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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

30 Nov 2019

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Def Min Rajnath Singh Meets Mozambique Counterpart

  •  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held talks to enhance security cooperation with his Mozambique counterpart Atanasio Salvador M'Tumukeis, who is on an official visit to India.
  • M'Tumukeis' visit to India comes months after Singh's trip to the African nation in July, 2019.
  • The Mozambican Minister met with Raksha Mantri in South Block today. During today's meeting, both Ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthen the bilateral defence relationship between the two countries. M'Tumukeis also met Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.

Modi Announces Over Rs 3,200 Crore Line Of Credit To Lanka

  •   Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a financial assistance of Rs 3,230 crore (approx) to Sri Lanka, including USD 50 million, to fight terrorism after he held "fruitful" talks with the island nation's newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
  • The talks focused on issues like fulfilling aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, ways to boost security and trade ties and address concerns of the fishermen.
  •  Modi said he assured Rajapaksa of India's full assistance in taking his country in the path of rapid development.
  • The prime minister announced a line of credit of USD 400 million for development projects in Sri Lanka besides granting a separate fund of USD 50 million to help the country deal with challenges of terrorism.
  • Sri Lankan capital Colombo was hit by a series of bombings in April in which over 250 people were killed.

India To Set Up 12 Hi-Tech Parks In Bangladesh

  •  India will set up 12 hi-tech parks in Bangladesh at a cost of $193 million.
  • Speaking at a business meeting in Rangpur organised by the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das said that these hi-tech parks will provide training to 30,000 youth of Bangladesh as skilled IT professionals.
  • Responding to the issue of the trade imbalance between the two countries, Riva Ganguly Das said that diversification of the product basket of Bangladesh will help reduce the gap by increasing exports to India.
  • She also inaugurated Swami Vivekananda Bhawan at Rangpur which houses a Computer Center, Charitable Medical Centre, Coaching centre and student's home.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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India, ADB Sign $451 Million Loan To Strengthen Power Connectivity In Tamil Nadu

  •  India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a 451 million dollar loan to strengthen power connectivity between southern and northern parts of Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC). 
  • CKIC is a part of East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) in Tamil Nadu and ADB is the lead partner of government for developing ECEC.
  • The signatories to the loan agreement were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB) at the Department of Economic Affairs, and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission.

Planned Aramco-Adnoc Refinery In India To Cost $70bn

  •  A massive refinery complex to be built on the western coast of India by Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is expected to cost as much as $70 billion, nearly twice the amount initially estimated.
  • The 1.2 million barrels-per-day greenfield integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex being planned in the Maharashtra state will be supplied with 600,000 bpd of Saudi crude. The refinery plans were part of several investment pledges made during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UAE capital.

BlackBuck Partners With IDFC Bank, Yes Bank To Offer Free FASTags To Truckers

  •  Online trucking platform BlackBuck has partnered with private lenders IDFC Bank and Yes Bank to provide FASTags to truck owners free of cost.
  • Truck owners can order FASTags on BlackBuck's Boss App, a digital services platform exclusively for truck fleet owners, and it will be delivered at their doorstep free of cost until December 31, 2019.
  • BlackBuck offers free FASTags to truck owners across India. The FASTags on BlackBuck Boss app are provided in partnership with IDFC Bank and Yes Bank. The initiative is expected to help over 3 million trucks in India become FASTag compliant.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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Govt May Set Up New Rocket Launch Pad Near Kulasekarapattinam In Tamil Nadu

  •  Government is planning to set up a new rocket launch pad in Tamil Nadu. Currently, the Indian Space Research organisation (Isro) has two launch pads at Sriharikotta, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The development comes on the backdrop of increasing launches from India, both for domestic and international customers.
  • Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha  said, "Government has proposal to set up rocket launching pad near Kulasekarapattinam in the state of Tamil Nadu".

BHEL To Produce And Sell ISRO's Li-ion Cells In India

  •  Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has confirmed that it is going to produce space-grade lithium ion cells for sale in the Indian market. In March 2018, BHEL has signed the technology transfer agreement with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) for acquiring the latter's Li-Ion cell production technology.
  • Accordingly, ISRO has transferred its indigenous technology to BHEL.
  • BHEL is now in the process of setting up the Li-Ion production facility near Bangalore in Karnataka. This production facility is primarily targeted at meeting Li-ion cell requirements for ISRO and other strategic sectors, which would also include automotive. 
  • BHEL can also produce and sell Li-ion cells for meeting other national / commercial applications by suitably modifying the space-grade cell which can lead to cost reduction.
  • Various equipment (both indigenous and imported) for setting up the new facility has been procured and is being commissioned.  ISRO has already provided all technical documentation for establishing the production plant as well as hands-on training in various production activities for BHEL staff at ISRO's facilities.
  • As per the technology transfer agreement, space-grade Li-ion cells manufactured by BHEL are meant for meeting India market requirements only. 

SPORTS

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Davis Cup: Ramkumar, Sumit Trample Pakistan On Day One, India Lead 2-0

  •  India raced to a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup tie as Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal toyed with their teen rivals from Pakistan, at Nur-Sultan.
  • Ramkumar double-bageled 17-year-old Muhammed Shoaib in just 42 minutes in the opening singles.
  • Sumit Nagal then earned his first-ever Davis Cup win, beating Hufaiza Mohammed Rehman 6-0, 6-2 in the second singles.
  • Pakistan badly missed its top players who pulled out, protesting against shifting of the matches to a neutral venue.
  • Veteran Leander Paes and debutant Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan will now look to seal the tie when they clash with Hufaiza and Shoaib in the doubles rubber .

Deepika, Ankita Secure Olympic Quota; Win Medals At Asian Meet

  •  The seasoned Deepika Kumari struck gold, while Ankita Bhakat bagged a silver after securing India an Olympic quota place at the Continental Qualification Tournament held on the sidelines of the 21st Asian Championships.
  • Three individual places were up for grabs from the qualifications and Indian archers, who are competing without a flag due to the national federation's suspension, made a big statement with top seed Deepika and sixth seed Ankita's stellar show.
  • Entering the brackets as the number one ranked woman, Deepika put up a flawless show to defeat Nur Afisa Abdul Halil of Malaysia 7-2, Zahra Nemati (Iran) 6-4 and local girl Narisara Khunhiranchaiyo 6-2 to make the last four, thereby securing an Olympic quota.

Lucknow Becomes Second Neutral Test Venue in India, 11th Overall

  •  The Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Wednesday became the second neutral venue in India to host a Test match.
  • Afghanistan, who play their 'home games' in India, are playing West Indies in a one-off Test at the stadium where the two teams earlier played three ODIs and three T20Is.
  • The first neutral venue to host a Test in the country was Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun where also Afghanistan were the home team, hosting Ireland for a one-off Test in March 2019.
  • The Test got underway from Wednesday with West Indies opting to bowl first.
  • Overall, the Ekana Cricket Stadium is 11th such venue internationally. Dubai International Cricket Stadium and Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) have played host to the maximum number of 13 neutral Tests so far.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Srinagar-Jammu metro project to start operations by Sep 2024

  •  The Jammu and Kashmir government has set a September 2024 deadline to start operations on the Rs 9,590 crore metro project for twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar, an official spokesperson said on Friday. Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu chaired a meeting to review the proposed Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) and the Light Rail Projects for Jammu and Srinagar. 
  • Dheeraj Gupta, principal secretary, Housing and Urban Development department gave a detailed presentation on the Light Rail Projects in Jammu and Srinagar.

Rural ministry sanctions over 18,000 houses for Tripura under PMAY-Gramin

  •   Union Ministry of Rural Development  sanctioned additional houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) for Tripura for the financial year 2019-20.
  • The Ministry sanctioned 18,338 additional houses for the state.
  • In accordance with the sanction, the first installment of the Central share of Rs 109.10 crore was also released for the construction of the additional houses.
  • The PMAY is a housing initiative of the Government of India launched in 2015 to provide affordable housing to the urban and the rural poor.
  • The target of PMAY is to build 20 million affordable houses by March 2022.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Flags Off 100 Standard Floor Buses

  •  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal flagged off 100 standard floor buses equipped with hydraulic lifts, CCTV cameras and panic button under the cluster scheme.Earlier this month, the Delhi government had rolled out another 100 standard buses.
  • With the addition of 100 new buses on Thursday, the cluster bus fleet operated by the Delhi Integrated Multi Modal System (DIMTS) has gone up to 2,000.

DEFENCE

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Curtain Raiser Indo-Nepal Joint Military Exercise SURYA KIRAN - XIV

  • Joint military exercise 'SURYA KIRAN – XIV' between India and Nepal will be conducted at Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal from   03 to 16 December 2019. The exercise will comprise of 300 soldiers from both Indian and Nepal Army who would be sharing their experience in conduct of various counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations as also various humanitarian assistance missions by both the Armies.
  •  Exercise SURYA KIRAN - XIV is an annual event which is conducted alternatively in Nepal and India. Notably, in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, exercise   SURYA KIRAN with Nepal is an important exercise in terms of the security challenges faced by both the nations in the realm of changing facets of global terrorism. The aim of this exercise is to conduct a Battalion level combined training between Indian Army and Nepal Army to increase interoperability in jungle warfare and counter terrorist operations in mountainous terrain, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, medical and environmental conservation including aviation aspects.

Indian Navy commissions Sixth Dornier Aircraft Squadron

  •  Indian Naval Air Squadron 314, the sixth Dornier aircraft squadron was commissioned today at Naval Air Enclave- Porbandar on Gujarat coast.
  • Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral M S Pawar was the chief guest on this occasion.
  • INAS 314 derives its name Raptors from the Bird of Prey family.
  • The insignia of the squadron depicts a Raptor bird searching over the vast blue expanse of the sea. Raptors are large birds of prey known for excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons and strong wings symbolizing the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the squadron.

Singapore, India Air Forces Hold Joint Training Exercise

  •  Singapore's air force has deployed six of its advanced F-16 fighter aircraft to train alongside the IAF's six Sukhoi combat aircraft during their upgraded joint military training in India.
  • The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) are conducting the Joint Military Training (JMT) from October 31 to December 12, 2019 at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in West Bengal.
  • To commemorate the 10th edition of the JMT, the scope of the exercise was expanded to include an air-sea training component for the first time, with assets from the Indian Navy supporting.
  • The RSAF has deployed six F-16C/D fighter aircraft to train alongside the IAF's six SU-30MKI fighter aircraft.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Japan's Ex-Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone Dies at 101

  •   Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, a giant of his country's post-World War II politics who pushed for a more assertive Japan while strengthening military ties with the United States, has died. He was 101.
  • The office of his son, Hirofumi Nakasone, confirmed that Nakasone died Friday at a Tokyo hospital where he was recently treated.
  • As a World War II navy officer, Yasuhiro Nakasone witnessed the depths of his country's utter defeat and devastation. Four decades later, he presided over Japan in the 1980s at the pinnacle of its economic success.
  • In recent years, he lobbied for revision of the war-renouncing U.S.-drafted constitution, a longtime cause that no postwar leader has achieved to date.

Former RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan To Head Micro-Finance Panel

  • Former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), H R Khan has been appointed as the first chairman of the steering committee of the Code for Responsible Lending (CRL) in micro-credit.
  • The CRL is a self-regulatory step for the micro-credit industry making diverse entities like banks, NBFC-MFIs and NBFCs adhere to standards of customer protection.
  • CRL was launched in September by MFIN and Sa-Dhan, an RBI-recognised association of MFIs, along with Finance Industry Development Council, an association of NBFCs.

DAYS AND EVENTS

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Saint Andrew's Day

  •  Saint Andrew's Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on 30 November. Saint Andrew's Day (Scots: Saunt Andra's Day, Scottish Gaelic: Là Naomh Anndrais) is Scotland's official national day.
  • It is a national holiday in Romania (since 2015). Saint Andrew is represented in the New Testament to be the disciple who introduced his brother, the Apostle Peter, to Jesus as the Messiah.
  • He is the patron saint of Cyprus, Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, San Andres Island (Colombia), Saint Andrew (Barbados) and Tenerife.

AWARDS AND HONOURS

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NDTV Wins Award For Kathua Coverage

  •  NDTV has won the IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism, 2019, for its coverage of the rape and murder of a young girl in Kathua and the aftermath, anchored by Nidhi Razdan. NDTV was unanimously selected by a jury headed by former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee.
  • The Award is for the expose of the conspiracy to scuttle probe into the heinous Kathua rape and murder: and a strong expose of the political hypocrisy across the political spectrum.

Malayalam poet Akkitham bags 55th Jnanpith Award

  •  The prestigious Jnanpith Award for literature has been announced for the Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboodri.
  • A jury under the chairmanship of noted Odia writer Pratibha Rai held a meeting before the declaration of his name. Jury's other members were Shamim Hanafi, Suranjan Das, Madhav Kaushik and Dr. Purushottam Bilimalale.
  • The award consists of Rs 11 lakh, a statue of Vagdevi, a citation and a memento.
About Akkitham
  • Akkitham is a famous writer in the Malayalam poetry world. He was born in 1926 and his full name is Akkitham Achuthan Namboodri but he is popularly known as Akkitham.
  • He was interested in literature and art since childhood. Apart from poetry, Akkitham has also written plays and novels.
  • His most of the poetry works have a unique prophetic character. He predicts a range of socio-political developments in his poetry. Akkitham is famous for showing modernity through his poetry.

Satheesh Reddy will be the first Indian recipient in 100 yrs

  •  Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) London, the oldest aeronautical society in the world, has conferred honorary fellowship to G. Satheesh Reddy, secretary of the department of Defence R&D and chairman of DRDO.
  • The Society's highest award was bestowed on Dr. Reddy for his pioneering technological contributions over the past three decades, which has enabled the country to realise frontline military systems and world class missile technologies.

GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

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Ministry Of Shipping Approves Loktak Inland Waterways Project In Manipur

  •  Union Ministry of Shipping approved the long pending demand of Manipur government for the development of Loktak Inland Waterways project in the state.
  • According to an official statement, L Susindro Meitei, Chairman of Loktak Development Authority and MLA Khurai in Manipur, had requested for the development of this project.
  • Northeast is a beautiful region with stunning landscapes and holds a lot of opportunity for tourism purposes. the Ministry of Shipping has approved the long pending demand of Government of Manipur for development of Loktak Inland Waterways improvement project under the central sector scheme at the estimated cost of Rs 25.58 crore.

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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AIM Is To Be a Springboard For Start-Ups

  •  Innovation is the 21st century buzzword, and the Centre's flagship initiative to promote entrepreneurship is the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), which comes under the NITI Aayog. 
  • R Ramanan, Mission Director, AIM, was at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, recently to inaugurate the Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) on its campus. 
  •  AICs are enabling people with great ideas to launch their start-ups in an incubator. The objective of these innovation centres is 'to nurture innovative start-ups in their pursuit to become scalable and sustainable business enterprises.

TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

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Jyoti Mayal Is The New President Of TAAI

  •  Jyoti Mayal, Director, New Airways Travels and erstwhile Hony Secretary of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has been elected as the President for TAAI for 2019-21.
  • Mayal, with her team, made a clean sweep in the election by winning all seats for the TAAI Executive and Managing Committees.
  • Interestingly, Jay Bhatia has been elected unopposed as Vice President of TAAI. While Lokesh Bettaiah is elected as Hony. Secretary, Shreeram Patel bagged the post of Hony. Treasurer.
  • The entire Managing Committee – Anoop Kanuga (Mumbai), Rajan Sehgal (Delhi), P Murugesan (Chennai), Devesh Agarwal (Kolkata), Paras Lakhia (Ahmedabad), Sunil Notani (Bhopal), and R Venkatachalam (Trichy) – from Mayal's team got elected for 2019-21.
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