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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

22 Mar 2024

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

United Nations Unanimously Adopts First Global Resolution on Artificial Intelligence

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted the first global resolution on artificial intelligence (AI). The resolution is aimed at encouraging personal data protection, monitoring AI for risks, and safeguarding human rights.
  • The nonbinding resolution was proposed by the United States and co-sponsored by China and 121 other nations.
  • As per the officials, it took three months to negotiate and advocate the strengthening of privacy policies.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

DBS Bank India Announces $250 Million Lending Support for Start-ups, 'New Economy' Companies

  • DBS Bank India announced a lending commitment of $250 million for new-age start-ups. The initiative is part of the bank's focus on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within the country's thriving start-up ecosystem.
  • The Indian start-up sector, a foundational pillar of the country's development goals, has seen significant expansion over the years with over 90,000 start-ups and more than 100 unicorns as of 2024. Despite their growing resilience, access to capital for these companies in the current dynamic environment presents an ongoing challenge. Recognising the disruptive power of the start-up segment, particularly those harnessing emerging technologies, DBS Bank India has earmarked lending support of $250 million, focusing on enterprises that are set to redefine industry standards with innovative solutions.

GRID-INDIA Achieves Miniratna Status

  • Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-INDIA) achieved a significant milestone by being conferred with the status of Miniratna Category-I Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE). This recognition was bestowed upon by the Ministry of Power, Government of India, highlighting GRID-INDIA's pivotal role in the nation's power landscape.
  • Established in 2009, GRID-INDIA holds the crucial mandate of overseeing the seamless and uninterrupted operation of the Indian Power System. Its responsibilities include ensuring the efficient transfer of electric power within and across regions, facilitating trans-national power exchanges, with a focus on reliability, economy, and sustainability. It also facilitates competitive and efficient wholesale electricity markets and administers settlement systems.
  • GRID-INDIA comprises five Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDCs) and the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC). It shoulders the immense responsibility of managing the All India synchronous grid, one of the world's largest and most intricate power systems.

M. V. Rao New Chairman of Indian Banks Association

  • The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) elected M. V. Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Bank of India, as its new Chairman. The decision was taken during the IBA's managing committee meeting.
  • The committee also elected the following three individuals as Vice-Chairmen of the banking lobby group: Dinesh Kumar Khara, Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI), S. L. Jain, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Indian Bank and N. Kamakodi, Managing Director and Chief Executive of City Union Bank.
  • Madhav Nair, the Country Head and Chief Executive of the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, was unanimously elected as the Honorary Secretary of the IBA.
  • The IBA is a representative body of Indian banks, comprising public sector, private sector, foreign, cooperative, and regional rural banks. It plays a crucial role in shaping banking policies and promoting best practices in the Indian banking industry.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Tamil Nadu Makes History with India's Second Privately Developed Rocket

  • Tamil Nadu made history when one of its space start-ups launched its first rocket. The Chennai headquartered space start-up Agnikul Cosmos Private Limited launched its first rocket Agnibaan Sub Orbital Technology Demonstrator (SOrTeD) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota.
  • There are several interesting facts about this particular launch - Agnibaan SOrTeD - is India's first launch from a private launchpad, India's first semi-cryogenic engine powered rocket launch and the world's first single piece 3D printed engine designed and built indigenously.
  • Founded in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM, and Satya Chakravarthy, Agnikul Cosmos became the first company in the country to sign an agreement with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the IN-SPACe initiative to have access to the space agency's expertise and its facilities to build Agnibaan in December 2020.
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SPORTS

Ruturaj Gaikwad New Skipper of CSK

  • M.S. Dhoni stepped down as captain of the Chennai Super Kings. Ruturaj Gaikwad was named captain of the team in IPL 2024. Gaikwad has been part of the franchise since 2019 and has played 52 matches. The Maharashtra batter was the Orange Cap winner in 2021, when CSK won its fourth title. Gaikwad has 1797 runs from 52 matches at an average of 39.06 and a strike rate of 135.52.
  • Dhoni has captained Super Kings since the IPL began in 2008 - except the two years when the franchise was suspended in the wake of the 2013 spot-fixing case - but handed over the reins to Ravindra Jadeja at the start of the 2022 season. However, Dhoni returned as skipper after eight matches.

WTT Feeder Series: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Claims Historic Crown in Beirut

  • Sathiyan Gnanasekaran became the first-ever Indian paddler to lift a men's singles trophy at a WTT Feeder Series event, beating compatriot Manav Vikash Thakkar 3-1 (6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4) in the summit clash of the WTT Feeder in the Lebanese capital Beirut.
  • Seeded at No.11 for the event, Gnanasekaran enjoyed a rewarding path to the final, taking down No.5 seed Harmeet Desai (15-13, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11) and top seed Chuang Chih-Yuan (11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9) en route to title triumph.
  • It was the first time two Indian players contested for the men's singles final in the WTT Feeder event.

My11Circle Becomes Official Fantasy Sports Partner of IPL

  • A new player disrupted the stronghold of Dream11 as the king of fantasy sports in India, and the biggest move depicting that disruption is My11Circle signing a five-year deal with the Indian Premier League (IPL) as their official new fantasy sports partner.
  • The deal was made official by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC).
  • The five-year period begins from the IPL 2024 season. The parent company of My11Circle, Games24x7, claims to be India's most innovative and user-centric online skill gaming company.
  • Famous cricket stars such as former India captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Gujarat Titans skipper Shubman Gill, Punjab Kings' Arshdeep Singh, RCB's Mohammed Siraj, and new CSK skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad are among some of the brand ambassadors of My11Circle.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

ED Arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal after 10th Summon

  • Arvind Kejriwal, whose campaign against corruption in 2011 birthed the Aam Aadmi Party and paved the way for his ascension as Delhi's Chief Minister, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.
  • He became the first serving Chief Minister to be arrested, after months of skipping summons by the investigation agency – nine in total – and calling them illegal.
  • His arrest came hours after the Delhi High Court declined to grant Kejriwal interim protection from coercive action by the ED.
  • The case pertains to alleged kickbacks received by the AAP and its leaders in implementation of the now-scrapped 2021-22 Delhi excise policy.

Fourth Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Start-up Forum in New Delhi

  • The fourth edition of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Start-up Forum, organised in New Delhi, focused on building partnerships among SCO Member States to further strengthen the start-up ecosystem in the region.
  • The forum witnessed the participation of high-level officials from government, industry, and academia. The event, aimed at promoting innovation, creating job opportunities, and inspiring young talent, brought together over 15 SCO start-ups showcasing their products and services at a showcase window.
  • The forum also provided an opportunity for the participants to attend a workshop on 'Establishing a Seed Fund: A Strategic Approach to Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship'. The workshop, led by Start-up India, provided an interactive session on various models of setting up seed funds to support early-stage start-ups.

India Launches 'Operation Indravati' to Evacuate Nationals from Haiti to Dominican Republic

  • India launched 'Operation Indravati' to evacuate its nationals from Haiti to the Dominican Republic, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated.
  • Amid violence and looting in the impoverished Caribbean nation, a control room and an emergency helpline number were opened to evacuate distressed Indian nationals from Haiti.
  • Haiti has been under a state of emergency after some armed groups attacked the country's largest prison in Port-au-Prince, killing and injuring police and prison staff and enabling some 3,500 inmates to escape.
  • The armed groups now control 80 per cent of Haiti's capital, according to United Nations estimates, while continuing to fight for the rest. While Henry was out of the country, gangs laid siege to the country's main airport to prevent his return.
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DEFENCE

Raksha Mantri Trophies for Best AFMS Hospitals for 2022

  • The Raksha Mantri Trophies for the Best and Second Best Command Hospitals of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) for the year 2022 were awarded in New Delhi.
  • The Command Hospital (Southern Command), Pune was judged as the Best Command Hospital, while the Command Hospital (Central Command), Lucknow was the Second Best for 2022.
  • The trophies were presented by Lt Gen Daljit Singh, Director General Armed Forces Medical Services and Senior Colonel Commandant, Army Medical Corps.
  • Lt Gen Singh complimented the two hospitals on their outstanding performance and acknowledged the commendable services rendered by the AFMS.
  • The Raksha Mantri Trophy was instituted in 1989 to recognise excellence in healthcare services by Armed Forces Hospitals and foster a spirit of competition among them.
  • A selection committee headed by an AFMS Lt Gen recommends hospitals for the award each year based on objective performance indicators assessed during on-site visits.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Neeraj Chopra Named Eveready's New Brand Ambassador

  • Reigning Olympic and Asian Games gold medalist in Javelin Throw, Neeraj Chopra joined Bollywood bigwigs like Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan as he was named the newest brand ambassador of Eveready.
  • As per Eveready Industries India Ltd. (EIIL), this collaboration marks a significant milestone for Eveready as it seeks to strengthen its commitment towards excellence and innovation via the launch of the new 'Ultima Alkaline' battery series.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Water Day

  • World Water Day is observed on March 22 every year. This day is dedicated to highlighting the necessity of water and the need to conserve it. It also serves as a reminder that water is a natural resource that is irreplaceable in our daily lives.
  • The history of World Water Day dates back to 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution declaring that a day should be set aside to raise awareness about the importance of fresh and clean water in our lives.
  • The theme of World Water Day 2024 is 'Water for Peace'.

Bihar Diwas

  • Bihar Diwas or Bihar Day is celebrated every year on March 22 in India. The day marks the anniversary of the founding of Bihar state in 1912. The state was previously part of the Bengal Presidency. The first Bihar Diwas event was organised in 2010.
  • Bihar Diwas is a significant day to celebrate the history, culture, and rich heritage of Bihar. The day also presents an opportunity to recognize the contributions of Bihar's leaders to the nation's development and to promote unity and harmony among people from different communities.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

COP28 President Wins Award for Sustainable Energy Leadership

  • Sultan Al Jaber, the President of COP28 (the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference), received the "CERAWeek Leadership Award for Building Global Consensus towards a Sustainable Energy Future" from CERAWeek by S&P Global. This prestigious award recognised his extraordinary leadership in delivering the UAE Consensus, a groundbreaking agreement that outlined concrete pathways for countries and industries to transition to sustainable energy systems and keep global warming within 1.5°C.
  • The UAE Consensus, achieved during COP28 in Dubai, was a historic achievement in global climate action. It secured several critical commitments from all participating countries, including:
  • Transition away from fossil fuels: A commitment to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly, and equitable manner.
  • Renewable energy targets: Time-bound targets to triple global renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030.
  • Inclusive approach: The consensus was reached through a spirit of multilateralism, inclusivity, and partnership, bringing together governments, industries, civil society, and other stakeholders.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

UP Government, Consortium for Technical Education Partner to Promote IT Innovation

  • The Consortium for Technical Education (CTE) and the Department of Technical Education (DTE), Government of Uttar Pradesh, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote awareness, enhance employability skills and stimulate innovation in Information Technology and Cybersecurity.
  • The MoU outlines the framework for both parties to collaborate in instrumenting the socio-economic development of Uttar Pradesh via IT education and digital skill training programs. CTE will undertake various activities including setting up and operating a "Centre of Excellence" in IT and Cybersecurity, designing courses and curriculum by industry subject experts accompanied by interactive video-based courses, virtual labs and hands-on workshops, deploying industrial experienced instructors at CoE, providing joint certification, arranging optional industry certification, conducting faculty development programs, and offering internship opportunities.

Gopal Narayan Singh University Changing the Education Landscape in Bihar

  • Quality education has always been a long-pending dream of Bihar, where 50 percent of the population is exposed to challenges like migration. The students from here not only move to bigger cities like Delhi, Mumbai and others for higher education but the lack of career opportunities in their hometowns also acts as a roadblock in their career path. Now addressing these major challenges with the vision of providing world-class research-based education, training and entrepreneurial skills to these students, Gopal Narayan Singh University (GNSU) in Sasaram, is now fast-changing the education landscape in Bihar.
  • Founded in 2018 and a unit of Deo Mangal Memorial Trust, this leading university now proudly enjoys a network of 12 colleges offering 60+ programmes to 4000+ students with 400+ faculty members.
  • The university is offering courses in the field of medical, para-medical, nursing, pharmacy, agricultural science, law, journalism & mass communication, information technology, commerce, library science & management.
  • The university also partners with many national and international institutes of eminence in the area for better exchange of information, teaching and learning experiences, by offering learning and development opportunities.
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ART AND CULTURE

National Committee of Archivists Meets in Srinagar

  • The 47th Meeting of the National Committee of Archivists (NCA) concluded at the Sher-e Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), Srinagar. Delegates from Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh participated in person, while those from Haryana and West Bengal attended in virtual mode.
  • During the two-days meeting, the delegates deliberated on various aspects that are required for revitalising the archives administration and records management system in their respective State/ UTs, and underscored the need for leveraging full potential of the digital and AI technologies for this purpose. They agreed on adopting a focused and concerted approach for preserving and sharing the rich documentary heritage of the nation, and for making their archival resources easily accessible through Web-Portal.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Judicial Officer Mohammad Yousuf Wani Appointed Jammu and Kashmir High Court Judge

  • The Central government notified the appointment of judicial officer Mohammad Yousuf Wani as an additional judge of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • Earlier, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended Wani's name for elevation to the High Court an additional judge.
  • In its resolution, the Collegium noted that Wani joined judicial service on December 9, 1997, and has been serving as a judicial officer in various capacities.

Centre Notifies Appointment of Six Advocates as Judges of Kerala High Court

  • The Central government notified the appointment of six advocates as additional judges of the Kerala High Court.
  • As per the notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, the new judges in the order of seniority are: Mullappally Abdul Aziz Abdul Hakhim, Syam Kumar Vadakke Mudavakkat, Harisankar Vijayan Menon, Manu Sreedharan Nair, Easwaran Subramani and Manoj Pulamby Madhavan.
  • They will serve as additional judges of the High Court for a period of two years from the date they assume charge of their respective offices.
  • With the appointment of the six judges the Kerala High Court is functioning with 41 judges as against its sanctioned strength of 47.
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