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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

19 Apr 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Pakistan's Finance Minister Quits

  •  Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar stepped down as part of a reshuffle of the Cabinet initiated by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
  • As part of a Cabinet reshuffle, PM wanted that Asad Umar takes the Energy Minister portfolio instead of Finance. However, Asad Umar obtained his consent to not take any Cabinet position.
  • As per reports, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan was also asked to step down, but he refused to do so. He reportedly said that he will leave Prime Minister Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party if he's forced to quit the Cabinet. He has now been made Federal Minister for Aviation.
  • Shehryar Afridi, State Minister for Interior, has now been made Minister for States and Frontier Regions. The new Federal Minister of Interior will be Brigadier Ijaz Shah (retired). Brig. Shah was Federal Minister Parliamentary Affairs earlier, a porfolio now assigned to Azam Swati.
  • Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry will now be the Minister for Science and Technology. Firdous Ashiq Awan will be Special Adviser to Prime Minister for Information.
  • According to sources, Health Minister Aamir Kiani, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur and Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema also lost their jobs.

Both Indonesian Candidates Claim Victory

  •  Indonesia's Joko Widodo said that his re-election as head of the world's third-biggest democracy was all but assured, calling for calm as his firebrand ex-General rival insisted he had in fact won the nation's top job.
  • However, Mr. Subianto insisted that he and running mate Sandiaga Uno, a wealthy financier, had prevailed, citing voter fraud but without supplying concrete evidence.
  • Sandiaga Uno and Mr. Subianto declared victory as the President and Vice-President.

Kim to Meet Putin

  •  North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un will visit Russia for talks with Vladimir Putin in April, as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang reached fever pitch.
  • The Kim-Putin meeting will be the first between the two leaders, as Moscow seeks to play a role in another global flashpoint.
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ENVIRONMENT

Scientists Unearth Dinosaur Fossils

  •  A site containing the 220-million-year-old fossilised remains of nearly a dozen dinosaurs has been discovered in western Argentina.
  • There are almost ten different individuals, it's a mass of bones, there's practically no sediment.
  • Argentina has been a rich source of fossils from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous eras over the years. 
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

RIL Q4 Profit Surges

  •  Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) reported a 9.8% growth in its fourth quarter net profit to Rs. 10,362 crore driven by increasing contribution from consumer-facing business of retail and telecommunications while the core refinery vertical disappointed with a fall in margins.
  • The profit came on a 19.4% rise in revenue to Rs. 1,54,110 crore on account of strong growth in retail and digital services businesses, which rose 51.6% and 61.6% respectively.

New Norms for Taxing MNCs Proposed

  •  The income tax department proposed a change in the methodology for taxing multinational companies (MNCs), including digital firms, having permanent establishment in India by giving weightage to factors like domestic sales, employee strength, assets and user base.
  • As per the CBDT Committee on 'Profit attribution to permanent establishment (PE) in India', MNCs that are incurring global losses or a global profit margin of less than 2% and have operations in India will be deemed to have made a profit of 2% of Indian revenue or turnover and will be taxed accordingly.

Co-lending Alliance

  •  Srei Equipment Finance Ltd. and Bank of Baroda (BoB) will come together to offer joint loans for infrastructure equipment under a new agreement.
  • The partners will be able to leverage each other's customers and cross-sell their products.
  • The offerings would include both business-to-business and business-to-customer propositions.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Universe's Most Ancient Molecule Detected

  •  Scientists have detected the most ancient type of molecule in our universe in space for the first time ever.
  • Helium hydride ion (HeH+) was the first molecule that formed when, almost 14 billion years ago, falling temperatures in the young universe allowed recombination of the light elements produced in the Big Bang.

Nepal Launches its First Satellite

  •  Nepal successfully launched its first satellite into space from the US to gather detailed geographical information of the Himalayan nation.
  • Developed by the Nepalese scientists, NepaliSat-1 satellite was launched from Virginia in United States.
  • Two Nepali scientists, Aabhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha who are currently studying at Japanese Kyushu Institute of Technology, developed the satellite under the BIRDS project of their institute.
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SPORTS

Two New Teams for Mumbai T20

  •  Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has invited bids for two new teams for the T20 Mumbai League's second edition, to be played from May 14 to 26 at Wankhede Stadium.
  • The addition of two new will mean eight teams will compete in the tournament.
 
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Second Phase of LS Poll

  •  The second phase of the Lok Sabha election for 95 constituencies registered a tentative voter turnout of 67.6% across 11 States and one Union Territory.
  • The overall figure was 69.62% in 2014.
  • The highest turnout of 78% was reported from Puducherry, followed by Manipur with 77.86% and West Bengal with 76.42%.

Mayawati to Seek Votes for Mulayam

  •  After having been bitter political rivals for 24 years, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav will be seen together when the BSP chief, along with her SP and RLD counterparts Akhilesh Yadav and Ajit Singh, will seek votes for the senior Yadav at a joint rally in Mainpuri.
  • It will be the first time that Mulayam will share the stage with Mayawati since 1995 when the infamous guesthouse incident took place in Lucknow.

AAP to Contest Three Lok Sabha Constituencies in Haryana

  •  The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) named three Lok Sabha constituencies in Haryana from where it will contest, while its ally, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), named four of its candidates.
  • In the state's 10 seats, JJP will contest in seven and the AAP in three. The state will go to polls on May 12, the same day as Delhi.
  • AAP said that it is contesting in Faridabad, Karnal and Ambala (reserved) seats, but did not disclose their candidates.
  • JJP chief Dushyant Chautala will contest from Hisar, Nirmal Singh Malhadi from Sirsa, Pradeep Deswal from Rohtak and Swati Yadav from Bhiwani-Mahendergarh.
  • JJP is yet to field candidates in Kurukshetra, Sonipat and Gurugram.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Vivek Rae New Chairman of HOEC

  •  Former Oil Secretary Vivek Rae was appointed as chairman of Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd. Based on the recommendations of the nomination and remuneration committee, the board of directors has appointed Vivek Rae as an additional director (non-executive independent) and chairman of the company with effect from April 18, 2019.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

OYO Hotels & Homes Unveils Partner Engagement Initiative

  •  OYO Hotels & Homes launched a new programme — OYO partner engagement network (OPEN), a year-long initiative that aims to help its more than 8,700 asset owner-partners in India reach their business goals.
  • As part of the initiative, the company had announced "six core partner promises" that include transparent payment protocols wherein asset owners would get 18% interest on delayed payments, financial support and regulatory compliance assistance among other things.
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