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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

25 Mar 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Voting in Thailand

  •  Thailand voters went to the polls in a long-delayed election following a 2014 coup, in a race that pits a military junta chief seeking to retain power against a democratic front led by the populist party he ousted.
  • Thailand has been under direct military rule since then army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha overthrew an elected government linked to exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who himself was thrown out by the army in 2006.

 Ranil Lays Foundation Stone for Oil Refinery

  •  Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe laid the foundation stone for a nearly $4-billion oil refinery in the southern port town of Hambantota.
  • The project will come up at the investment zone next to a port that Sri Lanka has leased out to a Chinese state-run firm for 99 years.
  • The mega project has drawn much interest in the past week, after Sri Lanka's Board of Investment (BOI) announced that a Singapore-registered firm, along with Oman, was bringing in the investment.
  • Soon after, Reuters quoted an Omani official as saying the country had no role in the project.

SPORTS

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Miami Open

  •  Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov booked their place in the last-16 of the ongoing Miami Open.
  • The Indian-Canadian team has now set up a clash against Croatia's Nikola Mektic and Spain's Marcel Granollers for a place in the quarter-finals in Miami.  

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Private Hospitals Out of ESI Scheme

  •  The Punjab Government has cancelled the empanelment of all 90 private hospitals with the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESI) hospitals following complaints of alleged wrongdoing.
  • The decision was taken on the basis of field reports, which mentioned that ESI doctors and other employees were allegedly recklessly referring cases to private hospitals notwithstanding the fact that these institutes have specialised services as well as the infrastructure required for treatment.
  • Under the empanelment scheme, employees were allowed to avail treatment from private hospitals on the state government insurance cards.

DEFENCE

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Army's Carbine Procurement Held Up

  •  The fast-track procurement of 93,895 Close Quarter Carbine (CQB) rifles for the Army has been delayed even after the completion of cost negotiations as the case is pending with the Defence Ministry.
  • Cost negotiations have been completed, and the file has gone to a three-member oversight committee where it has been held up without a decision.
  • In January 2018, the DAC approved the purchase of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines for Rs. 3,547 crore through the fast-track procurement (FTP) mode.
  • After evaluation, Sig Sauer of the U.S. emerged as the lowest bidder for the assault rifles and the United Arab Emirates-based Caracal for the carbines.
  • The oversight committee consists of members of the Army, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Defence Ministry.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Kamal Haasan not to Contest Election This Time

  •  Makkal Needhi Maiam founder-leader Kamal Haasan declared that he will not contest in the coming Lok Sabha elections and by-polls to 18 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu contrary to his earlier stand that he would definitely be in the fray.
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