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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

06 Jul 2022


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India, Armenia Sign MoU on High Impact Community Development Projects in Armenia

  • India and Armenia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on High Impact Community Development Projects in Armenia with financial and technical assistance from India.
  • The MoU was signed at the 8th India-Armenia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological, Cultural and Educational Cooperation (IGC) held in Yerevan.
  • Secretary (West) Ministry of External Affairs, Sanjay Verma led the Indian delegation. The Armenian delegation was led by the Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.

S. Jaishankar to Attend the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Indonesia

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will be visiting Bali, Indonesia on July 7 and 8 to participate in the G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia is holding a meeting within the framework of Indonesia G20 Presidency. At the Bali meeting, participating Foreign Ministers will "deliberate on issues of contemporary relevance, such as strengthening multilateralism and current global challenges including food and energy security.
  • G-20 members represent more than 80 per cent of world GDP, 75 per cent of international trade and 60 per cent of the world population.
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SBI Life and Paschim Banga Gramin Bank Sign a Bancassurance Agreement

  • The Paschim Banga Gramin Bank joined hands with SBI Life Insurance for a bancassurance pact.
  • The partnership will see all the branches of Paschim Banga Gramin Bank across West Bengal offer SBI Life's range of protection, wealth creation, credit life, annuity and savings products, thereby increasing accessibility of life insurance solutions in the region.
  • The agreement was signed by Arun Kumar Patra, General Manager of Paschim Banga Gramin Bank and Jayant Pandey, Regional Director of SBI Life.
  • Bancassurance is an arrangement between a bank and an insurance company, as a part of which the latter can sell its products to the lender's customers.

Dabur's Burman Family Becomes Official Promoter of Eveready Industries

  • FMCG firm Dabur India promoter Burman family became promoter of Eveready Industries, according to a regulatory filing by the Kolkata-based flashlight and battery maker.
  • Entities belonging to the family -- Puran Associates, VIC Enterprises, MB Finmart, Gyan Enterprises and Chowdry Associates -- now jointly own 38.38 per cent in Eveready Industries after the completion of an open offer in June.

SBI General Insurance Launches Cyber Insurance Cover for Individuals

  • SBI General Insurance launched the Cyber VaultEdge insurance plan, a comprehensive cyber insurance cover for individuals that provides protection against financial losses arising from cyber risks and attacks.
  • To address the heightened risks that individuals face due to cybercrime and instances of reputation damage, fraudulent transactions with credit cards, debit cards, theft of personal information, etc., SBI General has designed SBI General Cyber VaultEdge which offers a range of benefits and protects individuals against cyber risks, allowing them to be assured against any such instances while conducting activities on the internet or during digital transactions.
  • This offering covers unauthorised e-transactions, loss of wages resulting from identity theft and instances impacting online reputation including social media trolling, bullying, and stalking.
  • SBI General Cyber VaultEdge also takes care of any legal expenses incurred in pursuing or defending legal action against any third parties and reimburses individuals for expenses incurred to restore data by availing services of any IT specialist.
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China Targets Venus, Sun, Moon in Next Phase of Space Exploration

  • After successfully roving on Mars, collecting samples from the Moon and constructing a Space Station, China has its eyes set on deep horizons in space. The Chinese Academy of Science is gearing up to select big-ticket missions to further study the Sun, Moon, Earth and exoplanets.
  • The New Horizons Program, conceived by China, has selected 13 candidates from a list of proposals submitted under four broad fields of space astronomy and astrophysics, exoplanets, heliophysics and planetary and Earth science.
  • Among the 13, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) committee is likely to green light at least five missions as part of the third Strategic Priority Program (SPP III) project.
  • The selection and priority list of these missions is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

India's Supercomputing Capabilities Fall behind its Peers

  • From having two of the top 100 supercomputers in the world in 2020, the country now has none in that bracket, and only three in the top 500, according to a global ranking service for the fastest supercomputers in the world, called Top 500.
  • India's first supercomputer, PARAM 8000, was set up in 1990. Param Siddhi, which offers a peak performance of 5.27 PFlops, had the distinction of being ranked as the 63rd fastest supercomputer in the world when it was launched in November 2020, according to the Top 500 global ranking service. It has since slipped to the 111th spot.
  • Similarly, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology's (IITM) Pratyush supercomputer, which used to be in the top 100, is now ranked 132. Overall, India has three supercomputers in the top 500's overall list. China and the US account for nearly two-thirds of the top 500 supercomputers in the world, with 173 and 128 of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world, respectively.
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Mirza-Mate in Semis

  • Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Mate Pavic advanced to the mixed doubles semi-finals of the Wimbledon. The sixth-seeded duo eked out a thrilling 6-4 3-6 7-5 win over fourth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and John Peers.
  • This is Mirza's best mixed doubles performance at the event. She had previously reached the quarterfinals three times. A Wimbledon title is the only mixed doubles Grand Slam missing from her trophy cabinet.
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Odisha Tops State Ranking for Implementation of National Food Security Act

  • Odisha topped in the state ranking for implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) through ration shops, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal released the 'State Ranking Index for NFSA' 2022 during a conference of state Food Ministers on food and nutrition security in India.
  • Among the special category states (the North Eastern states, Himalayan states, and the Island states), Tripura obtained the first rank. Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim were at the second and third positions.
  • The current version of the Index measures the effectiveness of NFSA implementation majorly through operations and initiatives under TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System).

Ex-bureaucrats, Judges Decry Supreme Court's Remarks on Nupur Sharma

  • A group of former judges, bureaucrats and military veterans decried the observations made by two judges of the Supreme Court against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, saying the comments surpassed the "Laxman rekha" and amounted to virtual exoneration of the dastardliest beheading at Udaipur in broad daylight.
  • "By no stretch, these observations, which are not part of the judicial order, can be sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness. Such outrageous transgressions are without parallel in the annals of Judiciary.
  • One fails to understand why Nupur's case is treated at a different pedestal. Such an approach of the Supreme Court deserves no applause and impacts the very sanctity and honour of the highest court of land.

Australia Announces Commitment of A$5.8 Million for Critical Mineral Partnership with India

  • In one of the first ministerial visits to Australia since the Anthony Albanese government came to power, Minister for Coal and Mines Prahlad Joshi held talks with his Australian counterpart Madeleine King.
  • The Australian Minister confirmed that the country would commit A$5.8 million to the three-year India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership.
  • As the demand for electric vehicles grows in India, the government is exploring multiple destinations to meet the demand for critical minerals, which are primarily used in battery manufacturing. With the increased focus on clean energy technology, including electric vehicles, globally, Australia, the world's largest exporter of lithium, is expected to fulfil a substantial chunk of this ever-growing demand for critical minerals.
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Coast Guard Carries out Operation 'Island Watch' along Gujarat Coast

  • Indian Coast Guard carried out Operation 'Island Watch' along Dwarka coast in Gujarat where hovercrafts carried out search of uninhabited islands in vicinity.
  • A hovercraft is an amphibious vehicle that is capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces. Hovercrafts can operate at a speed ranging between 30-40 knots (around 50-60 kilometres) per hour.
  • The Indian Coast Guard conducts innumerable real-life operations round the year at sea. It possesses a diverse range of capabilities effective for both surface and air operations. ICG is headed by the Director General Indian Coast Guard (DGICG) from the Coast Guard Headquarters (CGHQ) located at New Delhi.
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World Zoonosis Day

  • World Zoonosis Day is held annually on July 6, worldwide, to raise awareness about the infectious diseases collectively termed zoonotic diseases. The day is celebrated in memory of Louis Pasteur, a French biologist who, on July 6, 1885, successfully administered the first-ever Rabies vaccine to a patient named Joseph Meister.
  • Zoonotic diseases originate in animals and can spread to humans. Infections occur through bites or contact with the infected animal's bodily fluids. Virus, bacteria, fungi, prions or parasites cause zoonosis.
  • The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in India publishes an annual report called 'Zoonotic Diseases of Public Health Importance.' The document provides detailed information on several zoonotic diseases and safety precautions for laboratory personnel handling such diseases.
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Michelle Poonawalla Receives the Coveted Shiromani Award

  • Michelle Poonawalla, well known artist, businesswoman and philanthropist, from the renowned Poonawalla family received the coveted Shiromani Award from the hands of Mr. G. P. Hinduja, the co-chairman of Hinduja Group at NRI World Summit 2022, United Kingdom for her contribution to the field of Art, she was also a speaker at the prestigious House of Lords, UK. Poonawalla also unveiled her artwork at JMS Foundation Charity Gala Dinner at The Dorchester in London. The NRI Institute celebrated their 33rd anniversary with a two-day gala celebration of achievements, charity, investment opportunities, innovation and business networking. The Poonawalla's were represented by Yohan and Michelle Poonawalla.

Ukrainian Mathematician Maryna Viazovska Wins Prestigious Fields Medal 2022

  • Ukrainian maths professor, Maryna Viazovska, won the top mathematics prize, the Fields Medal 2022. Viazovska and three other mathematicians received the Fields Medal, dubbed the Nobel Prize in maths, in Helsinki after the ceremony was moved from Saint Petersburg to the Finnish capital in response to Moscow's war.
  • Maryna is only the second woman to receive the award, which is awarded to mathematicians under 40, since it was created in 1936. The other female laureate, Iran's Maryam Mirzakhani, died of breast cancer in 2017 just three years after winning the prize.
  • The other three awardees of the prestigious prize are: France's Hugo Duminil-Copin, US-based June Huh and Britain's James Maynard.
  • Fields Medal is the highest honour for a mathematician. The medal is awarded every four years on the occasion of the International Congress of Mathematicians. The Fields Medal is awarded to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement. The Fields medal award comprises a gold medal (14 karat gold) bearing the profile of Archimedes and a cash amount.
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Parliamentary Panel: Let 'Deemed Universities' be known as 'Universities'

  • A Parliamentary committee urged the government to actively consider allowing deemed universities in the country to use the term 'university' to avoid confusion abroad as most foreign countries do not use such a nomenclature.
  • The Committee recommends that the Government give an active consideration to the demand that deemed universities be allowed to use the term 'university' by amending Clause 23 of the UGC Act, 1956 which states that no institution, other than a university established or incorporated by a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act is entitled to use the word 'University', as the term 'deemed university' creates a lot of confusion in foreign countries as there is no concept of deemed university in many parts of the world.

Jadavpur University VC Appointed President of AIU

  • The Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das was appointed as the president of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).
  • Das said that he will take up the issue of executing the new education policy's (NEP) salient features, raising central funding for state varsities involved in important research activities, and work on taking the standards of Indian universities to global levels.
  • Das, an eminent historian, was appointed the vice-president of AIU a year ago.
  • Das said that it is a great responsibility and a matter of pride, more because after 40 years someone from West Bengal has taken over the post at the AIU.
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An Encyclopedia on Indian Art, Courtesy MAP Academy

  • What if the whole lot you sought after to learn about Indian artwork — sculptures, miniatures, materials, art work, pottery and extra, may all be sourced from one position? The illustrious crew on the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) in Bengaluru have accomplished simply that with their Encyclopedia of Art — an amalgamation of a few years of labor. Not only this, they've additionally disseminated their experience within the type of on-line lessons, which any person can get right of entry to.
  • A little more than three years ago, the Bengaluru-based team at MAP began collating the information they had. "The driving idea behind the project was the lack of art history being taught as a real subject as part of the school curriculum in India.
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Government Yet to Clear 23 HC Judges, Says CJI N.V. Ramana

  • Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana said that 23 recommendations for the appointment of High Court (HC) judges were pending with the Central government even as 381 of the total 1,108 sanctioned posts of judges in 25 HC remained vacant.
  • The Central government is yet to transmit another 120 names received from various HCs to the Supreme Court collegium.
  • The CJI was speaking at the inaugural session of a conference on 'Arbitrating Indo-UK Commercial Disputes' organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the Indian Council of Arbitration in London.
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