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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

27 May 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Challenges for Britain's Next PM

  •  The ruling Conservative Party began the process of choosing a new Prime Minister (PM) for Britain following Theresa May's announcement that she will resign on June 7. 
  • The next PM will face the same political minefield that Ms May was unable to navigate. 
  • There will be three main sources of danger. One is bridging the gaps within the Conservatives about what sort of Brexit will Britain carry out. This division, and the seeming impossible task of finding a middle path between hardline "no deal Brexiteers" and those who want some sort of soft economic union, has been the primary reason the May prime ministership failed. Two is ensuring that any such resolution will not drive large numbers of voters into the hands of the new right-wing Brexit party or towards the liberal left opposition. Finally, to then sell any Brexit deal to the European Union and, preferably, find means to smoothen the sharper economic consequences of a clean break.
  • The problem is Britain is no closer to a viable Brexit plan than before. The Conservatives now seem set to choose a hardline Brexiteer as the next PM. 
  • If so, this will bring Britain the closest it has been so far to a full break with the EU, without any sort of economic union. 
  • This will deliver a sharp economic cost to Britain, driving its economy into recession and making it far less attractive as an investment site for Indian and other foreign investors.
  •  Since it is assumed this will not be palatable to any PM, a new round of intra-party squabbling can be expected.

ENVIRONMENT

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G Noida to be First city to Treat Faecal Sludge

  •  Greater Noida city is aiming to become the country's first city treating and recycle faecal sludge and septage, though a private-public partnership model. The objective of the exercise is environmental conservation and ensuring better living and health conditions to its residents.
  • The Greater Noida authority said that it wants to become eligible for open defecation free (ODF) +++ category.
  • To be eligible for this category, the city needs to have toilets for all dwellers, zero open defecation or urination, all community or individual toilets in functional condition and treatment or recycling of faecal sludge and septage, among some other parameters.
  • The authority has also decided to impose a user charge on the 10 lakh residents of the city to generate funds required to develop facilities for treatment and recycling this category of waste, which usually goes into drains or other waterways, polluting water bodies and affecting health.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Air India's Bid to Sell Prime Real Estate

  •  State-run Air India Ltd's latest bid to sell its real estate assets found few takers. The national carrier could sell less than 10 of the 56 properties that were put up for sale in April.
  • The reserve price of these properties, mostly residential units, ranged from Rs. 16 lakh to about Rs. 8 crore and were located in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata.
  • The high reserve prices for the properties were not in tune with current market conditions and was the primary reason for the lacklustre response. 
  • The auction oversight committee would meet soon to decide if some of the properties were to be re-auctioned.

SPORTS

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Apurvi Shoots Gold for India

  •  Apurvi Chandela held her own against two Chinese shooters breathing down her neck to win a gold medal in the women's 10m air rifle at the ISSF Munich World Cup.
  • Chandela shot 251.0 in the 24-shot final, staving off the challenge of Wang Luyao who scored 250.8. Apurvi was ahead by 0.1 point with the last shot remaining, in which she fired 10.4 to Wang's 10.3.
  • This was world No. 1 Chandela's second ISSF World Cup gold in 2019.
  • She had already earned a quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during the World Championships in Changwon in 2018 with a fourth-place finish.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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AAP Coins New Slogan for 2020

  •  During its first party workers' convention after the loss in the Lok Sabha polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) launched a new slogan, 'Kejriwal in Delhi', to gear up for the upcoming assembly polls in the city.
  • The convention, organised was attended by hundreds of party workers from across the city.
  • The slogan was officially launched by senior AAP leader and the party's Delhi convener Gopal Rai.
  •  In the 2015 assembly elections, AAP had achieved a landslide win.The AAP had won a record 67 seats out of 70.

Jolt to Kushwaha

  •  After drawing a blank in the Lok Sabha elections, former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) received yet another setback as all three of its members in the bicameral legislature joined Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U).

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Patnaik be Sworn in for Fifth Consecutive Term

  •  Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal invited Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik are set to form the next government in the State.
  • The swearing-in is scheduled to be held on May 29 at the Exhibition Ground.
  • Set to be sworn in as the Chief Minister for a record fifth consecutive term, Mr. Patnaik met the Governor and staked claim to form the government after being elected the leader of the BJD Legislature Party.

Ashok Chavan Offers to Resign

  •  Amid clamour for the complete restructuring of the grand old party following the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections, Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan has offered to step down from the post.
  • Chavan, who lost the Lok Sabha elections from Nanded, submitted his resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi. 
  • Chavan's offer came on the day the Congress Working Committee (CWC) authorised Gandhi to overhaul and restructure the party organisation following the poll debacle.
  • Prior to this, three senior Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka had sent in their resignations to Gandhi owning responsibility for the party's dismal performance.
  • Uttar Pradesh chief Raj Babbar offered to resign after the Congress.
  • HK Patil, who was tasked to oversee the Karnataka Congress campaign in December, also put in his papers.
  • Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik too offered to step down from his post after the Congress won just 9 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat. 

DAYS AND EVENTS

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Raahgiri Day

  •  The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) organised 'Raahgiri Day' on 26-05-2019 morning at inner circle of Connaught Place, in which people could participate in various recreational activities.
  • During the event, a section of the road was closed for traffic and opened to public for walking, cycling among other activities and from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • 'Raahgiri Day' began in Gurugram on November 17, 2013, and has now spread over 70 cities and 19 States across the country.
  • Over 1.2 crore people have participated in various activities in the last five and half years. 

AWARDS AND HONOURS

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UNSDG 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Award

  •  Patanjali Ayurved Limited's Managing Director and a close aide of Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna, received the 'UNSDG 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Award' on behalf of Patanjali Group of Institutions.
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