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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

26 Mar 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Golan Heights Belongs to Israel

  •  U.S. President Donald Trump declared that the Golan Heights belongs to Israel.
  • Mr. Netanyahu spared no praise as he watched Mr. Trump sign the Golan proclamation at the White House.
  • The Jewish state captured the territory from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967.

May Shelves Plan for Third Vote on Brexit

  •  British Prime Minister Theresa May has shelved plans for a third vote on her withdrawal agreement as she acknowledged that she still was unable to muster the necessary parliamentary majority, despite a series of meetings with Conservative MPs, the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, and Labour Party to attempt to find a road ahead. 

ENVIRONMENT

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Greenland Glacier Growing Again

  •  A new NASA study has found that a major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth is growing again.
  • The Jakobshavn Glacier around 2012 was retreating about 1.8 miles and thinning nearly 130 feet annually. But it started growing again at about the same rate in the past two years.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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IOC-BPRL Combine Wins Oil Block in Abu Dhabi

  •  Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) along with its partner Bharat Petro Resources Ltd. (BPRL) has won an oil block in Abu Dhabi, where the two will invest $170 million.
  • IOC-BPRL won the block in Abu Dhabi's first-ever competitive bid round.
  • IOC and BPRL, a subsidiary of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), acting jointly as a consortium through Urja Bharat Pte Ltd. have been awarded 100% stake in the Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 1 Concession.
  • Onshore Block 1 covers an area of 6,162 square kilometre around Ruwais field and includes already discovered but undeveloped fields.

Hyundai Signs Wage Pact

  •  Hyundai Motor India has concluded a wage settlement pact with the United Union of Hyundai Employees.
  • The three-year pact would be implemented with effect from April 2018 and remain effective till March 2021.
  • As per the agreement, technicians would receive an average salary raise of Rs. 25, 200 per month spread over three years.

Kalpataru to Buy Stake in Swedish Firm

  •  Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited (KPTL), an EPC player in the power and infrastructure contracting sector, through its wholly owned subsidiary in Sweden viz. Kalpataru Power Transmission Sweden AB has signed definitive agreement to acquire 85% equity stake in Linjemontage i Grastorp AB for an enterprise value of $24 million.
  • Linjemontage i Grastorp AB specialises in power supply solutions and services for electricity networks up to voltage range of 400 kv.

SPORTS

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Australia Appoints Cooley and Griffith

  •  Australia appointed former England bowling coach Troy Cooley for the upcoming Ashes series as it bids to win the urn on away soil for the first time in 18 years.
  • Adam Griffith, a former head coach of Tasmania and assistant to national coach Justin Langer at the Western Warriors, takes charge of the bowlers for the team's World Cup campaign.
  • Their appointments follow the departure of another former England bowling coach, David Saker, who quit in February.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Citizenship Bill Binds Rivals

  •  Rivals in the battle of the ballot across Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram seem to be bound by a common cause, opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
  • They include candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has vowed to get the Bill passed, if voted back to power.
  • There are State-specific issues, such as the elusive settlement to the Naga peace process in Nagaland and bridging the gap between the hills and plain dwellers of Manipur.
  • But thwarting the Bill is the overriding issue, most intensely in Mizoram where a regional party went to the extent, inviting a notice from the Election Commission in the process, of seeking the right to secede if the Bill is passed.
  • The three States have four Lok Sabha constituencies among them — two in Manipur and one each in Mizoram and Nagaland.
  • These seats, represented by those on the country's fringes, matter when mainstream political parties or alliances need support to form the government at the Centre.

GJM Splits over BJP Candidate

  •  Swaraj Thapa, the spokesman of the Bimal Gurung faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), has quit the party in protest against the BJP foisting a rank outsider on the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.
  • The BJP has announced the name of Raju Singh Bista, a businessman, as its candidate from Darjeeling, where the GJM's support is crucial.

DEFENCE

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IAF Inducts Chinook Helicopters

  •  Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa formally inducted four US-made Chinook heavy-lift helicopters at Air Force Station 12 Wing in Chandigarh.
  • Two hangars and logistics facilities were created in Chandigarh for the Chinook helicopters.
  • Each Chinook helicopter has a payload capacity of about 10 tonnes which is a major boost to India's strategic airlift capability.
  • The Chinook will be used to move troops, artillery, ammunition, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. Besides, they can be used for medical evacuation.

India to Deliver Gunship Helicopters to Afghanistan

  •  India is expected to supply four gunship helicopters to Afghanistan by July, with the deliveries falling almost a year behind schedule.
  • Afghanistan, Belarus and India had inked a trilateral pact to supply the refurbished Mi-24 helicopters. Belarus was to upgrade the helicopters, which were to be paid for by India.
  • Two helicopters will be delivered to Afghanistan in April. The other two are expected to be handed over in June or July.
  • This is only the second instance of India supplying lethal military equipment to Afghanistan. India had provided four Mi-24s to the Afghan armed forces during 2015-16.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Naresh Goyal Steps Down

  •  Naresh Goyal agreed to step down as Jet Airways chairman, giving in to pressure from creditors as the airline that he founded 25 years ago teetered on the edge of bankruptcy with thousands of jobs on the line.
  • Goyal's decision, which came during a marathon board meeting, paved the way for banks to provide a cash infusion of Rs.1,500 crore, which is likely to take care of some of immediate payments such as delayed salaries and dues on aircraft lease.
  • Goyal, his wife Anita, and Etihad Airways nominee, director Kevin Knight, also quit the board.
  • Naresh Goyal also ceases to be the chairman of the company.
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