1. WTO General Council meeting recently took place at A. Paris B. New York C. Geneva D. London
India on 24 July 2014 decided against signing Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The decision was taken at the meeting of the General Council of the 160-member WTO Geneva, Switzerland. The decision of India to not sign the TFA protocol was taken in the backdrop of Narendra Modi government’s stand that India will not agree to a critical trade pact of WTO until India’s food security concerns are addressed.
India’s Demand at WTO
- India want a concrete framework on finding a permanent solution for its public stock holding issue that is critical to providing food security to millions in India.
- Further India is also asking for a change in the base year (1986) for calculating the food subsidies.
Developed Countries response
- Conclude the protocol on TFA by 31 July 2014
- Issue of public stockholding can be discussed and an agreement can be reach upon by 2017
The reason for India’s demand
Under the WTO Agreement on Agricultural (AoA) subsidies, a developing country like India can only provide 10 percent of the total value of foodgrain production as subsidy. However, the subsidy is calculated at a base year price of 1986 rather than current prices. Due to calculation of subsidy with 1986-88 prices, the subsidy provided under the Food Security Bill of Government of India exceeds the WTO limit of 10 percent.
G-33 food security proposal and India
G-33 group of developing countries including India at the Bali Ministerial Conference in December 2013 proposed acquisition of food stocks by developing countries with a clear aim of protecting food security initiatives from the ambit of subsidies. The G33 proposals also raised the fact that even the grossly disfavouring 10 percent subsidy limit was calculated on the basis of a fixed reference price of 1986-88, when prices were substantially lower.
The Peace Clause provides for four year interim period starting from December 2013 during which all the issues related to food security will be addressed and a permanent solution will be reached by 2017. However, the Peace Clause comes with many conditions like India can be taken to WTO’s dispute settlement body once the four year period ends in 2017.
Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
The TFA aims at simplifying customs procedure, increasing transparency and reducing transactions cost so as to allow unhindered trade. It was agreed at Bali that TFA will be formally implemented in 2015. The TFA is being pushed by the US and other developed nations because they seek to bolster their sagging economies. According to estimates, the implementation of TFA could add 1 trillion US dollars (60 lakh crore rupees) to the world economy and create 21 million jobs.
The Fallout of India’s Stand
The negative stand of India means that TFA protocol may not meet the deadline of 31 July 2014 set at the Bali Ministerial Conference in December 2013. This is because India’s stand is crucial without its approval WTO could not adopt protocol on TFA. It may risk undermining the first major accord in the WTO’s 19-year history. Besides, from Indian economy viewpoint, this may lead to negative sentiments among foreign investors who thought that Modi-led government would be more pro-business.
2. Who has been recently sworn in as Governor of West Bengal? A. B P Pandey B. K N Tripathi C. Kalraj Mishra D. Kaptan Singh Solanki
Keshari Nath Tripathi was sworn in as 22nd Governor of West Bengal on 24 July 2014. The Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court Asim Kumar Banerjee administered the oath of office to KN Tripathi in Raj Bhavan, Kolkata. He is 22nd Governor of the State since Independence. As s a person he is the 21st Governor of the State because Professor Saiyid Nurul Hasan was Governor of the State for two terms. With his swearing in, he will replace D Y Patil who took oath as the Governor of the State on 4 July 2014. Patil, the Governor of Bihar, was given the additional charge as Governor of West Bengal by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee after M K Narayanan resigned from the office on 30 June 2014. (Article 153 of the Constitution states that one Governor can be appointed as Governor of two or more States.)
3. Who has been recently appointed Governor of Haryana? A. Kaptan Singh Solanki B. Kalraj Mishra C. Ahmed Patel D. K N Tripathi
Veteran BJP leader Kaptan Singh Solanki was appointed as the Governor of Haryana by President Pranab Mukhejee on 25 July 2014. Kaptan Singh Solanki will succeed Jagannath Pahadia who completed his tenure on 26 July 2014.
About Kaptan Singh Solanki
- Kaptan Singh Solanki was born on 1 July 1939 in Garhpara, Distt. Bhind (Madhya Pradesh).
- He belongs to Bharatiya Janata Party.
- He served as the member of Parliament of India representing Madhya Pradesh State in the Rajya Sabha since August 2009.
4. The 5th Sahyadri Cine Awards 2014 were presented recently in Mumbai. Which of the following movies won the “Best Film” award? A. Fandry B. Astu C. Yellow D. Rainy Day
The 5th Sahyadri Cine Awards 2014 were presented in Mumbai on 25 July 2014. The award ceremony was sponsored by Godrej Expert. CEO, Prasar Bharati, Jawahar Sircar was the Chief Guest at the 5th edition of the Cine Awards ceremony, organized by DD Sahyadri TV channel of Doordarshan Kendra, Mumbai. Sunil Sukhtankar’s Marathi Film ‘Astu’, Nagraj Manjule’s- ‘Fandry’ and Mahesh Limaye’s ‘Yellow’ won top honours at the Sahyadri Cine Awards.
Important Awards and Honours
- Sumitra and Sunil Sukhtankar’s ‘Astu’, that has won critical acclaim, was adjudged the Best Film. The film starring veteran actor Mohan Agashe with Iravati Harshe, Milind Soman and an Elephant in a leading role, is a depiction of the Indian value system.
- On the other hand, Nagraj Manjule’s directorial debut ‘Fandry’ focuses on romance amidst caste based discrimination. Manjule won the Best Director Award. Earlier, he had also won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director at the 61st National Film Awards instituted by the Government of India.
- Ashok Lokhande won the Best Actor Male award for “Yashwantrao Chavan- Ek Bakhar’, while Smita Tambe won the Best Actor Female award for “72 Mile -Ek Pravas.”
5. The CAG of India recently took charge as a member of UN Board of Auditors. Name the CAG of India. A. Shashi Kant Sharma B. Vinod Rai C. V K Shunglu D. A K Chanda
The Comptroller & Auditor General of India, Shashi Kant Sharma on 25 July 2014 assumed office as Member of the United Nations Board of Auditors for a term of six year upto June 2020. Shashi Kant Sharma took over the charge from Liu Jiayi, the Auditor General of the People’s Republic of China at the United Nations Headquarters at New York. He was elected to this position defeating Philippines by a margin of 62 votes in November 2013.
United Nations Board of Auditors
The United Nations General Assembly established the United Nations Board of Auditors to audit the accounts of the United Nations Organization and its funds and programmes and to report its findings and recommendations to the UN General Assembly. For this purpose, the Assembly appoints three members, each of whom must be the Auditor-General of a Member State. Other two members of the Board besides Shashi Kant Sharma are Amyas Morse, Comptroller and Auditor General, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ludovick Utouh, Controller and Auditor General of United Republic of Tanzania.
About the Comptroller and Auditor General
- The Comptroller and Auditor General of India mentioned in the Constitution of India under Article 148 – 151
- It is one of the largest Supreme Audit Institutions in the world, with a large human resource pool which is professionally qualified in diverse fields.
- Highly regarded in the international community of Supreme Audit Institutions, the CAG of India chairs the Knowledge Sharing Committee – one of the four major Committees of International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) besides being a member of a number of other standards setting committees and sub-committees.
- He is on the Governing Board of INTOSAI.
- He is a member of the UN Panel of External Auditors.
6. ______ has recently announced the introduction of Comprehensive Hedge Policy for Commodity Markets.
National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) on 25 July 2014 announced introducing a comprehensive hedge policy for the commodity markets. The NCDEX explained that the policy has been designed with the objective of making risk management easier, simpler and accessible for commodity businesses. The policy has widened the eligibility criteria for bonafide hedgers and has simplified processes and documentation for availing hedge limits on the Exchange platform.
7. How many banks have been penalized by RBI in the Deccan Chronicle Holdings case?
The Reserve Bank of India on 25 July 2014 penalised 12 banks in Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited case. The penalty imposed on these banks was of order 1.5 crore rupees. These 12 banks are Andhra Bank; Axis Bank; Canara Bank; Corporation Bank; HDFC Bank; ICICI Bank; IDBI Bank; IndusInd Bank; Kotak Mahindra Bank; Ratnakar Bank; State Bank of Hyderabad; Yes Bank. The penalties were imposed by RBI in exercise of the powers vested in the RBI under the provisions of Section 47A (1) read with Section 46(4)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The penalties were imposed after RBI carried out the scrutiny of the loan and current account of Deccan Chronicle in these banks in 2013. In the scrutiny, RBI found that proper guidelines were not followed in advancing loan to the Deccan Chronicle group which defaulted to the extent of 4000 crore rupees.
8. Union Government has revised the Investment target for DFC to 80000 crore rupees. Expand DFC. A. Dollar Financial Corporation B. Division of Family and Children C. Dedicated Freight Corridor D. Decomposed Function Cardinality
The Union Government on 25 July 2014 revised investment target for Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) from 27000 crore rupees to 80000 crore rupees. The announcement was made by the Railway Board Chairman, Arunendra Kumar during the ASSOCHAM conference in New Delhi. The multiplication of land acquisition led to an increase of investment targets. The Railway Board Chairman explained that the Union Government has plans of constructing more corridors and more investment which will bring down the cost and enhance the technological levels in Railways. As the future course of action, the President of ASSOCHAM, Rana Kapoor explained that India needs to urgently act on developing connectivity to ports, mines and power plants by fast tracking DFC which will provide strong impetus to the economy.
9. EU has extended sanctions against which country in the wake of MH-17 incident? A. Ukraine B. Algeria C. Russia D. Malaysia
European Union on 25 July 2014 extended the sanctions on Russia in wake of the Malaysian Airplane MH-17 crash that happened over eastern Ukraine in third week of July 2014. The sanctions were approved by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the European Union (EU) at a meet in Brussels, Belgium. The extended sanctions include names of 15 individuals and 18 companies from Russia and Ukraine. These names have been added to the existing list of 72 individuals and two companies against whom visa bans and asset freezes have been imposed.
10. Olympic Gold Quest has been in news recently. The Olympic Gold Quest was started by _______
Ans. Geet Sethi & Prakash Padukone
Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) was founded in 2001 by former billiards player Geet Sethi and badminton player Prakash Padukone. It was founded to support athletes in winning Olympic gold medals. OGQ is a program of the Foundation for Promotion of Sports and Games which is a Not for Profit Company under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. OGQ aims to create a level playing field for our athletes to enable them to be competitive at the highest level of sport. OGQ’s first test was the London 2012 Olympics. 4 out of the 6 Indian medalists were supported by OGQ.
11. Prime Minister of Ukraine, _______ has resigned recently. A. Arseniy Yatsenyuk B. Mykola Azarov C. Viktor Yanukovych D. Yulia Tymosshenko
The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned from his post from Verkhovna Rada (The Parliament of Ukraine) on 24 July 2014 after his governing coalition collapsed. The collapse of the ruling coalition will lead to early elections, which will be called by the President Petro Poroshenko within 30 days. Two Ukrainian parties, viz., Udar or Punch Party and Svoboda or Freedom Party left the majority coalition, paving way for new election.
About Arseniy Yatsenyuk
- Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk was born on 22 May 1974.
- He is the economist, lawyer and politician of Ukraine.
- He served as the Minister of Economy in the Ukraine Government from 2005 to 2006. During his duration as the Minister of Economy, he also headed the negotiations about Ukrainian membership in the World Trade Organization.
- He was appointed as the Foreign Minister of Ukraine in 2007.
12. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign has been started by _______.
Ans. The Ministry of Women and Child Development
The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign will be a major inter-ministerial initiative of the Union Government of India. The campaign shall bring together Ministries, Institutions and Civil societies in a rational effort to reverse the declining sex ratio. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development will be nodal ministry and will be assisted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in this endeavour. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development on 24 July 2014 also launched a Logo Design Competition for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign.
13. CCEA has approved 49 percent Foreign Investment in Insurance Sector. CCEA is headed by A. Prime Minister B. Finance Minister C. Commerce Minister D. National Security Advisor
The Union Cabinet on 24 July 2014 gave its approval to 49 percent foreign investment in insurance companies through the FIPB route ensuring management control in the hands of Indian promoters. The decision was taken in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With this decision, the FDI cap in insurance sector has been raised from 26 percent to 49 percent. It is important to note that in his first budget speech in the Lok Sabha, the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley had explained that the insurance sector is investment starved and there is a need to increase the composite cap in the sector to 49 percent, with full Indian management and control, through the FIPB route. The proposal of raising the FDI limitation was introduced in 2008 when UPA government introduced the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill to hike foreign holding in insurance joint ventures to 49 percent from the existing 26 percent. The insurance sector was opened up for private sector in 2000 after the enactment of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (IRDA Act, 1999).
14. Who has been appointed by SC as the special public prosecutor in coal scam? A. R S Cheema B. Jagdish Kapadia C. K L Bhagat D. Pradeep Singh
The Supreme Court on 25 July 2014 appointed R S Cheema as Special Public Prosecutor for trial in coal blocks allocation scam. R S Cheema is a senior advocate. The appointment of R S Cheema came following the refusal of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium and Dayan Krishnan to accept the assignment. Besides, SC Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha also approved the appointment of Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar as a judge of the special CBI court.
15. ________ is the Mascot of Commonwealth Games 2014.
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 got off at the Celtic Park in Glasgow in Scotland on 23 July 2014. The 2014 Games are the 20th Commonwealth Games. The Game was declared open by the British Queen Elizabeth II after more than two hours of colourful opening ceremony. In the opening ceremony the crowd was enthralled by performances of singer Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and violinist Nicola Benedetti. During the ceremony a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the 298 people who died when flight MH17 crashed in the Ukraine. The players’ parade was led by India, by the virtue of being the previous hosts of Commonwealth Games in 2010. 2012 London Olympics silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar led the Indian contingent.
About Commonwealth Games 2014
- In the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 4500 athletes from 71 nations will be competing for 261 medals spread over 17 sports discipline.
- Archery and tennis from the 2010 games were replaced on the sports program with triathlon (for the first time since 2006) and judo (first time since 2002).
- Among sport disciplines removed from 2010 include the walking events in athletics, synchronised swimming and Greco Roman wrestling, while mountain biking will be contested for the first time since 2006.
- The closing ceremony will take place at Hampden Stadium Aug 3.
- Clyde is the mascot of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Clyde is a cheeky wee thistle who has been nurtured by seafaring Scot, Captain Bristle.
- Glasgow Games Logo depicts two sprinters woven into a tartan motif, representing Scotland.
- The first Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada, where 400 athletes from 11 countries took part in 59 events across six sports.
- Only six teams have attended every Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales
- Australia has won the most gold medals – 804 – and are the only team to have amassed more than 2000 medals.
Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010
- The 2010 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XIX Commonwealth Games, were held in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010.
- A total of 6081 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and dependencies competed in 21 sports and 272 events, making it the largest Commonwealth Games to date.
- It was the first time that the Commonwealth Games were held in India and the second time it was held in Asia after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998.
- Official mascot: Shera
- Official song: Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto composed by A.R. Rahman.
- The final medal tally was led by Australia. The host nation India achieved its best performance ever at the Games, finishing second overall.
- India won 101 medals in total comprising 38 Gold, 27 Silver and 36 Bronze
16. The Airplane Boeing MD-83 which went missing over Mali belonged to which airlines? A. Air Asia B. Vietnam Airlines C. Air France D. Air Algerie
Air Algerie plane Boeing MD-83 went missing over Gao in Mali in Africa on 24 July 2014. The plane was carrying 119 passengers, mostly French and Spanish nationals, from Burkina Faso to Algiers. The plane had taken off from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The airplane was a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 leased from Spanish company Swiftair. The missing of Air Algerie happened one and a half month after the Malaysian airplane MH370 went missing with all passengers on board in the Indian Ocean in June 2014. Also the incident happened one week after the Malaysia airplane MH-17 crashed in the eastern Ukraine killing 298 passengers on board on 17 July 2014. These three incidents in a gap of one and a half month have sent jitters among the major airlines of the world.
17. India voted in favour of the UNHRC resolution on Israel’s offensive in Gaza. UNHRC stands for
Ans. United Nations Human Rights Council
India on 23 July 2014 voted in favour of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution for a probe on Israel’s offensive in Gaza. The resolution titled Ensuring Respect for international law in The Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jersusalem saw 29 countries voting in favour of resolution while 17 countries including European countries abstained from the voting. In the 47-member UNHRC the US was the only nation to vote against the resolution.
Main highlights of the UNHRC resolution
- The Council strongly condemned the failure of Israel to end its prolonged occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
- It also condemned all violence against civilians wherever it occurs, including the killing of two Israeli civilians
- It also called for an end to attacks against all civilians, including Israeli civilians
The Israel-Gaza Conflict
The Gaza–Israel conflict, taking place in the region of the Gaza Strip and southern Israel, is a part of the long-term Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It began in the summer of 2006 following the control of Gaza Strip by Hamas after an overwhelming election result in favour of Hamas in 2005. The conflict escalated with the split of the Palestinian Authority to Fatah government in the West Bank and the Hamas Government in Gaza and the following violent ousting of Fatah. Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and Israel’s blockade of Gaza have exacerbated the conflict. The recent Israel-Gaza conflict started with the kidnapping of three young Israeli settlers in West Bank in June 2014. This led to rampaging by Israel provoking Hamas to fire rockets on 30 June 2014, for the first time since the November 2012 ceasefire. Since the launch of Operation Protective Edge by Israeli Defence Forces in Gaza, more than 680 peoples including Palestine and Israelis have lost their lives. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay termed the offensive as committing war crime.
18. Which among the following High Courts has asked the government to ban unregulated e-rickshaws? A. Himachal Pradesh B. Haryana C. Bombay D. Delhi
Delhi High Court on 23 July 2014 rapped Delhi government over its failure to regulate e-rickshaws and asked it to clarify its stand on how to regulate them by 31 July 2014.The Court said the e-rickshaws could not be allowed to ply uncontrolled without licence, registration or insurance and they should be banned. In its affidavit seeking regulation of the e-rickshaws, Chief Secretary said that the operation of the e-rickshaws was wholly unauthorised and illegal. This is because under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, e-rickshaws are motor vehicles and their plying on the Delhi’s road posed a danger to the public safety. The affidavit further stated that Transport Department of the State had stopped taking action against e-rickshaws after the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on 18 June 2014 announced a Deendayal e rickshaw scheme and promised to change the laws pertaining to these vehicles in order to take them out of the ambit of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
19. Which reality show of Doordarshan is going to be featured in the Limca Book of Records? A. Rum Jhum B. Bharat Ki Shaan: Singing Star C. Naad Bhed D. Duniya Gazab Ki
The classical music reality show of Doordarshan Naad Bhed-The Mystery of sound will be featured in Limca Book of Records. This was revealed through a statement issued by Doordarshan on 21 July 2014. The reality show will be featured under Television Chapter in Limca Book of Records for being the first ever National level reality show on Classical Music. Naad Bhed – the Mystery of Sound, a national-level classical music reality show, aims at promoting and popularizing Indian classical music and rewarding the best young practitioners of classical music.
20. SC has permitted UP government to cut 697 trees of protected forests in the ______.
Ans. Taj Trapezium Zone
Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) is a defined area of 10400 sq km around the Taj Mahal to protect the monument from pollution. The TTZ comprises over 40 protected monuments including three World Heritage Sites — the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. The Supreme Court on 23 July 2013 permitted Uttar Pradesh government to cut 697 trees spread across four hectares of protected forests in theTaj Trapezium zone. The green signal was given to pave way for the widening and four-laning of Agra Shamshabad-Rajakhera Road. The 12-km long stretch serves as a link to Taj Mahal from Yamuna Expressway and connects the Agra-Gwalior-Mumbai National Highway or National Highway 3 (NH-3).
National Highway 3
National Highway 3, or NH 3, commonly referred to as the Mumbai–Agra Highway or AB Road, is a major Indian National Highway that runs through the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in India. NH 3 runs for a distance of 1,190 km. The stretch between Agra and Gwalior is marked as the North-South corridor by the National Highways Authority of India. In greater Mumbai area, the highway is also known as Eastern Express Highway which continues as Mumbai Nashik Expressway.
21. Which famous American actor died recently at the age of 86? A. Bob Hastings B. James Garner C. Casey Kasem D. Bob Hoskins
American actor James Garner died at the age of 86 in Los Angeles on 19 July 2014. He was best known for playing a detective Jim Rockford in crime series Rockford Files and also famous for his role in western drama, Maverick.
Garner starred in films such as The Great Escape (1963), The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards’ Victor Victoria (1982), Murphy’s Romance (1985) Space Cowboys (2000), and The Notebook (2004).
He was nominated for Oscar Award for his role in Murphy’s Romance.
22. The Chief Minister of which state has recently announced the launch of a Web Portal for Industrial Licences? A. Tamil Nadu B. Andhra Pradesh C. Gujarat D. West Bengal
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa on 23 July 2014 announced that the process of issuing licenses to the new industries will be done online henceforth. The step was taken in order to simplify the process involved for registration of new industries in the state. J Jayalalithaa explained that the difficulties which were faced while issuing the licenses will be tackled through the web portal; which will also facilitate information about the government services apart from other things.
23. ______ has become the first Indian Company to achieve a Market Capitalization of 5 lakh crore rupees. A. Reliance B. TCS C. Infosys D. ONGC
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on 23 July 2014 became the first Indian company to achieve a market capitalization of 5 lakh crore rupees. This feat was achieved by the company on the back of Quarter 1 results. In terms of market capitalisation, TCS is followed by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) at 3.5 lakh crore rupees and Reliance Industries at 3.3 lakh crore rupees. The market capitalization of TCS is higher than the combined market capital of next 4 biggest IT Indian companies, viz. Infosys (1.90 lakh crore rupees), Wipro ( 1.39 lakh crore rupees) and HCL Tech (1.07 lakh crore rupees) and Tech Mahindra (45000 crore rupees). The combined market value of these four biggest IT companies in India is approximately 4.88 lakh crore rupees. TCS is the largest software services exporter of the country and is currently the most valued company in India in terms of market valuation.
24. Chief Minister’s Social Assistance Scheme has been launched in Meghalaya for Widows and Pensioners. The Chief Minister of Meghalaya is
Ans. Dr Mukul Sangma
The Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr Mukul Sangma on 23 July 2014 launched a mass enrolment drive under the Chief Minister’s Social Assistance (CMSA) Scheme for widows and persons with disabilities at Patharkhmah in Ri Bhoi District in Meghalaya. Each beneficiary shall be given a financial assistance of 500 rupees per month under the scheme.The Chief Minister’s Social Assistance (CMSA) Scheme was launched in Asanang in West Garo Hills in the year 2012. Financial aid of 500 rupees per month is given to the beneficiaries of the scheme.
25. Which state has been selected for Union Government’s pilot programme to train Heads of Government Schools? A. Delhi B. Haryana C. HP D. UP
Himachal Pradesh on 23 July 2014 was selected for a pilot project under a sponsored programme of the Union Government to train Principals and Headmasters of government schools. Other states selected for this programme include Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. The training will provide education quality and improvement in the overall system. The programme has been prepared by the National University of Education, Planning and administration (NUEPA).
26. RBI has issued Guidelines for Setting up Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) for MSMEs. MSME stands for
Ans. Micro, Small and Medium enterprises
The Reserve Bank of India on 23 July 2014 issued draft guidelines for setting up and operating a Trade Receivables Discounting System in order to facilitate financing to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and to help them convert trade receivables into liquid funds.The draft guidelines issued were a follow up to a paper titled Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Factoring-Trade Receivables Exchange published by the RBI in March 2014. The paper highlighted that there was a need for addressing this pan-India issue through setting up of an institutional mechanism for financing trade receivables for MSMEs so as to enable the MSMEs have access to finance. The Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) will provide the platform to bring these participants together for facilitating uploading, accepting, discounting, trading and settlement of the invoices or bills of MSMEs. The TReDS would be governed by the regulatory framework put in place by the Reserve Bank of India under the Payment and settlement Systems Act 2007.
27. Name the Typhoon which has recently struck east of Taiwan.
Ans. Typhoon Matmo
Typhoon Matmo struck east of Taiwan on 22 July 2014. Matmo, with a wind gust of 173 kilometres per hour, was the first tropical storm of 2014 to make landfall on Taiwan. Due to strong winds and heavy downpour brought by Matmo, roofs were torn off and trees were uprooted. This resulted into interruption of rail and air service and closure of financial centres. Besides, the Matmo also left nine people injured. Typhoon Matmo slightly weakened before entering the Taiwan Strait and headed towards China’s southeastern Fujian province. In 2013, Typhoon Soulik had struck Taiwan which brought torrential rains and powerful winds and left people dead and at least 100 injured. In 2009 Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan which left more than 600 dead. The Morakot was the worst storm to hit Taiwan in half a century.
28. Google has announced the launch of a version of Google Maps on Android and PC in which language? A. Tamil B. Kannad C. Malyalam D. Hindi
Internet search engine giant Google on 22 July 2014 announced to launch its Hindi version of Google Maps. The Hindi language service will be available both on Android and Desktop platforms, and not on Apple’s iOS format. On Android, a user can use Google Maps only he/she has Android version 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and upwards. To access Google Maps in Hindi on a desktop, the user has to go to the settings wheel at the right bottom of the map and select Hindi. On the Android smartphone, users can choose Hindi as their language option to access the maps in Hindi. With this application, people will be able to see Hindi names for cities, localities, important roads, as well as popular points of interest such as public parks and schools, on the new Google Maps.
29. Union Government has proposed setting up of three Low Cost Airports for which of the following states? A. Bihar B. Gujarat C. Haryana D. Assam
Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, G.M. Siddeshwara on 22 July 2014 proposed to set up three new low-cost airports in Bihar at Muzaffarpur, Raxaul and Gaya. While Gaya will is an operational custom airport, Raxaul will be a non operational airport. Besides, the Ministry of Aviation also decided to develop Kolhapur airport as a small airport among 50 locations identified across the country. The Ministry also recognized the proposed greenfield airport of Solapur in the same category. The identification of 50 locations across the country for the development of small airports is being considered as a good move towards pending development of the airports. These airports will be constructed in the tourism circuit or backward areas where connectivity needs to be boosted. Earlier in the fourth week of July 2014, the Ministry also approved for six new airlines. These are Air One Aviation Private Limited, Zexus Air and Premier Air that eventually want to become national airlines. In addition, Turbo Megha, Air Carnival and Zav Airways that want to operate as regional airlines.
30. Who has been appointed as Brand Ambassador of Telangana? A. Saina Nehwal B. Palkuriki Somanna C. Sania Mirza D. Mithali Raj
Indian tennis star Sania Mirza was appointment as Brand Ambassador of Telangana on 22 July 2014. Sania Mirza will promote the new state’s interests in India and abroad. The letter of appointment and a cheque of one crore rupees was handed over to Sania Mirza by the Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrasekhar Rao in Hyderabad.
About Sania Mirza
- Born in Mumbai on 15 November 1986 and brought up in Hyderabad, she turned Pro in 2003
- She is the highest ranked female tennis player ever from India, with a career high ranking of 27 in singles and 5 in doubles
- She is the first Indian woman to win a WTA title. She won it at Hyderabad in 2005.
- She also is the first Indian woman to reach Round 3 of a Grand Slam at Australian Open in 2005
- She is also first Indian woman to crack Top 50 in 2005
- She is the first Indian female player to surpass 1 million US dollars in career earnings
- In all she has won 20 WTA doubles titles
- She also has won two Grand Slams in mixed doubles, viz., Australian Open (2012) and French Open (2009). In both the finals she paired with Mahesh Bhupathi.
31. Who has recently won the Indonesian Presidential election?
Ans. Joko Widodo
Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo won the Indonesian presidential elections on 22 July 2014. He won the election with 53 percent of the vote cast in favour of him. Final result was released by General Elections Commission, known as the KPU, in Jakarta. The results showed that Widodo won 70997859 votes, or 53.15 per cent of the nearly 133 million valid ballots cast. On the other hand, Subianto won 62576444 votes, or 46.85 per cent. Voter turnout was 70.7 per cent. It was the first election that pitted two candidates directly against each other since Indonesia emerged from the long and brutal Suharto dictatorship 16 years ago in 1998.
32. _____ has recently released the Global Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on 21 July 2014 released single global standard for automatic exchange of financial account information between jurisdictions. The Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters calls on governments to obtain detailed account information from their financial institutions and exchange that information automatically with other jurisdictions on an annual basis.
Two Components of the Standard
- Competent Authority Agreement (CAA)
- Common Reporting Standard (CRS)
The OECD will formally present the Standard to G20 Finance Ministers at their meeting in Cairns, Australia, on 20-21 September 2014. The new framework is a major development in the fight against black money and important move towards greater transparency and putting an end to banking secrecy in tax matters. The Standard was developed at the OECD Secreteriat in Paris, France. These Standards were developed under a mandate from the G20 of major economies, endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers in February 2014, and approved by the OECD Council. More than 65 countries and jurisdictions have already publicly committed to implementation, while more than 40 have committed to a specific and ambitious timetable leading to the first automatic information exchanges in 2017.
33. World Bank President arrived in India recently. Name him. A. Paul Wolfowitz B. Jim Yong Kim C. Robert B Zoellick D. Lewis Preston
The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim arrived in New Delhi, India on 21 July 2014 on his three-day visit. During his visit, he will meet Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi for understanding the development priorities in India. Jim Yong Kim is scheduled to meet the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley also. Jim Yong Kim will also visit the World Bank assisted project sites in Tamil Nadu in order to find out about rural-urban transformation challenges.
The International Finance Corporation, which is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group has so far mobilized 1 billion dollars offshore rupee bond program, which was aimed at providing strength to the capital markets of India as well as for attracting the foreign investments.India is also the place for largest operations of the the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).The assistance received by India by the World Bank Group between July 2013 and June 2014 amounted to 6.4 billion dollars and this included 100 million dollars from the Clean Technology Fund, 2 billion dollars from IBRD and 3.1 billion dollars from IDA. All these resources are administers of the World Bank Group.
34. Who has been appointed as Chairman of ICHR? A. Y Sudharshan Rao B. Sanjeev Reddy C. Narender Mehta D. Teena Malhotra
Yellapragada Sudharshan Rao on 25 June 2014 was appointed as Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). He replaced Basudev Chatterjee. He would serve the council for a term of three years. Y.S. Rao taught at Department of History, Kakatiya University.
The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) is an agency under the Department of Higher Education in the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. ICHR was established in 1972. It is registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 with the Department of Industries of Delhi Government, Delhi.
35. Nico Rosberg won the 2014 German Grand Prix. He represents which of the following teams? A. Ferrari B. Mercedes C. Red Bull D. Kingfisher
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany on 20 July 2014 won the German Grand Prix. This is his first German GP and his fourth win of 2014.The race was held at the Hockenheimring near Hockenheim in the Germany. With this, Rosberg became the second German to triumph at Hockenheim since Michael Schumacher won in 2006. The other one was Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel who won German GP in 2013. William-Mercedes driver Valterri Bottas secured second place whereas Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain secured third place.
36. Who has won the British Golf Open 2014? A. Rory McIlroy B. BubbaWatson C. Jimmy Walker D. Jim Furyk
Irishman Rory McIlroy won the British Golf Open Championship 2014 held at Royal Liverpool Golf course in Holyake, United Kingdom on 20 July 2014. Spain’s Sergio Garcia (L) and US golfer Rickie Fowler finished two strokes behind McIlory to finish at second position. The 25-year-old McIlory from Northern Ireland won the championship with a 17 under 271. With this McIlroy joined golfers Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to win three of the four majors in golf that complete the Grand Slam, by the time they reached 25.
The modern Majors (or golf championship) that makes Career Grand Slam
- US Masters Tournament hosted as an invitational by and played at Augusta National Golf Club
- U.S. Open hosted by the USGA and played at various locations in the USA
- The British Open hosted by The R&A and always played on a links course at various locations in the UK
- PGA Championship (USPGA) hosted by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America and played at various locations in the USA
37. PM Narendra Modi has suggested qualitative changes in the functioning of Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). PMNRF was established in _______.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 July 2014 suggested certain qualitative changes in the functioning of Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). The suggested qualitative changes would be on the lines of Gujarat Model. The suggested changes will target the selection of beneficiaries and will give priority to the poor and children. Besides, PM Modi also reviewed the functioning of the other Prime Minister’s funds — the PM’s discretionary fund, the PM’s National Defence Fund, the PM’s fund for student’s aid, and the PM’s fund for folk art.
Suggested Qualitative Changes:
- Selection of beneficiaries should be done in a more comprehensive, scientific and humanitarian basis, giving priority to children, poor and cases from government hospitals.
- Cases involving life-threatening diseases should be accorded priority and applications should be decided on need and merit
- Pendency in appeals for help should be minimised
- The draw to select the cases should be conducted in a manner that does not leave out any genuine case
- A letter from the Prime Minister should be sent to all beneficiaries
- Beneficiaries whose appeals have been approved for grant of relief will be informed through an SMS alert
About Prime Minister National Relief Fund
The PM National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was established in 1948 with public contributions to assist displaced persons from Pakistan. The PMNRF fund consists entirely of public contributions and does not get any budgetary support. The corpus of the fund is invested with banks in fixed deposits. Disbursements are made with the approval of the Prime Minister. The resources of the PMNRF are utilised primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes and to the victims of major accidents and riots. Assistance from PMNRF is also rendered for medical treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment etc.