1. Which place has been named Destination Flyways by UNWTO?
Ans: Chilika lagoon
Chilika lagoon in Odisha was named Destination Flyways by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on 21 January 2014. The lagoon was named so for its sustainable and resilient destination for migratory birds. Chilika is the only site to be selected from Asia by the UNWTO and was included in a list of eight such sites. The Destination Flyways initiative of UNWTO aims at promotion of sustainable tourism. The status will help Chilika Development Authority (CDA) to develop strategies for protection of migratory birds through creation of innovative tourism and livelihood products. The chief executive of Chilika Development Authority (CDA) is Ajit Kumar Pattnaik.
Ulysses Award is given by United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).The awards are given for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism.
About Ulysses Award
These are the flagship awards for the global tourism sector, recognizing knowledge creation, dissemination and innovative applications. Every year, Awards are conferred by the UNWTO and the UNWTO Knowledge Network to highlight and showcase innovation and application of Knowledge in Tourism. In doing so, the UNWTO Awards seek to recognize and stimulate knowledge creation, dissemination and innovative applications in tourism and to bring to light the latest advances in the area. This has a transversal effect on governance and society at large.
2. Which legendary cricketer will mentor Australia’s spinners for World T20 Tournament?
Ans: Shane Warne
Australia has appointed Shane Warne as a specialist spin consultant on 23 January 2014 to support Darren Lehmann ahead of Australian campaign in World Twenty20 to be played in Bangladesh. His role in the team will be to train the spinners of the squad.
3. RBI has issued new guidelines for loan restructuring in NBFCs. Expand NBFC.
Ans: Non Banking Finance Company
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines for loans restructured by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) on 23 January 2014. The new guidelines are intended to create a level-playing field between NBFCs and other commercial banks. The guidelines issued on loan restructuring for NBFCs were based upon the recommendations of Mahapatra Committee. Mahapatra Committee headed by B Mahapatra, Executive Director at RBI, was appointed by the RBI in October 2013. The new guidelines issued are:
• NBFCs to have more flexibility to deal with stressed loans but it is mandatory for them to set aside a substantial amount of provisions to cover restructured loans.
• NBFCs, like commercial banks, are required to set aside a 5% provision against restructured loans. For existing stock, the provisions will go up to 5% in a phased manner by March 2017.
• At present, a majority of the NBFCs are not allowed to accept public deposits and most of their funding needs are met by borrowing from commercial banks.
• An infrastructure loan given by an NBFC will become a non-performing asset (NPA) if the project fails to take off commercially within two years from the original date of commencement of commercial operations (DCCO), unless it is restructured and becomes eligible for classification as a standard asset.
• If the loan is given to a non-infra project, it will become an NPA if the borrower fails to commence commercial operations within one year from the original DCCO, even if it is regular as per record of recovery, unless the loan is restructured.
• NBFCs will have to make a provisioning of 0.25% of the loan amount for such loans.
• For commercial real estate loans, an extension of DCCO will not be considered as restructuring if the revised DCCO falls within a period of one year from the original date of commercial commencement. Hence, such loans will be treated as standard assets without attracting higher provisioning.
• A special classification benefit will be provided to corporate debt restructuring cases, including small and medium enterprises. The benefit will, however, be withdrawn with effect from 1 April 2014.
About Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs)
NBFCs are company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 engaged in the business of loans and advances. The Reserve Bank of India is entrusted with the responsibility of regulating and supervising the NBFCs by virtue of powers vested in Chapter III B of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
4. National Girl Child Day is observed on which date?
Ans: 24 January
National Girl Child Day was observed on 24 January 2014 across India by the Government. This day is observed every year to raise awareness and consciousness of the society towards girl children. This year’s theme of Girl Child Day is Safety and Development of girl child. This day is being observed every year on 24 January, since 2008.
Some Schemes for girls in India
• Dhan Lakshmi Scheme – Government of India (Ministry of Women and Child Development)
• Bhagyalakshmi Scheme – Karnataka
• Ladli Lakshmi Yojana – Madhya Pradesh
• Girl Child Protection Scheme – Andhra Pradesh
• Ladli Scheme – Delhi and Haryana
• Rajalakshmi Scheme – Rajasthan (Discontinued)
• Balika Samridhi Yojana (BSY) – Gujarat
• Beti Hai Anmol Scheme – Himachal Pradesh
• Rakshak Yojana – Punjab
• Mukhya Mantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana – Bihar
• Mukhya Mantri Kanya Vivah Scheme – Bihar
• Kunwarbainu Mameru Scheme – Gujarat
• Indira Gandhi Balika Suraksha Yojana – Himachal Pradesh
• Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojana – Madhya Pradesh
5. Which Indian-born has won the 2014 Marconi Prize?
Ans: Prof A J Paulraj
Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj, the Indian born Scientist and Professor (Emeritus) at Stanford University on 21 January 2014 was awarded with prestigious 2014 Marconi Society Prize. He was awarded for developing the theory and application of MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antennas. His discovery of use of multiple antennas at both the receiving and transmitting end has helped in revolutionizing the speed of wireless delivery in the world of multimedia services. The technology at present is being used in high speed WiFi and 4G mobile systems. Almost every Wifi router and 4G phone uses MIMO technology that was pioneered by Paulraj.
6. Who has launched the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in Melbourne?
Ans: Mahesh Bhupathi
Tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi launched the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in Melbourne, Australia on 21 January 2014. He also announced the name of the teams during the launch of IPTL. The host cities or the teams which will participate in the IPTL are Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. The sixth host city will be from the Middle East. Mahesh Bhupati has joined hands with German tennis legend Boris Becker, and American Justin Gimelstob, a former pro and member of the ATP board to launch the IPL styles IPTL. The IPTL is expected to start in Asia from 1 December 2014 to 20 December 2014 for which the auction of players will be held in UAE on 2 March 2014. Each team is expected to field 10 players. The salary which each team will pay to its players is estimated to be between 4 million dollars and 10 million dollars.
7. Legendary actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao died recently; he belonged to which film industry?
Legendary actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao died at the age of 91 in Hyderabad on 22 January 2014.He was suffering from cancer for months. Nageswara rao was born in Venkata Raghavapuram of Krishna District in 1924. Nageswara rao first movie was Dharmapatni and his last movie was manam which stars three generations of the family (Nageswara rao, Nagarjuna and Naga Chaithanya). Nageswara Rao was the first generation actor who acted 240 movies as hero in Telugu and in Tamil movies as well. He popularly known as ANR and he acted in movies like Devadasu, Laila Majnu, Anarkali, Premabhishekham, Prem Nagar and Megha Sandhesham etc. Nageswara Rao had an acting spanning of 75 years and he had own production house in the name of Annapurna Productions. He received Padma Vibhushan, Padma shri, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award and the NTR National Award in recognition of his work in Telugu Industry.
8. Which Asian country has halted its Uranium Enrichment activities?
Iran has started halting the Uranium enrichment and has begun down-blending Uranium enriched to higher level. The steps were taken on 20 January 2014 by Iran to limit its nuclear programme as per an interim deal with the world powers. This report was confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran has halted enrichment work of the uranium and paved ways to suspend some sanctions imposed on it by the European Union and the United States. The deal with the world powers has asked Tehran to power down the key nuclear equipment for six months, which will be followed by the easing of crippling sanctions imposed on it. The report of IAEA has also mentioned that Iran has started diluting its stockpile of uranium, which was enriched to the fissile concentration of 20 percent. This level took Iran closer to its capability of production of fuel for an atom bomb. It also confirmed that Iran has started converting some of its reserves into oxide for production of reactor fuel making it less suitable to manufacture bombs.
9. In which capital city has Emergency rule been imposed for two months?
Ans: Bangkok (The Capital of Thailand)
60-day state of emergency has been imposed in Bangkok by the Thai government on 21 January 2014. The emergency has been imposed in the province to suppress the anti-government protest that has blocked the parts of the capital and to take care of the situation and to enforce the law. The emergency decree bans public gatherings, censor the news reports and imposition of curfew for next 60 days. The emergency measure came into effect from 22 January 2014. Emergency was announced by the Deputy Interior Minister, Visarn Techateerawat after a cabinet meeting. The government has also said that it has no plan to disperse the protest movement that is led by the opposition Suthep Thaugsban.
10. RBI expert panel has recently suggested adoption of new CPI for Anchoring Monetary Policy. Expand CPI.
Ans: Consumer Price Index
Expert Committee to revise and strengthen the monetary policy framework submitted its report to the Governor of RBI on 21 January 2013. The committee was headed by Dr. Urjit R Patel, the Deputy Governor of RBI and was constituted on 12 September 2013 by the Governor Dr. Raghuram G Rajan. It has been done to make it transparent and predictable. The committee in its suggestion has recommended that a new Consumer Price Index (CPI) should be adopted by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to anchor the monetary policy been recommended on 21 January 2014 by an expert panel set by the central bank. The committee has also set an inflation target at 4 percent with a band of plus/minus 2 percent around it.
11. Which country has recently approved a new Constitution through referendum?
Egypt approved the new Constitution in a referendum held by the Egypt’s electoral commission on 18 January 2014.The proposed new Constitution was drafted by a 50-member committee headed by Amr Moussa in December 2013. The new Constitution strengthens the Egypt’s three key institutions the military, the police and the judiciary. Also, it provides for giving more rights to women and disabled people. It removed certain Islamist-leaning clauses while maintaining the principles of Islamic sharia as the main source of legislation.
Main features of new Constitution:
• The President can serve a term of four years for two times and can be impeached by the Parliament.
• Islam remains the state religion but it provides for absolute religious freedom giving some protection to minorities (Christians and Jews).
• The state guarantees equality between men and women.
• Parties may not be formed on the grounds of religion, race, gender or geography.
• Military to appoint defence minister for next eight years.
12. Bihar’s turnaround was analysed at which famous business school recently?
Ans: London School of Economics
A panel discussion at the London School of Economics (LSE) on 20 January 2014 was centered on the turnaround in the growth of Bihar that is one of the India’s poorest and most populous states. The topic was the centre of discussion with the panel because the launch of a new collection of essays titled The New Bihar: Rekindling Governance and Development. It was launched at an event in the London School of Economics. The essays have been edited by NK Singh, an MP of Rajya Sabha and Nicholas Stern, director of LSE India Observatory.
13. Union Government of India has extended the implementation of NFSA to Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. Expand NFSA.
Ans: National Food Security Act
Union Government of India extended the implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 to the States of Karnataka and Chhattisgarh on 18 January 2014. With this the implementation of National Food Security Act has taken off now in seven States/ Union Territories. These are Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. Uttrakhand and Chandigarh are also expected to join NFSA soon. Accordingly, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution allocated food grains to these seven States/UTs. The allocation of food grains was made as per requirements projected by these States/UTs to implement the Act.
14. When is the National Voter’s Day celebrated?
Ans: 25 January
The Election Commission of India celebrated the 4th National Voters Day across the country on 25 January 2014. The theme for the 4th NVD is Ethical Voting. National Voters Day was started from 25 January 2011. NVD functions were held at more than 6.5 lakh locations across the country covering nearly all 8.5 lakh Polling Stations. Around 46000 Educational Institutions also celebrated National Voters Day. Around 4867 Youth Voter Festivals have been held across the states to engage youth in the registration process. The National Function to mark the 4th National Voters’ Day was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. 25th January is also the foundation day of the Commission, which came into being on this day in 1950. The Commission’s objective through NVD is to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones, to make universal adult suffrage a complete reality. The National Voters Day is also utilized to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.
15. Who has become the first woman to be appointed chief of National Police Academy?
Ans: Aruna Bahuguna
The Union Government appointed IPS Aruna Bahuguna as chief of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderbad. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) issued the orders for the appointment on 20 January 2014. Aruna Bahuguna is the first woman to be appointed as the chief of the National Police Academy. She is the 28th chief of the academy and will be at its helm till February 2017. She will replace the incumbent IPS Subhas Goswami who was appointed as the Director General of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in November 2013.
16. Who has been recently elected Interim President of Central African Republic?
Ans: Catherline Samba-Panza
Catherline Samba-Panza, the mayor of Bangui on 20 January 2014 was elected as the interim president of the Central African Republic (CAR). With this she became the first woman to hold the post after defeating her rival Desire Kolinba, in the second round of voting by the interim Parliament. She secured 75 votes against 53 of the rival. She has been tasked to restore peace in the country as violence has struck the Bangui after two Muslim men were killed and burned in Bangui on 19 January 2014. She has succeeded Michel Djotodia, who on 10 January 2014 resigned from the post following the pressure of former colonial power, France and regional leaders on his failure to stop the violence. At present, 4000 African troops and 1600 French troops are available in CAR to end the violence and more 500 European Union troops will be deployed as per the decision of the foreign Minister.
17. NALSA has recently launched free legal service clinics across the country. What is NALSA?
Ans: National Legal Services Authority
National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) launched the 2648 village legal service clinics across the country on 24 January 2014. The move aims to bring legal services to the doorsteps of the weakest section of the country. Chief Justice of India P.Sathasivam opened free legal clinics in New Delhi. As per the regulation, NALSA will set up village legal services clinics in one village in each Taluk of the country.
The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes. In every State, State Legal Services Authority has been constituted to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to give free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State. The State Legal Services Authority is headed by the Chief Justice of the respective High Court.
18. Aviation ministry has recently removed the Chairman of Airport Authority of India (AAI). His name is:
The Aviation Ministry removed V.P.Agrawal as chairman of the state-run Airport Authority of India (AAI) on 24 January 2014. Alok Sinha has given additional charge as AAI chairman. Alok Sinha is a joint secretary in the Aviation Ministry. V.P. Agrawal took over as chairman on 1 January 2009 for a period of five years. His tenure was ended on 31 December 2013, but he was allowed to continue in the post. Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) did not clear his name for further extension. About Airports Authority of India
Airports Authority of India (AAI) was constituted by an Act of Parliament and came into being on 1 April 1995 by merging erstwhile National Airports Authority and International Airports Authority of India. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. It provides Air traffic management (ATM) services over Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas. It also manages a total of 125 Airports, including 11 International Airports, 8 Customs Airports, 81 Domestic Airports and 25 Civil enclaves at Military Airfields.
19. Union Civil Aviation Ministry has removed restrictions on which flight in India?
Ans: Airbus A-380
Civil Aviation Ministry decided to remove restrictions on flights of Airbus A-380 to India on 27 January 2014. Now, flights of A 380 to India will be allowed to airports which are equipped to handle them. The decision was taken after due consultations with the Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA), Air India and Airports Authority of India.
20. Samsung and which other IT giant has recently signed a Global Patent Agreement?
Google Inc and Samsung Electronics Co signed an agreement to cross-licence their global patents. This agreement was signed to reduce the risk of costly legal disputes over intellectual property on 26 January 2014. This agreement would also foster greater collaboration between the two technique giants. As per Samsung, the Seoul-based company the deal between the two giants also covers the patents to be filed over the next 10 years as well as existing patents. The deal does not cover every patents held by both the companies. Samsung and Google work closely as Google’s Android mobile operating system is used by Samsung.
21. Name the pioneer of Swiss watch industry who died recently?
Ans: Raymond Weil
Raymond Weil, the founder of the watch brand of his name died at the age of 87 on 27 January 2014. He is considered as one of the great innovators of the Swiss watch industry. Raymond Weil Geneve is a Swiss luxury watchmaker that was founded in Geneva. It is one of the last independent brands in the Swiss watch industry. The company was formed at a time when the Swiss watch industry was going down due to the quartz crisis.
22. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised the Repo rate under LAF by 25 basis points from 7.75 percent to 8 percent. Expand LAF.
Ans: Liquidity Adjustment Facility
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised the Repo rate under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 7.75 percent to 8 percent. Besides, it kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4 percent of net demand and time liability (NDTL). The decision to raise the repo rate and keep the CRR unchanged was announced by the RBI in its Third Quarter Monetary Policy Review on 28 January 2014.
23. Name the Egypt’s Army Chief who was recently promoted to Field Marshal?
Ans: Fattah al-Sisi
Egypt’s army chief Gen Fattah al-Sisi on 27 January 2014 was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal (the highest in the military). His promotion came amid speculation that the military strongman way readying for the Presidential bid. Fattah al-Sisi is the person who ousted the Islamist President, Mohammed Morsi. The presidential decree of promoting the 59-year-old Sisi to the rank of Field Marshal was issued by the interim president Adly Mansour. Egypt’s army rarely promotes senior officers to the rank of a field marshal. The top military body of Egypt has also given its approval for armed forces chief field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to run for the presidency. SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) held an hour-long meet to discuss the demands of people that is candidacy of Sisi in presidency elections. His promotion to the army’s top rank also came during the meet only, which is the final hounour before he stands down for presidency elections. After stepping down as the chief of army of Egypt, al-Sisi will be replaced by chief-of-staff, Gen Sedky Sobhy as head of the armed forces.
24. India has won gold in men’s Basketball at which place recently?
Ans: Lusofonia Games
India on 27 January 2014 won the basketball gold in the men’s section at the Lusofonia Games by defeating Angola 77-70 at the Shyam Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Taleigao in Goa.
About Lusofonia Games 2014
Goa is hosting the Portuguese commonwealth games in nine disciplines with participation from 12 countries. Participating countries are Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Macau (China), Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, Sri Lanka and the host nation Goa (India). Goa- 2014 is one of the most scintillating games ever witnessed in the history of Lusofonia Games movement. The Association of the Portuguese Speaking Olympic Committees (ACOLOP) was officially established on 8 June 2004 in Lisbon to solidify unity and enhance cooperation among members through sports. ACOLOP is a non- governmental organization with 12 members. ACOLOP is approved by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Founding members of ACOLOP are National Olympic Committees of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Macao (China), Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome & Principe, East Timor and Equatorial Guinea, as an associate member. In 2006, India and Sri Lanka joined the Association, also as associate members.
25. Who has won the Syed Modi International India Grand Prix title which was held recently?
Ans: Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal won the Syed Modi International India Grand Prix title 2014 on 26 January 2014. Sania beat P V Sindhu 21-14, 21-17 in the final held at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. The win was Sania’s third straight win over sindhu. Sania’s last title was Denmark Open in 2012 against Juliane Schenk of Germany. At present Saina is ranked ninth whereas P V Sindhu is ranked eleventh in world ranking of women singles.