1. Which new species of Australian humpback dolphin has been identified by scientists?
Ans. Sousa Sahulensis
Scientists have identified a new species of Australian humpback dolphin with the scientific name Sousa Sahulensis. The Australian humpback dolphins are a widespread group of coastal cetaceans ranging from the coast of West Africa to the northern coast of Australia. The authors of the study were Thomas A. Jefferson of Clymene Enterprises and Howard C. Rosenbaum of the Wildlife Conservation Society. The study of WCS was published on 1 August 2014 in the online edition of the journal Marine Mammal Science. The scientific name Sousa Sahulensis is derived from the Sahul Shelf. Sahul shelf is an underwater shelf stretching between northern Australia and southern New Guinea, where the Australian humpback dolphin occurs. The species found is one of four recognised species of humpback dolphin. The other three closely related species are:
• The Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii)
• The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) found in South-East Asia and the Chinese coast
• The Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea) Characteristics of Australian humpback dolphin
• It is gray in colour and has a characteristic cape pattern on its back. The new species looks markedly different from its nearest relative. The Indo-pacific humpback is white with a pink tinge whereas the new species is dark grey with a distinctive dark cape. It also has a lower dorsal fin.
• There is currently no population estimate for the Australian humpback dolphin, but based on the estimates, it is unlikely that more than a few thousand dolphins of that species exist.
• The new species found is already under the threat of extinction. The species is enlisted in IUCN red list under the category of Near Threatened.
• The humpbacks species are in danger from fishing, being hit by ships, vessel collisions and coastal development.
• Efforts to protect humpback dolphins and other coastal dolphins, and their most important habitats are essential for the survival of these species.
2. What was India’s position at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games?
Ans. 5th (With 64 medals)
20th Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2014 concluded at Hampden Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on 3 August 2014 The game that saw 17 sports in a competition of 11 days was held from 23 July to 3 August 2014. The Glasgow 2014 CWG was declared closed in presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and vice patron of Commonwealth Games Federation. The 21st Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast in Australia. 4929 athletes from 71 countries and territories of the erstwhile British Empire participated in the 11-day competition.
India in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland
India in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland stood at the fifth position in the rankings after closing its account with total 64 medals (15 Gold, 30 silver and 19 Bronze). This was third highest medal haul after 2010 Delhi CWG (101 medals) and 2002 Manchester CWG (69 medals). On the final day of the games, i.e. on 3 August 2014, the Indian team won three medals and they were:
• Parupalli Kashyap – clinched a historic Gold in men’s badminton singles. Kashyap registered win over Singapore’s Derrik Wong in final of Men’s Singles event in a three setter game 21-14, 11-21, 21-19. He is the third Indian to win Gold medal at CWG after Prakash Padukone (1978)and Syed Modi (1982)
• Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa – settled for Silver in the badminton women’s doubles. They lost to Malaysian team of Khe Woon and Vivian Hoo in the Women’s Doubles in straight sets of 21-17, 23-21
• The men’s hockey team: India got Silver medal after losing to World Champions Australia 4-0 in the final
On closing ceremony, the Indian contingent’s flag bearer was Seema Punia, who won Silver in women’s discus throw. While, the torch bearer in the opening ceremony was ace shooter Vijay Kumar, the 2012 London Olympics Silver medalist. England topped the medals tally while Australia got the second position. Canada was third followed by Scotland.
15 Indians who won gold at 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow
• Yogeshwar Dutt: Men’s wrestling, 65 kg freestyle
• Babita Kumari: Women’s wrestling, 55 kg freestyle
• Sushil Kumar: Men’s wrestling, 75kg
• Amit Kumar: Men’s wrestling, 57kg
• Vinesh Phogat: Women’s wrestling, 48kg
• Satish Sivalingam: Men’s weightlifting, 77 kg (broke the Commonwealth Games record for the snatch with a mark of 149kg)
• Vikas Gowda: Men’s discus throw (first person to win a gold medal for India in 56 years in Men’s Athletics after Milkha Singh in 1958)
• Jitu Rai: Men’s shooting, 50 m Pistol
• Rahi Sarnobat: Women’s shooting, 25 m Pistol
• Apurvi Chandela: Women’s shooting, 10 m Air Rifle
• Abhinav Bindra: Men’s 10m Air Rifle
• K Sanjita Chanu: Women’s weightlifting 48 kg category
• Sukhen Dey: Men’s weightlifting 56 kg category
• Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa: Women’s squash
• Parupalli Kashyap: Men’s Badminton
Dipa Karmakar on 31 July 2014 became the first Indian woman gymnast and second person of the country (after Ashish Kumar, male who won in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games) to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games. She bagged a bronze. The 17 sports in a competition were Hockey, Boxing, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Gymnastics, Squash, Table Tennis, Cycling, Aquatics, Netball, Athletics, Rugby Sevens, Badminton, Shooting, Judo, Lawn bowls and Triathlon.
Closing Ceremony of 2014 CWG
The closing ceremony of 90 minutes began with the theme, All Back To Ours with a narrative of a typical night out in Glasgow sung by Scottish singer and actress Lulu. Besides, Deacon Blue, the Glasgow legends also performed their famous song, Dignity that tells the story of an ordinary man – a worker. The workers of Glasgow (emergency services and various council services) participated to celebrate the end of the games and 220 of them entered the stadium carrying a banner, Let Glasgow Flourish.
About the Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international sporting event that involves athletes from 71 nations and territories connected with the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Games is a unique, world class, multi-sports event which is held once every four years. It is often referred to as the Friendly Games.
What is the Commonwealth?
Commonwealth is an association of independent sovereign states of 53 developed and developing nations. It contains about 2 billion people, which is almost a third of the world’s population of which more than half of them are young people under age group of 25. This year 71 nations and territories participated at Glasgow 2014, because some countries, like the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), are made up of a number of territories or dependencies. Commonwealth came into its present form in 1949, when its members agreed that all member nations should be free and equal to each other. The aim of formation of Commonwealth was to focus on equality and tackle issues like poverty, racism and decolonisation.
3. Which committee has been set up recently by the Union Ministry for HRD to review the status of UGC? A. J C Prakash B. Hari Gautam C. Chirag Taneja D. Reena Narwal
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) on 3 August 2014 set up a four member committee to review the present status of Universities Grants Commission’s (UGC). The committee will be headed by former UGC chairman Hari Gautam. The other members of the committee will be CM Jariwala, former dean of law, Banaras Hindu University and Kapil Kapoor, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University. RP Sisodia, Joint Secretary (higher education) will be the member secretary of the committee. The committees have six months time to submit its report. The committee will suggest ways to restructure and reorganise the panel to attain better performance in order to meet desired objectives. The committee has been given 14 items for review, which includes evaluation of the performance of UGC in coordinating and determining standards of education in universities, conducting an audit of its regulatory reach and identifying strengths and weaknesses in this aspect.
About University Grants Commission (UGC)
UGC is the apex regulatory body for higher education in the country. The commission was formally set up by an Act of Parliament in 1956. It is the statutory body for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education in the country. The higher education sector in India has emerged as one of the largest in the world in terms of number of institutions and the second largest by number of students with nearly 28 million students in 726 universities and about 38000 colleges.
4. Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2014 were announced recently. Ramon Magsaysay was the President of ______.
The prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards for year 2014 was announced on 31 July 2014. The list of awardees included six winners among five individuals and one organization from Pakistan. The 2014 Awardees are:
• Hu Shuli: She is a Chinese investigative journalist whose work has led to the ouster of corrupt officials. She is the founder and former editor of Caijing a business magazine famed for its groundbreaking investigative reporting that has had a profound impact on China.
• Saur Marlina Manurung: She is being recognized for her ennobling passion to protect and improve the lives of Indonesia’s forest people, and her energizing leadership of volunteers in SOKOLA’s customized education program. She put up a Jungle School program for children of Indonesia’s Orang Rimba, or forest people.
• Omara Khan Masoudi from Afghanistan: He is being recognized for his courage, labor, and leadership in protecting Afghan cultural heritage. Masoudi was awarded for his courage in protecting Afghan cultural heritage. At great risk to his life, the deputy director of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul led his colleagues in moving some of the museum’s most precious objects to safety during the Taliban’s assault on his country’s cultural treasures in the 1990s.
• The Citizens Foundation from Pakistan: It is a non-profit organisation (NGO) in Pakistan founded by six business leaders. It was recognized for building 1000 schools over hundreds of cities and towns in the country with the world’s second highest number of children who are out of school.
• Wang Canfa from China: Wang Canfa founded the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, which has offered free legal services to thousands of people and provided environmental law training to lawyers and others.
• Randy Halasan for Emergent Leadership from the Philippines: He was chosen for the award for serving the indigenous Matigsalug tribe. He put in huge efforts in teaching the children of the Matigsalug tribe in one of the remotest mountain villages in Mindanao.
About Ramon Magsaysay Awards
The award was established in 1957. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named. The award is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.
5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Nepal recently. This was the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal in how many years? A. 20 B. 12 C. 8 D. 17
Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded two day visit to Nepal on 4 August 2014. During the visit, Prime Minister addressed the Nepalese Parliament. Narendra Modi was welcomed by the guard of honour. This was the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal in 17 years. Modi was assisted with a team of 101 delegates including several ministers accompanying him. The visit was aimed to forge a new relationship with Nepal and to start a new chapter in bilateral ties that will serve as a model and catalyst for regional partnership.
Narendra Modi made the following announcement during his visit:
• The Prime Minister gave a HIT formula for Nepal. India wants to help Nepal build highways (H), information highways (I) and transways – transmission lines (T).
• The Prime Minister announced that India will give Nepal 10000 crore Nepali rupee concessional line of credit, for its development.
• The Prime Minister announced that he is keen to double power supply to Nepal.
• The pipelines would be built to help transport oil to Nepal.
• The scholarships to students from Nepal would be increased.
• India would help Nepal emerge as a major exporter of herbal medicines.
• India would also help develop the tourism potential of Nepal, both as a spiritual, and adventure tourism destination.
• He offered assistance to Nepal in the fields of organic farming, and soil health.
6. Recently the Union Defence Ministry allowed the armed forces to do business with which of the following? A. The Rolls Royce B. BAE Systems C. General Dynamics D. Boeing
The Union Defence Ministry on 3 August 2014 allowed armed forces to do business related to essential requirements with the Rolls Royce. The decision of the Union Defence Ministry came after Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi opined that IAF and the Navy can procure from the Rolls Royce the systems essential for their maintenance and operational requirements of the two services and not allowing the procurement would affect the defence preparedness of the two forces. Moreover, the aircraft such as the C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, SeaKing multi-role helicopters, Hawk advanced jet trainer and the Jaguar fighter of the two forces fly on Rolls-Royce engines. Hence, they will have to procure essential equipment from the firm to continue their operations. In March 2014, the Union Defence Ministry had put on hold all the deal with the British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce over the allegations of corruption in contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). In the contract, Rolls – Royce has to supply aircraft engines to HAL for its trainer aircraft during 2007-2011. The contract is of worth 10000 crore rupees. CBI found the allegations of unauthorised use of an outside commercial adviser and the use of middlemen by Rolls-Royce in fetching the contract.
7. Which of the following companies was recently granted the Navratna Status? A. BEML B. CONCOR C. Antrix Corporation Ltd D. HLL Lifecare Ltd
Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) on 23 July 2014 was accorded Navratna Status by the Department of Public Enterprises under Union Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises. CONCOR is the 17th Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) to achieve Navratna Status. CONCOR gives multi-modal logistics support for the country’s exim (exports and imports) and domestic trade and commerce. The granting of Navratna status entitles the company boards to do investments up to 1000 crore rupees or 15% of their net worth on a single project or 30% of their net worth in the whole year (not exceeding 1000 crore rupees) without seeking government permission. Besides, it also entitles the Boards of Navaratna enhanced powers in the areas of (i) capital expenditure; (ii) equity investment in joint ventures/subsidiaries in India or abroad, (iii) human resources development (iv) orgnaisational restructuring and (v) raising of debt from the domestic capital markets and borrowings from international markets.
Major criteria of awarding Navratna Status are:
• A Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) should be a Schedule A and Miniratna Category – I company.
• The CPSEs should have at least three Excellent or Very Good Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ratings during the last five years.
CONCOR was incorporated in March 1988 under the Companies Act, 1956 and commenced operation from November 1989 taking over the existing network of 7 ICDs (Inland Container Depots) from the Indian Railways. It is now the market leader having the largest network of 62 ICDs or Dry ports in India. Its current Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) is Anil Kumar Gupta.
Navratna was the title given originally to 9 Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) identified by the Government of India in 1997 as “public sector companies that have comparative advantages”, giving them greater autonomy to compete in the global market so as to “support [them] in their drive to become global giants.
8. Which mission has been launched by NASA to examine the habitability of Mars environment?
Ans. Mars 2020 rover mission
NASA announced on 31 July 2014 at its headquarters in Washington, US, that it will send a new rover to Mars in 2020 named as Mars 2020 rover mission. Mars 2020 mission will attempt to determine the potential habitability of the Mars environment, and directly search for signs of ancient Martian life. This attempt if successful will pave the way for future manned missions. The Mars 2020 rover mission will be launched in July or August 2020, which will land on mars after an eight to nine month cruise in 2021. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will build and manage operations of the Mars 2020 rover mission. To develop Mars 2020 rover mission, NASA’s Space Technology Program partnered with Human Exploration and the Mars 2020 Rover Team. It is being developed to fulfill the science objectives recommended by the National Research Council’s 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. The MARS 2020 mission rover will be based on the design of the successful rover, Curiosity that is operational since it landed on the Red Planet in August 2012 and is a part of the NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.
Importance of the Mars 2020 rover mission
• It will be used by scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth by a future mission.
• It also will help advance our knowledge of how future human explorers could use natural resources available on the surface of the Red Planet.
• Designers of future human expeditions can use this mission to understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate technology to process carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to produce oxygen.
About Mars Exploration Program
Mars Exploration Program seeks to characterize and understand Mars as a dynamic system, including its present and past environment, climate cycles, geology and biological potential. It includes the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, the Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft currently orbiting the planet, and the MAVEN orbiter, which is set to arrive at the Red Planet in September 2014 and will study the Martian upper atmosphere. In 2016, a Mars lander mission called InSight will launch to take the first look into the deep interior of Mars. Besides, NASA is collaborating with European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions. This includes Electra telecommunication radios to ESA’s 2016 orbiter and a critical element of the astrobiology instrument on the 2018 ExoMars rover.
9. Who among the following has resigned from the British government over Gaza conflict? A. Mahmooda Hasina B. Sayeeda Warsi C. Mohd Ashraf D. Malala Yousafzai
Sayeeda Warsi, the Foreign Office minister of Britain resigned from the government on 5 August 2014 in protest of Britain’s policy on Gaza. She described the British policy on the crisis in Gaza as morally indefensible. She tendered her resignation to the British Prime Minister David Cameron. She was the first female Muslim cabinet minister to serve United Kingdom during David Cameron led government. She, although, has never won an election.
About Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, Baroness Warsi
• Baroness Warsi from May 2010 to September 2012 co-chaired the Conservative Party along with Lord Feldman
• In 2012 in the Prime Minister’s 2012 reshuffle, she was demoted from the cabinet to a middle-ranking Foreign Office post and was made minister for faith and communities
• She was first Muslim to serve in a British Cabinet and third Muslim minister
• Before entering politics, she worked as a solicitor
• She is a British politician of Pakistani origin and was born on 28 March 1971 in Dewsbury, West Riding of Yorkshire. She was born to Pakistani immigrants
10. Which Bank’s CMD was recently suspended for allegedly receiving bribe? A. Bank of Baroda B. Syndicate Bank C. Punjab National Bank D. Allahabad Bank
Syndicate Bank Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) SK Jain was suspended by Union government on 4 August 2014 after he was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 2 August 2014 for accepting bribe. SK Jain accepted bribe of 50 lakh rupees along with 5 other people for granting credit extension to some private firms involved in Coal Block Allocations Scam. CBI officials revealed that Mr. Jain was receiving payments from two firms, Bhushan Steel and Prakash Industries.
The fall out of the Jain’s arrest
This case exposed the role of Public Sector Banks in disturbing the financial sector of the country. The government, as a result, might use the Syndicate bank CMD arrest to push for merger of small public sector banks. The motive is to ensure that these banks have appropriate checks and safeguards required to track credit appraisal.
About SK Jain
SK Jain was appointed as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Syndicate Bank in July 2013. He was the youngest CMDs among all the public sector banks’ CMDs. He was appointed for period of five years and was to retire in 2018.
About Syndicate Bank
Syndicate Bank was established in 1925 in Udupi by Sri Upendra Ananth Pai, Vaman Kudva and TMA Pai. In 1969, Government of India nationalized Syndicate Bank along with thirteen major commercial banks. It started with a capital of 8000 rupees and flourished thereafter.
11. Which among the following banks has bagged the Core Banking System Initiative Award-2014? A. AXIS Bank B. ICICI C. Bharatiya Mahila Bank D. SBI
Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd bagged the Core Banking System Initiative Award for the year 2014 at the Asian Banking and Finance – Retail Banking Awards 2014. The award ceremony was held in Singapore on 31 July 2014. Usha Ananthasubramanian, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharatiya Mahila Bank received the award. It got the award as it launched its operations with Core Banking Solutions and ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) from first day of it operation and it was achieved with in a period less than 2 months from the grant of license by RBI to the launch date on 19 November 2013.
About Bharathiya Mahila Bank
Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd is the first of its kind in the Banking Industry in India formed with a vision of economic empowerment for women. It was incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 on 5 August 2013 and it received the certificate of commencement of Business on 22 August 2013. RBI granted the Banking License to the bank on 25 September 2013. It was formally inaugurated on 19 November 2013. The Bank’s Corporate Office is at the IFCI Towers, Nehru Place, New Delhi. The Bank, at present has 23 branches across the country and aims to add 55 – 60 branches in the current financial year.
12. P Kashyap has become the third Indian to win Gold medal in Badminton at Commonwealth Games. Who was the first to win Gold in Badminton at CWG? A. Syed Modi B. Saina Nehwal C. P Gopichand D. Prakash Padukone
Parupalli Kashyap on 3 August 2014 became the third Indian to win Gold medal in Badminton at Commonwealth Games (CWG). He achieved the feat at the 2014 CWG in Glasgow, Scotland when he defeated Derek Wong of Singapore. This was also his first Gold medal in any international tournament. Prior to Kashyap, Prakash Padukone won Gold for India in 1978 and Syed Modi in 1982, after that India had to wait for 32 years for its gold in Badminton. In the women’s double event, however, the Indian duo of Jwala Gutta and Aswini Ponnappa lost to Malaysian duo of Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon in final to settle for Silver Medal. At 2010 Delhi CWG, the Indian duo had won the Gold medal. Besides, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt and P V Sindhu won the Bronze medal in Men’s and Women’s singles respectively.
About P Kashyap
• Parupalli Kashyap was born on 8 August 1986 and represents Andhra Pradesh in National Games.
• He won Bronze in Men’s Singles and Silver in Mixed Doubles in Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010.
• Kashyap was the Icon Player for the Banga Beats, an Indian Badminton League team.
• He trains at the Gopichand Academy under Pullela Gopichand, a former All England Open Badminton Champion.
• He is at present ranked number 1 badminton player in India and 20th in the world.
13. Who among the following has been appointed as Deputy NSA? A. Arvind Gupta B. Nitesh Jais C. Pankaj Kumar D. Jatin Kumar
Arvind Gupta, former Indian Foreign Service officer, was appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) on 4 August 2014. The post of Deputy National Security Adviser fell vacant after the resignation of Nehchal Sandhu, former IPS officer of 1973 batch who was appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser during UPA rule. Mr. Gupta will also be working as Secretary of National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), a body that performs advisory functions for Government of India suggesting political, economic and strategic safety concerns. He has been appointed for three years on reemployment and contract basis. Mr. Gupta is presently working as Director-General of Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).
About Arvind Gupta
Mr. Gupta is a 1979 batch IFS officer who retired in 2013. He took charge as Director General of IDSA in January 2012. Before Joining IDSA, he worked as Joint Secretary at NSCS from 1999 to 2007. Mr. Gupta worked with Kargil Review Committee headed by K Subrahmanyam and advised on how to stop armed intrusions. While working in Union Ministry of External Affairs, he served diplomatic roles in Moscow, London and Ankara.
14. Prasar Bharati and ______ have signed an MoU for distribution of DD’s overseas India channel. A. Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation B. People’s Television Network C. Telewizja Polska D. Deutsche Welle
Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster on 5 August 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Deutsche Welle, the German public service broadcaster for distribution of Doordarshan’s overseas India channel, DD India on a DTH platform. The agreement for the first time would facilitate availability of Doordarshan programmes on a Free to Air basic package mode, on EUTEL SAT Hotbird-13B, a popular DTH platform in Europe. The agreement between the two public sector broadcasters would help in coverage of DD across Europe, Asia, North Africa and even up to Australia. It will also give DD India full access to the Middle Eastern countries, where a large number of Indians go for work. This MoU was inked in New Delhi in presence of senior officers of Prasar Bharati, Ministries of Information and Broadcasting and External Affairs.
15. Union government has put on hold all new defence procurements from which Italian Company?
Ans. Finmeccannica group
Defence procurements from the Italian company Finmeccanica and its affiliate firms were put on hold by the Union Government on 5 August 2014. The action was taken in wake of the alleged chopper scam. The notification issued in two separate circulars issued by the Department of Defence and the Department of Defence Production said that all procurements/acquisition cases which were in the pipeline with the Finmeccannica group of companies including its subsidiaries and affiliates should be put on hold. The circulars also asked all the three services along with Public Sector Units, Ordnance Factory Board and other concerned departments for strict compliance. Apart from this, the departments has also been advised by the Defence Ministry to stop all and any kind of dealings with the firms those were named in the VVIP chopper scam FIR, namely AgustaWestland, IDS Tunisia, IDS Mauritius, IDS Infotech, Mohali and Aeromatrix Solution Limited, Chandigarh.
Finmeccannicca is the parent firm of AgustaWestland, the firm that is accused of paying kickbacks for a deal of 3600 crore rupees under which it was supposed to supply 12 VVIP choppers to Air Force. The kickbacks paid was over 360 crore rupees and that’s why the deal has been scrapped.
16. US Congress has approved a Bill of 225 Million US dollars to restore the Iron Dome of ______. A. Australia B. Iraq C. Israel D. India
United States Congress approved a bill on 1 August 2014 to provide help of 225 million US dollars to Israel for repairing Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defence system, which was damaged during its ongoing war with Gaza. US Congress approved the bill on the pretext that Israel has the right to defend itself and said that new bill will boost Israel’s capabilities in protecting its people. US had already given 700 million dollars to Israel for the Iron Dome system since 2011. Iron Dome defence system, as claimed by Israel, has been has been a real life-saver for Israelites with about 90 percent of success rate in intercepting the rockets.
About Iron Dome Anti-Missile Defence System
The Iron Dome Anti-Missile Defence System was designed by Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. The decision to build the system was taken in 2007 after the Second Lebanon War in 2006 in which Lebanon-based Shia Islamist militant group Hezbollah fired hundreds of missiles at Israel. It was first operated in April 2011 to combat Grad Rocket fired from Gaza by Hamas.
17. ______, the creator of Chacha Chowdhury died recently at the age of 75. A. Pran Kumar Sharma B. Jagdeesh Rathi C. Raj Chawla D. Siraj Shekhar
About Pran Kumar Sharma (Pran)
• As a cartoonist, he began his career in 1960 for a Delhi-based newspaper Milap with a comic strip Daabu
• He created or sketched Chacha Chaudhary for the Hindi magazine Lotpot in 1969, this character was the one that made him famous. His hacha Chaudhary strips found a permanent place in International Museum of Cartoon Art, USA
• Some family characters created by Pran and published in Indian magazines were Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman and Channi Chachi
• For popularizing comics in India, his name was included in People of the Year 1995 by Limca Book of Records
• His comics named Raman Ham Ek Hain that promoted national integration was released in 1983, by the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi
• He received a Lifetime Achievement Award 2001 from the Indian Institute of Cartoonists
• According to Maurice Horn notes, Pran was given a title of Walt Disney of India in the World Encyclopedia of Comics
• He was born on 15 August 1938 in Kasur near Lahore (now Pakistan)
18. Copley Medal is associated with the field of _____.
The Copley Medal is a scientific award given by the Royal Society, London, for “outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science.” It alternates between the physical and the biological sciences. Given every year, the medal is the oldest Royal Society medal still awarded, and probably the oldest surviving scientific award in the world, having first been given in 1731 to Stephen Gray, for “his new Electrical Experiments: – as an encouragement to him for the readiness he has always shown in obliging the Society with his discoveries and improvements in this part of Natural Knowledge”. The geneticist Prof Sir Alec Jeffreys who discovered DNA fingerprinting in 1984, was awarded with Copley Medal 2014 by Royal Society of London. He received the award for his great work in variation and mutation of human genome. His work, in discovering the method for identifying the individuals with their DNA, helped the forensic departments to solve the questions of identity and kinship. The method was used for the first time in 1985 to settle an immigration dispute. It was commercialized in 1987. Until then all tests were run in Prof Jeffreys’ own lab at the University of Leicester. About
About Copley Medal
• Royal Society of London started awarding this medal in 1731 and is treated as the oldest Science prize.
• It was awarded 170 years earlier to the first Noble prize awarded in 1901.
• Sir Albert Einstien, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday and Stephen Hawking were one of many recipients of this award for their Scientific Research.
• Noble Prize winning Physicist Prof Sir Andre Geim got the award for 2013 for his pioneering part of research into Graphene.
• British biochemist Dorothy Hodgkin awarded by this medal in 1976 remains the only woman awardee.
19. Which Asian country has decided to ban the use of Coal in its capital by 2020? A. India B. China C. Japan D. Pakistan
Beijing’s Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau on 4 August 2014 announced the plans to ban coal use in Beijing and five other districts by the end of 2020. The purpose of the ban is to fight increasing levels of air pollution in China’s major cities. The Bureau also decided to prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating. The decision of banning the use of coal by 2020 comes in addition to the recent decision by Chinese government that environmental protection will be one of the top criteria by which leaders will be judged.
20. Securities Laws Amendment Bill, 2014 was passed in Lok Sabha recently. It has given additional power to _____.
Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 was passed in the Lok Sabha by voice vote on 6 August 2014. The bill will empower and strengthen, SEBI to crackdown on fraudulent investment schemes and seeks information from any entity related to a probe.
Highlights of Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014
• It empowers Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to call for relevant information and records from any person
• There is a provision for disgorgement
• The Bill provides that any pooling of funds in any unregistered scheme or arrangement, having corpus of 100 crore rupees or more, shall be deemed to be a collective investment scheme
• The Bill provides for express powers for the settlement (compounding)
• It empowers SEBI to establish Special Courts – to ensure speedy trial with powers such as the authority to seek call data records
• Powers of recovery of amounts
• Empowering Board to enhance the penalty imposed by an adjudicating officer
• This also empowers SEBI to carry out search-and-seizure operations related to investigations under a designated court in Mumbai.
• The Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 has amended Section 15A-HB of the SEBI Act and prescribed a minimum penalty to be imposed for each violation.
21. Union Cabinet has approved the Juvenile Justice Bill, 2014 to amend the Juvenile Justice Act. The Act came into existence in the year_______.
The Union cabinet on 6 August 2014 approved the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014 to amend the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2000. The Union government plans to introduce the bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament.
Age of a Juvenile in the JJ Bill, 2014
• The bill will treat minors above the age of 16 as adults, who are accused of heinous crimes like rape and murder. The JJ Act, 2000 treats any person below the age of 18 as juvenile.
• The bill empowered the Juvenile Justice Board to decide whether a minor would be tried in a regular court or sent to a correctional centre.
• The bill provides that if a minor is sent to regular court, he would not be sentenced to life or death if found guilty. Currently, the maximum punishment under the Juvenile Justice Act is three years confinement at correctional homes.
About Juvenile Justice Act
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 is the primary legal framework for juvenile justice in India. The Act provides a framework for the protection, treatment and rehabilitation of children in the purview of the juvenile justice system. This law, brought in compliance of Child Rights Convention 1989, repealed the earlier Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 after India signed and ratified Child Rights Convention 1989 in year 1992. This Act was further amended in year 2006 and 2010.
22. Which country has recently signed a decree banning imports of agricultural products from the West?
Russian President Vladimir Putin on 6 August 2014 signed a decree that bans imports of agricultural products from all countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. Major sanctions were made by the US and EU. Putin by targeting the western food exports aims to ensure the safety of Russia and this move threatens to upset trade worth tens of billions of dollars. Ban on the food imports, should continue for up to one year. The decree that immediately came into force asked the government to draw up a detailed list of products that would be banned. The decree stating ban on imports of agricultural products would have a heavy impact on Russia, as it hugely depends on imported foodstuffs of which making are from West.
23. Ebola is a deadly______. A. Virus B. Bacteria C. Protozoa D. Fungus
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 6 August 2014 asked all Indian airports to setup Ebola check posts to screen and track passengers travelling from West Africa. He also advised all Indians to avoid travelling to Ebola-affected places till the situation gets better. Around 45000 Indians live in the Ebola-affected places, viz., Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. There is a possibility that these Indians travel back to India to safeguard themselves from Ebola Virus.
Key Facts about Ebola Virus
• Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe human disease.
• Ebola Virus was formerly known by the name Ebola haemorrhagic fever.
• EVD outbreak is generally witnessed in villages of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
• The virus spreads through contact with an infected animal mainly Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family.
• Person suffering from Ebola Virus develops symptoms after two to three days of contracting with virus. These symptoms can be fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, muscle pain.
• Ebola-infected patients require thorough care. No specific treatment or medications are available to cure such patients.
• Ebola Virus was first witnessed in 1976 when it infected people of Nzara, Sudan, and Yambuku in Democratic Republic of Congo.
24. Wrestling Federation of India has suspended international wrestling referee _______. A. Sushil Kumar B. Satpal Singh C. Virender Malik D. Mehtab Singh Solanki
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on 4 August 2014 suspended international wrestling referee Virender Malik. He was suspended after he was arrested in Glasgow during the 2014 Commonwealth Games on charges of sexual assault. The decision of his suspension was taken by the President of WFI, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. But the Federation would wait for details from Scotland police before making his ban, a permanent one. If the reports will satisfy the federation, then Malik will be suspended permanently from all national and international tournaments. Apart from Virender Malik, Rajiv Mehta the secretary-general of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was also arrested for alleged drunken driving and also without licence.
25. Who among the following has been sworn in as Chief Justice of Calcutta HC? A. Justice Dr. Manjula Chellur B. Justice Sujata Manohar C. Justice Fatima Mahmood D. Justice G Rohini
Justice Dr. Manjula Chellur took oath as the first woman Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on 5 August 2014. Prior to this, Dr. Chellur was Chief Justice of Kerala High Court. The West Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi governed her oath of the office. Justice Manjula Chellur is 37th Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. She succeeded Justice Arun Mishra who was elevated as a Supreme Court Judge.
About Justice Manjula Chellur
Born on 5 December 1955, Justice Chellur began her career as a first lady advocate to practice at Bellary in Karnataka. Dr. Chellur broke the gender barrier on several occasions. She became the first woman judge of Karnataka High Court, Bangalore in 2000. In November 2011, Dr. Chellur was appointed as an acting Chief Justice of Kerala High Court and was sworn in as Chief Justice in September 2012.
About Calcutta High Court
Established on 1 July 1862, Calcutta High Court is the oldest in India. Built under 1861 High Court’s Act, it has jurisdiction over state of West Bengal and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Calcutta High Court has its permanent Circuit Bench in Port Blair, capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The sanctioned strength of judges in High Court is 58.
26. Members of Yazidi community have died in ISIS attack in _____.
Yazidi community was in news in the first week of August 2014 after United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) expressed concern over the death of 40 children of this community in Sinjar, Iraq in an ISIS militant group attack. After the town was taken over by ISIS group on 3 August 2014, 40000 members of Yazidi community have left Sinjar and others are taking refuge in various locations of the Iraq.
About Yazidi Community
• It is a religious sect found in northern Iraq, Syria and the Caucasus
• Religion incorporates elements of many faiths, including Zoroastrianism
• Principal divine figure, Malak Taus (Peacock Angel), is the supreme angel of the seven angels who ruled the universe after it was created by God
• Many Muslims and other groups view Yazidis as devil worshippers
There are around 500000 Yazidis worldwide, most living in Iraq’s Nineveh plains. In August 2007 jihadists attacked Yazidi villages in Nineveh, killing between 400 and 700 people.
27. Which country has declared a state of Emergency over the outbreak of Ebola? A. Liberia B. Kenya C. Somalia D. Zimbabwe
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on 6 August 2014 declared a state of emergency over the outbreak of Ebola Virus. A statement released by World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed the death of 932 patients due to the Ebola Virus in West Africa so far. Ebola crisis in Liberia got worse because many people are keeping sick relatives at home instead of taking them to isolation centres. World Health Organization (WHO) experts will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss a response to the outbreak. The meeting will decide whether to declare a global health emergency.
28. Construction work of the world’s tallest railway bridge began at Noney in _____ A. Assam B. Manipur C. Jammu D. Tripura
The construction work of the world’s tallest railway bridge began on 28 July 2014 near Noney in Manipur, India. Northeast Frontier Railway Construction Organisation (NFRCO) will be administering the whole project. At 141 meters, the height of the tallest pillar of the bridge of Jiribaum – Tupul – Imphal railway line is slated to become the tallest bridge in the world from viewpoint of pillar’s height. The height of the other piers of this 700 metres bridge varies between 50-90 metres. This bridge will surpass the existing tallest bridge of Mala-Rijeka viaduct in Europe on Belgrade Bar railway line where the height of pillars is 139 meters. The bridge with overall length of 700 metres, will be the part of 111 Km long broad gauge railway line connecting Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal. The purpose of building this network is to connect Imphal with the nation’s railway network. The Jiribam – Tupul – Imphal rail line will see construction of about 46 tunnels with total 54.5 Km length. The first phase of project to build 84 Kms railway line from Jiribam from Tupul, is scheduled for completion by March 2016. Jiribam, a small town of Manipur, is located at 37 metres above Mean Sea Level while Imphal is situated at 780 meters above Mean Seal level. The railway bridge on River Chenab on Jammu Kashmir rail line which is under construction has a gorge of about 360 meter deep from rail level to river bed. It is considered the highest railway bridge of World.
29. India recently equaled the world record for maximum number of ducks in a Test innings. How many ducks did India register in the innings? A. 4 B. 5 C. 6 D. 7
Indian cricket team on 7 August 2014 equaled the world record of maximum number of 6 ducks (zero runs) in a Test innings. India equaled the record on the first day of the Manchester Test played against England. The players who got out at ducks were:
• Murali Vijay – lost his wicket to James Anderson
• Cheteshwar Pujara – lost his wicket to Stuart Broad
• Virat Kohli – lost his wicket to James Anderson
• Ravindra Jadeja – lost his wicket to James Anderson
• Bhuvneshwar Kumar – lost his wicket to Stuart Broad
• Pankaj Singh – lost his wicket to Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad by claiming 6 wickets in 13.4 overs by giving away 25 runs made India to suffer a dramatic batting collapse. While, James Anderson and Chris Jordan claimed 3 wickets and 1 wicket respectively, to bundle down the MS Dhoni led Indian team India at 152 runs. The other teams with the record of 6 ducks in a Test innings are Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh.
• Pakistan – Vs West Indies (Karchi, 1980)
• South Africa – Vs India (Ahmedabad, 1996)
• Bangladesh – Vs West Indies (Dhaka, 2002)
30. Which of the following countries has granted a three-year residence to Edward Snowden? A. Cuba B. Russia C. China D. Syria
Russia on 7 August 2014 granted a three-year residence permit to Edward Snowden, the Former US intelligence contractor turned whistleblower. It is not a political asylum. The asylum granted to the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Snowden allows him to move freely and travel abroad. But, he will not be allowed to stay abroad for not longer than three months. Earlier in 2013, Snowden was granted a one-year temporary asylum, which ended on 1 August 2014.
About Edward Snowden
• He is an American computer professional and a former system administrator for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
• He also was a counterintelligence trainer at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
• Snowden became famous in 2013 after he leaked details of NSA phone and Internet surveillance programs, most notably Prism
• It is believed that Snowden accessed about 1.5 million secret documents.
• In 2013, US charged him over allegations of theft of government property and disseminating classified material to unauthorized people
• Earlier in May 2013, he left the US and fled to Hong Kong where he leaked confidential files to mass media related to NSAs overwhelming surveillance. Then he reached Moscow from Hong Kong, where he was stranded after US authorities annulled his American passport or else he would have moved to seek refuge in Cuba
31. RBI has recently issued draft guidelines for implementation of an anytime anywhere bill payment system. The name of this system is ______.
Ans. Bharat Bill Payment System
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 7 August 2014 issued draft guidelines for implementation of Bharat Bill Payment System (BPPS), an anytime anywhere bill payment system. The proposed guidelines describe the basic requirements of operating the BBPS. Bharat Bill Payment System is intended for the implementation of a unified bill payment system across the country. It would enable the customers to pay the bills with the help of agents and getting instant confirmation of the payment made. School fees, municipal taxes and utility bills payments would become easier now.
This integrated bill payment system will comprise of two entities:
• Entity operating at Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) will be setting up the standards related to payments, clearance and settlement process
• Second entity would be Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs). It will be carrying out the operations in adherence to the standards fixed by BBPS. Authorised entities such as agents, banks, service providers, payment gateways would be the participants at the Bharat Bill Payment System.
About Bill Payment in India
Generally, most of the retail transactions are carried out through bill payments. The G. Padmanabhan Committee was formed by RBI to study the Feasibility of Implementation of GIRO-based Payment Systems anticipated that around 30800 million bills amounting to more than 600000 crore rupees are paid each year in 20 Indian cities. These payments are accepted in both cash and cheque. The existing bill payment systems are secure enough, but they do not address the concerns of the customers completely. The centralized Bharat Bill Payment System would be a appropriate solution for the same.
32. Who is the current Attorney General of India?
Ans. Mukul Rohatgi