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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

13 Jul 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Commercial Farming of Endangered Species in Myanmar may Boost Demand for Rare Animals

  • Wildlife and environmental conservation group WWF and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) have warned that the change in the Myanmar law allowing for commercial farming of endangered species may boost the demand for rare animals in the world.
  • The organisations in a joint statement cautioned that commercial trade has been shown to increase trade in wildlife by creating a parallel market for these products, according to sources.
  • The government of Myanmar in June passed a law allowing private zoos to breed 90 wildlife species out of which more than 20 are endangered. The list of wildlife animals allowed for commercial farming include Tiger, Pangolin, Siamese crocodile and Ayeyarwady Dolphin which are among endangered species in the world.
  • Myanmar is considered to be a major hub of illegal trade in wildlife driven by demand from neighbouring China.
  • Experts also fear that it may lead to the spillover of diseases from animals to humans as Myanmar lacks the capacity to regulate the trade.
  • However, the Forest Department of Myanmar maintains that the list of wild animals allowed for commercial farming was drawn after consultation with conservation groups, academics, and experts in the field.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

US India's Top Trading Partner for Second Consecutive Year

  • The US remained India's top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal in 2019-20, which shows increasing economic ties between the two countries.
  • According to the data of the commerce ministry, in 2019-20, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at $88.75 billion as against $87.96 billion in 2018-19.
  • The US is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. The trade gap between the countries has increased to $17.42 billion in 2019-20 from $16.86 billion in 2018-19, the data showed.
  • In 2018-19, the US first surpassed China to become India's top trading partner.
  • The bilateral trade between India and China has dipped to $81.87 billion in 2019-20 from $87.08 billion in 2018-19. Trade deficit between the two neighbours have declined to $48.66 billion in 2019-20 from $53.57 billion in the previous fiscal.

India Second-Largest Foreign Investor in the UK

  • According to the United Kingdom's government's figures released in July 2020, India became the second largest Forign Direct Investor (FDI) in the United Kingdom (UK) after the United States in 2019, by investing in 120 projects and creating 5,429 new jobs in the UK.
  • The United States of America remains as the top source of Forign Direct Investment (FDI) of the UK, delivering 462 projects and 20,131 jobs.
  • The List is followed by India, Germany, France, China and Hong Kong.

CCI Approves Kubota's 9.09% Acquisition of Escorts and Escorts's 40% Acquisition by KAI

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 9.09% equity stake in Escorts Limited (Escorts) by Kubota Corporation (Kubota) and of 40% in Kubota Agricultural Machinery India Private Limited (KAI) by Escorts under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
  • As per the proposed combination, Kubota will subscribe to the 1,22,57,688 equity shares (9.09% of the total issued, subscribed and paid-up share capital) of Escorts on a pre-capital reduction and 10 % on a post-capital reduction basis.
  • Kubota will acquire 40% shares held by Sumitomo Corporation in KAI, which will be acquired by Escorts. After this, Kubota will hold 60% and Escorts will hold 40% in KAI.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Chhattisgarh Organises India's First E-Lok Adalat

  • Chhattisgarh State Legal Service Authority and the High Court organised India's first e-Lok Adalat to ensure the administration of justice and to solve the financial crisis of the parties and lawyers amid COVID-19 pandemic. High Court Chief Justice P. R. Ramchandra Menon inaugurated the e-Lok Adalat through video conferencing.
  • Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute grievance mechanisms or a forum where pending cases or disputes in the court of law are settled or compromised whereas e-lok adalat will be handled virtually.
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DEFENCE

Army Looks to Acquire US Aerial Vehicle

  • The Indian army has set its eyes on acquiring hand-launched, remotely controlled unmanned aerial vehicle Raven from US and state-of-the-art Israeli Spike Firefly "loitering" ammunition to add lethality to its ground infantry apart from long-range precision artillery shells with a range of over 40 kilometres.
  • While the army is sharpening the teeth of its infantry, the air force will get five Rafael multi-role fighter jets from Paris this month, with another four to be used for training in France.
  • The Indian navy is all set to commission its second ballistic missile-firing nuclear submarine, INS Arighat, later this year.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Veteran Gujarati Writer and Journalist Nagindas Sanghvi Passes Away

  • Qatari author and Padma Shri awardee Nagindas Sanghvi passed away at the age of 100. He was awarded the Padma Shri in January 2020.
  • Nagindas Sanghvi was born on March 10, 1920 in Bhavnagar. He did BA within the well-known Shamaldas Faculty in Bhavnagar. He served as a professor in three faculties in Mumbai from 1951 to 1980. Nagindas Sanghvi use to put in writing Tad and Phad Katar for Divyabhaskar.
  • He has written 'Gujarat: A Political Evaluation', 'Mahamanav Shri Krishna', 'Gujarat at Cross Street', 'Narendra Modi: A Political Journey', 'Gita Vimarsh', 'A Transient Historical past of Yoga', 'Sardar Patel: A Devoted Life'. (Gujarati translation of Rajmohan Gandhi's English ebook in Gujarati), 'Gandhi: The Agony of Arrival the South African Years', 'Ramayana's Distance Journey', 'Gita Navi Najre', 'Faith and Society', 'Salting Democracy'.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

NTPC Wins Prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2019

  • National Thermal Power Corporation, NTPC Limited, a Central PSU under Ministry of Power won the prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2019, under Outstanding Accomplishment in Corporate Excellence Category.
  • The company also received Commendation for Significant Achievement in the category of CSR. Power Ministry said that NTPC always strives for sustainable development of its communities around the power stations. CII-ITC Sustainability Awards recognize and reward excellence in sustainability practices. It is considered to be the most credible platform for sustainability recognition in the country.
  • NTPCs flagship CSR program Girl Empowerment Mission, a four weeks residential programme has been institutionalised in the vicinity of its power stations for the benefit of school going girls to support in their overall development. NTPC has also initiated Contractors' Labour Information Management System through which payment to contract labourers is paid on the last day of the month at project sites.

TN CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami with Paul Harris Fellow Recognition

  • The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, Chicago, honoured Tamil Nadu (TN) Chief Minister (CM) Edappadi K Palaniswami with Paul Harris Fellow recognition.
  • The recognition is in the honour of Rotary founder, Paul Harris who contributed to The Rotary Foundation.
  • The Paul Harris Fellow recognition is conferred to honour the efficient service of people who provide drinking water, sanitation, prevention of diseases, environment, world peace etc. to its people.
  • It also acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of USD 1,000 to The Rotary Foundation.

IHD India Receives 'Development Marketplace Award 2020'

  • Institute for Human Development (IHD), an Indian non-profit institution was conferred with 'Development Marketplace Award 2020: Innovations to Address Gender-Based Violence' from World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) for the project alcohol, intimate partner violence and household economy: an assessment of liquor ban in Bihar. Apart from India, other 8 non-profit organisations from various countries also received this award.
  • Development Marketplace is to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV). This award was first launched in 2016 to honour GBV victims and survivors.
  • World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) joint hands to support and provide fund for researchers and innovators in low- and middle-income countries to study the violence against women and to reduce the violence against them.
  • This was held in memory of Hannah Graham, daughter of long time World Bank Group employee John Graham.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book Titled 'A Song of India' Authored by Ruskin Bond

  • The book titled 'A Song of India' authored by Ruskin Bond to be released on July 20, 2020, which will mark the 70th year of the author's literary career. The book is the 4th installment in his memoir series (a written record of a person's own life and experiences). The book portrays his unknown life before he became a successful author. It is published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House India.
  • The book is about the 16 year old Ruskin Bond and about his struggles to start the writing journey.
  • The book also tells how he longed for familiarity and about the joys of receiving his first money order, publishing his stories and finding new friends.
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