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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

13 Aug 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Kamala Harris Democratic Party's Vice-Presidential Candidate

  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden named Kamala Harris as his running mate - the first black woman and South Asian American in the role.
  • Once a rival for the top job, the California senator of Indian-Jamaican heritage had long been considered the front-runner for the number two slot.
  • The former California attorney general has been urging police reform amid nationwide anti-racism protests.
  • Mr. Biden will face President Donald Trump in the election on 3 November.
  • Ms. Harris said that I am honoured to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Wins Georgia Republican Primary

  • A US businesswoman who has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory has won the Republican nomination for a seat in the House of Representatives.
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene is now expected to be elected in November to represent Georgia's heavily conservative 14th congressional district, and become QAnon's first devotee in Congress.
  • It comes amid a social media crackdown on the conspiracy theory.
  • QAnon says "deep-state" traitors are plotting against Donald Trump.
  • Ms. Greene is part of a growing list of Republican candidates to express support for the conspiracy theory.
  • In another major result, Ilhan Omar defeated a well-funded challenger to put her on track for re-election, along with other members of the "squad" of Democratic congresswomen.

Forbes List of World's Highest-paid Male Actors

  • Dwayne Johnson, the wrestler turned actor formerly known as the Rock, has again topped Forbes's list of the highest-paid actors having made an estimated $87.5m (£67m) in the fiscal year ending June 2020.
  • Next on the list were Ryan Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg, with $71.5m and $58m respectively. Save for Johnson, the names mark a considerable contrast to those on last year's top 10, which was dominated by the stars of the Marvel franchise.
  • Instead Netflix emerged as the leading employer, with at least 25% of the total $545.5m earnings paid out by the streaming giant.
  • Forbes estimates Johnson was paid around $23.5m for the forthcoming Netflix film Red Notice and made considerable returns on his collaborations with the clothes and headphones brand Under Armour.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Corporate Affairs Ministry Releases Report on Business Responsibility Reporting

  • A panel on Business Responsibility Reporting (BRR) has proposed a new reporting framework for companies to better reflect the intent and scope of reporting on non-financial parameters.
  • The committee recommended a new reporting framework called as 'Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR)' to better reflect the intent and scope of reporting on non-financial parameters.
  • Further, the panel has recommended two formats for disclosures.
  • The committee also recommended that the BRSR be integrated with the MCA 21 portal. As a long-term measure, the committee envisions that the information captured through BRSR filings be used to develop a Business Responsibility-Sustainability Index for companies.

Reliance Foundation Partners W-GDP, USAID to Bridge Gender Digital Divide

  • Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Ltd, forged a new partnership with US Agency for International Development and W-GDP to bridge the gender digital divide in India.
  • The partnership was announced at a Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) event hosted by Deputy Secretary of State of the United States Stephen Biegun and with special guest, Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States, and Deputy USAID Administrator Bonnie Glick.
  • Ivanka Trump said that the W-GDP Fund was created to source and scale the most innovative programmes to advance women's economic empowerment. We are leveraging the resources and expertise of the US government and the private sector so that activities have enduring, deep effects on the communities they reach.

CCI Approves Proposal for Formation of Honda Motor and Hitachi Joint Venture

  • Fairtrade regulator approved a combination proposal filed jointly by Keihin Corporation, Nissin Kogyo Co. Ltd., Showa Corporation and Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd to form a joint venture between Honda Motor Co Ltd (HAMCL) and Hitachi Ltd.
  • The proposed combination pertains to Keihin Corporation, Nissin Kogyo, Showa Corporation and Hitachi Automotive Systems (HIAMS) forming a joint venture between HAMCL and Hitachi Ltd.
  • The transaction entails HAMCL's acquisition of additional shares to convert its affiliates -- Keihin Corporation, Nissin Kogyo and Showa Corporation -- as its wholly-owned subsidiaries, following which the entities will amalgamate into HIAMS to form the integrated company, as per a combination notice.
  • HIAMS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.
  • By way of the proposed combination, HAMCL and Hitachi will jointly control the integrated company.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Skyroot Aerospace, India's 1st Private Aerospace Company to Test Fire Kind Upper Stage Rocket Engine Named "Raman"

  • Skyroot Aerospace, Indian aerospace startup successfully test fired an upper stage rocket engine "Raman", India's first 100% 3D printed bi-propellant liquid rocket engine injector named after the nobel laureate Sir C. V. Raman and became the first private aerospace company in India to test a rocket engine developed in India.
  • Raman is a lightweight 3D printed rocket engine featuring a fewer number of moving parts.
  • Raman can hurl a satellite of 250 to 700 kg into the lower orbits.
  • Compared to the traditional manufactured conventional rockets, 3D printing has reduced the overall mass by 50% and the total number of components and lead time by 80%.
  • Skyroot Aerospace was founded by Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists and backed by founders of Curefit – Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori and Solar Industries.
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SPORTS

Joshua Cheptegei Aims to Return with a World Record

  • Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei is aiming to make a real statement and claim a world record in his first race on the track this year.
  • The 23-year-old is aiming to break the 16-year-old world record for the 5,000 metres, set by Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele, at the first Diamond League meeting of the year.
  • Cheptegei does not seem concerned that this will be his first track race this season, which has seen many events cancelled or postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
  • It will be the 10,000 metre world champion's first race since February, which was also in Monaco and resulted in a world record for the 5km on the road.
  • His time on the road was 12 minutes 51 seconds, which is actually six seconds faster than he has run on a track.
  • In order to claim Bekele's record of 12:37.35 minutes the Ugandan will have to run more than 20 seconds faster than he has ever done on a track.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Anyone with Qualification from PoJKL Colleges Cannot Practice Medicine in India

  • India's top medical education regulator has stated that any qualification obtained from medical colleges located in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh (PoJKL) shall not entitle a person to practice modern medicine in India.
  • In a public notice, the board of governors (BoG) in supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI) said that the entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in the illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the territory.
  • Accordingly, any medical institution in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh (PoJKL) requires permission and recognition under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, " the notice said. Such permission has not been granted to any medical college in PoJKL.

E-passports for All Indian Citizens Next Year Onwards

  • If you apply for a new passport or seek a re-issue in 2021, chances are you could get an e-passport embedded with an electronic microprocessor chip. After issuing 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports on a trial basis with such chips, the government has now begun the process for issuance of e-passports for all citizens and is selecting an agency that will set up the IT Infrastructure and solution to implement the big project. This will make passports difficult to forge and quicker immigration for international passengers. So far, passports issued to citizens are personalised and printed on booklets.
  • The agency will set up a dedicated unit and processes for preparing personalised e-passports to enable issuance of 10,000 to 20,000 per hour and IT systems will be set up in Delhi and Chennai to handle this load. The National Informatics Centre, which is working in tandem with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to select an agency to set up an IT Infrastructure and solution for e-personalisation of passports. ET accessed this RFP. So far, e-passports were issued only from CPV Division at MEA headquarters for diplomatic and official passports.
  • Now, all 36 passport offices in India will issue e-passports after the components of the e-passport personalisation system are inducted in the existing passport issuance system at all passport offices. The e-passports will be based on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard to ensure interoperability between countries.
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DEFENCE

BSF Gets First Lot of Fully Indigenised Rifle Grenades

  • Border Security Force received the first consignment of fully indigenised 40 mm under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) ammunition produced by Ammunition Factory, Khadki in Pune. The grenade is fired from a launcher fitted under the barrel of the 5.56 mm INSAS rifle.
  • The advantages of 40 mm UBGL ammunition vis-a-vis traditional hand grenade are as that it is Iightweight and is also very safe while carrying by troops. Its range is 400 metres as compared to 30 metres of the hand lobbed get.
  • The UBGL ammunition has four variants for different purposes, including a rocket propelled one and one for practice.
  • The UBGL, which has a separate trigger, can also be mounted on the AK-47. A standalone version also exists. Some modifications are required to the front part of the weapon to mount the UBGL.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Congress leader Rajiv Tyagi Passes Away

  • Congress leader Rajiv Tyagi died due to cardiac arrest. Tyagi was the party's general secretary and spokesperson for its Uttar Pradesh unit.
  • Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who is also party in charge for Uttar Pradesh East said Tyagi's death was a personal loss to her.
  • BJP leader Sambit Patra expressed shock at Tyagi's demise saying he had participated in a television debate with him minutes earlier.
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