September 1, 2014



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September 1, 2014

nalanda-university

1) The much-awaited Nalanda University started operations from 1 September 2014. The first two schools to start are the School of Ecology and Environmental Studies and School of Historical Studies. Who is heading this university, which was created following a special Act of Parliament in 2010, as its first Chancellor? – Prof. Amartya Sen

Explanation : The modern Nalanda University was created to blend values of the ancient Nalanda university that was one of the world’s first residential university established during the fifth century by the kings belonging to Gupta Empire. The newly started Nalanda University is situated in Rajgir, near Nalanda in Bihar. It is part of an ambitious plan for reviving and re-establishing Nalanda University which was one of the oldest and most prestigious higher-learning institutions of the World. But as there has not been any construction so far, the university started functioning from Rajgir Convention Centre, a state government building. Government-owned Tathagat Hotel will serve as the hostel for the time being.



2) The much-awaited minimum monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 and a higher wage ceiling of Rs. 15,000 for social security scheme run by retirement fund manager Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) came into effect from 1 September 2014. This Rs. 1,000 pension scheme is being made available under which scheme of EPFO? – Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS-95)

Explanation : The government has notified enhancement of wage ceiling to Rs. 15,000 per month, fixed minimum monthly pension at Rs. 1,000 under EPS-95 and enhanced the maximum sum assured under the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) Scheme to Rs. three lakh. The government’s decision to fix pension entitlement of Rs. 1,000 under the Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPFS-95) will immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners who get less than this amount at present. The move to enhance the minimum wage ceiling for becoming a subscriber of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation to Rs. 15,000 per month is expected to bring 50 lakh additional formal sector workers under the ambit of the body.



3) Which Spanish woman badminton player created history by becoming the first Spanish to become World Badminton Champion on 31 August 2014? –Carolina Marin

Explanation : Carolina Marin authored one of the most significant results in badminton history, beating favourite Li Xuerui of China in the Women’s Singles final at World Badminton Champion 2014 to become Spain’s first-ever World champion. She defeated World No. 1 Xuerui by 17-21, 21-17, 21-18. Marin had also defeated India’s P.V. Sindhu in the semi-finals to oust her out of the championship on 30 August. She also became the first world singles champion from Europe for 15 years. It is worth mentioning that Badminton is still at a developmental stage in Spain.



4) Who won the Men’s singles title at World Badminton Championship 2014 on 31 August 2014? – Chen Long of China

Explanation : Second seed Chen Long defeated the favourite and the top seed Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) by 21-19, 21-19. The 2014 World Badminton Championship was held at Copenhagen (Denmark).



5) Which team won the inaugural edition of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), which concluded with the finals on 31 August 2014? – Jaipur Pink Panthers

Explanation : Jaipur Pink Panthers defeated U Mumba by 35-24 in the final held at the National Sports Club of India, Mumbai. Patna Pirates got the better of the Bangalore Bulls 29-22 in the third-place play-off. U Mumba captain Anup Kumar won the Most Valuable Player award for the tournament. The first edition of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), the IPL-style professional league for traditional Indian sport of Kabaddi, started from 26 July 2014. Eight franchisee teams took part in the inaugural edition, with the other four teams being Bengal Warriors, Telugu Titans, Dabang Delhi and Puneri Paltan.




September 2, 2014

us-2 seaplane shinmaywa

1) With the deal for selling an amphibious landing sea-plane to India finalized on 1 September 2014, Japan would sell military hardware to a country for the first time since World War-II. What is the name of this sea-plane? –US-2

Explanation : On 1 September 2014 Japan agreed to sell and transfer technology to India to build the specialised sea-plane, the US-2 produced by ShinMaywa. With this deal Indian Navy’s ability to carry out amphibious landing, casualty evacuation, humanitarian assistance and long-range surveillance and reconnaissance received a major boost. The US-2 is one of the sturdiest aircraft and can operate in sea state 5 conditions (at wind speed of 30 to 38 kilometres per hour) on the high seas as well as on rivers and lakes. It can carry nearly 30 personnel and 18 tonnes of load and can fly 4,500 km at a stretch. This is the first time since World War-II – that ended seven decades ago – that Japan will be selling military hardware. Following its defeat, Japan imposed an embargo on sale of weapons and military equipment. The agreement is an indication of the closeness between India and Japan. Both nations are actively pursuing each other mainly in the areas of defence and trade to counter the growth of China and its increasingly aggressive behaviour in the region. In keeping with the Modi government’s policy, these planes will be made in India.



2) Nifty, the 50-scrip benchmark index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) crossed which milestone mark for the first time on 1 September 2014? – 8,000 mark

Explanation : Nifty hit 8,000 level for the first time while Sensex hit a new high of 26,900 on 1 September mainly due to positive GDP growth figures released recently. The CSO had estimated 5.7% GDP growth rate during the first quarter of 2014-15, which is the best quarter performance since March 2012.



3)  Former Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam is poised to become the new Governor of which state, after he accepted the governorship of the state? –Kerala

Explanation : Former CJI P. Sathasivam accepted Union Government’s proposal to be appointed as the Governor of Kerala. The move to appoint him sparked a debate in political and legal circles on the propriety of giving gubernatorial assignment to a person who retired from the highest judicial office in the country. This is the first time a retired CJI is being appointed to serve as a Governor of a State. There have been instances where former Chief Justices of High Courts were appointed as Governors.



4) Which public-sector bank declared Kingfisher Airlines, its promoter Vijay Mallya and three directors as “wilful defaulters” on 1 September 2014, with which it became the first bank to make such a declaration against Mallya? –United Bank of India (UBI)

Explanation : Kolkata-based United Bank of India (UBI) is a part of the State Bank of India-led consortium to have financed Kingfisher and has an exposure of around Rs. 400 crore to it. A “wilful defaulter” tag means Mallya cannot be on the board of any company nor can he raise money from the public. He can also be subjected to criminal proceedings under Sections 403 and 425 of the IPC, dealing with misappropriation and fraud.



5) Asia’s first Ballistic Research Centre is all set to be established in which Indian state very soon? – Gujarat

Explanation : Gujarat Forensic Science University (GFSU) at Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar is all poised to get established a Ballistic Research Centre (BRC), which would be first one of its kind in the whole of Asia. The BRC would be established mainly to test bullet-proof armoured vehicles as big as trucks. Till now, the armoured vehicles from India are sent to countries like the UK, USA and France for testing. The GFSU was so far able to conduct testing of only bulletproof jackets, helmets and bulletproof plates, but with this new venture the entire armoured vehicle can be tested successfully.



September 3, 2014

dhoni

1) India won an ODI series against England in England after 24 years after it took an invincible 3-0 lead by winning the fourth ODI at Birmingham on 2 September 2014. With this win at Birmingham Mahendra Singh Dhoni became India’s most successful ODI captain with record 91 ODI wins. Who is the second most successful ODI captain now, whose record of 90 ODI wins was broken by Dhoni? – Mohammad Azharuddin

Explanation : Dhoni now has 91 ODI wins as Indian skipper and he edged past Mohammad Azharuddin, the same man who had led India to their last bilateral ODI series win in England. Back then, the visitors had won both their games in the Texaco Trophy in 1990. Thus Dhoni’s stature as a limited overs tactician and captain continued to grow in England, despite a disappointing Test series.



2) According to a recent study by the Brookings Institution which city topped among all Indian cities for sending students for higher education to the US during 2008-2012? – Hyderabad

Explanation : The study done by Brookings Institution –  an American think-tank, revealed that during 2008-2012 Hyderabad sent 26,220 students to the US. Next was Mumbai, with 17,294, followed by Chennai with 9,141, Bangalore with 8,835 and Delhi with 8,728. Thus Hyderabad sent more students to the US than New Delhi and Mumbai combined. The city was ranked fourth globally in this perspective. Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hyderabad and Riyadh were the five foreign cities that sent the most higher education students to the US during that time.



3) The state government of Mizoram on 2 September 2014 announced lifting of total prohibition from the state completely during this fiscal year by bringing into effect the newly legislated Mizoram Liquor Prohibition and Control Act, 2014. Total prohibition in Mizoram was clamped in which year? – 1995

Explanation : The new Act was legislated by the state Assembly in July to replace the stringent Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition (MLTP) Act, 1995, imposed in the state for 19 years. The MLTP Act banned sale and consumption of alcohol in the state. The Mizoram Presbyterian Church, the largest denomination in the Christian-dominated state, played a major role in the enforcement of prohibition. Prohibition is being revoked as the state government is of the view that total prohibition did more harm than good to the people of the state as many people died due to consumption of spurious liquor.



4) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 2 September 2014 announced setting up a small office in the Darjeeling hills to facilitate administrative work for the people of the region. It would be manned by an official from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). What is the name of the special Secretariat for north Bengal that was established by the West Bengal govt. in Siliguri during January 2014? – Uttar Kanya

Explanation : The move to set up the secretariat christened Uttar Kanya in Siliguri was to enable the government prepare project proposals for north Bengal districts on time. There had been a long-standing demand in several quarters for a separate secretariat for north Bengal. The main thrust of their argument was the time it took to travel to Kolkata to get work done at Writers’ Building and at Nabanna in Howrah, which is close to Kolkata.



5) Just ahead of the Asian Games, star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal split with the national head coach Pullela Gopichand. According to the announcement made on 2 September 2014, Nehwal would now train under which coach? –Vimal Kumar

Explanation : Vimal Kumar is a former India coach and Nehwal would move to Bangalore to train under him. Nehwal has been struggling with her form for quite some time now. On the other end, the dramatic rise of teenager PV Sindhu (another Gopichand-trained shuttler) might have forced her to think of other coaching options. In the sports, Saina-Gopi pair is by far the best coach-player partnership in India, which brought many laurels to the country. Gopichand and his academy is based at Hyderabad.



6) What is the name of the Hyderabad resident who created a buzz online by creating the ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ (based on the ALS ice bucket challenge), who has been honoured with an award by iCONGO, an international confederation of NGOs, and the United Nations? – Manjulatha Kalanidhi

Explanation : Manjulatha Kalanidhi created the ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ as an alternative to the highly global and popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ was conceived as an innovative way of feeding the poor by donating buckets of rice. Huge amount of rice was collected and distributed to the needy through Manjulatha’s ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ within days of it being launched. She would be honoured with the Karmaveer Chakra Award and the Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship by iCONGO for doing something small, yet significant, to make a difference in the world.



7) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cancelled licences of five non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) on 2 September 2014. These NBFCs include Unichem Finance & Enterprises Pvt., Shimansu Vyaparik Kendra Ltd., Shree Bhagwati Marketing Private Ltd. and Sureka Teknik Private Limited. All these NBFCs are based in same city. Which city is this? – Kolkata

September 4, 2014

livestock census india

1) What was the overall status of livestock population in the country as stated in the 19th Livestock Census for 2012 released on 3 September 2014? – Overall decline of 3.3% in livestock population as compared to 2007

Explanation : The 19th Livestock Census (2012) published by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries was released on 3 September 2014. The main conclusion in the Census is that during 2012, the total livestock population, consisting of buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and ponies, mules, donkeys, camels, mithun and yak, stood at 512.05 million in 2012 against 529.69 million in 2007. However, the number of milch animals (in-milk and dry), cows and buffaloes, increased from 111.09 million to 118.59 million, up 6.75%, while the number of ‘animals-in–milk’ increased from 77.04 million to 80.52 million, showing an increase of 4.51%. The population of female cattle (cows) also increased to 122.9 million, up 6.52% over the 2007, along with a 7.99% rise in female buffalo population, which stood at 92.5 million in 2012. However, the goat and sheep population registered a decline of 3.82% and 9.07% respectively over the previous census. The camel and donkey population also decreased sharply by 22.48% and 27.22% in 2012, over the 2007 Census. The 19th Livestock Census was conducted during 2012 with reference date 15 October 2012. The first livestock census was carried out in 1919-20 and since then 18 such endeavours have been completed.



2) What was India’s position in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15 that was released on 3 September 2014 by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF)? – 71st

Explanation : India slipped by 11 places in the 2014-15 as against 60th position in the report for 2013-14. India’s position was lowest among the 5 BRICS countries. China, which has improved its position by one place to 28th spot, leads the BRICS grouping. Russia is ranked at 53rd position, followed by South Africa (56th) and Brazil (57th). Switzerland was once again placed as the most competitive economy, followed by Singapore and United States. Other countries in the top ten are Finland (4th), Germany (5th), Japan (6th), Hong Kong SAR (7th), Netherlands (8th), United Kingdom (9th) and Sweden (10th). According to the report, India’s slide in the competitiveness rankings began in 2009, when its economy was still growing at 8.5% (it even grew by 10.3% in 2010).



3) What is the name of the newly launched domain name in Devanagari script that includes 8 Indian languages including Hindi and Marathi? – .bharat domain 

Explanation : The name would have ‘.bharat’ (.भारत) in Hindi script as its extension instead of commonly top level domains such as .com, .net or .in. With the launch, individuals or companies who are interested in owning a website with domain name in Hindi language would be able to book the name in Hindi script. The 8 Indian languages which can have .bharat domain are Bodo (Boro), Dogri, Hindi, Konkani, Maithili, Marathi, Nepali, and Sindhi. However, this domain will be available in all the Indian languages very soon.



4) What is the name of a deadly ‘Trojan’ virus which hacks and steals personal credit and debit card data and is prowling in the Indian cyberspace as announced on 3 September 2014 by Indian cyber security watchdog CERT-In? – “Backoff”

Explanation : “Backoff” is being seen spreading through computer networks which use Windows as their operating systems. It targets Point of Sale (POS) systems and propagates by scanning for systems with remote desktop applications enabled. The virus is capable of stealing customer payment cards data like card holders name, account number, expiration data, CVV code among others from POS systems. The virus is so notorious that it is able to capture keystrokes and communicate with the command and control server for further hacking. CERT-In (Computer Emergency Response Team India) is the nodal agency to combat hacking, phishing and to fortify security-related defences of the Indian Internet domain.



5) Which city sent highest number of students to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) during 2014 as revealed in a detailed analysis by the Joint Implementation Committee (JIT), released by IIT Kharagpur? – Jaipur

Explanation : The other five cities with most number of successful candidates are Delhi, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Patna and Mumbai. The six cities account for 10,882 or 40.07 per cent of the candidates who qualified this year. While 1,26,995 candidates registered this year, 1,19,581 appeared in both papers and 27,152 candidates qualified JEE (Advanced) 2014. 2,780 students qualified as against 10,116 registrations from Jaipur. The data reveals that among the states, which have the maximum candidates qualifying, Andhra Pradesh (18.32%), Rajasthan (15.81%), Uttar Pradesh (12.21%), Maharashtra (8.52%) and Delhi (NCT) (6.61%) occupy the top five positions. The IIT-JEE for 2014 was conducted by IIT Kharagpur.



6) Which auto company introduced Ciaz, its new mid-sized sedan, on 3 September 2014? – Maruti Suzuki

Explanation : Maruti Suzuki, which already dominates the compact cars segment in India, wants to target the top spot in mid-sized sedan category with Ciaz. Maruti Suzuki has twice in the past tried to grab a share of this segment with Baleno and SX4. However, these models failed to make a significant impact. Ciaz would be officially launched during first week of October 2014.



September 5, 2014

vijayawada2

1) The proposed new capital of Andhra Pradesh would be located around which city as announced by state Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on 4 September 2014? – Vijayawada

Explanation : Putting an end to months of suspense, Naidu made a statement in the Legislative Assembly that the new capital of the State would be located around Vijayawada. It was stated that nearly 50% of the representations received by the Sivaramakrishnan Committee (appointed by the Centre) favoured Vijayawada-Guntur region as the best location for the capital area. Sivaramakrishnan Committee was constituted to recommend a suitable place for the proposed capital. The state Cabinet met on 1 September and resolved to locate the capital city in a central place of the State, around Vijayawada, and go for decentralised development of the State with three mega cities and 14 smart cities.



2) Which country on 4 September 2014 launched “New Colombo Plan” to enhance student exchange and collaboration between it and India? – Australia

Explanation : New Colombo Plan was launched by the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the first day of his visit to India on 4 September. The Plan involves a scholarship programme for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grants programme for short and long – term study. It mainly aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study here. The plan will be implemented from the next academic year.



3) What is the name of the largest offshore patrol vessel that was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 4 September 2014? – INS Sumitra

Explanation : The INS Sumitra is Indian Navy’s largest offshore patrol vessel, the fourth in its class and built on an in-house design of the state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). It was commissioned into the Eastern Naval Command fleet of the Indian Navy at Chennai by naval Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan. The ship is fitted with most sophisticated weapons, guns, heavy calibre SRGM, rapid fire Russian AK630 guns, chaff launchers Kavach, electronic warfare system Sanket and various other electronic sensors. All the equipment planned on the warship has been tried and fully operational.



4) What is the name of a new branch of Al-Qaeda that was announced by the group on 4 September 2014 to wage jihad in the Indian subcontinent? –“Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent”

Explanation : “Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent” is the name of the newly constituted sub-group of Al-Qaeda that was announced by As Sahab, al-Qaeda’s official media outlet, in a lengthy video posted on the social media outlets including You Tube on 4 September. It has primarily been established to wage jihad in India and revive its Caliphate and impose Sharia in the Indian sub-continent. Al-Qaeda is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the groups’s leader Ayman al Zawahiri said “Qaedat al-Jihad” would take the fight to India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.



5) What is the name of the Japanese player who defeated Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in the US Open men’s singles quarterfinals to become the first Japanese man in 81 years to reach a grand slam semi-final? – Kei Nishikori

Explanation : Kei Nishikori defeated third seed Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-4 in the quarterfinals on 3 September 2014 to become the first Japanese man in 81 years to make a grand slam semi-final. He thus became the first Japanese man to reach the last four of a grand slam since Jiro Satoh at Wimbledon in 1933. As far as US Open is concerned, the last Japanese to make it into semi-finals was Ichiya kumagae who reached the semi-finals in 1918.




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