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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

04 Mar 2023


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Belarus Court Sentences Nobel Peace Prize Winner to 10 Years in Prison

  • A court in Belarus sentenced Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski to 10 years in prison, a verdict likely to be strongly condemned by Western human rights groups.
  • Bialiatski, a pro-democracy activist and founder of the Viasna human rights group which provided legal and financial help to protesters during a 2020 wave of unrest in Belarus, was convicted of financing protests and tax evasion.
  • He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022.

Vo Van Thuong Vietnam's New President

  • Vo Van Thuong, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), was elected as the new President.
  • The country's top legislature convened a special meeting and elected Thuong as the new President with an approval rate of 98.38 per cent.
  • Thuong vowed to be absolutely loyal to the nation, the people and the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and to work hard to fulfil the duty assigned by the Communist Party of Vietnam.
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Scotland First to Ban Environmentally Harmful Anaesthetic

  • Scotland became the first country in the world to stop its hospitals using the anaesthetic desflurane because of the threat it poses to the environment.
  • NHS data suggests the gas, used to keep people unconscious during surgery, has a global warming potential 2,500 times greater than carbon dioxide.
  • Banning it in Scotland, from its peak use in 2017, would cut emissions equal to powering 1,700 homes a year.
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Foxconn to Set up Electronics Manufacturing Facility in Telangana

  • Electronics major Foxconn will set up a manufacturing facility in Telangana with employment generation potential for over one lakh people.
  • This was announced after Foxconn Chairman Young Liu met Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
  • Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) and the Government of Telangana signed an agreement at the Pragati Bhavan.
  • The historic deal has the potential to generate employment for more than one lakh people over a period of 10 years.

State Bank of India Completes First Commercial Trade in Sri Lankan Rupees

  • Indian lender State Bank of India completed its first non-dollar transaction with Sri Lanka, by paying for exports in Sri Lankan rupees as India looks to bring countries that are short of U.S. dollars into the trade mechanism.
  • The move came as Sri Lanka grapples with its worst economic crisis since its independence, triggered by a shortage of dollars. The island nation's forex reserves stood at $2.1 billion as of end-January 2023.
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SpaceX Launches Four Astronauts from US, Russia, and UAE to Space Station

  • SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA, including the first person from the Arab world (United Arab Emirates) going up for an extended month long stay.
  • The Falcon rocket bolted from Kennedy Space Centre.
  • The first attempt to launch them was called off at the last minute because of a clogged filter in the engine ignition system.
  • They will replace a U.S.-Russian-Japanese crew that has been up there since October 2022. The other station residents are two Russians and an American whose six-month stay was doubled.
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Aldrin Breaks National Long Jump Record

  • Tamil Nadu's Jeswin Aldrin hogged the limelight with a national record in the men's long jump in the second AFI National Jumps competition.
  • He leapt 8.42 m to erase the previous mark of 8.36 m set by compatriot M. Sreeshankar at the Federation Cup in April 2022.
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Trinamool Congress Second Richest Party after BJP

  • As per a report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) on the income of different political parties, by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) on the income of different political parties during the fiscal under review, while BJP continued to be the highest income generating party at Rs. 1,917 crore, Trinamool Congress emerged the second highest on this count at Rs. 545.75 crore. Congress moved to the third position at Rs. 541.27 crore.
  • However, in terms of the percentage of income from electoral bonds of total income, Trinamool Congress moved to the first position pitting BJP behind in the second position.

New Delhi Host Quad Foreign Ministers' Meeting

  • A day after the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting (FMM) was held in New Delhi, the city hosted a meeting of the Quad Foreign Ministers. The meeting focused on the Indo-Pacific against the backdrop of increasing assertiveness by China in the region.
  • The meeting, presided over by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, was attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Australia's Penny Wong.
  • According to the MEA, the meeting was an opportunity for the ministers to continue the discussions held at their last meeting in New York in September 2022.
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Rashmi Shukla is Director-General of Sashastra Seema Bal

  • Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Rashmi Shukla was appointed as the Director-General of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). SSB is the border-guarding force deployed along Nepal and Bhutan border. Rashmi Shukla, a 1988 batch IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, was posted with the Central Reserve Police (CRPF). She was heading the State Intelligence Department in Maharashtra Police when the phones of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse were allegedly tapped in 2019.
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Kurkure Gets Sara Ali Khan as New Brand Ambassador

  • PepsiCo owned snacking brand Kurkure named Bollywood star Sara Ali Khan as the new brand ambassador, replacing actor Akshay Kumar.
  • Kurkure, a snacking brand developed in India is one of the eight power brands within PepsiCo India's portfolio. PepsiCo sells both beverages and foods in India.
  • PepsiCo also sells salty snacks under Doritos and Lay's. Kurkure is also manufactured and sold in countries like the UAE, Canada, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
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National Safety Day

  • National Safety Day is celebrated on March 4 every year in India to highlight safety measures that people should follow to avoid accidents. This day marks the beginning of the National Safety Week in India, which is observed from March 4 - March 10 annually. National Safety Day also commemorates the establishment of the National Safety Council in 1966.
  • The National Safety Council is an NGO concerned with raising awareness about safety protocols related to road safety, human health safety, and environmental safety.
  • National Safety Day aims to throw light on safety measures that can keep citizens safe during a disaster or an accident. The Ministry of Labour and Employment set up National Safety Day in 1972 to encourage the public to be more aware of common safety protocols. This day has been observed since 1972 every year on March 4 in India.
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Health Ministry Awards Porter Prize 2023 for Successfully Managing COVID-19

  • The Union Health Ministry was awarded the Porter Prize 2023 for successfully combating the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The prize was announced at The India Dialog, organized by Institute for Competitiveness (IFC) and US Asia Technology Management Centre (USATMC) at Stanford University.
  • The award was presented to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in the virtual presence of Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Secretary, MoHFW, Rajesh Bhushan.
  • The theme of the two-day conference was 'The Indian Economy 2023: Innovation, Competitiveness and Social Progress'.
  • The prize recognizes the strategy followed by the government of India in managing COVID-19, the approach and involvement of various stakeholders, especially the involvement of ASHA workers in the industry to create PPE kits.
  • Porter Prize is named after US citizen Michael E Porter, an economist, researcher, author, advisor, speaker and teacher.
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Data Protection Bill Gets IT Panel Thumbs-up

  • The parliamentary standing committee on communications and information technology (IT) gave a "big thumbs-up" to the draft Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill, 2022, as it will soon be tabled in Parliament.
  • The Bill, which seeks to enforce the fundamental right to privacy of citizens, has the provision of penalties ranging up to Rs. 250 crore for data fiduciaries on account of failing to take safeguards to prevent personal data breaches. It also requires fiduciaries to take clear and informed consent from the user before collecting any personal data.
  • In August 2022, the government withdrew the previous draft titled PDP Bill, 2019, from Parliament, after a joint parliamentary committee recommended 81 amendments to a Bill of 99 sections, along with 12 recommendations.
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UPES School of Business Launches India's First MBA in Metaverse

  • UPES School of Business, a Dehradun-based private university, announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind MBA programme in Metaverse and Web 3.0 that offers aspirants a comprehensive understanding of the Metaverse, blockchain, and Web 3.0 ecosystems.
  • The two-year programme has a curriculum designed with three main principles in mind: theoretical knowledge of the Metaverse, immersive experiences through Meta labs, and practical experience with companies working in the Metaverse arena.
  • UPES School of Business has already experimented with classroom teaching in the Metaverse. The program aims to teach students how to work in the Metaverse through branding, marketing, and analytics.
  • With the launch of this new MBA programme, UPES School of Business endeavors to prepare future business managers and leaders well-versed in Web 3.0, such as product managers and chief Metaverse officers.
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Supreme Court Collegium Recommends 7 Names for Appointment as Gujarat High Court Judges

  • The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud recommended the names of five judicial officers and two advocates for appointment as judges in the Gujarat High Court.
  • The Collegium, which also comprised Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K. M. Joseph, resolved to recommend the names of judicial officers Susan Valentine Pinto, Hasmukhbhai Dalsukhbhai Suthar, Jitendra Champaklal Doshi, Mangesh Rameshchandra Mengdey, and Divyeshkumar Amrutlal Joshi and advocates Devan Mahendrabhai Desai and Moxa Kiran Thakker.
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