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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

21 Apr 2023


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Top National Security Adviser to Brazilian President Lula Resigns

  • Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's top national security adviser resigned, amid a scandal related to the aide's presence during the storming of government buildings in the capital.
  • The resignation of General Marcos Goncalves Dias, which the President accepted, followed a report from CNN Brasil that included footage of him walking around the presidential palace while a mob ransacked government buildings in Brasilia in January.
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Govt. Reveals New Names for Namibian, South African Cheetahs at Kuno Park

  • In September 2202, PM Modi in his monthly radio address 'Mann Ki Baat', had asked citizens to take part in contests on the MyGov platform to suggest names for the animals.
  • The MyGov platform received a total of 11,565 submissions suggesting names for reintroduced cheetahs.
  • The entries were scrutinised by a selection committee and based on the significance and relevance of the suggested names for their conservation and cultural value. The following new names were selected for cheetahs for Namibian and South African cheetah.
  • Aasha, Pavan, Nabha, Jwala, Gaurav, Shaurya, Dhatri, Daksha, Nirva, Vayu, Agni, Gamini, Tejas, Veera, Suraj, Dheera, Uday, Prabhas and Pavak.
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IndusInd Bank Signs $100 mn Loan Deal with JBIC to Push Japanese Equipment

  • IndusInd Bank and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) signed a $100 million long-term loan agreement to foster the growth of Japanese construction equipment companies in India, through need-based credit facilities to upstream and downstream companies. The loans will be further co-financed by Mizuho Bank, Japan, the Shizuoka Bank, Singapore, and Joyo Bank, Japan.
  • Under this initiative, IndusInd Bank will offer credit to companies that make up the supply chain of Japanese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in India. The programme will initially cover component suppliers and dealers of select Japanese OEMs, and final buyers of the construction machinery made by those companies.
  • The agreement was signed by the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) branch of IndusInd bank, which is an IFSC Banking Unit (IBU). An IFSC caters to customers outside the jurisdiction of the domestic economy. Such centres deal with flows of finance, financial products, and services across borders.

Vodafone IDEA Reappoints Kumar Mangalam Birla as Non-executive Director

  • Kumar Mangalam Birla rejoined the board of Vodafone Idea (Vi) as an additional non-executive director. The company's board of directors approved his appointment. It also accepted the resignation of non-executive director K. K. Maheshwari from the board.
  • Birla had stepped down from the post of non-executive chairman of the company in August 2021 barely two months after offering his entire stake to a public sector or a domestic finance company. Birla handed over the reign to group veteran Himanshu Kapania. Ravinder Takkar took charge as non-executive chairman replacing Kapania in August 2022.

India Retains Third Spot as a Unicorn Hub

  • In the Hurun Research Institute's Global Unicorn Index 2023, India retained its 3rd spot as the country with the highest number of unicorns worldwide after the US and China. With 68 new unicorns, India lags behind the US and China, which have 666 and 316 unicorns, respectively.
  • India added 14 new unicorns since the pandemic began. Despite the rise, none of the start-ups made it to the top 10. According to the report, BYJU's is the top-most unicorn in India, with a valuation of $22 billion, followed by Swiggy and Dream11, valued at $8 billion each. BYJU'S is also among the top 10 unicorns that saw the highest increase in valuation since pre-Covid.
  • The report also mentioned that India and China produce more offshore unicorns than any other country. Founders from India co-founded 70 unicorns outside, while China co-founded 32 outside of China, compared with 316 in China.
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North Korea's 1st Spy Satellite is Ready for Launch

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that his country has completed the development of its first military spy satellite and ordered officials to go ahead with its launch at an undisclosed date. Establishing a space-based surveillance system is one of Kim's key objectives to advance his military capability to pressure the United States to abandon what he called its hostile policies, such as its military drills with ally South Korea and international economic sanctions on North Korea.
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Gary Ballance Retires from All Forms of Cricket

  • Gary Ballance, a left-handed batsman, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. He initially made his debut for Zimbabwe and played for them under a two-year contract. He later went on to play for England and appeared in 23 Test matches. Additionally, he played one Test, one T20I, and five ODIs for Zimbabwe, during which he scored five Test hundreds, including a score of 137 against the West Indies. However, his career took a downturn after 2017, and he was also accused of using racist language against his teammate Azeem Rafiq, which was deemed as 'institutional racism' in the Yorkshire County.

Argentina Replaces Indonesia as under-20 World Cup Host

  • FIFA selected Argentina to host the under-20 soccer World Cup after revoking the hosting rights from Indonesia. This decision was made after Indonesia's football association cancelled the draw scheduled to take place in Bali due to the governor's refusal to host Israel's team.
  • The South American Football Confederation Congress received the official bid from the Argentine Football Association to host the under-20 soccer World Cup from May 20 to June 11. The tournament's official draw will take place in Zurich. Argentina, which has won a record six titles, last hosted the under-20 World Cup in 2001. Additionally, it is in the running to jointly host the 2030 World Cup finals alongside Uruguay, Chile, and Paraguay.
  • The under-20 soccer World Cup, also known as the FIFA U-20 World Cup, is a biennial international football tournament organized by FIFA for the national teams of men's under-20 age group. The tournament was first held in 1977 as the FIFA World Youth Championship, and since then, it has been held every two years except for a brief period from 1979-1985. The tournament has been won by a variety of countries, with Argentina having the most wins with a total of six titles. The most recent tournament was held in 2019 and was won by Ukraine.
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Veteran Akali Leader Charanjit Singh Atwal Quits Party

  • Veteran leader and former Punjab Assembly Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal resigned from the primary membership of the Shiromani Akali Dal, days after his son Inder Iqbal Atwal joined the BJP.
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party named Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, who quit the Akali Dal recently, as its candidate for the Lok Sabha bypoll to Jalandhar seat in Punjab.
  • Charanjit Singh Atwal, who was the deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009 and once considered close to former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, quit the SAD on moral grounds after his son and other family members joined the BJP.

PM Modi Inaugurates First Global Buddhist Summit in New Delhi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a two-day Global Buddhist Summit in Delhi that saw the participation of eminent Buddhist monks, scholars and delegates from various parts of the world.
  • Delegates from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Russia, among others, attended the event.
  • The theme of the Conference was 'Responses to Contemporary Challenges from Philosophy to Praxis'.

Assam, Arunachal Signs MoU on the Border Dispute

  • In a move that both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh saw would put to rest an issue festering for nearly five decades, Chief Ministers of the two states signed a Memorandum of Understanding over disputed areas along the roughly 800-km shared boundary.
  • The MoU was signed by Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Arunachal Pradesh counterpart Pema KHandu in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.
  • The dispute in question is over 123 villages that stretch across 12 districts of Arunachal Pradesh and eight of Assam. These villages had been claimed by Arunachal Pradesh in 2007, before a Supreme Court-appointed Local Commission to identify the boundary between the two states.
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Two-day Coastal Security Exercise Held to Evaluate Threats from Sea

  • A two-day coastal security exercise -- 'Sagar Kavach' -- was conducted off the coast of Kerala and Mahe to evaluate threats from the sea and validate the effectiveness of the security mechanisms. As part of the exercise, real time threats and contingencies were simulated to assess the preparedness level of the coastal security agencies.
  • "Enhanced security measures were instituted and the entire coastline was kept under strict surveillance and monitoring. Deployment of coastal security apparatus including ships, patrol crafts and aircraft of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and other maritime security agencies were undertaken in the territorial waters and adjoining seas.
  • The exercise was carried out under the aegis of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, who is also designated as the Commander-in-Chief, Coastal Defence (South).
  • The exercise was conducted in coordination with all coastal security stakeholders such as Indian Coast Guard, Coastal Police, Customs, Fisheries, Minor Ports, Intelligence agencies, Cochin Port and also the fishing and coastal communities.
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Pamela Chopra, Wife of Yash Chopra Passes Away

  • Yash Chopra's wife Pamela Chopra passed away. She was 74 years old. Pamela Chopra was a well-known Indian playback singer. She was also a film writer and producer in her own rights.
  • Pamela Chopra was last seen in the YRF documentary The Romantics where she spoke about her husband Yash Chopra and his journey. The Romantics not only focused on the contributions made by Yash Chopra to the Hindi film industry but also the contributions made by Pamela. On the show, Pamela recounted the days when the director faced many a sleepless night before the release of his first film as a producer (Daag, 1973). Yash also often reached out to his wife to understand how the female perspective works.
  • Pamela married Yash Chopra in 1970.
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National Civil Services Day

  • National Civil Services Day is observed on April 21 each year, to highlight the importance of civil services and commemorate the work done by officers in civil service toward nation-building.
  • Though, National Civil Services Day was first observed on April 21, 2006. The reason for celebrating this particular day as National Civil Services Day goes far back in history. Our first Home Minister, also known as the Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel believed in civil services as an essential component of nation-building. It was in 1947 while addressing the Probationary Officers at the All India Administrative Service Training School at Metcalfe House, Delhi, he first referred to the civil servants/ services as the " Steel Frame Of India". This accurately emphasizes the role civil servants have played and are expected to play for the growth and well-being of the Nation.
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Karnataka Tops in Fasal Bima, over Rs. 687 crore Claims Settled

  • Karnataka was declared topper in the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) scheme, during a national conference in Chhattisgarh. The award was handed over to the state government. Agriculture department officials said that Rs. 687.4 crore of 5.66 lakh farmers were settled, pending since 2018.
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IITs Set to Adopt National Credit Framework

  • In a move towards a more comprehensive education framework, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) unanimously decided to adopt the National Credit Framework (NCrF) across all 23 IITs.
  • The NCrF, which was presented by the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman, M. Jagadesh Kumar, at the 55th IIT Council meeting in Bhubaneswar, aims to facilitate the earning, transfer, and accumulation of credits by students.
  • The framework covers all levels of education, including elementary, school, higher, and vocational education and training. It integrates creditisation of learning in various dimensions, including academics, vocational skills, and experiential learning.
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Thawe Festival Organised in Bihar

  • The Department of Tourism and the Department of Art and Culture jointly organised the Thawe Festival in Gopalganj, Bihar. The festival aimed to promote tourism in Gopalganj and attract visitors to the Thawe Durga Temple.
  • The Thawe Festival is an annual event that takes place in Gopalganj, Bihar. The festival's objective is to promote tourism in the region and encourage visitors to explore the Thawe Durga Temple, which is a prominent attraction in the area.
  • The festival has been organised since 2012, and it includes various cultural and entertainment activities. The festival venue is located at the Home Guard Ground, close to the Thawe Durga Temple. The festival features prominent personalities from the entertainment industry and political figures, who participate in the event and contribute to its success.
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Supreme Court Directs all High Courts to Set Up Committees to Address Grievances of Lawyers

  • The Supreme Court asked all High Courts across the country to constitute redressal committees, in order to address the genuine grievances of the lawyers.
  • The order was passed by the Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on a suo motu case regarding rampant strikes in bar associations across the country leading to massive disruption of the court's work.
  • Noting that it was important to have an appropriate forum to 'ventilate' their genuine grievances, the Apex Court ruled that no member of the Bar should go on a strike and abstain from work.
  • As per the top court of the country, the committee would comprise of the Chief Justice and two other senior judges, one from the Bar and another from services.
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