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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

02 Jun 2023


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Argentine Meteorologist Becomes First Female Head of UN Weather Agency

  • The World Meteorological Organization voted for Argentina's Celeste Saulo to become its first woman leader and steer the WMO's critical global role in tracking climate change.
  • Saulo, a WMO vice-president who has headed Argentina's weather service since 2014, won a landslide vote at the UN climate and weather agency's congress in Geneva.
  • The WMO's role in climate change has become increasingly prominent and Saulo will likely become a well-known advocate on this pressing world issue.
  • She will take over from the outgoing secretary-general Petteri Taalas on January 1, 2024. The Finnish meteorologist is coming to the end of his maximum second four-year term.
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Ashwani Kumar New MD & CEO of UCO Bank

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Ashwani Kumar, Executive Director, Indian Bank as Managing Director and CEO of UCO Bank.
  • Kumar replaced Soma Sankara Prasad, who superannuated on May 31. Prasad was in December 2021 appointed as MD & CEO of UCO Bank.
  • Ashwani Kumar will lead the public sector bank for period of three years.
  • Kumar will also be eligible for extension of the term of office, after a review of his performance, by two years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
  • Kumar, a chartered accountant, rose through ranks serving various offices of five public sector banks -- Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank and Indian Bank.

Aegon Life Launches Insurance Cover for Surrogate Mothers, Egg Donors

  • Aegon Life launched the first life insurance cover for surrogate mothers and egg-donors, effectively backing their financial well-being. This initiative supports the implementation of provisions in the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021 and the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021, spearheaded by India's Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • Notably, the coverage provides a life cover of three years for surrogate mothers and one a year for egg donors to provide protection against any life-threatening complications arising out of the said procedures.
  • Aegon Life is digital India's life insurance company and claims to have pioneered the online term insurance plan in India.
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India's Esow Alben Wins Bronze Medal in Bahnen-Tournee Cycling 2023

  • Indian cyclist Esow Alben won the bronze medal in the elite men's keirin event at the Finale Bahnen-Tournee 2023 cycling competition in Dudenhofen, Germany. The Finale Bahnen-Tournee is a UCI Class 1 event.
  • Esow Elben, who became the first Indian to win a cycling world championship medal after clinching a silver at the 2018 edition, finished behind Germany's Marc Jurczyk and France's Sebastien Vigier - both world championships medallists.
  • Sebastien Vigier was also part of the French team which won the Team sprint cycling bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • Esow's compatriot Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam, meanwhile, finished 10th in the men's sprint event at the Germany meet.
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Ajay Yadav is MD of Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited

  • Ajay Yadav assumed charge of Managing Director of Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI). SECI is a nodal agency of the central government for auctioning renewable energy projects. SECI, a Miniratna Category-I Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) established in 2011, serves as the primary implementing agency for renewable energy schemes and projects under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India.
  • With over 58 GW of Renewable Energy (RE) project capacities awarded to date, SECI has played a pivotal role in driving the growth of India's renewable energy sector. The corporation has been instrumental in promoting solar energy projects and facilitating investments, contributing significantly to the nation's sustainable energy goals.

India-EU Connectivity Conference in Meghalaya

  • The India-EU Connectivity Conference, organized jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), EU Delegation to India, and the Asian Confluence, took place in Meghalaya from June 1 to June 2. The conference aims to explore opportunities for enhancing connectivity investments in India's north-eastern states and its neighbouring countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. The event was a significant outcome of the India-EU Connectivity partnership launched during the India-EU Leaders' Meeting in May 2021.
  • The conference was inaugurated by Conrad Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, along with Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs. The event witness the participation of senior officials from the Indian government, the EU Commission, representatives from north-eastern states, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, as well as stakeholders from the private sector. The collective insights and views shared by the participants would contribute to shaping concrete projects for joint implementation in the areas of digital, energy, and transport connectivity.
  • The India-EU Connectivity Conference concentrated on three essential pillars of connectivity: digital, energy, and transport. These pillars were identified as key areas for collaboration and development in order to strengthen connectivity and foster regional integration. By focusing on digital infrastructure, energy networks, and transport systems, the conference aims to identify tangible projects that can enhance connectivity in the region.
  • The primary objective of the conference was to explore opportunities to boost connectivity investments in India's North Eastern States and its neighbouring countries. The North Eastern region of India, with its unique geographical location, presents immense potential for increased connectivity, trade, and economic cooperation.
  • The India-EU Connectivity Conference recognizes the importance of engaging with neighboring countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh to promote cross-border connectivity.
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India Carries Out Successful Training Launch of Agni-1 Ballistic Missile

  • A successful training launch of a medium-range ballistic missile, Agni-1, was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha.
  • The missile is a proven system, capable of striking targets with a very high degree of precision. The user training launch successfully validated all operational and technical parameters of the missile.
  • In December 2022, India had successfully test-fired nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V that can strike targets at ranges up to 5,000 km.
  • The Agni 1 to 4 missiles have ranges from 700 km to 3,500 km and they have already been deployed.
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Noted Sanskrit Scholar Ved Kumari Ghai Passes Away

  • Sanskrit scholar Ved Kumari Ghai passed away at the age of 91. She did her MA and PhD in Sanskrit from the University of Jammu. She also studied at the Banaras Hindu University and the University of Oxford.
  • Ghai was a prolific scholar and author of several books on Sanskrit literature. She started her career as a professor of Sanskrit at Government College for Women, Parade, Jammu. She was a head of post graduate level Sanskrit Department, Jammu University until her retirement on 31 December 1991. She taught Panini's Sanskrit grammar and literature at the Institute of Indian Studies, Copenhagen University, Denmark in 1966–1967 and 1978–1980. She was a scholar in Dogri language and also knew Hindi.
  • Ghai was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award in India, in 2001 for her contributions to Sanskrit literature. She was also a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, the highest literary award in India, in 1991 for her book 'The Sanskrit Language'.
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Telangana Formation Day

  • Telangana, the 29th state of India, celebrated its formation day on June 2. The state was officially formed on June 2, 2014, and since then, the day is celebrated as Telangana Day or Telangana Formation Day. According to Telangana government, the day marks significance in the state's history for the sustained Telangana movement through the years. All 33 districts in the state honour the day by honouring the people of Telangana for their remarkable achievements in science, art and literature.
  • In 1948, India put an end to the rule of the Nizams and a Hyderabad state was formed. In 1956, the Telangana part of Hyderabad was merged with then Andhra state (carved out of Madras Presidency in October, 1953). The remaining parts of the Nizam's empire merged with Karnataka and Maharashtra. Andhra Pradesh became the first linguistically carved state in the country after Gandhian revolutionary Potti Sreeramulu, on a hunger strike over the issue, died on December 16, 1952.
  • After leading the Telangana movement to its desired end, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, popularly known as KCR, became the first Chief Minister of the state.
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Civil Aviation Ministry Out with Draft Bill for Simplifying Regulations

  • The civil aviation ministry came out with a draft bill for putting in place a simplified approach for regulations pertaining to the aviation sector.
  • The Draft Aircraft Bill, 2023, was prepared after reviewing the existing Aircraft Act, 1934.
  • As per the preamble of the Draft Aircraft Bill, 2023, it aims to have an Act to make better provisions for regulation and control of the design, manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export of aircraft and for connected matters.
  • The bill has been issued by the ministry for public consultations for a period of 30 days, according to a communication.
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Jadavpur University Without a VC

  • Jadavpur University (JU), known for its academic excellence, is currently facing a leadership crisis as the term of the incumbent vice-chancellor (VC), Suranjan Das, came to an end on May 31. Despite this, the state higher education department has not yet formed a search committee to appoint his successor, leaving the university without a VC.
  • Suranjan Das, an eminent historian, took over as the VC of the private Adamas University on June 1, 2023.
  • Das' tenure was extended for the second time on June 24, 2021, for two years or until he turned 70, whichever came earlier.
  • Suranjan Das joined JU in 2015 after serving as the VC of the 117-year-old Calcutta University. In 2022, he was elected as the president of the Association of Indian Universities, an organisation representing 800 universities across the country. His leadership and contributions to the field of education have been widely recognised.

THE Impact Ranking 2023: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham India's Highest Ranked Varsity

  • The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023 were declared and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore emerged as India's highest-placed university. The university was ranked at the 52nd rank globally out of 1,591 universities from 112 countries/regions.
  • The overall ranking was topped by Western Sydney University followed by University of Manchester, UK and Queen's University, Canada. Universiti Sains Malaysia bagged the fourth spot and University of Tasmania came fifth.
  • Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham stood out for its efforts towards meeting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Other Indian institutions that are in the top 300 are — Lovely Professional University (Punjab) placed in 101 and 200 bracket, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences (Himachal Pradesh) also placed in 101 and 200 bracket and KIIT University (Odisha) ranked between 201 and 300.
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World's First 3D Printed Temple to Come up in Telangana

  • The world's first 3D printed Hindu temple is being built in Telangana. Situated within Charvitha Meadows, a gated villa community at Burugupally in Siddipet, the 3D printed temple is a three-part structure being built in an area of 3,800 square feet by city-based Apsuja Infratech.
  • Apsuja Infratech has tied up with Simpliforge Creations, a 3D-printed construction company, for the project.
  • The three sanctums, or garbhas, within the structure represent a 'modak', dedicated to Lord Ganesha; a Shivalay, a square abode devoted to Lord Shankar; and a Lotus shaped home for Goddess Parvati.
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Shashi Tharoor Releases Book Titled "Ringside" Written by Vijay Darda

  • Renowned author and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor released the book "Ringside" written by Lokmat Media Group Editorial Board Chairman and former MP Vijay Darda. "Ringside" is a compilation of Darda's weekly articles published between 2011 and 2016 in Lokmat Media Group newspapers and other leading national and regional dailies.
  • The book serves as a follow-up to Dr. Darda's previous work, 'Straight Thoughts'.
  • 'Ringside' provides readers with insight into contemporary political, social, cultural and important events and developments.
  • With a comprehensive exploration of important topics, the book aims to engage readers and provide a deeper understanding of the current political and social landscape.
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