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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

03 Jul 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Israel Gets New PM as Netanyahu Targets Comeback

  • Yair Lapid became Israel's interim Prime Minister, taking over from PM Naftali Bennett after just one year.
  • Mr. Lapid, head of a centrist party, will lead the country as it heads towards elections on 1 November.
  • It follows the collapse of the coalition which he formed with Mr. Bennett. The upcoming elections will be Israel's fifth in less than four years.
  • Mr. Lapid faces a tough challenge from former PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed to return to power.
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ENVIRONMENT

Researchers Find Climate Change in Ocean Water Might Impact Mangrove Dispersal

  • In the 21st century, mangrove forests around the world have experienced changes in ocean surface temperature, salinity, and density, according to new research by Dr. Tom Van der Stocken of the VUB Biology Department. In the Indo-West Pacific, the main hotspot of mangrove diversity, the study revealed that changes in surface-ocean density may have an impact on the dispersal patterns of globally distributed mangrove species. The findings of the research were published in Nature Climate Change.
  • Mangroves are highly productive intertidal forests that occur along tropical, subtropical, and some temperate coasts. They support a broad variety of ecosystem goods and services and have an important place on the international climate mitigation and adaptation agenda.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Sanjiv Mehta Appointed as President Commissioner of Unilever Indonesia

  • Sanjiv Mehta, MD and CEO of Hindustan Unilever, was appointed president commissioner (non-executive chairman) of PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk (Unilever Indonesia).
  • It is a public company and a member of the Unilever group. The appointment is subject to approval from shareholders at Unilever Indonesia's general meeting.
  • Mehta will join the company's board of commissioners and chair it in a non-executive capacity.
  • Mehta would continue his role at Hindustan Unilever and as president, Unilever South Asia. He is also a member of the Unilever Leadership Executive.

Andhra, Gujarat 'Top Achievers' in Govt. Survey on Reforms for Business

  • Seven states, including Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, emerged as the "top achievers" in the government's latest feedback-based survey to recognise and identify the exemplary reform measures undertaken by the states and Union Territories to improve the business environment.
  • The latest fifth edition of the Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP), 2020, by the industry department did not rank states on the ease of doing business measures undertaken by them and categorised them into categories such as top achievers, achievers, aspirers and emerging business ecosystems. The other top achievers include Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
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SPORTS

Formula E Enters India; Hyderabad to Host First ever Race in February

  • Formula E will make its way to India for the first time ever with a race scheduled to be held in Hyderabad on February 11, 2023, the organisers confirmed.
  • The race in Hyderabad will be the first time a major international racing event is held in the country since the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix in October 2013 at the Buddh International Circuit.
  • Alongside India, Brazil will also welcome the E-Prix for the first time on March 25 as the Formula E and FIA released the provisional calendar for the upcoming ninth season (2022-23).

Adani Sportsline is Principal Sponsor of Indian Olympic Association

  • Adani Sportsline, the sports arm of the Adani Group, inked a long-term principal sponsorship deal with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). It would be the official partner of the Indian contingent during the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, the Hangzhou Asian Games 2022, and the Paris Olympic Games 2024. The group had earlier been associated with the Indian contingent during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
  • The partnership is an extension of the Adani Group's sports portfolio that focuses on building a world-class ecosystem to nurture sporting talent, accelerate the sports economy, and play the role of an enabler in India's journey to becoming a leading sporting nation.
  • Adani Sportsline has supported over 28 athletes through its athlete support initiative, #GarvHai, across a variety of sports. Six of these athletes represented India at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and among them was wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya, who brought home a silver medal.
  • Adani Sportsline also owns teams on Indian and global platforms, including the Pro Kabaddi League, Ultimate Kho Kho League, Big Bout Boxing League, and International League T20 (cricket), among other initiatives.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Modi Virtually Inaugurates First Smart Campus of Bosch India in Bengaluru

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated Bosch India's first smart campus in Bengaluru built at a cost of Rs. 800 crore.
  • This campus will take lead in developing futuristic products and solutions for India and for the world.
  • The new campus has the capacity to potentially house 10,000 associates.

NITI Aayog Report Forecasts 100 pc Electric Two-wheelers Penetration by FY27

  • A report put out by public policy think tank NITI Aayog and Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) optimistically forecasts 100 per cent penetration of electric two-wheelers in the Indian market by FY2026-27.
  • TIFAC is an autonomous organization set up in 1988 under the Department of Science & Technology to look ahead in the technology domain, assess the technology trajectories, and support innovation.
  • The report was titled 'Forecasting Penetration of Electric Two-Wheelers in India'. The report provided important insights into the required infrastructure, manufacturing capability, policies, and technology-development priorities in the sector.
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DEFENCE

Fourth Synergy Conference between Indian Army and DAD

  • The fourth synergy conference between the Indian Army and Defence Accounts Department (DAD) was held in New Delhi.
  • The primary agenda of the conference included deliberations on the AGNIPATH scheme and the schedule for timely implementation of a system for pay and allowances for Agniveers. Other agenda items included improving the functioning of Pay and Account Offices (PAOs) for better service delivery to Junior Commissioned Officers/Other Ranks of the Indian Army. Concrete action plans for the future were devised in consultation with senior officers on both sides.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

International Plastic Bag Free Day

  • The International Plastic Bag Free Day is held on July 3 around the world to spread awareness that a plastic bag free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available. 2022 was the 13th edition of the celebrations. The day is an initiative by Bag Free World for the purpose of getting rid of the single-use of plastic bags around the world and promoting environmental conservation by encouraging us all to stay away from the use of plastic bags and instead look for more eco-friendly alternatives.
  • The first International Plastic Bag Free Day was observed on July 3, 2008, when Rezero, a member of Zero Waste Europe (ZWE), initiated it. The holiday was only observed in Catalonia in its inaugural year. However, a year later, ZWE introduced the International Plastic Bag Free Day to the European Union.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Two Indo-Canadian academics Honoured with Order of Canada

  • Two Indo-Canadian academics, working on research to advance the betterment of mankind, were honoured with one of the country's most prestigious awards, the Order of Canada.
  • Their names were in the list published by the office of the governor-general of Canada Mary Simon. Both were invested into the Order as a Member.
  • They are professors Ajay Agrawal and Parminder Raina.
  • The Order of Canada was created in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II, Canada's Head of State, to honour people "whose service shapes our society, whose innovations ignite our imaginations, and whose compassion unites our communities".
  • Agrawal was selected for his visionary leadership as an educator and entrepreneur, and for his mentorship of students and aspiring business owners.
  • Raina was selected for his leading research in ageing and population health in Canada and for his impact on national policymaking in geriatric care services.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Karnataka Launches 'Kashi Yatra' Scheme

  • The BJP-led government in Karnataka launched the 'Kashi Yatra' project which offers around 30,000 pilgrims cash assistance of Rs. 5,000 each to take up a pilgrimage to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • For this scheme, the government will be using funds of up to Rs. 7 crore from the accounts head of 'Assistance to Manasa Sarovara Pilgrims' which was announced in the chief minister's budget speech for the financial year.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Growing Space Tourism Worsening Climate Damage

  • According to a study, the race for space tourism by Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX with several rocket launches is causing a bad effect on climate and increasingly contributing to global warming.
  • Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) showed that black carbon (soot) particles emitted by rockets are almost 500 times more efficient at holding heat in the atmosphere than all other sources of soot combined (surface and aircraft) – resulting in an enhanced climate effect.
  • While the study revealed that the current loss of total ozone due to rockets is small, current growth trends around space tourism indicate potential for future depletion of the upper stratospheric ozone layer in the Arctic in spring.
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