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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

28 Jan 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Xiomara Castro: Honduras' First Female President Sworn In

  • Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras' first female President, amid a political crisis that threatens her plans for the impoverished nation.
  • She took the lead of a broken" country - but vowed to pursue social justice and transparency.
  • Ms. Casto promised to tackle powerful drug trafficking gangs and liberalise strict abortion laws.
  • But her agenda was undermined by a feud in her Libre (Free) Party.
  • Ms. Castro's husband, Manuel Zelaya, ruled the country from 2006 until 2009, when he was ousted by a coup. She ran for office twice in the years following his removal from power, before her victory in the election in November 2021.
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ENVIRONMENT

Kerala Gets its First-ever Scientific Bird Atlas

  • Kerala Bird Atlas (KBA), the first-of-its-kind State-level bird atlas in India, has created solid baseline data about the distribution and abundance of bird species across all major habitats, giving an impetus to futuristic studies. It is being conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1,000 volunteers of the birdwatching community KBA has been prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year.
  • Conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1000 volunteers of the bird watching community, KBA was prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year during the wet (July to September) and dry (January to March) seasons between 2015 and 2020.

New Lizard Species Discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

  • A team of researchers from India and Russia unearthed an unknown group of lizards of the family of skinks from Arunachal Pradesh. The team comprised researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore (NCBS), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai (BNHS), Abasaheb Garware College, Pune (AGC) and Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat (VNSGU) and Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow (LMSU).
  • The new genus and species, Protoblepharus Apatani, was discovered by the team who earlier discovered the Salazar pit viper and several other new species of snakes and lizards from the state, which were found during their expedition in 2019.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Tata Group Takes over Air India

  • The process of Air India disinvestment got completed with the government officially handing over the management control of the airlines to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Group's holding company.
  • After a competitive bidding process, the government had on October 8 last year sold Air India to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Group's holding company, for Rs. 18,000 crore.
  • As a part of the deal, the Tata group has also been handed over Air India Express and a 50 percent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS.
  • While this will be the first privatisation since 2003-04, Air India will be the third airline brand in the Tata Group's stable, it holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.

Airtel Africa Inducted into London Stock Exchange's FTSE 100 Index

  • Bharti Airtel's subsidiary Airtel Africa was inducted into the London Stock Exchange's (LSE) FTSE 100 index.
  • Airtel Africa was listed on LSE in June 2019 and had a market capitalisation of $ 7.5 billion on Wednesday.
  • This is a significant milestone for Airtel Africa which becomes part of FTSE 100 index in just two and half years of listing. Airtel Africa is a strong player in the continent which has emerged as the next growth frontier globally.

Paytm's Madhur Deora Gets Additional Role as CFO of One97 Communications

  • Paytm, India's leading digital payments and financial services platform, elevated Madhur Deora to take on the additional responsibility as the CFO of One97 Communications Limited. Currently, Deora holds the role of the company's Group President and CFO.
  • In December 2021, the company, in an exchange filing, had talked about Deora's additional responsibilities, while a recent MCA filing now shows his appointment as the CFO.
  • Deora has been associated with the company for five years now. He holds a bachelor's degree of science in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
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SPORTS

Asian Games 2022

  • The 2022 Asian Games will take place from September 10 to September 25, 2022, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China and there will be five co-host cities.
  • The multi-sporting event will feature 40 sports with a total of 61 disciplines, including Olympic sports like swimming, archery, athletics, badminton, equestrian, fencing, football, hockey, judo, kabaddi, and much more.
  • E-sports and breakdancing will debut in the 2022 Asian Games as full medal sports after being approved by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) this year, while Cricket will be back at Asian Games in T20 format to raise the excitement of the viewers.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Jagan Govt. Carves Out 13 New Districts in Andhra

  • The Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy government carved out 13 new districts from the existing 13 districts in Andhra Pradesh by delimitation of their boundaries for better administration and development of the areas.
  • According to a notification, the reorganisation of the districts was done under the Section 3 of the Andhra Pradesh Districts (Formation) Act, 1974. It has called for objections or suggestions in writing on the proposal from the people, who are likely to be affected by this decision, to be submitted to the district collector within 30 days.
  • The new districts and their headquarters (in brackets) are: Srikakulam (Srikakulam), Vizianagaram (Vizianagaram), Manyam (Parvathipuram), Alluri Sitharama Raju (Paderu), Visakhapatnam (Visakhapatnam), Anakapalli (Anakapalli), Kakinada (Kakinada), Konaseema (Amalapuram), East Godavari (Rajamahendravaram), West Godavari (Bheemavaram), Eluru (Eluru), Krishna (Machilipatnam), NTR (Vijayawada), Guntur (Guntur), Bapatla (Bapatla), Palnadu (Narsaraopeta), Prakasam (Ongole), SPS Nellore (Nellore), Kurnool (Kurnool), Nandyal (Nandyal), Ananthapuram (Ananthapuram), Sri Satyasai (Puttaparthy), YSR Kadapa (Kadapa), Annamayya (Rayachoty), Chittoor (Chittoor) and Sri Balaji (Tirupati).

Kerala: Ordinance to Dilute Lokayukta Powers

  • Kerala government decided to bring an ordinance for amending the "Kerala Lokayukta Act", so that it would have the powers of rejecting report of anti-corruption body.
  • State cabinet recommended to the governor to issue ordinance for amending Kerala Lokayukta Act, 1999.
  • The amendment seeks to give powers to the government for either accepting or rejecting the verdict of Lokayukta, after providing an opportunity of being heard.
  • According to proposed amendment, Lokayukta would have only the powers of making recommendations or sending reports to the government.
  • Lokayukta is the Indian Parliamentary Ombudsman. He is executed into power for each of the State Governments in India. It is brought into effect through the Lokayukta Act. A person of reputable background is nominated for the post, which is created to address grievances quickly, against working efficiency and integrity of the government or its administration. Lokayukta cannot be dismissed or transferred by the government, once he is appointed. He can only be removed by passing an impeachment motion by state assembly.

Parliament Launches Digital Sansad App

  • The Lok Sabha secretariat launched a new app, Digital Sansad that would make it easier for people to follow proceedings in Parliament, and also their own lawmakers. In addition, it would also help members of parliament access services such as checking personal updates like status of their notices, House bulletins, etc. As MPs are barred from using laptops inside the House, the app comes handy for parliamentary information for MPs during a debate in the House. In future, the MPs can log in for attendance, give questions for the Question Hour or submit notices for debates or adjournment motions.
  • The Digital Sansad app is available in both android and IOS platform and carries nearly all major content of the interlinked portal of Indian Parliament. A senior official claimed that the Digital Sansad is one of the few apps of a parliament internationally that offer a 360-degree view of legislative activities as well as services for members. It is a brainchild of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla who has sought to make parliamentary proceedings more accessible to people.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Charanjit Singh, Legendary Indian Hockey Player, Dies

  • Captain of India's 1964 Tokyo Olympics gold medal-winning hockey team, Charanjit Singh, died in Una, Himachal Pradesh. He was 90.
  • Besides captaining the Olympic gold-winning team in 1964, he was also a part of the silver-winning side in the 1960 edition of the Games. He was also a part of the 1962 Asian Games silver-winning team.

Marathi Author, Activist Anil Awachat Passes Away

  • Marathi author and social activist Anil Awachat, better known as Baba, passed away. He was 78. Awachat was the founder-director of the Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre in Pune and associated with several social causes.
  • The centre was set up in 1986 to treat addiction and included a combination of medicine, therapies and activities.
  • Known for his books including Purnia, Awachat regularly wrote for Marathi magazines and other publications. He also had a stint as a journalist and was known for his reportage.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Data Privacy Day

  • Data Privacy Day (known in Europe as Data Protection Day) is an international event that occurs every year on 28 January. The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. It is currently observed in the United States, Canada, Nigeria, Israel and 47 European countries.
  • The day was initiated by the Council of Europe to be first held in 2007 as the European Data Protection Day. Two years later, on 26 January 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed House Resolution HR 31 by a vote of 402–0, declaring 28 January National Data Privacy Day. On 28 January 2009, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 25 also recognizing 28 January 2009 as National Data Privacy Day. The United States Senate also recognized Data Privacy Day in 2010 and 2011.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Assam Government Awards 'Asom Baibhav Award' to Ratan Tata

  • The government of Assam conferred its highest civilian award 'Assam Baibhav' on industrialist Ratan Tata. Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi conferred the award to the former chairman of Tata Sons. The Assam government conferred 'Assam Baibhav' to Ratan Tata for his contribution to setting up cancer treatment facilities in the state.
  • Assam Saurav award was conferred on Professor Dipak Chand Jain, Lovlina Borgohain, Professor Kamalendu Deb Krori, Dr Lakshmanan S, and Neel Pawan Baruah.
  • Assam Gaurav award was conferred on Manoj Kumar Basumatary, Munindra Nath Ngatey, Dharanidhar Boro, Hemoprabha Chutia, Dr Basanta Hazarika, Kaushik Baruah, Khorsing Terang, Akash Jyoti Gogoi, Namita Kalita, Dr Asif Iqbal, Kalpana Boro, Boby Hazarika, and Bormita Momin.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Drone Certification Scheme

  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) notified a drone certification scheme for ensuring minimum safety and quality requirements, because it will boost indigenous manufacturing.
  • The drone certification scheme was notified under Rule 7 of the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021. The scheme will help in simpler, faster and transparent type-certification of drones.
  • It will help in growth of drone manufacturing industry in India, along with the liberalised drone rules, production-linked incentive scheme, airspace map, and single window Digital Sky Platform.
  • It is another step in making India a drone hub of the world by 2030.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

'A Little Book of India: Celebrating 75 Years of Independence' by Ruskin Bond

  • Drawing on his own memories and impression of India, celebrated author Ruskin Bond in his latest book, "A Little Book of India: Celebrating 75 years of Independence" released in January 2022, pays homage to the country that has been his home for 84 years.
  • The book, an amalgamation of the "physical and spiritual" attributes of India, promises to take readers on a journey filled with nostalgia and devotions. It is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI).
  • This little book does not claim to be a political or historical analysis of events, although I have dwelt on the highlights of the last 75 years of India's progress to maturity as a nation.

Comic Book 'India's Women Unsung Heroes' released by Meenakshi Lekhi

  • Remembering the lesser-known Indian women who selflessly fought against the British Raj and immensely contributed to India's freedom struggle, a new comic book honoring them was released at the national capital. The comic book titled 'India's Women Unsung Heroes' was launched by Union Minister for Culture and author Meenakshi Lekhi at IGNCA, New Delhi in January 2022.
  • The unique book has been prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India in partnership with Amar Chitra Katha. It beautifully portrays the tales of valor of our forgotten women freedom fighters.
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