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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

04 Jun 2023


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Suriname to Host Indian Energy Majors in June

  • The South American nation of Suriname is hosting an oil and gas conference from June 19 to 23 in hopes of attracting energy companies, particularly from India.
  • As per reports, Suriname is thought to have at least 3-4 billion barrels of oil reserves which were discovered in recent years.
  • While American and European energy companies currently dominate the energy market in Suriname, the country's officials are interested in bringing in Indian companies and expertise.
  • Major firms like ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total have been active in drilling for energy off the coast of Suriname, which is located on the north-eastern coast of South America. Invitations have been extended to Indian energy majors. India has demonstrated an increased interest in Latin America and the Caribbean for its energy needs.
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NGEL, UPRVUNL Collaborate for Development of Renewable Energy Power Parks

  • NTPC Green Energy Limited (NGEL) and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (UPRVUNL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Lucknow with an aim to collaborate in the development of Renewable Energy Parks and Projects and to facilitate in Government of India's efforts towards energy transition. The MoU was signed by Mohit Bhargava, CEO (NGEL) and Nidhi Kumar Narang, Director (Finance), UPRVUNL in the presence of P. Guruprasad, MD (UPRVUNL), Praveen Saxena, Regional Executive Director (NR) of NTPC. V. V. Sivakumar, GM (NGEL) and other senior officials of NTPC, NGEL and UPRVUNL were present during the occasion.
  • The MoU envisages the two organizations to collaborate through setting up of floating and ground mounted Solar Projects in the Rihand reservoir, other water bodies and any available vacant land, development of solar PV Project dedicated for solarization of Ayodhya city and setting up of Renewable energy Parks and Projects wherever land is made available. NGEL and UPRVUNL shall jointly work for formation of Joint Venture Company (JVC) to meet the Renewable Generation Obligation, Flexibility in Generation and Scheduling of Thermal/Hydro Power Stations through bundling with Renewable Energy and Energy Storage.

Sanjay Varma Takes Charge as MRPL Managing Director

  • Sanjay Varma took over as the Managing Director (additional charge) of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL). Varma has been on the board of MRPL as Director (Refinery) since June 2020. He has also had extensive exposure by being on the boards of ONGC-Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd and Shell-MRPL Aviation.
  • Varma joined MRPL in December 1993 and has played a pivotal role in the execution and operation of all three major phases of the refinery and its aromatic complex.
  • Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) is a public sector oil refinery and petrochemical company located in Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
  • MRPL was incorporated on March 7, 1988, as a joint venture between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and the government of Karnataka. HPCL held a majority stake of 51%, while the government of Karnataka held a 49% stake.
  • The construction of the refinery began in 1989, and it was commissioned in 1996. The refinery was designed to process crude oil and produce various petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), kerosene, aviation turbine fuel (ATF), and others.
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Union Minister for Jal Shakti Launches Portal for GOBARdhan

  • The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan which will act as a one stop repository to assess investment and participation in Biogas/CBG sector at pan India level and more importantly streamline the process of setting up CBG/Biogas plants in India. Any government, cooperative or private entity operating or intending to setup a Biogas/CBG/Bio CNG plant in India can obtain a registration number by enrolling in this unified registration portal. The registration number will enable availing of multitude of benefits and support from the Ministries & Departments of Government of India. States have been advised to get their CBG/Biogas plant operators registered on the portal on priority to avail existing and upcoming support from the Union Government.
  • Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBARdhan) is a vital umbrella initiative of Government of India, based on the whole of Government approach and aims to convert waste to wealth towards promoting circular economy. Government of India intends to build a robust ecosystem for setting up Biogas/Compressed Biogas (CBG)/ Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) plants to drive sustainable economic growth and promote a circular economy.
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Missile Specialist P. Upadhyay Takes over as Director General of Naval Armament

  • P. Upadhyay, took over as Director General of Naval Armament (DGONA) at IHQ MoD (Navy) from KSC lyer, who superannuated on 31 May 31, 2023. P. Upadhyay, belongs to 1987 batch of Indian Naval Armament Service. He joined Naval Armament Organization of Indian Navy on Jul 12, 1989. An Electrical Engineering Graduate from SGSITS Indore, he earned his Post Graduate degrees from Devi Ahilya University in Electrical Engineering with specialization in 'Digital Techniques and Instrumentation' in 1988 and in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pune with specialisation in 'Guided Missiles', in 1995. In a span of 34 years, he has held various important assignments at NAD (Visakhapatnam), NAD (Karanja), NAD (Trombay), NAD (Alwaye) and IHQ, MoD (N). He is an alumnus of Naval Defence College of NDC-53.
  • The officer specialises in Missile and Torpedo Maintenance besides having vast knowledge on disposal of ammunition.
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International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

  • Every year on June 4, the United Nations (UN) observes the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression to raise awareness of the children who have been victims of physical, mental, and emotional abuse around the world. On this day, the United Nations reaffirms its commitment to preserve children's rights.
  • The very first International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression was observed on August 19, 1982.
  • The General Assembly on its 31st plenary meeting on 19 August 1982, having considered the question of Palestine at its resumed seventh emergency special session, "appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel's acts of aggression" decided to commemorate June 4 of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.
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Indian-Origin Boy Crowned 2023 US Spelling Bee Champion

  • The 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee was won by Dev Shah, a 14-year-old Indian-American student from Florida, who spelled the word 'psammophile' correctly. Shah received the USD 50,000 prize and the 95th national bee title after spelling the word, which means a plant or animal that live well in sandy places, at the event in National Harbor, Maryland.
  • Eleven students made the finals after 11 million people entered spelling competitions throughout the world. Charlotte Walsh, a 14-year-old from Arlington, Virginia, was the runner-up.

OTT Platforms Mandated to Show Anti-tobacco Warnings

  • The Union Health Ministry mandated anti-tobacco warnings for OTT platforms. The ministry's notification laid down new rules for anti-tobacco warnings for publishers and a failure to comply with new rules will lead to strict action against them.
  • OTT platforms are now required to display anti-tobacco warnings and disclaimers similar to the ones we see in movies screened in theatres and in television programmes.
  • The OTT platform shall also be required to exhibit an anti-tobacco health warning as a prominent static message at the bottom of the screen when tobacco products or their use are displayed during the programme, PTI had reported while the ministry was mulling the decision.
  • In the wake of the growing popularity of OTT platforms, which play a crucial role in influencing the mind, especially that of a minor, the amended rules calling for a disclaimer may help fight the vice.

First IIT in Tanzania to Open in October 2023

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will open its first-ever overseas campus in Tanzania's Zanzibar in October 2023 with a batch of 50 undergraduate students and 20 master's students.
  • The new IIT campus will be set up in Zanzibar under the name IIT Madras at Zanzibar. Zanzibar will be one of three campuses outside of India, with the others located in Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur.
  • Each of these campuses is designed to serve its respective region, with Zanzibar serving the greater East African region.
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Gauhati High Court Apprises State Government of Constituting the Public Land Protection Cells

  • The Assam government apprised the Gauhati High Court that the process for putting in place the mechanism of constituting the Public Land Protection Cells in all the districts of Assam has been initiated.
  • The Division bench of the Chief Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Mitali Thakuria herd a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed alleging that certain individuals have illegally encroached on a plot of Government land measuring 2 bighas 5 kathas 8 lechas in the Sutirpur village of Nagaon district which was in possession of the Water Resource Department since the year 1955-56.
  • The petitioners asserted in the petition that before approaching the Court, numerous complaints were filed to the concerned in relation to this illegal act of encroachment but without fetching any fruitful result. Thereupon, the petitioners were compelled to approach the Court by way of this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the respondent authorities to take appropriate action against the illegal occupants on Government lands and to demolish the structures raised thereupon.
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