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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

25 Mar 2022


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India, 12 others Abstain in UNSC on Vote on Russian-led Draft Resolution on Ukraine

  • India, along with 12 other UN Security Council members, abstained on a resolution by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
  • The draft resolution by Russia was co-sponsored by Syria, North Korea and Belarus. It failed to get adopted in the Council as it did not get the required nine votes to pass.
  • Russia and China voted in favour of the resolution while there were no countries voting against. India and the remaining Security Council members abstained.
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Bangladesh Most Polluted Country of the World

  • Bangladesh was the most polluted country in the world in 2021, says the World Air Quality Report prepared by the Swiss-based air quality technology company IQAir in its latest report released in March, 2022. In terms of particulate matter in the air, Bangladesh recorded an average PM2.5 level of 76.9 micrograms per cubic metre in 2021 against the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended maximum permissible level of 5 micrograms per cubic metre.
  • The data reveals that not a single country in the world managed to meet the WHO's air quality standard in 2021. All over the world, 93 cities reported PM 2.5 levels at 10 times the recommended level.
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ICICI Bank Launches Credit Card in Partnership with Chennai Super Kings

  • ICICI Bank announced that it has launched a co-branded credit card in partnership with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), an IPL franchise. Called 'Chennai Super Kings ICICI Bank Credit Card', the card has been specially designed with a range of exclusive privileges for millions of cricket fans of the iconic team.
  • The new card is another addition to an exclusive set of co-branded credit cards offered by the bank to enable sports enthusiasts to connect with their favourite teams as well as avail benefits of a credit card. Four years ago, ICICI Bank launched a co-branded credit card with Manchester United, a professional football club of England.

SBI Signs co-lending Pact with PNB Housing, IIFL Home Finance, Three other HFCs

  • India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) entered into a co-lending agreement with 5 Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) to sanction home loans to the unserved and underserved sector in line with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.
  • The 5 HFCs are: PNB Housing Finance Limited, IIFL Home Finance Limited, Shriram Housing Finance Limited, Edelweiss Housing Finance Limited, and Capri Global Housing Finance Limited.
  • The partnership agreement, which was signed in Mumbai, was handed over by SBI's chairman, Dinesh Khara, to the respective heads of the HFCs.
  • This collaboration will enhance SBI's distribution network, as SBI aims to extend its credit reach to more Home Loan borrowers of the unserved and underserved segments.

Ola Signs Agreement to Acquire Neo Bank Avail Finance

  • Mobility firm Ola signed an agreement to acquire neo bank Avail Finance which provides financial services to the blue-collared workforce and has over 6 million users.
  • The acquisition is a key step in Ola's broader push into the fintech space as it looks to build a mobility-focused financial services business under Ola Financial.
  • With this expansion, Ola will be able to cross-sell multiple lending products to its large driver-partner base.
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Milky Way Evolved in Few Different Phases, New Research Suggests

  • The formation of our Milky Way Galaxy can be split up qualitatively into different assembly phases that resulted in its structurally different stellar populations: the halo and the disk components. Revealing a quantitative overall picture of Milky Way's assembly requires a large sample of stars with very precise ages. In new research, astronomers at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy analyzed such a sample using subgiant stars.
  • Subgiant stars, which are stars sustained by hydrogen shell fusion, can be unique tracers for such purposes, as they exist in the brief stellar evolutionary phase that permits the most precise and direct age determination, because their luminosity is a direct measure of their age.
  • Moreover, the chemical element compositions determined from the spectra of their photosphere surfaces accurately reflect their birth material composition billions of years ago.
  • "This makes subgiants the best practical tracers of Galactic archaeology, even compared to main-sequence turn-off stars, whose surface abundances may be altered by atomic diffusion effects.
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Desai Wins India's First Gold at Dubai Para Athletics GP

  • Sprinter Pranav Prashant Desai clinching the gold medal, India's first, in men's 200m T64 final at the Dubai 2022 World Para Athletics Grand Prix - 13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships.
  • It was the only medal for India on the day as throwers faltered at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds.
  • The day also witnessed one world record in men's javelin F40 finals when Iraq's Naas Ahmed hurled the javelin to a distance of 39.08 m to take the gold. It was also an Asian record.
  • After two days, Colombia sits on top of the medals table with 13 medals that has six gold, ahead of Thailand (16) and Tunisia (7). India lies in the 15th place with four medals.

MS Dhoni Hands over CSK Captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja Ahead of IPL 2022

  • MS Dhoni handed over the leadership of Chennai Super Kings and picked Ravindra Jadeja to lead the team.
  • Jadeja, who has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2012, became the third player to lead CSK. Dhoni will continue to represent Chennai Super Kings this season and beyond.
  • Under Dhoni, CSK clinched the title trophy four times - 2010, 2011, 2018 and 2021.
  • The change in captaincy comes two days before the CSK's first game of the tournament versus last year's defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
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Nagaland Becomes First Paperless Assembly by Implementing e-Vidhan Application

  • Nagaland became the first State Assembly in the country to implement the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) programme to become completely paperless. The Nagaland Assembly Secretariat attached a tablet or e-book on each table in the 60 members' assembly amid the Budget session.
  • NeVA is a work-flow system deployed on NIC Cloud, MeghRaj which helps the Chair of the House to conduct the proceedings of the House smoothly and to conduct Legislative Business of the House in a Paperless manner.
  • NeVA is a device neutral and member-centric application created to equip them to handle diverse House Business smartly by putting entire information regarding member contact details, rules of procedure, list of business, notices, bulletins, bills, starred/unstarred questions and answers, papers laid, committee reports etc. in their handheld devices/ tablets and equip all Legislatures/Departments to handle it efficiently.

Ministry of Civil Aviation & FICCI to Jointly Organise 'WINGS INDIA 2022' in Hyderabad

  • The four-day event, being organised at the Begumpet airport in Hyderabad, with 'India@75: New Horizon for Aviation Industry' as its theme comes amid signs of recovery after the industry was rattled by the pandemic induced restrictions on travel. Asia's largest event on civil aviation, Wings India will feature discussions on different segments and showcase some of the latest products.
  • Some of the attractions of the event include drone demonstration and exhibition and flying display by SARANG team of Indian Air Force on all four days. Like in the past, Wings India 2022 will also provide a platform to leading players in civil aviation sector to showcase their products.
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3rd Edition of India-Uzbekistan Joint Military Exercise Begins in Yangiarik

  • The third edition of the joint training exercise between India's and Uzbekistan's armies - EX-DUSTLIK - began in Uzbekistan's Yangiarik. The last edition of DUSTLIK was held in Uttarakhand's Ranikhet last March. The joint exercise focused on Counter Terrorism operations in semi-urban terrain under a United Nations Mandate.
  • The Indian contingent comprised the platoon strength of the Grenadiers Regiment and the Uzbek Army contingent was represented by troops of the North Western Military District.
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International Day of the Unborn Child

  • The International Day of the Unborn Child is an annual commemoration of unborn fetuses, observed as a day of opposition to abortion, on March 25. It was established by Pope John Paul II to coincide with the Feast of the Annunciation. John Paul II viewed the day as "a positive option in favour of life and the spread of a culture for life to guarantee respect for human dignity in every situation".
  • In 1993, El Salvador became the first nation to officially celebrate what was called a Day of the Right to Be Born. Subsequently other countries have initiated official celebrations for the unborn, such as Argentina with the Day of the Unborn in 1998, and Chile with Day of the Conceived and Unborn, Guatemala with the National Day of the Unborn, and Costa Rica with the National Day of Life Before Birth, all in 1999.

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

  • International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is marked on 25 March every year to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice. The Day is observed with ceremonies and activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at United Nations offices around the world.
  • 2022 Theme: "Stories of Courage: Resistance to Slavery and Unity against Racism".
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Neeraj Chopra Wins Sportsman of the Year Award: Sportstar Aces 2022

  • Tokyo Olympic gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra claimed the coveted 'Sportstar of the Year (Male)' award at the 2022 Sportstar Aces Awards. Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who claimed the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, received the 'Sportstar of the Year (Female)' award. The Aces Awards celebrate the spirit of excellence in sport and hope to inspire our athletes and sportspersons to continue to strive to break new records and reach new pinnacles of glory.
  • Other awardee's in the list:
  • Lovlina Borgohain (Sportswoman of the Year, Individual Sports),
  • Avani Lekhara (Parathlete of the Year, Female),
  • Pramod Bhagat (Special Recognition award),
  • Savita (Sportswoman of the Year, Team Sports), and Rupinder Pal Singh (Sportsman of the Year, Team Sports)
  • Arif Khan wins Special Recognition Award at Sportstar Aces 2022.
  • Former Indian hockey team captain Ajit Pal Singh was conferred the 'Lifetime Achievement award. Ajit was part of two Olympic bronze-winning teams, including one at the 1972 Munich Games.

A Certificate of Accreditation Awarded to Mangaluru International Airport

  • In March 2022, Airports Council International (ACI) awarded a certificate of accreditation to Mangaluru International Airport. The accreditation is for level one of the Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme. . The certificate recognises the commitment of the airport to continued customer experience improvement.
  • Mangaluru International Airport is the third in India to get this coveted accreditation. It is designed to help airports implement best practices, educate employees and ensure customer satisfaction through excellence in service.
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Maharashtra Assembly Passes Bill to Make Marathi Mandatory in Official Works

  • A bill was passed in the Maharashtra legislative assembly making Marathi language mandatory for officials working under civic bodies, corporations, and local authorities. The Marathi language department minister Subhash Desai said that the introduction of the bill was necessitated as the Maharashtra Official Language Act, 1964 did not make it mandatory for the local authorities to use Marathi in their official works.
  • 'In the Maharashtra Official Languages Act, 1964, there was no mention of making Marathi language mandatory in local bodies and state-run corporations and societies, and therefore this bill was introduced," Desai said.
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IIT Guwahati Hosts Chair of 'Jal Jeevan Mission' for Water Treatment Technology

  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, established the 'Chair of Jal Jeevan Mission' for Water Treatment Technology. The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019 from the ramparts of the Red Fort. It aims to enable every rural household to have a Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) by 2024.
  • The institute appointed Professor Mihir Kumar Purkait, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati, as the first occupant of this Chair. The tenure of the Professor's Chair is for five years.
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Asia's largest Tulip Garden Opens for Visitors in J&K's Srinagar

  • Counted in the wonders of the Valley, Kashmir's tulip garden became the first attraction of spring season for tourists across the globe after the Jammu and Kashmir government opened it for all. Competing tulip gardens of Holland and the Netherlands, Kashmir Tulip Garden is considered in the first three tulip gardens of the world.
  • Inaugurated in 2007 this garden with every passing year had won the hearts of nature lovers across the globe.
  • Tulip Garden in Srinagar is the largest tulip garden in Asia. This garden is spread over an area of about 30 hectares.
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Kerala Launches WhatsApp Chatbot for Tourists

  • Kerala Tourism launched 24×7 WhatsApp chatbot 'Maya' to enable tourists get information and updates on tourism ecosystem in the state by sending a 'Hi' to the WhatsApp no: 7510512345 or by scanning the QR code.
  • Maya would act as a virtual travel assistant of tourists to ask and get complete information for hassle-free travel experience.
  • Maya would assist tourists to also know about experience-oriented locations, never-miss spots, historical places, eco-tourism, arts and culture hubs, festivals, local food, visa information, Covid-19 protocol, weather update, and provides links to the official Kerala Tourism social media pages.
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