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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

23 Sep 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Bulgaria Re-appoints Caretaker PM Ahead of Third Election of 2021

  • Bulgarian President Rumen Radev re-appointed caretaker premier Stefan Yanev to lead an interim government until the country holds its third set of parliamentary elections this year in November, following inconclusive votes in April and July.
  • The European Union's poorest member state has been struggling to form a regular government after voting out former centre-right prime minister Boyko Borissov following almost a decade of political dominance.

WHO Appoints Gordon Brown as Ambassador

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the appointment of Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as its ambassador for Global Health Financing.
  • According to the WHO, Brown has played an instrumental role in trying to get rich countries as well as the private sector to ensure equitable distribution of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.
  • The former UK PM said that the failure of Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and European Union leaders to agree on a plan to distribute the spare doses meant the world was facing a vaccine waste disaster.
  • In this role, he will elevate and support WHO's work to raise awareness internationally on the great need for sustained global health financing, particularly from G20 and G7 countries.
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ENVIRONMENT

Australian Shark Species on the Verge of Extinction

  • More than 10 per cent of Australia`s shark species are at risk of extinction.
  • The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) marine biodiversity hub published the first-ever complete assessment of extinction risk for all Australian sharks.
  • It found that Australia is home to more than a quarter of the world`s cartilaginous fish species, with 182 sharks, 132 rays, and 14 chimeras calling Australian waterways home and that 12 percent, or 39 species, are facing extinction.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

IPPB Ties up with Bajaj Allianz, Tata AIG for Distribution of Non-life Insurance Products

  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) announced strategic alliances with Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd. and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for distribution of their non-life insurance products across the country. As part of the alliances with both the partners, IPPB will strive to make available affordable insurance products through its network of 650 branches and over 136,000 banking access points to citizens at large.
  • The scope of products shall include healthcare and mediclaim products, personal accident, and vehicle insurance amongst other innovative tailor made products to address the protection needs of Bharat.

Flipkart Launches Marketplace 'Flipkart Xtra' to Onboard Part-time Job Seekers

  • E-commerce firm Flipkart will introduce a separate marketplace model 'Flipkart Xtra' to give flexible earning opportunities to individuals, service agencies and technicians.
  • The new platform would also help bolster its supply chain to ensure seamless and faster delivery of shipments and service to consumers across India while creating part-time opportunities for individuals.
  • Individuals will be able to onboard themselves for various roles, including delivery executives to start with, and service partners or technicians in the coming months.

RBL Bank and Mastercard Launch Campaign for a Seamless Payment Experience

  • Leveraging the festive season, RBL Bank and Mastercard launched a new festive campaign 'UseBefikar', which rewards existing cardholders with shopping offers and rewards. Featuring celebrities such as Riteish Deshmukh, Mirabai Chanu and Vikrant Massey, the campaign aims to strike a chord with cardholders at the start of the festive season.
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SPORTS

Raja Rithvik Becomes India's 70th Grandmaster

  • Raja Rithvik has become India's 70th and latest chess Grandmaster, achieving his third and final norm at an event in Hungary.
  • Former world champion and Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand praised the 17-year old Warangal native for entering the GM club.
  • Pune's Harshit Raja had become India's 69th Grandmaster.

Beijing 2022 Launches Official Slogan: "Together for a Shared Future"

  • The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics unveiled its official motto, "Together for a Shared Future", during a ceremony at the city's Capital Museum. The motto was chosen after a lengthy process that included a total of 79 different proposals. This motto embodies the Olympic spirit, the Chinese way of revealing the Olympic spirit.
  • That's because 'together' embodies a type of unity, cohesion and a way of overcoming difficulties. The Games will be held from February 4-20, with Beijing set to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Isha Kalia is New Mohali DC

  • Isha Kalia, a 2009-batch IAS officer, was appointed the new Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Mohali.
  • Prior to this, Kalia was posted as the director general school education (DGSE). She has also served as special secretary, department of health and family welfare, and as the Deputy Commissioner of Hoshiarpur, Fazilka, and Bathinda and special secretary, water supply and sanitation, and additional chief executive officer, Punjab bureau of investment promotion, and member secretary, Punjab state women commission.

BJP Prevails over AINRC, Nominates S. Selvaganapathy for RS Seat

  • The BJP prevailed over its alliance partner AINRC and nominated S. Selvaganapathy as its Rajya Sabha candidate from Puducherry.
  • As per reports, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy was pushing hard for his close aide and former Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao for the post. However, the BJP top brass was firm on nominating Selvaganapathy.
  • A former nominated MLA, Selvaganapathy runs a popular private school in the Union Territory and has an RSS background. He is also serving as the treasurer of the BJP local unit.
  • The election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Puducherry takes place on October 4. The term of incumbent AIADMK candidate N. Gokulakrishnan ends on October 6.
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DEFENCE

Surya Kiran Air Show at Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake

  • The Chandigarh Air Force Station organised in association with the administration of the Union territory an air show at the Sukhna Lake. The event held on the occasion of the Swarnim Vijay Diwas (50th year of victory) of the 1971 India-Pakistan war, saw the participation of the Surya Kiran and other aircraft to observe the country's historic victory on the battlefield. In the coming days, celebrations and air shows will be held across other parts of the country as well.
  • The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team – formally known as the 'Formation Aerobatics Units' of the IAF – is equipped with state-of-the-art Hawk aircraft built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
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DAYS AND EVENTS

International Day of Sign Languages

  • September 23 every year, marks the celebration of the International Day of Sign Languages. A day that also encourages early access to sign language and other solutions in sign language, such as high-quality education and learning, which are critical to an individual's growth and development.
  • The date of 23rd September was chosen to celebrate the beginning of an advocacy organisation whose major purpose is to preserve sign languages and deaf culture as prerequisites to the realisation of deaf people's human rights. In 2018, as part of the International Week of the Deaf, the International Day of Sign Languages was first observed.
  • The 2021 theme, declared by the World Federation of the Deaf, is 'We Sign For Human Rights', highlighting how each of us, deaf and hearing people around the world, can work together hand in hand to promote the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life.

SAARC Foreign Ministers' Meet Cancelled

  • The meeting of SAARC Foreign Ministers, which was scheduled to be held on September 25 in New York, has been cancelled due to lack of consent from the member countries over the participation of Afghanistan, a war-torn country that is now being governed by the Taliban, multiple diplomatic sources at the SAARC have confirmed.
  • This comes after the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government demanded the member states to allow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to send a representative at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers' annual meet, which was to take place on the sidelines of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
  • Pakistan's demand was unanimously opposed by all SAARC member countries.
  • The Pakistan government also wanted the SAARC chair Nepal to guarantee that the erstwhile Ashraf Ghani-led Afghan government will not represent Afghanistan at the SAARC meeting.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

S. V. Saraswati Wins National Florence Nightingale Award for 2020

  • The National Florence Nightingale Award, the highest national distinction a nurse can achieve, was conferred upon Brig SV Saraswati, deputy director-General of Military Nursing Service (MNS) for 2020.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the award in a virtual ceremony on Saraswati for her contribution as a nurse administrator.
  • Brig Saraswati is from the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and was commissioned into the MNS in December 1983. She has served in the MNS for more than three and half decades, especially in perioperative nursing.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Karnataka Assembly Passes Bill to Ban Online Gambling

  • The Karnataka Assembly passed the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill banning online gambling or betting in the state with maximum imprisonment of three years and penalty up to Rs. 1 lakh. The bill bans online games, involving all forms of wagering or betting, including in the form of tokens valued in terms of money paid before or after issue of it. It banned electronic means and virtual currency, electronic transfer of funds in connection with any game of chance. The bill is intended to curb gaming through internet or mobile applications. It also enhances the punishment for gaming for the orderly conduct of citizens and to wean them away from the vice of gambling.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

K. Kasturirangan to Head Education Ministry's Panel to Develop School Curriculum

  • The Union education ministry formed a 12-member committee to develop new curriculums for school, early childhood, teacher and adult education.
  • The panel tasked with developing four national curriculum frameworks (NCFs) is headed by National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) drafting committee chairperson K Kasturirangan.
  • Kasturirangan is also a former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • This will be the fifth NCF, which will come after a gap of 16 years, and will be in accordance with reforms outlined in the NEP.
  • The members of the panel include Chancellor of National Institute of Education Planning and Administration, Mahesh Chandra Pant; Chairman of National Book Trust, Govind Prasad Sharma; Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, Najma Akhtar; Vice Chancellor of Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh, T. V. Kattimani; Chairperson of IIM Jammu, Milind Kamble and guest professor at IIT Gandhinagar Michel Danino.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

TN CM Unveils Book on Srinivasan Services Trust

  • Commemorating 25 years of their work in rural development, the book, 'A Silent Revolution - The Journey of the Srinivasan Services Trust', was released by TN Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.
  • Chief Minister M.K. Stalin unveiled the book and Venu Srinivasan, chairman, TVS Motor Company; managing trustee, Srinivasan Services Trust, presented the first copy of the book to him. Authored by Snigdha Parupudi, the book traces the journey of the Trust, which is the social arm of Sundaram-Clayton Limited and TVS Motor Company, and how they have facilitated development by improving the lives of rural communities.
  • The book details the trust's work towards enhancing the socio-economic status of the underprivileged in rural India and the interventions of the trust across six key areas.
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ART AND CULTURE

India's Oldest Mosque Basks in Past Glory after Renovation

  • India's first-ever mosque and the oldest in the sub-continent is all set to welcome back devotees and general public after regaining its past glory and grandeur.
  • The classic beauty and humble style of the "Cherman Juma Masjid", dating back to 629 AD, was restored after a painstaking renovation and conservation process spread over nearly 30 months under the state-run Muziris Heritage Project (MHP). Located at Kodungallur taluk in this central Kerala district, the heritage structure was recreated in tune with its original character and aesthetics, at a cost of Rs. 1.14 crore.
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