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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

27 Feb 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Pakistan to Stay on FATF Grey List

  • Indicating the status quo of being on FATF's 'grey list', the global body against money laundering and terror financing said that Pakistan will remain on the increased monitoring list as there are serious deficiencies in checking terror financing and the country lacks an effective system to deal with it.
  • After its meeting, Marcus Pleyer, president of Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), said that the deadline given to Pakistan has already expired and asked Islamabad to address their concerns as quickly as possible.
  • To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items. As all action plan deadlines have expired.
  • There is serious deficiency on the part of Pakistan in checking terror financing and the country is yet to demonstrate taking action against the UN designated terrorists and their associates.

France Extends Operational Lifetime of Its Oldest Nuclear Reactors

  • France's nuclear safety authority agreed to extend the operational lifetime of the country's 32 oldest nuclear reactors by a decade to as much as 50 years.
  • The public electricity company that operates the nuclear plants, EDF, is in charge of ensuring the safety of the reactors, which had previously been intended to run for 40 years.

Biden Approves US Airstrike on Iran-backed Militias in Syria

  • The US military has carried out an airstrike targeting Iran-backed militias in Syria, the Pentagon says.
  • The attack destroyed "multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups", it said.
  • President Joe Biden approved the action in response to recent attacks against US and coalition personnel in Iraq.
  • A civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on US targets in Iraq earlier this month.
  • A US service member and five other contractors were injured when the rockets hit sites in Irbil, including a base used by the US-led coalition.
  • Rockets have also struck US bases in Baghdad, including the Green Zone which houses the US embassy and other diplomatic missions.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Kalrock-Jalan Consortium to Invest in Jet Airways

  • Kalrock-Jalan consortium will invest around Rs. 1,375 crore in Jet Airways over two years.
  • The consortium which won the bid to revive the grounded airline in October 2020 plans to start with domestic services using 5-7 new aircraft and will fund the investment through a mix of equity and debt.
  • The amount would be utilised for start-up expenses and paying creditor dues, it is learnt.
  • While most of its fleet was repossessed, Jet Airways still has twelve aircraft including Airbus A330, Boeing 737 and Boeing 777 planes. However, the consortium does not plan to use the existing fleet and aims to relaunch the operations with new aircraft.

State Bank of India, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate Sign MoU

    • State Bank of India and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable faster processing of home loans, approvals and to provide other benefits.
    • The lender's head and chief general manager (Real Estate & Housing Business Unit) Shreekant said that the collaboration will create win-win business opportunities for all stakeholders.
    • The tie-up will cover the new and existing housing projects across key markets.

ICICI Bank Launches 'Namma Chennai Smart Card'

  • ICICI Bank partnered with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and Chennai Smart City Limited (CSCL) for the launch of the Namma Chennai Smart Card.
  • The prepaid card also facilitates retail payments within Chennai as well as in retail stores and e-commerce websites across the country. This will offer a common payment card platform to residents for making payments for various services within the city.
  • The Namma Chennai Smart Card has various features, which residents can manage seamlessly online on a dedicated customer portal.
  • These include features like card block/unblock, activation, pin-reset, etc. Additionally, in the coming days, residents will also be able to reload the card digitally through UPI on the customer portal or the iSmart City app. Customers will also get exciting discount offers on the card around the year, which will be promoted in the coming days on the Bank's website. Users also have the option to manage the card online through a dedicated customer portal or the iSmart City app.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ISRO Completes Launch Rehearsal of PSLV-C51 Mission

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation completed launch rehearsal of the PSLV-C51 mission slated for February 28.
  • India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51) is scheduled to launch Brazil's Amazonia-1 as primary satellite and 18 co-passenger satellites from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharkota, about 100 km from Chennai.
  • The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency had announced on February 5 that there would be 20 co-passenger satellites.
  • Indian Space start-up Pixxel announced two days ago that due to "certain software issues" its first satellite 'Anand' would no longer be part of the payload on board the PSLV-C51 rocket.
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SPORTS

Jyoti Gulia Enters Quarterfinals

  • Jyoti Gulia (51 kg) upstaged two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaiby of Kazakhstan to enter the quarterfinals along with two others, but three Indians bowed out after second-round losses in the 72nd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • Haryana's Gulia, a 2017 world youth champion, prevailed 3-2 over Kyzaibay, a gold-winner from the 2014 and 2016 World Championships. Bhagyabati Kachari outclassed Russia's Anna Galimova 5-0 to enter the 75 kg quarterfinals.

Kohli Becomes the most Successful Captain at Home

  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli became the country's most successful captain at home after the hosts thrashed England by 10 wickets in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad inside two days. India's latest Test win means Kohli now has 22 wins in 29 Tests at home – one better than MS Dhoni who had 21 wins from 30 Tests at home.
  • Kohli already is India's most successful Test captain with 35 wins under his belt. Sourav Ganguly and Mohammed Azharuddin have 21 and 14 victories to their credit as captains of the Indian cricket team.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Jaishankar and Wang Discuss 'Moscow Pact'

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and discussed the implementation of their 'Moscow Agreement' on the border standoff in eastern Ladakh as well as reviewed the status of disengagement.
  • A five-point agreement was reached between Jaishankar and Wang at a meeting in Moscow on September 10 on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conclave.
  • The pact included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the Line of Actual Control.

Govt. Tightens Grip over OTT Content

  • OTT platforms should self-classify the content into five age based categories --- U (Universal), U/A, (people above 7 years), U/A above (13 years), U/A (above 16 years), and A (all the adults), said the government while announcing guidelines for these platforms.
  • Platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher, and reliable age verification mechanisms for content classified as A.
  • The publisher of online curated content would also be required to display the classification rating specific to each content or programme together with a content descriptor informing the user about the nature of the content, and advising on viewer description (if applicable) at the beginning of every programme enabling the user to make an informed decision, prior to watching the programme.
  • The government also said OTT platforms must have self-regulatory body/ies, and it must be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, a High Court or independent eminent person and have not more than six members.
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DEFENCE

India Likely to Ban Import of Larger Weapon Systems like Tanks, Aircraft

  • To boost indigenous defence manufacturing, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat is likely to include tanks and aircraft in the second negative list of defence items and ban their import in the future.
  • For the new negative list, the CDS is preparing it in consultation with industry stakeholders and discussing inclusion of bigger weapon systems such as tanks and aircraft.
  • Industry leaders are also discussing timeframes in which the domestic industry would be ready to supply the larger integrated platforms for the defence forces.
  • Last year, the government announced a ban on import of 101 weapons, platforms, and equipment. The list comprises simple parts to high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, sonar systems, transport aircraft and radars.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World NGO Day

  • World NGO Day is an international calendar day annually observed on 27 February. Officially recognized and declared by the 12 member countries of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in 2010 and first time marked by the UN, EU leaders and international organizations in 2014.
  • World NGO Day is a day for NGOs around the globe to share knowledge and experiences with one another. It aims to educate individuals worldwide on NGOs and their impact. The World NGO Day provides an opportunity to honour and remember NGO founders, employees, volunteers, members and supporters.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Inaugurates ICOLD Symposium

  • Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has inaugurated the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) Symposium in New Delhi. The theme of the symposium is "Sustainable Development of Dams & River Basins". More than 300 delegates from across the country and abroad will participate in the Symposium.
  • The symposium has been organised by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), at New Delhi in Hybrid format from 24 to 27 February 2021, in collaboration with Central Water Commission (CWC), Dam Rehabilitation Improvement Project (DRIP) and National Hydrology Project (NHP).
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

AP Govt. to Implement CBSE System for Classes 1 to 7 from 2021-22

  • The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to implement CBSE system for classes 1 to 7 in all its schools from the 2021-22 academic year.
  • The system will be gradually increased year-wise from classes 8 to 10. By the year 2024, all classes from 1 to 10 will be under CBSE.
  • The move comes amid ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court against the conversion of all government schools, from classes 1 to 6, to English medium, a move that has caused widespread resentment.
  • The latest decision by Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to switch over to the Central Board of Secondary Education is seen as a move on the sly to completely do away with the Telugu medium of education.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Karnataka Govt. to Develop Nandi Hills as an International Tourist Destination

  • Nandi Hills, a popular hill station in Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka will be developed as an international tourist destination, said state Health and Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar.
  • Nandi hills, which draws many visitors from Bengaluru, especially on weekends, to watch the spectacular sunrise, offers a breathtaking array of flora and fauna and is also of historical and spiritual significance to locals. Nandi Hills meets all the qualifications to be developed as an international tourist destination. The government has already sanctioned Rs. 10 crore for the purpose.
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ART AND CULTURE

Rarely Seen Van Gogh Painting Exhibited Ahead of Auction

  • A rare painting by Dutch impressionist master Vincent van Gogh of a street scene in the Parisian neighbourhood of Montmartre will be publicly displayed for the first time before its auction next month.
  • Sotheby's auction house said that the work, painted in 1887, has remained in the same family collection for more than 100 years, out of the public eye.
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