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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

10 Nov 2019

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

30th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall fall

  •  Google on November 9 (2019) celebrated the 30th year of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a doodle that captured the essence of the breaking down of boundaries that separated many families.
  • The doodle created by Berlin—based guest artist Max Guther, shows a man and woman walk over the wall brought down.
  • It was the moment that signalled the simultaneous end of the Cold War and the beginning of reunification of East and West Germany.

Mauritius elects incumbent PM for five-year term

  •  2019 vote was dominated by calls for fairer distribution of wealth on the prosperous Indian Ocean island of 1.3 million people, which touts itself as a bridge between Africa and Asia and has a flourishing financial sector.
  • MSM won 38 of the 62 seats up for grabs while its rivals, the Labour Party and the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM), garnered 13 and 9 seats respectively.
  • Two seats on the island of Rodrigues were won by the Organisation of the People of Rodrigues (OPR) party.
  • Jugnauth, 57, became prime minister in 2017 when his father stepped down from the post, and has already introduced a minimum wage to try and improve wealth distribution.

Brazil's former president Lula walks free after 18 months behind bars

  •  Brazil's leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva walked free from jail after a year and a half behind bars for corruption following a court ruling that could release thousands of convicts.
  • The former president, wearing a black T-shirt and suit jacket, pumped his fist in the air as he exited the federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba and was quickly mobbed by hundreds of supporters and journalists.
  • Lula addressed the crowd, thanking his supporters, colleagues and lawyers, his voice at times drowned out by the cheers of the crowd and fireworks.
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ENVIRONMENT

Coonoor gets waste management park

  • With the help of non-governmental organisations, the Coonoor municipality and the district administration have officially closed the dump yard that had been an eyesore and a major cause of pollution in Ottupattarai in Coonoor.
  • Instead, the area has now been turned into a waste management facility and park, capable of processing almost the entirety of the town's generated dry waste.
  • District Collector J. Innocent Divya inaugurated the park.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

ADB approves $300 million for power transmission expansion in Bangladesh

  •  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a 300 million dollar loan for a project to expand power transmission lines in Greater Dhaka and western zone of Bangladesh.
  • Besides ADB's loan, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is considering 200 million dollars in co-financing to fund transmission lines, substations and an enterprise resource planning system.
  • The assistance also comprises a 750,000 dollar grant from China's Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund.
  • The government and executing agency will contribute 249 million dollar equivalent toward the 750 million dollar total cost of the project which is due for completion by June 2024.

RBI increases household income limits for borrowers of NBFCs and MFIs

  • Reserve Bank has increased the household income limits for borrowers of Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) from 1 lakh to 1.25 lakh rupees.
  • The move is aimed at strengthening credit to those at the bottom of the economic pyramid in rural areas.
  • Similarly, the limit has been increased from 1.6 lakh for urban or semi-urban areas to 2 lakh rupees.
  • RBI said in a circular that the limit has been increased after taking into consideration the important role played by microfinance institutions in delivering credit to those at the bottom of the economic pyramid and to enable them to play their assigned role in a growing economy. 

India Yamaha Motor launches BS-VI compliant variants of bikes

  •  India Yamaha Motor (IYM)  launched BS-VI compliant variants of FZ-FI and FZS-FI bikes, priced between ₹99,200 and ₹1.02 lakh (ex-showroom).
  • The company will further announce the launch of other BS-VI compliant line-ups in coming time.
  • The new FZ-FI and FZS-FI BS VI versions come with various features like single channel ABS in the front wheel, front and rear disc brakes along with a single piece two level seat.
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SPORTS

Tejaswini books Tokyo ticket

  •  Tejaswini Sawant won the Olympic quota in the women's rifle 3-position event by qualifying for the final with an impressive score of 1171 in the Asian shooting championship.
  • It was the third in the ongoing championship after Deepak Kumar (men's rifle 3-position) and Chinki Yadav (women's 25-metre sports pistol).
  • With this, Indian shooters' Olympic quota climbs to 12.

Sixth win on the spin lifts Chelsea to second

  • Abraham ended Palace's dogged defensive resistance with a simple finish from Willian's deft through ball seven minutes into the second half before Pulisic headed home a loose ball 11 minutes from time to seal all three points.
  • Chelsea edge a point clear of Manchester City and to within five of leaders Liverpool, who host City in a highly-anticipated clash.
  • A 4-4 draw with Ajax took the tally of goals Chelsea's prior 18 games this season to 70 at an average of nearly four per game.
  • However, the Blues free flowing football under Frank Lampard was met with a brick wall of a Palace defence for the first 45 minutes.
  • Pulisic had scored four goals in his last two Premier League games as the American begins to deliver on his £58mil (RM306mil) price tag and only a fine save from Vicente Guaita denied the United States captain another strike early on.
  • Thereafter, Chelsea were largely restricted to efforts from free-kicks on the edge of the box before the break as Willian curled inches wide.

Aradhya Garg, Srishti Pandey become National junior chess champions

  •  Delhi's Aradhya Garg capped a dream run with a sixth straight victory and became the National junior chess champion.
  • The girls' title went to Maharashtra's Srishti Pandey who emerged worthy champion with a one-point margin, with nine players tied for second.
  • Garg was seeded a distant 20th and Srishti sixth.
  • In the final round, Garg defeated overnight leader and top seed Koustav Chatterjee with black. As it turned out, this first-year student of Kirori Mal College faced rivals from Bengal in the last four rounds, including fourth seed Rajdeep Sarkar (2362) and second seed Mitrabha Guha (2443).
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

SC's Verdict on Ayodhya issue widely welcomed across country, abroad

  • People across the country have welcomed the Supreme Court's verdict on Ayodhya issue.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, it will be a golden chapter in India's judiciary as the decades-old case concluded and the whole nation supported the verdict wholeheartedly.
  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said it will further strengthen the confidence of the people in the country's judicial system.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah welcomed the judgement saying the order will prove to be a milestone and further strengthen India's unity and integrity. In a series of tweets, Mr Shah appealed to all communities and religions to accept the decision of the apex court with ease and remain committed to 'Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat'.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said it proved the strength of India's constitutional system and democracy and urged people to maintain peace and harmony. He said, those who love the country have heartily appreciated the decision. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, the verdict should not be seen as anybody's victory or defeat. He said everybody should now forget the dispute, which had continued for many decades.
  • BJP working president Jagat Prakash Nadda, Union ministers, Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also hailed the verdict. BJP veteran LK Advani said, he stood vindicated and felt deeply blessed.
  • Congress said, it respects the Supreme Court verdict which is in favour of Ram temple construction.
  • In a resolution passed by the Congress Working Committee chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi, the party also appealed to all parties concerned and all communities to "abide by the secular values and spirit of fraternity enshrined in the Constitution."
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DEFENCE

Indo-Russian joint tri-service exercise to be held from December 10-19

  • The first-ever joint tri-service exercise between India and Russia codenamed INDRA 2019 will be conducted from December 10-19, 2019.
  • Company-sized mechanised contingents, fighter and transport aircraft as well as ships of respective Armies, Air Forces and Navies will participate in this 10-days exercise.
  • In preparation of this exercise, a joint planning conference was held from November 7 to 10, 2019, in two phases.
  • Phase I of the conference was conducted at respective service locations of Babina, Pune and Goa to discuss service-specific modalities.
  • The second phase was held at New Delhi on November 9 and 10, 2019 to fine-tune joint service for smooth execution of the exercise.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Padma Shri awardee Dhrupad maestro Ramakant Gundecha passes away

  •  Padma Shri awardee Dhrupad maestro Ramakant Gundecha passed away in Madhya Pradesh's capital Bhopal.
  • The younger among the famous Gundecha brothers (Umakant-Ramakant), the 56-year-old renowned vocalist suffered heart attack at Bhopal's Habibganj railway station, while waiting with elder brother Umakant Gundecha and pakhawaj player cousin Akhilesh Gundecha to catch the train for Pune.
  • An ambulance subsequently rushed him to the hospital, but he died before arriving at the hospital. His death was confirmed by pakhawaj player cousin Akhilesh Gundecha.
  • The last rites took place at a crematorium in Bhopal.

Assam Civil Servant Hitesh Dev Sharma Replaces Prateek Hajela as NRC State Coordinator

  •  Assam Civil Service officer Hitesh Dev Sharma was appointed as the NRC State Coordinator in place of Prateek Hajela, who ensured publication of the final version of the National Register of Citizens on August 31, 2019 under supervision of the Supreme Court.
  • Dev Sharma, who was serving as the Secretary to the Urban Development and Finance Departments, has been transferred as Secretary to the Home and Political Department and State Coordinator, NRC and in-charge Directorate of NRC.

Keith Vaz, Longest-serving British Indian MP, Retires after 32 years

  •  Keith Vaz, who was first elected to the House of Commons in 1987 and went on to win eight subsequent elections, announced his retirement amidst questions about his candidature for the December 12, 2019 election and his role in drugs and sex row.
  • Vaz, 62, is of Goa origin and has been a prominent figure in the Indian community in the UK, besides forging links with leading politicians and others in India.
  • Prominent Indian actors have travelled to his constituency of Leicester East to canvass for him during elections.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Uttarakhand Foundation Day

  •  Uttarakhand was formed on 9 November, 2000 by joining several districts from the Northwestern part of Uttar Pradesh and a portion of the Himalayan Mountain range. 
  • 19th Uttarakhand Foundation Day was celebrated in 2019. In 2007, the name of the state was formally altered from Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand is famous as the Land of the Gods or "Dev Bhumi".
  •   During the time of foundation, it was named Uttaranchal. It is situated in Northern India and is a great pilgrimage centre. 

World Science Day for Peace and Development 10 November

  •  Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues.
  • It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.
  • 2019 Theme: "Open science, leaving no one behind"
  • Open Science is not only an issue of science being open to the research community, as in "open access" and "open data" but refers to a science open to society.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

The NASA women who inspired 'Hidden Figures' Get Congressional Gold Medals

  • Four African American women known as the "Hidden Figures" who worked at NASA during the Space Race were awarded Congressional Gold Medals, the highest civilian award in the US.
  • President Donald Trump signed into law the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act.
  • Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, as well as mathematician Katherine Johnson and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan were awarded Congressional Gold Medals.
  • Vaughan and Jackson, who passed away, were both awarded posthumously.
  • A fifth gold medal was granted in honor of all women who contributed to NASA during the Space Race.

George Schaller lifetime award for Ullas Karanth

  •  Wildlife biologist K. Ullas Karanth, Director, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bengaluru, was awarded the George Schaller Lifetime Award in Wildlife Conservation Science for his contribution to the field of conservation.
  • He is the first recipient of the award instituted by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), New York, in honour of Dr. George Schaller, who is considered one of the greatest wildlife scientists and conservationists globally.
  • A release said the WCS George Schaller Lifetime Award in wildlife conservation science has been created to honour WCS colleagues for outstanding contributions to saving wildlife and wild places.

Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey confers National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019

  •   Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey conferred the National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 to Enterprises and Ecosystem builders.
  • The fourth edition of the award ceremony was organized to mark the completion of 5 years of setting up of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2014.
  • The awards aim to recognize and honour the outstanding young First-Generation Entrepreneurs, and Ecosystem builders for their outstanding contribution in entrepreneurship development and providing support to the entrepreneurs.
  • It seeks to instill and entrench the entrepreneurial attitude among the future generations and the Youth of India.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Government to Import 1 lakh Tonnes Onion to Check Price Rise

  • The government said it will import 1 lakh tonnes of onion to control prices that have risen sharply to around Rs 100/kg at some places, including the national capital.
  • While state-owned trading firm will import onions, cooperative Nafed will supply the key kitchen staple in the domestic market. This decision was taken at a meeting of a committee of secretaries.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

AIIMS, KMC and University Of Michigan to Collaborate on Genetic Testing

  •  Researcher from the University of Michigan will collaborate with All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Kasturba Medical College – Manipal with the help of a grant from the National Institute of Health.
  • The grants which come up to $ 2.3 million will be used for the research to expand genetic testing in India. The partnership is expected to help the geneticists in identifying and confirming that genetic changes are the basis of developmental disorders.
  • Associate professor of Human Genetics at the University of Michigan Medical School, Stephanie Bielas said that without genetic diagnosis individuals with rare disorders may acquire inappropriate care and medical procedures.
  • She also added that an accurate molecular diagnosis can in a huge way to improve the care management of individuals with rare development disorders and also involved treatments.
  • Stephanie who is working with her partners in AIIMS and KMS has been building on technological and organizational infrastructure which is needed to improve access to genetic testing in the country for the last 4 years.

Maternal death rate declining: report

  • India's Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has seen a decline from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-2016 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-2017.
  • A decline of 8 points (6.2%) was observed during this period, according to the latest Sample Registration System (SRS) 2015-2017 bulletin for MMR.
  • This is good news for India as nearly 2,000 maternal deaths have been averted per year, according to the bulletin.
  • The figure has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016 and to 122 in 2015-17, registering a 6.15 per cent reduction since the last survey figures of 2014-2016.

WHO initiative to expand access to affordable insulin

  • Insulin is available in only 1 in 3 of the poorest countries
  • Ahead of the World Diabetes Day on November 14, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is launching an initiative to expand access to affordable insulin.
  • Stating that more than 420 million people worldwide, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, live with diabetes, WHO noted that many who require insulin do not have access, often due to high costs.
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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Indian Railways launches 3 online applications for all-India rollout to strengthen IT enablement

  •  Indian Railways has launched three applications for all-India roll out to strengthen its IT-enabled services which will help ensure proper monitoring of projects being undertaken by Railways.
  • The applications, namely CRS Sanction Management System, Rail-road crossing GAD approval system and TMS for construction aim at beefing up IT-enabled services.
  • The CRS Sanction Management System is an important aspect in construction, maintenance and up-gradation of railway assets, whereas Rail-road crossing GAD approval system will expedite preparation, processing and approval of general agreement drawings related to the construction of Road Over Bridges and Road Under Bridges.
  • Application TMS for construction has been developed for new assets being constructed by the construction organization. 

Lemon Tree Hotels acquires Berggruen Hotels and the brand 'Keys Hotels'

  • Lemon Tree Hotels acquired Berggruen Hotels in November 2019 taking its total inventory to 7,800 rooms in 77 hotels across 45 destinations, making it India's largest hotel chain in the mid-priced hotel sector.
  • Keys Hotels are present in 16 cities including Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Calicut, Chennai, Goa, Gurugram, Kochi, Kolhapur, Ludhiana, Mahabaleshwar, Manali, Mumbai, Pune, Port Blair, Trivandrum and Vishakapatnam. Of these, Lemon Tree already has a presence in 7 destinations and these Keys Hotels add to the depth of coverage in those cities.
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ART AND CULTURE

Sanskrit lovers from across world participate in Sanskrit Bharati Vishwa Sammelan

  • Sanskrit Bharati Vishwa Sammelan, a three-day mega event for discussing ideas, theories and research findings in the ancient Sanskrit language, was held in New Delhi.
  • Thousands of delegates and Sanskrit lovers from across the world participated in this first-of-its-kind global conference.
  • The first day of the event witnessed huge footfall including foreigners, students and women. 
  • An exhibition 'Sanskriti Pradarshini' was also been put up displaying manus, models and charts that establish different phases of the development of Sanskrit as a popular language, not only in India but also across the globe. 

Eid-e-Milad 2019

  •  Eid-e-Milad or Eid Milad-un-Nabi is a day dedicated to the Prophet Mohammad and his teachings.
  • According to legends, the Prophet was born on the twelfth day of Rabee-ul-Awwal — which is the third month of the Islamic lunar calendar — in Mecca in 570 CE.
  • In 2019, Milad started from the evening of 9 November and continued till 10 November. On this day, hymns are sung in praise of the Prophet and it is also commonly believed that listening to those will make one receive worldly and heavenly rewards.
  • However, the day is marked differently by the Shia and Sunni Muslim sects.
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