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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

18 Nov 2019

DAILY G.K. TEST

Start Test

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lanka Election

  •  Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won the Sri Lankan presidential election after a closely fought race against ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa, with the country's Election Commission declaring him the winner.
  • Rajapaksa, a former defence secretary during Mahinda's 10 years in power, based his campaign for the election on providing strong leadership on national security issues, following coordinated bombings in April 2019 that killed 269 people.
  • His campaign was also backed by Sinhala Buddhist monks who have called for greater controls to be placed on the island's roughly 10 percent Muslim population following those attacks.

Emiratis To Get India Visa On Arrival

  •  Emiratis can travel to India free of prior visas, they can get visa on arrival.
  • Government of India, with effect from November 16, 2019, has decided to extend the Visa-on-Arrival facility to nationals of the United Arab Emirates.

Australian Politicians Banned From China 'Will Not Repent' For Criticism

  •  Two Australian politicians refused entry to China have said they will not retract their criticisms of the country.
  • Andrew Hastie and James Paterson, both members of the government, were due to go on a study tour in China.
  • But their visa applications were rejected, and the Chinese embassy said they could only visit if they were to "genuinely repent" for their comments.
  • Both Mr. Hastie and Mr. Paterson dismissed the demand.
  • The conservative politicians have been outspoken critics of China - singling out its human rights record, and its alleged interference in Australian politics.
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ENVIRONMENT

Newly Discovered Eel Sets a Jolting Record For Animal Voltage

  •  Electric eels are fish with organs that can generate an electric charge. Scientists thought all electric eels belonged to one species. But a new study has found there are three. And one of the new species unleashes the highest voltage of any known animal.
  • Electric eels use strong zaps to defend themselves and take down prey. They also send out weaker pulses to sense hidden prey and communicate with each other.
  • One of the newly found species has been named Electrophorus voltai. It can deliver a shocking 860 volts.
  • That's way higher than the 650 volts recorded for eels — back when they were all called E. electricus.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Indian Oil Corporation Rolls Out Winter-grade Diesel for Ladakh

  •  State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) began supplying a special winter-grade diesel to Ladakh, solving technical issues faced in fuel supply to high-altitude regions during extreme winter conditions.
  • While IOC's Panipat refinery had flagged off the first consignment of truck carrying the special grade diesel, Home Minister Amit Shah presided over a function to launch the fuel in the Ladakh region through a video link.
  • Motorists in high-altitude sectors such as Ladakh, Kargil, Kaza and Keylong face the problem of freezing of diesel in their vehicles when winter temperatures drop to as low as minus 30-degrees Celsius.

Yahoo Japan And Line Set To Merge

  •  Japan's biggest search engine and messaging app are set to merge under a deal agreed by their parent companies.
  • Yahoo Japan is the country's biggest search engine, and has e-commerce and online banking subsidiaries.
  • Line is the dominant messaging app, and is also popular in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
  • Yahoo Japan has long offered a diverse range of services but has lagged behind many of its competitors. 

Saudi Aramco Flotation Values Oil Giant At $1.7tn

  •  Saudi Arabia has placed a preliminary valuation on state oil company Aramco of between $1.6tn (£1.22tn) and $1.7tn.
  • The company has published an updated prospectus for its initial public offering (IPO), seeking more than $25bn for the sale of 1.5% of its shares.
  • That would make it potentially the world's biggest IPO, coming from the world's most profitable company
  • It is short of the $2tn valuation that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was reportedly keen to achieve.
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SPORTS

Harmeet Wins Indonesia Open TT Championship

  •  In an all-Indian final, Harmeet Desai, seeded fourth, defeated A. Amalraj, seeded seventh, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9 in the final of the ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open table tennis championship.
  • This is Harmeet's second International title of the year, after the Commonwealth championship.

Lee Wins Home Badminton Title As Protests Rage

  •  Home favourite Lee Cheuk Yiu battled to victory over Indonesia's Anthony Ginting to secure a shock Hong Kong Open win as the city's pro-democracy protests raged nearby.
  • Lee, 23, came from a game behind and then saw off championship point in a thrilling decider before winning 16-21, 21-10, 22-20 to lift his first major trophy.
  • The final took place at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

Purav Raja-Ramkumar Ramanathan Clinch Doubles Title

  •   India's Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan clinched their second consecutive doubles title by beating compatriots Arjun Kadhe and Saketh Myneni in straight sets in the final of the KPIT MSLTA Challenger event.
  • Raja and Ramanathan won 7-6(3), 6-3 to pocket $3100 and 80 ATP points, while Arjun and Saketh had to be content with $1800 and 48 ATP points.
  • In the men's singles, James Duckworth of Australia won his fourth Challenger title of the year as he defeated Jay Clarke of Britain in a three-setter in the final.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Kochi sets Guinness record in CPR training

  •  A Guinness World Record was set in the city on Saturday, with 28,523 students being trained in eight hours to perform hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • The attempt broke two previous records of 9,000 and 28,015 people being trained in eight hours and 24 hours respectively. The attempt also set a record in the country and entered the 'Best of India' record book.
  • Students of classes 9 to 12 from around 350 schools in the district participated in the training program, 'Heart Beats', held at the CIAL convention centre at Nedumbassery.
  • The session was conducted by the Kochi chapter of the Indian Medical Association, district administration, Angels International Foundation, and the District Legal Services Authority to create awareness among children on performing CPR.

Winter Session Of Parliament Begins

  •  The Winter Session of Parliament began on 18th November 2019. The Session will have 20 sittings.
  • It will end on the 13th of December (2019). Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed hope that both Houses of Parliament will have constructive debates on ways to empower citizens and further India's development.
  • Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that Mr Modi urged the political parties to make Winter Session of Parliament productive, like the last one. He said Prime Minister stated that constructive discussions in Parliament keep the bureaucracy.
  • Mr. Joshi said the Prime Minister also talked about the Constitution Day to be observed on November 26, 2019. Mr. Modi said the Constitution and the democratic system of the country are unique and this should be branded. PM Modi said this time the Rajya Sabha will mark its 250th Session.
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DEFENCE

Indian Army Conducts 'Sindhu Sudarshan' Exercise In Rajasthan's Barmer

  •  The Sudarshan Chakra Corps of the Indian Army are conducting 'Sindhu Sudarshan' exercise in Rajasthan's Barmer from November 16, 2019. 
  • Around 40,000 jawans of the Indian Army are participating in the exercise. 'Sindhu Sudarshan' exercise will continue till December 05, 2019.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan Took Oath As Chief Justice of Jharkhand HC

  •  Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan took oath as the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court. He was administered the oath of office by Governor Draupadi Murmi in a simple ceremony at Raj Bhawan. Chief Minister Raghuwar Das, judges of the Jharkhand High Court and other dignitaries were present at the function. 
  • Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan has been appointed as the 13th Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court. The post was lying vacant since May 2019, after the former Chief Justice, Anirudh Bose was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan was a judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

Justice SA Bobde Sworn In As 47th Chief Justice Of India, Succeeds Ranjan Gogoi

  •  Supreme Court Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde was sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India by President Ram Nath Kovind. He was the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court
  • Chief Justice SA Bobde, 63, succeeds Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi; he will serve as the leader of the judiciary till April 23, 2021. Justices NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud are next in line.
  • Chief Justice Bobde was on the benches that decided the Ayodhya land dispute case in 2019, held privacy to be a fundamental right in 2017, and clarified in 2015 that no Indian citizen without an Aadhaar card could be denied government services.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Mickey Mouse Day

  •  On November 18th, Mickey Mouse Birthday commemorates the debut of a lovable mouse that was once a rabbit called Oswald. 
  • His character got his start on film on November 18, 1928, but before that, the story begins in 1927, when Walt Disney first sketched a floppy-eared bunny while under contract to Universal Studios. The events that unraveled brought us Mickey Mouse.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Ayush Minister Gives Away Rejoice National Ayush Awards To Health Sector Entities

  • Ayush Minister Shripad Yesso Naik gave away Rejoice National Ayush Awards to health sector entities for their significant contribution in providing health services through various programmes. 
  • The awards were initiated by Rejoice Health Foundation, a promoter of mankind health services in the country.
  • Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, Rama Devi attended the event. 
  • Over 200 delegates, including doctors from AYUSH stream, dignitaries as well as representative of various universities and associations also attended the event. 

Bajrang Punia Conferred With Indian Personality Of The Year Award

  •  Ace Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has been conferred the Indian Personality of the Year Award (Sports) at the Indo Arab Leaders Summit & Awards 2019 in Dubai.
  • World powerlifting champion Mahant Gaurav Sharma was honoured with Visionary Leaders of the Year (Sports) award.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

ICMR Inks Deal With US Body, Gates Foundation For Healthcare Research Collaboration

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) inked a declaration of intent with a US institution and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to take forward an ongoing collaborative research and training programme between the two countries.
  • The declaration of intent between ICMR and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) of the National Institutes of Health, USA and BMGF was exchanged in the presence of U.S Ambassador Kenneth I Juster and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates.

Uttarakhand Government Starts Virtual Classroom To Mitigate Teacher Shortage

  •  Benefitting around 1.90 lakh students from classes 6-12, the Uttarakhand government started the Virtual Classroom Project, an online method of teaching, where teachers sitting in specials studios in Dehradun will teach students live.
  • This project was started under the Information and Communication Technology scheme of 'Samagra Sikshar Abhiyan' in the state.
  • While launching the project, which in the initial phase covers 150 schools, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurated the first such studio in Dehradun. He even interacted with students from different schools from remote areas using the technology.

Odisha MP Achyuta Samanta Aspires To Set Up Free Educational Institutes Across Country

  •  Buoyed by the success of Odisha's Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, which provides free education to nearly 30,000 tribal students, it's founder Achyuta Samanta has said he aspired to launch similar projects in other states to fight social ills of poverty and naxalism.
  • In his home state, the Kandhamal MP said ten new centres would come up soon in tribal-dominated areas, in addition to the parent institute at Bhubaneswar and satellite units elsewhere in Odisha.
View Month Wise

ART AND CULTURE

50th International Film Festival of India Opens On November 20 In Goa

  • The 50th International Film Festival of India opens on 20th November, 2019 in Goa. The festival caters to over twelve thousand delegates. There is an Open Air Screening section where one can enjoy some of the blockbusters free.
  • The theme of the Open Air Screenings in the Golden Jubilee year is 'The Joy of Cinema'. 14 films including classics as well as comedies along with the movies from the related genres will be screened in this section.
  • Kishore Kumar's all-time hit, Padosan along with Chalti ka Naam Gaadi, lead the pack of movies.

NDRF To Train Unit To Save Heritage Structures

  •  The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will soon come up with a specialized unit in each battalion to help preserve monuments and other heritage structures battered by disasters, apart from its basic responsibility of rescue and restoration.
  • There will be a set of personnel in each battalion of NDRF who will get the basic training on preserving monuments. These personnel will have some sort of insights as to how to preserve heritage structures in the pre and post disaster scenario.

Emirates Post Issues Commemorative Stamp On Al Quds - Capital of Palestine

  •  Emirates Post, in association with Arab Postal Authorities, has issued a unified commemorative stamp entitled 'Al Quds - Capital of Palestine', to support Al Quds' cause and to protect its Arabian heritage, as well as serve a reminder of the emotional and cultural importance the city holds in the eyes of every Arab.
  • The Emirates News Agency reported that during a meeting in March 2018 in Muscat, Oman, the Arab Permanent Postal Committee agreed to issue a unified commemorative stamp entitled 'Al Quds - Capital of Palestine' in every Arab country, based on a favourable unilateral vote by all member states in response to Palestine's request.
  • The distinguished stamp design highlights the features of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the flag of Palestine. The design also shows a white dove symbolising peace.
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