Daily GK Updates: 25th October 2020

“European Union Environment Ministers strike a deal on climate law, decides to discuss 2030 target later”.

  • The Environment Ministers of European Union on October 23, 2020 struck a deal to make 2050 zero emissions target of the bloc legally binding.
  • The decision on a 2030 emissions-cutting target has been left for the leaders to be discussed in December 2020.
  • The deal was struck by the environment ministers of European Union at a meeting in Luxembourg on October 23 and none of the 27 members rejected the bill except Bulgaria.
  • The deal aims at aiding the bloc in achieving its target of reaching zero emissions by 2050.

Source: Jagran Josh  

“India-made Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan wins top UK engineers body award”.

  • The Mangdechhu Hydroelectric project in Bhutan, constructed by India has been awarded the Brunel Medal 2020 conferred by UK’s top engineering body — Institute of Civil Engineers.
  • The award is named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel who is known as 19th century engineering giant.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called the project a “crucial milestone celebrating India-Bhutan ties” and “this project shows how the two nations working together can bring immense positivity in the lives of people”.

Source: Zee News

“India’s First Sand Dune Park To Come Up In Goa With The Support Of World Bank”.

  • In a move that could further open up new avenues for tourism in Goa, the beach state is all set to have India’s first sand dune park.
  • The World Bank accepted the proposal of the Biodiversity Board of the state and has sanctioned a sum of Rs 3 crore for the project.
  • Sand dunes are geological deposits formed by the action of wind.
  • These geomorphic features act as nature’s first line of defense from the forces of the ocean.
  • However, under the new initiative, this ecosystem will be revived and thematic and interpretation centres will educate locals and tourists on the importance of preserving the sand dunes.

Source: India Times

 “Sudan becomes third Arab state to set aside hostilities with Israel this year”.

  • Israel and Sudan agreed to take steps to normalize relations in a deal brokered with the help of the United States, making Khartoum the third Arab government to set aside hostilities with Israel in the last two months.
  • S. President Donald Trump, seeking re-election on Nov. 3, sealed the agreement in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Transitional Council Head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, senior U.S. officials said.
  • Trump’s decision this week to remove Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism paved the way for the accord with Israel, marking a foreign policy achievement for the Republican president as he seeks a second term trailing in opinion polls behind Democratic rival Joe Biden.
  • Israel and Sudan plan to begin by opening economic and trade links, with an initial focus on agriculture, the joint statement said. A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said such issues as formal establishment of diplomatic ties would be resolved later.
  • The military and civilian leaders of Sudan’s transitional government have been divided over how fast and how far to go in establishing ties with Israel. A sticking point in the negotiations was Sudan’s insistence that any announcement of Khartoum’s delisting from the terrorism designation not be explicitly linked to relations with Israel.

Source: DD News     

“Saad Hariri renamed Lebanon PM”.

  • Three-time Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was renamed to the post to create a cabinet that can lift the country out of its worst economic crisis in decades.
  • Mr. Hariri, 50, made his comeback almost a year after stepping down under pressure from a protest movement demanding an overhaul of Lebanon’s political system.
  • The country is under international pressure to form a crisis cabinet to address a plummeting economy made worse by COVID-19 and the blast at the Beirut port on August 4.
  • Hariri said he would “form a cabinet of non politically aligned experts with the mission of economic, financial and administrative reforms contained in the French initiative roadmap”.

Source: The Hindu      

“India ranks 131 in global internet speeds”.

  • India has the cheapest mobile internet plan in the world.
  • The fact that more data is not equivalent to a better speed is even highlighted by Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index.
  • As per September 2020, India ranks 131 out of 138 in the global mobile internet speed rankings.
  • While the global average download speed is 35.26 Mbps (megabit per second), India lags at just 12.07 Mbps.
  • The global average upload speed and latency is 11.22 Mbps and latency is 11.22 Mbps and 42 ms, India lags at 4.31 Mbps and a higher latency of 52 ms.

Source: Times of India            

“Andorra Joins IMF as its 190th Member”.

  • Andorra has joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to become its 190th member.
  • Andorra is a microstate situated between France and Spain. However, it is the largest microstate in Europe.
  • IMF’s Membership allows the Andorran government to benefit from IMF policy advice, especially as the country tackles the crisis caused by COVID-19 and can now receive an annual review or “health check” of its economy by the IMF, tap technical assistance, and access IMF lending if needed.

Source: Dailyhunt   

“Noida authority sanctions ₹6.5 crore to clean up polluted Kondli drain”.

  • The Noida authority has sanctioned ₹6.5 crore for a project that aims to clean up the city’s main drain, Kondli drain, which passes through some of the major residential areas in the city and has become a source of nuisance for the city’s residents, who have often complained of the foul smell that the drain emits.
  • The 17-kilometre-long irrigation drain starts from Delhi’s Ashok Nagar area and merges with Yamuna in Sector 168, after passing through several residential sectors of the city, such as sectors 11, 12, 22, 24, 23, 34, 35, 50, 51, 80, 137 and 168, among others.
  • Several smaller drains merge with this drain that carry sewage water of both Delhi and Noida.
  • The Kondli drain, owned by the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department, will be cleaned together by the Noida authority the irrigation department.
  • The main objective is to improve the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of this drain, which is meant to carry only rain water. To improve the BOD, there is a plan to build ponds with plants that help in absorbing the pollutants .

Source: Hindustan Times             

 “Mastercard Partners with Atlantis to Expand Digital First Program in India”.

  • Addressing the growing demand for digital payment solutions for everything, from buying coffee to ordering groceries, Mastercard partnership with Atlantis announced the expansion of the Digital First Program in India.
  • Mastercard is partnering with Atlantis, a financial technology company headquartered in Singapore, to provide users with a technology solution that will enable them to enjoy a best-in-class digital banking experience.
  • The Digital First Program aims to reignite users’ relationships with more meaningful experiences.
  • Users will be able to use their cards/accounts for digital transactions within minutes of application, enabled by a fully digital online application and issuance process, including video KYC (in collaboration with Signzy).
  • Following the launch in India, the partnership will subsequently expand to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Atlantis has recently announced the launch of its Neo-Bank platform in India for Gen Z and Millennials.
  • Atlantis has a great opportunity in India with 10 million-plus youth across the country. Together with Mastercard’s Digital First program, Atlantis will offer users an end to end digital payments product.

Source: Business Standard

“Lee Kun-Hee, force behind Samsung’s rise, dies at 78”. 

  • Lee Kun-Hee, the ailing Samsung Electronics chairman who transformed the small television maker into a global giant of consumer electronics, has died. He was 78.
  • Lee inherited control from his father and during his nearly 30 years of leadership, Samsung Electronics Co. became a global brand and the world’s largest maker of smartphones, televisions and memory chips.
  • It is South Korea’s largest family-controlled business conglomerate and helped make the nation’s economy, Asia’s fourth-largest. Its businesses encompass shipbuilding, life insurance, construction, hotels, amusement park operation and more.
  • Samsung Electronics alone accounts for 20% of the market capital on South Korea’s main stock market.
  • Lee leaves behind immense wealth, with Forbes estimating his fortune at $16 billion as of January 2017.

Source: The Hindu