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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

08 Oct 2021


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Piramal Group to Demerge Financial, Pharma Business into Separate Listed Entities

  • A decade after selling its branded formulations business to US-major Abbott Laboratories for $3.72 billion, the Ajay Piramal Group has announced it would demerge its pharmaceutical and financial services arms into separate listed entities.
  • With an FY21 turnover of Rs. 5,776 crore, Piramal Pharma will rank among the top 10 pharma companies in the country by revenue.
  • As per reports, PHL Fininvest, the non-banking financial company (NBFC), will be amalgamated with Piramal Enterprises (PEL) to create a large listed NBFC in India.

NTPC, Électricit de France Ink Pact for Int'l Power Project Opportunities

  • State-run power giant NTPC inked a pact with Électricit de France S.A. (EDF) for cooperation in international power sector.
  • EDF, one of the world's leading power sector companies headquartered in Paris, France, and NTPC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore potential power project development opportunities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa.
  • The two companies will also collaborate for knowledge sharing, research and development, technical services and consultancy assignments globally.
  • EDF and NTPC will jointly explore the possibility of power project development in the countries of mutual interest, as well as exchange knowledge and technical expertise.

RBI Monetary Policy October 2021

  • The Reserve Bank of India kept the key policy rates unchanged in its bi-monthly Monetary Policy review.
  • The central bank announcing the outcome of its bi-monthly Monetary Policy rates in October said that it has decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent and the reverse repo rate at 3.35 per cent. Repo is the rate at which RBI lends funds to commercial banks when needed. It is a tool that the central bank uses to control inflation. The reverse repo rate is the rate at which the RBI borrows from banks.
  • The MPC kept the key benchmark rate unchanged in its last seven reviews. This is the eighth time in a row that MPC has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged. RBI had last revised its policy rate on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting interest rates to a historic low.
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China's Moon Mission Returned Youngest ever Lava

  • The rock samples brought back from the Moon in December by China's Chang'e-5 mission were really young.
  • It's all relative, of course, but the analysis shows the basalt material - the solidified remnants of a lava flow - to be just two billion years old.
  • Compare this with the samples returned by the Apollo astronaut missions. They were all over three billion years of age.
  • China's robotic Chang'e-5 mission was sent to a site on the lunar nearside called Oceanus Procellarum.
  • It was carefully chosen to add to the sum of knowledge gained from previous sample returns - the last of which was conducted by a Soviet probe in 1976.

UAE Annouces Probe Targeting Asteroids between Mars and Jupiter

  • United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its plan to send a probe on an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter for collecting data regarding origins of the universe.
  • If this mission is successful, UAE will join the elite club of the European Union, Japan and the United States. These countries have already completed its mission either an asteroid or a comet.
  • UAE's mission would remain behind on the asteroid and transmit back the information regarding the composition of asteroid on the Earth.
  • Project will be launched in 2028 and will landing on asteroid in 2033.
  • During a five-year journey, spacecraft will travel around 3.6 billion kilometres.
  • It will need to slingshot first across Venus and then Earth for gathering enough speed to reach an asteroid located around 560 million kilometres away.

Starscapes Launches Second Astronomical Observatory in Bhimtal, Uttrakhand

  • Starscapes, India's first and only chain of observatories, has come up with its news launch; a second, new, public observatory in Uttarakhand. The new observatory 'Stargate Observatory Bhimtal' by Starscapes Experiences Pvt Ltd is situated in Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal Main Road. The place is easily accessible from all the main tourist spots present in the district.
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Anshu Malik Wins Historic Silver at World Wrestling

  • India will have to wait for its first woman world champion in wrestling as Anshu Malik settled for a silver medal after losing her 57 kg final to 2016 Olympic champion Helen Lousie Maroulis but Sarita Mor grabbed her maiden medal at the big stage by winning the 59 kg bronze, in Oslo, Norway.

Germany Unveils Euro 2024 Championship Logo

  • Germany unveiled the logo for soccer's 2024 European Championship during a ceremony with a light show in the stadium that will hold the final. The logo features an outline of the Henri Delaunay Cup, the bulbous tournament trophy , set on a coloured oval outline that resembles the Olympiastadion's roof. It features colours from the flags of UEFA's 55 member nations, set in 24 slices around the trophy to represent the 24 teams that will ultimately qualify for the tournament in Germany.
  • Logos for each of the 10 host cities; Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart were also presented. The tournament is due to be played in June and July 2024 with the match schedule to be confirmed next year.
  • Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, with the final held in the refurbished Olympiastadion. The stadium was originally built for the 1936 Olympic Games hosted by Nazi Germany. West Germany also hosted the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championship in 1988.
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Mamata Banerjee, Two other TMC Lawmakers Sworn in as Assembly Members

  • In a break from tradition, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was administered the oath as a member of the state Assembly by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
  • Banerjee, who won the Bhabanipur by-poll by a margin of 58,835 votes, a record for the seat, took the oath in Bengali.
  • Two other newly-elected TMC legislators Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam also took oath soon afterwards.
  • Jakir Hossain was declared victorious by a huge margin of 92,480 votes from Jangipur, Amirul Islam won from Samserganj by 26,379 votes.

BJP Releases 80-member National Executive List

  • BJP president J P Nadda announced the 80-member National Executive of the party, with the names of its top brass, ranging from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to many Union Ministers, several state leaders and veterans like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi figuring on the list.
  • BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who has been speaking in support of farmers during their ongoing stir against the three agri laws, his MP mother Maneka Gandhi and former Union minister Birender Singh, who has also been supportive of the agitation, have been dropped as executive members.
  • Besides 80 regular members, the executive will also have 50 special invitees and 179 permanent invitees.

India Joins 70-nation Group to Protect Environment

  • India officially joined the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, a group of more than 70 countries encouraging the adoption of global goal to protect at least 30 per cent the of world's land and ocean by 2030 (30 x 30). Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary Rameshwar Prasad Gupta handed over the signed agreement in that regard to French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain.
  • HAC members currently include a mix of countries in the global north and south, European, Latin American, African and Asian countries. India is the first member of the BRICS bloc to join the HAC.
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Discussions with US Underway on S-400 Missile Defence Deal

  • India said that discussions are going on with the US on the S-400 missile defence deal, a day after US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman expressed unease over New Delhi's procurement of the Russian weapons system.
  • Sherman said that any decision on possible sanctions on the S-400 deal will be made by President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • The issue of India procuring the S-400 missile system from Russia figured in Sherman's wide-ranging talks with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and both sides hoped to find a way out on the issue through dialogue.
  • The US has already imposed sanctions on Turkey under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for the purchase of S-400 missile defences from Russia.
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Fire-Boltt Appoints Virat Kohli as its Brand Ambassador

  • Fire-Boltt appointed of Virat Kohli as its new brand ambassador. Kohli will participate in different marketing, ad, and endorsement campaigns of the homegrown brand. "Virat Kohli is a role model for not just Indians but cricket lovers around the globe.
  • Fire-Boltt is a wearable, gaming, and audio brand offering a bouquet of premium quality audio, fitness, and fashion products. The products by Fire-Boltt include smartwatches, bluetooth earphones, bluetooth headphones, true wireless earbuds, bluetooth speakers, sound bars, lifestyle shoes, among others.
  • It is founded by Arnav Kishore and Aayushi Kishore.
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Indian Air Force Day

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) marked its raising day, which is observed annually on October 8 as IAF Day. The year 2021 marked 89 years since the IAF's foundation, and, as always, celebrations took place at the Hindon Air Force Station in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad in the presence of the Chief of Air Staff and senior officials of the three armed forces.
  • The IAF was established on October 8, 1932, as a supporting force of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force. Initially known as the Royal Indian Air Force, the prefix Royal was dropped in 1950 when India transitioned into a Republic. The IAF is the air wing of the Indian Armed Forces and the fourth largest air force in the world. It is headed by an Air Chief Marshal (ACM), while the President of India is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
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Nobel Literature Prize: Abdulrazak Gurnah Wins Award

  • Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for works that explore the legacies of imperialism on uprooted individuals.
  • The award was in recognition of his "uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents".
  • Born in Zanzibar in 1948 and based in England, Gurnah is a professor at the University of Kent. He is the author of 10 novels, including "Paradise," which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994.
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Andhra Government Launches 'Swechha' Programme

  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the 'Swechha' programme to tackle the stigma attached to menstruation, prioritize female personal hygiene, and encourage a healthy dialogue of information. 'Swechha' (meaning freedom) is intended to ensure affordable access to health and menstrual hygiene in adolescent girls and women.
  • Under the initiative:
  • The state government will provide good quality branded sanitary napkins to female students at government educational institutions free of cost.
  • Ten sanitary napkins will be given every month to about 10 lakh adolescent girls studying from 7th-12th grades in all government schools and intermediate colleges across the state at a financial outlay of INR 32 crores.
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