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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

01 Apr 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India, Australia to Collaborate in Lithium and Cobalt Identification Projects

  • The plan is to involve agencies and companies in both the countries to identify opportunities that come up for mining these key minerals and take joint investment decisions and acquisition of the assets in Australia. India and Australia have agreed to jointly undertake due diligence of greenfield and brownfield Lithium and Cobalt mineral assets that holds critical and strategic interest for both countries.
  • Both India and Australia have committed an initial investment of $ 6 Million for the joint due diligence process in the 50:50 ratio of participating interest.

State of World Population Report

  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) publishes the State of World Population (SoWP) report annually. The 2022 version of this report was released.
  • The State of World Population Report 2022 was titled "Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy."
  • Between the years 2015 to 2019, there was a rise in unintended pregnancies which numbered around 121 million across the globe annually.
  • The report stated that there has been a rise in rape-related pregnancies. Among women who have experienced partner violence contraceptive use is 53 percent lower. There is more chance of pregnancies occurring due to rape than consensual sex.
  • In 1967, UNFPA was established. It is a sexual and reproductive health agency of the United Nations. In 1969, the UNFPA became operational and it works as a subsidiary under the UN General Assembly. Its earlier name was United Nations Fund for Population Activities and in 1987 it was renamed as United Nations Population Fund but retained the abbreviation 'UNFPA.'
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Max Life Insurance Partners PhonePe to offer Financial Protection to Consumers

  • Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd announced the debut of the Max Life Smart Secure Plus Plan via the PhonePe app, a non-linked non-participating individual pure risk premium life insurance plan aimed at digitally savvy customers.
  • Customers can choose a sum assured of up to ten crore rupees and have their policies renewed through the PhonePe app. Max Life will provide PhonePe users an inherent terminal sickness benefit and a particular exit option within the life insurance category. IRDAI has awarded PhonePe, a digital payments platform, a direct broking licence, allowing them to offer insurance through their app.

India Ratings Lowers India's FY23 GDP Growth Forecast to 7-7.2%

  • India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) revised downwards the GDP growth forecast for India in FY23 to 7-7.2 per cent. Earlier in January, the rating agency Ind-Ra had forecast this rate at 7.6 per cent.
  • According to Ind-Ra, in scenario one, the crude oil price is assumed to be elevated for three months, and in scenario two, the assumption is for six months, both with a half cost pass-through into the domestic economy. Since the duration of the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to be uncertain, Ind-Ra has created two scenarios with respect to the FY23 economic outlook basis certain assumptions.

HDFC ERGO Launches VAULT, Digitally-enabled Rewards Program

  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, a leading private general insurer and a digital-first company leads the way in customer loyalty with the launch of the VAULT program, an industry-first digital customer engagement and rewards program.
  • Under this program, the insurer will incentivize its Optima Restore health insurance customers by way of reward points for performing certain activities like staying insured under the policy for more than two years, holding two active HDFC ERGO retail policies, interacting digitally, using the cashless network of healthcare providers, etc.
  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company is a joint venture between HDFC Ltd. and ERGO International AG; the primary insurance entity of the Munich RE Group of Germany. HDFC ERGO is one of India's largest non-life insurance company in the private sector.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei Back on Earth after Record-breaking Mission

  • Vande Hei, who lived in space for 355 consecutive days, setting a new record for the longest single spaceflight by an American astronaut, arrived in Houston at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). As per NASA protocol, Vande Hei was then flown back to Houston to start his recovery from living for nearly a year in microgravity.
  • Vande Hei's mission surpasses the previous single-spaceflight mark by a U.S. astronaut, which was Scott Kelly's 340-day excursion in 2015-16. The overall single-spaceflight record of nearly 438 continuous days is held by Russian cosmonaut Valery Poliyakov, who was on the Soviet-Russian Mir space station between 1994 and 1995.
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SPORTS

Manika-Archana Pair Settles for Bronze in WTT Star Contender

  • Indian paddler Manika Batra and her partner Archana Kamath settled for a bronze medal at the WTT Star Contender Doha, Qatar 2022 after losing to Chinese Taipei's Li Yu-Jhun and Cheng I-Ching in the women's doubles semi-finals, in Doha yesterday. The world No 6 Indian pair lost 0-3 (8-11, 6-11, 7-11) to Chinese Taipei's duo at the Lusail Sports Arena in the Qatari capital.

Audi and Porsche to enter F1, get green light from Volkswagen

  • Audi and Porsche owner Volkswagen is likely to give the green light for the two brands to make their entry into motor racing's Formula One at a meeting next week. There has long been talk of Audi and Porsche forming partnerships with existing Formula One teams, their most likely method of entry into the highest class of international racing.
  • Audi will offer around 500 million euros ($556.30 million) for McLaren, one source said, while Porsche intends to establish a long-term partnership with racing team Red Bull starting in several years' time. Volkswagen has not previously been involved in Formula One but has worked with Red Bull, notably in the world rally championship.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

DMRC Inaugurates First Interchange Station at Punjabi Bagh

  • Delhi Metro Rail Corporation inaugurated a new interchange station at Punjabi Bagh which connects the green and pink lines of the Delhi Metro. Meanwhile, the platforms of the two operational corridors are connected with a 212 metre-long footover bridge. This is for the first time that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has built such a station which connects two operational corridors. The two lines earlier crossed each other but there was no halt facility. However, there were demands from the people to provide an interchange provision at the intersection.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Face of Gurjar Quota protests in Rajasthan, Kirori Singh Bainsla Dies

  • Gurjar community leader Colonel (retired) Kirori Singh Bainsla passed away at the age of 84.
  • Bainsla was the face of Gurjar quota protests in Rajasthan.
  • In 2007 and 2008, the Gurjar leader led the quota agitation.
  • During the agitation, over 70 people were killed in police firing and other violent incidents during the protest, which included rail and road blockades in the eastern Rajasthan districts of Bharatpur, Karauli, Dausa and Sawai Madhopur.
  • Bainsla served in the Indian Army for three decades. He was part of the war against China in 1962 as well as the India-Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Odisha Day or Utkal Divas is Celebrated on 1st April

  • Utkal Divas or Utakala Dibasha or Odisha Day is celebrated on April 1 every year to remember the formation of the Odisha state after a struggle to be recognised as an independent state. Odisha came into existence on the 1st of April 1936. The state was originally called Orissa but the Lok Sabha passed the Orissa Bill, and Constitution Bill (113rd amendment), in March 2011 to rename it Odisha. Oriya language was also retitled as Odia.
  • The earlier capital city of Odisha was Cuttack whereas the current capital city is Bhubaneswar. In terms of tribal population, Odisha is the 3rd state in the country. Various rulers ruled the state. More than 31% of the state has been covered with forests.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

BS Awards for Corporate Excellence 2021

  • An eight-member jury selected the winners of the Business Standard Annual Awards for Corporate Excellence 2021, and Mumbai-headquarterd Cipla was chosen as the Company of the Year by the stellar jury.
  • Mumbai-headquartered Cipla is the third-largest pharmaceutical company in India, the third-largest over-the-counter (OTC) player in South Africa, the eighth largest by prescription in the US, and the second-largest Indian exporter to the emerging markets. It was established in 1935.
  • The jury was chaired by Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and included JSW Group Chairman Sajjan Jindal, KKR India Senior Advisor Sanjay Nayar, AZB & Partners Founder and Managing Partner Zia Mody, EY India Chairman Rajiv Memani, McKinsey & Company Senior Partner Noshir Kaka, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas Managing Partner Cyril Shroff, and Bain Capital Private Equity Chairman Amit Chandra.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Ambedkar Young Entrepreneur-Mentor Programme

  • The government is looking to launch a scheme to help aspiring entrepreneurs who belong to SCs and OBCs and are failing to receive venture capital funds (VCF).
  • The name of the proposed scheme is Ambedkar Young Entrepreneur-Mentor programme.
  • As the VCF scheme couldn't make good progress despite being in operation for many years, this programme's need was felt and was devised.
  • Under the VCF scheme, the government provides financial assistance of up to Rs 15 Crore for a time period of a maximum of 6 years to the SC entrepreneurs.
  • This scheme has been developed to help them create their business enterprises, through a "mentorship" programme that will be roping in established managers and industrialists to guide and help them throughout the process. This scheme will also be aiming to build a bridge for all those SC youth of the country who are facing challenges related to funding mobilization and skills despite the social justice and empowerment ministry-run VCF scheme.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

National Institute of Bank Management Launches Advanced Programme in Banking and Leadership

  • National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), an autonomous apex institute established by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Banks collaborated with ed-tech platform TalentSprint to launch a six month advanced programme in banking and leadership. This programme is aimed at participants who aspire to be digital-first professionals and spearhead digital transformation initiatives within their organizations.
  • The programme will be delivered on TalentSprint's digital platform ipearl.ai.
  • The Advanced Programme in Banking and Leadership for a Digital World is a case-study driven six-month programme that would provide professionals with a comprehensive understanding of digital transformation in banking and financial institutions.
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