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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

08 May 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India Invites Montreal-based ICAO to Join International Solar Alliance

  • As he interacted with executives and representatives of various nations at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), India's Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia extended an invitation to the Montreal-based United Nations agency to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • This came as Scindia met with the president of the Executive Council of ICAO Salvatore Sciacchitano. He also met with ICAO's secretary-general Juan Carlos Salazar.
  • Several international and multilateral organisations are partners of the ISA, which was launched by India and France in 2015. Among them are UN agencies like United Nations Development Programme, UN Environment, and others like the World Bank, European Union, and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
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ENVIRONMENT

Vaquita: World's most Endangered Sea Mammal 'Not Doomed'

  • According to a genetic study, the world's rarest sea mammal still has a chance of survival, despite numbering only about 10 in the wild.
  • The vaquita porpoise is teetering on the brink of extinction, but scientists say DNA tests show the population is still genetically viable.
  • The tiny silvery porpoise lives only in Mexico's Gulf of California.
  • However, it faces an existential threat from being caught in large weighted nets, known as gillnets.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Future Retail MD Rakesh Biyani Steps Down

  • Future Retail Managing Director Rakesh Biyani stepped down while officials, including the company secretary of the debt-ridden firm, tendered their resignations.
  • The Future Group flagship firm is facing an insolvency petition by its lenders before the National Company Law Tribunal.
  • Rakesh Biyani who was re-appointed as Managing Director for a period of three years effective May 2, 2019, his term of office as Managing Director got completed on 1st May 2022.
  • Consequently, Biyani also ceased to be a member of various committees of the Board where he was a member.

Central Bank of India to Close 600 Branches by March 2023

  • As per reports, Central Bank of India, a state-owned commercial bank, plans to shut 13% of its branches to improve its financial health, which has been under pressure for several years.
  • The bank is looking to reduce the number of branches by 600 by either shutting down or merging loss-making branches by the end of March 2023.
  • The more than 100-year old lender currently has a network of 4,594 branches.
  • Central Bank along with a clutch of other lenders was placed under RBI's prompt corrective action (PCA) in 2017 after the regulator found some state-run lenders were in breach of its rules on regulatory capital, bad loans and leverage ratios.
  • All the lenders except Central Bank have improved their financial health and come off RBI's PCA list.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ISRO 2024 Venus Mission

  • After sending missions to the Moon and Mars, ISRO is now readying a spacecraft to orbit Venus to study what lies below the surface of the solar system's hottest planet, and also unravel the mysteries under the sulfuric acid clouds enveloping it.
  • The space agency is eyeing the December 2024 window for its launch with orbital maneuvers planned for the following year when Earth and Venus would be so aligned that the spacecraft could be put in the neighbouring planet's orbit using a minimum amount of propellant.
  • The next similar window would be available in 2031.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

PM Narendra Modi Calls for Reducing 'Slavery to Foreign Goods'

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Jain International Trade Organisation`s `JITO Connect 2022 business meet virtually and called for reducing 'slavery to foreign goods' even as Indians celebrate 75 years of Independence.
  • At the inaugural ceremony, PM Modi said that the stress should be on the 'vocal for local' mantra and reducing the use of foreign goods.
  • The Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) is a global organisation connecting Jains worldwide. JITO Connect is an endeavour to help the industry by providing an avenue for mutual networking and personal interactions.
  • JITO Connect 2022 was a three-day event organised in Pune from May 6-8 and encompassed multiple sessions on diverse issues relating to business and economy.

J&K Delimitation Commission Issues Final Notification

  • Finalising its order for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Delimitation Commission Thursday recommended seven additional constituencies — six for Jammu and one for Kashmir — taking the total number of seats in the UT to 90 from 83 earlier. This will increase the number of seats in the Jammu Division to 43 from 37 seats earlier, and that in the Kashmir Valley to 47 from 46 earlier.
  • Three other important takeaways from the order of the delimitation panel, chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, are: i) reorganisation of the Parliamentary constituencies such that the five Lok Sabha seats now are made up of exactly 18 Assembly constituencies each, taking the total number to 90, ii) reservation of nine Assembly seats for Scheduled Tribes – six in Jammu and three in Kashmir, and iii) removal of the regional distinction between Jammu and Kashmir and treating it as one, as is reflected in the combining of Anantnag region in Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu to carve out Anantnag-Rajouri as a Parliamentary constituency.
  • With the final order now notified, all eyes will be on the EC and the Union government regarding the timing of Assembly elections. Though mainstream parties in the Valley have criticised the report, it is likely that this will make space for political engagement in the UT.

Justice Satyen Vaidya Sworn in as Permanent Judge of Himachal Pradesh High Court

  • Justice Satyen Vaidya was sworn in as the permanent Judge of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh in a ceremony at Raj Bhawan in Shimla.
  • Justice Vaidya was administered the oath of office by Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar in the presence of CM Jai Ram Thakur & Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh HC Mohammad Rafiq.
  • The ceremony took place at the Darbar Hall of the Raj Bhawan, where chief secretary Ram Subhag Singh conducted the proceedings of the oath ceremony & read out the warrant of appointment issued by President Ram Nath Kovind.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Mother's Day

  • Mother's Day is celebrated in several countries across the world on the second Sunday of May. This year, on the special occasion, tech giant Google also joined the celebration with a special Doodle.
  • The modern holiday was first celebrated in 1907, when Anna Jarvis held the first Mother's Day service of worship at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Andrew's Methodist Church now holds the International Mother's Day Shrine. Her campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905.
  • In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrase "Second Sunday in May, Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, Founder", and created the Mother's Day International Association.

World Thalassaemia Day

  • World Thalassemia Day is marked on May 8, every year. The event was first organised by the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF) in 1994, in memory of George Englezos, the son of TIF founder Panos Englezos. He had lost his life to the disease. Since then, the event is observed every year.
  • The World Thalassemia Day event is significant in the sense that it aims to reduce the number of children born with thalassemia. Some people are silent carriers of thalassemia and both of them can pass down the disease to their children. So, proper screening is essential to detect carriers. The event educates the masses on these issues.
  • The theme for World Thalassemia Day 2022 was "Be Aware. Share. Care: Working with the global community as one to improve Thalassemia knowledge." As the theme mentions, developing and spreading awareness about thalassemia all over the world and caring for those affected by the disease are the key areas of focus for this year's event.

World Red Cross Day

  • World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is an annual celebration of the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is celebrated on 8 May each year. This date is the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Henry Dunant, who was born on 8 May 1828. He was the founder of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize.
  • It is an annual celebration of their principles. The day is celebrated by the Red Cross society across all the countries. It works for the welfare of people. World Red Cross Society provides for food shortages, natural disasters, wars as well as diseases and epidemics.
  • The theme of World Red Cross Day 2022 was 'BeHumanKind'.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

NASA's Cynthia Rosenzweig Receives the 2022 World Food Prize

  • A senior research scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, Cynthia Rosenzweig received the 2022 World Food Prize from the World Food Prize Foundation. Rosenzweig was selected for the award for her research to understand the relationship between climate and food systems and forecast how both will change in the future.
  • Her modelling work has provided a foundation for decision-makers around the world to create strategies to mitigate climate change and adapt our food systems to a changing planet, which has helped communities worldwide address the consequences of Earth's changing climate.
  • Rosenzweig has been a research scientist at NASA GISS and head of the Climate Impacts Group since 1994. Her research focuses on improving models and assessments of how climate change will affect agriculture and the food supply in the future.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IIT Guwahati and ASSTC to Collaborate for Training in the Field of Survey and Settlement

  • The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati is going to collaborate with Assam Survey and Settlement Training Centre to promote the training of ASSTC officers.
  • IIT Guwahati will conduct courses related to drone operation, training, maintenance, data collection, application in various sectors, theory classes on modern land management, and Research and Projects by leveraging their respective expertise in this area.
  • It is the first instance in the country where training on drone technology will be imparted to all levels of officers and it is a unique step to integrate knowledge-based technological advancement as part of the training curriculum for state officials.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train

  • The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation's (IRCTC) first Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train will be run under the aegis of the new policy of the Ministry of Railways. On 21st June 2022, this train will be commencing its maiden journey.
  • This train will be showcasing all the prominent places that are associated with Lord Rama's life and also including Janakpur, Nepal which is the birthplace of Goddess Sita. This train's 18-day maiden journey will begin from the Safdarjung Station, Delhi. It will be running on the Ramayana Circuit of the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
  • The Indian Railways introduced the Bharat Gaurav Tourist Trains with the aim of showcasing the country's historical places and the rich cultural heritage to the citizens of India as well as to tourists from across the world. These trains are theme-based tourist circuit trains. The trains have been launched under the central government's "Dekho Apna Desh" initiative.
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