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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

14 Jul 2020


Nepal Urges India to Take Steps against Broadcast of Anti-Nepal Materials

  • Nepal sent a 'diplomatic note' to India, urging New Delhi to take steps against the broadcast of materials what it called "fake, baseless and insensitive as well as abusive" to the country and its leadership by a section of the Indian media.
  • The move came days after Nepal stopped the transmission of all Indian private news channels except Doordarshan, accusing them of airing reports hurting the country's national sentiment.
  • There was no immediate reaction from India on the issue.
  • According to an aide of the Nepal Prime Minister, in the diplomatic note to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) via the Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the materials disseminated by a section of the Indian media are fake, baseless and insensitive as well as abusive to Nepal and Nepali leadership.

Poland's Duda Beats Trzaskowski in Presidential Vote

  • Poland's incumbent President Andrzej Duda narrowly beat challenger Rafal Trzaskowski in the presidential vote.
  • According to the National Electoral Commission, Mr. Duda had won 51.2% of the votes.
  • It is Poland's slimmest presidential election victory since the end of communism in 1989.
  • One of the major issues of the election was the future of the country's strained relations with the European Union.
  • Mr. Duda is a social conservative allied with the government led by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, while Mr. Trzaskowski is the socially liberal mayor of Warsaw.

China's Laser Weapon Capable of Destroying Indian and US Satellites

  • The Indian and US satellites are vulnerable to China's ground-based lasers as according to some analysts China has acquired the full capability to destroy the enemy's satellite sensors through its lasers. China can cause great damage to Indian and US satellites during wartime. In January 2019, the Pentagon's Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), in a report on space threats, had disclosed and warned that China's military is expected to deploy a laser weapon capable of destroying or damaging US military satellites in low earth orbit next year (2020).
  • Experts have identified one such laser station is Xinxiang, which has four buildings. While one of these buildings has satellite tracking systems and the other three could have been used to damage satellite sensors. China has also established five fixed ranging stations which are Shanghai, Changchun, Beijing, Wuhan and Kuming and the other two are mobile raising stations which can be transported from one place to another, as per their operational requirements. The ranging stations are mainly used for tracking satellites and space debris but it can also be used for damaging enemy satellites.
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Jio Gets Rs. 42,000 Cr in Fresh Tranche of Investment

  • Reliance Industries Ltd's Jio Platforms received another tranche of payment from PE funds KKR, TPG, Vista Equity Partners and sovereign wealth funds ADIA and Mubadala. Collectively, Jio Platforms received Rs. 42,057.9 crore from these investors.
  • The latest tranche of payments comes after Jio received Rs. 30,062.43 crore on Saturday from L Catterton, PIF, Silver Lake, and General Atlantic Singapore.
  • With the latest tranche of payments, Jio awaits investment money from only two more investors - Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures.

Motilal Oswal Mutual Fund Launches Motilal Oswal Multi Asset Fund

  • Motilal Oswal Asset Management Company launched a Multi Asset Fund that will invest in equity, international equity index funds/ equity Exchange Traded Funds Debt and Money Market Instruments and Gold ETF.
  • The fund will open for subscription from July 15. Investors can invest through lumpsum or minimum SIP of Rs. 500 during NFO and ongoing period.
  • The open ended fund targets to generate long-term capital appreciation by investing in a diversified portfolio in four different asset class. Having a right asset allocation is the key to navigate such volatile periods.

Banks and Post Offices Can Now Find out TDS on Large Cash Withdrawals

  • Banks and post offices can now ascertain the tax deducted at source (TDS) of those withdrawing large cash just by entering permanent account number of these assesses on the facility provided by the income tax department.
  • The department has facilitated a new functionality for banks and post offices through which they can ascertain the TDS applicability rates.
  • So far, more than 53,000 verification requests have been executed successfully on this facility.
  • TDS is deductible at the rate of two per cent if cash withdrawal exceeds Rs 1 crore by a person who is filer of income tax returns.
  • However, if a person is non-filer of ITR, TDS is deductible at the rate two per cent if cash withdrawal is Rs. 20 lakh and at the rate of 5 per cent if it exceeds Rs. 1 crore.
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La Liga: Real Madrid on Brink of Title after Win at Granada

  • Real Madrid defeated Granada 2-1 to move within two points of winning the Spanish league. Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema scored first-half goals to give Madrid its ninth straight win and keep Zinedine Zidane's team four points ahead of second-placed Barcelona with two rounds to go. The Catalan club won at Valladolid. Madrid, which has won every match since the league resumed after the pandemic break, can clinch its first title since 2017 with a win at Villarreal, or if Barcelona loses points when it hosts Osasuna. Two draws in the final two rounds will also be enough to secure Madrid a record 34th league trophy.
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Shivraj Singh Chouhan Allocates portfolios to New Ministers

  • Madhya Pradesh (MP) Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan allocated portfolios among 28 new ministers, who were inducted in the cabinet earlier this month , and five others inducted earlier, with senior BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia's imprint being visible in the exercise.
  • The current strength of the Chouhan cabinet is 34, including the CM, while one ministerial berth is still vacant. In the first cabinet expansion exercise carried out on April 21, almost a month after Chouhan assumed office for a fourth term, five ministers were inducted including two Scindia loyalists, Tulsiram Silavat and Govind Singh Rajput. The others inducted were Narottam Mishra, Kamal Patel and Meena Singh.

NITI Aayog Presents India's 2nd Voluntary National Review at UN's High-Level Political Forum

  • NITI Aayog presented India's second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, 2020.
  • The HLPF is the foremost international platform for follow-up and review of progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, presented the VNR. The India VNR 2020 report titled 'Decade of Action: Taking SDGs from Global to Local' was released by NITI Aayog officials – Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, Dr. V. K. Paul, Member, Amitabh Kant, CEO, and Sanyukta Samaddar, Adviser (SDGs).
  • At the HLPF this year, which is being hosted virtually in the aftermath of the COVID-19, 47 Member States are set to present their VNRs between July 10-16, 2020.
  • Under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN, the HLPF meets in July for eight days every year.
  • India presented its VNR along with other second time presenters like Bangladesh, Georgia, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, and Uganda.
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DRDO-Rolls Royce JV for 110 kN Jet Engine Soon

  • Louise Donaghey, Senior Vice President – India and South Asia for Rolls-Royce Defence confirmed that company is close to announcing a partnership to co-create a new engine with India.
  • In 2017, India and U.K. had agreed to cooperate on developing advanced defense products such as the gas turbine engine which was confirmed by the visiting U.K. Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon. Kaveri project which was shelved due to lack of desired thrust levels achieved was to be revived with help of France and GTRE and Safran Group were working together till price steep developmental cost quoted lead to the fallout of talks.
  • India and the US also had formed joint working groups on jet engine technology and carrier technology under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) but it was later dismantled after several rounds of talks failed to break the deadlock over Transfer of Technology (TOT) of the core section of the engine which India was demanding from the US.
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Rudrendra Tandon is India's Next Envoy to Afghanistan, Vikram Doraiswami to Move to Dhaka

  • The Modi government decided to appoint Rudrendra Tandon as the new envoy to Afghanistan and Vikram Doraiswami as High Commissioner to Dhaka.
  • Tandon, a 1994 batch Indian Foreign Service officer is considered an Afghanistan specialist with stints in Kabul, Jalalabad and has headed Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran desk in the External Affairs Ministry. He is currently the Indian envoy to ASEAN at Jakarta. Tandon replaces Vinay Kumar who has performed admirably with the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan after striking a deal with Taliban insurgents.
  • Vikram Doraiswami, who is the Additional Secretary incharge of International Organisations and Summits at the foreign ministry, heads to bangladesh capital Dhaka, one of the closest allies of New Delhi. Doraiswami is a 1992 batch officer.
  • Doraiswami replaces Riva Ganguly Das, the 1986 batch IFS officer, who is likely to take over as Secretary East at the External Affairs Ministry when incumbent Vijai Thakur Singh retires in September 2020.
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Bastille Day

  • Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national day of France, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In French, it is formally called Fête nationale and commonly and legally 'le 14 juillet', 'the 14th of July'.
  • The French National Day is the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France, one that has been reported as the oldest and largest military parade in Europe is held on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.
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IAA Names ISRO Chief K. Sivan as the Recipient of 2020 Von Karman Award

  • The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) announced Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as the recipient of the 2020 Von Karman Award, the highest distinction of the IAA. The award will be presented to Dr. K. Sivan in March 2021 at Paris.
  • The premier award of IAA was instituted in 1982 in the memory of Dr. Theodore Von Karman, renowned aerospace scientist and the founder and the first President of IAA.
  • The Award is annually presented to recognise the distinguished contributions and lifetime achievements in any branch of science.

Elites Excellence Awards 2020

  • The Chief Minister Darpan Portal and Mobile app, which contains the details of the schemes of the Government of Chhattisgarh like Suraji Gaon Yojana, received the Elites Excellence Awards 2020 under the government category for the innovation for monitoring important schemes of the government by the IT institution Elites Technomedia under the Digital India Initiative.
  • The e-certificate was presented during the three-day virtual conference from 10th July to 12th July organised to encourage innovation in the IT Sector of the Government.
  • The conference was inaugurated on 10th July 2020 by Nitin Gadgari, Union Minister of MSME.
  • The portal and the mobile application for the Chief Minister Darpan were developed by the Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHiPS).
  • The portal was released on 10th June 2020 by Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.
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