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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

11 Aug 2020


Mali Swears in New Constitutional Court Judges

  • Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta attended a swearing-in ceremony for new constitutional court judges, appointed last week in a bid to end the political crisis in the country.
  • The nine new judges were sworn in, in the capital, Bamako.
  • Among the nine new judges - six men and three women.
  • The appointment of the judges was aimed at helping to resolve a weeks-long political impasse between Keita and an opposition protest movement which is determined to secure the President's resignation.

Egyptians Head to the Polls to Elect Revived Senate

  • Egyptians have started voting for the senate that was revived after last year's constitutional referendum.
  • Tuesday's poll will see 200 members elected by public vote to the upper chamber of parliament, which has an advisory role and few formal powers. The remaining 100 senators are appointed by the President.
  • The country's lower chamber, the house of representatives, has a legislative role.
  • The election comes at the height of the coronavirus pandemic - Egypt has the second-highest number of cases on the continent after South Africa.
  • Authorities have said voters will be given face masks and polling stations are to be disinfected to prevent the spread of the virus.
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Isher Judge Ahluwalia Steps Down as ICRIER Chairperson

  • The capital's leading economic think-tank, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), has undergone a change of guard after 15 years.
  • Noted economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia has stepped down and has been succeeded by Pramod Bhasin as chairperson. Currently Vice-Chair, Bhasin is the Founder of Genpact Chairman Clix Capital. He has headed NASSCOM and is a chartered accountant by profession.
  • Isher will continue as Chairperson Emeritus, a position specially created for her.

LIC Launches Revival Campaign for Lapsed Policies

  • To encourage continuation of risk cover in this difficult period, LIC said that it will provide an opportunity for its policyholders to revive their lapsed policies. It has decided to launch a special revival campaign from August 10 till October 9 for its customers to revive their individual lapsed LIC policies.
  • In view of the prevailing circumstances, no concessions are being offered in medical requirements and the same are limited to late fee only; under plans other than term assurance and other high risk plans.
  • Under this Special Revival Campaign, policies of specific eligible plans can be revived within five years from date of the first unpaid premium subject to certain terms and conditions.
  • The policyholders will get 20 per cent late fee concession for revival of the policy while 25 per cent concession between Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh.
  • Policies which are in lapsed condition during the premium paying term and not completed policy term as on the date of revival are eligible to be revived in this campaign.
  • The campaign will benefit those policy holders who were not able to pay premiums due to unavoidable circumstances and their policy lapsed.

International Financial Corporation to Invest in Endiya Partners Fund II

  • The International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has committed to invest Rs. 75 crore (about USD 10million) in Endiya Partners Fund II. In addition to this, IFC has also committed an additional USD 10 million for direct co-investments.
  • The partnership will provide financial and strategic support to Endiya portfolio companies, resulting in increased access to growth opportunities and sustainable scalability.
  • Endiya Partners Fund II is an India domiciled Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF).
  • It seeks to invest in 16-20 start-ups, from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million in Seed/Pre-series A rounds and a planned investment of upto USD 5 million per company.
  • It has a corpus target of USD 65 million (around Rs 500 crore) and has already completed its first close at Rs 280 crore (USD 40 million) in May 2019.
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Former Mohun Bagan Captain and India Defender Manitombi Singh Dies

  • Former India defender and Mohun Bagan captain Manitombi Singh passed away at the age of 39 at his native village near Imphal in Manipur.
  • Mohun Bagan family is deeply saddened by the untimely demise of former club captain Manitombi Singh.
  • Manitombi was a key member of the Stephen Constantine-coached India Under-23 side that lifted the LG Cup in 2003 by defeating Vietnam 3-2 in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • It was India''s first international triumph since their victory at an eight-nation tournament in Singapore in 1971.
  • Manitombi also represented India in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.

PCA to Name Mullanpur Stadium after Late Maharaja Yadavindra Singh

  • Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) is set to name its new stadium in Mullanpur, New Chandigarh, Punjab after the late Maharaja Yadavindra Singh.
  • PCA President Rajinder Gupta proposed the idea to name the stadium and it had been approved.
  • Maharaja Yadavindra Singh played a test match for India against England in 1934.
  • Maharaja Yadavindra Singh was the father of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. He was the 9th and the last Maharaja of Patiala.
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Shah Faesal Quits as Chief of J&K People's Movement

  • Former bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal resigned as president of J&K People's Movement, a political party which he launched in 2019 after quitting as an IAS officer.
  • Businessman and party's VP Peerzada Feroze was nominated as interim president. Faesal's resignation comes at a time when New Delhi, with the appointment of a new Lieutenant Governor in Manoj Sinha, has hinted at resuming J&K's political process.
  • Incidentally, the Centre hasn't yet accepted Faesal's resignation from the IAS. Faesal himself has remained tightlipped about his future course of action after being released in June this year. But his frequent trips to New Delhi over the past few weeks hints at his efforts to chalk out a strategy for his future endeavours.

Modi Launches Submarine Optical Fibre Cable to Andaman & Nicobar Islands

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a submarine optical fibre cable connecting Andaman & Nicobar Islands with the mainland that would give residents of the islands faster Internet connection.
  • At the launch held through videoconferencing, he said the connectivity enabled by the cable would bring new opportunities for the islands' residents. The laying of the 2,300-km-long cable before the deadline of the project deserved praise.
  • The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the project in Port Blair on December 30, 2018.
  • The Indian Ocean and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands had been important centres for trade and strategic cooperation. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands had an important role to play in India's "Act East" policy.

Jagdalpur Country's First Municipal Corporation to Provide Forestland Right Certificates to People Of Urban Area

  • Chhattisgarh's Jagdalpur has become the first municipal corporation in the country where people of an urban area have been provided forest land right certificates.
  • On the occasion of the International Day of World's Indigenous Peoples, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel commenced the distribution of forestland right certificates by giving away the certificates to four beneficiaries of Jagdalpur via video conferencing.
  • Jagdalpur is among the few municipal corporations, jurisdiction areas of which includes forestlands. Nearly 1,777 applications have been received for forestland right certificates, which will be resolved as per the rules.
  • Baghel said the Forest Rights Act has the provision of allotting forestland lease to the eligible forest dwellers in forestland of urban areas. But till date, this provision was not enacted.
  • Enactment of this provision has started in Chhattisgarh in public interest.
  • On the occasion, the Chief Minister approved sanction of Rs. 6 crores and allotment of 5 acres of land to the Koya Kutma community on the request of MLA Chitrakote Rajman Benham.
  • He also approved a community hall for Koya Kutma community and a museum for preserving the historical and archaeological heritages, art and culture of Bastar.
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Soma Mondal Next Chairperson of SAIL

  • Soma Mondal has been selected by the Public Enterprises Selection Board as the next chairman of public sector steel major Steel Authority of India Limited.
  • Her appointment is subject to approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). If the ACC gives its approval, she will make history with the rare distinction of being the first woman chairperson of SAIL. She will also be the first woman to head a major steel company not only in India but also elsewhere in the world.
  • The current chairman of SAIL Anil Chaudhary assumed charge in September 2018 and is due to retire at the end of this year.
  • Anirban Dasgupta SAIL'S Director Production has been shortlisted by PESB in the second slot. Mandal had taken over as Director (Commercial) of Steel Authority of India Limited in September 2018. Prior to this, she was Director (Commercial), NALCO, Bhubaneswar.
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Books Titled 'Corona Kavithakal', 'Republic Day 2020' and 'Thus Speaks the Governor' Authored by Mizoram Governor Released

  • Books authored by Mizoram Governor P. S. Sreedharan Pillai titled 'Corona Kavithakal' was released by Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga. Meanwhile 'Republic Day 2020' and 'Thus Speaks the Governor' were released by Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Ajai Lamba through a video message. These books are part of his recently penned books(at least 13), which include collections of poems in English and Malayalam in English and Malayalam since March i.e. during the lockdown.
  • Ten of his poems, including "Corona Kavithakal" in Malayalam, are related to COVID-19.
  • His other poems include Vayojanam (Elderly), Wuhan, Mahamari (Pandemic) and Oh, Mizoram (a collection of poems in English- which will be included in the book Oh Mizoram) among others.
  • He published his 1st book in 1986. He published 105 books before becoming governor.
  • Till now he has written at least 121 books of different categories, including poetry.
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India and Maldives Ink Contract for Development of Five Eco-tourism Zones in Addu

  • India and Maldives signed a contract for development of five eco-tourism zones in Addu atoll of the island nation.
  • Maldives foreign secretary Abdul Ghafoor, MPs representing Addu city and Indian high commissioner Sunjay Sudhir participated in the ceremony.
  • These eco-tourism zones are part of grant projects being implemented under the High-Impact Community Development project (HICDP) scheme which involves a total grant assistance of 5.5 million US dollars to the Maldives.
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