Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 18 December 2014

  Current Affairs MCQ for Banking Exams - 18 December 2014

Q. 1

The Lok Sabha passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2014 through a voice vote. This bill has proposed how many amendments to the existing company law enacted in 2013?
a. Thirteen
b. Fourteen
c. Ten
d. Nine
e. Six

General Awareness :In the News October, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams) Sports
October - 2014

YogeshwarDutt wins gold in Asian games

  •  YogeshwarDutt ended India’s 28-year-old wait for a wrestling gold medal in the Asian Games by emerging champion in the men’s freestyle 65kg category at the Dowon Gymnasium in Incheon.

  •  The Indian, an Olympic bronze medallist, put on a stupendous show in winning 3-0 against ZalimkhanYusupov of Tajikistan in the title clash.

Mary Kom gets gold

  •  M.C. Mary Kom, popularly known as "Magnificent Mary" won the first ever boxing gold for India at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on October 1, 2014. The five-time World Champion has punched her way to earn 13 yellow metals so far in her illustrious career.

Boxer Sarita has offered ‘unconditional apology’ for her ’emotional outburst’: AIBA

  •  Facing the prospect of a ban, Indian boxer L. Sarita Devi offered an “unconditional apology” for refusing to accept her bronze medal during the Asian Games presentation ceremony, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has said.

  •  “The Head of the Indian Mission at the Incheon Asian Games 2014 MrAdille J Sumariwalla has forwarded to the President of the International Boxing Association DrChing-Kuo Wu, a letter of apology of Woman boxer SaritaLaishram Devi (57-60kg) who had refused to receive the bronze medal at the Award Ceremony for the 17th Asian Games,” the AIBA said in a statement.

  •  “Mrs Devi expressed ‘an unconditional apology’ for her ’emotional outburst’ at the ceremony, writing that ’I regret and apologise. Such an incident will never reoccur in the future’,” it added.

  •  A disconsolate Sarita had refused to accept her bronze medal during the medal ceremony to protest her controversial semifinal loss to South Korean Jina Park. Sarita (60kg) had lost the bout despite dominating the proceedings.

Men's hockey team regain gold, India jump to ninth place

  •  The Indian men's hockey team regained the gold medal after a gap of 16 years while the women's 4x400m relay team also picked up gold as India added four medals to jump to the ninth position in the overall standings in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon.

  • The men's hockey players hogged the spotlight with the thrilling victory over arch-rivals Pakistan to ensure a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

  •  It turned out to be a mixed day for Indian volleyball teams as the men's team defeated Thailand 3-1 in the 5th-8th place classification match after the women suffered a 0-3 reverse to Hong Kong to finish 8th in the competition.

Indian men, women retain kabaddi gold medals at Asiad

  •  For a change, the Indian men’s kabaddi team encountered things they hadn’t in 14 years at the Asian Games. They had won gold in the last six editions since the sport made its debut in Beijing in 1990. But in the men’s final, Iran had little respect for the sport’s kings.

  •  The Indian men had to sweat and slog for a 27-25 victory for the gold a little after its women defeated Iran 31-21 to finish with a happy double which took it to the eighth spot in the medals table.

  •  Suddenly, Jasvir Singh, one of India’s top raiders, looked mediocre. The fitter and stronger Iranians exposed him, trapping him twice. And, with Ajay Thakur also caught, India appeared set to lose its hold over the event.

India finishes on 8th position in Asiad

  •  India ended its 17th Asian Games campaign at the eighth spot on the medals tally, a drop of two positions from the previous edition of the mega-event which drew to a close here.

  •  India signed off with 57 medals -- 11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze. The tally dipped considerably compared to the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, China.

  •  In 2010, the country had ended sixth with 65 medals -- 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze.

  •  As expected China ended their campaign on top claiming 342 medals. The Chinese contingent walked away with 151 gold, 108 silver and 83 bronze medals.

  •  Hosts South Korea finished a distant second with 234 medals -- 79 gold, 71 silver and 77 bronze. They were followed by the Japanese, who notched up 200 medals, including 47 gold, 76 silver and 77

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 17 December 2014

Q. 1

Which Northeastern state signed agreement with a Russian power company for collaborating in hydropower projects in the state on the sidelines of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India during December 2014?
a. Assam
b. Nagaland
c. Tripura
d. Arunachal Pradesh
e. Meghalaya


Who was named as Australia’s captain for the second cricket Test against India, replacing an injury-ravaged Michael Clarke, and thus became country’s 45th Test captain?
a. Steve Smith
b. Ricky Ponting
c. Shane Watson
d. Aron Finch
e. None of these

General Awareness :Science and Tech - October, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams)

Science & Tech

October - 2014

Science & Tech

  •  ISRO will launch the third of seven series of satellites to put in place India’s own navigation system on par with US’ Global Positioning System (GPS) from the spaceport of Sriharikota on October 10.

  • The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) 1C satellite would be launched on the 28th flight of India’s PSLV-C26 from the SatishDhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, some 100 km from Chennai.

  •  As part of its aspirations to build a regional navigational system equivalent to GPS of the US, ISRO plans to send seven satellites to put in place the IRNSS.

  •  The first two satellites in the series, IRNSS 1A and IRNSS 1B were launched from Sriharikota on July 1 2013 and April 4 this year respectively.

  •  Being developed by India, IRNSS is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in the country as well as the region extending upto 1,500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.

Whale shark found washed ashore at Panambur

  •  A 10-ft-long whale shark was found washed ashore at the Panambur beach. The whale shark, among the largest fish species in the world, is commonly found in deep seas around the Lakshadweep Islands, and it, probably, is the first incident of a whale shark found washed ashore at Panambur.

  •  An average whale shark is around 30 feet in length and weighs around 9,000 kg.

Preterm birth kills most children under 5 years in India

  •  Of the 6.3 million deaths in children under the age of five years, nearly 52 per cent of deaths during 2000-2013 occurred during the neonatal period (0-27 days after birth). Preterm birth complications, pneumonia and intrapartum-related complications have been found to be the three main causes of death in children globally.

  •  According to Li Liu from the Institute of International Programs and the first author of the paper, there will be 4.4 million deaths in children younger than five years even in 2030 if the present trend continues.

  •  In 2013, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and China together accounted for half of deaths in the world in children aged under five years, and 52.5 per cent of all neonatal deaths. In the case of India and Pakistan, the three leading causes were preterm birth complications, pneumonia and intrapartum-related complications.

Measles will be the Target after eliminating polio

  •  An ambitious drive to eliminate or control a host of diseases, including measles, which affects lakhs of people and leave many killed every year will be launched, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

  •  Dr. Vardhan said the government was already working towards eliminating measles by 2015 and Rubella, also known as German measles, and ‘Kala-azar’ or black fever by 2015.

  •  It also aims to eliminate parasitic disease Filaria by 2015 and Leprosy at district level by 2017.

  •  “We got rid of Smallpox in 1977 and Polio in 2014. There is no reason why we cannot finish others,” he said during a press conference.

  •  Dr. Vardhan said the government has called a meeting of health secretaries from across the country on October 9 in this regard, following which a nationwide programme will be launched regarding elimination of such diseases and others.

India should increase Coverage of antenatal care: WHO

  •  In 2013, globally, preterm birth complications were responsible for 15 per cent (0.96 million) of deaths in children under five years of age. It is a leading cause of death in neonates (0-27 days after birth). According to WHO, about 15 million babies are born preterm (before 37 completed weeks of gestation) every year. Such births are seen both in the developed and developing countries.

  •  India ranks first in the list of 10 countries that account for 60 per cent of all preterm births; the U.S. is ranked sixth in the list.

  •  “India has little more than 50 per cent of antenatal care coverage. So in order to face the issue of premature births, low birth weight babies and stillbirths, the first aspect is to increase the coverage of antenatal care,” Dr. FlaviaBustreo, Assistant Director General at WHO told this Correspondent. “During antenatal care, health workers can detect whether progress of foetal growth is happening normally, pregnant mother’s nutrition is good or look out for any other complications.”

‘Virtual breast’ will improve cancer detection

  •  A Computer-generated 3D ‘virtual breast’ software, that mimics the intricacy of the real organ, could improve cancer detection, scientists say.

  •  Many medical professionals encourage women to get mammograms, even though the tests are imperfect at best: only a minority of suspicious mammograms actually lead to a cancer diagnosis, researchers said.

  •  Researchers have used a different type of test, ultrasound elastography, to pinpoint possible tumors throughout the body, including in the breast.

  •  “It uses imaging to measure the stiffness of tissue, and cancer tissues are stiff,” said Jingfeng Jiang, a biomedical engineer at Michigan Technological University.

  •  Those images can be breathtakingly clear: In one elastograme the tumour is as different from normal breast tissue as a yolk is from the white in a fried egg. However, not all images are that precise.

  •  Ultrasound elastography could be an excellent screening tool for women who have suspicious mammograms, but only if the results are properly interpreted, researchers said.

HIV pandemic’s genesis in the 1920s was in Kinshasa: scientists

  •  A “perfect storm” of urban change that began in 1920s Kinshasa led to the catastrophic spread of HIV across Africa and into the wider world, according to scientists who used genetic sequencing and historical records to trace the origins of the pandemic.

  •  Though the virus probably crossed from chimpanzees to humans in southern Cameroon years earlier, HIV remained a regional infection until it entered the capital of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

  •  From the 1920s until 1960, the pandemic HIV strain — there were others that fizzled out — spread from Kinshasa, crossed borders to other nations, and ultimately landed on distant continents. It has infected nearly 75 million people worldwide to date.

Indo-Russian venture breaks new ground

  •  When Mikhael and Sergei were students together at Dauria, a back of beyond region in Russia’s trans-Baikal region bordering region, little would they have imagined that they would team up with Indians, who also came out from smaller towns, to launch satellites.

  •  The two Russians from a region known for crystal blue lakes and seasons divided between unremitting snow for half the year and rolling meadows for the remainder, next met at the Physics Olympics which Mikhail Kokorich won. It was when they were selected for admission at Novosibirsk University that they sensed their destinies were interlinked, narrates Sergei Ivanov, in a dapper suit while taking time off to talk on his cell phone with his company’s offices in the Silicon Valley and Munich.

  •  The Indians too — Raghu Das, D. S Govindrajan and SachidaPadhi — chose career paths that differed from the usual trajectory of scientists\managers settling down to a life of security with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) or one of the corporate heavyweights that are contributors to its space launches.

Gene plays important role in Monarch butterfly's migration

  •  The 3,000 mile or 4,800 km mass migration of Monarch butterflies in North America is one of the insect world's fantastic feats, with millions embarking on the arduous journey from as far north as Canada down into Mexico and the California coast each autumn.

  •  Scientists who scoured the genome of these colorful insects offered new insight into this annual airborne adventure. They pinpointed a single gene related to flight muscle efficiency that plays a major role in the Monarch butterfly's migration.

  •  The study published in the journal Nature, also identified the gene behind the butterfly's striking orange-and-black coloration.

  •  "I find it amazing that these little butterflies live for months and fly thousands of miles to perform this annual migration," said one the researchers, University of Chicago professor of ecology and evolution Marcus Kronforst..

  •  The number of migrating Monarchs has plummeted in recent years. Dr. Kronforst said while an estimated one billion Monarch butterflies migrated to Mexico in 1996, that number stood at about 35 million this past winter. Threats to them include habitat loss due to human activities, pesticides that kill milkweed and climate change, experts say.

  •  While mainly a North American species, Monarch populations also can be found in Central America, South America and elsewhere. Those outside North America do not migrate.

  • The researchers carried out genome sequences on 92 Monarch butterflies from around the world including non-migratory ones as well as on nine butterflies from closely related species. To study the genetic basis for migration, they compared the genetic blueprint of migratory Monarchs to those that do not migrate.

Tibetan plateau becomes focus of intense meteorological study

  •  The Tibetan plateau has become the focus of intense meteorological study in a never-before attempt to understand its effect on climate locally as well as globally.

  •  This development follows close on the heels of the massive floods which hit Kashmir and Pakistan recently.

  •  The $49-million Chinese effort, in which the plateau is being flooded with sensors, is aimed to help predict extreme weather — both in Asia and as far away as North America — and give scientists knowledge on how climate change affects these events.

  •  Having a high altitude, the plateau receives more sunlight, gets hotter than land at sea level. Acting like a giant heating plate it pumps air upwards which disperses in the upper troposphere, influencing atmospheric circulation and thereby, climate.

  •  The heat also intensifies monsoons, which are caused by land-ocean temperature differences which in turn cause pressure gradients.

  •  Being the biggest and highest plateau in the world, it disturbs the troposphere unlike any other structure on earth. However, there are little data on the impact on climate.

2020 plan for nature protection falling: U.N. report

  •  International efforts to meet targets to stem the loss of wildlife and habitats are failing miserably, according to a United Nations report.

  •  The Global Biodiversity Outlook 4, published as nearly 200 countries meet in South Korea in a bid to tackle biodiversity loss, paints a damning picture of governments’ efforts to meet a set of targets agreed upon in 2010 to mitigate the destruction of species’ habitats, cut pollution and stop overfishing by the end of the decade.

  •  Conservationists said the lack of progress, nearly halfway to the 2020 deadline for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (ABT), was a troubling sign and a reality check.

  •  According to the report, the situation is worsening for the planet’s most threatened species, which include 90 per cent of all lemurs and species such as the blue-tongued forest giraffe and the spoon-billed sandpiper: “The average risk of extinction for birds, mammals, amphibians and corals shows no sign of decreasing.”

  •  Only five of the 20 targets, which are broken down into 56 elements, are on track for 2020. Thirty-three show progress albeit at an insufficient rate, 10 show no progress; five show deterioration and three have not been evaluated.

India launches microscope uses peacock feather technology

  •  India launched an ingeniously manufactured microscope that generates 3D images of objects. The Broad Spectrum Confocal Microscope has several applications in medicine and materials sciences. It uses an infra red beam which passes through a patented photonic crystal fibre made by the Central Glass and Ceramics Research Institute (CGCRI), Kolkata.

  •  “The optic fibre produces multiple wavelengths from the laser due to its surface which has very small holes. This is similar to the way a peacock’s feather scatters light. This is projected on to the target object which allows us to see a three dimensional structure of the object,” CGCRI Director Kamal Dasgupta said.

  •  The microscope was developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) along with Vinvish Technologies, Thiruvananthapuram, under the New Millennium Indian Technology Initiative, an effort launched by the CSIR over a decade ago to develop technologies through collaborative efforts by research laboratories and technology companies in India.

APJ Kalam stresses need to have carbon-free cities

  •  Former President APJ Abdul Kalam stressed the need to have carbon-free cities across the globe for happy and healthy living of citizens.

  •  Delivering the keynote address at the plenary session of the XI World Metropolis Congress that is currently underway in Hyderabad, DrKalam suggested that the delegates should deliberate on building carbon-neutral and fossil-free urban conglomerations.

  •  “To have carbon-neutral cities is my dream. Whether smart cities or over-smart cities, the urban areas should be places for healthy living,” DrKalam said adding that “healthy living is possible only if we adopt methods of generating solar power and create non-carbonised environment.”

  •  The growing migration to urban areas poses challenge in creation of clean environment, he said.

  •  Recalling his recent visit to Chandigarh, the former President said the city was built by a Swiss architect and an expert urban planner and there are several points that can be learnt from it.

Inspiration from Butterfly wings to fight forgery

  •  Harvard researchers have taken inspiration from ‘colour-changing’ wings of a butterfly to develop an artificial photonic material that is difficult to recreate and can help produce counterfeit-proof banknotes.

  •  Researchers were inspired by the male Pierellaluna butterfly of Latin America that uses its wings to perform an advanced optical trick known as reverse colour diffraction to attract a mate.

  •  Owing to the microstructure of its wings — made up of tiny scales curled slightly upward at the end to diffract light — the butterfly appears to change colour when viewed from different angles. Researchers have now figured out a way to use artificial photonic materials to mimic the insect.

Increased toilet coverage has a little health impact: study

  •  New evidence has raised troubling questions about India’s 25-year strategy of pushing people to use toilets as a way to improve health.

  •  In a paper published in the medical journal Lancet, researchers led by Thomas Clasen of the U.S.-based Emory University found that increased toilet coverage did not lead to any significant improvements in the occurrence of child diarrhoea, prevalence of parasitic worm infections, child stunting or child mortality.

  •  For their study, Dr. Clasen and his team looked at 50 villages in Odisha’sPuri district between May 2010 and December 2013, where the then Total Sanitation Campaign to build toilets was in effect, and 50 otherwise similar villages where the campaign had not yet started.

  •  One key possible explanation for the absence of a health impact, the researchers said, could be the patchy implementation of the scheme, and uneven rates of use of toilets — at the end of the study period, just 63 per cent of households in the villages where the scheme ran had any toilet, and two-thirds of this group reported a family member using the toilet. Usage was substantially lower among men than among women.

PSLV-C26 to launch navigation satellite on October 16

  •  A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C26, will lift off from the space centre at Sriharikota on October 16 at 1.32 a.m. to put a navigation satellite, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, IRNSS-1C, into orbit.

  •  The launch window opens at 1.32 a.m. and lasts till 1.47 a.m. The 1,425-kg satellite has already been integrated with the four-stage PSLV in the first launch pad and the final phase of checks is under way. The 67-hour countdown will begin at 06.32 a.m. on October 13.

US approves two technology transfer licenses

  •  While the decision in this regard was made just before Prime Minister NarendraModi's US visit, the announcement was made by a top Pentagon official during the annual gala of US India Business Council (USIBC).

  •  "What is critical now is that we agree on some projects that we can use to continue building our relationship. Good intentions must lead to tangible results, or the momentum we have built will fade," said Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics during his address at the event.

  •  Kendall, who is Pentagon's point person for the India-US Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI), however, did not give details about the two licenses approved by US.

  •  He said: "I have also set aside USD 20 million for strategic cooperative science and technology projects with India, something we have done with no other country."

  •  Kendall, who accompanied Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel to India this summer, was highly appreciative of the developments and policy changes in India.

Astronomers most detailed map exoplanet’s weather

  •  Using the Nasa Hubble Space Telescope, a team of scientists — including an Indian-origin researcher — has made the most detailed map ever of the temperature of an exoplanet’s atmosphere and traced the amount of water it contains.

  •  The planet targeted for both the investigations was the hot-Jupiter exoplanet WASP-43b. It is a planet the size of Jupiter but with double the mass and an orbit much closer to its parent star than any planet in the solar system. It has one of the shortest years ever measured for an exoplanet of its size — lasting just 19 hours.

  • “These maps can be used to constrain circulation models that predict how heat is transported from an exoplanet’s hot day side to its cool night side,” said Kevin Stevenson from University of Chicago.

A multi-sectoral approach to control dengue

  •  Dengue fever is rearing its ugly head again in India with new cases of infections and even deaths being reported from different States. The world’s fastest growing vector-borne disease, dengue sees an estimated 50-100 million cases being reported annually in over 100 endemic countries.

  •  Ever since its detection in the early 1950s, there has been a 30-fold increase in dengue incidence. Almost half of the world’s population is currently considered at risk of contracting dengue. The Southeast Asia region contributes to more than half of the global burden of the disease. About 52 per cent of the world’s population at risk resides in this region. Dengue is endemic in 10 of the 11 member states, and India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand are among the 30 most endemic countries in the world.

  •  The good news is that deaths due to dengue have been brought down substantially. This is because of greater awareness among treating physicians on the proper use of World Health Organization protocols in providing care to dengue patients. This is also attributed to increased knowledge among communities to seek early treatment for symptoms that resemble those of dengue.
    However, an area of concern is that the number of cases has been increasing year after year. To understand it, we need to comprehend and keep pace with the changing epidemiology of dengue, especially the multiple ecological factors that influence its spread.

  •  Being a vector-borne disease, ever-increasing numbers and varieties of mosquito-breeding habitats are being created with rapid and poorly planned urbanisation, globalisation, consumerism, poor solid waste and water management, and increasing population movement without adequate measures to prevent vector breeding.

Mars Orbiter sends pictures of Mars moon Phobos

  •  His preparedness is understandably high but there could be a slump in the keenness of competition.

  •  Almost 20 days after it successfully entered the orbit of the Red Planet, ISRO’s Mars Orbiter sent pictures of Phobos — the largest of the two natural satellites that orbit around Mars.

  •  ISRO, the national space agency, has shared a tiny footage on its social networking site with a caption, “The larger of the two Martian moons, Phobos, is seen travelling west to east over Mars in its typical orbit.”

ISRO re-positioned its Mars Orbiter

  •  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has repositioned its Mars Orbiter, as the national space agency, along with its counterparts around the world, is expecting Comet Siding Spring to fly by the Red Planet on October 19.

  •  “We have repositioned the Mars Orbiter, as the Comet Siding Spring is expected to be close to the Mars on October 19. We have taken the Orbiter to a position farthest from the tail of the Comet so that it doesn’t affect the satellite,” A.S. Kiran Kumar, Director, Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad, said.

  •  ISRO, NASA and other space agencies in the world, which have sent their missions to the Red Planet, have taken precautionary measures to save their satellites from any possible collision with the space debris, which might be facilitated by the movement of the Comet near Mars.

  •  According to U.S. space agency NASA, Comet Siding Spring has travelled many billions of miles and would come within about 87,000 miles of Mars on October 19. The comet comes from the Oort cloud, material left over from the formation of the solar system, it said.

MAVEN beams first images from Martian atmosphere

  •  NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has provided scientists their first look at a storm of Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) in the Red Planet.

  •  The SEPs are streams of high-speed particles blasted from the sun during explosive solar activities like flares or coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

  •  Around Earth, SEP storms can damage the sensitive electronics on satellites. At Mars, they are thought to be one possible mechanism for driving atmospheric loss.

  •  MAVEN has clicked unprecedented ultraviolet images of the tenuous oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon coronas surrounding the Red Planet, and yielded a comprehensive map of highly-variable ozone in the atmosphere underlying the coronas, NASA reported.

  •  “All the instruments are showing data quality that is better than anticipated at this early stage of the mission,” said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN Principal Investigator at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

  •  “It is turning out to be an easy and straightforward spacecraft to fly, at least so far. It really looks as if we are headed for an exciting science mission,” he said.

  •  MAVEN was launched on September 21 to help solve the mystery of how the Red Planet lost most of its atmosphere.

Stem cells appears safe to treat blindness

  •  An experimental treatment for blindness that uses embryonic stem cells appears to be safe, and it improved vision in more than half of the patients who got it, two early studies show.

  •  Researchers followed 18 patients for up to three years after treatment. The studies are the first to show safety of an embryonic stem cell treatment in humans for such a long period.

  •  “It’s a wonderful first step but it doesn’t prove that (stem cells) work,” said Chris Mason, chair of regenerative medicine at University College London, who was not part of the research. He said it was encouraging the studies proved the treatment is safe and dispelled fears about stem cells promoting tumor growth.

  •  Embryonic stem cells, which are recovered from embryos, can become any cell in the body. They are considered controversial by some because they involve destroying an embryo and some critics say adult stem cells, which are derived from tissue samples, should be used instead.

  •  Scientists have long thought about transforming them into specific types of cells to help treat various diseases. In the new research, scientists turned stem cells into retinal cells to treat people with macular degeneration or Stargardt’s macular dystrophy, the leading causes of blindness in adults and children.

  •  In each patient, the retinal cells were injected into the eye that had the worst vision. Ten of the 18 patients later reported they could see better with the treated eye than the other one.

  •  No safety problems were detected. The studies were paid for by the U.S. company that developed the treatment, Advanced Cell Technology, and were published online in the journal, Lancet.

Mars probes to observe cometary visitor

  •  India’s Mars Orbiter Mission and four other spacecraft gathered around the Red Planet are preparing to greet an emissary from the far reaches of the solar system, Comet Siding Spring.

  •  Around midnight this Sunday (Oct. 19), the comet — named after an Australian observatory from where it was discovered in January last year — will hurtle past Mars, coming to within about 139,500 km of the planet. That is almost one-third of the average distance between Earth and Moon, and much closer than any comet is known to have passed by Earth.

  •  The Indian Orbiter as well as three American and one European spacecraft now around Mars will be training their instruments on the comet. Two U.S. rovers trundling about on the Martian surface will also peer up with their cameras.

  •  These will be the first spacecraft observations made from close proximity of a comet that originated in the Oort Cloud, said Asoke K. Sen of the Department of Physics at Assam University in Silchar, who studies comets.

  •  As the comet is coming into the inner solar system for the first time, it “will carry the signature of the pristine material out of which the sun and the planets were born some 4.6 billion years back,” he pointed out. Observations of the comet will therefore aid in understanding the origin and evolution of the solar system.

Another success of ISRO with PSLV-C26 launch

  •  On October 15, 1994, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-D2) for the first time successfully placed an Indian Remote-sensing Satellite into orbit.

  •  Twenty years later, on October 16, 2014, the PSLV-C26 lobbed the 1,425 kg Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1C) satellite into its precise orbit.

  •  This mission was ISRO’s twenty-seventh consecutively successful PSLV flight. ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said, “The PSLV has done it again. IRNNSS-1C is up in orbit. "

  •  After a flight of 20 minutes and 18 seconds, the satellite was injected into an elliptical orbit. The IRNSS-1C is the third among seven navigation satellites, with a wide range of applications from helping truck drivers to submarines, missiles and battle tanks locate their positions.

Cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ test-fired

  •  India’s indigenously developed nuclear capable sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’, which can strike targets more than 700 km away, was test-fired from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha.

  •  “The missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher positioned at launch pad 3 of the Integrated Test Range at about 10.03 hours,” said an official soon after the flight took off from the launch ground.

  •  “Flight details will be available after data retrieved from radars and telemetry points, monitoring the trajectories, are analysed,” the official said.

  •  It is the second test of the sub-sonic long range cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from the ITR.

  •  The maiden flight, conducted on March 12, 2013 could not achieve all the desired parameters as “the flight had to be terminated mid-way when deviations were observed from its intended course,” sources said

  •  India has in its arsenal the 290-km range supersonic “BrahMos” cruise missile which is jointly developed by India and Russia. But ‘Nirbhay’ with long range capability is a different kind of missile being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

NFDB implementing several new schemes for fisheries sector

  •  National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) is implementing various production oriented schemes for enhancement of fish production and productivity.

  •  To increase fish production and productivity in reservoirs, a massive fish seed stocking programme was taken up in 21.15 lakh hectares of water spread area in 21 States.

  •  Considering the need for promotion of hygienic markets, the board is focusing on developing hygienic markets across the country. For promotion of fish marketing and consumption, modernisation and construction of 252 fish markets were taken up.

  •  NFDB is addressing the serious weak links in the supply chain by providing fishermen with 1214 mobile fish vending vehicles with ice-boxes so that they can earn more by reaching markets faster and the fish are also delivered in better condition.

  •  To meet the quality standards stipulated by the European Union and other importing countries, assistance was extended for modernisation of 21 fishing harbours and 31 fish landing centres.

  •  Considering the scope for development of ornamental fisheries in India by involving rural beneficiaries, especially women self-help groups, NFDB has launched initiatives by implementing different schemes.

  •  Several families and women self-help groups are earning a livelihood through ornamental fish culture. NFDB has launched schemes for setting up of ornamental units such as backyard hatcheries, medium scale ornamental fish breeding units, integrated ornamental fish breeding units and aquarium fabrication units with 50 per cent subsidy.

India at very high risk of Ebola: U.S. expert

General Awareness :Economy - October, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams)


October - 2014

Healthy inflation declines are not enough: RBI Governor

  • As the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gets ready to announce its fourth quarter bi-monthly monetary policy review on September 30, the usual expectations from the market for an interest rate cut are surprisingly muted.

  •  The surprise element lies in the fact that whatever data that are available in the public domain would seem to suggest a softer interest rate regime. According to this view, the RBI has, after a very long time, a favourable environment to lower the benchmark repo rate, which has remained at 8 per cent for the greater part of the year.

  •  The broad macro-economic indicators have generally been positive even though one ‘lead’ indicator — the index of industrial production (IIP) — continues to remain erratic.

  •  Most significantly, inflation data for August — both retail and wholesale — have delivered big, pleasant surprises. Retail inflation based on the consumer price index (CPI) has declined by almost a full percentage point from July from close to 8 per cent to just above 7 per cent.

RBI’s monetary policy statement

  •  The key take-away from the Reserve Bank of India’s fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement, released on 30 September is the central bank’s projections on the economy’s revival, a key element on the agenda of the Modi government. The RBI did not raise its growth projection for 2014-15, retaining it at the pre-elections level of 5.5 per cent, thereby, refusing to buy into the sharp surge in business sentiment and consumer confidence that its own surveys are capturing.

  •  Quelling all hopes of a quick turnaround of the economy, it said, the momentum of activity across the economy is yet to stabilise and that the monsoon deficiency will dampen agricultural growth, which, in turn, will spill over to the rest of the economy as lower demand for the farm sector’s produce.

  •  Business expectations of corporates for the third quarter, surveyed by the RBI, are at a eleven-quarter high, it said in its monetary policy report, ascribing the upbeat sentiment to the formation of a stable government at the Centre and the greater certainty about the policy environment, improvement in twin deficits, buoyant foreign capital inflows, a stable exchange rate and improved financial market conditions.

Microsoft announced its 'Windows 10' Operating System

  •  Microsoft Corp. announced its 'Windows 10' Operating System to replace the largely unpopular Windows 8, skipping a number to mark a leap toward unifying the way people work on tablets, phones and traditional computers.

  •  Microsoft is restoring some of the more traditional ways of doing things and promises that Windows 10 will be familiar for users regardless of which version of Windows they are now using. For instance, the start menu in Windows 10 will appear similar to what’s found in Windows 7.

Govt. refuses to bow to U.S. pressure on IP regime

  •  The Modi Government denied that the reference to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in the joint statement from U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister NarendraModi, was an outcome of the U.S. “arm-twisting”. The U.S. consent to discussion of IPR issues through the bilateral mechanism is a re-affirmation of India’s stand that issues need bilateral discussion and not unilateral action, a Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) clarification said.

  •  The clarification further said the bilateral mechanism agreed to for discussing IPR disputes — Trade Policy Forum (TPF) — was put in place by the UPA Government in March 2010 through a US-India statement, was signed by the then Commerce Minister and his U.S. counterpart. “We have not submitted to the U.S. or yielded ground…. We have reiterated that the U.S. should not act unilaterally,” Industry Minister NirmalaSitharaman.

  •  The joint statement, the DIPP clarified, in fact “merely reiterates” the position India has held since 2010 — this consistent position being that the IPR legal regime in India is fully TRIPS compliant and that issues to be discussed have to be taken up in bilateral forums like TPF. India has consistently refused to be subjected to unilateral action, the clarification added.
    Retail sector to benefit from REITs

  •  The entry of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the Indian market is expected to infuse a large dose of liquidity into the cash-strapped commercial real estate sector and could be a game changer.

  •  In India, of the estimated 350 million square feet of ‘Grade A’ office space — valued at around $65-70 billion — concentrated in the major urban centres, about 80-100 million sq. ft is estimated to be eligible for REITs in the next 2-3 years, valued at about $15-20 billion, according to KPMG in India.

  •  Apart from these, there are a host of other commercial properties such as shopping centres, retail malls, among others, which are eligible for REITs.

  •  Retail malls in particular had seen developers rush in and churn out malls all over the country, but the rising vacancy rates following the economic slowdown saw a slowdown on the supply of mall space. An improvement in consumer sentiment now is good news for organised retail.

RBI Going beyond interest rate changes

  •  Entirely in line with expectations, the Reserve Bank of India in its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy review did not change the policy repo rate, which remains at 8 per cent.

  •  The main determinant of monetary policy has been to get a handle on inflation. This has been very well articulated by the RBI Governor both through the policy statements and outside. In fact, this time the Governor had amply made it clear that a rate cut was out of the question given the inflation scenario. The RBI has not only explained why a rate cut was not possible this time but has also more than hinted as to why there might not be any change for quite sometime.

  •  The ‘pause’ may well extend to the greater part of 2015. The reason, of course, is inflation. While the RBI is fairly confident of reaching its target of 8 per cent retail inflation by January, 2015, it is far less certain about its medium-term target of 6 per cent by January, 2016. The central bank’s views on the glide-path for inflation are the same. However, the risks to attaining the 6-per cent target by January, 2016, remain even though they have lessened compared to August. As to why achieving a 6 per cent inflation target by January, 2016, may be so difficult, the RBI Governor explained that lots of things can happen in the world.

  • The present softening of commodities prices, especially of oil — now trading below $100 a barrel — might not last indefinitely. Food prices may spike. The impact of the recent monsoons has not been assessed fully.

Oil PSUs set for a big change

  •  Under-recoveries (losses incurred on selling regulated fuels like diesel, LPG and kerosene below their cost prices) on petroleum products are expected to decline by over 50 per cent over the next 2 years from 2013-14 levels due to decline in crude oil prices as well as ongoing efforts to move towards market-linked diesel prices. This will have a significant positive impact on the profitability of oil PSUs and the exchequer as well.

  •  CRISIL Research believes that international crude oil prices and thereby petroleum product prices will slip by 8-10 per cent over the next two years to about $100 per barrel in 2015 from an average of $109 per barrel in 2013, barring any major geo-political events, fuelled by supply glut, waning demand growth and increased use of cleaner fuels.

  •  While crude oil output from Iraq, Iran and North America will increase, global demand is expected to be impacted by weak consumption. The tepid consumption growth will be on account of better efficiencies and a shift towards natural gas in developed regions like North America and Europe, as well as relatively slower increase in demand from developing countries such as China and Indonesia because of reduction in subsidies and slower economic growth.

Railways decided to allow PPP in sale of tickets

  •  With a view to expand the facilities for purchase of tickets, the Indian Railways have decided to allow public-private partnership in the establishment and operation of computerised Passenger Reservation System-cum-Unreserved Ticketing System terminals.

  •  At present, only authorised travel agents are allowed to sell e-tickets while all the PRS counters across the country are operated by the Commercial Department of the Ministry. These new reservation centres, as per the proposal cleared by the Railway Board, would be called Yatri Ticket SuvidhaKendras.

  •  Sources said Director (Finance), Railway Board, has issued a circular to all zonal general managers to work out the modalities for implementing the scheme. A circular has also been issued to the Centre for Railway Information Systems to make necessary modification in the software.

  •  However, only authorised agents providing railway ticketing services of the Indian Railways for at least five years would be able to become a part of the scheme.

Clarification on tax treatment under Basel-III sought

  •  Bankers have sought clarity from the Finance Ministry regarding taxation of additional tier-I bonds through which they are expected to raise capital to meet Basel-III norms.

  •  Clarity on taxation would help investors in putting money into such instrument without hesitation.

  •  Banks have requested the Ministry to clarify tax treatment issues with regard to additional tier-I bonds in a meeting held recently.

  •  bankers in the meeting said that investors want to know whether these instruments would be treated as bonds or equity for taxation purposes.

  •  Under the Basel-III norms, additional tier-I bonds come with loss absorbency features meaning that in case of stress, banks can write off such investments or convert them into common equity if approved by the RBI.

  •  This would help banks to conserve capital at the time of stress or loss.

  •  Additional Tier-I bonds, which qualify as core capital or equity capital, is one of the means of raising capital by the public sector banks which would require Rs.2.40 lakh crore by March 2019.

IMF lowered its outlook for global economic growth

  •  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slightly lowered its outlook for global economic growth this year and next, mostly because of weaker expansions in Japan, Latin America and Europe.

  •  The global economy will grow 3.3 per cent this year, one-tenth of a point below what it forecast in July. World growth should then pick up to 3.8 per cent in 2015, two-tenths of a point lower than its previous estimate, the IMF says in the latest installment of its World Economic Outlook.

  •  The global lending organization has a more optimistic view of the U.S. economy, which it expects will grow 2.2 per cent this year, up from an earlier forecast of 1.7 per cent. Its forecast for 3.1 per cent growth in the U.S. next year was unchanged.

  •  Still, the global lending organization warned that the U.S., Europe and Japan could face years of sluggish growth unless governments take steps to accelerate activity. It acknowledged that it has frequently cut its forecasts in the past several years, and said that was partly because of slower long-run growth in advanced economies.

  •  “World growth is mediocre and a bit worse than forecast in July,” the report said.

  •  The IMF forecasts that growth in the 18 countries that use the euro will be just 0.8 per cent this year, down from 1.1 per cent in its July forecast. It lowered its 2015 projection to 1.3 per cent from 1.5 per cent.

Govt. clears 19 defence sector projects

  •  The government, said it had cleared 19 long-pending defence sector projects, including that of Reliance Aerospace Technologies, Bharat Forge, Mahindra Telephonic Integrated Systems, Tata Advanced Materials and Punj Lloyd.

  •  “Giving a big boost to ‘Make In India’, the Licensing Committee chaired by Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), last week cleared 19 proposals for grant of industrial licence,” the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.

  •  “It is expected that clearance of these 33 applications and the deregulation of the defence product list excluding a large number of components from the purview of industrial licensing will provide a major impetus to advanced manufacturing in defence sector,” the statement said.

  •  Many of the 19 proposals have been pending with the government for the last several years. As per the liberalised policy, the FDI cap in defence has raised from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

  •  It also permitted portfolio investments of up to 24 per cent of the total equity of the investee/joint venture company under automatic route and doing away with requirement of 51 per cent equity ownership by a single Indian investor/company.

RBI considering G-secs settlement

  •  The Reserve Bank of India is working towards allowing settlement of government bonds in the international systems like the Euroclear, Deputy Governor H. R. Khan said.

  •  “We have the proposal of Euroclear and Clearsteam settlement. There is a budget announcement also on international settlement. So, we are working on it to see how we can balance between the loss of liquidity in the local market as well as providing ease of trading for overseas investors,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

  •  However, he did not offer a timeline for this. He said to start with only settlement of government bonds would be allowed on the international system.

  •  When asked about whether the RBI is looking for further liberalising the external commercial borrowing (ECB) window, Mr. Khan said the bank had been cautious and it could not fully liberalise the route.

  •  “We cannot open (the ECB window) fully given the current situation. The Sahoo committee has made certain recommendations and we are looking at that. It is not that we will open in a big bang way,” he said.

Emerging economies more vulnerable to shocks: IMF

  •  The Global Financial Stability Report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns that the risk of shocks emerging from advanced economies hitting emerging economies, including India, has doubled since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, triggering a global financial crisis.

  •  Reserve Bank Governor and former IMF Chief Economist RaghuramRajan has also warned of the vulnerability of the global economy and emerging market economies such as India to the U.S. Fed’s imminent reversal of its “Quantitative Easing” (QE) policy by which it kept interest rates at near-zero levels to spur domestic demand and kick-start the U.S. economy. This resulted in a flow of dollar investments into emerging markets such as India.

  •  Mirroring Dr. Rajan’s views, the IMF report warns that how the U.S. Fed will conduct this reversal, the timing of the unwinding and the manner in which it will communicate the normalisation process, besides chances of escalation of geopolitical developments going forward, will determine global financial stability.

  •  Market sentiment has been resilient, but the Fed will have to conduct the normalisation process in a manner that is in line with their economy’s levels of jobs.

  •  At the same time, it must also be mindful of the repercussions of the QE unwinding on the rest of the world, Financial Counsellor and Director of IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Division said at a press conference at the release of the report.

IMF stresses labour reforms for India

  •  The global economy needs a new momentum and a bold policies agenda to avoid a “new mediocre” period of low and uneven growth as it continues to struggle with a disappointing recovery six years after the Lehman Brothers’ collapse triggered a financial crisis, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

  •  Ms. Lagarde said the IMF was recommending country-specific infrastructure investments and structural reforms, including those for labour markets in emerging market economies such as India, as the imperatives for raising growth.

  •  It was a question of getting on with the job and doing it and not just talking about building infrastructure to push growth, Ms. Lagarde said at a press conference at the onset of the IMF’s annual meeting of members. Finance Secretary ArvindMayaram is leading the Indian delegation to the meeting as Union Finance Minister ArunJaitley is recovering from a surgery. On India, Ms. Lagarde said India’s growth was better than expected.

  •  Earlier this month, Ms. Lagarde had in a speech at Georgetown University here said: “The global economy is at an inflection point: it can muddle along with sub-par growth — a ‘new mediocre’ — or it can aim for a better path where bold policies would accelerate growth, increase employment, and achieve a ‘new momentum.’”

GIF launched, to help India tackle infrastructure deficit

  •  World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, while launching the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), said the potential economic impact of the Ebola epidemic could be as high as $32.6 billion, if not quickly contained.

  •  The GIF is aimed at mobilising the private sector to help tackle the massive infrastructure deficit now facing developing countries and emerging markets such as India. The World Bank estimates that these countries need $1 trillion a year in extra investments through 2020 and with public purses stretched, it is significant that the heads of some of the world’s leading institutional investors such as insurance and pension funds will be signing up as partners in the GIF.

  •  Deep-pocketed institutional investors have $80 trillion in assets but less than a percentage of pension funds are allocated directly to infrastructure projects and the bulk of that is in advanced countries, Dr. Jim said.

  •  He said the GIF would address the challenge of finding “bankable projects” as investible resources were available with the private sector. This was in line with Prime Minister NarendraModi seeking the World Bank’s technical support for the country’s infrastructure augmentation plans that he had raised in his meeting with Dr. Jim recently, the President said.

Financial reform is not difficult: RaghuramRajan

  •  Underscoring the need for financial sector reforms, Reserve Bank of India Governor RaghuramRajan has stressed that the ‘time to deliver begins now’ and there is political will to undertake reforms and improve India’s economic growth.

  •  “Financial reform is not difficult - we have the political will to improve,” the Indian Consulate here tweeted the RBI Governor as saying during an event. “Time to deliver begins now. We need to focus on deliverables,” another tweet quoting Dr. Rajan said.

  •  The head of India’s central bank addressed a select gathering of prominent and influential Indian-American businessmen from the finance and investment banking sector at an event organised by the Consulate General in collaboration with the India-America Chamber of Commerce.

  •  Outlining the major areas that require change and immediate implementation, Dr. Rajan said it was a good time to invest in the Indian economy now.

  •  Developing infrastructure, improving quality of human capital, optimum regulation for good business and extensive financial sector reform should be the next steps for improvement and development of the Indian economy, according a press statement issued by the Consulate.

  •  Dr. Rajan encouraged the Indian-American business community to get involved in the “nitty-gritty of the implementation process,” saying such involvement was not difficult especially since the Indian government had the political will to reform.

Economic recovery is likely only beyond December: RBI Governor

  •  On a day when official data showed further weakening of the industrial sector, Reserve Bank Governor RaghuramRajan said that the Indian economy was expected to weaken further and a recovery was likely only beyond December.

  •  He cautioned that despite the sharp surge in sentiment in the economy, captured by consumer and investor confidence surveys, including by the Reserve Bank, a pick-up in investments would take time.

  •  “We have to accept that recoveries are not straight-line recoveries … there is volatility around the general trend … investment is yet to pick up on a strong basis, [though] we are seeing signs of the coming together of conditions for it [including a stable government that has signalled pro-investments initiatives] … there will be slight weakening compared with the first quarter in the second and third quarters, but beyond that we will hopefully see some strengthening of the economy,” he told.

  •  Dr. Rajan is here to attend the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group annual meetings. Official data released in New Delhi showed factory output growth slowed further to 0.4 per cent in August, marginally lower than the 0.5 per cent in July.

Trade Unions in protest against ‘anti-worker’ policies

  •  Trade unions such as the CITU, AITUC, IFTU, and TNTUC jointly organiseddharna at the Vizianagaram Collector’s office, in protest against the State government’s ‘anti-worker policies.’.

  • The protesters said that after Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu came to power, the government had retrenched around 9,000 field assistants and 3,000 work inspectors and others in the Housing Corporation and alleged that TDP cadres were now trying hard to appoint their men by replacing Anganwadi and Aashaworkers . “We will continue to protest until Mr. Naidu does not change his attitude,” they said.

IIP will not impact GDP growth: Nirmala Sitharaman

  •  Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, dismissed fears about the latest data on index of industrial production (IIP), saying they were overly worrisome and would not impact the country’s GDP growth.

  •  The Minister, along with Minister of State for Textile Santosh Gangwar, was here to meet the stakeholders in the jute industry.

  •  Responding to reporters’ queries, Ms. Sitharaman said over the last few months, the government had improved the ease of doing business. There were signs of revival, or else agencies such as Standard and Poor’s would not have assigned a stable outlook to India.

  •  To a question on FTAs (free trade agreements), she said a review of SEZs (special economic zones) and FTAs was now in the final stages. The new Foreign Trade Policy, due to be announced soon, would give domestic manufacturers and exporters the benefit of the revisions.

  •  She said her Ministry wanted better utilisation of the FTAs for boosting exports, adding that India was keen on FTAs with ASEAN countries.

  • On WTO negotiations, Ms. Sitharaman said India believed in multi-lateral agreements, but not at the cost of the country’s sovereignty.

Overseas investors pull out Rs. 800 crore from stock market

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 16 December 2014

 Current Affairs MCQ for Banking Exams - 16 December 2014

Q. 1

Which company was ranked at the top place in the Fortune 500 list of Indian companies for 2014?
a. IOC

Q. 2

Wholesale price inflation (WPI) in India hit the zero level in November 2014 as stated in data released by the Union Govt. This was mainly on account of a decline in prices of food, fuel and manufactured items. When WPI was lower than this level?

a. May 2009
b. December 2010
c. July 2009
d. July 2011
e. March 2009

General Awareness :India & the world September, 2014


Pakistan violates ceasefire yet again

  • In yet another ceasefire violation, the Pakistani Rangers resorted to small arms firing on forward Border Outposts (BoPs) along the international border in Jammu district.
  •  “The incident occurred in Pargwal sectors of Jammu district around 10.30 a.m.,” District Magistrate of Jammu Ajeet Kumar Sahu said. “Their aim was to prevent farmers from harvesting their crops,” he claimed. As per reports, the areas which came under firing included JamanBela, Rajpurs, Maljudh, ChakPhagwari, Deora and Himarpur Kona BoPs in Pargwal and Jourian areas of Akhnoor.
  •  The BSF troops retaliated, the District Magistrate said, adding that there was no loss of life or injury. There have been five cases of ceasefire violation in the past three days.

Substandard ‘India-made’ drugs in Africa

  •  A group of researchers chasing the theory that Indian drug manufacturers cut corners and make substandard drugs for markets with non-existent or substandard regulations say they have evidence to bolster it.
  •  In a working paper published on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Roger Bate, Ginger Zhe Jin, AparnaMathur and Amir Attaran have found that in a qualitative appraisal of 1,470 drugs claimed to be “made in India,” 10.9 per cent failed a basic assessment of active pharmaceutical ingredients. This pilot study seeks to focus on drugs that are labelled “made in India,” as these are among the most commonly used in developing countries.
  •  The samples that had the Indian label were from 14 unique manufacturers. But the authors remind us that the label “made in India” does not necessarily mean the actual manufacturer is an Indian firm.
  •  “In a few instances, we obtained information that samples were faked by organised criminals in China,” they say.

India, China agree to step up military interaction

  •  India and China have agreed to take solid steps to improve border management, including the establishment of a hotline between the two Army headquarters and designating additional border posts for meetings between local commanders.
  •  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson HuaChunying disclosed that both countries have decided to step up military-to military interaction during last week’s Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) held in New Delhi.
  •  She said that during their meetings that commenced on October 16, the two delegations reached a broad consensus on steps that would yield peace and stability in the border areas, following candid, amicable and constructive consultations.

General Awareness :International October, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams) International Events

October - 2014

US will help India to develop three smart cities

  • In a boost to India's 100 smart city programme, the US will help India in developing three such cities apart from joining hands with civil society and authorities to provide clean water and sewage facilities in 500 cities in the country.

  •  The three cities are Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.

  •  This announcement was made after the talks between Prime Minister NarendraModi and US President Barack Obama. The Indian government plans to develop 100 smart cities and in this regard an allocation of Rs 7,060 crore was proposed in the Union Budget.

  •  Winding up his whirlwind five-day US visit on 30th september, Prime Minister NarendraModi "thanked" America and called his trip a highly "successful and satisfactory".
    Afghanistan U. S. signed security pact to let troops stay

  •  Afghanistan and the United States signed a security pact to allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year, ending a year of uncertainty over the fate of foreign troops supporting Afghanis as they take over responsibility for the country’s security.

  •  Afghan, American and NATO leaders welcomed the deal, which will allow about 10,000 American troops to stay in the country after the international combat mission ends on December 31.

  •  Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had refused to sign it despite U.S. threats of a full withdrawal in the absence of legal protections for American forces. U.S. officials have said that the delay in the deal’s signing does not affect plans for next year.

  •  President Ashraf GhaniAhmadzai, who was sworn into office a day earlier, told a crowd assembled at the presidential palace in the capital Kabul for the signing ceremony that the agreement signalled a fundamental shift for the positive in the country’s relations with the world.

  •  “This agreement is only for Afghan security and stability,” he said in comments broadcast live on state television. “These agreements are in our national interest. The Bilateral Security Agreement will pave the ground for Afghanistan to take control,” he added.

Australia to launch airstrikes in Iraq

  •  Australia’s prime minister said that the nation’s air force will launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq.

  •  The announcement has been widely anticipated since six F/A-18F Super Hornet jet fighters were pre-deployed to the United Arab Emirates in response to a formal request from the United States for specific contributions to the international coalition.

  •  The seven cabinet ministers who make up the government’s National Security Committee approved the deployment after an official request was received from Iraq overnight.

  •  Two unarmed Australian air force planes an E-7A Wedgetail surveillance and communications jet and a KC-30A refuelling plane joined operations over Iraq from the al-Minhad Air Base outside Dubai for the first time in support roles.

  •  The Australian deployment also includes a 200-strong ground force, including special forces, to advise security forces inside Iraq, plus 400 air force personnel.

Tensions broke out in Hong Kong

  •  Fresh scuffles broke out between Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters and opponents of the week-long demonstrations, reigniting concerns that the Chinese-controlled city's worst unrest in decades could take a violent turn.

  •  The protests have been largely peaceful since police fired tear gas at crowds demanding Beijing grant Hong Kong the unfettered right to choose its own leader. But the mood turned ugly at the most volatile protest site, in the teeming suburb of MongKok where some criminal gangs are suspected to be based.

  •  Police intervened to prevent a violent escalation, but a rowdy crowd of around 2,000 filled a major intersection and the atmosphere was highly charged as police in riot gear tried to keep them under control.

Hurricane Simon formed off Mexico's Pacific coast

  •  Hurricane Simon formed off Mexico's Pacific coast, bringing further heavy rain and strong swells to Baja California, which was battered by heavy rains last month.

  •  The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Simon was about 445 km south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, which suffered record damage from hurricane Odile in September.

  •  Simon, with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph was moving toward the west-northwest and expected to continue in that direction before weakening and turning away from the coast.

  •  Odile hit the popular beach resorts of Baja California two weeks ago, stranding thousands of tourists and knocking out power.

China tests ‘Dongfeng’ nuclear missile

  •  China has flight-tested an upgraded version of its 10,000-km range Dongfeng missile which could reach most of the U.S. and European cities, days before its National Day on October 1, 2014 to demonstrate its nuclear capability, media reports said.

  •  The People’s Liberation Army launched a Dongfeng-31B on September 25 from the Wuzhai Missile and Space Test Centre also known as the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi province, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported quoting U.S. media reports.

  •  The first flight-test of an upgraded mobile intercontinental ballistic missile in the lead up to National Day aimed to show the world that China was reinforcing its nuclear deterrent, it quoted military experts as saying.

  •  The DF-31B is an upgraded version of the DF-31A and the launch was at least the second time the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps had tested a DF-31 missile in the past three months.

  • The mobile missiles are designed specifically for travel over rugged terrain and in difficult road conditions.

IS progress toward Syrian town slowed by fresh strikes

  •  Kurdish fighters backed by U.S.-led air strikes battled Islamic State (IS) jihadists for control of a key Syrian town and Turkey evacuated some border areas as mortar fire spilled over.

  •  IS fighters seized part of a strategic hill overlooking the town of Kobane, a monitor said, but their progress was slowed by new strikes from the coalition of Washington and Arab allies.

  •  A Syrian Kurdish official said IS fighters were just one km from Kobane and air strikes are not enough on their own to stop them.

  •  The dusty border town has become a crucial battleground in the international fight against IS, which sparked further outrage this weekend with the release of a video showing the beheading of Briton Alan Henning.

Underwater search for Malaysian airliner

  •  The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 resumed in a desolate stretch of the Indian Ocean, more than six months after the jet vanished.

  •  The GO Phoenix, the first of three ships that will spend up to a year hunting for the wreckage far off Australia’s west coast, is expected to spend 12 days hunting for the jet before heading to shore to refuel.

  • Crews will use sonar, video cameras and jet fuel sensors to scour the seabed for the Boeing 777, which vanished for reasons unknown on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

  •  The search has been on hold for four months so crews could map the seabed in the search zone, about 1,800 km west of Australia. The 60,000-square km search site lies along what is known as the “seventh arc” a stretch of ocean where investigators believe the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed. Officials analyzed transmissions between the plane and a satellite to estimate where it entered the water.

  •  Two other ships being provided by Dutch contractor Fugro are expected to join the Malaysian-contracted GO Phoenix later this month.

Britain-Ireland signs visa deal to benefit Chinese, Indian travelers

  •  Britain and Ireland inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on visa cooperation to allow Chinese and Indian visitors to travel to the two island nations on a single visa.

  •  The landmark visa deal will help Britain and Ireland share data and exchange information to inform and determine immigration decisions and allow visitors from India and China to travel more easily between the two countries, Xinhua reported citing the British Home Office.

  •  “This agreement will make it easier and more attractive for travellers to visit both Ireland and Britain, while at the same strengthening Common Travel Area borders,” British Home Secretary Theresa May said.

  •  The British-Irish Visa scheme will start in China by the end of October and in India soon afterwards, the Home Office noted.

  •  China and India are both key markets for British and Irish tourism and more than 10,000 visitors are expected to use the scheme.

Turkey- Syrian border town about to fall to Islamic State

  •  Turkey’s president says the Syrian border town of Kobani is about to fall to militants from the Islamic State group.

  •  RecepTayyipErdogan made the comments during an address to Syrian refugees at a camp in Gaziantep province, near the border with Syria.

  •  Erdogan said aerial bombardments alone may not be enough to stop the Islamic State group and called for support of opposition forces.

  •  “There has to be cooperation with those who are fighting on the ground.”

Hong Kong “one country-two systems” protests

  •  Hong Kong has been rocked by a spate of student-led protests that have swept across the city’s sensitive financial, administrative and shopping hubs. The agitation has sharply brought into focus the “one country-two systems” policy that defined Hong Kong’s transition from an erstwhile British colony to a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

  •  The protesters are clamouring for full democracy that includes open nomination of candidates for the post of Chief Executive (CE) of the territory in the elections scheduled for 2017. Their protests have acquired a sharp and emotive edge after Beijing was accused of reneging on its commitment to premise the entire electoral process from 2017 on universal suffrage, including the choice of candidates for Hong Kong’s highest office.

  •  The high-profile protests that could, if they get prolonged, threaten Hong Kong’s status as one of Asia’s premier financial centers need to be analysed in their fuller context. During the entire period of British rule — a full 155 years following the Opium Wars — democratic advancement in the territory was minimal.

  •  Post-1997 under Chinese sovereignty, the democratic reform process has begun to take shape, based on the Basic Law adopted by China in 1990. Under its terms, the CE would be elected by universal suffrage in 2017; but a committee would also be formed that would supervise nominations. While the agitating students, seeking unconditional democracy, may be unhappy with this law, the accusation that Beijing has reneged on its legal obligations is entirely flawed.

  •  It is highly unlikely that despite the considerable force of the social media at their command and the sizeable mobilisation on the streets, the protesters will manage to persuade Beijing to change its mind on the fundamentals of its “one country-two systems” policy, which allows the people of Hong Kong to retain their distinctive legal and political system.

Canadian Parliament authorises air strikes in Iraq

  •  Following a request from the U.S., Canada’s Parliament has voted to authorise airstrikes against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq

  •  Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party introduced the motion last week and it was debated this week. Mr. Harper has a majority of seats in Parliament so the vote was all but assured. The motion authorises air strikes in Iraq for up to six months and explicitly states that no ground troops be used in combat operations.

  •  The combat mission includes up to six CF-18 fighter jets, a refuelling tanker aircraft, two surveillance planes and one airlift aircraft. About 600 airmen and airwomen will be involved.

  •  Canada is among dozens of countries that have joined the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State militant group.

  •  “The threat posed by ISIL is real,” Mr. Harper said in a statement, referring to the Islamic State by one of its acronyms.

  •  “If left unchecked this terrorist organisation will grow and grow quickly. They have already voiced their local and international terrorist intentions and identified Canada as a potential target.”

Resolve issues through talks: UN

  •  Amid escalation of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked India and Pakistan to resolve their issues diplomatically and through dialogue.

  •  “The Secretary-General would call on both countries to resolve their issues diplomatically and through discussions,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson StephaneDujarric told reporters in response to a question on whether the U.N. chief can play a role in bringing about peace between the two countries.

  •  In escalating ceasefire violations, Pakistani troops targeted over 40 Border Out Posts and 25 border hamlets with heavy mortar shells in Jammu sector and LoC areas in Poonch district, leaving 12 people injured.

  •  It came a day after five villagers were killed and 34 injured in one of the worst ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

  •  Meanwhile, Pakistan has also lodged a protest with India on the alleged ceasefire violations and has even approached the U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) office over the situation.

World’s oldest rock art discovered in Indonesia

  •  Australian scientists have found what could be the world’s oldest figurative art in a cave in Indonesia, a report released said.

  •  The team’s discovery of cave art on the island of Sulawesi, estimated to be about 40,000 years old, challenges the idea that the oldest artwork had originated in Spain and France, Xinhua reported.

  •  The team’s study dates the earliest image, a hand stencil, to be at least 39,900 years old, 900 years prior to the world’s oldest known cave painting, a red disc in Spain.

  •  The series of Indonesian images discovered also includes pig-like animals painted more than 35,400 years ago, possibly older than the earliest known figurative rock art in western Europe - a painted rhinoceros in France, estimated to be between 35,300 and 38,800 years old.

  •  The report said the sheer volume of ancient cave art in Europe had pointed to the theory that the human capacity for abstract thinking originated there, but the new discovery makes the case that this development was occurring in Asia at the same time

China-Russia strategic gas project takes off

  •  China and Russia have begun implementing their $400 billion mega-gas deal — a strategic project that would allow Moscow to lower its dependence on the European market, and open prospects of tapping the growing energy demand in the Asia-Pacific, with Beijing as the star consumer.

  •  Russia’s eastward shift is anchored by the agreement to supply China 38 billion cubic meters of gas every year for 30 years. Gas flows will commence in 2018 after the lengthy Siberia Power Pipeline, having both Russian and Chinese components, gets completed.

  •  The Chinese side froze the design and construction plan on its side for the pipeline, which will start in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province and terminate in Shanghai, China’s premier commercial and industrial hub. Construction is expected to start next year, covering three main segments before the pipeline terminates in Shanghai three years later.

  •  Work on Russian segment of the pipeline, linking Siberia’s Kovyktin and Chayandin gas fields with the eastern port city of Vladivostok — a distance of 4,000 km — commenced last month.

  •  Russian President Vladimir Putin has underscored the importance of the project by pointing out that Moscow and Beijing were now “launching a large-scale strategic project on the global level”.

  •  Underscoring the energy deal’s larger geopolitical fall-out, he said that the “new gas pipeline will significantly strengthen [Russia’s] economic cooperation with the governments of the Asia-Pacific region and, first and foremost, with our key partner China”.

Hong Kong student leaders vow to continue protests

  •  Thousands of pro-democracy supporters took to Hong Kong’s streets after protest leaders implored them to dig in for the long haul following the collapse of talks with the government.

  •  But crowd numbers were below the tens of thousands seen during a series of mass rallies last week as protest leaders struggle to maintain their momentum. Crunch negotiations between protesters and Beijing-backed city officials were slated for 10th, but fell apart after the government pulled out blaming protesters for threatening to expand their campaign.

  •  Student leaders blamed the government for pulling out of talks, and insisted they were still open to finding a middle ground. But they vowed no let up in their occupation of parts of Hong Kong despite growing public anger over the disruption they have caused.

G20 urges U.S. to support IMF reform

  •  Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from G20 countries had sharp words for the U.S. Congress, with the Group Treasurer describing Capitol Hill as being a “very difficult… obstacle” in their bid to pass internal reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  •  Issuing the Group’s statement during the annual fall meetings, Australian Finance Minister Joe Hockey, whose nation currently holds the Group’s presidency said,

  •  “It does affect the U.S. and their reputation, when there is global agreement and in fact agreement from the White House to undertake IMF reform… For domestic reasons the U.S. Congress might not be moving on this issue but for global reasons the U.S. should move on this issue.” More broadly, the Ministers and Governors said regarding the world economy, “While some key economies are recovering, others face renewed weakness.”

  •  Their statement also emphasised an agreement regarding a Global Infrastructure Initiative, and a Global Infrastructure Hub to support the Initiative, to be finalised before the Group leaders’ summit in November.

  •  The issue of reforming the Bretton Woods institutions has been a long-standing one, particularly for emerging economic powers such as India and China, who have consistently argued that the changing global dynamics favours their economies and it is high time that the institutions’ constituent structure reflected this new reality.

  •  In 2011, shortly before the announcement of the candidacy of current IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, its Executive Directors from the BRICS economies had openly revolted against the prospect of the top role remaining with a European.

Taliban criticises awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to Malala

General Awareness : National Events - October, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams) National Events

October- 2014

Justice HandyalaLakshminarayanaSwamyDattu as the new CJI

  •  Hours after being sworn in as the 42nd Chief Justice of India at the Durbar Hall of RashtrapatiBhavan, Justice HandyalaLakshminarayanaswamyDattu pledged to be a common man’s judge on the Bench.

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 15 December 2014

Current Affairs MCQ for Banking  Exams - 15 December 2014

Q. 1

What is the name of the warship manufactured in India that would soon become the first to be exported by the country?

a. INS Barracuda
b. CGS Barracuda
c. CNG Barracuda
d. IMS Barracuda
e. None of the above

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 15 December 2014

Current Affairs MCQ for Banking  Exams - 14 December 2014

Q. 1
Which country won the 35th Champions Trophy Hockey (Men’s) by winning the final?

a. Germany
b. France
c. Spain
d. Pakistan
e. None of these

Q. 2
Which leading financial luminary of the country recently came to news for apparently rejecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s highly ambitious ‘Make in India’ and suggesting ‘Make for India’ strategy instead?

a. Dineshwar Sharma
b. Raghuram Rajan
c. Pradeep Kumar
d. Neeraj singh
e. Chanda Kochhar

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 13 December 2014

 Current Affairs MCQ for Banking Exams - 9 December 2014

Q. 1

Iconic Hindi film ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ completed its 1,000 week at a cinema hall in South Mumbai recently. Which cinema hall is this, which also recorded its name in history books with this feat?
a. Raj Mandir
b. Ram Palace
c. Maratha Mandir
d. Bombay cinema
e. None of the above

General Awareness :In the News September, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams) In the news
September - 2014


  •  Former Solicitor-General GopalSubramanium has withdrawn his letter to the Supreme Court opting out as amicus curiae in the PadmanabhaSwamy temple case.
  •  Mr. Subramanium has already swung into action and left for Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala to inspect the temple premises and prepare an additional report on the administration of the temple.
  •  Supreme Court sources said the case files had been sent back to him and he was expected to appear in the case in November. They said he decided to withdraw his letter after the court asked him to reconsider his decision.
  •  Early this month, he had written to Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha, expressing his decision to bow out as amicus curiae. He had also returned the files concerning the case to the Supreme Court Registry.
  •  Mr. Subramanium’s report on the condition of the temple and its assets in Thiruvananthapuram had created a storm.
  •  The report had complained of corruption and disregard of ethics in the temple’s administration.


Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 12 December 2014

Current Affairs MCQ for Banking  Exams - 12 December 2014

Q. 1

The United Nations Organisation (UNO) declared which day as World Yoga Day, for which the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the world community three months ago?
a. 21 June
b. 22 June
c. 25 June
d. 28 June
e. 29 June

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 12 December 2014

Current Affairs MCQ for Banking  Exams - 12 December 2014

Q. 1

The United Nations Organisation (UNO) declared which day as World Yoga Day, for which the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the world community three months ago?
a. 21 June
b. 22 June
c. 25 June
d. 28 June
e. 29 June

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 11 December 2014

Current Affairs MCQ for Banking  Exams - 11 December 2014

Q. 1

Which Indian bank has become the first in India to have developed its own economic index on lines of HSBC India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and HSBC India Manufacturing PMI?
a. State Bank of India
c. Reserve Bank of India
d. Yes Bank
e. Dena Bank

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 10 December 2014

Current Affairs MCQ for Banking  Exams - 10 December 2014

Q. 1

The Delhi government banned all operations by private cab service Uber with immediate effect and blacklisted it from providing any transport service in the national capital in the wake of the alleged rape incident in a taxi plying for it. Uber is hire-a-cab firm of which country?
a. India
b. Russia
c. Japan
d. China
e. The US


Which private sector bank announced hiking of ATM usage charges for its saving account holders from 1 January 2015?
a. HDFC Bank
b. Yes Bank
c. Mahindra Bank
d. ICICI Bank
e. None of these

General Awareness : Science & Tech September, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams)

Science & Tech

September - 2014

INS Sumitra to be commissioned tomorrow

  • INS Sumitra , a new-generation naval offshore patrol vessel (NOPV) built by Goa Shipyard Ltd., will be commissioned by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Robin K. Dhowan, in Chennai.
  • The state-of-the-art warship will join the Eastern Naval Command in Chennai for maritime surveillance and coastal security.
  •  This largest offshore patrol vessel of the Navy will be the fourth in its class, built on an in-house design of the shipyard.
  • The ship carries most sophisticated weapons such as guns, heavy-calibre super rapid gun mount, rapid-fire Russian AK630 guns, Kavach chaff launchers and the Sanket electronic warfare system and electronic sensors.

Toyota launches ‘Innova Limited Edition 2014’

  • Toyota Kirloskar Motor launched ‘Innova Limited Edition 2014’ for the festive season. Only 1,500 units of the new Innova LE, in an exclusive brand new colour — Bronze Mica Metallic — besides Silver Mica Metallic, will be available till November.
  •  It is based on the existing Gx Grade and comes with the options of seven and eight seater in both Euro III and Euro IV engines, a release from the company said.
  •  Available in the diesel variant, the price starts from Rs.12,90,947 to Rs.13,00,710 (ex-showroom New Delhi).
  •  Innova LE will be available at Toyota showrooms at select cities whereas in other cities, Innova Limited Edition accessory package will be available.

MH17 hit by high speed objects: report

  • a

    A Malaysian passenger jet blew up in mid-air over eastern Ukraine after being hit by numerous “high speed objects,” according to an interim report published on the disaster that claimed 298 lives.

  • Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 “broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside,” said a highly anticipated report by the Dutch Safety Board.

  • The findings appear to back up claims that the Boeing 777, which crashed in July as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was hit by shrapnel from a missile.

  • “There are no indications that the MH17 crash was caused by a technical fault or by actions of the crew,” the report said.

  • Kiev and the West have accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the plane with a surface-to-air BUK missile supplied by Moscow. But Russia blamed government forces for the attack.

NASA to send first 3D printer into space station

  • NASA is all set to send the fourth SpaceX Cargo Mission, that would carry among other equipments a 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on September 20.

  • Space Exploration Technologies Corp’ (SpaceX) Falcon-9 rocket will launch a Dragon cargo spacecraft loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of scientific equipment and supplies, the U.S. space agency said in a statement.

  • It will also carry a small flowering plant related to cabbage that would allow scientists to study plant growth and adaptations in space.

  • It will be the fifth trip by a Dragon spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory.

  • The spacecraft’s 2.5 tonnes of supplies and materials are critical for the implementation of 255 science and research investigations that will occur during the station’s Expeditions 41 and 42.

  • Besides, the spacecraft will carry science payloads like the ISS-Rapid Scatterometer to monitor ocean surface wind speed and direction.

Web portal on Ganga rejuvenation launched

  • As part of its efforts to make the Ganga rejuvenation programme a mass movement, the Ministry of Water Resource launched a web portal to connect with the public on the ambitious project of the NDA Government.

  • The bilingual website has a provision to receive feedback from the public, where suggestions can be given about the Ganga Rejuvenation Plan.

  • The public can also upload files up to the size of 4 MB along with their suggestions, a press release issued in Delhi said.

  • Launching the website, Union Minister for Water Resource Uma Bharti said the launch of the website was an important tool to connect the public with the gigantic task of Ganga rejuvenation.

Environment Minister launches online portal for zoos

  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change PrakashJavadekar launched an online portal for grant of recognition to zoos and monitoring of zoos.

  • He also launched an E- archival and retrieval management system for the Central Zoo Authority and a book on “Zoos in India 2014,” an official statement said.

  • The portal for grant of recognition and monitoring of zoos envisages maintaining and providing real-time information about the recognition and evaluation process.

  • The portal aims to reduce the bottlenecks of manual recognition system and fully automates the recognition process, the statement said.

 First water clouds found outside solar system

  • Scientists have discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own solar system, about 7.3 light-years away from Earth.

  • Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun until now.

  • The findings were published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters .— PTI

INS Sindhurakshak

General Awareness :International September, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams)


September - 2014

Another American journalist ‘beheaded’

  • An Internet video posted purported to show the beheading of another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, by Islamic State, which called it “retribution” for U.S. airstrikes.


General Awareness Economy- September, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams)


September - 2014

Panel set up to conduct forensic audit of NSEL

  •  On a plea made by investors, the Bombay High Court, formed a committee headed by a retired high court judge to conduct a forensic audit of the troubled NSEL and liquidate the assets of its defaulting borrowers in the over Rs.5,500 crore payments scam.

  •  The three-member committee, headed by Justice (Retd) V. C. Daga, will also have a solicitor and a chartered accountant, according to Advocate AmeetNaik, who represents NSEL in the case.

  •  The committee will ascertain the liability that is outstanding against the defaulting borrowers of NSEL, conduct a forensic audit, and monetise the assets, the court said in its order.

  •  The committee will determine where the amount has gone, and is empowered to ascertain the assets of company.

  •  It has also been empowered to distribute the assets to the duped investors but distribution of funds will require the court’s permission.

World Bank rider for pedestrian project

  •  The World Bank has told the Chennai Corporation that its funding of the pedestrian plaza at T. Nagar is conditional. It has advised the civic body to complete a study on environment and the social impact of the proposed pedestrianisation project in that area.

  •  The study by the Chennai Corporation is also expected to assess the impact of the project on ‘reducing extreme poverty’ and ‘promoting shared prosperity’.

  •  The Rs.83-crore pedestrian plaza, part of the T. Nagar redevelopment proposal, had already been approved by the Corporation Council a few months ago.

  •  “Funding for the project will not be approved without a proper study of the social and environmental aspects of such an innovative urban infrastructure project,” said officials.

  •  Work on commissioning the plaza with a commercial theme was expected to begin this month. But the requirement of a new study is likely to delay the project, they said.

  •  The plaza is likely to become operational by May next.

  •  The levels of pollution caused by traffic diversions, the increased number of visitors to T. Nagar, the rise in garbage collection and heightened commercial activity will also be assessed. Displacement of hawkers and impact on their livelihood will be part of the study.

Promotional air fares from IndiGo

  •  Budget carrier IndiGo started promotional air fares by offering discounted one-way fares starting at a low of Rs.999 (all inclusive one-way fare), a day after SpiceJet started its offer of Rs.499 one-way charge.

  •  According to IndiGo, its Delhi-Jaipur flight is priced at Rs.999 one-way, followed by Rs.1,399 Srinagar-Chandigarh.

  •  The fares go all the way up to Rs.4,829 for Bangalore-Delhi. The fares are applicable for booking in 90 days in advance. — IANS

China to lay 1,300 km of rail tracks in Tibet by 202

  • The extended railway lines built by China in Tibet — 251 km from Lhasa to Shigatse on the west and 433 km to Nyingchi (still under construction) in the east — will effectively link Tibet to India, Nepal and Bhutan

  •  These are part of the Chinese government’s mission 2020 for infrastructure in Tibet.

  •  The lines are also seen as a “triangular defence” for China, allowing it to rush troops and military hardware to its sensitive southern borders with India at short notice.

United Bank of India declares Vijay Mallyawilful defaulter

  •  United Bank of India (UBI) has declared Vijay Mallya and three directors of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) as wilful defaulters. The development was confirmed by the bank’s executive director Deepak Narang.

  •  Besides Mr. Mallya, three other directors — A.K. Ganguly, SubhashGupte and Ravi Nedungadi — have also been declared as wilful defaulters, Mr. Narang .

  •  The bank has an exposure of between Rs.350 crore and Rs.400 crore to KFA, which was given by the Bangalore branch of UBI.

  •  It may be mentioned that UBI filed a caveat in the Supreme Court against KFA on August 29, 2014, after the Division Bench of the High Court dismissed a KFA appeal against UBI.

  •  Earlier, UBI had identified Mr. Mallya as a wilful defaulter, and asked him to appear before the bank’s panel to hear him out before declaring him as a wilful defaulter.

  •  Mr. Mallya later moved the court seeking exemption of his appearance before the panel.

Flipkart invests in ngpay

  •  e-commerce firm Flipkart has made a strategic investment in mobile payments firm ngpay. Terms of the deal are not disclosed.

  •  ngpay was founded in 2008 by Sourabh Jain. Meanwhile, Flipkart also said it would phase out its own payment product Payzippy launched last year.

Basel III capital norms revised

  •  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued revised and final guidelines for raising non-equity regulatory capital instruments by banks under the stringent Basel III framework under which lenders can issue Tier-2 capital with a minimum original maturity of five years as against 10 years now.

  •  It further said banks could issue Tier-2 debt capital instruments to retail investors, subject to board approval.

Social media helps raise funds for Mumbai Film Festival

  •  A fund-raising campaign on social media helped the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), the festival organisers, overcome a crippling financial crisis after their contract with Reliance Entertainment, the sole sponsor for the past five years, expired in February. “Since then, we were searching for the new sponsor. But we were unsuccessful,” said festival director Srinivasan Narayan.

  •  The social media campaign helped the organisers raise Rs 1.5 crore in just two days. They are now expecting Rs. 5 crore by October.

  •  The uncertainty over the festival’s future triggered a social media campaign, #pledge4MAMI from well-wishers.

  • “As the word spread, the entire film fraternity came forward and now the industry itself is taking care of the festival. We are getting commitments from many individuals and we have also opened our website of the contributions from ordinary fans,” Mr. Narayan said.

TCS opens Saudi Arabia’s first all-women BPO centre

India’s largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Sunday said it has opened Saudi Arabia’s first all-female business process centre, which will provide employment to up to 3,000 women in three years. Saudi Aramco and GE are the centre’s first customers, TCS said in a statement in Mumbai. Both the clients have already surpassed their target of recruiting 100 women each, while the total number of those employed at the centre stands at 300, it said.

The Riyadh-based 3,200-sq mt facility will offer customers specialised finance and accounting, human resources, materials supply and office services to improve their operational efficiency, it said. Global auto makers seek friendly policy As India moves towards becoming a hub for production and exports for global car manufacturers, the latter said India needed to make more business-friendly policies if the country wanted foreign companies to invest here. Chairman of Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) Fumihiko Ike, who is also the Chairman of Japan’s Honda Motor Co, added another major challenge was to improve the business environment for investing into India.

 Protection to auto industry cannot be forever: Commerce Secretary In a veiled warning to the domestic auto sector, the Commerce Ministry, said it could not continue providing protection to the industry while duty barriers were coming down all over the world. India is protecting the domestic auto industry from overseas competition while signing free trade agreements with different nations and groups. New VP for Renault India Renault India Pvt. Ltd., a fully-owned subsidiary of Renault s.a.s, has appointed Rafael Treguer as Vice-President (Sales and Marketing).  He has worked in varied roles at different locations with the Renault group. — Special Correspondent Upper age limit set for MDs and CEOs of private banks The upper age limit for managing directors (MDs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) and other whole-time director of banks in the private sector has been fixed at 70 years.

 “Beyond this age (70 years), nobody should continue in the post,’’ the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said. “Within the overall limit of 70 years, individual bank boards are free to prescribe a lower retirement age for the whole-time directors, including the managing directors and chief executive officers, as an internal policy,’’ the RBI said. Bajaj Auto launches two supersport KTM bikes Bajaj Auto, launched two supersport motorcycles from the KTM stable — KTM RC390 and KTM RC 200.  KTM bikes have won more than 240 World Championship titles. According to a company statement, the KTM RC390 is priced at Rs.2.05 lakh while the KTM RC 200 is priced at Rs. 1.60 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi). Both bikes will be backed by KTM’s 140 exclusive dealer network across the country and will be available from September 10 with dealers.

 Micromax launches Canvas Nitro Micromax , launched its latest handset Canvas Nitro powered by an octa-core processor, targeted mainly at young professionals and college students, priced at Rs.12,990. The dual-SIM device, launched exclusively through online marketplace Snapdeal, runs on Android KitKat operating system, and comes with 2GB RAM, 5-inch HD IPS display, leather finish back, 13MP rear and 5MP front camera, 8GB memory (expandable up to 32GB), and 2500 mAh battery. Microsoft unveils new look for MSN in India Aiming to offer a comprehensive and seamless experience to users to access content via its website and apps across screens (PCs as well as mobiles) and operating platforms, software giant Microsoft unveiled the new look of its MSN website in India.

 The preview in India had been made live for users starting Monday and Microsoft was inviting people to try out the new web experience, he said, adding they could also leave feedback on the site. State Bank launches new travel card State Bank of India (SBI) and MasterCard, announced the launch of Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card through 100 selected branches of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore circles. The card, which is available in retail and corporate variants, will help consumers pay in dollar, pound settling, euro and Singapore dollar initially and eventually be made available in all major currencies.

Lupin tied up with Merck Serono

  •  Lupin has tied up with Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, to support the expansion of Merck Serono’s general medicines portfolio in emerging markets.

  •  A statement from Lupin said the tie-up would address the local needs for affordable, high-quality medicines. While no financial details of the tie-up were available, Lupin said it had an established working relationship with Merck and the agreement could add up to 20 new products to the current portfolio.

  •  Lupin will receive an upfront and milestone based licensing fee. The first launches are expected in 2016.

Infosys global partnership with Huawei

General Awareness :India & the world September, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams)

India & the world

September - 2014

India, Japan should jointly work on heritage cities: Modi

  •  Prime Minister NarendraModi said India and Japan faced a common challenge in preserving and building smart heritage cities.

  •  After meeting Kyoto’s Mayor DaisakuKadokawa, the Prime Minister said that he had learnt how the city was dealing with civic issues.

India-Japan ties will only bring psychological comfort: China daily

  •  “The increasing intimacy between Tokyo and New Delhi will bring at most psychological comfort to the two countries,” China’s State-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial .

  •  On the “blossoming personal friendship” between NarendraModi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the paper said China-India relations denoted much more than that.

  •  “Abe’s harangue on the Indo-Pacific concept makes Indians comfortable. It is South Asia where India has to make its presence felt… Sino-Indian ties can in no way be counterbalanced by Japan-Indian friendship,” the editorial said.

  •  While mentioning that Mr. Modi had not named China in his remarks in Japan, the paper referred to Japanese and Western public opinion that the comments were directed at China.

General Awareness :National-Events - September, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams)

National Events

September - 2014

‘Zero tolerance on rhino poaching’

  •  Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change PrakashJavadekar announced that a Special Rhino Protection Force of local youth would be raised to check poaching in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and other rhino-populated areas in Assam.

  •  “There will be zero tolerance towards rhino poaching and our efforts would be to bring down the number of rhino poaching incidents to zero,” he said.

  •  Addressing a press conference after two-day visit to the national park, the Minister announced that his Ministry would request the CBI to expand the scope of its ongoing probe into rhino poaching in the KNP by including more cases and fast-track it.

  •  A comprehensive plan would be undertaken to ensure free movement of park animals through the six animal corridors across the National Highway 37 passing through the world heritage site.
    Modi offers assistance for PoK flood relief

  •  In a humanitarian gesture, Prime Minister NarendraModi on offered all possible assistance to Pakistan for carrying out relief operations in the flood-ravaged Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

  •  Making the offer after undertaking a visit to flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir for a first-hand assessment of the situation, Mr. Modi expressed his anguish at the loss that has been caused in PoK.

Home Ministry asks States to fasttrack cases against MPs, MLAs

  • The Home Ministry has asked all State governments to speed up cases against MPs and MLAs facing charges which attract disqualification, directing them to seek day-to-day trial in courts, appoint special public prosecutors and ensure regular monitoring.

  •  The direction came in the wake of Supreme Court setting a deadline to complete trial in cases involving lawmakers.

  •  The step is also in line with Prime Minister NarendraModi’s direction on July 24 asking the Home Minister and Law Minister to work out a mechanism to settle cases against politicians within a year to cleanse politics from tainted lawmakers.

  •  Any sentence which attracts punishment of two years and above can lead to disqualification from Parliament or state legislature.

  •  According to a March 10, 2014 direction of the Supreme Court, cases against MPs and MLAs which attract disqualification under Section 8(1), 8(2) and 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act needed to be completed within one year of framing charges.

Govt to go ahead with key appointments without LoP

  •  The Government has decided to go ahead with the appointments to various statutory bodies like CVC, NHRC and Lokpal without the Leader of Opposition in the LokSabha as a member of the selection committee choosing them.

  •  The move comes following a recent reference from the LokSabha secretariat in this regard, official sources said.

  •  The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had written to the LokSabha seeking information on the LoP. The secretariat has informed the DoPT that there is no recognisedLoP in the LokSabha, they said.

  •  The Government will go ahead with the appointments to various statutory bodies without the LoP, the sources said.

  •  LokSabha Speaker SumitraMahajan had rejected the Congress’ demand for LoP status for its nominee.

  •  Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member LokSabha has emerged as the second largest party after BJP’s 282 but fell short by 11 to stake claim for the LoP for which it requires a strength of 55.

  •  There is no mandatory requirement of the LoP in the selection committee that recommends persons for Central Vigilance Commissioner, Vigilance Commissioner, chairpersons and members for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Lokpal, they said.

  •  The appointment of a Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner is done by the President on the basis of recommendation from a three member selection committee headed by Prime Minister and comprising Minister for Home Affairs and the Leader of Opposition in the House of the People, as per the Central Vigilance Act 2003.

  •  The Act further has a provision that when no such leader (LoP) has been recognised then the selection committee can include the leader of the single largest group in opposition in the LokSabha.

  •  “No appointment of a Central Vigilance Commissioner or a Vigilance Commissioner shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy in the Committee,” the Act says.

Government of India can print Re 1 note: Law Ministry

  •  Putting to rest the debate on printing of one rupee notes, the Law Ministry has opined that the Government of India has all the powers to print currency notes of this denomination.

  •  While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has the authority to issue bank notes of denominational values of Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000, Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000, the one rupee note was printed and issued by the central government.

  •  The Government of India also has the sole right to mint coins of all denominations.

  •  However, since the RBI was of the view that with the repeal of Section 2 of the Currency Ordinance, the Government of India is not empowered to issue note of denominational value of one rupee, the law ministry opinion was taken.

  •  The Law Ministry in its opinion stated that the Coinage Act of 2011, which consolidates the laws relating to coinage and the mints, does not bar the Government of India from printing one rupee notes.

  •  Section 4 of the Act provides that the central government may authorise minting of coin of denomination not higher than Rs. 1,000, it said, adding that the definition of coin in the Act makes it clear that Government of India one rupee note is included in the definition of coin.

  •  The Act defines a coin as “made of any metal or any other material stamped by the Government or any other authority empowered by the Government in this behalf and which is a legal tender including commemorative coin and Government of India one rupee note,” the ministry said in its opinion.“Further, apart from the metal, the coin may be made of any other material,” it said.

  •  The ministry said while repealing the Currency Ordinance, 1940, “necessary provisions for inclusion of Government of India one rupee note within the meaning of ‘Coin’ have been consciously incorporated in the Coinage Act, 2011. Further, the RBI, as per Section 24(1) of the RBI Act, 1934, is not empowered to issue bank note of denomination of value of one rupee.”

  •  “Central government is not precluded to issue one rupee Government of India note under the Coinage Act, 2011. The dimension, design, material and standard weight of such One Rupee Note have to be prescribed by the Central Government in terms of Section 4 and 5 of the Coinage Act, 2011,” the opinion said.

  •  The printing of notes in the denominations of Re. 1 and Rs. 2 has been discontinued as these denominations have been coinised. However, such notes issued earlier are still in circulation.

Modi greets Malayalis on Onam

  •  Prime Minister NarendraModi on Sunday greeted Malayalis on the occasion of Onam, the State festival of Kerala.

  •  He also remarked on the significance of Onam as a symbol of national integration, justice, peace and prosperity.

  •  He also said Onam reminds us of the glorious era of King Mahabali and is a day to “reaffirm our commitment to create a just, peaceful and prosperous society”.

  •  Onam is celebrated to mark the return of legendary King Mahabali to Kerala who was loved by his subjects for being a just and benevolent ruler. 

N-deal highlights growing energy ties

  •  Australia boosted its credentials as India’s core energy partner by signing a deal for uranium supplies, and imparted urgency to the transfer of coal for thermal power plants, facing severe shortage of the resource.

  •  Visiting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot unveiled Canberra’s aspirations by pointing out that Canberra could become an “utterly reliable source of energy, resource and food security for India.”

  •  Analysts point out that the deeper engagement in energy and food security could pave the way for a broader strategic relationship between the two countries, which could include a significant defence component.

  •  A joint statement on defence cooperation signed last year had emphasised joint forays specifically in the Asia-Pacific region — an area of growing tensions because of rival claims on South China Sea resources between China and other littoral States — as well as the Indian Ocean region.

India suicide capital of Southeast Asia, says WHO

  •  India recorded the highest number of suicides in Southeast Asia in 2012, says a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva.

  •  The number of victims was 2,58,075 — 1,58,098 men and 99,977 women — that year. Globally, the number was 8,04,000.

  •  Suicide by pesticide ingestion is among the most common methods employed globally and is of particular concern in rural areas in Southeast Asia.

SC moots dual citizenship for surrogate children

  •  The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to clarify its stand on the citizenship of children born to surrogate mothers in India, but whose biological mother was a foreign national.

  •  “Under the Constitution, a child born here from an Indian surrogate mother is entitled to Indian citizenship. But what happens if the biological mother is a foreign citizen and the child applies for citizenship of that country,” a Bench led by Justice RanjanGogoi asked.

  •  Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta acknowledged the problem, adding that in countries such as Germany, surrogacy was banned by law.

  •  The Bench was looking into the larger issue on the need for a “comprehensive legislation” dealing with all issues and situations, including the citizenship of a surrogate child, created by new reproductive technology.

  •  The problem of citizenship of a surrogate child was highlighted in the case of twin babies born to an Indian surrogate mother and a German father, Jan Balaz, in 2008.

  •  The two boys, Balaz Nikolas and Balaz Leonard, were conceived by an Indian woman in Gujarat’s Anand district in January 2008.

  •  Justice Gogoi suggested that the government could consider dual citizenship for surrogate children born in such circumstances.

World Media Summit invites entries for Global Awards for Excellence

  •  The World Media Summit (WMS) has invited entries for the first WMS Global Awards for Excellence, instituted to honour “truth, objectivity, excellence” in journalism.

  •  These are “the first comprehensive news and news-related awards at the international level recognising professional excellence across the print, television, radio, and digital-only platforms.

  •  The four awards announced fall under three categories: contributions to public welfare by exemplary news teams and news professionals in developing countries; media innovation; and new media reporting.

India, Australia to sign civil nuclear deal

  •  India is set to win another endorsement for its status as a peaceful nuclear power, with Prime Minister NarendraModi and his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, expected to sign an India-Australia civil nuclear cooperation agreement here.

  •  The agreement, which will enable Australia to export uranium to India in return for safeguards from India on its use, will bolster India’s plans to increase nuclear energy production.

  •  India offers the potential to double Australia’s uranium exports to more than a billion dollars by 2018, say experts.

Lokpal search panel gets freedom of choice

  •  The Department of Personnel and Training has notified amendments giving autonomy to the Lokpal search committee to shortlist and recommend names independently for selection of Chairman and members of the anti-corruption body.

  •  The amendments act as a course correction after the former Supreme Court judge Justice K.T. Thomas opted out from heading the search committee in March 2014, citing lack of autonomy.

  •  Eminent jurist FaliNariman too had turned down the post of a member of the panel for that reason.

  •  Justice Thomas had objected to the provision that the search committee should only shortlist candidates from a list provided by the department.

  •  The amendment made in Rule 10 of the Search Committee Rules removed this roadblock by omitting the words “from among the list of persons provided by the Central Government in the Department of Personnel and Training.”

SC wants to monitor Ganga clean-up

  •  Unhappy with the government’s affidavit setting out its plans to clean the Ganga, the Supreme Court said it wanted to monitor the progress made in efforts to restore the river and asked for a roadmap.

  •  It is better if you can show us a PowerPoint presentation. Also, fix milestones so that we can assess the progress, a Bench comprising Justices T.S. Thakur and R. Banumathi said.

  •  “It seems the Ganga will not be cleaned even after 200 years,” the Bench observed after perusing an affidavit filed by the Director of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, which outlined plans to rejuvenate the river and its ecology.

Toilets mandatory in aided schools

  •  The State Cabinet decided to impose strict norms for providing fitness certificates to aided recognised schools by making it mandatory to build toilets.

  •  The norms relating to issuance of fitness certificates for aided recognised schools will be amended by including a provision for setting up facilities in addition to the present one related to safety of the school building.

  •  Erring schools will not be issued a fitness certificate and would not be allowed to take up new admissions.

India talking to WTO members on food subsidy issue’

  •  India is talking to “good number” of countries to garner support on its stand on the food security issue at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with a view to carrying forward the talks for freer trade.

  •  The WTO has resumed work at Geneva from September 1 after a month long vacation.

  •  “We will start from where we have left. The bottom line is already made clear. We are willing to talk but achieve the same objectives in whatever manner,” Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher told reporters.

  •  He said that it was now up to the WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo to convene meetings in the form of either calling heads of delegation or in smaller groups.

  •  At its last meeting at Geneva on July 31, the 160-member WTO failed to agree on a global customs pact popularly called the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

  •  India had decided not to ratify WTO’s TFA, which is dear to the developed world, without any concrete movement in finding a permanent solution to its public food stock-holding issue for food security purposes.

  •  New Delhi has asked WTO to amend the norms for calculating agriculture subsidies so that the country could continue to procure foodgrains from farmers at minimum support price and sell them to poor at cheaper rates without violating the norms.

  •  The current WTO norms limit the value of food subsidies at 10 per cent of the total value of foodgrain production. However, the quantum of subsidy is computed after taking into consideration prices that prevailed two decades ago.

‘Protect rights of minorities’

  •  The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has asked the government to send out a clear message to minorities reassuring them that their Constitutional rights would be preserved and protected.

  •  The Commission sent a communication to this effect to the Home and the Minority Affairs Ministries after discussing the complaint against BJP member Yogi Adityanath for a “hate speech” he is said to have delivered.

  •  According to sources, the Commission has taken a serious view of such speeches; particularly by prominent persons.

Audit of community policing scheme

  •  After a successful stint of over six years, the JanamaithriSuraksha Project (Community Policing) initiative of the Kerala Police is set for a professional audit on its effectiveness in bridging the gap between the police and the community.

  •  An external agency will study the project in detail and its effect in over 250 police stations across Kerala.

  •  The Kozhikode city and rural police officers who head the scheme in various stations will share their experience with the professional agency appointed by the government to review the progress of the scheme.

General Awareness :In The News - August, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams) In the News(Person)

August - 2014

Arvind Gupta

  •  Former Indian Foreign Service officer Arvind Gupta was appointed as deputy National Security Adviser, a post which fell vacant following the resignation of Nehchal Sandhu.

  •  Mr. Gupta, a 1979 batch officer, will also be Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), an apex advisory body tasked with suggesting to the government on political, economic and strategic security concerns.

R K Singh

  •  Security of Parliament, which was targeted by terrorists 13 years back, is set to be strengthened further with a special committee being set up to suggest measures for it within a month.

  •  The committee will be headed by former Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh and will include former Rajasthan DGP Harish Chandra Meena and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh.

Natwar Singh

  •  Unfazed by the attacks on him by the Congress leadership for his book which was sharply critical of Sonia Gandhi, Natwar Singh has decided to write a sequel “which will have many more disclosures”

  •  To be called ‘My irregular diary’, the sequel is expected to hit the market by next March, the former External Affairs Minister said in New Delhi .

Hari Gautam

  •  Finding the University Grants Commission (UGC) ill-equipped to address the challenges posed by the manifold increase in the number of universities — particularly private universities and deemed-to-be-universities — the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has set up a committee to restructure the apex regulatory body for higher education in the country.

  •  The four-member committee will be headed by former UGC chairman Hari Gautam and will have as its members C.M. Jariwala (former head and dean of law at Banaras Hindu University), Kapil Kapoor (former pro vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University) and the Joint Secretary in the Higher Education in the ministry as its members.

Arvind Apte

  •  The BCCI condoled the death of former Test player Arvind Apte, who passed away after fighting a prolonged battle with prostrate cancer.

  •  Arvind passed away in Pune. He was 79 and is survived by a daughter.

  •  Arvind, born in Mumbai in 1934 and younger brother of another former India cricketer Madhav Apte, was a reserve opener during India’s tour of England in 1959.

  •  An attacking opening batsman with a wide range of strokes, he played only one Test match for India when he was selected for the third Test against England at Leeds following an injury to Nari Contractor.

  •  He scored just eight and seven in both the innings of the match, his first and last for the national team.

  •  Arvind continued to play first-class cricket till the early 70s and finished with an aggregate of 2782 runs (33.51, including six centuries.)

Rajni Razdan

  •  Rajni Razdan has been appointed the next Union Public Service Commission chairman. She will take the oath of office, replacing Professor D.P. Agrawal.

  •  Ms. Razdan, a 64-year-old former Indian Administrative Service officer from the Haryana cadre, has been a UPSC member since April 19, 2010.

Justice Markandey Katju

In a fresh controversy, Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju blamed the former Chief Justice of India, K.G. Balakrishnan, for pushing the elevation of a former Karnataka High Court Chief Justice as a Supreme Court judge. Justice Katju, who did not name the judge, in an apparent reference to the collegium’s recommendation to elevate the former Karnataka High Court Chief Justice, P.D. Dinakaran, also found fault with another former CJI, S.H. Kapadia, for failing to prevent this despite being a member of the collegium.

B. S. Sidhu

Uttarakhand Director General of Police (DGP) B. S. Sidhu is involved in a legal battle over an alleged illegal purchase of forest land and the felling of 25 Sal trees on the land.
The case against Mr. Sidhu lies with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), where a hearing shall be held .

Smriti Irani

The controversy over Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani’s educational qualifications has taken a new turn with her assertion that she also has a degree from the prestigious Yale University in the United States.

  •  Ms. Irani (38) made the remark at the India Today Woman Summit 2014 here when asked to clear the “mystery” over her educational qualification.

U.R. Anantha Murthy (1932-2014)

  •  U.R.Anantha Murthy, the doyen of Kannada Literature and one of the pioneers of Navya movement in Kannada language is no more.

  •  A steadfast thinker who withstood many an assault, physical, verbal and virtual, gave a new thrust to Kannada literature and cinema, to move towards the 21st Century.

Arvind Subramanian

  •  The Modi Government is likely to name Arvind Subramanian, the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and senior fellow at the Centre for Global Development as its Chief Economic Advisor (CEA).

B.K.S. Iyengar

  •  Legendary yoga exponent B.K.S. Iyengar passed away at a private hospital . He was 95.

  •  Mr. Iyengar, who was admitted to the Prayag Hospital last week, breathed his last at 3.15 a.m., doctors attending on him said. He has been on dialysis since Sunday after renal failure. Mr. Iyengar, who abhorred hospitals and clinics, failed to respond to the treatment owing to heart problems brought on by advanced age.

  •  Despite two massive heart-attacks in 1996 and 1998, Mr. Iyengar, with his near-legendary regimen and discipline, kept up a punishing teaching schedule, touring Russia and China in recent years.
    Ravi Shastri

  •  In a damage-control move, the BCCI has appointed former Test all-rounder Ravi Shastri Director of Cricket in the Indian team for the five-match ODI series against England, beginning August 25.

  •  The Board’s dramatic action was a response to India’s disastrous 3-1 Test series defeat against England.


  •  A local court ordered the release of rights activist IromChanuSharmila, under detention for attempting to commit suicide by fasting for nearly 14 years demanding withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.
    Her agitation was a political demand through lawful means, the court said. Sessions Judge (Imphal east) A. Guneshwar Sharma said, “The petitioner may be released from custody if not required in any other case.”

R.N. Ravi

  •  Prime Minister NarendraModi-led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau Special Director R.N. Ravi as chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee for a period of three years.

  •  The Joint Intelligence Committee functions under the National Security Council Secretariat.

  • Mr. Ravi, a 1976-batch Indian Police Service officer from Kerala, has been appointed in the pay and rank of Secretary to the Government of India. He retired as IB Special Director in 2012.

Ramesh Chand Tayal

  •  The ACC has also cleared the proposal for appointment of senior IPS officer Ramesh Chand Tayal as Central Reserve Police Force Special Director-General.

  •  The 1980-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre officer is presently posted as Additional Director-General of the SashatraSeema Bal.

New Governors for 4 States

  •  President Pranab Mukherjee appointed Kalyan Singh, VajubhaiRudabhaiVala, Ch. VidyasagarRao and MridulaSinha Governors of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa, respectively.

  •  Manipur Governor Vinod Kumar Duggal will continue to hold charge of Mizoram.

Atul Verma

  •  Atul Verma won India its first Olympic archery medal — a bronze — at the Youth Olympic Games at Nanjing.

  •  The gold went to Korean Lee Woo Seok, who got the better of D’Almeida 7-3 in the final.


  •  The Meerut Commissioner in his report on last month’s riots in Saharanpur has reportedly blamed the local BJP MP, RaghavLakhanpal, for fanning tensions, besides accusing district authorities of not controlling the rioting mob.

  •  The report of Meerut Commissioner Bhupendra Singh is almost identical to the findings of a Committee set up Chief Minister AkhileshYadav and headed by senior Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav that had come down heavily on the local MP and BJP workers for their role in the riots that left three dead and gutted hundreds of shops.

D.M. Spolia

  •  The Ministry of Home Affairs re-appointed D.M. Spolia as the Chief Secretary of Delhi to replace S.K. Srivastava who is currently holding the post.

  •  Mr. Spolia, a 1979 batch IAS officer, who was removed from the post by the AamAadmi Party government in January, will take over with immediate effect.

  •  He was working as Financial Commissioner of the Delhi Government since January.


  •  Veteran journalist Padma BhushanBalrajPuri passed away after prolonged illness at a Government Medical College here .

  •  Mr. Puri was conferred the Padma Bhushan for his contribution in the fields of Literature and Education in 2005 and also the Indira Gandhi award for national integration on October 31, 2009.

  •  He was an author and co-author of about 40 books and approximately 1,000 articles for various dailies in India and abroad.

Rona Fairhead

  •  The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Trust, the body overseeing the world famous news corporation, is set to get its first female head.

  •  Rona Fairhead, 53, a high-flying executive who sits on the boards of a number of blue-chip companies, announced as the prospective new chairperson of the BBC Trust.
    SajidJavid, UK secretary of state for culture, is expected to officially announce Fairhead as government’s preferred candidate to fill the slot, replacing Lord Patten, who stepped down in May on health grounds.

General Awareness : Awards-and-Prize - August, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams) Awards and Prizes

August - 2014

Kapil to head Arjuna Awards selection committee

  • Former India cricket captain Kapil Dev will head the Arjuna Awards selection committee for choosing this year’s outstanding sportspersons of the country while former hockey skipper Ajitpal Singh is likely to be in charge of selecting the Dronacharya awardees.

  •  While Kapil, who bagged 434 wickets in 131 Tests in his 16-year-long career, got the Arjuna award in 1980, former Olympian Ajitpal was conferred the award in 1970, and awarded it in 1972.

  • A source in the sports ministry said the government had issued a notification in writing to all persons concerned. The awards will be conferred on National Sports Day which is August 29.

National Sports Awards – 2014

National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years immediately preceding the year during which award is to be given.

Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for four years preceding the year of award.

Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events.

Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development.

Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will receive statuettes, citations andcash prize of Rs.5 lakh each.

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar is given to the corporate entities (both in private and public sector) and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development. Recipients of

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar will be given Trophies.

The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29, 2014.

General Awareness : Sports - August, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams)  Sports

August - 2014

India finish fifth with 64 medals

  •  The CWG incidents took some of the sheen off the impressive 64 medal haul — 15 gold, 30 silver and 19 bronze — that ensured a fifth place finish in the leaderboard for India after England, Australia, Canada and hosts Scotland.

  •  It was India’s third best showing in the Commonwealth Games after the 100 plus bounty at home in Delhi four years back and the 69 medals they picked up at Manchester in 2002.
    Kabaddi goes international with World Kabaddi League

  •  It’s quintessentially Indian but Kabaddi is all set to make waves across three continents with the first-of-its-kind World Kabaddi League kickstarting in London .

  •  Featuring eight teams, including one from Pakistan, the tournament will be played for four months in USA, England, Canada, UAE and India.

  •  The venues for the league include eight international (London, Birmingham, Dubai, New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Vancouver, Toronto) and six Indian (New Delhi, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bhatinda, Amritsar, Mohali) cities.

  •  The tournament will follow the double round robin format with a total of 94 matches — 90 league games and four playoffs — and has 144 international players on its roster.

  •  Every team will play the other seven thrice before the top four qualify for the play-offs. The final will be played in Mohali on December 14..

General Awareness : Science-And-Technology - August, 2014

(General Awareness For Bank's Exams) Science and Technology

August - 2014

Drones to guard India’s forests and wildlife

  •  Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones will soon fly over India’s forests to monitor poaching, track wildlife and even count the population of tigers.

  •  Scientists at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) are coming up with a series of such drones which are being customised indigenously to suit different types of forest landscape.

  • Under a joint collaboration with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and international environment body WWF, they are preparing a detailed project report for introducing drone monitoring in 10 wildlife-rich areas across the country.

  •  A drone can be put on autopilot mode and sent as far as 40-50 km deep into the forest where it can record images and videos and transmit them on a real-time basis. Its movement can also be controlled through a GPS-based system. Such drones were recently tested successfully in Panna Tiger Reserve and Kaziranga forest.

  •  Drones can also be used for night surveillance and tracking of many elusive and shy animals like the red panda and snow leopard, which are very rarely seen by the human eye in their natural wild habitat. Travelling at a speed of 40 km per hour, the drones can be used for around 40-50 minutes.

General Awareness : India and World - August, 2014

(General Awareness for Bank's Exams)  India And The World

August - 2014

India And The World

  • The two –day 18th BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) Ministerial Meeting will get underway to discuss important issues relating to the current UNFCCC Climate Change negotiations specially on matters pertaining to the Adhoc Working Group on the Durban Platform.

  •  The 17th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was held in Hanzghou, China last October.

  •  The BASIC Ministerial meeting provides an opportunity to Environment Ministers to enhance coordination on important issues in climate change negotiations and to arrive at a common position on such issues. The BASIC Ministers have been meeting regularly since the Conference of Parties in Copenhagen.

‘Developed nations must walk the talk on climate goals’

  •  The BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) group reiterated that developed countries should walk the talk on climate change goals, accept their historical responsibilities of polluting the planet and finance technology transfer to the developing world.

  • BASIC proposed joint action on various issues including emission targets and other plans to be set out by next year.

  • A joint statement issued here after the two-day 18th ministerial meeting said progress after the Warsaw climate talks was reviewed and the 2015 outcome to be adopted at the meeting in Paris should be comprehensive, balanced, equitable and fair in order to enhance the effective implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • India said all countries should ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol quickly and there should be full operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund. Under the Durban Platform, the countries were expected to increase their ambitions on emission cuts but that is not happening, with some like Japan reducing their targets.

Current Affairs MCQ for IBPS, SBI & All Other Bank Exams - 9 December 2014

  Current Affairs MCQ for Banking Exams - 9 December 2014

Q. 1

17 times tennis Grand Slam winner Roger Federer (Switzerland) made his historic debut in India by participating in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). He is representing which team of IPTL?
a. Micromax Indian Aces
b. Samsung India Aces
c. Micromax Global league
d. Samsung India League
e. None of the above

Q. 2

Andhra Pradesh Government signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with which country to assist it in developing master plan for the new proposed capital city?
a. Malaysia
b. Nepal
c. Singapore
d. Bangladesh
e. France

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