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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

27 Apr 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Qatar is Set to Abolish Controversial Exit Visa System

  • According to the UN's International Labour Organisation, Qatar is set to abolish its controversial exit visa system for all foreign workers by the end of 2019.
  • Last year, the exit visa was eliminated for the majority of workers, this year that will be extended to all remaining categories of workers.
  • In September 2018, Qatar approved legislation to scrap the kafala, or sponsorship, system which required that foreign workers obtain permission from their employers to leave the country.

China and Russia Pose Threat to U.S.

  • FBI Director Christopher Wray described China as the most significant "intelligence collection" threat. His comments were made at a discussion at the Washington offices of the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank.

Prisoner Swap Offer Only for U.S.

  • A prisoner swap offered by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is only for the United States and would not involve Britain.
  • Mr. Zarif proposed that Iranians jailed in the United States or held in other countries on extradition requests issued by the Americans could be swapped for foreigners imprisoned in Iran.

ENVIRONMENT

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Factories Sealed for Violating Pollution-control Norms

  • Seven factories were sealed in Haridwar district for not complying with pollution-control norms. The factories included Sharda Motors Industries, Star Industries, Shree Metal Finisher, Micro Turner, Avina Mill and PS Motor.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Yes Bank in Red

  • Private sector lender Yes Bank posted a whopping Rs. 1,507 crore loss during the Jan.-March period of 2018-19, as bad loans surged due to its exposure to troubled firms like Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS) and an airline company.
  • The lender posted a Rs. 1,179-crore profit during the same period of the previous financial year. This is the first quarterly results under the new MD & CEO Ravneet Gill, who replaced Rana Kapoor.

Piramal Looks to Merge Shriram Group Entities

  • Piramal Group is looking at a possible merger of Shriram Transport Finance and Shriram City Union Finance with Shriram Capital, before selling its stake in Shriram Group, with investments of $1 billion.
  • Besides, the group is also looking to segregate the less-risky pharma business from the riskier financial services business in the mid-term.

IL&FS Invites Bids for ITNL Stake

  • Troubled infrastructure conglomerate Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS) has invited expression of interest from potential investors for buying stake in ITNL International Pte Ltd.'s 49% equity in Chongqing Yuhe Expressway Company Limited.
  • ITNL International Pte Ltd. is a company incorporated in Singapore and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IL&FS Transportation Networks Limited. ITNL is a subsidiary of IL&FS.

SPORTS

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Panghal and Pooja Fetch Golds

  • Amit Panghal (52 kg) picked up his second successive gold of the year, while Pooja Rani finished on top in women's 81 kg to bring India's campaign to a fine end in the Asian Boxing Championships.
  • India ended the event with 13 medals, two gold, four silver and seven bronze.

WC Match Officials

  • Three World Cup winners and one Indian umpire in Sundaram Ravi were named among the 22 match officials for the league stage of the mega event beginning on May 30 in the United Kingdom.
  • Sixteen umpires and six match referees have been finalised for the 48-match tournament.
  • Match Referees: Chris Broad, David Boon, Andy Pycroft, Jeff Crowe, Ranjan Madugalle, and Richie Richardson.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Prominent Leaders in Punjab File Papers

  • Prominent leaders of the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance filed their nomination papers for the Lok Sabha poll in Punjab, slated for May 19.
  • Former Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal filed his nomination papers for the Ferozepur constituency, while his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal filed her nomination for the Bathinda seat.
  • Congress candidate Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also filed his nomination for Bathinda.
  • Congress Punjab unit president and sitting MP Sunil Jakhar filed his nomination for the Gurdaspur seat.

TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

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Sri Lanka Fears Tourism Loss This Year

  • As per Sri Lanka's the Finance Minister, Sri Lanka fears its lucrative tourism industry could see arrivals drop up to 30%, with losses of $1.5 billion this year, after deadly Easter attacks.
  • The country could take up to two years to fully recover from Sunday's attacks, which devastated three luxury hotels and three Christian churches and killed 253 people, among them many foreigners.
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