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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

20 May 2023


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Thailand's Move Forward Party Confident of Forming Stable Government

  • The leader of the progressive Move Forward Party in Thailand, Pita Limjaroenrat, said after a meeting with the coalition partners in Bangkok that he was confident that he can garner enough support from rivals to back his coalition and form a stable government. This came as the party defeated the military-backed rivals who have been in power for nearly a decade, paving the way for a new era in Thai politics.
  • So far, the reformist leader of the party said that eight parties have agreed to form a coalition government with him as the prime minister. The proposed coalition would have 313 seats in the House of Representatives marking a solid majority of the 376 votes needed in the 500-member parliament.

Montana Becomes First US State to Ban TikTok Completely

  • Amid a surge in security concerns, Montana became the first US state to put a complete ban on video-sharing social networking app TikTok.
  • The Republican Governor Greg Gianforte announced the ban on TikTok in Montana saying that it is done to protect Montanans' personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.
  • The ban will likely be challenged in court, and the TikTok-free America that many national lawmakers have envisioned will get a chance to test its viability here.
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More than Half of World's Large Lakes and Reservoirs Drying Up

  • According to a study, more than half of the world's large lakes and reservoirs have shrunk since the early 1990s, chiefly because of climate change, intensifying concerns about water for agriculture, hydropower and human consumption.
  • A team of international researchers reported that some of the world's most important freshwater sources - from the Caspian Sea between Europe and Asia to South America's Lake Titicaca - lost water at a cumulative rate of around 22 gigatonnes per year for nearly three decades. That's about 17 times the volume of Lake Mead, the United States' largest reservoir.
  • Scientists assessed almost 2,000 large lakes using satellite measurements combined with climate and hydrological models.
  • They found that unsustainable human use, changes in rainfall and run-off, sedimentation, and rising temperatures have driven lake levels down globally, with 53% of lakes showing a decline from 1992 to 2020.
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Wipro Enters Into a Five-year Business Partnership with ServiceNow

  • IT major Wipro Limited, entered into a five-year business partnership with ServiceNow to invest in and bring new offerings to market that will empower clients to drive business transformation, overcome business challenges, and deliver greater value.
  • The agreement expands both the companies' existing partnership and is expected to help accelerate Wipro's goal of building a $1 billion business with ServiceNow by the end of 2026.
  • As part of the partnership Wipro and ServiceNow will deliver joint clients process consulting, implementation, configuration, and managed services. The partnership will cover all global geographies and will initially focus on four key industries: Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Energy and Utilities.

CCI Approves Proposed Merger of Credit Suisse Group AG with UBS Group AG

  • Fair-trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) cleared the proposed merger of Credit Suisse Group AG with UBS Group AG.
  • Both Credit Suisse Group AG (Credit Suisse) and UBS Group AG (UBS) are multinational investment banks and financial services companies founded and based in Switzerland.
  • The transaction entails UBS' proposed acquisition of Credit Suisse by way of an absorption merger with UBS being the surviving legal entity, according to CCI.
  • Post transaction, all Credit Suisse's assets, liabilities, and contracts will be transferred to UBS in their entirety.
  • The proposed transaction was necessitated due to Credit Suisse's financial difficulties.
  • Deals beyond a certain threshold require approval from the regulator, which keeps a tab on unfair business practices in the marketplace.
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UP Govt. to Launch 5G technology Training Programme for Youth

  • The Uttar Pradesh government is taking a significant step towards enhancing skill development opportunities by launching a 5G technology training programme under its Skill Development Mission. This initiative aims to equip the youth with the necessary skills in new and future employable technologies, recognising the importance of 5G technology in shaping the telecom sector and the future economy.
  • The primary goal of the 5G technology training programme is to make the youth skilled in the latest technologies that will be in high demand in the future job market. The programme acknowledges the vital role that 5G technology will play in transforming the telecom ecosystem, including hardware, software, and services. It is seen as the technology of the future, with applications ranging from Internet of Things (IoT) to machine-to-machine communication and edge computing.
  • Under this programme, the Uttar Pradesh government aims to train and provide jobs to 1,000 candidates. The initiative will be initially launched in five districts, namely Lucknow, Kanpur, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Moradabad, Agra, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, and Prayagraj. These districts have been chosen strategically to ensure maximum reach and impact of the training programme.
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South Asian Youth Table Tennis Championship 2023 Concludes in Itanagar

  • South Asian Youth Table Tennis Championship 2023 concluded in Itanagar. It was a three-day international event in which more than 100 athletes and officials from six countries Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal participated.
  • In the Under-19 Boys singles, Ankur Bhattacharjee defeated Payas Jain 4-2 and claimed the gold. Payas had to contend with the silver.
  • Meanwhile, in Under-19 girls' singles, Suhana Saini defeated Yashaswini Ghorpade 4-1 in what turned out to be a one-sided final. In the mixed doubles, Payas Jain and Yashaswini took gold, beating their Maldivian rivals, Akhyar Ahmed Khalid and Fathimath Dheema Ali.
  • Arunachal Pradesh Governor, Lt. General KT Parnaik, attended the closing ceremony and gave away the medals to the winners.
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G20's RIIG Conference on Scientific Challenges and Opportunities

  • As part of India's G20 presidency, Research and Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) Conference on Scientific Challenges and Opportunities for a sustainable blue economy was held at Diu. The main theme of the conference was "Research and Innovation for an Equitable Society".
  • As per reports, over 35 foreign delegates and 40 Indian experts, delegates, and invitees participated in the conference. Several issues including Blue Economy Sectors and Opportunities, Marine Pollution, Coastal and Marine Ecosystems and Biodiversity, Deep-Sea Exploration, and New and Renewable Offshore Energy discussed in various sessions held as part of the meeting. As part of the meet, the weeklong exhibition depicting India's journey of G 20 was inaugurated at Diu. India's G 20 sherpa Amitabh Kant, Secretary of Union Science and Technology Department Shrivari Chandrasekhar Administrator of Union Territory of Diu Daman and Dadra Nagar Haveli Praful Patel were present at the inauguration ceremony.

Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan Launches ORAN Test Bed Project

  • Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan launched Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) test bed project for conformance, certification and interoperability testing of O-RAN based solutions at a function in New Delhi.
  • It will facilitate testing of ORAN elements and will facilitate development of fully indigenous 5G radio network in India. The Minister also released a Postal Stamp to mark the glorious 20 Years of Universal Service Obligation Fund of Ministry of Communications. It provides telecom facilities in rural and remote areas of the country.

India Launches 'Operation Karuna' to Assist Cyclone-hit Myanmar

  • India launched 'Operation Karuna' to assist Myanmar which was devastated by Cyclone Mocha. Four Indian Navy ships carrying relief material reached Yangon, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said.
  • The ships are carrying emergency food items, tents, essential medicines, water pumps, portable generators, clothes, sanitary and hygiene items, etc.
  • Indian Ambassador in Myanmar Vinay Kumar handed over the first batch of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) material to the Chief Minister of Yangon region.
  • Super cyclone Mocha hit Bangladesh and Myanmar causing widespread devastation and killing hundreds. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has said that relief agencies were ready to deliver food and essential supplies, but were awaiting approval from the military regime.
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Former Gujarat Minister Dies in Road Accident

  • Former Gujarat Agriculture Minister Vallabhbhai Vaghasiya died as the car he was driving crashed into a bulldozer near Savarkundla town in Amreli district of the state.
  • Vaghasiya a former BJP legislator from Savarkundla assembly seat had served as the Agriculture and Urban Housing Minister in the first term of the Vijay Rupani government.
  • Vaghasiya had won the 2012 Assembly election as a BJP MLA from the Savarkundla seat, and was sworn in as a minister in the Vijay Rupani government in 2016.
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Armed Forces Day

  • Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May in the United States.
  • The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on May 20, 1950, to honor and recognize the service of members of the United States Armed Forces.
  • President Harry S. Truman was instrumental in establishing Armed Forces Day as a national holiday.
  • Each year, the Department of Defense chooses a city to host the national Armed Forces Day celebration, which includes a parade and other events to honor military personnel.
  • Armed Forces Day is different from Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday in May and is a day of remembrance for those who died while serving in the military.
  • The theme for Armed Forces Day 2023 in the United States is "Stronger Together: Honouring Our Heroes," which recognises the importance of teamwork and collaboration in the military. In 2023 Armed Forces Day in the United States was celebrated on May 20.
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Kerala Government Approves Ordinance to Protect Healthcare Workers

  • In the wake of the brutal killing of a woman doctor by her drunken patient in the state, the Kerala government approved an ordinance aimed at protecting doctors, healthcare workers, and medical students. The ordinance specifies jail terms for people involved in violence against medical practitioners.
  • The Kerala Health Care Service Workers and Health Care Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Amendment Ordinance, 2012, was approved by the state Cabinet at a chaired by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
  • Under the ordinance, the protection under the law would be extended to the paramedical students also.
  • Besides that, paramedical staff, security guards, managerial staff, ambulance drivers, helpers who are posted and working in health care institutions and health workers notified in the official government gazette from time to time was also included in the ordinance.
  • Under the ordinance, anyone found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to any healthcare worker or professional would be punished with imprisonment ranging from one year to seven years and a fine between Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh would be imposed upon them.
  • The ordinance also provides that anyone who commits or attempts to commit or incites or inspires an act of violence against healthcare workers or those working in healthcare institutions, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than 6 months and up to 5 years and with a fine between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakh.
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Private School in Surat Converts School Bus into Mobile Classroom

  • In a unique initiative, a private school in Surat, Gujarat, converted a school bus into a fully functional portable classroom. This innovative project aims to provide education to underprivileged children who often lack access to formal schooling.
  • The moving school, named Pramukh Swami Smriti Vidya Mandir, was inaugurated by Minister of State for Education Prafulla Panseria.
  • Mahesh Bhai Patel, the visionary behind the moving school, initiated this project to commemorate the birth centenary of Pramukh Swami. With an expenditure of Rs. 8.65 lakh, Patel transformed the bus into a classroom-like environment suitable for young students.
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World's Oldest Hebrew Bible Sells for $38 Million

  • A leather-bound, handwritten Hebrew Bible believed to be around 1,100 years old sold for $38.1 million (€35.1 million) in New York. The Codex Sassoon's price surpassed the $30.8 million paid in 1994 for Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester manuscript but is below the world-record $43.2 million paid in 2021 for a first edition of the US Constitution.
  • Its price tag "reflects the profound power, influence, and significance of the Hebrew Bible, which is an indispensable pillar of humanity.
  • Former US ambassador and president of the American Jewish Committee Alfred H. Moses bought the codex on behalf of the non-profit American Friends of ANU. It will be donated to the ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, Israel.
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Adish Aggarwala is the New President of the Supreme Court Bar Association

  • Senior Advocate Adish Aggarwala was elected the new president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).
  • Adish Aggarwala defeated his rival Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave by securing 668 votes while the latter had 477 votes.
  • Senior Advocates Ajit Kumar Sinha, Dushyant Dave, Adish Aggarwala, and Rakesh Kumar Khanna, and advocates Neeraj Srivastava, Parvin Mutreja and Yagya Deo Sharma were contenders for the post of President SCBA.
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