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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

24 May 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Adani, Karuna Nundy Named among TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2022

  • Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy, business tycoon Gautam Adani and prominent Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez have been named among the world's 100 most influential people of 2022 by TIME magazine. The list has been divided into six categories – Icons, Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders and Innovators.
  • While Adani was named under the Titans category along with the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook and American host Oprah Winfrey, Nundy and Parvez found their place under the Leaders category along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukraine counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Biden Supports Japan Joining UN Security Council

  • According to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, President Joe Biden supports Japan's bid to join a reformed UN Security Council.
  • If approved by the UN, Japan would join Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US as permanent members of the international body's security council.

Twelve Countries Join New Indo-Pacific Trade Pact

  • President Joe Biden announced 12 countries joined a new trade pact that the White House says will help the United States work more closely with Asian economies on issues including supply chains, digital trade, clean energy and anti-corruption efforts.
  • The signatories that joined the US in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Along with the United States, they represent 40 per cent of world GDP.
  • The countries said that the pact will help them collectively prepare our economies for the future" following disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Exim Bank, JBIC Sign $100 mn Loan Agreement to Support Healthcare Sector

  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) signed a USD 100 million loan agreement with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), along with three Japanese private financial institutions -- MUFG Bank Ltd, Bank of Kyoto Ltd and Hachijuni Bank Ltd -- aimed at supporting the Indian healthcare sector for combating COVID-19.
  • The agreement was signed on Monday on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders' Summit.

ONGC Becomes 1st Gas Producer to Trade on IGX

  • State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) became the first gas producer to trade domestic gas on the Indian Gas Exchange, trading unspecified volumes from its eastern offshore KG-DWN-98/2 block.
  • The gas traded is from ONGC Krishna Godavari 98/2 block, but ONGC did not specify the volumes that were sold.
  • After the deregulation in gas pricing ecosystem in 2000-21, ONGC has prepared itself to reap the benefits.

RBI-Constituted Panel to Review Customer Service Standards in Banks, NBFCs

  • The RBI set up a committee to evaluate the efficacy, adequacy and quality of customer service in banks, NBFCs, and other entities regulated by it.
  • The six-member committee headed by former RBI deputy governor B. P. Kanungo was asked to submit a report within three months from the date of its first meeting.
  • The committee will also review the emerging and evolving needs of the customer service landscape, especially in the context of evolving digital/electronic financial products and distribution landscape and suggest suitable regulatory measures.
  • Besides, it has also been asked to identify the best practices, adopted globally and domestically, in customer service and grievance redressal, especially for improvement in services rendered to retail and small customers, including pensioners and senior citizens.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian Railways and IIT Madras Partner to Develop India's First Indigenous Hyperloop

  • The Ministry of Railways partnered with IIT Madras for the development of a made-in-India Hyperloop system. It has also announced that it'll be setting up a Centre for Excellence for Hyperloop technologies at the aforementioned institution. India has shown interest in Hyperloop tech since 2017, by then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. In fact, the ministry also held talks with US-based Hyperloop One, but nothing quite materialised.
  • IIT Madras's Avishkar Hyperloop which was formed in 2017 had been working on scalability and frugal engineering concepts for the development of a Hyperloop based transportation system for India. The group was one of the top ten finalists at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition of 2019 and was the only Asian team to do so. They also were awarded the 'Most Scalable Design Award' at the European Hyperloop Week in 2021.

Hubble Observes Extremely Distant Globular Cluster

  • The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured an amazing new photo of the globular cluster Liller 1.
  • Liller 1 is located approximately 30,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius.
  • Also known as C 1730-333, it lies within the Milky Way's bulge, the dense and dusty region at the Galactic center.
  • Liller 1 is a particularly interesting globular cluster, because unlike most of its kind, it contains a mix of young and old stars.
  • According to Hubble astronomers, globular clusters typically house only old stars, some nearly as old as the Universe itself.
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SPORTS

PBKS' Shikhar Dhawan Becomes First Player to Hit 700 Fours in IPL's History

  • Punjab Kings opening batter Shikhar Dhawan became the first player to hit 700 fours in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
  • Dhawan reached this feat during the last league stage match of IPL 2022, between PBKS and Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium.
  • The batter has now a total of 701 IPL fours to his name. He is followed by David Warner and Virat Kohli, with 577 and 576 fours, respectively.

Manchester City Crowned 2021/22 English Premier League Champions

  • Manchester City were crowned 2021/22 Premier League champions their fourth title success in the last five seasons.
  • Manchester City's dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa in the final game of the season sealed the title and saw them finish one point ahead of second-place Liverpool at the end of a grueling battle for supremacy. In Manchester City's 38 league matches this season, they have won 29, drawn six, and lost three, scoring 99 goals in the process.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Vinai Kumar Saxena is New Lt Governor of Delhi

  • Vinai Kumar Saxena, the chairperson of Khadi & Village Industries Commission, was appointed as the new Lt Governor of Delhi.
  • Saxena succeeded Anil Baijal who resigned from the post citing personal reasons.
  • Baijal, a 1969-batch IAS officer, was appointed as the 21st Lieutenant Governor of Delhi in December 2016 after the sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung.
  • Saxena was born on March 23, 1958, and is a Kanpur University alumnus with a Pilot license.
  • In March 2021, he was appointed by the Union government as a member of the national committee to commemorate 75 years of India's independence. In November 2020, he was nominated as a member of the Padma Awards selection panel for the year 2021.
  • In 1991, he founded the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), a non-profit NGO with its headquarters in Ahmedabad. NCCL is recognised by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Andhra Pradesh Joins WEF's Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs

  • Andhra Pradesh joined the Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs (AMHUBs) of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • The state government and WEF exchanged the platform partnership on "Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains".
  • An agreement to this effect was signed on the sidelines of the annual meeting of WEF which began at Davos. Officials from both sides inked the agreement in the presence of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
  • AMHUBs engages regional production ecosystems, including stakeholders from public and private sectors, academia and civil society to support the development and scaling of local efforts aimed at preparing industry for the future of manufacturing and production.
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DEFENCE

Indian Military Commands Form "Tetra Group" To Counter China

  • Further strengthening operational preparedness along the China front from Arunachal Pradesh to the Indian Ocean Region, four operational commands of Indian defence forces came together to discuss steps to enhance jointness and integration amongst themselves to create a 'stronger punch' against any misadventure by the northern adversary.
  • The four commands which came together are called 'Tetra' include the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Command, Vishakhapatnam-based Eastern Navy, Shillong-based Eastern Air Force and the country's only operational tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Command based in Port Blair.
  • The move by these commands is also being seen as a strong step towards the creation of integrated theatre commands as envisaged by the Narendra Modi government around three years ago with the setting up of the Department of Military Affairs and the office of Chief of Defence Staff.
  • The heads of these commands are Lt Gen RP Kalita, Vice Admiral B Dasgupta, Air Marshal DK Patnaik and Lt Gen Ajai Singh.

Sheikh Abdullah's Picture Replaced with National Emblem of India on Police Gallantry Medal

  • The Jammu and Kashmir government announced that the image of NC founder and former Chief Minister 'Sher-i-Kashmir' Sheikh Abdullah embossed on the J&K Police medals for gallantry and meritorious service will be replaced with the national emblem. An order to this effect was issued by the home department.
  • The government had earlier renamed Sher-i-Kashmir Police Medals' as Jammu and Kashmir Police Medals'.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Commonwealth Day 2022 in India

  • Commonwealth Day is celebrated on May 24 in India and a couple of other countries. Commonwealth Day is also commonly known as Empire Day. It marks the development of the British Empire in India and other colonies of Britain.
  • Commonwealth Day, formerly known as Empire Day, was established in 1902. After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, this day was established as a holiday that honored England, the unity between nations of the Commonwealth, and its ideals of freedom, tolerance, and justice. This day was first celebrated on May 24, 1902, which was the Queen's birthday.
  • In the year of 1916 Empire Day was declared an official yearly event. After World War II, the relationship of commonwealth nations with Britain also saw a change, as they began to celebrate their own identity and idea of nationalism. Empire Day was then changed to Commonwealth Day as the British empire fell apart.
  • The theme for Commonwealth Day 2022 was 'Delivering a Common Future'.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Anjali Pandey Bags the CII EXCON Committed Leader Award

  • Anjali Pandey, Engines and Components Business Unit Leader at Cummins India was awarded with the Committed Leader Award at CII EXCON 2022 in Bengaluru for her efforts to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
  • Cummins India has taken active measures to increase its female representation over the past few years resulting in an increase in gender diversity ratio from 5 to 32 per cent over the last two decades, which is a significant achievement for a manufacturing organization.
  • Cummins drives various initiatives to provide equal opportunities to women, including Women in Technology, gender balance during recruitment, ensuring pay parity, gender-neutral workstations, Cummins Women& Empowerment Network, flexible work arrangements, and award-winning breastfeeding-friendly facilities for new mothers, all of which are strongly supported by leadership.
  • Diversity & Inclusion is one of Cummins & core values and the organization has an unwavering commitment to building a more dynamic workplace where all employees are inspired and encouraged to achieve their full potential.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Manish Sisodia to Present Delhi Education Model at Education World Forum 2022 in London

  • Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia presented the 'Delhi Education Model' at the Education World Forum 2022 in London.
  • The Education World Forum is one of the largest events where education and skills ministers gather from different parts of the country to discuss key issues and problems they face in the education sector. This platform is also used to share solutions, new and creative ideas and share their learnings with one another.
  • Theme for Education World Forum 2022 was 'Education: building forward together; stronger, bolder, better'.

CUET 2022: Central Universities from the North Eastern States Exempted

  • The Union Education Minister made a major announcement for the candidates and the universities regarding the CUET 2022. The central Universities in the North Eastern States and Uttarakhand were exempted from the CUET 2022 norms. The official statement issued by the Ministry stated that "Considering the operational difficulties in conducting the exam of CUET 2022, i.e. the issue of geographical conditions, hilly terrain, far-flung location, limited digital connectivity, infrastructure, etc. It has been decided that central Universities of North Eastern Regions namely Sikkim University, Rajiv Gandhi University, Manipur University, Assam University, Nagaland University, Tripura University, Mizoram University, NEHU as well HNB Garhwal University, Uttarakhand may take admission in the affiliated colleges to the central Universities as per the past practice instead of CUET for the year 2022-23 only."
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