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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

11 Aug 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Russia Suspends Inspection of Strategic Arms under US Treaty

  • Russia said it was suspending US on-site inspections under a strategic arms reduction treaty with Washington, pointing to Western sanctions and coronavirus infections.
  • As per the Russian foreign ministry, facilities that are subject to inspections under the New START treaty will be temporarily exempt from such inspections.
  • The announcement came as ties between Russia and the United States unravel over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine and debilitating Western sanctions.
  • New START is the last remaining arms reduction pact between the former Cold War rivals and caps to 1,550 the number of nuclear warheads that can be deployed by Moscow and Washington.

James Marape Sworn in as Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea for Second Term

  • James Marape, who was sworn in as Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea for a second term after a national election, vowed to reform electoral processes and "get more from our resources" without scaring away investors.
  • Voting in PNG's general election, held every five years, ran across three weeks in July but counting was extended till August because of special circumstances including security issues, attacks on ballot boxes and logistical challenges, the electoral commission said.
  • Marape first became Prime Minister in 2019.
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ENVIRONMENT

PM Modi Dedicates Second Generation (2G) Ethanol Plant in Panipat, Haryana

  • On the occasion of World Biofuel Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the 2nd generation (2G) Ethanol Plant in Panipat, Haryana to the nation.
  • According to Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the dedication of the plant is part of a long series of steps taken by the government over the years to boost the production and usage of biofuels in the country.
  • This is in line with the Prime Minister's constant endeavour to transform the energy sector into being more affordable, accessible, efficient and sustainable.
  • The 2G Ethanol Plant has been built at an estimated cost of over Rs. 900 crore by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and is located close to the Panipat Refinery.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Axis Bank Launches One-stop Cash Management Solution to Automate Receivables

  • Axis Bank is the first Indian bank to introduce the Axis Receivables Suite (ARS), a cutting-edge cash management solution that simplifies Receivables reconciliation, increases cash flow, improves customer experience, and reduces the cost of doing business.
  • ARS is an end-to-end proposition, along with a mobile app to automate reconciliation of receivables against sales invoices raised by clients. Using ARS, Axis Bank clients can customize and automate fully what has traditionally been a very time consuming, costly, manual and error-prone activity.
  • Clients also benefit from knowing their upcoming/pending payments, and gives them real-time control over all their receivables.

Power Grid Corporation Appoints Pramod Kumar as CFO

  • Power Grid Corporation of India Limited appointed Pramod Kumar as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the company.
  • Before his appointment to the new position, Kumar served as Executive Director (Finance) of Power Grid Corporation.
  • Pramod Kumar is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), having 35 years of experience in the power sector involving almost all areas of finance and accounting function i.e. finalisation of corporate accounts, formulation of capital budget, coordination with internal/statutory/government auditors, concurrence of award activities, MIS, Fund Management etc.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Old Astronomical Observatory in Bihar Not Put on UNESCO List: World Body

  • UNESCO said a 106-year-old astronomical observatory at a college in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district was not inscribed on its list of endangered heritage.
  • The clarification from the world body came in the wake of several media houses reporting that it was included in the list of endangered heritage observatories of the world.
  • The observatory, the first of its kind in eastern India, was established in the Langat Singh College in 1916 to impart astronomical knowledge to the students in detail.
  • As a first step for a site to be inscribed to the World Heritage list, the Government of India should include it in its Tentative List (which is currently not the case for this astronomical observatory), said UNESCO.
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SPORTS

Uzbekistan to Host 2026 Chess Olympiad

  • According to the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Uzbekistan will host the 2026 Chess Olympiad. In Chennai's ongoing Chess Olympiad, their young team is now in the lead. Teams from around the world compete in the Chess Olympiad, a biennial chess competition. The event is organised by FIDE, which also chooses the host nation. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIDE hosted an online chess tournament in 2020 and 2021 with a quick time limit that harmed competitors' online ratings.
  • Each chess association recognised by FIDE is permitted to enter a team into the Olympiad.
  • Up to five players can make up a team: four active players and one reserve. Each team used to play every other team at first, but as the event developed over time, this became impossible.

44th Chess Olympiad ends; India's Men & Women Team Win Bronze Medal

  • The 44th Chess Olympiad inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai on the 28th of July ended. India competed in the tournament with three teams in the Men's Section and three teams in the Women's section.
  • India 'B' team comprising D. Gukesh, R. Praggnanandhaa, Raunak Sadhwaniand and Adhiban won the bronze medal beating Germany.
  • In women's section, India 'A' team won the bronze medal. The team comprising Vaishali and Koneru Humphy, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkari were headed for a gold medal on the final day but a defeat to USA by 1-3 dented their chances as they eventually finished third.
  • The Uzbekistan team, which was seeded 14th in the tournament, won the gold medal in the men's section. Armenia clinched the silver medal.
  • It was the first time that the Chess Olympiad was held in India.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Assam, Mizoram Sign Joint Statement on Resolving Border Dispute

  • The Assam and Mizoram governments signed a joint statement after a ministerial-level discussion in Aizawal and Mizoram to take forward the process of resolution of the boundary dispute between the two states. According to the statement, both states agreed to promote and maintain peace to prevent any untoward incident along the borders. Also, the Deputy Commissioners of the bordering districts of both states shall meet at least once in two months. "Both the States reaffirm the Joint Statement of 5th August 2021 in letter and spirit.
  • Both the states agreed that economic activities including cultivation and farming which have been practised by the people along the borders of the two states shall not be disturbed but allowed to continue regardless of the administrative control presently exercised by either state at such locations subject to Forest Regulations and after informing the Deputy Commissioners concerned.
  • The next meeting between High-Level delegations of two states will take place at Guwahati in October this year where issues and claims will be deliberated in detail.

Arun Sao is New BJP Chief in Chhattisgarh

  • Chhattisgarh MP from Bilaspur Arun Sao was appointed as the new state BJP president. Sao replaced the party's tribal leader Vishnudeo Sai.
  • Inducting Sao, who belongs to the Sahu community, as the BJP state unit chief is being seen as a response to Chhattisgarh Congress's son of the soil image. Political experts believe his proximity to the RSS was also a decisive factor in his favour.
  • Chhattisgarh BJP, which has been in Opposition only for the second time in over two decades of the state's existence, has been gearing up for the upcoming state election in 2023 for some time with senior party leaders hinting at a change in the leadership.

MP, Rajasthan and Karnataka among Top States to Provide Power Subsidy

  • As many as 27 states and Union territories out of 36 are providing subsidised electricity to consumers, with at least Rs. 1.32 trillion spent nationwide in the 2020-21 financial year alone, power ministry data showed. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka footed the highest power subsidy bill, accounting for Rs. 48,248 crore or 36.4%.
  • Delhi has seen an increase of 85% in its subsidy expenditure between 2018-19 and 2020-21, from Rs. 1,699 crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 3,149 crore, the second highest among all provinces, an analysis of three-year data show. Manipur saw the biggest jump of 124% in power subsidies in these three years, although the increase was from Rs. 120 crore to Rs. 269 crore.
  • The data assumes significance as the Supreme Court is hearing a public interest litigation that wants political parties to be deregistered and their election symbols seized for offering "irrational freebies" ahead of polls.
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DEFENCE

India, US Joint Special Forces Exercise Begins in Himachal's Bakloh

  • The 13th edition of the Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise -- Ex Vajra Prahar 2022 began in Himachal Pradesh's Bakloh. The drill aims to improve inter-operability between the special forces of both the countries.
  • This joint annual exercise is hosted alternatively between India and the US to share the best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics.
  • The US contingent is represented by personnel from the 1st Special Forces Group (SFG) and Special Tactics Squadron (STS) of the US Special Forces while the Indian Army contingent is formed by drawing Special Forces personnel under the aegis of SFTS.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

NCW, IIM Kozhikode Launches online Entrepreneurship Training Programme for Women

  • The National Commission of Women (NCW), in association with the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIM-K) is offering an online short-term professional training programme in entrepreneurship for women.
  • Interested women should either hold a graduate degree or experience in running their own business. The last date to apply is August 16.
  • As per reports, women candidates can choose between 'Foundation Program in Entrepreneurship' and 'Advanced Program in Entrepreneurship'. The former is designed for women seeking to enter entrepreneurship while the advanced is for those who wish to enhance their skills.
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ART AND CULTURE

Singapore's Padang Becomes Country's 75th National Monument

  • Singapore declared its 200-year-old iconic green open space Padang, a site of countless events in the country's history and from where Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose gave his 'Delhi Chalo' slogan in 1943, as its 75th national monument as the city-state celebrated its 57th National Day.
  • Located in the heart of Singapore's civic district, the 4.3 hectare Padang is the first green, open space on Singapore's list of national monuments - the highest form of recognition for a structure or site's significance.
  • The large field - popular for sporting events such as cricket, football, hockey, tennis and lawn bowling - is one of the oldest open spaces continuously used since the 1800s.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Allahabad HC Sets Aside Order Passed by Special Judge over Illegal Sanction

  • The Allahabad High Court set aside the order passed by the Special Judge, CBI at Lucknow and ruled that executive authority exercising quasi judicial power can't review its decision unless provided under the statute.
  • A single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh passed this order while hearing an application under Section 482 CrPC filed by Sunil Agarwal and others.
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