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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

21 Mar 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

World's Happiest Country Ranking Goes to Finland for Fifth Year in a Row

  • Finland was crowned the happiest country in the world for the fifth consecutive year, with a score significantly ahead of its peers in the World Happiness Report 2022 ranking.
  • Denmark kept its second place. Iceland bypassed Switzerland to take third place and the Netherlands rounded out the top five. The US ranked 16th, up three places from 2021.

Turkmenistan Leader's Son Wins Presidential Election

  • Turkmenistan authorities said that the son of the Central Asian country's leader won the presidential election after an unusual vote-counting delay, establishing a political dynasty in one of the world's most tightly controlled countries.
  • Serdar Berdymukhamedov secured 72.97 per cent of votes in the election to lead the gas-rich country and succeed his father Gurbanguly.
  • His nearest rival in a field of nine candidates was university official Khyrdyr Nunnayev, who won 11 per cent.
  • No election in Turkmenistan, which became independent with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, has been considered genuinely competitive.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

ICICI's Sandeep Bakhshi: Business Standard's 'Banker of the Year'

  • ICICI Bank's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Bakhshi was chosen as the Business Standard Banker of the Year 2020-21 for turning around the private sector lender both in terms of performance and perception during his tenure of the past three and a half years.
  • A jury of five members chaired by former RBI Deputy Governor SS Mundra unanimously chose Bhakshiu as the winner.
  • Bakhshi took charge of India's second-largest private sector lender in October 2018 amid controversy surrounding his predecessor Chanda Kochhar, who had to step down over corporate governance issues.

RCEP: World's Largest Trade Deal Comes into Effect in Malaysia

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's largest trade deal, came into effect in Malaysia.
  • Malaysia is expected to be the largest beneficiary among the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members from the RCEP in terms of export gains.
  • The country is expected to see a $200 million increase in export gains, making the RCEP a vital tool in recovering from the economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

UAE Cargo Ship Sinks in Persian Gulf

  • An Emirati-flagged cargo ship, longer than a soccer field, sank in stormy seas off Iran's southern coast in the Persian Gulf. Rescuers were trying to account for all of the vessel's 30 crew members.
  • Capt. Nizar Qaddoura, operations manager of the company that owns the ship, said that the 'Al Salmy 6' encountered treacherous weather. The choppy waters forced the vessel to list at a precarious angle and, within hours, fully submerged the ship.
  • Emergency workers dispatched from Iran successfully saved 16 crew members, and civilian ships had been asked to help with the rescue efforts. Another 11 survivors made it into life rafts, while one person was plucked and saved from the water by a nearby tanker.
  • The crew consisted of nationals from Sudan, India, Pakistan, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The ship had been bound for the Port of Umm Qasr, in southern Iraq, carrying cars and other cargo.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

New Russian cosmonaut Team Welcomed aboard International Space Station

  • Three Russian cosmonauts arrived safely at the International Space Station (ISS), docking their Soyuz capsule with the outpost for a mission that continues a 20-year shared Russian-U.S. presence in orbit despite tensions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
  • The arrival of the latest cosmonaut team - warmly welcomed by four Americans, two Russians and a German crewmate already aboard - came a day after the European Space Agency (ESA) announced it had suspended a joint robotic rover mission to Mars with Russia due to the Ukraine conflict.
  • They will be replacing three current ISS crew members scheduled to fly back to Earth on March 30 - cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov and U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei.
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SPORTS

All England Badminton: Lakshya Sen Loses to Viktor Axelsen in Final

  • World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen finished as the runner-up at the 2022 All England Open Badminton Championships after losing to world number one Viktor Axelsen in the men's singles final.

Pankaj Advani Bags Asian Billiards Title for 8th Time

  • Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani defeated compatriot Dhruv Sitwala by six frames to win his eighth title at the 19th Asian 100 UP Billiards Championship 2022.
  • This is Advani's 40th international title and 8th Asian crown.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Shivraj Singh Chouhan Becomes Longest Serving BJP Chief Minister

  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan became the longest-serving BJP Chief Minister in office after beating the previous record of 15 years and 10 days set by former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
  • The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister completed 15 years and 11 days in office on March 17, 2022.
  • Chouhan first became the Chief Minister in November 2005 by replacing Babulal Gaur and remained in the office till 2018.
  • From December 2018 to March 2020, Kamal Nath was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
  • In March 2020, the BJP once again formed the government in the state with the help of Jyotiraditya Scindia, with Chouhan taking over as Chief Minister.

BJP Names N. Biren Singh as Chief Minister for Second Term

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala announced that N. Biren Singh would remain the Chief Minister of the northeastern state of Manipur for a second term.
  • Sitharaman who was sent to Manipur as central observer by the BJP party said that Singh was unanimously chosen by party's state legislature party as their leader.
  • The BJP returned to power in Manipur by winning 32 seats in the 60-member House in the recent assembly elections in the state.

Sharad-Lalu Reunion after 25 Years, LJD Merges with RJD

  • Former Union Minister Sharad Yadav merged his Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Lalu Prasad Yadav.
  • After announcing the merger of the two parties, Sharad Yadav said that the move is the first step towards (the formation of) a united Opposition.
  • Sharad Yadav had formed the LJD in 2018 after parting his ways from Janata Dal (United) over the party's alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
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DEFENCE

As Tensions with Russian Rise, NORAD Conducts Air, Missile Defence Operation

  • The North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD, conducted exercises in the Far North.
  • Dubbed 'Operation Noble Defender', the exercises were an arctic air defence operation involving military aircraft and personnel from Canada and the United States.
  • This recurring operation was designed to confirm the Canadian NORAD Region's capabilities to respond to both aircraft and cruise missiles threatening North America.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

American Astrophysicist Eugene Parker Passes Away

  • American Astrophysicist Eugene Newman Parker, who contributed to solar physics, passed away at the age of 94. Eugene Parker witnessed the launch of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Parker Solar Probe in 2018, the first NASA mission named after a living person, and became the first person to witness the launch of a spacecraft named after them.
  • Parker is a visionary in the field of heliophysics, which focuses on the study of the sun and other stars & he is well known for his theory on the existence of solar wind, a supersonic flow of particles of the sun's surface. He virtually created the field of heliophysics in the 1950s.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Forestry Day

  • The International Day of Forests (also known as World Forestry Day) is celebrated every year on March 21. The main aim of the day is to raise awareness of the significance of all types of forests. The day is to celebrate to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations as well as to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth.
  • The theme for 2022 was "Forests and sustainable production and consumption."
  • The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.

World Down Syndrome Day

  • World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed every year on March 21. It is a global campaign which is observed annually to spread awareness about Down Syndrome.
  • According to the official website of the United nations (UN), Down syndrome occurs when an individual has an extra partial (or whole) copy of chromosome 21. It is not yet know why this syndrome occurs, but Down syndrome has always been a part of the human condition.
  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in 2011, declared March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day. It was celebrated for the first time in the year 2012.
  • The theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2022 (WDSD) was '#InclusionMeans'. It highlighted the importance of collective understanding and global conversation about Down Syndrome, which would empower people around the world to advocate for full inclusion in society for people with Down syndrome and disabilities.

World Poetry Day

  • Every year World Poetry Day is held on March 21 to celebrate the most treasured cultural and linguistic expression and identity in the form of poems.
  • This day is dedicated to honour the poets and treasuring the traditions of poetry for the new generation. The day is celebrated in different educational institutions, starting from schools to universities in the form of theatre, dance, painting, and writing.
  • The day was first started by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) at its 30th General Conference in Paris in the year 1999.
  • The reason behind observing this day is to preserve linguistic diversity through poetry for the endangered languages that need to be heard.
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