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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

04 Oct 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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ENVIRONMENT

Australia Vows New Plan to Stop Extinction Crisis

  • Australia plans to halt the loss of any more species and end its status as "the mammal extinction capital of the world".
  • More than 100 threatened animals and plants - including iconic species like the koala - will be prioritised under new conversation strategies.
  • The plan includes a promise to protect a third of the continent's land mass.
  • Earlier this year a report found Australia's environment is in shocking decline.
  • Many native animals and plants face threats including habitat loss, invasive pests and weeds, climate change, and more frequent and destructive natural disasters.
  • The goal to list 30% of Australia's land as protected under national environment laws will help vulnerable species and habitats.
  • The 10-year strategy also aims to improve resilience to climate change, build "insurance" populations of some key species in predator-free zones, and better monitor existing populations.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Govt. Issues Draft Guidelines for Listing of Regional Rural Banks

  • In a bid to enable regional rural banks (RRBs) to raise resources by listing on stock exchanges, the government issued draft guidelines that set certain basic criteria, including net worth of at least Rs. 300 crore during the previous three years.
  • They should also have capital adequacy above the regulatory minimum level of 9% in each of the preceding three years.
  • The RRBs should have a track record of profitability and earned operating profit of minimum Rs. 15 crore for at least three out of the previous five years, according to the draft guidelines issued by the finance ministry.
  • Besides, there should not be any accumulated loss and the lender should have given return on equity of minimum 10% in three out of the preceding five years.

Adani Greens Forms 3 New Subsidiary Companies for reNewable Energy Business

  • Adani Renewable Energy Holding Four Limited said that the company incorporated three new subsidiary companies for renewable energy business.
  • Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) said that Adani Renewable Energy Holding Four Limited is its subsidiary and the newly incorporated entities are its step-down subsidiaries.
  • The main objective of the new subsidiaries is to generate, develop, transform, distribute, transmit, sale, supply any kind of power or electrical energy using wind energy, solar energy or other renewable sources of energy.
  • The three new subsidiary companies are Adani Renewable Energy Thirty Six, Adani Renewable Energy Forty Limited and Adani Renewable Energy Forty Seven Limited.

TCS Set to Win $2-billion Deal from BSNL for 4G and 5G Roll-out

  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is set to secure a $2 billion deal from Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) to roll out its 4G and 5G services across the country. However, the final approvals from the publicly-owned telco may take a couple of months.
  • As part of the deal, TCS will develop 4G core and Radio Access Network (RAN) technology for BSNL's telecom services. The country's largest IT firm would be the first domestic company to provide these solutions on a large scale. Earlier, Texas-based Mavenir was considered to be the main contender to provide 4G core technology to BSNL.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian Mars Orbiter Mission: Mangalyaan Craft Completes 8 Years in Orbit

  • India's Mars orbiter craft completed eight years in its orbit, well beyond its designed mission life of six months, and lost contact with ground station bringing an end to its life. Plans on a follow-on 'Mangalyaan' mission to the Red Planet, however, are yet to be firmed up.
  • The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), a technology demonstration venture, is the maiden interplanetary mission of the national space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • Launched on November 5, 2013, the probe was successfully inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt.
  • To mark the latest milestone, ISRO organised a 'National Meet on Eight Years of India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)' at its headquarters with an inaugural address by its Chairman S. Somanath.
  • Space Commission members K. Radhakrishnan and A. S. Kiran Kumar delivered special addresses at the meet, which focused on themes 'Mars Orbiter Mission Overview', 'Scientific Achievements' and 'Future Directions in the exploration of the inner solar system'.
  • India is the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to reach Mars on a Maiden attempt.

ONDC Consumer Beta Testing Begin in 16 Bengaluru Pin Codes

  • The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), the government-backed interoperable network went live for users at 16 pin codes of Bengaluru. More than 200 grocery stores and restaurants in the city were onboarded for this phase of the trial.
  • The objective of the beta test is to allow consumers to experience the network for the first time and gather feedback which will help further refine the network before a pan-India roll-out.
  • To begin with, consumers can place their orders in two categories – groceries and restaurants through buyer apps: Paytm, Spice Money and Mystore.
  • Buyer apps refer to applications or websites that enable consumers to shop from all sellers available on ONDC.
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SPORTS

Bopanna-Middelkoop Duo Clinch Doubles Title in Tel Aviv

  • India's Rohan Bopanna and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop clinched the ATP 250 Tel Aviv Watergen Open men's doubles title.
  • The top seeded Indo-Dutch pair notched up a 6-2, 6-4 victory over the third seeded Mexican-Argentine pair of Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni in the final.
  • It was Bopanna's third ATP title of the season and 22nd overall. Bopanna had won two titles this season with compatriot Ramkumar Ramathan in Adelaide and Pune. It was also the first ATP Tour title for Bopanna and Middelkoop as a team.
  • Meanwhile, former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lifted the Tel Aviv Watergen Open men's singles title after beating Marin Cilic in straight sets in the final.

Siva Subramaniam Vaults to Gold to Break 35-year-old Record

  • Siva Subramaniam won the men's pole vault gold at the National Games, and not only did he better his own national record but also broke the long-standing games record.
  • Siva bettered his national record of 5.30 metres with a jump of 5.31m. He also broke the National Games record, which had stood for 35 years.
  • The games record of 5.10m set by Vijaypal Singh at the Thiruvananthapuram Games in 1987 was easily shattered when Siva cleared 5.22m.

Discus Thrower Kirpal Singh Batth Shatters National Games Record

  • Punjab's Kirpal Singh Batth shattered the National Games record on his way to winning the gold in the men's discus throw.
  • Batth broke Shakti Singh's 25-year-old record of 58.56 metres, which was set in 1997. Batth bettered the mark with this second attempt of 58.65m and then bettered it to 59.32m in the penultimate round.
  • Services' Gagandeep Singh finished second with a best throw of 56.49m, while teammate Prashant Malik finished third with a best attempt of 55.58m.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Punjab: Bhagwant Mann Govt. Wins Confidence Motion

  • The Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government in Punjab won the vote of confidence, an expected outcome, with thumping majority as 91 of the ruling party legislators voted in support of the motion.
  • The confidence motion, which was moved by Chief Minister Mann after the ruling party accused the BJP of trying to topple the state government, saw main opposition Congress abstaining during the voting. The BJP had already announced to boycott the assembly session as it had accused the AAP government of violating the Constitution by bringing the confidence motion in the assembly.

President Murmu Launches Start-up Platform for Women Entrepreneurs

  • President Droupadi Murmu launched a start-up platform 'Her Start' for women entrepreneurs created by Gujarat University.
  • The President also inaugurated or laid foundation stones of various projects related to education and tribal development at a function at Gujarat University.
  • `Her Start' is an initiative of the varsity for women entrepreneurs.

ECI Names Pankaj Tripathi as its National Icon

  • The Election Commission of India announced that noted film personality Pankaj Tripathi, who shot to fame through the OTT show Mirzapur, was made its national icon.
  • Pankaj was chosen for the honour for 'his association with ECI in creating awareness amongst voters'. The announcement was made in Delhi by the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar in the presence of the actor.
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DEFENCE

India and South Korea Hold Naval Exercise

  • The navies of India and South Korea participated in a maritime partnership exercise in the Bay of Bengal.
  • Indian warship INS Sumedha participated in the exercise with Republic of Korea navy ships Hansando and Dae Cheong.
  • The exercise included helicopter operations, communication drills and tactical manoeuvres. The interaction was aimed at strengthening maritime cooperation and inter-operability between the two navies.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Animal Day

  • World Animal Day is observed every year on October 4, the feast day of Francis of Assisi, who was regarded as the patron saint of animals. The day was celebrated for the first time in 1925 by cynologist Heinrich Zimmermann to address the plight of animals and initiate work towards their protection -- both in the wild and domestic world.
  • World Animal Day, was originated by cynologist Heinrich Zimmermann. He organized the first World Animal Day on March 24, 1925, at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany. Over 5,000 people attended this first event. The activity was originally scheduled for October 4, to align with the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology. However, the venue was not available on that day. The event was then moved to October 4 for the first time in 1929. Every year, Zimmermann worked tirelessly on the promotion of World Animal Day. Finally, in May 1931 at a congress of the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence Italy, his proposal to make October 4 World Animal Day universal was unanimously accepted and adopted as a resolution.
  • World Wildlife Day 2022 was observed under the theme "Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration".

World Space Week, 4-10 October

  • World Space Week (WSW) is observed every year from October 4 to 10, to celebrate science and technology, and their contribution towards the betterment of the human condition. World Space Week aims to help people gain a wider knowledge about space outreach and education.
  • In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 4-10 to be celebrated as World Space Week. These dates were not randomly selected. October 4 marks the launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1. When Sputnik 1 was launched into orbit in 1957, it opened the scope for space exploration. A decade later, on October 10, 1967, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, was signed.
  • The World Space Week 2022 theme is "Space and Sustainability" focusing on achieving sustainability in space and achieving sustainability from space.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Nobel Prize 2022: Svante Pääbo Awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine

  • The Nobel Prize 2022 for medicine or physiology was awarded to Swedish geneticist Svante Pääbo. Svante Pääbo was given the award "for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution."
  • Announcing the award, the Nobel committee said that the scientists sequenced the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of present-day humans, and made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova.
  • Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1955, Svante Paabo is currently the director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. He completed his medical studies at the University of Uppsala and began part-time research and teaching at the Department of Cell Biology, Uppsala, and Roche Institute for Molecular Biology in 1980.

Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2022 Awards: Telangana Wins First Prize

  • Telangana won the first prize under the large states category under the Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG) 2022 which looks into the sanitation status of rural areas.
  • Haryana secured the second position while Tamil Nadu was third.
  • The awards were presented by President Droupadi Murmu.
  • The Swachh Survekshan Gramin-2022 award by the Jal Shakti ministry ranked states and districts on the basis of their performance attained on key quantitative and qualitative Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) parameters and engagement of the rural community in improvement of their sanitation status.

Raghupati Singhania Receives PHDCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for 2022

  • JK Tyre & Industries Chairman Raghupati Singhania was conferred the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (PHDCCI's) prestigious lifetime achievement award for 2022 by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla at the chamber's 117th annual session.
  • The event felicitated industry stalwarts who had transformed society, made outstanding contribution to improving the community, set benchmarks in entrepreneurship, and demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

BHU Launches Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Internship

  • Committed to the overall development of its students and to preparing them well for future and career challenges, Banaras Hindu University launched yet another student-oriented initiative, namely Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Internship.
  • The scheme under the Institution of Eminence, BHU, has been crafted with the aim of offering professional exposure to students and increasing their employability as they venture into professional life after completing university education.
  • The initiative, besides developing their professional skills, would act as a stepping stone for students to launch their careers.
  • The one-year internship initially proposes 100 positions during which a selected candidate will be offered a fixed emolument of Rs. 20,000 per month. Initially, the internship has been proposed for five disciplines, which are Library Science, Education, Physical Education, Visual Arts and Performing Arts.

IIT Madras to Host Nobel Laureates under Subra Suresh Distinguished Lecture Series

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras will soon launch the Subra Suresh Distinguished Lecture series that will feature lectures by Nobel laureates and globally-renowned speakers from various walks of life. They will also deliver a science talk which will be open to all members of the public.
  • Nobel laureate Prof Didier Queloz will deliver the inaugural address of the Subra Suresh Distinguished Lecture series in Chennai on October 20. The event will be open to all.
  • The Subra Suresh Distinguished Lecture Series will be a three-day annual event. Day one will include the technical lecture followed by a public lecture on day two. The final day would focus on interactions between the distinguished speaker and IIT Madras faculty, students and laboratory visits.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra Topped Destinations for Foreign Tourists 2021

  • As per a report by Union Tourism Ministry, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had the highest numbers of foreign tourist visitors, with 1.26 million and 1.23 million, respectively in 2021. The report titled 'India Tourism Statistics 2022' was released by Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • As per the report, due to restrictions related to COVID-19, "the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India during 2021 decreased to 1.52 million as compared to 2.74 million in 2020, registering a negative growth of 44.5 per cent".
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Delimitation in J&K: Centre, EC tell Supreme Court that No Challenge can be Accepted after Gazette Notification

  • The Central government and the Election Commission told the Supreme Court that the delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be challenged, once the orders have been issued by the Gazette of India.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs filed the submissions on behalf of the Central government and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The response was filed on a batch of petitions challenging the setting up of Delimitation Commission in J&K, calling it unconstitutional.
  • The Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh had issued notice to the Central government and the ECI on the pleas further declaring increase in the number of seats in J&K from 83 to 90 as ultra vires the Constitution.
  • The Centre, seeking dismissal of the petition, termed it as nothing, but a frivolous attempt to challenge the orders of the Delimitation Commission.
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