13 May

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1. India and _________ have recently signed an MoU on defence cooperation.

Answer: Saudi Arabia


India and Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation pact to take their strategic partnership further in areas of security on 26 February 2014. The pact was signed between India and Saudi during the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to India (from 26 to 28 February 2014) to discuss bilateral, regional and other issues of mutual interest. The defence cooperation pact will allow exchange of defence-related information, military training and education as well as cooperation in areas varying from hydrography and security to logistics.

2. Government of India has constituted an expert committee to study the demand for creation of a new State. Name the state.

Answer: Bodoland


Government of India (Union Home Ministry) on 27 February 2014 constituted one-man expert committee to study and examine the demand of a separate Bodoland state, which will be carved out from Assam. The one-man committee will be headed by former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai and will submit its report in nine months after consulting all sections of the society on the viability of a separate state. Government for the first time had formed such a committee to examine the demand of Bodoland in Assam. The demand for a separate Bodoland has identified following the decision of the government to form a new Telangana State. At present major Bodo outfits have intensified their agitation with the demand of a separate state for the Bodo tribals. Bodo tribals mostly live in a few districts of the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River in Assam.

3. Legendary Paco de Lucia passed away recently.  He was a famous _____________

Answer: Guitarist


Legendary Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia passed away in Mexico on 26 February 2014. He was 66. He recorded his first album at the age of 18 in Madrid. He was reputed for a series of flamenco albums in the 1970’s which inspired a New Flamenco movement. He is known for his blending Flamenco music with Jazz, classical and other genres. He was also a producer and composer. Some of his best works are Río Ancho, Entre dos aguas, La Barrosa, Ímpetu, Cepa Andaluza and Gloria al Niño Ricardo.

4. The Turkish President has recently approved a bill restricting the power of the Judiciary. Name the President.

Answer: Abdullah Gul


Turkish president Abdullah Gul approved the bill on restricting the judicial powers on 26 February 2014. This bill is about curbing the independence of the judicial powers. The bill will give more control to the Justice ministry in comparison to the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. This body is an independent body which deals with the appointment of the judiciary. In another development, the Turkish parliament approved another bill putting restrictions on internet. The law would permit the telecommunication authority to close the websites for violation of privacy. However, the authority would still need court’s approval within 24 hours. The authority would also have to obtain a court order to access records of user activity.

5. Which US actor and director of Comedy films died recently at the age of 69?

Answer: Harold Ramis


Harold Ramis, the American actor, writer and director of classic comedy films died in Chicago on 24 February 2014. He was 69. Harold Ramis was best known for the films like Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. His other films include Analyze This in 1999, a comedy about a psychiatrist whose main patient is an insecure mobster. The film was starred by Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal. Two years later, in 2001, he brought out the sequel Analyze That. Ramis received The American Comedy Award, the British Comedy Awards and a BAFTA award for screenwriting.

6. As per the recent RBI guidelines, before a loan account turns into a NPA, banks have to identify the incipient stress in the account by creating three sub-categories under the SMA category. SMA stands for____________.

Answer: Special Mention Account


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines for revitalising distressed assets on 26 February 2014. The guidelines suggested the forming of Joint Lenders Forum (JLF) and adoption of Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for operationalising the framework. The highlights of the Guidelines are:

  • Before a loan account turns into a NPA, banks are required to identify incipient stress in the account by creating three sub categories under the Special Mention Account (SMA) category. SMA Sub-categories. (i) SMA-0: Account will fall in this category if the Principal or interest payment not overdue for more than 30 days but account showing signs of incipient stress. (ii) SMA-1: If the Principal or interest payment overdue between 31-60 days (iii) SMA-2: If the Principal or interest payment overdue between 61-90 days
  • RBI will also set up a Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) to collect, store, and disseminate credit data to lenders.
  • Banks are advised that as soon as an account is reported by any of the lenders to CRILC as SMA-2, they should mandatorily form a committee to be called Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) if the aggregate exposure (AE) of lenders in that account is 1000 million rupees and above.
  • The RBI suggested infusion of more equity into their companies by promoters and transfer of their holdings to a security trustee or an escrow arrangement till the turnaround of the company.
  • The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) would prepare a master JLF agreement and operational guidelines for JLF which could be adopted by all lenders.
  • While JLF formation and subsequent corrective actions would be mandatory in accounts having AE of 100 crore rupees and above, in other cases also the lenders would have to monitor the asset quality closely and take corrective action for effective resolution as deemed appropriate.

7. Vice President of India has released a Book “Ambedkar Awakening India’s Social Conscience”. Who is the author of the book?

Answer: Dr. Narendra Jadhav


The Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari released a book Ambedkar Awakening India’s Social Conscience on 26 February 2014. The book was authored by Dr. Narendra Jadhav. Narendra Jadhav is a member of Planning Commission. This book is the first ever intellectual biography of Dr Ambedkar. There is only one English biography ever written on Dr. Ambedkar in English. It was written by Dhananjay Keer and was published in 1954.

8. In which state of India was the largest Solar Power Plant launched recently?

Answer: Madhya Pradesh


The largest 130-MW Solar Power Plant of India Welspun Solar MP Project was launched at Bhagwanpur in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh on 26 February 2014. It is also the Asia’s Largest Solar Power Plant. The Welspun Solar MP project was constructed at a cost of 1100 crore rupees on 305 hectares of land. It will supply power at 8.05 rupees a kWh. This Project will raise Indian solar capacity by 7 percent.

About Solar Power Capacity of India

The Union Government launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) in 2010. India currently has a grid-connected solar-power capacity of 2208 MW. The JNNSM aimed for India to reach an installed capacity of 20000 MW (or 20 gigawatts) of solar power by 2022.

9. CIIL is to document 500 endangered Indian languages. Expand CIIL.

Answer: Central Institute of Indian Languages


The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) will commence on a mega project to document almost 500 endangered languages in India, each spoken by less than 10000 people. The decision to document endangered languages was taken by the CIIL during a two-day workshop on endangered tribal languages in south India. The workshop was  organized by the Anthropological Society of India and the CIIL on 23 February 2014.

10. Sri Lanka has rejected the call of UNHRC for an International Inquiry post-civil war scenario. Expand UNHRC.

Answer: United Nations Human Rights Council


Sri Lanka rejected the call by United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for an international inquiry on 25 February 2014. The call for international inquiry was made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in her report on post-civil war scenario in Sri Lanka.

11. Which social networking website has recently announced to launch its Chinese version?

Answer: LinkedIn


LinkedIn announced to launch of Chinese version of its site on 25 February 2014. The Chinese language website will be a beta or test version of the site. China will give a license to the company but the company will have to locate its servers in China and allow the local government to control content in the manner it does with Chinese social media sites.

12. Music album, Raunaq written by Kapil Sibal, will be composed by __________.

Answer: AR Rahman


A music album entitled Raunaq based on the songs composed by music maestro AR Rahman and written by Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology was launched on 17 February 2014. The album was launched by Salman Khan, the Bollywood actor and the chief guest on the occasion of the release of the album in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

13. Who was recently awarded the Israeli Presidential Medal of Distinction?

Answer: Angela Merkel


Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor was awarded Israel’s highest civilian honour, the Israeli Presidential Medal of Distinction on 25 February 2014 in Jerusalem by President Shimon Peres. She was awarded with this medal for her unwavering commitment to the security of Israel along with her fight against anti-Semitism and racism in particular through education.

14. Which state Assembly has passed Water Management and Regulatory Commission Bill 2014?

Answer: UP


Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh on 25 February 2014 passed the UP Water Management and Regulatory Commission Bill 2014 by Voice Vote. This nod of the Assembly has paved the way to set-up a body that would suggest ways and means for judicious utilization of water. The proposed regulatory body would suggest tariff for use of water for commercial, irrigation and domestic purposes and this body will work under the state government. Now, the bill will be referred to Vidhan Parishad for further passage. After passage by the Assembly and Vidhan Parishad, the Bill will be sent to the governor of the state for signature.

15. AERA has abolished the User Development Fee at Hyderabad Airport. Expand AERA.

Answer: Airports Economic Regulatory Authority


The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) abolished the user development fee at the Hyderabad airport on 25 February 2014. AERA concluded the decision after considering various aspects of the airport’s operations, including the investments made by the airport operator, land allocation, traffic trends and earnings.

16. Venom GT has become world’s fastest car by recording 435 kilometer per hour speed. Which company has developed this car?

Answer: Hennessey


Engineers of US firm Hennessey have developed the world’s fastest car Venom GT with a top speed of a speed of 435 kilometers per hour. The firm set a new record for the fastest car in the world during a test run at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on 25 February 2014 by beating the previous best record of 431 kilometer per hour set by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

17. Which company is to use the Android operating system of Google?

Answer: Nokia


Nokia announced to launch new series of handset with the use of Android on 25 February 2014. Nokia will switch to Smartphone that use Google’s Android operating system rather than the Windows Phone software from Microsoft.For the first-time Smartphone experience, Nokia Corp. is pushing the Nokia X. New series will use Android OS, and will be able to run most Android apps. However, app developers may have to tweak some of their software because the phone doesn’t have key Google services.

18. Which country’s President has recently signed the anti-gay bill?

Answer: Uganda


The Ugandan President Yoweri-Museveni signed anti-gay bill on 24 February 2014 which imposes tough penalties for homosexual acts. The main features of the bill are:

Homosexuality being already illegal in Uganda, the new legislation imposes a 14 year prison sentence for the first time offenders and life sentence for repeat offenders found guilty of aggravated homosexuality. The law makes illegal the promotion and recognition of homosexual relations, including by any government entity or nongovernmental organization inside or outside Uganda. This is the first time the law targets lesbians. The law makes it a crime to fail to report anyone who breaks the law, essentially ensuring that gays will need to live secret lives.

19. NABARD has recently formed a JLG to finance Small Farmers. JLG stands for__________.

Answer: Joint Liability Group


Rural development agency National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) announced to form a new concept called Joint Liability Group (JLG) on 24 February 2014. JLG aimed to provide institutional credit to small farmers like share croppers, oral lessees and agricultural labourers.

20. FNCII and CII have recently agreed to organise Nepal-India Economic Summit annually. Expand FNCII.

Answer: Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry


The Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on 24 February 2014 agreed to organise Nepal-India Economic Summit every year. This summit will be held alternatively in the two countries. This decision on Nepal-India Economic Summit was made during a meet of the President of FNCCI, Suraj Vaidya and incoming President of CII, Ajaya S Shriram at the FNCCI secretariat in Kathmandu. Shriram is on the official visit to Nepal to take part in the Nepal Economic Summit 2014 has been held from 24 February to 26 February 2014 with the slogan Destination Nepal for Investment.

Economic Relations between India and Nepal
India is one of the largest foreign investor in Nepal after China. New figures released by Nepal’s Department of Industry says that, China has took over India to become the largest contributor of Foreign Direct Investment to Nepal over first six months of the current fiscal year. China’s investment in Nepal reached to 174 million US dollar between July and December 2013.India is also the major export destination of Nepal products. It is expected that this meet and plan to organise Nepal-India Economic Summit every year will enhance the promotion of bilateral economic and trade relations between the two countries.

21. Name the new Paryavaran Bhawan which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister recently.

Answer: Indira Paryavaran Bhawan


Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India on 25 February 2014 inaugurated Indira Paryavaran Bhawan on Jorbagh Road, New Delhi. This Bhawan will house the Ministry of Environment and Forest and has a provision to accommodate its 600 officials. The Bhawan is India’s first on site Net Zero Building built by the adoption of Solar Passive design and energy efficient building material. This has been designed as the highest-green rated building i.e., GRIHA 5-Star and LEED India Platinum.

22. The book Water, Peace and War – Confronting the Global Water Crisis was released recently. Who is the writer of the book?

Answer: Brahma Chellaney


Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari released a book titled Water, Peace and War – Confronting the Global Water Crisis on 24 February 2014. The book is written by Brahma Chellaney. The book focuses on a wide range of research from scientific and policy fields to examine the global linkages between water and peace. The book founds a way on how we can secure humankind’s water future and promised to become the recognized authority on the most precious natural resources of this century.

23. NTPC has signed an MoU to Develop 1320 MW Kajra Thermal Project. In which state will the project come up?

Answer: Bihar


NTPC on 22 February 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bihar State Power Generation Company Limited (BSPGCL) and Lakhisarai Bijlee Company Private Limited (LBCPL) to develop a 1320 MW (2 X 660 MW) Thermal Power Project at Kajra in Lakhisarai district of Bihar. 9200 crore rupees will be invested on development of the project that will gave two units of 660 MW each. The MoU between the three institutions was signed at Patna in Bihar in presence of Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar and Arup Roy Chaudhary, the CMD of NTPC and Energy Minister of Bihar.

24. In which state was a Five-day Global Ayurveda Festival concluded recently?

Answer: Kerala


A Five-day Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF) concluded in Kerala on 24 February 2014. The second edition of GAF was held from 20 to 24 February 2014 and the chief guest was Mauritius President Rajkeswar Puryaag. The Festival was organised by the Centre for Innovation in Science & Social Action (CISSA,) with the support of the Kerala government and the Ayurveda fraternity of Kerala. The main theme of GAF 2014 is Ayurveda in Public Health. There were other sub themes that included Mental Health and Ayurveda, Clinical Research in Ayurveda, Cosmetology in Ayurveda and a variety of other related topics. The global event concluded with global Ayurveda Exhibition& Arogya Expo and International seminar.

25. UNSC has adopted a resolution to boost humanitarian aid access to________.

Answer: Syria


The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted a resolution on 22 February 2014 to boost humanitarian aid access in Syria to ease some civilian suffering. In the 15-member UNSC, the resolution was co-authored by Australia and Luxembourg calling for an immediate end to all forms of violence in the country and strongly condemned the rise of Al Qaida-affiliated terror.

26. Which team has won the Hockey India League 2014?

Answer: Delhi Waveriders


Delhi Waveriders on 23 February 2014 emerged as the champions of the Hero Hockey India League 2014 after defeating Jaypee Punjab Warriors at Astroturf Hocket Stadium in Ranchi. In the final match of the tournament, Delhi scored 3-1 against Punjab in the shoot-out after the regulation 70 minutes game ended in a 3-3 tie.With this win, the Delhi team was handed over a trophy and a cash prize of 2.5 crore rupees and the runner ups were given a sum of 1.25 crore rupees. Apart from the two teams, Ranchi Rhinos was awarded with a sum of 75 lakh rupees for finishing at third position in the tournament. To stay at the third place, Ranchi team defeated Uttar Pradesh Wizards 3-2.

27. Where was the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet held recently?

Answer: Sydney


The G-20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was held at Sydney, Australia on 22 February 2014 to 23 February 2014. The official theme of the meeting is restoring global growth. The G20 nations set the target to increase global growth by at least two percentage points over the next five years that is by 2019. To achieve the target a clear action plan is yet to endorse. The ambitious target would translate about 2 trillion dollar in economic activity. The summit also produced a breakthrough on international tax avoidance, with all nations agreeing to adopt a common reporting standard for the automatic exchange of tax information and to detail plans for implementing it by September 2014. The meeting had done little to reduce concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to scale back its stimulus program as the job market improves. The reduced flow of cheap money has unsettled investors in emerging markets and contributed to sharp declines in some currencies. Political instability has also made matters worse for countries such as Argentina, Turkey and Ukraine. The annual G20 summit will be held in November 2014 in Brisbane.

About G-20 Major Economies

The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision making. Its membership comprises 19 countries plus the European Union.G20 leaders meet annually, additionally during the year Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet regularly to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy, reform international financial institutions, improve financial regulation, and discuss the key economic reforms that are needed in each of the member countries.The G20 started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. In 2008, the first G20 Leaders Summit was held, and the group played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis.It consists of the US, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, and the European Union.

About G-20 Developing Nations

The G20, also known as the Group of 20 is a bloc of developing nations established in 2003.Distinct and separate from the G-20 major economies, the group emerged at the 5th Ministerial WTO conference, held in Cancún, Mexico, in September 2003.The G-20 accounts for 60 percent of the world’s population and 26 percent of world’s agricultural exports.

28. Who has been appointed the interim President of Ukraine?

Answer: Oleksandr Turchynov


Oleksandr Turchynov, the Speaker of Ukraine was named as the interim President of the country on 23 February 2014. Earlier, the Parliament on 22 February 2014 impeached (dismissed) the President Viktor Yanukovych and he was toppled after he rejected an EU-Ukraine trade pact. This rejection of the trade-pact with EU triggered protests against him and Independence Square acted as the epicenter of the 3-months-long anti-government protests. During the protests about 80 lives were lost in the clashes between the police and the protesters since 18 February 2014.This appointment of Turchynov as the interim President has also paved a way to form a new unity government as the Parliament took a decision to form an-inter-party commission, which will try to form a new national unity government. The interim President said that now Ukraine will re-open talks with the European Union about closer links.

29. Who has been named the brand ambassador of Gujarat Election Commission?

Answer: Cheteshwar Pujara


Cheteshwar Pujara, the middle order batsman of Indian cricket team on 20 February 2014 was appointed as the brand ambassador of the Gujarat State Election Commission. Pujara’s name, which has been accepted by the Election Commission of India, was sent as a suggestion to it by Rajendra Kumar, the district collector of Rajkot district. His name was suggested as he is popular among the cricket lovers and youth of the sate and he would appeal the people to caste their votes in the general elections.

30. When is the International Mother Language Day observed across the world?

Answer: 21 Feb


International Mother Language Day (Bhasha Divas) was observed across the world, with Bangladesh leading on 21 February 2014. This day is observed with an aim to promote awareness of linguistic, multilingualism and cultural diversity.

31. The CCEA has approved the National Mission for Green India. Expand CCEA.

Answer: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a National Mission for a Green India on 20 February 2014. The Green India Mission (GIM) aims to improve and increase India’s diminishing forest cover. The GIM scheme envisages a total cost of 46000 crore rupees over the next 10 years. The GIM is one of eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).The mission has the following objectives:
•    To increase forest cover on 5 million hectares (ha) of forest/non-forest land.
•    To improve the quality of forest cover on another 5 million hectare.
•    To enhance annual CO2 sequestration.
•    To improve the livelihoods of about 3 million households living in and around forest areas.
•    To respond to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures.
•    To improve entire ecosystem and increase forest-based livelihood income for 30 lakh forest dependent households.

The GIM will be converged with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), and National Afforestation Programme.

32. Where will the Wharton India Economic Forum be held?

Answer:  Pennsylvania


The 18th Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) will be held on 22 February 2014 at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA. WIEF is an annual student-run India-focused conference hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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