GK & Current Affairs Quiz: August 23, 2019
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1. Russia has launched a rocket carrying life-sized robot to the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It is set to arrive at the station on Saturday. The robot, named Fedor (Experimental Demonstration Object Research), is the first ever sent into space by Russia. Fedor stands some one metre and 80 centimetres tall (5ft 11 inches) and weighs 160 kgs. In order to test a new emergency rescue system, the robot was the Soyuz rocket's only passenger. During its 10 days at the ISS, Fedor will learn new skills such as connecting and disconnecting electric cables using standard items from a screwdriver and a spanner to a fire extinguisher.
2. The book titled “Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story” has been authored by Mihir Dalal. It will recount the story of how the IIT graduates Sachin and Binny Bansal built Flipkart and how internet entrepreneurship was made a desirable occupation. It is also a story of big money, power and hubris, as both business and interpersonal complexities weakened the founders' control over their creation and forced them to sell out to a retailer whose dominance they had once dreamt of following.
3. The World Senior Citizen’s Day (WSCD) is celebrated every year on 21st of August to raise awareness about the issues that affect older adults. and to support them throughout the aging process. The day also recognizes & acknowledges the contributions of older people to the society. It provides an opportunity to show our appreciation for their dedication, accomplishments, and services they give throughout their lives.
4. Prof. Meeta Narain of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been conferred the prestigious ‘Pushkin Medal – 2019’ for her contribution to Russian studies abroad. Narain has contributed towards re-writing of Russian studies textbooks for graduate students after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Her work gave a contemporary flavour to the textbooks, which are now being used in departments of Russian language studies at various universities of India, in many former Soviet nation institutes, Europe, the US and other countries. The Pushkin Medal is the highest honour given to an Indian scholar by the Russian government in recognition of outstanding contributions to the promotion of the Russian language and culture. It was instituted in the name of famous Russian author and poet Alexander S. Pushkin.
5. The Telangana Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Google India for 'Digital Telangana'. The MoU will improve and get more local language content online using Google's digital publishing tool “Navlekha”. As part of the MoU, Google will work with the state government to help digitize the government's content in Telugu to make it easier for the common man to get access to all the information and services on government sites in their local languages. Apart from this, Google will also collaborate with the government to support its digital literacy vision and aid in the overall digitization agenda of the state.
6. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has extended title sponsor rights to Paytm for the Indian cricket team’s international and domestic matches with a winning bid of Rs 3.80 crore per match for the 4-year cycle commencing October, 2019. Over the next 4 years, India is set to host at least 86 international men’s matches in bilateral series & BCCI is thrilled with the 57% hike in sponsorship amount. Besides men’s international cricket, BCCI offers extension of sponsorship rights to domestic cricket and women’s international games at no additional cost.
7. The first-ever International Day for Victims of Acts of Violence based on Religion or Belief is observed on 22nd of August 2019 to honour the victims and survivors of heinous acts who often remain forgotten. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness about religious intolerance, and violence and discrimination against anyone based on their religion or belief.
8. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Government of India (GoI) has launched its latest initiative called the ‘San-Sadhan’ Hackathon – for Divyangjan accessible toilets. The aim of the initiative is to ease lives of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) by making toilets smarter, more accessible, and easier to use. In this hackathon, the government is looking for smart, scalable and innovative solutions for economical toilets for individual and community use in rural and urban contexts. The Hackathon is inviting researchers, start-ups, student innovators, technology enthusiasts, and industry experts to participate. The last date to apply for participating in the Hackathon is August 28. The shortlisted applicants will work to develop their prototype during the two-day Hackathon scheduled to be held in the month of September in New Delhi. The initiative is being organized jointly by the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, in collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and 91springboard.
9. The flagship scheme of Rajasthan government has topped the 16-state chart detailing implementation of the free medicine scheme i.e. run under the National Health Mission (NHM). The NHM assessed the performance of the states on the basis of effective implementation of Drugs and Vaccine Distribution Management System (DVDMS), stock of essential drugs, value of drugs about to expire along with other such parameters. According to an NHM letter, the DVDMSA (coverage in Rajasthan is 77.26% and proportion of online drug distribution counters - 96.03%. The expired quantity proportion viz. breakage, wastage and loss are just 7.43%.
10. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approved a proposal to declare ocean energy as a renewable source of energy. The decision is expected to boost the use of ocean energy. The MNRE has clarified to all the stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion among others shall be considered as renewable energy and shall be eligible for meeting the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO). Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) has a theoretical potential of 180,000 MW in India subject to suitable technological evolution. The total identified potential of tidal energy in India is around 12,455 Megawatt whereas the total theoretical potential of wave energy along the country’s coast is estimated at 40,000 MW.
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