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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

18 Mar 2024


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India's Ranking on the DHL Connectedness Index

  • India's position on the DHL Global Connectedness Index saw a notable rise, reflecting its burgeoning role in the global economy. From ranking 67th in 2022, India advanced to the 62nd position in 2023, underscoring its increasing significance in the realm of globalization.
  • This upward trajectory underscores India's increasing integration into global trade, capital flows, information exchange, and movement of people.
  • Singapore, the Netherlands, and Ireland led the global rankings as the most connected countries, reflecting their robust participation in international trade and commerce.
  • Notably, 143 nations observed an uptick in global connectedness, signaling a broader trend towards increased globalization.
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B. Sairam is the New Chairman and Managing Director of NCL

  • B. Sairam was appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL). NCL is the Singrauli-based flagship subsidiary of Coal India Limited.
  • Sairam has 33 years of dedicated service in the coal sector.
  • He has a vast knowledge and experience in the coal industry.
  • Sairam is a distinguished graduate mining engineer from NIT Raipur.
  • He has worked in various domains, including mine operations, planning, logistics, and regulatory affairs.
  • NCL is a pioneering coal company operating in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  • It operates 10 highly mechanised mines in the region.
  • NCL is eyeing over 135 Million Tonnes of Coal production and Dispatch in the financial year 2023-24.

Kotak Mahindra Bank Appoints Jaideep Hansraj as Group President-One Kotak

  • Mumbai-based Kotak Mahindra Bank appointed Jaideep Hansraj, the Managing Director & CEO of Kotak Securities, as the group President-One Kotak.
  • The appointment is important for leveraging the Group's financial conglomerate model and delivering holistic propositions to customers.
  • Kotak Securities president and COO Shripal Shah will take over as the MD & CEO from Hansraj after receiving necessary approvals.

Bandhan Bank to Launch Credit Card in Apr-May

  • Private sector lender Bandhan Bank will be the latest to join the credit card market and the roll out is expected around April-May this year (2024).
  • The bank has hired former Bank of Baroda (BoB) executive Piush Jha to head the credit card unit.
  • The credit card team at Bandhan will also see former bankers from Citi and YES Bank, among others, coming on board.
  • Bandhan will tie up with card networks like Visa, Mastercard and homegrown Rupay of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
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NASA to Carry 'Message in Bottle' To Europa, One of Jupiter's Moon in October

  • NASA will carry 'message in a bottle' to Europa, one of Jupiter's moon in October this year (2024). The mission dubbed as Europa Clipper mission will explore signs of life as scientists predict a salty lake under its icy crust. The Europa Clipper spacecraft will carry a triangular metal plate with an engraving of US Poet Laureate Ada Limón's handwritten 'In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa', along with a silicon microchip stenciled with more than 2.6 million names submitted by the public.
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Australian Wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade Retires from Red-ball Cricket

  • Australian wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade announced retirement from red-ball cricket (first-class cricket).
  • Despite retiring from red-ball cricket, Wade will remain available for selection in white-ball formats (ODIs and T20Is).
  • Wade has played 36 Tests for Australia. He has scored 1613 runs with four centuries at an average of 29.87.
  • His last Test appearance was against India at Brisbane in 2021, after which he lost his place to Alex Carrey.

All England Badminton Semi-Finals: Lakshya Sen Ousted by Jonatan Christie

  • Lakshya Sen was ousted from the prestigious All England Badminton Championships after Indonesia's Jonatan Christie defeated him 12-21, 21-10, 15-21 in a hard-fought semi-final. The Indian had done well to push the game into a third-game decider, responding to a 12-21 loss in the first game with a 21-10 victory in the second.
  • Lakshya had reached the semis after defeating Malaysian Lee Zii Jia in three games in the quarter-final.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Clinch WPL 2024 Title

  • The Royal Challengers Bangalore won their maiden Women's Premier League title by beating batting-heavy Delhi Capitals by eight wickets in a one-sided final at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. RCB's Shreyanka Patil picked four wickets, and left-arm orthodox Molineux returned with three wickets to see RCB home. Captain Smriti Mandhana scored 31, while Ellyse Perry remained unbeaten on 35.
  • Delhi Capitals won the toss and elected to bat first in the all-important WPL final. The star pair of Shafali Verma and Captain Meg Lanning got the home side to a blistering start, completing 50 inside the first six overs.
  • Courtesy of some incredible bowling from RCB and careless batting from the home side, RCB wrapped up DC's innings on a mere 113 inside 20 overs.
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Maharashtra Renames Ahmednagar as 'Ahilyanagar'

  • After renaming Aurangabad and Osmanabad as Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar and Dharashiv respectively, the Maharashtra cabinet decided to rename Ahmednagar as Ahilyanagar after Ahilyabai Holkar and Velha tehsil in Pune district as Rajgad. Velha was the first capital of the Maratha Empire under the Maratha warrior king Shivaji.
  • The proposal to rename Ahmednagar was first announced by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in May 2023, on the 298th birth anniversary of Ahilyabai Holkar.
  • The event was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, and BJP MLA Gopichand Padalkar.
  • The Cabinet also announced the renaming of the following railway stations in Mumbai, which previously had British-era names.
  • The approved changes include: Curry Road to Lalbaug, Sandhurst Road to Dongri, Marine Lines to Mumbadevi, Cotton Green to Kalachowki, Charni Road to Girgaon, Dockyard Road to Mazgaon, King Circle to Tirthakar Parshivnath and Mumbai Central Station as Nana Jagannath Shankarsheth Station.
  • A proposal for the same has been sent to the railways ministry.

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Date Out, Polls to be Held in 7 Phases

  • The 2024 Lok Sabha elections will be held from April 19 to June 1 in seven phases, the Election Commission of India announced. The results will be declared on June 4.
  • The voting for the first phase will be held on April 19, second phase on April 26, third phase on May 7, fourth phase on May 13, fifth phase on May 20, sixth phase on May 25, and the seventh phase on June 1.
  • The Lok Sabha, referred to as the House of the People, consists of 545 members in total. The vast majority, 543 of these members, are directly elected by the public, with each representing a single constituency. However, the remaining two members are not elected through this process. Instead, they are nominated by the President of India.

Model Code of Conduct (MCC) Guidelines for Lok Sabha Elections 2024

  • With the announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has been enforced to ensure a fair electoral process in the world's largest democracy.
  • Here are the specific guidelines to be followed during this period:
  • 1. Conduct at Places of Worship
  • Campaigning at places of worship (e.g., mosques, churches, temples) is strictly prohibited.
  • No appeals to caste or communal sentiments for securing votes.
  • 2. Criticism and Personal Attacks
  • Criticism of other parties should be limited to policies, programs, and past records.
  • Avoid personal attacks or criticism unrelated to public activities.
  • Unverified allegations or distortions should be avoided.
  • 3. Prohibition of Corrupt Practices
  • Parties and candidates must avoid all forms of corrupt practices such as bribing voters, intimidation, impersonation, and canvassing near polling stations.
  • Distribution of liquor on polling day or 48 hours before is strictly prohibited.
  • 4. Respect for Private Property
  • Parties cannot use private property for campaign materials without permission.
  • 5. Peaceful Political Activities
  • Ensuring peaceful political meetings and processions without obstructing those organised by other parties.
  • No removal of posters issued by other parties.
  • 6. Regulation of Rallies
  • Procession routes and timings must be adhered to without deviation.
  • Authorities must be informed to ensure proper regulation.
  • 7. Traffic Management
  • Organisers must ensure minimal disruption to road traffic during processions.
  • Long processions should be organised in manageable segments.
  • 8. Prohibition of Effigy Burning
  • Carrying and burning effigies representing members of other political parties or leaders is not allowed.
  • 9. Regulation of Candidate Camps
  • Avoiding large gatherings and serving food at candidate camps near booths.
  • Ruling parties cannot monopolize government facilities or accommodations for campaign purposes.
  • 10. Election Manifesto and Freebies
  • While election manifestos are not considered corrupt practices, the distribution of freebies can influence voters and should be carefully considered.
  • These guidelines aim to maintain the integrity of the electoral process and ensure a level playing field for all participants.
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MoD Signs Contract with HAL for Mid Life Upgrade of 25 Dornier Aircraft of Indian Navy

  • The Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) of 25 Dornier Aircraft along with associated equipment for the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs. 2,890 crore.
  • The MLU for Dornier Aircraft includes an upgrade to incorporate state-of-the-art avionics systems and primary role sensors.
  • As per the defence ministry, the project will be implemented within six and half years.
  • The upgrade would significantly enhance the operational capability of the Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy to perform primary roles of maritime surveillance, coastal surveillance, electronic intelligence and development of maritime domain awareness.

Indian Army Contingent Departs for Seychelles for Joint Military Exercise 'Lamitiye-2024'

  • An Indian Army contingent departed for Seychelles in March to participate in the 10th edition of Joint Military Exercise 'LAMITIYE-2024', the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
  • The Joint Exercise between the Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) will be conducted at Seychelles from March 18 to 27.
  • 'LAMITIYE' meaning 'Friendship' in the Creole language is a biennial training event and has been conducted in the Seychelles since 2001. 45 personnel each from the GORKHA RIFLES of the Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) will participate in the exercise.
  • "The aim of the exercise is to enhance interoperability in sub-conventional operations in a semi-urban environment under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter on Peacekeeping Operations. The exercise will enhance cooperation and interoperability between both sides during peacekeeping operations. The exercise will also build and promote bilateral military relations in addition to exchanging skills, experiences and good practices between both armies," the statement read.
  • Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for the neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in a semi-urban environment, while exploiting and showcasing new-generation equipment and technology.
  • The 10-day joint exercise will include field training exercises, combat discussions, lectures and demonstrations, which culminate in two days of validation exercises.
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Renowned Rabindra Sangeet Singer Sadi Mohammad Passes Away

  • Sadi Mohammad, a legendary Bangladeshi Rabindra Sangeet singer, passed away at the age of 70.
  • Mohammad completed his bachelor's and master's in Rabindra Sangeet from the Visva-Bharati University.
  • In 2007, Mohammad debuted as a music composer with the album "Amakey Khujey Pabey Bhorer Shishirey".
  • He released two more albums: "Srabon Akashey" in 2009 and "Sharthok Janom Amar" in 2012.
  • Mohammad served as the director of the organization Rabi Raag.
  • In 2017, Mohammad was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Channel i.
  • He received the Rabindra Award from the Bangla Academy in 2025.
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Ordnance Factory Day (India)

  • Ordnance Factories are a branch of the government that is engaged in the research and development of weapons for the military, testing, producing, performing logistics and marketing them. Ordnance Factory Day is observed on March 18, annually in India.
  • Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was founded in 1775 and its Headquarters is in Ayudh Bhawan, Kolkata. OFB consists of 41 Ordnance Factories, 9 Training Institutes, 3 Regional Marketing Centres and 5 Regional Controllerates of Safety, which is spread all over India.
  • Ordnance Factories Day 2024 theme is "Operational Efficiency, Readiness, and Mission Accomplishment in the Maritime Domain".

Israel to Commemorate October 7 as National Remembrance Day

  • Israel's government decided to establish a National Remembrance Day for the October 7 attack by Hamas that triggered the war in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.
  • The commemoration, unanimously approved by the government, will involve two state ceremonies to mark the disaster.
  • One event will honour soldiers who died in the war, while the other will pay tribute to civilians who were murdered in acts of terrorism.
  • According to an AFP tally of Israeli figures, the unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7 resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians.
  • Israel's retaliatory military campaign to eliminate Hamas has killed at least 31,645 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.
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Central University of Kerala to Host Conference on Indian Languages

  • The Department of Linguistics under the Central University of Kerala (CUK), hosted the conference on Indian Languages.
  • The event, held in collaboration with the Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti under the government of India and Kerala-based organisation, Vidyabhyasa Vikasa Kendram, was inaugurated by North Zone IG, K. Sethuraman, IPS who is also an accomplished writer.
  • There were presentations focused on the utilisation of Indian languages as mediums for higher education. The conference concluded with a panel discussion on the possibilities and challenges of using Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi as mediums of higher education.

New tie-breaking Protocol for NEET UG 2024 Focuses on Subject Scores

  • The National Testing Agency (NTA) has shaken up the tie-breaking protocol for the upcoming National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test – Undergraduate (NEET UG) 2024.
  • Departing from the previous computerised draw of lots method, NTA has now opted or a more intricate approach based on candidates' performance in various subjects.
  • Under the revamped policy, if two or more candidates secure identical marks or percentile scores in NEET UG 2024, their inter-se-merit will be determined through a multi-tiered process.
  • First in line is the evaluation of marks/percentile scores in Biology (Botany and Zoology), followed by Chemistry and Physics.
  • Subsequently, candidates will be assessed based on the proportion of correct and incorrect answers across all subjects, further drilled down to specific subjects like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
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