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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

27 Apr 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Israeli Court Bans Lawless Contact Tracing

  • Israel's Supreme Court has banned its intelligence agency from tracing the phone location of those infected with Covid-19, until new laws are passed.
  • The Shin Bet internal security service had been given emergency powers in March, 2020 to use the technology.
  • Now, the court says legislation must be brought in for it to continue past 30 April, 2020.
  • It warned of a "slippery slope" of using the "extraordinary and harmful tools" against innocent citizens.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

IIFL Wealth Finance Buys L&T Capital Markets for Rs 230 crore

  • L&T Finance Holdings has sold its wholly-owned subsidiary L&T Capital Markets (LTCM) to IIFL Wealth Finance for Rs 230 crore.
  • On April 24, 2020, the company has completed the sale of its investment in LTCM to IIFL Wealth Finance , and accordingly, LTCM has ceased to be a subsidiary of the company.

ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund Bharat-22 ETF picks shares worth Rs 59 crore in NALCO

  • ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund Bharat-22 ETF picked up shares worth nearly Rs 59 crore in National Aluminium Company (NALCO) through an open market transaction.
  • According to bulk deal data on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), over 1.71 crore shares were purchased at an average price of Rs 34.43 a piece. This took the total deal value to Rs 58.9 crore.

Transcorp Becomes The 1st Non-Bank Company To Receive RBI Nod To Enter Into Co-Branding Arrangements

  • The Leading forex and payment solutions provider Transcorp
  • International Limited (TIL), a 25 year old BSE-listed company becomes the 1st non-bank company to receive Reserve Bank of India (RBI) nod to enter into co-branding arrangements for prepaid Instruments to be used in over 35 lakh stores and online gateways due to the current outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • It will launch Application Programming Interface (API) based co-branded partnerships for digital, physical and contactless cards with select marquee clients in its own Bank Identification Number (BINs).
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

First-Ever Digital Geological Map Of Moon Released By US Geological Survey

  • The first ever digital, unified, global, geological map of the moon was released virtually by the  United States Geological Survey (USGS), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Lunar Planetary Institute on April 22, 2020.
  • The map is a 'seamless, globally consistent, 1:5,000,000-scale geologic map'.Called the 'Unified Geologic Map of the Moon', it will serve as a blueprint for future human missions and a source of research and analysis for the educators and the general public interested in lunar geology.
  • The moon the closest cosmic body to Earth through which space discovery can be attempted and documented has always piqued the interest of humanity.

NTPC Launches Hydrogen Fuel Bus And Car Project For Leh And New Delhi

  • NTPC Ltd, India's largest power producer and a central PSU under Ministry of Power, has invited Global Expression of Interest (EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) based electric buses and an equal number of Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric cars in Leh and Delhi.  The EoI has been issued by NTPC's wholly owned subsidiary, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) Limited.
  • The move to procure Hydrogen Fuel Cell based vehicles is first of its kind project in the country, wherein a complete solution from green energy to the fuel cell vehicle would be developed.
  • The initiative, which has been undertaken with support of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, will also harness renewable energy for generation of hydrogen and develop it's storage and dispensation facilities as part of pilot projects at Leh and Delhi. The move to launch hydrogen powered vehicles aims at decarbonizing mobility segment. 

Researchers Develop Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Nanocoatings For Disposable Masks

  • Dr.Viswanatha R from Jyothy Institute of Technology, Bengaluru under the DST Nano Mission has developed organic-inorganic hybrid nanocoatings for disposable masks.
  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has approved the large-scale production of the mask.
  • The N95 masks are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including viruses and bacteria. These masks are expensive and need prior training as standard practice before using it. Inexpensive disposable masks have several limitations.
  • These often get wet through salivary droplets, body fluids, and sweat. The wet masks attract the microorganisms and act as a breeding ground for those organisms to multiply in number.
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SPORTS

Former Pakistan skipper Sana Mir announces retirement from international cricket

  • Former Pakistan women's skipper Sana Mir announced her retirement from international cricket, ending a 15 year long illustrious career.
  • Mir featured in 226 international matches for Pakistan, including 137 as captain from 2009 to 2017.
  • The right-handed batter made her ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Karachi in December 2005, while her last ODI was against Bangladesh in Lahore in November 2019. 

Olympic Doubles Silver Medallist Boe Announces Retirement From Badminton

  • Former doubles world number one Mathias Boe of Denmark has announced his retirement from badminton at the age of 39.
  • Boe, silver medallist in the men's doubles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, had been the oldest active player at elite level.
  • One of Denmark's most accomplished doubles players, Boe also won two European titles and two medals at the World Championships.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Swedish Author Dies At The Age Of 85

  • One of Sweden's best-known authors, Per Olov Enquist, has died aged 85.
  • His career spanned more than half a century, and his work won acclaim not just in his native country but across Europe, especially France and Germany.
  • Enquist's plays and novels - described as pessimistic in their outlook - often deal with questions of truth, and the blurred lines between fact and fiction.The film Pelle the Conqueror, whose screenplay he helped write, won an Oscar for best foreign-language film.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Basava Jayanthi Was Celebrated On 26 April

  • Basava Jayanthi was celebrated on 26 April. It is an annual event that is celebrated in the honour of the birth of Vishwaguru Basaveshwara, the 12th-century philosopher and social reformer.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to Lord Basaveshwara and greeted the people on the occasion of Basava Jayanthi. The day aims to spread Lord Basavanna's works and his ideas around the world to make the world a better place.
  • Basavanna was a 12th-century philosopher, Kannada poet, statesman, and a social reformer. He lived during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka, India.

World Veterinary Day Was Observed On 25 April

  • The World Veterinary Day was observed on 25 April 2020. The day is observed on the last Saturday of April of every year.
  • The day provides an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of veterinarians to the health of animals and society. The theme for 2020 World Veterinary Day is "Environmental protection for improving animal and human health." The day is initiated by the World Veterinary Association (WVA).

International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day Is Observed On 26 April

  • International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed on 26 April. The day aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster and the risks of nuclear energy in general.
  • The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was built in 1977. It was built to help make electricity for the infrastructure of the Soviet Union (present Pripyat, Ukraine) to develop economic growth. On 26 April 1986, a reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant experienced a catastrophic explosion and fire. 
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IIT Kharagpur Ranked 57th in THE's 2nd Edition Of Impact Rankings 2020

  • According to Times Higher Education (THE)'s 2nd edition of Impact rankings 2020, which has ranked 766 universities from 85 countries, The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur is ranked 57th with a score of 87.9 among global universities.
  • The list is topped by the University of Auckland, New Zealand with a score of 98.5, followed by  University of Sydney (98.1), Western Sydney University(97.9) in Australia.

King George Medical University in Lucknow Becomes 1st Govt Hospital In Country To Successfully Launch Plasma Therapy Treatment for COVID-19

  • The King George Medical University in Uttar Pradesh has become the first government hospital in the country to successfully launch the plasma therapy treatment for the COVID-19 patients. 
  • First dose of the plasma therapy was given to a 58-year old patient.
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