Archive for the ‘General Knowledge Questions with answers’ Category

Appointments / Elections:
CITU Chief : AK Padmanabhan

Mr A K Padmanabhan was elected as the President at the CITU’s 13th National Conference being held in Chandigarh. He is the first person from Tamil Nadu to get elected to the highest post. Mr Padmanabhan had been CITU’s All India Secretary from 1990.
About CITU:
Centre of Indian Trade Unions CITU is India’s National level Trade Union and one of biggest assembly of workers and classes of India. It has strong unchallengeable presence in the Indian states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura besides a good presence in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. It has presence in almost all of the Indian states.

Awards & Honors:
The 56th National Film Awards
56th National Film Awards 2008
The National Film Awards were established in 1954. It is the most prominent film award ceremony in India. These awards are administrated by the Indian government’s Directorate of Film Festivals since 1973. The list of the 56th National Film Awards 2008 was posted earlier on this page
On 20th March , President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil conferred the 56th National Film Awards for 2008 to the illustrious winners at a function held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

The eminent cinematographer Sh. V.K.Murthy received Dada Saheb Phalke Award for the year 2008. One hundred thirty awardees in sixty nine categories received their Swarn and Rajat Kamal medals along with the cash rewards at the hands of the President.

NTR memorial award: Mahasweta Devi
Noted Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi has been selected for the NTR National Literary Award for her lifetime achievement in creative writing, espousing the cause of marginalized sections, including Dalits and Tribals.
Some facts about Mahasweta Devi:

  1. She was born in 1926 in Dhaka.
  2. Recently she has been spearheading the movement against the industrial policy of the government of West Bengal, the state of her domicile.
  3. She has stridently criticized confiscation of large tracts of fertile agricultural land from farmers by the government and ceding the land to industrial houses at throwaway prices.
  4. Noted Works:
    Hajar Churashir Ma (No. 1084’s Mother), Aranyer Adhikar (The Occupation of the Forest), Agnigarbha (Womb of Fire) and Choti Munda evam Tar Tir (Choti Munda and His Arrow).
  5. Awards won:
    Sahitya Akademi Award (Bengali) for her novel ”Aranyer Adhikar” in 1979,
    Padma Shri(1986), Jnanpith Award (1996), Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and the Creative Communication Arts (1997), Honorary Doctorate from Indira Gandhi National Open University(1999) Padma Vibhushan (2006)

FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award- Manohar “Mike” Vaswani
The Las Vegas Division of FBI has selected Indian American Manohar “Mike” Vaswani to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award. Mr. Vaswani is the president of the Asian American Group (AAG) and the Asian American Coalition of Las Vegas. Mr. Vaswani was born in India and came to the United States on May 5, 1970. He became a naturalized citizen in 1978. Mr. Vaswani is a 2009 graduate of the Las Vegas FBI Citizens’ Academy.

SAARC Lifetime Achievement Award 2010 – Hamid Mir
Foundation of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Writers and Literature have nominated Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir for the SAARC Lifetime Achievement Award 2010. Mir works for Geo TV in Islamabad.

National Updates:
Rs.3.5 billion project on Hazardous wastes:
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs clears Rs.3.5 billion project to clean up hazardous waste/municipal solid waste dump sites in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal on pilot basis. India generates around 6.2 million tonnes of hazardous waste annually, of which roughly 3.5 million tonnes is recyclable. For the very first time, the government is including e-waste recycling facilities as part of hazardous waste management programme for 140 highly contaminated sites in the country.

Andhra Pradesh: India’s First Super specialty Cancer Hospital
Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan inaugurates the new Apollo Cancer Hospitals India’s first super-specialty cancer hospital & Novalis TX – the most precise, non-invasive radio surgery treatment at Apollo Health City, Hyderabad.

Andhra Pradesh: World House Sparrows Day:
On 20th March 2010, World House Sparrow Day was observed in Vishakhapatnam. The House Sparrow has extremely large range and population it is not believed to be threatened, yet the declining number keeps it in IUCN Red List (Red list means Least Concern). It has been declining in many parts of the world

Haryana : Mission Green:
Government of Haryana decides to launch ‘Mission Green Haryana’ in the state. In this scheme five crore saplings would be planted during 2010-11.

Please note that a similar scheme “Harit Rajasthan” was launched in June 2009 by Rajasthan Government as a flagship scheme which envisages planting of over 30 lakh saplings on vacant land in schools, colleges, hospitals and government offices as well as in public parks and along the roadside and highways.

Arunachal Pradesh: Arunachal Pradesh Education Bill 2010
The state assembly of Arunachal Pradesh passes Arunachal Pradesh Education Bill 2010. This bill aims at streamlining the ailing education sector.
About Literacy in India:
Arunachal Pradesh comes at 24th place among 28 states in terms of literacy. Arunachal Pradesh has 54.34% literacy as per census 2001. In North east Mizoram comes second in terms of literacy in India with 88.80 % literacy as per census 2001 and 89.9% as per NHFS-3. Arunachal has the lowest literacy rate in the whole of North East region

Haryana: Awards Scheme for Old
Government of Haryana has instituted 5 awards which would be given away to old people on the occasion of the International Old Age Day on October 1. A sum of Rs 5 lakh has been earmarked for the purpose during the current financial year. The five awards have been named as centenarian award, best mother award, courage and bravery award, best panchayat award. and life- time achievement award would be given away to such eminent aged persons who had done excellent work in social field.

Business & Economy:
Update on NELP: Most successful Bidder ONGC
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the award of 33 of the 36 exploration areas that were bid under the Nelp round, which closed on October 12, 2009. Read here the past article on NELP.
Of the 70 blocks offered under Nelp-VIII, only 36 attracted bids, with ONGC and partners bidding for 25 — the maximum. The state-owned company and its partner won 17 areas.

On Dearness allowance:
The Union Cabinet decides to release an additional instalment of dearness allowance (DA) to central government employees and dearness relief (DR) to pensioners, with effect from January 1, 2010. This represents an increase of 8 per cent over the existing rate of 27 per cent of the basic pay/pension and aims to compensate for price rise.

On Upgradation of Medical Colleges:
The Cabinet approves the Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) to set up six new institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and upgrade 13 existing government medical colleges.For this scheme CCEA had approved Rs 3,975 crore with the additional funds, the total outlay now stands at Rs 9,307 crore. The new institutions or upgraded facilities in the existing medical colleges would provide tertiary health care facilities under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Swashthya Suraksha Yojana.

The new AIIMS-like institutions are to be located at Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Bhubaneswar (Orissa), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Patna (Bihar), Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Rishikesh (Uttarakhand). The AIIMS-like institutions will be completed by the end of 2012.

On National Population Register
The Union Cabinet approves the creation of National Population Register of usual residents of the country. The project would cover an estimated population of 1.2 billion and the total cost of the scheme is Rs 3,539.24 crore.

World Bank Loan for Two Education projects:
World Bank approves a credit of $1.05 billion (around Rs 4,830 crore) for support to two education projects in India. The loan is provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, and have a 35-year maturity and 10-year grace period.

The two projects are Second Elementary Education Project and Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQIP). The money will be used to boost the number of children enrolling in and completing elementary school and improve the quality of engineering education. Out of the $1.05 billion, $750 million would go to the Second Elementary Education Project, the rest would be for the second Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQIP).

Orissa: Tarunkanti Mishra committee on Climate Change
The Orissa government constitutes a High Level Coordination Committee under Tarunkanti Mishra, Chief secretary Orissa, to finalize the State Action Plan (SAP) on climate change for Orissa. Orissa government is likely to finalize the State Action Plan (SAP) on climate change by the end of April 2010. It is worth notable that Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK Government and the World Bank are helping the state government in formulation of the action plan. The discussions were held a few months back. In February 2010, DFID and World Bank officials had suggested the setting up of nine sectoral committees that would work on nine different impact areas of climate change.

These areas included health and social vulnerability, energy, transport, agriculture, urban development, water resources, coastal and disaster, mining and forest among others.

The Tarunkanti Mishra committee has development commissioner (DC), Agricultural Production Commissioner (APC), secretaries in the departments of finance, fisheries, housing and urban development, steel and mines, agriculture, water resources, revenue and disaster management, energy, commerce and transport, health and family welfare, industry and managing director of Orissa State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) as its members.

West Bengal : Presidency University:
The West Bengal Legislative Assembly passes Bill to confer university status to Presidency College, thus The Presidency College, Kolkata is now Presidency University.
The instittution was founded as Hindoo College in 1817. It was renamed as Presidency College in 1855. The college was ranked number one by the weekly news magazine India Today in 2002.
Reserve Bank of India: New Key Rates
On march 19, 2010, Reserve Bank of India raised the key policy rates 25 basis points. RBI’s this move is aimed at taming inflation and anchoring inflationary expectations, marks a reversal in the easy monetary policy regime amid signs of strong economic revival.

  • Repo rate, or the rate at which banks borrow from RBI, is being increased 25 basis points to 5 per cent.
  • Reverse repo rate, or the rate at which surplus cash is parked with the central bank, was also increased to 3.5 per cent from 3.25 per cent earlier.

Obituary:
GP Koirala
On 20 March 2010 Girija Prasad Koirala, Former Nepal Prime Minister , Nepalese politician and the President of the Nepali Congress passes away. Some facts:

  • He had been Prime Minister of Nepal four times. He was also Acting Head of State from January 2007 to July 2008.
  • He was a pioneer of the Nepalese labour movement. In 1991 he became the first democratically elected Prime Minister since 1959, when his brother B. P. Koirala and the Nepali Congress party swept the country’s first democratic election.
  • Koirala had been instrumental in leading the peace process and bringing the Maoists to mainstream politics, ending a decade-long armed conflict that claimed 16,000 lives.
  • He also played a crucial role in turning Nepal into a Republic through abolition of 240-year-old monarchy two years ago.

1.Recently we read in the newspapers that Government is mulling over raising the income threshold to define the economically weaker section (EWS) to about Rs 6,000 a month. What is the correct income threshold for EWS in India?
(A)Rs. 3000
(B)Rs. 3300
(C)Rs. 3600
(D)Rs. 3800
(E)Rs. 4000

2.Who among the following is the current United States Secretary of Defense?
(A)Donald Rumsfeld
(B)Robert Gates
(C)John McMahon
(D)William Webster
(E)James Woolsey

3.Recently we read in the newspapers that as a first of its kind, Gujarat’s second largest dairy Dudhsagar Dairy of Mehsana is coming up with a dedicated train to transport milk by the end of 2010. The milk will be transported to which of the milk market of India ?
(A)Mumbai
(B)Delhi
(C)Uttar Pradesh
(D)Rajasthan
(E)None of them

4.As per the data’s recorded by the Indian meteorological department (IMD) , which among the following years had been the hottest in last 108 years when IMD started collecting data?
(A)2009
(B)2008
(C)2007
(D)2006
(E)2005

5.Where is located India’s 18th Nuclear Power plant which recently started its commercial production?
(A)Tamilnadu
(B)Kerala
(C)Andhra Pradesh
(D)Karnataka
(E)Rajasthan

6.Where is coming up India’s second Officers Training Academy for Army ?
(A)Patna
(B)Gaya
(C)Bhopal
(D)Jaipur
(E)Jodhpur

7.Recently India’s 38th Tiger reserve was opened in Kerala as Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. Now, what is the number of total Tiger reserves in Kerala?
(A)1
(B)2
(C)3
(D)4
(E)5

8.What are the Current Repo Rates and Reverse Repo Rates after the latest changes made by Reserve Bank of India?
(A)4.75, 3.25
(B)4.50, 3.50
(C)5.00, 3.50,
(D)5.50, 4.00
(E)None of them

9.In context with the financial inclusion in India, recently in the budget speech, India’s Finance Minister said:” A sub-committee of the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) will identify such areas and formulate an action plan for providing banking facilities to all these areas in the next three years” In the Union Budget, how much money has been kept aside for 2010-11 as one-time grant-in-aid to ensure provision of at least one centre or point of sales for banking services in each of the unbanked blocks in the country for achieving the above target?
(A)Rs. 100 Crore
(B)Rs. 150 crore
(C)Rs. 200 crore
(D)Rs. 250 crore
(E)Rs. 170 Crore

10.Which among the following company is providing the games data and High Definition/Standard Definition Broadcast Signal for the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2010?
(A)BSNL
(B)MTNL
(C)Reliance Communications
(D)Tata Teleservices
(E)None of them

11.In which of the following fields Moortidevi Awards are conferred?
(A)Science & Technology
(B)Law
(C)Literature
(D)Social Services
(E)Teaching

12.INS Nirdeshak of the Indian navy comes under which of the following categories?
(A)Replenishment Tankers
(B)Minesweepers
(C)Patrol Ships
(D)Survey Ships
(E)Amphibious Warfare Ships

13.Who among the following chairs the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) in India?
(A)Prime Minister
(B)Minister of Environment & Forest
(C)Environment Secretary
(D)A renowned environmentalist of the country
(E)None of the above

14.Recently we read in the newspapers that as a part of a new initiative, at least one building in each Command of the Indian Armed Forces would soon meet the GRIHA standards. The GRIHA standards are related to ?
(A)Architecture Standards
(B)Defense Standards
(C)Environment Standards
(D)Cost Effectiveness
(E)None of them

15.In which of the following areas, Clark R Bavin Awards are given?
(A)Sports
(B)Wildlife Protection
(C)Films & Television
(D)International Understanding
(E)Journalism

16.As per the latest rationalization done by Government of India in context with the National Sports awards, how many of 5 dronacharya awards have been earmarked for life time contribution in coaching?
(A)1
(B)2
(C)3
(D)4
(E)None

17.At Present in How many states the scheme of Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize is being implemented to increase the production of oilseeds?
(A)10
(B)11
(C)12
(D)13
(E)14

18.For which of the following industries in India, the government is running a scheme called REMOT ?
(A)Tea
(B)Rubber
(C)Cotton
(D)Coir
(E)Sugarcane

19.In which state was launched India’s first litigation controlled Tribal Panchayat recently?
(A)Kerala
(B)Tamilnadu
(C)West Bengal
(D)Gujarat
(E)Madhya Pradesh

20.Where did Indian Air force conducted its biggest Firepower demonstration Vayu Shakti-2010?
(A)Bikaner
(B)Pokharan
(C)Jodhpur
(D)Barmer
(E)Sri Ganganagar

Recreating1901 ! The world's shortest railway reopens in LA

what does “APJ” stands for in “APJ ABDUL KALAM” ?
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam is the full name of former Indian President and well known scientist, who has a large no.of fans in the world. He is also the author of ” Wings of Fire ” and ” Ignited Minds ” etc.

Battle of Hydaspes—In 326 B.C. when Alexander, the great had to turn back from Hydaspes (Beas) when his troops refused to march into India against the Nanda Empire.

Battle of Kalinga—It was fought in 361 B.C. between Ashoka, the great and the king of Kalinga. The war resulted in considerable loss of life and brought misery and suffering to the people. Its impression on Ashoka was so great that he not only turned a Buddhist, but renounced war and violence.

1st Battle of Tarain (1191 A.D.)—Prithvi Raj defeated Mohd. Gauri.

2nd Battle of Tarain (1192 A.D.)—Mohd. Gauri defeated Prithvi Raj and paved the way for Muslim rule in India.

First Battle of Panipat (1526)—Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi. This laid the foundation of Mughal rule in India.

Second Battle of Panipat (1556)—Akbar defeated Hemu. It ended the Afgan Rule and the way was cleared for Mughal rule.

Battle of Talikota (1565)—The united alliance of Bijapur, Bidar, Ahmednagar and Golkunda under Hussain Nizam Shah defeated Ram Raja of Vijaynagar. It sealed the fate of the Hindu Kingdom of Vijaynagar.

Battle of Haldighati (1576)—Akbar defeated Rana Pratap. The latter had to take refuge in remote fortresses.

Battle of Plassey (1757)—The British under Lord Clive defeated Sirajuddaulah. It laid foundation of the British Rule in India.

Third Battle of Panipat (1761)—Ahmed Shah Abdali defeated the Marahattas. The Marahatta power suffered an irreparable loss.

Battle of Buxer (1764)—The British under Sir Hector Munro defeated the Muslim army under three Mohammadan leaders : Mir Qasim, Shuja-ud-daulha and Shah Alam II. The battle made the British Supreme in India.

The First Sikh War (1845)—The Sikh Army crossed Sutlej in 1845 at which the East India Company declared war. British occupied Lahore and forced the Sikhs to accept humiliating terms of peace.

The Second Sikh War (1849)—A drawn battle was fought between the English and the Sikhs at Chelianwala in which the English appeared to have suffered heavy losses.

Indo-Pak War (1965)—An indecisive war between India and Pakistan. It led to ‘Taskent Pact’ between the two countries.

Indo-Pak War (1971)—Indian forces in joint command with Bangladesh Army accepted the surrender of the Pak Army in Bangladesh. War in the western sector came to an end as a result of cease-fire on Dec. 17. Bangladesh was liberated.

Kargil War (1999)—Indian forces scored grand victory over Pakistani army and Pak supported mercenaries in a conflict in the Kargil sector of Jammu & Kashmir. The operation was named ‘Operation Vijaya.’ The Indian forces cleared Kargil of all Pakistani elements.

1. Warren Buffet (USA) – $62 billion

2. Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico) – $60 billion

3. Bill Gates (USA) – $58 billion

4. L N Mittal (India) – $45 billion

5. Mukesh Ambani (India) – $43 billion

6. Anil Ambani (India) – $42 billion

7. Ingvar Kamprad (Sweden) – $31 billion

8. K P Singh (India) – $30 billion

9. Oleg Deripaska (Russia) – $28 billion

10. Karl Deripaska (Russia) – $27 billion

Appointments:
President of the All India Students Federation (AISF) – Paramajit Singh Dhaban
Mr Paramajit Singh Dhaban has been elected as the new national President of the All India Students Federation (AISF) in the 27th National Conference of AISF.

Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court – Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru
Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru who is a judge of Jannu & Kashmir High court has been Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court by President of India. (as per clause (1) of article 217 of the Constitution of India)

America’s new special envoy to OIC – Rashad Hussain
Rashad Hussain is an Indian-origin lawyer and has been selected as America’s new special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. This is a key post and Rashad Hussain is entrusted with deepening and expanding the partnerships with Muslims across the world, an important element of Obama’s foreign policy. Rashad Hussain is a respected member of the American Muslim community.

Awards:
Alumni Award by the University of Hawaii Alumni Association- Ashok Kumar Malhotra
Indian-American Ashok Kumar Malhotra is a noted professor of philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oneonta, will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Hawaii Alumni Association.

National Updates:
Educational Development Index – Punjab leads
National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) has conducted a survey which says that based upon Education Development Index which is prepared by NUEPA, Punjab pushes Delhi on second to lead with 0.917 points in school infrastructure index compared to Delhi.

Economy:
RBI’s HR audit:
HR audit is a diagnostic tool which examines the organization’s HR policies and procedures to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of employees and suggests solution wherever required. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) embarks on its biggest ever human resources (HR) audit programme to take a complete re-look at its man management practices. Read This article on Business Standard

MOU for Biomass Gasifier Systems:
In order to facilitate the rice mills to avail the special financial package expeditiously a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between State Bank of India, Patna and M/s Beltron Telecommunication Ltd, Patna. Through this technical & financial mechanism, about 500 rice mills would be able to avail the benefit by setting up biomass Gasifier systems during 2010 which will lead to the saving of about 20-25 million liters of diesel annually and at the same time avail the benefits of a reliable power supply.

What is Biomass gasification?
Biomass gasification is basically conversion of solid biomass such as wood, wood waste, agricultural residues etc., into a combustible gas mixture normally called producer gas. They can be utilized for thermal and electrical applications. The required biomass yield can be obtained from energy plantations grown on wastelands. Further all types of agricultural wastes viz Rice husk, Coconut shells, briquettes of various agricultural residues, maize crops branches and twigs of plants are the possible fuel stocks for the Gasifier. Government of India (MNRE) Provides subsidy for these gasifiers as below:

Industries / Institutions

  • Thermal : Rs.2.00 lakhs / 300 KWe
  • Electrical Dual Fuel : Rs.2.50 lakhs / 100 KWe
  • 100% Gas engine : Rs.15.00 lakhs / 100 KWe (educational Institution)
  • Rs:10.00 lakhs / 100 KWe (Commercial / Industries purpose)

Gasifier installed under MNRE / State subsidy

  • Industries / Institution : 2670 KWe (Thermal) 2140 KWe (Electricity)
  • Village Panchayat (Small Capacity) : 634 KWe (65 Nos.)

India World:
Partners in Population and Development
The Partners in Population and Development (PPD) is an intergovernmental alliance of twenty-four ‘developing’ countries. This is the only organization in the world which is fully dedicated to South-South partnerships. Headquarters are at Dhaka.

The 23 countries are Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia Pakistan Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Benin, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal , South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

A meeting of the Executive Committee of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) was held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad at Dhaka. India, China, Tunisia, Kenya and Bangladesh are the members of the Executive Committee. Indian Health Minister is the current Chair of the Executive Committee as well as the Board of the organization.

In this meeting India has announced 10 fellowships at the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi to the participants from Member Countries for building their capacity.

Bangladesh: Vested Property Return (Amendment) Act
Vested Property Return (Amendment) Act has been given a cabinet nod in Bangladesh. This act is now going to be passed in the Bangladesh Parliament (Jatiyo Sangshad) in the next session and is related to amend the law for restoring property seized from minority groups, mainly Hindus.

The Vested Property Act has been always a controversial law in Bangladesh because it was a tool for the Government to confiscate property from individuals it deemed as an enemy of the state and has been under criticism for being a tool to confiscate the lands of the minorities mainly Hindus. It was renamed in 1974.
Its notable that family property of Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen had been confiscated by the Pakistan government, however the government announced in 1999 that it is finding ways to return that property. The law has been highlighted by the U.S. Department of State and Amnesty International as a major human rights concern that has contributed to internal displacement, emigration and disenfranchisement