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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

19 Jan 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Electric Vehicle Sales Overtake Diesel Models for First Time in Europe

  • According to Financial Times preliminary estimates, the sale of electric vehicles (EV) in the European market has surpassed that of diesel cars for the first time ever.
  • Across 18 European markets – including the UK—more than a fifth of vehicles sold were electric, while diesel cars slumped to less than 19 per cent.
  • In December, around 176,000 battery EVs were sold in Western Europe—an all-time record high and a 6 per cent increase on December 2020 levels – while European car makers sold 160,000 diesel cars.

Nepal Names Province 2 Bordering India as 'Madhes Pradesh'

  • Nepal's south-eastern Province 2 was named Madhes Pradesh with Janakpur retained as its capital, settling a long-standing debate on the region's official reference after it was made a province in 2015.
  • Madhes is Nepal's smallest province in terms of area but second largest in terms of population. It borders Bihar in the south and has eight districts — Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, and Siraha.

Malta Legislator 3rd Woman EU Parliament President

  • Christian Democrat Roberta Metsola of Malta was elected president of the European Union's parliament, taking over for a two and a half years term following the death of Socialist David Sassoli last week.
  • Metsola is only the third woman elected to the post. She is the European Parliament's youngest president. Metsola was the candidate of the Parliament's biggest group, and she received 458 of the 616 votes cast.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

SEBI Reduces Timeline for Filing Settlement Application to 60 Days

  • Markets regulator SEBI cut the timeline for filing settlement applications to just 60 days from the current 180 days in its effort to make the system more efficient.
  • Currently, a settlement application can be filed within 60 days of the date of receipt of the show-cause notice. However, an additional 120 days can be availed by the applicants in case they pay an additional 25% over the settlement charges.
  • Now, the regulator has done away with the additional time provision of 120 days, according to a notification.
  • The move is aimed at rationalising norms on settlement proceedings.

MobiKwik, Bharat BillPay Tie-up to Launch ClickPay for Bill Payments

  • Fintech firm MobiKwik collaborated with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) Bharat BillPay to launch ClickPay for its customers. Through ClickPay, MobiKwik customers would be able to pay recurring online bills, such as mobile, gas, water, electricity, DTH, insurance and loan EMIs with ease by eliminating the need to remember individual bill details and due dates.
  • ClickPay is a two-step payment feature wherein the billers generate a unique payment link within the bill-pay message and send it to the customer allowing them to make payments directly on the payment page.

Fashion Retailer Myntra Names Nupur Nagpal as Chief HR Officer

  • Walmart-owned online fashion retailer Myntra appointed Nupur Nagpal as its chief human resources officer (CHRO) and elevated Raghu Krishnananda who was the chief technology officer, to be its chief technology and product officer (CTPO).
  • Nupur Nagpal will be responsible for leading the HR roadmap towards building and scaling the organisation as well as enriching Myntra's human capital. Nagpal joins Myntra from Sprinklr, where she was leading the people function for JAPAC markets as VP-HR. Her past experience includes leadership roles with Prione Group of Companies and Amazon in addition to stints with Tata Group, Virgin Mobile, WNS Global Services among others. An HR veteran, Nupur has over 20 years of experience in initiating and delivering organisational change, culture building, and delivering sustained business results across the e-commerce, telecom, and insurance industries.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

South Africa Launches 1st 'Made In Africa' Satellites

  • South Africa launched its first satellite constellation developed entirely in the continent of Africa. Three locally produced nanosatellites, which made up the country's first Maritime Domain Awareness Satellite (MDASat) constellation, were launched from Cape Canaveral in the United States, as part of American aerospace company SpaceX's Transporter-3 mission.
  • Transporter-3, SpaceX's third dedicated rideshare mission, carried a total of 105 spacecraft for various organisations and governments, including CubeSats, microsats, PocketQubes and orbital transfer vehicles.
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SPORTS

Unmukt Chand Becomes First Indian Cricketer to Play in a BBL Match

  • Former U-19 World Cup winning skipper Unmukt Chand became the first Indian cricketer to play in Australia's Big Bash T20 League as he made his debut for Melbourne Renegades.
  • Chand, a right-handed batsman, made his BBL debut against Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL.
  • Chand, under whose leadership India had won the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2012 in Australia, retired from all forms of Indian cricket in August last year, making him eligible to play leagues overseas.

TCS Title Sponsor of Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Virtual Race till 2026

  • IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) partnered with Canada Running Series (CRS) to become the new title sponsor and official IT services and technology consulting partner of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Virtual Race through November 2026.
  • This news follows TCS' renewal of its title and technology sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon, as well as becoming the new title and technology sponsor of the TCS London Marathon this year.
  • TCS and CRS aim to modernise marathon running in Canada through a new official race app. It will offer a first-of-its-kind calculator that will enable runners and spectators to track and offset their environmental impact. TCS will also work with CRS to create a hybrid and immersive race experience for all runners and spectators around the globe.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Punjab's Rukmani New Collector of Sriganganagar

  • Rukmani Riar is the second Punjab born officer to take charge of Sriganganagar District Collector, which is also known as "Punjab of Rajasthan".
  • Kiran Soni Gupta (Ludhiana born) was the first woman to serve as the DC of Sriganganagar. Riar became a household name in 2011 when she not only cracked Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams, but also secured an All India Rank 2 in her very first attempt.

Amit Palekar is AAP's CM candidate in Goa

  • The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced its Chief Ministerial candidate for Goa. Amit Palekar is AAP's CM candidate, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal said. The party would be contesting all the 40 Assembly seats in Goa. Palekar joined the AAP in October 2021. Palekar is an advocate by profession and comes from the Bhandari community. The Bhandari community accounts for about 35 per cent of Goa's population.
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DEFENCE

Lt Gen Manoj Pande Appointed as Next Vice Chief of Army Staff

  • The Government of India in January 2022 gave its approval to the proposal for the appointment of Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Manoj Pande as the next Vice Chief of Army Staff.
  • The Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Manoj Pande will be the next Army Vice Chief. He will be the successor to Lt Gen CP Mohanty who is scheduled to superannuate on January 31, 2022.
  • General Pande is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) in December 1982. He is a graduate of Staff College, Camberley (United Kingdom) and attended the Higher Command Course at Army War College, Mhow at Indore in Madhya Pradesh and National Defence College (NDC) at Delhi.
  • During his 37 years of distinguished service, Pande took an active part in Operation Vijay and Operation Parakram.

Indian Army Signs Contract with Pvt. Sector Aimed at 'Atmanirbhar Defence'

  • In a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in the defence sector, the Indian Army signed its first contract worth Rs. 96 crore with Anadron Systems Pvt Ltd under Make-II for Maneuverable Expendable Aerial Target.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

NDRF Celebrates Raising Day

  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrates its Raising Day every year on January 19, since it came into existence on January 19, 2006. In 2022, the NDRF observed its 17th Raising Day. There are 12 NDRF battalions located in different parts of the country and comprises as many as 13,000 NDRF personnel who work to build a safer country.
  • The NDRF has earned a good name and fame nationally and internationally with its selfless service and unmatched professionalism in disaster management. NDRF has saved more than one lakh lives in its 3100 operations and rescued/evacuated over 6.7 lakh people during disasters. NDRF is an Indian specialized force under the National Disaster Management Authority, constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to carry out the special responses in situations of threatening disaster.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Haryana Police Awarded Prestigious President's Colour

  • The President of India's Police colour was awarded to the Haryana Police for its commitment to professionalism.
  • A communication received from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Home Department stated that the "President of India approve the proposal for the Award of President of India's Police colour to Haryana Police".
  • The "President colour" was a special achievement for the force for its high rank in the service of humanity while keeping up its performance, professionalism and integrity.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Telangana Set to Push English Medium Learning in Govt .Schools

  • The Telangana state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) decided to bring legislation to introduce English medium in government schools from the next academic session in the state. It also decided to regulate fees in private educational institutions.
  • The cabinet felt that there was an increase in demand for the English medium education or English as the medium of instruction in the government schools and that parents in rural areas were ready to send their children to the government schools if were taught in English.
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