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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

28 Jun 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Japan Ratifies World's Biggest Free Trade Agreement Involving China, ASEAN

  • Japan ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement between China, Australia, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
  • Tokyo becomes the third member to ratify the agreement, which was signed by 15 countries in November last year. Among the signatories, Singapore and China have completed ratification procedures.
  • The Cabinet approved the accord, completing Tokyo's necessary domestic procedures for the ratification.
  • It will be Japan's first trade deal involving both China and South Korea -- its largest and third-biggest trade partners.
  • The deal will strengthen the link between Japan and the (Asia-Pacific) region, which is the world's growth center, and will contribute to Japan's economic growth when it comes into force.

Sudan Agrees to Hand over Darfur War Crimes Accused

  • Sudan says it will surrender former officials who are wanted for alleged war crimes in the Darfur region to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • As yet, Sudan has not named the individuals being handed over.
  • The country's rulers had already promised to surrender ex-President Omar al-Bashir who was in power during the conflict but this has not yet happened.
  • Bashir was ousted by the military after mass protests in 2019 and is now serving a jail sentence for corruption.
  • The war in Darfur caused one of the world's worst humanitarian crises of recent years.
  • Sudan's decision comes weeks after the ICC's outgoing chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, visited the country and urged its leaders to surrender all those wanted including Mr. Bashir.
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ENVIRONMENT

Major Portions of 10 Lakshadweep Islands Might go under Water

  • A study conducted by ocean engineering scientists at IIT-Kharagpur shows that 10 islands among the 36 islands of Lakshadweep archipelago might have more than 60 per cent land loss in the next 30 years because of the continuous and extreme rise of sea water level in the last 15 years.
  • The study was conducted on the ten most vulnerable islands of the archipelago and shows that there will be 70 per cent to 80 per cent land loss in eight of the ten islands by 2035. The other two islands will also have a land loss close to 40 per cent.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Policybazaar.com Forays into Insurance Brokerage

  • Leading web aggregator Policybazaar has embarked its insurance broking journey with 15 outlets and aims to expand it to 100 locations.
  • Insurance regulator IRDAI had approved insurance broking licence proposal of the company and will undertake business including insurance aggregation under the broking umbrella.
  • With this development, the company surrendered its web aggregator licence to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
  • As a first step, the company is launching offline retail stores across India, it said, adding, the brand has set up 15 stores and will eventually expand to 100 locations.

World Bank Board Approves $125 Million Support Program to Kerala

  • The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $125 million program to support Kerala's preparedness against natural disasters, climate change impacts, disease outbreaks and pandemics.
  • The heavy monsoons of 2018 were the worst Kerala had seen in nearly a century, triggering devastating floods and landslides which impacted more than five million people, mainly in the Pamba River Basin.
  • In a statement issued by the World Bank, the Resilient Kerala Program will focus on two key areas which includes incorporating disaster risk planning in the master plans of urban and local self-governments to ease financial constraints on the state government when faced with unexpected shocks.

Toshiba's Board Appoints CEO Tsunakawa as Interim Board Chairman

  • Toshiba's board appointed CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa as interim chairman after investors voted to oust his predecessor in a stunning rebuke for its collusion with the Japanese government against shareholders.
  • Tsunakawa's appointment came after shareholders delivered a clear message to management by voting out Osamu Nagayama as chairman and another director over the handling of the scandal, which has put Japan's corporate governance under the microscope. The company recognises the seriousness of the rejection, of the two.
  • The board said that it would would identify a permanent successor for Tsunakawa and would consider external candidates and use a global executive search firm.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Astronomers Discover a Massive Star Cluster in the Constellation Scutum

  • An international team of astrophysicists led by the Stellar Astrophysics Group of the University of Alicante (UA), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), and the University of Valparaíso (Chile) has discovered a massive cluster of stars of intermediate age in the direction of the Scutum constellation. This object, which has been named Valparaíso 1, lies some seven thousand light years away from the sun, and contains at least fifteen thousand stars. To detect it, observations have been combined from ESA's Gaia satellite, and various ground-based telescopes, including the Isaac Newton Telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma, Canary Islands).
  • Open clusters are groups of stars that were born together, and move together, bound by gravity. This makes them natural laboratories for studying the physics and the lives of stars. The more stars there are in a cluster, the more useful it is, because the larger sample gives a better chance to find stars in less frequent evolutionary phases.

India to Allow Private Players to Build and Operate Rocket Launch Sites

  • India has decided to allow private companies to establish and operate rocket launch sites within and outside the country, subject to prior authorisation from the government.
  • Similarly, any rocket launch (orbital or sub-orbital) from Indian or overseas territory can be carried out only with authorisation from Indian National Space Promotion & Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), an independent body constituted by the Government of India, under the Department of Space (DOS).
  • The launch could be from own or leased launch site and also from mobile platforms (land, sea or air) as per the Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 brought out by the Department of Space.
  • The Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 is comprehensive covering all aspects of rocket launching, launchpads, reentry of a space object and others.
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SPORTS

Zhang Zhizhen First Chinese Man to qualify for Wimbledon Draw in Open Era

  • Zhang Zhizhen is the first man representing China to earn a spot in the main draw at Wimbledon in the Open era, which began in 1968 when professionals were admitted to Grand Slam tennis tournaments.
  • Zhang won three matches in qualifying rounds for Wimbledon, capped by a victory over Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.
  • Zhang is ranked 178th. He failed in three previous attempts to qualify at Grand Slam tournaments.

Sajan Prakash Becomes First-ever Indian Swimmer to Make Olympic 'A' Cut

  • Sajan Prakash became the first-ever Indian swimmer to qualify for the Olympic Games by breaching the 'A' standard time, clocking 1:56:38 seconds in the men's 200 m butterfly event at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy.
  • Prakash also rewrote his own national record of 1:56.96s that he had set last week at the Belgrade Trophy swimming competition.
  • This will be Prakash's second successive Olympics, having represented India in the 2016 Rio Games.

Czechs Beat Netherlands to Reach Euro 2020 Quarter-finals

  • Tomas Holes and Patrik Schick scored second-half goals to give the Czech Republic a 2-0 victory over Netherlands and a place in the European Championship quarter-finals.
  • Czech Republic will play Denmark in the quarter-finals.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

BSP to Contest UP and Uttarakhand Assembly Elections Alone

  • According to party chief Mayawati, the BSP will not enter into any alliance for Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly polls.
  • The party wants to clarify that barring Punjab, the BSP will be contesting the Assembly elections to be held in UP and Uttarakhand alone, and will not be entering into any alliance with anyone.
  • The BSP has recently joined hands with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab.

BSP to Contest UP and Uttarakhand Assembly Elections Alone

  • According to party chief Mayawati, the BSP will not enter into any alliance for Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly polls.
  • The party wants to clarify that barring Punjab, the BSP will be contesting the Assembly elections to be held in UP and Uttarakhand alone, and will not be entering into any alliance with anyone.
  • The BSP has recently joined hands with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab.

UP Zila Panchayat Chairman Elections: BJP to Win 17 Seats Unopposed

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is going to win 17 seats unopposed in the elections of the Uttar Pradesh Zila Panchayat chairpersons. The BJP candidates for the Zila Panchayat chairman post are all set to be declared winners unopposed as no other candidate filed nomination papers.
  • The Samajwadi Party (SP), in a reaction, has sacked presidents of 11 districts, mostly the ones where the BJP candidate has been elected unopposed.
  • The SP state President Naresh Uttam Patel, announced that district presidents of the party units in Gorakhpur, Moradabad, Jhansi, Agra, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Mau, Balrampur, Shravasti, Bhadohi, Gonda and Lalitpur have been removed from their post on the directions of the national president Akhilesh Yadav.
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DEFENCE

DRDO Successfully Test-fires Pinaka, 122 mm Caliber Rockets

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired enhanced range versions of indigenously developed 122 mm Caliber rocket and extended range version of Pinaka rocket from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
  • Twenty-five enhanced Pinaka Rockets were launched in quick succession against targets at different ranges. All the mission objectives were met during the launches. The enhanced range version of Pinaka rocket system can destroy targets at distances up to 45 km.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Vigilance Commissioner Suresh N. Patel Appointed as Acting CVC

  • The incumbent Vigilance Commissioner, Suresh N. Patel has been appointed as the acting Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) of India in the Central Vigilance Commission with effect. He has been appointed in place of Sanjay Kothari, who completed his term on June 23, 2021. He will remain on the post until the appointment of the new Central Vigilance Commissioner.
  • The Central Vigilance Commission is headed by the CVC and can have a maximum of two vigilance commissioners. Currently, Mr. Patel is the only VC in the commission. The Personnel Ministry has invited applications for the posts of CVC and a vigilance commissioner.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Rajasthan Launches Online Scholarship Portal for Class 1-12 Students

  • The Rajasthan government launched an online portal for students to digitally apply for scholarships. The portal will allow students to apply online for all scholarship for classes 1-12. Along with the portal, the education department also released an online annual work evaluation report module.

Punjab Govt. Urges Defence Ministry to Sanction Third Sainik School

  • The Punjab government has urged the Centre to sanction a third Sainik school for the state in Bathinda district. The first Sainik School is at Kapurthala and the second is to come up at Gurdaspur.
  • Punjab CM said that the state government has already allotted 40 acres of land at Dalla Gorian in Gurdaspur to establish Punjab's 2nd Sainik School and the MoA has also been signed and submitted to the department of ex-servicemen welfare in the Ministry of Defence. However, he said this shall not, in his opinion, suffice to meet the aspirations of the Punjabi youths.
  • Sainik School, Kapurthala is at present the only Sainik School in Punjab, established way back in 1961. The youths of Punjab have always displayed an exemplary zeal in joining the armed forces and serving the nation, he said, adding there is an urgent need to establish additional Sainik schools in the state.

Goa First Rabies-free State

  • Goa has become the first Rabies-free state of India. According to Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, state has not reported a single rabies case in last three years.
  • Chief Minister highlighted; Goa has achieved 5,40,593 vaccinations against rabies in dogs.
  • State has also educated nearly a lakh people about dog bite prevention and has set up 24-hours rabies surveillance which comprise of an emergency hotline and rapid response team for dog bite victims.
  • Task of controlling rabies was being carried out by Mission Rabies project which is a central government grant.
  • Mission Rabies is a charity, initially founded as an initiative by Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS). It is a United Kingdom-based charity group which assists animals. Mission Rabies works with 'One Health approach' which is driven by research to eliminate dog bite transmitted rabies disease. It was launched in September 2013 with the objective of vaccinating 50,000 dogs against rabies in India. Rabies has estimated to kill 59,000 people annually. Mission Rabies teams have vaccinated 968,287 dogs since 2013. Organisation has worked in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Goa, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Assam.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

CJI Releases Book 'Anomalies in Law and Justice'

  • Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana released a book -- ''Anomalies in Law and Justice'' -- by former Supreme Court Judge Justice (retd) R. V. Raveendran explaining in simple terms various deficiencies in the law which needs to be overcome.
  • The Chief Justice of India said that the book was an attempt to explain to a common man that the law and the legal system is still evolving and it requires more critical thinking to resolve issues that have persisted for a long time.
  • Through this book, Justice Raveendran undertakes to explain in simple terms, various deficiencies in the law which require to be overcome, so that common man does not lose faith in the judiciary and the legal system.
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