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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

26 Jan 2022


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Bhavish Aggarwal-led Ola Electric Valuation Tops $5 bn

  • Ola Electric, the ride-hailing firm's electric vehicle (EV) arm, raised over $200 million from Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund, Edelweiss and others. The latest round values the company at $5 billion, an increase from its previous valuation of $3 billion.
  • In October last year, Ola Electric, raised over $200 million led by Falcon Edge, Softbank and others, tripling its valuation to $3 billion. In July 2019, Ola Electric raised $250 million from Masayoshi Son's SoftBank. It was just a two-year-old firm at that time. The investment made the fledgling venture a "unicorn", or a start-up valued at more than $1 billion.

Reserve Bank of India Imposes Penalties on 8 Cooperative Banks

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed penalties on eight cooperative banks for deficiencies in their regulatory compliances.
  • The eight banks are: The Jammu Central Co-operative Bank Ltd, Jammu and the Jodhpur Nagrik Sahakari Bank, Bhadradri Co-operative Urban Bank, Rajkot Peoples Co-operative Bank, Vasai Janata Sahakari Bank, Mogaveera Co-operative Bank Ltd, Varachha Co-operative Bank Ltd and Associate Co-operative Bank Ltd.
  • The penalities are based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the banks with their respective customers.

City Union Bank Launches Fitness Watch Debit Card in tie-up with GOQii

  • City Union Bank, the oldest private sector bank in India, in association with smart-tech-enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii and powered by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), launched a wearable payment solution called CUB fitness watch debit card.
  • Customers need to hold this wristwatch in front of the PoS device during payment like tapping the card on PoS. For payments above Rs. 5,000, customers need to tap and enter their PIN. The introductory price of a smartwatch debit card is Rs. 3,499, as compared to an actual cost of Rs. 6,499).
  • Customers can set limits for their payments using Net / Mobile Banking. Payments made using this Debit Card in a Fitness Watch are safe and secure, the bank said in a statement. For each transaction done using the watch, SMS will be sent to the registered mobile number.
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NASA`s James Webb Space Telescope Reaches Gravitational Parking Spot

  • The James Webb Space Telescope arrived at its cosmic parking spot a million miles away, bringing it a step closer to its mission to unravel the mysteries of the Universe.
  • The observatory reached the so-called second Lagrange point, or L2, where it will have access to nearly half the sky at any given moment.
  • At L2, it will stay in line with the Earth as it moves around the Sun, allowing Webb's sunshield to protect its sensitive equipment from heat and light.

Facebook Parent Meta Creates Powerful AI Supercomputer

  • Facebook's parent company Meta created what it believes is among the fastest artificial intelligence supercomputers running today.
  • The social media giant hopes the machine will help lay the groundwork for its building of the metaverse, a virtual reality construct intended to supplant the internet as we know it today.
  • Supercomputers are extremely fast and powerful machines built to do complex calculations not possible with a regular home computer. Meta did not disclose where the computer is located or how much it is costing to build.
  • The computer, which is already up and running but is still being built, is called AI Research SuperCluster.
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Lucknow IPL Team to be Called Lucknow Super Giants

  • The Lucknow franchise of the Indian Premier League will be called Lucknow Super Giants after its owners announced the name chosen by its fans. The official IPL team of Lucknow, owned by RPSG Group, decided to take public opinions from its fans and the name was shared by owner Sanjiv Goenka.
  • Last year, the franchise was purchased by the Sanjiv Goenka-owned of the RPSG group for an amount of Rs. 7090 crore. The other new team to enter the competition is from Ahmedabad which was bought by the Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) for Rs. 5635 crore.

Babar Azam Named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year

  • Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was named ICC ODI Men's Cricketer of the Year following his exploits in 2021 when he scored 405 runs in six games at an average of 67.50.
  • He was the second-highest run-scorer with 228 runs and was the Player of the Match in both of Pakistan's wins in the 2-1 series victory against South Africa.
  • South Africa umpire Marais Erasmus was named the Umpire of the Year for the third time after receiving the honour in 2016 and 2017.
  • On top of the T20 World Cup final, Erasmus oversaw 20 international fixtures across the three formats in 2021.
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Under-bridge in Gujarat's Rajkot Named after General Bipin Rawat

  • The Gujarat government named an under-bridge in Rajkot after General Bipin Rawat to honour the country's first Chief of Defence Staff who died in a chopper crash in December.
  • Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inaugurated the under-bridge located in Laxmi Nagar area virtually.
  • Earlier, Rajkot Mayor Pradeep Dav had asked the CM to suggest a name for the structure, which was built at a cost of Rs. 48 crore.

Chanchal Kumar is New MD of NHIDCL

  • Chanchal Kumar was appointed as the Managing Director, National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH). He is appointed in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary. He is a 1992 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet also approved the extension in the central deputation tenure of Ashutosh Jindal, Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat for 1 year beyond February 16, 2022 to February 16, 2023.

Budget Session Part I: Different Timings for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha

  • Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will meet at separate times of a day for five hours each to ensure Covid distancing norms during the Budget Session beginning January 31.
  • Lok Sabha will meet at 11 am on February 1 for the presentation of the Union Budget and it will meet from 4 pm to 9 pm from February 2 to February 11, when the first part of the session concludes.
  • During sittings of the Lower House of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers and their galleries will be used for sitting of members in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The second part of the session will be from March 14 to April 8. But the timings of sittings are not yet clear for the Part II of the session.
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Chennai-based Data Patterns Wins Rs. 27 cr DRDO Order

  • Chennai-based vertically integrated defence and aerospace electronics solutions provider Data Patterns (India) received a development order for Rs. 27 crore from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the next generation wideband RF front end units for Electronic Warfare (EW) receivers.
  • The order is for a new programme that will allow next-generation wideband EW receivers to be configured for naval, land and aerial platforms. The wideband RF front ends allow faster scanning of enemy emitters to enable better electronic intelligence with enhanced detection and avoidance. The specifications not only allow faster scan rate but also better dynamic range providing better detection.
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International Customs Day

  • January 26 marks the celebration of International Customs Day (ICD) all across the world with the United Nations as the host. It is an annual event that is meant to acknowledge and appreciate the role that customs officials and agencies play in ensuring the smooth flow of goods across the world borders. The endeavour is to emphasise the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs.
  • The inception of the ICD dates back to 1953. The Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) formally announced the observance of ICD on January 26 that year in an inaugural session held in Brussels, Belgium. It was attended by representatives from 17 European countries. CCC was renamed World Customs Organization (WCO) in 1994. Now, WCO comprises 182 member states from all parts of the world.
  • This year, the theme chosen by WCO for ICD 2022 was 'Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem'.
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Koozhangal Gets the Best Film Award at Dhaka International Film Festival

  • P. S. Vinothraj directed film Koozhangal from India won the best film award in the Asian Film Competition section at the 20th Dhaka International Film Festival which concluded in Dhaka.
  • Apart from this, four more Indian entries were included among the 17 awards given away for the films during the concluding session.
  • The best actor award was given to Jayasurya for Ranjith Sankar-directed film Sunny. The Best Script Writer Award went to Indranil Roychowdhury and Sugata Sinha for Indranil Roychowdhury-directed India-Bangladesh film Mayar Jonjal.
  • The special audience award was given to Aimee Baruah Directed film Semkhor. Best Actor Award went to Jayasurya for Ranjith Sankar-directed film Sunny.
  • Sujit Bidari directed film Aina Jhyal Ko Putali from Nepal got the best director award.

National Start-up Awards 2021 Announced

  • National Start-up Awards 2021 was the second edition of the award ceremony, conceived by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). A total of 46 Start-ups were recognized as winners of the National Startup Awards 2021 along with 1 incubator and 1 accelerator, by the Government of India. They have been felicitated for their contribution in their respective sectors.
  • Some winners in the list:
  • State-wise, Karnataka bagged the highest number of awards, which included 14 out of 46 National Start-up Awards.
  • In fintech category's financial inclusion sub-sector, Bengaluru-based Naffa Innovations Private Limited (ToneTag) was declared the winner.
  • In fintech category's insurance sub-sector, Umbo Idtech Private Limited won the award.
  • In Robotics sub-sector, Sagar Defence was declared the winner.
  • In the women-led start-up category, Jaipur-headquartered Frontier Markets was honoured.
  • Over 2,177 applications were invited across 15 sectors and 49 sub-sectors for the award.
  • These applicants were evaluated against six broad parameters namely Innovation, Scalability, Economic Impact, Social Impact, Environmental Impact, and Inclusiveness and Diversity.
  • The National Start-up Awards recognize and reward outstanding start-ups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises.
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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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