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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

02 Dec 2020


Iran's Parliament Advances Bill to Stop Nuclear Inspections

  • Iran's Parliament advanced a Bill that would end UN inspections of its nuclear facilities and require the government to boost its uranium enrichment if European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal do not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions.
  • The vote to debate the Bill, which would need to pass through several other stages before becoming a law, was a show of defiance after the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last month.
  • As per reports, 251 lawmakers in the 290-seat chamber voted in favour of the Bill.
  • The Bill will commission new centrifuges at nuclear facilities at Natanz and the underground Fordo site. It will require another parliamentary vote to pass as well as approval by the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog.

France will Not Accept Brexit Deal if Not in Long Term Interests

  • French President Emmanuel Macron said that France was paying particular attention to negotiations around trade conditions and fisheries in talks over a Brexit deal, adding that the country's long term interests were at stake.
  • France will not accept a Brexit deal that does not respect our long term interests.

China Drafts Rules on Mobile Apps' Collection of Personal Data

  • China unveiled draft guidelines seeking to limit the scope of mobile apps' collection of personal data in the latest attempt to curb the sprawling technology sector.
  • The set of draft rules published by the Cyberspace Administration of China covers 38 types of apps from online shopping and instant messaging to ride-hailing and bike sharing.
  • China has increased scrutiny of its technology sector in recent weeks, last month drafting anti-monopoly rules for tech firms.
  • It has also expressed concerns about data protection and consumer rights, while authorities have on a number of occasions ordered apps to be suspended for mishandling user information.
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Singapore Airlines Appoints Veteran Chen Sy Yen as New General Manager for India

  • Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) has appointed Chen Sy Yen, who was earlier overseeing operations at Germany, Switzerland and Austria region for the airline, as the new General Manager for India.
  • Chen Sy Yen takes over from David Lim, who served as the General Manager of India for the airline since 2016.
  • Mr. Chen in his new role as General Manager India, Mr. Chen is entrusted with the responsibility of nurturing SIA's global vision while ensuring the fruition of the company's business objectives in the country.
  • Yen, who has worked close to three decades with Singapore Airlines, has held key leadership positions with the airline. He began his career with Singapore Airlines in 1993, when he joined as an administrative officer in the cargo division, and went on to serve in several senior managerial positions in Singapore and across international markets like Japan, Malaysia, USA, and Europe.

Mindtree Partners with Databricks to Offer Cloud-based Data Intelligence

  • The IT solutions provider has partnered with Databricks, the data and AI company, to help customers implement cloud-based data platforms for advanced analytics.
  • Global enterprises across industries are looking for ways to more effectively gain actionable insights from large data sets, using artificial intelligence (AI) to perform increasingly complex tasks that solve business problems. To have effective AI, organisations require complete access to analytics on data lakesoften the largest data source in their organisation due to low-quality data.
  • Databricks offers a unified solution for data engineering, collaborative data science, full-lifecycle machine learning, and business analytics through a lake house architecture. With the Databricks platform, enterprises can build rich data sets and optimise machine learning at scale, streamline workflows across teams, foster collaboration, reduce infrastructure complexity, and deliver superior customer experiences.
  • Databricks offers a powerful platform for accelerating data driven innovation across businesses. Mindtree with its legacy in digital transformation technologies will help organisations leverage the Databricks platform and get timely access to data for meaningful business insights.

SBI Launches RuPay JCB Platinum Contactless Debit Card

  • State Bank of India (SBI), in association with Japan's JCB International Co Ltd (JCB), has launched a debit card on National Payments Corporation of India's (NPCI) RuPay network.
  • The 'SBI RuPay JCB platinum contactless debit card' comes with a dual-interface feature, which will enable customers to perform both contact and contactless transactions in the domestic market and seamless contact transactions overseas.
  • With this card, consumers would be able to transact on ATMs and PoS terminals across the globe under JCB network.
  • The 'SBI RuPay JCB platinum contactless debit card' supports RuPay offline wallet-based transactions, enabling an additional payment mode within the Card.
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China's Chang'e-5 Moon Mission Probe Touches Down

  • China has successfully put another probe on the Moon.
  • Its robotic Chang'e-5 mission touched down with the aim of collecting samples of rock and dust to bring back to Earth.
  • The venture has targeted Mons Rümker, a high volcanic complex in a nearside region known as Oceanus Procellarum.
  • The lander is expected to spend the next couple of days examining its surroundings and gathering up surface materials.
  • The intention is to package about 2 kg of "soil", or regolith, to send up to an orbiting vehicle that can then transport the samples to Earth.
  • It is 44 years since this was last achieved. That was the Soviet Luna 24 mission, which picked up just under 200 g.
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Virat Kohli Breaks Sachin Tendulkar's Record

  • Virat Kohli became the fastest to reach 12,000 runs in One-day International cricket. Kohli breached the mark in the third ODI against Australia in Canberra. He had 11,977 runs before this game and got to the landmark soon after arriving at the crease. Kohli got to the milestone in his 242nd inning, thus bettering the previous record set by Sachin Tendulkar, who got his 12000th run in his 300th inning.
  • Kohli is the second-highest scorer for India in ODIs behind Tendulkar's 18,426 from 463 ODIs. The India captain also holds the record for the fastest batsman (in terms of innings) to 10,000 and 11,000 runs in ODIs.
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Tamil Nadu to form Committee to Collect Caste-wise Data

  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that a commission would be set up to examine methodologies to collect caste-wise data and submit a report to the Government.
  • It is notable that this announcement comes after Anbumani Ramadoss of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and other leaders of that party met the Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum for reservation for Vanniyars.
  • The PMK, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) are part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition that was formed to face the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Urmila Matondkar Joins Shiv Sena

  • Urmila Matondkar joined Shiv Sena in presence of party president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
  • Matondkar had unsuccessfully contested last year's Lok Sabha polls on Congress ticket from Mumbai North constituency.
  • Matondkar had last year resigned from the Congress party, a key ally of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra. She had cited inaction on the part of key functionaries of Mumbai Congress as the reason of her resignation.
  • As per reports, the Sena has already proposed Matondkar's name for one of the 12 Governor-nominated seats in the state legislative council.

Former IAS Joins Kamal Haasan's MNM Party

  • Ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections slated to be held in 2021, actor turned politician Kamal Haasan inducted former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Santhosh Babu, as the General Secretary of his Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party.
  • Santhosh Babu has worked with the state administration as an IAS officer for nearly 25 years.
  • He will be responsible for making the party manifesto for upcoming state elections, along with other headquarter operations.
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Indian Navy test-fires BrahMos Naval Version

  • The Indian Navy test-fired a BrahMos missile from a warship hitting a target at sea with pinpoint accuracy, making it the fourth such launch of the missile in the past one week.
  • The Army twice tested the land launched version intended to hit a target on land on November 24 and November 25. The IAF had carried out a launch of the same version on November 25.
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Gujarat Rajya Sabha MP Abhay Bharadwaj Passes Away

  • The Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, Abhay Bharadwaj, passed away in Chennai hospital following the post-COVID-19 complications.
  • Bharadwaj was a prominent lawyer and was elected to Rajya Sabha in June this year. He tested coronavirus positive in August, after attending party meetings and a roadshow in Rajkot.
  • He had unsuccessfully contested the Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections in 1995 as an independent candidate from Rajkot West.
  • He was also a member of the 21st Law Commission of India and contributed towards legislation like Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 and Uniform civil code.
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National Pollution Control Day

  • Every year, India marks the National Pollution Control Day on December 2. The day is observed in the memory of the people who lost their lives in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
  • The National Pollution Control Day is celebrated in India to make the citizens aware of laws that exist in India that help to contain pollution.
  • This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, listed by the International Labour Organisation as among the world's major industrial accidents in the last century.
  • Among the acknowledged objectives of the day is to educate people on the management and control of industrial disasters, prevent pollution caused by industrial processes or human negligence and create awareness about the importance of pollution control laws.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

  • The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery an international day is a yearly event on December 2, organised since 1986 by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. Today, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, in fact recalls the date of the adoption of this first Convention to fight human trafficking by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
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Kalpathi Group Launches ed-tech Firm to Capture Test Prep Market

  • The Kalpathi Group, a Chennai-based business group with interests ranging from software services to entertainment, announced its foray into the crowded Ed-tech space by launching Veranda Learning Solution, a comprehensive online education platform to bring together the academic rigour and discipline of offline education and the best of the online technology.
  • Education is nothing new to Kalpathi or the Rs. 4,000-crore Kalpathi Group. In the early 1990s, Kalpathi along with his two brothers Kalpathi S Aghoram and Kalpathi S Ganesh set up SSI as an IT training provider in Chennai which went on to become one of the world's largest education networks for vocational training in the private sector.
  • SSI later acquired Aptech and grew into a global provider of education, consultancy and software services.
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Looted Horse Head Returns to Beijing's Old Summer Palace

  • A horse head sculpture looted from China's Old Summer Palace 160 years ago has become the first of its kind to be restored to its original home.
  • It is one of 12 famous bronze animal head sculptures stolen from Beijing when British and French troops invaded China during the Second Opium War.
  • More than half of the pieces have already been found and returned to China, but are currently on display in other museums.
  • The horse head was donated by the late Macau tycoon Stanley Ho, who bought the artefact for US$8.9m (£6.63m) at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong in 2007 and later donated it to the Chinese government in 2019.
  • The Chinese government then spent a year refurbishing a temple in the Old Summer Palace grounds and turned it into an exhibition venue.
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Ramayan Cruise Tour on Saryu River

  • Devotees visiting Ayodhya will soon be able to enjoy 'Ramayan Cruise Tour' on the Saryu River. The first-ever luxury cruise service aims to give the mesmerising experience of the divine journey to devotees visiting the holy city Ayodhya.
  • The cruise will be equipped with all luxury comfort and facilities along with all essential safety and security features at par with the global standard.
  • The interiors of the cruise and the boarding point will be based on the theme of Ramcharitmanas.
  • The tour will be followed by Saryu Aarti, in which every member will be able to actively participate.
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