09 Jul

  • By Vidya Guru
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1. 35th National Games are going to be held in ________ A. West Bengal B. Tamilnadu C. Kerala D. Delhi

Ans. C

BACKGROUND:

First National Games were held in 1924 in Lahore as Indian Olympic Games. In 1940 Indian Olympic Games were changed to National Games. First National Games after independence were held in Lucknow in 1948. 35th National Games dates were announced on 26 June 2014 at the Members’ Lounge of the Kerala Legislative Assembly complex, Thiruvananthapuram by Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The games will be held at 32 different venues across seven districts of Kerala from 31 January to 14 February 2015.  The dates for the games were formally approved by Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbanand Sonowal on behalf of Government of India. The 35th National Games will be held in 36 disciplines and will see a total of 11641 participants that includes 7744 athletes. The participants will compete for a total of 365 gold and silver medals as well as 477 bronze medals. This is for the second time Kerala will be hosting the National Games. For the first time, Kerala conducted the 27th National Games in 1987. The logo and the mascot of the 35th National Games was unveiled on 11 December 2009.

  • Mascot: Ammu, the Great Indian Hornbill
  • Logo: Design in the pattern of Kanikonana (Indian Laburnum Cassia) also resembling a nettipattom (festival elephant’s mask)
  • Indian Olympic Association Secretary-general – Rajeev Mehta
  • Indian Olympic Association President – N Ramachandran
  • Goodwill Ambassador of 35th National Games – Sachin Tendulkar

The Last two National Games were held in:

  • 2011 – Ranchi, Jharkhand (34th National Games)
  • 2007 – Guwahati, Assam (33rd National Games)

2. France has recently honoured which of the following Bollywood actors with the Legion of Honour? A. Aamir Khan B. Shahrukh Khan C. Amitabh Bachhan D. Anupam Kher

Ans. B

BACKGROUND:

France on 25 June 2014 announced to honour Shahrukh Khan with Officer of the Legion of Honour for his contribution to Cinema. The award of Officier de la Legion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honour) is the highest honour among Civilians and Military bestowed by France on French citizen as well as foreigners. He will be honoured with Legion of Honour during the visit of French foreign minister Laurent Fabius to India on 30 June 2014. Shahrukh Khan is the second Bollywood actor after Amitabh Bachchan to be honoured with Legion of Honour. Amitabh Bachchan received the honour in 2007. Other noted Indian personalities who have been honoured with France highest honour are Lata Mangeshkar and Satyajit Ray for their contribution in their respective fields as well. Earlier, Shahrukh Khan was honoured with Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the Government of France in 2007 for his contribution to films. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2005.

About Officer of the Legion of Honour

Officer of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte on 19 May 1802. The Order is the highest decoration in France and is divided into five degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer), and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). The order’s motto is Honour and Fatherland and its seat is the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur on the left bank of the River Seine in Paris.

3. Union Government has recently granted Navratna Status to _____

Ans. Engineers India Ltd (EIL) and National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) 

BACKGROUND:

The Union Government on 24 June 2014 granted Navratna status to Engineers India Ltd (EIL) and National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC). Department of Public Enterprises under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises granted the navratna status to enhance the greater financial and operational autonomy. The Navratna status to two Central Public Sector (CPSEs) will provide the companies greater leeway in deciding on business propositions such as forming joint ventures or taking call on projects involving major investments. 

About Engineers India Ltd
EIL has emerged as one of India’s leading companies in the engineering consultancy.EPC sector with a diverse portfolio of projects in oil and gas, petrochemicals, mining and metallurgy, fertiliser, power and infrastructure sectors.

About National Buildings Construction Corporation
NBCC provides civil engineering construction services in wide gamut of projects of varied nature, complexities & at socio political geographical locations, both at home & overseas. NBCC has been operating in infrastructure segment as well, wherein it has been executing projects such as chimneys, cooling towers, and various types of power plant works.

Criteria for Navratna status
The Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) fulfilling the following criteria are eligible to be considered for grant of Navratna status:

  • Having Schedule A and Miniratna Category-1 status.
  • Having at least three Excellent or Very Good Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ratings during the last five years.
  • Having a composite score of 60 or above out of 100 marks based on its performance during the last three years on the following six identified efficiency parameters such as Net Profit to Net Worth, Manpower cost to cost of production or services, Gross margin as capital employed, Gross profit as Turnover, Earnings per Share and Inter-Sectoral comparison based on Net profit to net worth.

4. Who has been appointed Chairman of Coal India Limited? A. A.K. Dubey B. Sanjeev Toplo C. Nripesh MishraD. M K Narayan

Ans. A 

BACKGROUND:

Additional secretary A.K. Dubey on 25 June 2014 was appointed as Chairman of Coal India Limited with immediate effect. He will serve his post as an additional charge till a full-time chairman is appointed. He will serve as the Chairman for a period of three months until the new chairman of the state-owned company is duly appointed. The post of Chairman was lying vacant since May-end 2014 when the then Chairman of CIL S Narsingh Rao resigned from the post.
 
About Coal India Limited

Coal India Limited is an Indian state-controlled coal mining company headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It is a Navratna company and is the largest coal producer company in the world and contributes around 81% of the coal production in India.

5. Kim Jong-Un has replaced the defence minister of his country. Kim Jon-Un is the supreme leader of _______ A. Japan B. North Korea C. South Korea D. Taiwan

Ans. B 

BACKGROUND:

Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean leader on 25 June 2014 replaced his defence minister Jang Jong-Nam. General Hyon Yong-Chol replaced Jang Jong-Nam as Minister of the People’s Armed Forces. This was the latest in a series of senior military reshuffles since Kim came to power in late 2011. Kim Jong, who became the supreme leader of North Korea in 2011 after death of his father Kim Jong-II due to heart attack, has frequently replaced top military leaders in a bid to tighten his grip on the North’s 1.2 million-strong armed forces. Defence Minister in North Korea is the main in charge of logistics and international exchanges. Policy-making is handled by the powerful National Defence Commisison and the party Central Military Commission.

6. Which State Cabinet has recently approved 16% reservation for Marathas and 5% reservation for Muslims? A. Bihar B. Rajasthan C. Maharashtra D. West Bengal

Ans. C 

BACKGROUND:

State Cabinet of Maharashtra on 26 June 2014 approved 16 percent reservation to Maratha community and 5 percent to Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions. The reservation is applicable only for non-creamy layer of these communities and will be implemented immediately. This decision will not affect the existing 52 percent reservation in the State and with this the overall reservation has now increased to 73 percent. Prithviraj Chavan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra said that the reservation has been granted on the basis of backwardness of the community, but not on the lines of religion. The decision was taken on recommendations of Sachar Committee and Ragnath Mishra Commission on social, educational and economic backwardness of Muslims. Population of the two communities in the State has about 110 million people. Out of this Marathas population constitutes 32 percent and Muslims population constitutes 5 percent. Andhra Pradesh was the first State to provide 4% reservation to Muslims in 2007 which was later quashed down by the respectable High Court terming it is unsustainable and violative of Article 14, 15(1) and 16 (2) of the Constitution.

7. Odisha government has increased the retirement age of its employees to 60 years. Who is the Chief Minister of Odisha? A. Mamta Bannerji B. Naveen Patnaik C. Dinesh Tirki D. Biju Patnaik

Ans. B

BACKGROUND:

State Government of Odisha on 26 June 2014 raised the retirement age of its employees from 58 to 60 years. The proposal in this regard was approved by the State Cabinet presided over by Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha in Bhubaneswar. This decision of the government will benefit about 5 lakh government employees of the State. Earlier, the State government on 23 June 2014 also enhanced the retirement age of doctors who are engaged in government hospitals and in the three State run medical colleges to 62 years from existing 60. Apart from this, the government gave its nod to develop a full-fledged airport at Jharsuguda and soon will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authority of India in this regard. In the first phase, the State will hand over 118.75 acres land to the AAI for developing a full-fledged airport. The airport will be developed at an estimated cost 210 crore rupees in its first phase of which the State government will contribute 75 crore rupees.

8. With which country has the Union Cabinet recently signed a pact for setting up industrial parks?

Ans. China

BACKGROUND:

The Union Cabinet on 25 June 2014 approved an in principle memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and China for setting up industrial parks in the country. The approval came during a Cabinet meet that was headed by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. But, the details of the agreement will be available after the agreement is signed.  This approval came at a time, when Hamid Ansari, the Vice-President of India will be on a five days visit to China to celebrate the 60th year of Panchsheel that formed the bedrock of India-China ties. He will be accompanied by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Apart from this, as per the reports, China is interested in investing in India especially in agro-processing, tourism and manufacturing. A recent study conducted by PHD Chamber of Commerce revealed that China has emerged as biggest trading partner in the current fiscal for India. It has replaced UAE. Trade between India and China has reached 49.5 billion US dollar with 8.7 percent share in India’s total trade.

The other two nations are

  • US – positioned at the second position with 8.1 percent share of 46 billion US dollar
  • UAE – positioned at third position with 8 percent share at 45.4 billion US dollar

9. Popular film director-producer Ramanarayanan passed away recently. He was associated with ________films. A. Telugu B. Tamil C. Kannada D. Bengali  

Ans. B

10. Which of the following countries has announced that it is preparing a list of Indians suspected to have un taxed money parked there? A. UK B. Switzerland C. Mauritius D. Norway

Ans. B

11. ‘Gauravi’, a one stop crisis centre for women who are victims of violence has been set up in A. Lucknow B. Bhopal C. Hyderabad D. Pune 

Ans. B

12. Who among the following has won the Austrian Grand Prix Formula One championship recently? A. Daniel Ricciardo  B. Lewis Hamilton C. Nico Hulkenberg D. Nico Rosberg

Ans. D

13. UNCTAD has released the World Investment Report 2014. UNCTAD stands for

Ans. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

BACKGROUND:

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 24 June 2014 released its World Investment Report 2014. The Report reveals an encouraging trend: after a decline in 2012, global foreign direct investment flows rose by 9 per cent in 2013, with growth expected to continue in the years to come. 

Main Highlights of the Report

  • After the 2012 slump, global FDI returned to growth, with inflows rising 9 percent in 2013, to 1.45 trillion dollars.
  • UNCTAD projects that FDI flows could rise to 1.6 trillion dollars in 2014, 1.7 trillion dollars in 2015 and 1.8 trillion dollars in 2016, with relatively larger increases in developed countries.
  • FDI flows to developed countries increased by 9 percent to 566 billion dollars, leaving them at 39 per cent of global flows
  • FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of 778 billion dollars, or 54 per cent of the total.
  • The balance of 108 billion dollars went to transition economies.
  • Developing and transition economies now constitute half of the top 20 ranked by FDI inflows.
  • Developing and transition economies together invested 553 billion dollars, or 39 per cent of global FDI outflows, compared with only 12 per cent at the beginning of the 2000s.
  • Mega-regional groupings shape global FDI. The three main regional groups currently under negotiation (TPP, TTIP, RCEP) each account for a quarter or more of global FDI flows, with TTIP flows in decline, and the others in ascendance.

14. Gujarat Chief Minister has announced a ­­­____ percent quota for women in the police force. A. 45 B. 40 C. 25 D. 33

Ans. D

BACKGROUND:

Anandiben Patel, the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 24 June 2014 announced 33 percent reservation for women in the police force. With this announcement, the women of the state can enjoy 33 percent reservation in new recruitment in the police force. The decision will be implemented in all cadres. The decision was taken to empower women of the state and uplift them in the society. The decision can be treated as a part of the state government 100-day agenda that was released earlier. This decision came at a time, when the crimes against women are at its peak in several states. The crimes against women came into spotlight after alleged rape and murder of two minor girls in Badaun of Uttar Pradesh. The announcement has made Gujarat the first state in India to implement 33 percent reservation for women in the police force.

Women in Gujarat police

At present there are around 2500 policewomen in Gujarat and the state has sanctioned posts of 60000 in Gujarat police. If it manages to fill the 33 percent posts against the sanctioned strength then the number would increase to 19800 women in the force. According to the report of Bureau of Police Research and Development at present there are only 84479 policewomen in India against total police strength if 15.85 lakh. This symbolizes just about 5 percent. The report also highlighted the states with highest number of policewomen:

  • Maharashtra – 20062
  • Tamil Nadu – 10118
  • Delhi – 5356

15. International Seafarer’s day is observed across the world on________

Ans. 25 June

BACKGROUND:
International Seafarer’s day was observed on 25 June 2014. The day is observed to give thanks to the seafarers for their contribution to the economy and civil society of the world, also for risks and personal costs borne by them while being in their jobs. This was the fourth edition of its global campaign: Day of the Seafarer. The first edition of the Day of the Seafarers was observed by IMO in 2011.The decision to designate 25 June as the International Day of the Seafarer was taken by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2010. The Day of the Seafarers has also been included in the list of observances by United Nations. The motto of the decision was to recognise that almost everything that we use in our daily lives has been directly or indirectly affected by sea transport. IMO’s estimates say that almost 90 percent of the world’s goods trade is transported through ships. The Seafarers are not only responsible for operations of the ships but also for the safe and smooth delivery of the cargo.

16. World Vitiligo Day is observed on _______ A. June 25 B. June 21 C. June 26 D. June 10

Ans. A 

BACKGROUND:

World Vitiligo Day was observed across the world on 25 June 2014. The day is specially dedicated to people with vitiligo.  The world started observing the day in 2012 with an aim to focus on the disease vitiligo with international collaborative research and public awareness campaign about the myths and reality and raise funds needed for research and education. Steve Haragadon, the founder of the Vitiligo patient network from USA was the first person to put forward the idea of World Vitiligo Day. Later the concept was developed and finalised by Ogo Maduewesi, a vitiligo patient who is the founder and executive director of the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation in Nigeria.

About Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a progressive skin disease as a result of which people lose their inherited skin color over the lifetime. About 100 million people across the world suffer from the disease due to which, they become a victim of ostracism, discrimination and many lose their homes, families and livelihoods. Yet the disease has no cure.

17. UP Government has recently increased the retirement age of the State Election Commissioner to 68 years. Which amendments of the Constitution provide for the setting up of State Election Commissions? A. 73rd & 74th B. 91st & 92nd C. 82nd & 83rd D. 58th & 59th

Ans. A 

BACKGROUND:

Uttar Pradesh Government on 24 June 2014 increased the retirement age of State Election Commissioner (SEC) from 65 to 68 years. The UP Cabinet amended the UP State Election Commission (Panchayat and Local bodies) (services and conditions of services) Rules 1994 to raise the term of the SEC up to either 68 years of age or six years term. Earlier the term of SEC was either up to 65 years of age or five years term   State Election Commissioner of UP: Satish Kumar Agarwal.

About State Election Commissioner
Seventy-third Amendment Act and Seventy-fourth Amendment Act of 1992 of the Constitution provide for the setting up of State Election Commissions. These Amendment Act inserted Article 243K and Article 243ZA. Under Article 243K and 243ZA of the Constitution of India, superintendence, direction and control of preparation of electoral rolls for conduct of all elections to Panchayat Raj bodies and Municipal bodies in the State shall be vested in a State Election Commission consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor. The powers and functions of the State Election Commission are identical to those vested in the Election Commission of India constituted under Article 324 of the Constitution of India in their respective domains.

18. Andhra Pradesh Government has increased the retirement age of its employees to 60 years. When did the Union Government do the same? A. 1996 B. 2002 C. 2009 D. 1998

Ans. D

BACKGROUND:

The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on 23 June 2014 passed a Bill increasing the retirement age of government employees of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh to 60 years. The Bill passed is titled Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Regulation of age of superannuation) Act, 1984. Earlier, the retirement age of government employees was 58 years. Besides, AP Government also assured unemployment allowance of 2000 rupees per month for jobless youth. The government took the decision to increase the retirement age considering various factors, including the increased life expectancy. There was a significant improvement in the average life expectancy as compared to 1984. The Union Government increased the retirement age of central government employees from 58 to 60 years in 1998.

19. Who has written the book titled “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas”? A. Edward Klein B. Margery Allingham C. Vincent Alsop D. Isaac Ambrose

Ans. A

BACKGROUND:

A book Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas written by Edward Klein was recently released. The book was published by the publishing house Regnery. Edward Klein is the former editor-in-chief of New York Times Magazine. Blood Feud is about the animosity, jealousy, and competition between America’s two most powerful political couples. The book focused upon the relationship between the Obamas and the Clintons with details on closed-door meetings buttressed by hundreds of interviews. The book also talked about the health of Hillary Clinton. As per the author, Clinton’s heart valves were not pumping in a steady way.

20. Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express recently derailed near ______ in Bihar. A. Patna B. Samastipur C. Chhapra D. Hajipur

Ans. C 

BACKGROUND:

Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express on 25 June 2014 derailed near Chhapra in Bihar in which four people were killed and eight were injured. The accident took place between Golden Ganj and Chhapra Kachari Stations on Sonpur-Chhapra section. Due to derailment, 12 coaches and the engine of the train were affected. A special train has been dispatched to the spot to take the stranded passengers to their destinations. Railway minister, Sadanand Gowda, announced compensation of 2 lakh rupees for the family of dead, one lakh rupees for the grievously injured and 20000 rupees for those who sustained minor injuries. Commissioner of railway safety will conduct an independent inquiry to find out the cause of the accident. Apart from this in another accident, 18 bogies of a goods train also derailed near Chakiya railway station on the Muzaffarrpur-Narkatiyaganj railway section in Samastipur division.

21. ______ has directed Banks and FIs to provide information to the SIT probing black money.

Ans. RBI

BACKGROUND:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 23 June 2014 directed all banks and financial institutions to provide information and documents to the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The SIT under the chairmanship of former Justice M B Shah was constituted by the Union government on 27 May 2014. The panel was constituted in pursuance of the May 2014 judgement of the Supreme Court. The panel has jurisdiction in cases where investigations have commenced or are waiting to be initiated or have been completed. India requested the Switzerland government to expeditious sharing of bank information, that is, the details of Indians having unaccounted money in Swiss banks. According to central bank of Switzerland (SNB), Indian money in various Swiss banks rose by 43 percent during 2013 to close to 14000 crore rupees, including the money held directly by Indian clients and those through fiduciaries or wealth managers.

22. Which Indian Airline has recently joined the Star Alliance group?

Ans. Air India

BACKGROUND:

Air India, the national air carrier of India, joined the global airlines grouping, Star Alliance. The decision to admit Air India into the Star Alliance was taken during a meeting of the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board (CEB) on 23 June 2014 in London. With this, Air India became the first Indian carrier to join the largest global alliance for civil aviation and became the 27th member airlines of the group. Air India will be formally inducted in Star Alliance on 11 July 2014 with unveiling of the Star Alliance logo and its livery on Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner and an Airbus A-320. After induction, Air India on behalf of the Star Alliance would provide seamless connectivity to the passengers of Star partner airlines throughout its pan-India network. The alliance will also help Air India passengers to access the alliance’s global network of nearly 21900 daily flights to 195 countries. The national air carrier was trying to join the alliance since last seven years and joining the Alliance will benefit it. It’s expected that joining the Alliance will increase the revenues by 4 to 5 percent.

About Star Alliance
Star Alliance network, established in 1997, is the leading global airline network, with the highest number of member airlines, daily flights, destinations and countries flown to. It is a global airline alliance formed to provide convenient worldwide reach and a smoother travel experience to customers. Star Alliance members together have 4338 planes that every year flies over 64 crore passengers. The Alliance members include major airlines like:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • US carrier United
  • Lufthansa
  • Air China
  • Air Canada
  • All Nippon Airways

23. The book “A Bad Character” has been authored by which of the following writers? A. Ram Nath Kak B. Deepti Kapoor C. Gopal Mukherji D. R K Narayan

Ans. B 

BACKGROUND:

“A Bad Character” has been authored by Deepti Kapoor. It will be published in August 2014. It is the story of a desire of young woman named Idha who escapes from the arranged marriage and security that her middle-class world has to offer. Subsequently she goes through a chance encounter with a charismatic, dangerous young man. Consequently, she is quickly exposed to the thrilling, often illicit pleasures that both the city, Delhi, and her body can hold. The novel shows a different Delhi, the viewers have not seen in fiction before: a city awash with violence, rage and corruption.

24. According to UNESCO, India has over _______ children out of school.

Ans. 1 million

BACKGROUND:

Achieving the goal of getting all children in school by 2015 is now clearly impossible. It has emerged that there are 57.8 million children who are out of primary school globally. And India, with 1.4 million children, ranks among the top five nations with kids aged six to 11 out of school. These are some of the findings in Unesco’s Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report on out-of school populations. The report also details how Nepal overcame conflict and brought down the number of its out-of-school children to 1%, while Burundi, by doing away with school fees, achieved a 94% enrolment rate, up from 54% in 2005. The report attributes India’s woeful performance to, among other things, the largest cuts in aid to basic education effected by any country. Its aid to the sector fell by a massive $278 million between 2010 and 2012.

25. Who has been named as the next President of the European Commission? A. Jean-Claude Juncker B. Albret John C. Kerry Korhonen D. Max Laine

Ans. A 

BACKGROUND:

Jean-Claude Juncker on 26 June 2014 was named as the next president of the European Commission. He was backed by all EU member states, except Britain and Hungary. He will take his charge from November 2014. He will succeed Jose Manuel Barroso. Jean Juncker is a former Luxembourg Prime Minister and veteran EU insider. The British Prime Minister David Cameroon called Juncker’s nomination a bad day for Europe.

About Jean Junker

Jean-Claude Juncker is a politician. He was the longest-serving head of government of any European Union country, and one of the longest-serving democratically elected leaders in the world. He was the Prime Minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013. He was also the first President of the Eurogroup from 2005 to 2013 and Luxembourg’s Minister for Finances from 1989 to 2009.

26. ________, an alternative to passwords, has been designed by scientists from the United Kingdom.

Ans. Facelock

BACKGROUND:

Researchers at the University of York in the U.K. designed an alternative to passwords called Facelock. The new alternative will be based on the psychology of facial recognition. The new research was published in the open-access journal PeerJ. Facelock builds upon the psychological insight by having users choose a selection of faces that are well known to them. Then when they want to log in or get access to a secure system, a series of face grids is created, and users must select the familiar face in each grid. It’s easy for users to select a familiar face from the crowd but tough for  others to hack, since none of the faces will stand out to them. Comparatively, it’s easier for the users to recall familiar images, even after one year, while unused passwords were forgotten within days. Facelock security is also enhanced by offering users a large pool of target images to choose from. Earlier, there was a system known as Passfaces, images were used to authenticate users. However, it was susceptible to shoulder-surfing attacks, in which fraudulent users could simply memorize the image from watching users over their shoulder and hack into the system. To overcome that threat, Facelock uses a variety of different images of familiar faces, which are easily recognizable to people who know them but not so readily identified by strangers.

27. As per the latest data released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central banking authority, Indian money in Swiss banks has risen to over___. A. Rs 14,000 cr B. Rs 19,000 cr C. Rs 22,000 cr D. Rs 34,000 cr 

Ans. A

BACKGROUND:

Indians’ money in Swiss banks has risen to over two billion Swiss Francs (nearly Rs 14,000 crore), despite a global clampdown against the famed secrecy wall of Switzerland banking system. The funds held by Indians with banks in Switzerland rose by over 40 per cent during 2013, from about 1.42 billion Swiss francs at the end of previous year, as per the latest data released on Thursday by the country’s central banking authority Swiss National Bank (SNB). In contrast, the money held in Swiss banks by their foreign clients from across the world continued to decline and stood at a record low of 1.32 trillion Swiss francs (about $1.56 trillion or over Rs 90 lakh crore) at the end of 2013. During 2012, the Indians’ money in Swiss banks had fallen by over one-third to a record low level.

28. Which of the following pairs won the women’s doubles title at the Tri-Nation squash doubles tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia recently? A. Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa B.  Saumya Karki and Dipika Pallikal C. Joshana Chinappa and Saumya Karki D. Vaidehi Reddy and Saumya Karki          

Ans. A 

29. Central Govt. has announced the launch of a campaign to ensure 100 per cent immunization of children in the states hit by encephalitis outbreak. This deadly disease is transmitted by A. Flies B. Cats C. Mosquitoes D. Rats

Ans. C

BACKGROUND:

Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis with meningitis is known as meningoencephalitis. The symptoms include headache,feverconfusiondrowsiness, and fatigue.

30. We often read about Jaipur Foot in the newspapers. What is Jaipur Foot? A. A deadly disease that affects camels B. A literary fest organised in Jaipur every year C. A rubber-based prosthetic leg D. A special shoe made exclusively in Jaipur

Ans. C

BACKGROUND:

The Jaipur Foot, also known as the Jaipur Leg, is a rubber-based prosthetic leg for people with below-knee amputations. Although inferior in many ways to the composite carbon fibre variants, its variable applicability and cost efficiency make it an acceptable choice for prosthesis. Ram Chander Sharma designed and developed it in 1968. Designed in and named after JaipurIndia, the prosthetic leg was designed to be inexpensive, water-resistant, and quick to fit and manufacture. The Jaipur Foot is made of polyurethane, which at the time was the new material used in the production of the prostheses. The material increases the durability and the convenience of use. Now the government of India supports Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahyata Samiti with financial aid to carry out the work done by the organization. The Jaipur Foot has helped many people to overcome their leg disability. The idea of the Jaipur Foot was conceived by Ram Chander Sharma under the guidance of Dr. P.K. Sethi, who was then the head of the Department of Orthopedics at Sawai ManSingh Medical College in JaipurIndia. It is fitted free of cost by Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahyata Samiti, founded by Devendra Raj Mehta. It costs approximately $US 45 to make.

31. The Andean Road System built by the Inca Empire has been granted World Heritage status recently. Which of the following agencies grants the World Heritage status to cultural and natural sites in the world? A. WMO B. UNESCO C. UNICEF D. WIPO         

Ans. B 

BACKGROUND:

A road system built by the Inca Empire has been granted World Heritage status by the United Nations cultural agency, Unesco. The Qhapaq Nan roads go through six South American countries. It was built in the most diverse terrains, linking communities in the Andes Mountains to fertile valleys, rainforests and deserts. Unesco described the system as an engineering wonder that must be restored and preserved. The decision was taken in the Qatari capital, Doha, where Unesco‘s World Heritage Committee is gathered to consider the inclusion of 40 cultural and natural sites to the list. The Andean Road System was built over hundreds of years and was used by the Spanish when they arrived in South America in the 16th Century. It was used mostly for trade and defence. It covers some 30,000 km (18,600 miles), from modern-day Colombia in the north to Argentina and Chile in the south, via Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

32. Kiren Rijiju led the Indian delegation at the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Bangkok recently. He is the Minister of State for _________. A. Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports B. Culture and Tourism C. Home Affairs D. Planning, Statistics and Programme Implementation      

Ans. C 

33. The Technology Up gradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) provides support for modernization of which of the following industries? A. Textiles B. Tourism C. Telecommunication D. Fishing 

Ans. A

34. Eminent folk singer Khagen Mahanta died recently. He was associated with which of the following languages?A.Bengali B.Assamese C.Tamil D.Kannada 

Ans. B

35. Who among the following has been recently appointed chairman of the ICC? A.Shashank Manohar B.Jagmohan Dalmiya C.Sunil Gavaskar D.N Srinivasan 

Ans. D

BACKGROUND:

N. Srinivasan was on Thursday formally appointed the first chairman of the ICC after its 52-member council approved a controversial revamp of the body’s administrative structure. The full council approved the amendments to the ICC’s Memorandum and Articles of Association at the Annual Conference, in Melbourne. As was widely known before the conference, Srinivasan was elected the chairman despite being barred by the Supreme Court of India from carrying out his duties as BCCI president due to ongoing investigations into the match-fixing allegations relating to the 2013 edition of the IPL. However, after the apex court refused to stop his nomination to the ICC position, decks were cleared for his anointment to the newly-created post. The revamp will also hand major executive decision-making authority to the “Big Three” of the game: India, Australia and England.

36. According to the commerce ministry, the trade deficit between India and China stood at __________ in 2012-13. A. USD 40.78 billion B. USD 39.40 billion C. USD 27.95 billion D. USD 21.65 billion

Ans. A

37. Which of the following sportspersons is NOT associated with archery? A. Dola Banerjee B. Jayanta Talukdar C. Bombayla Devi Laishram D. None of these 

Ans. D

38. The recently unveiled 600 Megawatt Kholongchu Hydropower Project is a joint venture between India and _____. A. Tibet B. Nepal C. Bhutan D. Myanmar

Ans. C

BACKGROUND:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the 600MW Kholongchu Hydro-electric project, a joint venture between India and Bhutan. The project’s foundation stone was laid by Mr. Modi electronically from the courtyard of Bhutan’s Parliament building after addressing a joint session. Three Hydro-electric projects (HEPs) totalling 1416 MW (Chukha, Tala and Kurichu) are already operational. Three more HEPs [Punatsangchu I (1200 MW), Punatsangchu II (1020 MW) and Mangdechu (720 MW)] are under construction. They are scheduled to be commissioned in 2017-18. In April, 2014, the two countries had signed a framework agreement on four more JV-model HEPs totaling 2120MW. Of these, pre-construction activities for the 600MW Kholongchu HEP as a JV-model HEP between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC. will commence soon. “Our hydropower cooperation with Bhutan is a classic example of win-win cooperation,” an Indian official said, adding that “the hydropower projects generate export revenues for Bhutan, cement our economic partnership and provide clean and low-cost electricity to India.” 

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