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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

29 Apr 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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BRI Framework

  • India's decision to skip the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) may have led to the exclusion of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor from the list of projects covered by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) umbrella.
  • In an annex tagged with the Joint Communiqué of the Leaders' Roundtable of the BRF, which concluded in Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry website has not listed the BCIM as a project covered by the BRI, the giant connectivity initiative speared by China to revive the ancient Silk Road across Eurasia and Africa.
  • South Asia is covered by three major undertakings — the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC); the Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network, including Nepal-China cross-border railway; and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Spain's Snap Election

  • Spaniards flocked to vote in a tense snap general election that could see the far-right make a dramatic entrance in Parliament.
  • Opinion polls give outgoing socialist Premier Pedro Sánchez a win but without the necessary majority to govern alone, meaning he will have to seek alliances in a political environment that has soured since Catalonia's failed secession bid. After a tense campaign, voter turnout stood at 60.75%, up from 51.21% at the same time in the preceding polls in 2016.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Sale of Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo

  • The apex child rights body has asked all states to stop the sale of Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo after its sample was found to be of substandard quality in a lab test.
  • In a letter to chief secretaries of all states, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) ordered stoppage of sale of Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and also removing the product from stock of shops after Drug Testing Laboratory, Jaipur declared it of substandard quality as the presence of formaldehyde was confirmed in it.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 4

  • Seventy-two Lok Sabha seats across nine states will vote in the fourth phase of the General Elections. More than 12 crore voters will decide the fate of 961 candidates in this phase.
  • Three phases of voting have already taken place – on April 11, April 18and April 23. The first phase had a final voter turnout of 69.5%, while the second phase recorded an overall voting percentage of 69.44%. The estimated turnout in phase three was 67.99%. All phases were marked by glitches in electronic voting machines and sporadic incidents of violence.

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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New MBBS Syllabus

  • This August, undergraduate medical students across India will come into class to study a syllabus that has been revised after over two decades. Touted as a unique curriculum patented by the Medical Council of India (MCI), this "living document", which means that it is open to review and revision as required, is currently in its final lap of preparation before it is implemented.
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