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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

24 Apr 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Iran Brands Entire U.S. Military as Terrorist

  • Iranian lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a Bill that labels all U.S. military forces as terrorist, a day after Washington ratcheted up pressure on Tehran by announcing that no country would any longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if it continues to buy Iranian oil.
  • The Bill is a step further from the one last week, when lawmakers approved labelling just U.S. troops in West Asia as terrorist, in response to the U.S. terrorism designation for Iran's Revolutionary Guards earlier this month.

More Calls for Theresa May to Quit

  • As many as 70 chairmen of local Conservative associations signed a motion calling for an emergency session of the party's grassroots forum to express no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May, bringing the Brexit debate back to Westminster after the Easter break.
  • The new Brexit date has been pushed down the road to October 31, but the immediate challenge before May is to reach a situation in which the UK avoids taking part in the May 23 elections to the European Parliament. This is possible if a consensus is reached to resolve the logjam.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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RBI's Swap Auction

  • The second dollar-rupee buy/sell auction also saw healthy demand with the Reserve Bank of India getting 255 bids worth $18.65 billion compared with the notified amount of $5 billion.
  • High cut-off premium indicated banks mostly stayed away but companies and NBFCs saw it as a good opportunity to lower hedging costs compared with the secondary market.
  • The cut-off premium was 838 paisa compared with 776 paisa the last time. RBI said that liquidity injected in the first leg was Rs. 34,874 crore. The move would help shore up the country's foreign exchange reserves which are now close to $415 billion.

Tata Arm to Buy Branded Tea Business

  • Tata Global Beverages Ltd. (TGBL) announced its decision to acquire the branded tea business of city-based Dhunseri Tea & Industries Ltd. for Rs. 101 crore subject to due diligence and necessary approvals.
  • Dhunseri currently owns the Lalghoda and Kalaghoda brands which are among Rajasthan's local brands. The move is in line with TGBL's ambition to grow its branded tea business in India.

JSPL Delivers 97,400 Tonnes of Rails

  • Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) has completed the delivery of its first-ever order from Indian Railways to supply 97,400 tonnes of rails valued at Rs. 500 crore.
  • The company had bagged the contract from the public transporter in July 2018, through a global tender, which saw participation from seven leading global rail manufacturers.
  • JSPL started dispatching the first consignments of rails on August 15, 2018 from its Raigarh plant and completed delivery of total quantities on April 22 this year, almost four months ahead of schedule.

Huawei Arm and Infosys in Pact

  • Huawei Cloud and Infosys have entered into strategic cooperation to help enterprise customers transition quickly to the digital cloud.
  • Under the pact, Infosys would join the Huawei Cloud Partner Network (HCPN) and the two companies would develop new cloud solutions leveraging Huawei Cloud and Infosys's products and services to help customers securely adopt innovative cloud-based systems for their enterprise workloads.
  • The network has over 6,000 partners and with their cooperation, Huawei Cloud has added 2,800 applications available in 40 availability zones in 23 geographical regions.

RBI Approves Proposal of HDFC

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given its nod to HDFC Ltd. for acquiring up to 9.9% stake in Bandhan Bank following the Gruh Finance deal. Gruh Finance, the affordable housing finance arm of HDFC Ltd. was taken over by Bandhan Bank in a share-swap deal in January.

SPORTS

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Bajrang Reclaims Gold

  • World No.1 Bajrang Punia logged 10 points in a row in the gold medal bout to reclaim his Asian Championship crown, defeating Kazakhstan's Sayatbek Okassov in the 65kg men's free style final.
  • It is Bajrang's second gold at this championship, having won one in 2017. Overall, it was the fifth medal for the Indian in this tournament.
  • Another Indian in the gold medal contention is Parveen Rana, who entered the final in 79kg category after a win over Kazakhstan's Galymzhan Usserbayev.
  • He will face Bahman Mohammad Teymouri of Iran in his gold-medal bout.

Grover Keeps Title

  • Defending champion and top-seeded Grandmaster Sahaj Grover came up with a strong finish, winning the last four rounds, to keep the Capablanca chess festival title at the Crawford College.
  • Grover defeated South Africa's Calvin John Klassen, seeded four, in the ninth and final round to tally seven points. Second-seeded International Master Daniel Cawdery was the runner-up.

Jhulan Gets Best Sportsperson Award

  • World's leading wicket-taker in women's ODIs, Jhulan Goswami was conferred the 'Best Sportsperson' award at the Calcutta Sports Journalists' Club's (CSJC) annual awards. Among other prominent award winners, Bengal Ranji Trophy winning captain and former National selector Sambaran Banerjee and former India winger footballer Sukumar Samajpati received the 'Lifetime Achievement' award.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Wait Gets Longer for Krishna University

  • The much-awaited shifting of Krishna University from the temporary buildings of the National College to the 100-acre permanent campus at Rudravaram is likely to be delayed further.
  • The Central Public Works Department has made it clear that it will not hand over the administrative and academic buildings to the KRU until the latter clears the pending amount of Rs. 12 crore.

Panjab Varsity to Confer D. Litt on Sudha Murthy

  • A prominent senator of Panjab University has sought the intervention of the Chancellor, who happens to be the Vice-President of the country, regarding conferring of the D.Litt degree on philanthropist Sudha N. Murthy.
  • The PU Senate at a special meeting on Sunday approved conferring the honoris causa (D.Litt) on Dr. Murthy, Trustee of the Infosys Foundation, Bengaluru, despite dissent from two senators — Prof. Chaman Lal and Prof. Shelley Walia.
  • The approval comes after a syndicate meeting was convened earlier in which it was unanimously approved that the honoris causa degree will be conferred on Dr. Murthy.

Third Phase of the Lok Sabha Election

  • The third phase of the Lok Sabha election, in 116 constituencies across 13 States and two Union Territories, registered an overall tentative voter turnout of more than 66% compared with 69.3% in 2014.
  • Assam recorded the highest polling of 80.74% (75.74% in 2014), followed by Tripura with 79.36% (83.03%). Karnataka recorded a small increase in the turnout.
  • However, the turnout declined sharply in the Anantnag constituency of Jammu and Kashmir, from 39.37% in 2014 to just 12.86%.
  • The five constituencies of Odisha, where the third phase of the Assembly election was held simultaneously, had a lower participation of 64% as against 72.45% in 2014. In Kerala too, the tentative figure of 71.47% was a dip from 74.02%.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Sunny Deol Joins BJP

  • Film star Sunny Deol joined the BJP, and was fielded from the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency that had previously been held by another cine star, the late Vinod Khanna.
  • Mr. Deol, however, is not the only celebrity or late recruit awarded with party ticket by the BJP. The party is fighting the largest number of seats it has ever fought since it was founded in 1980, and has spread the net far and wide to snag likely candidates.
  • Among the celebrity inductees fielded so far are cricketer Gautam Gambhir, Bhojpuri stars Ravi Kishan and Dinesh Yadav alias Nirauwa, singer Hansraj Hans, actress Jaya Prada and Bengali actress Locket Chatterjee. Some celebrity candidates have been repeated from 2014, including actress Hema Malini and Union Minister and musician Babul Supriyo. Those who joined the party just before the polls and given a party ticket include Arvind Sharma of the Congress, A. Manju and Umesh Jadhav.

DAYS AND EVENTS

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National Panchayati Raj Day

  • National Panchayati Raj Day is the national day of Panchayati Raj System in India celebrated by Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 24 April annually.
  • Then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh declared the first National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2010.
  • This day marks the passing of Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. The passage of 73rd Amendment Act is hailed as defining moment in history of democratic India as it permits states to take steps to organize village panchayats and provide them with necessary powers and authority necessary to facilitate them to function as units of self-government.
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