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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

02 Jul 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Parl Dissolved, Israel Heads for Fifth Election in 4 Years

  • Israel's experiment with the most diverse political alliance ranging from the Left, Centre and Right to even an Islamist Arab party finally came to an end with the Knesset voting to disperse itself in an overwhelming 92-0 vote, clearing the way for fresh poll — the fifth in less than four years.

Pakistan Approaches China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to Boycott G20 Summit in J&K

  • Pakistan reached out to its close allies in the group of twenty. China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to boycott the G20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • India will assume the G-20 presidency on 1 December 2022, and host the inaugural G20 Leaders' Summit in 2023. India's representation at G20 summits has been led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014.
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ENVIRONMENT

Never-before-seen Microbes Locked in Glacier Ice could Spark a Wave of New Pandemics if Released

  • Scientists uncovered more than 900 never-before-seen species of microbes living inside glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau. Analysis of the microbes' genomes revealed that some have the potential to spawn new pandemics, if rapid melting caused by climate change releases them from their icy prisons.
  • In a new study, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences took ice samples from 21 glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau — a high-altitude region in Asia wedged between the Himalayan mountain range to the south and the Taklamakan Desert to the north. The team then sequenced the DNA of the microscopic organisms locked inside the ice, creating a massive database of microbe genomes that they named the Tibetan Glacier Genome and Gene (TG2G) catalog. It is the first time that a microbial community hidden within a glacier has been genetically sequenced.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Govt Approves Deregulation of Sale of Domestically-produced Crude Oil

  • The government allowed firms like ONGC and Vedanta to sell locally produced crude oil to any Indian refinery for turning it into fuel, such as petrol and diesel, as it deregulated one of the last few avenues that were still under its control.
  • While contracts for oilfields awarded since 1999 gave producers the freedom to sell oil, the government fixed buyers for crude produced from older fields, such as Mumbai High of ONGC and Ravva of Vedanta.
  • The decisions taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that from October 1, the companies will have the freedom to sell crude oil in the domestic market.
  • However, the ban on the export of crude oil will continue.

Airtel Payments Bank Partners Axis Bank to Digitise the Cash Collection

  • Airtel Payments Bank partnered with Axis Bank to digitise the cash collection system in Tier III cities and semi-urban regions.
  • Under this partnership, Airtel Payments Bank will leverage the extensive reach of its digital-led neighbourhood banking model to support Axis Bank with the digitisation of last-mile cash collections.
  • Through this tie-up, Axis Bank and its customers will benefit significantly by building operational efficiencies in the cash management process. This would also speed up the payment cycle and help in releasing the bandwidth of field agents who operate across the country.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA Launches CAPSTONE to Evaluate New Orbit for Artemis Moon Missions

  • The first leg of NASA's CubeSat mission to the Moon was successfully completed in space. It was built to test a novel lunar orbit.
  • The spacecraft moved towards a still-developing, lunar space station, named Getaway constructed by NASA alongside its international and commercial partners which in turn supports the astronaut missions and Artemis program of the space administration.
  • The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, mission was launched on Rocket Lab's Electron rocket from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.
  • CAPSTONE is an example of how working with commercial partners is key for NASA's ambitious plans to explore the Moon and beyond.
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SPORTS

England Picks Jos Buttler as Captain of T20 and ODI Teams

  • Jos Buttler was promoted to England's new white-ball captain and took immediate charge of the Twenty20 and one-day international cricket teams.
  • Vice-captain since 2015, Buttler has deputised for Eoin Morgan on 14 occasions.
  • Buttler will take charge of 12 games in July, with T20 and ODI series against India and South Africa.
  • The wicketkeeper-batter is a ferocious striker of the ball. He has played 151 ODI games for England, scoring 4,120 runs at an average of 41.20, including 10 hundreds and 21 fifties.

Gujarat to Host National Games in Sept-Oct

  • Postponed several times due to different reasons, the National Games will be held in multiple cities in Gujarat in September-October 2022, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Secretary General Rajiv Mehta confirmed. IOA took the decision after Gujarat Olympic Association and the state government jointly expressed their interest to host the Games.
  • The Games will be held in five or six cities in Gujarat, including Ahmedabad.
  • The last National Games were held in Kerala in 2015 and Goa was to host the 36th edition in November 2016. After two delays in 2018 and 2019 due to the state's inability to create adequate infrastructure, the Games were further postponed to 2020.
  • Covid-19 then forced the postponement of the National Games in 2020.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Election for Vice President to be Held on August 6

  • The Election Commission said that polling to elect the next vice president will be held on August 6 and counting of votes will take place the same day.
  • The BJP-led NDA has a clear edge in the poll in which members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including nominated members, are eligible to vote.
  • The notification for the election will be issued on July 5, which will set in motion the nomination process. The last date for filing of nomination papers will be July 19.
  • The term of incumbent M. Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The vice president is also the chairperson of Rajya Sabha.

RJD Becomes Largest Party in Bihar after 4 AIMIM MLAs Join It

  • Four of the five MLAs of AIMIM (All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen) in Bihar joined the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the principal opposition party in the state, which reclaimed its status as the single largest party in the 243-member assembly.
  • The four MLAs to switched to RJD are Syed Rukuuddin Ahmed from Baisi, Shahnawaj from Jokihat, Mohammed Anjar Nayami from Bahadurganj and Mohammed IzaharAshwi from Kochadhaman assembly constituencies.
  • With the latest shot in the arm, RJD now has 80 members in the assembly, edging past the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has 77.
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DEFENCE

India-Australia Hold Ninth Army to Army Staff Talks in Dehradun

  • Armies of India and Australia held the ninth Army to Army Staff Talks in Dehradun which were focused on joint military exercises, training cooperation and preparing a roadmap for enhanced defence cooperation.
  • Talks were held at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and both sides reviewed the road map for activities promoting defence cooperation like training courses between both the Armies, cadet exchange programmes between pre-commission training academies, bilateral ex Austra hind, subject matter expert exchange in niche domains, functional and high level visits, interaction between think tanks, virtual interactions in field of medical and doctrinal exchanges.

PADMA, the Centralised Pay System for Indian Coast Guard

  • Pay Roll Automation for Disbursement of Monthly Allowances (PADMA), an automated Pay & Allowances module for the Indian Coast Guard was launched by Rajnish Kumar, Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA), Ministry of Defence. The CGDA emphasized that the Government campaigned for Digital India to ensure dedicated services and reduce manual intervention at every level & to promote E-Governance in a big way.
  • The launch of PADMA will strengthen the Digital India concept. Also, it is an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiative as the entire module was designed and developed by Indian entrepreneurs assisted by domain experts.
  • PADMA is an automated platform leveraging latest technology which will provide seamless and timely disbursal of Pay & Allowances to around 15,000 Indian Coast Guard personnel.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Veteran Diplomat Satinder Lambah Dies

  • Veteran diplomat Satinder Lambah, who was twice India's Special Envoy under different regimes, passed away at the age of 81.
  • Known for helming India's turnaround in ties with Pakistan during a decade-long stint as Special Envoy on Pakistan under the UPA government, Lambah was also India's Special Envoy for Afghanistan in the critical period between 2001 and 2004 when India was re-establishing itself in Kabul post Taliban I period.
  • Academic Amitabh Mattoo had once said Lambah was among six Indian diplomats who never became Foreign Secretary but impacted India's foreign policy more than most Foreign Secretaries.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Sports Journalists Day

  • World Sports Journalists Day is observed globally on 2nd July every year. The day aims to acknowledge the work of sports journalists and to encourage them to do better at their work. Sports journalists help millions of people in the world to receive information on various sports. These journalists have their associations to maintain their standards in their profession.
  • World Sports Journalist Day was established by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in 1994 to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the organization. AIPS was formed on July 2 of 1924, during the Summer Olympics in Paris.

World UFO Day

  • World Sports Journalists Day is observed globally on 2nd July every year. The day aims to acknowledge the work of sports journalists and to encourage them to do better at their work. Sports journalists help millions of people in the world to receive information on various sports. These journalists have their associations to maintain their standards in their profession.
  • World Sports Journalist Day was established by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in 1994 to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the organization. AIPS was formed on July 2 of 1924, during the Summer Olympics in Paris.

International Day of Cooperatives

  • International Day of Cooperatives is marked annually on the first Saturday of July. This year, in 2022 it was observed on 2 July to highlight the contributions of the cooperative movement. The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness about cooperatives by highlighting how the United Nations shares similar goals and objectives as the international cooperative movement.
  • The International Day of Cooperatives celebrates the formation of the International Co-operative Alliance and how cooperatives work towards making the world a better place.
  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution on 16 December 1992 to declare the first Saturday of July 1995 as the International Day of Cooperatives. The date was chosen as it marked the centenary of the International Cooperative Alliance's establishment. It is also called Coops Day.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Punjab Assembly Passes Resolution against Agnipath Scheme

  • The Punjab Assembly passed a resolution against the Agnipath recruitment scheme, a move opposed by the opposition BJP. Punjab became the first state in the country to pass a resolution against the Agnipath recruitment scheme.
  • While moving the resolution in the Assembly, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said that the unilateral announcement of the Agnipath scheme by the government of India has witnessed widespread reactions in all states, including Punjab.
  • As per Mann, this policy (Agnipath) is likely to create dissatisfaction among the youth who wish to serve the armed forces of the nation for a lifetime.
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ART AND CULTURE

Rath Yatra 2022

  • Ratha Yatra, also known as the Chariot Celebration of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra, was observed on July 1. It is the most prominent Hindu festival in the Puri city of Odisha. This festival takes place every year on the second day of the Shukla Paksha in the months of June or July. Around a million devotees from across the country thronged temple town of Puri on Friday to pull the three wooden chariots carrying Lord Jagannath and his siblings on the main thoroughfare.
  • The participation of devotees in the Rath Yatra was allowed this time (in 2022) after a gap of two years following the Covid pandemic.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Kerala High Court Dismisses Plea Seeking SC Bench in Every HC

  • The Kerala High Court dismissed a petition seeking the establishment of a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court in all the High Courts to hear only the cases of the poor and the destitute.
  • A division bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly considered public interest litigation filed by Abdul Jaleel of Iringalloor in Kozhikode as a party-in-person.
  • Dismissing the PIL, the Court said that Though the petitioner alleged that some of the judges were hand in glove with the criminals & obtained post retirement postings, which allegations are very serious, having regard to the reliefs sought for, we are not inclined to advert to the same & no direction in the nature of manadamus as prayed for, can be granted.
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