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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

15 May 2023


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Geeta Rao Gupta Appointed as Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues

  • Indian-American Geeta Rao Gupta was confirmed by the US Senate as the Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues in the State Department.
  • Gupta was confirmed by the US Senate by 51 to 47 votes.
  • Known internationally as a leader in promoting gender equality and women's economic security, Gupta's appointment was welcomed by the State Department, which expressed its anticipation of her efforts to advance girls and women's rights through US foreign policy.

Deepika Padukone Appears on Cover of TIME Magazine

  • Bollywood star Deepika Padukone featured on the latest cover of TIME magazine. The iconic American magazine described Padukone as a 'global star' bringing 'the world to Bollywood'. It had previously named Padukone among its list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. Deepika is called 'the most popular actress in the world's most populous country'.
  • The actor became one of the rare Indian stars to feature on the cover of TIME, earlier graced by names like Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai and others.
  • TIME magazine is a renowned weekly news publication based in the United States. It was first published in 1923 and has since become one of the most influential and widely read magazines in the world. TIME covers a wide range of topics including politics, world events, culture, science, technology, and entertainment.

Thailand's Opposition Wins Big After Voters Reject Army-Backed Government

  • Thailand's opposition parties secured by far the largest number of votes in national elections, delivering a damning verdict to the military-backed government that has ruled the country for nearly a decade.
  • The progressive Move Forward Party, which developed a huge following among young people, and Pheu Thai, the populist party associated with exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, took a strong lead.
  • For any party to take power, however, they will need to form a coalition, and this could lead to unlikely alliances as candidates face an electoral system that is weighed in favour of the military. Intense negotiations are likely underway as candidates try to thrash out deals. It's unclear if Move Forward or Pheu Thai will join together.
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RBI Imposes Rs. 2.92 crore Penalty on Canara Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India imposed a penalty of Rs. 2.92 crore on Canara Bank for violation of various norms, including linking interest rates to external benchmark, and opening savings accounts of ineligible entities. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) conducted a statutory inspection for supervisory evaluation of the bank with reference to its financial position as on March 31, 2021.

Shipping Ministry Second in Data Governance Quality Index among Ministries

  • The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) ranked second among 66 ministries in the Data Governance Quality Index (DGQI) assessment for the December quarter (Q3) of FY23.
  • The ministry secured a score of 4.7 out of 5, highlighting its commitment to excellence in data governance.
  • Conducted by the Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO), NITI Aayog, the DGQI survey aims to measure the maturity level of administrative data systems and their use in decision-making of various ministries and departments on the implementation of central sector schemes and centrally-sponsored schemes.
  • The DGQI assessment encompasses six pivotal themes, including Data Generation, Data Quality, Use of Technology, Data Analysis, Use and Dissemination, Data Security and HR Capacity, and Case Studies.

Elon Musk Hires Linda Yaccarino to be Twitter's CEO

  • Ex-NBCUniversal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino was named as the next CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk said. Musk, who runs Tesla and Space X had said that he plans to transition to a role as executive chairman and chief technology officer. The announcement came months after Musk pledged in December to step down as the head of Twitter as soon as he found someone "foolish enough to take the job." Yaccarino, who stepped down as the ad sales chief at NBCUniversal.
  • She brings longstanding relationships with major advertisers and a strong reputation within the corporate community. Yaccarino worked at NBCUniversal for nearly 12 years, rising through the executive ranks to become chairman of global advertising and partnerships in 2020. Before NBCUniversal, Yaccarino served as an advertising executive at Turner Broadcasting Company for almost 20 years.
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NASA Launches the Second Super Pressure Balloon

  • NASA launched another stadium-sized super pressure balloon from Wānaka Airport, the second of two planned launches for the year.
  • The first scientific balloon was launched on April 16, following five failed attempts last year (2022).
  • Airways, New Zealand's air navigation services provider, works with NASA to plan the launches of the balloons, which inflate fully in flight to 532,000 cubic meters - about the size of Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium - and carry a scientific payload of over two tonnes.
  • The second balloon carries a University of Chicago instrument to detect ultra-high-energy cosmic ray particles from beyond our galaxy.
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Ayushmann Khurrana Joins Indian Team as Ambassador for Special Olympics Journey to Berlin

  • Ayushmann Khurrana was chosen to inspire and support the Indian contingent participating in the upcoming Special Olympics for individuals with intellectual disabilities, set to take place in Berlin from June 17 to June 25. Expressing gratitude, the actor considers himself lucky to have met numerous exceptional individuals throughout his journey.
  • Germany will host the famous event for the first time. Moreover, Ayushmann Khurrana an all-rounder actor, widely known for his socially uplifting movies, assumed the position of UNICEF's National Ambassador in February 2023.
  • The Special Olympics will be the 16th edition of the championship to be held in Berlin, Germany. It is an eight-day event which is scheduled to begin on June 17 and will conclude on June 25, 2023. Athletes from all over the world mark their presence on this special occasion to exhibit their talents in various sports categories.

Grant Bradburn Appointed New Head Coach of Pakistani Cricket Team

  • The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed Grant Bradburn's appointment as the men's national team's head coach for two years.
  • The board also announced that former South Africa cricketer Andrew Puttick signed a two-year-long contract as the batting coach of the men's side while strength and conditioning coach Drikus Saaiman and physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon will continue to work in their roles.
  • Prior to his roles in Pakistan, Bradburn, a former New Zealand cricketer, worked as the head coach of Scotland men's side.

Shooting World Cup: Rhythm Sangwan Breaks 29-year-Old World Record

  • Rhythm Sangwan broke a 29-year-old world record but missed a second medal at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol in Baku, Azerbaijan, finishing eighth in the women's 25 m pistol event.
  • Rhythm, who won a first-ever individual senior World Cup stage medal with a bronze in the women's 10 m air pistol, shot a stunning 595 to top the 25 m pistol qualification, smashing the world record first created by Diana Iorgova of Bulgaria back in 1994 in Milan.
  • Rhythm in fact broke two world records on the same day as she also claimed the junior women's 25 m pistol qualification record. That went back even further, 34 years to be precise, when Russian Nino Salukvadze shot 593 at the European Championship in Zagreb. India's Manu Bhaker had equalled that effort in 2018 at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
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Congress Registers Emphatic Win in Karnataka

  • The Congress scored an emphatic win in the Karnataka assembly polls, winning 135 seats. The victory vindicated the party strategy of contesting the election on local issues, especially those affecting people's lives, such as inflation and corruption, and keeping state leaders in the forefront rather than meeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on its pitch of Hindutva or national issues.
  • The BJP was reduced to just 65 seats, down from 104 in 2018, while the Janata Dal (Secular) managed to win only 19 seats. It had won 37 seats in 2018.

Ten Manipur MLAs Seek Separate Governing Body

  • In all, 10 tribal MLAs belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi group in Manipur urged the Centre to create a separate administration for their community in the wake of the violent clashes between the Meiteis and tribals.
  • Of the 10 legislators, seven belong to the BJP, two from Kuki People's Alliance (KPA) and one Independent.

Amit Shah Inaugurates Training Programme on Legislative Drafting

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated a training programme on legislative drafting.
  • The programme was organised by the Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) in collaboration with the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE).
  • It is aimed at creating an understanding of the principles and practices of legislative drafting among officers of Parliament, state legislatures and various ministries, statutory bodies and other government departments.
  • Legislative drafting has a major impact on the interpretation of policies and the regulations implemented for the welfare of the society and the state.
  • Since legislative draftsmen are responsible for producing legislation which promotes democratic governance and gives effect to the rule of law, it is necessary that they are imparted training from time to time to sharpen their skills.
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South Korea Air Force Begins Regular Large-scale Exercise

  • The South Korea Air Force kicked off a regular large-scale exercise to bolster its combat capabilities and ensure the country's defence posture.
  • The eight-day Soaring Eagle exercise began at an air base in Cheongju, 112 kilometres south of Seoul, amid tensions on the Korean Peninsula in the wake of North Korea's firing of a purported solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile last month. The exercise will conclude on May 20.
  • The exercise mobilises more than 160 personnel and nearly 60 warplanes, including F-35A stealth fighters, F-15Ks, KF-16s and KC-330 tanker transport aircraft.
  • It will take place under various scenarios, such as infiltrations by enemy special forces and aircraft as well as cruise missile launches, with participants set to stage attack formation drills focusing on striking core enemy assets and the origin of provocations, the armed service said.
  • Launched in 2008, the Air Force has conducted the Soaring Eagle once or twice a year.

MoD Approves 4th Positive Indigenisation List for DPSUs

  • Continuing the efforts to minimise imports by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU), Defence Ministry approved the 4th Positive Indigenisation List (PIL) of 928 strategically-important Line Replacement Units (LRUs), sub-systems, spares and components, including high-end materials and spares, with import substitution value worth Rs. 715 crore. These will only be procured from the Indian Industry after the timelines indicated on the list.
  • This fourth list is in continuation to the previous three PILs, involving LRUs, sub-systems, assemblies, sub-assemblies, spares and components, which were published in December 2021, March 2022 and August 2022, respectively. These lists contain 2,500 items, which are already indigenised and 1,238 (351+107+780) items, which will be indigenised within the given timelines. Of the 1,238 items, 310 (1st PIL - 262, 2nd PIL - 11, 3rd PIL - 37) have been indigenised.

Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood is New CBI Director

  • The high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a period of two years. He will take charge from Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, who completes his tenure on May 25.
  • Sood's appointment was announced in an order issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, a day after the Congress emerged the winner in the Karnataka Assembly elections.
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Alia Bhatt is First Indian Global Ambassador of Gucci

  • Gucci, the luxury fashion brand from Italy, appointed Alia Bhatt as its first global ambassador from India. She made her debut as the brand's newest global ambassador at the Gucci Cruise 2024 show in Seoul on May 16. This appointment is an important moment for both the brand and the Indian fashion industry, especially since it comes after Bhatt's Met Gala debut.
  • This is also the first time that Gucci selected an Indian celebrity as a global ambassador, highlighting the growing recognition of the Indian market worldwide.
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International Day of Families

  • Every year on May 15, the International Day of Families is held to promote family well-being throughout the world, and to increase awareness of the value of families as the cornerstone of society. This day offers a chance to consider the obligations that families have in society, to draw attention to the social, economic, and demographic changes that have an impact on families, and to support family friendly activities.
  • The International Day of Families was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 to raise awareness of family-related issues and to advance understanding of the social, economic, and demographic factors impacting families. Every year, there is a different theme for the International Day of Families which is observed through a variety of programmes, events, and activities.
  • The theme of International Day of Families 2023 was 'Families And Demographic Change'.
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Musharraf Ali Farooqi Wins the Inaugural Armory Square Prize for Translation

  • Author and translator Musharraf Ali Farooqi, who translated Siddique Alam's The Kettledrum and Other Stories from Urdu to English, won the inaugural edition of the Armory Square Prize for South Asian Literature in Translation.
  • The titular story of the collection is about an Adivasi woman who cohabitates with her dead husband, and thematically explores tribal traditions in the 21st century.

Arinze Ifeakandu Wins Dylan Thomas Prize for 'Kaleidoscopic Reflection of Queer Life in Nigeria'

  • Writer Arinze Ifeakandu won the £20,000 Swansea University Dylan Thomas prize for a "Kaleidoscopic Reflection of Queer Life and Love in Nigeria".
  • The prize, which recognises literary works by authors aged 39 or under, is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers.
  • The other shortlisted titles were Limberlost by Robbie Arnott, Seven Steeples by Sara Baume, I'm a Fan by Sheena Patel, Send Nudes by Saba Sams and Bless the Daughter Raised By a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire.
  • The prize was launched in 2006 in honour of esteemed Welsh poet Dylan Thomas to celebrate young writers of poetry, novels, short stories and drama in the English language. This November will mark the 70th anniversary of Thomas's death.
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MP Launches Interest Waiver Scheme for 11L Farmers

  • Ahead of Madhya Pradesh elections later this year, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched a scheme to waive Rs. 2,200 crore worth of interest due from 11 lakh farmers who have defaulted on loans.
  • The waived interest will be reimbursed by the state.
  • Under the CM Farm Loan Waiver Scheme 2023, the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh will accept applications from defaulter farmers and pay the due amount.
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AIIMS Delhi Partners with WHO, Duke-NUS on Patient Safety and Quality Control

  • The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi (AIIMS) collaborated with World Health Organization (WHO-SEARO) to ensure patient safety and quality control. According to WHO, the current challenge in global public health is patient harm, which is a leading cause of avoidable mortality and morbidity.
  • In this regard, a core committee for Patient Safety and Quality at AIlMS is being constituted for implementation of advanced patient safety and quality initiatives across various departments. AIIMS will follow the learning curriculum proposed by WHO in collaboration with the Duke-NUS (Institute of Patient Safety &Quality -IPSQ).
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Allahabad High Court States Notice cannot be Faulted in a Legal Term of Section 138 (b) in Negotiable Instrument Act

  • The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court while setting aside the summoning order observed that in a demand notice if other amount is mentioned with the cheque amount in a separate portion in detail, the said notice cannot be faulted in a legal term of Section 138 (b) of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881.
  • A Single Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Gupta passed this order while hearing an application under Section 482 filed by Prashant Chandra.

Representation of People Act, Delimitation Act Not Applicable to Scheduled Area in Absence of Governor Notification

  • The Supreme Court ruled that the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Delimitation Act, 2002 were not applicable to the Scheduled Area in absence of the notification issued by the Governor of the State under Clause 5(1) of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • The Bench of Justice A.S. Oka and Justice Rajesh Bindal had rejected a writ petition filed by Adivasis for Social and Human Rights Action, noting that there was absolutely 'no merit' in the appeal and that the High Court was right in rejecting the petition.
  • It said under sub­ clause (e) of Clause (1) of Article 19 of the Constitution, every citizen had a right to reside and settle in any part of India. However by making a law, reasonable restrictions can be put on the said Fundamental Right as provided in Clause (5) of Article 19.
  • The Apex Court further dismissed the argument that the fifth schedule of the Constitution took away the right of a non-tribal person to settle down and vote in a scheduled area.
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