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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

28 Feb 2019

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Spotify Forays into the Indian Market

  •  Music streaming service Spotify announced its foray into the Indian market, where it will compete with players such as JioSaavn, Amazon Music and Gaana.
  • As per reports, The Swedish firm would offer local and international music for Indian listeners with the app available to download for free.
  • Users can also upgrade to Spotify Premium for Rs. 59 onwards per month.

Retaliatory Tariffs Levy on U.S. Goods Delayed

  •  The government has extended the deadline to impose retaliatory customs duties on 29 U.S. products, including almond, walnut and pulses, till April 1.
  • As discussions are under way between India and the U.S. for a proposed trade package, the Commerce Ministry had asked its finance counterpart to again defer the implementation of a notification to impose high duties on U.S. products.
  • According to a notification, the implementation of increased customs duty on specified imports originating in USA has been postponed from March 2, 2019 to April 1, 2019.

Jeypore Sugar under Insolvency Action

  •  The Chennai Bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has directed initiation of insolvency proceedings against The Jeypore Sugar Company Ltd.
  • The petition was filed by IDBI Bank Ltd. for non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs. 183.75 crore as on October 1, 2018.
  • The company availed loans to the tune of Rs. 165.37 crore from the bank in the form of working capital and rupee term loans, among others.
  • As per the petition, the company had offered a one-time settlement proposal, which did not materialise.

Wipro to sell Workday, Cornerstone On Demand Business

  •  IT services major Wipro said that it would sell its Workday and Cornerstone On Demand business to Illinois-based Alight for cash consideration of up to $110 million.
  • Following the closing of its 10-year agreement that was announced in September, Alight and Wipro continue to explore additional strategic opportunities and possible alignment of portfolios.

Boeing Wins Vietnam Orders

  •  Vietnam's Bamboo Airways and VietJet Aviation JSC signed deals to buy 110 aircraft from Boeing Co. during President Donald Trump's visit to Hanoi for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
  • Bamboo agreed to purchase 10 787-9 Dreamliners worth about $3 billion, while VietJet's order is for 100 737 Max planes valued at $12.7 billion.
  • Separately, General Electric Co. signed a $5.3 billion deal with VietJet to service engines for 200 Boeing 737 Max aircraft on order.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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ISRO to Launch Defence Satellite

  •  As per Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K. Sivan, the Bengaluru-based space agency is set to launch an electronic intelligence satellite 'Emisat' for the DRDO in March.
  • Sivan added that ISRO will also launch 28 third-party satellites and demonstrate its new technologies like three different orbits with a new variant of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket in March.   

SPORTS

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Khelo India App Launched

  •  The government launched the Khelo India mobile app, developed by the Sports Authority of India as part of the Khelo India scheme.
  • Developed both in Hindi and English, it has three features, making it convenient for youngsters to take up sport and identify potential champions.
  • The three sections include 'How To Play', 'Where To Play' and 'Get Fit'.

First Indian to Hit 350 Sixes in International Cricket

  •  MS Dhoni was in top form in the second T20I against Australia.
  • The wicket-keeper batsman became the first Indian to notch 350 sixes across all format of international cricket.
  • India struck 13 sixes in total, which is the highest number of maximums in T20Is played in Bengaluru.

Saurav Ghosal Enters Quarterfinals

  •  India's Saurav Ghosal made his way into the quarterfinal with a hard fought win over Wales player Joel Makin in the PSA World Squash Championship.
  • This is the second time that Saurav has reached the last eight, the last being in 2013.
  • Saurav next faces the third seed German Simon Rosner.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Rajasthan Border Districts on High Alert

  •  Rajasthan put the four border districts of Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Barmer on high alert amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan.
  • Prohibitory orders were imposed near the border areas with instructions to security personnel to not allow anyone within a 2-km distance of the International Border at night.
  • Rajasthan shares a 1,048-km border, adjacent to Pakistan's Punjab and Sindh provinces.

Noida gets Its Own Passport Seva Kendra

  •  Now, citizens of Gautam Budh Nagar will not have to go all the way to Ghaziabad to get their passports issued or renewed as Noida got its first passport seva kendra.
  • Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister and Member of Parliament, Gautam Budh Nagar, inaugurated the passport centre at the Noida Head Post Office at Sector 19.
  • This is the tenth Passport Seva Kendra in Uttar Pradesh.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Rabindra Adhikari Killed in Chopper Crash

  •  Nepal's Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari was among seven people killed when a helicopter crashed in the country's hilly east.
  • He belonged to the Communist Party of Nepal.
  • He had assumed office as Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal in March 2018.

Buhari Wins 2nd Term

  •  Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected Nigeria's President after a delayed poll that angered voters and raised political temperatures, but the opposition immediately vowed to challenge the sham result in court.
  • It was the second victory at the ballot box for Mr. Buhari, a one-time military ruler who was first elected in 2015 to lead Africa's most-populous nation and top oil producer.
  • With ballots counted in all of Nigeria's 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Buhari triumphed with some 15.2 million votes over his nearest rival Atiku Abubakar, who trailed by nearly four million votes.

DAYS AND EVENTS

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National Science Day

  •  National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February each year to mark the discovery of the Raman Effect by Indian physicist Sir C. V. Raman on 28 February 1928.
  • For his discovery, Sir C.V. Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.
  • In 1986, the NCSTC asked the Government of India to designate February 28 as National Science Day.
  • On the occasion of the first NSD (National Science Day) (28 February 1987) NCSTC announced institution of the National Science Popularisation awards for recognising outstanding efforts in the area of science communication and popularisation.
  • The theme for 2019 is on "Science for the People, and People for the Science".

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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Non-scheduled Cancer Drugs under Price Control

  •  The government brought 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs under price control, capping trade margin at 30%, which would reduce their retail prices by up to 85%.
  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has invoked extraordinary powers in public interest, under Para 19 of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 to bring 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs under price control through trade margin rationalisation.

UK Students Dropping Foreign Languages

  •  According to a BBC analysis, the number of British children taking foreign language classes has nearly halved since 2000, with those learning French and German down nearly two-thirds.
  • The BBC polled students who take standard General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) courses, which culminate in exams around the age of 16.
  • The total number taking foreign language classes was down 45 per cent.
  • The BBC said that most schools attributed the drop to the perception of languages as a difficult subject.
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