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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

26 Oct 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

18th NAM Summit Kicks Off

  •  The 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) kicked off , drawing heads of state and government of different countries including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Azerbaijan capital of Baku.
  • Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev inaugurated the two-day summit with a call to uphold the spirit of the forum and strengthen cooperation among its member states of NAM, a forum of 120 developing countries.
  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the opening ceremony of the summit at Baku Congress Centre along with other heads of state and government and representatives of the member nations.
  • On her arrival at the centre at 10 am, Sheikh Hasina was received by the Azerbaijan president.
  • The other world leaders who joined the summit included Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Djibouti President Ismail Omar, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo- Addo, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Pakistani President Arif Alvi, Indian Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj.

Ruling Party Wins Botswana Elections

  •  The Botswana Democratic Party shrugged off a spirited challenge from the opposition coalition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change, to keep intact its 53-year, uninterrupted rule.
  • The BDP secured 29 of 57 National Assembly seats required to form the next government.
  • Botswana Chief Justice Terrence Rannowane declared BDP leader, Mokgweetsi Masisi as the country's president.

Bolivia's Evo Morales Declares Victory after Contentious Vote Count

  •  President Evo Morales declared himself victor of the weekend election, stirring more anger among his opponents who have protested for days claiming fraud in the vote count, while the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and Colombia joined in calling for Bolivia to hold a runoff between the incumbent and his top challenger.
  • Electoral authorities, meanwhile, announced late in the day that voting would have to be held again in five spots in the Amazonian Beni region because of irregularities.
  • They said the re-votes to be held on November 3, 2019 wouldn't change the outcome, but the development still added to the unrest over a long, contentious tally of ballots.
  • With 99.99% of votes counted, Morales had 47.07% to 36.51% for former President Carlos Mesa, who finished second in the nine-candidate field.
  • That gave Morales a 10.56-point lead, a little more than a half point over the threshold he needed to win an outright victory and avoid a second-round ballot in December 2019, probably against a united opposition.
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ENVIRONMENT

Tiny beetle Named after Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

  •  A tiny species of beetle discovered more than 50 years ago has been named after environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.
  • Scientists at the Natural History Museum in London have officially called the insect Nelloptodesgretae to honour the 16-year-old Swedish activist's "outstanding contribution" in raising global awareness of climate change.
  • The arthropod, which has no eyes or wings, is less than 1 mm long and belongs to the Ptiliidae family, which is made up of some of the world's smallest beetles.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Mahindra to Fully Acquire Peugeot Motocycles

  •  Mahindra Two Wheelers Europe announced that it will take 100 per cent ownership of France-based Peugeot Motocycles (PMTC) for an undisclosed amount.
  • Mahindra Two Wheelers, a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, had acquired a 51 per cent equity stake in PMTC from Groupe PSA in 2015.
  • Then the company had infused £15 million, or ₹110 crore, into Peugeot to finance projects implemented through the partnership, and had spent £13 million on the purchase of shares held by PSA.
  • The company said that the acquisition is set to drive future growth in core European markets and expand into new geographies, including select Asian markets.
  • The company is also set to introduce seven new products between 2019 and 2021, it stated.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

New VIPER Lunar Rover to Map Water Ice on the Moon

  •  NASA is sending a mobile robot to the South Pole of the Moon to get a close-up view of the location and concentration of water ice in the region and for the first time ever, actually sample the water ice at the same pole where the first woman and next man will land in 2024 under the Artemis program. 
  • NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, is a mobile robot that will roam around the Moon's south pole looking for water ice. 
  • The VIPER mission will give surface-level detail of where the water is, and how much is available for us to use. This will bring us a significant step closer towards NASA's ultimate goal of a sustainable, long-term presence on the Moon – making it possible to eventually explore Mars and beyond.
  • About the size of a golf cart, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, will roam several miles, using its four science instruments — including a 1-meter drill — to sample various soil environments.
  • Planned for delivery to the lunar surface in December 2022, VIPER will collect about 100 days of data that will be used to inform the first global water resource maps of the Moon. 

CSIR Completes Whole Genome Sequencing Of Over 1000 Indians

  •  The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has completed Whole Genome Sequencing of 1,008 Indians from different populations across the country under the IndiGen Genome project, a government press release said.
  • The project, implemented by the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad will have applications in a number of areas including predictive and preventive medicine with faster and efficient diagnosis of rare genetic diseases.
  • The outcomes of the IndiGen will be utilized towards understanding the genetic diversity on a population scale, make available genetic variant frequencies for clinical applications and enable genetic epidemiology of diseases.
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SPORTS

Vijay Hazare Trophy final: Karnataka Defeat Tamil Nadu to Lift Trophy

  •  KL Rahul presented himself as a potent keeper-batsman option with a strong show while birthday-boy Abhimanyu Mithun savoured a rare hat-trick as Karnataka lifted the Vijay Hazare Trophy title with a 60-run win over Tamil Nadu in the rain-hit final.
  • Rahul remained in the thick of things after hosts elected to field under overcast conditions, contributing in dismissal of four Tamil Nadu batsmen.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

J&K: Govt renames Chenani-Nashri Tunnel after Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee

  •  The government has renamed Chenani-Nashri tunnel on national highway 44 in Jammu & Kashmir as Dr.Syama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel.
  • At an event in New Delhi, Road Transport and Highways Minister, NitinGadkari said the renaming of the tunnel is a fitting tribute to Dr.Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who sacrificed his life for the country and has been a source of inspiration for the nation. 
  • He also said the government has undertaken 60,000 crore rupees infrastructure projects in Jammu & Kashmir over the past five years including this Chenani-Nashri tunnel with a cost of 2,600 crore rupees.
  • He said these infrastructure projects will be major game changers for the people of the state, bringing employment and socio-economic development.
  • Mr.Gadkari said, the Centre is committed to overall development and prosperity of Jammu & Kashmir and roads play a pivotal role in this. 

Odisha Inks LoU with UNICEF to Provide Safe Drinking Water

  •  The Odisha government has signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) with UNICEF to provide safe drinking water to every household in the state.
  • The LoU was signed by the state housing and urban development department (HUDD) to provide 24-hour safe drinking water and the project has been named as 'Drink From Tap Mission'.
  • The project will be launched on a pilot basis for about 1.2 lakh people involving 22,000 families in pockets of Puri and Khurda district, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
  • "Providing safe drinking water to every household in the state is one of the top priorities of the government. Safe drinking water is very helpful for a healthy and strong society," he said at the LoU signing ceremony.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Shri Pramod Kumar Das Assumes Charge as Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs

  •  Shri Pramod Kumar Das assumed charge as Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs. Prior to this, he was serving as the Special Secretary, Department of Expenditure in the Ministry of Finance.
  • Shri Das is a Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer of 1986 batch. He has held several other important positions in the Union as well as State Governments.
  • These include Additional Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, Joint Secretary in DOPT and Ministry of Industry & Commerce at the Centre and Managing Director Trade and Investment Facilitation Corp Ltd. Bhopal and Managing Director State Industrial Dev Corpn Bhopal, Labour Commissioner Labour Department Indore and Commissioner Commercial Taxes Department Indore.

Birender Singh Yadav Appointed as Indian Ambassador to Iraq

  •  Birender Singh Yadav has been appointed as India's next Ambassador to Iraq, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
  • A 1997-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Yadav is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
  • Meanwhile, the MEA also announced the appointment of Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi as India's next High Commissioner to Samoa.
  • Pardeshi, who is already serving as the Ambassador to New Zealand, will concurrently work as the next High Commissioner to Samoa, with residence in Wellington.
  • He is a 1991-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer.

Former J&K Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma Appointed Administrator of Lakshadweep

  •  Former interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma has been appointed as the new administrator of Lakshadweep by President Ram NathKovind.
  • Dineshwar Sharma, a former IPS officer from the 1976-batch was appointed as interlocutor of Jammu and Kashmir in 2017.
  • Prior to that, he had served as an intelligence officer between 2015 -2017.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

CVC Observes Vigilance Awareness Week

  •  The Central Vigilance Commission, CVC is observing vigilance awareness week till 2nd November, 2019  to promote probity in public life through citizen participation.
  • The theme for the vigilance awareness week is 'Integrity - A way of life'. The Commission said that this theme would help to draw the attention of all sections of society especially the youth to the significance of ethical conduct in the building of an honest, non discriminatory and corruption free society.
  • Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said combating corruption is not just a matter of making laws and creating institutions, but is deeply linked with human values and morals of individuals.
  • It said,  cultivating ethical values is essential for building a New India.

NATIONAL PUMPKIN DAY - October 26

  •  National Pumpkin Day recognizes a favored autumn decoration and food on October 26th. Pumpkin is used in a variety of recipes, competitions, and festivals.
  • This fruit grabs American's attention.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Jailed Uighur Intellectual Wins Sakharov Prize

  •  The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for human rights to Uighur intellectual Ilham Tohti, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment in China for "separatism".
  • The outspoken former Professor of economics at a Beijing university was sentenced in 2014.
  • European Parliament head David Sassoli urged China to immediately release Ilham Tohti as he announced the award, which was certain to sow diplomatic tensions with Beijing.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Govt To Grant 75 Per Cent Subsidies For Food Processing Industries In North-Eastern States

  •  Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameswar Teli said the Central Government will grant 75 per cent subsidies for food processing industries in the North-Eastern states.
  • The Minister was visiting Tripura Mega Food Park at Tulakona Industrial Area under West District. Mr.Rameswar hoped that the Park would benefit large scale of farmers and also can generate employment to thousands of youths which will ultimately boost the personal economy as well as the economy of the state. 
  • Addressing a media conference at the state BJP Party head office, Mr.Rameswar said the central government has decided to set up 42 new food parks all over the country, out of which two will be set up at Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Minister said the central government is eager to put emphasis on the food processing based industries in Northeast as the region has huge potential to work upon in the field.

Social Welfare Initiative 'Odisha-Mo Parivar' Set in Motion

  •  Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik launched 'Odisha-Mo Parivar', a social service initiative of the party aimed at encouraging environment protection, blood donation and the welfare of Odias in distress.
  • The Chief Minister said that under the programme, party leaders will dedicate themselves to protect the environment and undertake extensive planting of trees, and create awareness among the public. 
  • "About 4.5 crore Odias are my family. I have always been working for their welfare. In order to take it ahead, I am launching the 'Odisha-Mo Parivar' programme," he said and added that the initiative will also come to the rescue of Odias stranded in foreign countries.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Lucknow School Bags Guinness World Record Title for having 55,547 Students

  •  Lucknow-based school has won the Guinness World Record for becoming the 'world's largest school' in terms of strength of students.
  • City Montessori School (CMS) has won the global award for having 55,547 students in 2019-20, as stated by CMS founder, Jagdish Gandhi.
  • Lucknow-based school has won the Guinness World Record for becoming the 'world's largest school' in terms of strength of students.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

White Water Rafting Expedition - Rudrashila' Flagged in at Jodhpur

  •  The white water rafting expedition christened as 'Rudrashila' undertaken by Kalidhar Battalion was flagged in by Lieutenant General VS Sreenivas, General Officer Commanding Konark Corps on 25 October 2019 at Jodhpur Military Station.
  • The white water rafting expedition was organized by Kalidhar Battalion  to commemorate its 75th Raising Day. The team comprising of two officers, four Junior Commissioned Officers and 18 Soldiers led by Major Ravikant Gaurav covered a total distance of over 140 km from Rudraprayag to Rishikesh in the mighty Ganges River in the mountains of Uttarakhand.
  • Lieutenant General VS Sreenivas, expressed that such expeditions in our Army are carried out to prepare the soldiers to overcome adversities with determination and grit.
  • It also helps to promote spirit-de-corps and courage amongst the soldiers. The team also spread awareness among locals on current social issues of 'Swachh Bharat Campaign' and 'Preservation of River Eco-Systems'

Brazil No Longer Require Visas from Chinese, Indian Citizens

  •  Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that  the South American nation will drop its requirement  for visiting Chinese and Indian tourists or business people to obtain visas.
  • Bolsonaro, a far-right politician, came to power at the beginning of the year and has made it a policy to reduce visa requirements from a number of developed countries.
  • But the announcement, made during an official visit to China, is the first he has made expanding that policy to the developing world.
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ART AND CULTURE

President Kovind Addresses Gathering at Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir

  •  President Ram Nath Kovind said that the timeless teachings of Lord Buddha and Gandhi are panacea for fundamental problems faced by individuals, a community, a country and the entire world.
  • Addressing 50th anniversary of establishment of Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) at Rajgir in Bihar, Mr.Kovind said, the teaching of Lord Buddha can do a lot for conflict resolution in present day.
  • He said, these days there is a need to connect larger number of people with ideals of Buddha so that peace can prevail in the world.
  • Governor Fagu Chauhan, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and other dignitaries graced the Golden Jubilee celebration of Rajgir Vishwa Shanti Stupa.
  • More than 300 Buddhist monks, devotees and delegates from Japan, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and other countries participated in the function.
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