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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

09 Feb 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Rees-Mogg is Minister for Brexit Opportunities in Johnson Reshuffle

  • Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, under pressure to resign over parties in Downing Street during lockdown, reshuffled his Cabinet and appointed Jacob Rees-Mogg as the minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency.
  • Rees-Mogg, currently leader of the House of Commons, will be based in the Cabinet Office.
  • Mark Spencer, the current Chief Whip, will replace Rees Mogg as the Leader of Commons.

Peru's President Swears in 4th Cabinet in Half a Year

  • Peruvian President Pedro Castillo swore in the fourth Cabinet of his half year in office amid criticism for his poor previous choices for ministers and even calls by his rivals to step down.
  • His third Cabinet lasted just three days and was led by Héctor Valer, who resigned following revelations that he once faced domestic violence allegations.
  • Castillo named Aníbal Torres, his former Justice Minister, as the new Prime Minister to replace Valer. Torres was in favor of sending former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) to a common prison to serve out his 25-year sentence instead of his current special prison. Mr. Fujimori is the father of Mr. Castillo's rival, former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori.

70 Years and Counting: "Unifying" Queen Elizabeth Marks Platinum Jubilee

  • Not all Britons are fans of the monarchy but many recognise that Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign is an achievement, seeing her as an enduring figurehead of the nation.
  • The 95-year-old head of state became the first British monarch in history to reign for 70 years. Public celebrations are planned for early June.
  • On the streets of London, the public broadly welcomed the landmark event.
  • Significant events have included the Queen's coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, Diamond, Sapphire and Platinum jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, 2017 and 2022 respectively. Elizabeth is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch, the longest-serving female head of state in history, the oldest living and longest-reigning current monarch, and the oldest and longest-serving incumbent head of state.
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ENVIRONMENT

India's Newest Mammal

  • Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have found a new mammal species in the country, the White Cheeked Macaque.
  • While the Macaque was first discovered in China in 2015, its existence was not known in India before this, it is only now that Indian scientists have discovered its presence in the remote Anjaw district in central Arunachal Pradesh. That is barely 200 km aerial distance from where it was first spotted in China, in Modog in Southeastern Tibet.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

BharatPe Appoints Investor's Lawyer on Board

  • Fintech unicorn BharatPe appointed the lawyer of one of its investors on its Board even as the company is in the middle of an audit to probe alleged irregularities and a heated boardroom battle with Founder & MD Ashneer Grover at its centre.
  • According to data from Tofler, John Bernard Weinstein, a lawyer who is a partner and deputy general counsel at venture capital firm Insight Partners, joined the BharatPe Board on February 2. This appointment takes the number of members on the company's Board to nine.
  • This development comes days after embattled founder Ashneer Grover withdrew his nomination of CEO Suhail Sameer from the board, alleging in a media interview that Sameer manipulated him into going on a voluntary leave.

Prashant Peres to Head Kellogg India and South Asia

  • Kellogg India appointed Prashant Peres as the new Managing Director for India and South Asia.
  • Incumbent Mohit Anand was elevated as General Manager, Snacks Portfolio, for Kellogg AMEA (Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa). He will be based out of Singapore.
  • Peres is an FMCG veteran of 25 years.
  • Peres was earlier with Mondelez International, where he led the Indonesia business as President and Managing Director. In the past he has also held various leadership roles at Unilever.

Dalmia Cement Bharat Emerges Highest Bidder for 2 Coal Blocks in Jharkhand

  • Dalmia Cement Bharat Ltd emerged as the highest bidder for two coal blocks in Jharkhand that were auctioned for commercial use.
  • While Mahanadi Mines and Minerals Pvt Ltd emerged as the highest bidder for a coal block in Odisha, Yazdani Steel And Power Ltd was the highest bidder for another coal mine in the eastern state.
  • Assam Mineral Development Corp Ltd was the higest bidder for a mine in Assam.
  • Five coal mines were put up for auction on the first day of the auction.
  • Four coal mines are fully explored and one block is partially explored. The total geological reserve of these five coal mines is 1,188.16 million tonnes. The cumulative peak rated capacity for these coal mines is 5.944 million tonnes per annum.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Lockheed Martin Wins NASA Contract to Bring Mars Samples Back to Earth

  • Lockheed Martin's space division won a NASA contract to build the rocket that will return the first Mars rock samples to Earth in the 2030s.
  • The small, lightweight rocket will be the first to take off from another planet, bringing back rock, sediment and atmospheric samples from the surface of the Red Planet.
  • NASA's Perseverance Rover has been collecting samples from various Martian areas since landing on Earth's neighbor a year ago.
  • The goal of the mission is to find traces of ancient life on the Red Planet. But these samples will have to be analyzed in laboratories back on Earth, capable of more sophisticated tests than anything that can be done on Mars.

ISRO Discards Communication Satellite INSAT-4B in Space

  • Amid the growing concern over junk in outer space, the Indian Space & Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully disposed of one of its satellites after it completed its operational life in orbit. The INSAT-4B underwent Post Mission Disposal (PMD) at the end of its service.
  • INSAT-4B is the 21st Indian Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite to undergo post-mission disposal, the required propellant for such re-orbiting was included in the initial fuel budget as a part of standard practice followed in ISRO's GEO mission planning.
  • INSAT-4B was launched in March 2007 for DTH and other communication services.
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SPORTS

Ahmedabad Franchise to be Called Gujarat Titans

  • The Ahmedabad franchise of the India Premier League was named Gujarat Titans.
  • The Gujarat Titals will be led by Hardik Pandya. he was bought for Rs. 15 crore. The other players they picked in the draft are Rashid Khan (Rs. 12 crore) and Shubman Gill (Rs. 8 crore).
  • The Ahmedabad team was bought by CVC Capital Partners for Rs. 5,625 crore.
  • CVC Capital Partners is a Luxembourg-based private equity firm with interests and investments in various sports properties. The Ahmedabad team is CVC's maiden entry into IPL.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

RPF Launches Nationwide "AAHT Operation" to Curb Human Trafficking

  • Indian Railway Protection Force launched a nationwide operation to curb human trafficking. As part of "Operation AAHT", special teams were deployed on all long-distance trains/routes with a focus on rescuing victims, particularly women and children, from the clutches of traffickers. The Railways, which operate about 21,000 trains across the country daily, is the most reliable mode of transportation for the traffickers who often moved their victims on long-distance trains.
  • The RPF that rescued more than 2,000 women and children between 2017-21 from the clutches of traffickers intensified the crackdown on human trafficking with the increasing number of cases. The National Crime Records Bureau registers about 2,200 cases of Human Trafficking cases on an average each year.

Centre Issues New Media Accreditation Guidelines for Journalists

  • The Central government released the Central Media Accreditation Guidelines-2022, under which the accreditation will be withdrawn or suspended if a journalist acts in a manner prejudicial to the country's security, sovereignty and integrity, friendly relations with foreign States, public order or is charged with a serious cognisable offence.
  • Among the other circumstances under which the accreditation can be withdrawn/suspended are actions prejudicial to decency, or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
  • According to the guidelines, accredited media persons have been prohibited from using the words "Accredited to the government of India" on public/social media profile, visiting cards, letter heads or on any other form or any published work.
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DEFENCE

Cochin Shipyard Delivers Three Floating Border Out-Post Vessels to BSF

  • The Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) delivered the three Floating Border Out-Post (FBOPs) vessels to the Border Security Force (BSF). With this, the Shipyard has delivered six vessels out of nine FBOPs being built for the BSF.
  • CSL General Manager A Sivakumar signed the delivery and protocol documents with Kumal Mazumdar, the DIG of BSF, in a function held at Kolkata.
  • The three FBOPs were built for the Water Wing of the BSF.

Maj Gen Chhibber Takes over as NCC Additional Director General

  • Major General Rajiv Chhibber took over as the 9th Additional Director General of the National Cadet Corps' Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh Directorate.
  • In his 33 years of service, he has held prestigious command and staff assignments, including a foreign tenure as adviser to Commander, Botswana Defence Forces, where he ensured military training on the Indian pattern, thus negating the influence of other Asian countries.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Amitabh Bachchan is Brand Ambassador of MediBuddy

  • MediBuddy, one of India's largest digital healthcare platforms, signed legendary Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as the official brand ambassador. As part of the deal, Bachchan will be seen endorsing various services available on the platform, while highlighting the need to prioritise one's health.
  • With the deal in place, MediBuddy is looking at further amplifying its reach across India. Leveraging the veteran actor's popularity, especially across tier II and tier III cities, the brand aims to position itself as a household name.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Anti-conversion Bill Gets Haryana Cabinet Nod

  • The Haryana cabinet approved the draft for the Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2022.The draft Bill which will be tabled in the state assembly during the coming Vidhan Sabha session seeks to prohibit religious conversions effected through misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, marriage or by any other fraudulent means making it an offence.
  • As per state Home Minister Anil Vij, it is a law against 'Love jihad' is primarily aimed at stopping forced religious conversions. 'Love jihad' is a term used by right-wing activists to describe marital relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women, though the courts and the Union government do not officially recognise the term.
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ART AND CULTURE

India's 'Writing With Fire' makes it to Oscars

  • Indian documentary feature "Writing With Fire" made it to the final nominations list at the 94th edition of the Academy Awards.
  • Directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, both debuants, "Writing With Fire" chronicles the rise of Khabar Lahariya, India's only newspaper run by Dalit women.
  • Jane Campion's gothic western "The Power of the Dog" landed a leading 12 nominations, including nods for best picture, best director and all of its top actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee. The nominees for best picture are: "Belfast", "The Power of the Dog", "Dune", "Drive My Car", "West Side Story", "Don't Look Up", "Licorice Pizza", "CODA"; "King Richard" and "Nightmare Alley."

Global Summit on Reimagining Museums in India

  • The Ministry of Culture is to organize a Global Summit on reimagining museums in India. The summit is first of its kind. The summit is to be inaugurated by the Union Minister of Culture Shri Kishan Reddy.
  • The summit is to focus on developing museums in India. The main intention is to cultivate new practices and strategies to develop the Indian museums.
  • The summit is organized as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. It is a programme to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian independence.
  • The summit will bring together the experts and practitioners in the field of museum management from all over the world.
  • The summit is organized by the ministry along with Bloomberg. The summit is to be held online on February 15 and February 16, 2022.
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