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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

01 Aug 2021


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Najib Mikati Becomes Lebanon's New Prime Minister

  • Najib Mikati became Lebanon's new Prime Minister with 72 votes in parliament while the former ambassador Nawaf Salam received only one vote.
  • This is the third stint of Mikati as Lebanon's Prime Minister. In April 2005, Mikati had briefly served as caretaker Prime Minister, and in 2011, he headed a full-scale government for three years.
  • Mikati's appointment came 11 days after Saad Hariri resigned as Prime Minister after nine months of political turmoil and disputes with President Aoun and his son-in-law MP Gebran Bassil.
  • Mikati received support from most political parties in Lebanon, including Amal Movement, the Future Movement, Marada Movement, Hezbollah, and Progressive Socialist Party.
  • Two main Christian parties in the country, the Lebanese Forces and the Free Patriotic Movement opposed Mikati's appointment.
  • Najib Mikati is the 31st Prime Minister of Lebanon. Mikati is a Lebanese politician and businessman who has served as caretaker PM of Lebanon in 2005 and headed a full-scale government from 2011 to 2014.

Duterte Restores Philippines's Key Military Agreement with US

  • President Rodrigo Duterte has restored a pact governing the presence of US troops in the Philippines, the two countries' defence secretaries announced, retracting a decision that had caused increasing concern among policymakers in Washington and Manila.
  • The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) provides rules for the rotation of thousands of US troops in and out of the Philippines for war drills and exercises. It has assumed additional importance as the United States and its allies contend with an increasingly assertive China, particularly in the disputed South China Sea.
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Torrent Power to Acquire 50 MW Solar Plant from Lightsource India

  • Torrent Power has inked an agreement with Lightsource India Ltd and Lightsource Renewable Energy (India) Ltd for acquisition of a 50 MW solar plant.
  • The enterprise value for the deal is around Rs. 317 crore.
  • Torrent Power Limited has entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement with Lightsource India Ltd and Lightsource Renewable Energy (India) Ltd for the acquisition of 100 per cent of the share capital and all securities of LREHL Renewables India SPV 1 Private Limited (SPV.
  • The SPV (special purpose vehicle) operates a 50 MW solar power plant, commissioned in April 2018, situated in Maharashtra.
  • Torrent Power, a Rs. 12,173-crore integrated power utility of the Rs. 20,000-crore Torrent Group, is one of the largest companies in the domestic power sector with presence across the entire power value chain of generation, transmission and distribution.

Hero MotoCorp Commences Retail Operations in Mexico

  • The country's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp commenced retail sales in Mexico.
  • The company has introduced an extensive portfolio of products, including motorcycles and a scooter, in the country thereby catering to the diverse segments of customers.
  • The models include the Xpulse 200, Xpulse 200T, Hunk 190, Hunk 160R, Hunk 150, Eco 150 TR, Eco 150 Cargo, and Ignitor 125, and the Dash 125 scooter.

DBS, Temasek Set Up Financing Platform for Growth Stage Firms

  • Singapore-based financial services group DBS and Temasek have set up $500 million financing platform, EvolutionX Debt Capital (EvolutionX) for non-dilutive funding to technology-enabled firms with a focus on China, India, and Southeast Asia.
  • It will be led by Joint Interim CEOs Amit Sinha, Group Head of Telecoms, Media and Technology, at DBS, and Aftab Mathur, director, Investment, at Temasek, before a full-time CEO is appointed in the next few months.
  • EvolutionX will invest in opportunities arising from an increasingly digital economy – across sectors such as financial services, consumer, healthcare, education and industrial development.
  • DBS Bank Ltd is a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Marina Bay, Singapore. The company was known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited, before the present name was adopted on 21 July 2003 to reflect its changing role as a global bank.
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ISS Out of Control by Misfire of Russian Module

  • The International Space Station (ISS) was thrown briefly out of control when jet thrusters of a newly arrived Russian research module inadvertently fired a few hours after it was docked to the orbiting outpost.
  • This mishap began about three hours after the multipurpose Nauka module had latched onto the space station, as mission controllers in Moscow were performing some post-docking reconfiguration procedures, according to NASA.
  • The module`s jets inexplicably restarted, causing the entire station to pitch out of its normal flight position some 250 miles above the Earth, leading the mission`s flight director to declare a "spacecraft emergency.

Kaspersky Partners Bharti Airtel for Selling Cybersecurity Software

  • Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has partnered with Bharti Airtel to reach out to its over 34 crore customers for selling its security softwares at lower prices.
  • The collaboration between the two companies will allow Airtel customers to purchase Kaspersky Total Security solutions directly from the Airtel Thanks app exclusive deals on them.
  • According to Kaspersky, mobile threats in India have drastically increased since 2019 and are becoming more targeted and sophisticated in nature. India ranked seventh among the countries attacked with mobile threats in 2020.
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Indian Discus Thrower Kamalpreet Kaur Qualifies for the Finals

  • India discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur qualified for the Tokyo Olympics finals after finishing second in the women's discus throw qualification event at Olympic Stadium.
  • Kamalpreet was only the second thrower who achieved the automatic qualification of 64.00m after USA's Valarie Allman as the latter threw 66.42m in her first attempt.
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India, US Renew Global Development Partnership Deal

  • India and the US renewed for another five years a global development partnership agreement that provides for jointly offering assistance to their partner countries in areas of connectivity, trade and investments, healthcare and agriculture.
  • Both sides signed the second amendment to the Statement of Guiding Principles (SGP) on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development.
  • The SGP agreement was signed in November 2014 and the fresh amendment extended the pact's validity up to 2026.
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Vice Admiral S. N. Ghormade Takes Charge as Indian Navy Vice Chief

  • Vice Admiral S. N. Ghormade took charge as the vice chief of the Indian Navy from Vice Admiral G. Ashok Kumar.
  • Ghormade was holding the charge of deputy chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (Operations and Training) since March.
  • Before this, he was holding the appointment of Controller Personnel Services in the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy).
  • Ghormade has also served as the chief of staff of the Eastern Naval Command as well as the director general of naval operations.
  • A graduate of the National Defence Academy, Ghormade was commissioned into the Indian Navy on January 1, 1984.

12th Edition of Exercise INDRA NAVY Concludes

  • The 12th edition of the military exercise INDRA NAVY was held in the Baltic Sea. It is a biennial bilateral maritime exercise that is conducted between the Indian Navy and Russian Navy.
  • It was initiated in the year 2003.
  • This exercise further strengthens the long-term strategic relationship between the navies of the two countries.
  • This exercise was undertaken as INS Tabar's visit to St Petersburg in Russia to participate in the Russian Navy's 325th Navy Day celebrations.
  • INDRA NAVY has matured over the years with an increase in scope, the complexity of operations and level of participation.
  • The primary aim of this year's exercise was to further strengthen the inter-operability which has been built up by the Navies of both the countries and also to enhance procedures and understandings of various maritime operations.
  • This edition of the exercise includes diverse and wide-ranging activities which have been stretched across the broad spectrum of maritime operations.
  • INS Tabar represented the India Navy whilst the Russian Federation Navy was represented by Corvettes RFS Odintsovo and RFS Zelyony Dol of the Baltic Fleet.
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Vaidehi Dongre is Miss India USA

  • Vaidehi Dongre, from Michigan, has been crowned Miss India USA 2021 at the beauty pageant. Arshi Lalani from Georgia was declared the first runner up and North Carolina's Mira Kasari was declared the second runner up. Dongre, who has majored in international studies, won the 'Miss Talented' title in the pageant for giving a flawless performance of Indian classical dance from Kathak.
  • Former Miss World Diana Hayden was the chief guest and chief judge for the pageant. There were 61 contestants from 30 states participating in three different pageants – Miss India USA, Mrs. India USA and Miss Teen India USA. The winners of all three categories get complimentary tickets to travel to Mumbai, India to take part in worldwide pageants.

Former Minister Ganpatrao Deshmukh Passes Away

  • Ganpatrao Deshmukh, the longest-serving MLA of Maharashtra and a senior leader of the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), died in Solapur.
  • Deshmukh represented Sangola in Solapur district in the State legislative assembly for 11 terms since 1962 across multiple terms and served as an MLA for 54 years.
  • He got defeated in 1972, but again won in a bypoll n 1974.
  • He had won the Sangola seat in the 2014 state elections for a record 11th time and served in the assembly till 2019.
  • Deshmukh also served as a minister in the government of Sharad Pawar in 1978 and again in 1999 (in Vilasrao Deshmukh cabinet) when his party PWP gave support to the Congress-NCP alliance.
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Muslim Women Rights Day

  • The Ministry of Minority Affairs announced that "Muslim Women Rights Day" will be observed across the country on August 1. It will celebrate the second anniversary of the enactment of the law against triple talaq.
  • The practice of granting instant divorce was classified as a criminal offence through a law enforced by the government on August 1, 2019. Though the Centre faced issues in clearing the bill through the Rajya Sabha, it finally succeeded in achieving the goal on July 31, 2019.
  • Naqvi, along with Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav attended a programme in New Delhi to observe the "Muslim Women Rights Day".
  • The 2017 bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 27 December 2018. However, in the Rajya Sabha the opposition demanded it to be sent to the Standing Committee. As the bill stood not passed in the parliamentary session, an ordinance which had made the bill operative, expired on 22 January 2019. The government re-promulgated an identical bill on 10 January 2019. This bill was passed in the Lok Sabha but was again stalled in the Rajya Sabha. The bill lapsed again when the Parliamentary session adjourned sine die in April 2019.
  • The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019 was to expire on 29 August 2019, six weeks after start of parliamentary session, post the 2019 Indian general elections. The government introduced a new bill in the Lok Sabha on 21 June 2019. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on 25 July 2019 and by the Rajya Sabha on 30 July 2019. The bill was assented to by the President, Ram Nath Kovind, on 31 July 2019. It was subsequently notified in the gazette on the same day. The act is retrospectively effective from 19 September 2018.
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Satpura Tiger Reserve Wins NatWest Group Earth Heroes Award

  • The Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has been awarded the NatWest Group Earth Heroes Award within the Earth Guardian class for greatest administration.
  • Satpura Tiger Reserve has additionally been included within the attainable checklist of World Heritage.
  • The Satpura Tiger Reserve in Hoshangabad district is unfold over an space of 2,130 sq. kilometers and is a part of the Deccan Bio-Geographical Zone. It's the oldest forest wealth within the nation attributable to its unprecedented pure magnificence.
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Kerala Police Launches 'Pink Protection' Project for Women Safety

  • The Kerala Police launched a new initiative called the Pink Protection project for the protection of women in public, private and digital spaces. The Pink Protection project aims to prevent dowry-related issues, cyber-bullying & humiliation in public places. It has 10 components, one of which is activating the existing Pink Police Patrol system, named Pink Janamaithri Beat.
  • They will collect information from panchayat members, neighbours and other locals and hand it over to the Station House Officers for further action.
  • The Pink Beat system, in which specially trained women police officers have been deployed, will be present at Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private buses and in front of schools, colleges and other public places including bus stops.
  • Pink control rooms have been set up in all 14 districts to coordinate the activities.
  • The Pink Shadow Patrol team will also be deployed to detect the presence of anti-socials in crowded areas and to take action.
  • A bullet patrol team of woman police officers called "Pink Romeo" was also launched as part of the project.

Delhi Assembly Passes GST Amendment Bill

  • The Delhi Assembly passed the 'Delhi Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2021' to smoothen the GST filing process and to prevent tax evasion, amid opposition from the BJP over its introduction and passage on the same day.
  • Small changes have been made in 15 sections of the Delhi GST Act. These have been incorporated on the basis of experiences and feedback from traders, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said while introducing the bill on the second and last day of the monsoon session.
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27% Reservation for OBCs, 10% for EWS Candidates in Medical Courses

  • The government announced a 27-per cent quota for OBCs and 10 per cent reservation for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category in the All-India Quota (AIQ) scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses from the current academic year, 2021-22.
  • This announcement would benefit nearly 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 OBC students in postgraduation and also around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1,000 EWS students in postgraduation.
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