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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

05 Dec 2022

DAILY G.K. TEST

Start Test

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India Jumps to 48th Place in ICAO Aviation Safety Ranking

  • India jumped to the 48th position in the global aviation safety ranking by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), according to DGCA officials.
  • Four years ago, the country was ranked at the 102nd position.
  • In the ranking, Singapore was at the top, followed by the UAE and South Korea at the second and third positions, respectively.

Pakistan Govt. Invites Imran Khan's Party for 'Unconditional Negotiations'

  • The Pakistan government invited Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party for holding unconditional talks, saying negotiations are part of the political process and complex problems are resolved when two sides hear each other out.
  • The development came after PTI chief Khan on Friday warned that he would dissolve the assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces ruled by his party if the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif did not sit down for talks and announce dates for the general elections.

Iran Begins Construction of New Nuclear Power Plant in Khuzestan

  • Iran began the construction of a new nuclear power plant in its south-western province of Khuzestan.
  • Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, and some local officials witnessed the start of construction of the 300-megawatt Karoon nuclear power plant, which will install a pressurised light water reactor that uses 4-per cent enriched uranium oxide as the fuel.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Reserve Bank of India Implements 4 Tiered Regulatory Norms for UCB

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a four-tiered regulatory framework for categorisation of Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs). Besides, the central bank came out with norms pertaining to the net worth and capital adequacy of these banks.
  • The Reserve Bank of India had constituted the Expert Committee on Urban Co-operative Banks, under the Chairmanship of N. S. Vishwanathan, former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank to examine the issues in urban cooperative banking sector and to review regulatory/ supervisory approach for strengthening the sector. Based on the recommendations of the Expert Committee, RBI had released the Revised Regulatory Framework for Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) in July 2022. The four-tiered regulatory framework, based on size of deposits of the UCBs, came into force with immediate effect.

Canara Bank Wins Banker's Bank of the Year Award at Global Banking Summit

  • Canara Bank won the "Banker's Bank of the Year Award 2022" for the India segment at the Global Banking Summit. The public sector lender was adjudged as the Best Bank in India for 2022.
  • The event was held in London where the bank's MD and CEO L. V. Prabhakar received the award from the organisers.
  • The Bankers' Bank of the year awards are considered to be like Oscar Awards for the banking sector and the winners are judged on their ability to deliver returns, strategy, innovation, technology and product and services in their respective geographies in the last 12 months.

NPCI Extends UPI Market Cap Deadline by 2 Years

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) extended the deadline for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) players to limit to a market cap of 30 per cent by two years to December 31, 2024.
  • In November 2022, the NPCI had proposed a 30 per cent volume cap for third-party app providers (TPAP). Currently, there's no cap on volume and Google Pay and PhonePe hold the market share of about 80 per cent.
  • Taking into account the present usage and future potential of UPI, and other relevant factors, the timelines for compliance of existing TPAPs who are exceeding the volume cap, was extended by two (2) years.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Three Chinese Astronauts Return to Earth after Six-month Mission

  • Three Chinese astronauts landed in a northern desert after six months working to complete construction of the Tiangong station, a symbol of the country's ambitious space program.
  • A capsule carrying commander Chen Dong and astronauts Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe touched down at a landing site in the Gobi Desert in northern China.
  • Prior to departure, they overlapped for almost five days with three colleagues who arrived Wednesday on the Shenzhou-15 mission for their own six-month stay, marking the first time China had six astronauts in space at the same time.
  • The three astronauts were part of the Shenzhou-14 mission, which launched in June.
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SPORTS

Third T20 World Cup Cricket Tournament for Blind to be Held in India

  • The third T20 World Cup Cricket Tournament for the Blind is being held from December 5 to 17 in India.
  • The participating nations for World Cup 2022 are Australia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the host, India. Around 150 players would be participating from all the countries in the tournament, which has a total of 24 matches, will take place in nine cities in India.
  • The tournament is being organised to mark the World Disability Day celebrations universally. The inauguration of the World Cup on December 5 at Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium, Gurugram. Former India batter Yuvraj Singh is the brand ambassador of the tournament.
  • The World Cup, an initiative of the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) in association with Samarthanam Trust for the disabled, has been organising this championship since 2012.

Vijay Hazare Trophy Final: Saurashtra Beat Maharashtra by 5 Wickets

  • Saurashtra beat Maharashtra by 5 wickets in the final to win the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. They restricted Maharashtra at 248/9 in 50 overs as captain Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a century, scoring 108 off 131 balls after a slow start. Saurashtra bowler Chirag Jani claimed a hat-trick in the match. Man of the match was Sheldon Jackson.
  • Chasing the target of 249, Saurashtra started off cautiously before the openers stitched a 125-run partnership. Batter Shledon Jackson held one end as wickets tumbled around him. He scored a match-winning 133 off 136 balls to help Saurashtra chase down the target in 46.3 overs, with five wickets to spare. It was Saurashtra's second title triumph in history.

Shooter Rudrankksh Patil Clinches ISSF President's Cup in Egypt

  • Indian shooter Rudrankksh Patil concluded the 2022 season with a bang, clinching the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President's Cup held in Cairo, Egypt.
  • He defeated Italy's Danilo Sollazzo in the 10 m rifle play-off by 16-8.
  • Athletes from 42 nations representing 43 ISSF Member Federations from all continents qualified to take part in this competition. They were all among the 12 top-ranked in individual Olympic events as per the 2022 World Ranking.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Institute of Cost Accountants of India Elects Vijender Sharma as the President

  • The Institute of Cost Accountants of India said that Vijender Sharma was elected as the new president and Rakesh Bhalla as vice-president for 2022-23. The institute, which is a statutory body set up under an Act of Parliament, comes under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Mr. Vijender Sharma was vice-president and CMA Rakesh Bhalla was Central Council member and Chairman of Direct Tax Committee of the Institute in previous term 2021-22.
  • Sharma is a fellow member of ICAI and a law graduate. He is a leading practicing cost accountant since 1998 and insolvency professional since January 2017. He has an experience of over 22 years in diversified areas of financial, cost and management accounting, internal audit, management consultancy, forensic audit, insolvency and liquidation, etc.

Power Ministry Waives Inter-state Transmission Charges for New Hydro Projects

  • The Power Ministry announced a waiver of inter-state transmission charges on wheeling electricity for 18 years for new hydropower projects.
  • The waiver is already available to solar and wind power projects. The government has set an ambitious plan to have 500 GW of generation capacity from non-fossil energy-based sources by 2030.
  • Hydropower projects, being clean, green and sustainable will be of paramount importance in our clean energy transition journey. They are also essential for the integration of solar and wind power, which are intermittent in nature, the ministry said.

Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar Named as Chairperson of the National Statistical Commission

  • Government of India appointed Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar, Professor Emeritus at Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), as the part-time chairperson of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) of India for a period of three years. He will take up this role as an additional responsibility while continuing as Professor Emeritus at CMI. He joined CMI as a visiting professor in 2010, and officiated as the Director of CMI from January 2011 to April 2021.
  • Karandikar is widely known for his three decades of work on probability theory as well as applications of mathematics and statistics to real world questions.
  • He has designed, supervised and analysed nationwide opinion polls for the Indian parliamentary elections as well State assemblies since 1998. He is known for developing a new model and methodology for seat prediction, which has been quite successful for over the last 20 years.
  • Mr. Karandikar was a member of the committee constituted by the Election Commission (EC) of India to advice the EC on the sampling scheme for EVM-VVPAT verification.
  • NSC is an autonomous body formed in June 2005 under the recommendation of the Dr. C Rangarajan Commission. The objective of its constitution was to reduce the problems faced by statistical agencies in the country with respect to the collection of data, and strengthen public trust in the numbers released by the Government of India. The chairperson of the Commission enjoys the status of a Minister of State, Government of India.
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DEFENCE

US Air Force Unveils its Newest Nuclear Stealth Bomber- B-21

  • The US Air Force unveiled its newest nuclear stealth bomber, the B-21, which will gradually replace aircraft first flown in the Cold War.
  • The first new bomber in 30 years could cost nearly $700m (£569m) each and can carry nuclear and conventional weapons.
  • As expected, specific details of the aircraft remain shrouded in secrecy.
  • The B-21 Raider was unveiled during a ceremony at manufacturer Northrop Grumman's facility in California.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Wearable Brand Noise Signs Virat Kohli as Brand Ambassador

  • Nexxbase Marketing Pvt Ltd-owned Noise, a wearable technology company, roped in cricketer Virat Kohli as its new brand ambassador for its smartwatch range. Over the tenure, the cricketer will be involved in a campaign that entails all touchpoints.
  • Kohli was earlier the brand ambassador of Boltt Games Pvt. Ltd owned Fire-Boltt. The former Indian cricket captain saw his brand value drop by 21% to $185.7 million in 2021. However, he still topped the rankings in a survey of most valuable Indian celebrities by consultant Kroll Inc.

'City of Joy' Author Dominique Lapierre Passes Away

  • Freedom at Midnight author Dominique Lapierre died at the age of 91.
  • Born in July 30, 1931, at Chatelaillon in France, Lapierre began his career as a reporter of Paris-Match.
  • He went on to write several volumes, six in partnership with the US journalist Larry Collins. Among those six is the noted book on the liberation of Paris during the World War II, Is Paris Burning?
  • Collins also partnered with Lapierre for O Jerusalem! in 1972, Freedom at Midnight in 1975 and the novels The Fifth Horseman in 1980 and Is New York Burning? in 2005.
  • Other books like Beyond Love (1990) and A Thousand Suns (1999) have been international best-sellers.
  • The book which made him a household name in India, The City of Joy, was published in 1985. It showcased with humane attention, the debilitating poverty of Kolkata, then called Calcutta.
  • Like Is Paris Burning? which was directed by René Clément, City of Joy too was adapted as a film. Directed by Roland Joffé, the 1992 film starred Patrick Swayze, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi and Pauline Collins.
  • The author was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, in 2008.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

  • International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development is observed on December 5. The day is also referred to as International Volunteer Day (IVD) to recognise and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe. The international observance was mandated by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1985. The day commemorates 80 countries in the world.
  • The General Assembly invited governments to observe the day as the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development under resolution 40/212 on December 5. It was a result of their resolution from December 17, 1985, that guided all government, civil society organizations, and communities to work together with volunteers all around the world to celebrate the day. The Assembly also urged to take measures to heighten awareness of the important contribution of volunteer service.
  • The theme for International Volunteer Day 2022 was 'solidarity through volunteering'.

World Soil Day

  • December 5 is marked as World Soil Day to raise global awareness about healthy soil thereby shedding light on the efficient way to sustainably manage soil resources. In modern times, soil degradation has become a massive problem that's associated with global climate change and the decline in the condition of the soil.
  • The United Nations observes World Soil Day every year on December 5 in a bid to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems by addressing challenges posed by soil management. In 2022 the theme for the observance of this day was 'Soils: where food begins.' The proposal for an international day to celebrate soil dates back to 2002 and was initiated by the International Union of Soil Sciences. However, the UN general assembly adopted the proposal officially almost a decade later and in 2014, the first official world soil day was observed.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

S.S. Rajamouli Wins Best Director at New York Film Critics Circle

  • Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli won the Best Director Award for RRR at the New York Film Critics Circle. The group is one of the first critics' groups to weigh in on the awards season. Rajamouli's win surprised many as his competitors included Steven Spielberg, Darron Aronofsky, Sarah Polley, and Gina Prince-Blythewood.
  • At the New York Film Critics Circle, Todd Field's Tar has won the Best Picture of the year, also nabbing Best Actress for Cate Blanchett's leading performance. Colin Farrell won Best Actor for two of his performances this year — Kogonada's future-set sci-fi drama After Yang and Martin McDonagh's The Banshees of Inisherin. Ke Huy Quan has won the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once, Keke Palmer won the Best Supporting Actress for Nope.

President of India Presents National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

  • President Droupadi Murmu conferred the National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for the year 2021 and 2022 at a function in New Delhi. National Awards for 2021 were given to 25 Individuals, institutions and organizations while for 2022, the Awards were presented to 29 individuals, institutions and organisations for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. These awards were given in various categories including Sarvshresth Divyangjan, Shresth Divyangjan, Shresth Divyang Bal and Balika, Sarvshrestha Vyakti working towards the empowerment of Divyangjan and Sarvshrestha Rehabilitation Professional worker. Speaking on the occasion, President Droupadi Murmu said, the objective of International Day of Persons with Disabilities is to promote awareness about the issues concerning disabilities. She stressed on the need to create a healthy atmosphere for Divyangjans so that they can live a dignified life and also participate in political, social, economic, cultural and sports activities without any discrimination.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Awarded Padma Bhushan

  • Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai was awarded the Padma Bhushan - India's third-highest civilian award - for 2022 in the Trade and Industry category in the presence of his close family members in San Francisco. India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu handed over the award to Pichai and said that his inspirational journey reaffirms Indian talent's contribution to global innovation.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

PLI Scheme to Support India's 2030 Drone Hub Mission Launched

  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation notified the operational guidelines for the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components in India yet another step in realising India's aim of becoming a prominent drone manufacturing hub by 2030.
  • The government approved the PLI scheme with an outlay of Rs. 120 crore and the scheme which will be in force till March 31, 2025.
  • The guidelines for the PLI scheme were finalised after consultations with stakeholders, including industry representatives. The PLI will be extended only to companies engaged in the manufacturing of drones and drone components in India.
  • The Indian government expects the annual turnover of the drone manufacturing sector to cross Rs. 900 crore and the drone services sector to exceed R. 30,000 crore in the next three years. The government also believes that the drone sector can generate more than five lakh jobs.

Chhattisgarh Assembly Clears 2 Amendment Bills on Reservation; Quota at 76%

  • The Chhattisgarh Assembly unanimously passed two amendment bills related to reservation in government jobs and admission in educational institutions in proportion to population of different categories, taking the total quota in the state to 76 per cent. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel tabled the Chhattisgarh Public Service (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes Reservation) Amendment Bill and Chhattisgarh Educational Institutions (Reservation in admission) Amendment Bill, which were passed after a debate of more than five hours. As per the bills, Scheduled Tribes will get quota of 32 per cent, Other Backward Classes 27 per cent, Scheduled Caste 13 per cent, while 4 per cent has been provisioned for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in public employment and admissions in educational institutions.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IAS Sanjay Kumar Takes Charge as Secretary of Department of School Education and Literacy

  • IAS Sanjay Kumar took charge as Secretary of the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education in Shashtri Bhawan in New Delhi. Sanjay Kumar, a 1990-batch Bihar cadre IAS officer, was a former Secretary, Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. He replaced Anita Karwal IAS upon her superannuation.
  • Pursuant to assuming charge, Sanjay Kumar held a meeting with the senior officials of the Ministry in which he reviewed the functioning of the department, autonomous bodies and various schemes relating to school education.

IIT Roorkee Bags most Innovative Research Institute Award by CII

  • IIT Roorkee bagged the 'Most Innovative Research Institute of the Year' award by the prestigious Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the third time in a row. This is part of the ninth edition of CII's Industrial Innovation Awards.
  • The institute was also the category winner for 'Innovation Quotient' for its innovations in the fields of energy storage devices, remediation, technology, and other sectors.
  • IIT Roorkee is currently supporting more than 130 start-ups and has performed highly in all three pillars of innovation -- disruptive innovation, innovation quotient, and innovation realisation.
  • IIT Madras bagged the first runner-up position in the Most Innovative Institute 2022 category.

Maharashtra to Launch Centre to Collate Data on State Schools Taking Inspiration from Gujarat's Vidya Samiksha Kendra

  • The state government is set to launch Maharashtra Shikshan Samruddhi Kendra, a centre that will collate data on government, aided and civic-run schools from across Maharashtra.
  • The idea is to analyse the data and create a targeted roadmap to improve the standards of education imparted in these schools.
  • To be set up on the lines of Vidya Samiksha Kendra in Gujarat, the tech set-up of the centre, along with the software, is would be inaugurated in Pune. The Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad (MPSP), which has taken help from IT companies to develop the software, will track students from classes 1 to 8 under the initiative.
  • A team of 20 education and technology experts will work on data analysis at the centre, which in turn will create a roadmap for each district.
  • The government envisions having real-time performance reports of each district, school and student with the help of the software.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Taj Mahal: Supreme Court Refuses to Entertain Plea Seeking Directions to ASI on Removal of Incorrect History from Books

  • The Supreme Court refused to entertain petition which requests to direct ASI for determining the correct age of Taj Mahal and for removal of the incorrect facts from history books regarding the monument.
  • A bench comprising Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar asked as to what type of PIL it is? The bench questioned how will the court decide what historical facts are right or wrong.
  • The petitioner then withdrew the petition. The petition was accordingly withdrawn with liberty to file a representation before the ASI.
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