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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

24 Apr 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

UNESCO World Book Capital 2020

  • Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) was named World Book Capital for the year 2020 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, on the recommendation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee.
  • The city was selected because of the strong focus on inclusive education, the development of a knowledge-based society and accessible reading for all parts of the city's population.
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ENVIRONMENT

NIF Boosts New Varieties Of Anthurium, A Flower

  • D Vasini Bai, a women innovator from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has developed ten varieties of Anthurium, a flower with high market value, by cross-pollination. Anthurium (Anthurium spp.) is a vast group of beautiful blooming plants available in a wide range of colors. 
  • The plants of the varieties are having high demands due to its use as indoor decorative plants. During the last year (2019), over 8500 plants, as well as the flowers, have been sold to the market of mainly Pune and Thiruvananthapuram. 
  • The innovator has been propagating it through cuttings & seeds and supplying some plants and flowers throughout the country, but she was unable to meet the demand due to the time-consuming technique of propagation method.

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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Govt To Suspend Up To 1-Year IBC Provisions That Trigger Insolvency Cases

  • In a major relief for corporate borrowers hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the government has decided to amend the insolvency law to suspend up to one year provisions that trigger insolvency proceedings against defaulters.
  • Further, the amendments to the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) would pave the way for banks to restructure loans.
  • The ordinance would be promulgated to suspend three sections of IBC for up to one year and a decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet.
  • Section 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC would be suspended for six months and the suspension time can be extended up to one year.

Treasury Considers 100% Guarantee On Small Firm Loans

  • The Treasury has confirmed it is considering offering 100% guarantees on loans up to £25,000 for small firms.
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that UK-based small and medium-sized business could apply for interest-free loans to help them with Covid-19 related difficulties.

Victoria's Secret Shifts Image With New Faces For Asia

  • US lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret has unveiled two new brand ambassadors as it looks to Asia to reverse its struggling fortunes.
  • The appointment of popular actors Yang Mi and Zhou Dongyu marks a change from using models to represent the firm.
  • It also appears to be a shift away from the US brand's overtly sexualised image.
  • The high-profile partnerships come even as an agreement to take over the company looks to have collapsed.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Exploring 'Super-Luminous Supernovae Exploded Rapidly And Decayed Slowly'

  • Researchers at the Arayabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) Nainital an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Govt. of India found that SN 2010kd, a super-luminous supernova stands out with the amount of mass as well as Nickel ejected during explosion, which is much more than seen in case of normal core-collapse supernovae.
  • Supernovae are a kind of energetic explosions where the core of massive stars (a few times to that of mass of our Sun) go to a catastrophic phase of explosion liberating huge amounts of energy.  These events are visible through very far away distances much beyond our own solar system. Super-luminous supernovae are a special type of stellar explosions having energy output 10 or more times higher than that of standard supernovae. 

Hubble Telescope Celebrates 30 Years Of Stunning Science

  • It's 30 years ago to the day that the Hubble Space Telescope was launched.
  • Famously blighted by blurred vision at the outset, the observatory was eventually repaired and upgraded.
  • The remarkable pictures it has taken of planets, stars, and galaxies have transformed our view of the cosmos.
  • Indeed, there are those who think Hubble is the most important scientific tool ever built.
  • The US space agency (NASA), which runs the observatory in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), says operations will be funded for as long as they remain productive.

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SPORTS

Dhoni named IPL's GOAT captain

  • With three Indian Premier League titles with Chennai Super Kings, M.S. Dhoni was named IPL's Greatest of All Time (GOAT) captain by a Star Sports jury on the 13th anniversary of the league. 'Captain Cool', who has a staggering win percentage of 60.11, pipped Rohit Sharma, who has led Mumbai Indians to a record four titles.
  • Dhoni has led CSK to eight finals, the most by any captain in the IPL.
  • Besides Rohit, Dhoni also faced stiff competition from Gautam Gambhir who helped KKR bag two titles. Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and David Warner were also a part of the elite nominee list.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Jharkhand Court Sentences Ainosh Ekka To Seven Years Of Rigorous Imprisonment In Money Laundering Case

  • In Jharkhand, a Special Enforcement Directorate (ED) court in Ranchi sentenced former State Minister and three-term MLA from Kolebira constituency Ainosh Ekka to seven years of rigorous imprisonment in a money laundering case. Ekka has also been imposed a fine of two crore rupees by the court.
  • Justice Anil Kumar Mishra also ordered to forfeiture of all the property of Ainosh Ekka which has been acquired illegally. Mr Ekka was presented before the court through video-conferencing from Birsa Munda Hotwar jail.

UP Becomes First State With In-House Facility Of Virtual Courts

  • Amid the country-wide corona-triggered lockdown, Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to have the requisite infrastructure in all its courts for hearing cases through video conferencing.
  • The Allahabad High Court took a number of initiatives to facilitate court proceedings through video conferencing and recently a software has been installed in the high court and district courts of the state.

SC Adds Teeth To Anti-Narcotics Law

  • In an important verdict, the Supreme Court has provided more teeth to the anti-narcotics law and held that it is the quantity of the entire banned drug mixture and not its purity which will determine the punishment for an offender under the legislation.
  • The top court said that the amount of neutral substance in a mixture has to be included along with the actual weight of the banned substances for determining whether it is a "small or commercial quantity" under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Eminent theatre actor Usha Ganguly passes away at 75

  • Eminent theatre personality Usha Ganguly died at her residence in south Kolkata.
  • She founded the Rangakarmee group in 1976, which is known for non-conformist productions like 'Mahabhoj','Rudali', 'Court Martial' and 'Antaryatra'.
  • Her Rangakarmee gave a separate idiom, a new language to theatre in Bengal and created a new audience, which had so far been familiar with Bengali group theatre and English theatre, in the late 70s and 80s.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

National Panchayati Raj Day 2020

  • The National Panchayati Raj Day is observed on 24th April every year. The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act,1992 came into force from 24 April 1993.
  • Panchayati Raj Day paved the way for the 3 tier Panchayati Raj System in the country i.e. Gram Panchayat at the village level, Panchayat Samiti at Block level, and Zila Parishad at District level.

International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace 24 April

  • The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was established on 12 December, 2018 through resolution A/RES/73/127 and was first observed on April 24, 2019.
  • Preserving the values of multilateralism and international cooperation, which underpin the UN Charter and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is fundamental to promote and support the three pillars of the UN - peace and security, development and human rights.

UN English language day & UN Spanish language day 2020

  • The UN English Language Day is celebrated on the 23rd April every year which is traditionally observed as the birth and death anniversary of William Shakespeare.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) founded the UN Spanish Language Day in 2010 to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity.
  • The April 23rd was chosen to commemorate the death of Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra, greatest writer in Spanish who died in 1616.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Union Human Resource Development Minister launches #MyBookMyFriendcampaign

  • Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' extended greetings to everyone on the occasion of World Book Day and launched the #MyBookMyFriend campaign on social media on the occasion. 
  • Shri Pokhriyal has shared a video message on social media saying that when you open a book, you open a new world. He said that books are a person's best friend. Books inspire everyone and provide a new way of thinking. Shri Nishank added that books serve as a guide in difficult times of life.
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