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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

13 Aug 2022


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S. Africa Resists Pressure to Cut Ties with Russia

  • South Africa publicly pushed back at attempts of the US to cut ties with Russia, with its Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor stating in the presence of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that her country won't be pushed around and many in Africa had more faith in ties with BRICS countries than the West.
  • Pandor also said the people of Palestine deserved the same attention from the international community that the people of Ukraine received and added that Africa had at times experienced patronising and bullying from the West. South Africa, like India, is among the several Asian and African countries that have taken a neutral stance on the Ukraine war.
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IDFC FIRST Bank Partners LetsVenture to Support Start-ups

  • IDFC FIRST Bank and LetsVenture, India's leading early-stage platform for investors and founders announced a partnership to explore synergies and support the start-up ecosystem by offering curated products and solutions to start-ups, founders and investors.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding to work on areas of mutual interest was signed between IDFC FIRST Bank LetsVenture Technologies at LetsVenture's flagship event, 'LetsIgnite', for start-ups and founders in Bengaluru.
  • The partnership makes IDFC FIRST Bank a preferred banker to all start-ups on LetsVenture's Scalix, a newly launched platform that supports the start-up ecosystem through fundraising solutions, knowledge series, and investor connect.
  • IDFC FIRST Bank offers customized solutions to start-ups under its FIRST WINGS program, dedicated to powering the start-up ecosystem. Offerings under FIRST WINGS range from providing Zero Balance Start-up Current Account with unlimited free IMPS, NEFT, RTGS transactions and doorstep banking for three years, uniquely designed Working Capital solutions for Pre-Profit start-ups, Business Credit Cards for Start-ups with step-up credit, a tailored 'Founder Success Program' and 40+ 'Beyond Banking' offers from its partners.

SBI Formalises Policy to Finance Makers of Lab-grown Diamonds

  • State of Bank of India (SBI) is the first Indian lender to frame a policy to fund makers of lab-grown diamonds which come across as replicas of the natural stones, but are often looked at with suspicion by high-street banks and scoffed at by many traditional diamantaires.
  • Reflecting the slow shift in the diamond trade, the decision by the country's largest bank comes amid some of the jewellers putting up factories in Surat to produce synthetic diamonds and many diamond houses considering relocating from the financial capital Mumbai to the southern Gujarat town, which for decades has been the hub of diamond cutters and polishers.

Amit Burman Steps Down as the Chairman of Dabur

  • Amit Burman stepped down as chairman of Dabur India Limited.
  • Amit Burman, who took charge as the chairman of Dabur India Ltd in 2019, will continue to serve as non-executive director of the company.
  • Mohit Burman was elevated to the position of non-executive chairman of the Board of Directors of Dabur India Limited for a period of 5 years. Before elevation to the new position, Mohit Burman was non-executive vice chairman of the company.
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LG Manoj Sinha Inaugurates "UMEED Market Place" under AVSAR Scheme of AAI

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated "UMEED Market Place" under AVSAR Scheme of Airport Authority of India at Srinagar International Airport. A similar Marketplace was also opened at Jammu Airport and both the outlets would exhibit products of all 20 districts.
  • Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in his address said that such an initiative will support local art and artisans of Self Help Groups of J&K Rural Livelihood Mission, providing a platform to market local products directly to the customers. He maintained that the products of Self Help Groups will get exposed to the national market, strengthen the local artisan community and provide sufficient promotional avenues for their products.

Microsoft- Indian Government Sign MoU to Train Civil Servants

  • Indian Government inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Microsoft to collaboratively launch training programme for civil servants. Under the programme, Microsoft would give training to over 2.5 million civil servants in India for using the Microsoft digital tools.
  • MoU was inked between Microsoft, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Capacity Building Commission (CBC).
  • It was aimed at training the civil servants in helping underprivileged, by delivering last-mile social welfare services.
  • The Capacity Building Commission (CBC) helps in capacity building for several ministries including Defence, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Social Justice etc.
  • This MoU was inked considering the competence gap among civil servants. They were lacking at digital productivity application skills, which is required while working on Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint presentation.

'Har Ghar Tiranga': Department Of Posts Sells over 1 Crore National Flags in 10 Days

  • Within a short span of ten days, India Post has sold more than 1 crore national flags, through its 1.5 lakh post offices as well as online.
  • These Flags have been sold by the department at a price of Rs. 25.
  • For online sale, the Department provided free doorstep delivery to any address across the country; more than 1.75 lakh flags were purchased online by the citizens through the ePost Office facility.
  • 'Har Ghar Tiranga' is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India's independence.
  • Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of India's people, culture and achievements.
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India, Bangladesh Agree to Reinforce Military Exercises

  • The fourth India-Bangladesh annual defence dialogue, co-chaired by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and Lt Gen Waker-Uz-Zaman, Principal Staff Officer of Armed Forces Division of Bangladesh, was held.
  • The two sides agreed upon widening the scope of military bilateral exercises and raising their complexity, a statement by the Ministry of Defence said. Both sides emphasised the need to work closely to implement the USD 500 million line of credit extended from India for defence items.
  • Various aspects of defence, industrial and capability-building cooperation came up for detailed discussions. Both sides reviewed the progress of various bilateral defence cooperation initiatives and expressed commitment to elevate engagements between the armed forces. Kumar invited the delegation for the upcoming Def Expo 2022 and said both countries had a great potential for cooperation in defence trade, co-development and joint production.
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Noted Singer Shivamogga Subbanna Passes Away

  • National award-winning singer Shivamogga Subbanna passed away at the age of 83.
  • Subbanna was the first Kannadiga to win a National Award for playback singing the song 'Kaadu Kudure Odi Banditta' in the film Kaadu Kudure. He became a household name in Karnataka after he sang 'Baarisu Kannada Dindimava', written by Rashtrakavi Kuvempu.
  • Known for his work in the field of 'Sugama Sangeetha', a genre in which poetry in Kannada is set to music, Subbanna has worked on and sung poetries of famous poets such as Kuvempu and Da Ra Bendre, and got several awards and honours. He was also a singer with Akashvani and Doordarshan and had worked as an advocate.
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World Organ Donation

  • World Organ Donation Day is marked on August 13. The day, as the name suggests, is for raising and creating awareness about organ donation. Many people across the globe have certain apprehensions and misconceptions about the process of organ donation while some are unaware about the huge difference it can make in people's lives. By definition, organ donation means donating organs that are in healthy condition after a person is dead. Organs such as lungs, kidney, eyes, liver and pancreas can turn out to be life saving for people who are going through chronic illness.
  • The first-ever organ donation was done in 1954 when Ronald Lee Herrick donated a kidney to his identical twin brother. Doctor Joseph Murray conducted the procedure for which he has also won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1990 for advances in organ transplantation.

International Lefthanders Day

  • International Left Handers Day is an international day observed annually on August 13 to celebrate the uniqueness and differences of left-handed individuals. The day was first observed in 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, founder of Lefthanders International, Inc.
  • International Lefthanders Day was created to celebrate sinistrality and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world.
  • Notably, left-handedness is said to be more common among men than among women.
  • Among the notable lefties are Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former US presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Prince William, Mother Teresa, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, and industrialist Ratan Tata.
  • Scientist Sir Isaac Newton, painter Pablo Picasso, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte, and media personality Oprah Winfrey are also left-handed.
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IIT Madras, Sony India Partners to Offer Free Tech Skills Course to EWS Students

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Pravartak Technologies Foundation partnered with Sony India Software Centre Pvt. Ltd. to equip students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds with industry-ready technical skills. This course is offered completely free of cost.
  • Called the 'Sony India Finishing School Skill Development Training Programme,' it would provide training in select areas such as Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), Cyber Security and Computer Graphics, besides Business Communication skills.
  • Sony India SoftwareCentre will extend employment to the top 15 performers of this course. The Pravartak Technologies Foundation will assist the remaining students with placement in other companies by arranging for their interviews through the IITM PTF placement cell.
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Tamil Nadu International Kite Festival Begins in Mamallapuram

  • The first Tamil Nadu International Kite Festival (TNIKF), organised by Global Media Box in association with the state tourism department, began in Mamallapuram from August 13 and would conclude on August 15.
  • Tourism Minister M. Mathiventhan and Minister for Mini Small and Micro Enterprises Tha Mo Anbarasan inaugurated the mega event.
  • As per reports, in this three-day festival, professional kite flyers from various countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and the US, besides India, will take part. Of the 10 teams that participate in the festival, six are from India and four from other countries.
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Visually Impaired IAF Veteran Turns Author

  • In a story of remarkable resilience, a former Indian Air Force (IAF) Corporal who was completely blinded after an injury in a military exercise, has not only come up with a book, but has also earned a doctorate degree.
  • Corporal Manoj Kumar (retd) presented to Army Chief Manoj Pande a copy of his latest book on Kashmir, 'Ghati Ko Grahan'.
  • Dr. Kumar completed his Masters in Hindi from IGNOU in 2010, cleared the UGC NET in 2012 and pursued his doctorate between 2015 and 2020. Twelve of his research papers have found a place in national and international journals. 'Ghati Ko Grahan' covers post-Independence events in Kashmir, including attacks by Pakistan-supported raiders, exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, and the Indo-Pak wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971.
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SC grants Bail to Varavara Rao

  • The Supreme Court granted regular bail to activist and poet Dr. P Varavara Rao, an accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case, on medical grounds.
  • A bench headed by Justice UU Lalit while grating bail to Rao said that he shall not leave the jurisdiction of Greater Mumbai without permission from the Special NIA Court at the city, he shall not misuse his liberty and nor he shall be in touch with any of the witnesses.
  • The apex court further ordered that Rao shall be entitled to have medical treatment of his choice and he shall keep NIA informed about the medical treatment being received by him.
  • The bench deleted the condition imposed by the Bombay High Court that he should surrender after 3 months.
  • Rao had challenged an April 13 judgment of the Bombay High Court which had rejected his plea for permanent bail.
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