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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

12 Jan 2020


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2020 Taiwanese Presidential Election

  •  The 15th Presidential and Vice Presidential election of the Republic of China was held in Taiwan on 11 January 2020 along with the 10th Legislative Yuan election. Incumbent president Tsai Ing-wen and former premier William Lai of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the election, defeating Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang (KMT) and his running mate Chang San-cheng, as well as third-party candidate James Soong.

Chinese Film Festival Shuts Down Amid Censorship

  •  One of China's longest-running independent film festivals has decided to shut down against the backdrop of mounting government censorship, saying it was no longer possible to run a "purely independent" festival in the country.

This Independence Day, The Anthem May Not Be Sung In Tamil

  •  More than three decades after Sri Lanka recognised Tamil as an official language like Sinhala, you would expect a debate on singing the national anthem in Tamil to be redundant. However, a controversy erupted recently after local media reported the Public Administration Ministry's decision to drop the Tamil version of the country's national anthem from its Independence Day celebration.
  • This would effectively reverse a practice that former President Maithripala Sirisena re-introduced a year after he was elected to the country's top post on the promise of good governance and reconciliation with the Tamil minority. On February 4, 2016, the Tamil national anthem was sung at the Independence Day celebrations for the first time since 1949, when it was last sung on the occasion, a year after the erstwhile-Ceylon gained Independence.
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Govt Approves Ordinance To Remove End User Restrictions, Boost FDI In Coal Mining

  •  India has opened up the coal sector completely for commercial mining for all local and global firms after easing restrictions on end-use and prior experience in auctions via an ordinance, but the mining minister said the move will not hurt state-monopoly Coal India.
  • The Union Cabinet approved promulgation of Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 to amend the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, as well as the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The amendment to the latter was required to begin auctions of iron ore mining leases before they expire in March 2020.
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Qatar Open 2020

  •  The season of good tidings is finally beginning to dawn in the world for Indian tennis as the duo of Rohan Bopanna and Welsey Koolhof pulled off a stunning comeback to lift the Qatar Open title. Fighting their way back from a set down, Bopanna and Koolhof displayed quality tennis en route to scripting victory in 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 and bagging the first doubles title of the season.
  • The third-seeded pair has taken down quite a few big names while making it to the summit clash against the unseeded British-Mexican duo of Luke Bambridge and Santiago Gonzalez in Doha. 
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Dharmendra Pradhan Unveils Mission Purvodaya

  •  Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched 'Mission Purvodaya' which aims at accelerated development of eastern India through integrated steel hub. The eastern belt has the potential to add more than 75 per cent of the country's incremental steel capacity envisioned by the National Steel Policy, he said adding it is expected that out of the 300 million tonne capacity by 2030-31, over 200 million tonne can come from this region alone. 
  • The mission will drive India's march towards USD 5 trillion economy set by the government.

Naga People's Front Suspends MP Kenye For Voting In Favour Of CAA

  •  The Opposition Naga People's Front (NPF) has suspended Rajya Sabha member K.G. Kenye from primary membership of the party almost a month after he voted in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
  • The NPF is no longer a friend of the BJP in Nagaland but is part of the BJP-headed coalition government in adjoining Manipur.

MHA Says 34 Lakh OCI Cards Issued

  •  The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has stated that more than 34 lakh Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registrations had been done but declined to divulge information relating to the number of persons whose OCI cards had been cancelled, citing non availability in a "consolidated form."
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India Erecting New 'Steel Fence' Along Pakistan, Bangladesh Borders

  •   India is erecting a new non-cut 'steel fence' to plug vulnerable and infiltration-prone patches along its sensitive border with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • They said the single-row fence, with loops of concertina wires on top, is being erected at a 60-km border stretch in near Amritsar in Punjab.
  • A 'pilot project' of this new fence is also being tested at a 7-km stretch in Assam's Silchar along India's border with Bangladesh and is being analysed by the BSF.
  • This fence will cost about ₹2 crore for a kilometre.

Naval Variant Of LCA Tejas Successfully Lands On Carrier

  •  The Naval variant of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk1 Tejas under development successfully completed the first arrested landing on board aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
  • After completing extensive trials on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) developed LCA Navy did an arrested landing on INS Vikramaditya successfully. Commodore Jaideep Maolankar did the maiden landing.
  • The Naval LCA successfully completed take-off and landing trials on the SBTF in Goa.

Iran Admits It Accidentally Shot Down Ukrainian Plane

  •  Iranian officials have admitted to accidentally shooting down a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet, killing all 176 on board. The government blamed "human error" for its military firing the missiles that destroyed the Boeing 737-800.
  • The Iranian government had previously maintained that engine failure caused the crash, which occurred shortly after the airliner took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport outside Tehran, bound for Kyiv. Many of the passengers were due to make a connecting flight to Toronto—82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians were among the dead.
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Lt Col Yuvraj Malik Appointed Director Of National Book Trust

  •  Lt Col Yuvraj Malik has been appointed the Director of the National Book Trust (NBT).
  • Malik, who has taken over from Sahitya Akademi-awardee writer Rita Chowdhury, joined the NBT on deputation from the Indian Army.
  • The officer has served with the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Raj Bhawan in Jammu & Kashmir, United Nation Missions in Africa and several operational areas in administrative and operational assignments including Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Punjab and Rajasthan.

Kannada Scholar Chidananda Murthy Passes Away

  •  Noted Kannada scholar, epigraphist and activist Chidananda Murthy passed away. He was 88.
  • He was ill for sometime and was being treated for age-related illness at a private hospital, where he breathed his last.

Government Appoints 2 Joint Secretaries, 38 Other Officials

  •  The government has appointed two joint secretaries, 13 deputy secretaries and 25 under secretary-rank officials in the newly-created department of military affairs headed by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat.
  • The appointments were made as per laid down roadmap to create an enabling set up for the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to implement the government's vision of ensuring tri-services synergy.
  • Two joint secretaries, 13 deputy secretaries and 25 under secretaries were appointed in the department of military affairs.
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National Youth Day (India)

  •  National Youth Day is celebrated on 12 January being the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. In 1984 the Government of India declared this day as National Youth Day and since from 1985 the event is celebrated in India every year. It was a decision of Government of India taken in 1984 to celebrate the birthday of great Swami Vivekananda, i.e. 12 January, as National Youth Day every year. The Government of India quoted that ' the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth Day.
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Madhya Pradesh To Honour Deepika Padukone At IIFA

  •  A day after exempting Chhapaak from entertainment tax, the Madhya Pradesh government kept the political pot boiling by announcing on Friday to honour actor Deepika Padukone during the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards).
  • The awards ceremony is to be hosted by the state for the first time since inception in 2000. Capital Bhopal and the state commercial hub Indore will be venues for the awards ceremony in March, 2020.

Jasprit Bumrah Receives Polly Umrigar And Dilip Sardesai Awards

  •  India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah headlined the BCCI Annual Awards function, grabbing the prestigious Polly Umrigar award apart from annexing the Dilip Sardesai honour for his exploits in international cricket in the 2018-19 season.
  • Polly Umrigar award is presented to the best male International cricketer and it carries a citation, trophy and cheque for Rs. 15 lakh.
  • Dilip Sardesai award is conferred on both the highest wicket-taker and highest run-getter in Test cricket. Bumrah took 34 wickets in six matches with three five-wicket hauls.
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Transgender Persons Act Comes Into Effect

  •  The Social Justice Ministry issued a notification on January 10, 2019, notifying the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, which was passed by Parliament on November 26 and given Presidential assent on December 5, 2019.
  • The Act aims to end discrimination against transgender persons in accessing education, employment and healthcare. It also recognises the right to self-perceived gender identity and provides for certification from a District Magistrate; in case a transgender person has had a gender-change surgery, the law says they can obtain a certificate from the medical facility where they had the operation, and apply for a change in their certificate.
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First-Year Students Of Karnataka Govt. Degree Colleges To Get Free Laptops

  •  The State government has decided to give free laptops to over a lakh students of first grade government colleges.
  • Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa will launch the free laptop distribution programme on the day of Swami Vivekananda Jayanti at the Sri Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru, by symbolically presenting laptops to a few students. Later, laptops will be distributed to all first-year degree students at government first grade colleges.
  • A total of 1.09 lakh students would get laptops. The estimated expenditure is ₹300 crore.

CJI Inaugurates New Building Of Karnataka Judicial Academy In Bengaluru

  •  The Chief Justice of India Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde inaugurated the phase-1 of the new building of the Karnataka Judicial Academy on Crescent Road in Bengaluru.
  • The new building has three floors, besides, the ground floor and two basement floors.
  • While Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa inaugurated the 319-seater multi-purpose auditorium, at which Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka felicitated Justice Bobde.
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India Amends Rules For U.S. airlines

  •  In an effort to resolve a persistent concern of the U.S., India will make exceptions for American airlines on its ground handling regulations that prohibit international carriers from operations beyond the check-in area.
  • However, these airlines will have to allow a security audit by Indian agencies, and ensure that Indian employees are tasked with sensitive operations.
  • Following the changes, U.S. airlines will have access control to the aircraft, can screen unaccompanied baggage, conduct secondary check of passengers at the ladder point and have security control of cargo.
  • Until now, foreign carriers had to enter into an agreement with an Indian airline for performing these activities.
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Ten Day Karavali Utsav Begins In Mangaluru

  •  A 10-day coastal Karnataka festival 'Karavali Utsav' began.
  • The festival will last till January 19, 2020 at Karavali Utsav Ground in Kadri Park at Panambur Beach.
  • The three-decade-old Karavali Utsav is a festival of Karwar, a coastal district of Karnataka which has its own culture and traditions.
  • The event brings unity within people as they come together to celebrate the festival season.
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