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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

09 May 2022


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Beijing Loyalist John Lee Elected as Hong Kong's Next Leader

  • John Lee, a hard-line security chief, who oversaw a crackdown on Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, was elected as the city's next leader in a vote cast by a largely pro-Beijing committee. Lee was the only candidate and won with over 99% of the vote in which nearly all 1,500 committee members were carefully vetted by the central government in Beijing.
  • He will replace current leader Carrie Lam on July 1. Her five-term was marked by huge pro-democracy protests calling for her resignation, a security crackdown that has quashed virtually all dissent, the recent COVID-19 wave that had overwhelmed the health system — events that have undermined Hong Kong's reputation as an international business hub with Western-style freedoms.
  • Thousands of residents had left the city of 7.4 million people amid the 2019 protests and subsequent harsh pandemic restrictions, including many professionals and expatriates.

Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Reimposes State of Emergency

  • Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency. The state of emergency gives the police and security forces the power to arbitrarily arrest and detain people. The decision was taken to ensure public security and maintain essential services. The move comes amid weeks of public protests demanding the resignation of the President and the government. Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis in its history.
  • Rajapaksa had declared emergency on April 1 also after a mass protest near his residence. He had revoked it on April 5.
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UN-Energy Plan of Action Towards 2025 Launched

  • With the launch of a UN-Energy Plan of Action Towards 2025, the UN took a major step towards catalyzing the large-scale action and support needed for the transition to clean, affordable energy for all and net-zero emissions against the backdrop of a global energy crisis and worsening climate emergency. Around 30 important organisations, including UN-Energy, launched the 'Plan of Action.'
  • According to the UN, an Energy Compact Action Network has been established to connect nations seeking support for their clean energy ambitions with governments and corporations that have pledged more than $600 billion to support these commitments.
  • As part of this, UNDP is scaling up its energy work to help countries achieve a just energy transition, allowing them to make progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals while also addressing the climate problem.
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L&T Infotech, Mindtree Announce Merger to Create Country's Fifth-largest IT Services Provider

  • L&T Infotech and Mindtree, the two independently listed IT services companies under Larsen & Toubro Group, announced a merger that would create India's fifth-largest IT services provider. The combined entity will be known as "LTIMindtree". The proposed integration will see Mindtree and LTI join strengths to create an efficient and scaled up IT services provider exceeding USD 3.5 billion.
  • The Boards of Directors of Mindtree and L&T Infotech (LTI) at their respective meetings approved a composite scheme of amalgamation of both these independently listed IT services companies under the Larsen & Toubro Group.
  • Significant scale benefits are anticipated through Mindtree and LTI's complementary strengths resulting in a stronger portfolio of offerings across verticals. Enhanced customer engagement and delivery model through industrialisation of delivery and streamlined value-enabling processes is expected to result in improvement in large deal capabilities.

RBI Okays Merger between Equitas Holding and Equitas Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India cleared the Equitas Holdings and Equitas SFB merger. The scheme of amalgamation between Equitas Holdings Limited (EHL), Equitas SFB Limited (ESFB), and their respective shareholders was submitted to the Stock Exchanges and the RBI for their approval/ no-objection confirmation. ESFBL will also have to obtain the approval of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for the Scheme of Amalgamation and submit the same to the RBI.
  • Notably, Equitas Small Finance Bank is bigger than Equitas Holding in terms of total assets, turnover, and net worth, according to stock exchange filings by both the companies. The market capitalisation of Equitas Small Finance Bank was Rs. 6,404 crore on March 31, compared with Rs. 3,643.48 crore for Equitas Holdings.

Amazon Stops Selling e-books on Android App amid New Google Play Policy

  • As Google prepares to require all app developers on Play Store to comply with its new billing policy, Amazon is turning off digital book purchases via its Android app. All app developers selling digital goods and services in Google Play are now required to use Google's billing system and to remove external payment links. Non-complying apps will not be able to offer updates, and will ultimately be removed from the Google Play store starting June 1, according to Google.
  • Many app developers around the world have used an alternative in-app billing system or directed users to an external link for payment to circumvent Google's billing policy that takes a hefty 15-30 per cent cut of in-app purchases.
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Country's First 'Flow Chemistry Technology Hub' set up in Hyderabad

  • The Telangana government in collaboration with pharma majors such as Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Laurus Labs as well as academia has set up a one-of-its-kind flow chemistry technology hub (FCTH) at the Dr Reddy's Institute of Life Sciences (DRILS).
  • The hub, which houses state-of-the-art flow chemistry equipment, will provide hands-on training and promote scientific capability building to ensure greater incorporation of flow chemistry techniques in pharma R&D and greater adoption of continuous synthesis for manufacturing of active pharma ingredients (APIs).

SpaceX Dragon Endurance Crew-3 Returns after 6-months

  • On board SpaceX Dragon Endurance, three NASA astronauts and one from the European Space Agency landed safely on Earth from the International Space Station. SpaceX spacecraft 'Dragon' made a touchdown on the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida after spending six months on the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft carried four astronauts including Indian-American astronaut Raja Chari.
  • SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of electric carmaker Tesla Inc, who recently clinched a deal to buy Twitter. California-based SpaceX has launched seven human spaceflights in all over the past two years - five for NASA and two for private ventures - as well as dozens of cargo and satellite payload missions since 2012.
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Avinash Sable Hits New High, Breaks 30-year-old National Record

  • Ace Indian athlete Avinash Sable smashed the 30-year-old men's 5,000m national record at the Sound Running Track Meet at San Juan Capistrano, California. Sable, who also holds the national record in the 3,000m steeplechase, clocked 13 minutes and 25.65 seconds to finish 12th at the meet. Norway's Tokyo Olympics 1,500m gold medallist Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the race with a timing of 13:02.03s.
  • The 27-year-old armyman, a farmer's son from Mandwa village in Beed district of Maharashtra, broke Bahadur Prasad's long-standing record of 13:29.70s, set in Birmingham in 1992. Sable thus broke the Indian athletics' second longest-standing national record. The longest-standing national record is that of marathoner Shivnath Singh (2:12:00s), which has stood for 44 years since 1978. Sable also holds the half marathon (21.0975km) national record of 1 hour and 30 seconds, which he had set in 2020 on way to the gold at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

Nepal's Kami Rita Sherpa Climbs Mount Everest for 26th Time to Set New World Record

  • Nepal's legendary climber Kami Rita Sherpa climbed the Mt Everest, the tallest peak in the world for the 26th time to set a new world record. Leading an 11-member rope fixing team, Kami Rita and his team reached the summit, breaking his own previous world record.
  • As the Everest climbing season is approaching fast and hundreds of climbers are waiting for fair weather to reach the top, Kami Rita and his team went to the top of Everest to fix the ropes so that the Everest expedition becomes easier for the other climbers.
  • Born in 1970 in Solukhumbu district, he first climbed the Everest in May 1994. His father was among the first professional Sherpa guides after Everest was opened for foreign mountaineers in 1950. His brother, also a guide, scaled Everest 17 times.
  • According to Nepal's Tourism Department, 316 people have applied to scale Everest this season.
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India's First Regional Rapid Transit System Train-set to be Handed over to NCRTC at Savli in Gujarat

  • The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) received India's first semi-high speed train set for Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) at Alstom's Savli plan in Gujarat. The RRTS train sets are being manufactured under Make in India initiative and are capable of running at a top speed of 180 kilometres per hour. The train set will be brought to Duhai Depot in Uttar Pradesh and will be maintained and operated from there. The fully air-conditioned train boasts of several modern commuter-centric features including cushioned seating, laptop-mobile charging, luggage racks and dynamic route-map. NCRTC is the implementing agency of India's first RRTS corridor between Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut.
  • The construction work on the 82-kilometre-long corridor is in full swing. The 17 km long priority section between Sahibabad and Duhai is targeted to be commissioned by 2023 and the full corridor will be fully operational by 2025.

Manipur: Poumai Naga Tribe Declares Poumai Inhabited Areas to be Drug-Free Zone

  • The Poumai tribe in Manipur declared that Poumai inhabited areas will be a Drug-Free Zone supporting the State government's War on Drug campaign. A huge delegation of the Poumai tribe by MLA and leaders of the students union and civil organization met Chief Minister N. Biren Singh at Imphal and conveyed the resolution of Drug-Free Zone in Poumai inhabited areas of the State. They also informed the Chief Minister that the poppy plantation will not be allowed in the Poumai areas.
  • The Chief Minister welcomed the resolution of Poumai Naga tribe and affirmed that the State government will not tolerate deforestation and poppy plantation in hill districts in Manipur. The leaders of Paumai tribe also conveyed that the community will join the fight against drug menace in the State.

Union Minister Bhagwanth Khuba Launches Newly Manufactured NPK Grade of RCF in Mumbai

  • Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers & New and Renewable Energy, Bhagwanth Khuba, visited RCF Trombay Unit at Chembur, Mumbai and launched the newly manufactured NPK grade of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF).
  • The Minister appreciated the excellent performance of RCF during 2021-2022 and congratulated all the employees for the stellar work done during the difficult phase of Corona Pandemic. The Minister also launched the newly developed RCF R&D product VIPULA 10:10:10 on the occasion. Suphala 10:26:26 is a balanced fertilizer and is suitable to be used for all crops.
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Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti 2022

  • Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti is a major cultural festival celebrated by his followers as well as literature-enthusiasts, all over the world. The Bengali calendar says that he was born on the 25th day of the Boishakh month. This year (2022), Tagore Jayanti was celebrated locally in West Bengal and Bangladesh on May 9. He was called Gurudev and the collection of his poems is popularly known as Rabindrasangeet. Two of his poems are widely known as the national anthems of India and Bangladesh- Jana Gana Mana and Amar Shonar Bangla.
  • Apart from being a commendable literary artist, Tagore also played a major part in the freedom struggle. The critically acclaimed poet wrote a number of national songs and protested against the decision of Lord Curzon to divide the state of Bengal in 1905. In addition to this, he introduced the Rakhibandhan ceremony which was meant to symbolize the unity of undivided Bengal.
  • Gurudev, a moniker given to him by Mahatma Gandhi, became the first Indian and the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for his work, Gitanjali.
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Haryana Govt. Launches 'e-Adhigam' Scheme to Distribute Tablets to Students

  • The Haryana State Government launched the 'e-Adhigam' scheme under which nearly 3 lakh students will be receiving tablet computers to aid their online education. The state government has planned to provide the gadget to five lakh students. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar launched the Advance Digital Haryana Initiative of Government with Adaptive Modules (Adigham) scheme at Maharishi Dayanand University in Rohtak, Haryana.
  • As per reports, the Class 11 students of Haryana government schools will get the tablets after they clear the Class 10 board exams and qualify for the succeeding year. These devices come with pre-loaded content along with personalised and adaptive learning software, and 2GB of free data. The tablet is the new classroom and "through e-books, it has become a full-fledged classroom.
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Kerala Govt. to Launch App for Diagnosing, Controlling Lifestyle Diseases

  • The government of Kerala is set to launch an Android App 'Shaili', aimed at diagnosing and controlling lifestyle diseases among the people in the state of Kerala. The app has been set up as part of the population-based screening project launched by the Health Department under the Nava Kerala Karma plan.
  • The Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers have been tasked with collecting information from persons over the age of 30 in their respective areas about any lifestyle diseases or risk factors they may have.
  • The app, set up under the e-Health initiative, would help to collect and codify the information quickly. The app would primarily collect information about diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung diseases as well as other lifestyle-related ailments and cancers. The health status of the individuals would be scored and those with a score of above four would be asked to visit the nearest health centre for a check-up for lifestyle diseases.
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Three-day Utkarsh Mahotsav Organised by Central Sanskrit University begins in New Delhi

  • A three-day Utkarsh Mahotsav was organised by Central Sanskrit University in New Delhi. The objective behind organising the Utkarsh Mahotsav is to promote the Sanskrit language across the country and beyond. They will leave no stone unturned to promote the Sanskrit language across the country and abroad.
  • The Centralisation of three Sanskrit Universities reflects PM Modi's strong commitment to preserving and promoting the Sanskrit language across the nation. The event is being jointly organised by the Central Sanskrit University, New Delhi, Shri Lal Bahadur National Sanskrit University, New Delhi and National Sanskrit University, Tirupati.
  • The focus of the Mahotsav is the New Educational Era – Moving Towards a Global Orientation of Sanskrit Studies.
  • The main theme of this Mahotsav is 'Global Orientation of Sanskrit Studies in the New Educational Era' Vice-Chancellors of 17 Sanskrit Universities, Scholars and a large number of students participated in the event.

India Embarks on the World's Largest Film Restoration Project under National Film Heritage Mission

  • Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur launched World's largest film restoration project under National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM).
  • Under National Film Heritage Mission, approximately 2,200 films will undergo restoration. The titles were shortlisted by language wise committees consisting of filmmakers, documentary filmmakers, film historians, producers etc. Eminent film personalities such as Aparna Sen, Shriram Raghavan, Anjali Menon and Vetrimaaran were part of the committees.
  • Indian Cinema, which has been in existence for more than a hundred years now, holds a very unique place in the pantheon of world cinema. The restoration of Indian films will once again give a chance to the current and future generations to relive the glory of these films which have enamored audiences for decades.
  • Beyond Satyajit Ray films, feature films as diverse as 'Neelakuyil' (Malayalam) and 'Do Aakhein Barah Haath' (Hindi) will also be covered. Extremely important shorts and documentaries from the collection of NFAI, Films Division and other rare materials, including pre independence, will also be restored as they capture the growth of India like no other.
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A Book 'INDO-PAK WAR 1971- Reminiscences of Air Warriors' Released by Rajnath Singh

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh released a book titled 'INDO-PAK WAR 1971- Reminiscences of Air Warriors' at the 37th Air Chief Marshal PC Lal Memorial Lecture organised by the Air Force Association in New Delhi, Delhi. The book was edited by Air Marshal Jagjeet Singh and Group Captain Shailendra Mohan. The book features 50 Swarnim articles written by veterans narrating their experiences in detail.
  • Defence Minister also paid tribute to Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chandra Lal (PC Lal). Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chandra Lal (PC Lal), served as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff during the 1965 war and had served as the 7th Chief of the Air Staff during the 1971 war.
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