1. Who has been appointed the next chairman of Trent?
Ans. Noel Tata
Noel Naval Tata was appointed as the chairman of retail arm Trent on 31 March 2014. He succeeded F K Kavarana. Kavarana announced his retirement from the Tata group after turning 70 in March 2014. Noel was the managing director of Trent from 1999. In 2010, he was promoted to the vice Chairman. The company’s consolidated turnover rose from 8 crore rupees in 1999 to 1932 crore rupees in 2013. Noel had built Trent into 1000 crore rupees company and launched a slew of brands in India such as Sisley and Zara. Trent is launching global brands from Tata International, the export and trading arm of the group. Trent, the retail company was created by Simone Tata in 1993 after selling off the cosmetics business Lakme to Hindustan Unilever. Simone Tata is the mother of Noel Tata. Trent was the first to introduce private labels through Westside in the country. Recently, Trent signed on British retailer Tesco as its equity partner in Star Bazaar.
2. Who has resigned as the US Ambassador to India?
Ans. Nancy Powell
Nancy Powell, the US Ambassador to India announced her resignation in the US Mission Town Hall meeting on 31 March 2014. The resignation was submitted to Barack Obama, the President of US. She would now get back to her home in Delaware before the end of May 2014. This action of resignation has ended a thirty-seven year career of Powell. During her long career, her other postings as the US Ambassador includes Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan, Nepal and India as well as service in Canada, Togo, Bangladesh, and Washington, where she was most recently Director General of the Foreign Service. This step of Powell had paved a way ahead for a political appointee to the post, so that the bilateral ties between the countries can be repaired. The bilateral ties between the two countries were shocked after the Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was handcuffed and strip-searched in New York in December 2013 on charges of Visa fraud and keeping her made underpaid.
3. Indian women’s cricket team finished the ICC Women’s World Twenty-20 at which of the following positions? A. Joint third B. Joint fourth C. Joint fifth D. Joint sixth
4. Expand the term GAAR. A. General Anti Advocacy Rule B. General Anti Avoidance Rule C. General Anti Adversity Rule D. General Agreement on Atomic Research
5. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has capped the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) limit for the Central Govt. in the first half of the new financial year 2015 at: A. Rs 25,000 cr B. Rs 30,000 cr C. Rs 35,000 cr D. Rs 40,000 cr
RBI in consultation with Union Government on 1 April 2014 capped the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) limits for the first half of the new financial year 2014-15 (April 2014-Sep 2014) at 35000 crore rupees. This notification of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is aimed at triggering fresh flotation of market loans when the government utilises 75 percent of the WMA limit. The second half of the limit would be fixed in September 2014. The interest rate on WMA/Overdraft will be based on:
a. WMA: Repo Rate
b. Overdraft: Two percent above the Repo Rate
Under the notification of the WMA limit, the Reserve Bank had retained the flexibility for revision of the limits at any time in consultation of the government. The flexibility would be used in consideration of the prevailing circumstances. As per the notification, the government will have to maintain a minimum balance of not less than 100 crore rupees with RBI on Fridays, on the date of closure of government’s financial year and on 30 June i.e. the closure of the annual accounts of the RBI and not less than 10 crore rupees on other days. The overdrafts beyond 10 consecutive working days will not be allowed on the basis of agreement of 26 March 1997 between the Union Government and RBI. WMA is used by the government to manage its short-term liquidity that arises during the interregnum of its planned market borrowing.
6. The US Congress passed an aid package for crisis hit Ukraine that includes sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea. What is the size of the aid package? A. USD 1 bn B. USD 2 bn C. USD 2.5 bn D. USD 3 bn
7. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted “in-principle” approvals to which of the following financial companies to start new banks recently? A. IDFC Ltd B. Bandhan Financial Services C. Mahindra Finance D. Both A and B
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 2 April 2014 granted in-principle approvals to IDFC Ltd and Bandhan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd to start new banks in India. These approvals have been granted under the guidelines on licensing of new banks in the private sector. The two have been granted the permission to set-up banks from a field of 25 aspirants. The two applicants received the in principle approval following the recommendation of High-Level Advisory Committee (HLAC) set up by RBI that claimed these two as suitable. The approvals would be valid for a period of 18 months and within this period these firms will have to comply with the rules stipulated by the RBI. RBI in its statement said that the HLAC had also recommended that in the case of Department of Posts, which has applied for licence, it would be desirable to consider the application separately in consultation with the Government of India. The two entities, Bandhan based in Kolkata and IDFC based in Mumbai that has received the approvals are non-banking finance companies. Bandhan is a microfinance institution and IDFC is classified as an infrastructure finance company. Since 2004, these two entities became the first one to be issued new bank licence. Kotak Mahindra Bank and YES Bank were given a licence in 2004. The other big names of the aspirants, who are seeking the approval are:
• Aditya Birla Nuvo
• Bajaj Finserv
• LIC Housing Finance Ltd
• L&T Finance Holdings
• Reliance Capital
• Religare Enterprises
• Shriram Capital
The in-principle approvals to these entities as a precautionary measure have been granted by RBI as after consulting the Election Commission. Earlier, the Union Finance Minister in his budget speech for the year 2010-11 announced that there is a need to extend the geographical coverage of banks and improve access to banking services. Further, on 22 February 2013, RBI issued guidelines for licensing new banks. The HLAC was set up on 30 October 2013 under the chairmanship of former RBI Governor, Dr. Bimal Jalan and the committee comprised other three members. The other three members were:
• C.B. Bhave, former Chairman, SEBI
• Usha Thorat, former Deputy Governor, RBI
• Nachiket Mor, Director, RBI Central Board
HLAC was set to screen the applications and recommend licenses only to those applicants who complied with the guidelines. The Guidelines for Licensing of New Banks in the Private Sector and its key features are:
(i) Eligible Promoters: Entities / groups in the private sector, entities in public sector and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) shall be eligible to set up a bank through a wholly-owned Non-Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC)
(ii) ‘Fit and Proper’ criteria: Entities / groups should have a past record of sound credentials and integrity, be financially sound with a successful track record of 10 years. For this purpose, RBI may seek feedback from other regulators and enforcement and investigative agencies.
(iii) Corporate structure of the NOFHC: The NOFHC shall be wholly owned by the Promoter / Promoter Group. The NOFHC shall hold the bank as well as all the other financial services entities of the group.
(iv) Minimum voting equity capital requirements for banks and shareholding by NOFHC: The initial minimum paid-up voting equity capital for a bank shall be `5 billion. The NOFHC shall initially hold a minimum of 40 per cent of the paid-up voting equity capital of the bank which shall be locked in for a period of five years and which shall be brought down to 15 per cent within 12 years. The bank shall get its shares listed on the stock exchanges within three years of the commencement of business by the bank.
(v) Regulatory framework: The bank will be governed by the provisions of the relevant Acts, relevant Statutes and the Directives, Prudential regulations and other Guidelines/Instructions issued by RBI and other regulators. The NOFHC shall be registered as a non-banking finance company (NBFC. with the RBI and will be governed by a separate set of directions issued by RBI.
(vi) Foreign shareholding in the bank: The aggregate non-resident shareholding in the new bank shall not exceed 49% for the first 5 years after which it will be as per the extant policy.
(vii) Corporate governance of NOFHC: At least 50% of the Directors of the NOFHC should be independent directors. The corporate structure should not impede effective supervision of the bank and the NOFHC on a consolidated basis by RBI.
(viii) Prudential norms for the NOFHC: The prudential norms will be applied to NOFHC both on stand-alone as well as on a consolidated basis and the norms would be on similar lines as that of the bank.
(ix) Exposure norms: The NOFHC and the bank shall not have any exposure to the Promoter Group. The bank shall not invest in the equity / debt capital instruments of any financial entities held by the NOFHC.
(x) Business Plan for the bank: The business plan should be realistic and viable and should address how the bank proposes to achieve financial inclusion.
(xi) Other conditions for the bank:
• The Board of the bank should have a majority of independent Directors.
• The bank shall open at least 25 per cent of its branches in unbanked rural centres (population up to 9,999 as per the latest census)
• The bank shall comply with the priority sector lending targets and sub-targets as applicable to the existing domestic banks.
• Banks promoted by groups having 40 per cent or more assets/income from non-financial business will require RBI’s prior approval for raising paid-up voting equity capital beyond 10 billion for every block of 5 billion.
• Any non-compliance of terms and conditions will attract penal measures including cancellation of licence of the bank.
(xii) Additional conditions for NBFCs promoting / converting into a bank: Existing NBFCs, if considered eligible, may be permitted to promote a new bank or convert themselves into banks.
8. Karim Massimov has been named the new Prime Minister of which of the following countries after Serik Akhmetov resigned recently? A. Kazakhstan B. Kyrgyzstan C. Tajikistan D. Afghanistan
Karim Massimov, the Chief of Staff of Kazakhstan on 2 April 2014 was named as the new Prime Minister of the country by the President, Nursultan Nazarbayev. His appointment came following the resignation of Serik Akhmetov from the post, which was accepted by the President as per the Constitutional provision. This announcement of acceptance of resignation of Akhmetov was made by the President through a twitter message. Akhmetov was appointed as the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan in September 2012. Earlier, Massimov served as the Kazakh Prime Minister from January 2007 to September 2012 before Akhmetov.
9. The IRNSS 1-B satellite was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota recently. This is country’s second satellite planned for: A. Dedicated use of Indian Air Force B. Regional navigation C. Weather forecasting D. Space research
10. The Supreme Court has directed Lee Kun-hee to appear before a Ghaziabad court within six weeks in a USD 1.4 mn cheating case filed against him. He is the present chairman of which of the following major electronic companies? A. Panasonic B. Sony C. Samsung D. LG
11. Name the Rajya Sabha MP who has been indicted by a US jury in an alleged international conspiracy to bribe state and central govt. officials in India to allow mining of titanium minerals: A. KVP Ramachandra Rao B. GV Harsha Kumar C. SPY Reddy D. K Keshava Rao
12. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ratified the gold medal (upgraded from the earlier silver medal) of the Indian athlete Anju Bobby George recently. She is associated with: A. long jump B. triple jump C. pole vault D. discus throw
13. Which of the following pairs of national cricket teams and their popular nicknames is NOT matched correctly? A. India – Men in Blue B. Sri Lanka – The Tigers C. South Africa – Proteas D. New Zealand – The Black Caps
14. Ending days of suspense, the RBI recently granted banking licences to IDFC and microfinance institution Bandhan. The in principle approval granted will be valid for a period of _________ to comply completely with the requirements: A. 6 months B. 9 months C. 12 months D. 18 months
15. According to an analysis by the industry group Assocham, which of the following states has attracted most investment proposals (14 lakh 73 thousand 466 cr rupees) as on Dec 2013? A. Karnataka B. Odisha C. Maharashtra D. Gujarat
16. KS Rao, who resigned from the Union Council of Ministers, recently, was: A. Minister of Water Resources B. Ministry of Mines C. Minister of Law and Justice D. Minister of Textiles
17. Purchase now and pay later is the feature of which of the following cards: A. Debit card B. Credit card C. Smart card D. Discount card
18. World Health Day is observed on: A. 2 Apr B. 4 Apr C. 7 Apr D. 8 Apr
19. The IRNSS 1-B satellite was launched by ISRO recently. What does IRNSS stand for? A. Indian Research and Navigation Satellite System B. Indo-Russian Navigation Satellite System C. Indian Rational Navigation Satellite System D. Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System
20. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has been sworn in as the new President of which of the following countries recently? A. Serbia B. Malta C. Albania D. Slovenia
21. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the release of REER based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) only from the financial year that began on 1 Apr 2014. Expand the term REER: A. Real External Exchange Rate B. Real Established Exchange Rate C. Real Effective Exchange Rate D. Real Effective Exchange Ratio
22. Which of the following pairs of players and sports they are associated with is NOT matched correctly? A. Sanam Singh – Archery B. Sharath Kamal – Table tennis C. Narain Karthikeyan – Motor racing D. Ashwini Ponnappa – Badminton
23. Doha Bank, which got permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open its branches in Dec 2013, is all set open its first branch in which of the following cities? A. Mumbai B. New Delhi C. Hyderabad D. Thiruvananthapuram
24. The Book titled ‘The Common Cause: Postcolonial Ethics and the Practice of Democracy, 1900-1955’ has been authored by who among the following: A. Leela Gandhi B. Hamish Hamilton C. Anita Nair D. Solomon Northup
25. Which of the following firms has been authorised by the RBI to set up, own and operate 9,000 white label ATMs in the next three years in rural India with effect from 25 March 2014? A. India Infoline B. IFCI Ltd C. Srei Infrastructure Finance D. Bajaj Finance Ltd
26. Which among the following risks is associated with failure of internal process of a bank or business organization? A. Credit risk B. Operational risk C. Procedural risk D. Settlement risk
27. When a mutual company owned by its users/members converts into a company owned by shareholders, it is called: A. Re mutualisation B. Demutualisation C. Re-materialisation D. Dematerialisation
28. ICJ has ordered the ………………………… Government to stop its Whaling Programme Jarpa II.
The UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherland on 31 March 2014 has ruled that the Japanese government must halt its whaling programme Jarpa II in the Antarctic Ocean. Japan has agreed to abide by the decision. ICJ agreed the programme was not for scientific research as claimed by Tokyo. The court’s decision is considered legally binding. Presiding Judge of ICJ Peter Tomka ruled that the court has decided, by 12 votes to four, that Japan should withdraw all permits and licenses for whaling in the Antarctic and refrain from issuing any new ones. Japan had caught some 3600 minke whales since 2005 but the scientific output was limited. The court ruled that Japan had not complied with its obligations covering scientific research as set out in Article 8 of the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. In 2010, Australia filed a case in ICJ alleging that the Whaling programme run by Japanese Government was not for scientific research. Rather the programme was commercial in nature.
International Whaling Commission (IWC)
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is the global intergovernmental body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. It is set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling signed in 1946. The Commission has a current membership of 88 Governments from countries around the World. In 1986 the Commission introduced zero catch limits for commercial whaling. This provision is still in place today, although the Commission continues to set catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling.
About International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is the main judicial organ of the UN. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Its 15 judges are elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council, voting independently and concurrently. The Court decides disputes between countries, based on the voluntary participation of the States concerned. If a State agrees to participate in a proceeding, it is obligated to comply with the Court’s decision. The Court also gives advisory opinions to the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
29. Dr. Sumit Chugh has been chosen for the prestigious ……………………………… Award.
Ans. Simon Dack
An Indian- American Cardiologist, Dr. Sumit Chugh along with one more researcher has been chosen for the Prestigious Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship. This award will be given to him in recognition of his contributions to the organisation’s peer reviewed medical journals. Apart from being an expert in heart rhythmic disorders, he is also leader of a World Health Organisation panel. This panel performs a global assessment of heart rhythmic disorders for the global burden of disease duty. He received his medical degree from Patiala.
30. ___________, a 14-year-old boy of Indian-origin, has suggested the use of Garamond font to the US Govt. so that it could save 400 million dollars annually.
Ans. Suvir Mirchandani
A 14-year-old Indian origin teenager Suvir Manchandani suggested a way to US government to save 400 million dollars. The suggestion is to simply change the font which was used in official documents. Suvir Mirchandani calculated that if the government chose Garamond font instead of Times New Roman, it would use 25 per cent less ink because each character is lighter and thinner. His idea began when he worked out how much his school in Pennsylvania could save in ink after watching multiple leaflets being handed out. He then extended the study to a national level and concluded that if the federal government used just Garamond it could save 136 million dollar per year. An additional 234 million dollar could be saved annually if state governments also change the font.
31. __________ has removed all India Cements officials from its board.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) removed all the employees from India Cements and its associate companies from the Board on 31 March 2014. This action of BCCI is a follow up of the order of Supreme Court. The list of the names, which had been taken out in accordance of Supreme Court is:
• K.S. Viswanathan, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary – he was a member of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and New Area Development sub-committees.
• K. Prasanna, the Chief Financial Officer of the Indian Premier League (IPL),
• RI Palani, the TNCA joint secretary and a member of the BCCI zonal academies committee, as well as TNCA vice president
• PS Raman, one of BCCI’s legal consultants
Apart from these officials, the BCCI also ordered MA Satheesh, who at present is in Bangladesh and is working as logistics manager of Indian team for the ICC World Twenty20. However, the Supreme Court has ordered that the commentators and players working for India Cements can continue in different positions. The Supreme Court while hearing the IPL spot-fixing and related issues on 28 March 2014 passed an interim order asking Sunil Gavaskar to take over as BCCI president for IPL affairs and senior Vice President, Shivlal Yadav to take charge of non-IPL matters. It also ordered that employees of India Cements or its associate companies should not be part of the cricket board.
32. French President ___________ has named Manuel Carlos Valls as the new PM.
Ans. Francois Hollande
President Francois Hollande on 31 March 2014 appointed Interior Minister Manuel Valls as next prime minister of France. Manuel Carlos Valls is a Spanish-born French Socialist Party politician. He was the Mayor of Évry from 2001 to 2012 and a Member of the National Assembly since 2002. Valls replaced PM Jean-Marc Ayrault whose administration lost the confidence of the French in the recently concluded Municipal elections. In the Municipal elections held on 30 March 2014, both the far-right National Front (FN) and the mainstream opposition made historic gains in Municipal elections 2014. Marine Le Pen led FN won control of 11 towns and more than 1200 municipal seats nationwide which is being dubbed as its best ever performance at the grassroots level of French government. On the other hand, the ruling Socialists party lost more than 150 towns and cities of more than 9000 inhabitants. The Socialists have been hit by growing discontent over the economy after struggling to keep unemployment figures down and boost economic growth. However, the Socialists did retain control of Paris, with their candidate Anne Hidalgo who is due to become the first female mayor of Paris, the capital of France.
33. Chinese authorities have seized assets worth 14 billion dollar from ___________
Ans. Zhou Yongkang
Chinese authorities on 31 March 2014 seized assets worth at least 14.5 billion dollar from family members and associates of retired domestic security Chief Zhou Yongkang. Zhou has been under virtual house arrest since authorities began formally investigating him in 2013. Investigators had frozen bank accounts with deposits totalling 5.9 billion dollar and seized domestic and overseas bonds with a combined value of 8.2 billion dollar after raiding homes in Beijing, Shanghai and five provinces. Investigators had also confiscated about 300 apartments and villas worth around 274 million dollar, antiques and contemporary paintings with a market value of 161 million dollar and more than 60 vehicles. Other items seized included expensive liquor, gold, silver and cash in local and foreign currencies. President Xi ordered a task force formed in November 2013 to look into accusations against Zhou. More than 300 relatives of Zhou, political allies, protégés and staff have also been taken into custody or questioned from December 2013. The sheer size of the asset seizures and the scale of the investigations into the people around Zhou make the probe unprecedented in modern China. Zhou rose through the ranks of China’s oil and gas sector before joining the elite Politburo Standing Committee in 2007, where as domestic security chief his budget exceeded defence spending. He retired in 2012 and was last seen at an alumni event at the China University of Petroleum on 1 October 2013. He is the most senior Chinese politician to be ensnared in a corruption investigation since the Communist Party swept to power in 1949.
34. The Asiatic Wild dog has been spotted in which Indian state for the first time?
Ans. West Bengal
Dhole -The Asiatic Wild Dog was spotted for the first time in the Jaldapara National Park (West Bengal). Three months earlier, they were spotted in the nearby areas such as Buxa and Mahananda and Neora valley. Usually they are found throughout in south of River Ganges, southern part of Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats, Central India Highlands, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya. Dhole is listed under endangered category in the IUCN Red list. In a group, Dhole can be dangerous for the tigers too. The IUCN data informs that about 2500 mature wild dogs remain in wild and the trend of declining population will continue. Major factors behind their falling numbers are loss of habitat, diseases, decreasing preys and increase in competition.
35. IPCC has released a report titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Expand IPCC.
Ans. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability in Yokohama, Japan on 30 March 2014. The report has identified following eight risks which IPCC feels are identified with high confidence, span sectors and regions. These 8 risks are: Risk of death, injury, ill-health, or disrupted livelihoods in low lying coastal zones and small island developing states and other small islands, due to storm surges, coastal flooding, and sea-level rise.
IPCC Report and India
In this report, IPCC has held Global Warming responsible for Unseasonal rains in India. The panel warned that uncontrolled Global warming will adversely impact food production thereby increasing food cost. It also said that Global warming can result in lack of fresh water. Panel also emphasized that it is manmade global warming. The report warns that due to global warming, poorer Nations may see fall in their GDP by 2%.
36. ____________ has announced 15000 crore loan for 5 Indian Projects.
Japan announced Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan for more than 15000 crore rupees for 5 Indian Projects on 31 March 2014. This is the largest amount in the history of the ODA loans ever signed in the single occasion. The loan agreement was signed by Rajesh Khullar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Union Finance Ministry and Takeshi Yagi, ambassador of Japan to India. The Indian Projects covered under loan are:
- New and Renewable energy development Project
- Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Energy Saving Project
- Haryana Distribution System Upgradation Project
- Delhi Mass Rapid Transport System Project
The ODA has allotted 1800 crore rupees loan to the power producers under New and Renewable energy Development Project (Phase 2). The project aims to develop Solar and Wind power. The ongoing project includes a loan of 220 crore rupees for solar power project in Andhra Pradesh and a loan of 1160 crore rupees for wind power projects in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat. The ODA loan pledged about 8933 crore rupees to Delhi Mass Rapid Transport System Project (phase 3). This will facilitate in expansion of Delhi metro apart from improving transportation services. The project on completion will result in the extended length of 329.4 Km.
37. Mexico recently celebrated the 100th birth anniversary of its late Nobel Laureate__________.
Ans. Octavio Paz
Mexicans on 1 April 2014 celebrated the 100th birth anniversary of late Nobel Prize winning poet and essayist Octavio Paz. On his birth anniversary, Google dedicated the doodle on home page to him. During a ceremony held at ornate Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City, President Enrique Pena Nieto hailed Paz as the brilliant Mexican mind of the 20th century. He was a firm defender of democracy and a member of Institutional Revolutionary Party which was known for its authoritarian ways while in power for most of the 20th century. He was also the ambassador to India but he resigned following the military’s massacre of student protesters in Mexico City in 1968. Paz was awarded the 1981 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the 1982 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature.
38. ___________ House of Representatives has passed Ukraine aid and Russia sanctions bill.
Ans. The US
The U.S. House of Representatives on 1 April 2014 passed a package of aid for Ukraine and sanctions for Russia in response to annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the 378-34 vote in the U.S. Senate and was sent to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law. The bill provided a package of 1 billion US dollar loan guarantee for the Kiev government. It also provides 150 million dollar for improved governance and enhanced security cooperation. It also imposed mandatory sanctions which included visa bans and asset freezes against Russians. The bill aimed to do more to punish Russia and discourage further intervention in Ukraine or elsewhere in Eastern Europe which include to impose additional economic sanctions and will target Russia’s energy industry. It penalizes individuals linked to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the deadly crackdown on protesters in Kiev by Ukraine’s ousted pro-Russian regime, and gives Obama flexibility in imposing sanctions.
39. RBI has directed banks not to levy penal charges for non-maintenance of_______.
Ans. Minimum Balance
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its first bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2014-15 directed banks not to impose financial penalty on the consumers in case of non-maintenance of minimum balance in their saving accounts. RBI suggested that instead of financial penalty, banks can limit services available to those saving accounts who fail to maintain minimum balance. RBI further advised that these services can be restored whenever the balance in such accounts improves to the minimum balance level. At present there is no unanimity among the banks while charging the customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance. For instance, State Bank of India does not levy any charge for non maintenance of the minimum balance in the savings account. Whereas, AXIS, ICICI and HDFC Bank charge 750 rupees per quarter in case of non maintenance of minimum 100000 rupees in urban centres and 5000 rupees in semi urban centres. Besides this, RBI also directed banks to limit the liability of customers in electronic banking transactions in cases where banks fail to prove customer negligence. RBI also instructed banks to allow borrowers to prepay floating rate term loans without any penalty. The above steps by the RBI are aimed towards protecting consumers. Such steps are necessary to ensure financial inclusion as consumer protection is an integral part of financial inclusion.
40. World Bank is set to double lending to India, China, Brazil, Mexico and ___________.
Jim Yong Kim, the President of World Bank on 1 March 2014 announced that the bank would nearly double its lending capacity to boost support for middle countries like India, Brazil, China, Mexico and Indonesia. The announcement was made at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington because the bank thinks that these countries would provide an insight to poorer countries in solving their problems like poverty. In the announcement, Jim Yong Kim said that these five countries will benefit by being able to borrow another 2.5 billion dollars a year over and above their current limits. He also said that this increase in lending capacity will boost annual lending to middle income countries from the current 15 billion dollars a year to 26-28 billion dollars. The Council on Foreign Relations in Washington was held to outline internal reforms, new cost savings and possible hydroelectric dam project on the Congo River that could increase Africa’s electricity supply by about 50 percent.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank is a financial and technical assistance institution for developing counties around the world. It has set two goals to achieve by 2030 and they are:
• End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day to no more than 3 percent
• Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country
It has five institutions that are managed by their member countries and as a whole it forms the World Bank Group. These institutions are:
• IBRD: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD. that lends to governments of middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries.
• IDA: The International Development Association (IDA. that provides interest-free loans—called credits— and grants to governments of the poorest countries.
• IFC: The International Finance Corporation (IFC., is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector.
• MIGA: The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA. was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank Group to promote foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance (guarantees) to investors and lenders.
• ICSID: The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID. provides international facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes.
The World Bank was established in 1944 and at present have more than 120 offices worldwide.
• World Bank is headquartered in Washington DC
• Jim Yong Kim became the 12th president of the World Bank Group on 1 July 2012
41. World Autism Awareness Day is observed across the world on ________.
Ans. Apr 2
The World Autism Awareness Day 2014 was celebrated across the world on 2 April 2014. This was the seventh World Autism Day. The day is celebrated to raise fund and to create awareness about autism. On this day, Autism Speaks organisation celebrated Light It Up Blue. Light It Up Blue is a global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month and helps raise awareness about autism. Many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums and retails stores took part in the Light It Up Blue initiative.
About World Autism Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution on Autism on 18 December 2007 and decided to designate 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day. The resolution was adopted to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder. As a result, the first World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated on 2 April 2008.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life. It results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children and adults in many countries irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status. Autism is characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted, repetitive behaviour, interests and activities.
42. NATO has suspended all co-operation with Russia over Ukraine crisis. Expand NATO.
Ans. Northen Atlantic Treaty Oraganisation
NATO condemning the annexation as illegal on 1 April 2014 suspended all cooperation with Russia over the Crimea crisis. It also questioned Moscow’s claim to withdraw troops from near the Ukrainian border. The decision to suspend all cooperation – civilian and military – with Russia was taken at the first meet of the Foreign Minister’s of the 28-member NATO bloc since the annexation of Crimea by Russia. The NATO’s Foreign Minister meet was held at Brussels, Belgium. Besides, it was also agreed to look at options including situating permanent military bases in the Baltic states to reassure members in Eastern Europe. Russia’s actions in Ukraine have caused concern in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. NATO Foreign Ministers also decided to use their jet planes in air patrols in the region later. It will be a routine exercise which analysts feel has added significance due to the crisis. It was also agreed not to renew the cooperation on counter-narcotics operation in Afghanistan after the current session. However, the Foreign Ministers of NATO agreed to continue dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council at ambassadorial level so as to allow exchange views, first and foremost on this crisis. Also Russia’s mission at NATO would remain open but only to discuss the Ukraine crisis. In addition to the above developments, other developments that took place in relation to Ukraine crisis were:
- Russian energy firm Gazprom announced an increase of the price it charges Ukraine for gas from 1 April 2014. Ukraine’s parliament ordered security services to disarm all illegal armed groups.
- Members of Parliament of Ukraine voted to allow to hold joint military exercises with NATO and other nations on Ukrainian soil.
- Russia’s upper house of parliament voted to pull out of a treaty with Ukraine on the Black Sea Fleet’s presence in Crimea.
- The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to back a bill providing aid to Ukraine and imposing certain sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea.
43. The Sports Ministry has derecognised which of the following sports associations with immediate effect after its refusal to comply with ministry’s directives? A. Indian Amateur Boxing Federation B. Badminton Association of India C. All India Tennis Association D. Archery Association of India