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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

22 May 2022


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India Hosts SCO-RATS (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure) Meet; Focus on the Situation in Afghanistan

  • Counter-terrorism experts from India, Pakistan and other member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) deliberated on boosting cooperation in combating various regional security challenges at a meeting hosted by New Delhi. The meeting took place under the framework of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.
  • A major focus of the discussions was to be on the situation in Afghanistan, especially in dealing with the threat from terrorist groups active in the Taliban-ruled country. Pakistan sent a three-member team for the meeting.
  • India assumed the chairmanship of the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of SCO (RATS SCO) on October 28, 2021 for a period of one year.

PM Modi to Attend Quad Summit in Japan

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Tokyo to attend the third Quad Leaders' Summit on May 24. The Summit in Tokyo is the fourth interaction of Quad Leaders since their first virtual meeting in March 2021, in-person Summit in Washington D.C. in September 2021 and virtual meeting in March 2022. The forthcoming Quad Summit provides an opportunity for the Leaders to exchange views about developments in the Indo-Pacific region and contemporary global issues of mutual interest.
  • The leaders will review progress of Quad initiatives and Working Groups, identify new areas of cooperation and provide strategic guidance and vision for future collaboration.
  • The PM is likely to have a bilateral meeting with Australian PM Scott Morrison to review the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and exchange views on regional and global developments of mutual interest.

G7 Nations Approve to Provide Financial Support to Ukraine

  • Group of Seven (G7) nations agreed to provide financial support to Ukraine. The US Senate approved a 40 billion US dollar aid package of military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Out of this, 7.5 billion US dollar is earmarked for filling gaps in Kyiv's budget.
  • Germany currently hosts the G7's rotating presidency. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced a contribution of 1.1 billion US dollars to Ukraine's budget. It came during a summit of finance ministers from the G7 industrialized nations being held near the German city of Bonn.
  • The European Commission said it would pledge up to 9.5 billion US dollar of macro-financial assistance in the form of loans, to be complemented by support from international partners including the G7.
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MakeMyTrip Partners with Banks, NBFCs for 'Book Now Pay Later' Option

  • Online travel firm MakeMyTrip on partnered with 15 banks, NBFCs and fintech players, including HDFC Bank, IDFC Bank, Capital float and Zest Money, for its 'book now pay later' option while booking flight or hotels.
  • The company's fintech arm TripMoney has established a marketplace attracting 15 banks, NBFCs and fintech players, which also include Kissht, Lazypay and Simpl, among others, to offer easy travel credit to travellers.
  • The book now pay later (BNPL) payment has been introduced on bookings for travel, flight or hotels, on MakeMyTrip as well as on the Goibibo app.
  • Travellers who opt to travel without making any payment at the time of booking are provided short-term credit by the partner NBFCs and banks through an underwriting platform that evaluates customers' creditworthiness using data science models.

RBI Allows Settlement of Trade Transactions with Sri Lanka in Indian Rupee

  • In view of difficulties being faced by exporters in getting payments from crisis-hit Sri Lanka, the RBI allowed settlement of trade transactions in Indian rupee outside the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism. In March, 2022, the government had guaranteed a term loan of USD 1 billion extended by the State Bank of India (SBI) to Sri Lanka for financing purchase of essential goods by the island nation from India.
  • Under the arrangement, financing of export of eligible goods and services from India would be allowed subject conditions and whose purchase may be agreed to be financed by SBI under the agreement. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis has been caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which means the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.
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Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers to win UEFA Europa League

  • Eintracht Frankfurt's 42-year wait for a European trophy is over. The German club ended its title drought with a penalty shootout win over Rangers in the Europa League final. Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp came up with a big save at the end of extra time and another in the shootout to help give Frankfurt the 5-4 win on penalties. The game ended 1-1 after regulation and extra time.
  • Colombia striker Rafael Borré, who scored a second-half equalizer for Frankfurt, converted the decisive penalty to clinch the club's first European trophy since the 1980 UEFA Cup, a predecessor to the Europa League. The win also secures a first appearance in the Champions League next season for Frankfurt.
  • Rangers was trying to win its first European title since the Cup Winners' Cup in 1972. The Scottish club also lost to Zenit St. Petersburg in the 2008 UEFA Cup. It was trying to cap a comeback 10 years after it was sent to the lower divisions because of a financial meltdown.
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Sidhu Surrenders Before Patiala Court after SC Jails Him in Road Rage Case

  • Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu surrendered in a court in Patiala a day after he was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court in a 1988 road-rage case. Accompanied by some party leaders including Navtej Singh Cheema, he reached the district court, which is closed to the former Congress president house, in the afternoon.
  • The Supreme Court sentenced Sidhu to one-year rigorous imprisonment in the road-rage case, saying any undue sympathy in imposing an inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system and undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law. A 65-year-old man had died in the road rage incident.

500,000 People in Assam to Get Houses Under PMAY-G

  • Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh presented sanction letters to 12 beneficiaries as a part of providing houses to five lakh people. Sarma said that the process of giving five lakh houses to the beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G) started from Jorhat and it will be replicated throughout the state.
  • He said that since 2014, the Centre has sanctioned 19 lakh houses for Assam with a financial outlay of Rs 27,000 crore.
  • The chief minister said that of the 12,000 beneficiaries in Jorhat district, 4,000 belong to tea garden communities.
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International Day for Biological Diversity

  • The United Nations proclaimed May 22 as International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • Theme of year 2022 is "Building a shared future for all life". The slogan was chosen to continue building momentum and support for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the UN Biodiversity Conference #COP15.
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CUET for PG Admissions from 2022 Academic Session: UGC Chairman

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) decided to introduce the common university entrance test (CUET) for post graduate courses also from 2022. The decision comes weeks after the UGC chief announced that CUET scores, and not Class 12 scores, will be mandatory for admission to 45 central universities and that the central universities can fix their minimum eligibility criteria.
  • The exam will be conducted in English and Hindi in Computer Based Test (CBT) mode. Over 10.46 lakh candidates registered for CUET-UG so far. The last date for registration for CUET-UG is May 22.
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SC Removes Praful Patel; Appoints Panel to Manage All India Football Federation Affairs

  • The Supreme Court appointed a three- member Committee of Administrators (CoA) led by Justice A.R. Dave (retd) to manage the affairs of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and adoption of its constitution in line with the National Sports Code and model guidelines. A Bench led by Justices D.Y. Chandrachud said the COA will include two earlier members – former Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Qureshi and former Indian Football Team captain Bhaskar Ganguly.
  • Noting that the current state of affairs was not in the interest of proper governance of the federation, the Bench -- which also included Justice Surya Kant and Justice P.S. Narasimha -- directed the CoA to forthwith take charge of the AIFF and assist the court by providing inputs to the court in facilitating the adoption of the constitution by the AIFF in accordance with the National Sports Code and model guidelines.
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