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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

07 Apr 2021


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Egypt Seeks Settlement Out of Court for Suez Canal Blockage

  • The Suez Canal chief said that authorities are negotiating a financial settlement with the owners of a massive vessel that blocked the crucial waterway for nearly a week.
  • Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie hoped talks with Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the Japanese owner of the skyscraper-sized Ever Given, will conclude without a lawsuit.
  • The canal chief said last week the Suez Canal Authority was expecting more than $1 billion in compensation, warning the ship would not be allowed to leave the canal if the issue of damages turns into a legal dispute.
  • That amount takes into account the salvage operation, costs of stalled traffic and lost transit fees for the week that the Ever Given blocked the canal. He did not specify then who would be responsible for paying the compensation.

Bezos Tops Forbes' Billionaire List

  • Forbes' annual world's billionaires list includes a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires, with Inc founder Jeff Bezos topping it for the fourth consecutive year.
  • The ranks of the ultra-wealthy are expanding after a year in which the coronavirus pandemic upended world economies and threatened the livelihoods of people across the globe.
  • This year's billionaires are worth a combined $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion last year.
  • Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk jumped into second spot on the list, up from 31st last year.
  • Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg round out the top five of the world's richest billionaires.
  • With an estimated net worth of $84.5 billion, Reliance Industries' chairman Mukesh Ambani, Asia's richest man, is ranked at number 10.

Netanyahu Gets Official Nod to Form Govt.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got a new lease on his political life, receiving a mandate from Israel's President to form a new government after an inconclusive election.
  • Israel's longest-serving leader, in power consecutively since 2009, now faces the tough task of breaking an unprecedented political stalemate and enlisting enough allies for a governing coalition.
  • Under law, Netanyahu will have 28 days to do so, with the possibility of a two-week extension before President Reuven Rivlin picks another candidate or asks parliament to choose one.
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Climate Change Shrinks Marine Life Richness Near Equator

  • During some summers, as the Caribbean water temperatures climb, the luminous coral colonies of gold, green and blue that ring the island nation of Cuba give way to patches of skeletal white.
  • The technicolor streaks of darting tropical fish flash less frequently. The rasping sounds of lobsters go quiet.
  • While Cuba's marine life has suffered from overfishing and pollution, there is mounting evidence that the warming of waters due to climate change may be taking a large toll as well -- both off the island's coast and globally.
  • A research found that the total number of open-water species declined by about half in the 40 years up to 2010 in tropical marine zones worldwide. During that time, sea surface temperatures in the tropics rose nearly 0.2 degree Celsius.
  • As per study co-author Chhaya Chaudhary, a biogeographer at Goethe University, climate change is already impacting marine species diversity distribution, with changes being more dramatic in the Northern Hemisphere where waters have warmed faster.
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Max Group Sells Stake in Max Life to Private Lender Axis Bank

  • Diversified Max Group has sold a 13 per cent stake in Max Life Insurance Company to the country's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank, which will now be a co-promoter of the insurer.
  • The completion of the deal comes more than a year after Max Financial Services and Axis Bank announced their intent to have a strategic partnership for the former's insurance venture.
  • Max Financial Services -- the holding company of Max Life -- has offloaded 12.99 per cent stake in the insurer to Axis Bank and its subsidiaries -- Axis Capital and Axis Securities Ltd.

RIL and America's Chart Industries Co-lead New Hydrogen Industry Body

  • US headquartered Chart Industries and India's Reliance Industries (RIL) will be jointly heading a new industry body focused on commercialising hydrogen technologies and systems to build net-zero carbon pathways in India.
  • This new energy transition coalition, the India H2 Alliance (IH2A), will work together to build the hydrogen economy and supply chain in India and help develop blue and green hydrogen production and storage as well as build hydrogen-use industrial clusters and transport use-cases with hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
  • The India H2 Alliance will focus on industrial clusters, specifically steel, refineries, fertilizer, cement, ports and logistics; as well as heavy-duty transport use cases and the establishment of standards for storage and transport hydrogen in pressurised and liquified form.

Wipro Appoints Sarah Adam-Gedge as MD for Australia, New Zealand

  • IT services major Wipro Ltd appointed Sarah Adam-Gedge as Managing Director for its Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) operations.
  • She has worked in project and service-based consultancies for more than 25 years across Australia and New Zealand, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa and Latin America.
  • Adam-Gedge has proven experience in leading digital transformation initiatives for large organisations globally with a successful track record of driving growth, profitability, business agility and managing successful relationships with customers and the influencer ecosystem.
  • Prior to joining Wipro, she has held various senior executive roles as Managing Director of Publicis Sapient Australia, Managing Director of Avanade Australia, Managing Partner and Vice President at IBM, Managing Partner at PwC and Partner at Arthur Andersen.
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Biden, Congress Roll Out Plans to expand National Science Foundation

  • The idea of massively expanding the budget and mission of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help the United States out-innovate China is gaining political momentum in Washington, D.C.
  • In Congress, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–NY) is preparing to introduce a revised version of bipartisan legislation that would create a technology directorate at NSF and boost its funding by $100 billion. The changes address fears voiced by academic leaders that the new unit might disrupt the agency's culture and dilute NSF's ability to support basic research at universities.
  • In March, President Joe Biden lined up behind the concept, including both the new directorate and a $50 billion bump for NSF in his $2.3 trillion proposal to upgrade the nation's aging infrastructure. And late last month, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX), chair of the science committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, also backed both a new directorate and a larger NSF budget as part of a bill reauthorizing programs at the agency, which currently has an $8.5 billion budget.
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North Korea Out of Tokyo Olympics

  • North Korea said that it will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic. As per reports the decision was made during a national Olympic Committee meeting where members prioritised protecting athletes from the world public health crisis caused by Covid-19.
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India and Russia Discuss Defence Ties, Afghan Peace Process, Indo-Pacific

  • Russia promised joint production of weapons systems in India as the two countries held extensive talks covering key areas of bilateral cooperation as well as pressing issues like the Afghan peace process and each other's outlook on the Indo-Pacific region.
  • In the talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, the Indian side apprised the Russian delegation of its views on China in the backdrop of the border row in Ladakh.
  • Referring to bilateral defence ties, Lavrov said that Russia was ready for transfer of cutting edge technologies and production of weapons systems in India.

Justice N. V. Ramana Next CJI

  • Senior-most Supreme Court Judge Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana was appointed as the next Chief Justice of India.
  • According to a notification issued by the government, Justice Ramana would take over as the 48th CJI on April 24 after incumbent CJI S A Bobde demits office a day before.
  • Justice Ramana would retire on August 26, 2022.
  • Justice Bobde had recently recommended Justice Ramana as his successor in keeping with convention and norms of seniority.

Tarun Bajaj Appointed New Revenue Secretary, Ajay Seth New DEA Secy

  • In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the union government approved the appointment of Tarun Bajaj as new revenue secretary under the Ministry of Finance.
  • Bajaj was serving as secretary to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) since April 30, 2020. Tarun Bajaj took additional charge of Secretary, Department of Revenue, after the superannuation of Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
  • The appointment committee of the cabinet has also approved the appointment of Ajay Seth, a 1987 batch Karnataka-cadre IAS officer, as new secretary for DEA. Along with this, there were also other changes in top bureaucracy notified by the Ministry of Personnel.
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DRDO Opens up Missile Production Partnership for Indian Private Sector

  • In a bid to promote the domestic defence industry, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has allowed private sector firms to both develop and produce missile systems such as vertical launched surface to air missile systems programme.
  • Under the Development cum Production Partner (DCPP) programme, we have allowed the private sector to co-develop missile systems with us and then also produce them.
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Periayarist Anaimuthu Passes Away

  • Periyarist and founder of the Marxist Periyarist Communist Party V. Anaimuthu died due to age related complications. He was 96.
  • Anaimuthu, who published the 20 volumes of collected works of Dravidar Kazhagam founder Periyar, was also instrumental in convincing MPs belonging to the Backward Classes to support the recommendations of the Mandal Commission.
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World Health Day

  • World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 every year, the theme for world health day 2021 is "Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone".
  • In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate 7 April of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day. The World Health Day is held to mark WHO's founding and is seen as an opportunity by the organisation to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.
  • World Health Day is one of 11 official global health campaigns marked by WHO, along with World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Chagas Disease Day, World Patient Safety Day, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week and World Hepatitis Day.

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

  • On 7 April, UNESCO commemorates the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003. The date marks the beginning of the genocide perpetrated against members of the Tutsi minority by the Hutu extremist-led government. Within just over 100 days, more than 1 million Tutsi were systematically murdered. Moderate Hutu and others who opposed the massacres were also killed during this period.
  • UNESCO is committed to promote education about genocides as a means to sensitize learners for the causes, dynamics and consequences of such crimes and to strengthen their resilience against all forms of discrimination.
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Alagappa University Launches Online UG, PG Degree Programmes

  • Alagappa University, Karaikudi, one of the leading state universities of Tamil Nadu, has announced the launch of online learning portal,, which will offer high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in multiple domains.
  • The University announced this as an initiative to expand its offerings in line with the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020). These high-quality online degrees shall enable learners to learn from and engage with the excellent faculty of Alagappa University online.
  • Through its learning portal, the university will offer MBA with specializations in General Management, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Logistics Management and Tourism Management to help learners from across the globe prepare for management careers.
  • Other postgraduate programmes offered online include MA in Journalism and Mass Communication, MA in English and Master of Commerce. It will also offer Bachelor of Business Administration to aspirants looking to get into business management as a domain. Besides this flagship undergraduate programme, Alagappa University will also offer B.Com and BA in Tamil as an undergraduate offering on the portal.
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India Post Releases Handbook on Aadhaar

  • India Post released a handbook on Aadhaar published by Karnataka Postal Circle and edited by Mangaluru Postal Division in Bengaluru.
  • Secretary to Department of Posts Pradip Kumar Bisoi released the handbook in the presence of Chief Postmaster General, Karnataka Postal Circle, Sharada Sampath and Dakshina Kannada Senior Superintendent of Posts N. Sriharsha.
  • The handbook gives answers to several FAQs, including how to enrol or obtain new Aadhaar card; how to update name/address/date of birth; how to update biomatric data; how Aadhaar enabled payment system works; FAQ on Aadhaar and model-filled forms etc.
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Bronze Age Slab Found in France is Oldest 3D Map in Europe

  • As per researchers, an unearthed Bronze-Age stone may be the oldest three-dimensional map in Europe.
  • The 2 m by 1.5 m slab (5ft by 6.5ft), first uncovered in 1900, was found again in a cellar in a castle in France in 2014.
  • Archaeologists who studied patterns engraved on the 4,000-year-old stone say they believe the markings are a map of an area in western Brittany.
  • They said that this makes the slab the oldest 3D map of a known area in Europe.
  • The piece of rock, known as the Saint-Bélec Slab, is believed to date from the early Bronze Age, between 1900 BC and 1650 BC.
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