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General Awareness - Top Stories

20 Jun 2017

AROUND THE WORLD

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Russia Threatens to Target U.S. Warplanes

  • Russia condemned the U.S. military’s downing of a Syrian warplane and suspended the use of a military hotline that Washington and Moscow have used to avoid collisions in Syrian airspace. Russia also threatened to target aircraft flown by the U.S. and its allies over Syria.
  • An American F/A-18 jet shot down the Syrian government plane, after it dropped bombs near local ground forces supported by the U.S. It was the first time the U.S. military had downed a Syrian aircraft since the civil war began in the country in 2011.
  • In response, the Russian Defense Ministry called U.S. attacks against the Syrian forces military aggression and announced that it would suspend cooperation with the U.S. intended to prevent airborne accidents over Syria.

Historic Brexit Talks

  • Britain and the European Union began their first formal Brexit negotiations, under pressure to seal a deal amid disarray in London over whether to go for a hard or soft divorce.

Indonesia Launches Patrols with Neighbours

  • Warships from Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia held manoeuvres in waters plagued by insurgency and banditry off north Borneo, launching coordinated patrols in a region where Islamic State influence is growing.
  • The spectacular collapse in security in the southern Philippines has alarmed neighbours such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • The three countries would increase the sharing of information because what had happened in Marawi could happen elsewhere.

INDIA - BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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SpiceJet and Boeing Sign MoU

  • Budget carrier SpiceJet signed an initial pact with the U.S. aircraft maker Boeing Co for forty 737 MAX planes. A MoU is valued at $4.7 billion at current list prices.

Lockheed Martin Signs Pact with Tata

  • Lockheed Martin signed an agreement with India`s Tata Advanced Systems to produce F-16 fighter planes in India, pressing ahead with a plan to shift its Fort Worth, Texas plant to win billions of dollars worth of order from the Indian military.
  • India`s air force needs hundreds of aircraft to replace its Soviet-era fleet, but Narendra Modi`s government has said that foreign suppliers would have to make the planes in India with a local partner to help build a domestic industrial base and cut outright imports.

India Ratifies UN TIR Convention

  • India has become the 71st country to ratify the United Nations TIR Convention that will boost trade and regional integration across South Asia and beyond, fast-tracking the region's potential to become a strategic trade hub.
  • TIR is the global standard for goods customs transit managed and developed by IRU -- the world road transport organisation.
  • The accession to the TIR Convention is part of India's multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity.

INDIA - OTHERS

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Next ONGC Chief

  • Shashi Shanker will be the next chairman and managing director of India’s biggest oil and gas producer, ONGC.
  • Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) selected Mr. Shanker to head Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) from October 1.
  • Mr. Shanker is currently director (technical and field services), ONGC. He will replace Dinesh K. Sarraf, who retires on September 30.

BJP’s Presidential Nominee

  • The BJP has named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA's presidential candidate – a move that baffled the Opposition parties, which accused the ruling party of taking a decision 'unilaterally'.

Total Waiver on Crop Loans

  • Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced total waiver of entire crop loans for small and marginal farmers in Punjab.
  • The loan waiver will be for up to Rs. 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers (up to 5 acres) and a flat Rs. 2 lakh relief for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of their loan amount.
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