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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

16 Jan 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Joe Biden Nominates 3 for Fed Board, Including First Black Woman

  • President Joe Biden announced the nominations of three people for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, including Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed and Treasury official, for the top regulatory slot and Lisa Cook, who would be the first Black woman to serve on the Fed's board.
  • Biden also nominated Phillip Jefferson, an economist, dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina and a former Fed researcher.
  • The three nominees, who will have to be confirmed by the Senate, would fill out the Fed's seven-member board.
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ENVIRONMENT

2021 was Fifth Warmest in India Since 1901: IMD

  • According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), 2021 was the fifth warmest year in India since 1901 with the country recording its annual mean air temperature at 0.44 degree Celsius above normal.
  • 2021 was the fifth warmest year after 2016, 2009, 2017 and 2010 since 1901," the IMD's annual climate statement, 2021, stated.
  • The warm temperature during winter and post-monsoon season mainly contributed to this. The 2021 annual rainfall over the country as a whole was 105 per cent of its LPA based on the 1961-2010 period.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Hero MotoCorp Expands Operations in El Salvador, Opens New Flagship Store

  • Two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp expanded operations in El Salvador with the commencement of retail sales at a newly opened flagship outlet in the country's capital city San Salvador.
  • The company has a distribution network of over 200 touchpoints, including five company-owned showrooms, 15 dealerships, 85 retail and 26 spare part outlets and service centres across 14 cities in El Salvador.
  • Hero MotoCorp's product range in El Salvador includes motorcycles from the premium to entry levels, including the XPulse 200, XPulse 200T, Hunk 160R, Hunk 190R, Hunk 150, Ignitor 125, Eco150, Eco 125 and Dash 125 scooter.

Megha Engineering, Adani Gas Top Winners of City Gas Distribution Licences

  • Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) walked away with the most 15 licences to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in the latest city gas bidding round, while a joint venture of billionaire Gautam Adani's gas arm and Total of France got 14 licences.
  • According to the results of the bid opening for the 11th round of city gas distribution (CGD) bidding, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) stands to get nine licences and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) 6.

RBI Proposes New Norms for Classification of Banks' Investment Portfolio

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposed new norms for the classification and valuation of the investment portfolio of banks, with a view to align them with the global prudential framework and accounting standards.
  • According to the proposed norms, the investment portfolio of banks will be divided into three categories held-to-maturity (HTM), available for sale (AFS), and fair value through profit and loss account (FVTPL).
  • Within FVTPL, held-for-trading (HFT) shall be a sub-category aligned with the specifications of 'Trading Book' as per the Basel-III framework.
  • The new bank portfolio classification norms will come into effect from April 1, 2023.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

China Builds 'Artificial Moon' for Gravity Experiment

  • Chinese scientists have built an "artificial moon" research facility that will enable them to simulate low-gravity environments using magnetism.
  • The facility, slated for official launch this year, will use powerful magnetic fields inside a 2-foot-diameter (60 centimeters) vacuum chamber to make gravity "disappear." The scientists were inspired by an earlier experiment that used magnets to levitate a frog.
  • Scientists plan to use the facility to test technology in prolonged low-gravity environments before it is sent to the moon, where gravity is just one-sixth of its strength on Earth. This will allow them to iron out any costly technical kinks, as well as test whether certain structures will survive on the moon's surface and assess the viability of a human settlement there.
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SPORTS

AISCD Gets Approval to Hold First World Deaf T20 Cricket Championship 2023

  • The All India Sports Council of the Deaf got approval from the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) to host the first World Deaf T20 Cricket Championship in Kerala from January 10-20, 2023. This championship was planned to be conducted in 2020-21 but due to the sudden outbreak of coronavirus, it was postponed first to 2022 & now fixed for 2023. A minimum of eight countries are expected to take part in the championship and this kind of international event is being held in India with the approval of the ICSD for the first time."
  • AISCD is the only Centre-recognised national sports federation for the deaf, while the ICSD is the only international federation recognized as governing body of the deaf sports movement and Deaflympics sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee.

Kohli Quits as India's Test Captain after Seven Years

  • Virat Kohli stepped down as the Test captain of the Indian national cricket team after seven years. He first led the national side in Test cricket in 2014 against Australia. He guided the team to an unprecedented back-to-back Test series wins Down Under. Kohli also thanked former head coach Ravi Shastri and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his statement.
  • In 2021, India also finished as the runners-up in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship. Kohli in 2021 stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain ahead of the South Africa tour. India also became a top-ranked Test side in the world.
 
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Defence Ministry Launches Raksha Pension Shikayat Nivaran Portal

  • The Defence Ministry set up an online portal 'Raksha Pension Shikayat Nivaran Portal' to resolve pension-related grievances of ex-servicemen (ESM) and their dependents.
  • The portal will allow them to lodge grievances directly with the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW.
  • An application of the portal will auto-generate and forward SMS and email to the applicants on their registered number and email, intimating confirmation and tracking status.

World's Largest khadi National Flag on display in Jaisalmer

  • The Monumental National Flag, which is the world's largest national flag made of Khadi fabric, was put on a grand public display along the India Pakistan border in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan to celebrate "Army Day".
  • The Monumental National Flag was displayed at Longewala, which was the center stage of the historic battle between India and Pakistan in 1971.
  • This was the fifth public display of the National Flag since its unveiling in Leh on October 2, 2021. It was, later on, displayed at Hindon Airbase on the occasion of Air Force Day on October 8, 2021 and at the Red Fort on October 21, 2021, that marked the completion of 100 crore Covid-19 vaccinations in India. On December 4, 2021, the Monumental National Flag was displayed at the Naval Dockyard near the Gateway of India in Mumbai to celebrate Navy Day.
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DEFENCE

India Undertakes Maritime Partnership Exercise with Japan

  • Indian Naval Ships Shivalik & Kadmatt undertook Maritime Partnership Exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Ships Uraga and Hirado in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The exercise included a wide range of flying operations, replenishment approaches and tactical manoeuvres.
  • The precision, coordination and high level of interoperability reflected not only the high standards of professionalism and preparedness the two navies maintain to counter threats at sea, but also the high level of trust and understanding that they have built over the years.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

18th Kachai Lemon Festival Begins in Manipur 2022

  • The 18th edition of the two days long Kachai Lemon Festival began in Manipur at the Local Ground of Kachai Village in Ukhrul district. The Kachai Lemon Festival is organised annually to promote this unique kind of lemon fruit and to encourage lemon farmers. This year, altogether 260 stalls are put up at the festival showcasing the rich reap of lemon this year. This year the festival is being organised under the theme 'Organic Kachai Lemon for Safe Environment and Rural Transformation'. A training program for lemon farmers will be held tomorrow as part of the festival.
  • Kachai Lemon of Manipur has been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) registration tag and widely grown in the Kachai Village of Ukhrul district. Unlike the other lemon varieties grown in other parts of the world, Kachai Lemon is considered to be unique as it is a rich source of ascorbic acid and famous for its juice content.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Clive Lloyd Awarded Knighthood for His Services to Cricket

  • Clive Lloyd, the former Captain of the West Indies Cricket team, was given the honour of knighthood for his services to the game of Cricket. The investiture was performed by the Duke of Cambridge at Windsor Castle. The Cricket West Indies (CWI) also congratulated Clive Llyod on receiving the knighthood.
  • One of the most significant contributions of Clive Lloyd to West Indies cricket was the winning of the inaugural Cricket World Cup tournament in 1975. It was under Lloyd's Captaincy that West Indies lifted the trophy against Australia.
  • Clive was also the first West Indian player to earn 100 international caps. He captained the West Indies cricket team in three World Cups, winning in 1975 and 1979 while losing in the 1983 final to India under Kapil Dev's leadership.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Indian-origin Professor Appointed Oxford University Business School Dean

  • The University of Oxford was appointed Indian-origin academic Professor Soumitra Dutta as the new Dean of its Sad Business School.
  • Professor Dutta, currently Professor of Management at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University in New York, will take up his new UK post on June 1 this year.
  • Professor Dutta also serves on the boards of listed international corporations, has founded several successful start-ups, co-chaired the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Innovation Ecosystems and created major global technology and innovation indices.
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