1. OPCW has selected US and Finnish Companies to destroy the remaining chemical weapons of Syria. Expand OPCW.
Answer: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) selected two US and Finnish companies to help destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal. This is the part of an ambitious plan to destroy all the chemical arsenal of Syria by 30 June 2014 that has suffered a string of setbacks. The two companies were chosen from 14 bids floated from around the world to destroy the remainder of the chemicals arsenal of Syria.
The OPCW is the United Nation’s implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The OPCW was established in 1997 and is headquartered at Hague, Netherlands. At present OPCW have 190 member countries. The Four key functions of OPCW are:
• Destroying all existing chemical weapons under international verification by the OPCW
• Monitoring chemical industry to prevent new weapons from re-emerging
• Providing assistance and protection to States Parties against chemical threats
• Fostering international cooperation to strengthen implementation of the Convention and promote the peaceful use of chemistry
2. Name the Prime Minister of Italy who resigned recently.
Answer: Enrico Letta
Italy Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigned on 14 February 2014. The statement released by the Italian presidential palace stated that the Italy’s President, Giorgio Napolitano accepted the resignation. Letta belongs to the center-left Democratic Party. Letta is likely to be replaced by the Democratic Party leader, the mayor of Florence Matteo Renzi.
About Enrico Letta
Letta was sworn as the Prime Minister in April 2013 forming the grand coalition government. The Democratic Party has a majority in the lower house of Parliament but relies on smaller parties in the Senate. The last election held in Italy was in 2008 where Berlusconi became the Prime Minister for the third time. After Berlusconi‘s expel from the parliament for the conviction of tax fraud, the country leaders have been appointed.
3. IFC is to probe human rights abuses at which plant in Assam?
Answer: Tata Global Beverages Ltd
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) of World Bank group decided to investigate the claims of labour and human rights abuses at Tata Global Beverages Ltd plant in Assam on 14 February 2014. The decision to probe the claims was taken following the filing of complaints by three non-governmental agencies from Assam on behalf of the workers in February 2013.
4. Italy has agreed to develop biggest cargo airport in ……………………………….on Herat airport.
Italy has agreed to develop biggest cargo airport in Afghanistan on Herat airport that is located in Western part of the country. To help Afghanistan, Italy will provide a financial assistance of 200 million dollar to Afghanistan. To this effect an agreement was signed between Italy and Afghanistan in Kabul in third week of February 2014. As per the agreement, the work of the airport development as the country’s largest cargo airport will be completed by 2017.
5. Which former Pakistani cricketer has resigned as Director-General of country’s cricket board recently?
Answer: Javed Miandad
Javed Miandad, the former test captain of Pakistan on 15 February 2014 tendered his resignation from the post of Director-General of Cricket to the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Now the resignation of Miandad awaits its acceptance by the PCB management committee, which has been deferred until the next committee meeting. He was serving Pakistan cricket as the Director-General in the board since 2008. He sent his letter of resignation to the Najam Sethi, the new PCB chief just after four days the government sacked Zaka Ashraf as Chairman and dissolved the governing body. To run the affairs of cricket, the government has also appointed a managing committee through a notification. Earlier, Nawaz Sharif the Prime Minister of Pakistan removed Zaka Ashraf from the post of Chairman of PCB and formed a managing committee to look after the works of the board. Later, the committee at its first meeting selected Najam Sethi to head the board.
6. Who has recently resigned as Delhi’s CM?
Answer: Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi resigned on 14 February 2014. He resigned following his government failure to muster the support over whether the Jan Lokpal Bill should be presented before the House or not. 42 MLAs voted against the bill whereas only 27 members favoured it. The decision of resignation was announced by him after a cabinet meeting. He sent his resignation to LT. Governor Nejeeb Jung within 48 days after he became the Chief Minister of Delhi. Kejriwal in his announcement said that his cabinet has recommended the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to dissolve the Legislative Assembly and to hold fresh elections.
7. Who has been appointed Chief of BCCC recently?
Answer: Justice Mukul Mudgal
Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court, was appointed as the chief of the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC). The appointment was approved by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), an association of channels. He will take charge as the chief of BCCC towards the end of February 2014. Justice Mudgal will replace Justice A P Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court who has been appointed as head of the Law Commission of India.
BCCC is an independent complaint redressal system established in June 2011 by the IBF – an apex body of broadcasters. The Council is a thirteen member body consisting of a Chairperson who is retired Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court and 12 other members. The objective of BCCC is to:
• issue certain guiding principles for programme content on the channels;
• usher in a redressal mechanism for viewer complaints; and
• Ensure that programming creativity flourished in a free-speech environment without ad-hoc interventions.
8. Volcano Mount Kelud of Kediri district of …………………………………. has erupted recently.
Volcano Mount Kelud of Kediri district (main island of Java) of Indonesia erupted on 13 February 2014 after rumbling for several weeks. Following this eruption, the government of the country has ordered around 2 lakh people of 36 villages within 10 kilometers of the crater to evacuate. The eruption spewed ash and sand 17 kilometers into the air. The volcanic eruption has resulted in the closure of three international airports namely Jogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya.
9. Which country has become the second to allow mercy killing for children?
Parliament of Belgium on 14 February 2014 legalised death to terminally ill children of any age. The Parliament took the decision despite of opposition from the Church and some pediatricians. This action of legalizing death for the children came 12 years after the country legalised euthanasia for adults. This ground-breaking legislation was adopted by 86 votes in favour. 44 votes were against the legislation with 12 abstentions. This legislation had given a chance of euthanasia to children in a hopeless medical situation of constant and unbearable suffering that cannot be eased and which will cause death on a short-term.
10. Can you name the ethnic Indian Malaysian minister who resigned over betrayal recently?
Answer: P. Waythamoorthy
P Waythamoorthy, a prominent ethnic Indian minister of Malaysia on 11 February 2014 resigned from the cabinet over the failure of government to fulfill its promises to protect the rights of minority groups in the Muslim-majority nation. He is leader of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and he resigned as a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. This resignation is an apparent blow to the Malay-dominated government struggling to halt the slide in support from over 2 million ethnic Indians.
11. Which team has won the Irani Cup for the fifth time?
Karnataka won the Irani Cup for the fifth time beating Rest of India in the final held at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on 12 February 2014. Karnataka beat Rest of India by an innings and 222 runs to win the trophy. In response to Karnataka’s score of 606 in the first innings, Rest of India scored 201 in the first innings and 183 in the second. Shreyas Gopal five wickets haul including a hat trick and Skipper’s Vinay Kumar four wickets haul helped Karnataka comprehensively win the game. The victory made Karnataka the first Ranji Trophy champion in the last eight seasons to win the Irani Cup, a measure of the side’s dominance this season. Also Vinay Kumar became the third Karnataka captain to win both the Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup in a same year.
About Irani Cup
The Irani Cup (earlier called Irani Trophy) tournament was conceived during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship. It was named after the late Z.R. Irani, who was associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928, till his death in 1970. The fixture is always played between the previous year’s Ranji Trophy winners and the Rest of India Team.
12. On which date was the World Radio Day celebrated across the globe recently?
Answer: Feb 13
World Radio Day was celebrated across the globe on 13 February 2014. This is the third Radio Day being observed by the UNESCO to celebrate radio as a medium. The theme for World Radio Day 2014 is Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Radio. The theme of the Day was chosen by the UNESCO in order to get the balance right in favour of women in radio. That is, UNESCO seeks to strengthen pluralism and freedom of expression in radio. Less than one quarter of radio stories are about women, and women represent less than one third of all top level management and governance positions in media.
13. Who became the most generous donor of America in 2013?
Answer: Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg became the youngest and the most generous philanthropist of America in 2013. This was revealed by the Chronicle of Philanthropy on 10 February 2014. He had given almost 1 billion dollar of his fortune to the charity. The charity was made to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. He along with his wife Priscilla Chan dedicated their 2012 funds managed by the group for health and education. Mr. Zuckerberg at 30 is the youngest benefactor ever to top the annual charitable donations list. In September 2012, his net worth was estimated by Forbes magazine at 19 billion dollar, making him the 20th richest in the United States. Last year, the Facebook founder and his wife occupied the number two spot in charitable giving, making donations of nearly 500 million dollar in 2012. Over the past two years, Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife, a physician, have given 36 million Facebook shares to the fund, valued at about 1.5 billion dollar.
14. Which country’s astronomers have discovered the oldest known star in the universe?
Astronomers of Australian National University discovered the oldest known star in the Universe on 11 February 2014. The discovery was published in the journal Nature. The star, known as SMSS J031300.36-670839.3, is in the Milky Way galaxy and some 6000 light years from the Earth. The star was formed shortly after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. The star was discovered using the ANU SkyMapper telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory, which is searching for ancient stars as it conducts a five-year project to produce the first digital map of the southern sky. The discovery of the star was confirmed using the Magellan telescope in Chile.
15. Who has been appointed the new Chairman of CBDT?
R.K.Tiwari was appointed the new chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on 9 February 2014. The appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Mr. Tiwari is a 1976-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer. He is currently working as the Member of Legislation and Computerisation Department in the CBDT. He will take the charge from 1 March 2014. He will succeed Chairperson Sudha Sharma who is scheduled to retire on 28 February 2014.
The CBDT is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance. The Central Board of Direct Taxes is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963. CBDT is a seven-member body including the Chairman and it is the apex authority for policy planning and administrative control over the I-T department and collection of direct taxes in the country.
16. Which state has become first to achieve 100 percent sanitation coverage?
Sikkim became the first State in India to achieve 100 percent sanitation coverage under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan Scheme on 9 February 2014. Sikkim achieved 100 per cent sanitation in rural and urban households, schools, sanitary complexes and Aanganwadi centres. As per the latest progress report card released by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, all 610577 inhabitants in Sikkim have latrines with high sanitation and hygiene. In 2008, Sikkim become the first ever Nirmal Rajya of the country. The status was granted for achieving total sanitation coverage. Sikkim was awarded first-ever Nirmal Rajya Award.
17. Who has been appointed CEO of Reliance Communications?
Answer: Vinod Sawhny
Vinod Sawhny was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Reliance Communications (RCom) on 10 February 2014. Vinod Sawhny will succeed Gurdeep Singh. Gurdeep Singh has been given additional responsibility of consumer business comprising DTH and consumer broadband business.
18. Who has been appointed CMD of Punjab and Sind Bank?
Answer: Jatinder Bir Singh
Jatinder Bir Singh was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) on 6 February 2014. He will succeed D.P.singh He will take the charge from 10 February 2014. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) under the Union Government has approved the appointment. Jatinder Bir Singh is 1983-batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre.
The bank was set up in 1908. Punjab & Sind Bank (P&SB) is a major Public Sector bank in Northern India and working 100 percent on CBS platform. The banks government shareholding is 79.86 percent. Of its 1249 branches and offices spread throughout India, almost 515 are in Punjab state. The bank’s corporate headquarters is in New Delhi.
19. Indian boxers finished fourth at the 58th Bocskai International Tournament. In which country was the tournament held
Indian boxers finished fourth at the 58th Bocskai International Tournament which concluded in Hungary on 10 February 2014. Indian contingents won gold, silver and two bronze medals to finish fourth among the 22 nations that participated in the tournament. Indian boxers who won were:
• L Devendro Singh (49kg) bagged the Gold Medal
• Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) won the Silver Medal
• Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and Sunil Kumar (57kg) secured Bronze Medals
20. Can you name the Olympian distance runner who died recently?
Answer: Ranjit Bhatia
Ranjit Bhatia, an Olympian long distance runner died on 9 February 2014 in New Delhi. He was 77. He was popularly known as Bhatia Sahib. He was a famous long and middle distance runner, sports journalist and educationist. He was a Rhodes Scholar and a student at Oxford University. In Rome Olympics which held in 1960, he represented India in 5000 meter race and participated in Marathon race. He was a contemporary of Paan Singh Tomar and Milkha Singh. He was honored with an Order of British Empire award for his services to the game and his role as a bridge between sports of India and United Kingdom.
21. Who has become the 1st person to win three gold medals in Tri-series shooting?
Answer: Abhinav Bindra
Abhinav Bindra, the Indian shooter on 8 February 2014 won his third gold-medal in the Inter-Shoot Tri-series Shooting in the Air Pistol event. With this, he became the first person to win three gold medals in the event that is being held at The Hague, Netherlands. To win the third gold medal, he shot 209.3 in the finals and finished ahead of the second-placed shooter by 2.4 points. On 7 February 2014, Bindra also topped in the qualifiers in the second competition and ended with a final score of 627.7 points being ahead of Alin George Moldoveanu, the Olympic champion by 6.6 points.
22. Who has been elected the new Chairman of ICC from July 2014 onwards?
Answer: N. Srinivasan
Narayanswamy Srinivasan, the President of BCCI on 8 February 2014 was elected as the new Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). His tenure of the office will begin in July 2014 for a period of 2 years. This decision was taken by the ICC Board during their meet in Singapore. He will succeed Alan Raymond Isaac. Apart from the approval on his name, the new model of Governance, finance and competition was also approved by the voice-vote. The new proposal was voted by eight member countries of ten member nations. Sri Lanka and Pakistan abstained from voting saying that more time was needed by them to consult with their boards on the amended resolution. With this appointment, the ICCs Board will be headed by Srinivasan. ICC Board is the apex decision making body of the world cricket. Srinivasan will be assisted by a new Executive Committee that will be chaired by Wally Edwards from Australia. The Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee chaired by Giles Clarke from the English cricket Board.
23. NABARD has sanctioned loans worth over 19100 crore rupees under RIDF. Expand RIDF.
Answer: Rural Infrastructure Development Fund
Chairman of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), H K Bhanwala on 9 February 2014 said that the organisation has sanctioned loans worth over 19100 crore rupees under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to states for agriculture and allied activities. The loans were sanctioned till last week, which was a part of 20000 crore rupees allocated to it for 2013-14 in the Budget.
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
NABARD is set up as an apex Development Bank with a mandate for facilitating credit flow for promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts. It also has the mandate to support all other allied economic activities in rural areas, promote integrated and sustainable rural development and secure prosperity of rural areas. In discharging its role as a facilitator for rural prosperity NABARD is entrusted with:
• Providing refinance to lending institutions in rural areas
• Bringing about or promoting institutional development and
• Evaluating, monitoring and inspecting the client banks
NABARD was constituted following an interim report submitted on 28 November 1979 by a committee under chairmanship of B Sivaraman, former member of Planning Commission, Government of India. The Parliament, through Act 61 of 1981, approved the setting up of NABARD. The bank came into existence on 12 July 1982 by transferring the agricultural credit functions of RBI and refinance functions of the then Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC). NABARD was set up with an initial capital of 100 crore rupees.
Rural infrastructure development fund (RIDF)
The RIDF was set up by the Government in 1995-96 for financing ongoing rural Infrastructure projects. The Fund is maintained by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). Domestic commercial banks contribute to the Fund to the extent of their shortfall in stipulated priority sector lending to agriculture. The main objective of the Fund is to provide loans to State Governments and State-owned corporations to enable them to complete ongoing rural infrastructure projects.
24. RBI has recently released a draft Report on Enabling PKI in Payment System Applications. Expand PKI.
Answer: Public Key Infrastructure
A draft technical report on making payment system effective was released by Reserve Bank of India on 7 February 2014. RBI in its report of the Technical Committee on Enabling Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) in Payment System Applications said that the objective of an effective payment system is to ensure a safe, secure, efficient, robust and sound payment system in the country. RBI has kept the report open for public comment and suggestions till 28 February 2014. Public Key Infrastructure enabled electronic payment systems that has been introduced by the RBI are
• FOREX Clearing
• Government Securities Clearing
• Cheque Truncation System (CTS)
25. Who has become the second cricketer to hit a triple century and a century in same match?
Answer: Kumara Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara, the cricketer of Sri Lankan national team on 7 February 2014 became the second person in the history of Cricket to score a triple century and a century in the same test match. By performing the rare record, he joined Graham Gooch, the former skipper of England team.
26. The production of which iconic car brand was stopped by Maruti Suzuki India recently?
Answer: Maruti 800
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) on 7 February 2014 announced that it has stopped the production of the iconic car brand Maruti 800 that had been carrier for millions of middle class Indian families. The company in its announcement claimed the production was the car was stopped in 18 January 2014.
27. DRDO is developing Unmanned Arial Vehicles for CRPF to track down Maoists. Expand DRDO.
Answer: Defence Research and Development Organization
Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on 7 February 2014 said that it is in the process of developing Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs) to track down Maoists in naxal hit states including Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The vehicles will be used by the Central Reserve Police Force to track the locations of the Maoists in even the forests. DRDO also said that demonstrate of the first such vehicles operational capability will be done in a couple of months. This information was given by Avinash Chader, the chief of DRDO in the occasion of Defence Expo-2014 in New Delhi. Unmanned systems and futuristic war machines are the main highlights of the expo that will end on 9 February 2014. The event started on 6 February 2014 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. It is the 8th Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibition of the Ministry of Defence.
28. Name the Legendary Bhajan singer who died recently.
Answer: Jhutika Roy
Legendary bhajan singer Juthika Roy died in Kolkata on 6 February 2014. She was 93. She was admitted to Ramkrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan in January 2014 with age-related ailments.
29. Which IT giant has agreed to negotiate with EU over Anti-trust case?
Google Inc agreed to negotiate with European Union (EU) over Anti-trust case on 5 February 2014. The agreement was announced by the Federal Trade commission of the US. Under a tentative deal with European Commission regulators, Google agreed to tweak the way it presents search results in Europe. The deal reached will help address concerns in EU that Google is abusing its dominance in online search to favour its own services at the expense of rivals. However, Google would not pay a fine under the agreement. Google used a strategy of accommodation to resolve a potential anti-trust lawsuit in the U.S. Google agreed to bring small changes to its search practices to avoid formal charges by the Federal Trade Commission in 2013.
30. How many species of birds of India are in the IUCN Critically Endangered Red List of Birds?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of the birds indicates 15 species of birds from India as critically endangered. The information about the critical endangered birds is available on the IUCN Red list version 2013.
31. Shimon Peres, who set a new Guinness World record, is the President of which country?
President of Israel Shimon Peres set a new Guinness World Record on 6 February 2014. He delivered the largest online civics class in the world. He delivered the classes using Cisco’s advanced technology. The classes will be conducted from the company headquarters in Netanya. Over 6500 students in 215 classes across the country from Jerusalem, Beersheva, Tel Aviv, Kuseife, Ofakim, Dimona, Hadera, Tiveria, Taibeh, Nahariya, and other communities will attend it. The participants in the online class will include Jewish and Arab students together.
32. Union Ministry of Culture and which company has signed MoU recently?
Union Ministry of Culture and Tate on 6 February 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop collaborations focused on modern and contemporary art. Pramod Jain, the Joint Secretary of Ministry of Culture and Judith Nesbitt, Head of International Partnerships, Tate signed the agreement. Aim of developing mutual understanding of British and Indian art is to provide a framework for future projects and building on previous collaborations.