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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

21 Oct 2021


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Biden Picks Donald Armin Blome as Pakistan Envoy

  • The United States will have a full-time ambassador in Pakistan for the first time in over three years as President Joe Biden named Donald Armin Blome, a career diplomat, as the country's new envoy to Islamabad.
  • The appointment of Blome, currently serving as the US ambassador to Tunisia, as top US diplomat to Pakistan suggests a positive development in the context of Pakistan-US ties that has often been marred by mistrust.
  • The absence of a full-time ambassador was seen as an effort by the US to downgrade its ties with Pakistan, which are considered crucial for Afghanistan and the overall regional security.
  • However, the appointment of Blome marks a shift in US policy towards Pakistan. This also indicates that there may be some positive movement in the relationship, following the recent contacts between the two countries.
  • The nomination of the new ambassador comes just days after US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visited Pakistan, underlining the fact that despite differences on certain issues the US still considered Pakistan important at least in the context of Afghanistan.

IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath to Leave Job

  • IMF's Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will leave her job in January next year and return to the prestigious Harvard University.
  • Indian-American economist had joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the Chief Economist in January 2019.
  • She was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University when she joined the Washington-based global lender.
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India at Top in Emissions Related to Crop Burning

  • Climate tech start-up, Blue Sky Analytics, published its report on emissions related to crop burning. In the report, India has been ranked at the top position.
  • As per report, India accounted for 13 per cent of total global emissions in the period of 2015-2020.
  • Report notes a 12.2 per cent contribution by India towards the cropland fire emissions in 2020 alone.
  • The data highlights the new insights into recent trends in biomass fires, including emissions from crop residue and forest residue fires in India.
  • For instance, data in report verifies the downward trend of crop fires between 2016 and 2019. As per report, GHG emissions due to cropland fires have reduced by 11.39 per cent in between 2016-2019.
  • In between 2019-20, GHG emissions have increased by 12.8 per cent. As a result of this, India's global contribution has become 12.2 per cent.
  • Blue Sky Analytics is the Indian Climate tech start-up. It was founded by an IIT alumnus. It is a part of global coalition called "Climate TRACE".
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Tata AIG Announces Launch of RPAS Insurance and Distribution Tie-up with TropoGo

  • Tata AIG General Insurance announced the launch of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Insurance and distribution tie up with TropoGo. Tropogo has successfully established an integrated marketplace providing a one-stop shop for the complete drone ecosystem.
  • Tata AIG has been at the forefront and has closely engaged with the Drone Federation of India to understand the various types of risks faced by drone owners and operators. Tata AIG's RPAS Insurance is a comprehensive product covering both Hull and Third-Party Liability risks faced by them. Tata AIG's RPAS insurance also provides optional coverage for BVLOS operations, night flying, data loss liability etc.
  • With the influx of new and exciting drone technologies and the recent policy changes in India, the already highly active community of drone manufacturers, tech start-ups, and enthusiasts are excited to make India a drone hub by 2030. Ministry of Civil Aviation foresees an investment of over INR 5000 crore in the drone manufacturing industry over three years leading to annual sales turnover reaching over INR 900 crores in FY 2023-24.

RBI Penalises Paytm Payment Bank and Western Union Financial Services

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a monetary penalty of Rs. 1 crore on Paytm Payments Bank for submitting information that did not reflect the factual position, which, according to the central bank, is an offence under Section 26 (2) of the Payments and Settlement Act.
  • The central bank has also imposed a penalty of Rs. 27.78 lakh on Western Union Financial Services for non-compliance with Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) directions.
  • Paytm Payments Bank is an Indian payments bank, founded in 2015 and headquartered in Noida. In 2015, it received the license to run a payments bank from the Reserve Bank of India. It was launched in November 2017.

AMFI Appoints Balasubramanian as Chairman

  • A. Balasubramanian was appointed as the new Chairman of the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). He replaced Nilesh Shah, the Managing Director of Kotak Mutual Fund. Balasubramanian is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aditya Birla Sun Life Asset Management. Meanwhile, Radhika Gupta, the MD and CEO of Edelweiss AMC, was appointed as vice-chair of AMFI.
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Scientists Create most Detailed Map of Uranus' Mysterious Auroras

  • Scientists have imaged the whole globe of Uranus in the infrared part of the light spectrum for the first time, hoping to shed light on the planet's mysterious auroras and weird magnetic field.
  • The scientists, based at the University of Leicester in the U.K., used NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii to look at the odd ice giant that orbits the sun 19 times farther away than Earth does.
  • Just like on Earth, auroras on Uranus are triggered by the interaction of the solar wind, the stream of charged particles emanating from the sun, with the planet's magnetic field. But because so much is different about Uranus compared to our planet, these auroras behave very differently than the Earth's famous northern and southern polar lights.

TRUTH Social: Donald Trump's New Social Media Platform

  • Former US President, Donald Trump, launched his own social media network called "TRUTH Social".
  • This platform was launched after Donald Trump faced bans from Facebook and Twitter.
  • Trump's social media platform will stand up to the pattern of Big Tech.
  • This app is the first project of "Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG)" following its merger with Digital World Acquisition Group. Former US President, Trump, is the chairman of the group.
  • Former President of United States launched this platform as his social media accounts either got temporarily suspended or even banned due to his controversial posts. Accounts were suspended following the attack on the Capitol back in January 2021.
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James Pattinson Retires from International Cricket

  • Australian fast bowler James Pattinson, once one of the most feared bowlers in the cricket world, has retired from international cricket.
  • The right-armer played 21 Test Matches, 15 One-Day Internationals and 4 T20 Internationals for Australia. He has played 76 first-class games for Victoria. He took 81 wickets at 26.33 in his Test career and has 302 wickets at 22.52 in first-class cricket.

Beijing Lights Olympic Flame

  • China lit its Olympic flame in Beijing after the ceremonial torch arrived from Athens, ahead of the Chinese capital's hosting of the 2022 Winter Games in February.
  • The Winter Games will be held from February 4 to February 20, when Beijing will become the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympics, amid a COVID-19 pandemic that means overseas spectators will be excluded.
  • At a welcome ceremony held near the National Stadium, shaped like a bird's nest and built for the 2008 Summer Games, Beijing Communist Party chief Cai Qi lit a cauldron to symbolise the arrival of the Olympic flame in China.
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Amarinder Singh to Launch His Own Party

  • Congress leader and former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that he would soon announce his own political party and is hopeful of a seat arrangement with the BJP if the farmers' issue is resolved in their interest.
  • Singh resigned as chief minister of Punjab last month after a bitter feud with Navjot Singh Sidhu and infighting in the state Congress. The party replaced him with Charanjit Singh Channi.

Samajwadi Party Forms Alliance with Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party

  • Samajwadi Party entered into an alliance with OP Rajbhar's Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2022.
  • Earlier, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had said that unlike last time his party would not align with any major political force in the state, but would go with smaller parties.
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CoinDCX in 2021 Ropes Ayushmann Khurrana

  • Cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX announced that it has signed actor Ayushmann Khurana as the face for its latest campaign 'Future Yahi Hain'. The drive is launched to address key concerns surrounding crypto investments amongst the Indian audience.
  • The kickoff ad to be released during the festive season will feature the actor taking a humorous yet informative approach on crypto, busting myths around the subject.
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Police Commemoration Day

  • Every year, October 21 is celebrated as the Police Commemoration Day, to pay tributes to all police personnel who died in the line of duty. Last year, tributes were also paid to the cops who lost their lives due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
  • The Police Commemoration Day remembers the ultimate sacrifice of 10 police personnel who lost their lives on October 21, 1959 in Ladakh while fighting the Chinese army.
  • The Chinese army opened fire and threw grenades at the Indian police party which comprised 20 personnel. Apart from the 10 personnel who were martyred, seven were taken as prisoners and the remaining three managed to escape.
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Jailed Alexei Navalny Wins EU's Sakharov Prize

  • Imprisoned Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was awarded the European Union's top human rights prize in a clear slap to President Vladimir Putin.
  • In awarding the Sakharov Prize to Mr. Navalny, the European Parliament praised his immense personal bravery. The activist was poisoned with a nerve agent last year and promptly arrested upon his return to Moscow from treatment in Germany and later imprisoned.
  • He has campaigned consistently against the corruption of Vladimir Putin's regime, and through his social media accounts and political campaigns, Navalny has helped expose abuses and mobilise the support of millions of people across Russia.
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Mukhyamantri Ration Aapke Dwar Yojana

  • State cabinet of Madhya Pradesh in its meeting decided to implement Mukhya Mantri Ration Aapke Dwar scheme.
  • Mukhya Mantri Ration Aapke Dwar Scheme will be implemented to benefit the poor tribal families.
  • It will be implemented in tribal development blocks of state excluding those blocks which fall under districts which are undergoing bypolls.
  • The scheme is going to benefit tribal families of around 7511 villages in 74 development blocks of 16 districts.
  • Ration will be distributed from headquarters village as well as by transporting it through vehicle across other villages attached to the shop.
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Book 'Stars In My Sky' by Divya Dutta

  • National Award-winning actress Divya Dutta has come up with her second book titled, "The Stars in My Sky: Those Who Brightened My Film Journey". The book, published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI), was released in October 2021. In her new book, Divya Dutta shares her experiences with some of the stalwarts of Bollywood who played a significant role in her film career.
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