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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

21 Apr 2019


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More Powers to President Sisi

  • Egyptians voted in a three-day referendum on constitutional changes that could allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in office until 2030 and boost the role of the powerful military.
  • Mr. Sisi's supporters say that the changes are necessary to give him more time to complete major development projects and economic reforms. Critics say they concentrate more power in Mr. Sisi's hands.
  • If approved, the amendments would extend Mr. Sisi's current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024.
  • They would also grant the President control over appointing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of candidates.

Worst Industrial Accidents of the Century

  • As per a UN report, the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy which killed thousands of people is among the world's major industrial accidents of the 20th century, warning that 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases each year.
  • Among other major industrial disasters after 1919 listed in the report are the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters as well as the Rana Plaza building collapse. In the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986, one of four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl power station in Ukraine exploded, releasing at least 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.


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Honda Opens First Exclusive Outlet at Gurugram

  • Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has announced its foray into premium big bike retailing with the first exclusive outlet at Gurugram. Branded Honda BigWing, these outlets will provide personalised sales and after-sales service experience to Honda big bike models customers. HMSI' big bikes portfolio ranges from the 300-cc CB300R to the 1800-cc Goldwing super bikes.

Adani Enterprises Arm Acquires Alpha Design Technologies

  • Adani Enterprises said that its subsidiary Adani Defence Systems and Technologies has acquired Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd.
  • Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd provides Adani Defence and Aerospace a strong tier-1 capability for building a base for graduating to platform capabilities.
  • Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd was established in 2003 for the design, development and manufacture of defence electronics and avionics. Its key business areas includes, defence electronics, avionics, aero-structure assemblies, space and satellite systems and simulators among others.


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Rafael Nadal out of Monte Carlo Masters

  • Rafael Nadal crashed out to Fabio Fognini in the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals with the Spanish star admitting his loss was his worst clay court match in 14 years.
  • The shock result leaves Italian 13th seed Fognini facing unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic in the unscripted final.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran Defeats Kamil Majchrzak

  • Defending champion and second seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran overcame third-seeded Kamil Majchrzak of Poland in the semifinals of the $162,480 Challenger tennis tournament.
  • It was the second win for the 80th-ranked Prajnesh over the 130th-ranked Majchrzak.
  • In the final, Prajnesh will play the 211th-ranked Jay Clarke of Great Britain, whom he had beaten in straight sets in the second round of the qualifying event in Miami.


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Pitched Battle between BJP and Congress

  • With eight of the 26 Lok Sabha seats in the State, the Saurashtra region is Gujarat's main electoral battleground, where the BJP wants to regain the ground it lost in the 2017 Assembly election and the Opposition Congress is trying to repeat its impressive performance.
  • The Congress has fielded five of its MLAs to deny the BJP a cakewalk and prevent a repeat of 2014 when that party swept the State on the Modi wave.

J&K Govt. Partially Relaxes Highway Ban

  • The Jammu & Kashmir government allowed civilian traffic to ply on the 35-km-long Srinagar-Baramulla highway six days a week instead of the earlier five days. However, the 132-km Srinagar-Udhampur highway in south Kashmir will continue to have restrictions two days of a week.
  • The government said that a complete review of the restrictions on the highway would be done after the last phase of elections on May 6.

Child Rights Body to List Schools

  • The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has started a drive to identify the private schools that are denying admission to students in entry-level classes, nursery, KG and class 1, under the 25% Economically Weaker Section and disadvantaged group quota mandated by the Right to Education Act.
  • The move comes after the child rights' body received multiple complaints from parents whose wards qualify for the EWS/DG category, saying several private schools are not enrolling their children, even after their names appeared in the selected lists.
  • The admissions for students under the EWS/DG quota in private schools are still in progress for the new academic session which commenced on April 1.


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Indian Navy Launches INS Imphal

  • The Indian Navy launched the INS Imphal, the third ship of Project 15B, a Guided Missile Destroyer. The Project 15B marks the class of guided missile destroyers that are being built for the Navy by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
  • INS Imphal was launched by Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Reena Lanba President of Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • The contract for the construction of four Project 15B destroyers was signed in 2011. The first ship was named INS Visakhapatnam and the second was named INS Mormugao.


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Paytm Payments Bank Appoints Sairee Chahal

  • Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. (PPB) has appointed entrepreneur Sairee Chahal to its board of directors. Ms. Chahal is the founder and CEO of SHEROES, a community platform for women. She has comprehensive experience of customer service ecosystem.

Abhinandan Shifted Out of Srinagar

  • The Indian Air Force is likely to recommend Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan and released later, for Vir Chakra, the coveted wartime gallantry medal. The medal is the third highest after the Paramvir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra. He has now been shifted out of Srinagar and posted at a frontline air base in the Western sector.


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Civil Services Day

  • The Civil Service Day is celebrated on 21st April every year. The purpose for this day is to rededicate and recommit themselves to the cause of the people. It is observed by all Civil Services. This day gives civil servants the opportunity for introspection and thinking about future strategies to deal with the challenges being posed by the changing times.
  • On this occasion, all officers of Central and State Governments are honoured for excellence in public administration by the Prime Minister of India. The 'Prime Minister Award for Excellence in Public Administration' is presented in three categories. Under this scheme of awards instituted in 2006, all the officers individually or as group or as organisation are eligible.
  • The award includes a medal, scroll and a cash amount of ₹100,000 (US$1,400). In case of a group, the total award money is Rs. 500,000 (US$7,000) subject to a maximum of Rs. 100,000 (US$1,400) per person. For an organisation the cash amount is limited to Rs. 500,000 (US$7,000).
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