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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

23 Jun 2019


Sri Lanka Extends State of Emergency

  •  A state of emergency was extended by Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, going back on pledges to relax the tough laws introduced after the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people.
  • Mr. Sirisena believed there was a public emergency in the country, and was invoking provisions of the public security act extending the state of emergency.

Afghan Attends Peace Meet in Pakistan

  •  Dozens of Afghan political leaders attended a peace conference in Islamabad.
  • There were no representatives of the Taliban. However, attending the event was Hezb-e-Islami leader and warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who in 2016 struck a peace deal with President Ashraf Ghani's government, and was taken off a U.S. terrorist list.
  • At the outset of the meeting, Mr. Hekmatyar urged his fellow Afghans to press for the Taliban's demand for a quick and full withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops.
  • Among the figures in attendance were the head of the Afghan government-sponsored High Peace Council, Mohammad Karim Khalili, as well as the leader of the powerful Jamiat-e-Islami political party, Ustad Atta Mohammad Noor.
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Banks May Extend Foreign Currency Loans

  •  According to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Ministry is in talks with banks to see ways to extend foreign currency loans to exporters.
  • He said that providing subsidies was not a solution to trade-related issues.
  • Instead, the ministry would work on foreign currency loans and the ministry has already had dialogues with bankers to see how we can expand foreign currency loans.

Panaya and Skava are Not for Sale

  •  Tech bellwether Infosys said that Panaya and Skava are no more considered assets for sale; instead, they have been put on a growth path.
  • As per Infosys, it was currently in the process of growing activities under these acquisitions to see if they can complement the growth of the company's retail, manufacturing and consumer care verticals.
  • In February 2015, Infosys acquired Panaya, an enterprise software management firm based in Israel, in an all-cash deal worth $200 million.
  • The deal ran into a huge controversy that eventually led its then CEO Vishal Sikka to quit the firm in August 2017, after a public spat with the co-founders.

Valmar Enters India

  •  European gelato and ice cream machine manufacturer Valmar entered into an exclusive marketing tie-up with city-based Swedinox Impex to sell the former's equipment in India.
  • According to Abdul Rahim, chairman, Swedinox, to start with, Valmar imported about 10 machines each costing about Rs. 10 lakh each.
  • Swedinox is the official importer of this equipment.
  • Claiming that the Indian ice cream and frozen dessert market was about Rs. 140 billion and growing, initially, it would target hotels, restaurants and cafes in Chennai.
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Indian Women Secure Olympic Qualifiers Berth

  •  India secured its place in the final round of the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers by beating Chile 4-2 in the semi-finals of the women's FIH Series Finals tournament.
  • The top two teams from the tournament secured berths in the Olympic Qualifiers to be held later in 2019.
  • India will take on Japan in the summit clash.

Prakash Nanjappa Shooting Academy 

  •  The state-of-the-art Prakash Nanjappa Shooting Academy was inaugurated at Esteem Mall in Hebbal.
  • The 6000-square-foot facility, established by the Asian and Commonwealth Games medallist Prakash Nanjappa, was described by him as the first private shooting arena of its quality in the country.
  • The Academy boasts 10 shooting lanes with electronic targets and a touch-screen display, and eight lanes with manual targets.
  • Also under the same roof is a gym, a sports massage therapy centre, and an area for yoga and pilates.

Zimbabwe Cricket Body Suspended

  •  Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) was suspended with immediate effect by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), the governing organisation of all registered sporting associations in the country.
  • ZC acting managing director Givemore Makoni was also suspended.
  • The SRC move comes a week after it issued a directive that ZC's electoral process be suspended following alleged complaints about the nomination process and the violation of constitution, as well as various other controversies.
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Nepalese Nationals Require Visa to Enter India

  •  According to a notice issued by the Nepalese Embassy in New Delhi, Nepalese nationals must hold Indian visa if they are entering India from Pakistan, China, Hong Kong and Macau.
  • Similarly, Nepalese nationals travelling to Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Lebanon, are required to acquire a no objection certificate from the respective Nepalese Embassies.

Increase Number of Judges

  •  Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the strength of judges and raise the retirement age of High Court judges to 65.
  • Justice Gogoi also urged the Prime Minister to make tenure appointments of retired apex court judges and High Court judges under Articles 128 and 224A, respectively to clear cases pending for years.
  • As per the CJI, there was a pendency of 58,669 cases in the top court and the number was increasing.
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Navy Teams to Escort Crude Carriers

  •  Amid escalating tensions in the Gulf region, which is crucial for India's energy security, the Indian Navy is considering deploying small teams on board large crude carriers passing through the region.
  • The proposal is currently under discussion among various stakeholders.
  • The proposal was discussed in a meeting between the Navy, Directorate General of Shipping and the Indian Ship Owners' Association. 
  • The proposal is to have small Navy teams comprising an officer and personnel on all energy-carrying platforms, ultra large crude carriers and very large crude carriers, to advise on protection measures.
  • The teams would be deployed on transiting crude carriers depending on the necessity.
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Trump Picks Esper

  •  President Donald Trump nominated Mark Esper as the permanent defence secretary and also announced other senior-level appointments to bring stability at the Pentagon at a time when it is confronted with a potentially escalating military conflict with Iran.
  • Trump had named Esper acting defence secretary earlier after Patrick Shanahan, the then nominee for the permanent position, withdrew citing family issues.
  • Esper's eventual appointment for the Pentagon top job will need to be confirmed by the US Senate, which is a time-consuming process and could be one of the factors determining the timing of the next India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue.
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United Nations Public Service Day

  •  The United Nations Public Service Day is celebrated on June 23 of every year. The prestigious UN Public Service Awards are given away on this day.
  • The UN Public Service Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly's resolution A/RES/57/277 of 2003, to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community.
  • The United Nations Economic and Social Council established that the United Nations Public Service Awards be bestowed on Public Service Day for contributions made to the cause of enhancing the role, prestige, and visibility of public service.
  • The day also marks the anniversary of the date when the International Labour Organisation adopted the Convention on Labour Relations (Public Service), 1978 (No. 151).
  • This Convention is a framework for determining working conditions of all civil servants across the world.
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Delhi Government Will Pay CBSE Exam Fee

  •  Delhi government said that it would pay the CBSE examination fee of students from government schools from 2020 onwards.
  • The government is also working on providing free coaching to students for competitive exams like NEET, JEE, and eventually also for post graduation competitive exams for employment like UPSC and others.
  • The minister announced the scheme at an event to felicitate government school students who scored 90% and above marks in the class 12 board examinations in 2019.
  • The students studying in Delhi government schools are from financially weaker families and they cannot afford taking loans from the banks because they demand guarantees.
  • The Delhi government is ready to take the guarantee of all the talented students studying in its schools.
  • So, the government decided to give them education loan of up to Rs. 10 lakh for higher education. The students will have 15 years to pay back the loan.
  • A similar scheme was announced by the government in 2015.
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Mumbai's Dharavi Slum Beats Taj Mahal

  •  According to travel site TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice Awards, Asia's largest slum Dharavi in Mumbai become India's favourite tourist destination of 2019, beating the iconic Taj Mahal.
  • Small group tour to Dharavi slum in Mumbai' featured on the top of the list of destinations for "Travellers' Choice Experiences 2019- India". It also made into the "Top 10 Travellers' Choice Experiences 2019- Asia". 
  • Meanwhile, Taj Mahal, which is one of the seven World Wonders, did not even appear on the list.
  • Dharavi was followed by a 'Bike tour of Old Delhi' and a 'Private day tour of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort by a superfast train' at the second and third position respectively on the list of the favourite tourist experiences in India.
  • Other destinations which made to the list were- 'Full Day Taj Mahal and Agra Tour from Delhi by Express Train', 'The original Delhi shopping tour', 'private half-day Bollywood tour including lunch in Mumbai', 'half-day Old Delhi Bazaar walk and Masterji Kee Haveli visiting tour', 'private Old and New Delhi full-day combo tour'. 
  • In the world category, 'Faster Than Skip-the-Line' in Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour topped the list, while Chicago Architecture River Cruise in USA's Chicago stood at the second position.
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