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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

27 Jul 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Imran's Party Wins PoK Poll

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is set to form the next government in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as it emerged as the largest political party in the legislative assembly elections in the region which was marred by allegations of irregularities and violence.
  • The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won 23 seats, Pakistan Peoples Party was second with 8 seats and the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secured just 6 seats.

China Goes on Offensive against US during Talks

  • Striking an aggressive stance at the face-to-face talks with the US, China on Monday for the first time handed down to Washington a list of demands and remedial actions to be taken by the Biden administration to end the stalemate in bilateral ties.
  • Talks between Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to improve the relations got off on a rough note at the northeastern Chinese port city of Tianjin, with Xie launching a blistering attack on Washington, accusing it of being the "owner of coercive diplomacy".
  • Sherman, the No. 2 diplomat of the US, is the highest-ranking American official to visit China since President Joe Biden took office six months ago.

Yusuffali is Abu Dhabi CCI's Vice-chairman

  • Lulu Group chairman, M. A. Yusuff Ali has been appointed as the vice-chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI). Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi & Dy. Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces issued a resolution to form a new Board of Directors for Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI).
  • HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan had honoured Yusuffali with the 'Abu Dhabi Award 2021', the highest civilian honour for his almost 5-decade long contributions in the fields of economic development & philanthropy.
  • ADCCI is the apex Govt. body of all business established in Abu Dhabi and functions as an effective bridge between the Govt. and business sector. Each of the business establishments in Abu Dhabi, one of the wealthiest and most influential economic hubs in the region, has to be licensed by ADCCI. Yusuffali is the only Indian in the 29-member board, which is primarily constituted of Emirati business owners and CEOs.
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ENVIRONMENT

Israel to Cut 85% of Emissions by Mid-century

  • Israel will cut carbon emissions by 85% from 2015 levels by the middle of the century, its government says.
  • Its Prime Minister said that the decision would help the country gradually shift to a low-carbon economy.
  • Targets include cutting the vast majority of emissions from transport, the electricity sector and municipal waste.
  • But critics want more ambitious targets for renewable energy and bigger economic incentives for change.
  • The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the industrial era began, and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Flipkart Ventures, Tiger Global Invest in Thrasio-style Venture G.O.A.T

  • Flipkart Ventures and Tiger Global have made an investment in Thrasio-style venture G.O.A.T. Brand Labs. It would use the funding to accelerate the growth of digitally native brands in India. G.O.A.T was founded by Rishi Vasudev and Rameswar Misra, who bring with them decades of expertise in this space. Vasudev, a veteran retail executive, previously headed Flipkart's fashion business.
  • G.O.A.T has completed its Series A funding of approximately $36 million which includes equity and debt. This round was led by Tiger Global, with participation from Flipkart Ventures (the early-stage venture fund of the e-commerce firm, Mayfield, Nordstar and Better Capital. Some of the prominent angel investors who are also part of this round are Virender Gupta of DailyHunt, Sujit Kumar (Udaan), Dr. Ranjan Pai (Manipal Group), Suhail Sameer of BharatPe, Neeraj Goenka (Texport) and Alex Kuruvilla (MD Conde Nast India).
  • "G.O.A.T stands for Greatest of All Time. Through this venture, we are bringing together passionate entrepreneurs, their D2C (direct to consumer) brands, marquee investors, industry experts and a dynamic team, who believe in the philosophy of partnering and nurturing," said Rishi Vasudev, co-founder G.O.A.T.

Nirmala Sitharaman Introduces IBC (Amendment) Bill 2021 in Lok Sabha

  • Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to replace an ordinance that amended the insolvency law.
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced amid opposition ruckus over various issues.
  • Sitharaman is in charge of both finance and corporate affairs ministries.
  • The ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was promulgated in April, whereby a pre-packaged resolution process for stressed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) was introduced under the Code.

SBI Top-deck Recast

  • The country's largest lender State Bank of India made new appointments in key functions of Human Resources, Strategy and Information Technology. Om Prakash Mishra is now designated as Deputy Managing Director (Human Resources-HR). Mishra would also function as Corporate Development Officer (CDO).
  • Prior to becoming the DMD, Mishra was Chief General Manager (CGM) of SBI Hyderabad Circle. He served at various positions in different locations, including as Regional Manager at Regional Business Office, the bank said in a statement.
  • Rana Ashutosh Kumar Singh is the new DMD (Strategy) & Chief Digital Officer. He was earlier DMD (HR) and CDO. He has served the bank as CGM at SBI Chandigarh Circle as well. He was also heading SBI's operations in Germany as CEO of the Frankfurt Branch.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Harvard-led Team to Search Cosmos for Extraterrestrial Space Tech and UFOs

  • Are there intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations capable of building technologies that can travel between the stars? An international research project is poised to find out.
  • The Galileo Project, helmed by a multi-institutional team of scientists led by Avi Loeb, a professor of science in the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University, will seek and investigate evidence that could represent defunct or still-active "extraterrestrial technological civilizations," or ETCs, project representatives said in a statement released on Monday (July 26).
  • The project will analyze data from astronomical surveys and telescope observations, and design new algorithms using artificial intelligence (AI), in order to identify potential interstellar travelers, alien-built satellites and unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).
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SPORTS

South Korea Win Gold in Men's Team Archery Event

  • South Korea won gold in the men's team archery event after Kim Je Deok, Kim Woojin, and Oh Jinhyek defeated Chinese Taipei in the finals. South Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 6-0 in the summit clash.
  • Earlier, hosts Japan had pushed gold medal favourites South Korea hard in the semi-finals of the men's team tournament before South Korea eked out a 5-4 (setpoints) victory.
  • Hosts Japan took the bronze medal after defeating the Netherlands 5-4.

Momiji Nishiya Becomes First Women's Skateboard Champion

  • Japan's Momiji Nishiya won her first-ever women's street skateboarding gold at Ariake Park.
  • In the inaugural Olympics street skateboarding competition, two of the youngest competitors at the Olympic Games won the gold and silver. The gold medallist, Momiji, wrote her name into the history books with a score of 15.26.
  • Rayssa Leal, who is not only Brazil's youngest-ever medallist but also an Olympian, won silver with a score of 14.64 with Nakayama the bronze medallist with 14.49.

Paralympic-bound Shuttler Pramod Named Differently Abled Sportsman of the Year

  • World No. 1 para shuttler Pramod Bhagat was named Differently Abled Sportsman of the Year at Indian Sports Honour for 2019.
  • The delay in the announcement was due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Bhagat, who won two gold medals and a bronze at the Dubai Para-Badminton Tournament this year, will be participating in singles and mixed doubles events at the Paralympics which opens in Tokyo from August 24.
  • Indian Sports Honours are awards given annually by the RPSG Group in association with the Virat Kohli Foundation to outstanding sports personalities of India.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

B. S. Yediyurappa Resigns as CM

  • Ending months of speculation over his exit, B. S. Yediyurappa stepped down as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, coinciding with his government completing two years in office, even as suspense continues on his successor.
  • The 78 year-old BJP veteran, who submitted his resignation to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot at the Raj Bhavan, said that he quit voluntarily and will continue to remain active in state politics.

AAP Will Not Forge Alliance with Any Party for Punjab Polls

  • The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will not forge an electoral alliance with any political party for the 2022 Punjab assembly polls, party's senior leader Raghav Chadha said.
  • Chadha, who is AAP's Punjab co-incharge, said his party will contest all the 117 assembly seats on its own.
  • Punjab assembly polls are due early next year.

Nasir Kamal is Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS)

  • Nasir Kamal, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, was appointed as the Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) in the Ministry of Civil Aviation till his superannuation on July 31, 2022. BCAS is a wing of the Civil Aviation Ministry looking after civil aviation security. His appointment was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.
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DEFENCE

Ukrainian Navy Gets First Armed Drone from Turkey

  • According to Ukraine's Defence Ministry, the Ukrainian Navy has accepted delivery of the first Bayraktar TB2 drone from Turkish defense company Baykar.
  • After completing acceptance tests, the drone, along with mobile control terminals and spare parts, will be deployed at the Ukrainian Navy's 10th Naval Aviation Brigade in Mykolaiv.
  • Baykar announced in 2019 that it won a $69 million contract to sell six TB2 combat UAVs to Ukraine.

CRPF Signs MoU with C-DAC to Train Manpower of Force in Advanced Technologies

  • The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has signed an MoU with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing C-DAC to train the manpower of the force in advanced technologies and undertake joint projects. The MoU aims at augmenting the technical capabilities of CRPF by training its manpower in advanced areas like the Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity, AI, etc.
  • The agreement will also provide the expertise of C-DAC in the form of a Technology Partner and Knowledge Partner in developing various ICT solutions of CRPF. The MoU will go a long way in providing CRPF personnel with customised advanced courses aligned to the needs of the field and practical applications.

Indian Navy Participates in Exercise Cutlass Express

  • In the maritime Exercise Cutlass Express 2021, INS Talwar is participating. This naval exercise is being conducted from 26th July 2021 to 6th August 2021 along the Eastern Coast of Africa.
  • This maritime exercise is held annually and it is conducted to promote regional and national maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean and East Africa.
  • In exercise Cutlass Express 2021, INS Talwar is participating and this exercise is being conducted along the Eastern Coast of Africa. This exercise is being conducted to improve enforcement capacity, combined maritime law and to promote regional and national security.
  • The 2021 edition involves the participation of 12 East African countries, India, UK, US and various other international organisations such as United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), Interpol, EUCAP Somalia and Critical Maritime Routes Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO). The Indian Navy is participating in a trainer role.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Eminent Multi-lingual Actress Jayanthi Passes Away

  • Veteran multi-lingual Kanada actress Jayanthi passed away at the age of 76. She was ailing for some time with age-related issues.
  • She has acted in more than 500 films in five languages — Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. She was paired onscreen in several films with matinee idol Dr. Rajkumar in Kannada and did the most number of movies with him. She acted with N. T. Rama Rao in Telugu and Gemini Ganesan in Tamil. She also had long collaborations with important filmmakers of the time — Puttanna Kanagal in Kannada and K. Balachander in Tamil. However, all awards for her performance were for her work in Kannada films — four times best actress, twice best supporting actress and two Filmfare awards for best actress. She was called 'Abhinaya Sharade' by Kannada film connoisseurs.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

CRPF Observes 83rd Raising Day

  • The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), observed its 83rd Raising Day on 27 July 2021. CRPF is India's largest Central Armed Police Force, under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Its headquarters are located in New Delhi. It came into existence as the Crown Representative's Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on the enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Two Bills Passed in Lok Sabha

  • The government pushed its legislative agenda in Lok Sabha as the House passed two bills amid uproar by opposition members over the Pegasus row and farmers issue.
  • These are the first two bills to be passed by Lok Sabha in the Monsoon session which began on July 19. The House has seen repeated disruptions over the alleged Pegasus spying allegations, fuel price hike and three new agri laws since the session started.
  • Discussion on the two bills could not take place as Opposition members continued to stage protests demanding a discussion on the Pegasus snooping allegations and the farmers' demand of repealing the agri laws.

Uttar Pradesh CM Launches 'MyGov-Meri Sarkar' Portal

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the 'MyGov-Meri Sarkar' portal.
  • Through this portal, the people of the state can give various feedbacks to the government and the UP government can also inform them about the various schemes of the state.
  • The portal will be used efficiently to further enhance the engagement of the common citizens of the state with the Uttar Pradesh state government.
  • This portal will play a major role to disseminate the schemes of the state and to know the citizens opinion on them and how they can be addressed.
  • This portal will be beneficial to the people of the state as they will be able to put forward their suggestions, views and feedbacks. This portal aims to become an innovative platform for joining the public with the government and hence will improve governance in the state.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

No Proposal to Rename IIT Madras as IIT Chennai

  • Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan ruled out any proposal to rename the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras as IIT Chennai.
  • Pradhan made the statement in response to a written question in Lok Sabha.
  • "Any such proposal for amending the name of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras is not under consideration of the government," he said.
  • Madras city was renamed as Chennai in 1996 by the Tamil Nadu government.

Online Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainability Science by IGNOU

  • The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) launched a postgraduate diploma in sustainable science. The online post graduate diploma in sustainability science (PGDSS) will be offered by the varsity's School of Inter-Disciplinary and Trans-Disciplinary Studies (SOITS).
  • The PGDSS programme mainly focuses on the genesis and principles of sustainable development, its tools, implementation and assessment strategies in a holistic way.
  • The basics of natural resource management, ecological economics, global and local efforts for sustainable development through good governance, law and policy are integrated into an academic framework so that students are able to understand the tools and techniques in developing and implementing sustainable development projects.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A Book Title 'An Ordinary Life: Portrait of an Indian Generation' by Ashok Lavasa

  • Former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has come out with a book titled "An Ordinary Life: Portrait of an Indian Generation." In this book, Ashok Lavasa narrates about his father, Udai Singh, and his own experience on how his father's principles served as a moral compass in his life, and can in ours too. Ashok Lavasa resigned as election commissioner in 2020 to become vice-president of the Asian Development Bank.
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ART AND CULTURE

Ancient Ship and Burial Ground Discovered in Underwater City in Egypt

  • Archaeologists have discovered the 2,200-year-old wreck of an ancient Egyptian ship that sank after being struck with giant blocks from the famous temple of Amun. The so-called galley along with a burial ground was discovered beneath the Mediterranean Sea in Thonis-Heracleion, a city that fell into the water long ago.
  • The ship is called a fast galley, a type of vessel with a large sail that would have been propelled to relatively high speeds by a team of oarsmen. The recently discovered fast galley is 82 feet (25 meters) long with a flat keel, a feature that is commonly found among ancient vessels that navigated the Nile River. It "sank after being hit by huge blocks from the famed temple of Amun, which was totally destroyed [during] a cataclysmic event in the second century B.C.," a team of archaeologists said in an emailed statement released by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology.
  • At the site of this sunken city, the archaeologists also discovered a burial ground that was in use as far back as 2,400 years ago. The team found elaborately decorated pottery, including one piece that appears to have images of waves painted on it.
  • Archaeologists also found a gold amulet depicting Bes, an Egyptian god associated with childbirth and fertility. Ancient Egyptians sometimes used images of the god to protect young children and women giving birth.

Ancient Rock Art Complex Hima Saudi Arabia's Sixth UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Saudi Arabia's cultural credentials have been boosted further by the inclusion of Hima, one of the largest rock art complexes in the world, on UNESCO's World Heritage list. The site is the sixth to be enlisted in the country, joining the At-Turaif district in ad-Dir'iyah northwest of Riyadh and Hegra in Al-Ula, the sandstone landscape in the northwestern desert.
  • Hima is "located in an arid, mountainous area of southwest Saudi Arabia, on one of the Arabian Peninsula's ancient caravan routes, Ḥimā Cultural Area contains a substantial collection of rock art images depicting hunting, fauna, flora and lifestyles in a cultural continuity of 7,000 years." Inscriptions are in different scripts, including Musnad, Aramaic-Nabatean, South-Arabian, Thamudic, Greek and Arabic.
  • Other new additions to the Unesco world heritage list include the Darmstadt Artists' Colony on Mathildenhöhe, Germany, and the Lighthouse of Cordouan at the mouth of the Gironde estuary in France. The Great Spa Towns of Europe—including Baden-Baden (Germany), Montecatini Terme (Italy) and Bath (United Kingdom)—have also been included as a grouping on the world heritage list.
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