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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

06 Apr 2024


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Zimbabwe Declares State of Disaster over Devastating Drought

  • Zimbabwe, along with Zambia and Malawi, declared a state of disaster due to a severe drought sweeping across southern Africa. President Emmerson Mnangagwa cited an "El Nino-induced drought" causing below-normal rainfall, affecting over 80% of the country. This drought, exacerbated by climate change, has led to dire food shortages and humanitarian crises across the region.
  • President Mnangagwa made the emergency declaration, emphasising the need for $2 billion in humanitarian aid to address the crisis. He stressed the urgency of securing food for all Zimbabweans, with approximately 2.7 million people at risk of hunger. The government appealed to UN agencies, local businesses, and faith organisations to contribute to humanitarian assistance efforts.
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Veefin Solutions, Central Bank of India Announce Technology Partnership

  • Veefin Solutions Ltd announced partnered with Central Bank of India to launch its supply chain financing operations. Veefin Solutions will serve as the sole technology vendor for the bank, providing an end-to-end SCF stack to support the bank's SCF offerings. This collaboration will enable the bank to offer fully digital onboarding, sanctioning, and 24x7 disbursement processes to their corporate and SME customers through Veefin's Loan Origination System (LOS) and SCF Loan Management System.

RBI Keeps Repo Rates Unchanged at 6.5 pc

  • The Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept the policy repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent as retail inflation continues to be above its target of 4 per cent.
  • This was the seventh consecutive meeting that the MPC maintained a status quo on the repo rate. The repo rate, is the interest rate at which banks draw funds from RBI to overcome short-term liquidity mismatches.

RBI Imposes Penalties on IDFC First Bank and LIC Housing Finance

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed monetary penalties on two financial institutions – IDFC First Bank and LIC Housing Finance – for non-compliance with various regulations.
  • The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 crore on IDFC First Bank for non-compliance with certain directions on 'Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions'.
  • The central bank also imposed a penalty of Rs. 49.7 lakh on LIC Housing Finance for breach of norms. The housing finance company was found to have not complied with certain provisions of the Fair Practices Code. Specifically, it did not disclose the rate of interest and the approach for gradation of risk and rationale for charging different rates of interest to different categories of borrowers in loan application forms and sanction letters.
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Meta Expands Fact-Checking Program with PTI in India

  • Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, extended its third-party fact-checking initiative in India by partnering with the Press Trust of India (PTI). This collaboration established PTI as a dedicated fact-checking unit within its editorial department, enabling the identification, review, and rating of misinformation across Meta platforms.
  • Meta's collaboration with PTI aims to bolster efforts in combating misinformation by empowering PTI to identify, review, and rate content across Meta platforms, contributing to a more reliable information ecosystem.
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Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Monte Carlo Masters

  • Former world number one Rafael Nadal withdrew from the upcoming Monte Carlo Masters, commencing on April 7, citing that his body is not up to it at the moment. The ATP Masters 1000 event is the first one on clay this season, with the focus later firmly on the French Open 2024, i.e. the second Grand Slam event of the year. Nadal's participation at the Roland Garros is also under serious threat as the tournament is now less than two months away.

Tennis: WTA Finals to be Held in Saudi Arabia Starting 2024

  • Women's tennis saw a landmark decision made by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The WTA in a historic announcement said that it moved the year-end finals to Saudi Arabia. The Arab nation, emerging as a major sporting nation in recent years will host the WTA finals starting from 2024 until 2026. The move will see the top eight women tennis stars compete at the year-end event in both singles and doubles tournament.
  • Saudi Arabia, which for years was averse to women's sports and had a strict dress code in place will now host Women's Tennis Association (WTA) finals. The 2024 finals to be held from November 2-9 has moved to the Arab nation from last year's host Cancun in Mexico.
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Union Health Ministry Launches myCGHS iOS App

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare introduced the myCGHS app for iOS, delivering enhanced healthcare accessibility and digital experiences to Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) beneficiaries. The app prioritizes user safety with robust security measures.
  • The myCGHS app is an essential leap for CGHS in the realm of healthcare services. It empowers CGHS beneficiaries with convenient access to essential healthcare features right at their fingertips. This initiative aligns with the government's vision of leveraging technology to enhance the quality and accessibility of healthcare services.
  • The myCGHS iOS app is developed by the technical teams of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) Himachal Pradesh and NIC Health Team. It is a convenient mobile application offering features aimed at enhancing information and accessibility for CGHS beneficiaries.

Delhi High Court Appoints Retired Justice Najmi Waziri as Head of Committee to Protect Delhi's Forests

  • The Delhi High Court appointed its former judge, Justice Najmi Waziri as the head of the internal departmental committee tasked with protection of forests in the national capital.
  • Justice Tushar Rao Gedela said that even though the forest officials are making efforts to protect forests and 'deemed forests' from further incursions and denudation of the forest trees, the land owning departments are not serious on the issue.
  • The Court noted that the land-owning agencies are not assisting the internal department committee, constituted on the Court's order, in collating the necessary documents, maps and other records.
  • Justice Waziri is known as the 'Green Judge' because of orders passed by him to increase the green cover in the city.

Meenesh Shah Elected as Chairman of NCDFI

  • The National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India Ltd. (NCDFI), the national-level apex dairy cooperative, elected its new Board of Directors. In the elections held, Meenesh Shah was unanimously chosen as the new Chairman of the organisation.
  • The election process was conducted by Praveen Chaudhary, IAS, the District Collector of Anand, who served as the Returning Officer. Prior to the Board elections, the NCDFI General Body had elected eight directors to the Board in an unopposed process.
  • NCDFI is the national-level apex dairy cooperative, registered on December 7, 1970 based at Anand, Gujarat. It operates under the provisions of the Multi State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2023. The organisation has 20 Regular Members, 14 Associate Members, and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) as its Institutional Member.
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DRDO Initiates Project for Test Centre in West Bengal

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) commenced a project in Junput village, West Bengal, to establish a test centre for the country's weapon systems. This initiative aims to address the saturation of testing activities at Odisha's Chandipur Integrated Test Range (ITR) by providing an additional operational area.
  • Junput, akin to Chandipur, situated by the Bay of Bengal, has been chosen for its strategic location. The site, covering 8.73 acres near Digha, aims to facilitate timely trials of weapon systems, considering the significance of such evaluations in defence and security domains.
  • The proposed test centre in Junput has received approvals from both the central and state governments, including the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Emphasizing safety and environmental consciousness, DRDO ensures adherence to safety norms and minimal disruption to local communities during tests.
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International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (6)

  • The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is observed every year on April 6. The day is dedicated to recognising the positive impact of sport and physical activity on people's lives and communities around the world. The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace provides an opportunity to recognize the efforts of sporting bodies and communities in making a positive impact on society. It also serves as a reminder of the power of sport to unite people and promote social change.
  • In August 2013, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 67/296 decided to proclaim on April 6 as the International Day of Sport for Development and the Peace. This date commemorates the inauguration, in 1896, of the first Olympic games of the modern era, in Athens, (Greece).
  • The theme for the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2024 is 'Sport for the Promotion of Peaceful and Inclusive Societies.'
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Globe Trot: Indian Shines in Britain's Toughest TV Quiz

  • A computational science graduate from Kolkata answered a series of complex questions as part of his university's team to make it to the last leg of what is among television's "toughest" quiz tournaments in the UK.
  • Sourajit Debnath joined his four-member Imperial College London team as they go head-to-head with University College London (UCL) in the BBC's 'University Challenge' grand final.

West Bengal WBCHSE Suggests Warm-up Course on AI for Class 10 Students

  • The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education proposed that secondary schools introduce a warm-up course for Class 10 students interested in pursuing the new Applied Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security subjects in the higher secondary curriculum.
  • According to WBCHSE president Chiranjib Bhattacharya, this short-term course will serve as a basic warm-up for students considering subjects like Modern Computer Applications, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Applied Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Cyber Security in higher secondary classes.
  • Applied Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security are the two new subjects introduced from the academic year 2024-25. The syllabus for the existing subjects, Modern Computer Application and Computer Science, has been updated to ensure relevance and contemporaneity.
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MakeMyTrip and Singapore Tourism Board Ink MoU

  • MakeMyTrip and Singapore Tourism Board entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to encourage Singapore as a key destination for Indian travellers.
  • Singapore Tourism Board and MakeMyTrip will collaborate on initiatives and campaigns aimed at increasing inbound travel to Singapore in 2024. Singapore's tourism board will also leverage MakeMyTrip's market expertise to create exclusive holiday packages tailored for Indian consumers.
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State Bar Council Requests Madras High Court Collegium to Give Adequate Representation to All Sections Of Advocates For Elevation to Bench (7)

  • The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has written to the Madras High Court Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala urging him to recommend names of more women lawyers and lawyers belonging to minority communities, to the bench.
  • The Bar Council also requested that the names of lawyers from across all sections of the Bar be recommended for elevation as judges instead of the current practice of choosing and recommending names from "isolated groups."
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