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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

26 Mar 2024


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UN Security Council Demands Immediate Gaza Ceasefire after US Abstains

  • The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas after the United States abstained from the vote, sparking a spat with its ally Israel.
  • The remaining 14 council members voted for the resolution - proposed by the 10 elected members of the body - that also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the failure of the U.S. to veto the resolution was a "clear retreat" from its previous position and would hurt Israel's war efforts and bid to release more than 130 hostages still held by Hamas.

Simon Harris Becomes Irish PM-in-waiting

  • Simon Harris became Ireland's Prime Minister in waiting after he was elected unopposed to succeed Leo Varadkar as leader of the governing Fine Gael party.
  • Harris best known for helping steer the country's initial response to COVID-19, set out some of his priorities to party members at an event in the Irish midlands town of Athlone.
  • He will be voted in as Ireland's youngest ever Prime Minister when parliament next sits on April 9, 2024 thanks to support from Fine Gael's coalition partners.
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Supreme Court Appoints Committee for Great Indian Bustard Preservation

  • In response to the urgent need to protect the endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB) population from extinction caused by collisions with high-powered power cables in Gujarat and Rajasthan, the Supreme Court of India took decisive action. A bench led by Chief Justice of India D. Y. Chandrachud, J. B. Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra appointed an expert committee to address this critical issue while balancing conservation efforts with renewable energy goals.
  • The committee comprises wildlife experts, conservationists, and government officials from relevant ministries.
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Govind Dholakia New Chairman of Surat Diamond Bourse

  • The Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) appointed Govind Dholakia, a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, as its new chairman. This appointment came a day after the previous chairman, Vallabhbhai Patel (Lakhani), resigned from his position.
  • Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) is a diamond trade centre located in DREAM City, Surat, Gujarat, India, designed by the architecture firm Morphogenesis. It is the world's largest diamond trading hub with a floor space of 660,000 square metres (7,100,000 sq ft), as well as the world's largest office building, ahead of the Pentagon.
  • It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2023.

Tech Mahindra Announces Merger of Two Subsidiaries Based in the US

  • IT services and consultation company Tech Mahindra announced the merger of two of its wholly-owned subsidiary companies -- Born Group and Tech Mahindra Americas (TMA) -- to synergise business operations, optimise operational costs, and reduce compliance risk.
  • Born Group, incorporated in the US in 2011, specialises in providing brand strategy, visual design, brand identity exploration, and more for digital products, mobile apps, and physical products.
  • Tech Mahindra Americas (TMA) was started in the US in 1993 and provides computer consulting, programming support services, and IT management & consulting services.

Hong Kong Regains Fourth-Largest Market Spot

  • Hong Kong regained its spot as the world's fourth-largest market following a broad market rout in Indian equities. Currently, the Chinese territory's market capitalisation stands at $4.9 trillion versus India's $4.75 trillion, as per data compiled by Bloomberg.
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Tech Mahindra, IBM Collaborate to Drive Digital Adoption

  • Tech Mahindra and IBM joined forces to inaugurate a Synergy Lounge in Singapore, aimed at accelerating digital adoption for enterprises across the Asia-Pacific region. This collaboration seeks to leverage next-gen technologies to drive innovation and offer unique solutions to various industries.
  • The Lounge will focus on technologies such as AI, Intelligent Automation, Hybrid Cloud, 5G, Edge Computing, and Cybersecurity.
  • Enterprises will be assisted in operationalising these technologies to solve complex business problems and enhance efficiency.

Gaia Telescope Discovers Two Ancient Streams of Stars Shiva & Shakti

  • The European Space Agency's Gaia space telescope made a groundbreaking discovery, uncovering two ancient streams of stars named Shiva and Shakti. Led by Khyati Malhan of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Germany, this revelation significantly enhances our understanding of the Milky Way's origins.
  • Each cluster comprises about 10 million suns, with stars aged 12 to 13 billion years, displaying remarkably similar orbits and structures.
  • Situated towards the galaxy's heart, these streams were formed as separate fragments that merged into one galaxy early in its history, shedding light on the Milky Way's early formation.
  • Launched in December 2013, Gaia, operated by the European Space Agency, has been surveying the skies for over a decade, collecting extensive data to create a detailed 3D map of the Milky Way.
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Carlos Sainz Wins Australian GP in Comeback Race

  • Ferrari's Carlos Sainz clinched victory at the Australian Grand Prix, marking a triumphant comeback just two weeks after undergoing appendicitis surgery. The race witnessed a dramatic turn as Red Bull's reigning world champion, Max Verstappen, faced his first retirement in two years.
  • Sainz, who secured the only non-Red Bull victory last season, fended off competition from teammate Charles Leclerc. The final-lap crash involving Mercedes driver George Russell triggered a virtual safety car, clearing the path for Sainz's decisive win.

Haryana Bags Third Women's Senior National Hockey Title

  • Haryana thwarted Maharashtra's hopes of winning at home with a 3-0 victory through shoot-out and lifted the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024 title.
  • For Maharashtra, it was the second successive year that they had to settle with the silver medal.
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G. Janardhana Reddy Rejoins BJP

  • Former Karnataka Minister and mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy rejoined the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
  • The Gangavati MLA, who is an accused in an illegal mining case, had formed the 'Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha' (KRPP) ahead of the state assembly polls last year (2023), snapping his two-decade-old association with the BJP.
  • Reddy merged his KRPP with the BJP as he, along with wife Aruna Lakshmi and some family members, joined the party in the presence of its veteran leader and former Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa, state President B. Y. Vijayendra, and others.
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Former PCB Chairman and Diplomat Shaharyar Khan Passes Away

  • Former two-time Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) chairman and a career diplomat, Shaharyar Khan, passed away at the age of 89. Shaharyar is known for restoring ties between India and Pakistan during his first tenure as PCB head from 2003 to 2006.
  • Cousin of former India captain and great Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Shaharyar Khan, had served as Pakistan's foreign secretary from 1990 to 1994 and as a High Commissioner in New Delhi and the United Kingdom. During his time with the Pakistan Cricket Board, Shaharyar served twice, with his second term from 2014 to 2017.
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Purple Day of Epilepsy

  • Purple Day of Epilepsy, a global campaign raising awareness for epilepsy, is observed on March 26 every year. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about epilepsy, a neurological condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
  • World Purple Day traces its origins back to 2008 when Cassidy Megan, a young Canadian girl, initiated the idea to increase awareness about epilepsy. Inspired by her struggles with the condition and the lack of understanding amongst her peers, Cassidy envisioned a day when people would wear purple to show support for individuals living with epilepsy.
  • The official theme for Purple Day of Epilepsy 2024 is 'Lets Talk About Epilepsy'. This powerful theme emphasises the importance of open communication and breaking down the stigma surrounding epilepsy.
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NDTV Presents 'Indian of the Year' Awards

  • NDTV presented the 'Indian of the Year' awards that acknowledge distinguished visionaries, political figures, sports icons, and entertainers who have not only fortified the pillars of our society but have also contributed to the development of India. The women of India were awarded NDTV's 'Indian of the Year' award.
  • The women of India were awarded the 'Indian of the Year' award. Union Minister Smriti Irani, tennis legend Sania Mirza, Squadron Leader Nikita Malhotra, Naina Lal Kidwai, members of the Indian Women's cricket team, scientists from ISRO, received the award.
  • Actor and social media influencer Prajakta Koli was awarded the 'Climate Influencer of the Year' award.
  • Vikrant Massey was awarded the 'Actor of the Year' award. Vikrant Massey delivered a stellar performance in the superhit film '12th Fail' where he portrayed the life of IPS officer Manoj Kumar Sharma and his journey of clearing the Civil Services Exam.

Aviation Week Laureates Award Was Given To ISRO for Chandrayaan-3

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was honoured with the prestigious Aviation Week Laureates Award for its remarkable achievements in the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Sripriya Ranganathan, Deputy Ambassador at the Indian Embassy in the US, accepted the award on behalf of ISRO.
  • The Aviation Week Network's Laureate Awards are highly esteemed accolades in the aviation and aerospace industry.
  • These awards celebrate exceptional accomplishments that embody the spirit of exploration, innovation, and vision.
  • Launched in July 2023 from Sriharikota using GSLV-Mark III (LVM-3) heavy-lift rocket. The spacecraft consists of a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan, omitting an orbiter this time.
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Prof Jai Shankar Singh New Vice-Chancellor of RGNUL Patiala

  • Prof Jai Shankar Singh was appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL), Patiala.
  • Prior to his appointment, Prof Singh was Dean of the Faculty of Law at University of Allahabad.
  • Prof Anand Pawar, the University's Registrar, was officiating as Vice-Chancellor until now. Prof Pawar was appointed officiating VC after Prof G. S. Bajpai re-joined National Law University (NLU) Delhi in March 2023.

PM Modi Inaugurates State-of-the-Art Medical Facility in Thimphu

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay jointly inaugurated a modern hospital in the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu. The Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuk Mother and Child Hospital is a shining example of the strong development cooperation between India and Bhutan.
  • The hospital is a state-of-the-art 150-bedded facility that has been built with Indian assistance.
  • India and Bhutan established diplomatic relations in 1968, and their relationship is guided by the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1949 and revised in 2007.
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Vasant Mela in Beijing Enthralls Chinese Citizens

  • The much-awaited Vasant Mela 2024 opened its doors to the public in Beijing, China. The colourful event organised by the Embassy of India, Beijing, was a vibrant celebration to welcome the arrival of spring.
  • Despite the tense India-China relations, over 4,500 people, mostly Chinese citizens, thronged the event. This day-long extravaganza featured pavilions showcasing crafts and cuisines from all parts of India. Visitors immersed themselves in dance, food, handicrafts, and various activities, providing a delightful experience of India's rich culture in China.
  • The cultural performances at the Vasant Mela casted a mesmerising spell, where attendees were captivated by the seamless fusion of tradition and modernity in dance forms.
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'Phool Bahadur' The First Magahi Novel in English

  • The Dibrugarh University International Literary Festival held in March 2024 witnessed the launch of a remarkable literary work – the English translation of the first Magahi novel, 'Phool Bahadur'. The translation was done by Abhay. K, a renowned writer from Nalanda, Bihar.
  • 'Phool Bahadur' was originally written by Jayanath Pati and published in 1928. Despite being the first Magahi novel, it failed to gain much popularity among readers initially. However, it has now been rediscovered and is gaining fame thanks to Abhay. K's English translation. The translator stumbled upon this literary gem while editing 'The Book of Bihari Literature'.
  • Published by Penguin Random House India, 'Phool Bahadur' is a delightful novel set in the town of Biharsharif in Nalanda district of Bihar. The story revolves around the ambitious Mukhtar Samlal, and explores the harmonious yet exploitative relationships between a Nawab, a courtesan, and a circle officer. Each character tries to manipulate the others, with Mukhtar's sole goal being to acquire the title of Rai Bahadur.
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BJP Panel Tastes Defeat in Tripura Bar Association Polls

  • 'Songbidhan Bachao Mancha' (Save Constitution Forum), a panel of lawyers associated with legal organisations of the Congress and CPI(M), emerged victorious in the Tripura Bar Association elections, defeating the ruling BJP-backed 'Aainjeebi Unnayan Mancha'.
  • The Tripura Bar Association polls were conducted among 500 members as opposed to 416 in the last elections, under the supervision of Returning Officer and senior advocate Sandip Dutta Chowdhury. Fifteen nominations were submitted for the Bar Association elections while four were elected unopposed.
  • Advocates Mrinal Kanti Biswas, Subrata Debnath and Koushik Indu were elected as president, vice-president and secretary of the Tripura Bar Association, respectively, in the election to the bar association. Advocates Amar Debbarma and Utpal Das were elected as assistant secretaries.
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