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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

21 May 2022


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India, Jamaica Sign MoU for Cooperation in Diplomatic Training

  • President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness held a meeting to enhance cooperation between India and Jamaica in trade and investment, services, sports as well as cooperation in regional and multilateral fora. Following the meeting, both the leaders witnessed the signing and exchange of an MoU between Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSFSI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica on cooperation in the field of diplomatic training. President Ram Nath Kovind is on a state visit to Caribbean nations.
  • Addressing the gathering, the President said that Jamaican-Indians strengthen the deep root of our cultural linkages and enrich our multifaceted partnership.

Dr. Kamal Bawa Elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

  • The chief of Bengaluru-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Dr Kamal Bawa was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences. The election is the reaffirmation of his important work on the ecology, conservation, and management of tropical forests that are declining all over the world but are critical to humanity's well-being. He was also an elected fellow of the Royal Society (London) and the American Philosophical Society.
  • Dr Bawa had brought together a few scientists from India's leading institutions to develop the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Wellbeing under the banner of the Biodiversity Collaborative which got the backing of the office of the principal scientific adviser to the Government of India and is currently funded by the Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies.

Afghan Taliban Order Women TV Anchors to Cover their Faces

  • Afghanistan's Taliban rulers ordered all female presenters on TV channels to cover their faces on air. The order came in a statement from the Taliban's Virtue and Vice Ministry, tasked with enforcing the group's rulings, as well as from the Information and Culture Ministry. The statement called the order "final and non-negotiable".
  • Several female anchors and presenters posted their photos on social media showing them with their faces covered with face masks during presenting programs.
  • Earlier in May 2022, the Taliban ordered all women in public to wear head-to-toe clothing that leaves only their eyes visible. The decree said women should leave the home only when necessary and that male relatives would face punishment for women's dress code violations, starting with a summons and escalating to court hearings and jail time.
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C-DOT and Vodafone Idea Sign MoU for Cooperation in Area of IoT/M2M

  • Centre for Development of Telematics(C-DOT), the premier R&D centre of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India and Vodafone Idea Limited, one of the major telecom operators of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the occasion of "World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD)".
  • The signing of MOU will help both the organizations leverage each other's expertise in their respective domains to develop and deploy IoT/M2M solutions in India. IoT adoption has become critical for any organization's digital transformation journey. However, certain operational challenges such as device network compatibility, over the air firmware upgrade, remote device configuration, security vulnerabilities and implementation in siloes with proprietary protocols are preventing businesses from reaping the scale benefits of IoT.
  • To address these challenges in IoT implementation, both C-DOT and Vodafone Idea Limited have agreed to collaborate and work jointly on non-exclusive basis, to evaluate applications and devices from various solution providers against oneM2M specifications and offer joint certificates.

India, Fastest-growing Major Economy, Projected to Grow 6.4% in 2022: UN

  • As the Ukraine conflict impacts the global GDP, India is projected to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2022, slower than the last year's 8.8 per cent but still the fastest-growing major economy, with higher inflationary pressures and uneven recovery of the labour market curbing private consumption and investment, according to a UN report.
  • The global economy is now projected to grow by only 3.1 per cent in 2022, down from the 4.0 per cent growth forecast released in January 2022. Global inflation is projected to increase to 6.7 per cent in 2022, twice the average of 2.9 per cent during 20102020, with sharp rises in food and energy prices.
  • For the fiscal year 2023, India's growth is forecast to be 6 per cent.
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Blue Origin Delays May 20 Space Tourist Launch

  • Jeff Bezos space venture Blue Origin delayed its fifth tourist flight to space. The company in a statement said its NS-21 faced some vehicle issues. The company has not announced the new target launch date. NS-21 is expected to fly six customer astronauts. Echazarreta will become the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American woman to fly to space, while Hespanha will be the second Brazilian to fly to space.
  • The typical 11-minute flight aims to carry the crew members far above the Karman line -- an internationally recognised boundary of space that lies 62 miles (100 km) above the Earth's surface. The company conducted its fourth human flight to the edge of space with six people in March 2022.
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Boxer Nikhat Zareen Becomes World Champion, Only Fifth Indian Woman to Achieve Feat

  • Nikhat Zareen, shedding tears of joy, hugged coach Bhaskar Bhatt after earning a 5-0 unanimous decision over Thailand's Jutamas Jitpong to become the world champion in the 52kg division at the World Championships in Istanbul. After her victory, Bhatt lifted Nikhat to his shoulder and she went out of the hall in a blaze of glory, amidst camera flashes and applause from the stands.
  • This glory was well earned for the 25-year-old boxer from Nizamabad in Telangana. She not only won the biggest prize of her start-stop career, but she also truly broke out of the giant shadow of multiple World Championships medallist Mary Kom. Injury, loss of confidence and Boxing Federation of India (BFI) officials' preference for London Olympics bronze medallist Mary Kom had all but stalled Nikhat's career and dreams.
  • Nikhat becomes only the fifth Indian woman boxer to win gold at the World Championships. For the record, Mary Kom has won six gold medals in the tournament. Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC are the only other women pugilists from India who have won gold at the World Championships.
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PM's Economic Advisory Panel Proposes Urban Job Guarantee Scheme

  • A report commissioned by the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to the Prime Minister suggested that the government roll out a universal basic income (UBI) scheme to reduce stark income gaps. The report also said to launch a guaranteed employment programme for the urban unemployed.
  • The report titled The State of Inequality in India, prepared by the Gurgaon-based Institute for Competitiveness was released by EAC chairman Bibek Debroy.
  • Citing the results of the three rounds of Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), the council noted that in the three years to 2019-20, the top one per cent of the population held six to seven per cent of the total incomes earned. The report called for raising minimum income and ensuring better distribution of earnings in the labour market.

Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai Held

  • Minister of State for Science and Technology Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the leather industry in India will aim at net-zero carbon footprint to meet the environmental norms. He was speaking at the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Central Leather Research Institute, a research centre under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Chennai. He said, the new vision for the leather sector for the next twenty-five years would be on sustainability, total recyclability, income parity for workers and brand building.
  • Central Leather Research Institute or CLRI is the world's largest leather research institute in terms of research papers and patents. The institute located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu was founded on 24 April 1948 as a constituent laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Amritsar-Jamnagar Greenfield Corridor to be Completed by September 2023: Nitin Gadkari

  • Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the Amritsar-Jamnagar Greenfield Corridor is being constructed in a full capacity. This corridor is one of the most important Greenfield Corridors being developed by the National Highways Authority of India. The complete corridor is targeted to be completed by September 2023.
  • Bikaner to Jodhpur section of 277 kilometres is targeted to be completed and opened to public by the end of 2022.
  • The flagship Amritsar - Bhatinda - Jamnagar Corridor is being developed at a total capital cost of 26 thousand crore rupees and will connect the economic towns of Amritsar, Bhatinda, Sangaria, Bikaner, Sanchore, Samakhiyali and Jamnagar across Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
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National Anti-Terrorism Day

  • National Anti-Terrorism Day is observed every year on 21st May in India. It was first observed in 2002. The day is observed to remember the victims of terrorism and to spread awareness about the need to stand united against this global threat. National Anti Terrorism Day is observed on May 21 to commemorate the death anniversary of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. The day is observed to spread the message of peace, harmony, and humankind and to promote unity among the people. Rajiv Gandhi was India's youngest Prime Minister. He was appointed as the sixth Prime Minister of the country and served the nation from 1984 to 1989.

Armed Forces Day

  • Armed Forces Day is observed on the third Saturday in May and in 2022, it fell on 21st May. The day honours the military forces of the US for their relentlessly providing security and protection to the nation. It plays an important role in educating society and provide knowledge to the public about the military and the role Armed Forces play in the community. Therefore, this day unite the citizens to pay honour to the military heroes for their patriotic service in support of the United States of America.
  • The first official Armed Forces Day took place on 20 May, 1950 with a theme of "teamed for Defense". Armed Forces Day celebration is not just limited to the United States but other countries also honour this victorious day.
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Wesley Morgan Wins Colby Award for 'The Hardest Place'

  • Author and journalist Wesley Morgan was the 2022 winner of the William E. Colby Award for military and intelligence writing. He was cited for his book The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan's Pech Valley. The Colby award, a $5,000 prize named for the former ambassador and CIA director, is given for "a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs."
  • Morgan was still a college student when he began embedding with military units in Afghanistan, more than a decade ago. He has since reported on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for The New York Times, the Washington Post and other outlets. The Colby Award is presented by Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Previous winners include Dexter Filkins, Karl Marlantes and Adam Higginbotham.
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Prof. Nilofar Khan Appointed as First Woman V-C of Kashmir University

  • Professor Nilofar Khan, who has 30 years of teaching experience,was appointed as the first woman vice-chancellor of the University of Kashmir. The order of appointment was issued by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha in his capacity of being the chancellor of the university. She replaced Professor Talat Ahmad, who completed his second tenure as the V-C of the university which began in August 2018.
  • Professor Khan, who had the distinction of being the first woman to be appointed as Dean Student Welfare at the university, was appointed as vice-chancellor for a three-year term.
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The Macklowe Collection of Art Fetches $922.2 Million, the Highest Total ever Made by a Single Private Collection at an Auction

  • Arguably one of the most important collections of art to ever appear on the market, the Macklowe Collection — formed by real-estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his former wife, Linda, over five decades — achieved US$236.4 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York. The collection had garnered worldwide attention during the divorce proceedings of Harry Macklowe and Linda in 2018, as they were unable to agree on how much the prestigious collection was worth, and were ordered by the court to sell the works and share the profits. Encompassing 65 works, the first sale of 35 works from the collection was held in November 2021, when the total price realised was $676.1 million. With the sale in May 2022, the total garnered from the collection stands at a whopping $922.2 million. It exceeds the $835.1 million that the Rockefeller collection sold for in 2018, then the highest total ever by a single private collection at an auction.
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SC Vacates Stay on Delhi HC Order that Said Citizens have Right to Feed Stray Dogs

  • The Supreme Court vacated its stay on a Delhi High Court verdict that stray dogs have the right to food and citizens the right to feed them. A three-judge Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit vacated the stay on the High Court's order imposed by a two-judge Bench on March 4, 2022. Acting on a petition filed by 'Humane Foundation for People and Animals' challenging the High Court's verdict, a Bench led by Justice Vineet Saran had issued the stay order and also issued notices to the Animal Welfare Board of India, the Delhi Government and others asking them to respond to the plea.
  • The petitioner had contended that the High Court's order was contrary to an order passed by the Supreme Court in 2015 in which it had asked High Courts not to pass any orders relating to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules 2001 pertaining to dogs.
  • The NGO expressed the apprehension that the High Court's directions could make the stray dog menace worse.

No L-G Nod, HC Sets Aside Delhi Govt's Doorstep Ration Scheme

  • The Delhi High Court set aside the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government's doorstep ration delivery scheme — Mukhyamantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana — in the national capital for want of approval from the Lieutenant Governor. Allowing two petitions filed by Delhi Sarkari Ration Dealers' Sangh and Delhi Ration Dealers' Union against the scheme, it quashed the three tenders issued by the Delhi Government for selection of delivery agency for its implementation.
  • The Delhi Government had defended the scheme on the ground that it was for the poor who were being threatened by fair price shop owners to opt out of the home delivery mode otherwise they would not be given ration.
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