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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

27 Oct 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Anita Anand Canada's New Defence Minister

  • Indian-origin Canadian politician Anita Anand was appointed as the country's new Defence Minister in a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, over a month after his Liberal Party returned power in the snap polls and amid calls for major military reforms.
  • Anand replaced long-time defence minister Indian-origin Harjit Sajjan, whose handling of the military sexual misconduct crisis was under criticism.
  • Sajjan was appointed as Minister of International Development Agency.

Imran Khan Approves Appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as New ISI Chief

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as the new chief of Pakistan's spy agency ISI, putting an end to the ongoing tiff between the government and the powerful Army over the key post.
  • The army had announced Lt Gen Anjum replacing Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI but the Prime Minister's Office withheld the official notification, saying that the civilian government was not properly consulted.

Egypt Lifts Four-year State of Emergency

  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced the lifting of a years-long nationwide state of emergency.
  • The measure had been in place since the April 2017 bombings of two Coptic churches by an affiliate of the ISIS armed group that killed more than 40 people and wounded dozens more.
  • The proclamation by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, coming amid global criticism of Egypt's human rights abuses, theoretically ends a decree that had been renewed every three months since 2017. But critics called it a superficial change that would not fundamentally alter the repressive system that has prevailed in Egypt for most of the past 40 years.
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ENVIRONMENT

Asia Suffered Hottest Year on Record in 2020

  • Asia suffered its hottest year on record in 2020, the United Nations said ahead of the COP26 summit, with extreme weather taking a heavy toll on the continent's development.
  • In its annual "State of the Climate in Asia" report, the UN's World Meteorological Organization said that every part of the region had been affected.
  • The report comes days before COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow.
  • The report also laid bare the total annual average losses due to climate-related hazards.
  • China suffered an estimated $238 billion, followed by India at $87 billion, Japan with $83 billion and South Korea on $24 billion.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

HDFC, India Post Payments Bank Tie up to Offer Home Loans

  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and HDFC Limited announced a strategic alliance to offer home loans to nearly 4.7 crore customers of IPPB.
  • India post will leverage its country-wide network of 650 branches and over 1,36,000 banking access points to make available HDFC home loan products to customers across India.
  • The partnership aims to take HDFC home loan products to customers,
  • especially those in unbanked and underserved areas with many of them having little or no access to finance.
  • According to the agreement, credit, technical and legal appraisals, processing and disbursements for all home loans will be handled by HDFC Ltd while IPPB will be responsible for sourcing of loans.

RIL-bp Launch their First Co-branded Petrol Pump in Navi Mumbai

  • Reliance Industries (RIL) and bp's fuel and mobility joint venture, Reliance BP Mobility (RBML) launched its first Jio-bp branded Mobility Station (basically a fuel pump) at Navde, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. A statement from RIL said that the existing network of over 1,400 fuel pumps will be rebranded as Jio-bp.
  • These Jio-bp Mobility Stations will bring together a range of services for consumers– including fuels with additives (RIL is calling them additivised fuels), electric vehicle charging, refreshments and food. These outlets also plan to offer more low-carbon solutions over time.

India Ranks 9th in VC Funding for Climate Tech Globally

  • According to a report, India ranked at the ninth spot globally for climate tech investment, with the country's climate tech firms receiving USD 1 billion in venture capital funding between 2016 and 2021.
  • Venture capital (VC) investment in climate technology companies has gone up globally since 2016, as per the report jointly prepared by international trade promotion agency London & Partners and Amsterdam-based database management company Dealroom.co.
  • Global climate tech venture capital investment soared from USD 6.6 billion in 2016 to USD 32.3 billion in 2021.
  • The top 10 countries for climate tech VC investment between 2016 and 2021 are -- US (USD 48 billion), China (USD 18.6 billion), Sweden (USD 5.8 billion), UK (USD 4.3 billion), France (USD 3.7 billion), Germany (USD 2.7 billion), Canada (USD 1.4 billion), Netherlands (USD 1.3 billion), India (USD 1 billion) and Singapore (USD 700 million).
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA Finds First Signs of Planet outside Milky Way Galaxy

  • NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.
  • The possible exoplanet, or planets outside of our Solar System, candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile.
  • Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.
  • An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way.
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SPORTS

No Spectators at Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar

  • Spectators will not be allowed at hockey's Junior World Cup, scheduled to begin in Bhubaneswar on November 24, and the event will be a telecast-only affair. Hockey India and International Hockey Federation (FIH) have jointly decided to hold the quadrennial tournament behind closed doors.

Hyderabad Cricket Association Unveils World's biggest Cricket Bat

  • Former India captain and now Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president Mohd Azharuddin has unveiled what is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the biggest cricket bat, designed by Pernod Ricard India (P) Ltd, on Tank Bund. The bat measures 56.10 feet, weighs 9-tonnes and is made of poplar wood. 
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Government Invites Applications for Chief Economic Adviser Post

  • The government has invited applications for the post of chief economic adviser (CEA) to replace K. V. Subramanian, who will complete his three-year tenure next month.
  • Subramanian was appointed as CEA in December 2018.
  • As per the public notice dated October 24, 2021 issued by Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, officer of central, state governments, RBI and public sector banks holding analogous post on regular basis in parent cadres or department are eligible to apply for the post.
  • Candidates from recognised universities or recognised research institutions or central regulatory bodies and registered private institutions or financial institutions are eligible.

Govt. to Set up Panel for National Employment Policy

  • The central government has planned to set up a committee for National Employment Policy (NEP), which seeks to create a roadmap for improving job opportunities in India.
  • The committee will comprise of representatives from Ministry of labour and other ministries.
  • It will also include prominent people from industry.
  • It will be a high-powered committee, of which views and recommendations will be taken.
  • The NEP seeks to create a sector-wise strategy to improve the potential of job creation by pulling investments towards employment-intensive sectors, attracting new industries by creating an enabling environment and by policy interventions. It will be created based on data from five all-India labour surveys and E-Shram portal for facilitating evidence-based policymaking to generate employment. Following the consultations, it will be sent for cabinet approval.

Yogi Government renames Faizabad Railway Junction to Ayodhya Cantt

  • The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to rename the Faizabad Junction to Ayodhya Cantt railways station. Opened in 1874, the Faizabad railway station comes under the Northern Railway zone. It falls under the Lucknow-Varanasi section. Earlier in 2018, the Yogi Adityanath government had renamed Faizabad Ayodhya on the occasion of Diwali. The BJP government also changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj and Mughalsarai railway junction as Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay junction.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo Passes Away

  • Former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, a major player in a 1979 coup who later became President in a landmark democratic election before ending his tumultuous political career in prison, died in the capital of Seoul. He was 88.
  • Roh ruled South Korea as President from 1988-1993.
  • During his five-year term, Roh aggressively pursued ties with communist nations under his "Northward Diplomacy" as communism fell in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union dissolved.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Indian Army Celebrates 75th Infantry Day

  • The Indian Army celebrates October 27 every year as the 'Infantry Day'. This year (2021) the nation celebrated its 75th Infantry Day on October 27, 2021. On this day that the 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment landed at Srinagar airbase and displayed resoluteness and extraordinary courage and became 'The Wall' to thwart the evil designs of the Pakistan Army, who had invaded Kashmir with the help of tribal raiders in 1947.
  • Infantry Day is celebrated as a remembrance of the first military event of independent India, when the First Battalion of the Sikh Regiment of Indian Army fought a battle to accomplish victory over the first attack on the Indian soil by the Pakistan Army and Lashkar invader on October 27, 1947, in the Kashmir valley, who tried to grab J&K.

India-Sweden Celebrate Innovation Day

  • India and Sweden celebrated the 8th Innovation Day on October 26. During the online event they discussed several aspects of climate change and possible solutions to bring in green transition.
  • The one-day event was divided into nine parts for discussing several aspects of climate change. Both sides also discussed possible solutions to initiate green transition.
  • In the session, they also exchanged the ideas for implementing digital technology and Artificial Intelligence in order to introduce climate-friendly solutions.
  • The online event was organised under the theme 'Accelerating India Sweden's Green Transition'.
  • India Sweden Innovation Day was hosted by "India Unlimited" in collaboration with the Embassy of India in Sweden, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Sweden-India Business Council.

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2021

  • The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is observed on October 27, every year.
  • Audio-visual Heritage Day is observed with the aim of raising general awareness among people related to the need of taking urgent measures.
  • The day also acknowledges the significance of audio-visual documents.
  • It also brings the priceless heritage of these documents to notice, telling the stories of lives & cultures from across the world.
  • The day also sensitizes people across the world for conserving and safeguarding valuable audio-visual resources for future generations.
  • The Audio-visual Heritage Day 2021 was observed under the theme "Your Window to the World". The theme highlights that, audio-visual sources provide a window in the form of documentary heritage objects, to the world.
  • This day was adopted by the 21st General Conference of the recommendations, in the year 1980, in a bid to safeguard and preserve the moving images. The day was declared by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural organization) on October 27, 2005.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Manipuri Film 'Eigi Kona' Gets Rajat Kamal Award

  • Manipuri film Eigi Kona was conferred the Rajat Kamal Award as the best regional feature film at the 67th National Film Awards in New Delhi.
  • The film has been produced by K. Sushila Leima and directed by Bobby Wahengbam and Maipaksana Haorongbam. It highlights the sorry state of ponies and polo players.
  • The 90-minute-long film was earlier well-received at reputed festivals such as Indian Panorama, 51st International Film Festival, Goa, 4th Ottawa Indian Film Festival Awards, Canada.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Delhi Cabinet to Approve Addition of Ayodhya in Free Pilgrimage Scheme

  • The Delhi Cabinet met to approve the addition of Ayodhya in its free pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens of the city.
  • According to a Delhi government statement, a special meeting of its cabinet was held to include Ayodhya in the list of pilgrimage sites under the Mukhya Mantri Teerth Yatra Yojna.
  • The people of Delhi will be able to visit the land of Lord Shri Ram and worship at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi at no expense. The Delhi government makes arrangements for AC trains, AC hotels and the best possible facilities.
  • Kejriwal said, "In Delhi, we offer free pilgrimage to the people. The pilgrims get to visit Vaishno Devi, Shirdi, Rameswaram, Dwarka, Puri, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura, Vrindavan, among many other shrines."
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Karnataka Govt. Launches 'Twinning Programme' with US College

  • The Department of Collegiate and Technical Education of the Government of Karnataka in partnership with Montgomery County Community College, Pennsylvania, USA, launched the Integrated Twinning Programme for Polytechnic students in Tourism and Hospitality, and Cybersecurity. This initiative is a first-of-its-kind in India and aims to internationalize higher education on the lines of the new National Education Policy.
  • Minister for Higher Education and Skill Development Dr. CN Ashwatha Narayan said that the programme will be offered at Sri. Jayachamarajendra (Govt.) Polytechnic, Bengaluru from the current academic year (2021-22).
  • The fees for each student for the 3 years courses would be around 20 lakh rupees (including tuition fees, boarding and lodging, local travel, and medical insurance) and it will be completely borne by the Government of Karnataka in the form of 100% scholarship for all students enrolled into the programme.
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