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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

25 Jul 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Kenneth Juster Named Advisor to Global Board of US India Business Council

  • Kenneth Juster, America's former Ambassador to India, has been named as an advisor to the Global Board of the US India Business Council (USIBC).
  • USIBC also announced the addition of Kamal Ahluwalia, president Eightfold AI; Guru Bandekar, Chief Procurement Officer, Global Strategic Sourcing Stanley Black & Decker and Raghu Raghuram, CEO VMware, to its Global Board of Directors, further solidifying the Council's leadership in key sectors.

El Salvador Orders Arrest of Ex-President Sanchez Ceren

  • El Salvador has ordered the arrest of former president Salvador Sanchez Ceren and nine top officials from a past administration as part of a money laundering and corruption probe.
  • The office said Sanchez Ceren was out of the country, but five former high-ranking members of former President Mauricio Funes's government from 2009 to 2014 have been detained. Sanchez Ceren was vice president at the time, before becoming President in the following term. His successor, President Nayib Bukele, has drawn rebukes for a string of controversial moves, including removing the attorney general and closing an anti-corruption office.
  • The Attorney General's office said that Sanchez Ceren and the other officials – including former heads of the health, finance, labor, agriculture and environment ministries – are wanted on charges of money laundering, embezzlement and illicit enrichment after they were transferred unauthorized funds.

El Salvador Orders Arrest of Ex-President Sanchez Ceren

  • El Salvador has ordered the arrest of former president Salvador Sanchez Ceren and nine top officials from a past administration as part of a money laundering and corruption probe.
  • The office said Sanchez Ceren was out of the country, but five former high-ranking members of former President Mauricio Funes's government from 2009 to 2014 have been detained. Sanchez Ceren was vice president at the time, before becoming President in the following term. His successor, President Nayib Bukele, has drawn rebukes for a string of controversial moves, including removing the attorney general and closing an anti-corruption office.
  • The Attorney General's office said that Sanchez Ceren and the other officials – including former heads of the health, finance, labor, agriculture and environment ministries – are wanted on charges of money laundering, embezzlement and illicit enrichment after they were transferred unauthorized funds.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Banks to Stop Issuing New Cards on Mastercard Network after RBI Ban

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ban on Mastercard Asia Pacific to onboard new debit, credit or prepaid card customers came into effect from July 22. India's central bank pulled the plug on Mastercard over non-compliance with directions on 'Storage of Payment System Data' which mandates all system providers to store entire data of domestic customers relating to payment systems only in India.
  • In April 2018, the RBI issued a circular notifying all payment networks to store data locally, including end-to-end transaction details, and information collected, carried, and processed as part of the message or payment instruction.
  • Mastercard is the third major payment system operator to face restrictions for non-compliance with RBI's local data storage rules. The RBI had imposed similar restrictions on American Express Banking Corp and Discover Financial Services' Diners Club card from May 1 for violating data storage norms. While Mastercard has been barred from onboarding new customers from July 22, the restrictions will not impact existing customers.

Kotak Mahindra Bank Signs MoU with the Indian Navy for Salary Account

  • The Indian Navy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kotak Mahindra for salary accounts of all its personnel - both serving and retired.
  • The signing ceremony took place in Delhi in the presence of Commodore Neeraj Malhotra (commodore pay and allowances) of the Indian Navy and Parminder Varma, business head (corporate salary) at Kotak Mahindra Bank.
  • The bank will reportedly offer special salary account benefits to the Indian Navy like enhanced complimentary personal accident insurance cover, special education benefit for children, and additional girl child benefit, and attractive rates and zero processing fees on personal loans, home loans and car loans.

Biz2X Launches API-based Loan Management System

  • Biz2X, a Noida-based digital-lending SaaS platform that enables financial institutions to provide a customised online loan servicing experience for their small- and mid-size business customers, has announced the launch of Biz2X LMS (Loan Management System), an end-to-end API-based platform for loan management, servicing, and collections.
  • The LMS is an advanced and comprehensive bank loan management system that automates the entire loan lifecycle for achieving cost savings and enhanced customer experience. It is accessible from REST API and can be integrated with any downstream or upstream system, including core banking systems, accounting software, and consumer-facing apps.
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SPORTS

Sandesh Jhingan Named AIFF Men's Footballer of Year

  • Senior India defender, Sandesh Jhingan was named the AIFF men's Footballer of the Year 2020-21 season. It is the first time that the towering central defender has received the AIFF Player of the Year award, having won the Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2014.
  • Jhingan made his senior national team debut in 2015 in Guwahati and has since gone on to make 40 appearances for the Blue Tigers, scoring four goals.
  • He was part of the Indian sides that lifted the Intercontinental Cup in 2018 and played out a memorable draw at the home of the Asian champions Qatar in 2019.
  • Jhingan has captained the senior team on five occasions, the most recent being the international friendly against Oman in Dubai in March. He was conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award last year.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Union Cabinet Approves First Central University in Ladakh

  • The Centre approved the establishment of a central university and an integrated multi-purpose infrastructure development corporation for Ladakh, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said will ensure all-round development of the newly-created UT and provide a range of opportunities to the dynamic youth there.
  • The decisions to set up the central university at a cost of Rs. 750 crore and the corporation with a fund of Rs. 25 crore for Ladakh were taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister.

Manduadih Railway Station Renamed as Banaras

  • The Manduadih railway station has been finally renamed as Banaras railway station by the North eastern railways (NER). The NER replaced the old signboard with the new one which read 'Banaras' after the Railway Board gave its nod for the new name.
  • The newly painted signboards were put up with Banaras written in Hindi, Sanskrit, English, and Urdu.
  • The process to change the station's name started in 2019 when former railway minister and the present governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Singh, put forth the request. In the same year, the Uttar Pradesh government accepted the proposal and forwarded it to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The Banaras Railway Station, formerly known as Manduadih Railway Station, is one of the most advanced and facility-loaded railway stations.
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DEFENCE

Navies of India, U.K. Hold Passage Exercise

  • Navies of India and the U.K. participated in a two-day bilateral Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG-21) led by HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Bay of Bengal from July 21 to 22.
  • With the presence of CSG-21 in the Indian Ocean, the exercise has afforded excellent opportunity to engage over the entire spectrum of maritime operations, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-air and anti-surface warfare.
  • The Indian Navy was represented by five ships, a submarine and a P-8I long range patrol aircraft in its maiden exercise with the Royal Navy's latest aircraft carrier.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Veteran Thespian Urmil Kumar Thapliyal Passes Away

  • Renowned theatre personality and litterateur Urmil Kumar Thapliyal passed away. He was 78.
  • Thapliyal worked all through his life for the revival of nautanki and popularising theatre.
  • The veteran was associated with Darpan, the 50-year-old popular theatre group of the state capital. He also had a long innings with the All India Radio.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Addresses the World Universities Summit 2021

  • The Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated and addressed the World Universities Summit as Chief Guest. The Union Education and Skill Development Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan also addressed the summit. The Summit was organized by O.P. Jindal Global University, located at Sonipat, Haryana.
  • The theme of the summit was "Universities of the Future: Building Institutional Resilience, Social Responsibility and Community Impact". The World Universities Summit 2021 provided a platform to bring together over 150 thought leaders to deliberate on the ways in which higher education institutions can strengthen their vision and commitment towards institutional resilience, social responsibility and community impact.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IITs, IISc to Offer New Courses on Electric Vehicles, IoT, Sustainable Development

  • The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a joint initiative of IITs and IISc, has launched new courses on electric vehicles and renewable energy, design for IoT, business and sustainable development, for July 2021 semester through the Swayam platform.
  • NPTEL offers certification courses through the MOOCs format. Learners need to watch videos online, submit assignments on a weekly/monthly basis and can register for an optional proctored final exam. There is a nominal fee charged towards the in-person proctored exam for the certification. Students can request for transfer of credits once they clear the NPTEL certification exam if it is approved by the educational institute they are affiliated with.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A book Title 'Bank With A Soul: Equitas' by Dr. C K Garyali

  • Former RBI Governor, Duvvuri Subbarao has unveiled a book 'Bank With A Soul: Equitas' authored by Dr. C K Garyali. Dr. Garyali is a founder trustee of EDIT (Equitas Development Initiative Trust) and the book chronicles the journey of Equitas and EDIT in transforming the lives of women with frequent social reform initiatives helping them set up micro-enterprises.
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ART AND CULTURE

Hyderabad's Kalakriti Art Gallery Goes 'Phygital'

  • The pandemic prompted art galleries across India to enhance the virtual experience of viewing and buying art. Some of them upgraded their websites to host virtual exhibitions. Hyderabad-based Kalakriti art gallery is going a step further to give art lovers a 'phygital' (physical and digital) experience, incorporating elements of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The gallery established in 2002 recently moved to a new address on Road no. 4, Banjara Hills. The multi-level premise intends to become a cultural hub that hosts art events, talks, book readings and cultural performances. The 4000 square feet gallery space on the ground floor can host three exhibitions simultaneously and offer a seamless digital experience.
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