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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

05 Mar 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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China and U.S. close to Reaching Deal

  •  The Trump administration is close to a trade deal with China that would roll back tariffs on both sides of the Pacific but may do little to achieve the substantive changes to China's economy that the U.S. initially set out to win.
  • Significant details remain unsettled and the deal is still being discussed but so far, the two sides have agreed on a pact that would largely require Beijing to make big purchases of U.S. agricultural and energy goods and to lower some barriers that prevent U.S. companies from operating in China.

Congress Set to Overturn Trump's Emergency

  •  U.S. President Donald Trump's national emergency to build a border wall with Mexico could be overturned by Congress with Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, saying that he would vote in favour of a resolution passed by the House and now being considered by the Senate.
  • Three Republicans Senators, Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Thom Tillis (North Carolina), have already said they will vote to overturn the emergency.
  • Assuming that none of the 47 Senate Democrats (includes independents who vote with Democrats) defect, Mr. Paul's vote will provide the required simple majority of 51 to get the resolution through. 

ENVIRONMENT

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India to Tie-up with Nations to Save Rhinos

  •  India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos, including the Greater one-horned rhinoceros found in the Indian sub-continent.
  • The five rhino range nations signed a declaration 'The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019' for the conservation and protection of the species at the Second Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting.

Gurugram World's most Polluted

  •  As per a new pollution report, India's national capital region (NCR) emerged as the most polluted region in the world in 2018, with Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities.
  • Air pollution is likely to cause the death of an estimated seven million lives globally in the next year while costing the world's economy nearly $ 225 billion.
  • Of the 20 most polluted cities in the world last year, 18 were in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the study found.
  • Delhi is ranked 11th in the list; the only non-Indian city in the top five is Pakistan's Faisalabad.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Service for Fast Vehicle Claim Settlement

  •  Private insurer Bharti AXA General Insurance has introduced a service that allows customers and partner garages to raise instant vehicle claims and get quicker claim settlements.
  • The insurance firm is aiming to process 20-25% of its total vehicle insurance claims in the first year through the service, Smart eSurvey, a live streaming solution for processing motor insurance claims.

Banks Fined for Delayed SWIFT Implementation

  •  The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of Rs. 4 crore on Karnataka Bank, Rs. 3 crore on City Union Bank, Rs. 2 crore on DCB Bank and Rs. 1 crore on Karur Vysya Bank Ltd. for delayed implementation of SWIFT-related operational controls.
  • Besides these four banks, the RBI has also fined Indian Bank (Rs. 4 crore), IOB (Rs. 3 crore) and United Bank of India (Rs. 3 crore) for the same violations.
  • SWIFT is the global messaging software used for transactions by financial entities.

Umatara Exploration Contract

  •  Hindustan Oil Exploration Company (HOEC), in collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), has been awarded the contract for exploring Umatara field in Assam under the Discovered Small Field Policy Bid Round II.
  • A formal revenue-sharing contract is expected to be executed with the Centre later in March.
  • Participating interest of HOEC in the block will be 10% and IOC 90%. The field will be jointly operated and developed by both firms.
  • Umatara becomes the fifth block in HOEC's portfolio of northeast blocks, joining Dirok, Kherem, Kharsang and Greater Dirok.

SPORTS

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Goswami Back to the Top

  •  Jhulan Goswami has returned to the top position for bowlers in the ICC Women's ODI rankings.
  • Goswami was the star for Indian team as she picked up eight wickets in the three-match ODI series enabling her side to win the series 2-1 against England.
 

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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IDBI Bank to Appoint New Deputy MDs

  •  IDBI Bank has invited applications for the posts of two deputy managing directors (DMDs).
  • The tenure of the candidates shall be three years, extendable by a further period of two years or attainment of age 60.
  • One of the current DMDs, K.P. Nair, retires in May. The other, G.M. Yadwadkar, was appointed in September 2016 for three years. He would retire in 2022.
  • Both were appointed by the government as the majority shareholder. Now, with LIC becoming the promoter, the appointments, including that of MD and CEO, would be made by the insurer.

DEFENCE

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IAF's Sukhoi Shoots Down Pakistani Military Drone

  •  A fighter jet of the Indian Air Force shot down a Pakistani military drone in Bikaner sector of the Indo-Pak border using an air-to-air missile.
  • The Pakistani drone was shot down by a Sukhoi-30 aircraft, minutes after a ground-based radar station detected the flying machine.
  • It was the second unsuccessful attempt by Pakistan to send a spy drone inside India in the last six days.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Baijayant Panda Joins BJP

  •  Former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Jay Panda joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Juel Oram and other senior party leaders.
  • Panda, a four-time member of Parliament, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kendrapara constituency of Odisha in 2014. He was suspended from the BJD for "anti-party activities" on January 24, 2018.
  • Panda quit the party in May 2018, two weeks after he tendered his resignation as the Lok Sabha member.
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