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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

13 Mar 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Biden Announces Major Non-NATO Ally Status for Colombia

  • President Joe Biden announced that he intends to designate Colombia as a major non-NATO ally, a step that will provide the Latin American nation with certain benefits in the areas of defense, trade and security cooperation.
  • Biden made the announcement during a White House meeting with outgoing Colombian President Ivan Duque.
  • Major non-NATO ally is a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense, trade and security cooperation, according to the State Department, and is a symbol of the close ties the US shares with such countries.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Says He will Retire this Year

  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that he will retire later this year after serving two five-year terms.
  • Li along with other members of the government were set to retire after this year's once-in-year-five-year CPC Congress which will usher in a new leadership at all levels.
  • Since taking over from his predecessor Wen Jiabao in 2013, Li has been more withdrawn and played a more supportive role to Xi and focusing on the economy, the world's second largest.

Russia is Now World's most Sanctioned Country 2022

  • Russia has become the most sanctioned country in the world, due to its invasion on Ukraine, according to a New York-based sanctions watchlist site Castellum.AI. Russia faced 2,778 new sanctions since February 22, 2022, led by the US and European nations, bringing the total sanctions to 5,530. The country already had 2,754 sanctions in place before February 22.
  • Countries across the world are putting sanctions on Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine. Russia has now surpassed countries like Iran and North Korea in terms of a number of sanctions. Before this, Iran was the most sanctioned country, facing 3,616 sanctions against it over the last decade, while Syria and North Korea have 2,608 and 2,077 sanctions, respectively.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Neelachal Ispat JV Partners in Share-purchase Pact with Tata Steel Arm

  • Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd's JV partners signed a share purchase agreement (SPA) with Tata Steel Long Products, paving the way for NINL privatisation.
  • NINL is a joint venture of MMTC, NMDC, BHEL, MECON and 2 Odisha government PSUs - OMC and IPICOL.
  • Tata Steel Long Products emerged as the highest bidder with Rs 12,100 crore for the acquisition of the 93.71 per cent equity stake of NINL.
  • NMDC executed definitive agreements for the sale of its entire equity in NINL to Tata Steel Long Products Limited.

CCI Approves Acquisition of L&T AMC by HSBC Asset Management

  • Fair trade regulator CCI approved the acquisition of L&T Investment Management Ltd by HSBC Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd.
  • Commission approves acquisition of 100 per cent share capital of L&T Investment Management Ltd (L&T AMC) by HSBC Asset Management (India) Private Limited (HSBC AMC).
  • The transaction involves the acquisition by HSBC AMC and its nominees of 100 per cent share capital of L&T AMC from L&T Finance Holdings Ltd and its nominees.
  • Simultaneously, there will be a change in the sponsorship, trusteeship, management and administration of the L&T Mutual Fund schemes managed by L&T AMC.

Tata Power Partners Enviro to Install EV Charging Points in Gurugram

  • Electric-vehicle charging infra provider Tata Power collaborated with Enviro - the facility management wing of real estate developer Vatika Group - to install 59 EV charging points at its properties.
  • The EV chargers will be installed at 18 locations across the properties of Vatika Group in the city.
  • These chargers will be made available as public charging stations and semi-public based on the nature of the premises.
  • Tata Power has been rapidly setting up EV charging infrastructure across the country, helping India adopt environment-friendly mobility.
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SPORTS

Tiger Woods Inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame

  • Tiger Woods was formally inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and ushered into golf's most revered club by his daughter, Sam, who delivered a touching speech as the 82-time PGA TOUR winner and 15- time major champion's induction presenter.
  • The World Golf Hall of Fame presented two new distinguished service awards for the first time. Renee Powell was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Charlie Sifford Award presented by Southern Company (for her spirit in advancing diversity in golf), while Peter Ueberroth and the late Dick Ferris were honored through a Lifetime Achievement recognition for their contributions to golf.

Rajasthan Royals Appoint Lasith Malinga as Fast Bowling Coach

  • Rajasthan Royals roped in the services of former Sri Lanka speedster Lasith Malinga as the franchise's fast bowling coach ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. Malinga, who had been one of the key figures for the Mumbai Indians during his playing career, had retired from the game last year. The stint with the Royals would be Malinga's maiden role as a coach in the tournament.
  • Malinga is currently the highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL, with 170 wickets to his name in 122 matches. He is one of the very few players who represented only one franchise in the tournament; in Malinga's case, Mumbai.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Union Minister of Power Launches Virtual Smart Grid Knowledge Center

  • As part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Program, Union Minister for Power R.K. Singh launched the Virtual Smart Grid Knowledge Center (SGKC) and Innovation Park.
  • POWERGRID established the Smart Grid Knowledge Center (SGKC) to demonstrate and advance cutting-edge smart grid technologies.
  • SGKC aspires to be one of the world's top centres of excellence for smart grid technology innovation, entrepreneurship, and research, as well as building capacity in the power distribution industry.
  • The Virtual SGKC, which was introduced, allows for a digital footprint of the real SGKC, which was needed during the COVID-19 epidemic.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IIT Madras Partners with Walmart Global Tech to Accelerate Research and Skilling

  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) partnered with Walmart Global Tech (WGT) to accelerate research in new areas of technology, provide Walmart associates with continuing education and collaborate on projects for Corporate Social Responsibility for their India operations.
  • The MoU was signed at an event in Chennai in the presence of Suresh Kumar, Global Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Development Officer (CDO), Walmart Inc., (and alumnus of IITM), Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean - Alumni and Corporate Relations, IITM and the U.S. Consul General in Chennai, Ms. Judith Ravin.
  • WGT will use space in the IIT Madras Research Park to leverage the broader ecosystem and work with the start-up companies incubated by the IIT Madras Incubation Cell.
  • WGT will also have access to several short and long-term education and training programs to upskill talent and fit the changing needs of the retail and eCommerce industry.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Sharad Pawar unveiled Ratnakar Shetty's Autobiography "On Board: My Years in BCCI"

  • A book titled "On Board: My Years in BCCI", an autobiographical account of Ratnakar Shetty's experiences as an administrator. The book was released by Sharad Pawar, the former president of the MCA, BCCI and International Cricket Council. Shetty, a Chemistry professor by profession, went on to be the BCCI's first Chief Administrative Officer after serving the Mumbai Cricket Association in various capacities.
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