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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

22 Nov 2018

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Security Aid to Pakistan Suspended

The US has suspended $1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan after President Donald Trump's directive. This comes days after Trump said that Pakistan does not "do a damn thing" for the US, alleging that its government had helped al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Abbottabad.

EU to Scale up Ties with India

The European Union has unveiled a sweeping new vision to significantly scale up ties with India, including closer coordination to forge a multilateral rules-based world order and enhanced military-to-military relations and joint exercises.
The strategy will build on the partnership forged by the two sides in 2004, and recommends the EU should consider negotiating a Strategic Partnership Agreement to update the 1994 EU-India Cooperation Agreement. 
EU envoy Tomasz Kozlowski said that India is on top of our priorities in terms of external agenda. The EU is ready for a leap forward in ties and is proposing to reinforce the EU-India strategic partnership.

Interpol's New President

The Interpol elected Kim Jong Yang of South Korea as its next president.
Kim, who had been serving as acting president, was elected for a two-year term at the body's annual congress in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Mangal Prabhat is Richest Indian Property Tycoon

Mangal Prabhat Lodha, the founder of Lodha Group and a lawmaker representing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has become the nation's richest real estate developer after the company's sales increased 22 per cent.
Lodha's wealth is estimated at 271.5 billion rupees ($3.8 billion), according to the GROHE Hurun India Real Estate Rich List. Lodha, who started the real estate business three decades ago in Mumbai, is constructing the 75-storey Trump Tower in India's commercial capital. 

50% ATMs in India May Shut Down

According to Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMi), nearly 50 per cent Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) may be shut down by March 2019 due to unviability of operations.
India has approximately 2,38,000 ATMs, of which around 1,13,000 ATMs, including 1,00,000 off-site and more than 15,000 white label ATMs.

Rajesh Exports Bags UAE Order

Rajesh Exports, the world's largest gold refiner, procured an order worth Rs. 933 crore from the UAE. The order will be executed by March 2019.
The Bengaluru-based firm has its refineries located in Uttarakhand and at Balerna in Switzerland. It has a capacity to refine 2,400 tonnes of gold per annum. The company processes 35% of gold produced in world.

Binani Turns UltraTech Subsidiary

The board of UltraTech Cement approved UltraTech's proposal to convert Binani Cement Limited (BCL) into a wholly-owned subsidiary of UltraTech. This further consolidates UltraTech's position as the third-largest cement player globally (barring China), even as the company continues to be the biggest in India.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Jammu & Kashmir Assembly Dissolved

Jammu & Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state assembly in a contentious decision that may well be challenged in the courts.
The dissolution came after Mehbooba Mufti's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its arch-rival National Conference (NC) teamed up with the Congress for a shot at government formation with the support of 56 legislators in the 87-member assembly. The People's Conference led by Sajjad Lone, later staked a rival claim, saying it had the support of 25 legislators belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and "more than 18" others.

Formal Request for Multi-role U.S. Copters

India made a formal request to the U.S. for the purchase of 24 MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) for the Navy in a deal estimated at $2bn. This is among a series of defence procurements and inductions from the U.S. and Russia in the last two months.
The Navy is presently facing a critical shortage of helicopters and several frontline warships are plying with empty helicopter decks. These helicopters are being procured as replacement for 15 Sea King ASW helicopters de-inducted from service in 1991 and one Sea King 42B MRH lost in accident. 
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