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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

19 May 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Australia's Ruling Conservative Coalition Wins

  •  Australia's ruling conservative coalition won a surprise victory in the country's general election, defying opinion polls that had tipped the centre-left opposition party to oust it from power and promising an end to the revolving door of national leaders.
  • Opposition leader Bill Shorten had earlier conceded defeat as the coalition came close to a majority in the 151-seat House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government.

Trump Lifts Tariffs on Canada and Mexico

  •  US President Donald Trump announced an agreement to lift US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada and Mexico that had created friction between the neighbours and blocked a new North American free trade agreement.
  • Trump's statement came moments after Canada released the text of the agreement between Ottawa and Washington in which they agreed to eliminate US tariffs on steel and aluminium, and Canada's retaliatory measures, within no more than two days.

New U.S. Immigration Rules

  •  As per K.V. Kumar, chairman and CEO, Indian American International Chamber of Commerce (IAICC), Indian professionals with specialised skills will be the biggest beneficiaries of U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed immigration policy.
  • The IAICC represents over six lakh small and medium Indian or Indian-origin enterprises around the globe.
  • He insisted that the proposed immigration scheme, which will focus on a points-based system that prioritises the admission of immigrants with certain education and employment qualifications, would definitely help Indian professionals who are seeking U.S. visas/green cards.
  • It proposes to consider 57% of immigrants for skill-based green cards. That's over a fourfold increase from the existing 12%.
  • A large population of Indians, who are currently on H-IB visas are going to benefit from it.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Baring PE Asia Buys Stake in NIIT Tech

  •  Baring Private Equity Asia has acquired 30.5% stake in NIIT Technologies Ltd. for about Rs. 2,627 crore.
  • In April, funds affiliated to BPEA had signed pacts to buy 30.5% in NIIT Technologies from NIIT Ltd. and other promoter entities at Rs. 1,394 per share.
  • In a filing to BSE, NIIT Technologies said that Hulst B.V. acquired 18,848,118 equity shares of the company with face value of Rs. 10 each.
  • The Netherlands-registered Hulst B.V. is indirectly owned by funds affiliated with BPEA.

Fortis' Healthcare Arm to Offload Stake

  •  Fortis Healthcare's subsidiary Fortis Healthcare International will sell its entire stake in Medical and Surgical Centre Ltd. (MSCL).
  • Fortis Healthcare International Ltd. has entered into a share purchase agreement with CIEL Ltd., CIEL Healthcare Ltd. and MSCL, for sale of the entire shareholding (28.89%) held by FHIL in MSCL.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Government Rejects Verma's Plea

  •  The defence ministry has rejected a statutory compliant filed by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma challenging the appointment of his junior Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Navy Chief.
  • Rejecting his April 10 complaint, the ministry said that while seniority plays an important role in the appointment of service chiefs, it is not the sole determining factor.
  • There have been instances of seniority being ignored in the past as well.
  • Verma, who heads the Andaman and Nicobar Command in Port Blair, would have been the senior-most officer in the navy on May 31 when Admiral Sunil Lanba retires.
  • The government, however, decided against appointing him the next navy chief and opted for Singh. 

Anti-BJP Alliance Talks

  •  Opposition leaders moved to try and stitch up an alternative to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, with a few days left for the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results.
  • Telugu Desam Party leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu revived his attempt to put together an anti-BJP coalition, meeting an array of opposition leaders.
  • N. Chandrababu Naidu met Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati who are fighting the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh together in a bid to not split the anti-BJP vote.
  • Naidu has already held several rounds of discussions with Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

NPF to Pull Out of BJP-led Coalition Government

  •  The Naga People's Front (NPF) decided to pull of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government in Manipur after the Lok Sabha election gets over.
  • Senior NPF leader and former Nagaland Chief Minister T. R. Zeliang announced the decision.
  • The decision is unlikely to affect the state government. Currently, the BJP has 31 of the 60 MLAs in the state assembly.
  • It also has the support of four National Peoples Party legislators and one Lok Janshakti Party MLA, putting it well clear of the halfway mark.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Jasbir Scripts UK Council History

  •  Jasbir Jaspal, who was elected from Heath Town in Wolverhampton in the May local elections, has been appointed to the council's cabinet by the new leader, Labour's Ian Brookfield, making her the first Sikh woman to hold the post.
  • Jasbir, who has been a councillor in the City of Wolverhampton Council since 2012, is responsible for policy areas that include resilience and business continuity, community safety, healthy ageing and healthy life expectancy.

IL&FS Engineering Appoints New CEO

  •  The board of IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Ltd. appointed Kazim Raza Khan as its chief executive officer.
  • Mr. Khan was appointed as the manager and key managerial personnel of the company on December 24, 2018.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

The Hindu Group Bags Global Media Awards

  •  The Hindu Group has bagged two prizes at the prestigious International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Awards.
  • Awards were given under Group 1 representing regional/local brands and Group 2 representing global/national brands.
  • In Group 2, The Hindu Group for its 'The Hindu for Client Parle' bagged the second place for 'Best Marketing Solution for an Advertising Client'.
  • The Hindu in School bagged the third place for 'Best Idea to Encourage Print Readership or Engagement'.
  • The INMA is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue in a multi-media environment.
  • The community consists of more than 10,000 executives at 700+ companies in 70+ countries.
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