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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

24 Feb 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Delayed Brexit Better than No-deal Exit

  •  Three members of Prime Minister Theresa May's Cabinet warned that Brexit must be delayed if she cannot persuade the British Parliament to back her EU divorce deal next week.
  • Business Minister Greg Clark, Work and Pensions Minister Amber Rudd and Justice Minister David Gauke wrote an article stating their opposition to leaving the European Union on March 29 with no deal.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Commodity Brokers Declared Unfit

  •  The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has declared Motilal Oswal Commodities Broker and India Infoline Commodities (IICL) unfit to function as commodity brokers on account of their alleged role in the Rs. 5,600-crore settlement scam at the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) that came out in the open in July 2013.
  • In two separate orders issued late on Friday, the capital markets regulator rejected the application for registration of the two entities and further directed that all existing clients should be allowed to move to other brokerages within 45 days.
  • This is the first set of actions against large brokerages alleged to have colluded with the spot exchange for marketing of the so-called pair contracts wherein clients were assured fixed returns of between 13% and 16% per annum.

GVK to Buy Additional Stake in Mumbai Airport Operator

  •  GVK Group announced raising its stake in Mumbai airport operator MIAL to 64% by acquiring additional shares for nearly Rs. 1,247 crore.
  • Exercising the "Right of First Refusal", GVK Airport Holdings Ltd would purchase 13.5% stake from South Africa's Bidvest.
  • Mumbai Airport International Ltd. (MIAL) operates Mumbai aerodrome, which is the second busiest in the country.

Adani Logistics to Buy Agri-logistics Arm of AEL

  •  Adani Logistics, a subsidiary of Adani Ports and SEZ would acquire Adani Agri Logistics from Adani Enterprises Ltd. (AEL) in an all-cash deal, which is expected to be completed by March. "Adani Agri Logistics is a subsidiary of AEL and the transaction is proposed at an enterprise value of Rs. 1,662 crore," a statement said.
  • Adani Agri Logistics will add 28 locations and 7 trains to Adani Logistics network.

SPORTS

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Historic Win for Sri Lanka

  •  Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis propelled Sri Lanka to an eight-wicket win over South Africa on the third day of the second Test at St. George's Park, clinching a historic 2-0 series triumph.
  • Sri Lanka became the first team from Asia to win a Test series in South Africa.

Tajinder Books Asian Championships Spot

  •  Shot Putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor took his first step back into international competition since the Asian Games gold with a 20.13 m throw in the first leg of the Indian Grand Prix.
  • It was not only enough to win gold in the season-opening event but also helped him book a spot in the Asian Championships in April.
  • Five of his six throws were better than the qualifying mark, set at 19.50 m.

Ex-Asian Champ Denied Visa

  •  Pakistan's Hamza Akbar, the 2015 Asian snooker champion, has been denied a visa for the Indian Open world-ranking snooker tournament and will now be forced to miss the event.
  • The Government had refused visas to two Pakistani shooters for the ongoing ISSF World Cup in New Delhi and clearly the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is very upset about it.
  • But, despite the IOC writing to the Indian Olympic Association that all future tournaments in the country would be put on hold unless the host gave a written guarantee that there would be no discrimination against participants, the BSFI sees no threat to the Kochi tournament.

Indian Grand Prix

  •  The Indian athletics 2019 season started with the first leg of the Indian Grand Prix. But, with many of the big names still training abroad, the competition will be more of a chance for the rest to impress with their performances in the Olympic qualifying year.
  • The stars are expected to return in time for the final two legs of the IGP or the Federation Cup next month, which is a selection event for the Asian championships.

Hazratullah Zazai Enters Record Books

  •  Hazratullah Zazai entered the record books during the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at Dehradun against Ireland, smashing a world-record 162 not out off 62 balls to ensure Afghanistan clinched the three-match series 2-0.
  • Zazai's blistering knock included 11 fours and 16 sixes. Afghanistan scored 278/3, a world record total in the game's shortest format that eventually saw them win the match by 84 runs.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Nodal Police Officers Appointed in All States

  •  All States and Union Territories have appointed nodal police officers to resolve the problems of Kashmiris targeted in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.
  • The Home Ministry asked the States to ensure the security of Kashmiris who were reportedly attacked in the last few days. 

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Nigerians Vote for New President

  •  Nigerians voted for a new President after a week-long delay.
  • President Muhammadu Buhari was one of the first to vote, and emerged from the polling booth in his home town of Daura, in the northwest State of Katsina, to say that he was confident of victory. 

Donald Trump Nominates Kelly Craft

  •  U.S. President Donald Trump selected Kelly Craft, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, as his nominee to serve as the next Ambassador to the UN. 
  • As per Mr. Trump, Ms. Craft has done an outstanding job representing the US.
  • Mr. Trump's first pick to replace Ms. Haley, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew over the weekend.
  • Ms. Craft was a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN General Assembly under the George Bush administration.
  • As U.S. ambassador to Canada, she played a role in facilitating the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

DAYS AND EVENTS

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Central Excise Day

  •  Central Excise Day is commemorated every year all across the India on 24th of February to encourage the employees of excise department to carry out the central excise duty all over the India in better way in order to prevent the corruption in goods manufacturing business as well as implement other rules to carry out best possible excise services.

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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Philippines Leads Asia in Gender Equality

  •  According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report for 2018, the Philippines was ranked eighth among the 10 best performers. Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Nicaragua, Rwanda, New Zealand, Ireland and Namibia are the other countries on the list.
  • In the study, 149 countries were tested for economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
  • The report also took into consideration skills gender gaps related to artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Today, the Philippines is the only country in Asia (and second to New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific region) to achieve this ranking. Almost 97% of the female population of the country is literate and the most common field of study is Business Administration and related courses.
  • As a social norm, the Philippines follows a matriarchal system. Long before it was colonised by Spain, Filipinas inherited property, were religious leaders, and even joined military forces as combat soldiers.
  • These norms have over the years influenced the Philippines society in which women have a greater say.
  • They have an equal share in family inheritance and access to use, control, and ownership of assets.
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