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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

08 Jan 2020

DAILY G.K. TEST

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Pakistan's National Assembly Passes Bills To Extend General Qamar Javed Bajwa's Tenure

  •  Pakistan's National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, passed three crucial bills to give extension to Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa for another three years.
  • Bajwa, a close confidant of Khan, was to retire on November 29 last year (2019) at the end of his three-year original term but Prime Minister Imran Khan gave the 59-year-old Army chief another extension of same length citing regional security situation through a notification on August 19.
  • The bills were approved by the Standing Committee on Defence, paving the way for approval by the Assembly.

Sanchez Wins Parliament Vote To Remain Spain PM

  •  Spain's Parliament confirmed Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez by a razor-thin margin as Prime Minister for another term at the helm of the country's first-ever coalition government since its return to democracy in the 1970s.
  • Mr. Sanchez, who has stayed on as a caretaker premier, won 167 votes in the 350-seat Assembly compared to 165 against, with a decisive 18 abstentions by Catalan and Basque separatist MPs.
  • He plans to form a minority coalition government with hard-left party Podemos this time around, in what would be the first coalition government in Spain since the country returned to democracy following the death of longtime dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
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ENVIRONMENT

Indian Cobra Genome Sequenced In Search For New Antivenom

  •  A large international team of researchers affiliated with corporate and academic institutions has sequenced the genome of the Indian cobra. In their paper published in the journal Nature Genetics, the group describes their goal of using the sequenced genome to develop an antivenom.
  • Every year, approximately 5 million people around the world are bitten by venomous snakes—approximately 400,000 lose limbs and 100,000 lose their lives. Scientists have identified what they call "the big four" of snakes—the four species of venomous snakes that inflict the most harm. 
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

RBI Allows 24x7 Forex Mkt Ops Via Select Banks

  •  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) selected banks in India that can offer forex rates to Indian clients beyond the inter-bank market hours, which now run from 9am to 5pm. In effect, this opens up the forex market in India round the clock, allowing Indians to hedge their foreign exchange risks at any time of the day. This will also make the offshore currency markets in Dubai and Singapore less attractive for Indian investors.
  • It has been decided to accept the recommendation of the task force on offshore rupee market to permit authorised dealers category-I banks to offer foreign exchange prices to users at all times, out of their Indian books, either by a domestic sales team or through their overseas branches.

Air India Disinvestment

  •  A Group of Ministers (GoM) headed, by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, approved the Expression of Interest (EoI) as well as the share purchase agreement for Air India's privatisation, a senior government official said.
  • The EoI and the share-purchase agreement would be issued in January 2020 itself. The last GoM meeting took place in September 2019.

Exim Bank Raises $1 Bn Via Overseas Bond Sale To Execute Regular Activities

  •  The Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has raised $1 billion (over Rs 7,000 crore) through an overseas bond sale which will be used for its regular activities.
  • The bank has raised the money at the lowest ever coupon for any Indian issuer in history and added this is the first time in nearly two years that an Indian company has raised $1 billion in a single tranche.
  • It has raised the money from 184 global investors by issuing ten-year bonds and expressed satisfaction with the final pricing.
  • The money was raised at a pricing of 1.50 per cent over the US Treasury rate as against a guidance of 1.75 per cent on the back of an over-subscription, with the total order book touching $2.7 billion.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA's Tess Planet Hunter Finds Its First Earth-Size World In "Habitable Zone"

  •  NASA's newest planet hunter just bagged some big game.
  • For the first time, the agency's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a roughly Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of its host star, the zone of orbital distances where liquid water could be stable on a world's surface.
  • The newfound exoplanet, known as TOI 700 d, lies just 101.5 light-years from Earth, making it a good candidate for follow-up observations by other instruments.
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SPORTS

Sadio Mane: Liverpool And Senegal Forward Named Caf African Player Of The Year

  •  Liverpool's Sadio Mane has been named the Confederation of African Football's (Caf) Player of the Year.
  • The Senegal forward beat Liverpool team-mate and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah and Manchester City's Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez to the award.
  • Mane, 27, helped the Reds to the 2018-19 Champions League title, scoring 30 goals in all competitions last season.
  • He has scored 15 goals so far in 2019-20, with Liverpool 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

2nd National GST Conference Held For Streamlining GST System

  •  The 2nd National GST Conference of the Commissioners of State Tax and Chief Commissioners of Central Tax was held under the chairmanship of Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Revenue Secretary, Ministry of Finance.
  • The multi-faceted Conference was focused on brainstorming session for streamlining Goods and Services Tax (GST) system and plugging revenue leakages. This was the 2nd edition of all India Conference where both tax administrations came together formally to build synergy and to share their knowledge and best practices with intent to bring about uniformity in tax administrations.
  • During the Conference, deliberations were held on a mechanism and machinery for disseminating inter-departmental data among various agencies like GSTC, CBDT, CBIC, FIU, DoR, DGGI and State Tax Administrations etc. in order to achieve efficiency in curbing evasion and augment revenue collection.

AAP Forms Three-Member Panel To Draft Its Election Manifesto

 The Aam Aadmi Party announced a three-member 'manifesto committee' for drafting the party's manifesto for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections.
The three-member committee includes, senior party leader Atishi as the chairperson, Vice Chairperson of Dialogue & Development Commission (DDC), Jasmine Shah and party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar as the members.
All the three members will incorporate suggestions of people and the vision of our party while preparing the manifesto. The manifesto will be released between January 15 and 20, 2020.

All 4 Nirbhaya Case Convicts To Be Hanged On January 22

  •  Court issues death warrants on a plea by the victim's parents to expedite their execution.
  • All the four convicts in the December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case will be hanged on January 22, 2020 at 7 a.m. inside the Tihar jail.
  • Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora issued the death warrants for convicts Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta on a plea by the victim's parents to expedite their execution.
  • Before passing the order, the judge conducted a video conference call with the convicts who are lodged in Tihar to hear their side of the argument.
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DEFENCE

Iran's parliament designates all us forces as 'terrorists'

  •  Iran's parliament has unanimously passed a bill designating the United States' forces as "terrorists" over the assassination of top military commander Qassem Soleimani in an air attack in Iraq.
  • Soleimani, the popular head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) foreign operations arm Quds Force, was killed in a US drone attack outside Baghdad airport on Friday, ratcheting up tensions between the arch-foes.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Padma Bhushan Artist Akbar Padamsee No More

  •  Celebrated painter and artist Akbar Padamsee died at the Isha Yoga Center near Coimbatore .
  • One of the most versatile and prolific artists of the modern age, Akbar Padamsee, a long-time resident of Isha, passed away at 91, owing to natural causes arising out of ageing. His last rites were performed at the Yoga Center .

Shri Arun Kumar Sahu Accredited As The High Commissioner Of India To The Commonwealth Of Dominica

  •  Shri Arun Kumar Sahu (IFS:1996), High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, has been concurrently accredited as the next High Commissioner of India to the Commonwealth of Dominica, with residence in Port of Spain.

Sakthivel Took Over As AEPC India Chairman

  •  Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (AEPC) has appointed A Sakthivel as the new chairman of the organisation.
  • The industry had been struggling to survive and the exports growth were stagnant.
  • They will work to find new and potential markets for India's garment exports.
  • Sakthivel along with some exporters had founded Tirupur Exporters Association in 1990.
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DAYS AND EVENTS

Kochi To Host Global Investors Meet On 9-10 Jan

 Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate a two-day ASCEND 2020 global investors meet in Kochi on January 9, 2020.
Showcasing 100-plus projects across nine sessions that include six panel discussions, the event will seek to invigorate development in sectors such as petrochemicals, agro & food-processing, defence, life sciences, aeropolis, tourism & hospitality, ports and harbour, fisheries, infrastructure, mobility development, logistics and electronic hardware. Of the projects proposed to be taken up based on a feasibility study by KPMG, 18 will be large scale with an investment of more than Rs 100 crores.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar Confers First Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman To 30 Media Houses

  •  The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar conferred the First Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas to 30 media organizations, at an event in National Media Centre, New Delhi.
  • Addressing the gathering, Shri Javadekar described the award as a unique honour to media organizations that contributed to the spread of Yoga for the benefit of society. 
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Punjab Government Sanctions Rs 650 Crore Rejuvenation Plan For Budah Nallah In Ludhiana

  •  Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has approved Rs 650 crore for the rejuvenation of highly polluting Budah Nallah.
  • The Chief Minister has also asked the local government department to ensure the timely completion of the project, within two years.
  • Presiding over a high-level meeting, Amarinder directed Sanjay Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary of local government, to take all necessary steps for the rejuvenation of Budah Nallah, having a total length of 47.55 km, of which 14 km passes through Ludhiana city.
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