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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

26 Dec 2018


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Pet Shops Banned from Selling Puppies and Kittens

  •  Britain has banned third-party sales of puppies and kittens to protect the animals from exploitation.
  • As per the government, the new law will help crack down on puppy farms and make it harder for unscrupulous dealers who have little regard for animal welfare.
  • Under the new measure, people wishing to adopt a puppy or kitten would have to deal directly with a breeder or a re-homing center, rather than pet shops or other commercial dealers.
  • Animal welfare groups praised the government measure as an important step forward. 

Iran Budget to Counter Sanctions

  •  President Hassan Rouhani unveiled Iran's first annual budget since the return of U.S. sanctions, and said that the budget had been adjusted to take account of Washington's cruel measures.
  • Mr. Rouhani announced a 20% increase in public sector wages in a sign of the economic challenges Iran has faced since the United States pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal earlier this year.

Marijuana Legalised in Thailand

  •  Thailand`s interim parliament voted to approve marijuana for medical use and research. Recreational use of the drug remains illegal.
  • This makes Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to allow the use of medical marijuana. The region is notorious for its hardline approach to drugs and strict penalties for drug-related crimes.
  • The British government approved medical marijuana earlier this year.


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Vedanta to Invest in Electrosteel

  •  Vedanta Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Plc. is planning to invest more than $3 billion to expand the capacity of Electrosteel Steel's plant in Jharkhand whose possession it secured earlier this year through an insolvency resolution process.
  • The investment is proposed to be made in two tranches.

Japanese Firms in India Have Gone Up

  •  Ambassador of Japan to India Kenji Hiramatsu said that the number of Japanese firms operating in India has gone up by 72 to 1,441 till October this year.
  • He also said that there was a significant rise in the number of firms in metal manufacturing and services.

RBI to Release New Rs. 20 Notes

  •  The Reserve Bank of India will soon introduce new Rs. 20 notes with additional features.
  • According to the RBI data bank, there were 4.92 billion pieces of Rs. 20 note in circulation as on March 31, 2016.
  • The number more than doubled to about 10 billion pieces by March 2018.


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MP Gets First Muslim Minister in 15 Years

  •  Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath expanded his cabinet inducting 28 ministers including Arif Aqueel, the lone Muslim face in the new council of ministers.
  • Aqueel, MLA from Bhopal North, is the first Muslim minister in the state after 15 years.
  • Kamal Nath inducted nine MLAs from the Malwa Nivad region, six from central Madhya Pradesh, five representing the Gwalior-Chambal region and three from Bundelkhand in his cabinet.
  • The ministerial team includes 11 loyalists of the Chief Minister, nine from Congress veteran's Digvijay Singh's camp, seven from Jyotiraditya Scindia's camp and one from former state party chief Arun Yadav's camp.

Bhupesh Baghel Cabinet Expanded

  •  The Bhupesh Baghel cabinet in Chhattisgarh was expanded, taking its total strength to 12.
  • T. S. Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu had taken oath as ministers on December 17 along with Bhupesh Baghel.
  • The new ministers are: Mohammad Akbar, the only Muslim minister, Ravindra Choubey, Umesh Patel, Anila Bhedia, Kawasi Lakhma, Premsai Singh Tekam, Shiv Kumar Daharia and Rudra Guru.

Increase in BC Quota in PR Polls

  •  Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has demanded the State Government to withdraw the ordinance amending PR Act 2018 to bring down the reservations for Backward Classes in Panchayat Raj elections.
  • In a letter to the CM, he demanded that the government implements the High Court order on conducting caste-wise enumeration of BCs in the State along with a socio-economic survey on their conditions.

Ashok Gehlot to Reverse Vasundhara Raje's Order

  •  The Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan is set to reverse an order of former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
  • The Congress has decided to do away with a logo comprising photograph of Jan Sangh founder Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay on government letterheads and notifications, and replace the same with Ashok Stambh, the national emblem.
  • During the tenure of the BJP government, it was made mandatory to use the Deen Dayal Upadhyay logo on all government orders, notifications and letterheads.
  • The Congress party had protested when the order was issued.


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Indian Army Created a World Record

  •  The Indian Army has created a world record of sorts as its pilots and technicians successfully recovered a helicopter which was stuck in snow at an altitude of 18,000 feet at Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • According to the Army, an ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) Dhruv, on an air maintenance sortie at the 74-km-long Siachen Glacier, developed a snag and had to be landed around a post called Khanda in January this year.


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Chacko Thomas Promoted

  •  Tata Coffee executive director and deputy CEO Chacko Purackal Thomas has been promoted as managing director and chief executive officer.
  • He will assume the charge from April 1. He will take over from Sanjiv Sarin, whose term ends on March 31.
  • Mr. Thomas has been associated with Tata Coffee as the executive director and deputy chief executive officer since August 4, 2015. 

Nawaz Sharif Shifted to Kot Lakhpat Jail

  •  Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was shifted to the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore from Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, a day after an anti-corruption court sentenced him to seven years in prison in a graft case linked to the high-profile Panama Papers scandal. 


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No Changes in Age Limit

  •  There is no move to change the age limit as a criterion to apply for the civil service examinations, the government clarified this after some reports suggested that changes in the age criteria may come into effect.
  • The present age limit for appearing in the UPSC examination is 32 years. The NITI Aayog had in a report in November suggested that the upper age limit for appearing in the UPSC examination be reduced to 27 years.
  • The upper age limit for the civil services should be brought down to 27 years or the general category in a phased manner by 2022-23. 


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Hyatt to Add 1,000 Rooms

  •  Hyatt Hotels plans to add almost 1,000 rooms in India next year as it expects demand to grow significantly in the country.
  • The hotel now has about 7,000 rooms in the country with 28 hotels across 18 destinations. Next year, the luxury hotel chain expects to operate with more than 7,900 rooms in 32 hotels across 20 destinations.
  • In 2019, the firm will launch several properties, including Hyatt Regency Kochi Malayattoor, Grand Hyatt Gurgaon, Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa, Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort and Hyatt Regency Jaipur Mansarovar.
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