1. Which country has become the 18th member of Euro Zone?
Latvia on 2 January 2014 became the 18th member of the Euro zone. The small ex-Soviet state has been preparing for the switch, since European Union finance ministers formally announced in July 2013 that Latvia could adopt the Euro. Latvia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and joined the European Union and NATO in 2004. It has a population of two million — nearly 30 percent of Russian origin — and annual gross domestic product of 28 billion dollar.
2. Which Supercomputer has been ranked No. 1 in India?
Ans: PARAM Yuva-II
Supercomputer PARAM Yuva-II was rated 1st in India, 9th in the Asia Pacific Region and 44th in the world among the most power efficient computer systems as per the Green500 List. It was announced at the Super computer Conference (SC 2013) in Denver, Colorado, US. PARAM Yuva-II was developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). C-DAC is the second organization worldwide to have carried out the Level 3 measurement of Power versus Performance for the Green500 List.
3. Name the space telescope, which has discovered clouds on new planets.
Hubble discovered the two new planets, GJ 436b and GJ121 4b, providing the weather forecast for a planet outside our solar system. The Astronomers led by University of Chicago Laura Kreidberg and Jacob Bean W determined that both the planets covered with clouds and contains hydrogen. These clouds hide any information about the composition and behaviour of the lower atmosphere and surface.
4. Corey Anderson, who has hit the fastest Century in ODI, belongs to which country?
Fastest Hundreds in One Day Internationals
• Corey Anderson 36 balls
• Shahid Afridi 37 balls
• Mark Boucher 44 balls
• Brian Lara 45 balls
• Shahid Afridi 45 balls
5. India asked which Embassy not to screen movies at their authorized center without obtaining a licence?
Ans: US Embassy
India on 4 January 2013 asked the US Embassy not to screen any movies at the American Center without obtaining a licence. The Embassy has been given a deadline to comply with the Government of India laws and Delhi Government regulations till 20 January 2014. Movies for invited audiences are regularly screened at the American Centre without a licence. The Government has sent a notice of transgression to the Embassy. If the Embassy fails to comply with the directive, the American Centre will have to cease screening films from 21 January 2014.
6. Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh has launched total E-literacy project in which state?
The Prime Minister after launching the project said that the total E-literacy will reduce the digital divide and improve the living standards of the unprivileged population of Kerala. As per him, the E-governance would help the country in better delivery of services mainly education in financial inclusion and in e-commerce. It will also help the youths to generate productive employment opportunities. The IT companies have been asked by the Prime Minister to utilize the youth potential of Kerala, which is of highest standard. He said that the Granthasala Sanghom (library movement), which began by Panicker with 47 libraries in 1945 has grown into a network of more than 6000 libraries in due course was the corner stone of the Kerala model of development. Panicker also worked to foster social amity and harmony by devoting to Friendship Village Movement. Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala said that within three years the state will become totally E-literate state. If this is achieved, Kerala will become the first state of India to achieve the goal of making people E-literacy. Kerala has also implemented the Right to Electronic delivery of services.
7. Who has been appointed as CEO of Bharti Retail?
Ans: Raj Jain
Raj Jain was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Pankaj Madan as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) by the Bharti Retail on 3 January 2014. Raj Jain was president of Wal-Mart India and also served as MD & CEO of Bharati Wal-Mart Pvt Ltd for over six years. Earlier Raj Jain served as MD & CEO of Whirlpool of India Ltd. Pankaj Madan served as CFO at Bharati Wal-Mart for over five years. Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart had announced that they are parting away to operate retail stores independently in India in October 2013
8. Who has been recently awarded the Order of Prince Henry?
Ans: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Order of Prince Henry by the Portugal’s president office on 3 January 2014. It is one of the Portugal’s highest honours. Ronaldo will receive the medal and ribbon on 7 January 2014, officially making him the Order of Prince Henry. Cristiano Ronaldo, 28, is a football player and plays for Real Madrid in Spain.
9. Who has been appointed pro-tem speaker of 14th Rajasthan Assembly?
Ans: Pradhyuman Singh
Pradhyuman Singh, a senior MLA of Congress party was appointed as the pro-tem speaker of the 14th Rajasthan Assembly on 3 January 2014. The first session of the state’s assembly will begin on 21 January 2014.
What is pro-tem Speaker?
Pro-tem speaker is mainly an operating and temporary speaker. To conduct the works in the centre or in state legislatives, pro-tem speaker is appointed for a limited time period. Generally in such a condition when the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies have been elected, but the vote for the speaker and deputy speaker has not taken place, the pro-tem speaker is chosen. Pro-tem speaker is chosen with the agreement of the members of the Lok Sabha and legislative assembly, so that he can carry on the activities till the permanent speaker is not chosen
10. Who has been appointed Chairman and Managing Director of BEL?
Shri S.K. Sharma was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) on 2 January 2014. BEL is a public sector undertaking under the defence ministry and is a Navratna. Mr. Sharma took charge as CMD after Mr. Anil Kumar retired on 31 December 2013. He joined BEL in 1978 at Bangalore. He had served in various divisions of BEL. He has worked in multiple disciplines and served in various capacities at BEL’s Bangalore, Ghaziabad and Hyderabad units.
11. Which IT giant is planning to set up world’s largest corporate learning centre in Thiruvananthapuram?
Country’s largest software services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) decided to set up the world’s largest corporate learning and development centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The corporate learning centre will have a total capacity to train 50,000 professionals every year. The foundation stone for the corporate learning centre was laid by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 4 January 2014. The learning facility will be built over area of 6.1 million square feet and will have the capacity to train 15,000 professionals at one time and 50,000 professionals annually. The learning centre is located on a 97-acre property in the Technopark area of the city. The campus will also have residential accommodation for professionals and faculty at the centre. The project will provide direct employment to over 2000 skilled and unskilled local people for a period of 4 years. An integral part of the project will be the skill development programmes run by TCS to upgrade the skills of local youth and facilitate opportunities to work in the construction project, through contractors.
12. Who has been voted by UK MPs as the best UK Prime Minister in survey?
Ans: Margaret Thatcher
Iron lady Margaret Thatcher on 2 January 2014 rose-up as the most successful post-war British Prime Minister by lawmakers in a survey, Winston Churchill was ranked at distant fourth. Margaret Thatcher has been voted as the most successful post war Prime Minister. Politics and International Relations students at Royal Holloway, University of London carried away the survey. Margaret Thatcher died in April 2013 at the age of 87. She was valued for her decisiveness by MPs, who took part in the poll. She achieved 7.4 as her average score and beat Clement Attlee, the Labour Party, who scored 7.3. Tony Blair, the former Labour Prime Minister scored 6.8 and stood at the third position and been ahead of Winston Churchill of Conservative Prime Minister, who scored 6.5. Gordon Brown scored the least score of 3.3.
13. Kirobo, which made small talk with a Japanese astronaut and said it had no problem with zero gravity on the International Space Station, is__________:
Ans: A humanoid robo
Kirobo is Japan’s first robot astronaut, developed by Tomotaka Takahashi, to accompany Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese commander of the International Space Station. Kirobo arrived on the ISS on August 10th 2013 on JAXA’s H-II Transfer Vehicle Kounotori 4, an unmanned resupply spacecraft launched August 4th 2013 from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center. A twin to Kirobo, named Mirata, was created with the same characteristics. Mirata will stay on Earth as a backup crew member. The word “kirobo” itself is a portmanteau of “kibō” (希望), which means “hope” in Japanese, and the word “robo” (ロボ), used as a generic short word for any robot, Kirobo was developed by a collaborative effort between Dentsu, the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Robo Garage, Toyota, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).
14. The United Nations (UN) has lowered India’s economic growth forecast for 2014 to:
Ans: 4.8 per cent
United Nations has lowered India’s economic growth forecast for 2014 to 4.8 per cent while warning that emerging markets should be prepared to deal with the impact of US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing programme. India’s economy is forecast to grow at 4.8 per cent in 2014, down 1.3 per cent from its earlier projection, the UN’s World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014 report said.
15. India and which country has inked a three-Year Program for Cultural Exchange recently?
India and Venezuela today signed a Programme on Cultural Exchange between both countries. The programme was signed by Ravindra Singh, Secretary from India and Venezuelan Minister Javier Sarabia after delegation level talks between the two countries. The Programme on Cultural Exchange shall be valid for three years. Thereafter, it shall be renewed automatically for a term of three years at a time unless either Party gives in writing an advance notice of its intention to terminate. According to the Programme of Cultural Exchange both the countries have decided to:
(i) Promote the exchange of bilingual publications (traditional and contemporary stories). (ii) Participation of the Republic of India in the Venezuela’s International Book Fair on a reciprocal basis.
16. Who has been crowned the Miss International 2013 in Tokyo recently?
Ans: Bea Rose Santiago
Bea Rose Monterde Santiago (born in Alabang, Muntinlupa) is a Filipino Beauty Pageant Titleholder and Fashion Model who was crowned Miss International 2013 on December 17, 2013. Prior to her win at Binibining Pilipinas, she was a contender inMutya ng Pilipinas 2011 who represented the Filipino Community in Canada. She was a fashion model for Elite Model Management before joining Binibining Pilipinas 2013
17. Cebit, the world’s largest IT business exhibition and conference, will be organised in which city that will then become an annual affair?
Cebit, the world’s largest IT business exhibition and conference, will launch a Bangalore version next year that will then become an annual affair. Deutsche Messe, the German company that organizes Cebit, plans to hold it in November. It is proposed to be a five-day event in India’s IT capital, starting with a business-to-business event, called Cebit India, for three days, and a business-to-consumer event, called Plugged-In, starting on the third day and going on till the fifth day.
18. The International Olympic Committee has given a reprieve to India allowing the athletes to participate in Sochi Olympic recently. Examine the following in this regard and choose the correct statement(s):
(A)India risked becoming the first country kicked out of the Olympic movement since South Africa was expelled in 1970 for its apartheid policies.
(B) As per IOC, Indians would compete as ”independent athletes” under the Olympic flag.
(C) India is likely to send a three-member team to Sochi, led by luger Shiva Keshavan.
(D) All of the above
19. ________ has recently joined hands with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) norms in its branches? It is the second lender to introduce eKYC in the country.
Ans: HDFC Bank
• Under the electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC) process, customers can open a bank account online based on just their Aadhar card
• While the physical KYC process takes five-seven working days, the time would be reduced to three days in the case of e-KYC
• Using this process will also mean less documentation for insurance companies and customers
20. Who has been chosen for prestigious journalism Lokmanya Tilak National Award?
Ans: Mammen Mathew
Mammen Mathew, the Chief Editor and Managing Director of Malayala Manorma has been chosen for prestigious journalism award instituted by a trust founded by Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak on 31 December 2013. The Lokmanya Tilak National Award instituted by the Kesari Mahratta Trust for excellence in journalism consist a memento and a cash of 1 lakh rupees. It will be given on the day of celebrations of the trust’s 133rd foundation day at Tilakwada, Pune on 4 January 2013.
About Mammen Mathew
• Mammen Mathew is a senior journalist with an experience of 44 years of working in reputed publications in India and abroad.
• He served as the President of the Editors Guild of India
• He has been a President of Indian Newspaper Society; it is an association of newspaper owners
• He has also been a member of the National Security Advisory Board
• He was the first Indian, Director Trustee of the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company
21. Who has been awarded Frances highest honour, the Legion of Honor?
Ans: Danielle Steel
Danielle Steel awarded France’s highest honour, the Legion of Honor. It was revealed by the government’s official newsletter on 1 January 2014.
• Steel, US author joined other foreigners such as singers Bono, Douglas MacArthur, Julia Child and Bob Dylan or writer Philip Roth who received the France highest honour in recognition of service to France.
• She has sold 600 million copies of her books in 70 countries and in 43 languages.
• Steel had been already decorated as an officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, France’s top Cultural honour.
• She was made a Chevalier of the order, which was founded by Napoleon in 1802.
France traditionally announces the awards on 1 January of every year, as well as on every Easter and on 14 July, the country’s national day. Those who have already become members of the Legion d´Honor can be elevated to higher ranks.
22. Who has got South American footballer of the year award?
Ronaldinho has been elected as the South American footballer of the year in the annual poll conducted by the Uruguayan daily El Pais on 30 December 2013. Ronaldinho is a Brazilian football player. Ronaldinho became a key member of the Brazilian team that won the 2002 World Cup. He has played for clubs in Brazil, France, Spain and Italy. Ronaldinho won FIFA World player of the year in 2004 and he won Europe’s Ballon d’Or in 2005.
23. Who has taken Charge as Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman?
Ans: Chief of Army Staff Bikram Singh
Army chief General Bikram Singh took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) on 30 December 2013. He received the baton of Chairman, COSC from outgoing Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal N.K.Browne. General Singh will have a brief tenure of around seven months as the CoSC, as he is expected to retire in July 2014. Browne was a member of the COSC, since 1 August 2011 and its Chairman from 1 September 2012. The COSC is the senior-most officer of the three Services and is in-charge for looking after the joint issues related to them. The senior-most of the three Services chiefs takes over the post.
24. Under which scheme has the Centre sanctioned over 1000 buses for 13 cities?
The Centre has sanctioned 1080 buses to thirteen cities of seven states under its Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme on 1 January 2014. These states are Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim and Tripura. An official release said that these cities have also been sanctioned projects relating to ancillary infrastructure like depots and workshops for urban transport.
What is Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is a massive city modernisation scheme launched by the Government of India. It envisages a total investment of over 20 billion dollar over a period of 7 years. It is named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The scheme was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in December 2005, as a programme meant to improve the quality of life and infrastructure in the cities.
25. Losar, a New Year festival is celebrated in which part of India?
The festival of Losar is being celebrated across Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir with traditional and religious fervor. The 15 daylong celebration of Losar festival, mark the beginning of the New Year. The centuries-old tradition of celebrating Losar continued to strengthen the existing community bond and add joy to the lives of inhabitants of the landlocked Himalayan territory of Ladakh. The Losar celebrations begin with prayers to the god and goddess common to a group of families, known as Faspun. They exchange wishes and greetings for the New Year.