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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

14 Nov 2019

DAILY G.K. TEST

Start Test

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India's Pledges to contribute USD 5 million in 2020 to Palestine

  •  India has pledged to contribute USD 5 million in 2020 to the UN Palestine refugee agency, even as it voiced concern over the agency's "dire" financial situation due to the funding gaps that risk its core services to the refugees in the fields of education and health.
  • India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said as a mark of solidarity with the Palestine refugees, the Indian government has increased its annual financial contribution fourfold to the core budget of the UN Relief and Works Agency(UNRWA), from USD 1.25 million in 2016 to USD 5 million in 2018.

New Zealand Parliament Passes Euthanasia Bill

  •  New Zealand lawmakers voted in favour of a bill to legalise euthanasia, a watershed moment that ended a contentious two-year debate.
  • But the final decision will rest with voters, who will need to approve the Bill in a referendum in 2020 for it to go into effect. Polls have indicated a majority support the measure.
  • The Bill was passed 69-51. 
  • The Bill applies only to people who are terminally ill and likely to die within six months. To be eligible, a person must be in irreversible physical decline and experience "unbearable suffering" that cannot be relieved in any other way they find tolerable.

PM Modi arrives in Brazil for BRICS Summit

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Brazil's Brasilia on November 13, 2019. He landed in Brasilia for the 11th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit.
  • The Prime Minister took part in the summit on November 13-14, 2019. He addressed the BRICS Business Forum and interacted with BRICS Business Council as well as the New Development Bank on the sidelines of the summit.
  • The summit's theme is 'Economic Growth for an Innovative Future'
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ENVIRONMENT

India gets USD 43 million from Green Climate Fund

  •  In a move that may positively impact over 10 million people living on the coastline, India kicked-off a USD 43 million project to boost climate resilience in three coastal states in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • The project is funded by the Green Climate Fund, established within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to assist developing countries.
  • The six-year project will build climate-resilient livelihoods for 1.7 million people in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha, offset 3.5 million tonnes of carbon, protect vulnerable ecosystems, and benefit another 10 million people with improved shoreline protection.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

BHIM UPI Goes International

  •  A pilot demonstration of the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) united payments interface (UPI) QR-based payments has begun at the Singapore fintech festival 2019.
  • Conducted through a live transaction at a merchant terminal on November 13, 2019, this is the payment system's first approach to the international market.
  • The demo will continue for the duration of the festival, which started on November 11, 2019 and ends on November 15, 2019.
  • This QR code-based system would allow anyone with a BHIM app to scan the SGQR at NETS terminals for payments in Singapore.   
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA gave Ultima Thule a new official name

  •  Ultima Thule is no more. The remote solar system body visited in January 2019 by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft now has a proper name: Arrokoth.
  • The word means "sky" in the language of the Powhatan people, a Native American tribe indigenous to Maryland.
  • The state is home to New Horizons mission control at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel.

Hayabusa2 Starts Year-Long Journey Home from Asteroid

  •  Hayabusa2, a Japanese spacecraft, has departed from a distant asteroid, starting a year-long journey home after collecting soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the Solar System.
  • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said the Hayabusa2 left its orbit around the asteroid Ryugu, about 180 million miles from Earth.
  • Hayabusa2 captured and transmitted to Earth one of its final images of Ryugu, or Dragon Palace, named after a sea-bottom castle in a Japanese folk tale, as it slowly began moving away from its temporary home.
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SPORTS

Sumit Nagal Attains career-best Ranking

  •  Indian tennis player Sumit Nagpal moved two places up in men's singles rankings and achieved his career-best 127th spot in the latest Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) rankings released in November 2019.
  • Nagpal currently has 433 points while Rafael Nadal retained the top rank with 9,585 points.
  • In doubles rankings, Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan and Purav Raja have all moved up the ladder and currently hold 38th, 46th, and 93rd rank respectively.
  • Javelin thrower Sundar Singh wins gold in World Para Athletics Championships
  • PIc Tweeted By AIR
  • Javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar has won India's second gold defending his World Para Athletics Championships title in the men's F46 javelin throw event in Dubai.
  • With this, India has secured three Tokyo Paralympic Games quota, along with the bronze winner Ajeet Singh and Rinku.
  • Gurjar came up with his season's best effort of 61.22m to claim the top spot. Singh sent the spear to a distance of 59.46m to clinch the bronze while Rinku finished fourth.
  • While, Yogesh Kathuniya added a silver for India in men's discus throw F56 event with a best throw of 42.05m. 
  •  India now has two gold, two silver and a bronze in the Championships.

IOA to Meet CGF officials

  •  The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will meet top officials of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in New Delhi, to bring Shooting back on the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games roster.
  • The IOA brass, including President Narinder Batra and Secretary-General, Rajeev Mehta, along with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju will meet CGF President Louise Martin and CEO David Grevemberg to protest Shooting's exclusion from the CWG.
  • The sport has been dropped owing to logistical issues cited by the local organising committee.
  • For the first time since 1974, Shooting has been excluded from the Games roster. In protest, the IOA had threatened to pull out of the Games if it was not reinstated.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Andhra Sand Shortage

  •  The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet decided to impose a fine of Rs 2 lakh coupled with two-year imprisonment to those found guilty of hoarding sand in the state.
  • The cabinet also approved a 'Sand Week' program which began on November 14, 2019 to ensure availability of at least two lakh tonnes of sand per day in the state.
  • Apart from this, a decision to set up ' Andhra Pradesh Environment Management Corporation' to curb pollution and to declare 2000 of the 9000 industries in the red category was also taken.

6th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance held in New Delhi

  • The 6th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance was held in New Delhi on November 12 and 13, 2019.
  • The Congress was jointly hosted by Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Ministry of Agriculture Farmers Welfare and Cooperation.
  • The headquarter of APRACA is at Manila, Philippines.

Chief Justice of India's office under RTI Act

  •  The Supreme Court has held that office of the Chief Justice of India is a public authority under the transparency law, the Right to Information Act.
  • "Transparency doesn't undermine judicial independence," the Supreme Court said in a unanimous verdict as it upheld the Delhi High Court judgment which ruled that office of the Chief Justice comes under the purview of RTI.
  • The five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi who retires on November 17, 2019, also dismissed the three appeals filed by secretary general of the SC and the Central Public Information officer of the apex court.
  • Other members of the bench included Justices NV Ramana, DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
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DEFENCE

LCA Tejas' Naval Variant Makes Successful Night-Time Arrested Landing

  •  A night-time arrested landing of light combat aircraft (LCA) Navy was successfully carried out at Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) Goa.
  • The arrested landing of the naval variant of LCA Tejas was carried out at INS Hansa in Goa.

DRDO Organises Workshop to Leverage Academic Expertise

  •  With an aim to leverage academic expertise from across the country and increase synergy with academia, a workshop titled 'DRDO-Academia Interaction for Achieving Leadership in Future Technologies' was held at DRDO Bhawan.
  • Defence R & D (research and development) has a huge potential to absorb innovation, which is not limited to R & D organisations alone but can sprout from any corner of the country. 
  • This workshop is one of the multi-pronged approaches, where defence R & D should obtain a special status in the overall scheme of things.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Justice Muhammad Raffiq takes oath as Chief Justice of Meghalaya HC

    • Justice Muhammad Raffiq  took oath as Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court. Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy administered the oath of office and secrecy at Raj Bhavan in Shillong.
    • Mr. Raffiq succeeded Ajay Kumar Mittal, who is now the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. He will be the eighth Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court. 
    • Justice Rafiq started his law practice in 1984. He practised exclusively in Rajasthan High Court in almost all branches of law.
    • He has been recognized as an expert on the Indian Constitution, service, land acquisition, tax and company law cases.
    • In 2008, he was appointed as Justice at the Rajasthan High Court. He also served as acting Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court twice.

Mangala Mani Becomes First Indian Woman Scientist to Live In Antarctica for 403 Days

  •  Mangala Mani from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the first woman scientist to spend 403 days in Antarctica. She has forged history with this achievement.
  • She was part of an expedition team which went to Bharati – India's research station in Antarctica – in November 2016.
  • Antarctica is a home to inhospitable and ruthless weather conditions. Mani informed that it was a challenge to work there as the climate was very harsh.
  • She was the only woman in the 23-member-team that went to the freezing continent this time.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Godrej Locks to Commemorate 3rd Home Safety Day on 15th November

  •  Godrej Locks, a brand synonymous with trust, quality, and safety, will be commemorating 3rd Home Safety Day observed every year on 15 November.
  • Home Safety Day aims to encourage people to be protected against threats like robberies, burglaries, and thefts.
  • The company is all set to observe this day with newer initiatives to be announced.
  • In 2018, on Home Safety Day, Godrej Locks unveiled #HarGharSurakshit, India's biggest public awareness campaign to make citizens home safety conscious.

'Ease Of Doing Business' To Be Theme Of 39th IITF 2019

  •  The 39th edition of India International Trade Fair 2019 which will be commencing from 14th November, 2019 will have 'Ease of Doing Business' as its theme.
  • The trade fair will be inaugurated by Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Nitin Gadkari.
  • This year's theme has been inspired by India's achievement of rising up to 63rd rank on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index from 142nd rank in 2014.
  • The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash will also be present during the inaugural function at Pragati Maidan in Delhi.

World Diabetes Day

  •  World Diabetes Day, celebrated annually on 14 November,  is the world's largest diabetes awareness campaign and draws attention to issues of diabetes in order to keep diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
  • The theme for diabetes awareness month and World Diabetes Day 2019 is Family and Diabetes.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Indian Wins 'BRICS-Young Innovator Prize' for Indigenous Milk Chilling Unit

  •  Ravi Prakash, an Indian PhD scholar has won the USD 25,000 BRICS-Young Innovator Prize for inventing an affordable indigenous milk chilling unit for smaller and marginal rural dairy farmers.
  • Prakash, PhD scholar of ICAR – National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Bangalore, was a part of 21-member delegation sent to Brazil by the Department of Science and Technology for the 4th BRICS-Young Scientist Forum (YSF), 2019.
  • India won the first prize, carrying USD 25,000, in the forum.

Robert De Niro's cap to be Honoured with Life Achievement Award

  •  Hollywood veteran and double Oscar winner Robert De Niro will receive the Life Achievement Award from Screen Actors Guild (SAG) at the 26th edition of the ceremony in 2020.
  • The actor has been named the 56th recipient of SAG-AFTRA's highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.
  • The 76-year-old De Niro will be presented the honour on January 19, 2020.
  • The SAG Life Achievement Award is given annually to an actor who fosters the "finest ideals of the acting profession".
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Gujarat CM Launches Online Registration Portal to Facilitate Setting up of New MSME Units

  •  Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched an online registration portal to facilitate setting up of new MSME units.
  • He approved the first online application through the portal and issued a certificate through an e-mail to a woman entrepreneur.
  • A certificate of applications was approved and the certificate was issued within a few minutes after online declaration of intent was registered on the portal.
  • Earlier, the State government had announced a waiver from approval procedure to MSME units for first three years.
  • The government had also announced that purchase of land would also be possible without prior approval for the purpose of setting up a new MSME unit in the state.

Committee to Draft new Water Policy

  •  The Union Water Resources Ministry has finalised a committee to draft a new National Water Policy (NWP).
  • It will be chaired by Mihir Shah, who is a former Planning Commission member and a water expert.
  • The committee has 10 principal members, including Shashi Shekhar, a former secretary of Water Resources, and A.B. Pandya, former chairman of the Central Ground Water Board.
  • The committee is expected to produce a report within six months.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

CSIR-IMTECH Signs MOU with IIT Bombay for Collaborative Research

  •  CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay to promote collaborative research.
  • The MoU will facilitate exchange of ideas, development of new knowledge and enhance high quality research acumen between the researchers and faculty of both the institutes.
  • The objective of this collaboration is to carry out state of the art research in areas of healthcare especially in projects and mission where both the institutes can significantly complement each other.
  • This MoU is in line with the circular issued by MHRD in 2018 paving way for all IITs to sign MoUs with National Research Laboratories affiliated to CSIR to start new collaborations and to deepen, broaden interactions where such collaborations already exist. 

Women to be allowed to Perform Kirtan inside Golden Temple

  •  The Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging the Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to allow Sikh women to sing hymns in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
  • The resolution was moved by Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa who said Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev fought against caste and gender inequality throughout his life and this discrimination against women should also end.
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ART AND CULTURE

Golden Jubilee Audio-Visual Anthem Released for IFFI

  •  Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare released Golden Jubilee audio-visual anthem for International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa from 20th to 28th November, 2019.
  • The motivational anthem features clips from festival films which have had a positive social impact.
  • Over 50 films feature in the clip, which are arranged along with the scheme of 9 Rasas. A radio jingle was also released to mark IFFI Golden Jubilee celebration.
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