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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

19 Jun 2020


Bozkir Elected President of 75th UN General Assembly

  • The UN General Assembly elected Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir to be its president ahead of the 75th General Debate in September.
  • In a secret ballot vote Bozkir, who was unopposed for the post, received 178 ballots in support as 11 nations abstained, Anadolu Agency reported.
  • Bozkir is currently serving as a Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker from Istanbul and head of the Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.
  • He was elected to the Turkish legislature in 2011 following nearly 40 years in the foreign service that included posts in Germany, Iraq, New York and Romania.
  • Bozkir is the first Turkish national to head the General Assembly. He is expected to take office in September this year and hold the post for one year.

President of Kyrgyzstan Signs Decrees Appointing Members of Government

  • President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov signed decrees on the appointment of members of the Government.
  • Taalaibek Temiraliev became the head of the Cabinet's Office, Chingiz Aidarbekov became the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kashkar Dzhunushaliev became the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Marat Dzhamankulov was appointed the Minister of Justice, Baktygul Jeenbaeva was appointed the Minister of Finance, and Sanzhar Mukanbetov was appointed the Minister of Economy and many more were appointed.
  • The Parliament of Kyrgyzstan approved the candidacy of Kubatbek Boronov for the post of head of the Cabinet, as well as the composition and structure of the Government. At least 105 deputies voted affirmatively.
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Modi Launches Auction Process for 41 Coal Blocks

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the auction process for 41 coal blocks for commercial mining, a move that opens India's coal sector for private players, and termed it a major step in the direction of India achieving self-reliance.
  • Launching the auction of mines for commercial mining, that is expected to garner Rs. 33,000 crore of capital investment in the country over the next five to seven years, would win the coronavirus war and turn this crisis into an opportunity, and the pandemic would make India self-reliant.
  • The launch of the auction process not only marks the beginning of unlocking of the country's coal sector from the lockdown of decades, but aims at making India the largest exporter of coal.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to Invest in Jio Platforms

  • Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) has agreed to invest Rs. 11,367 crore in in Mukesh Ambani led Jio Platforms Limited for 2.32% stake, valuing the company at an equity value of Rs. 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs. 5.16 lakh crore and marking PIF's largest investment into the Indian economy to-date.
  • With this investment, Jio Platforms has raised Rs. 1,15,693.95 crore from leading global investors including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG and L Catterton, since April 2020.
  • With the addition of PIF's investment, Jio Platforms has established partnerships with a marquee set of global financial investors, who will contribute to establishing the Digital Society vision for India.

Bank of Baroda to Fully Digitise Lending Operations

  • Bank of Baroda, India's 3rd largest lender to fully digitise its lending operations including home, agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME), personal and auto loans.
  • Verification and issuance of new loans will take place through this digital platform anbd past loans will also be digitised to reduce costs and improve profitability.
  • The bank plans to digitise a large part of its retail and MSME processes in the next 6 months.
  • The bank has set up a new vertical, digital lending department at the corporate office, which will have substantial overlap with various credit verticals including Retail, MSME, Agri & service verticals like Analytics centre, Risk Management, Marketing.
  • According to the Bank's 18-month Action Plan, it aims to set up and operate the digital lending department within two months.
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India Clubbed with Korea Republic, Australia, Uzbekistan for AFC U-16 Championship 2020

  • The Indian Under-16 football team is clubbed alongside Korea Republic, Australia and Uzbekistan in Group C for the upcoming 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championship in Bahrain.
  • The group was made at the official draw for the tournament at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur.
  • India had earlier made it to the main event of the AFC U-16 Championship when they made a top-place finish in qualifiers in Group B, which also consisteed of Uzbekistan (hosts), Bahrain and Turkmenistan.
  • The Indian colts finished with a total of seven points from three matches after scoring 11 goals and conceding a single goal.
  • This was India's third consecutive qualification to the AFC U-16 finals and ninth overall, the official statement from the AFC said.
  • The four teams who make it to the semi-finals of the competition will earn a direct qualification into the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2021.
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J&K Administration Changes Name of Agri Dept

  • The Jammu & Kashmir Administration approved the Agriculture Production Department's proposal to change its nomenclature to "Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare Department" and announced new rules for appointments to various posts.
  • The purpose for the proposal to rename the department is not only to address the role of the agricultural productions but also to focus on farmer's welfare and help to evaluate the value of their produce.
  • Focusing on Farmers welfare, the department extends its role beyond extension activities and on-farm activities.
  • The decision of J&K administration lines with the centre's decision in renaming the Ministry of Agriculture as the "Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare".
  • These new rules for appointment are known as "Jammu and Kashmir Probationer (condition of Service, Pay and Allowances) and Fixation of Tenure Rules, 2020".

Congress Stakes Claim to Form Govt. in Manipur

  • The Congress staked a claim to form the next government in Manipur a day after three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmakers resigned and six others withdrew their support to Chief Minister Biren Singh-led ruling coalition.
  • Chaltonlien Amo, a Congress leader, said that they submitted an application to governor Najma Heptullah requesting her to convene a special assembly session for a no-confidence motion against the government.
  • The four NPP, one TMC legislator and the Independent lawmaker withdrew support to the coalition government on Wednesday. The three BJP lawmakers, whose resignations were accepted by the Speaker, have joined the Congress.
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IAF Pushes Proposal for Acquiring 33 New Russian Fighter Aircraft

  • Amid the ongoing row with China in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has pushed a proposal to the government for acquiring 33 new fighter aircraft, including 21 MiG-29s and 12 Su-30MKIs from Russia. The Air Force has been working on this plan for some time but they have now fast-tracked the process and the proposals expected to be worth over Rs 6,000 crore would be placed before the Defence Ministry for its final approval next week.
  • The Air Force has three squadrons of the MiG-29s which have been undergoing upgrades for extended life and are considered reliable in the air defence roles.
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Paulinho Paiakan: Amazon Indigenous Chief Passes Away

  • One of the best-known indigenous defenders of the Amazon rainforest Paulinho Paiakan died in Brazil.
  • Paulinho Paiakan, chief of the Kayapó people, came to international attention in the 1980s in the fight against Belo Monte, one of the world's largest dams.
  • He was around 65. In 1998, he was convicted of the rape of an 18-year-old, a case that hurt his reputation.
  • Covid-19 has hit Brazil's vulnerable indigenous communities hard.
  • The country is among the world's worst affected, and the outbreak is believed to be weeks away from its peak. Brazil has the second-highest numbers of infections - over 955,000 - and deaths, more than 46,500, after the US.

Jean Kennedy Smith: Last JFK Sibling Dies

  • Jean Kennedy Smith, a US envoy who played a key role in Northern Ireland peace process, has died aged 92.
  • Ms. Smith was the second youngest of the nine Kennedy siblings, who included President John F Kennedy and Senator Robert F Kennedy.
  • A diplomat, activist and humanitarian, Ms. Smith was the last-surviving child of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald.
  • Ms. Smith served as the US ambassador to Ireland in the 1990s, playing an important role in attempts to end sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
  • In 2011, US President Barack Obama awarded Ms. Smith the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the country.
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World Sickle Cell Awareness Day

  • World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is celebrated on 19th June each year. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a "sickle". The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.
  • SCD is particularly common in individuals in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Central America, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, India, and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece and Italy.
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Govt. to Launch 'Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan'

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a massive rural public works scheme 'Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan' to empower and provide livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens.
  • The campaign of 125 days across 116 districts in 6 states aims to work in mission mode to help migrant workers.It will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide jobs and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country with a resource envelope of Rs. 50,000 crore.
  • The six states are MP, UP, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
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'The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir', a Book by John Bolton

  • Donald Trump once again took to social media to lash out at his former national security adviser John Bolton over the latter's controversial book, which is soon to hit shelves, containing damaging allegations against the US President.
  • The book, titled "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir", sparked furore even before being published, as US media released excerpts where Trump is depicted as easily manipulated by foreign leaders. Trump has previously strongly condemned the book and the former adviser, whom he called a "disgruntled boring fool".
  • According to Donald Trump, Bolton's book, which is getting terrible reviews, is a compilation of lies and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad.

The Debut Novel of Megha Majumdar - "The Burning"

  • The Penguin Hamish Hamilton released the "The Burning", debut novel of Megha Majumdar. The 32-year-old New York's writer who was born and raised in Kolkata.
  • The book is about the lives of three characters, Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi and Jhumpa Lahiri who want to rise to the middle class, to political power, to gain fame in the film industry and how their lives changed in Indian society.
  • Megha Majumdar moved to the United States and studied at Harvard University where she was a Truab Scholar.
  • She did social anthropology at John Hopkins University.
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