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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

05 Feb 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Russia and China Line up against US in 'No Limits' Partnership

  • China and Russia proclaimed a deep strategic alliance to balance what they portrayed as the malign global influence of the United States as China's President Xi Jinping hosted Russia's Vladimir Putin on the opening day of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
  • The two countries affirmed that their new relationship was superior to any political or military alliance of the Cold War era.
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ENVIRONMENT

Aravali Biodiversity Park in Gurugram is India's First OECM Site

  • The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change announced Aravali Biodiversity Park as India's first "other effective area-based conservation measures" (OECM) site.
  • The proposal to declare Aravali Biodiversity Park an OECM site was sent by the National Biodiversity Authority to the IUCN in December 2020.
  • The Aravali Biodiversity Park is spread across 390 acres and has semi-arid vegetation, with around 300 native plants, 101,000 trees, 43,000 shrubs, and several species of birds.
  • The park was transformed into a city forest from a 40-year-old mining site through the efforts of citizens, ecologists and scientists along with the help of the urban local body of Gurugram, Haryana.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

IndiGo Appoints Co-founder Bhatia as MD

  • India's largest airline IndiGo swung back into profit after registering seven consecutive quarters of loss thanks to a rebound in travel demand during the holiday season.
  • The company appointed co-founder Rahul Bhatia as managing director and he would oversee all aspects of the airline.
  • Bhatia said that his agenda would be transformational and would focus on expanding the airline's presence in India and in international markets and building for the long term.

Exim Bank Extends a $500 Million Credit Line to Sri Lanka

  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on behalf of the government of India, extended a line of credit of $500 million to the government of the socialist republic of Sri Lanka for financing the purchase of petroleum products. The fund will be used by the Island nation for the purchase of petroleum products. With the signing of this new LOC agreement, the total LOC extended by Exim Bank to Sri Lanka till date has reached 10, taking the total value of LOCs extended to USD 2.18 billion.
  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) was set up in 1982 by an Act of Parliament for the purpose of financing, facilitating and promoting India's foreign trade. It is the principal financial institution in the country for coordinating the working of institutions engaged in financing exports and imports. Exim Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.
  • The Bank provides financial assistance to export-oriented Indian companies by way of term loans in Indian rupees or foreign currencies for setting up new production facilities, expansion/modernization or upgradation of existing facilities and for acquisition of production equipment or technology.

Aditya Birla Fashion to Set up Subsidiary for Entry into D2C Space

  • Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL) will set up a platform to foray in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) business.
  • The board of directors of the company in their meeting today approved the setting up of the new subsidiary. Its D2C platform is focused towards building a portfolio of distinct, new-age, digital brands across categories in fashion, beauty and other allied lifestyle segments.
  • The venture will initially be funded through ABFRL's internal accruals and at an appropriate time, the firm will look to bring in external capital to accelerate growth.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NROL-87 Mission

  • NROL-87 was launched by SpaceX. Under the mission, the company launched a spy satellite for the US military. The satellite was carried by Falcon rocket. This is the second of the three planned launches under the mission. Much information of the NRO fleet is never leaked out. This is because these satellites are used for military purposes.
  • It is the first NRO mission that involved rocket landing. Rocket landing is also called vertical landing. It was launched from the Vandenberg Space Force base located in California. The NROL-87 is a US reconnaissance satellite. The Falcon rocket delivered the satellite at 512.7 km orbit. It was placed in a Sun Synchronous Orbit. It is also called helio synchronous orbit. It is a polar orbit. Here the satellite passes through the given point at the same local mean solar time.
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SPORTS

Justin Langer Resigns as Australia Coach ahead of Pakistan Tour

  • Justin Langer resigned as coach of the Australian men's cricket team.
  • Langer's future had appeared uncertain following the long meeting with Cricket Australia. He took over the position in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018. His contract was due to expire this year.

Kerala's Famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race to be Held in UAE

  • The Nehru Trophy boat race, one of the famed events held in Alappuzha of Kerala, is slated to be held in Ras al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year.
  • The move is to build on the beautiful relationship between UAE and Kerala.
  • The race, named after former prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, will be held on March 27, 2022 in partnership with International Marine Sports Club Ras Al Khaimah and TheBrew Media FZC LLC, at the Al Marjan Island.
  • The Nehru Trophy boat race is amongst the pioneer snake boat races in Kerala where millions of audiences gather to watch nearly 100 feet long boats compete against one another to the tunes of old folk songs.
  • The name of the water race was coined following Jawaharlal Nehru's visit to Kerala in 1952. He was so enchanted by the sight of the majestic snake boats, that he leapt into one of the snake boats himself, ignoring his security cover.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Arunachal Pradesh: CM Hoists 104 ft National Flag; Second Highest in India

  • The state of Arunachal Pradesh now has the second highest national flag in the country.
  • Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu hoisted a 104 ft tall National Flag at Ngangpa Natme (Buddha Park) in Tawang.
  • Pema Khandu congratulated the Army, the Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Tawang district administration and MLA Tsering Tashi for the feat.
  • Belagavi or Belgaum Fort in Kote Kere, Karnataka, has the tallest Indian flagpoles measuring 361 ft.

Uttar Pradesh Selected as Best State tableau of Republic Day Parade 2022

  • Uttar Pradesh was selected as the best state tableau at the Republic Day parade this year and the Indian Navy marching contingent has been adjudged as the best marching contingent among the three Services.
  • Three panels of judges were appointed for assessing the performance of the marching contingents from the three Services, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), other Auxiliary forces and tableaux from various states and Union Territories (UTs) and Central Ministries and Departments.
  • On the basis of the assessment of the panels, the Indian Navy marching contingent was adjudged as the best marching contingent among the three Services.
  • The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was named as the best marching contingent among CAPF/other auxiliary forces.
  • The second place went to Karnataka for its tableau based on 'Cradle of Traditional Handicrafts'. The third position went to Meghalaya for its tableau on 'Meghalaya's 50 years of Statehood and its tribute to women-led cooperative societies & SHGs'.
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DEFENCE

G. A. Srinivasa Murthy is Director of DRDL

  • Senior scientist G. A. Srinivasa Murthy was appointed director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Hyderabad. He joined DRDL in the year 1987 and made significant contributions in the area of structural dynamics, ground resonance testing, electrical integration and checkout for various projects of the missile complex.
  • G. A. Srinivasa Murthy completed his BE in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Andhra University in 1986 and pursued his ME in Digital Systems from Osmania University in Hyderabad.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Padma Awardee Farmer who Turned Barren Land into Heavenly Orchard

  • Amai Mahalinga Naik, an innovative farmer from Karnataka's Adyanadka village in Dakshina Kannada, was conferred with the Padma Shri award 2022 for transforming a barren sloping hill into a fertile farm.
  • Using the innovative Zero-Energy Micro-Irrigation System, Naik turned a barren plot of land into an oasis comprising Arecanut Palms, Coconut Trees, Cashew Trees, Banana Saplings, and Pepper Vines.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Kala Ghoda Festival

  • The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is annual festival, nine days long, commencing always on the first Saturday of February and closing is always on the second Sunday in February, in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai, India.
  • From its inception in 1999, the Festival has grown in stature and popularity, attracting visitors and participants from other parts of the country, and the world. The Festival is organised by the Kala Ghoda Association (a non-profit organisation that states its objectives as "physically upgrading the Kala Ghoda sub-precinct and making it the Art District of Mumbai") and curated by teams handling each of the 12 sections of the festival.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Karnataka Bank Gets Digital Transformation Award, 'DX 2021 Awards'

  • Karnataka Bank was awarded the digital transformation award, 'DX 2021 Awards', in recognition of the "innovative" best practice 'KBL VIKAAS', by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for Best Practice in Digital Transformation.
  • KBL VIKAAS, a wholistic transformation journey, launched by the bank in 2017, has enabled the bank in implementation of digital capabilities, namely, digital journeys for assets and liability products, enhancement in customer experience under ADC products and bringing in a strong culture of sales and marketing. The bank recently launched the digital transformation journey 'KBL NxT' as part of wave 2.0 of 'KBL VIKAAS', with an objective of taking the digital initiatives to the next level and eventually emerge as 'the digital bank of future.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

JNU Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar is UGC Chairman

  • Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice-chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar was appointed as chairman of higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • Kumar's name was shortlisted for the post along with that of Nitin R. Karmalkar, the vice-chancellor of the Pune University, and Avinash Chandra Pandey, director, Inter-University Accelerator Centre, a body under the UGC. The appointment comes amid changes in the higher education sector with the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020.
  • Kumar is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. He was a professor at IIT Delhi before he was appointed as the vice-chancellor in 2016.

IGNOU Launches Master of Arts in Sustainability Science

  • The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) launched Master of Arts in Sustainability Science (MASS). The programme is in line with the principles of National Education Policy 2020, and is on offer from January 2022 admission cycle in Online Distance Learning (ODL) mode at the School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies.
  • Sustainability Science is an emerging discipline across the world. It is well acknowledged as one of the tools to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and to promote sustainability in every sphere of life.
  • The programme has adopted an interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary approach to educate the learners in the areas of India's major ecosystems and challenges to sustainable development such as population, health, climate change, globalization and social ecology.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Tourism Ministry Includes Punaura under PRASAD Scheme

  • The Union Ministry of Tourism included Punaura, the birthplace of Sita in Sitamarhi district of Bihar, in its revised list of sites identified for the development under its PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spirituality Augmentation Drive) scheme and approved Rs. 36.86 crore for its development and beautification.
  • Punaura has an ancient temple dedicated to Sita and it has been drawing pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Nepal. Locals have been demanding for the development of tourism facilities at the site. The demand has intensified since the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, which has led to big development plans for the place.
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