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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

17 Apr 2024

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Kristalina Georgieva Re-appointed as IMF Managing Director

  • Kristalina Georgieva was re-appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new 5-year term starting on 1 October 2024. She was the sole candidate nominated for the position this year, and her appointment was made by the IMF executive board.
  • The IMF Managing Director is appointed by the executive board, which can choose a managing director through either voting or consensus. In 2004, the IMF adopted a policy of appointing a Managing Director through consensus. Candidates for the MD post can be nominated by an IMF Fund Governor or an Executive Director.
  • Kristalina Georgieva, from Bulgaria, has served as the MD of the IMF since 2019. Prior to this role, she held positions such as Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank and Interim President of the World Bank Group. She also served as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response of the European Commission.
  • The IMF formally came into existence on December 27, 1945, when the first 29 countries ratified its Articles of Agreement.
  • The IMF is headquartered in Washington D.C., United States, and currently has 190 member countries.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

IMGC and Bank of India Partner to Offer Mortgage Guarantee-Backed Home Loans

  • India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC) entered into a strategic partnership with Bank of India (BOI) to introduce mortgage guarantee-backed home loan products. This collaboration targets salaried and self-employed individuals in the affordable housing sector, aiming to enhance accessibility to homeownership.
  • IMGC's guarantee expertise coupled with BOI's extensive network of over 5,100 branches across India enables the provision of flexible and secure home loan products.
  • The partnership aims to mitigate default risks for the bank, potentially allowing for more favourable loan terms to borrowers.

Power Grid Corporation Bags 3 Transmission Projects under Competitive Bidding

  • State-owned Power Grid Corporation bagged three inter-state transmission projects under tariff-based competitive bidding.
  • The three projects would help evacuate power from renewable energy projects in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • The first project is Transmission System for evacuation of power from Rajasthan (Jaisalmer/Barmer Complex).
  • The second project -- Transmission System for Evacuation of Power from potential renewable energy zone at Khavda in Gujarat -- comprises augmentation works at existing substation in the state.
  • The third project is Transmission System for evacuation of power from Rajasthan involving the establishment of new 765 kV sub-station at Rishabhdeo, 765kV D/C transmission lines and extension of associated bays at other substations in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Government Imposes Port Restrictions for Exporting Essential Commodities to Maldives

  • Amid tensions between Maldives and India, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade issued a notification imposing port restrictions for export of essential commodities to the island nation during the fiscal year 2024-25.
  • The notification, issued under the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992, incorporates specific conditions for exporting essential commodities under the prohibited/restricted category to Maldives.
  • Export of essential commodities falling under the prohibited/restricted category to Maldives will now be permitted only through four designated Customs Stations which include Mundra Sea Port, Tuticorin Sea Port, Nhava Sheva Sea Port (JNPT), and ICD Tughlakabad.
  • The move came as part of the bilateral trade agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Maldives.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Astronomers Discover Largest Black Hole in Milky Way

  • Astronomers identified the largest stellar black hole yet discovered in the Milky Way, with a mass 33 times that of the Sun.
  • The black hole, named Gaia BH3, was discovered by chance from data collected by the European Space Agency's Gaia mission. Gaia, which is dedicated to mapping the Milky Way galaxy, is located BH3 2,000 light years away from Earth in the Aquila constellation.
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SPORTS

England's Nat Sciver-Brunt Named Wisden's Top Women's Cricketer

  • Pat Cummins and Nat Sciver-Brunt were named as the Leading Cricketers in the World in the 2024 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.
  • He is the first Australian man to be named as Wisden's Leading Cricketer since Michael Clarke in 2012, and succeeds his England counterpart Ben Stokes, who had claimed the honour three times in four years, in 2020, 2021 and 2023.
  • Sciver-Brunt, meanwhile, was recognised as the pre-eminent women's cricketer of the moment, particularly in light of her starring role in the Women's Ashes, in which she produced back-to-back ODI centuries to take the multi-format series to the wire.

Dharamsala to Get India's First "Hybrid Pitch"

  • The picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium became the first BCCI-accredited venue to install a state-of-the-art 'hybrid pitch' and future international and IPL matches will be held on this track.
  • The Netherlands-based 'SISGrass', a part of the SIS Pitches group of companies, was roped in for the first-ever hybrid pitch installation.
  • This cutting-edge technology will transform the game by providing a more durable, consistent, and high-performing playing surface.

Paris Olympics 2024 Flame Lit at Olympia

  • The torch for the 2024 Paris Olympics was lit in ancient Olympia, Greece the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, in a traditional ceremony. The flame marked the final stretch of the preparations for the Games and will now begin its journey that culminates in the French capital when the fire cauldron at the Stade de France will be lit using the flame during the opening ceremony.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Chitrakoot's Stunning Glass Skywalk Bridge in Uttar Pradesh

  • In a remarkable feat of engineering and tourism development, the state of Uttar Pradesh unveiled its first-ever glass skywalk bridge, located at the enchanting Tulsi (Shabari) Waterfall in Chitrakoot. This innovative and visually stunning structure, shaped like Lord Ram's bow and arrow, is a premier eco-tourism destination for visitors to the region.
  • Formerly known as the Shabari Waterfall, the site has been renamed Tulsi Waterfall by the state government, acknowledging its significance as the birthplace of the renowned poet and spiritual leader, Goswami Tulsidas. This renaming, coupled with the development of the glass skywalk bridge, is part of a larger plan to transform the area into a thriving eco-tourism destination.

LS Polls: 8 Union Ministers, 2 Former CMs, 1 Ex-Governor in Fray in First Phase

  • Eight Union Ministers, two former Chief Ministers and one Ex-governor are among those who are set to test their electoral fate in the first phase of elections on April 19 when 102 seats across 21 states and Union territories will go to polls.
  • Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari is seeking a hat-trick of win from the Nagpur seat. In 2014, he had defeated seven-time MP Vilas Muttemwar by a margin of 284,000 votes and retained the seat in 2019 by defeating current Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole by 216,000 votes.
  • Tamilisai Soundararajan, who resigned as Governor of Telangana and Lt Governor of Puducherry to return to active politics, is contesting from Chennai South Lok Sabha constituency.
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DEFENCE

First International Workshop on 'Emerging Technologies & Challenges for Exoskeleton'

  • The first international workshop on 'Emerging Technologies & Challenges for Exoskeleton' was held in Bengaluru. The workshop, which was organised by the Defence Bio-Engineering & Electromedical Laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), was inaugurated by Secretary, Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO Samir V. Kamat, in the presence of Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Lt Gen J. P. Mathew.
  • The two-day workshop was attended by more than 300 participants from DRDO, Services, Industry, Academia, and Researchers. Exoskeleton technology involves wearable structures which enhance the capabilities of the human body.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Indian Air Force's Oldest Pilot Dalip Singh Majithia Passes Away

  • Veteran air warrior Squadron Leader Dalip Singh Majithia (retd), who joined the Indian Air Force during the tumultuous years of World War II and distinguished himself as a "fearless aviator" during his career died. He was 103.
  • The centenarian had over 1,100 flying hours to his name, including missions in aircraft such as Hurricanes and Spitfires.
  • He was affectionately called 'Maji' by his fellow air warriors.
  • His exceptional talent earned him the prestigious 'Best Pilot Trophy' during his training at the Initial Training School in Walton in Lahore.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Hemophilia Day

  • World Hemophilia Day is celebrated every year on April 17 to educate people about rare bleeding disorders and support those who live with this condition.
  • The foundation of the day was laid in 1989 by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). April 17 was decided as the date to observe the health day every year to honour the founder of the organisation Frank Schnabel, who played a significant role in advocating for hemophilia awareness and treatment and dedicated his life towards improving lives of those suffering from the disorder.
  • The theme for World Hemophilia Day is 'Equitable access for all: recognising all bleeding disorders'.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

ISB Reviews its Curriculum for a more Customised PG Programme

  • The Indian School of Business (ISB) launched a comprehensive curriculum review for its Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) in response to the ever-changing business landscape.
  • According to ISB, the new curriculum has a three-pronged focus, which includes a move towards a more customised and flexible programme structure, given the diverse needs of the students, who come from backgrounds varying from engineering to the armed forces to art or sports.
  • With it, learnability is the second pillar, as the school will now use more activity-based methods that build the ability to constantly learn. The third key point is a built-in system of renewal in the curriculum so as to respond to future needs proactively.

Nigeria Becomes First Country to Roll out New Meningitis Vaccine, WHO Says

  • Nigeria became the first country in the world to roll out the revolutionary new Men5CV vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
  • Nigeria is one of the hotspots of the deadly disease in Africa. Last year (2023), a 50% rise in annual cases was reported across 26 African countries regarded as meningitis hyperendemic countries, according to the WHO.
  • The new vaccine is reported to protect against the five major strains of the disease that are prevalent in Nigeria, unlike the initial vaccine that works against only one strain.
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ART AND CULTURE

Arunachal Pradesh's Nyishi Tribe Celebrates Longte Festival

  • The Nyishi tribe in Arunachal Pradesh enthusiastically celebrated the Longte festival, one of their biggest cultural events. Unlike many other tribal festivals, Longte prohibits the sacrifice of animals, instead adorning altars with decorative white feathers and bamboo decorations.
  • Nyishi tribe: As the largest ethnic group in Arunachal Pradesh, the Nyishi community boasts a rich cultural heritage. They are known for their agricultural practices, particularly Jhoom cultivation, and their traditional longhouses called Namlo.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

The Book Titled 'The Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond'

  • The Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar released of the book 'The Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond' by Prof. Raman Mittal and Dr. Seema Singh.
  • Attorney General R. Venkataramani and Vice Chancellor of Delhi University Prof. Yogesh Singh were also present at the function in the Vice-President Enclave, Delhi.
  • The book's primary focus lies in uncovering the profound spiritual underpinnings that have long shaped the development of the legal system. The editors recognise that spirituality, as the progenitor of ethics and morality, has consistently provided a guiding context for determining the validity and application of laws. By tracing this symbiotic relationship, the authors aim to unveil the gems of spiritual jurisprudence and contextualize their relevance in the contemporary legal arena.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Bengaluru International Airport Records Highest Passenger Traffic in FY23

  • Kempegowda International Airport witnessed the highest-ever annual passenger traffic and cargo numbers, with a total of 37.53 million passengers traversing through its terminals and 4,39,524 metric tonne of cargo passing through the airport during the financial year 2023-24.
  • The airport catered to 32.86 million domestic and 4.67 million international passengers during this period.
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LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Supreme Court Collegium Recommends Advocate Sreeja Vijayalakshmi for Appointment as Kerala High Court Judge

  • The Supreme Court Collegium recommended that Advocate Sreeja Vijayalakshmi be appointed as a judge of the Kerala High Court.
  • The Collegium had last month (March) deferred its consideration of the High Court Collegium recommendation for Vijayalakshmi's appointment in view of certain inputs from the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice.
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