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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

02 Apr 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Military Courts in Pakistan

  • Pakistan's special military courts, which were set up in 2015 to try civilians on terrorism charges, have ceased to exist after the government failed to get the support of the Opposition to extend their tenure.
  • The government wanted to give another two-year extension.
  • The courts were set up weeks after the Peshawar school attack on December 16, 2014, for speedy trial of hardcore militants.

Erdoğan Loses Ground

  • Turkey's Opposition dealt President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a symbolic blow by gaining ground in key cities in the country's local elections.
  • The Opposition won the capital, Ankara, a ruling party stronghold for decades, and was leading a tight race for Mayor in Istanbul. The leader, who has dominated Turkish politics for 16 years, declared victory despite the Opposition gains.
  • According to Behlul Ozkan, an associate professor at Marmara University, Mr. Erdoğan's loss of ground in Ankara and Istanbul indicated that his socially conservative and construction-driven policies no longer resonated in the cosmopolitan cities.

ENVIRONMENT

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Nine Earthquakes Hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands

  • According to the National Centre for Seismology, nine medium intensity earthquakes, with a magnitude ranging from 4.7 to 5.2, hit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, all in a span of two hours.
  • The Andaman and the Nicobar archipelago is prone to earthquakes.
  • It is also not unusual for the islands to witness more than two-three quakes a day.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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UK's Exports to India Register Fastest Increase

  • The United Kingdom's exports to India registered the fastest increase among trading partners outside the European Union in 2018.
  • The exports to India grew 19.3% (amounting to £8 billion), compared to the UK's exports to Japan (7.9%), China (4.6%), and Canada (4.2%).
  • Of all UK exports to India in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2018, £5.5 billion (69.2%) were goods and £2.5 billion (30.8%) were services, the figures show. In the four quarters to the end of Q4 2018, £7.7 billion (61.9%) of all UK imports from India were goods and £4.8 billion (38.1%) were services.
  • Material manufacture was the largest contributor to the increase in goods exports to India in 2018, increasing by £1.1 billion to £5.5 billion. Non-ferrous metals were the second largest ontributor, increasing by £556 million to £1.4 billion.
  • Oil exports were the third largest contributor to the increase in goods exports to India, increasing by £512 million to £1.1 billion.

Citibank Settles Case with SEBI

  • Citibank N.A. has settled a case with the SEBI regarding the bank's alleged failure to adequately supervise an employee who carried out an unregistered portfolio investment scheme. The case was settled after the bank paid Rs. 4.5 crore towards settlement charges. In April 2015, SEBI had issued a notice to the bank for alleged violation of portfolio manager's norms with respect to one relationship manager.

FY19 Saw More Rating Upgrades

  • Rating agency Crisil said that the credit ratio, or the number of upgrades to downgrades, at 1.81 in the second half of fiscal 2019, was marginally up from 1.68 in the first half.
  • There were 594 upgrades and 328 downgrades in the second half, a period marked by rebound in exports, and continued government spending.
  • Notably, the downgrades were driven mostly by firm-specific concerns emanating from deterioration in business profiles or worsening of capital structures or increased liquidity pressures on the rated entities.

SPORTS

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AICAPC Gets BCCI Recognition

  • The BCCI has allowed the All India Cricket Association for the Physically Challenged (AICAPC) to field the official Indian team for the Physical Disability World Cricket Series in the UK in August this year.
  • The AICAPC will not receive any funding from the national cricket body, though.
  • The AICAPC was founded by Ajit Wadekar whose 78th birth anniversary was celebrated as "Ajit Wadekar Memorial Day" at a Mumbai Cricket Association facility at the Wankhede Stadium.
  • The AICAPC has also named the Indian team as "Wadekar Warriors" with a catchline "One Team, One Dream."

Saurav Ghosal Enters Record Books

  • India's top-ranked squash player Saurav Ghosal stormed into the record books when he became the first Indian male to enter the top-10 list in the world. He moved two places above from his earlier ranking of 12 and is currently the only Asian in the top-10.
  • Two Indian women, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, had earlier reached the top-10 in the world rankings but failed to consolidate further.

India Retains Test Championship

  • India retained the ICC Test Championship Mace and won the purse of $1 million for a third year running after a memorable season saw it winning its maiden series in Australia.
  • India topped the ICC Test team rankings on the cut-off date of April 1 followed by New Zealand.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Congress Includes Sukh Ram in List of Star Campaigners

  • After allotting party ticket to his grandson Ashray Sharma from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, the Congress has now included former Union Minister Sukh Ram in its list of star campaigners for the state.
  • Sukh Ram and his grandson had returned to the Congress two days after the BJP denied party ticket to Ashray from Mandi. The former Union Minister, his son Anil Sharma, who is a Cabinet Minister in Jai Ram Thakur-led government in the state, and Ashray had joined the BJP ahead of 2017 assembly elections.

Karnataka Speaker Accepts Resignation of Umesh Jadhav

  • Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar accepted the resignation of rebel Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav, who is contesting the Lok Sabha election as a BJP candidate.
  • Jadhav had resigned as MLA of the Chincholi Assembly constituency last month as he was facing proceedings under the Anti-defection laws for violating a whip issued by the Congress party ahead of the Budget session in February.
  • Jadhav was one of four rebel MLAs who had not attended two meetings of the Congress Legislature Party in January and February.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Vinod Dasari Appointed CEO

  • Eicher Motors Ltd. has appointed Vinod K. Dasari as the chief executive officer of Royal Enfield.
  • He will also join the board of Eicher Motors as executive director with immediate effect. He stepped down as MD and CEO of Ashok Leyland on March. He takes over from Siddhartha Lal, who will continue as the MD of Eicher Motors.

Basant Jhawar Out of Usha Martin Board

  • Basant Kumar Jhawar, the former chairman of Usha Martin Ltd. (UML), lost his position on the board after shareholders gave thumbs down to a proposal on his continuation beyond March 31, 2019.
  • He is among the founder-promoters of the special steel and wire rope-making company.
  • However, another resolution moved at the company's EGM, seeking continuation of co-founder Brij Kishore Jhawar sailed through with 99.8% votes in favour.

Natalia Fileva Dies in Plane Crash

  • One of Russia's richest women died when a private plane on which she was travelling crashed near an airport in Germany. Natalia Fileva, a co-owner of a conglomerate behind the Russian company S7 Airlines, was among three people killed when the six-seater plane crashed.

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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J&J Baby Shampoo Samples Fail Quality Test

  • Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo samples failed quality tests conducted by Rajasthan, according to a public notice from the state's drugs watchdog, findings that were rejected by the U.S. drugmaker.
  • This comes just a few months after Indian authorities launched an investigation into J&J's Baby Powder to see if it contains cancer-causing asbestos. J&J said in late February that it had resumed production of baby talc after government tests found no asbestos in the product.

TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

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OYO Raises Funding from Airbnb

  • OYO Hotels & Homes raised funding from U.S.-based accommodation platform Airbnb.
  • As per reports, the investment by Airbnb is pegged between $100 and $200 million.
  • As part of this 'strategic investment', both parties are exploring opportunities to collaborate on a range of projects, including making OYO's accommodations available on Airbnb's platform.
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