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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

03 Jun 2019


Sri Lankan Presidential Polls

  •  As per Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, the presidential elections in Sri Lanka would be held between November 15 and December 7, clarifying that according to constitutional provisions, the polls must be held one month before the end of the current President's term.
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Noida's Urban Wildlife

  •  In a positive indication of the district's ecological balance, a boost in urban wildlife has been recorded in a recent census concluded in May. Some species like blackbuck, fox and peacock have doubled their populations over the last eight years.
  • A hike in the breeding population of certain species like fox, porcupine (sahi), civet (bijju), wild cat and wild boar also made their way to the forest department's checklist of 4,228 animals of over 15 species in the 2019 census.
  • The last census, held in 2011, recorded 3,692 animals.
  • The census was held by the district forest department over 20 days in May.
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SpiceJet to Hire Jet staff

  •  SpiceJet plans to hire up to 2,000 staff, including pilots and cabin crew of the defunct Jet Airways as the no-frills carrier continues to expand its operations.
  • The airline has taken at least 22 planes that were earlier used by Jet Airways, which temporarily shuttered its operations due to cash crunch in April 2019.

ONGC Topples IOC

  •  Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), India's top oil and gas producer, toppled Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) to regain the crown of being the country's most profitable public sector company.
  • According to earnings statements of the listed companies, ONGC reported a 34% jump in its 2018-19 fiscal net profit to Rs. 26,716 crore.
  • In comparison, IOC registered a net profit of Rs. 17.274 crore for the fiscal year ended March 31.
  • ONGC, in the previous two financial years, had lost the most profitable PSU tag to IOC. 

GSK Arm gets Nod for Merger

  •  GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd said that its shareholders approved its proposed merger with Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL).
  • The company has received 99.99% votes in favour of the merger in a shareholders meeting convened by National Company Law Tribunal.
  • Earlier in January 2019, GSK Consumer Healthcare had informed that it has received approval from the fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) for its merger deal with HUL.
  • In December 2018, Unilever had announced the acquisition of health food portfolio, including popular brands Horlicks and Boost, from GSK in India and over 20 other markets for approximately Rs. 27,750 crore.
  • Under the deal, Unilever's Indian arm, HUL is acquiring GSK CH India via an all-equity merger, valuing the total business of the latter at Rs. 31,700 crore.
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Singapore Transport Has an Electric Future

  •  Singapore is famed both for its car-lite approach that discourages ownership of personal vehicles, and the steady expansion of its public transport system over the past three decades.
  • The city state is now working on the next big technological leap that will potentially lead to the roll-out of driverless, fully autonomous buses in partnership with Volvo Buses.
  • The first trials in this race to autonomy are taking place on the smooth macadam of CETRAN, a comprehensive test centre for autonomous vehicles operated by Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore). 
  • There are two Volvo autonomous electric buses in the trials conducted by NTU scientists. The second one is undergoing tests at a bus depot managed by local transport operator SMRT. 
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India Retains the Title

  •  The Indian team maintained its impressive record of not dropping a set in 20 matches as it beat Czech Republic 4-0 in the super league and retained the title in the 21st USIC World Railways tennis championship.
  • In the league stage, India had beaten Slovakia and Czech Republic. 
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BJP and Sena to go 50:50 in Maharashtra

  •  As per reports, the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena will contest an equal number of seats in the Maharashtra Assembly election to be held later in 2019.
  • Of the 288 Assembly seats, the BJP and the Sena will contest 135 each and leave the remaining 18 for allies.
  • In the Lok Sabha election, the alliance swept the State, winning 41 of the 48 seats and securing more than 50% of the vote share for the first time in the State. 

Andhra Pradesh Surrenders Official Buildings

  •  The Andhra Pradesh government surrendered all its buildings in the common capital of Hyderabad to Telangana, exactly five years after the bifurcation of combined state.
  • An order to this effect was issued by Governor ESL Narasimhan, invoking his powers under Section 8 of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, following a request made by Telangana cabinet.
  • According to an official statement from the Telangana government, the state cabinet which met under the leadership of CM K Chandrasekhar Rao adopted a resolution, requesting the governor to use his discretionary powers to transfer all the buildings allotted to Andhra Pradesh government to Telangana.

Nitish Kumar Expands Bihar Cabinet

  •  Eight JD(U) leaders took oath as ministers in Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar.
  • The leaders who took oath - Ashok Choudhary, Shyam Rajak, L. Prasad, Beema Bharti, Ram Sevak Singh, Sanjay Jha, Neeraj Kumar and Narendra Narayan Yadav.
  • There are now 33 ministers in the Nitish Cabinet, up from 25. Five of the eight are first-time ministers.
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Navy Steps up Anti-piracy Patrol

  •  In an expansion of its Mission Based Deployments (MBD) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the Navy deployed its P-8I long-range maritime surveillance aircraft for anti-piracy sorties from Salalah in Oman to patrol the Gulf of Aden.
  • Long-range maritime reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft P-8I undertakes anti-piracy patrol sorties from Salalah in the Gulf of Aden and other piracy prone areas in keeping with our MBD philosophy, to keep IOR safe and secure for all.
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P.K. Dharmalingam Passes Away

  •  Former Ranji Trophy cricketer and renowned coach P. K. Dharmalingam passed away. He was 84.
  • Dharmalingam played 29 First Class matches for Madras and Services before turning to coaching. He was one of the pioneers in conducting summer camps in Chennai and went on to forge a successful coaching career. He had coached the Tamil Nadu women's team.
  • Dharmalingam was an attacking batsman and also bowled leg-spin, but was better known for his fielding prowess.

New Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff

  •  Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh assumed the duties of Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Doctrine Organisation Training).
  • Singh is a recipient of Vishisht Seva Medal in 2011 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2016 for his exemplary service to the nation.
  •  He is an alumnus of UP Sainik School Lucknow and the prestigious National Defence Academy which he joined in July 1979.
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World Bicycle Day

  •  In April 2018, the United Nations General Assembly declared 3rd June as International World Bicycle Day.
  • The resolution for World Bicycle Day recognises the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation.
  • Professor Leszek Sibilski from the United States led a grassroots campaign with his Sociology class to promote a UN Resolution for World Bicycle Day, eventually gaining the support of Turkmenistan and 56 other countries.
  • The original UN Blue and White #June3WorldBicycleDay logo was designed by Isaac Feld and the accompanying animation was done by Professor John E. Swanson.
  • It depicts bicyclists of various types riding around the globe.
  • At the bottom of the logo is the hashtag #June3WorldBicycleDay. The main message is to show that the bicycle belongs to and serves all of humanity.
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Mexican Honour for Pratibha Patil

  •  Former President Pratibha Patil was bestowed the highest civilian award of Mexico for foreigners.
  • The ambassador of Mexico to India, Melba Pria, presented 'Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca' (Order of the Aztec Eagle) to Patil, who had served as the first woman President of the country during 2007-12, at a special ceremony held in MCCIA Bhavan.
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