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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

12 Mar 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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TNA and JVP Agree to Cooperate

  •  Members of Sri Lanka's Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) agreed to work together on a progressive political agenda for the country.
  • The JVP and TNA have also resolved to work together for "a broader, progressive politics" for the country, which would challenge the two mainstream parties — the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party — according to those present.
  • The meeting, anchored by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and select MPs from both sides, lasted over an hour and covered a range of topics pertaining to the current political situation in Sri Lanka.

Trump Unveils Proposal for Wall Funding

  •  U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his proposal for billions in fresh border wall funding and repeated his demand for Republican loyalty at the Senate ahead of a vote on the emergency declaration.
  • The Senate is expected to vote in the second half of this week on a Democratic effort to nullify Mr. Trump's emergency declaration.

ENVIRONMENT

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Wood Snake Rediscovered

  •  A species of wood snake that wasn't seen for 140 years has resurfaced in a survey conducted by scientists in the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The species, endemic to the Meghamalai forests and the Periyar Tiger Reserve landscape, was recently rediscovered by R. Chaitanya, a herpetologist, and Varad Giri, director, Foundation for Biodiversity Conservation.
  • The local population of wood snakes was last spotted and recorded by British military officer and naturalist Colonel Richard Henry Beddome in 1878. 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Goyal Seeks Funding from Etihad

  •  Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal has sought an urgent funding of Rs. 750 crore from its equity partner Etihad, following the lingering cash flow issues which got amplified after the forced grounding of over 50 of its planes.
  • Mr. Goyal said that the airline had also secured the go-ahead from the Civil Aviation Ministry to pledge its shares in JetPrivilege for securing the interim funding.
  • The airline holds 49.9% stake in the loyalty programme while the majority is with Etihad.

Tata Motors Bags Orders for CV Units

  •  Tata Motors has bagged a total order of over 2,500 units of commercial vehicles (CVs) from institutional customers.
  • These include an order of 1,045 buses from Gujarat State Roadways Transport Corporation (GSRTC) and 1,000 Winger ambulances from National Health Mission (NRHM), Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
  • Besides, there is an order for 400 CNG BRTS buses from Pune Mahagagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd.

Nvidia Nears Deal to Acquire Mellanox Technologies

  •  As per reports, Chipmaker Nvidia Corp is nearing a deal to acquire peer Mellanox Technologies Ltd for more than $7 billion in cash.
  • The deal would be Nvidia's biggest-ever acquisition and boost its business of making chips for data centres, allowing it to reduce its reliance on the video game industry, for which it is best known as a major technology vendor.
  • Nvidia has outbid Intel Corp in the auction for Mellanox.
  • Mellanox's chips power high-speed networks connecting servers. The company, which is based in Israel and the United States, had a market capitalisation at the end of trading of about $5.9 billion.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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Traces of Enormous Solar Storm

  •  A team of researchers has found traces of enormous solar storm in Greenland that struck ancient Earth around 2,600 years ago. 
  • According to the researchers, the finding has provided a stark warning that another event of this size could not be too far away.
  • The team of scientists, which examined the chemicals preserved in Greenland ice sheet, concluded that the storm was nearly 10 times stronger than anything detected in past 70 years of modern measurements.

SPORTS

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Doha World Cup

  •  Karnataka's Ujwal Naidu pipped seasoned Ashish Kumar in the floor event to grab a berth in the Indian men's team while Yogeshwar Singh of SSCB emerged on top in vault during the selection trials for the artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Doha.
  • Five gymnasts appeared for the trials, conducted by the Sports Authority of today at the IG Stadium. The trials were for only two apparatus: Floor and Vault.
  • The World Cup in Doha is scheduled from March 20 to 23.
  • Dipa Karmakar has already been cleared by GFI and SAI for participation in the in the women's section.
  • She will be accompanied by her coach Bishweshwar Nandi.

Jyoti and Rajalakshmi Duo Wins

  •  Jyoti Malhotra and T.K. Rajalakshmi beat Maitri Parecha and Abantika Ghosh in the women's doubles final of the Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) table tennis tournament.
  • Vipin Sharma of 'Indian Express' won the men's title, beating Rajiv Gupta of News18 network.
  • The trophies were presented by Usha Rai, founder member of the IWPC.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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People in Electoral Rolls Can Vote

  •  Allaying fears that people in Assam whose names did not appear in the final draft of the NRC cannot vote in the Lok Sabha polls, Assam's Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu said that those who figure in the electoral rolls can vote.
  • There was intense speculation that the 40 lakh people whose names did not appear in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), published by the government in 2018, would be barred from voting.
  • Assam will go to polls to elect 14 Lok Sabha members in three phases (April 11, 18 and 23).
  • There are 2,17,60,604 eligible voters in Assam as of now, including 1,06,27,822 females.
  • The number of voters is likely to increase as the process for inclusion of the names in electoral rolls is still on. There are 7,06,489 first-time voters.

DEFENCE

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The World's 2nd Largest Arms Importer

  •  According to the latest report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India was the world's second largest arms importer from 2014-18 and accounted for 9.5% of the global total, ceding the long-held tag as largest importer to Saudi Arabia, which accounted for 12% of the total imports during the period.
  • However, Indian imports decreased by 24% between 2009-13 and 2014-18, partly due to delays in deliveries of arms produced under licence from foreign suppliers, such as combat aircraft ordered from Russia in 2001 and submarines ordered from France in 2008, the report stated.

Pinaka Guided Extended Range Rockets

  •  In a boost for Indian Army, the Defence Research and Defence Organisation successfully carried out two tests of Pinaka guided extended range rockets at Pokhran range.
  • Both the rockets succeeded in hitting their targets at 90-km range.
  • Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher which is used by the Indian Army.
  • It is capable of firing a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds.
  • The system is mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility. Pinaka was used extensively during the Kargil War to destroy enemy positions on the mountain tops.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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  Gujarat Congress MLA Resigns

  •  A day ahead of the Congress Working Committee meeting in Gujarat , Jamnagar (Rural) MLA Vallabh Dharaviya quit the party and tendered his resignation from the Assembly to Speaker Rajendra Trivedi.
  • Dharaviya's is the third resignation of a Congress MLA in the past four days.
  • The BJP now has 100 MLAs in the 182-member House while the Congress has 71 MLAs. 

Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi Announces New Political Outfit

  •  MP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rebel leader Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi announced his political outfit 'Nava Punjab Party' which will be part of the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA).
  • The development comes a day after the Election Commission announced schedule for the parliamentary elections.
  • Dr Gandhi will contest from Patiala as candidate of PDA that comprises Sukhpal Singh Khaira's Punjabi Ekta Party, Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) of the Bains brothers, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India, and the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP).

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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CA Exams Postponed

  •  The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) said that in view of elections to the 17th Lok Sabha Parliamentary Constituencies across the country, spanning April-May 2019, the chartered accountants examinations, initially scheduled from May 2-17, stand rescheduled.
  • The examinations shall now be held from May 27, 2019 to June 12, 2019.
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