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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

29 Sep 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Ukraine's Donetsk and Lugansk Regions in East & Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in South vote to Join Russia in Referendums

  • Russian-installed officials in occupied regions of Ukraine reported huge majorities in favour of becoming part of Russia after five days of voting in so-called referendums that Kyiv and the West denounced as a sham.
  • Hastily arranged votes took place in four areas, the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and to the south Zaporizhzhia and Kherson that make up about 15% of Ukrainian territory.
  • Luhansk authorities said 98.4% of people there had voted to join Russia. In Zaporizhzhia, a Russian-appointed official put the figure at 93.1%. In Kherson, the head of the voting committee put the "yes" vote at above 87%.
  • Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said 99.2% of participants in the region had voted to join Russia. All four areas said all ballots had been counted.
  • Within the occupied territories, Russian-installed officials took ballot boxes from house to house in what Ukraine and the West said was an illegitimate, coercive exercise to create a legal pretext for Russia to annex the four regions.
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ENVIRONMENT

UP Govt. Gives Nod to Bundelkhand's First Tiger Reserve

  • In a bid to promote tiger conservation in the state, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet gave a green signal for the development of the first tiger reserve in the Bundelkhand region.
  • In a meeting chaired by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the cabinet approved to notify Ranipur Tiger Reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • The tiger reserve will span across 52,989.863 hectare of land including 29,958.863 hectare of buffer area and 23,031.00 hectare of core area which was already notified as Ranipur wildlife sanctuary in Chitrakoot district of the state.
  • The Ranipur Tiger Reserve area covered by northern tropical dry deciduous forests is home to tiger, leopard, bear, spotted deer, sambhar, chinkara, reptiles and other mammals.
  • The establishment of Ranipur Tiger Reserve will prove to be a turning point for the conservation of wildlife in Bundelkhand along with opening of eco-tourism potential of the area creating immense employment opportunities benefiting the local population.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Airtel Payments Bank Introduces Micro ATMs

  • Airtel Payments Bank announced the launch of Micro ATMs – a step towards better facilitating convenient cash withdrawals for debit card users residing beyond the metro and Tier 1 cities in India.
  • The bank will leverage its strong network of over 500,000 banking points across India to give users access to easy cash withdrawals through this initiative. To facilitate the Micro ATM transactions, Airtel Payments Bank now integrated with the National Payments Corporation of India's (NPCI) National Financial Switch (NFS).
  • Customers associated with any bank will now be able to use the Micro ATM facility at the neighbourhood banking point of Airtel Payments Bank. They can now make instant cash withdrawals and check their account balance using their debit card of any bank at the designated banking point.

UCO Bank and Yes Bank Tie up with Russian Banks for Payments

  • UCO Bank and Yes Bank put in place arrangements with two Russian banks as India seeks to step up trade with the sanctioned nation.
  • UCO Bank tied up with Gazprom Bank and apart from UCO Bank, Yes Bank also signed an agreement with Petersburg Social Commercial Bank (PSCB) of Russia.
  • As per reports, the country's largest state-owned bank State Bank of India (SBI) is also finding payment options with Russian banks.

India and Maldives Sign MoU Hanimaadhoo International Airport

  • A contract for Maldives Hanimaadhoo International Airport Development Project was signed between Government of Maldives and JMC Projects (India).
  • It is the first ever major infrastructure project to be undertaken outside Greater Male' region and is funded under the USD 800 million concessional Line of Credit (LoC) extended by Government of India to the Maldives. The total contract value is approximately USD 136 million.
  • The scope of the project includes major infrastructure and operational upgrade on the airside, landside and building infrastructure to meet the future growth of traffic to the Maldives in general, and the northern region of Maldives in particular.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Superhot Blob of Gas Discovered Orbiting Milky Way's Black Hole

  • Astronomers detected a blob of hot gas whizzing around the super massive black hole at the heart of our galaxy at an extraordinary speed. A powerful magnetic field surrounding the colossal space-time tear has supercharged the bizarre gaseous globule, speeding it up to 30% the speed of light, a new study finds.
  • The super massive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, known as Sagittarius A*, is around 4 million times more massive than the sun and stretches around 40 million miles (60 million kilometres) across. Normally, anything that gets too close to such a massive black hole gets dragged beyond its event horizon by an overwhelming gravitational pull. But the newly discovered gas blob, or hot spot, is moving so quickly that it appears to have formed a stable orbit around the massive cosmic void.
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SPORTS

FIFA Honours Sunil Chhetri

  • World football governing body FIFA released a three-episode series on the life and career of talismanic Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri to honour his achievements and goal scoring exploits.
  • Chhetri, with 84 international goals to his name, is third in the list of active footballers with most international goals, behind Lionel Messi (90) and Cristiano Ronaldo (117).
  • The first episode leads up to his India debut. The second episode is about Chhetri doing wonders for the national team. In the third episode, Chhetri reached the zenith of his professional career.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Himachal Congress President Harsh Mahajan Joins BJP Ahead of Assembly Polls

  • Already battling a leadership crisis, the opposition Congress got a shock in poll-bound Himachal as Harsh Mahajan, a former cabinet minister and currently the state working president, quit the party and joined BJP.
  • Mahajan, broke off half-a-century old association with Congress, joined the saffron party in Delhi where he was welcomed by BJP national president JP Nadda in presence of Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
  • Mahajan, who inherited politics from his father Des Raj Mahajan, a former Vidhan Sabha speaker and cabinet minister, joined Congress back in 1972.

R. Venkataramani is as New Attorney General of India

  • Senior advocate R. Venkataramani was appointed as the new Attorney General (AG) of India by President Droupadi Murmu for a period of three years. Venkataramani succeeded K. K. Venugopal, whose term came to end on September 30.
  • With over four decades of practice at the Supreme Court, Mr. Venkataramani has specialised in Constitutional law, law of indirect taxes, human rights law, civil and criminal law.
  • His appointment came just days after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi declined the government's offer to become the next AG.
  • Rohtagi had earlier served the post for three years and stepped down in June 2017. K. K. Venugopal had succeeded him and was appointed for a three-year term.

Govt. Bans PFI, 8 Associates for Five Years

  • The Centre banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) for five years under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA, accusing the Islamic outfit of having "links" with global terror groups such as the ISIS and and trying to spread communal hatred in the country.
  • The PFI's eight associates--Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala -- were also placed in the list of the organisations outlawed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
  • The ban for alleged terror activities came after the National Investigating Agency(NIA), the Enforcement Directorate(ED) and various state police forces carried out raids in a massive pan-India crackdown on the PFI twice in the recent days.
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DEFENCE

Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) Named India's New Chief of Defence Staff

  • Lt Gen Anil Chauhan (retd), a former eastern Army Commander and Director General of military operations, was appointed as India's new Chief of Defence Staff, more than nine months after the post fell vacant following the death of Gen Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash.
  • He was the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Army during the Balakot air strikes in 2019 when Indian airplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan in response to the Pulwama terror strike.
  • Lt Gen Chauhan (retd) will assume the rank of the four-star General once he takes charge as India's second Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). He will be the first retired three-star officer to return to service in four-star rank.
  • After his retirement as the eastern Army Commander last year, he has been serving as the military adviser in the National Security Council Secretariat headed by NSA Ajit Doval.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Heart Day

  • World Heart Day which celebrated every year on 29th September was created by World Heart Federation. It was aimed at informing people around the world about cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is a global campaign through which the federation unites people in the fight against the CVD burden as well as inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living.
  • World Heart Day was first observed in the year 1999 after World Heart Federation collaborated with World Health Organization. The idea of celebrating the day was conceived by Antoni Baye de Luna, who was the former president of World Health Federation.
  • The main aim of celebrating this day is to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, its prevention and the impact it on people across the world. CVD including heart disease and stroke claims 17.9 million lives every year. Given this fact, the day highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD. The day is celebrated every year with a theme.
  • The theme for World Heart Day for 2022 is "Use Heart for Every Heart." The theme highlights the goal to bring together people from across the globe to fight against cardiovascular diseases.

International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

  • The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW) is observed on September 29 every year. This day assumes huge importance due to the rising food insecurity across the globe.
  • On December 19 2019, the UN General Assembly designated September 29 as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. The UNGA recognised that the observance of the International Day would contribute significantly in raising awareness about reducing food loss and waste. The Food and Nutrition Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) collaborate in order to facilitate the observance of this Day.
  • The theme of the 2022 International Day of Food Loss and Waste was 'Stop Food Waste! For People and! Planet'.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Cochin International Airport Awarded for Ensuring Seamless Traffic Post COVID-19

  • The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) won the Airport Service Quality award-2022 instituted by Airport Council International (ACI) for ensuring seamless traffic in the aftermath of the pandemic. As per CIAL, the award was given for its meticulous implementation of a programme christened 'Mission Safeguarding' implemented in 2021-22 which ensured seamless traffic and reinforced passenger satisfaction in the aftermath of the pandemic.
  • The Airport Authority has won recognition in the 5-15 million passenger category of airports operating in the Asia-Pacific region. The ACI award is recognised as the highest honour in the global aviation sector owing to its extensive survey methodology practices.

Kumar Sanu, Shailendra Singh, Anand-Milind Get Lata Mangeshkar Award

  • Noted playback singers Kumar Sanu and Shailendra Singh and music-composer duo Anand-Milind were conferred with the National Lata Mangeshkar Award on the birth anniversary of the late singing legend at her birthplace in Indore.
  • State Culture Minister Usha Thakur conferred Singh, Anand-Milind and Sanu with the award for the year 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.
  • Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that in order to keep Mangeshkar's memories alive, a music college, a music academy and a museum will be set up in Indore, and her statue will also be built.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Mamata Banerjee's 'Duare Ration' Scheme is Legally Void, Rules Calcutta HC

  • The Calcutta High Court declared the 'Duare Ration Scheme' (ration at the doorstep) of West Bengal government is ultra vires to the National Food Security Act, 2013 and is legally void.
  • The judgement was passed on an appeal by fair price shop dealers challenging the order of a single bench of the High Court that there was no illegality in the scheme introduced by the state government.
  • The division bench of Justices Chitta Ranjan Dash and Aniruddha Roy held that the 'Duare Ration Scheme' is "ultra vires of the National Food Security Act., 2013" and "is therefore a nullity in the eye of the law". "The State Government transgressed the limit of delegation by obliging the Fair Price Shop dealers to distribute the rations to the beneficiaries at their doorstep in absence of any authority to that effect in the enabling act, i.e, the National Food Security Act." the division bench observed.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Inaugurates 13th FICCI Global Skills Summit 2022

  • The 13th FICCI Global Skills Summit 2022, with the theme "Education to Employability – Making It Happen," was inaugurated and addressed by the Union Minister of Education, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi.
  • The subject of the 13th Global Skills Summit, 'Education to Employability – Making it Happen,' would focus on facilitating the transition from education to employability for our country's youth. After 34 years since the National Policy of Education was launched in 1986, the new National Education Policy-2020 envisions a learning ecosystem that is second to none. Our country is currently on the verge of capitalizing on the demographic dividend, disruptive technology, and a changing world of work. The Summit would look through the NEP lens and focus on how India can become the "Skill Capital of the World," using the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) as an underlying theme.

IIT Roorkee Bags Eat Right Campus Award 2022 from FSSAI

  • The high quality of food served by IIT Roorkee bagged it the Eat Right Campus award 2022 from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) which conducted a third-party audit of all 12 messes of the institute in August 2022.
  • The audit was conducted on the basis of international standards and protocols, which assessed the preparation of food, the food served, the quality and sustainability of the food, cleanliness in the mess, and the health of the mess workers.
  • The audit is done through a checklist based on five parameters. On the basis of the final audit score, the institute is certified as 'Eat Right Campus' with a five-star rating by securing 90 out of 100 marks under this rigorous quality audit.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

English Translation of Award-winning 'Lata: Sur-Gatha' to Release in January 2023

  • The English translation of award-winning book "Lata: Sur-Gatha", on the life and times of iconic singer Lata Mangeshkar, will hit the stands early next year, announced Penguin Random House India (PRHI) on the eve of the 93rd birth anniversary of the late Bharat Ratna awardee.
  • "Lata: A Life in Music", originally written in Hindi by writer-poet Yatindra Mishra, is translated by noted writer and translator Ira Pande. The book won the 64th National Film Award and the MAMI Award for Best Writing on Cinema (2016–17).
  • Known as the Queen of melody, Mangeshkar started training in singing at the age of five. She began her career as a singer in 1942 and has been credited to have sung 25,000 songs in as many as 36 Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali and others over a period of seven decades.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Uttarakhand Awarded for Adventure Tourism & All Round Development of Tourism

  • Uttarakhand received the first prize in two categories, for the best adventure tourism destination and all-around development of tourism from the Ministry of Tourism. The State's Tourism and Culture Minister Satpal Maharaj received the awards from Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar during the presentation of the National Tourism Awards 2018-19 in New Delhi.
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