1. Which of the following has been declared India’s most valuable brand with a value of USD 21.1 bn in 2014? A. Indian Oil B. Reliance Industries C. Airtel D. Tata group
According to a list of world’s 500 most valued brands, Brand Finance Global 500, Apple is followed by Samsung ($79 billion) at second place globally. In the top-ten, these two are followed by Google, Microsoft, Verizon, GE, AT&T, Amazon, Walmart and IBM. Tata has retained its top place among Indian brands and its global ranking has also improved from 39th in 2013 to 34th now. However, the number of Indian companies on the list has declined to five from six. Other than Tata, the global ranking of all other four Indian companies has dropped and they include SBI (347th), Bharti Airtel (381), Reliance Industries (413) and Indian Oil (474).
2. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program, JARPA II is not for scientific purpose and has put a temporary stay on the program. The ICJ is located in: A. Hague, Netherlands B. Paris, France C. Munich, Germany D. New York, US
Japanese whaling, in terms of active hunting of these large mammals, is estimated to have begun around the 12th century. However, Japanese whaling on an industrial scale began around the 1890s when Japan began to participate in the modern whaling industry, at that time an industry in which many countries participated. Japanese whaling activities have historically extended far outside Japanese territorial waters. During the 20th century, Japan was heavily involved in commercial whaling. This continued until the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling went into effect in 1986. Japan continued to hunt whales using the scientific research provision in the agreement, and Japanese whaling is currently conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research. The whale meat from these scientific whale hunts is sold in shops and restaurants. This is allowed under IWC rules, although most IWC members oppose it. The International Court of Justice has ruled that the Japanese whaling program in the Southern Ocean is not for scientific purposes and has ordered that Japanese whaling in Antarctic waters cease immediately. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was deeply disappointed with the ruling, but would abide it.
The International Court of Justice (French: Cour internationale de Justice; commonly referred to as the World Court or ICJ) is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Its main functions are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states and to provide advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.
3. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan announced the bi-monthly monetary policy review on 1 Apr. Which of the following is NOT a highlight of the RBI monetary policy review? A. Short-term lending (Repo) rate unchanged at 8 pc. B. Cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4 pc. C. Economic growth for 2014-15 expected at 5.5 pc. D. None of these
Monetary policy is the process by which monetary authority of a country, generally a central bank controls the supply of money in the economy by exercising its control over interest rates in order to maintain price stability and achieve high economic growth. In India, the central monetary authority is the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). is so designed as to maintain the price stability in the economy. Other objectives of the monetary policy of India, as stated by RBI, are as follows:
Price Stability implies promoting economic development with considerable emphasis on price stability. The centre of focus is to facilitate the environment which is favourable to the architecture that enables the developmental projects to run swiftly while also maintaining reasonable price stability.
Controlled Expansion Of Bank Credit-
One of the important functions of RBI is the controlled expansion of bank credit and money supply with special attention to seasonal requirement for credit without affecting the output.
Promotion of Fixed Investment-
The aim here is to increase the productivity of investment by restraining non essential fixed investment.
Restriction of Inventories-
Overfilling of stocks and products becoming outdated due to excess of stock often results is sickness of the unit. To avoid this problem the central monetary authority carries out this essential function of restricting the inventories. The main objective of this policy is to avoid over-stocking and idle money in the organization
Promotion of Exports and Food Procurement Operations-
Monetary policy pays special attention in order to boost exports and facilitate the trade. It is an independent objective of monetary policy.
Desired Distribution of Credit-
Monetary authority has control over the decisions regarding the allocation of credit to priority sector and small borrowers. This policy decides over the specified percentage of credit that is to be allocated to priority sector and small borrowers.
Equitable Distribution of Credit-
The policy of Reserve Bank aims equitable distribution to all sectors of the economy and all social and economic class of people.
To Promote Efficiency-
It is another essential aspect where the central banks pay a lot of attention. It tries to increase the efficiency in the financial system and tries to incorporate structural changes such as deregulating interest rates, ease operational constraints in the credit delivery system, to introduce new money market instruments etc.
Reducing the Rigidity-
RBI tries to bring about the flexibility in the operations which provide a considerable autonomy. It encourages more competitive environment and diversification. It maintains its control over financial system whenever and wherever necessary to maintain the discipline and prudence in operations of the financial system.
Open Market Operations-
An open market operation is an instrument of monetary policy which involves buying or selling of government securities from or to the public and banks. This mechanism influences the reserve position of the banks, yield on government securities and cost of bank credit. The RBI sells government securities to contract the flow of credit and buys government securities to increase credit flow. Open market operation makes bank rate policy effective and maintains stability in government securities market.
Cash Reserve Ratio-
Cash Reserve Ratio is a certain percentage of bank deposits which banks are required to keep with RBI in the form of reserves or balances. Higher the CRR with the RBI lower will be the liquidity in the system and vice-versa.RBI is empowered to vary CRR between 15 percent and 3 percent. But as per the suggestion by the Narshimam committee Report the CRR was reduced from 15% in the 1990 to 5 percent in 2002. As of October 2013, the CRR is 4.00 percent.
Statutory Liquidity Ratio-
Every financial institution has to maintain a certain quantity of liquid assets with themselves at any point of time of their total time and demand liabilities. These assets can be cash, precious metals, approved securities like bonds etc. The ratio of the liquid assets to time and demand liabilities is termed as the Statutory liquidity ratio.There was a reduction of SLR from 38.5% to 25% because of the suggestion by Narshimam Committee. The current SLR is 23%.
Bank Rate Policy-
The bank rate, also known as the discount rate, is the rate of interest charged by the RBI for providing funds or loans to the banking system. This banking system involves commercial and co-operative banks, Industrial Development Bank of India, IFC, EXIM Bank, and other approved financial institutes. Funds are provided either through lending directly or rediscounting or buying money market instruments like commercial bills and treasury bills. Increase in Bank Rate increases the cost of borrowing by commercial banks which results into the reduction in credit volume to the banks and hence declines the supply of money. Increase in the bank rate is the symbol of tightening of RBI monetary policy. As of 1 January 2013, the bank rate was 8.75% and as on 29 October 2013 bank rate is 8.75%
In this operation RBI issues prior information or direction that loans to the commercial banks will be given up to a certain limit. In this case commercial bank will be tight in advancing loans to the public. They will allocate loans to limited sectors. Few example of ceiling are agriculture sector advances, priority sector lending.
Credit Authorization Scheme-
Credit Authorization Scheme was introduced in November, 1965 when P C Bhattacharya was the chairman of RBI. Under this instrument of credit regulation RBI as per the guideline authorizes the banks to advance loans to desired sectors.
Moral Suasion is just as a request by the RBI to the commercial banks to take so and so action and measures in so and so trend of the economy. RBI may request commercial banks not to give loans for unproductive purpose which does not add to economic growth but increases inflation.
Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate-
Repo rate is the rate at which RBI lends to commercial banks generally against government securities. Reduction in Repo rate helps the commercial banks to get money at a cheaper rate and increase in Repo rate discourages the commercial banks to get money as the rate increases and becomes expensive. Reverse Repo rate is the rate at which RBI borrows money from the commercial banks. The increase in the Repo rate will increase the cost of borrowing and lending of the banks which will discourage the public to borrow money and will encourage them to deposit. As the rates are high the availability of credit and demand decreases resulting to decrease in inflation. This increase in Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate is a symbol of tightening of the policy. As of October 2013, the repo rate was 7.75 % and reverse repo rate was 6.75%. On January 28, 2014, RBI raised repo rate by 25 basis points to 8.00 % and reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.00%.
4. According to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report, India’s GDP is poised to accelerate at what per cent in 2014-15 on the back of improved performance in industry and services? A. 4 per cent B. 4.5 per cent C. 5 per cent D. 5.5 per cent
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia. The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly known as the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East) and non regional developed countries. From 31 members at its establishment, ADB now has 67 members – of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside. ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with member’s capital subscriptions. By the end of 2012, both the United States and Japan hold the two largest proportions of shares each at 12.78%. China holds 5.45%, India holds 5.36%.
5. The World Bank has announced that it would nearly double its lending capacity to boost support for middle income countries like Brazil, China and India. Who among the following is the current President of the World Bank? A. Christine Lagarde B. Robert Zoellick C. Jim Yong Kim D. Paul Farmer
The World Bank is a United Nations international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs. The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group, and a member of the United Nations Development Group. The World Bank’s official goal is the reduction of poverty. According to its Articles of Agreement, all its decisions must be guided by a commitment to the promotion of foreign investment and international trade and to the facilitation of capital investment. The World Bank is composed of two institutions:
6. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined which of the following IT giants Rs 1 cr “for failure to comply with the directions given by the director general (DG) seeking information and documents”? A. Facebook B. Google C. Twitter D. LinkedIn
Competition Commission of India is a body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing The Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India. It was established on 14 October 2003. It became fully functional in May 2009. Earlier Bharat Matrimony and Consumer Unity & Trust Society had complained to CCI that Google abused its dominant position on the web and in the web advertising market to push its own services and unfairly promote the services of companies that were willing to pay more money to it.
7. In view of PSBs deteriorating asset quality and rating downgrades, the RBI has recommended the Centre to reduce its holdings in these banks. Under the Banking Regulation Act, the govt has to hold at least __________stake in public sector banks. A. 26 per cent B. 49 per cent C. 51 per cent D. 74 per cent
8. Which of the following is NOT a delivery channel for banking sector in India? A. Call centre B. Branch C. Internet D. None of these
9. As per SEBI directions to stock exchanges and market intermediaries, all trades in securitised debt instruments and over-the counter (OTC) corporate bonds will have to be reported within _________of the transaction with immediate effect. A. 15 minutes B. 30 minutes C. One hour D. 6 hours
Securitization is the financial practice of pooling various types of contractual debt such as residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, auto loans or credit card debt obligations and selling said consolidated debt as bonds, pass through securities, or collateralized mortgage obligation (CMOs), to various investors. The principal and interest on the debt, underlying the security, is paid back to the various investors regularly. Securities backed by mortgage receivables are called mortgage-backed securities (MBS), while those backed by other types of receivables are asset-backed securities (ABS). A decentralized market, without a central physical location, where market participants trade with one another through various communication modes such as the telephone, email and proprietary electronic trading systems. An over-the-counter (OTC) market and an exchange market are the two basic ways of organizing financial markets. In an OTC market, dealers act as market makers by quoting prices at which they will buy and sell a security or currency. A trade can be executed between two participants in an OTC market without others being aware of the price at which the transaction was effected. In general, OTC markets are therefore less transparent than exchanges and are also subject to fewer regulations.
10. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recommended reforms in PSBs aimed at robust corporate governance practices in these banks. Which among the following is NOT correct in this regard? A. Splitting chairman & managing directors’ post B. RBI and govt should withdraw from boards C. Chief executives should be given 5-year terms. D. None of these
Reform areas as pointed out by RBI are:
- Governance issue: Splitting chairman & managing directors’ post
- Corporate governance: RBI & govt to dissociate from selection of top management
- Public sector bank board: RBI & govt should withdraw from boards
- Auditors: CA director should not be a part of management committee
- Fixed period: Chief executives should be given 5-year terms
- Remuneration: Market-based remuneration, accompanied with stringer accountability, including clawback clauses
- Incentive structure: Incentives/bonuses should be paid over few years and not immediately
- HR issues: Need to reassess number of EDs/general managers in each bank
- HR appraisal policy: Performance linked remuneration
- Holding company: To begin with, such structure could be experimented with slammer PSBs
11. _______ has won Monte Carlo Masters Tennis title by defeating Roger Federer.
ANS. Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka on 20 April 2014 won the men’s single Monte Carlo Masters Tennis title by defeating former world number one Roger Federer, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2. With this, the 29-year-old Wawrinka has won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. On the other hand the Doubles trophy was won by top seeded America’s Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike. To capture the doubles trophy, they defeated the 4 third seeded Croatian-Brazilian team of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.
12. Hotelier _______ has pleaded guilty for violating US federal election laws.
ANS. S. S. Chatwal
Indian-American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal on 18 April 2014 pleaded guilty at a US court for violating federal election laws by using straw donors. A straw donor is someone who illegally uses someone else’s money to make campaign contributions in his or her own name. He pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to conspiring to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act (the ‘Election Act’) by making more than USD 180000 in federal campaign donations to three candidates through straw donors who were reimbursed and to witness tampering. For Instance, Chatwal had raised at least 100000 US dollars for former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama. He was freed on a 750000 US dollars bond secured by property in Manhattan. He will be convicted on 31 July 2014. Chatwal could face a maximum of six years in prison. Sant Singh Chatwal is an Indian-American businessman. He heads the chain of the Hampshire Hotels and Bombay Palace chain of restaurants. Chatwal was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his role in the India-US civilian nuclear deal. This led to a public controversy based on allegations of malfeasance leveled against Chatwal. The Government of India has since upheld its award decision.
13. A Giant torch was unveiled recently in US to honour __________.
ANS. Chinmoy Kumar Ghose
The torch was unveiled to honour the 50 years of Ghose. Chinmoy Kumar Ghose had moved to New York from India in April 1964. The torch is considered as the world’s largest and a replica of Olympic torch. The huge torch is 11 times larger than the Olympic torch used in the 1998 Winter Olympic games to carry the flame from Athens to Nagano in Japan and weighs 1200 kg.
14. High content of manganese has been detected in which reservoir of Goa?
High content of manganese was detected by the State Public Works Department (PWD) in Selaulim reservoir of Goa on 19 April 2014. The level of manganese detected in the reservoir was 0.1 mg. This is less than the level of manganese content detected earlier and is within safe limit. Earlier in July 2012, PWD had restricted supply of drinking water from the reservoir when the level of manganese had increased six folds. It increased from the usual 0.5 mg to 3.0 mg. The reason for the increase in the level of manganese content was mining dumps stacked along side the rivers feeding water to the reservoir are getting washed into due to rains.
15. New software app _______ has been developed to help farmers.
ANS. Sandesh Pathak
A new software app Sandesh Pathak was developed to help the illiterate farmers. The app uses text-to-speech method to help the farmers. This application has been jointly developed by C-DAC Thiruvananthapuram , C-DAC Mumbai, IIT Kharagpur, IIT-Madras and IIIT Hyderabad. The features of this app are:
- It takes the received SMS message as input
- It then produce content of the SMS message in form of a speech as output
- It supports five Indian languages — Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarathi and Telugu with options to select language
- The TTS engines of all these languages have been tested on the agriculture domain-related texts and fine-tuned accordingly
- It provides options to choose speed of the voice as normal, slow, slower, fast and faster.
- It can be downloaded from the Appstore of the Mobile Seva Project of government of India.
16. Union Cabinet has approved the appointment of _________ as Chairman of NMDC.
ANS. Narendra Kothari
Union Cabinet on 16 April 2014 approved the appointment of Narendra Kothari as full time Chairman of the state-run miner National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the appointment. NMDC is the biggest iron ore Miner of India. NMDC has been functioning without a full-time chairman and managing director ever since incumbent Rana Som retired in December 2011. Kothari is currently the CEO of steel maker SAIL’s Burnpur plant in West Bengal. Kothari and Bharat Coking Coal Limited CMD TK Lahiry were among 15 candidates short-listed by a search committee constituted by the steel ministry in May 2013. In the absence of a full time CMD, SAIL chairman CS Verma is currently holding additional charge of the company.
17. A new robot _________ has been developed to rescue kids who fall into borewells.
ANS. Borewell Robot
A new robot called Borewell Robot was developed by M.Manigandan to rescue kids who fall into borewells. M.Manigandan is a Madurai-based social worker. The indigenously developed robot proved its mettle on 14 April 2014 when it successfully saved a life of a three year old boy. The boy fell into a borewell in a village in Tirunelveli (Southern Tamil Nadu). The features of the Robot are:
- Two feet high
- 5 kg weight
- Detachable arms
- An iron framework
- Ability to carry weight upto 50 Kgs
- A high resolution camera to take pictures in pitch dark conditions
- Pictures viewable on a computer
- A hook on its top to enable its suspension through a rope into borewells
18. 3D model of ___________ parasite genome has been created for the first time.
Scientists from University of California, Riverside created a 3D model of the human malaria parasite genome for the first time. The 3D model was created at three different stages in the life cycle of parasite. The creation of 3D model will help in identifying new anti-malaria drugs. The study was published in the journal Genome Research on 16 April 2014.
The need for development of 3D Model:
To understand the biology of an organism or any cell type, Scientist needs to understand the following Scientists from University of California, Riverside created a 3D model of the human malaria parasite genome for the first time. The 3D model was created at three different stages in the life cycle of parasite. The creation of 3D model will help in identifying new anti-malaria drugs. The study was published in the journal Genome Research on 16 April 2014.
19. Jens Stoltenberg will take over as the new chief of the 28-nation military alliance NATO in Oct this year. He is the former premier of which of the following countries? A. Denmark B. Norway C. Croatia D. Bulgaria
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programmes. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world’s defence spending. Members’ defense spending is supposed to amount to 2% of GDP.
20. Which of the following cricket teams has been recently conferred the Spirit of Sports award, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? A. Kenya B. Ireland C. Netherlands D. Afghanistan
21. The first unit of Coal based Kalisindh Super Thermal Power Plant commenced power generation in Jhalawar district in which of the following states recently? A. Madhya Pradesh B. Rajasthan C. Gujarat D. Maharashtra
22. ‘India’s International Bank’ is the tagline of which of the following banks? A. State Bank of India B. Bank of Baroda C. Punjab National Bank D. Canara Bank
23. Which of the following countries will host the 18th SAARC Summit on 14th Nov? A. Maldives B. Nepal C. Sri Lanka D. Pakistan
24. Who among the following has recently signed up with WASH United and ICC to combat one of the deadliest ailments in India and South Africa, Diarrhoea? A. Sachin Tendulkar B. Virat Kohli C. Suresh Raina D. Yuvraj Singh
As WASH United Ambassador, he will use his popularity and role model status to change attitudes towards sanitation and hygiene.
25. Which of the following teams has recently won the men’s title of the 64th National Basketball Championships? A. Chhattisgarh B. Railways C. Tamil Nadu D. Punjab
Punjab did the early running but Tamil Nadu asserted their superiority to win 74-57 to win the 64th Senior National Basketball Championship at Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi.