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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

24 Jan 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Justice Ayesha Malik Becomes First Woman Judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan

  • Pakistan President Arif Alvi gave his approval to the elevation of Lahore High Court Justice Ayesha Malik as the country's first-ever woman judge of the Supreme Court, a watershed moment in the judicial history of the conservative Muslim country.
  • The historic development came just two days after the bipartisan Parliamentary Committee on the Appointment of Superior Judiciary approved the 55-year-old justice's nomination as the Supreme Court judge. The nomination was sent by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) earlier this month.
  • Justice Malik was appointed as a judge of the Lahore High Court in March 2012.

Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba Calls for Three-tier Elections within a Year

  • Nepal will hold three-tier elections within a year, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba announced, urging the country's electoral body to start preparing for the polls.
  • Addressing the nation for the first time after he assumed the top executive post six months ago, Deuba said that the tasks performed by the coalition government within a short period had created a strong foundation for political stability, good governance and prosperity for the country.
  • The tenure of the existing Parliament, as well as local bodies and provinces, is expiring by next year.

Armenia's President Resigns

  • The President of Armenia announced his resignation, complaining that his office is not granted sufficient powers to allow him to be an effective head of state.
  • Armen Sarkissian was chosen as President by the national parliament in 2018 as Armenia was transitioning from a presidential system of government to a parliamentary one. He was recommended for the job by outgoing President Serzh Sargsyan.
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ENVIRONMENT

Scientists Name New Species of Rain Frog after Greta Thunberg

  • A new species of rain frog, discovered in the Panama Jungle, was named after Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The species was named as Pristimantis gretathunbergae, or popularly known as the Greta Thunberg Rain frog. The frog was originally discovered in 2012 and was thought to be part of the already categorised Pristimantis family. However, new DNA analysis confirmed that the frog is a new species.
  • The new specimen of the tropical amphibian was discovered by an international team of biologists led by doctors Abel Batista, from Panama, and Konrad Mebert (Switzerland) in Cerro Chucantí, a private reserve located in the province of Darién. It was named after Greta Thunberg when conservation nonprofit The Rainforest Trust held an auction that allowed the winner to name new species. The frog was discovered at a reserve established by the conservation organization AdoptaBosque with support from Rainforest Trust.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

PTC India's Independent Director Rakesh Kacker Resigns

  • Rakesh Kacker, Independent Director, PTC India Ltd resigned from board expressing anguish over serious governance issues at subsidiary PTC India Financial Services Ltd (PFS). Kacker was also independent director on board of PFS till December 31, 2021.
  • Despite best efforts, the Independent Directors could not convince the management of PTC and PFS to take proper action to run the company.
  • As a result, the company is now facing serious Governance issues with several defaults of the Companies Act, 2013 and regulation of the Securities & Exchange Board of India. Due to this, the operations of the company also must have been affected, he added.

KMBL Signs MoU with GIFT SEZ

  • To strengthen the presence in the country's new financial & technology gateway, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GIFT SEZ Limited (GIFT SEZ), enabling both to work together towards greater enhancement of the financial services eco-system in GIFT IFSC for AIFs and Global Custody Services.
  • Both Kotak Mahindra Bank and GIFT SEZ (a wholly owned subsidiary company of Gujarat International Finance Tech-City Co. Ltd), will cooperate towards wide-ranging activities to improve customers' overall financial services offerings.
  • According to the MoU, one area of focus will be to ease market access and cross border activities for the fund management community.
  • Both KMBL and GIFT SEZ will jointly work on promoting the GIFT IFSC jurisdiction for AIF fund structures, holding seminars and knowledge series, ease of doing business, expansion of financial infrastructure including the custodian activities like setting up of Global Custody services, etc.

Govt. Launches Portal to Share Key Performance Indicators of Coal Sector

  • The government announced the launch of a portal, 'Koyla Darpan', to share key performance indicators related to the coal sector.
  • The portal was launched by Coal Secretary Anil Kumar Jain.
  • As an initial step, the portal has key performance indicators like coal/ lignite production, coal/ lignite offtake, exploration data, central sector schemes, status of coal stock at thermal power plants, allocation of blocks, monitoring of major coal mines, and coal price.
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SPORTS

Sindhu Wins Syed Modi International Badminton Title

  • Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu eased past young compatriot Malvika Bansod in straight games to win her second women's singles title at the Syed Modi International badminton tournament.
  • Playing in a depleted field due to multiple Covid-19 cases, top seed Sindhu hardly broke her sweat to get past Bansod 21-13 21-16 in a lop-sided title clash.
  • It was former world champion Sindhu's second Syed Modi title after having annexed the BWF World Tour Super 300 event in 2017.

Smriti Mandhana is ICC women's ODI Cricketer of the Year

  • India women cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana has been declared as the ICC women's ODI cricketer for the year 2021. Mandhana tallied 855 runs in 22 internationals at an impressive average of 38.86 with one century and five half-centuries.
  • Despite India enduring a difficult 2021, Mandhana's stock continued to rise this year. In the limited-overs series against South Africa where India won just two of the eight matches at home, Mandhana played a major role in both of the wins. She made 80 not out as India chased down 158 in the second ODI that helped them level the series and scored 48 not out in the win in the final T20I.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Amit Shah Launches District Good Governance Index in J-K

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah virtually launched the District Good Governance Index (DGGI) in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Shah said that it is in continuation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "commitment to providing a transparent and people-friendly administration" to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • This move makes Jammu and Kashmir the first Union Territory in the country to have a Good Governance Index.
  • The event was organized jointly by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) and Jammu and Kashmir Institute of Management, Public Administration and Rural Development in association with the Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad.
  • The District Good Governance Index of Jammu and Kashmir was prepared by DARPG in collaboration with the government of Jammu and Kashmir in pursuance of the announcements made in the "Behtar e-Hukumat - Kashmir Aelamia" resolution adopted on July 2, 2021, in the Regional Conference on Replication of Good Governance Practices held in Srinagar.

Republic Day: Mahatma Gandhi's favourite 'Abide With Me' Hymn Dropped from Beating Retreat Ceremony

  • According to a brochure released by the Indian Army, one of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite Christian hymns "Abide With Me" was dropped from this year's Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29.
  • "Abide With Me", written by Scottish Anglican poet and hymnologist Henry Francis Lyte in 1847, has been part of the Beating Retreat ceremony since 1950.
  • This year's ceremony will conclude with 'Sare Jahan Se Acha', the brochure stated.
  • Beating Retreat is a centuries-old military tradition dating from the days when troops disengaged from battle at sunset.

Govt. Appoints New Chairperson to PMLA Adjudicating Authority

  • Vinodanand Jha, a 1983-batch retired IRS officer was appointed as the chairperson of the PMLA Adjudicating Authority located in the national capital.
  • Mr. Jha was serving as the Member (Finance and Accounts) in the Authority since September 2018.
  • He was appointed to this post after he retired from service as the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Pune.
  • The three-member Authority is mandated to adjudicate the cases of attachment of assets orders issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and order for its continuity and further confiscation or release, considering the merits of the investigation.
  • The Authority is a mechanism provided under the PMLA to safeguard the interests of the accused against coercive action.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Veteran Express Journalist Dinkar Raikar Passes Away

  • Senior journalist Dinkar Raikar who had a long association with The Indian Express Group and later the Lokmat Group passed away. He was 79.
  • Starting his career with The Indian Express as a reporter, Raikar later became the chief of the Mumbai bureau. Soon, he transitioned to Marathi journalism by joining the daily Loksatta (Indian Express Group) as Deputy Editor. After his retirement from Loksatta, he joined the Lokmat Group and was its Aurangabad Editor before taking over as Editor of the group.
  • With a career of over five decades in journalism, Raikar had personally witnessed crucial events that shaped Maharashtra's politics and culture.

Prajakta Koli Becomes UNDP India's First Youth Climate Champion

  • Content creator and actress Prajakta Koli became India's first UN Development Programme (UNDP) Youth Climate Champion under her partnership with the organisation.
  • The title was conferred to her following her contribution towards mental health, women's rights and girl child education through various global social campaigns.
  • UNDP aims to eliminate poverty, achieve sustainable growth and scale up human development in countries where it is required the most.
  • As a part of her responsibilities now, Prajakta will be entrusted with interacting with young minds to raise awareness around climate crisis, global warming and biodiversity loss and their impacts, the tremors of which are being felt by all sections of the society, especially the poor and marginalized communities.

Eminent Archaeologist and Epigraphist R. Nagaswamy Passes Away

  • R. Nagaswamy, the first Director of the Department of Archaeology, died at the age of 91.
  • He had deep knowledge of Tamil and Sanskrit. He obtained his MA degree in Sanskrit from the University of Madras. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Indian Arts by Pune University. After serving the Department of Archaeology in various capacities, he became its director in 1966 and held the post till his retirement in 1988.
  • Nagaswamy, whose name was synonymous with archaeology in Tamil Nadu, was always available for his views on the south Indian history, its temples, ahamas, Chola bronzes and the shastras ofBharatanatyam. He always had a simple theory for the greatness of Chola bronzes.
  • He penned a book, Masterpieces of Early South Indian Bronzes, in 1983 and compiled a coffeetable bookfor the Tamil Nadu government to mark the World Classical Tamil Conference.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

National Girl Child Day

  • Every year India celebrates National Girl Child Day on January 24. In 2008, the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, decided to celebrate this day to offer support and opportunities to the girl child in India.
  • National Girl Child Day is an initiative by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It was announced in the year 2008. The day is aimed to spread awareness and empower girls from all around the country. The day is celebrated with multiple programs including awareness campaigns about Save the Girl Child, child sex ratios, and the creation of a healthy and safe environment for girls.

Bhupender Yadav Attends 4th Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation

  • The 4th Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger conservation was held in hybrid organized by the Government of Malaysia and coordinated by Global Tiger Forum (GTF).
  • India was represented by Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav, Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

International Day of Education

  • The International Day of Education is annually celebrated on January 24. The year 2022 marked the fourth year of celebration, with the theme 'Changing Course, Transforming Education'.
  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December, 2018 proclaimed the celebration of this day to mark the importance of education in ensuring peace and development. The resolution to mark this International Day of Education was authored by 59 member states. This demonstrated the unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable and quality education for all.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Sushmita Sen Wins International Association of Working Women Award

  • Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen was conferred with the International Association of Working Women Award at the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) 2021. The former Miss Universe was felicitated for outstanding performance by a female actor in a TV series for her show 'Aarya 2'.
  • The Aarya 2 series is created by Ram Madhvani and had released on December 10, 2021, on Disney+Hotstar. The DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) 2021 is organised virtually from January 16 to January 30, to showcase the best in alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and Sri Lanka.

Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe Honoured with Netaji Award

  • Former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was conferred with the Netaji Award 2022 by Netaji Research Bureau.
  • Consul General of Japan in Kolkata Nakamura Yutaka received the honour on behalf of Abe at a function at the Elgin Road residence of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary.
  • Sugata Bose, the grand-nephew of the legendary freedom fighter and Director of Netaji Research Bureau, described Abe as a great admirer of Netaji.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IGNOU Signs MoU with Skill Development ministry to Integrate Skill Training with Higher Education

  • GNOU signed an MoU with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to help integrate skill training with higher education.
  • With this MoU, the trainees affiliated to National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras and Jan Shikshan Sansthans will get a chance to join IGNOU's 3-year degree programme for higher education.
  • The aim of this MoU between Indira Gandhi National Open University and the skill development ministry is to make higher education, better livelihood opportunities available to these students which will lead to an upward mobility for them.
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ART AND CULTURE

Ruins of Bustling Roman Town Discovered in UK

  • Archaeologists uncovered the exceptionally well-preserved remains of an Iron Age village that grew into a bustling ancient Roman trading town, an archaeological gem with more than 300 Roman coins, glass vessels and water wells, in what is now the district of South Northamptonshire, England in the United Kingdom.
  • The ancient hotspot, known as Blackgrounds for its black soil, has an abundance of ancient artifacts and structures spanning different time periods, including depictions of deities and Roman game pieces, according to about 80 archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) Headland Infrastructure, who spent the past year excavating the site ahead of the construction of HS2, a new high speed railway.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A Book Titled 'The Legend of Birsa Munda' by Tuhin A Sinha & Ankita Verma

  • Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari released a book titled 'The Legend of Birsa Munda', authored by Tuhin A Sinha and co-authored by Ankita Verma. The Book is the story of a lesser-known tribal hero, Birsa Munda, who courageously fought against the oppressive British Raj for the rights of his tribal community.
  • According to the authors, "The book based on true events is a tribute to Birsa Munda who in a very short life mobilized the tribal community, rebelled against forced conversions, envisioned a fair and just society and died fighting for it. The Legend of Birsa Munda is the story of a subaltern tribal hero whose contribution to India's struggle for independence must never be forgotten."
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Jai Ram Thakur Launches App to Promote Local Handicrafts through Tourism in Kangra

  • With a view to provide a hassle-free experience for tourists and simultaneously boosting sale of local handicrafts, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched 'Apna Kangra' app and hampers handcrafted by self help groups at Dharamsala in the district.
  • He said that the motive of 'Apna Kangra' was to empower rural women and provide job opportunities to youth through tourism, while facilitating hospitality services such as hotels, homestays and transport to travellers.
  • While the app is bound to provide a unique experience for tourists on the one hand, on the other it will serve as an e-marketing platform for SHG products from the district.
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