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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

14 Oct 2019


Netherlands King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima To Arrive In India

  •  Netherlands King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will arrive in New Delhi for a five-day visit during which they will hold meetings with the top Indian leadership to boost bilateral economic and political cooperation. 
  • King Willem-Alexander's trip would be his first state visit to India, following his ascension to the throne in 2013.
  • King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will arrive for the visit at the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. The King and Queen will visit New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kerala during their trip.
  • The Dutch royals will meet President Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while External Affairs Minister S Jasihankar will call on them. The King and Queen will be accompanied on their visit by a senior ministerial delegation.
  • India and the Netherlands have a bilateral trade turnover of USD 12.87 billion (2018-2019). The Netherlands is the fifth largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of USD 23 billion for the period 2000 to Dec 2017.
  • The Dutch Royal couple will also attend the Inaugural Session of 25th Technology Summit in New Delhi. The Netherlands is the partner country for this Summit.
  • The Royal couple would be accompanied by about 140 business houses for this technology and innovation fair, representing various sectors, including agriculture, water, health-care and climate change.
  • The visit is expected to boost economic and political cooperation between India and the Netherlands.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Reaches Freetown In Sierra Leone

  •  On the second and last leg of his visit to two African nations, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu reached Freetown in Sierra Leone.
  • Vice President of Sierra Leone Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and Indian High Commissioner Birender Singh Yadav received him at the airport.
  • Mr Naidu will have a detailed bilateral meeting with Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Wonie Bio.
  • He will also meet Speaker of Sierra Leone Parliament Abbas Chernor Bundu. The Vice President will also interact with Indian community there.

Union Minister Prahlad Patel Attends BRICS Culture Ministers' Meeting

  •  Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel participated in BRICS Culture Ministers' meeting held in Curitiba, Brazil.
  • Prahlad Patel asserted that BRICS for India is a valuable forum for consultation, coordination and cooperation on contemporary global issues of mutual interest.
  • Reaffirming India's commitment to contribute towards strengthening bonds between the member countries, Patel said that the BRICS countries have witnessed cultural cooperation scaling to new heights.
  • The titled Bonding Regions and Imagining Cultural Synergies will be hosted by National Gallery of Modern Arts of India under the auspices of the BRICS Alliance of Museums and Art Galleries during November-December, 2019.
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GST Network To Launch New Version Of Return Filing Portal

  •  The GST Network will launch an improved version of the GST return filing portal on October 22, 2019 to make the process easier.
  •  "Many of the suggestions were incorporated in version 2 which is in place right now," said GST Network CEO Prakash Kumar. 
  • GST Network provides IT infrastructure and services to taxpayers, government and other stakeholders for implementation of GST.

ADB, India Sign $190 Mn Loan For Improving Road Connectivity In Rajasthan

  •  The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed a $190 million loan to upgrade 754 kilometres of state highways and major district roads (MDRs) to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards that will benefit about 26 million people in 14 districts of Rajasthan.
  • The signatories to the Tranche 2 loan agreement for the Rajasthan State Highway Investment Programme were Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India, and Mr Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB. 
  • The Tranche 1 loan of $220 million under the Programme, signed in July 2017, upgraded about 1,000 km of state roads.

National Fertilizers Presents Dividend Of Over 28 Crore Rupees To Govt

  •  National Fertilizers Limited presented dividend of over 28 Crore Rupees to the Government of India for the year 2018-19.
  • Chairman and Managing Director of National Fertilizers Limited  Manoj Mishra presented Dividend Cheque of 28.22 crore rupees to the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda in the presence of Fertilizers Secretary Chhabilendra Roul.
  • National Fertilizers Limited has presented a cumulative dividend of around 1157 crore rupees to the Government till date against paid up equity of 490.58 crore rupees.
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Kenya's Brigid Kosgei Breaks Marathon World Record

  •  Kenyan Brigid Kosgei sets world record at Chicago Marathon. Brigid Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe's 16-year-old world record by winning the Chicago Marathon in 2 hours, 14 minutes and four seconds.
  • Radcliffe was present at the Chicago Marathon and witnessed the fall of her record.
  • It was also Kosgei's second straight win at the Chicago Marathon.
  • 25-year-old Kosgei also won the London Marathon in April 2019 and recorded the fastest half-marathon in history this year by winning in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 28 seconds.
  • Kosgei crossed the finish line alone, with Ethiopians Ababel Yeshaneh and Gelete Burka came a distant second and third in 2:20:51 and 2:20:55.

Lakshya Sen Wins Dutch Open, Clinches Maiden BWF World Tour Title

  •  Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen clinched his maiden BWF World Tour title by winning the Dutch Open men's singles title after beating Yusuke Onodera of Japan in the summit clash.
  • The 18-year-old Indian rallied from a game deficit to defeat his world no. 160 opponent 15-21 21-14 21-15 in a final that lasted 63 minutes.
  • The Dutch Open is a BWF World Tour Super 100 tournament.

Daniil Medvedev Leapfrogs Roger Federer After Winning Shanghai Masters Title

  •  Daniil Medvedev moved up to No 3 in the race to London after winning the Shanghai Masters title.
  • It means the Russian is on course to finish the season ahead of Roger Federer in the world rankings.
  • The 23-year-old has reached the final of the last three tournaments he has entered.
  • Federer fell at the quarter-final stage and thus resides on 5,690 points in 2019 - 185 less than Medvedev.
  • Medvedev returns to action at the Kremlin Cup, where he reached the semi-final of the ATP 250 event in 2018.
  • However, he is defending 435 in the remaining tournaments so most likely must add to his tally to keep Federer at bay.
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Sports Ministry Makes SAI Stadia Free For Federations, Clubs

  •  The Sports ministry, finally, seems to have woken up to the dichotomy and has decided to open up stadia under Sports Authority of India (SAI) to national sports federations, clubs and various leagues free of cost.
  • The facilities would also be made available to non-SAI coaches training non-national campers without any charge if there are a minimum of 10 trainees with the sessions being booked online. 
  • Anyone interested in playing a game of their choice would also have access to the facilities by booking slots in advance after getting registered.

PM Modi Chairs Meeting On 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' Programme

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' programme. 
  • 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat' is a personal initiative of the Prime Minister that highlights India's diversity and furthers national unity.
  • The goal behind this unique Mission is to develop a holistic national perspective on important issues and encourage the celebration of India's vibrant regional cultures.
  • The programme was announced by the Prime Minister in 2015 on the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. 
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Indo-US Joint Military Exercise 'Vajra Prahar'

  •  The 10th edition of the joint military exercise 'Vajra Prahar' between India and the US will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle from October 13-28, 2019.
  •  45-member Special Forces team from Indian Army will train alongside US Special Forces from 13 - 28 October, 2019. In 2018, the exercise had taken place in Jaipur.
  • 'Vajra Prahar' is a Special Forces joint training exercise conducted alternately in India and the US.
  • Bilateral military exercises and defence exchanges are an important aspect of deepening bilateral defence cooperation between India and the US.
  • Earlier in September 2019, a joint military training exercise 'Yudh Abhyas' had taken place at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Russian frigate Admiral Makarov Test Fired Kalibr Cruise Missiles

  •  Russian frigate Admiral Makarov test-fired Kalibr cruise missiles, as part of drills in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.  All the armament of the ship has been checked in combat.
  • The ship's commander, Capt. 2nd Rank Anton Kuprin told that it was likely to be the most modern weapon of Russia.
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PM Modi, Most Followed Global Leader On Instagram, Crosses 30-Million Mark

  •  In a sign of his growing global appeal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi crossed the 30-million follower mark on Instagram.
  • PM Modi, who is the most followed global leader on the social media platform, has twice the number of followers than US President Donald Trump.
  • While the US President's predecessor, Barack Obama, has 24.8 million followers, Trump is trailing behind at 14.9 million followers.
  • He is the "most followed" world leader on Instagram ahead of US President Trump as well as former US President Obama.

Pope Francis To Elevate Indian Nun Mariam Thresia To Sainthood

  •  Pope Francis will declare Indian nun Mariam Thresia a saint at a ceremony at the Vatican City, which would be attended by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan.
  • Mariam Thresia, who founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family in Thrissur in May 1914, will be raised to the glory of the altar during a solemn Eucharistic Celebration in Rome's St Peter's Square.
  • The nun from Kerala will be canonised along with English Cardinal John Henry Newman, Swiss laywoman Marguerite Bays, Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes and Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini.
  • She will become the fourth person from Kerala to be elevated to the highest position within the centuries-old institution.
  • Mass was held at the St Joseph's Cathedral Church in Trivandrum to celebrate the canonisation of Mother Mariam Thresia.
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IICTF 2019 Organised From 11 To 13 October In New Delhi

  •  India International Cooperative Trade Fair 2019 was organised in New Delhi's Pragati Maidan between 11 and 13 October, 2019. 
  • More than 150 cooperative organisations and representatives from around 35 countries participated in the Fair.
  • This would enhance the role of small peasants and cooperative organisations in export. This was a boost for small and marginalised farmers and cooperative organizations. 
  • The Government maintains that the small farmers and cooperative organisations play vital role in achieving the goal of doubling export in agriculture sector by 2022.

World Standards Day

  •  World Standards Day (or International Standards Day) is celebrated internationally each year on 14 October. 
  • The day honours the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
  • The aim of World Standards Day is to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy.
  • 14 October was specifically chosen to mark the date, in 1946, when delegates from 25 countries first gathered in London and decided to create an international organization focused on facilitating standardization.
  • Even though ISO was formed one year later, it wasn't until 1970 that the first World Standards Day was celebrated.
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Director Priyadarshan gets MP Govt's Kishore Kumar Award

  •  Noted director and producer Priyadarshan, who has made several blockbuster Malayalam and Hindi films, was conferred the Madhya Pradesh government's National Kishore Kumar Samman for 2018-19 at a function in Khandwa, the birthplace of the legendary singer- actor.
  • Kishore Kumar died on October 13, 1987 in Mumbai.
  • The award, instituted by MP Department of Culture, carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh and a citation.
  • According to the official, the Kishore Kumar Samman jury selected noted actor Waheeda Rehman for the award for 2017-18.
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Rs 25 Lakh Crore To Be Spent For Rural Infrastructure Development: PM Modi

  •  In a big boost to strengthen rural infrastructure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Rs 25 lakh crore will be spent for infrastructural development in the villages across the country.
  • The rural economy of the country is now being given as much attention as never before. Already the work is going on the roads of the village.
  • Now in the coming years, Rs 25 lakh crore will be spent to develop infrastructure in the villages. The money will also be used to construct modern storage centres for crops.
  • Modi also highlighted that Rs 3.5 lakh crore will be used for water conservation and building facilities for water conservation.
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NITI Aayog Plans To Make India Education Hub

  •  Worried with the declining growth in the inflow of foreign students, the NITI Aayog has set out to draw up an ambitious action plan for a giant leap. 
  • The Aayog has also floated the idea of a single authority to deal with the issue. Aiming to attract two lakh foreign students annually from 2023, the think tank panel will be working on implementing a proposal to create 'Exclusive Education Zone (EEZ)' in a few select cities, besides blending technical education with short-term vocational courses.
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Direct Flights From Sri Lanka's Jaffna To Several Indian Cities Soon

  •  Sri Lanka's domestic military airport in the Tamil-dominated northern Jaffna peninsula has been upgraded from where direct international flights will be operated to several southern Indian cities from October, 2019.
  • The Ministry of Aviation said that the Palaly Airport was converted into an international airport following the work which commenced in July, 2019. It will be formally declared as an international airport on October 17, 2019.
  • The regional flights operations service from Palaly to Indian destinations and the Maldives is expected to commence from October 15, 2019 with the completion of the first phase of the development.
  • Out of the total cost of investment of rupees 2,250 million, the government was to allocate rupees 1,950 million while the Indian assistance will provide 300 million rupees.
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10th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav To Be Held In Jabalpur From Oct 14-21

  •  The Governor of Madhya Pradesh Lalji Tandon, in the presence of Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel, will inaugurate the 10th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav at Mahakoshal Shaheed trust, Gol Bazaar in the city of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Ministry of Culture of the central government is organising the 10th edition of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat initiative in Madhya Pradesh from October 14 to 21, 2019.
  • Renowned artists like Suresh Wadkar, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Sabri Brothers from Jaipur, Shovna Narayan, Roopkumar and Sonali Rathore, Saroja Vaidyanathan, Vikku Vinayaka Ram, Dr Satinder Sartaj, Anuradha Pal, Geeta Mahalik, Ronu Majumdar, Preeti Patel , Malini Awasthi, Tanushree Shankar and Anuradha Paudwal and many more will be part of this major festival.
  • Local artists under the theme of Mati Ke Lal are also invited to perform on the main stage. 

PM Modi Greets People On Occasion Of Valmiki Jayanti

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted people on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti. 
  •  Mr Modi said, the great thoughts of Maharishi Valmiki are the seed element of India's historical journey, on which the tradition and culture have flourished.
  • He said, a pillar of social justice, Maharishi Valmiki's messages will always inspire people.
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