10 Oct

  • By Vidya Guru
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1. Which nationalized bank has recently completed 150 years of its operations in Sri Lanka? A. Bank of Baroda B. Punjab National Bank C. Indian Bank D. State Bank of India

Ans. D

2. _____ has recently received Saraswati Samman 2013 for the novel Dhool Paudhon Par. A.Deepak Mahajan B. Govind Mishra C. Ramesh Bhandari D. Aarzu Mehta

Ans. B

BACKGROUND:

Govind Mishra, the renowned Hindi author was given the Saraswati Samman in New Delhi on 23 September 2014. He was given the Samman by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for his novel Dhool Paudhon Par that was published in 2008.Govind Mishra is the second Hindi author to be conferred with this honour after Harivansh Rai Bachchan in 1991 for his autobiography in four volumes in Hindi.

About novel Dhoop Paudhon Par
The novel illustrates the struggle of modern Indian women and carries an artistic blend of reality and romance. It is a novel that can be read both for the realistic portrayal of the plight of Indian women in modern times and for a love story also.

About Govind Mishra 

• Mishra was born on 1 August 1939 in Atarra of Banda, Uttar Pradesh
• He completed his BA and MA (English) at the University of Allahabad
• In 1962, he was selected for the Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) where he attained the post of Chairman, Central Board of direct taxes and retired from his office in 1997
• Post retirement, he dedicated himself solely for the literary pursuits in Bhopal

Published works of Mishra includes 
• 11 novels
• 14 short story collections that contains 100 stories
• Five travelogues
• Five collections of literary essays
• One poem collection
• 2 story books for children

His first novel was Wo Apna Chehra and was published in 1969 and the much talked novel was Lal Peeli Zameen published in 1976.

Govind Mishra is a recipient of several awards that includes
• Vyas Samman (1998)
• Sahitya Akademi Award (2008)
• Bharat-Bharti Samman (2011)

About Saraswati Samman 
Saraswati Samman is an annual award that is given in recognition of outstanding prose or poetry literary works in Indian languages that are listed in Schedule VIII of the constitution of India. This Samman is given for the literary works of last 10 years. The award was established in 1991 by K. K.  Birla Foundation and carries a prize amount of 10 lakh rupees along with a certificate. The KK Birla Foundation has instituted three awards in the field of literature. These are Saraswati Samman, Vyas Samman (for Hindi) and Bihari Puraskar (for Hindi and Rajasthani writers of Rajasthan). On 2 August 2013 the Saraswati Samman 2012 was given to Sugathakumari, the Malayalam poetess for Manalezhuthu (the Writings on the Sand), a collection of poems in Malayalam.

3. ______ has recently become the new Prime Minister of Fiji. A. Thein Sein B. Robert Mugabe C. Voreqe Bainimarama D. Idi Amin

Ans. C

4. SEBI has notified final rules for setting up of _______.

Ans. REITs and InvITs

BACKGROUND:

India’s market regulator, SEBI on 26 September 2014 notified the final rules for setting up of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Regulations 2014 and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) Regulations 2014. The notifications would help in attracting more funds in a transparent manner into the realty and infrastructure sectors.The notification on REITs has been issued after SEBI in August 2014 said that the REITs should operate with an asset pool of at least 5 billion rupees (81.8 million dollars). It also said that the REITs should have an initial issue size of at least 2.5 billion rupees for shareholders. The regulations were issued by SEBI in exercise of the powers conferred to it by Section 30 with Section 11 and 12 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (15 of 1992), laying a framework for Real Estate Investment Trusts and registration and regulation as well as Infrastructure Investment Trusts and registration and regulation.  

About REITs and InvITs
The REITs and InvITs are listed entities that mainly invest in income-producing assets, the earnings of which are mostly distributed to their shareholders. They generally get special tax treatment.

5. SBI has recently signed a 500 million dollar line of credit with Exim Bank of _______. A. Japan B. China C. USA D. South Korea

Ans. D

BACKGROUND:

State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender on 26 September 2014 announced that it has signed a Line of Credit (LoC) of 500 million dollar with Korea (Korea Eximbank). The LoC will be utilised to provide finance to SBI’s clients in India and neighbouring countries that have business relationships either by way of equity participation or regular trade with Korean companies globally, as well as joint ventures or subsidiaries of Korean companies. SBI’s regional head (East Asia), C Venkat Nageswar and Korea Eximbank’s member of Board of Directors, Young Whan Sul signed the agreement at Seoul. The entire process was facilitated by SBI’s subsidiary, SBI Capital Markets and the signing of the pact for LoC is being seen as a step towards further strengthening of Korea-India strategic partnership.As per the announcement, this LoC will be in addition of the 200 million dollar LoC that was signed between the two institutions on 16 January 2014 to support Indian companies importing goods and services from Korea.

6. Who has been appointed as the head coach of Sri Lankan cricket team? A. Rahul Dravid B. Marvan Atapattu C. Sanath Jayasuriya D. Imran Khan

Ans. B

BACKGROUND:

Sri Lankan Cricket Board on 24 September 2014 appointed the former national cricket team captain Marvan Atapattu as the head coach of the national team with immediate effect.Atapattu’s name was unanimously approved for the post by the executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). However, SLC doesn’t disclose the terms and tenure of his appointment.With this appointment, Atapattu became Sri Lanka’s first full-time local coach in 15 years. The last Sri Lankan full-time coach of the national team was Roy Dias in 1999. Apart from this, Atapattu is the seventh coach to be appointed by Sri Lanka in past since 2010. The other six coaches were Trevor Bayliss, Stuart Law, Rumesh Ratnayake, Geoff Marsh, Graham Ford and Farbrace. At the time of appointment, 43-year-old Atapattu was serving the Sri Lankan cricket team as the interim coach after resignation of Englishman Paul Farbrace in April 2014. Under Attapattu’s guidance, the Sri Lankan won a test series in England and test and one-day series at home against Pakistan. On the other hand, Chief Selector Sanath Jayasuriya resigned from the committee selecting the coach without citing any reason. 

7. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards 2014 have been announced. These awards are given in the field of _______.

Ans. Science & Technology

BACKGROUND:

CSIR on 26 September 2014 announced the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards 2014 for ten scientists in recognition of their work. The awards were announced by Director General of Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr. Paramvir Singh Ahuja during the CSIR’s 72nd Foundation day celebrations in New Delhi. The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology consists of a citation,a plaque and a cash prize of 5 lakh rupees. The selected awardees in different fields are:

• Biological SciencesDr. Roop Mallik of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
• Chemical SciencesDr. Kavirayani Ramakrishna Prasad of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and Dr. Souvik Maiti of Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), New Delhi
• Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary SciencesDr. Sachchida Nand Tripathi of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
• Engineering SciencesDr. S Venkata Mohan of Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad and Dr. Soumen Chakrabarti of Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai
• Mathematical SciencesDr. Kaushal Kumar Verma of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
• Medical SciencesDr. Anurag Agrawal of Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), New Delhi
• Physical SciencesDr. Pratap Raychaudhuri, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research of Mumbai and Dr. Sadiqali Abbas Rangwala of Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru

8. China has launched the _______ campaign to retain its manufacturing prowess.

Ans. Made in China

BACKGROUND:

China on 25 September 2014 launched Made in China campaign to counter India. The launch of the campaign coincided with the launch of Make In India campaign. The decision to launch the campaign was taken by Chinese cabinet headed by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. China by launching Made in China campaign seeks to retain its manufacturing prowess through giving host of tax concessions. In order to arm China with advanced technology and equipment, encouraging more competitive products with high added value, the Chinese cabinet asked government organs to implement the new measures as soon as possible.

Main Elements of the Campaign

  • Under the campaign China will encourage high-tech imports, research and development (R&D) to upgrade Made in China.
  • Companies that bought new R&D equipment and facilities after January 1 or possess minor fixed assets will have taxes reduced based on value.
  • Imported high-tech equipment will also enjoy tax deductions. The industries with imported equipments which will enjoy tax deduction include aviation and bio-medicine production among others.
  • Made in China campaign aims to prompt technical improvement of companies, especially innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These SMEs in the last three decades propelled China to become world’s second largest economy and made it a powerhouse of the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing sector of China had been a key driver of its economic growth and is globally competitive. With the launch of Made in China campaign a new round of innovation is believed to be spurred which will contribute to stabilising economic growth. Further this will lighten burdens of enterprises in the real term and prompt the upgrade of outdated equipment. Finally, it will help ease three aspects problems, viz., weak domestic demand and investment amid slowing economic growth, lagging equipment in manufacturing sector and low technical level of home grown companies.

9. UN Climate Change Summit 2014 was recently held in _____. A. Rio De Janeiro B. Seoul C. Doha D. New York

Ans. D

BACKGROUND:

UN Climate Change Summit 2014 was held at UN headquarters in New York on 23 September 2014 to put the planet on course towards reversing global warming. The purpose of the 2014 Climate Summit was to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015. Moreover, it aimed to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change. It is the largest gathering of world leaders on climate change after the Copenhagen conference on climate change that ended in disarray in 2009. However, absence of leaders of China and India puts the cloud over the event. Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio was also present on the UN summit on climate change.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hosted the summit of all 120 leaders.

Contributions announced by the world leaders in the summit

  • A new coalition of governments, business, finance, multilateral development banks and civil society leaders announced their intent to mobilise over 200 billion US dollars for financing low-carbon and climate-resilient development.
  • Countries strongly reaffirmed their support for mobilising public and private finance to meet the 100 billion US dollar goal per annum by 2020.
  • Leaders expressed strong support for the Green Climate Fund and many called for the Fund’s initial capitalization at an amount no less than 10 billion US dollars. Six others committed to allocate contributions by November 2014.
  • The European Union committed 3 billion US dollars for mitigation efforts in developing countries between 2014 and 2020.
  • The International Development Finance Club (IDFC) announced that it is on track to increase direct green/climate financing to 100 billion US dollars a year for new climate finance activities by the end of 2015.
  • Leading commercial banks announced their plans to issue 30 billion US dollars of Green Bonds by 2015, and announced their intention to increase the amount placed in climate-smart development to 10 times of the current amount by 2020.
  • A coalition of institutional investors committed to decarbonizing 100 billion US dollars by December 2015.
  • The insurance industry committed to double its green investments to 84 billion US dollars by the end of 2015.
  • Three major pension funds from North America and Europe announced plans to accelerate their investments in low-carbon investments across asset classes up to more than 31 billion US dollars by 2020.

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The summit talks are separate from the negotiations held under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to negotiate 1997 Kyoto Protocol. UNFCCC will culminate with the Paris conference in December 2015.

10.  By 2100, world population is expected to reach_____.

Ans. 11 billion

BACKGROUND:

World population will reach 11 billion by 2100 and it was highly unlikely that global population will stabilize by the end of 2100. This was revealed by a UN study titled World population stabilization unlikely this century. The study was published in the online edition of Journal Science on 18 September 2014. The UN study projected the population growth on basis of data until 2012 and a Bayesian probabilistic methodology. Analysis of these data reveals that, there is an 80 percent probability that world population, now 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion in 2100. 

Main Highlights
• The World will have 2 billion more people on Earth than expected due to high birth rates in Africa.
• Sub-saharan Africa is anticipated to be the fastest growing region, with population to rise from one billion in 2014 to four billion by 2100.
• There is an 80 percent chance that the population in Africa will be between 3.5 and 5.1 billion people by 2100.
• In Asia the population is projected to peak at around 5 billion people in 2050 and then start decline.
• The North America, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean are all expected to be under one billion each.
• The issue of ageing population will also affect countries whose populations are very young today. Brazil, for example, currently has 8.6 people of working age for every person over 65, but that will fall to 1.5 by 2100, well below the current level in Japan. China and India will face the same issue as Brazil. 

11. India has announced that it will contribute 12 million US dollars to UN to fight which virus? A. Ebola B. Hepatitis B C. HIV D. Rubella

Ans. A

BACKGROUND:

India announced that it will contribute 12 million US dollars to the United Nations to fight the deadly Ebola virus in Africa. The contribution was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 September 2014. India will contribute 10 million US dollar to Fund of United Nations Secretary General for Ebola and 2 million US dollar for purchase of protective gear to tackle Ebola. Recently, UN General Secretary Ban Ki moon announced setting up of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) to put in place an effective response mechanism due to the wide spread of Ebola Virus in Africa. The Ebola Emergency Response project will mobilize 52 million US dollars for Liberia, 28 million US dollars for Sierra Leone and 25 million US dollars for Guinea. The World Bank Group also approved 105 million US dollars grant for Ebola Emergency Response to fight Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in September 2014.

12. Which country has recently test-fired the short range nuclear capable missile Hatf IX? A. Syria B. Pakistan C. Iran d. Iraq

Ans. B

BACKGROUND:

Pakistan on 26 September 2014 test fired the Hatf IX -short range surface-to-surface missile. The nuclear capable missile also called as Nasr was tested with successive launches of four missiles from a Multi Tube Launcher with Salvo Mode. It is a nuclear capable ballistic missile with a maximum range of 60 kilometers can cover western parts of India. With in-flight manoeuvre capability Hatf IX is a quick response system with shoot and scoot capability. Earlier Pakistan had tested the Hatf IX missile in 2011 and 2012. The development of the missile is in line with Pakistan’s objective of developing a full spectrum of deterrence against the prevailing threat spectrum. The test fire of Hatf IX is in line with the Pakistan’s objective of developing a second strike capability if a catastrophic nuclear attack destroyed all its land-based weapons. In line with above objective Pakistan has repeatedly tested Babur cruise missile their indigenously produced, nuclear-capable. It has a range of 640 km and can strike targets at land and sea. Besides, Pakistan is said to be developing shorter range cruise missiles that can fly lower to the ground and can evade ballistic missile defences and developing sea-based missiles. Nuclear push of Pakistan comes amid heightened tension with US intelligence and congressional officials over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

13. Who among the following has recently won the Indonesian Masters Grand Prix Badminton Championship? A. H.S. Prannoy B. Pranaav Chopra C. Pullela Gopichand D. Parupalli Kashyap

Ans. A

14. As per the recently released Forbes 100 Richest Indians List 2014, the richest person in India is_____.

Ans. Mukesh Ambani

BACKGROUND:

The Forbes India magazine released The 100 Richest Indian List 2014 on 25 September 2014. As per the list, the top 100 richest tycoons in India are all billionaires for the first time. The combined net worth of 100 richest tycoons in India is 346 billion US dollars in 2014 up more than a third from 259 billion US dollars in 2013. According to the Forbes India List, the Top 10 Richest people of India: 1. Mukesh Ambani; 2. Dilip Shanghvi; 3. Azim Premji; 4. Pallonji Mistry; 5. Lakshmi Mittal; 6. Hinduja brothers; 7. Shiv Nadar; 8. Godrej family; 9. Kumar Birla; 10. Sunil Mittal

Highlights of the Forbes India Rich List 2014

  • Mukesh Ambani topped the list for the eighth consecutive year with a net worth of 23.6 billion US dollars.
  • Dilip Shanghvi, founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, is at the second position on the list. He overtook steel baron Lakshmi Mittal who slipped to fifth place.
  • Azim Premji whose net wealth increased to 16.4 billion US dollars from 13.8 billion US dollars is at third position.
  • The biggest dollar gainer is Gautam Adani who jumped 11 spots to eleventh position adding nearly 4.5 billion US dollars to his wealth which reached 7.1 billion US dollars.
  • As many as 85 people out of 89 who returned to the top 100 from 2013 are wealthier and several are billionaires for the first time.
  • There are eight newcomers on 2014 list: Amalgamations Group family (No. 47), brothers Dilip & Anand Surana (No. 73), Hasmukh Chudgar (No. 80), real estate tycoon Surendra Hiranandani (No. 83), jeweller T.S. Kalyanaraman (No. 87), Macleod Pharmaceuticals’ Rajendra Agarwal (No. 90), Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare’s Azad Moopen (No. 95), and stock market veteran Radhakishan Damani (No. 100).
  • The biggest loser this year is Indus Gas founder Ajay Kalsi who lost 1 billion US dollars after the government stalled an increase in the natural gas prices. He is at 85th position.
  • Eleven tycoons fell off from the list this year including tycoons Brij Bhushan Singal and Vijay Mallya.

15. September 25 was recently observed as ______ by Govt. of India. A.Shakti Divas B.Shiksha Divas C.Antyodya Divas D.Ekta Divas

Ans. C

BACKGROUND:

Union Government on 25 September 2014 launched Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana for urban and rural poor. The Yojana aims at alleviating urban and rural poverty through enhancement of livelihood opportunities through skill development and other means. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana has two components one for urban India and other for rural India. The Urban component will be implemented by the Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation while rural component named as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana will be implemented by the Union Ministry of Rural Development. 

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana
Under the Yojana, the Union Ministry of Rural Development will launch skill development training centres on a large scale to address the problem of unemployment particularly in rural India.

Main Highlights of the Rural Scheme
• The Yojana aims at training 10 lakh (1 million) rural youths for jobs in three years, that is, by 2017.
• The minimum age for entry under the Yojana is 15 years compared to 18 years under the Aajeevika Skills Programme.
• Skill development training centres to be launched so as to address the unemployment problem in the rural area.
• The skills imparted under the Yojana will now be benchmarked against international standards and will complement the Prime Minister’s Make In India campaign.
• The Kaushalya Yojana will also the address the need for imparting training to the differently-able persons and chip in private players including international players to impart the skills to the rural youths.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana for urban areas

Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana (DAY) for urban areas extends the coverage to all the 4041 statutory cities and towns, there by covering almost the entire urban population. Currently, all the urban poverty alleviating programmes covered only 790 towns and cities.

Main Highlights of the Urban Scheme 
• Imparting skills with an expenditure of 15000 rupees to 18000 rupees on each urban poor
• Promotion of self-employment through setting up individual micro-enterprises and group enterprises with interest subsidy for individual projects costing 2lakhs rupees and 10 lakhs rupees for group enterprises. Subsidized interest rate will be 7 percent.
• Training urban poor to meet the huge demand from urban citizens by imparting market oriented skills through City Livelihood Centres. Each Centre would be given a capital grant of 10 lakhs rupees.
• Enabling urban poor form Self-Help Groups for meeting financial and social needs with a support of 10000 rupees per each group who would in turn would be helped with bank linkages.
• Development of vendor markets besides promotion of skills of vendors
• Construction of permanent shelters for urban homeless and provision of other essential services.

16. As per global rating agency Moody’s report, Indian Banks require around _____to meet Basel-III norms.

Ans. 26–37 billion US dollars

BACKGROUND:

Global rating agency Moody on 22 September 2014 released a report titled Indian Banks Could Need 26-37 billion US dollar in External Capital for Basel III Compliance. In the report it revealed that 11 Indian public sector banks (PSBs) need to raise 26 to 37 billion US dollar in external capital in the financial year 2015 in order to meet the Basel-III capital adequacy norms by financial year 2019. This projection of Moody is based on the assumption that there is a moderate recovery in India’s GDP growth, and a gradual decline in nonperforming loans from current levels. 

Main highlights of the report
• In rupee terms these banks will require additional 1.5 to 2.2 trillion rupees to fully comply with the Basel-III norms.
• A significant part of the required capital, around 800 – 900 billion rupees (or 13-15 billion US dollars) could be in the form of Additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital.
• Moody’s notes that these PSBs constitute 62 percent of the net loans in the Indian banking system but barely meet the current minimum capital requirements. As a result PSBs will find it difficult to raise capital quickly in the current environment.
• The report further said that weak asset quality has led to depressed profitability and internal capital generation in PSBs. As a result, they have to rely on periodic capital injections from the government.
• It noted that PSBs could find it difficult to raise the required amount even if they tap the equity markets because of low valuation of these banks. Even the recent stock rally may not prove to be the saviour. 

Basel-III Norms
Basel III raises the minimum required capital levels for both Tier 1 capital to 7.0 percent and Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital to 5.5 percent. Besides, the banks will also need to meet a Capital Conservation Buffer in order to pay dividends. These will be pressurizing the Indian public sector banks due to low capital levels remain a key credit weakness.

17. BCCI has extended the tenure of ______ as the Director of Indian cricket team till 2015 World Cup. A. Sunil Gavaskar B. Ravi Shastri C. Chetan Sharma D. Kapil Dev

Ans. B 

BACKGROUND:

The Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) Working Committee on 26 September 2014 extended Ravi Shastri’s tenure as Director of Indian Cricket team till end of 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. The ICC Cricket World Cup is to be played in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March 2015.The decision of retaining 52-year-old former India all-rounder Shastri as the Director was made during the BCCI Working Committee meet. 

Other decisions taken during the BCCI Working Committee meet were
• The Committee decided to hold its Annual General Meeting in Chennai on 20 November 2014
• It was decided to continue with the services of Coach Duncan Fletcher till the World Cup
• The committee rewarded the Indian support staff trio of Sanjay Bangar, Bharath Arun and R Sridhar with contracts till the end of the World Cup

Shastri was appointed as the Director of Indian Cricket team on 19 August 2014 during India’s tour to England after MS Dhoni led Indian cricket team lost the five-match test-series, 1-3. Apart from Shastri, BCCI during India’s tour to England appointed Sanjay Bangar, former all-rounder and Bharat Arun, former Indian pacer as the assistant coaches of the Indian Cricket Team. Whereas, R Sridhar, a former Ranji Trophy player for Hyderabad as the Fielding Coach of the Indian Cricket Team for the ODI series.

18. _____ and Alan Rusbridger have won the Right Livelihood Award 2014. A. Edward Snowden B. Julian Assange C. Anita Stewart D. Noam Chomsky

Ans. A 

BACKGROUND:

Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian on 24 September 2014 won Right Livelihood Award. The award was shared between the two. The Right Livelihood Award is also known as Alternative Nobel prize of Sweden. Edward Snowden was awarded for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights. While, Alan Rusbridger, was awarded for writing extensively on government surveillance, based on leaks of Edward Snowden. Cash prizes went to three activists from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the US.

About Alan Rusbridger & Edward Snowden
Alan Rusbridger is the editor–in-chief of the UK based newspaper The Guardian.In 2013, Rusbridger gave evidence before a Home Affairs Select Committee hearing on counterterrorism at the UK Parliament with regard to the publication of information leaked by Snowden.

Edward Snowden fled to Hong Kong and then Moscow in 2013. He is believed to have taken 1.7 million computerised documents. Those published so far revealed massive programmes run by the NSA that gathered information on emails, phone calls and Internet use by hundreds of millions of Americans. In 2013, he was charged in the United States with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorised person.

About Right Livelihood Award
The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 The award was given to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today. The prize money is shared among the winners, usually numbering four, and is EUR 200000. Very often one of the four laureates receives an honorary award, which means that the other three share the prize money.

19. Union Cabinet has approved an agreement on grid connectivity with which of the following countries? A. Bangladesh B. Bhutan C. Nepal D. Pakistan

Ans. C

BACKGROUND:

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 September 2014 approved the India-Nepal Agreement on Electric Power Trade, Cross-Border Transmission Interconnection and Grid Connectivity. The approval will facilitate and strengthen cross-border electricity transmission grid connectivity and power trade between the two countries. The agreement would also provide a framework for imports, by Indian entities, of surplus power generated from future hydroelectric plants in Nepal, on mutually acceptable terms and conditions. Nepal currently imports 200 MW of electricity from India annually. Besides, the constructions of the new cross-border transmission lines that are under construction will more than double the transmission capacity over the next two years. The power trade was approved in the light of the decision made during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal in August 2014. During Modi’s visit it was decided that negotiations on the power trade agreement would be concluded within 45 days.

20. Sachin Tendulkar and _____ have been chosen Bradman Honourees for 2014. A. Ricky Ponting B. Steve Waugh C. Javed Miandad D. Wasim Akram

Ans. B

BACKGROUND:

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh of Australia were selected as Bradman Honouree 2014. It was announced by The Bradman Foundation on 22 September 2014. They will be honoured at the Gala Dinner of the Bradman Foundation on 29 October 2014 in Sydney. Sachin Tendulkar was selected for Bradman Honouree because he has scored more Test runs than any other  cricketer in history and bestrode the international cricket stage for 24 years. Tendulkar was identified by Sir Donald Bradman early in his career as the batsman whose technique most closely resembled to Sir Donald Bradman. Steve Waugh was selected because he was the most successful captain of Australia and also embodies values of Bradman like courage, honour and determination.

About Bradman Honourees
The Bradman Foundation, a non profitable organisation was established in 1987 with the support of Sir Donald Bradman. It was established to promote cricket as a valuable cultural and sporting force within the community. Every year two Bradman Honourees were selected for their significant contribution to international cricket as exemplified by Sir Donald Bradman. The Award is issued specifically with regard to how much the cricketer reflect Sir Donald’s expressed values including courage, honour, integrity, humility and determination.

21. Union Cabinet has approved the Swachh Bharat Mission which will cost around ______.

Ans. 62000 crores 

BACKGROUND:

The Union Cabinet on 24 September 2014 approved Swachh Bharat Mission for Urban Areas. The mission will begin from 2 October 2014 and will be implemented over a period of five years. The mission will be implemented in over 4041 statutory towns of the country and will cost around 62009 crore rupees of which 14623 crore rupees will be borne by the Union Government. The Mission is the urban component of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and will be implemented by Union Ministry of Urban Development. The rural component of the Mission will be implemented by Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Main elements of the Mission

  • The Mission includes elimination of open defecation, conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets, eradication of manual scavenging, Municipal Solid Waste Management.
  • The Programme consists of components for providing (i) Individual household toilets; (ii) Community and public toilets; and (iii) Municipal Solid Waste Management in all 4041 statutory towns
  • It would cover 1.04 crore households, provide 2.5 lakh seats of community toilets, 2.6 lakh seats of public toilets and solid waste management facility for all towns.

Aim of the Mission

  • It aims towards bringing a behavioural change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices and generating awareness among citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health.
  • It also aims at strengthening of urban local bodies to design, execute and operate systems to fulfill these objectives and creating an enabling environment for private sector participation in capital expenditure and operational expenditure. The plan of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was mentioned in the Union Budget 2014-15 by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 10 July 2014. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was proposed in the Union Budget under Drinking Water & Sanitation plan. As proposed, the Abhiyan will cover every household with sanitation facility by the year 2019

22. Who has been appointed as PM’s Sherpa for G-20 Sherpa meeting 2014? A. Tarun Vijay B. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe C. Amit Shah D. Suresh Prabhu

Ans. D 

BACKGROUND:

Suresh Prabhu on 23 September 2014 was appointed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Sherpa for the Group of 20 annual Summit 2014. He was selected by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Suresh Prabhu will attend the G20 Sherpa’s meeting that is going to be held in Canberra, Australia from 30 September to 1 October 2014. Sherpa is a senior official responsible for preparing the agenda for leaders to consider during the summit.

About Suresh Prabhu
• Prabhu is Member of Parliament of 14th Lok Sabha of India.
• He served as cabinet minister of Industries, Environment and Forests, Fertilizers & Chemicals and Power, Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises.
• At present, he is the chairperson of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water
• He is also a member of the Global Advisory Council of the World Economic Forum.

23. SBI and _____ have allowed kids above the age of 10 to operate bank accounts independently. A. AXIS Bank B. Punjab National Bank C. ICICI D. YES Bank

Ans. C 

BACKGROUND:

State Bank of India (SBI) and Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) on 24 September 2014 allowed kids to operate bank accounts independently. The bank account is available for all kids above 10 who can sign uniformly. A uniform signature is a prerequisite since the banks are not making any allowance in signature variation for children and cheques can be returned where signatures do not match. On 5 September 2014, SBI had launched new accounts Pehla Kadam and Pehli Udaan for kids. Now, ICICI Bank has launched Smart Stars account and Federal Bank Limited has Young Champ Account for minors. Further, ICICI Bank has imposed a debit transaction limit of 50000 rupees annually for minor-operated accounts. If the account is operated with a guardian’s consent, the annual limit is enhanced to 2 lakh rupees. The banks are offering full fledged services to minors, including photo debit cards and access to mobile and net banking. These minor-operated accounts were allowed by the Reserve Bank of India in May 2014 to inculcate savings behaviour among the young.The only condition was that minors should not be given any overdraft or credit facility.

24. India’s position on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2014 is

Ans.134

BACKGROUND:

India’s position slipped to 134 out of 189 countries in 2014. This was 3 places lower than its position in 2013. The top positions in 2014 are as follows:

  • 1st – Singapore
  • 2nd – Hong Kong
  • 3rd – New Zealand

25. Who has been appointed as the President of News Broadcasting Association? A. Deepak Kalra B. Rajat Sharma C. Barun Das D. K.V.L. Narayan

Ans. B

BACKGROUND:

India TV chairman and editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma on 24 September 2014 was appointed as the new president of the News Broadcasting Association (NBA) for the year 2014-2015. Rajat Sharma will replace KVL Narayan Rao who was the president of NBA for four consecutive years. However, Rao will remain a member of NBA board. Anurradha Prasad was named as the new honorary treasurer of NBA. Meanwhile, Ashok Venkatramani will continue to be the vice president of NBA. 

News Broadcasters Association (NBA)
•    The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) is the apex body of the national news broadcasters.
•    It is the collective voice of the news and current affairs broadcasters in India .It is funded entirely by its members.
•    The NBA has presently 26 leading news and current affairs broadcasters as its members. The NBA presents a unified and credible voice before the Government on matters that affect the growing industry.

26. Name the military exercise which was recently conducted between India and Nepal. A. Surya Kiran B. Malabar C. Indra D. Varuna

Ans. A 

BACKGROUND:

Surya Kiran is the military exercise which was jointly conducted by India and Nepal at Pithoragarh.

27. The objective of Make In India campaign is to get manufacturing sector to grow at over ___ percent annually.

Ans. 10

BACKGROUND:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 September 2014 launched Make In India Campaign at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi to make India a manufacturing hub.The campaign is aimed to attract foreign companies to set up their manufacturing units in India and to seek greater foreign investment. The launch ceremony was attended by Top CEOs from India Inc, international industry leaders, ambassadors, ministers and government officials. Further, Special arrangements were made to publicise the event globally in different world capitals. At the same time, programmes were held in state capitals and also Indian missions abroad, where officials engaged with investors and consultants.P.M. Narendra Modi on his Independence Day speech announced the Make in India policy.

Objective of the campaign
The objective of the campaign is to get manufacturing sector to grow over 10% on a sustainable basis over a long run. The campaign is aimed to transform the economy from the services-driven growth model to labour-intensive manufacturing-driven growth. This will help in creating jobs for over 10 million people, who join the workforce every year.

Focus of the campaign 
The programme lays emphasis on 25 sectors with focus on job creation and skill enhancement.  These include: automobiles, chemicals, IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, ports, aviation, leather, tourism and hospitality, wellness, railways, auto components, design manufacturing, renewable energy, mining, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and electronics among others. Union Government released separate brochures for these sectors along with a general brochure.The brochures will provide details of growth drivers, investment opportunities, sector specific FDI and other policies and related agencies.

Features of the campaign 
•    The government will look into all regulatory processes to ease the burden of investors.
•    A dedicated cell has been created to answer queries from business entities through a newly created web portal.
•    While an exhaustive set of FAQs on this portal will help investors find instant answers to their general queries, the back-end support team of the cell would answer specific queries within 72 hours.
•    The DIPP and industry lobby FICCI have jointly set up an eight-member expert panel to address queries and concerns of investors. They will clarify Indian policies to the investors and suggest reforms to the Central and states governments.
•    All central government services are being integrated with an e-Biz single window online portal.
•    States have been advised to introduce self-certification.
•    The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has been asked to give all security clearances to investment proposals within 3 months.
•    An advisory has been sent to all departments/state governments to simplify and rationalise regulatory environment which includes online filing of all returns in a unified form.

Through this campaign, the Union Government aims to clear the daunting image of complex rules and bureaucratic red tape of Indian administration. It will help the global investors to foster their investment decisions. This will help in realizing the aim of liberalized economy. Make in India will act as a first reference point for guiding foreign investors on all aspects of regulatory and policy issues and assists them in obtaining regulatory clearances.Union Government has already allowed 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment under automatic route in construction, operation and maintenance in rail infrastructure projects and increased FDI in Defence to 49 per cent.

28. As per the Global Competitiveness Report 2014, the most competitive economy is A. Finland B. Singapore C. Switzerland D. China

Ans. C 

BACKGROUND:

According to the report, Switzerland is the most competitive economy followed by Singapore and USA respectively.

29. ______ has recently won the World Badminton Championship for women. A. Miguel Indurain B. Martina Kristin C. Rossane Carroll D. Carolina Marin

Ans. D

BACKGROUND:

Carolina Marin has become the first Spaniard to win the World Badminton Championship. She defeated the World number One Li Xuerui of China.

30. _____ has been recently set up to study and recognize obsolete laws. A. Ramanujam Committee B. Vardarajan Committee C. Vidya Sagar Committee D. Mashelkar Committee

Ans. A

BACKGROUND:

Ramanujam committee will be identifying the laws which obstruct governance by creating avoidable confusion.

31. Name the Indian player who has been chosen recently for Davis Cup Commitment Award. A. Rohan Bopanna B. Leander Paes C. Mahesh Bhupathi D. Ramesh Krishnan

Ans. A

32. As per WHO, the rate of child marriages is highest in A. India B. Pakistan C. Nepal D. Bangladesh

Ans. D 

BACKGROUND:

As per a recent WHO report, the highest number of child marriages was seen in Bangladesh followed by India and Nepal. In Bangladesh about two thirds of girls are married before the age of 18.

33. Know Your Rights Portal has been launched by the ministry for A. Human Resources Development B. Transport C. Consumer Affairs D. Civil Aviation

Ans. D

34. MOM, which is also known as Mangalyaan, stands for _____.

Ans. Mars Orbiter Mission

BACKGROUND:

On 24 September 2014 as the MOM entered the Martian orbit India created history. It became the first Asian nation and third country in the world after US and erstwhile Soviet Union (USSR) to achieve this feat. Besides ISRO became the fourth space agency after NASA, European Space Agency and Space Agency of erstwhile USSR. More incredibly, the Scientists at ISRO achieved this feat in their first attempt and at a cost of 74 million US dollars as against other three countries many attempts and much higher cost. The achievement was startling and a milestone for a space agency that was termed as primitive when it started its journey to space by carrying its satellite Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment (APPLE) on a bullock cart to the launch pad in 1981. Since the launch of Aryabhatta-I on 19 April 1975 aboard Soviet Union’s Kosmos-3M launch vehicle ISRO has come a long way. The efforts of ISRO saw India evolved from a dependent nation for sending spacecraft to a self-reliant nation which not only sends its own satellites but also of other nations. So far, ISRO has launched 65 satellites or spacecrafts of which 30 were Indian and 35 were Foreign Satellites. India not only is the sixth nation to have presence in space but also one of the regional leaders in remote sensing satellites. Its ever-dependable Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) has achieved global recognition as one of the most successful launch vehicles. PSLV has seen 25 consecutive successful launches out of 26 launches.Further, successful completion of Chandrayaan –I mission (launched in 2008) was a major landmark for ISRO. It made India one of the four countries to place its flag on the Earth’s natural satellite Moon.With many more space missions in pipeline including development of IRNSS system, which is equivalent to US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russia’s GLONASS, and sending manned spacecraft in future, ISRO’s journey from Bullock-cart to Mars is indeed a matter of pride for every Indian.

35. As per the recent Supreme Court judgment, ____ percent quota has been allotted to disabled persons in all government jobs. A. 4 B. 3 C. 6 D. 2.5

Ans. B

36. Which embassy recently organized the Ehsaas-e-Kashmir concert to raise funds for the valley? A. French B. Pakistan C. Chinese D. German

Ans. D

BACKGROUND:

German Embassy of India on 23 September 2014 organised a concert for Kashmir named Ehsaas-e-Kashmir to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir and raise funds for rehabilitation and relief work of Kashmir’s who were affected by the floods. The concert was organsied at the residence of German Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner. The performers of the concert were Kashmiri musicians Bhajan Sopori and Abhay Sopori along with their team. The music presented had Sufi elements and was mixed with a bit of folk. Apart from this, the German Embassy had given 25 lakh rupees for basic healthcare in Kashmir in cooperation with German doctors, who are working in the region as a part of an NGO. The Embassy has also set up a special bank account for those who wish to donate.

37. _____ has become the first Indian woman to scale the highest peaks of all continents. A. Bachendri Pal B. Kalpana Dash C. Anita Devi D. Premlata Agarwal

Ans. D

38. RBI has recently set the upper age limit for MDs and CEOs of private sector banks at A.68 years B.70 years C.62 years D.65 years

Ans. B 

BACKGROUND:

RBI has capped the maximum age at 70 years for a Managing Director, CEO or whole time director in a private bank. The minimum age has been fixed at 21 years.

39. ________ is the current chair of G-20 countries. A. India B. UK C. Italy D. Australia

Ans. D

BACKGROUND:

G20 comprises 19 countries and European Union. It came into existence in 1999 and is a major platform for international economic cooperation and decision-making.

40. Name the Maharashtra Chief Minister who resigned recently. A. Ajit Pawar B. Prithviraj Chavan C. Nitin Gadkari D. Raj Thakre

Ans. B

BACKGROUND:

Prithviraj Chavan on 26 September 2014 resigned as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra after his government was reduced to a minority. Chavan submitted his resignation to governor of the state C Vidyasagar Rao. His resignation came in the backdrop of withdrawal of the support of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) that supported Congress for the last 15 years. NCP withdrew its support from Congress on 25 September 2014 on the issue of Seat sharing for Vidhan Sabha elections that is supposed to happen in next three weeks.

About Prithviraj Chavan
• Pritviraj a representative of Indian National Congress was the 22nd Chief Minister of Maharashtra
• He has served as the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions
• He has been a General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC), in-charge of many states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat, Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh
• He is a graduate of Birla Institute of Technology and Science and University of California in mechanical engineering
• He has worked in the field of aircraft instrumentation and designing audio recorders for anti submarine warfare in the US after which he returned to India and become an entrepreneur in 1974
• Prithviraj Chavan was born on 17 March 1946 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh

41. _____ has been chosen SAARC Cultural Capital for the year 2015-16. A. Bamiyan B. Thimpu C. Kabul D. Colombo

Ans. A

42. India has recently entered into an agreement on electric power trading with ______. A. Burma B. Bangladesh C. Nepal D. Bhutan

Ans. C

43. 2016-17 has been chosen as the ______. A. SAARC Year of Cultural Heritage B. SAARC Year of Mutual Cooperation C. SAARC Year of Sustainable Development D. SAARC Year of Renewable Energy

Ans. A

44. Where will the G-20 summit 2014 be held? A. Tokyo B. Brisbane C. London D. Toronto

Ans. B

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