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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

03 May 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Abe Ready to Meet Kim Unconditionally

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has offered to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a bid to restore diplomatic ties between the historic foes.
  • Abe, seen as a foreign policy hawk, has recently softened his rhetoric toward Pyongyang, calling for a summit with Kim to resolve an emotional row over past kidnappings of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents.
  • Tokyo has been one of the most hawkish of the major powers on reclusive North Korea, and has been on the receiving end of some of Pyongyang's harshest rhetoric — as well as missiles launched over its territory.

Voters Set to Punish PM May's Conservatives

  • English voters are expected to use local government elections to punish Prime Minister Theresa May`s Conservative Party over its failure to deliver Brexit, revealing a divided and dissatisfied electorate.
  • More than 8,000 seats on English councils - administrative bodies responsible for day-to-day decisions on local policy from education to waste management - are up for grabs in the first elections since Britain missed its March 29 Brexit date.
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ENVIRONMENT

First Country to Declare a Climate Emergency

  • A bipartisan UK Parliament passed an extraordinary measure: a national declaration of an Environment and Climate Emergency.
  • The UK is the first national government to declare such an emergency. The decision marks a renewed sense of urgency in tackling climate change, following a visit to Parliament by teenage activist Greta Thunberg, the broadcast of David Attenborough's documentary Climate Change: The Facts and 11 days of protest by environmental group Extinction Rebellion that paralysed parts of London.
  • There are now some 49 million people living under national, city and local declarations of a climate emergency around the world.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

JSW Forays into Paints Business

  • JSW Group has forayed into the Rs. 42,000-crore organised paints business in the country with the launch of JSW Paints.
  • JSW Paints is a greenfield venture backed by technology, automation and scale. The company aims to be among the top three players in the next five years.
  • The company will manufacture and market both industrial coatings as well as decorative paints.

Banks Can Declare Defaulting IL&FS Accounts as NPAs'

  • The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) allowed the banks to declare as non-performing assets (NPAs) the accounts of IL&FS and its group companies that have defaulted on payments.
  • A bench headed by Chairman Justice S. J. Mukhopadhaya lifted the embargo on the banks to declare the accounts of the debt-ridden IL&FS and its 300 group entities, which are unable to pay their debt.
  • However, the appellate tribunal has also clarified that although the banks would declare the IL&FS accounts as NPAs, they cannot initiate recovery process and debit money.
  • The bench has observed that lenders must not withdraw support until a resolution is found for the IL&FS and its group companies.

Gold Buying in 2019

  • Central banks across the globe are building up gold reserves with the first quarter of 2019 seeing significant buying from such entities.
  • According to the latest Gold Demand Trends report by the World Gold Council, central banks bought 145.5 tonnes of gold in the first quarter, a 68% jump from the same period in 2018 and also the strongest start to a year since 2013.
  • Meanwhile, the overall global gold demand rose to 1,053.3 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019, up 7% compared to the same period last year.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Tapping Fresh Water under the Ocean

  • The last place most people would expect to find fresh groundwater is tens to hundreds of kilometres offshore in the ocean. Yet not only is that exactly where freshwater can be found, in the ground of the continental shelf beneath the ocean, but simulations have shown that it could be a common occurrence across a range of geologic systems.
  • These offshore groundwater resources could be exploited for uses such as drinking, agriculture and oil recovery, but new research suggests that tapping into those resources could lead to adverse onshore impacts.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Restrictions Imposed in Shopian District

  • The Shopian district administration ordered imposition of restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC for a period of one month from May 3. According to the order, no assembly or congregation shall be allowed without prior permission of the district magistrate or duty magistrates.
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DEFENCE

Indian Navy Pushing Kamov-31 Chopper Deal

  • Seeking to strengthen capabilities against aerial threats to its aircraft carriers and large warships, the Indian navy has moved a proposal to acquire 10 Kamov-31 choppers from Russia.
  • A high-level Defence Ministry meeting is also scheduled to discuss the revalidation of an Indian Coast Guard proposal for acquiring six maritime surveillance aircraft based on the C-295 aircraft platform which is likely to replace the Avro transport planes in the Air Force.
  • The Navy already has a fleet of 12 of these Kamov-31 choppers which sanitise the air space around the aircraft carriers and destroyers operating in open seas.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Master Hirannaiah Passes Away

  • Kannada theatre personality Master Hirannaiah passed away. He had a 68-year association with the stage. He was 85.
  • The son of thespian K Hirannaiah, Narasimhamurthy was born in Mysuru in 1934. He took on the stage name Master Hirannaiah after his debut in his childhood. In 1951, the young actor decided to join his father's theatre company K Hirannaiah Mitra Mandali.
  • His most popular play was Lanchavatara, a critique of corruption in political life.

Lila Poonawalla Foundation's New CEO

  • Priti Khare has joined the Lila Poonawalla Foundation as its the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • Khare is a dynamic, young leader with 19 years of leadership experience in corporate social responsibility, human resources, sales and consulting. With a wealth of experience across different sectors, she has always recognised the importance of purpose driven focused operations, partnerships and sustained and systemic outcome.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

World Press Freedom Day

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day or just World Press Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • The theme for 2019 World Press Freedom Day is "Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections In Times of Disinformation".
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Panel on Benefits for Paramilitary Officers

  • Days after the Delhi High Court gave it time till July 15 to give the Central Armed Police Forces certain benefits given to officers of other services, like the IAS and IPS, the Centre has set up a 7-member expert committee to look into the matter.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Disabled People in Egypt to Get Jaipur Foot

  • A special camp for providing Jaipur Foot to 500 disabled people began in Egyptian city of Asyut. The camp was organised by the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti in association with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Egyptian government.
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