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General Awareness

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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

12 Nov 2019

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Spanish Elections: Socialists Win Amid Far-Right Surge

  •  Spain's governing Socialists (PSOE) won the most seats in election, but fell short of a majority - and right-wing parties made major gains.
  • The conservative Popular Party (PP) came in second, and far-right Vox more than doubled its seats to become the country's third most-powerful party.
  • This is Spain's fourth general election in as many years.
  • This time, the Socialist party won 120 of the 350 seats - three fewer than in April's vote. The PP has 88 seats, up from 66 in the previous poll, while Vox has 52 - up from just 24 in April.

Bolivia's Former President Accepts Asylum Offer, Heads For Mexico

  •  Former Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose resignation amid allegations of fraud in October's presidential election left his country without a leader and mired in growing chaos, departed Bolivia on a plane for Mexico, which offered him asylum.
  •  Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard  said his country decided to grant asylum "for humanitarian reasons, and given the urgent situation faced in Bolivia" after Mr. Morales made the request over a phone call.

PM Modi To Visit Brazil On Nov 13-14 for 11th BRICS Summit

  •  Ministry of External Affairs' Secretary (ER) T.S. Tirumurti informed about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Brazil to attend the 11th BRICS Summit.
  • He said that PM Modi will visit Brazil from 13-14 November, 2019. This will be the sixth time that the Prime Minister will be participating in the BRICS summit.
  • PM Modi will be accompanied by officials as well as business delegation from India. The theme of BRICS Summit this year is 'Economic Growth for an Innovative Future'.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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RBI Withdraws Certain Exemptions From Housing Finance Companies

  •  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has withdrawn certain exemptions granted to housing finance companies (HFCs), putting its regulations on  par with those of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
  • This comes after the Finance Act, 2019 amended the National Housing Bank Act, 1987, conferring certain powers for regulation of HFCs with the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The central bank said HFCs are currently exempt from the provisions of Chapter IIIB of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • However, on a review, it has been decided to withdraw these exemptions and make the provisions of Chapter IIIB except Section 45-IA of Reserve Bank of India Act applicable to them.

NCLT Orders Insolvency Proceedings Against Aviva Life Insurance

  •  The National Company Law Tribunal has ordered to initiate insolvency proceedings against Aviva Life Insurance in a case filed by Apeejay Trust.
  • A two-member bench of NCLT Delhi comprising Justice R D Khare and Sumita Purkayastha allowed the plea against Aviva Life Insurance and has also appointed an interim resolution professional to run day-to-day affairs of the company.
  • Apeejay Trust, which had leased its Mumbai-based (Vashi) premise to Aviva Life Insurance, claimed a default of ₹27.67 lakh as an operational creditor for not receiving payments towards service tax and license fee for the premise.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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SpaceX Sends Up 60 Mini-Satellites With Plans For Thousands More

  •  The private SpaceX company  launched a second set of mini-satellites as it builds a huge constellation of the small orbiting devices aimed at greatly expanding internet access around the globe.
  • A Falcon-9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, placed 60 mini-satellites in orbit, joining 60 others launched.
  • The American company's Starlink network could one day total 42,000 satellites -- resulting in far more crowded skies and raising concerns among some scientists.

SPORTS

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Veteran Kenyan Komen wins Athens Marathon

  •  John Kipkorir Komen of Kenya held on to narrowly win the 37th Athens Marathon.
  • The 42-year-old runner finished in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 34 seconds, beating Rwanda's Felicien Muhitira, 17 years his junior, by nine seconds.
  • Greek runner Costas Gelaouzos finished third in 2-19-02.
  • Greece's Eleftheria Petroulaki won the women's race in 2-39-00.
  • In the men's race, Kenyan runners have won the Athens Marathon, run over a hilly and demanding course, 16 times since 2001.
  • A record 20,041 runners lined up at the start in the village of Marathon, near the battlefield where Athenians and their allies beat a far larger Persian army in 490 BC. Legend has it that a messenger who ran the distance to Athens to announce the victory died upon arrival.

Aronian Wins Superbet Rapid & Blitz In Playoff

  •  Levon Aronian defeated Sergey Karjakin in a playoff to win the Superbet Rapid & Blitz Grand Chess Tour in Bucharest. With his victory, the Armenian grandmaster secured a spot in the London playoffs in December 2019.
  • Anton Korobov's Cinderella story was brutally disturbed. He started with five straight losses and would eventually collect just two points—the same amount Fabiano Caruana got on the last day.

Saurabh Chaudhary Wins Silver Medal In Men's 10m Air Pistol Event At Asian Championship

  •  Saurabh Chaudhary claimed the silver medal in men's 10m air pistol event to continue India's surge at the 14th Asian Championship in Doha.
  • World Cup and  Asian Games gold-medallist shot 244.5 to finish second on the podium behind North Korea's Kim Song Guk, who won the top prize with a world record 246.5. Iran's Foroughi Javed bagged the bronze.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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MoEFCC To Conduct Mass Cleaning Drive At 10 Indian Beaches

  •  The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) plans to organize a mass cleanliness-cum-awareness drive in 50 identified beaches under the Swachh-Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan.
  • The Ministry will award the best three beaches along with a Certificate of Appreciation for all the participating Eco-clubs.
  • The campaign will be held from 11-17 November 2019. The aim is to clean the beaches and creates awareness amongst citizens about the importance of coastal ecosystems.
  • MOEFCC has identified a few beaches that are in 10 coastal States/Union Territories (UTs) for the cleaning. 
  • The beaches are from Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. The beaches were selected after the consultation with the States/UTs.

Haryana Police Launches Month-Long Drive Against e-Cigarettes

  •  The Haryana Police launched a month-long special drive to keep a check on the availability and usage of e-cigarettes and all other forms of electronic nicotine delivery systems across the state.
  • He said that all Commissioners of Police and District Superintendents of Police have been directed to ensure enforcement of provisions of the Centre's recent ordinance prohibiting e-cigarettes in their respective jurisdictions.
  • The drive will last up to December 10, 2019.

DEFENCE

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Defence Innovations Conference Showcasing Accomplishments Of iDEX

  •  Defence ministry is organising Def-Connect in New Delhi to showcase the accomplishments of the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative.
  • The conference aims to bring together all stakeholders of the iDEX ecosystem, Ministry of defence, iDEX selected startups, Partner Incubators, Defence Innovation Organisation, Nodal agencies (Indian Army, Navy, Airforce), Defence Research and Development Organisation and Defence Public Sector Undertakings and Indian Ordnance Factories.

IAF To Sign Contract To Procure 83 LCAs

  •  The Light Combat Aircraft Tejas (LCA) Mark-1A and Mark-2 and 114 new fighter jets to be procured will be the mainstay of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the next decade, as other jets are phased out, and before the indigenous fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is ready.
  • The IAF is looking at speeding up the development and production of the LCA by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Indo-Russian Joint Tri-Service Exercise To Be Held

  •  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, 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 to fine-tune joint service for smooth execution of the exercise.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Whistleblower Guns At Infosys' Salil Parekh

  •  Another whistleblower from global software major Infosys accused its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salil Parekh of committing misdeeds and urged the Chairman and the board of directors to act against him on his volatile complaints.
  • Though it is a year and 8 months since Parekh joined the company, he operates from Mumbai in violation of the condition that the CEO has to be based in Bengaluru and not Mumbai.
  • What is stopping the board to insist on his movement to Bengaluru," said the whistleblower in an unsigned and undated letter to Infosys Chairman and co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Independent Directors on the Board.

PS Krishnan Passed Away

  •  Former Union Secretary PS Krishnan, who is regarded as a champion of the oppressed and exploited sections of society, passed away in New Delhi. He was 86.
  • Widely regarded as the crusader of social justice in India, Krishnan was selected to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1956 and served in Andhra Pradesh.
  • As a bureaucrat, he sought to take the government to the people, especially the Dalits, Adivasis, minorities and other oppressed communities, and worked towards eliminating caste inequalities.
  • He was the Secretary of the Ministry of Welfare in 1990 when the VP Singh-government implemented the Mandal Commission Report, which sought to provide 27% reservations to socially and educationally backward classes.

Chief Justice Akil Kureshi To Take Oath

  •  Newly appointed Chief Justice of High Court of Tripura Justice Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi will be administered the oath of office and secretary by Tripura Governor Ramesh Bais during a simple oath taking ceremony in Agartala on November 16, 2019.
  • On November 8th, 2019, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice issued a formal notification appointing Justice Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi, the Judge of the Bombay High Court as the new Chief Justice of Tripura following statutory approval from the President of India.
  • As per the notification, union ministry said that in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article-217 of the Constitution of India, the President has appointed Justice Kureshi as Chief Justice of High Court of Tripura and the appointment of Justice Kureshi will effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

DAYS AND EVENTS

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World Pneumonia Day

  •  World Pneumonia Day provides an annual forum for the world to stand together and demand action in the fight against pneumonia.
  • More than 100 organizations representing the interests of children joined forces as the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia to hold the first World Pneumonia Day on 2 November 2009.

November 12"National Happy Hour Day

  •  November 12 is Happy Hour Day. So, on this unofficial fun holiday, one can take advantage of happy hours at his favorite bar, cafe or restaurant.
  • Enjoy happy hour with friends. Happy hour is a term used to refer to a period of time during a day when establishments sell drinks and food at a discount.

Dr Jitendra Singh addresses the inaugural session of India-ASEAN Business Summit

  •  The Union Minister of State (I/C) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that India will soon achieve the target of 5 trillion USD economy target with the optimistic environment that has been created under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

AWARDS AND HONOURS

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Punjab CM Presented 2019 Achievers Award

  •   Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh presented the Achievers award to over 400 eminent Punjabi personalities on the event of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on 10 November, 2019.  The award recognized their outstanding contribution in various fields.
  • Prominent achievers amongst others, who were bestowed with this coveted honour for religious and social activities included Singh Sahib Giani Ranjit Singh Gauhar Jathedar Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Baba Iqbal Singh, Baba Sewa Singh, Baba Balbir Singh Budha Dal, Sant Baba Mahinder Singh, Sant Avtar Singh, Sant Baljinder Singh, Mahant Raminder Dass, Sant Kulwant Ram Bharomajara, Sant Nirmal Dass Baba Jaure, Sant Gurdeep Giri, Sant Makhan Singh, Sant Baba Mahinder Singh Lamiya Wale and Sant Baba Nihal Singh Harian Belan wale.

GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

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Aadhaar Card Holders May Be Fined ₹10,000 For Making Giving Incorrect Number

 For the convenience of taxpayers, the income tax department has now allowed Aadhaar card holders to use the 12-digit biometric id number in lieu of the Permanent Account Number (PAN). But be careful while quoting your Aadhaar as giving an incorrect number might make you pay a hefty fine of ₹10,000.
You are fined if:
  1. You give invalid Aadhaar number in lieu of PAN.
  2. You fail to provide either your PAN or Aadhaar in specified transactions.
  3. Simply giving your Aadhaar number might not be enough as if you are required to authenticate your biometric identity, then any failure to do so will also lead to a fine.

GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

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Government's Go-Ahead For 4 Medical Device Parks

  •  The government has given approval for setting up four medical device parks with a view to support Make in India initiative and provide world-class products at affordable price for treatment.
  • The four parks will be set up in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.  Uttarakhand and Gujarat have also approached the Centre for a go-ahead for such parks.
  • These parks will provide necessary infrastructure, where companies can easily plug and play.
  • This will not only cut import bill but will also help in easy access to standard testing facilities and reduce cost of production.
  • The project of Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone for creation of Common Facility Centre (CFC) for Superconducting Magnetic Coil Testing and Research was given in-principle approval recently.
  • The scheme proposes to provide Rs 25 crore or 70 per cent of the project cost of setting up of CFCs, whichever is less, for creation of common facilities in any upcoming park.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

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CJI Ranjan Gogoi Releases Assamese Version Of Book 'Courts Of India: Past To Present'

  • Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi released the Assamese version of the book 'Courts of India: Past to Present' in Guwahati.
  • Releasing the book published by the Publication Division, Mr. Gogoi termed it as the architecture of justice. He said, the book fabulously explains the Indian justice system.
  • The Chief Justice of India also emphasized that the law students should go through the book.
  • Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Justice of India designate Sharad Arvind Bobde along with other dignitaries also attended the event. Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Sonowal said that the book will be provided to all government libraries in Assam.
  • In his address, Justice Bobde termed the book as one of the finest compilations. Justice Bobde said, he is looking forward to see the book get translated in other languages too.
  • The event was also attended by the Principal Director General of All India Radio News and Publication Division Ira Joshi.
  • The book has captured the historical developments which took place in the history of nation's courts. The various chapters of the book narrates the historical events of the court.

TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS

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Railways' 1st 'Private' Train Tejas Posts Rs 70 Lakh Profit In First Month

  • IRCTC's Tejas Express has made a profit of around Rs 70 lakh till October 2019 while earning a revenue of nearly Rs 3.70 crore through sale of tickets, signalling a steady start for the Railways' first "privately" run train.
  • The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation's Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express is part of the Railways' bid to develop 50 railway stations of world-class standards and allowing private passenger train operators to run 150 trains trains on its network.
  • The train has run with an average occupancy of 80-85 per cent since it began operations on October 5, 2019.

ART AND CULTURE

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Guru Nanak Jayanti 2019

  •  Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the first Guru of 10 Sikh Gurus and is the founder of the Sikhism religion.
  • Guru Nanak Jayanti is also known as Guru Parv, Gurupurab or Guru Prakash Parv. According to the Hindu calendar, it falls on a full moon day in the month of Kartik Puranmashi.
  • And according to the Gregorian calendar, it falls in the month of October and November.
  • This festival is not only celebrated in India with full enthusiasm but also in various parts of the world. This year it falls on 12 November 2019.

Himachal Pradesh Governor Inaugurates Lavi Fair In Shimla

  •  Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatreya inaugurated the four-day-long International Lavi fair in Shimla district''s Rampur.
  • On this occasion, he appealed to the people to contribute towards making the state free from drugs. He said that a massive campaign should be launched to eradicate the menace of drugs from the society to save the younger generation from its ill effects. 
  • The governor also inaugurated the ''Kinnauri market'' and an exhibition organised by various government departments and other organisations. 
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