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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

14 Mar 2024

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Nepal PM Wins Trust Vote in Parliament for Third Time

  • Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' secured a vote of confidence in Parliament, as the Himalayan country struggled to maintain political stability.
  • Prachanda, a former guerilla leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), the third largest party in the House of Representatives, got 157 votes in the 275-member Lower House. He needed 138 votes to win the trust vote, his third since December 2022.
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ENVIRONMENT

New Scorpion Species with 8 Eyes and Legs Found in Thailand

  • Researchers made an exciting discovery, a previously unknown scorpion species with 8 eyes and 8 legs in Thailand's Kaeng Krachan National Park.
  • This newly discovered species belongs to the subgenus Euscorpiops and has been named Euscorpiops Krachan, after the national park where it was found.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

ISMA Appoints Deepak Ballani as New Director General

  • The Indian Sugar & Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA) appointed Deepak Ballani as its new Director General. With over 25 years of extensive experience in public policy, government affairs, and organizational management, Ballani brings a wealth of expertise to this pivotal role.
  • Prior to joining ISMA, Ballani served as the Director General at The All India Plastics Manufacturers Association, where he spearheaded policy advocacy, government affairs management, and international partner management.
  • Ballani's illustrious career journey includes notable positions with renowned organizations such as PwC India, UNIDO, NSIC, and others, where he led projects focusing on energy efficiency, technology transfer, and international business development.

SBI Partners with Aurionpro for its Transaction Banking Platform

  • Aurionpro Solutions clinched a significant deal with the State Bank of India (SBI) for the license, implementation, and support of its cutting-edge cash management and transaction banking platform, iCashpro+. Valued at nearly Rs. 100 crore, this prestigious contract entails phased delivery of license and implementation over 12 months, followed by a 6-year maintenance and support period.

Tata Power Solar Completes India's Largest Solar-BESS Project in Chhattisgarh

  • Tata Power Solar Systems Limited (TPSSL), a subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL), completed India's largest Solar and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) project in Chhattisgarh.
  • The project consists of a 100 MW Solar PV Project combined with a 120 MWh Utility Scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).
  • It comprises a 100 MW Solar PV Project and a 120 MWh Utility Scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). TPSSL secured the Rs. 945 crore project from SECI in December 2021, handling engineering, construction, and commissioning.
  • The project anticipates generating 243.53 million energy units annually, cutting carbon emissions by 4.87 million tonnes over 25 years, aligning with India's renewable energy targets. Tata AutoComp Systems Limited supplied the BESS, reflecting a commitment to excellence and collaboration.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

MoRD Partners With IIT Delhi for Geospatial Tech & AI Applications

  • MoRD (Ministry of Rural Development) and IIT Delhi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on geospatial technology and artificial intelligence (AI) for rural development. The partnership aims to leverage technology to enhance the effectiveness and transparency of rural development initiatives. The MoU signifies a collaborative effort to address rural challenges through technological solutions, setting a precedent for effective collaboration between academia and government.
  • The MoU centers around the project 'BhuPRAHARI', an ambitious initiative aimed at leveraging ground and space-based geospatial technologies along with Artificial Intelligence to monitor and manage assets under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
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SPORTS

Nishant Loses Quarters and Paris Berth

  • Nishant Dev missed out on a Paris Olympics quota by a whisker, suffering a heartbreaking loss in the 71kg class quarter-finals as all Indian boxers returned empty-handed from the first World Olympic Boxing Qualifier.
  • Dev went down 1-4 to USA's Omari Jones, the 2021 World Championships silver medallist, in a closely-contested quarter-final.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Centre Bans Jammu Kashmir National Front for 5 years under UAPA

  • The Centre imposed a five-year ban on the Jammu Kashmir National Front (JKNF), a constituent of the Hurriyat Conference, under the stringent anti-terror law for sowing seeds of disaffection among people.
  • The MHA declared the JKNF headed by Nayeem Ahmad Khan an unlawful association with immediate effect under the UAPA. The order will have effect for a period of five years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates India's First Automobile In-Plant Railway Siding

  • In a historic moment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugural automobile inaugurated India's first in-plant railway siding at Suzuki Motor Gujarat Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL). The ceremony, conducted via video conferencing, signifies a pivotal advancement in the execution of the Prime Minister's flagship Gati Shakti programme.
  • The primary objectives of this in-plant railway siding are to reduce the carbon footprint in logistics, decrease fossil fuel consumption, and alleviate road congestion.
  • Upon reaching full operational capacity, the Gujarat railway siding facility is poised to dispatch an impressive 300,000 cars annually to 15 destinations across India.
  • The collaborative effort behind this project includes Gujarat Rail Infrastructure Development (G-RIDE), a partnership between the Government of Gujarat and Indian Railways.

Union Minister Inaugurates 'National Speed Breeding Crop Facility' at NABI

  • Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of Science & Technology, inaugurated the 'National Speed Breeding Crop Facility' at NABI (National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute), Mohali. This initiative aligns with PM Modi's vision of increasing farmers' income and promoting Agri Start-ups.
  • The facility serves all Indian states, with a focus on North Indian states like Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Jammu & Kashmir.
  • It speeds up crop improvement programs by developing advanced varieties resilient to climate change.
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DEFENCE

Indian Navy at Exercise Cutlass Express 2024

  • The Indian Navy took part in a major maritime exercise called Exercise Cutlass Express – 24 (CE-24). This exercise was held in Port Victoria, Seychelles.
  • The Indian Navy was represented by the ship INS Tir, which is the lead ship of the First Training Squadron. INS Tir was led by Senior Officer, First Training Squadron, Capt Anshul Kishore.
  • The exercise was inaugurated by the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, in the presence of dignitaries from India, USA, and African countries.
  • Exercise Cutlass Express is a multinational maritime exercise sponsored by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and led by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet.
  • The main goal of this exercise is to promote maritime security and cooperation in the strategic waters of the East African coast and the Western Indian Ocean.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

International Day of Action for Rivers

  • International Day of Action of Rivers 2024 is an international event observed on March 14 all over the world every year.
  • It is a day that is dedicated to saving, celebrating, and creating awareness about the importance of rivers.
  • The International Day of Action Against Dams and For Rivers, Water and Life was adopted by the participants of the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams in March 1997 in Curitiba, Brazil, according to internationalrivers.org. River experts from 20 countries decided that March 14 will be the 'Day of Action for Rivers'. The participants aimed to unite against the destruction of rivers, other water bodies, and the ecologically fragile watershed areas.
  • The theme for International Day of Action for Rivers 2024 is 'Water for All'.

World Kidney Day

  • Every year, World Kidney Day is observed on the second Thursday in March. This year (2024), the special day falls on March 14.
  • In 2006, the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) launched a campaign with the tagline – Are your kidneys okay? The intention was to create awareness about the importance of maintaining good kidney health and avoid health complications. Since then, World Kidney Day has been observed every year where awareness about early detection of kidney disorders and importance of kidney check-ups is raised.
  • The 2024 World Kidney Day campaign theme is Kidney Health for All – Advancing Equitable Access to Care and Optimal Medication Practice. The campaign aims to improve access to kidney treatment around the world.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize 2023

  • Writer Kannaiyan Daksnamurthy's book ''Karunkundram' was selected for Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize 2023. Kannaiyan Daksnamurthy has translated Mamang Dai's English novel 'The Black Hill' into Tamil.
  • The prize carries an amount of Rs. 50,000 and a copper plaque.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

NIELIT and ITI Egypt Sign MoU to Improve Skills, Jobs, and Global Collaboration

  • The National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) of India and the Information Technology Institute (ITI) of Egypt signed an MoU. This significant event took place in Cairo, Egypt. This collaboration seeks to bridge the gap in ICT skills, enhancing industry engagement and fostering meaningful international cooperation between India and Egypt.
  • The MoU outlines several key areas of collaboration, including:
  • Curriculum and Training Materials Development: Both institutions will work together to develop comprehensive curriculum and training materials to meet the evolving demands of the ICT industry.
  • Exchange of Trainers and Experts: Facilitating the exchange of trainers and experts will enrich the learning experience and promote cross-cultural understanding.
  • Mutual Recognition of Certification: Ensuring mutual recognition of certifications will streamline the process of skill validation and enhance the mobility of professionals between India and Egypt.
  • Sharing of Virtual Labs Facility: The sharing of virtual lab facilities will provide students with access to state-of-the-art equipment and resources for hands-on learning.
  • Offering of Post Graduate (PG) Diplomas/ Technical Certificates: ITI Egypt will nominate interns to receive PG diplomas and technical certificates from NIELIT, enhancing their employability and skill set.

IIT Delhi, Israel Aerospace Industries Collaborate on Applied Research

  • The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) collaborated with the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for applied research. According to IIT Delhi, the IAI-IIT CSR agreement demonstrates IAI's commitment to its corporate social responsibility in India. The cooperation includes collaborative projects, training and research consultancy.
  • This alliance between IAI and IIT-Delhi, the official statement added, will demonstrate a shared vision leveraging research to drive progress and technological excellence, shaping together the future of technology in India.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

IGI Clinches Best Airport Award in Asia Pacific Region for Sixth Year in Row

  • Indira Gandhi International Airport once again asserted its dominance in the aviation sector by securing the prestigious title of 'Best Airport' in the Asia-Pacific region for the sixth consecutive year. This accolade, bestowed by the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards, reaffirms Delhi Airport's commitment to excellence and leadership in providing top-notch services to passengers.
  • The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Best Airport award for 2023 was conferred upon Delhi Airport in the category of over 40 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) by the Airports Council International (ACI).
  • The ASQ Awards, organized annually by ACI World, evaluate airport performance based on customer experience metrics gathered from passengers participating in ASQ's Departures and Arrivals Surveys.
  • ACI World collaborates with Amadeus, a leading travel technology company, to administer the ASQ Awards, ensuring a rigorous and impartial assessment process.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Supreme Court Collegium Recommends Appointment of Six Advocates as Judges of Kerala High Court

  • The Supreme Court collegium recommended six High Court lawyers for appointment as Jjudges of the Kerala High Court. They are Addul Hakkim Mullappally Abdul Azizi, Shyamkumar V. M, Harisankar V. Menon, S. Manu, Eswaran Subramani, and Manoj P. M.
  • In December 2023, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala in consultation with his two senior-most colleagues recommended the names of the above Advocates for appointment as judges of that High Court. The Chief Minister and the Governor of the State of Kerala concurred with the above proposal.
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