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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

27 Dec 2020

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Nepal SC Notice to Oli Govt. over Parliament Dissolution

  • Nepal's Supreme Court issued a show-cause notice to the KP Sharma Oli-led government, asking it to submit a written clarification over its decision to abruptly dissolve parliament.
  • The notice was issued after a preliminary hearing at the five-member Constitutional Bench, headed by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, on the writ petitions filed against the government's decision to dissolve the 275-member House of Representatives. The Bench sought the written clarification from the office of the Prime Minister, Council of Ministers and the President as they are made defendants in all writ petitions.
  • The court has also asked the government to submit an original copy of the recommendations made by the government to dissolve the House and the decision made by President Bidya Devi Bhandari to authenticate the government's recommendations within 10 days.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Honda Halts Production at Noida Facility

  • Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) formally announced closure of manufacturing operations at its Greater Noida facility in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The automaker said that the decision to cease production at the plant, which came up in 1997, has been taken as part of realignment of manufacturing operations with the goal of improving business efficiency.
  • With the closure of Greater Noida facility, HCIL has also discontinued CR-V and Civic models in the country. Both the models were being manufactured at the plant.

DLF Rental Arm to buy Hines Stake in Commercial Project in Gurgaon

  • Realty major DLF's rental arm DCCDL has entered into an agreement to acquire the stake of US-based Hines in a premium commercial project in Gurugram for Rs. 780 crore.
  • DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd (DCCDL), the joint venture firm of DLF and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, has entered into a securities purchase agreement with funds managed by Hines for acquisition of their stake in Fairleaf Real Estate, which owns and operates 'One Horizon Center'.
  • The purchase consideration for this acquisition is approximately Rs. 780 crore, subject to customary closing adjustments.

India to Become 5th Largest Economy in 2025, 3rd Largest by 2030: CEBR

  • According to Centre for Economics and Business Research, India, which appears to have been pushed back to being the world's sixth biggest economy in 2020, will again overtake the UK to become the fifth largest in 2025 and race to the third spot by 2030.
  • India had overtaken the UK in 2019 to become the fifth largest economy in the world but has been relegated to 6th spot in 2020.
  • The CEBR forecasts that the Indian economy will expand by 9 per cent in 2021 and by 7 per cent in 2022.
  • The UK-based think tank forecast that China will in 2028 overtake the US to become the world's biggest economy.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Nuro Set to Be California's First Driverless Delivery Service

  • California has given the go-ahead for a commercial driverless delivery service for the first time.
  • Robotics start-up Nuro plans to start its driverless delivery operations as early as next year.
  • It previously tested its R2 vehicles in the state in April, but the permit will let it charge people for its service.
  • The firm's vehicles will be limited to 35 mph (56 km/h), and will be restricted to operating in fair weather conditions.
  • Issuing the first deployment permit is a significant milestone in the evolution of autonomous vehicles in California.
  • Nuro was founded by two former Google engineers and has funding from Japanese firm Softbank.
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SPORTS

BCCI AGM Approves 10 Teams for 2022 IPL

  •  The governing body of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ratified the entry of two new franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to make it a 10-team affair from 2022 during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Ahmedabad.
  • From 2022 10 teams will participate in IPL instead of 8 teams.
  • In another major development, the Board, in principle, decided to back the ICC's bid for the inclusion of cricket, in the T20 format, in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics "after getting some clarifications from the International Olympic Committee".
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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

JD (U) Suffers Setback in Arunachal Pradesh, 6 MLAs Switches over to BJP

  • The Janata Dal (United) received a major jolt in Arunachal Pradesh, with six of its seven MLAs shifting allegiance to the ruling BJP.
  • The lone MLA from the People's Party of Arunachal (PPA), Kardo Nyigyor from Likabali constituency, has also joined the saffron party. The development comes a day ahead of the announcement of the panchayat and municipal poll results.
  • The JD (U) MLAs who switched sides are Talem Taboh from Rumgong Assembly Constituency, Hayeng Mangfi (Chayang Tajo), Jikke Tako (Tali), Dorjee Wangdi Kharma (Kalaktang), Dongru Siongju (Bomdila) and Kanggong Taku from Mariyang-Geku constituency.

General Secretary of MNM Joins BJP Ahead of Tamil Nadu Polls

  • In a setback to Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan, ahead of the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, general-secretary A. Arunachalam joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • Arunachalam hails from a village in the Tuticorin district. The development came at a time when Haasan is campaigning for the forthcoming state elections.

NGT Extends Term of Oversight Committee to Monitor Pollution of Ganga

  • The National Green Tribunal has extended the term of an oversight committee to monitor pollution of Ganga River and oversee compliance of environmental norms in Uttar Pradesh.
  • A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that unless the UP government sets up any other effective alternative mechanism, it may not be advisable to close the committee abruptly.
  • Accordingly, the term of the oversight committee, for the time being, will be extended for six months. If the State of UP has any other suggestion, it will be open to put forward the same.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Arya Rajendran set to Become India's Youngest Mayor from Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram

  • The CPI(M) has chosen 21-year-old Arya Rajendran as its Mayor candidate after the party's district committee and state committee sanctioned her candidature. She is a first-time councillor from Mudavanmugal division of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation.
  • Arya Rajendran is a B.Sc. Mathematics student and is the party's Chala area committee member. She will be the youngest Mayor of the country, and with this, the party leadership is expecting to have more educated women into the leadership role.
  • The name of a 23-year-old first-time councillor from Vanchiyoor division, Gayatri Babu had also come up during the discussion, but Arya was given the green signal as she is the state president of the "Balasangam", the party's children's wing and also the CPI(M) area committee member.
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GENDER/ HEALTH/ EDUCATION

Odisha Government Launches 'Career Portal' for Secondary, Higher Secondary Students

  • The Odisha government in collaboration with UNICEF has launched a 'career portal' for secondary and higher secondary students. The portal will provide easy access to information on different careers and will give students an opportunity to interact with teachers.
  • Students will also be able to access career guidance services through a mobile-friendly app created specifically for the portal. The official portal which was launched can be accessed through the website http://www.odishacareerportal.com with the student login ID and password. The Odisha career guidance portal is available in Odia. It is a unique platform that aggregates information on careers, colleges, vocational institutes, entrance exams, and scholarships.
  • The portal includes information on more than 550 career paths and students will be able to access more than 2,62,000 colleges and vocational institutes with the information on 17,000 plus undergraduate, postgraduate colleges, and vocational institutes in the state and country.
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BOOKS AND AUTHORS

PM Modi Release book on ex-PM on His 96th Birth Anniversary

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a book titled 'Atal Bihari Vajpayee' in Parliament, a commemorative volume on the former Prime Minister on the 96th birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister. 
  • To mark the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which is celebrated as Good Governance Day, President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and several other leaders and ministers paid rich floral tributes to Vajpayee earlier in the day.
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