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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

28 Mar 2023


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Humza Yousaf Wins Contest to Become Scotland's New Leader

  • Humza Yousaf, a South Asian-origin politician, was picked to replace Nicola Sturgeon as head of the Scottish National Party (SNP). Yousaf netted 52 per cent of the final votes of SNP members.
  • Yousaf defeated rivals Kate Forbes and Ash Regan in a leadership contest that exposed deep divisions within the party.
  • Yousaf is the first Muslim to lead a major UK party.
  • He is set to be confirmed as the first ethnic minority leader of a devolved government.

Hungary Parliament Backs Finland's NATO Accession

  • Hungary's parliament approved a bill to allow Finland to join NATO once its application has been ratified by all 30 members of the alliance, ending months of foot-dragging by the ruling Fidesz party on the matter.
  • Finland and Sweden had asked to join the trans-Atlantic military alliance last year (2022) in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But the process was held up by Turkey and Hungary.
  • Although Finland's bid was approved, the Swedish bill is still stranded in the Hungarian parliament.

Saudi National Bank Chair Resigns after Credit Suisse Buyout

  • The chairman of Saudi National Bank, which was the main shareholder of Credit Suisse before its buyout, resigned.
  • The Saudi bank's board of directors accepted the resignation of Ammar AlKhudairy due to personal reasons.
  • Saeed Mohammed Al Ghamdi, who had been serving as CEO, will replace AlKhudairy as chair.
  • Talal Ahmed Al Khereiji was appointed acting CEO.
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New Species of Moray Eel Discovered off Cuddalore Coast

  • A team of scientists from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) discovered a new species of Moray Eel fish from the Cuddalore coast in Tamil Nadu. The new species was named "Gymnothorax Tamilnaduensis" after Tamil Nadu and was given the common name of "Tamil Nadu brown moray eel".
  • After conducting an extensive exploration survey and analysis of the fish's morphology, skeleton radiography and molecular markers, the researchers concluded that it is a distinct species of the genus Gymnothorax.
  • This discovery increased the number of Gymnothorax species in Indian waters from 28 to 29, and is the first to be found in the south-eastern coast of India in the Bay of Bengal.
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YES Bank Issues First Electronic Bank Guarantee with NeSL

  • Yes Bank collaborated with National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL) to issue its first electronic Bank Guarantee (e-BG). The integration of their digital document execution (DDE) platform has made it possible to completely digitize the previous paper-based process of issuing and maintaining Bank Guarantees. This includes the digital stamping and signing, which has significantly reduced the time it takes to issue Bank Guarantees.
  • According to a statement, the NeSL platform will handle the complete lifecycle of the bank guarantee, including its issuance, amendment, invocation, and cancellation. This will allow trade finance stakeholders to securely access the documents from a single repository.

IDFC First Bank Joins Hands with Crunchfish to be a Part of RBI's Pilot Project to Enable Offline Payments

  • IDFC FIRST Bank teamed with Crunchfish to participate in the RBI's pilot programme to facilitate offline payments. This initiative will provide access to digital payments even when there is no network. The Swedish company Crunchfish introduced this one-of-a-kind digital payment system for merchants and customers as part of the RBI's Regulatory Sandbox Program.
  • This project will allow offline retail payments in India's payment ecosystem using a Digital Cash platform. IDFC FIRST Bank will be one of the first few banks to participate in HDFC Bank's pilot initiative. The RBI authorised the proposal to demonstrate offline payments between two banks. IDFC First Bank now has access to the Digital Cash SDK thanks to the signing of the Development and Demonstration Agreement, which is a non-commercial agreement. A Software License Agreement will govern the commercial parameters of installation.

NDTV Appoints Former SEBI Chairman UK Sinha and Business Leader Dipali Goenka as Independent Directors

  • U.K. Sinha and Dipali Goenka were appointed Independent Directors of NDTV for a period of two years, based on the recommendations of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee, and subject to the approval of shareholders and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. U.K. Sinha was also designated as Non-Executive Chairperson of NDTV.
  • U.K. Sinha served as the Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) between 2011 and 2017.
  • Dipali Goenka is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Welspun India Limited. She is an accomplished global business leader known for her dynamism, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for protecting the environment.
  • NDTV was founded in 1984, by economist Prannoy Roy and journalist Radhika Roy, a husband and wife duo from the city of Kolkata.
  • In August 2022, Adani Group, a multinational conglomerate, acquired a 100 per cent stake in Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited (VCPL), who owned convertible debentures (in the form of warrants) in Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy (RRPR) Holding Pvt Ltd, which in turn owned 29.18 per cent stake in NDTV. With the VCPL purchase, the Adani Group indirectly acquired these warrants which gave it a 29.18 per cent stake in NDTV on conversion.
  • In November 2022, the Adani Group launched an open offer to acquire an additional stake in NDTV, resulting in acquisition of 8% additional stake.
  • In December 2022, Radhika and Prannoy Roy sold 27.26 per cent out of their 32.26 per cent shareholding in the news network to Adani Group, making the conglomerate, the single largest shareholder with over 64.71 per cent stake.
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Nitish Rana Named Kolkata Knight Riders Captain

  • Nitish Rana will captain Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the absence of Shreyas Iyer, who is recovering from a back injury.
  • KKR also revealed that they hope Iyer will recover and participate at some stage in the IPL 2023 edition.
  • Rana, who has led his state team Delhi in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, has played 74 matches for KKR and scored 1744 runs at a strike rate of 135.61.

Archana Claims Sprint Double in Indian GP2

  • Tamil Nadu's Archana Suseendran defeated Hima Das in the 100m final and made the most of the Assam sprinter's disqualification in the 200m and claimed a double gold in the AFI Indian Grand Prix 2 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • Archana won the 100m in 11.52 seconds, 0.22 seconds ahead of Hima, and the 200m in 23.21 seconds.

Satwik-Chirag Win Swiss Open Title

  • The Indian men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty capped off their impressive campaign with a title win, beating China's Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang in the final of the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton.
  • It was the first title of the season for Satwiksairaj and Shetty, putting to rest the disappointment of All England Championships where they had exited in the second round.
  • Their latest title also meant that India continued its love affair with the Swiss Open, with PV Sindhu (2022), Saina Nehwal (2011, 2012), Kidambi Srikanth (2015) and HS Prannoy (2016) claiming the singles crown in the past.
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EC Chooses Transgender Manjamma Jogati as Poll Icon for the Community

  • The Election Commission (EC) in the Indian state of Karnataka selected Manjamma Jogati, a transgender folk dancer, as a poll icon to encourage more members of the transgender community to register and vote. Alongside Jogati, several other individuals, including cricketer Rahul Dravid and Jnanapeeth awardee Chandrashekar Kambar, were also chosen as poll ambassadors.

Baghel Attends All India Steel Conclave

  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel attended the All India Steel Conclave at Nava Raipur, Chhattisgarh and appreciated the performance of the state industries during the covid pandemic.
  • Bhupesh Baghel said the steel industry is the backbone of Chhattisgarh's economy.
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Assam Announces March 31 as Student Day

  • Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu dedicated March 31 as Student Day from this year (2023) onwards. This decision was taken to celebrate the birth anniversary of Upendra Nath Brahma. All education institutes will take part in this historic move.
  • Apart from this Students' Day celebration, the minister has also decided to launch several education scholarship schemes and fee waivers for female candidates.
  • This year, the Students' Day celebrations will take place at Shankardev Kalakshetra, Guwahati on March 31, 2023.
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Assam NGO Wins Children's Champion Award 2023

  • Students' Welfare Mission, an NGO from Assam's Pathsala which has been working for special and autistic children, was conferred with the Children's Champion Award 2023. Instituted by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights last year (2022) to recognise individuals and institutions that have championed the cause of children across education, justice, health, nutrition, sports and artistic expression categories, the Mission, which is popularly known as Tapoban, was awarded in the health and nutrition category.
  • Justice S. Muralidhar, Chief Justice of the Odisha High Court, presented the award to Kumud Kalita, founder-president of Tapoban, in New Delhi. The award carries Rs. 75,000, a certificate and a plaque.

Isha Ambani Wins GenNext Entrepreneur Award

  • Isha Ambani, the leader of Reliance Retail business, won the GenNext Entrepreneur Award at the 12th Forbes India Leadership Awards 2023.
  • Isha dedicated the award to her parents Mukesh and Nita Ambani for their support and inspiration, and her children, Aadiyashakti and Krishna.
  • At the 45th Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries Limited in August 2022, Mukesh Ambani had introduced Isha as the leader of Reliance Retail business.
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Lok Sabha Clears Finance Bill Amendment

  • Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill 2023 with 64 official amendments, including the one that seeks withdrawal of long-term tax benefits on certain categories of debt mutual funds and another for setting up the GST Appelate Tribunal.
  • Among the amendments is the governments' move to tax investments in debt mutual funds as short-term capital gains.
  • The Finance Bill that gives effect to tax proposals for fiscal year starting April 1 was passed without a discussion amidst ruckus by opposition members demanding a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) probe into the allegations against the Adani Group of companies.
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IIT Kanpur, Boehringer Ingelheim India Join Hands to Eradicate Tuberculosis

  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boehringer Ingelheim India, a global pharmaceutical company. This collaboration was carried on the Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), the technology business incubator of IIT-K.
  • As a part of this new collaboration, Boehringer Ingelheim will provide support to Lenek Technologies, one of the start-ups incubated at SIIC, IIT Kanpur.
  • This start-up company of IIT-K has developed a handheld X-ray device, through which Lenek Technologies aims to eradicate Tuberculosis (TB) by improving the screening process. Experts are hoping that this will bring about a significant change in TB screening in areas where resources are limited.
  • The collaboration will focus on socially beneficial innovations that can drive transformational change in the healthcare industry.
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Ghulam Nabi Azad's Autobiography 'Azaad' to be Released Soon

  • Ghulam Nabi Azad, a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Minister, wrote an honest and forthright autobiography, which will be launched in New Delhi on April 5. Titled 'Azaad', the book chronicles Azad's political journey and provides insights into the significant political changes that India has undergone over the past five decades. Published by Rupa Publications India, 'Azaad' is a candid account of Azad's life and career, including his interactions with influential leaders in India and around the world.
  • In his autobiography "Azaad", Ghulam Nabi Azad presents a fascinating account of his interactions with various political leaders. Azad also shares his views on the challenges of leadership and the consequences of bringing fresh ideas into the political landscape.
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Madhya Pradesh High Court Orders Contempt of Court Case against State Bar Council Chairman and Members

  • The Madhya Pradesh High Court issued a show cause notice to the chairman, Prem Singh Bhadoria, of the State Bar Council and all the other elected member of the State Bar Council asking for an explanation why should there be no criminal contempt of court proceedings against them for compelling lawyers to abstain from judicial work.
  • The single-judge Justice Atul Sreedharan said that the strike which was called by the chairman and the elected members of the State Bar Council was violation and defiance of the order passed by the High Court on March 24 in a suo motu case initiated by the Court in wake of the strike.
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