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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

14 Mar 2019


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British MPs Seek to Rule Out no-deal Exit

  •  British MPs will vote on whether or not they want to avoid a no-deal Brexit, a day after the Prime Minister's withdrawal deal was resoundingly rejected by a margin of 148 in the House of Commons.
  • The motion does not, however, eliminate the risk of a no-deal crash-out, simply Parliament's intention to avoid that scenario.
  • Crashing out of the EU will remain the default position for March 29 unless the U.K. and the EU agree a delay, or a deal is agreed, or if Article 50 is revoked.
  • If MPs back the motion to rule out a no-deal exit, brought by the government, and on which Conservative MPs will have a free vote on, then the MPs will be given a vote on whether or not to ask for an extension from the EU. 

California Governor Halts Death Penalty

  •  California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that he will place a moratorium on the State's use of the death penalty by signing an executive order.
  • This will mean that the 737 prisoners on California's death row will not be executed while the moratorium is in effect.
  • Mr. Newsom, who became the Golden State's Governor in January, said that he is morally opposed to capital punishment and had promised such a move as part of his campaign.
  • California is the country's most populous State and has the most number of inmates on death row.

U.K. Unveils Tariff Plan

  •  Ahead of the parliamentary vote on whether MPs want to rule out crashing out of the EU without a deal, the government published details of a temporary tariff regime that would apply to goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • While tariffs on 87% of goods would be reduced to zero as part of the 12-month plan, tariffs would apply to certain industries, including the farming sector, and to finished vehicles to support the automotive sector. To avoid disruption on supply chains, carmakers relying on EU supply chains, such as Jaguar Land Rover, won't face additional tariffs on car parts.
  • The government has also said it would temporarily take steps to avoid new border checks on goods at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, for goods that would remain on the island. However, its plans have done little to allay concerns of business. 


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RBI to Inject Liquidity via Forex Swaps

  •  The Reserve Bank of India has decided to inject rupee liquidity into the system through long-term foreign exchange buy/sell swap, a first-of-its-kind instrument used for liquidity management.
  • The RBI would conduct dollar-rupee buy/sell swap auction of $5 billion for a three-year tenor on March 26.
  • In order to meet the durable liquidity needs of the system, the Reserve Bank has decided to augment its liquidity management toolkit and inject rupee liquidity for longer duration through long-term foreign exchange buy/sell swap.
  • The U.S. dollar amount mobilised through this auction would also reflect in RBI's foreign exchange reserves for the tenor of the swap while also reflecting in RBI's forward liabilities.

India Gets First TIR Shipment via Chabahar Port

  •  The first shipment under the United Nations 'Transports Internationaux Routiers' (TIR) convention arrived in India from Afghanistan through Iran's Chabahar Port.
  • The consignments arrived at port of Nhava Sheva, Mumbai and Mundra.
  • India had joined the TIR Convention (the United Nations Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets) on June 15, 2017.

Framework for Counter Offer Process

  •  Markets regulator SEBI came out with the framework and timeline for the counter offer process.
  • The counter offer is made in case the price discovered through reverse book building (RBB) is not acceptable to the promoter or the acquirer.
  • The book value per share of the company shall be disclosed in the public announcement for counter offer.
  • Additionally, the letter of offer shall contain details of the counter offer, activity schedule, among other details in a prescribed format.
  • As per SEBI, the promoters or acquirers making public announcement of the offer through stock exchange mechanism shall do so within two days from the date of closure of RBB bidding process.


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Congress to Contest 11 Seats in Bihar

  •  After weeks of negotiations, the Opposition alliance in Bihar has been sealed with the Congress agreeing to contest 11 seats, climbing down from its earlier demand for 14.
  • As per reports, the RJD will contest 20 seats, the Congress 11, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, led by Upendra Kushwaha 3, and the Hindustan Awam Party of Jitin Ram Manjhi 2.
  • The remaining 4 seats will be distributed among the Vikassheel Insaan Party, led by Mukesh Sahani, the Jan Loktantrik Party, led by Sharad Yadav, the CPI and the CPI(ML).

Assam's Dhubri Seat

  •  Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency in western Assam is spread across Dhubri, Goalpara and Kokrajhar districts. All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) founder Badruddin Ajmal won the seat in 2014 defeating his Congress rival Wazed Ali Choudhury by over two lakh votes.
  • Ajmal is also the Assam President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
  • Ajmal will contest from Dhubri this time also but having lost the Assembly election in 2016 from Salmara constituency. Polling will take place in April 23.


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India, US to Conduct First Tri-service Drill

  •  India and the United States are likely to conduct their first exercise involving their armies, navies and air forces towards the end of the year.
  • The tri-service exercise was discussed in September 2018 during the inaugural '2+2' dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries.
  • The two sides are about to begin the groundwork for the maiden exercise.
  • The existing military exercises between India and the US are army-to-army, navy-to-navy and air force-to-air force. Russia is the only country with which India holds a joint tri-service exercise, the first of these was held in Vladivostok in October 2017.


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Rahul Bajaj Resigns

  •  Bajaj Finserv said that its chairman and non-executive director Rahul Bajaj has resigned and will take over as the chairman emeritus from May.
  • His appointment as chairman emeritus will be effective from May 16, 2019.
  • The board of directors has appointed Nanoo Pamnani as independent non-executive chairman in place of Rahul Bajaj, with effect from May 17, 2019.
  • The firm has also approved the reappointment of independent directors D. J. Balaji Rao, Nanoo Pamnani and Gita Piramal for a second term of five years.
  • While the appointment of the former two will take effect from April 1, Dr. Piramal's term will begin from July 16, 2019. 

Greta Thunberg in Nobel Peace Prize Race

  •  Three Norwegian lawmakers have nominated Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who has become a prominent voice in campaigns against climate change, for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Freddy Andre Oevstegaard and two other members of the Socialist Left Party said that they believe the massive movement Greta has set in motion is a very important peace contribution.
  • Ms. Thunberg has encouraged students to skip school to join protests demanding faster action on climate change, a movement that has spread beyond Sweden to other European nations.

Five IPS Officers Made CBI Joint Directors

  •  The Centre inducted five IPS officers as Joint Directors in the Central Bureau of Investigation.
  • Sampat Meena, 1994 batch IPS officer of Jharkhand cadre. She will be the Joint Director till September 2022.
  • Anurag, 1994 officer from Tripura cadre, will serve as Joint Director till August.
  • Himachal Pradesh cadre IPS officer Rakesh Aggarwal of the 1994 batch will be Joint Director till September 2020.
  • Similarly, 1997 batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer Viplav Kumar Choudhry has been inducted as Joint Director till September 2022.
  • A 1991 batch IPS officer of Rajasthan cadre, D.C. Jain has been appointed Joint Director for five years from the date he assumes charge of the post.


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JNU to Conduct Online Entrance Exams

  •  In a first, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will conduct online entrance exams for all graduate, postgraduate, M Phil and PhD courses for the academic session 2019-20.
  • The JNU Entrance Examination (JNUEE) will be held from May 27 to May 30 and the registration process will start on March 15.
  • For the first time, entrance exams for all courses will be held in the multiple-choice questions (MCQs) format.
  • The registration process will close on April 15. Students will have the option of correcting their application forms from April 17 to April 19.
  • The exams will be conducted in partnership with the National Testing Agency (NTA).
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