GK & Current Affairs Quiz: August 24-25, 2019
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1. Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has recently launched the book titled – “the Diary of Manu Gandhi (1943-44)” at a function in New Delhi. The book has been brought out by National Archives of India (NAI) in collaboration with Oxford University Press on the occasion of 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The book originally written in Gujarati language and has been edited & translated by a well known scholar Dr. Tridip Suhrud. The first volume of the book covers the period of 1943-1944. It throws light on Gandhiji’s life as a prisoner and his endeavour to establish the possibility of collective non-violence. It also chronicles the spiritual and educational pursuits of a woman who takes up writing as a mode of self examination. She shares a moving portrait of Kasturba Gandhi’s illness and death. Manu Gandhi (Mridula) was a grand niece of Mahatma Gandhi, and stayed with Gandhiji till his assassination. She was an aide to Kasturba Gandhi during her imprisonment in the Aga Khan Palace in 1943.
2. Prominent economist Abdalla Hamdok has taken charge as the new Prime Minister of Sudan and vowed to work towards ending the country's economic crisis and establishing peace. In his new role, Hamdok will be tasked to deal with Sudan's mounting economic problems viz. high inflation and unemployment after decades of poor governance. His biggest challenge would be integrating his country into the international economy after 20 years of crippling United States trade sanctions.
3. The Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering. It has recently put Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) for its failure to meet its standards. The APG has also found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering. On 11 effectiveness parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10. According to officials, Pakistan could not convince the 41-member plenary to upgrade it on any parameter. Now, Pakistan has to focus on avoiding the blacklist in October 2019, when the 15-month timeline ends on the FATF's 27-point action plan.
4. In Madhya Pradesh, the Banjari village of Katni district has become an integral part of the digital map of the country. It is the first village in the state to be associated with the Prime Minister's ambitious project - Digital India. In line with Digital India campaign, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEiTY) has envisaged the Digital Village Project. It has plans to build 1000 digital villages across the country. The digital village will not only help in providing connectivity in every village but it will also help in bridging the digital divide between rural and urban areas. This will also open new jobs and employment. Akodara village of Sabarkantha district of Gujarat is the first digital village in the country.
5. Constable Monali Jadhav from Maharashtra was representing the Indian Police Force (IPF) at the recently concluded 2019 World Police and Fire Games International Championship held in Chengdu, China. She bagged the gold in target and field archery while settled for a bronze in the '3D Archery' in the tournament. She also made a new record with a score of 716 out of 720 points in the game. Jadhav is attached to the Jalamb police station in Buldhana district of Maharashtra.
6. The NITI Aayog in association with Ministry of JAL Shakti and Ministry of Rural Development has released Composite Water Management Index 2.0 (CWMI 2.0). CWMI 2.0 ranks various states for the reference year 2017-18 as against the base year 2016-17. The CWMI is an important tool to assess and improve the performance of States/ Union Territories in efficient management of water resources. The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.
7. NITI Aayog has recently released report on the Composite Water Management Index 2.0 (CWMI 2.0) for reference year 2017-18 . Gujarat has been ranked first in the CWMI 2.0, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In North Eastern and Himalayan States, Himachal Pradesh has been adjudged No. 1 in 2017-18 followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura and Assam. The Union Territories have first time submitted their data and Puducherry has been declared as the top ranker. In terms of incremental change in index (over 2016-17 level), Haryana holds No. 1 position in general States and Uttarakhand ranks at first position amongst North Eastern and Himalayan States. On an average, 80% of the states assessed on the Index over the last 3 years have improved their water management scores, with an average improvement of +5.2 points.
8. The first-ever World Youth Conference for Kindness has been inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. It organized by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP). The theme of the conference was ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Gandhi for the Contemporary World: Celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’. The conference was in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. Its purpose is to provide youth with creative, effective methods of engaging and in realizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It sought inspiration from Gandhi’s championing of non-violence. The conference hosted 60 international delegates from over 27 countries, each of whom work in the field of positive social change.
9. According to the latest date by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), the Amazon Rainforest Forests in Brazil has recorded 74,155 fires since January 2019. Its satellite data showed an 84% increase as compared to the same period in 2018. The Amazon is the largest tropical forest in the world, which covers more than 5 million square kilometres across nine countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. It acts as an enormous carbon sink & stores up to an estimated 100 years worth of carbon emissions produced by humans, and is seen as vital to slowing the pace of global warming. It is the most significant climate stabilizer as it creates 20 percent of the air we breathe and it also holds 20% of the fresh flowing water on the planet. But in the last half-century alone, nearly 20% of the forest has disappeared. Scientists have warned that if tree loss in the Amazon were to pass a certain "tipping point", somewhere between 25 -40%, deforestation could start to feed on itself and lead to the demise of the forest within a matter of decades. Hence, preserving the forest is of critical importance for both the region it encompasses and the rest of the world.
10. The Government of India (GoI) has recently notified the Sabka Vishwas - Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme 2019 to reduce legacy service tax and central excise cases in the pre-GST era. The scheme will be operationalized from 1st September 2019 & would continue till 31st December 2019. The two main components of the Scheme are dispute resolution and amnesty. The most attractive aspect of the scheme is that it provides substantial relief in tax dues for all categories of cases as well as full waiver of interest, fine and penalty. For all the cases pending in adjudication or appeal – in any forum - this Scheme offers a relief of 70% from the duty demand if it is Rs.50 lakhs or less and 50% if it is more than Rs. 50 lakhs. The same relief is available for cases under investigation and audit where the duty involved is quantified and communicated to the party or admitted by him in a statement on or before June 30, 2019. The scheme is especially tailored to free the large number of small taxpayers of their pending disputes with the tax administration.
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