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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

08 Feb 2020


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Kosovo Gets New Prime Minister

  • Former rebel leader Albin Kurti was appointed as the new and 4th Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo by its parliament. Albin replaced Ramush Haradinaj as the PM, as Ramush resigned the post in July 2019 when he was summoned to be questioned at the war crimes court in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • Albin who is the leader of the political party Vetëvendosje (Self Determination), was famously known as Kosovo's Che Guevara (marxist leader) by reporters in the 1990s when he organised mass student protest against repression of Serbia.
  • He also served as the vice-president of the University of Prishtina Student Union in Kosovo, and a main organizer of non-violent demonstrations in 1997 and 1998.
  • The new govt under Albin has formed after lawmakers approved a coalition of his Vetevendosje party and the centre-right Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) party with 66 votes of support in the 120-member assembly.

UK Court Okays Dawood Aide's Extradition to the US

  • The Westminster magistrates court cleared the extradition of Jabir Motiwala, a close aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, to the United States, where he faces charges of money-laundering, extortion and drug trafficking.
  • Dawood Ibrahim is wanted in India for his alleged role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings which claimed lives of more than 200 people.
  • Motiwala is accused of laundering around US $1.4 million. The charges against him date back to 2011 and 2012 and could carry a sentence of around 25 years behind bars in the US.

Scottish Finance Chief Quits

  • Scotland's Finance Minister resigned after revelations he had reportedly sent hundreds of messages to a 16-year-old boy on social media.
  • As per Scottish Sun newspaper, Mackay sent the teen more than 270 messages on Facebook and Instagram, telling the boy he was "cute" and offering to take him to a rugby match and to dinner.
  • Mackay is not accused of breaking the law.
  • But Scottish Labour Party leader Richard Leonard said that his behavior had been "nothing short of predatory" and "an abuse of power." Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Mackay had also been suspended from the governing Scottish National Party.
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Reliance General Insurance Introduces Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan "Infinity"

  • Reliance General Insurance Company Limited, one of the leading insurance companies in India, launched a comprehensive health insurance plan called "Reliance Health Infinity".
  • Under the plan, the minimum sum insured will be Rs. 3 lakh while the maximum sum insured limit will be Rs. 1 crore.
  • Pre-hospitalisation expenses incurred for a period of 90 days and post-hospitalisation expenses for a period of 180 days will also be covered.
  • The health policy will also cover expenses for hospitalisation under AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) treatment.

Cognizant Tech Acquires EI Technologies and Code Zero Consulting Companies

  • Cognizant technology solutions corporation has made two strategic acquisitions EI technologies, a Paris-based digital technology consulting company and Code Zero, Georgia-based consultancy for cloud-based CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote) & Billing Solutions for the development of global salesforce practice before its fourth Quarter Earnings.
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UAE Discovers New Natural Jebel Ali Gas Field

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) discovered huge shallow gas resources called 'Jebel Ali gas field' with estimated reserves of 80 trillion standard cubic feet spanning an area of 5,000 square kilometres in the cross-border area of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
  • Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the government-owned energy giant, will jointly develop the reservoir with distributor the Dubai Supply Authority (DSA).
  • This discovery will enhance UAE's aim of achieving gas self-sufficiency & also help promote major development projects.
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Bangladesh to Meet India in final

  • Bangladesh stormed into its maiden ICC under-19 World Cup final with a comprehensive six-wicket win over New Zealand, setting up a title clash with record four-time champion India on 9th February.

SAI and Hockey India Launch 7 High Performance Hockey Centres

  • Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India announced the establishment of the High Performance Centers in 7 places across the country, for the young hockey players (14 to 24 years of age) to participate in 2024 and 2028 Olympic games.
  • The 7 High Performance Hockey centres will be set up under the Khelo India scheme and will have expert professional training, utilisation of sports science & education for the youngsters.
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India-Africa Look to Boost Anti-terror Ties

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that New Delhi looked forward to deepening cooperation with African nations, especially in combating terrorism, extremism, and for strengthening maritime security.
  • Addressing the first India- Africa Defence Ministers' Conclave held as part of the DefExpo- 2020 in Lucknow, Singh said that India was interested in taking its defence engagements with African countries to the next level. He recalled how this year's African Union theme was in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision for the India Pacific region.
  • Spurred by Prime Minister's SAGAR vision, India in recent years has enhanced maritime cooperation with the Indian Ocean littoral states in Africa. Indian Navy has been actively engaged in anti-piracy operations.
  • Singh's African counterparts also thanked India for taking the initiative in organising the first Indo-African Defence Ministers' Conclave and both India and African nations decided to hold such interactions frequently.

Dissent Brews within K'taka BJP after Cabinet Expansion

  • Ten new MLAs were inducted into the seven-month -old BS Yediyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka amid murmurs of discontent from party loyalists even as members officially played down any talk of dissent. All the ten new ministers had shifted from Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S), helping the saffron party topple the 14-month-old coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy. The BJP had promised the defectors ministerships after they won bypolls.

PM Modi Announces 15-member Trust for Ayodhya Temple

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Parliament about the formation of a trust to oversee the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. In this regard, 67.703 acres of land near the temple area was allocated to the trust.
  • This 15 member's trust will also include a Dalit representative who would be in-charge of the entire land.
  • The trust has been set up on the lines of Supreme Court direction to the central government in November 2019 to formulate a scheme with necessary provisions for the setting up of a trust within three months for the construction of the temple.
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Israel Completes Spike Missiles Supply to India

  • Israel completed the supply of the Spike Long Range (LR) Anti Tank guided missiles (AGTM) to India within three months of the order.
  • India had placed an order for the missiles post-Balakot operations to strengthen its capabilities vis-a-vis Pakistan and has also started deploying them on the line of Control with Pakistan.
  • Over 200 of the Spike missiles and their launchers have been procured from Israel by the Indian Army to meet its emergency requirements. The missiles which are supposed to be mainly used for anti-tank operations can also be used for destroying hardened shelters or bunkers which may be hiding terrorists.

India Working on 'Pranash' Ballistic Missile

  • India is working on a new tactical ballistic missile capable of striking targets at a range of 200 km. The surface-to-surface missile, being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, has been named 'Pranash'.
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Pranab Kumar Gogoi Passed Away

  • Former Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker and sitting Congress MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) Pranab kumar Gogoi, 84 years old passed away in Guwahati, Assam.
  • He was born on 19th August 1936 in Dibrugarh, Assam.
  • Pranab Kumar belongs to Indian National Congress (INC) party and was first elected as Legislator from the Assam Legislative Assembly from Sivasagar, Assam for 4 consecutive terms.
  • He also served as minister in the Tarun Gogoi-led cabinet from 2006-2011 and Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly in 2011.
  • In 2015, Pranab Kumar took the definition of the term 'Assamese'.
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International Development Week

  • International Development Week (IDW) is an annual initiative held during in February since 1991 to engage Canadians on global issues.
  • This uniquely Canadian tradition offers an opportunity to pause and to acknowledge Canadian contributions to poverty reduction and international humanitarian assistance in the developing world.
  • Canadians individuals, the government of Canada and civil society organisations mark this week by organising hundreds of activities across the country and abroad.
  • The 30th anniversary of International Development Week was celebrated from February 2 to 8.
  • This year, International Development Week celebrated its 30th anniversary under the theme "Go for the Goals". Referring to the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this theme illustrates the idea of moving forward in a collaborative and positive way toward a better world.
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Vinod shukla Wins First Mathrubhumi Book of the Year 2020 Award

  • Eminent Hindi poet-novelist and 1999 Sahitya Akademi honouree Vinod Kumar Shukla (83) has won the 1st Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award 2020 for his translated book 'Blue Is Like Blue', which deals with common people and their daily struggles.
  • He received this award from Kerala based Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhumi at the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters 2020 which concluded in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Uddhav Thackeray Presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Dinkar Keshav Raikar

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Bal Thackeray presented an award to senior journalist Dinkar Keshav Raikar for his contribution to journalism at Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Raikar was given the lifetime achievement award instituted by the Mantralaya & Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh.
  • Raikar is a consulting editor of Lokmat Group and completed 50 years in journalism.
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AP Govt. Creates History with 'Intivadhakey Pension' Scheme

  • The Andhra Pradesh (AP) state Government created a record with its 'Intivadhakey Pension' (Pension to your Doorstep) Scheme by covering 94 % of about 60 lakh pensioners at their doorstep within a few days. The scheme was launched in 13 districts on February 1, 2020.
  • AP is the 1st state in India to take up such an initiative of door delivery of pension service.
  • The AP government pays a monthly pension of Rs. 2,250 to the elderly, widows, weavers, toddy tappers, fishermen, single women and traditional cobblers and others, Rs. 3,000 for disabled and Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 for CKDU(Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) of uncertain origin) /Dialysis patients.
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