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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

30 Nov 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Ethiopia PM says Tigray Operation over after Army Seizes Mekelle

  • Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced the end of military operations in the northern Tigray region after the army said it was in "full control" of the regional capital, Mekelle.
  • Since November 4, the Ethiopian government has been trying to quell a rebellion by a powerful ethnic faction, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), in a war that has shaken the Horn of Africa. Thousands of people are believed to have died and nearly one million forced from their homes, including some 43,000 refugees who fled to neighbouring Sudan.

China's First Domestically Made Nuclear Reactor Goes Online

  • Reducing its dependence on Western allies in critical high-tech sectors such as power generation is a key goal in Beijing's "Made in China 2025" plan.
  • Billions of dollars in state subsidies have been given to Chinese companies to speed the process — a move that has angered China's trade partners and sparked a protracted trade row with Washington.
  • Work on the Hualong One reactor started in 2015 and there are currently six other reactors under construction at home and abroad, state-owned plant operator CNNC said.
  • The Hualong One, deployed at a plant in east China's Fujian province, will be put into commercial use by the end of the year after undergoing tests.
  • China has 47 nuclear plants with a total generation capacity of 48.75 million kilowatts — the world's third highest after the U.S. and France.

India, Sri Lanka, Maldives Agree to Improve Intel Sharing

  • Top security officials of India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives agreed to further strengthen cooperation and ensure peace for common benefit as they took stock of the current maritime security environment in the region during the high-level trilateral dialogue held here after a gap of six years.
  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval took part in the dialogue along with Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Major Gen (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne and Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Didi.
  • Sri Lanka hosted the fourth National Security Adviser-level trilateral meeting on maritime security cooperation with India and the Maldives. It took place after six years. The last meeting was held in New Delhi in 2014.
  • According to a joint statement issued by Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence, the three countries — recognising the significance of the forum for promoting meaningful cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region on common issues pertaining to maritime security — took stock of the current maritime security environment in the region.
  • They discussed mutual cooperation in the areas of Maritime Domain Awareness, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, Joint Exercises, Capacity Building, Maritime Security and Threats, Marine Pollution, and Maritime Underwater Heritage, it said.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

UNDP India Launches GRID for Inclusive Development

  • UNDP Accelerator Lab India launched the Grassroot Innovation Database (GRID) to foster inclusive development at the community-level, according to a statement.
  • It contains 1,500 solutions, ranging from simple to complex in design, which can be implemented at the community-level and these innovative solutions have been developed by grassroot communities, individuals, start-ups, students and other innovators from various states across India, the UNDP said in a statement.
  • The unique database caters to various sectors which include livelihood, natural resource management, agriculture, agro-biodiversity, pest management, water management, farm machinery, biodiversity conservation, augmentation, inclusive growth, waste management, circular economy amongst others.

Initiated At The Enhancement Of Investor Awareness SEBI Launches SMART's

  • Markets regulator SEBI launched the Securities Market Trainers (SMARTs) program, an initiative aimed at enhancing investor education and awareness.
  • "In the present scenario of uncertainty in economic growth and extraordinarily buoyant market, there is a dire need to further ramp up the investor education and awareness efforts," SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi said.
  • "In that sense, there couldn't have been any better time to launch SMARTs, an initiative of SEBI, to strengthen the existing investor education framework," he said in a statement. He also exhorted SMARTs to keep abreast of developments in the securities market and expressed confidence that they would take investor education to all parts of the country. The launch of the SMARTs program comes amid World Investor Week is celebrated across the country.

RXIL's First Trade Credit Insurance Transaction in Sandbox with Tata AIG, ICICI Bank and YES Bank

  • Receivables Exchange of India Ltd. (RXIL) initiated a Trade Credit Insurance (TCI) backed transaction with Tata AIG as the insurer and ICICI Bank, YES Bank as the financiers in Sandbox environment.
  • This is the first time a TReDS platform has tested the efficacy of TCI backed transaction improving the ability of financiers in assigning credit limits to corporates. TCI, once implemented post regulatory approvals, will enable financiers to discount the invoices drawn on lower rated corporate buyers, by their MSME sellers and will improve the liquidity from lenders.
  • The adoption of Trade Credit Insurance on TReDS will pave the way for a completely digital bite-sized credit insurance model. Buying credit insurance on TReDS will be as simple as buying travel insurance while buying an air ticket on a travel portal, devoid of the lengthy paperwork generally associated with trade insurance.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

GMRT Accorded Prestigious IEEE Milestone Status

  • The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) has been selected as a 'Milestone' facility by the U.S.-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is the world's largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology in all areas related to electrical and electronics engineering.
  • The IEEE Milestones programme honours significant technical achievements which have global or regional impact. This is only the third such IEEE 'Milestone' recognition for an Indian contribution. The previous two Indian IEEE Milestones were for the pioneering work done by Sir J.C. Bose to demonstrate the generation and reception of radio waves in 1895 (recognised in 2012), and for the Nobel Prize-winning (in 1930) 'scattering of light' the phenomenon observed by Sir C.V. Raman in 1928.

UP Governor Promulgates Ordinance Against Forcible Religious Conversions

  • Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel gave assent to an ordinance against forcible or fraudulent religious conversions that provides for imprisonment up to 10 years and a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 under different categories.
  • The promulgation of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, came four days after the Yogi Adityanath government had approved the draft of the legislation which also curbs religious conversions only for the sake of marriage.

Ayodhya Airport to be Renamed as Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram Airport

  • Uttar Pradesh Cabinet led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has cleared the proposal to rename the Ayodhya airport as Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram Airport, Ayodhya. In a statement issued in Lucknow on Tuesday, the Uttar Pradesh Government said that the state cabinet had cleared the proposal to name the airport in Ayodhya as Maryada Purshottam Shriram Airport, Ayodhya.
  • This decision was taken to bring this proposal for passage in the UP Legislative Assembly, and send it to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

  • The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on or around 29 November each year, in accordance with General Assembly mandates contained in resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, and subsequent resolutions adopted under agenda item "Question of Palestine."
  • The date of 29 November was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people. On that day in 1947, the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which came to be known as the Partition Resolution. 
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Indo-Japan Cooperation Wins OECD MAP 2019 Award

    • Indo-Japan cooperation has won the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mutual Agreement Procedure 2019 Award for highest agreement ratio for a pair of jurisdictions for transfer pricing cases.
    • The Award to India-Japan Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) cooperation demonstrates India's commitment to provide tax certainty and efficacious dispute resolution mechanism for the Japanese companies.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Prakash Javadeker Launches India Climate Change Knowledge Portal

  • Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change  Prakash Javadekar launched the India Climate Change Knowledge Portal. The portal will have all the major steps the Government is taking at both national and international levels to address  the climate change issues.
  • With regard to climate actions after the Paris Agreement, Mr Javadekar said, India has practically achieved  its  pre-2020 climate action targets. He said, though India is not  responsible for  climate change but  it is taking responsible action to mitigate the challenge. Mr Javadekar also demanded that other countries must commit to  the advance commitments of Kyoto Protocol which has not been followed by the countries that must be done.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar Unveiled Sahakar Pragya

  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development, Panchayat Raj and Food Processing Industries, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar unveiled Sahakar Pragya.
  • The 45 new training modules of Sahakar Pragya of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) will impart training to primary cooperative societies in rural areas of the country along with Lakshmanrao Inamdar National Cooperative Research and Development Academy (Linac).
  • Sahakar Pragya embodies enhancing NCDC's training capacity by 18-fold through an elaborate network of 18 Regional Training Centres across the country by the dedicated, Laxmanrao Inamdar National Academy for Cooperative Research and Development (LINAC) set up and fully funded by NCDC.

IBM, MeitY collaborate to Build Future-Ready Skills, Enhance Employability

  • Tech giant IBM said it has collaborated with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to create a robust education and skilling ecosystem through the Common Services Centre Academy.
  • CSC Academy, part of the Common Services Centre (CSC), and IBM, along with implementation partners CSR Box, Uva Jagriti Sansthan and Jeevitam will foster the capability and development of learners with diverse backgrounds and educational needs.
  • They will extensively use technology, teaching and delivering of specialised courses/training programmes in areas including Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to train learners such as village-level entrepreneurs, functionaries and stakeholders of the CSC programme.

National Conference on 'Empowering Through Zero-'Shunya Se Sashaktikaran'

  • Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' addressed a virtual National Conference on 'Empowering through Zero- Shunya Se Sashaktikaran' organised by Sri Aurobindo Society.
  • In the presence of education officers and teachers connected through digital platforms across the country, Pokhriyal honoured more than 40 education officers for their leadership role and 26 teachers for their innovative practices during Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Minister also launched 'Innovation and Leadership Casebook – Covid Edition', the e-books consist of the innovative efforts and work of the education officers and teachers.
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