1. Which state has become the first state to withdraw FDI in Multi Brand Retail?
Delhi government on 13 January 2014 withdrew the Foreign Domestic Investment (FDI) in Multibrand Retail. With this, Delhi became first state to take this step. This action is a reversal of previous Government’s stand in FDI that was made in July 2012 and allowed multi-brand retail trade.
2. Where were Dinosaur footprints spotted recently?
Ans: Jaisalmer (Rajasthan)
An International team of 34 scientists on 13 January 2014 spotted the footprints of Dinosaurs at Thaiat village in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. At present, the team of scientists from a number of countries is camping in Jaisalmer to study the fossils of Dinosaurs found in sandy desert areas. The first footprint discovered was only 5 cm long, the shape and name of the species has been called as Grallator (it is a specific name given to the footprint). The second footprint was about 30 cm long, which is three toed (tridactyl footprint) has been named as Eurontes Giganteus.
3. India and which other country has signed a Letter of Intent for co-operation in Iron and Steel Sector?
India and Canada on 13 January 2014 signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for co-operation in Iron and Steel Sector. The letters were signed by Beni Prasad Verma, the Union Minister of Steel and Minister of Natural Resources, Government of India, and Joe Oliver, the Canadian Minister headed a high-level delegation from Canada to India.
4. P.K.Goyal, who has recently won the Best CFO Award, belongs to which company?
Ans: Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)
P.K.Goyal, Director of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was awarded the Best CFO Award on 12 January 2014. The award was conferred by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Best CFO Awards recognises chartered accountants who have demonstrated excellence and have created value for their company’s stakeholders.
5. President Pranab Mukherjee has recently inaugurated ANTRI at Port Blair. Expand ANTRI.
Ans: Andaman and Nicobar Tribal Research and Training Institute
The President of India Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Andaman and Nicobar Tribal Research and Training Institute at Port Blair on 12 January 2014. The ANTRI will formulate a new policy for the tribal integration with the developed society, but in their own way and own environment without disturbing their distinct identity and unique culture. The institute will also conduct a detailed study to ensure the welfare and protection of vulnerable tribal groups, particularly Jarawas, Sentenalese, Onges and Shompens effectively. The President emphasized the need for a tribal museum by the tribes themselves to preserve their unique culture, tradition and rare artefacts for the future generations.
6. Who has retained the Volvo Golf Champions title?
Ans: Louis Oosthuizen
South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen retained the Volvo Golf Champions title at the Durban Country Club held on 12 January 2014. Oosthuizen carded a four-under-par 68 to win on 12 under, one shot clear of compatriot Branden Grace (68). England’s overnight leader Tommy Fleetwood finished with a level-par 72 to tie for third with Joost Luiten of the Netherlands (71) on 10 under. Louis Oosthuizen was the winner of Home of Golf title in 2010.
7. Who has won gold medal at the third Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament?
Ans: Nikhat Zareen
Nikhat Zareen won gold medal at the third Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament held in Novi Sad, Serbia on 12 January 2014. Zareen defeated Paltceva Ekaterina of Russia in the 51 kg weight category. The boxing tournament was held from 8 January 2014 to 12 January 2014. She won the silver in the Youth World Boxing Championship held in Bulgaria in 2013. In 2011 Zareen won the gold medal in flyweight division held at the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championship in Turkey.
8. In which state was Anu Vidyut Pariyojana launched by Prime Minister?
Ans: Fatehabad, Haryana
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation of 2,800 Megawatt nuclear power plant in Fatehabad district of Haryana on 13 January 2014. The project named as Anu Vidyut Pariyojna, will have four units of 700 MWes each and it will be built at a cost 23502 crore rupees. They are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) which will use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as both coolant and moderator. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) will build these reactors. This is the first time Haryana will have a nuclear project. India’s three staged nuclear power programme. Programme was formulated by Dr. Homi Bhabha in the 1950s. The objective of the plan is to secure the country’s long term energy independence, through the use of uranium and thorium reserves found in the monazite sands of coastal regions of South India. Programme has three stage vision: The first stage consists of the pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR), the second stage consists of fast breeder reactors (FBR) and the third stage consists of advanced heavy water reactors (AHWR).
9. Ariel Sharon died recently; he was a former PM of which country?
Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on 11 January 2014.The former general of Israeli Army had been in coma since 4 January 2006. He was 85. He served as the 11th Prime Minister of Israel until he was incapacitated by a stroke. Sharon was a commander in the Israeli Army from its creation in 1948. Sharon was born in British-mandate Palestine on February 26, 1928, to immigrants from Belarus. He was just 17 when he joined the Haganah, the militia that fought in the 1948 war of independence and eventually became the Israeli army. Sharon switched to politics in 1973, championing the development of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. He was famous for his personal but “indirect” responsibility in the 1982 massacre of hundreds of Palestinians by Israel’s Lebanese Phalangist allies in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
10. Which Indian state witnessed the first trial run of rail engine?
Ans: Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh witnessed the first trial run of a rail engine on 15 January 2014. The first trial run was of 20-km from Harmutty in Lakhimpur district of Assam to the Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar. The ambitious railway line project is estimated to cost 372 crore rupees. The State government would put a mechanism in place for checking the inner line permit (ILP) of the passengers. The ILP issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1973 is necessary even for an Indian citizen to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. Arunachal Pradesh has also demanded the construction of 161-km Tinsukia – Parsuram Kund rail line to help tourists from all over India to put the holy place in global tourism map.
11. Who has won the Sony Open Golf tournament?
Ans: Jimmy Walker
Jimmy Walker of the US won the Sony Open golf tournament held in Hawaii on 12 January 2014. This was his second PGA Tour title. His first PGA Tour title came in October 2013 when he won the Frys.com Open, the first tournament of the new wraparound season. Walker closed with 7-under 63 for a one shot victory over his compatriot Chris Kirk who was placed second. As a result, he won 1.08 million dollars in prize money. The third place was taken by Jerry Kelly of England. Walker had gone 187 tournaments in seven years on the PGA Tour without winning. However, in last six months he has won two PGA Tour titles. As the first multiple winner for the 2013-14 season, he is leading the FedEx Cup and closing in on cracking the top 30 in the world. PGA tour is the organizer of the professional golf tours played by the men in North America and United States.
12. Which PSU has declared a dividend of 290 percent for 2013-14?
Ans: Coal India Ltd
Coal India Ltd (CIL) board declared a dividend of 290 percent to its shareholders for the financial year 2013-14 on 14 January 2014. The declared dividend of 290 percent effectively translates into a payout of 18317 crore rupees at 29 rupees per share. This will be the highest dividend ever declared by CIL, a Maharatna company. CIL will pay the dividend from 25 January 2014 onwards to its shareholders. The Union Government of India will get 16485.71 crore rupee since it holds 90 percent of the company’s share. The government will also get an additional 3113.05 crore rupees as dividend distribution tax from CIL. As a result, the total dividend that will be paid by the CIL to the government amounts to 19598.76 crore rupees.
13. Which state has become the first State to provide Universal Health Coverage?
Karnataka became the first State in India to provide Universal Health Coverage to its population. It achieved the distinction with the launch of Rajiv Arogya Yojana on 9 January 2014. The Scheme entails the beneficiary to pay only 10 percent of the cost of treatment or procedures. It aims at providing subsidized healthcare to virtually every citizen in the State with Above Poverty Line (APL) card. The BPL families are already covered under health scheme through Vajpayee Arogya Sree programme. Under the scheme, APL family members are entitled for health check up to 1.5 lakh rupees per annum. In special cases, if the expenditure exceeds 1.5 lakh rupees, the government grants another 50000 rupees. The scheme covers 447 procedures and 50 follow-up packages. The beneficiaries can avail treatment in 160 hospitals, including 14 hospitals outside the State.
14. Which country offered two oil and gas blocks to ONGC at Petrotech 2014?
Oil-rich Sudan offered two oil and gas blocks to ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) on the sidelines of Petrotech 2014 on 14 January 2014. The offer by Sudan will help India strengthen its energy ties with the African nations. Sudan offered the onland Block 8 and Block 15 to the OVL on a nomination basis. Block 8 will have an oil discovery while Block 15 will have exploration acreage. OVL will evaluate the data and take 100 percent rights if it finds them feasible for investment. OVL, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has been present in Sudan since 2003. In 2003, it acquired 25 percent stake in the Block 1, 2 and 4 of the Greater Nile Project (GNOP) and Sudan Crude Transport System. Greater Nile Oil Project (GNOP) is spread over an area of 49500 square kilometres in the Muglad Basin, located about 700 km southwest of the capital city of Khartoum. It also owns a 1504 km crude oil pipeline from the oilfield in Heglig to Port Sudan at Red Sea.
15. Which country has handed over three stolen 10th Century Indian artifacts to India?
USA handed over the three stolen 10th century Indian artifacts to Indian consulate in New York on 14 January 2014. The stolen artifacts include a sandstone sculpture of Vishnu and Lakshmi, a sandstone sculpture of Vishnu and Parvati and a black stone figure of Bodhisattva. The artifacts are together valued between 1.5 to 2 million dollar. The artifacts were stolen in 2009. The 350-pound Vishnu and Lakshmi sandstone sculpture belong to the 11th to 12th century period. It was stolen from the Gadgachh temple in Baran district of Rajasthan. Interpol had listed it as No. 6 on the world’s top 10 most wanted artworks.
16. Which country is the only polio-endemic country in the world?
A report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that Pakistan is the only polio-endemic country in the world and it reported most cases of crippling disease in 2013 and 2012. Pakistan had 83 polio cases in 2013 and 58 cases in 2012. In 2013, a total of 369 cases from the endemic and non-endemic countries have been recorded from the world, which also includes Pakistan. Of 83 cases recorded in Pakistan, 59 cases are from Fata, 10 were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and seven each from the Punjab and Sind. All the recorded cases are type-1 cases but no cases of type-3 was recovered.
17. Who was recently declared winner of World Athletics Final, 2005?
Ans: Anju Bobby George
Anju Bobby George was declared winner of the World Athletics Championships final held in Monte Carlo in 2005. The decision was given by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) on 13 January 2014. The decision of the IAAF came following the disqualification of the Gold Medalist Tatyana Kotova of Russia for doping. At the World Athletics Final in 2005, Anju Bobby George won the Silver Medal with a long jump of 6.75 meter. The Gold Medal was won by Tatyana Kotova with a jump of 6.83 meter and the Bronze Medal was won by Grace Upshaw of the US.
18. NABARD has reduced the refinance rate for banks. Expand NABARD.
Ans: National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on 11 January 2014 reduced the refinance rates for the banks and other lending agencies by 0.20 percent. This has been done with an aim to promote rural credit and rural infrastructure. The new rates will be in effect from 7 January 2014. With this reduction, NABARD expects that this step will give a boost to banks by extending investment credit. It will also help in creation of warehouse infrastructures for agricultural commodities in India.
NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) was formed on 12 July 1982 by transferring the agricultural credit functions of RBI and refinance functions of then Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC). NABARD was dedicated for the service of the nation by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 5 November 1982. NABARD was constituted following the recommendation of a committee that was formed to review the arrangements for institutional credit for agriculture and rural development (CRAFICARD) on 30 March 1979. The committee was constituted by the RBI under the Chairmanship of B Sivaraman. The Parliament, through Act 61 of 1981, approved the setting up of NABARD. NABARD was set up with an initial capital of 100 crore rupees. NABARD basically looks for the financial and developmental issues. It also supervises the issues.
19. 151st Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was recently celebrated worldwide. Swami Vivekananda was the disciple of:
Ans: Saint Ramakrishna Paramhansa
The 151st birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated on 12 January 2014. The celebrations marked the culmination of year-long ceremonies. Birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda is now celebrated as National Youth Day every year. The Vedanta Society of Korea also celebrated Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary. The event, ‘Vivek 150’, included Vivekananda Yoga Olympiad, a speech contest, and an exhibition on Swami Vivekananda’s life and message. The event was organised at Sookmyung University. He was the disciple of Saint Ramakrishna and went on to set up the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission in 1897.
20. Who has been selected captain to lead India in the U-19 Cricket World Cup?
Ans: Vijay Zol
Vijay Zol of Maharastra was selected as the Captain of India to lead the Under-19 Cricket World Cup by the All-India Junior Selection Committee on 13 January 2014. The U-19 Cricket World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in February 2014. Vijay Zol also led India to victory in the U-19 Asia Cricket Cup against Pakistan in January 2014. India has won the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup three times in 2000, 2008 and 2012. In 2012 India won the U-19 World Cup under the leadership of Unmukt Chand.
21. Spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra community died recently. Name the leader:
Ans: Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin
Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra community died of cardiac arrest in Mumbai on 17 January 2014. He was 102. He was the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq or spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohras community for more than 50 years. He was credited with having built several institutions. One among them is the Raudat Tahera, the mausoleum of his father Syedna Taher Saifuddin, near Saifee Mosque. The mausoleum has the entire Quran inscribed in letters of gold on its walls. He also started community kitchens across the world so as to provide hygienic and nutritious food to members of his community. He had received the numerous honours, the memorable being the Star of Jordan and Order of the Nile from the governments of Jordan and Egypt respectively.
About Dawoodi Bohras
Dawoodi Bohras community is a merchant community having a blend of cultures, including Yemeni, Egyptian, African, and Indian. Dawoodi Bohras have their own language called Lisanu d- Dawat, which is written in Perso Arabic script and is derived from Urdu, Gujarati and Persian. They have a very small, tight-knit community made up of approximately one million adherents worldwide, with the majority of adherents residing in India. There is also a large community in Karachi, as well as a significant population in Europe, North America, the Far East and East Africa.
22. Vice President has released a book entitled Sangharsh Ke Safar Ka Nayak Mulayam. Who has written the book?
Ans: Omvir Tomar
A book entitled Sangharsh ke safar ka nayak Mulayam written by Omveer Tomar was released by the Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari on 17 January 2014 at a function. The book was released to mark the birthday of Mulayam Singh, who is the chief of his party SP. He turned 75 years old on 22 November, 2013.
23. Sunanda Pushkar, wife of which Union Minister was found dead in a Delhi hotel?
Ans: Shashi Tharoor
Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of the Union Minister Sashi Tharoor on 17 January 2014 was found dead in a luxury Leela Palace hotel room in Delhi. Her body was found by Tharoor after his return from the AICC meet.
24. IIFCL has signed an MoU with EXIM Bank of Korea. Expand IIFCL.
Ans: India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd
India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) on 17 January 2014 signed an agreement with the Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-EXIM) for infrastructure finance. As per the IIFC’s statement the signed MoU covers cooperation in project and investment financing related to infrastructure as well as other finance areas of mutual interest. The Union government has already drawn up plans to make huge investments in infrastructure sector. The Korean government has also shown its keen interest in development of infrastructure in India as it has a variety of overseas experience.
25. The teams of the 14th Finance Commission are visiting different states to assess their needs. Who is Chairman of the 14th Finance Commission?
Ans: YV Reddy
The Finance Commission of India came into existence in 1951. It was established under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution by the President of India. It was formed to define the financial relations between the centre and the state. The Finance Commission Act of 1951 states the terms of qualification, appointment and disqualification, the term, eligibility and powers of the Finance Commission. As per the Constitution, the commission is appointed every five years and consists of a chairman and four other members. Since the institution of the first finance commission, stark changes have occurred in the Indian economy causing changes in the macroeconomic scenario. This has led to major changes in the Finance Commission’s recommendations over the years. Till date, Thirteen Finance Commissions have submitted their reports.