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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

20 May 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Iraq Slams U.S. Company

  •  Iraq slammed as "political" a decision by U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil to evacuate staff from a southern oil field after Washington ordered personnel to quit its Baghdad Embassy.
  • The temporary withdrawal of employees has nothing to do with security in southern Iraqi oil fields or any threats.
  • He called the move to pull out staff from the West Qorna oil field west of the southern port city of Basra unacceptable and unjustified.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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IGI Airport Records Lowest Passenger Growth

  •  Delhi airport, the busiest in the country, recorded the lowest growth rate in the last financial year in terms of passengers since 2012-13.
  • According to data released by Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Delhi airport handled 69.23 million passengers in 2018-19, 5.4% more than in 2017-18.
  • Before the 2018-19 financial year, the airport has maintained a consistent double-digit growth rate.
  • According to DGCA data, the industry witnessed the lowest passenger growth rate since June 2014 in March 2019.

Orix to Buy Out Wind Energy Assets

  •  Japan's Orix Corp., which owns 49% stake in each of the seven operating wind power plants of debt-laden IL&FS Group, has expressed its intent to buy out the remaining 51% stake held by IL&FS Wind Energy Ltd (IWEL).
  • Orix will exercise its right under the terms of an existing pact with IL&FS wherein Orix can match the price offered by the highest bidder to buy IWEL's stake in the wind power plants, IL&FS said in a release.
  • In April, state-run gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd had offered to pay Rs. 4,800 crore (as enterprise valuation) for the 874 megawatts (MW) wind portfolio, subject to Orix agreeing to the sale.
  • Orix, however, has now decided to buy out the remaining 51% stake by matching GAIL's offer. The sale process to Orix is expected to be completed by June.

BoB Looks to Rationalise Branches

  •  State-owned Bank of Baroda (BoB) is considering the option of rationalising 800-900 branches across the country to improve operational efficiency, following its merger with Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank.
  • The merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda became effective from April 1.
  • There are cases where branches of three banks are at one location or one building. So these branches have to be either closed or rationalised as duplication is a drain on efficiency.

SPORTS

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Nadal Masters Djokovic

  •  Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic to win a ninth Italian Open title and a record 34th Masters crown.
  • World No.1 Djokovic, winner at the Madrid Open , produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with second-ranked Nadal.
  • Nadal overtakes Djokovic at the top of the list for Masters wins, the pair were level at 33 each before final.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Last Phase of Voting

  •  The fate of political parties and their candidates for the 542 Lok Sabha seats was sealed, with the conclusion of the last phase of polling in 59 constituencies across seven States and one Union Territory, which recorded a tentative turnout of 64.23%, compared with 64.63% in 2014.

Hill State Records Highest Turnout

  • According to the Voter Turnout app of the Election Commission (EC), as many as 70.62% voters turned out to vote, as Himachal Pradesh's all four Lok Sabha seats – Kangra , Shimla, Mandi, and Hamirpur, went to the polls in the last phase of national elections.
  • The turnout surpassed the highest ever polling percentage of 65.3% recorded in the state in 1998. A 64.5% turnout was recorded in 2014 elections.

DEFENCE

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Turkey and Russia to Jointly Produce Missile Systems

  •  As per Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan, Turkey and Russia would jointly produce S-500 defence systems after Ankara's controversial purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Moscow.
  • Turkey's push to buy the S-400s has further strained already tense relations with the U.S.

TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

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Kailash Mansarovar in UN Shortlist

  •  The UNESCO has included the Indian part of Kailash Mansarovar in its tentative list of world heritage sites.
  • It was in April that the Archaeological Survey of India, which is under the Culture Ministry, sent the proposal mooted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to UNESCO.
  • In the proposal, Kailash Mansarovar is in the mixed category, both as a natural as well as a cultural heritage.
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