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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

15 May 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Namibian President Bans New Cars for Ministers

  • Namibian ministers and government officials have been banned by the president from buying a new car for five years so that the money can be spent on dealing with coronavirus.
  • The measure will save $10.7m (£8.8m).

WTO Head Steps Down a Year Early as Downturn Looms

  • The head of the World Trade Organization has said he will step down a year earlier than planned, at a crucial moment for the global economy.
  • Roberto Azevedo's surprise departure comes as the WTO faces the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and criticism from US President Donald Trump.
  • Global trade has slumped and the world is braced for the worst downturn since the Great Depression.
  • Meanwhile, Mr Trump has accused the body of treating America unfairly.
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ENVIRONMENT

Deforestation Rate Globally Declined Between 2015 and 2020: FAO Report

  • While forest area has declined all across the world in the past three decades, the rate of forest loss has decline due to the growth of sustainable management.
  • The rate of forest loss in 2015-2020 declined to an estimated 10 million hectares (mha), down from 12 million hectares (mha) in 2010-2015, according to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 (FRA 2020).
  • The FRA 2020 was released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on May 13, 2020.
  • The FRA 2020 has examined the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

MoneyGram Partners With Federal Bank

  • MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MoneyGram International, Inc., a global leader in cross-border P2P payments and money transfers, announced that it has entered into a partnership with The Federal Bank Limited, a leading private sector Bank in India, for a strategic partnership to offer a cost-effective direct to bank account credit option for customers in India.
  • Through this partnership, millions will be able to receive deposits directly in their bank accounts without leaving the confines of their homes which is imperative in the current situation.

Jeff Bezos Could be World's First Trillionaire by 2026, Mukesh Ambani by 2033

  • Despite losing an estimated $38 billion as part of his recent divorce, the Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' colossal wealth is growing at such a rate that Bezos could become inaugural member of the 13-figure club by 2026, at an age of 62, says a new study by Comparisun.
  • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is still by far the world's richest person and his net worth has grown by 34 per cent on average over the last five years, said the study by Comparisun, a company which helps organisations compare different business products.
  • India's Reliance Industries Limited CEO, Mukesh Ambani could become a trillionaire in 2033 when he will be aged 75.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

J&K to Provide Tap Water to Every Household by December 2022

  • Jammu and Kashmir plans to provide tap water connection to all rural households by December, 2022 under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
  • The Union Territory (UT) is planning for 100% coverage of all 5,000 villages of 3 districts i.e. Gandharbal, Srinagar and Raisi.
  • Presenting their action plan to the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation for achieving the goal of every household with tap water supply under the JJM, UT officials said there are 18.17 lakh households in the UT, out of which 5.75 lakhs are already provided with Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs). Out of the remaining households, J&K plans to provide 1.76 lakh households by 2020-21.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, 8 others Elected Unopposed to Council

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and eight others were declared elected unopposed to the state Legislative Council.
  • Apart from Thackeray, Council Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe (Shiv Sena), four candidates of BJP - Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil, Gopichand Padalkar, Praveen Datke and Ramesh Karad; NCP's Shashikant Shinde and Amol Mitkari and Congress's Rajesh Rathod were in the fray for the nine seats, which fell vacant on April 24, 2020.

GI tag for Thanjavur Netti and Arumbavur Wood Carving

  • After a seven-year-long wait, the Thanjavur Netti Works (pith works) and Arambavur Wood Carvings belonging to the central region of Tamil Nadu were awarded the Geographical Indication Tag by the GI registry. 
  • The Geographical Indication tag is granted to products that the special for a particular geographical area and prevents misuse of the popularity of the products by others.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Padma Bhushan Recipient Professor Anisuzzaman Passed Away

  • Padma Bhushan recipient and Bangladesh''s National Professor Anisuzzaman died at a military hospital in Dhaka.
  • India had awarded him Padma Bhushan for his distinguished service in fields of Bangla literature and education. He was also awarded Ekushey Padak and Swadhinata Padak, the highest state awards given by Bangladesh.
  • Born in Kolkata in February 1937, Prof Anisuzzaman and his family shifted to Bangladesh soon after the partition in 1947.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

2nd Extraordinary G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministerial Meet

  • The second edition of Extraordinary G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministerial Meet was held under the presidency of Saudi Arabia.
  • The meeting was chaired by the Saudi Minister of Commerce, Majid Al Qasabi, in the presence of the Minister of Investment, Khalid Al-Faleh.
  • In the virtual meeting, India was represented by the Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

Dr Harsh Vardhan Participates in 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers' Meeting

  • Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today participated in the 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers' Meeting through Video conference.
  • He highlighted the timely, graded and pro-active measures taken by India towards COVID-19 management.
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan said, India has been the first country to urge consolidated global action to fight the challenge of COVID-19.
  • India took all necessary and timely steps including surveillance at points of entry, evacuation of our nationals abroad, surveillance in community through disease surveillance network and community involvement as part of its management efforts.

International Day of Families

  • The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year.
  • The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution A/RES/47/237 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

V. Admiral G.M. Hiranandani Memorial Rolling Trophy 2020 Announced

  • Lieutenant Commander Akshay Kumar was awarded the Vice Admiral G.M. Hiranandani Memorial Rolling Trophy for the year 2020.
  • He commissioned in Anti-Submarine Warfare School of the Southern Naval Command in Kochi.
  • The award ceremony was held at the Maritime Warfare Centre, Kochi, Kerala.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

West Bengal Govt Launches 'Matir Smristi' Scheme

  • West Bengal Government has launched 'Matir Smristi' scheme to utilise 50,000 acres of barren land in 6 districts.
  • This scheme helps to generate income activities in horticulture and pisciculture involving the locals. The 'Matir Smristi' scheme will benefit around 2.5 lakh people in rural Bengal.
  • In West Bengal at least 50,000 acres of barren land in Birbhum, Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram, West Burdwan and West Midnapore districts, which cannot produce anything naturally nor can the farmers cultivate on the strip.
  • The work has been started in 6,500 acres of land at the micro-level and this is an environment-friendly scheme
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

India Likely to Miss Global Nutrition Targets by 2025: WHO's Global Nutrition Report 2020

  • According to World Health Organization (WHO)'s Global Nutrition Report 2020, India is one among 88 countries to miss global nutrition targets by 2025 & is with highest rates of domestic inequalities in malnutrition.
  • India along with Nigeria & Indonesia are worst in disparities in stunting & the levels varied four-fold across communities.
  • The World Health Assembly in 2012 identified 6 nutrition targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition to be met by 2025 they are:
  • Reduce stunting by 40% in children under 5; Reduce Anaemia by 50% in women of reproductive age(15-49 years); Reduce 30% in low birth weight; No increase in childhood overweight; Increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months up to at least 50%; Reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

International Tourism to Decline 60-80% in 2020: UNWTO Report

  • According to the latest data of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) the international tourism could decline by 60-80% in 2020 when compared with 2019 figures, due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak which will result in loss of USD 910 billion to USD 1.2 trillion and places millions of livelihoods at risk and threatens to curtail the progress made in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • As per the latest (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 22% fall in international tourist arrivals during the 1st quarter(3 months) of 2020.
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