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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

23 Apr 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Lebanon becomes first Arab country to legalise Cannabis for medical use

  • Lebanese legislators approved a law on legalising the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and industrial use.
  • The decision, which makes Lebanon the first Arab country to legalise marijuana growing, offers economic incentives for the debt-ridden state.
  • It makes the state the sole proprietor for trading cannabis, which has been grown illicitly for decades in Bekaa, in the east of the country.

UNODC Launches Series Of Online Dialogues With Students & Educators In India On Covid-19

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) has launched a 'Lockdown Learners' series of online dialogues with students and educators in India on COVID-19 and its impact on Sustainable Development Goals, peace and rule of law.
  • The dialogues have been launched by the United Nations body under its flagship Education for Justice initiative.

Trump Signs Order On Immigration Green Card Suspension

  • US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to temporarily suspend the approval of some green cards.
  • The measure, which contains a number of exemptions, is to last for 60 days and then could be extended, he said.
  • Mr Trump says the order is designed to protect American workers' jobs in an economy pummelled by the coronavirus.
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ENVIRONMENT

Air Pollution Levels In North India At "20-Year Low" Amid Lockdown: NASA

  • Air pollution over northern India has plummeted to a 20-year-low for this time of the year, according to satellite data published by US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
  • The US space agency's satellite sensors observed aerosol levels at a 20-year low post the countrywide lockdown, implemented to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Wildfires Rip Through Poland's Biggest National Park

  • Around 6,000 hectares of the Biebrza National Park - roughly 10% - are currently in flames as hundreds of firefighters attempt to get the blazes under control.
  • The Environment Ministry said the fire was most likely caused by farmers illegally burning grass.
  • The situation is worsened due to the fact Poland is currently experiencing its worst droughts in decades.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Kotak bank to raise up to rs. 7,800 cr. Equity capital

  • Private sector bank Kotak Mahindra Bank will be raising between Rs. 7,500 -7,800 crore equity capital by issuing 6.5 crore shares, the lender informed the exchanges.
  • The board has accorded its approval for raising of capital by way of issue of equity shares, by the bank for up to 6,50,00,000 equity shares of Rs. 5 each, through a private placement, follow-on public offering (FPO), qualified institutions placement (QIP) or a combination [of both].
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India's First Mobile Virology Diagnostics And Research Laboratory Inaugurated In Hyderabad

  • Unique and first of its kind facility in the country, a Mobile Virology Diagnostics and Research Laboratory has been inaugurated in Hyderabad at the ESI medical college. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar and Minister of state for Home Kishan Reddy and Telangana Industries Minister K Taraka Ramarao have attended the programme through video conference.
  • Developed by the DRDO, the Bio safety level-3 laboratory can test thousand samples for Corona virus daily and can scale up to 2000 in future. The laboratory also has a facility to trial drugs and conduct research on Corona virus.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

No 100% Quota For Tribal Teachers: Supreme Court

  • A 152-page judgment by a Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra said it was an "obnoxious idea" to have only tribals teach tribals.
  • A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held it unconstitutional to provide 100% 

BRO constructs permanent bridge across Ravi river

  • The Border Roads Organization has completed the construction of permanent bridge across Ravi river. The Kasowal bridge will help Punjab farmers to transport their harvest comfortably.
  •  The construction of the bridge has been completed well ahead of time. The bridge was constructed by BRO under Project Chetak. The cost of construction of the bridge is Rs 17.89 crores.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

BWF names PV Sindhu As An Ambassador For Awareness Campaign

  • World Champion P V Sindhu was unveiled as one of the ambassadors for Badminton World Federation (BWF)'s 'i am badminton' awareness campaign.
  • The campaign provides a platform for players to express their love and respect for badminton by advocating and committing to clean and honest play.
  • Sindhu, an Olympic silver medallist, said playing clean and honest is very important in any sport.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Book and Copyright Day

  • World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, is an annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.
  • The first World Book Day was celebrated on 23 April in 1995, and continues to be recognized on that day. 
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Award Set Up For Young Officers Of Indian Railway Traffic Service

  • The Asian institute of Transport Development (AITD), headed by KL Thapar, has announced an award of Rs 50,000 to young officers of the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) for developing and managing SETU, a platform for providing transport solution in this hour of crises. 
  • AITD is a New Delhi-based institute based in Delhi working on transport issues and enjoys a consultative status with the United Nations
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Cabinet approves fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy rates for Phosphatic & Potassic fertilizers

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA today gave  its approval for fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy, NBS rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P and K) Fertilizers for the year 2020-21.
  • The approved rates for NBS will be 18 rupees 78 paise per kg for Nitrogen, 14 rupees 88 paise per kg for Phosphorus, 10 rupees 11 paise per kg for Potash and 2 rupees 37 paise per kg for Sulphur.
  • The CCEA also approved the inclusion of a complex fertilizer namely Ammonium Phosphate under the NBS Scheme.
  • The expected expenditure for release of subsidy on Phosphorus and Potassium Fertilizers during 2020-21 will be over 22 thousand 186 crore rupees.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Cabinet approves ordinance making acts of violence against health care workers as cognizable, non-bailable offences

  • The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of Ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 in the light of COVID-19 pandemic situation  making  acts of violence against the healthcare  workers as cognizable and non-bailable offences.
  • Under it, there is a provision  to provide compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for causing damage or loss to the property. 

IGIB Scientists Develop Low Cost COVID-19 Test; Name It After Detective Character 'Feluda'

  • Scientists at the CSIR's Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology have come up with a low-cost coronavirus test that will not require any expensive machines for detection of the pathogen.
  • Named after "Feluda", the detective character in legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray's stories, the test has been developed by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti as a simpler way of detecting SARS-coV2 presence in clinical samples.

HRD Minister Launches VidyaDaan 2.0 For Inviting E-Learning Content Contributions

  • Human Resources and Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today launched national program VidyaDaan 2.0 for inviting e-learning Content contributions in New Delhi.
  • The programme has been launched due to the increasing requirement for e-learning content for students in both school and higher education especially in the backdrop of situation arising out of COVID-19. VidyaDaan is a common national programme to develop and contribute e-learning content and a chance to be recognized nationally.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Tourism Ministry To Organize A Series Of Webinars On Overall Theme Of 'Dekho Apna Desh'

  • Tourism Ministry is organizing a series of Webinars on the overall theme of 'Dekho Apna Desh'. The objective of these webinars is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India. These include the lesser known destinations and lesser known facets of popular destinations.
  • In addition, thematic Webinars are also being organised on subjects such as Accessible Tourism. The 6th Webinar of the series was organized on 22nd March on the subject 'Making India an Inclusive Travel Destination For All'. This webinar was heard live by more than 1700 people from all across the world.
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