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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

13 Oct 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Bangladesh Cabinet Approves Death Penalty for Rape Cases

  • Bangladesh's Cabinet approved an amendment to introduce the death penalty for rape cases after a series of recent sexual assaults sparked nationwide protests.
  • Bangladesh was rocked by an unprecedented level of protest after footage of a brutal gang assault on a woman went viral on social media. 
  • As per Cabinet secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam, the Cabinet unanimously endorsed the amended law, prescribing capital punishment for rape instead of (existing) lifetime rigorous imprisonment.
  • During the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasised on completing rape trials within the stipulated time frame as well.

Protesters Knock Down Roosevelt and Lincoln Statues

  • Protesters overturned statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in Portland, Oregon, in a declaration of "rage" towards Columbus Day.
  • Protest organisers dubbed the event "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage," in response to the federal holiday named after 15th-century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, a polarising figure who Native American advocates have said spurred centuries of genocide against Indigenous populations in the Americas.
  • After toppling the statues, the crowd began smashing windows at the Oregon Historical Society and later moved onto the Portland State University Campus Public Safety office.

United Nations Stillbirth Report

  • The United Nations launched a report on stillbirths titled "A Neglected Tragedy: The Global Burden of Stillbirths". The report was created by UNICEF, World Health Organisation, World Bank and the United Nations department of economic and social affairs.
  • As per the report, a stillborn baby is delivered every 16 seconds.  84 percentage of these grievous episodes occur in low and lower-middle-income countries.
  • This is the first time a stillbirth report has been published by the United Nations.
  • The covid-19 impact has induced 50% reduction in health services. This has created 200,000 additional still birth in 17 low and middle-income countries.
  • According to the report, there were around 1.9 million stillbirths globally. Of this 0.34 million were from India. India along with other countries such as Nigeria, Congo, Pakistan, China and Ethiopia contributed to half of all the stillbirth in the world.
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ENVIRONMENT

Exotic Dragon Fruit Gets Added to Anantapur Basket

  • The first-ever commercial crop of the exotic dragon fruit is being harvested at the farm of Gutty Narayana Reddy, a progressive farmer from Kuragani Palli in Narpala mandal of Anantapur district.
  • This will be yet another prestigious addition to the fruit bowl of Andhra Pradesh with the best quality of bananas, sweet lime, papaya, mangoes, pomegranates, grapes, watermelon, musk melon and fig (anjeer), already getting exported from the district.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Pact with Maldives for Mega Connectivity Project

  • India signed a $400 million (over Rs. 3,000 crore) loan pact with the Maldives for a mega connectivity project that will dwarf the Maldives-China Friendship Bridge. The line of credit was signed by Exim Bank's Nirmit Ved and the Maldives Finance Minister, Ibrahim Ameer.
  • India had completed the Supreme Court building in Mauritius, another Indian Ocean island-nation with which it has stepped up diplomatic ties.
  • The Maldives has received 5.5 tonnes of essential medicines from India which also helped in evacuation of Maldivians from Wuhan.
  • India has gone the extra mile to help the Maldives financially through a transparent mechanism. The RBI raised Treasury Bonds which were sold to the State Bank of India (SBI), Male, for handover to the Maldives Government.

Upstox India's Second Largest Stock Broker after Zerodha

  • Discount brokers are strengthening their hold on India's highly competitive stock broking industry, with another such firm surpassing all the traditional rivals amid the coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions.
  • According to data compiled by National Stock Exchange of India Ltd, Tiger Global Management-backed RKSV Securities India Pvt. became the second-biggest broker in the country after nearly doubling the number of its customers to 1.2 million in the six months through September.
  • Top online broker Zerodha Broking Ltd. also grew the number of clients by 75% to 2.5 million. In comparison, traditional brokers such as ICICI Securities Ltd. and HDFC Securities Ltd. saw meager additions.

Tamil Nadu Inks 14 MoUs Worth Rs. 10,055 crore

  • The Tamil Nadu government signed 14 Memorandum of Understanding envisaging new investments worth Rs. 10,055 crore in nine districts that would create 7,000 jobs in sectors, including renewable energy and data centre.
  • Among the 14 MoUs, the major investment was from JSW Renewable Energy Ltd, which is expected to invest Rs. 6,300 crore, to set up renewable energy plants in five districts — Thoothukudi, Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, Ramanathapuram and Tirupur. The investment would likely bring employment to 2,420 persons in all these districts.
  •  From April to September this year, 42 MoUs worth Rs. 31,46 crore were signed to employ more than 60,000 persons in the State. The State government had earlier appointed a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam to attract investments during COVID-19 lockdown.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

IIT-Guwahati Signs MoU with the C-DAC, Pune

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune to establish Rs. 17 crore worth of 650TF Supercomputing Facility under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
  • The MoU has been signed for a period of five years. This system will consist of 10 master/service nodes, 107 CPU only compute nodes, 10 GPU nodes and 39 High Memory CPU only compute nodes.
  • The MoU was signed by T.G. Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, and Dr. Hemant Darbari, Director General, C-DAC, India.
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SPORTS

Former India Football Captain Carlton Chapman Passes Away

  • Former India football captain Carlton Chapman, who had formed a deadly trio in club football with Bhaichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan in the 1990s, passed away at the of 49.
  • A creative midfielder, Chapman played for India between 1995 and 2001 and the country won the 1997 SAFF Cup under his captaincy. At the club level, he had two successful spells with East Bengal and one with now-defunct JCT Mills.
  • A product of the Tata Football Academy in early 1990s, Chapman joined East Bengal in 1993 and scored a hat-trick in his team's 6-2 win against Iraq club Al Zawra in a first round match at the Asian Cup Winners Cup that year.

Top Level Exits at Star Sports

  • Four top level executives of Star Sports have quit, including president and CEO Gautam Thakar, just days after Uday Shankar announced his departure from the broadcaster even as IPL has made a solid start despite the Covid-19 disruption.
  • The three other executive vice presidents, who have also put in their papers, are – Ashok Namboodiri (business head – regional sports network), Rajiv Mathrani, (marketing head) and Rupali Fernandes (emerging sports).
  • K. Madhavan, managing director, Star & Disney India had called the meeting of top rung at Star Sports to inform the team of Thakar's decision and elevation of Sanjog Gupta, head of sports content (Production & Programming), to Thakar's role.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

BJP Expels 9 Party Leaders Contesting Polls on LJP Ticket

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party expelled nine of its party leaders who have filed their nominations for the Assembly elections on the Lok Janshakti Party ticket, on disciplinary grounds.
  • State president Sanjay Jaiswal expelled them for six years for their anti-party activities.
  • The leaders are Rajendra Singh, Usha Vidyarthi, Rameshwar Chaurasia, Mrinal Shekhar, Ravindra Yadav, Shweta Singh, Indu Kashyap, Anil Kumar and Ajay Pratap. They were ticket hopefuls to contest the poll but under NDA coalition.
  • The LJP had declared that it would contest the polls against the JD (U) but not the BJP. Names of all these nine BJP leaders had figured in the list of the LJP.

Left Parties Resolve to Support Nageshwar: Telangana

  • The Left parties have resolved to field journalist B. Jayasarathi Reddy of the CPI as their combined candidate from Nalgonda-Warangal-Khammam graduates constituency and support former MLC K. Nageshwar, who will contest from Hyderabad – Rangareddy – Mahbubnagar graduates constituency in the elections to the Legislative Council.
  • This was announced at a media conference by CPI, CPI(M), Socialist Unity Centre of India (C), Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc. Their leaders held elaborate discussions on the choice of candidates before coming to the conclusion.
  • CPI (M) State secretary T. Veerabhadram and his CPI counterpart Chada Venkat Reddy said that the parties tried to evolve consensus among the opposition parties, including the TDP and the TJS, for fielding a common candidate, but in vain.
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DEFENCE

UAE Firm Selected for Carbines in Talks with Indian Defence Majors to Set Up Plant

  • The UAE government-owned entity that has been selected for a contract to supply close quarter battle carbines on a fast track basis to the army says that is in talks with major Indian defence players to set up manufacturing facilities from which it can source up to 60% of the components needed.
  • Caracal International, which was selected to supply 93, 895 new generation carbines, did not disclose the names of its Indian partners but said that it is willing to transfer technology and move production here.
  • As reported, the fast track carbine procurement plan is at a tricky juncture – at a special meeting held last month, chaired by the defence secretary, it was decided that plans in the works since 2018 to import a limited number of close quarter battle carbines to meet immediate requirements are to be shelved in favour of a Make in India plan. 
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Noted Music Director Rajan Dead

  • Eminent music director Rajan of Rajan-Nagendra fame died at his residence due to a cardiac arrest.
  • Rajan and Nagendra were born in a middle-class musical family at Shivarampet in Mysuru.
  • Their father Rajappa was a harmonium and flute player who played background music for silent movies.
  • While Rajan was a violinist, Nagendra was an expert in Jal Tarang. The brothers used to perform for Jaya Maruthi Orchestra. The brothers had a good hold over Carnatic as well as Hindustani classical music.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

UN International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

  • The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) is an international day that encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster-resilient communities and nations.
  • The United Nations General Assembly designated October 13 as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction as part of its proclamation of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. 
  • In 2002, by a further resolution, the General Assembly decided to maintain the annual observance as a vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including prevention, mitigation, and preparedness.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Nobel Prize for Economics, 2020

  • The Nobel Prize for Economics, 2020 was awarded to Paul R Milogrom and Robert B. Wilson. They were awarded for improvements to Auction Theory and also for inventing new auction formats. The prize is also called Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
  • The theory formulated by Milgrom allowed calculating common and private values that vary from bidder to bidder.
  • Auction Theory is an applied branch of economics that speaks of people action in auction markets. It deals with how people research the properties of auction markets. The theory is more suited for auctions for privatisation of public-sector companies or sale of electromagnetic spectrum.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Kerala First State to Become Digital in Public Education

  • The State of Kerala is the first state in the country to make public education completely digital. The state government achieved it at a cost of Rs. 42.36 crores. The initiative was launched in 2018.
  • The project of making public education completely digital in Kerala was implemented by Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education.
  • Around 3,74,274 digital services were distributed in 16,027 schools in Kerala. The project also set up high-tech labs in more than 11,275 schools at primary and secondary levels. 

Ramesh Pokhriyal Inaugurates Buildings of Central University of Punjab

  • Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal virtually inaugurated the ultramodern new university campus and newly constructed buildings of the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (CUPB) situated in village Ghudda, Dist. Bathinda, in the illustrious presence of Harsdimrat Kaur Badal, Member of Parliament, Bathinda Lok Sabha Parliamentary Constituency.
  • A total of 10 buildings and the University Insignia Monument (dedicated to 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan)' at CUPB New Campus, built at the cost of Rs. 203.78 Crore was inaugurated by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.
  • Pokhriyal appreciated that the Central University of Punjab is doing remarkable work in the field of education & research. He praised CUPB for implementing the best administrative and teaching practices; the University Grants Commission is considering implementing them in other universities.

Microsoft and AICTE Collaborate to Skill Students, Educators in Next-gen Tech

  • Tech-giant Microsoft  partnered with All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE) to empower learners and educators in new-age technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), data science, and cloud computing.
  • As part of the partnership, over 1,500-course modules from Microsoft will be made available to students and educators free of cost through AICTE's e-learning portal ELIS.
  • Microsoft's learning resource centre Microsoft Learn has been integrated with the ELIS platform to provide access to personalised learning paths and resources for students, covering a broad range of technologies including AI, IoT, data science, and cloud computing, among others.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

PM Narendra Modi Releases Balasaheb Vikhe Patil's Autobiography

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the autobiography of Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil via video conferencing. PM Modi also renamed the Pravara Rural Education Society as 'Loknete Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Pravara Rural Education Society'.
  • Dr. Patil served as Member of Lok Sabha for multiple terms. His autobiography is titled 'Deh Vechwa Karani' which means 'dedicating one's life for a noble cause'.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Peru Opens Machu Picchu for Single Tourist

  • Peru opened the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist who had waited almost seven months to visit the world heritage site.
  • Jesse Takayama was due to visit Machu Picchu in March but it closed because of coronavirus.
  • Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra said that Mr. Takayama was granted access after submitting a special request.
  • The ancient Inca citadel - Peru's top tourist attraction - is expected to reopen at reduced capacity next month.
  • Mr. Takayama planned to spend only a few days in Peru, but became stranded in the town of Aguas Calientes, near Machu Picchu, in mid-March because of coronavirus travel regulations.
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