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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

23 May 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Anthony Albanese Sworn in as Australia's New Prime Minister

  • Australia's Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the country's new Prime Minister. Albanese ended his wait for power after nine years as he became the country's 31st Prime Minister.
  • Congratulating Australia's Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese for his party's victory in the country's federal election, PM Narendra Modi said that he was looking forward to working towards further strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two allies.
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ENVIRONMENT

Past Seven Years Warmest on Record

  • The past seven years were the warmest on record, and 2021 did not see record-breaking temperatures because of a La Niña event at the start and end of the year, according to a report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). La Nina is a cooling of surface temperatures in the Central Pacific. While this had a temporary cooling effect, it did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (± 0.13) °C above the pre-industrial level.
  • The report comes even as north, central and western India reel under an onslaught of pre-monsoon heat waves, with temperatures in March breaching century-old records.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Pieter Elbers is New CEO of IndiGo

  • The Board of Directors of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (Indigo) appointed Pieter Elbers as Chief Executive Officer. He will join IndiGo on or before 1 Oct 2022. He succeeds Ronojoy Dutta who has decided to retire on September 30, 2022. Elbers has served as the President and CEO of KLM Royal Dutch since 2014 and is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Air France-KLM Group.
  • Elbers has served as the President & Chief Executive Officer of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Air France – KLM Group.
  • He started his career at KLM in 1992 at their Schiphol hub and over time, held several managerial positions in both The Netherlands and overseas in Japan, Greece and Italy.
  • He received a Bachelor's degree in Logistics Management and a Master's Degree in Business Economics.

P. N. Vasudevan Resigns as MD & CEO of Equitas Small Finance Bank

  • P. N. Vasudevan, MD and CEO of Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited resigned. He is the founder of the Chennai-headquartered bank.
  • The bank said that Vasudevan wanted to pursue a distinct set of goals, which he believes will help him contribute further back to society more than what he is doing now. The board in its meeting took the letter on record and wished to place on record its deep appreciation of the contribution made by Vasudevan over the years.
  • Vasudevan, notably, is the founder of Equitas and has been associated with its journey as a micro finance institution dating back to 2007. The entity was converted into a bank, under his leadership in 2016.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma Reappointed as MD & CEO of Paytm

  • Vijay Shekhar Sharma was reappointed as MD & CEO of digital financial services firm Paytm. The reappointment will last till December 18, 2027. Paytm CFO Madhur Deora was reappointed by the company's board as a whole-time director till May 19, 2027. One97 Communications, which operates under Paytm brand, said that it has formed a joint venture general insurance company in which it has committed to invest Rs. 950 crore over a period of 10 years.
  • Vijay Shekhar Sharma, from the Indian town of Aligarh, founded One97 about two decades ago and won acclaim nationwide as a small-town-boy-made-big. But analysts including those at Macquarie Capital Securities (India) Pvt. had questioned his ability to turn Paytm into a profitable business.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NatGeo Installs World's Highest Weather Station on Mt. Everest

  • National Geographic Society installed the "world's highest weather station" on Mount Everest at an altitude of 8,830 metres to automatically measure various meteorological phenomena.
  • The weather monitoring system, powered by solar energy, is supposed to measure various meteorological phenomena like air temperature, wind speed and direction, air pressure, change in surface height of snow, and incoming and outgoing short and longwave radiation.
  • The NatGeo team, led by climate scientist Baker Perry from the Appalachian State University in the US, consisted of climbers and scientists, many of whom scaled the world's highest peak while installing the weather station. The team spent a month near Everest and also carried out the maintenance of other stations, including a station at South Col.

Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace Successfully Test Fires Engine of Vikram-1 Rocket

  • Private sector rocket maker Skyroot Aerospace Private Ltd successfully tested its Vikram-1 rocket's third stage/engine. Named 'Kalam-100' after renowned Indian rocket scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the third stage of Vikram-1 produces a peak vacuum thrust of 100 kN (about10 tons) and has a burn time of 108 seconds.
  • The rocket stage is built with high-strength carbon fiber structure, solid fuel, Ethylene-Propylene-Diene terpolymers (EPDM) thermal protection system, and carbon ablative nozzle. The rocket stage/engine has no moving parts and a high level of automation in manufacturing.
  • The rocket's stage was tested at the facilities of Solar Industries India Ltd, one of the investors in Skyroot. This is the largest rocket stage ever designed, manufactured, and tested completely in the Indian private sector.
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SPORTS

India Finishes with 23 Medals at Bahrain Para Badminton

  • The Indian para badminton team finished with a rich haul of 23 medals, including seven golds, at the Bahrain Para Badminton International Championships in Manama. Promising doubles shuttler Manisha Ramdass shot into limelight with her twin gold medals, while Pramod Bhagat and Tarun Dhillon also clinched couple of gold medals each.
  • Manisha produced a strong show combining with Mandeep Kaur to win the gold in women's doubles SL3-SU5 finals. They took just 23 minutes to defeat the Paralympian pair of Palak Kohli and Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar 21-11, 21-11.
  • Asian Youth Para Games champion Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan continued her good run of form to defeat England's Rachel Choong 21-15, 21-15, while Mandeep settled for the second place after going down to Turkey's Halime Yildiz 21-5, 21-17 in the women's SL3 finals.

Indian Men's Compound Team Wins Successive World Cup Archery Gold

  • The Indian men's compound team won gold medal in Archery World Cup 2022 Stage-Two in Gwangju, South Korea. The Indian team came from behind, after trailing in first two sets, to prevail over France by two points in an intense finish to win the gold medal in successive World Cup stages. Fourth-seeded Indian men's team, comprising Abhishek Verma, Aman Saini, and Rajat Chauhan repeated the Stage-One final. They took over with an immaculate finish in the third end sealing a 232-230 win over their sixth-seeded rivals, Adrien Gontier, Jean Philippe Boulch, and Qentin Baraer. The same Indian trio had defeated France by one point, in the last World Cup final at Antalya in April 2022.
  • The team of Abhishek Verma and Avneet Kaur also won the bronze in the mixed event. They beat higher-seeded Turkey's Amircan Haney and Ayse Bera Suzer 156-155. For Kaur, this was her second bronze having won a team bronze in the women's event earlier.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

GeM signs MoU with SEWA to boost Women-led Enterprises

  • Government eMarketplace (GeM) and Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the advocacy, outreach, mobilisation and capacity-building of last-mile women-led micro and small enterprises and women entrepreneurs.
  • According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GeM will train SEWA members to assist and enable women-led micro and small enterprises, women entrepreneurs and SHGs among others, with GeM processes related to seller registration and on-boarding on the platform, upload/ update of product/ service catalogues, acceptance of orders, participation in bids floated by Govt buyers etc.
  • As per P. K. Singh, CEO, GeM, Inclusion is a core value at GeM, and this partnership would leverage the wide network of women entrepreneurs through SEWA to ensure the inclusion and participation of last-mile women entrepreneurs and women SHGs on GeM.
  • Presently, 1.31 lakh women MSE entrepreneurs are registered on the GeM portal and they have fulfilled approximately 5.7 lakh orders worth Rs. 10,752 crore in gross merchandise value.

PM Modi Participates in Quad Summit in Tokyo

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Japan on a two-day visit to attend a summit of the Quad leaders which was aimed at further bolstering cooperation among the member nations of the influential grouping and discussing developments in the Indo-Pacific region. Besides Mr. Modi, the Quad summit in Tokyo on May 24 was attended by U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese.
  • The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the U.S., Japan and Australia.

Dome of Newly Built Meghalaya Assembly Collapses

  • A portion of the Rs. 177.7 crore newly built Meghalaya Legislative Assembly building collapsed.
  • According to a PWD Executive Engineer overseeing the construction, a 70 tonne dome of the building collapsed, which could have been due to a design fault. The weight of the steel dome was perhaps too much for the columns and the beams to bear. This resulted in the entire structure coming down.
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DEFENCE

Navy Locates 48-year Old Record of 1971 India-Pakistan War Victory Song

  • Over two years after the 1971 India-Pakistan war, an album on martial music was released on the Republic Day in 1974 to mark the achievement of the Indian Navy. The album named "A Salute to Our Navy" featured 14 songs, including "Vijay", commemorating the decisive victory.
  • At that time, black vinyl "LP" records existed that went out of fashion as the cassette replaced them in early 1980s. The CD soon replaced cassette as a medium of storing and playing music.
  • Five decades since the LP was released, information on its existence was almost lost, but was discovered — by chance. The herculean challenge to locate this vintage LP record spanned across various cities, antique shops, collectors, online queries and even with the copyright holding company that had released it. Finally, a copy of the record in mint condition was located in a vintage record shop situated in the recesses of Old Delhi.
  • All 14 tracks were recovered and the historical musical artifact was presented to Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar. It contained both vintage LP disk of 1974 and a pen drive with the restored and digitised audio and video.

Fourth Edition of Indian Navy-Bangladesh Navy Coordinated Patrol CORPAT Held in Northern Bay of Bengal

  • The fourth edition of the Indian Navy-Bangladesh Navy Coordinated Patrol CORPAT was held in the Northern Bay of Bengal. Indian Navy and Bangladesh Navy units undertook joint patrolling along the International Maritime Boundary Line IMBL. The last IN-BN CORPAT was conducted in October 2020.
  • Two indigenously built IN Ships - Kora, a guided-missile corvette and Sumedha, an offshore patrol vessel participated in the exercise along with Bangladesh Navy Ships BNS Ali Haider and BNS Abu Ubaidah. In addition, Maritime Patrol Aircraft of both navies also participated in the Coordinated Patrol.
  • The regular conduct of CORPATs has strengthened mutual understanding and enhanced interoperability between both the navies in countering transnational maritime threats at sea.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Gama Pehlwan: 144th Birth Anniversary of Gama Pehlwan 2022

  • Gama Pehlwan is a legendary wrestler in the history of India. He is a true inspiration all over the world and was given the title of Rustam-e- Hind and Rustam-e-Zamana which means Champion of India and Champion of the world. Gama Pehlwan was born on 22nd May 1878 in a Kashmiri Muslim family. He was 5'8 and weighed 110 kg.
  • Gama Pehlwan was first to notice when he entered a strongman completion at the age of 10 held in Jodhpur. He was among the top 15 participants in the competition and the Maharaja of Jodhpur was impressed by him. He was declared the winner due to his young age. Gama's professional training started when the Maharaja of Datai got to know about him and took him for training. When he entered a wrestling competition in Baroda, Gama Pehlwan lifted a more than 1200 kg stone. The stone is kept in the Baroda Museum as a symbol of Honour and power.
  • On 15th October 1910, he was awarded a version of the World Heavyweight championship. He had a wrestling career of more than 52 years and was undefeated throughout his career. He is considered the greatest and most successful wrestler of all time. He had a strict training routine which consisted of grappling with forty fellow members, five thousand squats (Baithaks), and three thousand push-ups or Dands for more than 30-45 minutes.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

  • United Nations (UN) International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is marked on 23rd May since 2013 to promote action towards treating and preventing obstetric fistula, a condition that affects many girls and women during childbirth in developing countries. In 2003 the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its partners launched the global Campaign to End Fistula, a collaborative initiative to prevent fistula and restore the health of those affected by the condition. The day was officially recognised in 2012.
  • Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury, and a neglected public health and human rights issue. Two million women in low-resource settings have an obstetric fistula, and 100,000 more develop one every year. Leaking urine and/or faeces and, as a result, living in desperate circumstances, only 1 in 50 ever receives treatment.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

WHO Honours India's ASHA Volunteers

  • India's one million all-women ASHA volunteers were honoured by the World Health Organisation for their "crucial role" in providing direct access to healthcare facilities in rural areas and their indefatigable efforts to rein in the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Accredited Social Health Activists - or ASHA volunteers - are Indian government's affiliated health workers who are the first point of contact in rural India
  • Most of them gained spotlight during the peak of the pandemic in India for conducting door-to-door checks to trace coronavirus patients.
  • ASHA volunteers have also worked to provide maternal care and immunisation for children against vaccine-preventable diseases; community health care; treatment for hypertension and tuberculosis; and core areas of health promotion for nutrition, sanitation and healthy living.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Inaugurates North East Research Conclave 2022 at IIT Guwahati

  • Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development, launched the North East Research Conclave (NERC) 2022 at IIT Guwahati. Pradhan stated that the conclave would enhance the ties between industry, academics, and policymakers, as well as re-energize the research, start-up, and entrepreneurial ecosystems in the resource-rich Northeastern Region states and the country.
  • The inauguration of the conclave was followed by the signing of an agreement between IIT Guwahati and the Government of Assam to establish 'The Assam Advanced Health Innovation Institute (AAHII).
  • This will be a unique partnership between the Government of Assam and IIT Guwahati to set up a Research Institution to leverage advanced technologies to transform medical science. The joint venture company will invite participation from intending parties including corporates/ business houses/research institutions and philanthropic organisations
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ART AND CULTURE

Ministry of Culture to Commemorate the 250th Birth Anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy from 22nd May 2022 to 22nd May 2023

  • Under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM), the Ministry of Culture is commemorating the 250th Birth Anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy from 22nd May 2022 to 22nd May 2023. The inaugural ceremony took place at Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Salt Lake, Kolkata, and at Science City Auditorium, Kolkata.
  • An iconic statue of Raja Ram Mohan Roy was unveiled by the Minister of Culture, G. Kishan Reddy in a virtual mode at Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata.
  • Several other events were held at Salt Lake, Science City Auditorium, Kolkata. A seminar and quiz program for children will also be organized. A multimedia presentation on various facets of the life of Raja Ram Mohan Roy was also presented.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

SC Orders Constitution of 25 Special Courts for Cheque Bounce Cases

  • As more than 33 lakh cheque bounce cases are pending in different courts and blocking judicial dockets, the Supreme Court decided to experiment with the idea of setting up of special courts headed by retired judicial officers exclusively to deal with such cases.
  • As a pilot project, a bench of justices L. Nageswara Rao, B. R. Gavai and S. Ravindra Bhat directed setting up of total 25 such special courts in five districts of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and UP where the pendency of the cheque bounce cases is the highest. The court said that the special courts will start functioning from September 1 for one year and the court would take a further call to expand it across the country after evaluating their one year performance. The court directed the HC of the five states to take all necessary steps in establishing the special courts by taking the services of retired judges and providing appropriate infrastructure.

Justice L. N. Rao Given Warm Send-off by Judges, Lawyers

  • Justice L. Nageswara Rao, who acted in many films including Sanjay Dutt starrer 'Kanoon Apna Apna' and TV serials when he was young, was given a warm send off by judges and lawyers. Justice Rao, who was appointed SC judge on May 13, 2016, would formally demit office on June 7. CJI N. V. Ramana, Attorney General K. K. Venugopal and many other senior lawyers wished him a healthy, happy and active life.
  • Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana called Rao's retirement is a huge loss for the Bench and his keen analytical skills and passion for the cause of justice will be thoroughly missed by all. Justice Rao, hailing from Chirala in Prakasam District of Andhra Pradesh, did his law at Nagarjuna University at Guntur and was enrolled as an advocate in 1982 at the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh.
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