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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

18 Jan 2024

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

WEF Annual Meeting 2024

  • The 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) was held from January 15 to 19, 2024, at the local Swiss Alpine School in Davos. Attended by over 100 governments, international organizations, forum partners, and diverse stakeholders, the focus was on fostering open dialogue among government, business, and civil society leaders.
  • The 54th WEF Annual Meeting (2024) prioritised a 'Back to Basics' approach.
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ENVIRONMENT

India Tops Global Indoor Air Pollution Chart

  • India topped a global indoor air pollution chart with the highest average annual PM2.5 levels followed by China, Turkey, UAE and South Korea, according to a study by Dyson.
  • Moreover, on the list of cities with highest average annual PM2.5 levels, national capital Delhi was on the top amongst the studied cities, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Busan.
  • The Dyson Global Connected Air Quality Data project analyses more than half a trillion data points, to understand user behaviours and compare indoor and outdoor air quality.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Karnataka Bank and Clix Capital Forge Digital Co-Lending Partnership via Yubi Platform

  • In a strategic move aligned with Reserve Bank of India guidelines, Karnataka Bank (KBL) and Clix Capital joined forces through the Yubi Co.lend Platform. This digital co-lending partnership targets the Indian MSME sector, a key driver of the country's GDP and employment growth.
  • The collaboration leverages Karnataka Bank's cost-efficient funds, end-to-end digital capabilities, and credit expertise in the MSME sector. Paired with Clix Capital's robust lending tech platform and thorough due diligence, the alliance aims to provide seamless and accessible finance solutions. This initiative is a response to the RBI's encouragement for banks and NBFCs to co-lend to priority sectors.

LIC Becomes the most Valuable PSU

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India, a government-owned insurance giant, regained its status as the most valued public sector undertaking, surpassing the market capitalisation of State Bank of India.
  • While SBI holds a market value of Rs. 5.63 lakh crore, LIC surpassed it with a market capitalisation (MCap) of Rs. 5.64 lakh crore.

Competition Commission of India Approves Amalgamation of Shriram GI Holdings Private Limited with Shriram General Insurance

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the proposed amalgamation of Shriram GI Holdings Private Limited with Shriram General Insurance Company Limited.
  • The proposed combination relates to the amalgamation of Shriram GI Holdings Private Limited (SGIH) with Shriram General Insurance Company Limited (SGIC) (Proposed Combination).
  • SGIH undertakes the business of investments, facilitate strategic, private equity and third-party investors, and to carry on consultancy business, including in particular in relation to the general insurance products sector.
  • SGIC is engaged in the business of providing general insurance, undertake re-insurance, counter insurance of insurances and to carry on generally every kind of non-life insurance and re-insurance business relating to general insurance.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

MeitY Secretary Launches India's First Graphene Centre, IoT CoE in Kerala

  • MeitY Secretary S. Krishnan launched a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Intelligent Internet of Things (IIoT) Sensors and India's first graphene centre - India Innovation Centre for Graphene (IICG) in Kerala.
  • The CoE in IIoT Sensors is a unique facility established at Makers Village Kochi by MeitY, Government of India and Government of Kerala to catalyse the development of sensors within the realm of Intelligent IoT systems covering a broad spectrum of applications of intelligent sensors in networks, devices and sensor systems.
  • Further, the India Innovation Centre for Graphene (IICG) was established at Makers Village Kochi by MeitY and Government of Kerala along with Tata Steel Limited.
  • Digital University Kerala (DUK) (formerly IIITMK) and Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (CMET), Thrissur are the technical partners for setting up these centres.
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SPORTS

R. Praggnanandhaa Becomes India No. 1

  • Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa continued to script records as the chess prodigy became the No. 1-ranked Indian player for the first time in his career. Praggnanandhaa achieved the feat at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands, after defeating reigning world champion Ding Liren.
  • Praggnanandhaa went past his idol Viswanathan Anand in the live classical chess rankings. He jumped 2 spots to 11th overall with 2748.3 rating points, 0.3 more than Viswanathan Anand.
  • Praggnanandhaa, who started playing at the tender age of 5, became India's youngest and the then world's second-youngest Grandmaster at age 12 in 2018.

Rohit Sharma Becomes First Player to Score 5 T20I Centuries

  • India skipper Rohit Sharma became the first batter in T2O international history to get 5 centuries with his ton against Afghanistan in the 3rd T20I against Afghanistan.
  • Sharma, who had scored back to back ducks in the first 2 matches in the series, came roaring back to form with a century in 64 balls which was peppered with 10 fours and 6 sixes.
  • Rohit's last century in this format came in 2018 against West Indies where he scored an unbeaten 111 not out at Lucknow.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Ministry of Home Affairs Revokes FCRA Registration of Centre for Policy Research

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs in India revoked the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020, registration of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) in New Delhi, alleging violations. The leading public policy research institution, spearheaded by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's daughter, Yamini Aiyar, faced government scrutiny for purportedly breaching FCRA regulations.
  • The FCRA license for CPR was initially suspended in February 2023 for 180 days, and subsequently, the suspension was extended for an additional 180 days.
  • Established in 1973, CPR has been a leading policy think-tank, engaging in advanced and comprehensive research on diverse policy-related matters.

MOSPI Launches New eSakshi App to Track MPLADS Process

  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation launched a new app to track the fund flow under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme-2023.
  • The new eSakshi app will provide an interface to capture the entire MPLAD scheme cycle, providing convenience and accessibility like never before.
  • The eSakshi app launch is part of the ministry's ongoing efforts to strengthen the management and efficiency of the MPLADS.
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DEFENCE

Vice Admiral Vineet McCarty Assumes Role as Commandant, Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

  • Vice Admiral Vineet McCarty assumed the prestigious position of Commandant at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala. A seasoned officer with a remarkable career, Vice Admiral McCarty brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this significant role.
  • Vice Admiral McCarty's journey in the Indian Navy began in July 1989, when he was commissioned into the service. Over the years, he has distinguished himself through various roles and responsibilities, showcasing exemplary leadership and dedication to the nation.
  • Vice Admiral McCarty's career is marked by significant staff assignments, including serving as the Training Commander at the Naval Academy and as a Directing Staff at the Naval and Maritime Academy in Sri Lanka. Notably, he also served as India's Defence Adviser to the Republic of Singapore with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of the Philippines.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Lesley Lokko Wins Royal Gold Medal

  • Ghanaian-Scottish architect and educator Lesley Lokko was named the recipient the 2024 Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects, making her the first African woman to win the award.
  • Lokko, who is also an educator and curator, is the third woman to receive the prestigious accolade in her own right – rather than as part of a team – since it was established in 1848. The others are architects Zaha Hadid and Yasmeen Lari.
  • As per the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Lokko was selected for relentlessly pursuing inclusivity and equity in the field.

Assam Baibhav Award for Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi

  • The Assam government named Member of Parliament and former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi as recipient of the Assam Baibhav award, the state's highest civilian honour. He was credited for playing a part in the establishment of the Ram temple in Ayodhya through the apex court judgment delivered under his leadership as CJI.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

IIT Madras Partners with Technology Firm Altair for E-mobility Lab

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) partnered with Altair, a company providing solutions in simulation and high-performance computing and artificial intelligence, to start a laboratory for e-mobility.
  • The eMobility Simulation Lab at the department of engineering design, IIT Madras, will have the latest tools along with financial support from Altair.

IIM Calcutta Appoints Saibal Chattopadhyay as New Director in Charge

  • Senior faculty member of IIM Calcutta Professor Saibal Chattopadhyay, was appointed as the director-in-charge of the premier B school. Chattopadhyay was appointed by the Board of Governors (BoG) with immediate effect.

Kerala Makes Preamble to the Constitution Part of School Textbooks

  • In a first in the state, the revised school textbooks of Kerala will include a Preamble to the Constitution. General Education Minister V. Sivankutty said that the preamble of the Constitution will be included as the preface in all textbooks. There will be activities intended for children to imbibe it as part of the curriculum.
  • The state school curriculum steering committee gave approval to 173 textbook titles in a comprehensive curriculum revision for classes I, III, V, VII, and IX as part of curriculum reforms. The new textbooks for other classes will be ready by the 2025-26 academic year.
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ART AND CULTURE

Arunachal Pradesh's Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival

  • The 9th edition of the Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF), a state festival of Arunachal Pradesh, will take place at Seijosa in the Pakke Kessang district from January 18-20, 2024.
  • The festival focuses on wildlife conservation, with a particular emphasis on hornbills. Four species of the birds — Wreathed, Great Indian, Oriental Pied and the endangered Rufous-necked — are found in the Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The first-ever PPHF was held in January 2015. The aim was to recognise the role played by the Nyishi, the largest tribal group in Arunachal Pradesh, in conserving hornbills in PTR.
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