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ICG co-hosts 12th ReCAAP ISC capacity building workshop in New Delhi
Indian Coast Guard (ICG) co-hosted the 12th Capacity Building workshop in cooperation with the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC) in New Delhi. It began on June 19, 2019 and will conclude on June 20, 2019. It is organized to deepen knowledge on issues related to piracy and armed robbery.
i. It was inaugurated by Additional Director General, Indian Coast Guard V SR Murthy along with Mr Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP.
ii. 31 International delegates from 19 countries participated in the workshop. Along with this, officials from national stakeholders like major ports, state maritime boards, state marine police, Directorate General of Shipping and Indian National Ship-Owners Association also participated in the event.
The ReCAAP is the first regional Government-to-Government agreement to deal with piracy and armed robbery at sea in Asia. Currently, 20 countries are members of ReCAAP. India played an active role in the setting up and functioning of ReCAAP ISC along with Japan and Singapore. Union Government has designated ICG as the focal point within India for ReCAAP. India has also hosted this workshop in November 2011 at Goa and December 2017 at New Delhi.
About Indian Coast Guard (ICG):
♦ Motto: We Protect
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
Ireland plans to ban sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030
In order to combat greenhouse gas emissions, Ireland Government decided to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 as part of a major strategy to protect the environment. This is one of 180 measures the Irish government published in the ‘Climate Action Plan’.
i. The “Climate Action Plan” also includes the elimination of non-recyclable plastic and higher fees on the production of materials that are difficult to recycle.
ii. The country hopes that by the time the petrol and diesel vehicle ban is introduced in 2030 there will be 950,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads. To this, the government decided to invest in a nationwide charging network.
iii. The Irish Government’s objective is to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society and put the country to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
iv. Besides the ban of the sale of new fossil fuel cars, the government decided that it would stop granting National Car Test (NCT) certificates to such vehicles by 2045.
♦ Capital : Dublin
♦ Currency: Euro
♦ Prime Minister: Leo Varadkar
♦ President :Michael D. Higgins
12th session of Conference of States Parties to Convention to Rights of PwDs 2019 held in New York
On June 12,2019, The 12th session of Conference of States Parties to the Convention to Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) 2019 held at the UN (United Nations) headquarters, New York. Mrs Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment participated in the conference.
i. She emphasized the Government’s commitment to the implementation of UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ) and SDGs(Sustainable Development Goals).
ii. She added that the main focus of India has been to create accessibility, provide aids and appliances and rehabilitation services to meet psychosocial challenges, and finding IT solutions to make the lives of Divyangjans more simple and satisfying.
iii. The commitment given by Gamlin also includes weightage given to disabled women, launch of sign language dictionary, and building capacity of sign language interpreters, Establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation for addressing issues of psycho social disabilities and disability sports facility and development of a national early intervention programme for children of 0-6 years of age.
Overarching theme of the 12th session
Ensuring inclusion of persons with disabilities in a changing world through the implementation of the CRPD
Indian high commissioner Riva Ganguly Das visited Indo-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge 1
On June 16, 2019, Riva Ganguly Das, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh visited the construction of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge 1 (Feni Bridge/ Maitree Setu) and land port in Ramgarh Upazila of Khagrachhari, Bangladesh.
i. The construction of the bridge over Feni River had begun in 2017 and is expected to be completed by April 2020. It will connect Tripura with Chittagong port of Bangladesh.
ii. Its foundation for construction was laid down jointly by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2015.
iii. The cost of construction of the bridge is more than Rs.82 crores. It is being constructed by National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) of Union Ministry of Road and Transport highways (MoRTH).
iv. Land port in Ramgarh will serve as a link between India and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. It will ease export-import procedure of businessmen and also reduce unemployment.
v. Feni Bridge/ Maitree Setu will improve economy of hill tracts and the communication & trade of Bangladesh with Tripura and other regions in India.
♦ Capital: Dhaka
♦ Currency: Bangladeshi taka
♦ Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
WHO launched a new tool to handle AMR named “AWaRe”
On June 18, 2019, The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global campaign “AdoptAWaRe, Handle antibiotics with care” urging governments to adopt a tool named “AWaRe” (Access, Watch, and Reserve), to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), adverse events and costs.
i. It is developed by the WHO Essential Medicines List.
ii. It classified antibiotics into three groups – Access (antibiotics used to treat the most common and serious infections), Watch (antibiotics available at all times in the healthcare system), and Reserve (antibiotics to be used sparingly or preserved and used only as a last resort).
iii. The aim is to increase the proportion of global consumption of antibiotics in the Access group to at least 60% and to reduce the usage of the antibiotics at risk of resistance from the Watch and Reserve groups.
iv. On June 19, 2019, the AWaRe campaign was officially launched by the Ministers of Health of The Netherlands and Indonesia and WHO Assistant-Director General Hanan Balkhy, at the second ministerial conference on AMR in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
About World Health Organization:
♦ Established: April 7, 1948
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Director-General: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
IIT-Bombay secured top position among Indian institutions in QS World University Ranking 2020
In the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Ranking 2020, The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-Bombay) emerged as India’s best institution. For the past three years, it has been securing the top position among Indian institutes. It was followed by IIT Delhi and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. These are the only three universities in India that made it to the top 200 universities in the world.
i. The ranking comprised of world’s top 1000 colleges which were divided on the basis of several factors including subjects, location, study level, academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact.
ii. IIT Bombay secured 152th rank, IIT Delhi secured 182th rank and IISc Bangalore secured 184th rank.
ii. IIT-Madras (271), IIT-Kharagpur (281), IIT-Kanpur (291) and IIT-Roorkee (383) are among the top 400 institutes. IIT-Guwahati, was ranked 491 and the Delhi University was placed at 474th rank.
iv. O P Jindal Global University (JGU), established in 2009, became the youngest university to break into top 1,000 in the rankings.
v. Other universities figured in the rankings are Jamia Millia Islamia, Jadavpur University, Aligarh Muslim University, Hyderabad University, Calcutta University and Mumbai University.
List of World’s top 10 universities as per QS World University Ranking 2020:
|Rank||Name of the University|
|1.||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)|
|4.||California Institute of Technology (Caltech)|
|5.||University of Oxford|
|6.||University of Cambridge|
|7.||ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology|
|8.||Imperial College London|
|9.||University of Chicago|
|10.||University College London (UCL)|
About QS World University Ranking:
♦ It is an annual publication of university rankings.
♦ Publishers: Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd
India extended $15 million grant to Niger to organize the AU summit
India extended $15 million grant to Niger to organize the African Union (AU) Summit scheduled from 7-8 July, 2019 in Niamey, Niger. It was symbolically handed over to Mrs. Lamido Ousseini Bala Goga Salamatou, Deputy Foreign Minister, Government of Niger in the presence of Mr Mohammed Saidil Moctar, Minister and Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Niger by Ambassador of India to Niger Shri Rajesh Agarwal at a ceremony held on 17 June 2019, in Niamey.
i. Niger will be hosting the AU Summit for the first time and it is expected to launch the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
ii. In Niamey, India is establishing Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) under grant assistance in order to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary (October 2, 2019).
iii. Since 2009, Bilateral relations between both countries have expanded after the opening of the Indian Resident Diplomatic Mission in Niamey. India has also provided Lines of Credit (LoC) worth $96.54 million to Niger for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy, and potable drinking water.
♦ Capital: Niamey
♦ Currency: CFA franc, West African CFA franc
♦ President: Mahamadou Issoufou
Facebook confirmed the launch of cryptocurrency ‘Libra’ in 2020
On June 8, 2019, Facebook confirmed that it will launch a blockchain-powered stable-coin ‘Libra’ in 2020 through the release of white paper. It will be a form of digital money backed by a reserve of assets. It will be governed by the independent Libra Association, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
i. The head of the project is David Marcus. He has served as the president of PayPal and head of Facebook Messenger.
ii. Facebook introduced Calibra, it’s digital wallet, which will provide financial services and it will be integrated into Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other approved third-party wallets.
iii. Libra Association has 27 partners which includes venture capital firms, nonprofit organizations, crypto firms, and massive corporate financial, telecommunications, and technology service providers like Coinbase, Mastercard, Visa, eBay, PayPal, Stripe, Spotify, Uber, Lyft, and Vodafone.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Indian Railways and REL signed MoU for modernisation of signalling system on four sections
On June 17, 2019, Indian Railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RailTel Enterprises Limited (REL), a wholly-owned subsidiary company of RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, to upgrade its signalling system on 4 busiest sections. It includes Automatic Train Protection System with Long Term Evolution (LTE) based Mobile Train Radio Communication System (MTRC) along with the provision of Electronic Interlocking (indoor) wherever required. It was signed by the Executive Director of Signal Development (Railway Board), Pradeep M Sikdar, Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board, Kashinath, and CMD (Chief Managing Director) of Railtel, Puneet Chawla.
i. The project will be implemented on the 165 route km on the Renigunta-Yerraguntla section of the South Central Railway, 145 route km on the Vizianagaram-Palasa section of the East Coast Railway, 155 route km on the Jhansi-Bina section of the North Central Railway and 175 km route on the Nagpur-Badnera Section of the Central Railway.
ii. Estimated cost of the project is Rs 1,609 crore and it is expected to complete in 24 months.
iii. Automatic Train Protection System and LTE based MRTC helps to improve safety, reduce congestion in the rail networks. It increases line capacity, improves punctuality and increases average speed of trains.
iv. The MTRC system will be installed using LTE backbone for communication between train running staff, drivers, guards and control office.
About Indian Railways:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 8 May 1845
♦ Minister of Railways: Piyush Goyal
About RailTel Corporation of India:
♦ Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana
♦ Founded: September 2000
Fitch reduces India growth forecast for FY20 from 6.8% to 6.6%
On June 17, 2019, Fitch reduced India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal year (FY20) from 6.8% to 6.6% due to the slow down of manufacturing and agriculture sectors over the past years.
i. In the latest Global Economic Outlook, it retained its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast for the fiscal 2020-21 at 7.1% and 7% for 2021-22.
ii. GDP growth of India declined for the fourth consecutive quarter in January-March 2019, with the economy expanding by 5.8%. It was reduced from a cyclical high of 8.1% in the March quarter of 2018.
iii. In 2018-19, Indian economy grew at a 5-year low pace of 6.8%.
iv. By the end of 2019, Fitch expects the rupee to be around 70 to the US dollar and 71 by 2020.
v. It reduced the world growth forecast for 2020 to 2.7% from 2.8%. China’s growth was forecasted at 6% from 6.1%. United States growth would be lower at 1.8% against 1.9%.
vi. Fitch expected the world economy to grow at 2.8% in 2019, down from 3.2% in 2018.
About Fitch Ratings:
♦ Fitch Ratings is a subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation.
♦ Headquarters: New York, USA
♦ CEO: Paul Taylor
♦ President: Ian Linnell
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Amazon emerges country’s Most Attractive Employer Brand for 2019:Survey
According to the “ Randstad Employer Brand Research 2019 report (REBR)” states that e-commerce giant, Amazon India emerged as the country’s most attractive employer brand for the year 2019. It is followed by Microsoft India (2nd) which emerged as the runner up and Sony India(3rd ).
i. The ranking was on the basis of financial health, utilization of the latest technologies and a strong reputation.
ii. Others among the top most attractive employer brands in India for 2019 include Mercedes-Benz ( 4th), IBM (5th ), Larsen & Toubro (6th ), Nestle (7th ), Infosys (8th), Samsung (9th ) and Dell (10th ).
iii. The REBR covered 75 percent of the global economy with 32 participating countries and more than 2,00,000 respondents worldwide.
iv. For the Indian workforce, while choosing an employer, salary and employee benefits continue to be the top driver followed by work-life balance and job security.
v. The survey further notified that 55 percent of Indians prefer to work for a large multi-national corporation, while only 9 percent preferred start-ups.
♦ CEO: Jeff Bezos
♦ Founded: 5 July 1994
♦ Headquarters :Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Maharashtra topped the USGBC list of Top 10 States for LEED in India
In the Second Edition of the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) list of India’s top 10 states which have the maximum number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified green buildings, Maharashtra bagged the top slot with 334 LEED-certified green buildings. It was followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with 232 and 157 buildings respectively.
i. LEED is a widely used green building rating system which ranks states in terms of cumulative Gross Square Feet (GSF) of certified space. They were ranked as on December 31, 2018.
ii. In the 1st Edition of the list, Tamil Nadu was ranked first with 118 buildings.
iii. Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan is the Managing Director, Southeast Asia and Middle East, USGBC and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).
|Rank||State||No. of LEED certified projects||Certified GSF in Millions|
♦ Headquarters: Washington DC
♦ Founded: 1993
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Om Birla named as the new Lok Sabha Speaker by the NDA
A two-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) from Rajasthan’s Kota district, Om Birla, aged 56, was unanimously elected as the new Speaker of 17th Lok Sabha. 13 motions were moved in support of Om Birla as the Speaker. His candidature as the Speaker was supported by all major parties including Congress, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC or TMC), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD). He will succeed Sumitra Mahajan (2014-2019) and pro-tem speaker of 17th Lok Sabha Virendra Kumar.
i. He was elected as the speaker by pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar.
ii. A three-time Member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from Kota South, Birla was born on November 23, 1962 and is an M.Com (Master of Commerce) student from Government Commerce College, Kota.
iii. He was elected to the Rajasthan Assembly for three consecutive terms in 2003, 2008 and 2013.
iv. He has served as the Parliamentary secretary with the rank of Minister of State in the Vasundhara Raje Government between 2003 and 2008.
♦ Capital: Jaipur
♦ Chief Minister: Ashok Gehlot
♦ Governor: Kalyan Singh
♦ National Parks: Mukundra Hills (Darrah) National Park, Desert National Park, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Ranthambhore National Park, Sariska National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Mount Abu WLS, Nahargarh WLS, Kesarbagh WLS, Sariska WLS, Van Vihar WLS, Sawai Man Singh WLS etc
Shri Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi gets extension as Director General, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)
Shri Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi, IAS of 1986 batch of Bihar cadre gets an extension as Director General (DG), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) of over 3 months.
i. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the extension beyond 18th June to 30th September.
About Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT):
- It is attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
- It is headed by Director General.
- Headquarter – New Delhi
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Microsoft’s GitHub takes over pull panda for code-review collaboration
On June 17, 2019, Microsoft owned GitHub announced that it has acquired US (United States)-based start-up Pull Panda, a firm that creates code review tools for the platform for an undisclosed sum.
i. Pull Panda previously offered its products include Pull Reminders, Pull Analytics, and Pull Assigner as a subscription model. With this acquisition, all these products are now available for free at GitHub Marketplace.
ii. Microsoft acquired GitHub in June 2018 for $7.5 billion, one of its largest acquisitions till date.
iii. The acquisition would support automatic reminders, real-time insight into the effectiveness of a team’s process, make data-driven improvements and automatically distribute code across teams.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States
CEO: Nat Friedman
i. It is a web-based hosting service, mostly used for computer coding.
ii. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management functionality of Git as well as adding its own features
Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka remain as World No. 1 in the tennis rankings
According to recently released “Women’s Tennis Association (WTA)” and “Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP)” rankings, Naomi Osaka (Japan) and Novak Djokovic( Serbia) continued as world number ones.
i. Naomi Osaka is just 252 points ahead of world number two Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the top 20 WTA rankings.
ii. Novak Djokovic tops the chart in men’s ATP rankings ahead of Rafael Nadal of Spain (French Open winner 2019) and former World number one Roger Federer of Switzerland.
Women’s Tennis Association (WTA)
i. It is the principal organizing body of women’s professional tennis and is restricted to women.
ii. The body governs WTA Tour which is worldwide professional tennis tour for women.
iii. It was founded in 1973.
Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP)
i. It is the principal governing body of men’s professional tennis.
ii. It was founded in September 1972.
Gary Woodland wins 119th US Open 2019 by beating Brooks Koepka
American professional golfer Gary Woodland (35) has won the 119th United States (US) open 2019 held at the at Pebble Beach Golf Links, California.
i. Gary Woodland went pro in 2007 and briefly competed on the Nationwide Tour.
ii. Woodland has competed on the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) Tour since 2009 and has four wins.
Punjab Police (Men) and Eastern Railway (Women) won 2019 Federation Cup trophies in Greater Noida
The 33rd Federation Cup Basketball Championship for Men and Women for the year 2019 was held at the Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The Punjab Police (Men) and Eastern Railway (Women) won the prestigious gold medals in the tournament. The tournament was held from June 12-16, 2019 and was organised by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and the Uttar Pradesh Basketball Association (UPBA).
i. 9 teams from men’s unit and 8 teams from women’s unit participated in the event.
ii. Eastern Railway Women led by Libina MJ (28) and India’s tallest women basketball player Poonam Chaturvedi (26) defeated Tamil Nadu (TN) with 86-67 scores. TN’s rising young star Dharshini Thirunavukkarasu had awarded 19 scores for her team.
iii. Punjab Police won over the physical Indian Army squad with 91-71 scores. Arsh Preet Bhullar got 24 points and Amjyot added 20. For Army, Sunil Rathee (18) and Gopal Ram (16) were the top scorers.
iv. Arsh Preet Bhullar (Punjab Police) and Libina MJ (Eastern Railway) were named as Men and Women’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) respectively.
v. Teams from Income Tax (Men) and Kerala (Women) secured the third position.
vi. The top three teams received Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 50,000, and Rs. 25,000 respectively.
About Basketball Federation of India:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1950
Mohamed Morsi, former President of Egypt passed away in Cairo, Egypt
Mohamed Morsi, former President of Egypt passed away at the age of 67 in Cairo, Egypt. He was born in El Adwah, Sharqia Governorate, Kingdom of Egypt.
ii. A top figure in the Muslim Brotherhood who was the first democratically elected President in Egypt’s modern history, had been in jail since he was toppled by the military in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
iii. His death sentence was overturned in November 2016 and a retrial ordered. He died during a court hearing on 17 June 2019.
Dronacharya awardee, veteran athletics coach N Lingappa passed away in Bengaluru
Veteran athletics coach N. Lingappa passed away at the age of 95 in Bengaluru, Karnataka due to age-related illness. He was a resident of Bengaluru.
ii. He had trained several international athletes like D.Y. Biradar, P.C. Ponnappa (400m silver medallist at the Bangkok Asian Games in 1970), Uday Prabhu and Ashwini Nachappa.
iii. He won a silver medal in 10 km walk in the first National Games held in Delhi in 1954.
iv. He was a coach of the Indian athletics team at four successive Olympic Games, three Asian Games and numerous State and National-level meets.
- In 1987, he won Karnataka State Dasara award,
- In 1994, he won Rajyotsava award,
- In 2002, he won Karnataka Olympic Association award for outstanding coach,
- In 2002, he won Kempegowda award,
- In 2014, he won prestigious Dronacharya award in recognition of his work as a coach.
International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict observed on June 19,2019
On 19th June 2019, International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict was observed all over the world. This day aims to create awareness on the necessity to curb conflict-related sexual violence, and to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence throughout the world.
i. In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly declared 19 June as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict by adopting a resolution (A/RES/69/293).
ii. This day also honours people who have devoted their lives to fight against these crimes.
About United Nations:
♦ Headquarters: New York, United States
♦ Founded: 24 October 1945
♦ United Nations Secretary general: António Guterres
Autistic Pride Day is being observed on June 18, 2019
On June 18, 2019, Autistic Pride Day was observed all around the world. It recognizes the importance of pride for autistics and understands it not as a disease but as a difference.
i. Autistic Pride Day was initiated by Aspies For Freedom, a group that raises public awareness about autism rights.
ii. Autism is a neurological developmental disability that affect the development of normal brain, hampers communication, social interaction, cognition and behavior.
iii. It is a lifelong condition which usually occurs in the first three years of life. The exact cause of autism is not known.
Uttar Pradesh state cabinet gives approval to 6 proposals
On June 18, 2019, The Uttar Pradesh state cabinet chaired by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath approved six Proposals including the one to convene the state Assembly’s Monsoon Session from July 18, 2019.
i. The cabinet has also gave its assent to a proposal regarding the formation of Gorakhpur Zoological Park with the cost of Rs 181.82 crore. It would be called as Ashfaqullah Zoological Park.
ii. The Umbrella Act has also been approved through which 27 universities across the state will come under one Act. At present, 27 private universities in the state are governed by their own acts.
iii. The state cabinet approved the formation of education tribunal. The tribunal will comprise a chairman, two vice-chairmen and several other members. A total of Rs 6.15 crores will be spent on this and it will help in resolving disputes in the education sector.
iv. The Cabinet has sanctioned Rs 30.34 crore for building a college named after Mahant Avaidyanath in Gorakpur.
v. The Government has also set a target to plant 22 crore saplings by August 15,2019, for which saplings will be provided across the state free of cost.
About Uttar Pradesh
♦ Capital: Lucknow
♦ Governor: Ram Naik
♦ Wildlife Sanctuary: Bakhira WLS,Chandraprabha WLS ,Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Bird WLS ,Hastinapur ♦ WLS,Katerniaghat WLS
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