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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

05 Jun 2023


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Edgars Rinkevics New President of Latvia

  • Latvian lawmakers picked the country's long-serving popular Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, a strong backer of Ukraine, as its new head of state in a tight vote.
  • The 100-seat Saeima legislature elected Edgars Rinkevics, the country's top diplomat since 2011, as President to serve for a four-year term. He received 52 votes, one vote more than required to win. Incumbent Egils Levits, Latvia's head of state since 2019, didn't seek re-election. Rinkevics will represent Latvia, a European Union and NATO member nation, at NATO's Vilnius summit in July.
  • Rinkevics took the largely ceremonial role after serving as Latvia's Foreign Minister since 2011. He has also served in the country's civil service.

Abdulla Al Mandous New President of WMO

  • Abdulla Al Mandous, Director-General of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was elected as the new President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for a four-year term from 2023 to 2027. Al Mandous was elected by the representatives of WMO's 193 member states and territories who have convened in Geneva, Switzerland as part of the 19th session of the World Meteorological Congress, held from May 22 to June 2.This is the first time that a GCC meteorologist and an Arab meteorologist from Asia was named as the president of WMO. Al Mandous is a highly respected meteorologist with over 30 years of experience in the field. He has served as Director-General of NCM since 2014 and has played a leading role in the development of meteorology and climate science in the UAE.As the president of WMO, Al Mandous will be responsible for leading the organization's work on weather, climate, hydrological and related environmental fields. He will also represent WMO at the international level and work to strengthen the organization's cooperation with other UN agencies and partners.

Sri Lankan Cabinet Ministers Approve Proposal for Establishment of Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism

  • Sri Lanka's Cabinet Ministers approved the proposal for the establishment of the 'Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism' in the island nation on the lines of Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. Earlier in March 2023, Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabry and Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe visited South Africa to discuss the working of the Commission. Sabry had said that he got insightful inputs, and added that a credible and transparent domestic Truth and Reconciliation Commission could be the solution to deal with intrusive and agenda-driven attempts. In October 2018, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was then Prime Minister, had presented a Cabinet Memorandum together with a 26-page Concept Paper that was to form the basis for such a body. As President, Wickremesinghe had renewed efforts for setting up of the Commission. Several affected Tamils had been demanding to know of the whereabouts of thousands missing in the island nation which was affected by a three decade long armed conflict. However, there is scepticism among certain sections, as efforts were made earlier in 2015 also under pressure from the United Nations Human Rights body which were not followed up.
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RBI Imposes Rs. 2.20 crore Penalty on Indian Overseas Bank for Rule Violations

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed monetary penalty of Rs. 2.20 crore on Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) for rule violations.
  • The penalty on IOB was imposed as bank failed to make minimum mandatory transfer of a sum equivalent to 25 per cent of its disclosed profit for the year 2020-21 to its reserve fund and there was significant divergence between the non-performing assets (NPAs) as reported by it and as assessed by the inspection.

Karbon Card Launches Mobile-based Expense Management Card

  • Karbon Card launched a mobile-based expense management card for businesses and individuals wherein it offers its users uncapped cashback of up to 1%.
  • In comparison to other prepaid instruments like UPI and debit cards, which do not offer any cashback, Card ++ differentiates itself by providing interesting cashback offers, incentivizing people for their spending. The unique feature adds value to the card, making it an option for users.
  • Karbon's Card++ offers an expense management solution, empowering businesses to operate and is gaining popularity among startups and small and medium-sized enterprises as a payment platform that offers uncapped cashback rewards without any charges. Its features include the ability to make payments on various platforms such as Google, Amazon, Swiggy, and Ola.
  • Since its founding in 2019 by Kartik Jain, Amit Jangir, and Sunil Kumar, Karbon Card has been committed to innovation, releasing products such as corporate cards, payout, and invoice management.
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Microsoft Joins Indian Govt. to Train Students and Educators in Cybersecurity Skills

  • Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Directorate General of Training (DGT) under the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to train 6,000 students and 200 educators in digital and cyber-security skills in the country. As part of this collaboration with, Microsoft will offer a wide range of courses, including training in AI, cloud computing, web development and cybersecurity skills for students and 200 faculty members at government-led Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and National Skills Training Institutions (NSTIs).
  • The training will empower young students with industry-relevant skills, enhancing their employability, and connecting them to relevant job opportunities.
  • In addition, trained faculty members can then train ITI students attending computer operator and programming assistant (COPA) training.

Malviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur Identified as the National Centre for Earthquake Safety of Dams

  • Malviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) in Jaipur was identified as the National Centre for Earthquake Safety of Dams, the first centre of its kind in the country. The centre will develop indigenous capabilities in making the country self-reliant in handling technology issues related to structural and earthquake safety of dams.
  • Earthquake shaking is considered the most significant threat to the safety of dams. Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA), functioning under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, the new centre will work intensively with dam engineers, regulators and policy makers.

Three Chinese Astronauts Return to Earth after a Six-month Stint in Space Station

  • Three Chinese astronauts returned safely to Earth on board the Shenzhou-15 manned spaceship after completing their six-month mission to build China's space station.
  • Shenzhou-15's return capsule carrying astronauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu, touched down at the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
  • The three were replaced by three other astronauts, including China's first civilian who successfully flew to the space station on May 30.
  • The new set of astronauts will stay in the space station for five months.
  • Once ready, China will be the only country to own a space station as the International Space Station (ISS) of Russia is a collaborative project of several countries. The ISS station is also set to be decommissioned by 2030.
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Third Khelo India University Games Concludes in Varanasi

  • The third edition of Khelo India University Games, organised in four cities of Uttar Pradesh from May 25 to June 3, concluded in Varanasi. A simple closing ceremony was held in view of the train accident in Odisha. More than 4,000 athletes from 108 universities in the country participated in the games.
  • With a total of 69 medals — 26 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze — Panjab University stood first, followed by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (total 68 medals — 24 gold, 27 silver, 17 bronze) and Jain University, Karnataka (total 32 medals — 16 gold, 10 silver, 6 bronze).

India's Manjeet Wins Bronze in UWW Ranking Series Wrestling Event in Kyrgyzstan

  • Manjeet won a bronze in the men's Greco Roman 55 kg category to open India's medal account in the UWW Ranking Series wrestling event in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Manjeet lost to Ikhtiyor Botirov of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals with the latter notching up victory by superiority (VSU1, 13-4). But, since Botirov reached the final, Manjeet got a chance to fight for one of the two bronze medals.
  • The Indian beat Yersin Abyir of Kazakhstan 14-9 via VPO1 (winner with no technical superiority but the loser scored at least 1 point) to grab a bronze on the opening day of competitions.
  • Kazakhstan's Marlan Mukashev beat Botirov in the gold medal bout.

Lakshya Sen Loses Men's Singles semi-finals against Kunlavut Vitidsarn in Thailand Open

  • The Indian challenge at the $420,000 Thailand Open badminton ended as Lakshya Sen lost a tough men's singles semi-finals battle against Thailand'sr Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
  • Playing his first semi-finals since winning the Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham 2022, Sen lost 21-13, 17-21, 13-21 in Bangkok. This was Sen's fourth loss in eight outings against the Thai, who was backed by a vociferous crowd.
  • Kunlavut Vitidsarn beat Lee Cheuk Yiu (21-11, 21-10) and won the tournament.
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India G20 - South Centre Event on International Taxation Concludes

  • Keeping in view the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India's G20 Presidency to attempt to voice the views of the Global South on important international issues, a two-day event on International Taxation was organised on June 1 to 2, 2023 at the National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT), Nagpur in collaboration with South Centre, a Geneva-based intergovernmental policy research think-tank of 55 developing countries, including India.
  • The G20-South Centre Capacity Building Event on International Taxation titled 'Two Pillar Solution – Understanding the Implications for the Global South' comprised of two panel discussions on the Two-Pillar Solution and its alternatives. The discussions during the event focussed on the ramifications of the Two-Pillar Solution for the developing economies. The event also included a workshop on Tax Treaty Negotiations. This event is an initiative of the Indian Presidency to bolster capacity building for Indian tax officials of both senior and middle management levels in the area of International Taxation, with a global south perspective.
  • NADT, the apex training institute for the officers of the Indian Revenue Service, hosted the two day Indian G20 Presidency event. The event also included a cultural evening where the vibrant culture of the state of Maharashtra was showcased to the participants and concluded with an excursion for the foreign delegates to explore the rich heritage of Nagpur.

Integrated Command and Control Centre Set up in Srinagar under Smart City Mission

  • A state-of-the-art Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) was set up on the outskirts of Srinagar city under the Smart City Mission.
  • The Centre will act as the "brain and nerve" for all Smart City IT-related interventions. It will be responsible for GIS mapping and will have a digital address for all the properties in the City. The Centre is also tasked to lay a 175 km long fibre net for uninterrupted services to the locals.
  • The ICCC will also have a traffic management system, early warning system, location-based targetted surveillance and messaging service. The system will also provide a monitoring traffic system to keep a check on violations and also provide other traffic-related services. A portal, as well as an app, were set up that will serve as a platform for the people to avail of the services provided by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

StartUp20 Engagement Group Meet Ends

  • The StartUp20 Engagement Group meeting culminated in Goa with a call of action for G20 nations to invest USD one trillion for start-up ecosystems by 2030.
  • The two-day meeting ended on a positive note with all participating delegations agreeing on the policy communique drafted during the conference, Chintan Vaishnav, Chair of StartUp20 Engagement Group, said.
  • This was the third meeting of the engagement group, with the first two rounds taking place in Hyderabad in Telangana and Sikkim.
  • The five actions the participants agreed to were to create and adopt definition framework for start ups, to create a network institution to support start ups and start up ecosystem across G20 nations, to increase and diversify access to capital, to ease market access and to emphasise the inclusion of underrepresented communities, and to create ability to scale start ups of global interest.
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Air Marshal Rajesh Kumar Anand Takes over as Air Officer-in-Charge Administration

  • Air Marshal Rajesh Kumar Anand, recipient of Vishisht Seva Medal, took over as Air Officer-in-Charge Administration (AOA). An alumnus of National Defence Academy, the Air Marshal was commissioned in Administrative Branch of the Indian Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller on Jun 13, 1987. He has undergone the Higher Air Command Course from College of Air Warfare and Area Control Course from the Singapore Aviation Academy.
  • In a career spanning over 36 years, the Air Marshal has held various field and staff appointments. Prior to his present appointment, he was Director General (Administration) at Air Headquarters, New Delhi.
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Ayushmann Khurrana Goodwill Ambassador for Special Olympics Bharat

  • Bollywood star Ayushmann Khurrana, who is the National Ambassador of UNICEF, was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for Special Olympics Bharat. The actor is delighted with his participation and is excited to cheer for India's team players in the upcoming World Summer Games in Berlin.
  • The Special Olympics Bharat has scaled up the preparation of the athletes ahead of the Special Olympics World Summer Games, which are set to take place in Berlin, Germany, between June 17 and 25. India will be sending a 280 strong contingent comprising 198 athletes and partners along with 57 coaches who will be competing across 16 sports disciplines at the prestigious event.

Veteran Actress Sulochana Latkar - Screen 'Mom' Passes Away

  • Veteran actress Sulochana Latkar - who played memorable roles in films in over 250 Hindi and 50-odd Marathi films, and was the screen mother to many top stars - passed away. She was 94.
  • Sulochana - as she was popular in the film industry - was noted for wide ranging roles, from lead roles supporting characters to a motherly figure, and endeared herself to the viewers for over six decades.
  • Some of her memorable early performances as the lead heroine were in Marathi films like 'Sasurvas', 'Vahinichya Bangdya', 'Meeth Bhakar', 'Sangtye Aika' and 'Dhakti Jau' and many more.
  • Born on July 30, 1928 at Khadaklat village of Belagavi (now in Karnataka), she made her film debut in 1946.
  • Among her top Bollywood films was in the Bimal Roy classic, 'Bandini' (1963), which is remembered even today.
  • Over the years she played the on screen mother to many stars including Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rajendra Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Nutan, Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman, Zeenat Aman, Tanuja, and others.
  • Sulochana was conferred the Padma Shri in 1999, and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
  • The Maharashtra government bestowed the 'Maharashtra Bhushan Award', the highest honour of the state.
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World Environment Day

  • World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year to raise awareness and encourage action for the protection of our planet. It was first established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, and since then, over 150 countries participate in various activities to celebrate this day. World Environment Day is an important day to raise awareness and encourage action for the protection of our planet.
  • World Environment Day was established in 1972 by the United Nations at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment (5–16 June 1972), that had resulted from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. One year later, in 1973 the first WED was held with the theme 'Only One Earth'.
  • The 50th anniversary of World Environment Day was hosted by Côte D'Ivoire, with the theme of 'Solutions to plastic pollution'. In previous years, the themes included "Beat Air Pollution" (2019), "Biodiversity" (2020), and "Ecosystem Restoration" (2021).

International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

  • International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing is celebrated on June 5 every year. The day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 to raise awareness of the problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
  • IUU fishing is a major threat to global fish stocks and the marine environment. It is estimated that IUU fishing costs the global economy up to $23 billion per year. IUU fishing can also lead to overfishing, habitat destruction, and the loss of biodiversity.
  • The Committee on Fisheries endorsed the proposal for the declaration of June 5 as the International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. The date reflects the day when the Port State Measures Agreement officially entered into force as an international treaty. The entry into force of this agreement marked an historical event, as it is the first international legally-binding instrument specifically devoted to the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
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Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Releases UGC Regulations, 2023

  • Union Minister of Education and Skill Development, Dharmendra Pradhan released the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2023.
  • The UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2023 were released in the presence of Prof. Jagadesh Kumar, Chairman, UGC and Sanjay Murthy, Secretary (Higher Education), Ministry of Education.
  • Pradhan said that UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2023, will facilitate the creation of many more quality-focused deemed to be universities in an objective and transparent manner. The new simplified guidelines will encourage universities to focus on quality & excellence, strengthen the research ecosystem and have a long-term impact on transforming our higher education landscape.
  • The draft Regulations passed through several stages in the process of finalization. The expert committee's guidance, public feedback, and suggestions of the Commission were all taken into consideration before sending the final draft Regulations to the Ministry of Education for concurrence.
  • The eligibility criteria to apply for deemed to be university status is NAAC 'A' grade with at least a 3.01 CGPA for three consecutive cycles or NBA accreditation for two third of eligible programmes for three consecutive cycles or in the top 50 of any specific category of NIRF for the last three years continuously or in top 100 of overall NIRF Ranking for last three years continuously.

Bengal Governor Appoints Interim VCs in 11 Varsities

  • In a move that sparked controversy, West Bengal Governor C. V. Ananda Bose appointed interim Vice-Chancellors (VCs) in 11 state universities, leading to criticism from State Education Minister Bratya Basu. Basu labelled the decision by the Raj Bhavan as unilateral and in violation of the law.
  • Governor Ananda Bose, who serves as the chancellor of universities, took this step to resolve the deadlock in the appointment of interim VCs in 27 universities. The governor's office stated that he had applied a middle-path approach in making these appointments.
  • Education Minister Bratya Basu expressed his disapproval of the governor's decision, claiming that the appointment of VCs without consulting the Department of Higher Education violated established norms and the law.
  • In response, the governor clarified that consultations had indeed taken place regarding the appointment of interim VCs.
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Book on Sidhu Moosewala 'Who Killed Moosewala?'

  • A new book gives a detailed account of the death and the subsequent investigation into the murder of Punjabi singer-rapper Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu -- popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala. 'Who Killed Moosewala?', was released, is written by journlaist-author Jupinderjit Singh. Published by Westland Books, it looks at the events of May 29, 2022, the day the Punjabi hip-hop star was shot by six armed assailants while driving to his aunt's house in a village in Punjab.
  • In the gripping and fast-paced book, the author closely follows the investigation into Moosewala's death and also offers us glimpses into the man he was behind the mask of celebrity. Besides the story of the slain singer and those behind his murder, this book is also a rumination on the growing unrest in Punjab.
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