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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

27 Nov 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Qatar Signs World's 'Longest' Gas Supply Deal with China

  • QatarEnergy signed a 27-year deal to supply China's Sinopec with liquefied natural gas in the longest such LNG agreement to date as volatility drives buyers to seek long-term supplies.
  • Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, competition for LNG has become intense, with Europe in particular needing vast amounts to help replace Russian pipeline gas that used to make up almost 40% of the continent's imports.
  • Asian countries led by China, Japan and South Korea are the main market for Qatar's gas, which is increasingly being sought by European countries since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

India Wins IEC Vice Presidency and Strategic Management Board Chair for 2023-25

  • India won the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Vice Presidency and Strategic Management Board (SMB) Chair for the 2023-25 term.
  • IEC is an international standard setting body that publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies, while SMB is an apex governance body of IEC responsible for technical policy matters.
  • India's representative Vimal Mahendru, a member of the Indian National Committee of the IEC and various technical committees of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS-India), was elected as IEC vice president.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Tata Consumer to Buy Bisleri International

  • Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) will reportedly acquire Bisleri International for an estimated Rs. 6,000-7,000 crore. Ramesh Chauhan, chairman of Bisleri International, does not have a successor to take Bisleri to the next level, according to a report. He has earlier sold brands like Thums Up, Gold Spot, and Limca to Coca-Cola.
  • Bisleri, which is India's largest packaged water company, is expected to have a turnover of Rs. 2,500 crore with a profit of Rs. 220 crore in FY23.

PNB Gets Centre's Approval to Divest its Entire Stake in UTI AMC

  • The Punjab National Bank (PNB) received the government's approval to divest its entire stake in UTI Asset Management Company as part of its non-core asset sale plan to shore up its capital base.
  • The bank's divestment entire/part stake in UTI Asset Management Company Limited may be in single or multiple tranches subject to compliance of SEBI Regulations/other applicable regulatory guidelines.

IDFC FIRST Bank Launches FIRSTAP, Country's First Sticker-based Debit Card

  • IDFC FIRST Bank launched FIRSTAP, the country's first sticker-based debit card, in association with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), to facilitate transactions by simply tapping the sticker on a Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled point-of-sale terminal.
  • The sticker-based Debit Card is one third the size of a regular debit card, thus making the sticker applicable on a wide range of devices and objects, and significantly enhancing customer convenience. Customers can affix the Sticker-based Debit Card on any surface of their choice, such as cell phones, identity cards, wallets, tabs, airpod cases, etc. The object can be used to tap and pay, thus doing away with the need to carry a Debit Card or adapting to wearable devices such as watches and rings or entering a UPI PIN after scanning a QR code.
  • The touch-free way to pay enables payments in seconds for transactions up to Rs. 5,000 without a PIN, and those beyond that, with a tap and PIN.
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SPORTS

Former India U-19 captain Unmukt Chand Becomes First Indian to Play in Bangladesh Premier League

  • Former India U-19 World Cup-winning captain, Unmukt Chand joined Chattogram Challengers in the Bangladesh Premier League. Chand was picked in the players' draft. In the process, he became the first Indian player to have signed for a BPL franchise. It has to be noted that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) contracted cricketers are not allowed to play in foreign leagues. That, however, isn't the case with Unmukt who quit playing domestic cricket in India after deciding to sign a three-year deal with USA's Major League Cricket (MLC) in 2022.
  • Chand had famously led the India U-19 team to title triumph at the the U-19 World Cup in 2012 in Australia. He had scored a century in the final and was named the Player of the tournament.
  • The Challengers picked Chand in the second round from the foreign players' category for the Bangladesh Premier League season which is to start in January 2023.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo Becomes First Male Player to Score in 5 World Cups

  • Cristiano Ronaldo made history as the first male player to score in five World Cups in Portugal's opening game in Qatar against Ghana.
  • The Portugal captain scored in the 65th minute from the penalty spot, the 118th goal for his country, to open the scoring at Doha's Stadium 974. Portugal went on to win 3-2 as goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao helped them beat Ghana.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Odisha Launches Anaemia Eradication Programme 'AMLAN'

  • In a bid to ensure complete eradication of anaemia problem among women and children in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched AMLAN- 'Anaemia Mukta Lakhya Abhiyan' in the state.
  • The state formulated a multi-pronged approach for accelerated reduction of anaemia among targeted groups.
  • The programme will be implemented with joint efforts of several departments including Health and Family Welfare, School and Mass Education, Women and Child Development, Mission Shakti and ST and SC Development Department.

Centre Appoints Three Indian Foreign Service Officers in PMO

  • Three Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers were appointed to different posts in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
  • Deepak Mittal, a 1998-batch IFS officer, was appointed as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the PMO. Vipin Kumar and Nidhi Tewari were appointed as Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary, respectively in the PMO.
  • Kumar is a 2013-batch IFS officer and Tewari belongs to the 2014 batch.
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DEFENCE

Aero India 2023 to be Held in Bengaluru

  • The 14th edition of Aero India will be held in Bengaluru in 2023. However, with just over two months left for Asia's biggest airshow, the dates are yet to be announced. Dates for the airshow, which is usually held during February, are announced months in advance.
  • An official website, Aero India 2023, has gone live mentioning that next year's edition will be held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru which has been hosting the airshow since 1996.

First ever Franco-India-German Military Exercise Slated for 2024

  • The first ever Franco-Indian-German military exercise is expected to take place in 2024. The drill will involve the militaries of the three countries.
  • Talking about defence cooperation between India and Germany, German Ambassador Dr. Phillip Ackermann said that the Franco-India-German military drill is set to take place in the years to come. Talks are going on. It is expected to be sometime in 2024.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

NCC Celebrates 74th Anniversary of its Raising

  • The National Cadet Corps (NCC) celebrated the 74th anniversary of its Raising Day on November 27. This largest uniformed youth organisation in the world was raised in 1948.
  • The day was celebrated all over the country with cadets participating in march past, cultural activities and social development programmes.
  • The multifaceted activities and varied curriculum of the NCC, provides unique opportunities to the youth for self-development.
  • Many cadets have made the Nation and the organisation proud through their remarkable achievements in the field of sports and adventure.
  • The expansion of NCC has also been undertaken in coastal and border areas of the country by adding over one lakh young cadets to its fold in recent times. This has motivated the youth from these areas to join the Armed forces and contribute to Nation Building.
  • The NCC has also been a platform for harnessing international relations for over four decades by sending its cadets as ambassadors of peace and unity to over 25 nations.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IIT Bombay and Microsoft Sign MoU to Support, Empower Start-ups

  • The Institute of Indian Technology, Bombay (IIT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Microsoft to foster and support start-ups. This collaboration of Microsoft was established with IIT Bombay's umbrella organisation Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE).
  • As a part of this collaboration, SINE and Microsoft will explore opportunities that will help start-ups at SINE avail benefits of Microsoft software and services, access to GitHub, M365 resources, training and skilling on Azure, along with mentor networks. Through this partnership, IIT Bombay students will get access to Microsoft's leadership, industry experts Microsoft Valuable Professionals (MVP), Azure Influencers, and start-up founders.
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ART AND CULTURE

Young Exponents Learn Centuries-old Kotah Miniature Art to Keep it Alive

  • A young jewellery designer and a freelance artist are among the approximately 40 people who wish to keep the centuries-old Kotah miniature art form alive by inculcating it in their modern professions.
  • Participating in a 10-day 'Kotah Miniature Art Workshop' organised by the Kotah royal family-run Rao Madho Singh Museum Trust at City Palace, the participants got to learn and practice the skills and techniques at length.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Dharmendra Pradhan Launches Book 'India: The Mother of Democracy'

  • Releasing the book, "India: the mother of democracy", Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that it was an attempt to showcase the democratic ethos ingrained in India since the beginning of the civilisation.
  • India's civilisational ethos is one of the original sources of democracy, contrary to the narrative set by the western world. Roots of democracy can be traced to India as early as the 4th century. The stone inscriptions of Thanjavur are a living testimonial of the same.
  • The book has 30 articles written by 30 different authors tracing India's democratic history, starting from the Harappan civilisation. It has been divided into six parts: archaeology, literature, numismatics and epigraphy; gana, mahajanapada, rajya: a legacy of 'Loktantra'; bhakti and sampraday: visualising democratic traditions; the blossoming of democratic 'Ism's: Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism; the idea of 'Loka': Janjati and Khaps; and tracing the ethos of democracy: humanity and colonialism.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

SC Questions 'Lightning Speed' Appointment of Arun Goel as Election Commissioner

  • The Supreme Court questioned the Centre on Arun Goel's appointment as Election Commissioner and said his name was finalised at "lightning speed". A five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice K.M. Joseph while hearing petitions seeking reforms in the appointment of Election Commissioners, observed that Goel's file was cleared within just 24 hours.
  • After the Centre presented the original file of Arun Goel's appointment before the bench, the top court asked whether there was any reason behind the urgency to clear his file.
  • Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said that Goel was working as a secretary under the government till Friday. He then took voluntary retirement and was appointed as Election Commissioner the next day.
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