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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

10 Feb 2024

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

2024 World Governments Summit

  • The 2024 World Governments Summit, scheduled to be held in Dubai from February 12-14, designated India, Turkey and Qatar as guests of honour. Themed 'Shaping Future Governments,' the summit aims to facilitate discussions among over 25 government and state heads worldwide.
  • The World Governments Summit is an annual event held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

SBI Partners Flywire to Modernise International Education Payments for Students

  • State Bank of India (SBI) teamed with Flywire Corporation to revolutionise the landscape of international education payments for Indian students.
  • This strategic partnership aims to simplify the traditionally complex payment process, offering students a seamless and fully digital experience.
  • Integrated directly into SBI's platform, Flywire's technology would enable Indian students to complete their international education payments effortlessly in Indian rupees.
  • The collaboration also allows automatic capturing of relevant student information, ensuring accuracy and traceability in transactions. It aligns with the Reserve Bank of India's Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) guidelines, enhancing transparency and compliance.

NPCI Appoints Ajay Kumar Choudhary as Non-executive Chairman of Board

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced the appointment of Ajay Kumar Choudhary as non-executive chairman of the Board and independent director for a period of three years.
  • Choudhary succeeded Biswamohan Mahapatra who was appointed non-executive chairman in 2018.
  • Ajay Kumar Choudhary is a distinguished central banker with an illustrious career spanning over three decades at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He concluded his dedicated service to the institution as its Executive Director in October 2023.
  • Dilip Asbe is the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPCI.
  • Venkatraman Srinivasan, Rishikesha Krishnan, D. Manjunath, and Padmini Khare Kaicker are independent directors at NPCI, an umbrella organisation handling retail payments and settlement systems in India.

Ravi Kumar Jha Named MD & CEO of LIC Mutual Fund

  • LIC Mutual Fund Asset Management Limited announced the appointment of Ravi Kumar Jha as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Jha, with a distinguished career and prior association with LIC, comes with a track record of over 30 years in handling diverse positions.
  • His previous roles include Executive Director Corporate Strategy – LIC Mutual Fund Asset Management and various positions at LIC of India.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Google Partners with Maharashtra Govt. to Provide AI-led Services

  • Tech giant Google signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Maharashtra to provide artificial intelligence (AI)-led solutions across key sectors in the state.
  • As a part of the collaboration, Google will leverage its AI capabilities to provide solutions in sectors like agriculture, healthcare, sustainability, education, and start-ups.
  • The company also announced launching a state-of-the-art AI Centre of Excellence at the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Nagpur.
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SPORTS

2024 SAFF U-19 Women's Championship

  • India was declared the winner of the SAFF U19 Women's football final over Bangladesh with a coin toss after the game was tied 11-11 on penalties. The match officials later announced both sides as the joint winners of the tournament.
  • The 2024 SAFF U-19 Women's Championship was the fifth edition of the SAFF U-18/19/20 Women's Championship, an international football competition for women's under–19 national teams organized by SAFF. The tournament was held from February 2 to 8, 2024 in Bangladesh.
  • Nepal, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh were the four participating nations in the tournament.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Telangana Govt to Establish Help Desk for Youth in the USA and Abroad

  • In response to growing safety concerns among Telangana citizens residing abroad and recognising the need for immediate support and assistance for Telangana citizens facing challenges overseas, Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy announced the establishment of a dedicated help desk.
  • Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy's initiative aims to provide targeted assistance to individuals in locations such as Chicago, where safety concerns have become particularly acute.
  • This program aims to cater to the diverse requirements of students and young professionals from Telangana who are studying or working abroad. Functioning as a hub for advice, aid, and support, the help desk mirrors the government's unwavering commitment to the well-being of its citizens, regardless of their location.

India Energy Week 2024

  • Building on the success of the 2023 edition, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India Energy Week 2024 was held from February 6 to 9, 2024 in Goa, India.
  • Held under the patronage of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, and officially supported by the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI), India Energy Week 2024 was India's largest and only all-encompassing energy exhibition and conference, which brought together the entire energy value chain, and served as a catalyst for India's energy transition goals.
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DEFENCE

DRDO Successfully Concludes Four Flight Trials of ABHYAS

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted four flight trials of the high-speed expendable aerial target named 'ABHYAS.' The trials held at the Integrated Test Range in Odisha's Chandipur, accomplished four distinct mission objectives.
  • Using a revised robust configuration with a single booster designed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory in Hyderabad, the trials showcased reduced launch acceleration. This success marks a crucial milestone for DRDO's Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and its collaborative efforts with production agencies.
  • The flight trials of ABHYAS focused on achieving specific mission objectives, including the safe release of the booster, launcher clearance, and attaining the required end-of-launch velocity. These goals were successfully met, showcasing the effectiveness of the revised robust configuration and the single booster designed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

International Day of the Arabian Leopard

  • The International Day of the Arabian Leopard is celebrated on February 10 every year. This day highlights the critical status of the Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr), classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
  • Initiated by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in 2022, International Arabian Leopard Day has gained significant traction on the global stage when, in June 2023, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated February 10 as the International Day of the Arabian Leopard.

World Pulses Day

  • Every year on February 10, the global community celebrates World Pulses Day, an occasion dedicated to recognising the pivotal role of pulses in promoting food security, nutrition, and sustainable agricultural practices.
  • World Pulses Day finds its roots in the International Year of Pulses (IYP) 2016, an initiative led by the FAO to raise awareness about the benefits of pulses. Following the IYP's success, Burkina Faso proposed the establishment of World Pulses Day, which the UN General Assembly officially recognised in 2019.
  • The theme for World Pulses Day 2024 is 'Pulses: Nourishing soil and people'.

National Deworming Day

  • National Deworming Day is observed every year on February 10 in India and is aimed at deworming all children between 1 and 19.
  • The history of National Deworming Day in India dates back to February 10, 2015 when the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched this initiative with an intention to address the challenges of parasitic infections in children.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Sportstar Aces Awards 2024

  • In a ceremony that underscored the indomitable spirit of athletes and their tireless dedication to sports, the Sportstar Aces Awards 2024 celebrated the best in the world of sports. Recognising remarkable achievements across various categories, the awards brought to the forefront the relentless pursuit of excellence that defines sportsmanship.
  • The Sportstar Aces Awards 2024 not only celebrated the achievements of these exceptional athletes and contributors but also highlighted the unifying power of sports. Through dedication, teamwork, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence, each awardee has contributed significantly to the fabric of sports, inspiring millions around the globe.
  • Here is a list of some of the winners: Sportsman of the Year (Track and Field) -Men's Relay Team, Sportswoman of the Year (Track and Field) - Parul Chaudhary, Sportsman of the Year (Team Sports) - Hardik Singh, Mohammed Shami, Sportswoman of the Year (Team Sports) - Vandana Katariya, Sportsman of the Year (Individual) - Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, Sportswoman of the Year (Individual) - Rameshbabu Vaishali, Sift Kaur Samra, Sportsman of the Year (Para sports) - Sumit Antil, Sportswoman of the Year (Para sports) - Thulasimathi Murugesan, Coach of the Year - Rahul Dravid and Best Corporate for the Promotion of Sport - Tata Steel Ltd.

Music Composer Pyarelal Sharma Honoured with Lakshminarayana International Award

  • Pyarelal Sharma, one of the distinguished composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal, was honoured with the Lakshminarayana International Award. This accolade was bestowed upon the composer of 'My Name is Lakhan' during the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival, with musicians L. Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam presenting the award.
  • With a career spanning over eight decades, Pyarelal stands as one of the most successful music composers in Hindi cinema. Collaborating with music maestro Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar, the duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal created timeless songs in movies like 'Dosti,' 'Hum Sab Ustad Hain,' 'Aaye Din Bahar Ke,' 'Mere Hamdam Mere Dost,' 'Mera Gaon Mera Desh,' 'Bobby,' 'Roti,' 'Kapda Aur Makaan,' 'Amar Akbar Anthony,' 'Aasha,' 'Prem Rog,' 'Meri Jung,' 'Ram Lakhan,' among many others.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Cabinet Okays Rs. 6,000 crore Scheme for Formalisation of Fisheries Sector

  • The Union Cabinet approved a Rs. 6,000 crore sub-scheme, under the flagship Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) launched in 2020, with the objective of formalising the largely unorganised fisheries sector in the country.
  • The formalisation will be done through the creation of a national fisheries digital platform, facilitating access to institutional finance for the sector and creating an insurance product which would cover at least 100,000 hectares of aquaculture farms during the project period.
  • Almost half of the total project cost that is around Rs. 3,000 crore will come from public financing that includes World Bank and the AFD external financing while the balance is expected investment from the private sector and the beneficiaries.
  • The scheme will run for four years starting from FY-24, incentivising fisheries and aquaculture microenterprises through performance grants for improving fisheries sector value-chain efficiencies including creation and maintenance of jobs, and incentivising micro and small enterprises through performance grants for adoption and expansion of fish and fishery product safety are the other main objectives of the programme.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Tata Trusts to Inaugurate India's First Small Animal Hospital in Mumbai

  • In a visionary collaboration with philanthropist Ratan Tata, Tata Trusts proudly announces the launch of the nation's first Small Animal Hospital in Mahalaxmi, Mumbai. This groundbreaking initiative is a testament to Mr. Tata's enduring commitment to pet healthcare and veterinary care. Spanning an impressive 98,000 square feet across five floors, this state-of-the-art facility epitomizes excellence in pet healthcare.
  • Scheduled for inauguration in March 2024, the hospital is poised to revolutionize the landscape of pet healthcare.
  • With a capacity exceeding 200 beds, the hospital pledges round-the-clock services aimed at safeguarding the well-being of pets.
  • From Surgical Services encompassing soft tissue surgeries to orthopedic interventions, to Pharmacy Services ensuring the availability of essential medications, the hospital leaves no stone unturned in catering to the diverse needs of pets.
  • Advanced Diagnostic Facilities, including radiology and imaging services such as MRI, X-ray, CT scan, and ultrasonography, complemented by comprehensive laboratory services, further bolster the hospital's commitment to excellence.

Bhagavad Gita Lessons for Gujarat Government School Students in Classes 6 to 12

  • In a unanimous decision, the Gujarat legislative assembly passed a resolution endorsing the state's initiative to introduce teachings from the Bhagavad Gita into school education for students of classes 6 to 12, aimed at instilling cultural pride and values among students.
  • The resolution, tabled by Minister of State for Education Praful Pansheriya, received bipartisan support, with AAP backing it and Congress, albeit with initial reservations, eventually lending their votes to the cause.
  • For students in Classes 6 to 8, it will be taught in the form of stories and recitations. Meanwhile, students from Classes 9 to 12 will encounter the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita through their first-language textbooks.
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ART AND CULTURE

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Gen Naravane Participate at WordsCount Festival

  • 'WordsCount – The Festival of Words' was held on February 9 to 10, 2024 at the prestigious Mayo College in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
  • The two-day festival was inaugurated by former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with a session titled 'Being Mama -- A Journey into the Heart'.
  • Renowned speakers such as Prasoon Joshi, Sandip Ghose (CEO MP Birla Cement), Pawan Khera, and Vikas Bhale (Principal Secretary, Govt of Rajasthan) shared their insights and engage in thought-provoking discussions.
  • The closing address of the festival was delivered by the 28th Chief of Army Staff General Manoj M. Naravane.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Indian Government Gives Nod to Establish Supreme Court Regional Benches

  • The Indian government gave its nod to the recommendation of a parliamentary committee advocating the establishment of regional benches for the Supreme Court. As per a report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee had highlighted that the apex court has "consistently" dismissed the idea, citing it as a sub-judice matter.
  • The Supreme Court has been consistently rejecting the proposal for setting up of the Benches of Supreme Court at a place outside Delhi.
  • Presenting its action-taken report on 'Judicial Processes and Their Reforms', the Standing Committee on Law and Personnel in the Lok Sabha revealed that the government has acknowledged its suggestion.
  • The committee highlighted that establishing regional benches could alleviate the burden on the judiciary and reduce litigation costs for the common man.
  • The committee reiterated its persistent recommendation for setting up regional Supreme Court benches and proposed the invocation of Article 130 of the Constitution for this purpose. The panel recommended the setting up of regional benches in four or five locations across India.
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