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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

11 May 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Remains of Nazi Victims to be Buried in Berlin

  •  More than seven decades after the end of World War II, the remains of political prisoners executed by the Nazis and dissected for research will be given a proper burial in Berlin.
  • The microscopic remains, 300 tissue samples each a hundredth of a millimetre thin and around one by one centimetre large, were uncovered by the descendants of the late Hermann Stieve, an anatomist who worked on the bodies of Third Reich opponents.
  • Such small tissue samples are usually not deemed worthy of burial.
  • But this is a special story, because they came from people who were actively denied graves so that their relatives would not know where they are buried.

ENVIRONMENT

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Four New Mouths in Chilika Lake

  •  The extremely severe cyclone Fani has created four new mouths in Chilika Lake, Asia's largest brackish water lake, connecting to the Bay of Bengal.
  • Chilika lagoon had only two active mouths, the point where it meets the sea before Fani hit the Odisha coast on May 3.
  • Three new mouths have come up between the two functional mouths near Sanpatna and Arakhakuda, a smaller mouth has been noticed on the northern side.
  • In the meantime, a lot of sea water is entering Chilika Lake. The salinity level is being monitored at different stations.
  • If sea water ingression goes up, fish migration will increase and the biodiversity will get richer. 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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India Adds 40 million New Internet Users

  •  According to the latest report by Google, India is adding 40 million new Internet users on an average every year, among the fastest in the world, led by the rise of the non-English speaking Internet user.
  • The online space in India has never been this vibrant. Indian internet users are fast adopting (Google's) search tool and finding comfort in regional languages.
  • With growing connectivity, the rise in searches from non-metro cities across categories is faster than that of the metros.
  • This is due to the rise of the non-English speaking internet user. Google's latest report said that nine out of 10 new internet users in India are likely to be Indian language users.

Two Bids for Jet Airways

  •  State Bank of India received two unsolicited bids for ailing Jet Airways, nearly a month after the airline was forced to ground all operations due to funding troubles.
  • Jet, once India's largest private airline, stopped all flights on April 17 after its lenders, led by SBI, declined to extend more funds to keep the carrier going.

RBI Withdraws Circular

  •  Following an NCLAT order, the Reserve Bank of India withdrew its circular asking banks and financial institutions to declare details of their exposure and provisions related to the crisis-hit IL&FS.
  • The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had allowed banks to declare their defaulting accounts of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) and its group companies as non-performing assets.
  • The circular had asked banks and financial institutions to disclose their exposure to IL&FS and its group entities as the NCLAT verdict was pending.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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Chandrayaan-2 Will Carry 14 Payloads

  •  According to ISRO, Chandrayaan-2, the lunar lander mission planned to be launched during July 9-16, will have 14 Indian payloads or study devices.
  • The 3,800-kg spacecraft includes an orbiter which will circle the moon at 100 km; a five-legged lander called Vikram that will descend on the moon on or around September 6; and a robotic rover, Pragyan, that will probe the lunar terrain around it.
  • ISRO has chosen a landing area at the hitherto unexplored lunar south pole, making it the first agency to touch down at the south pole if it succeeds in its first landing attempt.
  • Chandrayaan-2 will be India's second outing to the moon. ISRO will send the mission on its heavy lift booster, the MkIII, from Sriharikota. 

SPORTS

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International Shooting Competition of Hannover 

  •  Former World champion Tejaswini Sawant won the gold in the women's 50m rifle prone, beating Anna Normann of Sweden, in the International Shooting Competition of Hannover.
  • Esha Singh topped junior women's air pistol with 568 but eventually finished fifth.
  • Abhidnya Patil and Mahika Tulsyan also made the final among the Indians, but were fourth and seventh.

Pari Singh Beats Chen

  • Girls (semifinals): Pari Singh beat Yuyun Chen (Tpe)
  • Boys doubles (semifinals): Amir Milushev & Bobur Mirzo Yokubjonov (Uzb) beat Ayushmaan Arjeria and Agriya Yadav 
  • Quarterfinals: Ayushmaan Arjeria and Agriya Yadav  beat Woohyuk Chang and Chan Hee Han; 
  • Pre-quarterfinal: Ayushmaan Arjeria and Agriya Yadav beat Hayden Khoo Menon and Yuvan Nandal.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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August 15 Deadline For Ayodhya Mediation Panel

  •  The Ayodhya mediation panel, tasked with exploring the possibility of an amicable settlement of the decades-old issue, has been given time till August 15 to find a solution.
  • After chairman of the mediation panel, Justice FM Khalifullah sought more time to reach a solution, Rajeev Dhavan, advocate for Muslim parties, said that they support all attempts at mediation if a conclusion can be reached.
  • The other members of the mediation panel are the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, who is a trained mediator.

Over 110 Declared Foreigners Sent to Detention Camps

  •  The police in Assam have sent more than 110 declared foreigners to detention camps as it looks for more than 72,000 such people, who remain untraceable.
  • According to a letter sent to the Border Organisation of Assam police, the state government has also directed that people who are absconding and declared foreigners must be booked by the police.
  • It has also reached out to the office of the state coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for details of around 11,000 declared foreigners who have been traced as they tried to enrol in the register.
  • This rush by the police's special task force to detain declared foreigners comes in the backdrop of the Supreme Court hearing a petition on the abysmal condition of detention centres in Assam. 

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Maharashtra's New Chief Secretary

  •  Mumbai municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has been appointed as Maharashtra's new chief secretary.
  • Mehta succeeds UPS Madan who has been named as the special advisor to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
  • Mehta, a 1984 batch IAS officer, is scheduled to retire in September 2019.

JLL India Makes Top Level Changes

  •  JLL India, a global real estate servicing firm, has made top level changes in its Chennai business.
  • Siva Krishnan, who was heading residential services developer solutions and strategic consulting businesses has been appointed as MD.
  • Kanchana Krishnan has been appointed as head – markets and retail, Chennai.
  • Jerry Kingsley has been promoted as head – capital markets, South India and head – Sri Lanka.

DAYS AND EVENTS

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National Technology Day

  •  National Technology Day is observed every year on 11th of May in India, acting as a reminder of the anniversary of Shakti. Shakti is the Pokhran nuclear test which was held on 11th of May, 1998.
  • The day highlights the important role of Science in our daily lives and encourages students to embrace Science as a career option.
  • Various events are organised in different technical institutes and engineering colleges to mark the day.

AWARDS AND HONOURS

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The Hindu Bags Award for Printing

  •  The Hindu won a gold award under the Best In Print category (above 150,000 circulation) at the WAN-INFRA Asian Media Awards.
  • This award is presented to newspapers deserving recognition for their excellence in standardised printing.
  • The focus of the award is to show the ability of newspapers to print consistently high quality according to international standards.
  • The Apple Daily (Taiwan), Apple Daily Publication Development Limited, Taiwan Branch, also won a gold award under the same category while the silver went to The Times of India , Airoli, Mumbai, published by Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd.
  • The winners of the WAN-IFRA's Asian Media Awards were announced on May 8, during the Publish Asia/Newsroom Summit Asia 2019 conferences in Singapore.
  • This year's competition attracted 350 entries from 55 media companies in 16 countries across Asia and the Middle East, competing for excellence in editorial content, design, infographics, photography, printing quality, newspaper marketing and community service.

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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Khuda Bakhsh Library Continues to Draw Foreign Scholars

  •  Rare Persian and Arabic manuscripts and published material at Patna's Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, one of the national libraries under the ministry of culture, continues to attract foreign researchers and scholars.
  • While the library remains a favourite destination for visitors from countries like Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Iran and Uzbekistan, its unique repository of oriental manuscripts has also been drawing research scholars, writers and academicians from the US and from many European countries and China.
  • The collections at the library include works by Rumi, Shahnama by Firdausi, Diwan- e- Hafiz, which carries signature of Mughal Emperor Jehangir, the Khandan-e-Timuria and Badshahnama.
  • The library has more than 21,000 manuscripts in Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish and Pashto.
  • The collections at the library also have Mughal miniatures and books written on deer skin.
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