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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

29 Apr 2022


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India, European Union Agree to Establish Trade and Technology Council

  • India and the European Union (EU) agreed to establish a Trade and Technology Council, a strategic mechanism to address the challenges of ensuring trusted technology and security in the wake of rapid geopolitical changes — a move that is expected to deepen their strategic relationship.
  • The decision to set up such a council will be the first for India with any of its partners and second for the EU, following the first one with the US.
  • The announcement came in the backdrop of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's two-day visit to the national Capital.

Border Haat at Indo-Bangladesh Border in Meghalaya Opens after Gap of Two Years

  • The Border Haat at Bangladesh-Meghalaya border was opened after a gap of two years. The decision to open the Border Haat between Balat in East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya and Lauwaghar at Dalora in Sunamganj District of Bangladesh was taken by the Joint Border Haat Management Committee.
  • At present, India and Bangladesh have seven established Border Haats and nine more new Border Haats are in the pipeline. Border Haats enable local residents on both sides of the border to trade the local produce. At the Border Haats local community from Bangladesh and India gets an opportunity to sell locally produced agricultural and horticultural products, small agriculture and household goods, minor forest products, fresh and dry fish, cottage industry items, wooden furniture, handloom and handicraft items, etc.

Russia Withdraws from UN Tourism Body Ahead of Vote on its Suspension

  • Russia withdrew from the United Nation's tourism body, the UN World Tourism Organization ahead of a vote to suspend Moscow's membership over its military operation of Ukraine.The UNWTO announced in March 2022 that it wanted to suspend Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The decision must be approved by two-thirds of its 159 member states at a two-day extraordinary general assembly which got underway in Madrid in April 2022. The UNWTO said the vote will go ahead even though Russia has said it is withdrawing from the body to give member states their say.
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Michelin Becomes First Tyre Maker in India to Get BEE Accreditation

  • French tyre major Michelin became the first tyre brand in India to be accredited with star labelling programme which is aimed at improving sustainability and newly introduced performance standards for tyres. Michelin X Multi Energy Z tyre was awarded the industry's first fuel savings label with a 4-star rating by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
  • The tubeless truck and bus tyre is manufactured and designed by Michelin in India and offers robust fuel savings, longevity with multiple re-treads and safety on Indian terrain.

ICICI Bank Launches India's 'Open-for-all' Digital Ecosystem for MSMEs

  • ICICI Bank launched a digital service for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that customers of other banks can use as well. The "digital ecosystem" offers enhanced banking services, banking services to MSMEs who are customers of other banks, and a range of value-added services for all. Anyone can avail of the benefits of digital solutions by downloading the new version of the InstaBIZ app.
  • MSMEs, who are customers of other banks, can avail of a host of services by logging in as a 'Guest' in the app. One of the services it provides is sanction of instant and paperless overdraft facility up to Rs 25 lakh through 'InstaOD Plus', which enables customers of any bank to avail of an overdraft instantly. Customers of ICICI Bank can activate the overdraft into their current account instantly while customers of other banks can do so after opening of a current account with the bank digitally through Video KYC.

Reliance Inks Pact for UAE Chemical Project

  • Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries signed a shareholder agreement for the $2 billion TA'ZIZ chemical joint venture in the UAE and inked a pact to collaborate with ADNOC in finding and producing conventional and unconventional resources.
  • The TA'ZIZ EDC & PVC joint venture will construct and operate a Chlor-Alkali, Ethylene Dichloride and Polyvinyl Chloride production facility, with an investment of over $2 billion. These chemicals will be produced in the UAE for the first time, unlocking new revenue streams and opportunities for local manufacturers to 'Make it in the Emirates'
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SpaceX Launches NASA's Crew-4 Mission

  • SpaceX's Crew-4 astronaut mission for NASA was successfully launched atop the Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Freedom by the crew, successfully separated from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket and is now flying on its own.
  • Harrison Schmitt, the last person to step on the moon with the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, was at the Kennedy Space Center where he witnessed the successful launch.
  • The Crew-4 flight carries mission commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, and mission specialist Jessica Watkins, all of whom are NASA astronauts. The flight also carries mission special Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA).
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Khelo India University Games: Ann Mariya Sets new National Record in 87 kg Women Weightlifting Competition

  • Ann Mariya set a new National record in the 87 kg women weightlifting competition in Khelo India University Games at Bengaluru . The Gold winning weightlifter from Mangalore University lifted 129 kg to break Manpreet Kaur's clean and jerk record of 128 kgs at the National Championships earlier this year. Ann Mariya was trained at the SAI National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.
  • Ann, who started her sporting career in Powerlifting, was convinced to enter the arena of Weightlifting by her mother to reduce weight. But soon, she started enjoying the sport and began training intensely to get better at it.
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IndiGo Becomes First Airline to Land Aircraft Using Indigenous Navigation System GAGAN

  • IndiGo became the first airline in the country to land aircraft using the indigenous navigation system GAGAN. The flight was conducted using an ATR-72 aircraft and landed at the Kishangarh airport in Rajasthan on April 27 morning, using GPS-aided geo-augmented navigation (GAGAN), which has been jointly developed by the Centre-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • GAGAN is used to provide lateral and vertical guidance when an aircraft is approaching a runway for landing. Its precision is especially useful at small airports where the instrument landing system (ILS) has not been installed.

UP's Agra Becomes First City to Have Vacuum-based Sewer Systems

  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh became the first city in the country to have vacuum-based sewer systems. These vacuums would be used in public places. Agra Smart City officials told the media that the municipal corporation has linked 240 such houses near the Taj Mahal with vacuum-based sewers, where conventional sewer systems could not be used.
  • The estimated cost for the work of sewer connection is Rs. 100 crore. Presently, this technology is being used in low-lying areas. The Maintenance and complete care will be done by the Netherlands company for up to five years. A vacuum sewer network of 240 houses has been constructed at Rs. 5 crore. All the chambers are equipped with geographic information system (GIS) based sensors, which will help pinpoint the area of the chamber and the problem.

Cabinet Approves 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project in Jammu & Kashmir

  • The Centre approved Rs. 4,526.12 crore for the 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project on the Chenab River in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The project will generate 1,975.54 million units of electricity with 90 per cent dependability in a year. It will be jointly commissioned by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and J&K State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) in 54 months. The project would provide direct and indirect employment to about 2,700 people and it would be implemented by Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (CVPPPL).
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Atal Tunnel Receives IBC Best Infrastructure Project Award

  • The Atal Tunnel, built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), received the 'Best Infrastructure Project' award from the Indian Building Congress (IBC). The 9.02 km-long Atal Tunnel is the longest highway tunnel globally and connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. Earlier, the valley was cut off for about six months each year owing to heavy snowfall.
  • More than thirty state-of-the-art infrastructure projects were nominated for the award. The IBC jury selected the strategic tunnel as the 'Best Project for Excellence in Built Environment' in 2021.
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I&B Ministry & Netflix Launch Videos on Women Change Makers

  • The Union government and Netflix kicked off a partnership, with the release of two-minute videos on seven women change makers, titled 'Azadi ki Amrit Kahaniyan', while announcing the production of more such videos and a serial on the Freedom struggle to celebrate 75 years of Independence. At the launch event, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said Netflix would produce 25 short videos on various topics under the government's 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebration.
  • Protagonists of three of the videos - environmentalist Basanti Devi from Pithoragarh, first woman to summit Mount Everest twice in five days Anshu Jamsenpa and India's first female firefighter Harshini Kanhekar - were also present during the event. The videos, narrated by actor Neena Gupta and produced by Netflix, would be shared on social media and broadcast on Doordarshan.

Goa to Start 'Pink Rickshaw' Service for Women Drivers: CM Pramod Sawant

  • The Goa government is all set to start its fleet of women driver-operated auto rickshaws, called the 'Pink Rickshaw', in order to open up self-employment avenues for women. The first fleet of the Pink Rickshaw initiative will feature 14 women drivers, adding that the state government had partnered with the Rotary club for the initiative.
  • The Pink Rickshaws can be taken on loan via CMRY (Chief Minister's Rozgar Yojana) and sponsorship via Rotary club, which will also conduct training.

Jindal Global University Becomes 1st and only Social Sciences Varsity in India to Feature in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

  • OP Jindal Global University (JGU) has been ranked among the world's best universities in the 2022 edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which measure success of global universities in delivering the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). JGU is the first and only Social Sciences University in India to be ranked in the THE Impact Rankings, 2022.
  • Out of the 17 SDGs, JGU has been ranked in seven—for all the SDGs in which the university participated.
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India Art Fair 2022: 'Masterpieces' Celebrates 200 Glorious Years of Indian Art

  • On display was artwork by MF Husain, SH Raza, Gulammohammed Sheikh, A Ramachandran, Atul Dodiya, Bharti Kher and Jitish Kallat, and several others. Thousands of artworks, put together by over 60 galleries and 14 institutional participants were on display in India Art Fair 2022.
  • Apart from workshops and panel discussions, the fair saw numerous new books, including a braille book The Art of Benode Behari Mukherjee by Kolkata Centre for Creativity, a book on ceramicist PR Daroz titled Fire In the Soul, published by Gallerie Nvya, and a book documenting Indian sculpture, Moulded Magic: Sculpture on a Bench, presented by Chawla Art Gallery.
  • When the Covid-induced lockdown was first announced in India in March 2020, it had just been over a month that the fair had wrapped up. As a result, the 2021 edition was not held.
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