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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

25 Feb 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Removed from UN Heads of State List

  • The names of former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar were removed from the UN Heads of State List.
  • Meanwhile, Naseer Ahmad Faiq was named as Charge affairs of Afghanistan on the list of Permanent Representatives of States to the UN.
  • Afghanistan's seat at the UN had become a contested issue after the resignation of the former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan Ghulam Mohammad Ishaczai following the fall of Kabul in August 2021.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Paytm Payments Bank Signs up as Acquiring Partner for e-RUPI Vouchers

  • Paytm Payments Bank Limited announced that it is an official acquiring partner for 'e-RUPI vouchers'. e-RUPI, which is a government initiative, is a cashless prepaid voucher that beneficiaries can present via SMS or QR Code. Paytm's merchant partners can then scan, enter the amount to be paid and receive the payment directly in their bank account. This will benefit beneficiaries (users), even those who do not have access to formal banking services or smartphones to avail the convenience of digital payments.
  • With this, merchants will be empowered with another digital payment collection method that will help them further increase their digital footprint and onboard more customers.
  • PPBL is empowering merchants to accept e-RUPI vouchers, which gives it an opportunity to tap into a larger user base that is a beneficiary of this initiative. This will further encourage more merchants to embrace cashless transactions, leading to an increase of digital payments.

HUL Splits Position of Chairman, CEO & MD

  • FMCG major Hindustan Unilever announced the separation of the position of Chairman of the Board and the CEO & Managing Director.
  • The company announced the appointment of Nitin Paranjpe, currently Chief Operating Officer of Unilever, as a non-executive chairman of the company with effect from March 31, 2022.
  • Sanjiv Mehta would continue as the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director (CEO&MD).
  • HUL's Board also approved the re-appointment of Dev Bajpai as the Whole Time Director of the company for a period of five years.

Ideal Finance Rebrands Itself to Mahindra Ideal Finance

  • Ideal Finance, a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services (Mahindra Finance/ MMFSL), announced the rebranding of its company name to Mahindra Ideal Finance (MIFL). This rebranding will form the bedrock on which the two joint venture partners (Mahindra Finance and Ideal Group) will build the vision of making Mahindra Ideal Finance one of the leading licensed finance companies (LFC) in Sri Lanka.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

IIT Roorkee Launches KISAN Mobile to Send Agricultural Advises

  • The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) launched a mobile app named 'KISAN' for the farmers. Through this app, agro-meteorological advisory services will be provided to the farmers.
  • A farmer's awareness program was organized by IIT Roorkee under the Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) project. Farmers from Dehradun, Haridwar, and Pauri Garhwal districts took part in this program.
  • The participating farmers were taught about the Agromet Advisory Services which is jointly provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and AMFU Roorkee.
  • Agromet Advisory Services are already being provided twice a week to the farmers of six blocks of Haridwar. Through this KISAN app, the bulletins can be accessed via mobile phone.
  • One unique feature of this app is that advisory bulletin and weather forecasts will be displayed only for that particular block that has been selected by the farmers.

Mysterious New Substance Possibly Discovered Inside Earth's Core

  • According to a new study, Earth's inner core may be filled with a weird substance that is neither solid nor liquid.
  • For more than half a century, scientists believed that Earth's deepest recesses consist of a molten outer core surrounding a densely compressed ball of solid iron alloy. But new research offers a rare insight into the inner structure of the planet — and it's far weirder than previously thought.

Multi-terabit Undersea Cable to Connect Maldives with India and Singapore

  • Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (Jio) will land the next generation multi-terabit undersea cable in Maldives to connect the south Asian country with India and Singapore. According to Jio, the new India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) undersea cable in Hulhumale, Maldives will provide more than 200Tb per second of capacity at speed of 100 GB per second, over 16,000 km.
  • IAX will not only connect Maldives to the world's content hubs, but it will also support the explosive growth in data demand expected from the new initiatives being launched by the government of Maldives.
  • The IAX system originates in Mumbai in the west and connects to Singapore, with branches including additional landings in India, Malaysia, and Thailand.
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SPORTS

Nandini Secures India's First Medal at 73rd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament

  • Nandini (+81kg) assured India of its first medal at the ongoing 73rd Strandja Memorial boxing tournament in Sofia by advancing to the semi-finals with a dominating win over Kazakhstan's Valeriya Axenova in the quarter-finals.
  • She will square off against another Kazakh, Lazzat Kungeibayeva, in the semi-finals. Kungeibayeva is a former world champion.
  • Strandja Cup and officially known as the (Strandja Memorial) is an international amateur boxing tournament held annually in Bulgaria. The Strandja Cup is the oldest international amateur boxing competition in Europe. The first tournament was held in 1950 at the Yunak stadium in Sofia.

Kusum to represent India in 2022 Asian Junior Fencing Championship

  • Kusum, a trainee of the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, Chandigarh, fencing club and student of Post-Gradate Government College, Sector 11, was selected to represent the country in the 2022 Asian Junior Fencing Championship, to be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • The event is being held from February 24 to March 3. She was selected on the basis of her performance in the Junior Nationals. Kusum, whose father is a cook and mother a housewife, started practising fencing at the age of 13.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh Becomes 100th 'Har Ghar Jal' District

  • Jal Jeevan Mission achieved the significant milestone of providing tap water to every home of 100 districts across the country. Chamba, in Himachal Pradesh, became the 100th 'Har Ghar Jal' district, the fifth aspirational district to be covered under the initiative. The other four Har Ghar Jal Aspirational districts are Bhadradri Kothgudem, Jayashankar Bhupalpalli, Komram Bheem Asifabad (all in Telangana) and Mewat in Haryana.
  • To translate Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision of providing clean tap water to every home in the country by 2024, in a short span of two and half years and despite COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission, has provided tap water supply to more than 5.78 crore rural households.
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DEFENCE

MoD Signs Contract with BEL for Retro-modification of Commander Sight in Battle Tanks

  • The Ministry of Defence signed a Rs. 1,075 crore contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for retro-modification of commander sight in 957 T-90 battle tanks so that they can detect targets at longer ranges. Commander sight is an optical observation device on a tank.
  • Commander sight of T-90, India's premier battle tank, is presently fitted with image converter (IC) tube-based sight for night viewing.
  • Based on the requirement projected by the Indian Army, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and BEL have jointly designed and developed an advanced mid wave thermal image (MWIR)-based sight as a replacement for the existing IC-based sight.
  • The new retro-modified commander sight employs a thermal imager capable of detecting the targets at 8 km during day and night and a laser ranger finder (LRF) to find the ranges accurately up to 5 km, thereby enhancing its capability to engage target at longer ranges.

Navy's Exercise Milan Begins

  • The Navy's Milan 2022 began in Vishakhapatnam, the largest-ever edition of the exercise that will see the participation of 40 countries, including all major navies of the world.
  • The biennial exercise, being conducted after four years, will last nine days with the harbour phase which started on February 25 and the sea phase on March 1. The 2020 edition of the exercise had been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • This year's theme is 'Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration' which "aims to project India as a responsible maritime power to the world at large".
  • A multilateral exercise, Milan began in 1995 with the participation of only four countries – Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Until now, it was held at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, but given the large number of participants this time, it was shifted to the Eastern Naval Command, which offers larger sea room.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Mansukh Mandaviya Launches National Policy Guidelines on Bio-Medical Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • The National Policy Guidelines on Bio-Medical Innovation and Entrepreneurship was launched by Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya in New Delhi.
  • The aim of this policy is to develop an entrepreneurial environment in India that will be innovation-driven with the ultimate goal of improving human health and well-being.
  • This policy has been launched as it is the perfect time to show the world the nation's strength through innovative initiatives and research in the health sector.
  • The newly launched policy will incentivize, motivate, and give a boost to all the stakeholders in this sector.
  • By promoting initiatives like Make-in-India, Start-Up-India, and Atmanirbhar Bharat, this policy will look to ensure multidisciplinary collaboration and the promotion of start-up culture to establish an innovation-led ecosystem at medical institutes across the country.
  • This policy will connect technical institutions with the industry to promote commercial translation of innovations in the health sector.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

India to Set up its First IIT Outside the Country in UAE

  • The Indian Institute of Technology will establish its first branch outside India in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of the India-UAE trade deal signed. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between the UAE and India will usher in a new phase of joint strategic cooperation in all sectors. The two nations will also set up an India-UAE cultural council to facilitate and promote cultural projects, cross-cultural exchanges and exhibitions.
  • The two countries realising the need to establish world-class institutions that encourage and support innovation and technological progress, the leaders agreed to establish an Indian Institute of Technology in the United Arab Emirates.
  • The agreement was signed after a virtual summit held with an agenda to boost trade and investments between both countries and usher in a new era of economic progress. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have participated in the summit.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A Book 'A Nation To Protect' by Priyam Gandhi Mody

  • The book titled "A Nation To Protect" authored by Priyam Gandhi Mody was launched by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. The book highlights the role of PM Narendra Modi during the Covid crisis in the past two years. The book documents the Centre's leadership in this unprecedented time and how it tided the nation through the crisis.
  • During the launch, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that he believed that 'A Nation to Protect' describes the reality as it unfolded during the last two years. "We have seen what happens when there is a true leadership with a vision," said Mandaviya referring to PM Modi.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

IndiGo Partners with MakeMyTrip for Holiday Offerings

  • Budget carrier IndiGo partnered with online travel services firm MakeMyTrip for its holiday offerings for both domestic and international travellers.
  • Under the collaboration, IndiGo passengers will be offered a wide choice of airline and hotel packages to various segments of travellers ranging from leisure, pilgrimage, adventure and business.
  • IndiGo would use its extensive flights inventory across the network in conjunction with MakeMyTrip's vast inventory of hotels and activities, to offer holiday packages under 6E Holidays.
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