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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

23 Feb 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Libya's Embattled Prime Minister Says Replacing him could Trigger War

  • Libya's embattled Prime Minister warned that the appointment of a new interim government could set off war and chaos in a Mediterranean country already mired in a decade-old turmoil. Addressing Libyans Prime Minister Abdul Hamdi Dbeibah reiterated his insistence that he will hand over power only to an elected government. He mapped out a likely unrealistic plan to hold elections in June.
  • Dbeibah called any plan to install an interim government "reckless" and a ''farce" that could lead to more wars. He was referring to ongoing efforts by the House of Representatives to confirm a new government chaired by Prime Minister-designate Fathi Bashaga.

Putin Gets No Support from UN Security Council over Ukraine

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin received no support from members of the U.N. Security Council at an emergency meeting for his actions to bring separatists in eastern Ukraine under Moscow's control.
  • The U.S. called his moves a pretext for a further invasion, many members condemned his violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity, and even close ally China urged diplomacy and a peaceful solution.
  • Ukraine called for the rare evening session along with the U.S., five European countries and Mexico to condemn Putin's actions to recognize the independence of the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, scenes of an eight-year war, and order his military to maintain peace there.
  • Russia happens to hold the Security Council's rotating presidency this month and wanted the meeting to be closed, but diplomats said they agreed to an open session under intense pressure from Western and other members.
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ENVIRONMENT

India and France Adopt Road Map on 'Blue Economy', Ocean Governance

  • India and France adopted a road map on the 'blue economy' and ocean governance to enhance partnership for the exploitation and preservation of marine resources through economic, infrastructure and scientific cooperation.
  • The road map was adopted at meeting between external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris. It is part of measures agreed on by the two ministers to deepen the bilateral strategic partnership, especially in trade and investments, defence and security, health, education, research and innovation, energy and climate change.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Jet Airways Appoints Vipula Gunatilleka as CFO

  • Jet Airways appointed former SriLankan Airlines' CEO, Vipula Gunatilleka as the Chief Financial Officer.
  • Prior to joining SriLankan Airlines, he was the CFO & Board Member of TAAG Angola Airlines from November 2015 to July 2018 under Emirates Management.
  • A qualified chartered accountant, Mr. Gunatelleka, played a pivotal role to turnaround the loss-making national carrier of Angola.
  • He is known for his astute knowledge in aircraft financing, strategic planning, cost-efficient business modelling and openness to adopt hybrid models to keep business costs low and efficiency high.

Cosmea Financial Launches Torus Private Wealth

  • Sam Ghosh promoted Cosmea Financial Holdings (CFH) announced the launch of its wealth management business -- Torus Private Wealth -- with a target of achieving an asset base of USD 1 billion in the next three years.
  • In the first two months since it began its initial operations, Torus Private Wealth has clocked assets under management (AUM) of USD 20 million and has a presence in Delhi and Mumbai.
  • The company targets an AUM of USD 1 billion in the next 3 years, with a focus on providing end-to-end financial solutions and strategic advisory services to High Net worth Individuals (HNI), ultra HNIs, emerging businesses, and start-ups.

SBI Life Insurance to Reclassify BNP Paribas Cardif as Non-promoter

  • SBI Life Insurance Company (SBI Life) said that its promoter BNP Paribas Cardif, holding 0.2 per cent share capital, has requested to be reclassified as a public shareholder.
  • SBI Life will place the request for re-classification before its board of directors at the ensuing board meeting of the company.
  • As per SEBI guidelines, a promoter or promoter group seeking reclassification should not hold more than 10 per cent of the voting rights in the company.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Sun-Watching Space Observatories Spot Giant Solar Eruption

  • Astronomers using the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter and the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft captured the largest solar prominence eruption ever observed in a single image together with the full solar disk.
  • Solar prominences are large structures of tangled magnetic field lines that keep dense concentrations of solar plasma suspended above the Sun's surface, sometimes taking the form of arching loops.
  • This latest solar prominence eruption occurred in February 2022, and extended millions of km into space.
  • The eruption was observed by the Full Sun Imager (FSI) of the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) onboard the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter.
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SPORTS

IOC Athletes' Commission Re-elects Emma Terho as Chair

  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission re-elected ice hockey player Emma Terho of Finland as its Chair and table tennis player Seung Min Ryu of the Republic of Korea as its First Vice-Chair. The commission also elected cyclist Sarah Walker of New Zealand as the second VC of the Commission.

Carlos Alcaraz Becomes Youngest ATP 500 Winner with Rio Open Title

  • Two years after winning his first tour-level match in Rio de Janeiro, 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz of Spain became the youngest to clinch an ATP 500 title at the same event when he defeated Diego Schwartzman in the final of the Rio Open.
  • It was a second tour-level title for Alcaraz after his victory in Umag in 2021 and his 6-4 6-2 victory against 13th-ranked Argentine Schwartzman made him the youngest ATP 500 champion since the category was created in 2009.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Manipur Flag-hoisting Tradition

  • Before setting off on the campaign trail for the Manipur elections, being held on February 27 and March 3, candidates are holding a special 'flag-hoisting ceremony' in their respective constituencies. The practice, unique to Manipur, cuts across parties, ethnicities, religions and communities.
  • The ceremony is usually held in the courtyard of the candidate's home on an auspicious date in the calendar. While the event simply involves the candidate hoisting the party flag, followed by a prayer by a priest and blessings by community elders, its scale and ceremony vary from candidate to candidate.

Delimitation Panel on Jammu and Kashmir Gets Two-month Extension

  • The term of the Delimitation Commission, mandated to redraw the assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir was extended by two months to complete its task.
  • The panel's term was to end on March 6, but according to a Law Ministry notification, it was extended by two months -- till May 6 this year.
  • As per reports, the panel needed more time to ready its final report.
  • Formed in March 2020, the panel was granted a one-year extension last year.
  • Headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, it has Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and the state election commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir as its ex-officio members.

Sanjeev Sanyal Inducted into Economic Advisory Council to PM

  • The Finance Ministry's Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal was inducted into the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister as a full-time member.
  • Mr. Sanyal was made the Principal Economic Adviser in February 2017. The EAC to the PM is headed by former Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy.
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DEFENCE

Philippines Signs $624 Million Deal to Purchase 32 Black Hawk Helicopters

  • The Philippines signed a 32 billion-peso ($624 million) deal to purchase 32 Black Hawk helicopters in the largest military aircraft acquisition contract under outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.
  • Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the deal with Janusz Zakrecki, president of Poland-based aerospace manufacturer PZL Mielec, to acquire the S-70i Black Hawks, which can be used for troop transport, combat operations and disaster response. The deal includes a training package for pilots and maintenance crews and logistical back-up.

Israel Successfully Test- fires 'C-Dome' New Naval Air Defence System

  • Israel successfully tested a new naval air defence system "C-Dome," to be used on the Israeli Navy's Sa'ar 6-class corvettes. C-Dome is the naval version of the Iron Dome, an all-weather air defence system of Israel to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and missiles, from the Gaza Strip. The successful test further strengthens the missile defence systems of the Israeli Navy to safeguard the maritime assets of the State of Israel.
  • The systems being developed as part of Israel's multi-tier missile defence array enable us to operate against Iranian proxies in the region and defend against their weapon systems, which are constantly being upgraded. The C-Dome is to become part of Israel's multilayer missile defence system — which includes weapons capable of intercepting everything from long-range missiles to short-range rockets.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Thums Up Ropes in Shahrukh Khan as New Brand Ambassador

  • Beverage major Coca-Cola signed Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador for Thums Up.
  • Earlier, Khan was associated with rival cola brand, Pepsi, for a long period of time and this is his first big endorsement after the controversy involving his son Aryan Khan in a drug case last year.
  • The new commercial for Thums Up featuring Khan, will have an integrated campaign across TV, social, digital, shopper, and OOH platforms.
  • Thums Up, which became a billion dollar brand in 2021, has partnership with the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and cricket.

Veteran Malayalam Actress KPAC Lalitha Dies

  • Legendary Malayalam actor KPAC Lalitha, passed away. She was 74.
  • Born in February 1947 in the Alappuzha district, Lalitha made her mark as a theatre artist before foraying into cinema and emerging as one of the finest actors across south cinema, most popularly in Malayalam.
  • She had starred in over 550 films and has two National Awards to her credit. Most popular for playing roles of a mother, she made her acting debut with the Malayalam film Kootukudumbam.
  • In 2000, she won the National Award for best supporting role for the movie Shantham.
  • She has six state awards to her name. These include her performances in films such as Neelaponman, Aaravam, Amaram, Kadinjool Kalyanam, Godfather and Sandesham.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Peace and Understanding Day

  • Celebrated on February 23, World Peace and Understanding Day is Rotary Club's birthday as well. With the motto to spread peace, the day is celebrated to remember that it is our world, and we collectively can make it a peaceful place to live. The name of the day signifies making a common ground for the people of the world to live with and have an understanding of love and respect for each other to build better human connections. It is focused on achieving goodwill, peace, and understanding among all people of the world.
  • World Peace and Understanding Day has a motto that stands for "Service above Self". The day is celebrated across the world with the thought of understanding amongst people and sharing life values to maintain peace and harmony.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Karnataka Assembly Passes Bills to Hike Salary of CM, Ministers and MLAs

  • The Karnataka Legislative Assembly passed bills enhancing salaries and allowances of Chief Minister, Ministers and legislators.
  • Faced by disruption for the fifth consecutive day, due to protest by Congress MLAs, demanding the sacking of Minister K. S. Eshwarappa over his statement on the national flag, the session was cut short, but not before passing two bills without discussion.
  • Amidst the din, the House passed the two bills- The Karnataka Ministers Salaries and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and The Karnataka Legislature Salaries, Pensions and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and adopted the motion of thanks to Governor's address, without any discussion.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IIT Madras and NIOT Bring OCEANS Conference

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, organized the OCEANS 2022 Conference and Exposition, the Bi-annual event for Global Marine Researchers, technologists and engineers, students, and policymakers, from February 21-24, 2022.
  • This conference was organized in India for the first time and wasg coordinated by the Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras. They organized the event on behalf of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Ocean Engineering Society (IEEE OES) and Marine Technology Society (MTS). The Conference is being held in Hybrid Mode.

Government Approves NMMSS Extension

  • The Central Sector National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMSS) was approved for continuation for a period of five years that is from the year 2021-22 to the year 2025-26. The extension would be done over the 15th Finance Commission cycle.
  • Since the scheme's inception in 2008-09, 22.06 lakh scholarships have been awarded, at a total cost of Rs. 1783.03 crore.
  • Among the changes, the income ceiling was increased from Rs.1.5 lakh per annum to Rs.3.5 lakh per annum. The renewal criteria under the scheme were also revised.
  • The scheme's objective is to award students of economically weaker sections who are meritorious to stop their drop-out rates at the eighth grade to encourage them to continue their education at a secondary stage.
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ART AND CULTURE

ICCR Indian Crafts Fair

  • With an aim to popularise traditional Indian crafts among the diplomatic community, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is organising a crafts exhibition-cum-fair in the capital this week. The mela, named 'Coalescence: Craft-Culture-Community-Climate,' will be held at Bikaner House. It was inaugurated on February 23 by Meenakshi Lekhi, the Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, in the presence of ICCR president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.
  • The three-day mela is an experience of India's cultural heritage and craft practices that help to balance the ecology of the planet. It was curated by Jaya Jaitly of Dastkari Haat Samiti. It had 22 craft persons from 11 states under five categories — crafts, textiles, traditional and folk art, beauty aromatics and recycled products.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book Titled 'The Founders: The Story of Paypal" by Jimmy Soni

  • A new book titled ''The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley '', authored by Jimmy Soni and published by Simon & Schuster was released. It highlights the story of multinational digital-payments company PayPal and how it covered the journey of a start-up that turned into one of the most successful companies of all time, worth over USD 70 billion today. It also offers colourful anecdotes about famous people like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Reid Hoffman.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Indian Hotels Expands Presence in Uttarakhand with New Resort

  • Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) announced the addition of its second hotel in Rishikesh with the signing of a new SeleQtions resort.
  • The formerly operating resort will be rebranded as Anand Kashi, an IHCL SeleQtions resort post renovation.
  • The 24-room resort is located at the foothills of the Himalayas in the Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand.
  • With the addition of this hotel, IHCL will have seven hotels across brands, including three under development in Uttarakhand.
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