment reflect uncertainty ahead of general elections, subdued lending by banks and other financial institutions, stress in the rural economy, and a weakening external outlook.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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Planned For Six Months, India's Mars Mission Mangalyaan Completes Five Years

  •  The Mars Orbiter Mission is the only artificial satellite that could image the full disc of Mars in one view frame and also image the far side of Deimos.
  • The Mangalyaan mission, which was initially meant to last six months, completed five years of orbiting Mars and is likely to continue for some more time.
  • In the past five years, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), India's first interplanetary endeavour, helped India's space agency prepare a Martian Atlas based on the images provided by the orbiter. 

India International Science Festival to be held in Kolkata from November 5 to 8, 2019

  •  The fifth edition of India International Science Festival (IISF) will be held in Kolkata from November 5-8, 2019, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan announced.
  • More than 12,000 participants, including 8,000 students, are expected to attend the event.
  • 350 students will replicate the experiment of wireless communication conducted by Jagdish Chandra Bose.
  • The DST, Department of Biotechnology, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Medical Research and the Ministry of Earth Sciences are major government sponsoring bodies for the event. 
  • It is being organised in collaboration with Vigynana Bharati, an RSS-linked scientific body.
  • The IISF will also hosts 28 different events such as Agriculture Scientists' Meet, Vigyan Samagam, Young Scientists Conference, Vigyanika-International Science Literature Festival, International Science Film Festival of India.

SPORTS

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Manipur clinch 25th Senior Women's National Football Championship

  •  Defending champion Manipur have clinched the title of the 25th Senior Women's National Football Championship for the 20th time.
  • In the final at CHF Ground in Pasighat, Manipur defeated Railways 1-0 in a thrilling contest. The first half witnessed no goals from either side.
  • Bala Devi is the highest scorer in the tournament with 20 goals. Railways' Sanju was declared the Player of the tournament.
  • Arunachal Pradesh had hosted the tournament for the first time. 

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Amit Shah Pays Tributes To BJP Ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay

  •  BJP President Amit Shah paid tributes to party ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay on his birth anniversary. Mr Shah paid floral tributes at his statue in party headquarters in New Delhi.
  • BJP Working President Jagat Prakash Nadda paid floral tributes to the leader at his statue in Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Vatika in the national capital.

Amit Shah Launches Portal For Private Security Agency Licencing

  •  Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched a government web portal to help private security agencies get the licence.
  • 'Private Security Agency Licensing Portal' will help private agencies in police verification of security guards,  expand their business across the country apart from providing other facilities.
  • Speaking at the launch event at Ambedkar International Centre, Shah said the portal will reduce formalities to get the licence and expand the business. 

DEFENCE

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Commissioned Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS Varaha

  •  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh commissioned the Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS Varaha at a special function held at Chennai Port.
  • The ship is the fourth in the series of seven offshore patrol vessels of the Coast Guard. It will be based at New Mangalore in Karnataka under the Western Command.
  •  The 98-metre offshore patrol vessel ICGS Varaha has been designed and constructed indigenously. It is equipped with 30- millimetre gun and has an integrated bridge system, platform management systems, automated power management system and high power external fire fighting system.
  •  ICGS Varaha is propelled by two 9100-kilowatt diesel engines. It can attain a maximum speed of 26 knots and has endurance of 5000 nautical miles.
  • It will be deployed for the surveillance of India's Exclusive Economic Zone and to safeguard the maritime interests of the country. 

DAYS AND EVENTS

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64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference 2019 at Uganda

  •  The annual meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is taking place in Kampala, Uganda and is hosted by the Parliament of Uganda.
  • The Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference is one of the largest gatherings of Commonwealth parliamentarians and is a unique and valuable opportunity to network with legislators for shared-learning and to build diplomatic relations. 
  • CPC will this year (in 2019) include the landmark 30th Anniversary Conference of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) as well as the election of the new Chairperson of CWP.
  • The theme of this year's conference is 'Adaption, engagement and evolution of Parliaments in a rapidly changing Commonwealth'

President Kovind Inaugurated 6th India Water Week

  • The 6th India Water Week -2019 was inaugurated by the President Shri Ram Nath Kovind in Delhi on 24th September.
  • The week is being organized by the Ministry of Jal Shakti. It is being organized since 2012.  It is an international event to focus on water-related issues. So far, 5 editions of India Water Week have been organized.
  • The theme of the 6th India Water Week -2019 is Water cooperation: Coping with 21st Century Challenges.
  • On this regard, India has signed and strengthened its international cooperation with 14 countries including Israel, Canada, Japan, Germany, and the UK.

AWARDS AND HONOURS

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Best FIFA Football Women Awards 2019

  •  Megan Rapinoe won the women's player award - ahead of fellow American Alex Morgan and England's Lucy Bronze - at the Best Fifa Football Awards in Milan. 
  • Rapinoe, 34, claimed the Golden Ball for being the best player at the 2019 Women's World Cup as she helped the United States win the competition.
  • Lyon right-back Bronze, 27, was named in the women's team of the year - the only English player to feature.
  • Rapinoe's international boss, Jill Ellis, took the women's coach award.

Best FIFA Football Awards 2019: Lionel Messi wins best men's player of the year

  •  Barcelona's Lionel Messi won the best men's player at the Best Fifa Football Awards in Milan as Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk missed out on the top prize.
  • It is the sixth time Messi has been voted the world's best, after wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
  • The 32-year-old Argentine helped Barcelona win La Liga and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
  • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was named men's coach of the year.  Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was also a winner as he took the best goalkeeper prize ahead of Manchester City's Ederson and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen. 

PM Hasina receives Vaccine Hero Award in New York

  •  Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has received the prestigious Vaccine Hero award in recognition of Bangladesh's outstanding success in vaccination to immunise children.
  • GAVI Board Chair Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala handed the award to the Bangladesh prime minister at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
  • Hasina was applauded for the success in immunisation in Bangladesh, especially for her role in eliminating polio and curtailing diphtheria, hepatitis-B and rubella.
  • Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister of Nigeria, delivered a felicitation speech on the occasion.

GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

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Agriculture Minister Tomar Launches App Based CHC Services

  •  Farmers will now be able to hire farm machineries including tractors at an affordable price through an app based mobile application, the way people hire Ola and Uber taxis over mobiles.
  • The government launched multilingual app based service - CHC Farm Machinery for Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs). This service will facilitate local farmers the use of shared resources including tractors and other farm machineries at affordable prices.
  • Agriculture minister  Narendra Singh Tomar, while launching the app, said that farmers will now have easy access to high value and technical agricultural equipments at their doorsteps.
  • Tomar also launched another app Krishi Kisan, which will provide farmers the information of best demonstration of high-yielding crops and seeds in their nearby area.
  • The app will also help in geo-tagging and geo-fencing of crop and give weather forecast message to farmers.

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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Nasscom Inks Pact With China's I-Campus For Healthcare Innovation

  •  Apex software industry body Nasscom said it has entered into a strategic collaboration with China's I-Campus to accelerate healthcare innovation and cooperation in life sciences and healthcare sector.
  • The development is part of Nasscom's ongoing efforts to bolster digital solutions for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
  • I-Campus, or the Wuxi International Life Science Innovation Campus, is an innovation incubation platform offering services in research and development, commercialisation and professional services in life sciences industry and has been co-built by the Wuxi municipal government, the Wuxi National High-tech District and Indian bio-pharma company AstraZeneca.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

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'Professor Ayushman' -- Comic Book Series

  •  A comic book series with 'Professor Ayushman' as the central character has been unveiled to make children aware of the importance of medicinal plants and their use for home remedies.
  • The comic book, conceived by the National Medicinal Plants Board, talks about plants like Aloe Vera, Tulsi, Amla, Giloy, Neem, Ashvagandha and Brahmi.
  • The AYUSH Ministry has come out with the book that will be available for free and schools can approach the National Medicinal Plant Board with their request.
  • They will also be available at all AYUSH activities like Arogya Mela and others. AYUSH is the acronym of medical systems that are being practiced in India such as Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.

TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

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Western Railways Not To Serve Non-Vegetarian Food On Oct 2

  •  The Western Railways has decided not to serve any non-vegetarian food including eggs on 2nd October, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • A circular to this effect has been issued by Commercial division of Ahmedabad. According to official release, the Railway board desired that the Gandhi Jayanti- should be celebrated as a totally vegetarian day, where no non-vegetarian food will be served anywhere on the Western Railway premises. All station masters have been advised to follow the instructions.
  • About 510 railway stations and 939 trains under the western railway will be the part of this 100 percent vegetarian day celebration to mark the Gandhi Jayanti.

ART AND CULTURE

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President Kovind Inaugurates Gandhi Katha By Pujya Morari Bapu

  •  President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Gandhi Katha by Pujya Morari Bapu in New Delhi to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Addressing a gathering, he said Gandhiji was born in India, but he belonged to the entire world and humanity.
  • Mr Kovind said the entire world remembers Gandhiji as a great soul who has shown the path of ahimsa and satyagraha.
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