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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

24 Nov 2021

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Israeli Parliament Okays Bill Setting Term Limit of 8 Years for PM

  • The Israeli parliament voted in favour of a bill that would limit the service of a Prime Minister to a maximum of eight years. Lawmakers voted 66-48 in favour of the bill.
  • The vote was the first in three full rounds of votes that the bill needs to pass before becoming a law.
  • The bill is widely seen as a reaction to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was ousted by the new governing coalition after 12 consecutive years in office.
  • The bill will not be retroactive, thus not affecting the opposition leader Netanyahu should he seek to run for the post again.

U.N. Libya Envoy Bows Out as Presidential Vote Approaches

  • The United Nations' top envoy for Libya is resigning weeks ahead of presidential elections seen as critical to the country's stability after nearly a decade of chaos.
  • Jan Kubis decided to step down after just 10 months in the job. With the presidential vote set for December 24, the U.N. is working as quickly as possible to ensure continuity of leadership.
  • Mr. Kubis, a former Slovak foreign minister who previously held high-level U.N. posts in Iraq and Afghanistan, became the head of the U.N. political mission in Libya in January, after the world body sought for nearly a year to fill the sensitive job. One leading candidate turned it down, some U.N. member countries objected to other suggestions and there were changes in the job itself.

JP Morgan World's most Systemically Important Bank

  • According to the latest annual ranking of top lenders by global regulators, JP Morgan Chase became the world's most systemically important bank once again, with BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs also now deemed more systemic.
  • The Financial Stability Board (FSB), made up of regulators from G20 countries, published its latest table of the world's 30 most systemic banks.
  • Being included in the table means having to hold additional capital and undergo more intense supervision to avoid a repeat of taxpayer bailouts in the banking crisis over a decade ago.
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ENVIRONMENT

Israel, Jordan, UAE Agree on Regional Cooperation to Tackle Climate Crisis

  • Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a 'historic' agreement for regional cooperation in the fight against the climate crisis.
  • The agreement was signed in Dubai, the UAE, by the Israeli Minister of Energy Karin Elharrar, the UAE's Minister of Food and Water Security Mariam Almheiri, and Jordan's Water Minister Mohammad Najjar, with the presence of the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
  • As part of the agreement, Jordan will export 600 megawatts of green electricity to Israel, from new storage facilities that will be built under the agreement.
  • In exchange, Israel will examine the export of up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water to Jordan, from a new desalination facility to be built in Israel.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Greaves Electric Mobility Launches its Largest EV Plant in Tamil Nadu

  • Greaves Electric Mobility, the e-mobility division of Greaves Cotton Ltd said that the company's largest electric vehicle production facility in Tamil Nadu was formally inaugurated by Chief Minister M. K. Stalin.
  • The facility located in Ranipet, and is part of the Rs. 700 crore investment roadmap laid by Greaves Electric Mobility.
  • The 35-acre plant would serve as an electric mobility hub for both domestic and overseas markets.

NPCI Bharat BillPay On-boards Tata Power for Electricity Bill Payments

  • NPCI Bharat BillPay has on-boarded Tata Power on its platform through which customers will be able to pay their electricity bills in a hasslefree and seamless manner.
  • This will enable over seven lakh customers of Tata Power (Mumbai) to pay their electricity bills through ClickPay payment link.
  • NPCI Bharat BillPay, a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Payments Corporation of India, has announced integration with Tata Power, making it the first power company to go live on the newly launched platform.
  • Bharat BillPay's marquee offering - ClickPay will enable Tata Power customers to make monthly electricity bill payments with ease. Tata Power will generate the ClickPay link and share it with customers which will redirect them to the payment page comprising payment details.

Proptech Start-up NoBroker Enters Unicorn Club

  • Bengaluru-based NoBroker has become the first property tech start-up to enter the unicorn club, raising $210 million in its Series E round.
  • The funding was led by General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management, and Moore Strategic Ventures. This brings the funding raised by NoBroker to date to $361 million.
  • The online platform allows customers to do all manner of real estate transactions digitally, ranging from rental or outright sale to value-added services like home loans, packers and movers, legal documentation, and online rent payment.
  • It operates in six cities: Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi-NCR.
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SPORTS

CSK Ropes in TVS Eurogrip as Principal Sponsor

  • TVS Eurogrip, India's leading two and three-wheeler tyre brand, joined hands with four-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings as the principal sponsor for the next three years (2022-2024). As per reports, the deal for three years was signed for Rs. 100 crore, one of the highest among IPL teams at present.
  • The partnership will give TVS Eurogrip visibility on the front of Chennai Super Kings' famed yellow jersey. CSK has the largest and most engaged fan base amongst all IPL teams.

ICC Appoints Geoff Allardice as Permanent CEO

  • Australian Geoff Allardice was appointed as permanent CEO of the International Cricket Council after serving the role on an interim basis for more than eight months.
  • Allardice thus replaced Manu Sawhney.
  • Allardice, a former Australian first-class cricketer and administrator, was the ICC General Manager, Cricket for eight years. He had previously held a similar role at Cricket Australia.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Shimla, Coimbatore, Chandigarh Top Niti Aayog's First SDG Urban India Index

  • Shimla topped the list of cities scoring highest on urban Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) index. Coimbatore and Chandigarh were at second and third position in the ranking of urban SDG index. Thiruvananthpuram, Kochi, Panaji, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Ahmedabad and Nagpur were among the list of top 10 cities.
  • The Niti Aayog launched the SDG Urban Index & Dashboard (2021-22) which ranked 56 urban areas on 77 SDG indicators across 46 targets of the SDG framework. The index and dashboard will further strengthen SDG localization and institute robust SDG monitoring at the city level. It highlights the strengths and gaps of ULB-level data, monitoring, and reporting systems.
  • Out of 56 urban areas ranked in the index, 44 were with population of above one million. Twelve were state capitals with population of less than a million.

Congress Leader Kirti Azad Joins TMC

  • Congress leader Kirti Azad joined the Trinamool Congress in the national capital in the presence of party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
  • Besides Azad, former JDU general secretary Pavan Varma also joined the TMC.
  • Varma, a former advisor to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, was expelled from the ruling JD(U) in 2020.
  • Azad was suspended from the BJP for openly targeting the then Union finance minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities and corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association in December 2015. He joined the Congress in 2018.

Patalpani Railway Station to be Named after Tribal Icon Tantya Bhil

  • Continuing the tribal outreach and accusing Congress of crediting only one family for achieving Independence, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced to name Patalpani railway station near Indore and two other landmarks in that city after tribal icon Tantya Bhil.
  • Notably, Bhopal's Habibganj railway station was recently named after Rani Kamalapati, a tribal queen.
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DEFENCE

French and Indian Navies Conduct Drill Off Western Coast

  • French air defence frigate Chevalier Paul completed a two-day naval drill with Indian Navy missile destroyer INS Kolkata off India's western coast.
  • The two-day drill, on November 22 and 23, included air defence, anti-submarine warfare (hunting a target with the help of a P8 patrol aircraft) and anti-ship warfare (live firing of shots against a floating target and simulation of coordinating anti-ship missile firing).
  • The two sides also shared a very positive assessment of the results, which confirmed the plug and fight capacity achieved by the two navies.

Mega Multi-agency Military Exercise Conducted in Kutch

  • India's combat capability and readiness to confront any multi-dimensional security threat was elaborately tested at a four-day mega military exercise conducted in the Creek sector of the Kutch peninsula. The Sagar Shakti exercise, held from November 19 to 22, witnessed participation of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, Border Security Force, Gujarat Police and the Marine Police.
  • The high-intensity exercise was organised by the Indian Army's Southern Command and its primary aim was to test the combat readiness of the agencies in a real-time scenario.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan Passes Away

  • Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, whose iron-fisted rule of the country following a 1979 military coup sparked massive democracy protests, died at the age of 90.
  • A former military commander, Chun presided over the 1980 Gwangju army massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators, a crime for which he was later convicted and received a commuted death sentence.
  • He served as the fifth President of South Korea from 1980 to 1988.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Assam Celebrates Lachit Divas

  • Lachit Divas (Lachit Day) is celebrated annually in the Indian state of Assam on November 24, to mark the birth anniversary of the legendary Ahom army general Lachit Borphukan. Lachit Borphukan was born on 24 November 1622 in Charaideo and is known for his military intelligence in the Battle of Saraighat.
  • Every year, since 1999, the 'Lachit Borphukan Gold Medal' is awarded to the best cadet passing-out from the National Defence Academy. The 'Mahabir Lachit Award' is given by the Tai Ahom Yuva Parishad in Assam to notable personalities. The cash prize of Rs 50000 and a sword is presented under this award.
  • The Battle of Saraighat was fought between the Ram Singh-led Mughal army and the Lachit Borphukan-led Ahom army in the year 1671 on the banks of the Brahmaputra river. Chao Lachit was the Borphukan (Army general) of the Ahom army. Ram Singh, the elder son of Amber ruler Mirza Raja Jai Singh, was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to invade the Ahom kingdom. The Mughal army was larger and powerful than the Ahom army, but Lachit, with his powerful use of terrain, leadership skills and Guerrilla warfare saved Saraighat from the Mughal invasion, present-day in Guwahati. He died a natural death in April 1672 in Jorhat, and his remains are present in the Lachit Maidan near Jorhat.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Laadli Awards for Two Reporters of The Hindu

  • Two articles published by The Hindu, including one from The Metroplus supplement, have won laurels at the 11th edition of the Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for gender sensitivity 2021 (regional).
  • Soma Basu from the Madurai bureau of The Hindu Metroplus won the award for gender sensitivity in the southern region for article category for her article on the 'A parallel pandemic as domestic abuse victims trapped with their abusers'.
  • Navamy Sudhish from the Kollam bureau of The Hindu was also awarded the Laadli Media award under print features category for 'Don't set us straight' published in the Sunday Magazine section.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IIT Delhi Awards Neilom Prize

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi awarded the Neilom Prize for the year 2020-21 to graduates for contributing to the space of assistive technology to empower people with disabilities. The award was jointly presented to Richa Gupta and Girish Yadav.
  • The award, which carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, is given every year to the best outgoing student(s) of IIT Delhi for their contribution to the area of assistive technology.

Education Minister Inaugurates Centres for Nano Technology, Indian Knowledge System at IIT Guwahati

  • Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the state-of-the-art Centre for Nanotechnology and Centre for Indian Knowledge System at IIT Guwahati. He also released a book on NEP 2020 implementation. IIT Guwahati has achieved excellent rankings in the various national and international ranking systems.
  • The Centre for Nanotechnology will work towards meeting future challenges and augmenting academic partnerships with industry in Nanotechnology.
  • The Centre for Indian Knowledge System (CIKS) will focus on preserving, documenting and sustaining the knowledge that is unique to India, such as Indian classical music, Yoga, Sanskrit, traditional medicines, temple architecture, ceramic tradition and special agricultural practices of North-East India, among other things.
  • The funding for the Centre came from the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Railways to Begin Third Segment of Trains for Tourism, Bharat Gaurav Trains

  • Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that after freight and passenger segments, the railways is set to begin a third segment dedicated to the tourism sector and launch a set of around 190 theme-based trains called Bharat Gaurav trains.
  • These trains could be run both by the private sector as well as the IRCTC.
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ART AND CULTURE

Evidence of Hanukkah's Maccabee Rebellion Unearthed in Israel

  • Archaeologists have discovered the burned remains of an ancient Hellenistic fortress in Israel that fell to Jewish rebels more than 2,000 years ago.
  • A guerrilla army called the Hasmoneans, also known as the Maccabees, defeated and set fire to the citadel during the revolt that is commemorated by the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. Researchers recently found the ruined stronghold at a site in the Lachshish Forest in the foothills of the Judean Mountains in southern Israel, representatives with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
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