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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

17 Apr 2023


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India signs MoU with World Food Programme for sending wheat to Afghanistan

  • India  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Food Programme (WFP) paving the way for sending 10,000 metric tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghanistan. The signing ceremony between officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the United Nations WFP was held in Mumbai where the WFP assured that it had the required infrastructure on the ground to ensure speedy delivery of wheat to the most vulnerable sections of the Afghan population.
  • "The fifth tranche [to be shipped through the Chahbahar port of Iran], builds upon assistance already delivered to those who need it most by the WFP in Afghanistan. India has delivered on its commitment, standing by the historical relations between the people of the two countries and the pressing needs on the ground," said Joint Secretary of PAI division, Ministry of External Affairs, J.P. Singh. 

India, Japan and France announce common platform for Sri Lanka creditors

  •  India and France have announced a common platform for talks among bilateral creditors to coordinate restructuring of Sri Lanka's debt. The move is expected to serve as a model for solving the debt woes of middle-income economies.
  • Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki told a briefing that to be able to launch this negotiation process with such a broad-based group of creditors is a historical outcome.  He said this committee is open to all creditors.
  • French Director General of the Treasury Emmanuel Moulin told the briefing that the group is ready to hold the first round of talks as soon as possible.
  • The island nation of 22 million people last month secured a 2.9 billion dollar programme from the International Monetary Fund to tackle its huge debt burden. But the middle-income economy could not apply for relief under the G-20's common framework for debt treatments, which targets only low-income countries.  This has put the onus on major economies to come up with an alternative scheme, leading to the creation of the new platform

G7 Ministers commit to move to carbon-free power by 2035

 Climate and Energy Ministers and envoys from Group of Seven (G7) countries on April 16 committed to work towards ensuring carbon-free electricity production by 2035 and "accelerating" the phase-out of coal. This was part of an agreement by the countries at the end of a two-day conference in Sapporo, Japan, ahead of the G7 summit in Hiroshima this May.
A proposal to have a 2030 deadline for phasing out coal was shot down and the final text gives leeway for continued investment in gas, on the grounds that it could be a stopgap against energy shortfalls, Reuters reported.
Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav had also participated in the summit with India being invited as a 'guest', in the context of its presidency of the G-20.
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  •  IFGE- CBG Producers Forum is organizing Two Day Global Conference on Compressed Biogas under theme "Towards Progressive Policy Framework for a Robust CBG Foundation and Growth" supported by Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India. The Conference is being held on 17th & 18th April 2023 at Silver Oak, Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi, with the objective to apprise the industry regarding the initiatives taken by Government of India for development of Compressed Biogas Industry and to identify the areas where policy modifications are required.
  • India is dedicated to achieve net zero target by 2070, there are several initiatives taken by current leadership and government by various means to reduce emission. Compressed Biogas (CBG) has also an important role in emission reduction and it is being promoted by SATAT Scheme (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation). CBG has higher calorific value and properties similar to CNG and can be utilized as alternative green renewable and can replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial areas, given the abundance of biomass availability within the country.
  • The discussion will focus upon the Feedstock availability, CBG Offtake, Fermented Organic Manure, Carbon Credits, Incentives, Investment and Financing for CBG Industry and Biofuel Policies of different States + CBG producers on state policies & international experiences.

CREDAI signs up with building council for 'green' projects

  •  Association to build more than 1,000 Certified Green Projects in the next two years, to construct 4,000 green projects by 2030 via adoption of IGBC Green and Net Zero building ratings
  • The Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (CREDAI) has entered into a nationwide tie-up with the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), with a pledge to build more than 1,000 Certified Green Projects in the next two years and to construct 4,000 green projects by 2030 through adoption of IGBC Green and Net Zero building ratings.
  • This was announced on the occasion of CREDAI's investiture ceremony which witnessed Boman Irani becoming the new president of CREDAI National for the 2023-25 term.
  • CREDAI MCHI, too, announced a change in leadership with Dominic Romell becoming the President for the realty body in Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
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YES Bank first Indian company with over 50 lakh shareholders

  •  Private sector lender YES Bank has become the first Indian company to have over 50 lakh shareholders, according to the shareholding pattern of the bank on March-end.
  • Tata Power was a far second with 38.5 lakh shareholders, followed by Reliance Industries with 33.6 lakh shareholders, according to the December 2022 shareholding disclosures.
  • The bank had 50.6 lakh shareholders as of March 31, 2023, all of whom were public shareholders. This was an increase from 48.1 lakh shareholders as of December 2022, most likely owing to the end of the three-year lock-in period for shareholders that held equity shares of the bank when it underwent the reconstruction scheme in March 2020.

Karnataka Bank appoints Sekhar Rao as interim CEO

  •  Karnataka Bank on April 15, 2023 said that it has appointed Sekhar Rao as interim managing director and CEO following the completion of the term of the incumbent CEO.
  • Mahabaleshwara M S, the incumbent managing director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) of Karnataka Bank, demitted the office on April 14, after successful completion of his second term of three years, the bank said in a regulatory filing.
  • Rao, Executive Director, assumed charge as an interim MD and CEO with effect from April 15, 2023, in terms of RBI approval dated April 12, 2023

Kumar Mangalam Birla Gets Business Leader Of Decade Award

 Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, received the Business Leader of the Decade Award. In his acceptance speech, Birla said, "It is a very special award because it recognises longitudinal contribution over a period of ten years."
Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, presented the 13th AIMA Managing India Awards to India's high-performing management leaders and institutions for their contribution to nation-building at a spectacular ceremony on Monday.
Scindia congratulated the awardees and called the awards a wonderful portrayal of Indian capability.
He emphasised that India has seen massive structural shifts combined with sustained strategic efforts to create an ecosystem of partners.
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Juice mission launches to explore Jupiter's icy ocean worlds

  • The European Space Agency has sent a spacecraft to explore Jupiter and three of its largest and most intriguing moons.
  • The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission, or Juice, launched Friday at 8:14 a.m. ET aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
  • The spacecraft separated from the Ariane 5 rocket 28 minutes after launch, and ESA received a signal from Juice about an hour after liftoff, confirming that Earth-based mission control is able to "talk" to the vehicle.
  • Over the course of the next 17 days, Juice will deploy its solar arrays, antennas and other instruments, followed by three months of testing and preparing the instruments.
  • Juice will take eight years to reach Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. During its lengthy cruise, the spacecraft will utilize some gravitational slingshots as it flies by Earth, our moon and Venus to help with the journey.

Europe's most powerful nuclear reactor kicks off in Finland

  •  The turbine hall of the nuclear power plant Olkiluoto 3 'OL3' is pictured under construction in Eurajoki, south-western Finland, March 23, 2011. The Olkiluoto 3 reactor, which has 1,600-megawatt capacity, was connected into the Finnish national power grid in March 2022 and kicked off regular production on Sunday, April 16, 2023.
  • Finland's much-delayed and costly new nuclear reactor, Europe's most powerful by production capacity, has completed a test phase lasting over a year and started regular output, boosting the Nordic country's electricity self-sufficiency significantly.
  • The Olkiluoto 3 reactor, which has 1,600-megawatt capacity, was connected into the Finnish national power grid in March 2022 and kicked off regular production on Sunday.
  • Operator Teollisuuden Voima, or TVO, tweeted that "Olkiluoto 3 is now ready" after a delay of 14 years from the original plan.
  • It will help Finland to achieve its carbon neutrality targets and increase energy security at a time when European countries have cut oil, gas and other power supplies from Russia, Finland's neighbour.
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Indian Women's League players to get minimum salary of Rs 3.2 lakh per year: AIFF

  •   The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to revamp and restructure women's football in the country, in line with the Strategic Roadmap Vision 2047 as decided on January 7, 2023. In a press conference in the national capital on Friday, AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey and Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran announced a few plans apart from the restructuring of women's football that was discussed during the Executive committee meeting.
  • To give women's football a refreshed look and create improved economic opportunities, the AIFF's has taken up the task of revamping the Indian Women's League (IWL). Starting next season, it will be mandatory for the top eight participating teams in the IWL, to have a minimum 10 Indian players on a fully professional annual contract worth a minimum of Rs 3.2 lakhs.

Rublev gets long-awaited reward with Monte Carlo title

  •  Andrey Rublev made the most of Holger Rune's nerves to win a see-saw Monte Carlo final 5-7 6-2 7-5 on Sunday, as the Russian's talent was finally rewarded with a Masters title.
  • The fifth seed stayed composed when it mattered to eventually run down his 19-year-old opponent and claim the most prestigious title of his career.
  • Rublev, 25, was 4-1 down in the decider but ground his way back into the contest to prevail on his second match point with an ace at a sun-drenched Monte Carlo Country Club.
  • It was Rublev's third attempt in a Masters final after failing at the final hurdle here in Monte Carlo and in Cincinnati in 2021.

Kagiso Rabada becomes the fastest player to take 100 wickets in IPL

  •  During a match between Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans at IS Bindra Stadium, Kagiso Rabada achieved a significant milestone by taking his 100th wicket in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He became the fastest bowler to reach this milestone in terms of matches played, completing it in his 64th IPL match. Rabada, who is a right-arm pacer, surpassed Lasith Malinga, who reached the 100-wicket mark in his 70th match. The wicket that led to Rabada's achievement was that of Wriddhiman Saha.
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Telangana CM unveils 125 ft-tall Ambedkar statue unveiled in Hyderabad

  • Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao unveiled the 125-ft tall statue of B R Ambedkar here on April 14, 2023, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the architect of the Constitution, on a grand scale.
  • Flower petals were showered on the statute from a helicopter, paying rich tributes to Ambedkar.
  • The statue was built using 360 tonnes of stainless steel and 114 tonnes of bronze, at a cost of Rs 146.50 crore.Rao had earlier said the India's tallest statue of Ambedkar, which is next to the State Secretariat, and located beside the Telangana Martyrs memorial, will inspire people every day and motivate the entire State administration.
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  •  Army Commanders' Conference (ACC) is an apex-level biannual event which is an institutional platform for conceptual level deliberations, culminating in making important policy decisions for the Indian Army. The first ACC for the year 2023 is scheduled from 17 to 21 April 2023. For the first time, the ACC is being conducted in Hybrid format exploiting available technology for secure communication, wherein Army Commanders and other senior functionaries will meet virtually on the first day and then travel to Delhi for balance physical meetings on matters which require detailed deliberations.
  • On the first-day of the conference, agenda points sponsored by various Command Headquarters will be discussed, followed by an update from Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command and sessions by Principal Staff Officers of the Army Headquarters. The forum will also review the progress on the activities charted out as part of 'Year of Transformation-2023' along with progress on Agnipath Scheme, digitisation & automation initiatives, Combat Engineers tasks, work aspects and budget management.
  • The apex leadership will also brainstorm current / emerging security scenario and review operational preparedness of Indian Army.
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World Chagas Disease Day 2023: 14th April

  • World Chagas Disease Day is observed every year on April 14th to raise awareness about a life-threatening illness that can cause severe heart and digestive problems.
  • It is also known as American trypanosomiasis, silent disease, or silenced disease.
  • It is more common in regions like Central America, Mexico, and South America.
  • The theme for 2023 is Time to integrate Chagas disease into primary health care.
  • World Chagas Disease Day was established in 2020.

World Hemophilia Day 2023: Tips that will help you take good care of kids with this rare bleeding disorder

  •  Every year, World Hemophilia Day is observed on April 17 to raise awareness about the rare blood disorder and help those suffering from it lead a better life. The day was first commemorated by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) in 1989 in remembrance of Frank Schnabel, who was born on April 17, 1942, and spent his entire life working to make the lives of those who were affected by this ailment better. The theme for this year is "Access for All: Prevention of Bleeds as the Global Standard of Care," and the goal is to persuade policymakers and governments to enhance access to care with a particular emphasis on better bleeding control.
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TIME Most Influential People of 2023 list released

  • TIME Magazine has published a list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2023, which includes Jennifer Coolidge (Actor), Doja Cat (Recording Artist), Bob Iger (CEO of The Walt Disney Company), and Salman Rushdie (Writer).
  • There is no particular order to the rankings.
  • Six categories: Artists, Icons, Pioneers, Leaders, Titans, and Innovators
  • Indian Actor Shahrukh Khan and Indian Director S.S. Rajamouli were listed in Icon and Pioneer categories, respectively.
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Atal Tinkering Labs Linked with Krishi Vigyan Kendra & Agricultural Technology Management Agency

 Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) have come together to promote innovation in the agricultural sector among school students across India. The two government bodies have agreed to connect Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) with Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) and Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMAs) under the initiative. The collaboration is a result of the vision of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who seeded this idea during a conversation and proposed to connect the ATLs with the KVKs across the country. The Prime Minister also suggested both the government bodies to look into the idea of linking soil testing labs to ATL schools.
KVKs function as a "Single Window Agricultural Knowledge Resource and Capacity Development Centre," and this collaboration will provide numerous stakeholders with necessary information, training, and inputs. KVKs, in partnership with ATMA, will collaborate with nearby ATLs to support agricultural-related innovation.
During the first phase of the implementation, one KVK under each of the 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) will be involved, providing technology backstopping and facilitating knowledge-sharing and skill-building exercises. KVK experts will also undertake need-based visits to nearby ATLs, while KVKs will provide literature, seeds, planting materials, and other inputs as required. The pilot project will be extended after assessing the positive outcomes after two years.

PM Modi launches railway projects, methanol plant in Assam

The newly rolled-out railway projects include the Digaru-Lumding and Gauripur-Abhayapuri sections, as well as the doubling of tracks between New Bongaigaon and Dhup Dhara.
  •  During his day-long tour to Guwahati, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled several railway projects across the Northeast region, while also inaugurating a methanol plant and laying the foundation stone for a bridge over the Brahmaputra river. Modi conducted the virtual inauguration of five railway works, along with other projects, from the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.
  • Furthermore, Modi launched the electrification of the Raninagar-Jalpaiguri-Guwahati, Senchoa-Silghat, and Senchoa-Mairabari sections. The total cost of these projects is estimated to be Rs 7,300 crore.
  • In addition to the railway projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Palasbari-Sualkuchi bridge over the Brahmaputra River. The construction of the bridge, which will cost an estimated Rs 3,200 crore, is expected to take 3-4 years. The state government has already obtained the necessary environmental and other clearances to begin construction work.

NHAI signs MoU with Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve to facilitate seamless and efficient entry process for vehicles entering into forest area

  •  IndiaNational Highway Authority of India has signed an MoU with the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve, spread across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to facilitate seamless and efficient entry process for vehicles entering into the forest area.
  • Road Transport and Highways Ministry said, the initiative aims to provide FASTag based payment system at Forest entry points. It will extend the benefit of collection of Ecosystem Management Coordination fee through FASTag at various entrance points of the Tiger Reserve.
  • The Ministry said, with this, visitors can avoid long queues and delays. This partnership between Indian Highways Management Company Limited and the Forest Department is a significant step towards promoting sustainable tourism and preserving natural resources by curbing vehicular emissions at the forest entry points.
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Nandini Gupta wins Femina Miss India 2023

  • The 59th edition of India's most prestigious pageant pulled off another season's grand finale in a historic ceremony at the Indoor Stadium, Khuman Lampak, Imphal, Manipur, the beautiful city which played the perfect host to the mesmerizing event.
  • Rajasthan's Nandini Gupta has been crowned Femina Miss India World 2023. Along with her, Delhi's Shreya Poonja became the first runner-up, while Manipur's Thounaojam Strela Luwang was crowned the 2nd runner-up.
  • 19-year-old Nandini hails from Kota, one of biggest coaching hubs in the country for engineering and medical aspirants. The beauty with brains hold a degree in Business Management, Nandini is dedicated towards taking up challenges and succeeding. Nandini dreamt of competing in the Miss India pageant since she was 10-year-old.

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India retains top status in International Flight Safety Standards

  • India's International Aviation Safety Assessment rating will continue to remain in Category One as the country meets the international standards for aviation safety oversight. India received category one status after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States conducted an audit of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the areas covering aircraft operations, airworthiness, and personnel licensing.
  • FAA under its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program determines whether a country complies with safety standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
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