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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

11 May 2022


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Rodrigo Chaves take up as President of Costa Rica

    • Rodrigo Chaves, Costa Rica's new president, was sworn in, promising to tackle corruption and rebuild the country's economy. He won a four-year term in a runoff against former President Jose Maria Figueres, who was also stained by a corruption investigation. 
    • The inauguration was attended by Spain's King Felipe VI, other leaders of state or government, and representatives from approximately 100 countries. Chaves signed his first orders shortly after his speech, including removing the requirement for most individuals to wear masks.
    • Costa Rica is one of Central America's most politically stable countries, having a population of roughly five million people.

Yoon Suk-Yeol Sworn In As South Korean President

  • Yoon Suk-yeol was sworn in as South Korean president in a huge ceremony at Seoul's National Assembly, taking office at a time of high tensions with the nuclear-armed North. 
    • Yoon says the door to dialogue will be open to resolve North Korean nuclear threats. He says his government will be ready to work with the international community to present "an audacious plan" that will significantly strengthen North Korea's economy and improve its citizens' livelihoods.
    • The former top prosecutor began his five-year term by taking command of South Korea's 555,000-member military and receiving a briefing on North Korea from his military chief at the new presidential office in central Seoul, formerly the Defence Ministry building.

Pakistan appoints Trade Minister in Delhi Mission

  • In the first olive branch extended towards India after the formation of a new rainbow government in Pakistan, Islamabad approved the appointment of a Trade Minister in the country. Pakistan under then Prime Minister Imran Khan had ended all trade with India after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in late 2019. The step suggests an inclination by the coalition government to restore trade with India.
    • The last Minister Trade in Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi was Irfan Tarar and the post, as also several others, including that of the High Commissioner, are vacant following a severe downgrading of ties.
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Environment Minister Yadav To Address Desertification COP

  • Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav lead an Indian delegation at the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) of the UNCCD at Abidjan in Cote d'Ivoire. Mr Yadav addressed the high-level segment, including a Heads of States Summit.
    • Despite COVID pandemic, India as President of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) COP-14 made significant contributions in bringing the nations together toward the global goal of halting and reversing land degradation.
    • India had hosted the fourteenth session of Conference of Parties of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification from 2nd to 13th September 2019 in New Delhi and is the current President of the same. At COP-14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India would raise its ambition of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status, from twenty-one million hectares to twenty-six million hectares between now and 2030.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates a vehicle scrapping facility in Haryana

  • Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a vehicle scrapping facility in Nuh district of Haryana. The automobile scrapping policy brought by the Union government will reduce pollution, while increasing the production capacity in the sector at lower cost. The biggest benefit from this policy will be that copper, steel, aluminum, rubber and plastic will be easily available.
    • The automobile sector is providing employment to crores of people in the country. By the end of 2024, this new vehicle scrapping policy will generate a large number of jobs and this policy will also play an important role in cleaning the environment.
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SBI hikes interest rates on bulk term deposits by 40-90 basis point

    • Country's largest lender State Bank of India announced a hike of 40-90 basis points in the interest rates on several bulk term deposits. While interest rate on deposits maturing between 7 days and 45 days has been kept unchanged at 3%, those maturing between 46 and 179 days will now attract an interest rate of 3.50% as against 3% earlier. The public sector lender also revised interest rate on bulk term deposits maturing between 180 and 210 days by 40 basis points to 3.50%, as against 3.10% earlier. Deposits maturing between 211 days and less than 1 year will earn an interest of 3.75%, up 45 bps from 3.30%.
    • The interest rate on bulk deposits having maturities between 1 year and less than two years has been increased by 40 bps to 4%. For deposits having 2 years to less than 3 years maturity period, the rate has been hiked by 65 bps to 4.25%.
    • The interest rate on bulk term deposits for 3 years and up to 10 years has been increased by 90 basis points to 4.50% as against 3.60%.
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Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh wins Sunway Formentera Open chess tournament

  • Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh emerged as champion in the 1st Chess Sunway Formentera Open 2022 chess tournament in Punta Prima, Spain. It was a hat-trick of titles for him after he had previously won the La Roda tournament and the Menorca Open before.
  • The 15-year old Gukesh (Elo 2637) settled for a draw with Armenian GM Haik M Martirosyan in the final round to win the title with eight points. He had defeated compatriot and second-seed K Sasikiran in the ninth and penultimate round. 

Nobert Kigen (men's) of Kenya, Bekelech Borecha (women's) of Ethiopia win Prague Marathon

  • Nobert Kigen of Kenya won the men's title at the Prague international marathon while Bekelech Borecha of Ethiopia was the fastest woman in the race. Kigen crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 54 seconds, beating a pair of Ethiopian runners. Kelkile Woldaregay finished second in 2:08:30 with Yitayal Zerihun another 14 seconds back in third. Borecha clocked her personal best of 2:22:56. 
  • More than 10,000 runners participated in the race that had two editions cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Boxing: Russia's Dmitry Bivol retains his WBA light-heavyweight World title

  • Shaking up the boxing world, Russia's Dmitry Bivol defeated Mexican boxing superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to retain his WBA Light-Heavyweight title. Meeting for the "Legacy is Earned" event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bivol pull out a unanimous points decision win (115-113), extending his undefeated record to 20 bouts.
    • Despite a competitive match, Dmitry Bivol controlled the fight from the outset. Showcasing his signature penchant for shutting down the offense of his opponents. Throughout the fight, Bivol's jab layed down a technical structure that simply could not be broken, consistently delivering combinations in return for any strikes from Alvarez. While maintaining a consistent defense that did not allow enough clean strikes to land.
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Delhi High Court directs Centre to appoint Chairman, member in Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Settlement Commission in 6 weeks

  • The Delhi High Court directed the Centre to complete within six weeks the process of appointment of Chairman and a Member for the Principal Bench of the Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Settlement Commission. It further said that the process of appointment of Vice-Chairman and one member for the additional bench of the Commission at Mumbai be completed within six weeks.
  • The high court also directed the central government to examine the aspect of appointment of Vice-Chairman and other members for the benches of the Settlement Commission at Chennai and Kolkata.
  • The court was hearing a petition by Yashpal Singh alleging that the Centre has failed to appoint members as required by law in the Settlement Commissions established under Central Excise Act, which is giving rise to pendency of applications.

Pre-Eminent crossing in Ayodhya to be named after Lata Mangeshkar

  • In Ayodhya, a significant crossing will be developed and named for legendary vocalist Bharat Ratna late Lata Mangeshkar. The Ayodhya administration was instructed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to pick a significant crossing in the temple town and submit a proposal to the state government in the next 15 days to rename it after Lata Mangeshkar.
  • Songs devoted to Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman sung by Lata Mangeshkar would also be played in Ayodhya. The Ayodhya Municipal Corporation begun to identify key crossings throughout the city. The key crossing in Ayodhya on the way to Ram Janmabhoomi was most likely chosen for this project.

To Curb Child Trafficking, Railway Protection Force Joins Hands With Association For Voluntary Action

  • MoU between RPF and AVA (also known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan) pledged to work together to share information, build capacity of RPF personnel and railway employees to work against Human Trafficking, increase sensitization and create awareness and also help each other in identification and detection of cases of Human Trafficking. A joint action by both stakeholders under the framework of MoU will definitely enhance the scale, reach and effectiveness of "Operation AAHT" (Action against Human Trafficking) launched by RPF across the nation.
  • Railway Protection Force is entrusted with the responsibility of security of railway property, passenger area and passengers. It has been discharging responsibility as mandated by the Standardized Operating Procedure for rescue of children issued by Ministry of Railways and working with other stakeholders to rescue more than 50,000 children since 2018 under "Operation Nanhe Farishte". 
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Indian Navy to Acquire Spy Satellite GISAT-2 to Boost Capability in IOR

    • The Indian Navy plans to purchase a specialised earth imaging satellite Geo Imaging Satellite-2 (GISAT-2), in 2022-23 as part of its modernisation and network-centric combat and communications programme. The satellite is likely to improve the navy's operating capabilities in the Indian Ocean region, which is strategically and geopolitically crucial, especially given China's growing influence.
    • According to information from the Ministry of Defence, the GISAT-2 is one of 21 planned procurements, including several long-term buys. In addition, the navy's capabilities development/modernization is being carried out in line with the long-term objectives in place for the next decade.
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Indian music composer and santoor player, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma passed away

  •  Indian music composer and santoor player, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma passed away at the age of 84. He had been suffering from kidney-related issues for the last six months and was on dialysis. He passed away due to cardiac arrest. He gave the santoor, once a little known instrument from Jammu and Kashmir, a classical status and exalted it along with other, more traditional and famous instruments such as the sitar and sarod. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma received the prestigious Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
    • Shivkumar Sharma was born in Jammu in 1938, he began learning santoor at the age of thirteen. His first public performance was in Mumbai in 1955. He has been credited with popularising the santoor. With Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma composed music for several Hindi films, including Silsila, Chandni as well as Darr.

Former union telecom minister, Congress leader Sukh Ram passes away at 95

  • Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Pandit Sukh Ram passed away. He was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after he suffered a brain stroke. Leaving the Congress in 2017, the 95-year old leader had rejoined the party in 2019, calling it his 'homecoming'.
  • He had served in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology from 1993 to 1996. The former Lok Sabha member from Himachal Pradesh's Mandi constituency was a five-time MLA in Himachal Pradesh Assembly and had won the Lok Sabha elections thrice.
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11 May - National Technology Day

  • Every year, National Technology Day is observed on May 11th to recognise the achievements and outstanding contributions of scientists and engineers in the science and technology field. The first National Technology Day in India was observed on May 11, 1998, to commemorate the Pokhran Nuclear Tests held at the Indian Army's Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan. The day holds great importance because India joined the elite group of countries with nuclear weapons. The Technology Development Board (TDB) under the Department of Science and Technology is vested with the responsibility to organise a large-scale event to celebrate National Technology Day on May 11th. 
  • The theme for 2022 is "Integrated Approach in Science & Technology for Sustainable Future". The theme was launched by Union Minister Jitendra Singh.
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President Kovind confers 13 Shaurya Chakra awards, including six posthumously

  • President Ram Nath Kovind conferred 13 Shaurya Chakra awards, including six posthumously, to armed forces personnel while Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande received the Param Vishisht Seva medal. The Shaurya Chakra is India's third-highest peacetime gallantry award after the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra. The awards were conferred at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
    • The gallantry awards were given to the personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty. 
    • The President also conferred 14 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 24 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals for distinguished service of exceptional order.
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Tamil Nadu govt announced breakfast scheme for primary school students

    • Tamil Nadu chief minister, MK Stalin announced that all government primary school students from 1st to 5th standards will be provided nutritious breakfast on all working days. Tamil Nadu became the first state to offer breakfast along with midday meals.
    • The free breakfast scheme was launched based on the available information that the government school children skip breakfast while going to school because of the distance and family situations.
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Railways launches 'baby berths' for passengers travelling with kids

  • To make train journey more comfortable for passengers travelling with infants, the railways has fitted foldable "baby berths" on the side of lower main berths of the Lucknow Mail as part of a pilot project. Based on the feedback of passengers on the "new product", plans will be drawn to expand the concept to other trains. The "baby berth", which are hinged to the lower main berths, can be folded and secured with a stopper when not in use. It has been is aligned the main berth.
    • On the Lucknow Mail, two "baby berths" of 770 mm in length, 255 mm in width and 76.2 mm in height were fitted to 12 and 60 main berths of the second cabins on both ends of coaches.
    • The (booking) system will be like the one currently used to offer senior citizens lower berths. So, once, a passenger says yes to travelling with a child, railways will offer the berth to them. 
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