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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

30 Mar 2024

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Indian Expert Kamal Kishore to Lead UN's Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts

  • The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Kamal Kishore of India as the new Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. He will lead the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
  • Kishore succeeded Mami Mizutori of Japan, whom the Secretary-General thanked for her service.
  • Kamal Kishore has nearly 30 years of experience in disaster risk reduction, climate action, and sustainable development at global, regional, national, and local levels. He has worked in government, the United Nations, and civil society organizations.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Nidhu Saxena New MD & CEO of Bank of Maharashtra

  • The central government approved the appointment of Nidhu Saxena as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) of the Bank of Maharashtra. This appointment is effective for a period of three years.
  • Nidhu Saxena took over the top leadership role at the Bank of Maharashtra from A.S. Rajeev, who was selected as the Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission.
  • Nidhu Saxena brings with him over 26 years of experience in the banking sector, having worked across diverse areas.
  • Saxena's banking career commenced at Bank of Baroda, after which he moved to UCO Bank.
  • Saxena has also served on the boards of Union Bank of India (UK) and Union Asset Management Company, as well as being a member of the Academic Council of the National Institute of Bank Management, Pune, and the Governing Body of the Indian Institute of Bank Management, Guwahati.

Adani's Mega Copper Plant Begins Operations in Gujarat

  • The Adani Group announced the start of the first phase of the world's largest single-location copper manufacturing plant at Mundra in Gujarat. The facility, owned by Kutch Copper (a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd), will help reduce India's dependence on copper imports and support the energy transition.
  • The first phase will produce 0.5 million tonnes of refined copper annually.
  • The full-scale capacity of 1 million tonnes is expected by FY29 (March 2029).
  • India joins nations like China in rapidly expanding copper production, a crucial metal for the transition away from fossil fuels.

Axis Bank Launches Digital US Dollar Fixed Deposits for NRIs at GIFT City

  • Axis Bank announced the introduction of digital US dollar fixed deposits (FDs) for NRI customers at the IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) at GIFT City, Gujarat. The bank became the first to offer a digital journey for opening deposits at GIFT City.
  • NRI customers of Axis Bank can now open US dollar fixed deposits at GIFT City through the bank's mobile banking application, 'Open by Axis Bank'. This offering provides an end-to-end digital paperless solution, eliminating the need for physical documentation.
  • According to the bank, this offering simplifies the process of booking US dollar fixed deposits for NRI customers, providing them with a convenient and hassle-free experience.
  • By introducing digital US dollar fixed deposits at GIFT City, Axis Bank aims to cater to the growing demand for digital banking services among NRI customers, while also leveraging the opportunities presented by the IFSC Banking Unit at GIFT City.
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SPORTS

P. R. Sreejesh and Camila Caram Appointed Co-Chairs of FIH Athletes Committee

  • The International Hockey Federation (FIH) appointed former Indian men's hockey team captain and goalkeeper P. R. Sreejesh and Chile's Camila Caram as co-chairs of the FIH Athletes Committee.
  • Camila Caram was assigned as the co-chair and athlete committee representative on the executive board.
  • P. R. Sreejesh, as the co-chair, will lead the planning and meetings along with Caram.
  • Sreejesh was first elected as a member of the FIH Athletes Committee in 2017 and was now appointed as co-chair for the first time.
  • The Fédération Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon (FIH) was founded by Paul Léautey on January 7, 1924.
  • In 1982, the International Federation of Women's Hockey Associations merged with the FIH.
  • After the merger, the FIH became the world governing body of men's and women's hockey.
  • The FIH has 140 member countries.
  • Its headquarters are located in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • The current FIH President (as in March 2024) is Tayyab Ikram.
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DEFENCE

Indian Army Kicks Off Annual Army Commanders' Conference in Hybrid Format

  • The Indian Army is organizing the first Army Commanders' Conference for the year 2024 in a hybrid mode. The virtual segment of the conference was held on March 28, 2024, followed by the physical mode in New Delhi on April 1 and 2, 2024. The conference is being chaired by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, and attended by senior military leadership, including Army Commanders participating virtually from their respective Command Headquarters.
  • During the physical mode on April 1, 2024, the Army's top leadership will engage in intensive brainstorming sessions focused on:
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • Fostering a Culture of Innovation and Adaptability
  • Investing in Training and Development for Future Readiness
  • Welfare of Service Personnel and Quality of Life
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

President Murmu Confers Bharat Ratna Awards upon L. K. Advani, Karpoori Thakur and 3 Others

  • President Droupadi Murmu confered the Bharat Ratna upon five eminent personalities including two former Prime Ministers (posthumously) and veteran BJP leader L. K. Advani.
  • Among the five personalities awarded the Bharat Ratna, except for former Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani, four others -- ex-Prime Ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and P. V. Narasimha Rao, eminent agricultural scientist M. S. Swaminathan, and former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur, were awarded posthumously.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

UNESCO Opens Applications for Women's Education Prize Worth Rs. 41 lakh

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is currently accepting applications for the 2024 UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education.
  • This award aims to recognise exceptional efforts in advancing girls' and women's education worldwide.
  • The UNESCO Executive Board, in collaboration with the People's Republic of China, will select two laureates for the 2024 prize, with each recipient being awarded 50,000 US dollars.
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ART AND CULTURE

World's First Om-Shaped Temple Inaugurated in Rajasthan

  • The world's first-ever temple designed in the iconic Om shape was inaugurated in the village of Jadan, Pali district of Rajasthan. This architectural masterpiece, spanning across 250 acres, is not only expected to attract tourists but will also boast an impressive visual presence visible from space.
  • This groundbreaking endeavour marks a significant milestone as it pioneers the creation of such a distinctive temple globally. The 'Om Aakar' temple, following the Nagara style commonly seen in North India, pays tribute to the region's rich cultural and architectural heritage.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Indian-British Writer's Book on AI Shortlisted for Women's Prize

  • The inaugural Women's Prize for Non-Fiction announced its shortlist of six books, including 'Code Dependent: Living in the Shadow of AI' by Indian-British journalist and commentator Madhumita Murgia. The book explores the impact of artificial intelligence on human society.
  • The other shortlisted books cover a wide range of subjects:
  • 'Thunderclap: A Memoir of Art and Life and Sudden Death' by Laura Cumming
  • 'Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World' by Naomi Klein
  • 'A Flat Place' by Noreen Masud
  • 'All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake' by Tiya Miles
  • 'How to Say Babylon: A Jamaican Memoir' by Safiya Sinclair
  • The common thread among the books is their originality of voice and ability to turn complex ideas and personal trauma into compelling prose.
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