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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

24 Nov 2019


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Pope Francis Calls For a World Free Of Nuclear Weapons

  •  Pope Francis has condemned the use of nuclear weapons and the growing arms trade. In a symbolic visit to the Japanese city, Nagasaki, devastated by the nuclear attack in August 1945, he said nuclear weapons were not the answer to a desire for security, peace and stability.
  • The Pope paid tribute to what he called the unspeakable horror suffered by victims of the Nagasaki atomic bomb. He said this place makes people deeply aware of the pain and horror that human beings are capable of inflicting upon one another.
  • At least 74,000 people died from the atomic bomb unleashed on the city - just three days after the world's first nuclear attack hit Hiroshima and killed at least 140,000.
  •  Pope Francis will also visit Hiroshima and meet survivors of the atomic attack, known in Japanese as hibakusha, at the world-famous Peace Memorial in the city. 

Bolivia's Congress Approves New Elections Without Evo Morales

  •  Both chambers of Bolivia's Congress have unanimously approved a bill that annuls the result of the country's presidential vote and allows for new elections to be held without former president Evo Morales.
  • The measure approved forbids candidates from running if they have served in the last two terms, with politicians also agreeing to appoint a new electoral board.
  • Interim President Jeanine Anez, an opponent of Morales, is expected to sign the bill into law.

British PM Launches Conservative Party Manifesto @Borisjohnson

  •  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has launched the Conservative Party manifesto for the December 12 General Election with a central pledge to "get Brexit done" and make the UK "Corbyn-neutral by Christmas".
  • He promised not to raise the rates of VAT, income tax and National Insurance, dubbed a "triple tax lock".
  • Mr Johnson said unlike any other party standing in this election they are going to get Brexit done. 
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Oxford Names 'Climate Emergency' Its 2019 Word Of The Year

  •  Oxford Dictionaries has named "climate emergency" as its 2019 Word of the Year, choosing it from an all-environmental shortlist that also included "climate action," "climate denial," "eco-anxiety," "extinction" and "flight shame."
  • The Word of the Year citation is intended to highlight "a word or expression shown through usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have a lasting potential as a term of cultural significance." Recent winners have included "toxic," "youthquake," "post-truth" and "vape."
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15th Finance Commission Chairman n k Singh Calls For Major Changes In GST Structure

  •  The 15th Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh has called for major changes in the GST structure, including reducing the complicated procedures and also doing away with frequent rate changes, to improve collection. He also pitched for rationalization of Centrally- sponsored schemes. 
  • Speaking at an event in RBI headquarters in Mumbai, Singh said the commission has visited nearly all the states in the run-up to the preparation of its report and that many of them have complained that the fiscal autonomy has been circumscribed by GST.

Titan & Nestle India To Enter Sensex; YES Bank, Tata Motors Exit

  •  YES Bank, Vedanta, Tata Motors and Tata Motors DVR will exit benchmark Sensex to make way for Titan Company, UltraTech Cements and Nestle India.
  • The changes will be effective December 23, 2019 Asia Index said. Asia Index is a 50-50 partnership between S&P Dow Jones Indices and the BSE.
  • The index provider will also exclude Glenmark Pharma, Cadila Healthcare and Edelweiss Financial Services from S&P BSE 100 index and add InterGlobe Aviation, Info Edge (India) and SBI Life Insurance.
  • The company has also affected nine changes to BSE 500 and three to the BSE 200. It will add Syngene International, Thermax and Gujarat Gas in the BSE 200 index and exclude Graphite India, HEG and Indiabulls Ventures from the index.

Amazon Sues US Over Loss Of Pentagon Cloud Deal To Microsoft

  • Inc. filed a lawsuit challenging the Defense Department's choice of rival Microsoft Corp. for a Pentagon cloud-computing contract worth as much as $10 billion.
  • The lawsuit, which was filed under seal in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, marks Amazon's most aggressive push to defend its competitive edge in the lucrative and cutthroat world of federal government contracts.
  • Amazon previously said it planned to formally protest its loss of the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud contract because the evaluation process was deficient.
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NASA's Infrared Analysis Of Tropical Storm Sebastien Sees Wind Shear

  •  Tropical Storm Sebastian continued to move in a northeasterly direction through the North Atlantic Ocean as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.  Infrared imagery from an instrument aboard Aqua revealed very high, powerful storms with very cold cloud top temperatures in the southwestern quadrant of the storm. It also revealed that the storm was being sheared apart by outside winds.
  • Tropical cyclones are made of up hundreds of thunderstorms and infrared data can show where the strongest storms are located. They can do that because infrared data provides temperature information, and the strongest thunderstorms that reach highest into the atmosphere have the coldest cloud top temperatures.
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Vijender Singh Claims 12th Successive Professional Win

  •  Indian boxing star Vijender Singh demolished Ghana's former Commonwealth champion Charles Adamu to claim his 12th successive win and ensure that his four-year unbeaten streak in the professional circuit remained intact.
  • The 34-year-old former Olympic bronze-medallist prevailed unanimously in an eight-round super middleweight contest against the 42-year-old.
  • The Indian's right hand was just too precise and powerful to handle for Adamu, who looked intimidated and was thrown off-balance more than once.

Equestrian Fouaad Mirza Secures India's First Olympic Quota In Sport 

  •  Double Asian Games medallist equestrian Fouaad Mirza secured an Olympic quota after finishing as the top-ranked rider in his group in the qualifiers, ending a wait spanning nearly two decades.
  • The 27-year-old was the highest-ranked rider in Group G for the South East Asia, Oceania in the individual eventing category after the end of the Europe.
  • File image of Fouaad Mirza. AFP
  • However, the official confirmation will be announced by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) on 20 February, 2019.

Madhya Pradesh Govt To Give 5% Reservation To Sportspersons In Jobs

  •  Sportspersons in Madhya Pradesh will now get a 5 per cent reservation state government jobs.
  • Madhya Pradesh Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Jitu Patwari announced it while inaugurating the Regional Olympic Games in Gwalior.
  • Jitu Patwari said that sportsperson who have won medals on national and international levels often remain without jobs
  • and providing the 5 per cent reservation will benefit these players.
  • Jitu Patwari also announced that under-16 zonal Olympics will be held in Madhya Pradesh to facilitate talented children.
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Law Students To Learn Indian Art Of Advocacy

  •  Students enrolled in the bachelors laws programme at the Maharashtra National Law University in Nagpur will soon learn the ancient Indian logic of arriving at truth in a lawsuit. After decades of imparting legal knowledge sourced from ancient Greek and Latin principles, this is the first time any school here will attempt to teach aspiring lawyers how to apply Indian logic to analyse legal propositions.
  • Ancient Indian logic takes within its sweep the Baudhic and Jain knowledge systems that prescribe ways to arrive at the truth. A separate department called the Centre for Shastric Studies and Research in Law has been set up at the university to identify the principles to be included in various subjects such as the Indian Evidence Act, Administrative Law, Company Law, even the Indian Constitution.
  • Senior Supreme Court advocate P Narasimha, who is closely associated with the school, said principles of ancient Indian law will be an additional source of knowledge.

Leh Coldest Recorded Place In Ladakh, Mercury Marks Improvement In Kashmir

  •  Leh town of Ladakh was the coldest recorded place at a low of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir marked an improvement after plummeting several degrees below season's average over the past couple of days.
  • However, Jammu city recorded a dip in the maximum and minimum temperature as sun played hide and seek during the day.
  • Besides Leh, the nearby Kargil town and the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir also recorded sub-zero night temperatures of minus 3.8 and minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, respectively.
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NCC Celebrates Its 71st Raising Day

  •  The National Cadet Corps (NCC), the world's largest uniformed youth organization, is celebrating its 71st Raising Day. The celebrations began with Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and DG NCC Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra paying homage to the martyrs, who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation, at the National War Memorial in New Delhi.
  • The NCC Raising Day was also celebrated all over the country with the cadets participating in marches, cultural activities and social development programs.
  • The multifaceted activities and varied curriculum of NCC provides unique opportunities to the youth for their development.
  • Many cadets have done the nation and the organization proud by their remarkable achievements in the fields of sports and adventure.
  • NCC continues its relentless efforts towards moulding the youth into responsible citizens of the country.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Inaugurates 172nd Defence Pensioners Adalat In Lucknow

  •  Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 172nd Defence Pensioners Adalat in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, becoming the first Raksha Mantri to be a part of the event. The two-day Defence Pensioners Adalat aims at redressal of pension related grievances of veterans of Armed Forces and their Next of Kin residing in the all districts of Uttar Pradesh. It has been organised by Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions), Prayagraj in close coordination with Headquarters Central Command.
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Shabana Azmi's Mother Shaukat Kaifi Dies

  •  Veteran theatre and film actor Shaukat Kaifi passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at her Mumbai residence. The 93-year-old had been unwell for a while due to age-related illnesses. She is survived by her children -- actor Shabana Azmi and cinematographer Baba Azmi.
  • The thespian was married to renowned Urdu poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi who passed away in the year 2002. Shaukat had also penned a memoir titled Kaifi and I.

Former Madhya Pradesh CM and BJP Stalwart Kailash Joshi Dies

  •  The first non-Congress chief minister in Madhya Pradesh in the post-Emergency era and veteran BJP leader Kailash Chandra Joshi died on Sunday at a private hospital in Bhopal after a prolonged illness at the age of 90.
  • Joshi who was a founding member of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, had been an MLA for eight terms from 1962 to 1998 and leader Opposition in the state assembly twice - 1972-1977 and 1985-90, the state BJP media cell.
  • Called as 'sant purush' (a saintly leader) in the party by workers and leaders and known for his integrity and simplicity Joshi came from a humble background from Dewas district. With his leadership skills he rose in stature in Bharatiya Jansangh and later Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
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Ocean Dance Festival 2019 Starts In Cox Bazar

  •  The four day long Ocean Dance Festival 2019 kicked off in Cox Bazar of Bangladesh. State minister of cultural affairs KM Khalid inaugurated the festival as the chief guest last evening. Ocean Dance Festival is the largest international dance festival of Bangladesh in which more than 200 dancers, choreographers and scholars from 15 countries are participating.
  • The theme of this year's festival is 'Bridging the distance' or Durotter Shetubandhan. The dances performed at the event will show the idea of bridging the cultural and economic distances.
  • The festival is being organised by the Nrityajog which is the Bangladesh wing of World Dance Alliance (WDA). The festival aims to expand cultural tourism in Bangladesh. It also features seminars and discussion apart from the dance performances by the artists.
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Bodybuilding's Indian Monster Crowned Mr Universe 2019 In South Korea

  •  Delhi-based 33-year-old Chitharesh Natesan from Kerala, known as the 'Indian Monster' in bodybuilding circles, has been crowned Mr Universe 2019 in South Korea. He says eat, gym, repeat is his success mantra
  • Forty egg whites, one kilogram chicken breast, a measured portion of fish, rice, vegetables. For nearly a year this has been the diet followed by Chitharesh Natesan, the first Indian to be crowned Mr Universe 2019 at the 11th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship (WBPF) 2019 that was held in South Korea recently.
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All India Institute Of Ayurveda Signs Mou With Western Sydney University Australia

  •  All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Western Sydney University, Australia at New Delhi. The MoU will promote the collaboration in research and developing guidelines for integrating Ayurveda principles with modern medicine.
  • Professor Barney Glover, Vice Chancellor, Western Sydney University, Australia and Prof. Tanuja Nesari, Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) signed the Memorandum of Understanding on 22nd November during the visit of the delegation led by Dan Tehan, Minister for education, Australian Government. The signing ceremony took place at Ministry of AYUSH.
  • The memorandum was agreed and exchange on the occasion of the event "India Australia International Education and Research Workshop" at Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi. The exchange took place in presence of Shri Ramesh Pokharial, Human Resource Development Minister and Dan Tehan Minister for Education, Australian Government along with H.E Ms. Harinder Sidhu Australian High Commissioner to India.

NSS Report On Persons With Disabilities In India NSS 76th Round (July - December 2018)

  •  The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has conducted a Survey of Persons with Disabilities during July 2018 to December 2018 as a part of 76th round of National Sample Survey (NSS). Prior to this, survey on the same subject was carried out by NSO during the 58th round (July-December 2002).
  •  The main objective of the Survey of Persons with Disabilities conducted by NSO in its 76th round was to estimate indicators of incidence and prevalence of disability, cause of disability, age at onset of disability, facilities available to the persons with disability, difficulties faced by persons with disability in accessing/using public building/public transport, arrangement of regular care giver, out-of pocket expenses relating to disability, etc. In NSS 76th round survey, for classification of disabilities, all the specified disabilities as stated in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 have been considered.

58.2 Pc Of Rural, 80.7 Pc Of Urban Households Have Drinking Water Facilities Within Their Homes: NSS

  •  Only about 58.2 per cent of the households in the rural and about 80.7 per cent in the urban areas had drinking water facilities within the household premises during July-December 2018, according to the findings of National Sample Survey (NSS).
  • These findings are part of the report titled 'Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Housing Conditions in India'.
  • The National Statistical Office (NSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation conducted the survey on drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and housing condition as a part of 76th round of NSS.
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Gadkari Releases Booklet At Agro Vision 2019 In Nagpur

  •  Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari today released a booklet titled 'Convergence of National Highway improvement/construction with water conservation and groundwater recharge' at Agro Vision-2019 in Nagpur. The 4-Day agriculture exhibition, Agro Vision-2019 began.
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Dubai Sees Over 12 Million Visitors In 2019

  •  India has retained its position as Dubai's leading source market, with over 1.39 million visitors during the first nine months of the current year 2019. The city welcomed 12.08 million international visitors during this period.
  • Surge in arrivals over the summer months has accelerated Dubai's tourism momentum.

Railways Mulls Automatic Train Protection System

  •  The Railways is planning to cover its entire network of 68,000 route km with an automatic train protection system in a phased manner.
  • It was announced during the 62nd annual day of Indian Railways Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunication (IRISET).
  • As a pilot project, he said, the system would be implemented on 650 route km of the golden quadrilateral corridor.
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IFFI 2019: Masterclass On The Art Of Visual Effects Conducted By V Srinivas Mohan

  •  The international film festival of India, IFFI, is going ahead full throttle in Goa. Delegates have enjoyed almost a week of films and filmmaking activities. 
  • A session on Visual effects held today in Panjim - a Masterclass on The Art of Visual Effects was conducted this afternoon by National award-winning Visual effects designer,  V Srinivas Mohan. He has worked for films like 2.0 and Baahubali. He was addressing an audience full of film students as he told them about modern techniques. In the film 2.0, the virtual camera was used and operated remotely to get stunning effects.

Union Min Inaugurated Destination North East Festival At Varanasi

  •  The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the 'Destination North East' Festival at IIT BHU grounds in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on 23 November 2019. The festival is being organised by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India. The Secretary (DoNER)Inderjit Singh and Secretary (NEC) K Moses Chalai will also attend the event.
  • Singh recently launched the theme song of the festival. This is going to be a four-day event from 23 to 26 November. The previous editions of 'Destination North East' were held in Delhi and Chandigarh. Destination North East 2019 will provide live experience to the audience. All 8 states will be present at the event along with their handicrafts, handloom, organic products and cultural troupes.

Egypt Animal Mummies Showcased At Saqqara Near Cairo

  •  In Egypt, a large cache of mummified animals, found in an ancient Egyptian necropolis, have been displayed for the first time near the Capital Cairo.
  • Archaeologists discovered the trove last year, near the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, south of the capital. They uncovered hundreds of artefacts, including masks, statues and mummified cats, crocodiles, cobras and birds.
  • Egypt's Ministry of Antiques said, tests are being carried out to verify whether two of the mummified animals are lion cubs.
  • Unlike mummified cats, which are frequently found by archaeologists, the discovery of intact lions is considered rare.
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