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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

24 Oct 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Pakistan to Stay on 'Grey List'

  • Pakistan will continue to be on the 'Grey List' of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as it needs to "further demonstrate" that action is being taken against UN-designated terrorists like India's most wanted Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, and groups led by them, the global body against terror financing said.
  • FATF president Marcus Pleyer said that the decision has been taken at the conclusion of the virtual plenary of the organisation. On the action plan of Pakistan, Paris-based FATF requires it to demonstrate terror financing investigation and prosecution of leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups and their associates.
  • The Financial Action Task Force, is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In 2001, its mandate was expanded to include terrorism financing.
  • The FATF Secretariat is located at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Pakistan Ranks 130 out of 139 Countries in Adherence to Rule of Law

  • The World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index 2021 report shows that Pakistan is among the lowest ranked countries in its adherence to the rule of law, ranking 130th out of 139 nations. Scores range from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating the strongest adherence to the rule of law. Pakistan managed a poor 0.39 score.
  • Even in South Asia, Pakistan's position is second last. Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh all have performed better than Pakistan in the rule of law category whereas only Afghanistan is rated below Pakistan in the region.
  • The report shows Pakistan doing badly in the areas of corruption, fundamental rights, order and security and regulatory enforcement. In these areas Pakistan is the second worst in the region.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

HDFC Bank, USAID, Others Launch $100-mn Covid-19 Credit Facility for MSMEs

  • HDFC Bank in partnership with Mastercard, US International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) and US Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a USD-100 million credit facility to promote and encourage small businesses in India to digitise while also helping them, particularly women-owned ones, to recover from the pandemic.
  • The credit facility will extend working capital loans to small businesses that need financing to support their digitisation and recovery from the effects of the pandemic. The facility will be available only to new credit customers with a goal of at least 50 per cent of them being woman entrepreneurs.

Adani Green Energy Subsidiary Bags 450 MW Wind Energy Project

  • Adani Green Energy subsidiary Adani Renewable Energy Holding Fifteen has received a letter of award (LOA) for setting up a 450 MW wind energy project.
  • Adani Renewable Energy Holding Fifteen Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Green Energy Limited had participated in a tender issued by Solar Energy Corporate of India Limited (SECI) for setting up 1,200 MW ISTS-connected Wind Power Project (Tranche-XI) and has received the Letter of Award (LOA) to set-up 450 MW wind power project under this tender.
  • The fixed tariff for this project capacity is Rs 2.70/ kWh for 25 years.
  • With this, AGEL now has a total renewable energy project portfolio of 20,284 MWac capacity, out of which 5,410 MWac projects are operational, 5,724 MWac projects are under construction, and 9,150 MWac projects are near construction.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Intel Unnati Data-Centric Labs

  • Intel has announced the launch of "Intel Unnati Program" on October 21, 2021 in order to help equip engineering students in India with data-centric skills that are relevant for industry.
  • Intel has also planned to setup 100 Intel Unnati Data Centric Labs by the year 2022.
  • This program was launched in order to bring academia and industry together for addressing the skills gap in new age technologies.
  • Programme also focuses on technology inclusion and seeks to broaden the access to technology infrastructure for educational institutions in all tiers.
  • These educational institutions will also get a choice of lab variants to suit their budgets as well as on the basis of where they stand in their infrastructure and technology journey.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Centenary Celebrations of Bihar Legislative Assembly

  • President Ram Nath Kovind was Patna on his three-day visit during which he graced the centenary celebrations of the Bihar Legislative Assembly building.
  • The President attended the centenary celebrations of the Bihar Legislative Assembly building, which hosted the inaugural session of the joint Bihar and Orissa Provincial Council on February 7, 1921, and addressed the members of the Bihar Legislature. All the legislators, including former MLAs and members of Parliament were invited for the function.
  • Kovind was the Governor of Bihar before getting elevated to the country's top position in 2017.
  • The Bihar assembly building, which is an iconic structure designed by AN Millwood and was called the Council Chamber in the beginning, has been exquisitely decorated for the event.

Harish Chaudhary is New AICC in-charge for Punjab

  • The Congress appointed Harish Chaudhary as in-charge for party affairs in Punjab, relieving Harish Rawat, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.
  • Chaudhary, who was the AICC secretary for Punjab, has also been made the in-charge for Chandigarh.
  • Rawat had urged the party high-command to relieve him as general secretary in-charge for Punjab affairs in view of the upcoming assembly elections in Uttarakhand.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Development Information Day

  • The United Nations celebrates World Development Information Day every year on October 24.
  • The UN General Assembly in 1972 established the World Development Information Day to direct people's attention toward developmental problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.
  • The main aim of this day is to propagate information and mobilise public opinion in order to draw their attention and create awareness of the problems surrounding development, promoting efforts in the field of international cooperation for growth and development.

Raising day of Indo Tibetan Border Police

  • Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) observed its raising Day on 24th October. The ITBP was raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression and it has a strength of about 90,000 personnel with 60 battalions on the ground.
  • ITBP is one of the five bodies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). It keeps Vigil on the northern borders and prevents border violations. It checks illegal immigration, trans-border smuggling, and maintains peace.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award at 52nd IFFI

  • Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur announced that Istvan Szabo and Martin Scorsese will be conferred the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award at the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.
  • The 52nd edition of IFFI will be held from November 20 to 28 in Goa. For the first time ever, IFFI has invited major OTT players to participate in the festival. Istvan Szabo is one of the most critically acclaimed Hungarian film directors of the past few decades known for masterpieces like Mephisto (1981) Father (1966).
  • Martin Scorsese is one of the major figures of the New Hollywood era, widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential directors in film history.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

MoRD: 152 SAKSHAM Centres Launched under DAY-NRLM

  • Ministry of Rural Development launched 152 SAKSHAM centres under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM). These centres were launched as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • About 152 Centre for Financial Literacy & Service Delivery (or SAKSHAM Centres) were launched across 77 districts in 13 states, during October 4 to 8, 2021.
  • These centres would act as one stop solution or single window system for the basic financial needs of Self-Help Group (SHG) households across the rural areas.
  • These centres were launched with the objective of providing financial literacy and facilitating the delivery of financial services like credit, savings, pensions, insurance, etc. These facilities will be provided to SHG members and rural poor.
  • These centres will be managed by SHG network, at the level of "Cluster Level Federations (CLFs)". Trained Community Resource Persons (CRPs) will also help in maintaining the centres.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book "The Origin Story of India's States"

  • A new book, released in October 2021, presents the incredible origin stories of each of India's 28 states and eight union territories.
  • "The Origin Story of India's States", published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI), is written by author Venkataraghavan Subha Srinivasan.
  • According to the publishers, the story of the birth of India's states is the story of the birth and continuing rebirth of India. The book lays out the fascinating political and historical circumstances of the birth of India's states and union territories.
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ART AND CULTURE

Human Head Carvings and Phallus-shaped Pillars Discovered in Turkey

  • Archaeologists in Turkey found evidence that an 11,000-year-old prehistoric site was used for a ceremonial parade through a building containing phallus-shaped pillars and a carving of a human head.
  • Called Karahantepe, the site is located in southern Turkey, east of Şanlıurfa, and has a series of buildings that date back to long before writing was invented. Within the remains of the buildings, archaeologists found carvings of human heads, snakes and a fox, as well as several interestingly shaped pillars.
  • For instance, the archaeologists discovered 11 pillars near a carving of a human head. "All pillars are erected and shaped like a phallus.
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