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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

11 Jan 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Canada to Welcome New Immigrants

  •  Canada`s Parliament has announced plans to add more than one million new permanent residents in the next three years, which is nearly 1 per cent of the country`s population each year.
  • Canada welcomed more than 286,000 permanent residents in 2017 and projects that the number could reach 350,000 this year.
  • Canada`s friendly stance towards new residents comes as many other Western nations, including the US, are adopting more restrictive immigration policies.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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GST Burden on Small Businesses Eased

  •  The GST Council in its 32nd meeting, the last before the Budget, took a slew of decisions aimed at reducing the tax and compliance burden on small and medium enterprises, including increasing the threshold limit below which companies are exempted from GST, extending the Composition Scheme to small service providers, and allowing small companies to file annual returns.
  • The Council also raised the annual turnover limit under which companies would be exempted from GST to Rs. 40 lakh for most States and Rs. 20 lakh for the North Eastern and hill states, from the earlier limit of Rs. 20 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh, respectively.

Jaguar Land Rover Plans to Cut Jobs

  •  Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs in the U.K. as part of its strategy to achieve cost reduction and cash flow improvements of £2.5 billion in 18 months.
  • The workforce would be reduced through a "Voluntary Redundancy Programme,"
  • The carmaker has a workforce of about 40,000 in the U.K. 
  • The company has been making losses following a massive drop in demand in China, its biggest market, and concerns on diesel vehicles.

Implementation of Capital Conservation Buffer Deferred

  •  The Reserve Bank deferred the implementation of the last tranche of Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) by a year, a move that would leave about an estimated Rs. 37,000 crore capital in the hands of banks.
  • This would help banks increase lending by over Rs. 3.5 lakh crore by leveraging ten times the capital.
  • The CCB is the capital buffer that banks have to accumulate in normal times to be used for offsetting losses during periods of stress. It was introduced after the 2008 global financial crisis to improve the ability of banks to withstand adverse economic conditions.

Glenmark Arm and Yuhan Ink Pact

  •  Glenmark Specialty S.A., the Suisse subsidiary of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Yuhan Corporation for commercialising its novel nasal spray Ryaltris in South Korea.
  • The agreement with Yuhan is Glenmark's second regional licensing deal for Ryaltris. In July 2018, it entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Seqirus Pty. Ltd. to commercialise Ryaltris in Australia and New Zealand.

TCS Q3 Net Profit Up

  •  IT services major Tata Consultancy Services' (TCS) net profit grew 24.1 per cent to Rs. 8,105 crore as compared to Rs. 6,531 a year earlier a year ago for the period ending December 31, 2018.
  • The company's income from operations grew 20.8 per cent while revenue from the BFSI segment surged 23 per cent.
  • Sequential revenue growth was led by the U.K. and Europe, which rose 25.1 per cent and 17.6 per cent, respectively. 

SPORTS

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Ranji Trophy

  •  Bihar's left-arm spinner Ashutosh Aman rewrote history by becoming the highest wicket-taker in a single season in Ranji Trophy.
  • Aman grabbed 68 wickets in 14 innings at an average of 6.48 to surpass the record of 64 wickets set by legendary tweaker Bishan Singh Bedi 44 years ago in 1974-75.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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New AIIMS in J&K and Gujarat

  •  The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of three All India Institutes of Medical Sciences in Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat.
  • These will be in Samba in Jammu, in Pulwama in Kashmir and in Rajkot, Gujarat.
  • The institutes will be set up under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana.
  • The objective is to establish the new AIIMS as Institutions of National Importance for providing quality tertiary healthcare, medical education, nursing education and research in the region.

CBI Barred from Investigating in Chhattisgarh

  •  After Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, the Congress government in Chhattisgarh withdrew the general consent accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the state.
  • All the three states are ruled by opposition parties and have accused the central agency of acting at the bidding of the Centre, where the Bharatiya Janata Party is in power.
  • CBI comes under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and it requires states to give the agency a general consent to act against central government employees within the state as public order and police are under the purview of state governments.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Sheila Dikshit Appointed Delhi Congress Chief

  •  Congress chief Rahul Gandhi appointed former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief, days after Ajay Maken resigned from the post citing ill health.
  • Ms. Dikshit will be assisted by the following three working presidents: Devender Yadav, Haroon Yusuf and Rajesh Lilotia.
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