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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

25 May 2022


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Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Health, Addresses at the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva

  • Mansukh Mandaviya, the Minister of Health, emphasized the need of creating a robust global supply chain to provide fair access to vaccines and medicines. The Minister, speaking at the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva, advocated for simplifying WHO's vaccine and treatment approval procedures and strengthening WHO to establish a more robust global health security infrastructure. Mr. Mandaviya reaffirmed India's commitment to strengthening the global health security framework.
  • Mr. Mandaviya expressed the concern of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare, a representative group of India's Health Ministers, who unanimously supported a resolution criticizing WHO's approach and methodology on excess mortality statistics.

India-Jordan Sign Agreement to Cooperate in Fertilisers Sector

  • A high-level group led by Mansukh Mandaviya visited Jordan in a first-of-its-kind endeavor with the goal of securing fertilizers and raw materials for the short and long term. The visit took place against the backdrop of the current global fertilizer crisis. Mandaviya noted that the Jordan visit was historic in terms of assuring India's supply of phosphoric and potassium fertilizers. Mansukh Mandaviya called Jordan as India's chosen fertilizer partner during the meetings.
  • Jordan Phosphate Mining Company (JPMC) inked MOUs with Indian public, cooperative, and private sector companies for supplies of 30 LMT Rock Phosphate, 2.50 LMT DAP, and 1 LMT phosphoric acid for the current year.I
  • India has signed a 5-year MOU with Jordan for yearly shipments of 2.75 LMT of MoP, which will gradually increase to 3.25 LMT each year. These shipments will be critical for India's continued fertilizer supply in the coming agricultural seasons.

Tedros Re-elected as Head of World Health Organization

  • The World Health Organization's (WHO) members re-elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as Director General by a strong majority for another five years.
  • The vote by secret ballot, announced by Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh from Djibouti at a major annual meeting, was seen as a formality since Tedros was the only candidate running.
  • Ministers and delegates took turns to shake hands and hug Tedros, a former health minister from Ethiopia, who has steered the UN agency through a turbulent period dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The president had to use a gavel several times to interrupt the applause.
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WEF Forms Indian CEOs' Alliance to Supercharge Race to Net-zero

  • The World Economic Forum announced a new "Alliance of CEO Climate Action Leaders India" that will work towards fast-tracking decarbonisation pathways along India's net-zero journey. The Alliance brings together chief executives from India's leading businesses. It is part of the Forum's Climate Action Platform and will build upon learnings from global projects such as the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders and the First Movers Coalition.
  • The Alliance will serve as a high-level platform to support business leaders in planning and implementing plans and programmes to achieve climate targets, including net-zero economic growth.
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HDFC Bank Partners with B2B Pharma Marketplace Retailio to Launch Co-branded Credit Cards

  • HDFC Bank, India's largest private sector bank, launched a new range of co-branded credit cards with Retailio, aimed largely at chemists and pharmacies in the merchant market. Retailio is the largest B2B pharma marketplace in the country. It is a useful app that is having a significant digital impact on the Pharma supply chain management in India. Chemists, retailers, distributors, pharmacists, and hospitals can use the Retailio mobile application and web interface to place orders with their respective distributors.
  • With over 6 crore credit, debit, and prepaid cards covering every market sector, HDFC Bank is the market leader in the payments ecosystem. Retailio has a network of over 1000 health care and pharmaceutical enterprises, 3000 pharmaceutical distributors, 1 lakh pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes in over 1000 locations.

SAIL Celebrates Fifty Years of Incorporation with a Special Logo

  • Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), the maharatna steelmaking public sector unit, is celebrating the company's fifty years of incorporation in 2022. SAIL was incorporated on 24th January, 1973. SAIL's legacy of fifty years is being celebrated with the launch of a new commemorative logo and will be followed by several events to be held all across the company throughout the year. The design of the commemorative logo retains the essence of SAIL's company logo while bringing out the spirit of fifty years of journey of this company. The logo was launched by Smt. Soma Mondal, Chairman, SAIL in presence of the Company's directors.
  • This feat is a testimony of the company's sustained efforts and initiatives in ensuring better stakeholders' engagement and contribution in nation building over the years.

Tata Power, Tata Motors Collaborate to Develop a 7mwp Solar Rooftop Project

  • Tata Power and Tata Motors have collaborated to develop a 7 MWp solar rooftop project at the latter's passenger vehicle plant in Chikhali, Pune. This is the third phase of a joint 17 MWp on-site solar project developed by the two companies, of which 10 MWp has already been installed. The two companies have recently inked a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for this solar project. The rooftop installation is collectively expected to generate 23 million units of electricity, mitigating 5.23 lakh tonne of carbon dioxide. This will be equivalent to planting 8.36 lakh trees over a lifetime.
  • Tata Power has executed multiple large solar rooftop solutions including one of the world's largest rooftop (16MW) at a single location at Radhasoami Satsang Beas (RSSB), Amritsar.
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Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Successfully Tests Made-in-India 5G Call at IIT Madras

  • Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made the first 5G call on a trial network set up at IIT Madras using indigenously-developed telecom gears. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country's first 5G test-bed, incubated at IIT Madras, to enable startups and industry players to test and validate their products locally and reduce dependence on foreign facilities.
  • The government expects commercial roll-out of 5G services to start in the country by August-September 2022.
  • The 5G test-bed has been developed as a multi-institute collaborative project by eight institutes led by IIT Madras. In the absence of a 5G test-bed, startups and other industry players were required to go abroad to test and validate their products for installation in a 5G network.
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Haryana Beat Jharkhand 2-0 to Win Hockey India Sub-Junior Women's National Championship in Imphal

  • Hockey Haryana emerged winners of the Hockey India sub-junior women's national championship 2022 after defeating Hockey Jharkhand 2-0 in the final in Imphal. Riya (13th) and Sejal (39th) scored a goal each to help Hockey Haryana successfully defend the title.
  • Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Hockey defeated Madhya Pradesh Hockey 3-0 to secure third place in the tournament. Pushpanjali Sonkar, Manisha Patel, and Purnima Yadav scored a goal each to help Uttar Pradesh Hockey seal third place in the competition for the second consecutive time.

Justin Thomas Wins Playoff to Claim Second PGA Championship

  • Justin Thomas defeated fellow American Will Zalatoris by one stroke in a three-hole aggregate playoff to win the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
  • Thomas, the 2017 PGA champion captured his second major title by going two-under par in the playoff with Zalatoris on one-under.
  • Thomas, who began the day seven strokes adrift, matched the greatest last-round comeback in PGA history, American John Mahaffey's seven-shot rally at Oakmont in 1978.
  • The title came after a heartbreaking last-hole collapse by Chile's Mito Pereira, who led all day only to end with a double-bogey disaster and squander the trophy.
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Arson in Andhra Town over Renaming District after Ambedkar, Minister's House Torched

  • Arson broke out in Amalapuram town in Andhra Pradesh when police resorted to lathi-charge at people who staged a protest against the proposed renaming of the newly-created Konaseema district as B. R. Ambedkar Konaseema district, with a number of police personnel left injured and the protesters opposed to the name change allegedly setting the houses of state minister P. Viswarupu and a ruling YSR Congress MLA P. Satish on fire.
  • While the ruling party blamed unnamed forces behind the arson, all opposition parties hit out at the Jagan Mohan Reddy government over its "gross failure" in controlling the situation.
  • Prohibitory orders under Section 144 were clamped in Amalapuram even as additional police forces were rushed in to bring the situation under control.
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India, US to Expand Defence Ties in Cyber, Space Domains; New Delhi to Join West-led Bahrain-based Naval Force

  • India crossed a Rubicon by agreeing to join the Combined Military Forces-Bahrain (CMF–Bahrain) as an associate member following a summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden, who said he is committed to making India-US ties the "closest on the planet". They also committed to deepen their 'Major Defence Partnership' by expanding cooperation in new domains, including space and cyber, and launching a dialogue on Artificial Intelligence.
  • The two leaders touched in detail on cooperation in critical technologies, an area of acute interest to India. Both sides have acknowledged its importance with the launch of a US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) which plans to join six of India's technology innovation hubs to support at least 25 joint research projects in 2022. The areas, to begin with, are AI and data science.
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Veteran Communist Leader Shivaji Patnaik Passes Away

  • Veteran Communist leader and three-time Member of Parliament Shivaji Patnaik passed away. He was 93. Shivaji Patnaik is lauded as the founder of CPI (Marxist) in Odisha. Born on August 10, 1930, the veteran leader had joined the state student's movement at the age of 17 when he was studying in Ravenshaw College. Patnaik had a crucial role in the formation of CPI(M) when the Communist party faced division in 1964. He remained the party secretary from 1971 to 1990. He was also elected to the Central Committee of the party.
  • The departed leader was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1977. Subsequently, on two occasions, 1989 and 1991, he entered the Lower House of Parliament after winning the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat.
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International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories

  • United Nations is observing "International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories" from May 25 to 31. On December 06, 1999, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories. In UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory "whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government."
  • To take effective measures to protect and guarantee the inalienable rights of the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land. To establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources and request the administering powers to take measures to protect the property rights of the peoples in these Territories.

8th International Day of Yoga to be Held at Mysuru

  • The 8th International Day of Yoga (IDY) will be held at Mysuru city, which is known as the cultural capital and major historic destination of Karnataka state on June 21. The preparations for IDY-2022 are already underway. As the upcoming 8th IDY is falling in the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' year, this Ministry plans to observe IDY at 75 iconic sites across the country. This year, the IDY will be focused on Branding India on the global stage.
  • Every year, the main event of IDY observation happens in a particular city where thousands of people participate in Mass Yoga Demonstration by following the Common Yoga Protocol. The main event of IDY observation is led by the Prime Minister himself. The main event of this IYD observation will be held in Mysuru, Karnataka.
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Kishore Jayaraman Receives Honorary British Award by Her Majesty The Queen

  • Kishore Jayaraman, President, India and South Asia for Rolls-Royce, received an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty The Queen. He received the award for services to international trade and investment, with a key focus on promotion of India-U.K. trade. Mr. Jayaraman is a board member of the U.K.-India Business Council, which supports U.K. businesses set-up in India. He has also been instrumental in promoting bilateral ties by setting up a strategic ecosystem for boosting manufacturing in India enabled by U.K.'s technology.
  • Under his leadership, the company set up the 'Engineering Centre' in Bengaluru in 2015, 'Digital Centre of Excellence' with over 60 digital technologists in 2017, and its first 'Start-up Accelerator Programme' in India in 2019.
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Belgium Becomes First Country to Make Quarantine Compulsory for Monkeypox Patients

  • Belgium became the first country to make a 21-day quarantine compulsory for monkeypox patients after four cases of the disease were reported. The Belgian health authorities took this decision, Saudi Gazette reported citing Belgian media. The Belgian Institute of Tropical Medicine has said that the risk of a larger outbreak in the country is low.
  • Monkeypox is a disease in the same family as smallpox and symptoms include a distinct bumpy rash, a fever, sore muscles, and a headache. Monkeypox is less deadly than smallpox, with a mortality rate below four per cent, but experts are worried about the unusual spread of the disease beyond Africa where it usually circulates.
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J&K's First National Film Festival, DIPR and NFDC sign a Memorandum of Understanding

  • The National Film Festival of Jammu & Kashmir is approaching, the Department of Information and Public Relations of J&K signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Film Development Corporation Limited. The MoU was signed by Akshay Labroo, Director, Department of Information and Public Relations, J&K, and Sh D. Ramakrishnan, General Manager, NFDC, in the presence of Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor.
  • The National Film Development Corporation Limited and the Directorate of Information and Public Relations, J&K are co-organizing the big event, which will take place from June 15 to June 20.
  • The festival's goal is to highlight and promote the UT's creative environment, as well as to promote J&K as a top destination for filmmakers from throughout the world.
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India Drops to 54th Place on Travel and Tourism Development Index

  • India was ranked at the 54th place in a global travel and tourism development index, down from 46th in 2019, but still remained on the top within South Asia. Japan topped the global charts, followed by the US, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austraila, UK, Singapore and Italy in the top ten.
  • The World Economic Forum's biennial travel and tourism study also showed a recovering sector following pandemic lows, though the recovery has been uneven and challenges remain. The Travel and Tourism Development Index assesses 117 economies, identifying key factors in enabling the sustainable and resilient growth of travel and tourism economies.
  • The Travel and Tourism Development Index 2021 is a direct evolution of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, which has been published biennially for the past 15 years.
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Qutub Minar is Not a Place of Worship: ASI Opposes Plea Seeking Restoration of Hindu, Jain Deities Inside Complex

  • A Delhi court reserved its order on a plea challenging the dismissal of a civil suit that sought to "restore" 27 Hindu and Jain temples inside the Qutub Minar complex in New Delhi — claiming they were demolished to build the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. The original suit was in 2021 dismissed by a civil judge in Delhi, citing that it was barred under provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, following which the petitioners have filed the present appeal.
  • Arguing before Additional District Judge Nikhil Chopra of the Saket court, petitioner Hari Shankar Jain submitted that the dismissal of their suit based on the 1991 Act was wrong because the Qutub Minar complex has been exempted from the Act as it comes under the purview of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act of 1958. Mr. Jain said that Section 4(3)(a) of the 1991 Act specifically exempts monuments protected under the AMASR Act of 1958. Further, he relied on Section 16(1) of the AMASR Act, 1958 to claim the right to "restore" the temples and worship on the premises.
  • However, the Archeological Survey of India opposed Mr. Jain's plea, submitting that the Qutub Minar complex is not a place of worship and neither was it one when it was first notified as a protected monument in 1914.
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