GK & Current Affairs Quiz: August 20, 2019
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1. The Odisha Wetland Authority has recently approved implementation of an integrated management plan for Chilika (India’s largest brackish water lagoon), and Ansupa (State’s largest freshwater lake). The plan for Chilika & Ansupa will cost Rs 180 crore. The 5-year management of lakes is intended at strengthening livelihood of thousands of fishermen relying on the two water-bodies. Chilika is spread over 1,100 sq km and lakhs of tourists visit the lake to watch endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and migratory birds during winter. While Ansupa is famous for its sweet water fish, especially for labeo bata locally known as pohala. It is spread over almost 2 sq km & is also the wintering ground for 32 species of migratory birds. Its calmness, scenic beauty and forest coverage behold the visitors.
2. Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh launched a scheme named “School Fagadaba” (Make education bettter) to improve infrastructure of government schools in the state. The aim of the scheme is to ensure better infrastructure, quality education and overall improvement of government schools to make them model schools. In the first phase of the scheme, one school from each of the 60 Assembly constituencies in the state has been selected. The overall purpose of School Fagadaba is to improve the government schools in terms of physical and manpower gaps and increase in enrollment of students.
3. On 23rd August 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a 3-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. During the visit, PM Modi will receive the the UAE’s highest civil honour 'Order of Zayed”. The honour was conferred to him in April 2019 in recognition of his distinguished leadership that gave a big boost to bilateral relations between the two countries. The award is named after the UAE's founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It acquires special significance as it was awarded to PM Modi in the year of the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed. So far, six countries — Russia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Palestine and Afghanistan — have given their highest award to Prime Minister Modi.After that, PM Modi will visit Bahrain that will be the first-ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to Bahrain.
4. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in collaboration with IIT Kanpur has developed a kit to spread sexual-abuse awareness among children by using interactive means to teach them about personal safety. The kit is a set of cards, posters, short animation clips and games. It can be used by teachers or NGOs to conduct an interactive workshop for children about sexual-abuse awareness. The kit also features game cards as an intervention to assess the learning acquired by children. It can be used in classrooms for kids aged between 8-12 and in a group of 30-35 students in one session. It has manuals, reading and video material for the teacher or workshop facilitator to read and understand how to conduct the workshop. The workshop kit has been vetted by the psychologists at Central Institute of Psychiatry of Ranchi, and a revised version will be developed based on their feedback.
5. Mohammed Zahur Hashmi (92), the veteran music composer, has passed away in Mumbai on August 20, 2019. Popularly known as Khayyam, he was best known for his music in classic films such as 'Umrao Jaan' and 'Kabhi Kabhie'. He was a recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Bhushan. In 2016, the veteran composer established Khayyam Jagjeet Kaur KPG Charitable Trust and pledged to donate his entire wealth to the trust to support budding artists and technicians in India.
6. Dr. Jagannath Mishra (82), the 3-times former chief minister of Bihar, has passed away in Delhi on August 19, 2019. He was known for sharp political acumen and bold decision-making, which he demonstrated during the peak of his career. Mishra was the last Congress chief minister of Bihar between December 1989 and March 1990. He also served as a Union minister in the P V Narasimha Rao cabinet. He was one of the most powerful leaders of the state in pre-Mandal politics who brought the infamous 'Press Bill' to curtail the freedom of the press. Currently, he was a member of Bhartiya Jan Congress (Rashtriya).
7. The task force, headed by CBDT member Akhilesh Ranjan, constituted by the Union government for drafting the new Direct Tax Code (DTC) has recently submitted its report to Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman. The task force was constituted to replace the 6-decades-old Income Tax Act 1961. It is believed that the task force has suggested changes in the slab for personal income tax & corporate tax. At present, the personal income tax structure has 3 categories — for people below the age of 60, for people above the age of 60 but less than 80, and the third for people of 80 years and above. Currently, companies with turnover up to Rs 400 crore attract tax at the rate of 25%. This covers 99.3% of all the companies registered. Now, the report is expected to be placed in Parliament as a part of Union Budget 2020-21.
8. Environmental NGO Greenpeace has recently released an analysis of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite data. as per country-wise world rankings, India is the world’s largest emitter of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) as it has the maximum hotspots. It contributes more than 15% of all anthropogenic SO2 hotspots in the world. The major SO2 emission hotspots in India are Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Neyveli and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Talcher and Jharsuguda in Odisha, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Kutch in Gujarat, Ramagundam in Telangana and Chandrapur and Koradi in Maharashtra. According to report, the vast majority of plants in India lack Flue-Gas Desulfurization (FGD) technology to reduce their air pollution. Individually, the Norilsk smelter complex in Russia is the largest SO2 emission hotspot in the world, followed by Kriel in Mpumalanga province in South Africa and Zagroz in Iran. Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh is at 5th position.
9. The Karnataka government has recently classified nicotine as Class A poison by amending the Karnataka Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules 2015. The move is to curb illegal sale, smuggling of nicotine cartridges & e-cigarettes. Highly toxic chemicals (such as cyanogen, hydrocyanic acid, nitrogen peroxide, and phosgene) which even in very small quantities as gas or vapour in the air are dangerous to life.
10. President Ram Nath Kovind has recently inaugurated thematic underground British-era Bunker turned Museum inside the Raj Bhavan at Malabar Hill in Mumbai. The 15,000 sq.ft museum has Virtual Reality Booths (VRBs) in which visitors can "time travel" to the 19th century when the bunker was created to fire cannons at approaching enemy ships. The history of Raj Bhavan has also been depicted in another section. In 2016, the British-era bunker was discovered by Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao. It is made up of 13 rooms such as Shell Store, Gun Shell, Cartridge Store and Central Artillery Store. The underground passage has a proper drainage system and inlets for fresh air and light. The bunker dates back to the pre-World War I era and is believed to have been an asset of the battery stationed near the coast to defend Bombay Castle from naval attacks.
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