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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

31 May 2020

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Three Indian Companies Get Licence to Manufacture NASA's Ventilators

  • Three Indian companies have got licences from NASA to manufacture its indigenously developed ventilators for critical COVID-19 patients.
  • The three Indian companies are Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd, Bharat Forge Ltd and Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd.
  • Apart from the Indian firms, 18 other companies, including eight American and three Brazilian, have been selected to manufacture the critical breathing devices.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed the ventilator specifically for coronavirus patients at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JLP) in Southern California.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Spacecraft Successfully Takes Off

  • SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully took off from Kennedy Space Center for the International Space Station (ISS), with two NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley.
  • The spacecraft is the first to take the American astronauts to orbit from American soil in nearly a decade.
  • The mission marks the first launch of a rocket owned by SpaceX, the commercial space company founded by Elon Musk.
  • US President Donald Trump was present at the Kennedy Space Center to view the rocket launch.
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SPORTS

Virat Kohli Only Cricketer in Forbes' Top 100 Highest-Paid Athletes of 2020

  •  India captain Virat Kohli remained the only cricketer to be included in the list of top 100 highest-paid athletes of 2020 put forward by Forbes magazine.
  • The right-handed batsman is also the only Indian athlete to be featured in the list.
  • According to Forbes, Kohli had an estimated total earnings of $26 million ($24m from endorsements and $2m from salary/winnings). He made a jump of over 30 places from 2019, as he was positioned at the 66th spot in this year's list.
  • Meanwhile, Swiss tennis great Roger Federer has become the first from his sport to top Forbes' list of highest paid athletes. With an estimated $106.3 million earned over the past 12 months, Federer edged out Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo from the top spot.
  • The three athletes immediately below Federer are all football players with Ronaldo on second with estimated earnings of $105 million. His arch rival and Argentine great Lionel Messi is third with an estimated $104 million while Brazil's Neymar comes fourth with $95.5 million.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

India Observatory Launches GIS-Enabled Dashboard, CoAST India

  • India Observatory, an open-source database, launched a GIS-enabled dashboard,  CoAST India (Collaboration/Covid Action Support Group) in collaboration with Anand-based Forest Ecological Security (FES) as its main nodal point, to help administrators, civil society organisations & volunteers to plan urgent steps to get the stranded migrant population to safety & care.
  • The dashboard provides a repository of migrants data & requirements linked to the relevant service providers.
  • It also visualises facilities like schools & hospitals, road networks, relief camps, quarantine centers & healthcare workers.

Goa Celebrates Statehood Day

  •  Goa celebrates its statehood day on 30th May. It was on this day in 1987 Goa became the 25th state of the Indian Union.
  • It was a Union Territory along with Daman and Diu from December 1961 onwards when Goa was liberated from the colonial rule.
  • Once Goa was liberated there was a controversy regarding merging Goa with the neighbouring state of Maharashtra or Mysore.
  • However, an opinion poll of 1967 suggested that Goa, Daman, and Diu be Union Territory.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Veteran Lyricist Yogesh Gaur Passed Away

  • Veteran lyricist Yogesh Gaur, known as Yogesh in the film industry, passed away. He was 77.
  • Yogesh wrote the lyrics of hit songs "Kahin duur jab din dhal jaye" and "Zindagi kaisi hai paheli" that defined the superhit film Anand (1971).
  • He worked with many prominent names including Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee.

SN Rajeswari Becomes New CMD of Oriental Insurance Company

  • New India Assurance, General Manager, SN Rajeswari, has been selected as the Chairman and MD of the Oriental Insurance Company (OIC) by Banks Board Bureau (BBB).
  • Rajeswari is a qualified charted accountant and currently the second senior-most GM of the public sector general insurance industry and would be retiring in May 2022. She had started her career as an insurer with the Chennai base United India Insurance (UII) and was later shifted to NIA as a deputy general manager (DGM).
  • She will replace AV Girija Kumar.

PFC Board Clears R S Dhillon''s Appointment as CMD

  • State-run Power Finance Corporation (PFC) announced the appointment of Ravinder Singh Dhillon as Chairman and Managing Director from June 1, 2020 following superannuation of Rajeev Sharma.
  • He would hold the post till the date of his superannuation (May 31, 2023) or until further orders.
  • Dhillon is presently serving as Director (Projects) in the PFC and has more than 35 years of experience in various areas of the power sector.
  • An Electrical Engineer with post-graduation in Power Systems from IIT Delhi, he had worked with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and Central Electricity Authority prior to joining the PFC.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Digestive Health Day 2020

  • World Digestive Health Day is observed globally on 29th May every year. It is organised by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF).
  • The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2020 campaign was "Gut Microbiome: A Global Perspective."
  • Each year the day focuses upon a particular digestive disease and/or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management and treatment of the disease and/or disorder.

World No Tobacco Day

  • World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31 May.
  • This yearly celebration informs the public of the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight against the use of tobacco, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.
  • The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. 

Russia Hosts BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities Meet

  •  The meeting of the Heads of Tax Authorities of the BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was held on 29 May, 2020.
  • The meeting was hosted by the Federal Tax Service of Russia, which currently holds the BRICS Presidency, to discuss the response of BRICS Tax Authorities to the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore potential areas of cooperation in tax matters.
  • Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey represented India at the meeting. 
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

'One Sun One World One Grid' Initiative

  • India has come up with a 'One Sun One World One Grid' (OSOWOG) initiative to set up a framework for facilitating global cooperation in this regard aiming at building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources that can be seamlessly shared.
  • The Union Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE), through this initiative, plans to build global consensus about sharing solar resources among more than 140 countries of West Asia and South East Asia.
  • The global grid plan may also leverage the International Solar Alliance co-founded by India that has 67 countries as members.
  • It has become India's calling card on climate change and is increasingly being viewed as a foreign policy tool.

K-FON Project of Kerala to be Implemented by December 2020

  • The Kerala government has announced that its ambitious Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) project, envisaged to provide free internet access to the poor, would be rolled out by December 2020.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed the decision after a meeting with the heads of companies of the consortium executing the Rs 1,500 crore K-FON project.
  • The project is being implemented by Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited and Kerala State Electricity Board.
  • Optical fibre cables were being laid across the state using KSEB posts.
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