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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

24 Sep 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Narayan Khadka Nepal's New Foreign Minister

  • Senior Nepali Congress leader Narayan Khadka has been appointed Nepal's new Foreign Minister.
  • President Bidya Devi Bhandari appointed Khadka on the recommendation of the government led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
  • Khadka was administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Bhandari during an official ceremony at the Sheetal Niwas.
  • Prime Minister Deuba has been holding the portfolio till now.
  • The post of the Foreign Minister had been vacant for more than two months after the formation of the new government led by Deuba.

UN chief Appoints Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi as Sustainable Development Goals Advocate

  • Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate ahead of the start of the 76th UN General Assembly.
  • Guterres appointed Satyarthi, STEM activist Valentina Munoz Rabanal, Microsoft President Brad Smith and K-pop superstars BLACKPINK as new SDG Advocates.
  • The SDG Advocates use their considerable spheres of influence to reach new constituencies to act now and keep the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals for people and for the planet.
  • Satyarthi, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner from India, will focus on protecting and promoting the rights of children around the world.

German election: Who could succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor?

  • The race to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor is wide open, but the rivals all face the same tough challenge.
  • Mrs. Merkel has dominated German politics for 16 years as chancellor. Her would-be successors have to make their mark before the September federal election.
  • Some of the contenders are:.
  • Mr. Laschet the front runner but then his campaign faltered, mostly as a result of his own unforced errors. However, he is not out of the race.
  • Ms. Baerbock is the only woman in the race to succeed Angela Merkel, she is the Greens' first-ever candidate for chancellor. She has been an MP in the Bundestag since 2013.
  • Olaf Scholz has had a succession of senior posts in German politics. He is currently German Finance Minister and Chancellor Merkel's deputy.
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ENVIRONMENT

WHO Revises Global Air Quality, Sets New Quality Levels

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a revised Global Air Quality Guidelines, announcing more stringent limits for six pollutant categories —particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).
  • The latest WHO guidelines provide clear evidence of the damage air pollution inflicts on human health, at even lower concentrations than previously understood. The guidelines recommend new air quality levels to protect the health of populations, by reducing levels of key air pollutants, some of which also contribute to climate change.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Federal Bank Partners with OneCard to Launch Mobile-based Credit Card

  • Federal Bank announced a tie-up with OneCard for a mobile-first credit card that targets the country's young, tech-savvy population.
  • The mobile-first credit card offers in-app on-boarding, whereby the virtual card can be activated and used instantly, while the metal card is delivered to the customer in three to five days. The cards will be powered by Visa.

Automation Anywhere and Indian Oil Ink Five-year Deal

  • Automation Anywhere, a robotic process automation (RPA) firm, announced a collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), the first oil marketing company in India to speed and scale automation to drive increased innovation across its 30,000 employee-strong organisation.
  • During the first phase of a five-year plan, IOCL has automated select key processes across departments including Finance, human resources, inventory and so on using Automation 360, Automation Anywhere's artificial intelligence-powered RPA platform.

Government Launches Single Window Platform for Investors

  • Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal launched the National Single Window System for businesses and said that the portal will usher in freedom from the legacy of running to government offices for approvals and registrations.
  • The portal as of today hosts approvals across 18 central departments and 9 states, and another 14 central departments and 5 states will be added by end-December.
  • Goyal said that the single window portal will become a one-stop-shop for investors for approvals and clearances.
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SPORTS

Archery World Cup

  • The Indian women's compound archery team defeated hosts U.S.A. 226-225 to enter the finals but the men's team lost in the last-eight stage of the World Championship.
  • The seventh-seeded women's team, comprising Priya Gurjar, Muskan Kirar and Jyothi Surekha, held its nerves in a close battle with Linda Ochoa-Anderson, Paige Pearce and Makenna Proctor.
  • However, the men's team, led by the seasoned Abhishek Verma, lost 235-238 to Austria in the quarter-finals.
  • The Indian women's trio will next face top seeds Colombia in the final. Colombia defeated France 234-220 in its semi-finals match.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Rajiv Bansal Appointed Aviation Secretary

  • Air India Chairman Rajiv Bansal has been appointed as the new aviation secretary as part of a major top-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre.
  • K. Rajaraman, Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Telecommunications.
  • Rajaraman will take over the charge from Anshu Prakash who is due to superannuate on September 30.
  • Bansal, a 1988 batch lAS officer of Nagaland cadre, will replace Pradeep Singh Kharola, upon his retirement this month-end.

UP Elections 2022: BJP to Contest in Alliance with Nishad Party, Apna Dal

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be contesting the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with Nishad Party and Apna Dal, BJP's UP election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan announced.
  • Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said that the election will be fought under the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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DEFENCE

Tata-Airbus Set to Sign Rs. 22,000-cr Deal to Make Military Planes

  • The biggest military order placed on the private sector - a deal to manufacture new transport aircraft for the air force - is set to be signed, with the location for the manufacturing plant now being finalised. The Rs. 22,000-crore deal is part of a series of initiatives to promote the private sector in defence manufacturing
  • The deal with Tata - Airbus is likely to be signed, two weeks after it was given a go ahead by the Cabinet Committee on Security. The signing is likely to include top officials from Tata and Airbus besides the Ministry of Defence.

Pakistan Army Chief Inaugurates CIADBAM

  • Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa inaugurated the state-of-the-art Centre of Integrated Air Defence Battle Management called as CIADBAM.
  • Pakistan Army Air Defence is equipped with sophisticated, highly accurate and lethal long range weapon systems and the CIADBAM will provide an integrated environment for synchronised and effective articulation of Air Defence battle from top tier of command down to individual weapon systems.
  • Simulator complex in the facility is capable of projecting various dynamic scenarios which can be configured and developed as per the latest intricacies and challenges of Air Defence Battle.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Government e Marketplace (GeM) Bags Prestigious CIPS Award

  • London-based Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) has adjudged India's state-run e-commerce portal, Government e Marketplace (GeM), as the winner of the CIPS Excellence in Procurement Awards 2021 in the 'Best Use of Digital Technology' outshining contenders like Jaguar Land Rover, Royal Dutch Shell and Vendigital.
  • GeM was also shortlisted as a finalist in two additional categories—Public Procurement Project of the Year' and 'Best Initiative to Build a Diverse Supply Base'. The award was received on behalf of GeM by Rohit Vadhwana, first secretary, High Commission of India, in the UK.
  • The CIPS Awards are one of the leading recognitions around procurement globally. CIPS is a global not-for-profit organisation and professional body dedicated to promoting good practices in procurement and supply management, with a community across 150 countries.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Education Ministry Appoints Prof. Najma Akhtar as Member of National Steering Committee

  • Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) Vice-Chancellor Prof. Najma Akhtar was appointed as a member of the National Steering Committee formed by the Ministry of Education, Government of India for the development of National Curriculum Frameworks.
  • The 12 member committee under the chairmanship of space scientist and former ISRO head K Kasturirangan will develop four National Curriculum Frameworks, i.e. the National Curriculum Framework for School Education, National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education, National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education and National Curriculum Framework for Adult Education.
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ART AND CULTURE

Leh Hosts First Edition of Himalayan Film Festival

  • Leh hosted the first edition of the Himalayan Film Festival.
  • The film festival was inaugurated by Information and Broadcasting Minister, Anurag Thakur.
  • Ladakh hosted the film festival as part of the celebrations of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' to commemorate 75 years of India's Independence.
  • The five-day festival was organised with the aim of creating an interactive and exposure platform in order to promote aspiring local filmmakers as well as to showcase Ladakh as an attractive film destination.
  • This festival was organised by Leh in association with the Directorate of Film Festivals under Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
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