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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

10 Oct 2019

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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BSE Joins Hands With FICCI To Boost MSME Sector

  •  To enhance MSME and startup environment, leading stock exchange BSE in association with FICCI organised a brainstorming session to identify gaps in the existing policies and make suggestions for robust policies.
  • Besides, the session was organised to promote Udyam Saathi and Udyam Sakhi initiatives to foster the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector.

Motoroyale Unveils 3 Bikes Under MV Agusta Dragster Series

  •  Motoroyale, Kinetic group's venture of multi-brand superbikes, launched three bikes under the MV Agusta Dragster Series, with price starting at Rs 18.73 lakh (ex-showroom).
  • The Dragster 800 RR and 800 RR America variants are priced at Rs 18.73 lakh, while the 800 RR Pirelli trim is tagged at Rs 21.5 lakh.

PayPal pulls out of Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency

  •  PayPal has become the first company to drop out of Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency, as the embattled project continues to face queries from regulators around the world.
  • Libra is technically an association backed by 28 – now 27 – multinational companies and nonprofits, although Facebook takes the lead, and a Facebook subsidiary, Calibra, is intended to be the main way consumers will interact with the project.
  • Each of the companies involved had to pledge $10m (£8m) into a common pot to join.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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IIT Madras Students Develop An 'Eye In The Sky' For Disaster

  •  Indian Institute of Technology-Madras students have developed an 'Eye in the Sky - Disaster Management and Humanitarian Aid Services'.
  • A team from Centre For Innovation (CFI), IIT Madras, is building drones enabled with Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision to develop an end-to-end solution to identify accurate and critical information on people trapped in disaster-hit areas and communicate them to relief task force.
  • The 'Eye in the Sky' Team won the finals of Indian Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP 2.0) University Challenge held at IIT- Bombay. 
  • They were among 'Top 18 Innovative Startups' from all over the nation and will receive ₹10 lakh-worth equity-less funding.
  • The team has also received 'Microsoft AI For Earth' Grant given to only 390 projects globally.

GEMINI System To Aid Fishermen

  •  To avoid communication blackouts that led to 20 fishermen going missing in the aftermath of Cyclone Okchi in 2017, a slew of government departments, research agencies and private companies have developed GEMINI, a portable receiver linked to ISRO-satellites, that is "fail-proof" and warn fishermen of danger.
  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), a Hyderabad institute collaborated with Accord, a private company, to develop a box-shaped receiver that has an antenna and in-built battery that can last three to four days, according to a brochure describing the device.
  • GEMINI works on GAGAN, developed by ISRO and the Airports Authority of India and is an India-made global positioning system and relies on the positioning system by ISRO's GSAT satellites.

IT Ministry partners Google on 'Build for Digital India'

  •  Tech giant Google signed a statement of intent with the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) for rolling out 'Build for Digital India' programme.
  • The programme will offer a platform to engineering students to develop market-ready, technology-based solutions that address key social problems.

SPORTS

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Simone Biles Wins Record 21st World Gymnastics Championships Medal

  •  Simone Biles broke the record for World Gymnastics Championships medals won by a woman with her 21st medal as the USA took their fifth straight team title.
  • The Americans' total of 172.33 was almost six full marks ahead of Russia in second, with Italy beating China to a surprise bronze in Stuttgart.
  • Great Britain finished sixth in Germany, with Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020 already confirmed.
  • Biles finished with a personal total of 59.733 in winning her 15th world title.
  • The 22-year-old was the outstanding performer in a team that included Jade Carey, 19, and 16-year-olds Sunisa Lee, Kara Eaker and Grace McCallum.

Mithali Raj Becomes First Female To Complete 2 Decades In International Cricket

  •  India captain Mithali Raj became the first female player to last more than 20 years in international cricket.
  • She achieved the feat while leading India to an emphatic eight-wicket win over South Africa women in the first ODI of the three-match series.
  • Mithali, who made her ODI debut against Ireland on June 26, 1999, completed 20 years and 105 days in the 50-over format. 
  • She, thus, became the only female cricketer to have played ODI cricket for over two decades.
  • The right-handed batswoman has played 204 ODIs till now, the most by a female, followed by England's Charlotte Edwards (191), Jhulan Goswami (178), Alex Blackwell (144) of Australia.
  • Mithali, 36, has also played 10 Tests and 89 T20Is for India.

Sprinter Nirmala Sheoran Banned For 4 Years, Stripped Of Asian Titles

  •  Indian sprinter Nirmala Sheroen has been stripped off her two Asian Championships gold medals and banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which manages track and field doping cases.
  • The AIU came out with the order to ban Nirmala for testing positive for the steroids drostanolone and metenolone at a competition back home in June 2018.
  • According to AIU, the Indian athlete, whose biological passport also showed irregular blood readings, accepted the sanction and did not request for a hearing.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Centre's Green Nod To Rs. 1,400 Cr Airport Project In Kutch

  •  The Centre has given its green nod for developing a commercial airport in Kutch, Gujarat, entailing an investment of about Rs. 1,400 crore.
  • The proposed project to be developed by Mundra International Airport Pvt Ltd was recently approved by the Union Environment Ministry after taking into consideration the views of an expert panel.
  • The environment clearance has been given to Mundra International Airport's proposed project subject to the compliance of certain conditions, the document added.
  • The company has been asked to obtain the clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for safety and project facilities.

Delhi CM launches Farishte Dilli Ke

  •  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched 'Farishte Dilli Ke', a new initiative aimed at felicitating citizens who take accident victims to hospitals. The government will bear all the expenses related to a road accident.
  • At the launch of the initiative, Kejriwal said more than 3,000 lives have been saved during the trial run of this project in the past one and a half years. 
  • Under the scheme, the government provides a reward of Rs 2,000 and a certificate to a good samaritan for taking the accident victims to a hospital.

Cabinet Approves MoUs Signed Between India And Foreign Broadcasters In The Field Of Radio And Television

  •  The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for the MoUs between India and Foreign Broadcasters in the field of Radio and Television.
Major Impact:
  • Broadcasting of programmes to be obtained through mutual exchange, co-production will lead to equity and inclusiveness among viewer/listeners of DD and AIR. Exchanges of technical Know-how, expertise and training of manpower would help the public broadcaster to meet the emerging challenges in the field of broadcasting.
Benefits:
          The MoUs with the Foreign Broadcasters will help:
  1. Public broadcaster in exploring new visions;
  2. New Strategies to address the demands of new technologies and stiff competition;
  3. Media liberalization; and
  4. Globalization

DEFENCE

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PM Modi Releases Commemorative Stamp On Marshal Of The Air Force Arjan Singh

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the 'at home' programme of the Indian Air Force to mark its 87th raising day and released a commemorative stamp to honour Marshal of the Air Force late Arjan Singh.
  • The PM also witnessed an exhibition on self-reliance through innovation.
  • The 'at home' event was organised as part of the Air Force Day celebrations.
  • PM Modi posted pictures of the event including the one in which he is handing over certificates to IAF personnel who participated in the exhibition.

India, France To Deepen Defence Ties; Agree To Combat Terrorism

  •  Defence minister Rajnath Singh had "fruitful deliberations" with his French counterpart during which they reviewed the full spectrum of the bilateral defence engagement and reaffirmed their strong commitment to further deepen cooperation to combat terrorism.
  • Singh and French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly held the second ministerial level Annual Defence Dialogue between the two countries in Paris after France formally handed over the first Rafale fighter jet to India.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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IFS Officer Ramesh Pandey To Be Given Asia Environmental Enforcement Award By UNEP

  •  Senior Indian Forest Service officer Ramesh Pandey has been selected for the prestigious Asia Environmental Enforcement Award by the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • The 1996-batch IFS officer, posted as Chief Conservator Forests in Lucknow and Secretary, UP State Bio-diversity Board, is known for his investigation and intelligence gathering on poachers.
  • Pandey will receive the award on November 13, 2019 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok.

BJP's Sudhanshu Trivedi Elected Unopposed To Rajya Sabha In By-Poll From UP

  •  BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha in by-election from Uttar Pradesh.
  • The seat had fallen vacant after the demise of former Union Minister Arun Jaitley.
  • Trivedi had filed his nomination in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma and other senior leaders of the party.
  • The BJP leader, a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, has been working for the party for a long time.
  • He was a part of the four-member committee which was responsible for the party's campaign during 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

DAYS AND EVENTS

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World Mental Health Day - 10 October

  •  World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
  • The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

AWARDS AND HONOURS

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Pepsico India wins US Award For Saving More Than 17 Billion Litres Of Water

  •  The United States named PepsiCo India for the 2019 Secretary of State's Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE), recognising its efforts to save more than 17 billion litres of water through community water programs and positively impacting 60,000 community members.
  • Established in 1999, the ACE recognises US companies that promote and uphold high standards as responsible members of their communities where they do business.
  • Other recipients of the award are Chambers Federation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Procter and Gamble Asia Pacific in Singapore, and Agilis Partners in Uganda.

Pioneers Of Lithium-Ion Battery Win 2019 Nobel Chemistry Prize

  •  Scientists John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries, an important technology in enabling the world to move away from fossil fuels.
  • American Goodenough, at 97, becomes the oldest winner of a Nobel prize. He shared the award equally with Whittingham from Britain and Yoshino of Japan.
  • This rechargeable battery laid the foundation of wireless electronics such as mobile phones and laptops, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on awarding the 9 million Swedish crown ($906,000) prize.

GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

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Union Cabinet Approves Inclusion Of 5,300 DP families

  •  In a major breakthrough for Jammu and Kashmir, Union Cabinet approves the inclusion of 5,300 DP families of J & K-1947 which initially moved outside J & K but later returned and settled in State, in Rehab Package for Displaced from PoJK and Chhamb.
  • The Centre said that the displaced families were earlier left out in the rehabilitation package that was approved by the Cabinet on November 30, 2016.
  • It has been decided that 5300 displaced families (from PoK), who had settled in regions others than Jammu and Kashmir but later came to the state, will also be provided Rs 5.5 lakh each. This will provide justice to these displaced families.

Cabinet Approves Relaxation For Mandatory Requirement Of Aadhaar-Seeded Data For Beneficiaries Of PM- Kisan Scheme

  •  The Cabinet has approved relaxation of the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar-seeded data as a pre-condition for release of funds to the beneficiaries under the PM-Kisan scheme.
  • The relaxation will be till 30th November, 2019. 
  • The scheme provides income support of 6,000 rupees per year to landholding families, subject to certain exclusions.
  • The amount is released in three 4-monthly installments of 2,000 rupees each directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit transfer mode. 

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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Health Ministry Launches WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy

  •  The Union Health Ministry has launched the 'World Health Organisation (WHO) India Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2019–2023: A Time of Transition', with the collaboration providing a strategic roadmap for the WHO to work with the Indian government towards achieving its health sector goals; improving the health of its population; and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector.

Govt Collaborates With IIM Bangalore To Launch Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship

  •  The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) announced its partnership with Indian Institute of Management (IIM)- Bangalore to launch a new programme 'Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship'.
  • The two-year Fellowship programme will be delivered by IIMB's Centre of Public Policy (CPP), an independent public interest-oriented policy think-tank engaged in research, teaching, training, and capacity-building.
  • The programme will be launched on a pilot basis in Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

India Hands Over 10,000 Vials Of Anti-Rabies Vaccines To Myanmar

  •   India has handed over 10,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccines to Myanmar in an effort to help the Naypyitaw in its fight against the Rabies disease.
  • In a handing over ceremony held in Yangon, the Deputy Chief of Mission Sumit Seth handed over the vials of Anti-Rabies Vaccines to Myanmar's Director General of Department of Medical Research Zaw Than Htun, Indian Embassy in Myanmar.
  • The aim of this goodwill donation was to provide support to the Government of Myanmar for its fight against Rabies and to showcase the strength of India's pharmaceutical industry in manufacturing high-quality vaccines at a highly competitive price.
  • The Director-General thanked New Delhi for its initiative and recalled the growing bilateral health cooperation between the two countries.
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