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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

01 Apr 2023


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Ruling Parties in Nepal Agree on Power Sharing

  • Nepal's ruling coalition agreed on a power-sharing deal, paving the way for Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' to expand his cabinet.
  • The top leaders of the ten ruling parties held two rounds of meetings at the Prime Minister's official residence to reach an agreement on the distribution of ministries among various political parties.
  • Power sharing and the distribution of ministerial portfolios were major bottlenecks among the members of the ruling alliance as the demand for cabinet posts was exceeding the number of ministries available.
  • Among the ten parties, which took part in the talks, nine are likely to join the council of ministers.

United Arab Emirates Launches National Genome Strategy

  • The UAE launched its National Genome Strategy, which aims to provide a comprehensive legislative and governance framework to support the development and implementation of genomic programs. The strategy will last ten years and will focus on delivering public health priorities while improving the country's well-being.
  • The Emirates Genome Council, which was established in 2021, will oversee the National Genome Strategy. The council made significant progress in laying the groundwork for regulatory, research, technological, and medical institutions to connect, collaborate, and develop high-quality medical applications and services. The Emirati Genome Program is considered one of the most comprehensive genomic initiatives in the world and will advance the nation's preventive and personalized healthcare agenda as it collaborates with research and medical institutions across the UAE. The program aims to collect one million samples nationwide and currently contains whole genome sequencing data from around 400,000 citizens.

Donald Trump Indicted; 1st US Ex-president Charged with Crime

  • Donald Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, prosecutors and defense lawyers, making him the first former US President to face a criminal charge and jolting his bid to retake the White House next year (2024).
  • The charges remained under sealed, but the investigation centered on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter.
  • Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly assailed the investigation, called the indictment "political persecution" and predicted it would damage Democrats in 2024.
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Aditya Birla Health Insurance, UCO Bank Sign Bancassurance Pact

  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co Ltd (ABHICL), the health insurance joint venture of Aditya Birla Capital Ltd. (ABCL) announced its bancassurance partnership with leading public sector lender, UCO Bank, for the distribution of health insurance products through the bank's branches across India.
  • This partnership will enable ABHICL to expand its national footprint by leveraging UCO Bank's widely distributed network of 3,164 branches and reach out to more than 40 million customers of the bank across India.

Niranjan Gupta New CEO of Hero MotoCorp

  • Hero MotoCorp Ltd, India's biggest two-wheeler maker by volume, named company insider Niranjan Gupta as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • Gupta played a role in forming the bike maker's partnerships with Harley Davidson and electric-motorcycle maker Zero Motorcycles.
  • Pawan Munjal, Hero MotoCorp's current chief executive, will remain with the company as an executive chairman and full-time director on the board.
  • The development came months after the company named Gupta as its head of strategy and M&A in December 2022.

Bihar Discovers Deposits of Critical Minerals

  • The Bihar government is preparing to auction mining rights for minerals such as limestone, vanadium-bearing magnetite ilmenite, magnetite and glauconite that were discovered in various non-forest areas of the state.
  • Explorations near Patalganga in Gaya, parts of Rohtas district and Majos in Jamui district found the presence of millions of tonnes of mineral reserves.
  • The state government will engage SBI Capital Markets (SBICAPS) as the transaction advisor for the auctions, and also to suggest the terms and conditions based on which the auctions would be held.
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Space System Design Lab Inaugurated in Ahmedabad

  • To boost the growth and contribution of India's private sector space firms and thereby increase India's share in the global space economy, a new Space Systems Design lab was inaugurated in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. An initiative of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), the lab was inaugurated by S. Somanath, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Pawan Goenka, Chairman, IN-SPACe. IN-SPACe is an autonomous nodal agency under the Department of Space, the Government of India, and it works towards facilitating the participation of private firms in space activities.
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Shakib Al Hasan Becomes the Top T20I Wicket-taker

  • Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan surpassed Tim Southee and became the leading wicket-taker in the T20I format.
  • According to data from International Cricket Council (ICC), Shakib has 136 wickets in 114 T20I matches. On the other hand, Tim Southee has 134 wickets just two shy of Shakib's tally.
  • Shakib claimed this record by picking up a five-wicket haul against Ireland.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame

  • The Premier League inducted former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger into its Hall of Fame. This is the first time that managers were included in this prestigious list. The two managers had a fierce rivalry during the 1990s, with a combined 16 English top-flight titles to their names. Ferguson led Manchester United to 13 Premier League titles during his 26-year reign, while Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups with Arsenal during his 22-year tenure. The Premier League Hall of Fame was launched in 2021 to honour players who have made an exceptional contribution to the league.
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Sunil Veena New Trade Commissioner of Asian Arab Chamber

  • Asian Arab Chamber of Commerce welcomed the appointment of Sunil Veena from Karnataka into the Global Arab Network by consensus of the Member countries. He was presented with the Certificate of appointment in New Delhi that also saw the presence of various diplomats, CEO's and industrialists from different parts of the country.
  • He was appointed by Saad Al Dabbagh, Chairman at the head office based in Doha, Qatar with a strong presence in India. "India-Bahrain relations are witnessing an unprecedented momentum with a large number of opportunities for cooperation and increasing investments, in key sectors like infrastructure and technology, last weeks delegation of businessmen from Bahrain was a testimony to our growing relations" said Sunil who is the co-founder and CEO of Quinta systems and is actively looking at his new role in promoting trade relations between India and the Arab world especially Kingdom of Bahrain. The President of Bahrain Businesswomen's Society Ahlam Jenahi welcomed the decision of the board to appoint Sunil to build and strengthen relations between the two countries.

G20: Larry Summers, N.K. Singh-led Panel on Multilateral Banks

  • The G20 expert group on strengthening multilateral development banks (MDBs), such as the World Bank, was constituted and given until June 30 to submit its report.
  • The group, co-chaired by former US Secretary of Treasury Larry Summers and India's N. K. Singh, chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, has seven other members. They are Tharman Shanmugarathnam: Senior Minister, Government of Singapore, Maria Ramos: Former director-general of the National Treasury of South Africa, Arminio Fraga: Former governor, Central Bank of Brazil, Nicholas Stern: IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics, Justin Yifu Lin: Former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank, Rachel Kyte: Former vice president of World Bank and Vera Songwe: Former executive secretary, Economic Commission for Africa.
  • The decision to set up the expert group was taken in February in the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Bengaluru.
  • According to the Indian government statement, the expert group will have to draw up a roadmap for an "updated MDB ecosystem for the 21st century" so that these institutions are better equipped to finance a wide range of sustainable development goals and global challenges such as climate change and health.
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Odisha Foundation Day (01)

  • Utkal Divas or Odisha Day is observed on April 1 every year to celebrate its foundation day. In 1936, it was the first state that was formed on a linguistic basis. Earlier, it was the part of Bihar.
  • The Indian state of Odisha came into being on April 1, 1936, around a decade before India achieved independence from the British colonisation. The state was established as a separate British India province and the day is celebrated as Orissa Day to encourage the remembrance of the same and foster a spirit of unity among all the citizens of the state.
  • Odisha is the third state in India in terms of tribal population. It has been ruled by a number of rulers in history. Cuttack was the capital of the state from 1135 till 1948, after which Bhubaneshwar took the mantle.
  • Orissa was renamed Odisha by the Parliament of India on November 9, 2010. The Oriya language was also simultaneously renamed Odia.

RBI Foundation Day

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was established on April 1, 1935, in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. The Central Office of the RBI, initially set up in Kolkata, was permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937. Sir Osborne Smith was the first Governor of the Bank. The Bank was constituted as a shareholders' bank. The RBI is the central bank of India and is responsible for regulating the country's monetary and credit system. It is also responsible for issuing currency and managing the country's foreign exchange reserves. The RBI works closely with the government of India to formulate and implement monetary and fiscal policies that promote economic growth and stability. It was set up as a private shareholder's bank with a capital of Rs. 5 crore.
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BHU Introduces New Scheme for International PhD Scholars

  • Banaras Hindu University (BHU) launched a new scheme to provide support to international research scholars. The scheme is aimed at facilitating and promoting excellence in research as well as financial support to international PhD scholars who do not have any other fellowship.
  • As per the new initiative, international scholars will be given a credit incentive of Rs. 40,000. This credit can be utilised to pay the user charges for the equipment at BHU for research work. Additionally, if the research scholar is a first author in a Q1 or Q2 journal, a further credit of Rs. 30,000 will be provided.
  • The scheme launched under IoE initiative of the Government of India will also offer financial support of Rs. 8,000 per month to the international PhD students at BHU, who don't have any other fellowship.

Prof. Renu Cheema Vig New Vice Chancellor of Panjab University

  • The vice-president of India appointed Prof. Renu Cheema Vig as the vice chancellor of Panjab University (PU), making her the first woman to hold the position in the varsity's 141-year history.
  • Exercising the powers conferred by Section 10 of the Panjab University Act, 1947, vice-president Jagdeep Dhankhar, who also holds the position of PU's chancellor, made the appointment for a term of three years.
  • An alumna of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Vig joined PU's University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) as reader (associate in professor) in 2003.
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A Book "Phoolange" by Darjeeling-based Writer Lekhnath Chhetri

  • Penguin Random House India (PRHI) announced that the English translation of the Nepali novel "Phoolange" would be on April 17. The book is written by Lekhnath Chhetri, a writer based in Darjeeling, and focuses on the failed Gorkha movement for a separate state. The original Nepali version of the novel was shortlisted for the Madan Puraskar, which is Nepal's most prestigious literary award, in 2021.
  • "Phoolange" is a novel that tells the story of the Gorkhaland movement in the Darjeeling hills of India through the eyes of its central character, Pritam. The novel explores the social, political, and economic conditions that led to the formation of the movement and the subsequent violence that ensued. The title "Phoolange" translates to "Those Who Scatter Flowers" in English, and it refers to the peaceful nature of the Gorkhaland movement. The novel highlights the struggles faced by the Nepali-speaking community in the Darjeeling hills and their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
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CJI Chandrachud Disapproves Plea Seeking Exemption for Female Lawyers from E-filing

  • In a plea filed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar Association, the Supreme Court affirmed mandatory e-filing in Debts Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) and Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs).
  • The bench comprising CJI D. Y. Chandrachud, Justice P. S. Narasimha and Justice J. B. Pardiwala expressed their disapproval of presumption in the plea that women practitioners would need an exemption to the rule of mandatory e-filing.
  • The plea challenged the notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, which amended Rule 3 of the Debts Recovery Tribunals and Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunals Electronic Filing (Amendment) Rules, 2023.
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