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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

04 Jul 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Takes Oath as Philippine President

  • Ferdinand Marcos Jr, commonly referred to as Bongbong Marcos, the son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr, won the elections with 31.6 million votes and was swore as the 17th President of the Philippines. He took the oath at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila before the Supreme Court Justice, Alexander Gesmundo. The former President's daughter and his running mate, Sara Duterte Carpio, swore as vice president. The two would be serving the nation until 2028.
  • Marcos Jr. is more popularly known as "Bongbong" in the country and won on the platform of national unity, promising more jobs, lowering prices, and increasing investment in agriculture and infrastructure.

T. Raja Kumar, the New Chief of Global Terror Financing Watchdog FATF

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that Singaporean T. Raja Kumar took over as the president of the anti-money laundering watchdog.
  • Raja Kumar succeeded Dr. Marcus Pleyer as the chief of the FATF and would serve a two-year-term.
  • Kumar would focus on enhancing the effectiveness of global anti-money laundering & counter-terrorist financing measures, improving asset recovery and other initiatives.
  • Raja Kumar holds an LLB (Hons.) degree from the National University of Singapore, and a Master of Philosophy (Criminology & Law) from Cambridge University. Kumar also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in 2006.
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ENVIRONMENT

UN Talks Urge Faster Steps to Secure 'Critical' Ocean Health

  • A United Nations conference warned that measures needed to protect the world's oceans are running late and urged countries to accelerate their implementation.
  • More than 6,000 senior officials, scientists and activists from more than 120 countries attended a five-day U.N. Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • A declaration published on the final day said that delegates were deeply alarmed by the global emergency facing the ocean, whose sustainability is critical for the planet.
  • The declaration said that action is not advancing at the speed or scale required to meet our goals.
  • Greater ambition is required at all levels to address the dire state of the ocean.
  • The oceans face threats including global warming, pollution and acidification.

World's Biggest Water Lily Species Discovered at Kew Gardens

  • A new species of giant water lily was discovered by scientists - and it was hiding in plain sight for 177 years.
  • The huge plant was in the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - and was growing in a number of aquatic collections - but it was mistakenly identified as another species.
  • It also holds the record as the largest water lily, with leaves growing more than 3m (10ft) wide.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Ex-Honda Executive Yadvinder Singh Guleria Appointed CCO of Royal Enfield

  • Royal Enfield appointed ex-Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India executive Yadvinder Singh Guleria as its Chief Commercial Officer (CCO).
  • Guleria would be responsible for leading motorcycle maker Royal Enfield's business growth globally across India and all international markets - and spearheading sales, marketing and aftermarket functions, the company said in a statement.
  • He would report to Royal Enfield CEO B Govindarajan and would be part of the company's management team.

Ahmedabad India's most Affordable Housing Market in H1CY22

  • According to Knight Frank India's latest proprietary study Affordability Index, of the top eight cities in the country, Ahmedabad was the most affordable for home buyers in the first half of calendar year 2022.
  • Following Ahmedabad are Pune and Chennai, at 26 per cent each, even as the Knight Frank India study found that all markets saw a decline in affordability due to the recent rise in home loan rates triggered by the 90 BPS rise in repo rates.
  • For its proprietary Affordability Index, Knight Frank India tracks the equated monthly installment (EMI) to income ratio for an average household to calculate a city's score.

Govt. Revamps Banks Board into Financial Services Institutions Bureau

  • The government transformed Banks Board Bureau (BBB), the head-hunter for directors of state-owned banks and financial institutions, into Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) by making some amendments.
  • Guidelines for selection of general managers and directors of public sector general insurance companies were made part of FSIB.
  • The amendments were required as the Delhi High Court in its order in 2021 had said that BBB is not a competent body to select the general managers and directors of state-owned general insurers.
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SPORTS

Lyon Surpasses Kapil Dev, Enters Top ten Test Wicket-takers of All Time

  • Australian spinner Nathan Lyon surpassed legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev to enter the list of top ten wicket-takers of all time in Test cricket.
  • The veteran Aussie spinner accomplished this during the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle International Stadium in Galle.
  • Lyon was at his destructive best throughout the match, taking 5/90 in the first innings that bundled out Sri Lanka for 212. He later took 4/31 in the second innings, restricting the Lankans to merely 113.
  • Lyon now has 436 wickets, surpassing the total of 434 wickets by the legendary Indian all-rounder.

Sweden's Armand Duplantis Creates New World Record of 6.16 m in Men's Outdoor Pole Vault

  • Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis improved his own outdoor world record by clearing 6.16 metres (20 feet, 2 1/2 inches) at the Stockholm Diamond League.
  • Duplantis cleared the bar with plenty to spare on his second attempt to better his previous mark of 6.15, set in Rome in 2020 — when he broke Sergey Bubka's 26-year-old outdoor record.
  • Duplantis also holds the indoor world record of 6.20 (20 feet, 4 inches), set at the world indoor championships in Serbia this year.
  • The American-born Duplantis competes for Sweden and is also the reigning Olympic champion.

Diamond Silver, National Record: Neeraj Chopra

  • A day after winning his first ever medal at the coveted Diamond League, Neeraj Chopra has said that he is not feeling the pressure of being the reigning Olympics javelin throw champion.
  • Chopra threw to 89.94 metres in Stockholm to win the silver medal behind Anderson Peters from Grenada, who won gold with a throw of 90.31m. Germany's Julian Weber bagged bronze with a throw of 89.08m.
  • Chopra's medal-winning attempt was also a new national record for the javelin ace. He bettered his own mark of 89.30m set at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland earlier in 2022.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

India, Pakistan Exchange Lists of Prisoners and Fishermen

  • India and Pakistan exchanged lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in each other's custody even as New Delhi called for the speedy release of 536 Indian fishermen and three civilian prisoners who have completed their prison terms.
  • Such lists are exchanged through diplomatic channels on January 1 and July 1 every year keeping with the provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access signed in May 2008.
  • India handed over lists of 309 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 95 fishermen in Indian custody. Pakistan shared lists of 49 civilian prisoners and 633 fishermen in its custody who are Indians or believed to be Indians.

Doraiswami is India's Envoy to UK, Dalela May Move to Dhaka

  • Indian ambassador to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami is expected to take over as Indian envoy to United Kingdom. A 1992 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Doraiswami is a Chinese speaker who served as Indian ambassador to Uzbekistan, South Korea and served in US as well as private secretary to Prime Minister.
  • Vikram Doraiswami would replace ambassador Gaitri Issar Kumar, who superannuated on June 30, 2022. The present Deputy Chief of Mission in US, Sudhakar Dalela, a 1993 batch IFS officer, is expected to replace Vikram in Dhaka.

Rahul Narwekar Elected As Assembly Speaker

  • BJP MLA Rahul Narwekar was elected as the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker with 164 votes. Shiv Sena legislator Rajan Salvi got 107 votes. The Eknath Shinde-led government will face the test of strength in the Assembly.
  • The post of Assembly Speaker was lying vacant since Nana Patole of Congress resigned in February 2021 to become his party's state unit president. Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal was officiating as acting Speaker in the meantime.
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DEFENCE

DRDO Conducts Successful Maiden Flight of Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator

  • The maiden flight of a new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), an autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator, took off from the Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, Karnataka. The flight which was successful was carried out by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Terming it as a significant step towards self-reliance in strategic defence technologies, an official statement issued by DRDO said that the flight marked a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies which are used towards the development of future unmanned aircraft.
  • It demonstrated a perfect flight, while operating in a fully autonomous mode. The flight test also included take-off, way point navigation and smooth touchdown.
  • It has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru, one of the research laboratories of DRDO.

Tejas Malaysia's Top Choice for its New Fighter Jet Plan

  • India's Tejas light combat aircraft emerged as the top choice for Malaysia as the Southeast Asian nation looks at replacing its ageing fleet of fighter jets and the two sides are holding negotiations to firm up the procurement.
  • Malaysia narrowed down on the Indian aircraft notwithstanding the stiff competition from China's JF-17 jet, South Korea's FA-50 and Russia's Mig-35 as well as Yak-130.
  • As part of the package, India offered to set up an MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility in Malaysia for its Russian-origin Su-30 fighter fleet as it is facing difficulties in procuring spares for the aircraft from Russia in view of western sanctions against Moscow.

Indian Army Organises Suraksha Manthan-2022

  • The Desert Corps of the Indian Army organised the "Suraksha Manthan 2022", on aspects of border and coastal security at Jodhpur (Rajasthan). The manthan was jointly presided over by Pankaj Kumar Singh, IPS, Director General Border Security Force (BSF), Director General V.S. Pathania, Indian Coast Guard and Lieutenant General Rakesh Kapoor, General Officer Commanding Desert Corps and attended by serving officers of the Army, BSF and Coast Guard.
  • The finer points of interoperability, operational cohesion, and logistics issues were worked out during the negotiations to improve overall security along the international border and coastal sectors.
  • During the meet, a concrete road plan for achieving the goal of SAMANJASIYA to establish an environment that is conducive to security and capabilities development was agreed upon.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Ashok Soota Conferred with CII Quality Ratna Award 2021

  • Ashok Soota, founder and Executive Chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies, was conferred with CII Quality Ratna Award 2021. The Annual CII Quality Ratna Award constituted in the year 2019 is in recognition of outstanding leadership, contribution, and distinguished service to the Quality Movement in India. The CII Awards Committee unanimously concurred to bestow the 2021 Award to Mr. Soota considering his significant contribution to building the competitiveness of the Indian industry through quality Initiatives.

UK Parliament Honours Tanuja Nesari with Ayurveda Ratna Award

  • Tanuja Nesari, Director of All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) was awarded with the Ayurveda Ratna Award by the UK Parliament, recognising her contribution to furthering the growth of Ayurveda in India and abroad.
  • The UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences (ITSappg) conferred the Ayurveda Ratna award on Dr. Nesari for her exceptional service of the highest order for the promotion of Ayurveda by an ITSappg committee represented by dignitaries including Amarjeet S Bhamra, Ambassador for Ayurveda and Yoga in Great Britain, Virendra Sharma, MP, UK Parliament and Chair, ITSappg and Bob Blackman, MP, UK Parliament and Chair, ITSappg.
  • The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences was formed in 2014 with an aim to spread the knowledge of Ayurveda, Yoga, Jyotish, Vastu, Unani and Sangeetam in the United Kingdom and abroad.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Himachal CM Launches 'Naari Ko Naman' Scheme

  • In the run up to the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched the Nari Ko Naman Scheme, under which women travelling in state buses will be given a 50% discount.
  • The CM also reduced the minimum bus fare from Rs. 7 to Rs. 5. Presiding over a state-level function at Dharamshala, the administrative headquarters of electorally significant Kangra, the chief minister announced that 25 posts of women drivers will be filled for running 'ride with pride' Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) taxis.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Prof. Yogesh M Joshi First Indian to Become Fellow of the Society of Rheology

  • IIT Kanpur professor Yogesh M. Joshi from the Department of Chemical Engineering was elected as one of the Fellows of the Society of Rheology, 2022. He is the first Indian to be selected for this prestigious honour.
  • The Society of Rheology Fellowship is a prestigious status that "status recognises a history of distinguished scientific achievement, a significant technological accomplishment, and/or outstanding scholarship in the field of Rheology." (The Society of Rheology).
  • Prof. Joshi has been awarded several key scientific awards. In 2015, he was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Engineering Sciences by the Government of India, and Academy excellence award of the Defense Research and Development Organization 2019.
  • In 2016, he was elected as a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and in 2017, as a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India.

Punjab Assembly Passes Resolution against Any Bid to Change 'Nature' of Panjab University

  • The Punjab assembly passed a resolution recommending the state government to urge the Centre not to alter the "status" of Panjab University. However, the BJP, with its two MLAs, Ashwani Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan, opposed it, asking whether there was actually a proposal to change the status of the institution into a central university.
  • The resolution was moved by Punjab Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, who said Punjab had a right over the Panjab University and the state government would not allow the Centre to change its nature and character."Panjab University is our heritage, and it is a matter of identity for us," the minister said.

UN Projected India's Urban Population to be 675 Million in 2035

  • According to a UN report, India's urban population is expected to reach 675 million in 2035, ranking second only to China's urban population of one billion people. The report also noted that after the Covid-19 pandemic, the world's urban population is once again on track to increase by another 2.2 billion people by the year 2050.
  • According to the World Cities Report 2022 by UN-Habitat, the pandemic only momentarily slowed down urbanization's rapid pace.
  • According to the report, India's urban population is expected to reach 675,456,000 in 2035, up from 483,099,000 in 2020, 542,743,000 in 2025, and 607,342,000 in 2030. 43.2 percent of India's population will be living in urban areas by the middle of the year in 2035.
  • The report underlined the need to address urban inequality and climate change, citing "heatwaves in Delhi" and Mumbai's "overcrowded slums."
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Letter to CJI Seeks Withdrawal of Adverse Remarks against Nupur Sharma

  • A letter petition was filed before Chief Justice N. V. Ramana seeking withdrawal of adverse remarks made by a Supreme Court bench against suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma while declining her plea seeking clubbing of the FIRs against her at various places over alleged controversial remarks made on the Prophet.
  • A vacation bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J. B. Pardiwala came down heavily on Sharma for her comments against the Prophet, saying her "loose tongue" has "set the entire country on fire" and that she is "single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country".

Udaipur Court Transfers Kanhaiya Lal Murder Case to NIA

  • A district court in Udaipur transferred the murder case of tailor Kanhaiya Lal to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as the latter had applied for it earlier.
  • Following the transfer, the NIA would get custody of the killers, Ghaus Mohammad and Riyaz Jabbar, and start their interrogation.
  • Meanwhile, the accused have been shifted from Udaipur to Ajmer's high-security jail.
  • An NIA team reached Kanpur to investigate the murder and raided many places.
  • The action was taken to investigate the Kanpur connection which was revealed in the documents recovered from the killers.
  • Meanwhile, the ATS and SOG till date have arrested four accused in the Udaipur murder case.

Judiciary Answerable to 'Constitution and Constitution Alone': CJI Ramana

  • "In India, a party in power believes that every governmental action is entitled to judicial endorsement and the Opposition parties expect the judiciary to advance their political positions and causes, but the "judiciary is answerable to the Constitution and Constitution alone," Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana said.
  • He also expressed disappointment that even after 75 years of Independence people have not understood the roles and responsibilities assigned by the Constitution to each Institution.
  • CJI Ramana said that to enforce checks and balances envisioned in the Constitution, "we need to promote Constitutional culture in India. We need to spread awareness about the roles and responsibilities of individuals and institutions. Democracy is all about participation".
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