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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

06 Oct 2019


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Modi And Hasina Sign 7 Pacts

  •  India and Bangladesh inked seven pacts and launched three projects after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
  • One of the projects included import of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) from Bangladesh for distribution in the North Eastern states.
  • The pacts signed after Modi-Hasina talks provided for deeper cooperation between the two countries in areas of water resources, youth affairs, culture, education and coastal surveillance.
  • The two sides launched a total of 12 projects which reflected the intensity in ties between the two sides.

Scotland Becomes First UK Country To Ban Smacking

  •  Scotland has become the first country in the UK to make it a criminal offence for parents to smack their children.
  • The ban on all physical punishment was backed overwhelmingly by 84 votes to 29 by the Scottish Parliament.
  • The move will give children in Scotland the same protection from assault as adults when it comes into force.
  • Parents and carers are currently allowed to use "reasonable" physical force to discipline their children.
  • The smacking ban bill was introduced by Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie, a former police officer, who won the support of the SNP, Labour and Lib Dems as well as his own party and many children's charities.


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Hema Malini Inaugurates India's First Plastic To Diesel Conversion Plant In Mathura

  •  Mathura MP Hema Malini inaugurated the country's first plastic to diesel conversion plant in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh claiming that this plant will fulfill PM Narendra Modi's dream of a Swachh Bharat.
  • A model of this plant had been placed for a demonstration before PM Modi when he had arrived in Mathura some time back as a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • This model is now working on a full scale at the Mathura Municipal Corporation's (MMC) trenching grounds.

Government Launches Green Crackers

  •  The Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed green crackers, which are new and improved formulations of the previous sound-emitting crackers and other fireworks.
  • The development of green crackers is aimed at reducing pollution and health risks.
  • The announcement was made by the Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan during a press conference in New Delhi on October 5, 2019.
  • The Health Minister displayed some of the green crackers including flower pots, pencils, sparklers and chakkar. 


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Tripura Gets Its First-Ever SEZ

  •  The Centre has given in-principle approval for setting up of Tripura's first-ever SEZ at Sabroom,. The estimated investment in the project will be around Rs 1550 Crore.
  • A proposal for setting up of the Agro Based (Broad Banded) Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Paschim Jalefa, Sabroom was submitted to the Development Commissioner, Falta SEZ in June, 2019.
  • The Developer of the SEZ was decided to be Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC) Ltd.
  • Rubber based Industries – Tyres, Threads etc, Textile and Apparel Industries, Bamboo Industries and Agri-Food Processing Industries are the industries which will be set up.

Paytm, BSNL Join Hands To Let Users Connect To Nearby Wi-Fi Hotspots

  •  Two of the leading companies have now joined hands to facilitate users in locating Wi-Fi hotspots in their area. BSNL and Paytm have collaborated for a smart Wi-Fi discovery feature that will be available to the app users of the latter. 
  • Paytm users will be prompted whenever there is a BSNL Wi-Fi hotspot nearby, in addition to an option to buy packs and check the data usage.
  • When a Paytm user enters a location served by BSNL's Wi-Fi Internet, a message pops up on the screen inside the app. Tapping on the message will take the user to the login setup where a Wi-Fi plan can be purchased.
  • Once Wi-Fi is active on the user's number, Paytm app will track the data usage so that it is not maxed out. The validity of the plan will also be shown to the user within the app.
  • The app will also show if the user is accessing the Wi-Fi Internet in roaming.

Bandhan Bank, Gruh Finance to merge on October 17

  •  Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank and Ahmedabad-based Gruh Finance announced that all the regulatory hurdles have been overcome for their merger, with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) clearing the scheme of amalgamation.
  • The scheme has been approved by NCLT's Kolkata and Ahmedabad benches.
  • October 17, 2019 has been fixed as the record date following the effectiveness of scheme for determining shareholders of the merged entity.


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Researchers See Individual Virus Formation For The First Time

  •  In a first, researchers have captured images of the formation of individual viruses, providing a detailed view of the mechanism with which particles self-assemble into the parasite -- an advance that may help us find new treatment approaches for viral diseases.
  • The study, published in the journal PNAS, looked at the formation of single-stranded RNA viruses -- the most abundant type of virus on the planet that is responsible for diseases like the West Nile fever, gastroenteritis, hand, foot, and mouth disease, polio, and the common cold.
  • The researchers, including those from Harvard University in the US, studied an RNA virus that infected the bacterium E. coli.

China Launches New Gaofen Earth-Imaging Satellite

  •  A Chinese Long March 4C rocket delivered into orbit the Gaofen 10 Earth-imaging satellite, a likely replacement for a spacecraft lost in an August 2016 launch failure.
  • The Long March 4C booster lifted off with the Gaofen 10 satellite from the Taiyuan space center in northern China's Shanxi province.
  • The launch was China's 21st orbital launch attempt in 2019, and the 19th successful Chinese space launch so far.

NASA Takes Delivery of First All-Electric Experimental Aircraft

  •  The first all-electric configuration of NASA's X-57 Maxwell now is at the agency's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.
  • The X-57, NASA's first all-electric experimental aircraft, or X-plane – and the first crewed X-plane in two decades – was delivered by Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) of San Luis Obispo, California in the first of three configurations as an all-electric aircraft, known as Modification II, or Mod II.


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World Athletics Championships 2019

  •  The USA have finished top of the World Athletics Championships medal table once after an impressive display in Doha, Qatar. 
  • Having dominated at the last world championships in London, winning a total of 30 medals, including 11 golds, USA picked up 29 – 14 of which were gold.
  • Kenya (11 medals) and Jamaica (12 medals) finished in second and third respectively, with Kenya's five-gold-medal haul pipping it for them.
  • Great Britain finished in sixth place behind China and Ethiopia, having won five medals in total.
  • Golds were won by Katarina Johnson-Thompson (heptathlon) and Dina Asher-Smith (200m), while the Men's 4x400m relay team won silver.
  • Britain also won silver in the Women's 4x100m relay, while Asher-Smith picked up a silver in the 100ms.

Fenesta Open: Niki Poonacha, Sowjanya Bavisetti Crowned Champions In Men's And Women's Singles Events

  •  In the Fenesta Open National Tennis Championship, Niki Poonacha and Sowjanya Bavisetti lived up to their top billing as the duo were crowned champions in the men's and women's singles events in New Delhi.
  • Niki beat Aryan Goveas 6-2, 7-6 in the men's singles final.
  • Rising star Sowjanya grabbed the big chance which came her way. Playing against four-time Fenesta Open winner and seasoned pro-Prerna Bhambri, Sowjanya was not bogged down by her opponent's reputation.
  • She waited for her chance to get the break in each set and pressed the cruise control button for her maiden national title.

Harmanpreet Becomes First Indian Cricketer To Play 100 T20Is

  •  Almost a year after smashing her first T20I hundred, Harmanpreet Kaur notched up another, less frenzied century.
  • This one wasn't scripted by the attractive arcs her bat makes when she swings for the fences, but by the longevity of her impressive career.
  • After making her debut as a 19-year-old a decade ago, Harmanpreet played her 100th T20I in Surat on October 4, 2019.


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Defence Minister Approves Four-Fold Increase In Funds To Families Of Battle Casualties

  •  Heeding to a long-standing demand of the Army, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has given in-principle approval to enhance monetary assistance to next of kin of battle casualties from existing Rs 2 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. Financial assistance will be granted under Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF).
  • At present, financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh was given to battle casualties in case of death and also to those sustaining 60 per cent and above disability besides to several other categories.
  • The assistance is given in addition to liberalised family pension, financial assistance from Army group insurance, Army Welfare Fund and ex-gratia amount.

INS Tarkash Arrives At Reunion Island In France

  •  As part of Indian Navy's overseas deployment to Africa, Europe and Russia, Indian Naval Ship Tarkash arrived at St Denis, Reunion Island, France for a three-day visit.
  • Commanded by Captain Sathish Vasudev, the ship is a potent frontline frigate of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors.
  • The ship is part of the Indian Navy's Western Fleet and under the Operational Command of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, based at Mumbai.


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Justice Vinod Kumar Sharma is New Punjab Lokpal

  •  The Punjab government has appointed Justice Vinod Kumar Sharma (retired) as the new lokpal.
  • The post was lying vacant since April 23, 2018, after Justice Satish Kumar Mittal (retd) resigned.
  • The Lokpal holds the office for a term of six years. 
  • Justice Sharma had served as Punjab and Haryana high court judge from March 22, 2006 to October 26, 2010. Thereafter, he was transferred to the Madras high court from where he retired on May 24, 2013.

Diahann Carroll, Oscar-Nominated, Pioneering Actress, Dies

  •   Diahann Carroll, the Oscar-nominated actress and singer who won critical acclaim as the first black woman to star in a non-servant role in a TV series as "Julia," has died. She was 84.
  • During her long career, Carroll earned a Tony Award for the musical "No Strings" and an Academy Award nomination for best actress for "Claudine."

Mexican Actress Aparicio Named UNESCO Ambassador

  •  The United Nations' cultural agency UNESCO has appointed Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio as its goodwill ambassador for indigenous peoples.
  • The 25-year-old actress made history as the first indigenous performer nominated for a best actress honor at the Academy Awards in 2019 for her performance in the film "Roma", in which she speaks in an indigenous language and in Spanish.
  • The Paris-based organization said that Aparicio, who was born in the poor Mexican state of Oaxaca, was chosen for her commitment to fight racism and advocate for gender equality and indigenous rights.


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Dr. Karan Singh Inaugurates 5th Edition Of The World Parliament Of Science, Religion And Philosophy 2019

  •  On the auspicious occasion of birth anniversary of Rashtrapita Mahatma Gandhiji, the 5th World Parliament of Science, Religion and Philosophy 2019, was inaugurated by world-renowned philanthropist, poet, Sanskrit Scholar and former Union minister Padma Bhushan Dr. Karan Singh and Prof. Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad – UNESCO Chair Holder; Founder, MIT World Peace University, Pune.
  • The inauguration ceremony took place at the world's largest dome philosopher Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prayer Hall, Loni Kalbhor, Pune, India.
  • The three-day event will have eight plenary sessions with the theme of 'Role of Science, Religion and Philosophy for World Peace and well-being of Mankind' from 2nd to 4th October 2019.
  • Philosopher Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize was awarded to Padma Bhushan Dr. Karan Singh. Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Former Speaker, Lok Sabha conferred the Vishwa-Vigyan-Darshanik Award to Prof. Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad.

Goa Maritime Conclave- 2019 Inaugurated

  •  The Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC)-2019 was inaugurated by the National Security Advisor, Shri Ajit Kumar Doval, at Goa on 4th October, 2019. 
  • Inaugurating the conclave, which was conducted by the Naval War College, the NSA, during his key note address brought out that the Sea, Cyber, Space are areas which would pose both opportunities and challenges for the future and hoped that engagements during the GMC would help build up on the opportunities and overcome challenges. 
  • The 31st edition of the Naval War College Journal was also released by the NSA on the occasion.
  • The theme for the conclave is "Common Maritime Priorities in IOR and need for Regional Maritime Strategy". 

Wild Life Week in India

  •  Wildlife Week is celebrated all over the country in the month of October from 2nd to 8th October every year with the view to preserve the fauna-  means the animal life of India. 
  • It was first started in the year 1952 with the great vision of saving the life of the Indian animals by taking some critical steps. It involves the planning to save animal extinction of any species of India.
  • The Indian Government has established an Indian Board of Wild Life which works to improve the awareness as well as the consciousness of the Indian people towards the wildlife preservation.


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Bhumi Pednekar Wins Face of Asia Award at Busan International Film Festival

  •  Actress Bhumi Pednekar has won the Face of Asia Award at the 24th edition of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), and she is very "proud of it".
  • Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, starring Konkona Sensharma and Bhumi Pednekar, had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival on 3 October, 2019. 
  • The 24th Busan International Film Festival will be held from October 3 to 12 October 2019 at the Busan Cinema Center. A total of 303 films from 85 countries will be screened at the festival, including 120 world premieres and 30 international premieres.

Tannishtha Chatterjee wins Asia Star Award at Busan 2019 for Roam Rome Mein

  •  Tannishtha Chatterjee was awarded the Asia Star Award at the Busan International Film Festival for her directorial debut Roam Rome Mein. The film stars Tannishtha and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead roles. 
  • The award was jointly presented by Marie Claire and BIFF in the presence of the cast and crew. 
  • Roam Rome Mein also stars Valentina Corti, Isha Talwar, Francesco Apolloni, UrBano Barberini, Pamela Villoresi, and Andrea Scarduzio. The film has sound designed by four-time National award winner Bishwadeep Chatterjee and music by Alokananda Dasgupta. 

22-Yr-Old Honoured By President For Teaching Poor Kids For Free

  •  A 22-year-old IIT-Roorkee student Anant Vashistha, who taught underprivileged students from a nearby village for free, received a gold medal from President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • The 22-year-old student, who completed his B.Tech in Production and Industrial Engineering this year, won the prestigious Dr Jai Krishna Gold Medal for excellent contribution in the field of youth leadership amongst students admitted through JEE.
  • President Kovind felicitated him with the medal during IIT Roorkee's 19th annual convocation where eight other students were also awarded.


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PMJAY - First Year With 90,000 Cancer Claims; Tamil Nadu Tops The List

  •  In its first year, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), the tertiary care arm of Ayushman Bharat, has funded the treatment of 90,000 cancer patients through 1.8 lakh hospital admissions.
  • This is according to data available with the Union Health Ministry, which also show that every year there are 11.57 lakh new cancer patients in India and 7.84 lakh cancer deaths. At any given point, there are 22.5 lakh Indians living with cancer.
  • Tamil Nadu, with 40,056 cases, tops the state where the most cancer patients availed treatment under PMJAY, followed by Kerala (22,000), Madhya Pradesh (19,455), Chhattisgarh (15,997) and Gujarat (14,380).

Kochi To Host National Health Informatics Meet In 2020

  •  The Health Informatics and Information Management Association (HIIMA), Kerala, and the Health Records Association of India (HERAI) are jointly organising the 20th annual national conference in Kochi on February 7 and 8, 2020.
  • The theme of the conference – Medrecon 2020 – is 'Value of Data in Health Care Ecosystem'.
  • More than 700 delegates from the healthcare sector in India and abroad are expected to participate in the meet.

First All-Female Spacewalk Is Back On, NASA Says

  •  The first spacewalk to be conducted entirely by women is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2019. NASA announced, nearly seven months after an all-female spacewalk was canceled because two properly fitted spacesuits were not readily available.
  • Christina Koch and Anne McClain, the two astronauts who were scheduled to conduct the spacewalk in March, 2019 both needed a medium-size torso component, but only one was available.
  • The spacewalk did take place — it just wasn't all-female. Ms. Koch conducted the six-hour mission with fellow astronaut Nick Hague.


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New Book Documents Gandhi's Legacy Launched In South Africa

  •  '150 Years of Celebrating the Mahatma the South African Legacy', by author and journalist Fakir Hassen, is a 160-page coffee table that records how commemorations of Gandhi's activities, including his birth and death anniversaries, were confined to the local Indian community only.
  • The book documents how attempts to remember his sojourn in South Africa were stifled by the apartheid-era minority white government and revived after former president Nelson Mandela acknowledged his role in starting off democracy in the country.
  • The book was launched on Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.


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50th IFFI 2019 To Be Held In Goa From November 20-28

  •  The 50th International Film Festival of India, IFFI 2019, will be held from November 20-28 in Goa.
  • Over 200 best films from 76 countries, 26 feature films and 15 non-feature films in the Indian Panorama section will be screened at the film festival.
  • This was announced by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi and around 10 thousand people and film lovers are expected to participate in the Golden Jubilee edition of the festival.
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding contribution to cinema will be honoured and celebrated through a package of his impactful and entertaining films.
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