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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

12 Apr 2022


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Shehbaz Sharif is 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan

  • Pakistan's opposition leader, Shehbaz Sharif was elected unopposed as the 23rd Prime Minister of the country through voting in the National Assembly. The 70-year old Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Chief succeeded Imran Khan, who was removed by a no-trust vote recently in the National Assembly. Shehbaz Sharif is the brother of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
  • Sharif secured 174 votes and was declared as Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In the House of 342, the winning candidate should get the support of at least 172 lawmakers.
  • Sharif said that a selected Prime Minister was removed using constitutional and legal means, the first time a PM was removed through a no-confidence motion. He served as Chief Minister of the country's most populous and politically crucial Punjab province thrice. Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chair Asif Ali Zardari had proposed Shehbaz's name for the Prime Minister's position in a joint opposition meeting to replace Khan through a no-confidence motion.

US Reaffirms Support for India's Permanent Membership in Reformed UNSC, NSG

  • The Biden administration reaffirmed its commitment to support India's permanent membership in a reformed UN Security Council and New Delhi's entry to the Nuclear Suppliers' Group.
  • The US also praised India for its significant contributions as a member of the 15-membered apex decision making body of the UN.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar led the Indian delegation for 2+2, while the US side was represented by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Tony Blinken.
  • The 48-member NSG is an elite club of countries that deals with the trade-in nuclear technology and fissile materials besides contributing to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

India, US to Bolster Cooperation in Fields of Education, Skill Development

  • Lauding the vibrant linkages between the two countries, India and the US reiterated their support for further strengthening cooperation in the fields of education and skill development through joint collaborations.
  • The ministers announced the intent to establish a new India-US Education and Skills Development Working Group and also appreciated the contribution of the Fulbright-Nehru program in furthering the exchange of outstanding academics and professionals between both countries and the special role that the four million strong Indian-American diaspora play in deepening India-US relations.
  • Welcoming the resumption of regular air travel between the two countries and expressing hope that this would encourage tourism and business travel, the two sides acknowledged that the movement of skilled professionals, students, entrepreneurs, investors, and business travellers between the countries will play an important role in catalyzing innovation and economic opportunity.
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Ruchi Soya to Change the Name of the Company to Patanjali Foods

  • The board of directors of Ruchi Soya Industries decided to change the company's name to Patanjali Foods.
  • At its board meeting the directors also accorded their in-principle approval for evaluating the most efficient mode of enhancing synergies with Patanjali Ayurved Ltd's food portfolio in any manner on an arm's-length basis.
  • Ruchi Soya also authorised officials of the company to negotiate, finalise, execute and deliver the terms and conditions of the proposed transaction.

Irina Ghose is Microsoft India COO as Rajiv Sodhi Gets Global Role

  • Irina Ghose was appointed the chief operating officer of Microsoft India. The new COO of Microsoft India replaced Rajiv Sodhi who moved to the US in a global role.
  • Ghose will be responsible for driving end-to-end operations for Microsoft in the country. She plans to use her learnings of over two decades as a Microsoft employee to continue working with more than 14,000 partners and customers, aid the country in its digital transformation, and provide skilling platforms for India's youth.
  • Ghose has held a variety of Strategy and Sales leadership roles across Enterprise, Solution Sales, Partner Solutions, and Education segments, focusing on Business management, Operations, Partnerships and New business initiatives.

Reserve Bank Introduces Principles for Mid, Large NBFCs

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced certain principles, standards and procedures for mid and large non-banking financial companies.
  • The revised regulatory framework for NBFCs, issued in October 2021, had indicated that such entities in the Upper Layer (NBFC-UL) and Middle Layer (NBFC-ML) would be required to have an independent Compliance Function and a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO).
  • NBFCs in the upper layer and middle layer should treat the prescriptions in the circular as a set of minimum guidelines only and accordingly frame their guidelines taking into account their corporate governance framework, the scale of operations, risk profile and organisational structure, among other factors.
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IIT Mandi Researchers Develop Sustainable Methods of Soil Stabilisation Using Bacteria

  • Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi, developed sustainable techniques for soil stabilisation using a harmless bacteria called S Pasteurii that hydrolyse urea to precipitate calcite.
  • The process does not involve hazardous chemicals, and natural resources can be used sustainably. The study will help in designing microbial methods to improve soil shear strength at the field scale to protect the soil from erosion in hilly areas and during geo-disasters, the researchers claimed.
  • Soil stabilisation is the process of conferring long-term permanent strength to the soil by artificial means. It is used when construction work must be carried out on unstable grounds or to protect soil from erosion. Traditionally, mechanical processes such as compression and chemical processes such as the injection of chemical grout fluids into the soil are used for soil stabilisation.
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Ravichandran Ashwin Becomes First Indian in T20 and also First in Indian Premier League (IPL) to Get Retired Out

  • Ashwin became the first player in the Indian Premier League's (IPL) 14-year history to "retire out". Before Ashwin, only three other cricketers, Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, Bhutan's Sonam Tobgay, and Bangladesh's Sunzamul Islam, had opted for "retiring out".
  • Ashwin's decision impressed many cricket lovers who were not aware of this rule.
  • According to rules laid by the International Cricket Council (ICC), a batsman can choose to retire anytime during the inning when the "ball is dead" after informing the umpires. "Dead ball" is a technical term that loosely means a time during the match when both teams are not playing.

Hardik Pandya Becomes Fastest Indian to Smash 100 sixes in IPL

  • Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya became the fastest Indian to smash 100 sixes in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
  • The all-rounder reached the milestone in a total of 1046 balls. He also became the third-fastest player in the world to smash 100 sixes, after West Indies' Chris Gayle and Andre Russell.
  • Hardik achieved this feat during the clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai.

Charleston Open: Sania Mirza-Lucie Hradecka Lose in Final

  • Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka's splendid run at the Charleston Open ended after they lost the title clash 2-6 6-4 7-10 to Andreja Klepac and Magda Linette.
  • Mirza and Hradecka had a stunning run at the WTA 500 event, reaching the women's doubles final after pulling off a major upset by stunning top seeds Zhang Shuai and Caroline Dolehide in the semi-finals.
  • Mirza and Hradecka had also reached the semifinal of the Dubai Tennis Championships in February.
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Gujarat Tops NITI Aayog's State Energy and Climate Index Round 1

  • Gujarat topped NITI Aayog State Energy and Cli¬m¬ate Index-(SECI) Ro¬und 1 among larger states. This in¬dex aims to rank states and union territories on six para¬meters — discoms performance, access affordability and reliability of energy, clean energy initiatives, ene¬rgy effi¬cie¬ncy, environmental sustai¬nability and new initiatives.
  • Gujarat was followed by Kerala and Punjab, according to the government think tank's report. States like Chh¬attisgarh, Madhya Prad¬esh and Jharkhand were placed at the bottom.
  • According to the rep¬ort, the performance of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha has greater scope for improvement in terms of clean ene¬rgy initiatives, energy efficiency, environmental su¬st¬ain¬ability and new initiatives. Among the smaller states, Goa topped the index, follow¬ed by Tripura and Manipur.

Ministry of Jal Shakti Sets up National Dam Safety Authority

  • The Dam Safety Act 2021 passed by the Parliament in December 2021 provides for surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of certain specified dams across the country with a provision of imprisonment up to two years, or a fine, or both, for an offence under it.
  • More than three months after the Dam Safety Bill was passed by the Parliament, the Ministry of Jal Shakti finally set up the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA).
  • As per the Ministry data, India has 5,745 large dams (includes dams under construction). Of these, 5,675 large dams are operated by the states, 40 by central public sector undertakings, and five by private agencies.
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IAF's Chinook Helicopter Sets Record, Flies Non-stop from Chandigarh to Jorhat in Assam

  • A Chinook helicopter of the Indian Air Force set a record for the longest non-stop helicopter sortie by flying for seven-and-half hours from Chandigarh to Jorhat in Assam. The helicopter covered a distance of 1,910 km, and it was made possible by the capabilities of the Chinook along with operational planning and execution by the IAF.
  • The Chinook is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel. It is also used for humanitarian and disaster relief operations and in missions such as transportation of relief supplies and mass evacuation of refugees.
  • India had finalised a contract in September 2015 to procure 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinooks choppers from the US at a cost of around USD 3 billion.

Indian Coast Guard Commissions Advanced Light Helicopter MK III Squadron

  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned a squadron of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III, which will strengthen maritime security.
  • ALH MK III choppers are fitted with modern surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment which enables them to undertake the role of long-range maritime reconnaissance.
  • These helicopters also feature an array of state of the art sensors, which add up to the maritime prowess of the Indian Coast Guard at sea. They have traffic alert and collision avoidance system, advanced communication systems, a heavy machine gun, a removable Medical Intensive Care Unit and other facilities.
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Actor-screenwriter Shiv Kumar Subramaniam Passes Away

  • Actor-screenwriter Shiv Kumar Subramaniam passed away, he was known for his roles in the serial Mukti Bandhan and Meenakshi Sundareshwar. He started his career by writing a screenplay for the 1989 film Parinda which was directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Story for Hazaron Khawaishein Aisis. He worked in films like 2 States, Hichki, Nail Polish, Rocky Handsome and more.
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International Day of Human Space Flight

  • The International Day of Human Space Flight is celebrated annually on April 12 to mark the anniversary of the first human space flight by Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. The day was proclaimed at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly on April 7, 2011, a few days before the 50th anniversary of the flight. In the Soviet Union, the day is observed as the International Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics.'
  • This day aims to help us recognize how much humanity has achieved thanks to the advancements in technology. This day shows us the significance of the cooperation, collaboration, and sharing of technology in space which has contributed immensely to making our world a better place.
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PM Modi to Receive Inaugural Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be honoured with the inaugural Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award, the Mangeshkar family announced. The prime minister will receive the award -- Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar -- on April 24 which marks the 80th death anniversary of Master Deenanath Mangeshkar, the singing legend's father.
  • The Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar will be given every year to only one individual who has made path-breaking, spectacular and exemplary contributions to the nation, its people and society.
  • The Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Awards aim to honour legends from the field of music, drama, art, medical and social work.

ICC Players of the Month for March 2022: Babar Azam, Rachael Haynes

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and Australia's run-machine Rachael Haynes were named the ICC Men's and Women's Players of the Month for March 2022.
  • Azam received the award ahead of West Indies' Kraigg Brathwaite and Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins, and in doing so, became the first player to win the ICC Men's 'Player of the Month' award on two occasions, after being crowned back in April 2021.
  • Rachael Haynes had a formidable set of displays on the road to Australia's seventh ICC Women's Cricket World Cup trophy. She overcame fellow nominees Sophie Ecclestone (England) and Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa) for the award.

Manipur Film Awards: Bishesh Huirem Becomes First Transgender to Win Best Actor Award

  • In a first in Manipur, transgender actress Bishesh Huirem was honoured with the Best Actor Award in the prestigious Manipur State Film Awards, 2022. Huirem received the award from Manipur Governor La Ganesan.
  • Bishesh Huirem received the award for her sterling performance in portraying a transgender character in the film 'Apaiba Leichil' (floating clouds), which also clinched the Special Mention Award.
  • Huirem expressed immense joy over third gender artistes in Manipur being given the much deserved recognition.
  • Bishesh Huirem is a renowned figure amongst the transgender community with many beauty pageant awards under her belt. She had represented India at the Miss International Queen for Transgender held in Thailand in 2016. She has a degree in professional fashion designs from Garden College, Bangalore.
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Adityanath Govt. Mulling 'One District, One Sport' Scheme Now in UP

  • After the stupendous success of the 'One District One Product' (ODOP) scheme, the Yogi Adityanath government is now planning to start a 'One District One Sport' scheme that will promote sports. According to official sources, the sports department has been asked to prepare a blueprint for the scheme and identify popular sports for each district.
  • The Chief Minister wants indigenous sports to be promoted through this new scheme. Water sports would be an integral part of the scheme for districts that are situated on the banks of major rivers. The idea is to encourage the youth to take to sports and also hone their skills.

Government Says Nearly 2 lakh 71 thousand Persons will be Trained over Five Years under PM-DAKSH Yojana

  • The government said that around 2 lakh 71 thousand persons would be trained over five years under Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi, PM-DAKSH Yojana. The scheme aims to increase the skill levels of the target youth by providing for long-term and short-term skills, followed by settlement in employment and self-employment.
  • In 2020-21, the existing scheme of Assistance for Skill Development of Other Backward Classes, Economically Backward Classes was modified as a Central Sector Scheme with the inclusion of Scheduled Castes and Sanitation workers and was renamed as PM- DAKSH Yojana.
  • Nearly 74 thousand persons have been trained and more than 17 thousand got placement in 2020-21 and 2021-22. Under the scheme, free-of-cost training will be provided by the government for the trainees.
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Tamil Nadu Assembly Passes Resolution Urging Centre to Withdraw CUET

  • The Tamil Nadu Assembly adopted a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the proposal to conduct Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admission to courses offered by central varsities. Chief Minister M. K. Stalin moved the resolution, urging the Central government to withdraw the entrance test.
  • There is no doubt that this CUET, like NEET will sideline the diverse school education system across the country, grossly undermine the relevance of overall development-oriented long-form learning in schools and make students rely upon coaching centres for improving their entrance examination scores.

Sarbananda Sonowal Inaugurates Two-day Scientific Convention on 'Homoeopathy: People's Choice for Wellness'

  • Union Minister of AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated a two-day scientific convention on 'Homoeopathy: People's Choice for Wellness' in New Delhi. Mr. Sonowal emphasized that a transformative shift is underway in education, practice and drug development sectors of AYUSH.
  • This convention is an opportunity to review the path trodden so far, achievements in the field of Homoeopathy and to formulate future strategies for development of Homoeopathy. There is an imminent need to initiate a dialogue among the major stakeholders of Homoeopathy to address much needed practice standards in clinical research informatics, data standards in clinical research, policy issues, educational standards, and instructional resources.
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