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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

01 Dec 2022


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European Union Adopts New Legislation to Strengthen Cybersecurity

  • Amid increased cyberattacks, European Union adopted the new revised Network and Information Systems directive (NIS2) to strengthen the EU's cybersecurity work. These new rules are part of wider actions to build the EU's resilience against physical and digital risks.
  • It will strengthen the EU's cybersecurity work by improving the resilience of public and private entities, introducing stricter enforcement and increasing information-sharing.
  • The move came after many nations started realising the threat posed by Chinese technological advancements.

Three Indian-Origin Women Scientists among Australia's "Superstars of STEM"

  • Three Indian-origin women were among 60 scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians who were selected as Australia's Superstars of STEM, an initiative that aims to smash society's gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of females and non-binary people.
  • Every year Science and Technology Australia (STA), which is the country's peak body in the sector and represents more than 105,000 scientists and technologists, supports 60 Australian experts employed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to become highly visible media and public role models.
  • This year (2022) among those recognised as Superstars of STEM include three Indian-origin women--Neelima Kadiyala, Dr. Ana Baburamani, and Dr. Indrani Mukherjee.
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IAMAI Names Rohit Jain as Chairman, Digital Entertainment Committee

  • The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) announced the appointment of Rohit Jain as the chairman of the Digital Entertainment Committee for the period of 2022-2024. According to the company, Jain will work with various stakeholders of various digital entertainment ecosystem, such as over-the-top (OTT) players, regulatory bodies, and other industry associations.
  • The Indian media sector has shown immense potential in the last decade and now the OTT industry is in the spotlight owing to the work that's happened for the last many years. India today is the innovation hub for OTT in technology, pricing, and content experimentation.
  • Jain succeeded Amit Goenka, head of ZEE5 Global. Amit Doshi, head, IVM Podcasts was appointed co-chair, alongside Rohit Jain.

RBI Authorises Tamilnad Mercantile Bank to Undertake Government Business

  • Private sector lender Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB) was authorised by the Reserve Bank of India to undertake government business on behalf of the banking regulator.
  • An agreement in this connection was signed by the bank with RBI in Mumbai for appointing TMB as an 'agency bank' of RBI to undertake government agency business.
  • TMB is one of the oldest private sector banks with a history of over 100 years, having been established in 1921 as Nadar Bank. The bank offers a wide range of services primarily to micro, small and medium enterprises, agricultural and retail customers.

TCS Bags Rail Delivery Group Contract to Create UK Rail Data Marketplace

  • IT major Tata Consultancy Services bagged a deal from Rail Delivery Group to design, develop, implement, and operate the UK's Rail Data Marketplace.
  • The contract between TCS and RDG (Rail Data Marketplace) is for a term of six years including an extension term opportunity.
  • The IT services major will be using TCS Dexam to design, develop, implement and operate RDM, which is expected to bring together fragmented sources of rail data into one digital service to accelerate innovation in the transport sector and enhance the passenger experience.
  • RDM will be used for sharing real-time information with passengers across the UK, simplifying data sharing across operational bodies and increasing data access for public and private bodies to improve transparency.
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IISER, IIT Researchers Develop New Artificial Photosynthetic System to Capture Solar Energy

  • Researchers from IISER-Thiruvananthapuram and IIT-Indore developed a new artificial light-harvesting system that can efficiently capture light for power conversion by mimicking photosynthesis, the process by which plants absorb sunlight and produce sugars.
  • According to officials, scientists across the globe are trying to replicate the light-harvesting step of photosynthesis in engineered systems for use in solar cells or artificial leaves.
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Steve Smith Joins Don Bradman in Esteemed Australian Cricket Company

  • Steve Smith scored an unbeaten 114 to equal Donald Bradman's 29 Test centuries and help Australia tighten its grip on the opening cricket Test against the West Indies.
  • Smith batted flawlessly to equal the former Australia batting legend Bradman in his 88th Test appearance. Only Ricky Ponting (41), Steve Waugh (32) and Matthew Hayden (30) have scored more hundreds for Australia.
  • Smith was more circumspect and hit just nine boundaries in his century that came off 179 balls. It was Smith's second century in the space of three innings following his 145 not out against Sri Lanka in Galle in July 2022.
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India Achieves National Health Policy Target for MMR

  • India achieved a significant milestone by achieving the National Health Policy (NHP) target for Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR).
  • The Maternal Mortality Ratio declined from 130 per lakh live births in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20, according to a special bulletin released by the office of the Registrar General of India. Assam has the highest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 195 while Kerala has the lowest of 19 per lakh live births, as per the data.
  • The MMR of India has improved further by 6 points and now stands at 97/ lakh live births. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is defined as the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100,000 live births.
  • Upon achieving this, India has accomplished the National Health Policy (NHP) target for MMR of less than 100/lakh live births and is on the right track to achieve the SDG target of MMR less than 70/ lakh live births by 2030, the Ministry of Health stated.

Meghalaya Cabinet Approves Mental Health and Social Care Policy

  • The Meghalaya cabinet approved a policy aimed at addressing the issues of mental health and social care through collaborative engagement with communities, Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said. Meghalaya is the first north-eastern the third state in the country to have a comprehensive policy on mental health and social care, paying attention to these issues, especially among children, adolescents and youth.
  • Kerala and Karnataka are the other two states in the country to have such policies.
  • In 2014, the Centre launched the first-ever National Mental Health Policy in an attempt to provide universal psychiatry care.

Nagaland Celebrates 60th Statehood Day

  • Nagaland celebrated its 60th statehood day with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio's call to take forward the path of development and peace and work towards bringing a solution to the Naga political issue.
  • The northeastern state of Nagaland bordering Myanmar became a separate state in 1963.
  • In the last six decades, Nagaland has seen giant strides being taken for the creation of educational and technical institutions for the development of human resources.
  • Starting from 593 schools and two colleges in the early years of statehood, Nagaland now has 2,718 schools, and 69 colleges.
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Laxmi Singh Takes Charge as New Noida CP, First Woman Officer to Head Police Commissionerate in UP

  • Senior IPS officer Laxmi Singh took charge as the Police Commissioner of Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida).
  • With the appointment, Singh became the first woman officer to head Police Commissionerate in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Singh, a 2000-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, replaced Additional Director General Alok Singh. The IG-rank officer is the second Police Commissioner of Gautam Buddh Nagar, where the commissionerate was introduced in January 2020.
  • She holds the distinction of being the first woman IPS topper (33rd rank overall) in the UPSC-held exams and was adjudged the best probationer at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad, as per official records.
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Uttarakhand Government Names Prasoon Joshi as its Brand Ambassador

  • The Uttarakhand government named Prasoon Joshi, the CEO and CCO of McCann Worldgroup India, the state's brand ambassador.
  • Padma Shri awardee Prasoon Joshi is currently the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board). He is a famous and highly awarded member of the Indian advertising and media fraternity. Joshi has also written the lyrics for songs in popular Bollywood movies such as Rang De Basanti, Fanaa and Taare Zameen Par. He has also written the script for the award-winning 2013 film, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
  • Earlier this month, the Uttarakhand government bestowed the Uttarakhand Gaurav Samman honour to Joshi for his contributions to art, literature, culture and advertising. He has received several prestigious international honours such as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2006. He was also the first Asian to become the jury president at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity in 2014 for the prestigious Titanium category.

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin Passes Away

  • Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who led the country for a decade of rapid economic growth after the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989, died at the age of 96.
  • A surprise choice to lead a divided Communist Party after the 1989 turmoil, Jiang saw China through history-making changes including a revival of market-oriented reforms, the return of Hong Kong from British rule in 1997 and Beijing's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.
  • Jiang gave up his last official title in 2004 but remained a force behind the scenes in the wrangling that led to the rise of current President Xi Jinping, who took power in 2012.
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World AIDS Day

  • Each year, December 1 is observed as World AIDS Day in order to raise awareness and to unite people worldwide in the fight against the global health issue of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • World AIDS Day was first designated in August 1988 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, to get some semblance of control over the pandemic that had claimed the lives of so many people. Both James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter were public information officers for the AIDS Global Program of the World Health Organisation.
  • They conveyed the idea for the observation of this day to the Director of the AIDS Global Program, Dr. Johnathan Mann, who approved it for December 1. Since the 1990s, research and medical practices have made significant improvement for the care of people living with HIV.
  • The theme for World AIDS Day 2022 was 'Equalize'.

BSF Raising Day

  • India's first line of Defence, Border Security Force (BSF), celebrates its Raising Day on December 1 every year. BSF was established on December 1, 1965 for ensuring security on the borders of India. BSF plays a crucial role in containing unauthorised entry into or exit from the territory of India and it prevents transborder crimes. It also works towards stopping illegal activities such as smuggling. BSF strives to promote a sense of security in people living in the border areas. When the earthquake occurred in Gujarat on January 26, 2001, BSF was the first one to reach out for helping distressed individuals.
  • Pakistan attacked Sardar Post, Beria Bet, and Chhar Bet in Kutch on April 9, 1965. So, the Government of India decided to establish a specialised centrally controlled Border Security Force (BSF) which would be trained and armed for battling Pakistan on the international border. After the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries, BSF was formed on December 1, 1965. Khusro Faramurz Rustamji was the first chief and founding father of this force.
  • This year (2022), BSF celebrated its Raising Day for the first time in Amritsar, Punjab and second time outside Delhi.
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President Droupadi Murmu Awards MAKA Trophy to GNDU VC for Promoting Sports

  • President Droupadi Murmu presented the coveted "Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy" (MAKA) to the Guru Nanak Dev University for its all-round best performance in sports for the year 2021-22 in an investiture ceremony held at Ashoka Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan this evening. The university received the award for a record 24th time.
  • Vice-Chancellor Jaspal Singh Sandhu and Dr. Kanwar Mandeep Singh, in-charge, Sports Department of the University, received this trophy. The replica of trophy and award money of Rs. 15 lakh was also presented to the university by the President for the promotion and development of sports.
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Nirogi Haryana Health Scheme

  • The Nirogi Haryana Scheme was launched to provide comprehensive free health check-ups and required medical treatment to beneficiary families.
  • The initial phase of this scheme was launched in District Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. It would gradually be enrolled in other dispensaries, health and wellness centres in the remote rural areas of the Panchkula district.
  • As many as 51 health facilities in Panchkula district were allocated to enlisted beneficiaries.
  • The beneficiaries of this scheme are divided into six categories based on age – 0 to 6 months, 6 to 59 months, 6 to 18 years, 18 to 40 years, 40 to 60 years and above 80 years.
  • Each of these categories are provided different coloured OPD card, with eight pages each.
  • The enlisted beneficiaries are provided an 'amantran patra' by the ANM or ASHA workers to visit their healthcare facilities on the specified date.
  • The health check-ups under this scheme includes a complete general physical examination, including physical measurements, height, weight, pulse, BP, dental, and eye examination.
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Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year is 'Gaslighting'

  • Merriam-Webster's word of the year is "gaslighting."
  • The online dictionary chose "gaslighting," which it defines as "the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one's own advantage," as its top word of 2022 because it became the "favoured word for the perception of deception."
  • Gaslighting is usually more complex than an off-the-cuff lie and more nefarious, too: Gaslighting someone into believing they're wrong is often part of a "larger plan," said Merriam-Webster.
  • The term "gaslighting" encapsulates some of the other common terms we associate with misinformation – "deepfakes" and "fake news" among them, per Merriam-Webster.

UGC's Approval must for Universities to Offer Open, Distance Learning Courses

  • Prior approval from the University Grants Commission (UGC) is now mandatory for Universities to offer Open and Distance Learning courses.
  • Universities may offer courses in the Open and Distance Learning mode, with approval of the Commission, provided it satisfies all the conditions laid down under the regulations, by whatever name they are called, pertaining to open and distance learning mode notified by the UGC from time to time.
  • At the 562th meeting of the commission, amendments to the existing regulations were approved and these were published.

IIM Raipur, to Introduce an Executive Certificate Programme for Strategic Chief Marketing Officers

  • A new training programme, jointly developed by IIM Raipur and Imarticus Learning, has been launched and will come into effect from February 18, 2023.
  • The Executive Certificate Programme for Strategic Chief Marketing Officers is a 10-month course that is designed specifically for professionals at senior levels.
  • It aims to familiarise them with the contemporary challenges in the field of marketing and engage meaningfully with CXOs within and outside the organisation.
  • Curriculum goals include understanding customer needs, crafting marketing strategies, implementing business decisions, and implementing master's plans to help the organisation succeed.
  • A bachelor's degree and five years of professional experience are the minimum requirements for the course. IIM Raipur will award learners a certificate at the end of the programme.
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First-ever Tribal Winter Festival Held in Jammu-Kashmir's Bandipora

  • A first of its kind Tribal Winter Festival was held in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Organised by the district administration in collaboration with various departments at Ketson, the festival witnessed huge public participation.
  • The festival highlighted the customs and traditions of tribals and also assured development of sports infrastructure in the area to engage the local youth.
  • Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Owais Ahmed said that tribal areas have the potential to attract tourists and boost employment opportunities.
  • He also highlighted the role of various government sponsored, public oriented schemes for the economic upliftment of people.
  • The festival witnessed music, dance, and cultural events that left the people enthralled.
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Third-ever: Supreme Court of India has All-woman Bench

  • As the year reached its end, the first day of December 2022 became historic of sorts for the Indian Judiciary, as the Supreme Court witnessed an all-woman Bench, making December 1 as third such occasion in the country.
  • The Bench, which sat at Court number 11, was set to take up 32 matters, including 10 transfer petitions related to matrimonial disputes and 10 bail matters.
  • On Wednesday, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud had set up the Bench comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Bela M. Trivedi.
  • History was 'accidentally' created in 2013, as Judge Justice Aftab Alam, presiding Judge of a three-Judge Apex Court Bench, could not attend the proceedings, making it an all-woman Bench of Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Ranjana Prakash Desai.
  • On September 6, 2018, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee held hearing as the first actual all-woman Apex Court Bench of the country.
  • Currently (as in December 2022), the Supreme Court has three women judges, which include Justice Kohli, Justice Trivedi and Justice B.V. Nagarathna.
  • While Justice Kohli will retire in September 2024, Justice Trivedi will hold office until June 2025. Justice Nagarathna is set to become the first woman Chief Justice of India in 2027.
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