Tuesday, 24 February 2015 10:24





Mithripala Sirisena, Health Minister in Rajapaksa government, won the 2015 Presidential Elections of Sri Lanka. The Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya announced the results on 9 January 2015.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from United People's Freedom Alliance got 47.6 percent and Opposition candidate Maithripala Samisen from United National Party got 51.3 percent of the votes polled in the Presidential elections held on 8 January 2015.

Rajapaksa conceding defeat moved out of Templetrees, the official residence of the Sri Lanka President after ruling for ten years.

The results of elections were unexpected and dethroning of incumbent President Rajapaksa, South Asia’s longest serving leader, has come as a surprise to the world community.

Moreover, the results came as a shock to Rajpaksa who had called for snap elections in November 2014 and amended the Constitution of Sri Lanka to stand for a third term. In September 2010, under President Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka passed the eighteenth amendment to the Constitution and removed the two term limit on Presidents.

According to the Constitution of Sri Lanka normal term for President is six years although an incumbent may call an election at any time after four years in office.

Further, the result ends a decade of rule that critics said had become increasingly authoritarian and marred by nepotism and corruption. The election results are seen as the most significant for decades in the island nation and a last chance for democracy.

Election Results and relations with India vis-à-vis China

The winning of Sirisena is seen by many as advantage to India as during the Rajapaksa rule; he had opposed the infrastructure related contracts between the island nation and China.

Moreover, he has announced to scrap many of the contracts between Sri Lanka and China including a new city proposed to be built on reclaimed land off Colombo at a cost of 1.5 billion US dollars.

However, if moderation in Tamil Nadu is not observed, the new government could become a plaything in the hands of the Buddhist clergy.


Australia on 12 January 2015 launched Online Visa Pilot Programme to make it easier for Indian business and tourism visitors to apply online visa for travelling Australia.

The pilot programme has been launched on a trial basis. It covers online lodgement of subclass 600 visas for Indian business and tourism visitors. It will be rolled out through selected travel agents across India.

As per the Tourism 2020 programme of Australian Government, India has the potential to contribute between 1.9 billion US dollars and 2.3 billion US dollars annually to tourism industry by 2020.

This is the reason that the Australian Government has rolled out a trial of online visa applications to capitalize this rapidly growing visitor market and create jobs.


The first Border Haat (market) along Tripura-Bangladesh frontier was opened on 13 January 2015. This haat is located at Srinagar (Tripura, India) - Purba Madhugram (Feni, Bangladesh).

It was inaugurated by Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and her Bangladeshi counterpart Tofaile Ahmed by opening the plaque of the border haat.

This is the third border haat on India-Bangladesh Border. The other two cross border haats with Bangladesh are located on the Meghalaya - Bangladesh border at Kalaichar (India) - Baliamari (Bangladesh) and Balat (India) - Dolora (Bangladesh).

Similar fourth border haat facility is being developed at Tripura's Kamlasagar, bordering Bangladesh's Tarapur Kashba in Brahmanbaria district.

India and Bangladesh on 23 October 2010 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Border Haats and Border Trade along the India-Bangladesh border.  The MoU permits traders of border communities of both India and Bangladesh to trade in local produce and transact business worth 100 US dollar per day.


India –China trade deficit increased to 37.8 billion US dollars in 2014 despite the increase in bilateral trade by 7.9 percent. The annual trade figures were released by General Administration of Customs (GAC) of China on 13 January 2015.

The total bilateral trade volume increased to 70.59 billion US dollars in 2014 from 65.57 billion US dollars in 2013 registering an increase of 5.02 billion US dollars amid increasing exports of China to India.

India-China trade increased all time high of 73.9 billion US dollars in 2011 but declined to 66.57 billion US dollars in 2012 and 65.49 billion US dollars in 2013.

China’s export to India surged to 54.2 billion US dollars, posting a 12 percent increase while India’s exports to China decelerated to 16.4 billion US dollars, posting a decline of 3.5 percent. Total export of India to China stood at 17.04 billion US dollars in 2013.

India and China had fixed a trade target of 100 billion US dollars for the year 2014.


Pope Francis on 14 January 2015 cannonised Joseph Vaz, the first saint of Sri Lanka. Joseph Vaz was beatified by Pope John Paul in 1995. Pope Francis cannonised Saint Joseph Vaz in presence of hundreds of thousands of people packed on a Colombo oceanfront during his visit to Sri Lanka.

The Pope told the hushed crowd that Vaz was an example of religious tolerance relevant to Sri Lanka.

About Saint Joseph Vaz

He was born in 1651 in Goa. He was captured as a suspected spy after he crept into the tropical island in disguise.

Vaz spent five years secretly preaching in the lush lowlands before making his way to the Kingdom of Kandy in the highland rainforests.

He was detained for nearly a year until he convinced the powerful Buddhist king that he was a priest.

King Vimaladharmasuriya II protected him from the Dutch and Vaz's reputation was further bolstered when he was said to have made rain during a drought.

Vaz remained in Kandy until his death aged 60 in 1711, by which time the Church says he had converted 30000 people and created a network of priests, almost single-handedly re-establishing Catholicism in Ceylon.

Process of Cannonisation

Cannonisation is the act by which the Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodox Church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints.

Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process. Later, different processes, such as those used by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church were developed.

There are four steps to canonization that the saints have to go through:

Servant of God   →   Venerable   →   Blessed   →   Saint

Five years after a person dies, a bishop can request that he or she be considered for canonization. The first step is to collect the testimony of witnesses who can recount facts about the person's exercise of Christian virtues. At that point the person can be given the title of Servant of God, or Venerable.

After more investigation the Congregation for the Cause of Saints can recommend to the pope that the person be beatified. This means that the person can be honored in public worship limited to a specific diocese or area. After beatification the person receives the title Blessed.

Finally the Congregation can recommend canonization. When the pope canonizes a person, he declares that the person can be looked on as a model of Christian virtue and can be honored in the public worship of the universal church. After canonization the person who was named Blessed acquires the title of Saint.


Union Government in the second week of January 2015 identified five areas for rejuvenating the holy city under the Kyoto-Varanasi partnership deal signed between India and Japan in August 2014.

Japan will extend its expertise to help in rejuvenating Varanasi under the Kyoto-Varanasi partnership deal.

The identified areas include

• Solid-liquid waste management

• Transport management

• Developing the Buddhist tourist circuit in and around Varanasi

• Industry-university interface

• Setting up of a convention centre on public-private partnership basis for giving a fillip to the cultural activities in the city

Earlier in 2014, Union government had sanctioned a sum of 80 crore rupees for Varanasi under the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (Hriday).

The Varanasi-Kyoto partnership deal is a part of Sister City Cooperation that was signed between India and Japan during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five-day visit to Japan in August 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a Member of Parliament from Lok Sabha seat of Varanasi.

Varanasi and Kyoto are one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world.

Varanasi on the one hand is called the cultural capital of India and is the oldest living city in the world. On the other hand, Kyoto is a place of ancient temples and shrines and practically called the cultural centre of Japan. It has been the Capital of Japan till the end of Nara Period (794 AD) after which the emperor moved to Tokyo.


World Bank Group on 13 January 2015 released its bi-annual Global Economic Prospects (GEP) Report, January 2015.

According to the report, global growth in 2014 has been disappointing as in previous three years; however, developing countries should see an uptick in growth in 2015.

The growth in developing countries will get a boost in part by soft oil prices, a stronger U.S. economy, continued low global interest rates, and receding domestic headwinds in several large emerging markets.

The Report has projected that India will be a major beneficiary of lower oil prices and growth is set to accelerate to 6.4 percent in 2015 and 7 percent by 2016.

Highlights of GEP Report, January 2015

  • Global economy grew by an estimated 2.6 percent in 2014 and is projected to expand by 3 percent in 2015, 3.3 percent in 2016 and 3.2 percent in 2017.
  • High income countries are likely to see growth of 2.2 percent in 2015-17, up from 1.8 percent in 2014, on the back of gradually recovering labour markets, ebbing fiscal consolidation, and still low financing costs.
  • Developing countries grew by 4.4 percent in 2014 and are expected to expand up to 4.8 percent in 2015, strengthening to 5.3 and 5.4 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
  • Compared with the June 2014 Global Economic Prospects, global growth was revised down by 0.2 percentage point in 2014 to 2.6 percent, 0.4 percentage point to 3 percent in 2015
  • The recovery gained traction in the United States and the United Kingdom but is struggling in the Euro Area and Japan, while a carefully managed slowdown is underway in China. But the recovery has been sputtering in the Euro Area and Japan as legacies of the financial crisis linger.
  • Growth in the United States is expected to accelerate to 3.2 percent in 2015 from 2.4 percent in 2014, before moderating to 3 and 2.4 percent in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
  • China’s growth is expected to slow down to a still-robust 7.1 percent in 2015, 7 percent in 2016 and 6.9 percent in 2017.

Risks to Global Outlook in 2015-16

  • Risks to this slow-moving global recovery are significant and tilted to the downside. Four factors pose significant risk to the global economic growth in 2014-15. These are
  • Persistently weak global trade.
  • Possibility of financial market volatility as interest rates in major economies rise on varying timelines.
  • Extent to which low oil prices strain balance sheets in oil-producing countries.
  • Prolonged period of stagnation or deflation in the Euro Area or Japan.

India and GEP Report, January 2015

Amongst large middle-income countries that will benefit from lower oil prices is India, where growth is expected to accelerate to 6.4 percent in 2015 from 5.6 percent in 2014, rising to 7 percent in 2016-17. Indian economy had slowed to sub-five per cent growth in the previous two financial years of 2014 and 2013.

After the initiatives like Make in India campaign the economy had started showing signs of revival as it expanded by 5.7 per cent and 5.3 per cent in the second and third quarter of 2014-15.

Regional Highlights of GEP Report, January 2015

East Asia and Pacific region

The East Asia and Pacific region continued its gradual adjustment to slower but more balanced growth. Regional growth slipped to 6.9 percent in 2014 as a result of policy tightening and political tensions that offset a rise in exports in line with the ongoing recovery in some high-income economies.

The report predicted the growth to 6.7 percent in 2015 and a stable outlook thereafter, reflecting a gradual slowdown in China, which will be offset by a pick-up in the rest of the region in 2016-17.

In the rest of the region, excluding China, growth will strengthen to 5.5 percent by 2017 (from 4.6 percent in 2014) supported by firming exports, improved political stability, and strengthening investment.

Europe and Central Asia

The report predicted regional growth rebound to 3 percent in 2015, 3.6 percent in 2016 and 4 percent in 2017 but with considerable divergence.

Recession in Russia holds back growth in Commonwealth of Independent States whereas a gradual recovery in the Euro Area should lift growth in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey. In contrast, growth in Turkey exceeded expectations despite slowing to 3.1 percent.

Latin America and Caribbean

South America slowed sharply as domestic factors, exacerbated by economic slowdown in major trading partners and declining global commodity prices, took their toll on some of the largest economies in the region.

In contrast, growth in North and Central America was robust, lifted by strengthening activity in the United States.

Strengthening exports on the back of the continued recovery among high-income countries and robust capital flows should lift regional GDP growth to an average of around 2.6 percent in 2015-17.

Middle East and North Africa

Regional growth is expected to pick up gradually to 3.5 percent in 2017 from 1.2 percent in 2014.

Following years of turmoil, some economies in the Middle East and North Africa appear to be stabilizing, although growth remains fragile and uneven.

Growth in oil-importing countries was broadly flat in 2014, while activity in oil-exporting countries recovered slightly after contracting in 2013. Fiscal and external imbalances remain significant.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Growth is expected to remain flat in 2015 at 4.6 percent (lower than previously expected), largely due to softer commodity prices, and rise gradually to 5.1 percent by 2017, supported by infrastructure investment, increased agriculture production, and buoyant services.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, growth picked up only moderately in 2014 to 4.5 percent, reflecting a slowdown in several of the region’s large economies, notably South Africa.

South Asia

In South Asia, growth rose to an estimated 5.5 percent in 2014 from a 10-year low of 4.9 percent in 2013. The upturn was driven by India, the region’s largest economy, which emerged from two years of modest growth.

Regional growth is projected to rise to 6.8 percent by 2017, as reforms ease supply constraints in India, political tensions subside in Pakistan, remittances remain robust in Bangladesh and Nepal, and demand for the region’s exports firms.


Japan committed to provide an Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) loan of 2620 crore rupees (50 billion Yen) to India. The notification related to this was released by the Union Ministry of Finance on 16 January 2015.

The loan amount will support infrastructure projects that will be implemented in public-private partnership mode.

The loan will be provided by Japan International Commerce Agency to the India Infrastructure Finance Company (IIFC) to support infrastructure projects built on public-private partnership mode.

The commitment to provide the ODA loan was part of pledge made by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five-day visit to Japan. Modi visited Japan in August – September 2014.

India-Japan Economic Relations

Since the formation of Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, the economic relations between India and Japan has catapulted to a new high.

According to Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in October 2014, the number of Japanese companies in India reached 1209, which is 13 percent higher over the same period in 2013.

Further in last five years, that is, during 2010 - 2014, the numbers of Japanese companies doing business in India have shown a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 13.67 percent.

During the period June 2014 to September 2014, FDI inflow from Japan rose to 618 million US dollars from 273 million US dollars during the corresponding period in 2013. The FDI inflow from Japan stood at 103.14 million US dollars in October 2014.

In a recent survey made public by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), India has been ranked as the top destination for future investments from Japan.


A public sector enterprise under the Union Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) on 19 January 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Cooperation with the Black Business Council (BBC) of South Africa.

The MoU was signed during the Conference on Cooperation in MSME Sector organized by NSIC and the High Commission of India in cooperation with Black Business Council.

Highlights of the agreement

• The agreement was signed for developing youth owned enterprises in South Africa.

• The MoU, besides cooperation in MSME sector, also focuses on BBC's efforts to economically empower the marginalized group in South Africa through NSIC's Rapid Incubation Programme.

• BBC plans to establish 5 Rapid Incubation Centres in South Africa in cooperation with NSIC.

India-South Africa

India-South Africa cooperation is about sharing knowledge and expertise, exchange of best practices, supporting innovation and building capacity and skills.

The two nations have great prospects for synergizing their complementarities in areas of industry, services, trade and technology especially in the field of Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

South Africa as a member of Southern African Development Community can be a good partner for Indian businesses. Similarly, India offers South African companies an excellent location for addressing the huge domestic Indian market as well as the wider Asian market.


India-US on 25 January 2015 declared Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region. The joint vision was signed during the visit of US President Barack Obama.

Joint Strategic Vision aimed to promote peace, prosperity and stability in Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region.

Both the countries agreed to work together to

• Promote accelerated infrastructure connectivity and economic development in a manner that links South, Southeast and Central Asia.

• Enhanced energy transmission and encouraging free trade and greater people-to-people linkages.

• Affirm the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea as regional prosperity depends on security.

• To promote the shared values that have made both the countries countries great, recognizing their interests in peace, prosperity and stability are well served by their common commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

• To strengthen the East Asia Summit on its tenth anniversary to promote regional dialogue on key political and security issues, and to work together to strengthen it.

• The countries oppose terrorism, piracy, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction within or from the region.

• The countries call on all parties to avoid the threat or use of force and pursue resolution of territorial and maritime disputes through all peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

• To achieve this regional vision, both sides will develop a roadmap that leverages their respective efforts to increase ties among Asian powers, it will enable both nations to better respond to diplomatic, economic and security challenges in the region.

• Also, over the next five years, both sides have committed to strengthen regional dialogues, invest in trilateral consultations with third countries in the region more robust, deepen regional integration, strengthen regional forums, explore additional multilateral opportunities for engagement, and pursue areas where we can build capacity in the region that bolster long-term peace and prosperity for all.


United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 29 January 2015 released Global Investment Trend Monitor Report. The report provides the global investments trend in 2014 and prospects of global investments in 2015.

The report highlights that Global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows declined by 8 percent in 2014 to an estimated 1.26 trillion US dollars due to the fragility of the global economy, political uncertainty and geopolitical risks.

In 2014, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow in India increased by 26 percent to an estimated 35 billion US dollar with maximum growth in the services sector, despite the decline in global FDI inflows.

Main Highlights of the Report

  • FDI flows to developed countries dropped by 14 percent to an estimated 511 billion US dollar, which was significantly affected by large divestment in the United States
  • FDI flows to the European Union (EU) reached an estimated 267 billion US dollar, which was 13 percent increase on 2013, but is still only one-third of the 2007 peak
  • FDI flows to transition economies more than halved to 45 billion US dollar, this happened due to regional conflict, sanctions on the Russian Federation. The negative growth prospects deterred foreign investors (especially from developed countries) from investing in the region
  • FDI inflows in developing economies reached a new high of more than 700 billion US dollar, which was 4 percent higher than 2013, with global share of 56 percent
  • At the regional level, flows to developing Asia were up, to Africa remained flat, while FDI to Latin America declined
  • Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) rose by 19 percent, driven mainly by restructuring deals.
  • In 2014, Greenfield investment projects rose by 3 percent

Top five FDI recipients’ country of 2014

In 2014, China was the largest recipient of FDI with an increase of 3 percent FDI. As largest recipient of FDI, China replaced the US, a position that was held by it since 1980s.

Among the top five FDI recipients in the world, four are developing economies, the rankings is:

  • China with 128 billion US dollar
  • Hong Kong with 111 billion US dollar
  • The United States with 86 billion US dollar
  • Singapore with 81 billion US dollar
  • Brazil with 62 billion US dollar

Report in context of India

In 2014 FDI flow in India increased by 26 percent to an estimated 35 billion US dollar with maximum growth in the services sector, despite the decline in global Foreign Direct Investment inflows.

Maximum growth was witnessed in services sector especially in electricity, gas, water, waste management and information and communication. This figure is one of the highest in recent years, though in 2008 FDI peaked in India with 47 billion dollars followed by 35.6 billion dollar in 2009.

FDI prospects in 2015

According to the report, FDI flows in 2015 will be negatively influenced, due to subdued global economic outlook, volatility in currency and commodity markets and elevated geopolitical risks.

The report also says FDI flows will be favoured by the strengthening of economic growth in the United States, the demand-boosting effects of lower oil prices and proactive monetary policy in the Eurozone, coupled with increased liberalization and promotion measures.





Know-Your-Customers (KYC) rules for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) were relaxed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 2 January 2015.

The KYC rules were amended for NBFC’s due to practical difficulties and constraints being faced by them in getting KYC documents at frequent intervals.

As per RBI notification, the KYC exercise will be required to be done in three ways and they are

• For high-risk individuals and entities – in at least every 2 years

• For medium risk individuals and entities - in at least every 8 years

• For low risk individuals and entities – in at least every 10 years

These time limits will be adjusted by taking into account whether and when client due diligence measures have previously been undertaken and the adequacy of data were obtained. However, physical presence of clients may not be insisted at such periodic updations.

Previous norms said that the NBFC’s should undertake KYC once in every 5 years for low risk category customers and once in two years for both high and medium risk categories.


The global financial services firm Nomura on 5 January 2015 forecasted that Indian Economy will grow at 5.5 percent during the financial year (FY) 2015-16 and 6.6 percent during FY 2016-17.

The firm also forecasted that Indian Economy will also recover in FY 2015-2016. The recovery is likely to get support from easing inflationary pressures and measures towards economic reforms.

On Inflation, the report noted that input costs have moderated due to lower commodity prices, which along with still-subdued demand, has kept output prices stable.

However, the report noted that the period of a positive base effect on CPI inflation is over and CPI inflation is expected to rise from 4.4 percent in November 2014 to 5.5-6.0 percent in the next three months, before moderating back towards 5 percent after March 2015.

About Nomura

Nomura Holdings Inc. is a Japanese financial holding company and a principal member of the Nomura Group. It provides investment, financing and related services to individual, institutional and government customers on a global basis with an emphasis on securities businesses.

In October 2008, the company acquired Lehman Brothers Holdings’ investment banking and equities unit in Asia and Europe.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 15 January 2015 announced sixth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement. RBI in its bi-monthly monetary policy statement cut its main lending rate (Repo Rate) by 0.25 per cent with immediate effect. This is the first rate cut from the RBI since 2013.

With this, repo rate will now prevail at 7.75 percent from previous 8 percent. The RBI rate cut comes just two weeks before its scheduled policy review on 3 February 2015.

Based on the assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the following changes has been taken

Repo Rate: Reduced Repo rate under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 8.0 percent to 7.75 percent with immediate effect

• Reverse Repo Rate under the LAF: Stands adjusted to 6.75 percent

• Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR): Kept unchanged at 4.0 percent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL)

• Marginal standing facility (MSF) rate: 8.75 percent

• Bank Rate: 8.75 percent

Why the rate cut was necessitated?

• Inflationary pressures (measured by changes in the consumer price index) have been easing, since July 2014

• The path of inflation, while below the expected trajectory, has been consistent

• Inflation has been lower than expected due to sharp decline in prices of vegetables and fruits since September 2014 and receded pressures in respect of cereals and the large fall in international commodity prices, particularly crude oil

• It seems that the crude prices is expected to remain low over the year due to geo-political shocks

About Policy Rates

Basis Points: It is the increase in interest rates in percentage terms. For instance, if the interest rate increases by 50 basis points (bsp), then it means that interest rate has been increase by 50%.

• Repo Rate: It is the rate at which commercial banks borrow from the RBI by selling their securities or financial assets to the RBI for a short-period of time. The repo rate is used by the central bank to increase liquidity in the system.

• Reverse Repo Rate: It is the rate of interest at which the central bank borrows funds from other banks for a short duration. The banks deposit their short term excess funds with the central bank and earn interest on it. This rate is used by the central bank to absorb liquidity from the economy. Generally it is one percentage less than the Repo rate.

• Bank Rate: The only way the bank rate is different from the repo rate is that the bank rate is the rate at which banks borrow money from the central bank without any sale of securities. It is generally for a longer period of time.

• Cash Reserve Ratio: CRR is the minimum percentage of cash deposits that banks must keep with the central bank. The current rate is 4%, which means for a cash deposit of 100 rupees, the bank has to park 4 rupee with the central bank.

• Marginal Standing Facility: The Reserve Bank of India in its monetary policy for 2011-12 introduced the marginal standing facility under which banks could borrow funds from RBI when there is a considerable shortfall of liquidity. This measure has been introduced by RBI to regulate short-term asset liability mismatches more effectively. Under this facility, banks can borrow up to 1% of their net demand.

• Liquidity Adjustment Facility: Under this facility, banks borrow from the central bank by pledging government securities. Repo rate and Reverse repo rate are part of it.

• Statutory Liquidity Ratio: This is the percentage of deposits that banks must mandatorily hold in the form of government bonds. SLR bonds are liquid assets that can be sold at a short notice to meet any unexpected demand from depositors.


United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on 19 January 2015 released World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2015 report. The report projects that the regional growth will pick up in 2015-16, as average GDP growth will accelerate from 5.0 percent in 2014 to 5.3 percent in 2015 and 5.7 percent in 2016.

The report has highlighted that the South Asia’s economic growth is set to reach a four-year high in 2015. The average gross domestic product (GDP) growth of South Asia accelerated from 3.7 percent in 2013 to 4.9 percent in 2014, and is projected to strengthen further to 5.4 percent in 2015 and 5.7 per cent in 2016.

It expects that the recovery will be led by a pick-up in growth in India, which accounts for about 70 percent of regional output.

The report in context of other Asian countries like Bangladesh and the Islamic Republic of Iran said that they will also see growth in the forecast period.

It says that growth supported by the robust external demand is expected to be underpinned by a moderate strengthening of domestic consumption and investment.

Report in context of India

WESP 2015 report said that India will see gradual growth acceleration in its GDP which is expected to reach 5.9 percent in 2015 and 6.3 percent in 2016. It says that it is expected that the recovery will be led by India.

India’s economy expanded in 2014 estimated by 5.4 percent, which improved from growth of 5.0 percent recorded in 2013.

The report said that the recovery is partly the result of improved market sentiment and plans to reform the bureaucracy, labour laws and public subsidies after the new administration took office in the second quarter of 2014.
About United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report

WESP report is published annually at the beginning of the year by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the five UN regional commissions and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).


Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on 19 January 2015 inked a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) with Pan-IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology) to work towards a collective R&D Programme for Developing Indigenous Technologies to enhance Exploration and Exploitation of Hydrocarbons and Alternate Sources of Energy.

Pan IIT is a consortium of seven premier Indian Institutes of Technology namely, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Madras, IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Guwahati and IIT-Roorkee.

The agreement was signed in Delhi in presence of Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani and the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan. The MoC is a response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative.

The two institutes have identified seven thematic areas and sub-topics under the MoC. The identified thematic areas includes

• Geological and Geophysical studies

• Reservoir characterization, modeling and simulation

• Oil and Gas Production and Recovery Enhancement

• Software Development

• Unconventional Energy Resources

• Engineering solutions/tools and technology development

• Alternate Energy researches have been identified by both

The programme will be funded by the ONGC and shall take advantage of the available infrastructure and manpower of the IITs and ONGC. The two institutes have agreed to

• Develop indigenous technologies

• Engage in sustained research

• Capacity building aimed at a multi-pronged approach

• Transform their experiential based learning in this core sector


Shanta Kumar Committee on 21 January 2015 submitted its report on restructuring of Food Corporation of India (FCI) to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Prime Minister asked the Department of Food and Public Distribution to give its comments on the report so that the recommendations can be implemented in a time-bound manner.

Recommendations of the Shanta Kumar Committee

•  FCI procurement should focus on eastern belt, where farmers do not get minimum support price.

• FCI should hand over procurement of wheat and rice to six States which include Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

• Grain storage needs to be outsourced to private and government agencies like state-owned Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs) and private organisations.

• Proposed uniform tax of minimum 3 percent and maximum 4 percent on wheat and rice and the same to be included in the minimum support price (MSP). In Punjab, this tax rate on wheat and rice as of now is 14.5 percent.

• To strengthen distribution of foodgrains, there needs to be end-to-end computerisation and a vigilance committee needs to be set up. At present, the leakage in Public Distribution System is estimated at 13.7 percent.

• Recommended cash transfer in 52 cities having 1 million or more population in two years and also asked the government to give deficit states the option of either supplying grain or cash transfer.

• Called for encouraging private investment in logistics in next two-three years and suggested bulk handling of foodgrains through grain trains.

The eight-member High Level Committee on FCI restructuring chaired by Shanta Kumar was set up in August 2014. 
The members of the committee are FCI Chairman-cum-Managing Director C Viswanath, Electronic and IT Secretary Ram Sewak Sharma, Former Chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) Ashok Gulati, Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Chhattisgarh; and Academicians G Raghuram and Gunmadi Nancharaiah of IIM-Ahmedabad and Hyderabad University respectively.

The Terms of Reference of the Committee were:

• To examine the present day administrative, functional and financial structure of FCI

• To examine the modus operandi of its various operations

• To suggest a model for restructuring FCI to improve its operational efficiency and financial management
• To suggest measures for overall improvement in management of foodgrains by FCI.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information with Brazil’s Central Bank, Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) on 26 December 2014.

The information related to MoU was announced by RBI through its notification released on 27 January 2015.

The MoU was signed by Anthero de Moraes Meirelles, Deputy Governor for Supervision, BCB and SS Mundra, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India.

The Reserve Bank has been signing the Memorandum of Understanding/ Exchange of Letters/Statement of Co-operation with supervisors of other countries to promote greater co-operation and sharing of supervisory information among the authorities.

With this the Reserve Bank has signed 23 such MoUs, one Letter for Supervisory Cooperation and one Statement of Cooperation (SoC) with regulators/supervisors of other countries.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 30 January 2015 constituted a High Powered Committee to re-examine and recommend appropriate set of businesses, size, conversion and licensing terms for the Urban Cooperative Banking (UCB) Sector.

The eight-member committee will be chaired by R Gandhi, the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India. It will submit its report within three months from the date of its first meeting.

The composition of the High Powered Committee will be

• R Gandhi, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India – Chairman

• MA Narmawala, Commissioner for Co-operation & Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Gujarat

• MV Tanksale, Chief Executive, Indian Banks’ Association

• Dr. ML Abhyankar, President, National Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks (NAFCUB)

• SK Banerji, Managing Director, Saraswat Cooperative Bank Ltd

• D Krishna, Former Chief Executive, NAFCUB

• Suma Varma, Principal Chief General Manager, DCBR, Reserve Bank of India will be the Member Secretary

• Joseph Raj, Joint Legal Adviser, Legal Department, Reserve Bank of India shall be a permanent invitee

The Terms of Reference of the High Powered Committee

• It will examine the lines of businesses that UCBs may be permitted to undertake and their benchmark in terms of business, capital requirement, regulatory regime and others

• Examine the limited legal powers and resolution options available to know the appropriate size up to which a UCB may be able to grow without undue risk to the system, under the current regulatory framework

• To suggest the criteria (legal framework) for allowing voluntary conversion by a UCB and what should be the benchmarks for mandatory conversion of UCB to a Joint Stock Bank.

• Examine whether the time is opportune to give license to new UCBs as per the recommendations of the Expert Committee on Licensing of New UCBs, (Malegam Committee) and if so the modalities of taking forward the recommendations of Malegam Committee

• To assure that confidence regarding proper management is generated among investors

• To determine the modalities of implementing the suggestion of the Malegam Committee that 50 percent in value of deposits should be held by voting members. Alternatively propose a feasible structure that puts majority voting in the hands of contributors of funds

The Committee was formed in accordance to the recommendation made by the Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) on UCBs in its meeting held on 20 October 2014.

SAC is an advisory body that is periodically convened by the RBI. It is chaired by DG-in-charge of the Department of Cooperative Bank Regulation (DCBR) and has representatives from the co-operative sector, Registrars of Co-operative Societies of select States and IBA as its members.


ICICI Group celebrated completion of 60 years with the launch of a ‘Digital Village’ initiative in the village of Akodara in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district. This initiative is centred around 3Cs – a Cashless payment ecosystem; a Comprehensive approach spanning education, healthcare & skill development; and making the village Connected, with a wi-fi tower and internet & social media presence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the ICICI Digital Village to the nation on 2 January 2015.

Zomato Media Pvt, a New Delhi-based restaurant and dining Web portal, has acquired Urbanspoon from IAC/InterActiveCorp to gain a foothold in the US and Australian markets and push forward with a global expansion.

Banglore-based marketing and analytics platform, ZipDial, has been acquired by Twitter for an undisclosed amount. ZipDial, which was founded in 2010 by Valerie Wagoner (CEO), Amiya Pathak (COO) and Sanjay Swamy (chairman and investor), allows people to give a missed call to a toll-free number to start receiving content like SMS messages, voice calls or app notifications from brands or their favoutite celebrities or organisations.

Wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy Ltd said it had agreed to sell its German unit Senvion SE to Centerbridge Partners LP for 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion) in an all-cash deal that will help the group reduce its debt.

Mobile operator Bharti Airtel will apply for a payment bank licence, while private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank will have a 19.9 percent stake in the proposed banking venture. Airtel’s proposed tie-up with Kotak is the first formal partnership announced by an existing lender and a non-bank entity aspiring to get into the space.  The payments banks are aimed to encourage savings and help with the remittances, although RBI has put a cap on the stake which can be held by commercial banks in such entities. Airtel Money, launched in 2011 was the first mobile based prepaid payment instrument service in the country.

Existing non-bank lenders, prepaid payment instrument issuers, corporate business correspondents, mobile telephone companies and super market chains have been allowed by the RBI to set up payment banks, which would not have the entire range of banking services offered by full-fledged banks.  As per RBI norms, those seeking to set up payment banks would need minimum ₹ 100 crores of capital and fulfill the necessary ‘fit and proper’ criteria, among other conditions.  The payment banks will initially be restricted to holding a maximum balance of ₹1,00,000 per individual customer.  They will be allowed to issue ATM/debit cards as also other prepaid payment instruments, but not the credit cards.  They can also distribute non-risk sharing simple financial products like mutual funds and insurance products, but non-resident Indians will not be allowed to open accounts.



Forbes Magazine on 5 January 2015 released its fourth annual The 30 Under 30 List in New York, US. The list features 600 young disruptors, innovators and entrepreneurs from 20 industries who are transforming the world.

The list has been prepared by a panel of expert judges in their respective fields. Some of the judges include Steve Ballmer in Sports, Daniel Ek in Technology, Sara Blakely and Tommy Hilfiger in Retail & E-commerce.

As per the 30 Under 30 list of 2015, around 16 percent of the 600 young disruptors are either dropped out or never attended college, 19 percent are immigrants and 83 percent have a middle-class or low-income background.

Further, the average age of young innovators on the 30 Under 30 List who knew exactly what they wanted to be is 14 years.

Some of the names on the 30 Under 30 List

  • Palmer Luckey: 22-year-old, founder of Oculus VR, who at 21, sold his company to Facebook for 2 billion US dollars, netting himself over 500 million US dollars in the process.
  • Blake Lively: 27-year old actress and entrepreneur
  • James Harden: NBA All-Star at the age of 25
  • Michelle Phan: 27-year old Digital entrepreneur
  • Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin: 28-year old co-founders of TheSkimm
  • Ryan Israel: 29-year old Pershing Square Capital Management Partner
  • Emily Weiss: 29-year old Glossier founder
  • Sam Altman: 29-year old Y Combinator President
  • Austin McChord: 29-year old founder of Datto
  • Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre: 29-year old co-founders of Ecovative cofounders
  • Emma Watson: Harry Potter actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador

Indians on the 30 Under 30 List

44 Indians and people of Indian-origin, including technology wizards, inventors and policymakers, have been named in the list. Some of them include:

  • Ishveen Anand: 29-year-old founder of OpenSponsorship, which is the first online platform to facilitate sponsorship agreements by connecting brands with pro-sports rights holders like leagues and teams. The group currently includes Indian cricket captain M S Dhoni and F1 team Force India.
  • Vijay Chudasama: 28-year old who is working in one of the hottest areas for new biotechnology drugs of combining antibodies with other medicines.
  • Vinith Misra: 27-year old who is working on the Chef Watson machine, which applies artificial intelligence to create new recipes.
  • Vivek Ravisankar: 27-year old co-founder of HackerRank, a service company that can use coding challenges to find new engineering talent.
  • Deepika Kurup: 16-year old who invented an inexpensive method of purifying water that utilises sunlight and a photo-catalytic composite of titanium dioxide and silver nitrate.
  • Nitesh Banta: 28-year old cofounder of Rough Draft Ventures that helps student entrepreneurs receive up to 25000 US dollars to start a company.
  • Ankur Jain: 24-year old co-founder of Humin', an app that organises contacts, social networks and calendars into a neat, searchable interface
  • Avinash Gandhi: 26-year old who is making waves in Hollywood as an agent for talent agency William Morris Endeavour
  • Partha Unnava: 22-year old CEO of Better Walk which develop a better set of crutches that do not hurt people's armpits.
  • Aman Advani: 26-year old co-founder  of Ministry of Supply, a men's fashion company that has developed shirts that use NASA-developed technology to manage heat and moisture.
  • Nikhil Agarwal: 28-year- old, Assistant professor at MIT
  • Vikrum Aiyer: Deputy Chief of Staff for the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property
  • Niraj Antani: 23-year old Ohio state representative
  • Rahul Rekhi: 23-year-old, who is currently working to develop an UN-level treaty on antibiotic resistance policy.


Avijit Ghosh on 1 January 2015 took over the charge of Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC). He is the 21st CMD of HEC which is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).

He succeeded R. Misra whose tenure of three year ended on 31 December 2014.

His appointment was confirmed by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) under the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The board had recommended his name on 26 June 2014.

Prior to this, he was serving as the Director (Mining) of Hindustan Copper Limited.

He also served as the Assistant Vice-President of Jindal Steel and Power Limited and was posted in Ranchi before he joined Hindustan Copper Limited as its Director (mining) in 2010.

Ghosh also held key managerial positions in a number of private and public sector companies. He was adjudged Eminent Mining Engineer by the Institution of Engineers (India) in 2012. He is a pass out from St John's School in Ranchi and an alumnus of Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad.

About Heavy Engineering Corporation

HEC was established in the year 1958 as one of the largest Integrated Engineering Complex in India. Headquartered in Ranchi, it manufactures and supplies capital equipments and machineries and renders project execution required for core sector industries.


Avijit Ghosh on 1 January 2015 took over the charge of Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC). He is the 21st CMD of HEC which is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).

He succeeded R. Misra whose tenure of three year ended on 31 December 2014.

His appointment was confirmed by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) under the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The board had recommended his name on 26 June 2014.

Prior to this, he was serving as the Director (Mining) of Hindustan Copper Limited.

He also served as the Assistant Vice-President of Jindal Steel and Power Limited and was posted in Ranchi before he joined Hindustan Copper Limited as its Director (mining) in 2010.

Ghosh also held key managerial positions in a number of private and public sector companies. He was adjudged Eminent Mining Engineer by the Institution of Engineers (India) in 2012. He is a pass out from St John's School in Ranchi and an alumnus of Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad.

About Heavy Engineering Corporation

HEC was established in the year 1958 as one of the largest Integrated Engineering Complex in India. Headquartered in Ranchi, it manufactures and supplies capital equipments and machineries and renders project execution required for core sector industries.


Deepak Parekh was on 12 January 2015 appointed as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of BAE Systems India (Services) Private Limited with effect from 1 January 2015.

Presently, Deepak Parekh is the Chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC).

Deepak Parekh

• In 1978, Parekh joined HDFC Ltd as Deputy General Manager and then went on to become its Chairman in 1993.

• Deepak Parekh was the Non-Executive Chairman of Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd (IDFC), an Indian Government enterprise for infrastructure projects in 1997.

• He is also the Non-Executive Chairman of Glaxo India Ltd & Burroughs Wellcome (India) Ltd and on the Board of Castrol India Limited , Hindustan Unilever, Siemens Ltd, Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian Hotels Company and SingTel.

• Parekh is also an advisory board member of AIESEC India and US Engineering consultancy giant, AECOM.

• Parekh was appointed as a member of the BAE Systems’s Independent Advisory Board for India association in 2010.

• Indian Government honoured Parekh’s performance with the Padma Bhushan in 2006.


Tarun Rai was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of J Walter Thompson South Asia. The appointment was announced on 14 January 2015 by the J Walter Thompson (JWT) company. JWT is an advertising agency.

He replaced Colvyn Harris who has been elevated to the role of Executive Director, Global growth and Client development.  Both will report to Gustavo Martinez, Global CEO of JWT.

Rai in his role of CEO of South Asia will look after India, Sri Lanka and Nepal region as well as Indian companies of J Walter Thompson which includes Contract Advertising, Hungama Digital Services, J. Walter Thompson Mindset, Encompass and Social Wavelength.

Prior to this appointment, Rai served as CEO of Worldwide Media since 2008. Before 2008, he was associated with JWT wherein he helped build brands like Hindustan Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Diageo, Pizza Hut, De Beers, Tata Steel, Nestlé, Hero, Godrej and Kellogg’s.

Rai is an alumnus of London School of Economics and has been associated with advertising and media for more than 25 years.


Siddhartha Chatterjee was on 14 January 2015 appointed as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Persistent Systems Ltd with effect from 14 January 2015 itself.

Chatterjee will be based at the United States branch of the company.

Siddhartha Chatterjee

• Chatterjee is a graduate in Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

• Chatterjee has served as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1994 to 2001.

• He had also served as a post-doctoral scientist at the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science (RIACS) at Moffett Field, California from 1991 to 1994.

• Chatterjee served for 13 years at various divisions in International Business Machines Corp. (IBM).

Persistent Systems Ltd

• Persistent Systems Ltd was founded in 1990 by IIT Kharagpur alumnus Anand Deshpande.

• The company develops software solutions in next-generation technology areas, including analytics, Big Data, cloud computing, mobility and social.

• With over 7000 employees on board, the company has offices and delivery centres across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

• In India, Persistent Systems Ltd operates at the offices in Bangalore, Nagpur, Goa and Hyderabad.


Eicher Motors on 19 January 2015 appointed Rudratej Singh as President of Royal Enfield. He will report to Eicher Motors Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer Siddhartha Lal.

Earlier, he was based in Singapore with Unilever as Vice-President — South Asia, HPC & Foods Marketing Operations.

As President, he will be responsible for building thought leadership for the brand and leading the commercial business for Royal Enfield.

It would include global sales and after-sales, brand and marketing, new product strategy and creating and growing new business opportunities such as apparel, accessories, and other adjacencies.

His experience in marketing mix development and managing brand equity along with global perspective will help the company’s objective of becoming leaders in the mid-sized motorcycling segment.

Royal Enfield is the Chennai-based arm of the company. It currently sold various models including Bullet, Classic and Thunderbird.


Microblogging site Twitter on 19 January 2015 appointed Taranjeet Singh as Head of Sales for its operation in India.

As Head of Sales, his responsibilities would include increasing commercial opportunities for Twitter in India and to work closely with brands and agencies to maximise value of real-time marketing.

Earlier, Taranjeet served as the Sales Director (South Asia) for BBC Advertising and was responsible for revenue and business strategy of BBC World News.

Prior to joining the BBC, he held various positions at Outlook Publishing Pvt Ltd, including heading its advertising sales and business development in Northern India.

The appointment of Taranjeet is aimed at enhancing revenues for Twitter from India, one of the biggest Internet market in the world. India is one of the fastest growing markets for the social networking platform.

According to Research firm eMarketer, India will become Twitter's third-largest market with 18.1 million users in 2014.


Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and China's e-commerce giant Alibaba on 20 January 2015 signed an agreement to provide global platform to Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The agreement will facilitate greater economic engagement between Indian and Chinese SMEs.

Alibaba.com and CII will collaborate and develop various trade opportunities and online promotions to facilitate greater economic engagement between Indian and Chinese small and medium enterprises (SMEs). CII and Alibaba.com will also work jointly towards providing trainings, promoting Industry clusters for SMEs in some key business sectors.

Alibaba will work with CII to run their e-certificates programmes in India. The agreement is a step forward in forging greater partnerships, engagement between Indian and global business especially among SMEs.

India's manufacturing and services sector will be able to achieve the objectives of building greater India-China SME engagement by benefiting with the expertise of Alibaba.com in the digital space.

The agreement will help to support the transfer and expansion of knowledge and technology for forging strategic partnerships, collaborations, joint ventures, joint research and development leading to new innovations and help Indian SMEs build brand image at B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) levels leading to increased trust, confidence and business engagement.


Jagannathan Chakravarthi was on 23 January 2015 appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of Mindtree Limited with effect from 1 April 2015.

Chakravarthi succeeded Rostow Ravanan who will now be responsible for the service lines, key accounts group and business in Europe.

Presently, Chakravarthi holds the position of Finance Controller of Mindtree Limited. Previously, he had worked with Bharti Airtel Limited, HCL Technologies and Hindustan Powerplus Limited.

Mindtree Limited

• Mindtree is a Global information technology and Outsourcing company headquartered in Bengaluru, India and New Jersey.

• Founded in 1999 , the company today has 28 offices located across the globe.

• Mindtree deals in e-commerce, mobility, cloud enablement, digital transformation, business intelligence, data analytics, testing and infrastructure.


Steve Easterbrook was on 28 January 2015 appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of McDonald’s Corporation with effect from 1 March 2015.

Steve Easterbrook will succeed Don Thompson who decided to retire as President and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's on 1 March 2015 after spending nearly 25 years in the company. Thompson was the first African-American to head the company since it was founded in 1955.

Easterbrook was also elected to the Board of Directors to fill the vacancy created by Thompson. He is currently Chief Brand Officer of the company.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s gave no reason for the abrupt retirement of the Thompson. However, the change in management came after two years of worsening sales of McDonald's in US market.

Other Appointments

• Pete Bensen was appointed as the  Chief Administrative Officer of the company with effect from 1 March 2015. Bensen is currently Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of McDonald's.

• Kevin Ozan, who currently serves as Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller, will succeed Bensen as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with effect from 1 March 2015.


Kunal Jeswani was on 27 January 2015 appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ogilvy & Mather India with effect from 1 March 2015. The post of CEO was lying vacant since 2008 when the then CEO Pratap Bose resigned.

Currently, Kunal Jeswani is Chief Digital Officer of the Ogilvy India and he will retain this responsibility with his new role.

Other appointments

• Hufrish Birdy, who is currently the Executive finance director, was appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Ogilvy India with effect from 1 March 2015.

• Hephzibah Pathak will assume the role of Global Clients’ Director of the company with effect from 1 March 2015.

• Kawal Shoor was appointed as National Planning Director with effect from 1 March 2015.

About Ogilvy & Mather

• Ogilvy & Mather is an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Manhattan.

• Ogilvy & Mather was founded in 1948 by British born David Ogilvy. Presently, it operates 450 offices in 161 cities of 120 countries worldwide.

• Over the past 60 years, Ogilvy helped to build some of the most recognizable brands in the world including American Express, Ford, Barbie, Pond's, Dove, IBM and Kodak.


Eminent scientist Hanumanthu Purushotham took charge as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Research Development Corporation (NRDC). He took over the charge in the fourth week of January 2015.

Earlier, he was Scientist-G and Head of Knowledge Management Centre at International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), Department of Science and Technology at Hyderabad.

With about 30 years of diverse experience across the innovation value chain in different industry verticals, he had served as scientist in various capacities in various CSIR laboratories of the country.

About NRDC

The NRDC was established in India in 1953 to help develop and promote technologies developed at various National Research & Development institutions.

NRDC is recognised, particularly in the developing countries, as the source of reliable appropriate technology, machines and services, which are typically suitable for these countries.



Andy Murray won the ATP World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi on 4 January 2015. He won the title after the world number one Novak Djokovic withdrew from the final match citing illness. 
This was the first title of year 2015 for Andy Murray.

In the Semi-finals, Murray defeated Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-0 in straight sets. In the other semi-final, Novak Djokovic defeated the Australian Open Champion Stanislas Wawarinka 6-1, 6-2.


O T Anilkumar of Kerala won the 7th Chennai Open FIDE Rating Chess Tournament (Category B) at Nehru Stadium, Chennai on 3 January 2015. He won the title after scoring 8.5 points from nine rounds and pocketed the winner's purse of 30000 rupees.

During the tournament, he saw a draw during third round and won rest of the games.

The second place was shared by Dusthageer Ibrahim M of Tamil Nadu, Toshali V of NAdhra Pradesh and Harshini A of Tamil Nadu at 7.5 points.

The nine round Swiss event saw participation of 372 players, including two FIDE titleholders. During the tournament, total cash prizes of 2 lakh rupees were distributed.


S Shrikrishna on 5 January 2015 won his maiden National Sub-Junior Billiards title at the BRC Gloster National Billiards & Snooker Championship 2015. He defeated Ishpreet Singh Chadha of Maharashtra by 326-283 in an hour-long final play.

Shrikrishna reached the finals by defeating Suraj Rathi of Maharashtra as he won 334-198 in the play. While, Chadha defeated Hritik Jain of Madhya Pradesh to reach the finals.

In Pre-quarters, S Shrikrishna (TN) defeated Abhinav Singh of Uttarakhand. Ishpreet Chadha reached in Pre-quarters after getting a walkover from Tanurag Gautam of Chandigarh.


Popov Ivan of Russia on 6 January 2015 won 7th Chennai International Open Grandmaster Chess title. He clinched the title via super tie-breaker after eight players ended with 7.5 points each.

The winner Popov Ivan was awarded the cash purse of two lakhs rupees, while Runner-up Dzhumaev Marat of Uzbek GM got one lakh fifty thousand rupees and third placed GM Mozharov Mikhail of Russia secured a cash award of one lakh fifteen thousand rupees.

For the first time in the history of Chennai Open, there was an eight way tie and it was resolved on quotient.

Among others, who shared the top spot were Dzhumaev Marat (Uzbekistan), Mozharov Mikhail (Russia), Ramnath Bhuvanesh R, Swapnil S Dhopade, Ravichandran Siddharth (all Indians), Gasanov Eldar (Ukraine), Nguyen Duc Hoa (Vietnam).

Also, Chennai Open saw granting of Grandmaster norms to Ramnath Bhuvanesh & Swapnil S Dhopade and International Master Norm on Rakesh Kumar Jena. Pratyusha Bodda was granted the Woman International Master Norm.


Stanislas Wawrinka on 11 January 2015 won the Chennai Open title of tennis.In the summit clash at Nungambakkam tennis stadium in Chennai, the Swiss world number four defeated the Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4.

This was second consecutive ATP Chennai Open title for Wawrinka and third time since 2011. With this win, Wawrinka pocketed 73400 US dollar and 250 ranking points.

In the 20-year history of the tournament, Bedene was the first qualifier to reach the final, winning seven matches en route to his maiden ATP Tour final. He pocketed 38650 US dollars and 150 points for winning three qualifying matches and four more in the main draw.


17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer of Switzerland on 11 January 2015 won the Brisbane International Tennis title. He won the Brisbane title for the first time.

In the finals played at Brisbane in Australia, he defeated third seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4.

With this he became the third tennis player in open era to win 1000 ATP titles. The other two players are Jimmy Connors of the US (1253) and Ivan Lendl of the US (1071).

At the presentation, he was awarded the trophy by Roy Emerson of Australia and a special award for 1000 wins by Australian legend Rod Laver.

Roger Federer is a Swiss professional tennis player and he is currently ranked world No. 2 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).


Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo on 12 January 2015 won the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the best footballer of the year in the world. It is the third time that Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or award following the previous triumphs in the years 2008 and 2013.

Ronaldo defeated Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer by bagging 37.66 percent of votes.

Lionel Messi was at the second position with 15.76 votes and Manuel Neuer stood at the third place with 15.72 percent votes.

181 national team coaches, 182 national team captains and 181 media representatives submitted their votes for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. The entire electoral procedure was overseen and monitored by PricewaterhouseCoopers Switzerland (PwC).

Other Awardees

1. Nadine Kessler won the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award 2014.

2. Joachim Low won the FIFA World Coach of the Year 2014 for Men’s Football award.

3. Ralf Kellermann won the FIFA World Coach of the Year 2014 for Women’s Football award.

4. James Rodriguez won the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of the year.

5. FIFA Team of the Year 2014: FIFPro World XI includes Manuel Neuer, David Luiz, Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos and Thiago Silva in defence; Angel Di Maria, Andres Iniesta and Toni Kroos in midfield and Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben in attack.

FIFA Ballon d'Or Award

• The FIFA Ballon d'Or award is an annual association football award given by FIFA to the male player who has performed the best in the previous calendar year.

• It is awarded based on the votes from national team coaches and captains, as well as journalists from around the world.

• The award began in 2010 after France Football's Ballon d'Or and the men's FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged.

• The winner of the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or was Lionel Messi who then won the title for the following two years 2011 and 2012.


Anirban Lahiri, an Indian professional golfer on 12 January 2015 was voted as the 2014 Players’ Player of the year in Asian Tour. He was voted for his successful exploits on the Asian Tour, wherein he won two titles and finished second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

His exploits on Asian Tour in 2014 included

• Won first title outside India in the form of CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

• His second win of 2014 came at the Venetian Macau Open

• Stood second in the Asian Tour Order of Merit, which was won by David Lipsky of the United States

• He helped Team Asia to secure a dramatic 10-10 tie against Team Europe at the inaugural EurAsia Cup

Apart from him, Australia’s Cameron Smith was also named as the Rookie of the Year for a commendable season where he finished fifth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. He claimed seven top-10 finishes including a tied fifth result at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia which was sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and Asian Tour.

About the Asian Tour

The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. It leads the development of golf across the region and it enhances careers of its members.

Its features position it at the pinnacle of professional gold in Asia and provide Official World Ranking status to its events.


Bengaluru FC on 11 January 2015 lifted their maiden football Federation Cup. In the final clash for the title Bengaluru defeated Goa's Dempo Sports Club 2-1.

The final match was played at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda of Margao, Goa.

Scorer of the final game

Bengaluru FC

Dempo Sports Club

Sunil Chhetri and Robin Singh

Tolgay Ozbey

This is the second major title for Bengaluru FC in their two years of existence. They had won the I-League tournament in 2014.

Dempo Club was appearing in the final for the fifth time, has bagged the coveted title only once, in the Year 2004.


Indian open water swimmer Bhakti Sharma on 14 January 2015 set a world record by swimming 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in one degree temperature in the Antarctic Ocean. She is the first Indian women as well as to achieve this feat.

She broke the record of British open water swimming champion Lewis Pugh and American swimmer Lynne Cox.

The 24-year old is now the first Asian girl and youngest in the world to have achieved this feat and now has conquered all the five oceans of the world.

Bhakti’s quest was sponsored by Hindustan Zinc.

About Bhakti Sharma

• She is pursuing open water swimming for last 10 years

• She has conquered all the five oceans of the world, eight channels and seas, which itself is a world record

• In 2010, she was awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award


Stephen Constantine was appointed as the head coach of Indian men’s football team on 16 January 2015. He will supervise both the senior and under-23 football teams.

Constantine of England replaced Wim Koevermans of Netherlands, who resigned in October 2014 after India faced a 3-2 defeat against Palestine in a friendly match. It is expected that he will take charge of the team by first week of February 2015.

This is the second time that 52-year-old Constantine has been appointed as the coach of Indian football team. He served as India’s coach from 2002 to 2005, during which the team achieved its best-ever ranking of 109. During that tenure India won the LG Cup in Vietnam and finished runners-up in the Afro-Asian Games.

Current world ranking of the Indian football team is 171.

Constantine was the head coach of Rwanda’s national team before joining the Indian team. He guided Rwanda to their highest-ever world ranking of 68 in FIFA’s ranking of December 2014.


Sania Mirza and her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US on 16 January 2015 won the women’s doubles title of the Sydney International Tennis Tournament.

The unseeded Indo-American pair defeated top-seeded Americans Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones 6-3, 6-3 in the summit clash played in Sydney. With this win, the duo earned 470 ranking points each and split 39000 US Dollar as prize money.

This was the fifth WTA title for Sania and Bethanie together, while it was the first title of the season for Sania. This was 23rd career title for Sania.

The 2015 Sydney International Tennis Tournament was held from 12 January to 17 January 2015 at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, Australia.

Sydney International Tennis Tournament

Sydney International tennis Tournament also known as Apia International Sydney is one of the oldest professional tennis tournaments of the world. It started in 1885. The tournament was used by colonial officials as a means to select the Davis Cup team.

Currently, the tournament is conducted annually a week prior to the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the tennis calendar.


Australian captain Mark Knowles and midfielder of the Netherland Ellen Hoog on 15 January 2015 were named as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Player of the Year 2014 in men and women category, respectively.

Other names to be honoured include

• Goalkeepers-of-the-year (Men): Jaap Stockmann of the Netherlands

• Goalkeepers-of-the-year (Women): Joyce Sombroek of the Netherlands

Rising-stars-of-the-year (Men): Gonzalo Peillat of Argentina

• Rising-stars-of-the-year (Women): Florencia Habif of Argentina

• Women’s Coach-of-the-year: Argentine Max Caldas, Coach of the Netherlands team

• Men’s Coach-of-the-year: Australian Ric Charlesworth, Coach of Australia team


Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic on 16 January 2015 won the women’s single title of Sydney International Tennis tournament. She won the title defeating Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic 7-6, 7-6 in the final.

This is the 15th career title won by former Wimbledon Champion and World No 4 Kvitova. She won the Wimbledon Championship twice in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

Pliskova, on the other hand, finished her 2014 season with more aces than any other player apart from Serena Williams of the US. With this tournament she was ranked 22 and this is the first she was in the top 20.

The Sydney International also called Apia International Sydney is a tune-up event before Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament on the tennis calendar.


Cueist Pankaj Advani on 17 January 2015 won National Billiards Championship at the Bengal Rowing Club in Kolkata. He defeated his PSPB mate Dhruv Sitwala 5-0.

This was his seventh Senior National Billiards Championship. Advani, the 12-time world champion has won the previous six titles in 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2005.

Third and fourth position of the tournament was notched by Siddharth Parikh (RSPB) and B. Bhaskar (Karnataka), respectively.

Final placing: 1) Pankaj Advani (PSPB); 2) Dhruv Sitwala (PSPB); 3) Siddharth Parikh (RSPB); 4) B. Bhaskar (Karnataka); 5) Rupesh Shah (PSPB); 6) Dhvaj Haria (PSPB); 7) Brijesh Damani (PSPB); 8) Jaiveer Dhingra (Maharashtra).


Fast bowler Sean Abbott of Australia on 27 January 2015 was named as the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year 2015 at the Allan Border Medal ceremony held in Sydney.

Other winners at the ceremony includes

• Allan Border Medal: Steve Smith, Captain of Australia

• Test Player of the Year 2015: Steve Smith

• One Day International Player of the Year 2015: Steve Smith

• Twenty20 International Player of the Year 2015 – Glenn Maxwell

• Women's International Cricketer of the Year (The Belinda Clark Award) – Southern Stars Captain Meg Lanning

• Australian Cricket Hall of Fame – Adam Gilchrist and late Victorian all-rounder Jack Ryder

Steve Smith became third player to win all the three awards namely Allan Border Medal, Test and ODI player of the year award after Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson.

About Allan Border Medal

The Allan Border Medal is considered as the most prestigious individual prize in Australian cricket. The medal is named after former Australian captain Allan Border and recognises the most outstanding Australian cricketer of the past season.

The first award was given in 2000 and the first recipient was Glenn McGrath.

The Allan Border Medal is decided by votes cast by players, umpires and media representatives at international matches.

Only three cricketers have won the award more than once. Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke won the award four times, sharing the award in 2009. Shane Watson had won the award twice.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin in honour of Jamsetji Tata, popularly known as father of modern Indian industry, on his 175th birth anniversary.

The 13th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Union government promulgated an ordinance to merge Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) schemes, by which PIOs will also get life-long Indian visa.  The amendments through the ordinance to the Citizenship Act will benefit PIOs and will give them benefits like life-long visa and exemption from appearing before the local police station on every visit.

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has launched TERI Prakriti School, a global school which will focus on sustainable learning and living practices. It will be a K-12 school affiliated to CBSE, with its curricula focusing on issues of sustainable development and environment conservation across the world. The session will start from April 2015.  The school and the teachers will sensitize students on issues, such as climate change, reducing carbon footprint, proper and effective utilization of natural resources, use of renewable energy and make them responsible citizens in managing wastes from a very young age. The school will be headed by veteran educationist Mrs Lata Vaidyanathan, who has been instrumental in spearheading burden-free and green education.

At the two day “Retreat for Banks and Financial Institutions” called “Gyan Sangam” held on 2-3 January 2015, PSBs suggested that eventually the government should reduce its stake in PSBs to less than 51%. They also suggested that the government should transfer the government’s stake in PSBs to a bank investment company.

NOFN (National Optical Fibre Network), India’s first hi-speed rural broadband network, was commissioned on 12 January 2015, in Kerala’s Idukki district. The project will be a “giant leap” to bridge the digital divide in the country, by linking all gram panchayats through the common platform of optical fibre cable.  NOFN is set to link 600 million rural citizens of India across 2.5 lakh gram panchayats of India spread over 6,600 blocks and 631 districts through broadband optical fibre network.

On 15 January 2015, Reserve Bank of India cut its repo interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent, making its first reduction in a year as inflation showed signs of slowing and the government was making efforts to contain the fiscal deficit.

The ninth edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary has included over 240 words from Indian English. Many of these new words are commonly used in Indian kitchens such as ‘keema’ (finely chopped meat), ‘papad’ (thin wafer) and cooking ingredients like ‘curry leaf’. About 20 per cent of the new words are from the world of online and social media activities like troll, catfish, twitterati, tweetable, tweetheart, unfriend, selfie, etc.

National Girl Child Day is observed on 24 January.

The population of tiger has increased in India from 1,706 in 2011 to 2,226 in 2014, according to the new tiger census. India—which has 70% of the world tiger population—has registered an increase of 30 per cent in country’s tiger population in the past three years. Tiger census is carried out after a gap of every three years by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).   India’s tiger population was 1,411 in 2008. According to the 2011 tiger census report, the tiger population estimated was 1,706. The results included figures from 17 States having tiger population. Karnataka has the highest number of tigers in the age group of 1.5 years and more. The State has 408 tigers in that age group, followed by 340 in Uttarakhand, 308 in Madhya Pradesh, 229 in Tamil Nadu, 190 in Maharashtra, 167 in Assam, 136 in Kerala and 117 in Uttar Pradesh.

Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the achievements made underPradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.   In its citation, the Guinness Book said: “Most bank accounts opened in one week as part of the Financial Inclusion Campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Department of Financial Services, Government of India from 23 to 29 August 2014.”

The T-Hub at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Gachibowli in Hyderabad, will be the largest centre for start-up and entrepreneurship activities in India.  The T-Hub is being set up in collaboration with IIIT, Hyderabad, Indian School of Business (ISB) and NALSAR University of Law.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is now the world’s oldest monarch following the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on 23 January 2015.  Abdullah (90) was two years older than the Queen.  She is one of the eight octogenarian monarchs in the world, the others including the King of Thailand and the Emperor of Japan.

USA has agreed to partner with India in developing three smart cities in Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.

National Voters Day is celebrated in India on January 25 every year.

The 66th Republic Day parade saw many firsts. Among them were:  1. All-women contingents of the Army, Navy and Air Force marched through Rajpath for the first; 2. It was the first time that a US President was Chief Guest for the parade; 3. CRPF showed off Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) used in anti-Naxal operations;  4. The long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter jet were on display for the first time.

India’s Team Indus, founded by IIT-Delhi alumnus Rahul Narayan, has won one of the significant intermediate milestone prizes in the Google Lunar XPrize, a global competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon by 31 December 2016.  Team Indus won for the lander, regarded as the most complicated piece, which carried the maximum prize money of $1 million.

With an updated base year to 2011-12, as well as a revised methodology for measuring economic growth, the Indian economy is estimated to have grown at a much faster 6.6 per cent in 2013-14, as against the earlier estimate of 4.7 per cent (old series) growth in gross domestic product at market prices. The growth is even sharper at 6.9 per cent in 2013-14. Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices stands at ₹92.8 lakh crore and ₹99.2 lakh crore, respectively, for the years 2012-13 and 2013-14, showing growth of 5.1 per cent during 2012-13, and 6.9 per cent during 2013-14. In absolute terms, the size of the economy declined in 2013-14 in the new series to ₹113.5 lakh crore compared to ₹113.6 lakh crore in the old series. This was attributed to a correction through a fresh survey on unorganised trade enterprises. The CSO has also revised the base year for calculation of national accounts to 2011-12 from 2004-05 and has included more datasets, including the database of the MCA 21 for computing private corporate sector data and statistics on financial corporations, pension funds and stock brokers.


• Person who was appointed as the Chairman of Railway Board on 31 December 2014 - A.K. Mittal

• Person who retired as the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 31 December 2014 - Koppillil Radhakrishnan

• Union Government on 31 December 2014 appointed a person as Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) - M Sathiyavathy

• Union Government on 1 January 2014 set up a body to replace the 65 year old Planning Commission - National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog

• Chrysopelea taprobanica, the flying snake of Sri Lanka was sighted in - Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve of Andhra Pradesh, India

• An American country music singer famous for his humorous novelty songs died on 2 January 2015 at Nashville - Little Jimmy Dickens

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 2 January 2015 relaxed Know-Your-Customers (KYC) rules for - Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs)

• 18 kilometer long Jaffna-Kankasanthurai rail track in North Sri Lanka inaugurated on 2 January 2015 was restored by – IRCON

• Senior Scientist and former Chairman of ISRO who was credited for creation of the Garner-Gowarikar theory died on 2 January 2015 - Vasant Ranchhod Gowarikar

• Former Sri Lankan cricket captain, who on 3 January 2015 became the fastest cricketer to reach 12000 Test runs - Kumar Sangakkara

• Tennis player who won the ATP World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi on 4 January 2015 - Andy Murray

• Israel on 3 January 2015 decided to stop the transfer of about 500 million shekels (127.6 million US dollars) of taxes to - the Palestinian Authority Government

• Scientists at University of Southampton, UK are planning to grow lettuce on Mars in 2018 under - the Project #LettuceOnMars

• Independent candidate and transgender who on 4 January 2015 won the Mayoral election in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh Municipal Corporation - Madhu Kinnar

• China's deep sea manned submersible that on 2 January 2015 started exploration for the first time in the southwestern Indian Ocean – Jiaolong, named after a mythical dragon

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 January 2015 appointed an economist as the Vice Chairman of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog - Arvind Panagariya

• A new Android app to detect International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers was launched in last week of December 2014 – SnoopSnitch

• Bangalore-based drug firm Jubilant Biosys Ltd on 5 January 2015 received final approval of the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its generic drugs - Mycophenolate Mofetil and Rizatriptan.

• Union Government on 5 January 2015 aligned the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy with the upgraded - National Industrial Classification (NIC) – 2008

• Person named as the Business person of the Year for 2014 on 6 January 2015 by Fortune magazine - Larry Page, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Google

• Bihar Government on 6 January 2015 increased the duration of maternity leave to 180 days from – 135 days

• President Pranab Mukherjee on 6 January 2015 signed the Ordinance that amends’ Citizenship Act, 1955 to provide life-long Indian visa facility to- Person of Indian Origin (PIO)

• Person who was appointed as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President of Maharashtra on 6 January 2015 - Raosaheb Patil Danve

• High-level committee (HLC) that in its report has suggested single window clearance mechanism for environment projects was headed by - former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanium

• The ordinance that paves the way for plying of e-rickshaws on roads of the National Capital Region (NCT) and was signed by the President Pranab Mukherjee on 7 January 2015 - the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

• A French satirical weekly magazine’s Paris office was attacked by three masked gunmen on 7 January 2014 - Charlie Hebdo

• AirlineRatings.com on 6 January 2015 named an airline as the world’s safest - Australia’s national airline Qantas

• New Zealand on 7 January 2015 won the 2-match Test series played against Sri Lanka by 2-0, the second and final test match was played at - Basin Reserve in Wellington

• Jharkhand Assembly on 8 January 2015 unanimously adopted a resolution urging state government to send a proposal to Union Government for setting up a bench of the Jharkhand High Court in – Dumka, the sub-capital of Jharkhand.

• Name of the new antibiotic that was discovered by a team of scientists from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts – Teixobactin

• To counter the deadly bluetongue disease, a vaccine was launched on 8 January 2015 by Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) - Raksha Blu

• 2015 Chennai Open title of tennis was won by - Stanislas Wawrinka

• Forest and wild life department on 11 January 2015 shut down a bird sanctuary on Gurgaon-Farrukh Nagar Road for one week after 47 migratory birds were found dead - Sultanpur National Park

• The United States announced that it will host an international Anti-terror Summit in Washington – on 18 February 2015

• National Youth Day was observed across India on 12 January 2015 to mark the birth anniversary of - Swami Vivekananda

• Australia on 10 January 2015 won the 4-match test series played against India by 2-0 - Border-Gavaskar Test series

• House of Representatives of the United States on 9 January 2015 passed a legislation approving construction of a controversial - Keystone XL oil pipeline.

• Delhi Legislative Assembly elections 2015 will be held in a single phase on - 7 February 2015

• Ordinance that amends a law to pave way for introduction of competitive bidding for allocation of mines of iron ore and other non-coal minerals - the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act, 1957

• Indian professional golfer on 12 January 2015 was voted as the 2014 Players’ Player of the year in Asian Tour - Anirban Lahiri

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a central bank for cooperation in the field of central banking - the European Central Bank (ECB)

• Union Government on 13 January 2015 removed the Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) - Avinash Chander

• The United States (US) Department of State on 13 January 2015 designated Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) chief as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist - Maulana Fazlullah, also known as Mullah Fazlullah

• The first Border 'Haat' (market) along Tripura-Bangladesh frontier was opened on 13 January 2015 at - Srinagar (Tripura, India) - Purba Madhugram (Feni, Bangladesh).

• Tamil Novel titled Madhorubhagan that was in debate due to controversy on its content was authored by - Perumal Murugan

• The open water swimming champion of India who set a world record by swimming 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in one degree temperature in the Antarctic Ocean - Bhakti Sharma

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its bi-monthly monetary policy statement cut its main lending rate (Repo Rate) by - 0.25 percent

• Scientific name of the critically endangered forest owlet that was sighted in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh by a Pune-based conservation society- Athene blewitti

• India observed the 67th Army Day on - 15 January 2015

• Main kit sponsor of Indian cricket team’s new kit for One Day International (ODI) that was launched on 15 January 2015 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia – Nike

• Person who was appointed as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) by President Pranab Mukherjee on 15 January 2015 - Hari Shankar Bramha

• Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification, (CBFC) who resigned on 16 January 2015 - Leela Samson

• Person who demitted his office as Chief Election Commissioner on 15 January 2015 after attaining the upper age limit - Veeravalli Sundaram Sampath

• Reserve Bank of India on 15 January 2015 issued final guidelines for banks who are acting as - insurance brokers

• Maritime Security Gadget that was handed over to Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan and Coast Guard Director General Vice-Admiral AG Thapliyal by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh - Resident Identity Card (RIC) readers

• Two fast patrol vessels which were commission at Mormugao Port of Vasco in Goa by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 19 January 2015 - ICG Amogh and ICG Ameya

• Two institutes who inked Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) to enhance exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons and alternate sources of energy – ONGC and pan-IIT

• Union Government on 19 January 2015 prohibited imports of all kind of mobile handsets with - fake or duplicate Unique Identity Numbers

• Person who succeeded Leela Samson as the Chairman of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) - Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani

• Team that won the 10th Savio Cup All India Basketball tournament 2015 - Oil & Natural Gas Corporation



Ques. : 1 As announced by the Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu the country's first 'smart city' will be set up in
1) Mumbai 
2) Pune
3) Chennai 
4) Bengaluru
5) Delhi 
Answer:- 5) Delhi

Ques. : 2 Which of the following neighbours of India celebrated its Independence Day on Jan 4?
1) Sri Lanka 
2) China
3) Bangladesh 
4) Myanmar
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Myanmar

Ques. : 3 Which of the following movies has become the highest grossing Bollywood film so far by collecting over Rs 278 cr?
1) Chennai Express 
2) Kick
3) Dhoom 3 
4) PK
5) Happy New 
Year Answer:- 4) PK

Ques. : 4 Which of the following states has constituted a State Development Council (SDC) for comprehensive development of the State recently?
1) Odisha 
2) Telangana
3) Andhra Pradesh 
4) Jharkhand
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Jharkhand

Ques. : 5 The National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) is situated in
1) Bengaluru 
2) Pune
3) Lucknow 
4) Nasik
5) Jaipur 
Answer:- 2) Pune

Ques. : 6 Who among the following has won the Chennai Open FIDE Rating Tournament (Category B) recently?
1) A Harshini 
2) V Toshali
3) M Dusthageer Ibrahim 
4) OT Anilkumar
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) OT Anilkumar

Ques. : 7 Which of the following govt initiatives has become the largest and fastest growing govt initiative ever on digital platform?
1) Make In India (MII) 
2) Clean India
3) My Gov 
4) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Make In India (MII)

Ques. : 8 Who among the following is the governor of Kerala at present?
1) P Sadasivam 
2) Keshari Nath Tripathi
3) Ram Naik 
4) ESL Narasimhan
5) Kalyan Singh 
Answer:- 1) P Sadasivam

Ques. : 9 Singapore was separated from which of the following countries in 1965 to become an independent and sovereign state?
1) Indonesia 
2) Malaysia
3) Philippines 
4) Brunei
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Malaysia

Ques. : 10 The International Hindi Conference with the theme of "Expanding World of Hindi: Possibilities and Challenges," would be held in _________in Apr.
1) New York 
2) Frankfort
3) Denver 
4) New Jersey
5) Phoenix 
Answer:- 4) New Jersey

Ques. : 11 Which of the following pairs of meetings and their venues is NOT matched correctly with respect to some key international meetings scheduled to be held in Nov and Dec, 2014?
1) ASEAN – Myanmar 
2) East Asia Summit – Fiji
3) G-20 – Australia 
4) APEC – China
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) East Asia Summit – Fiji

Ques. : 12 Which of the following countries will host the international conference on climate change on the theme ‘Mountain People Adapting to Change’ from Nov 9 to 12?
1) Bhutan 
2) Nepal
3) Afghanistan 
4) India
5) China 
Answer:- 2) Nepal

Ques. : 13 The modified direct cash subsidy transfer for LPG consumers will be launched in 54 districts from 15th Nov. The same scheme will be launched all over the country from
1) 30th Nov 
2) 1st Dec
3) 15th Dec 
4) 31st Dec
5) 1st Jan 
Answer:- 5) 1st Jan

Ques. : 14 The Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag will start his first visit to which of the following countries from 12 Nov during which he will be conferred the title of honorary rank of General of that country’s Army?
1) Bhutan 
2) Sri Lanka
3) Vietnam 
4) Nepal
5) Japan 
Answer:- 4) Nepal

Ques. : 15 The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made his debut among the world's most powerful people on the Forbes list of 2014 released recently. He has been ranked at which of the following positions?
1) 64th 
2) 57th
3) 36th 
4) 21st
5) 15th 
Answer:- 5) 15th

Ques. : 16 Ahead of the SAARC summit, the Vice President Hamid Ansari has pitched for creation of the South Asian group SAEU. Expand the term SAEU.
1) South Asian Exclusive Union 
2) South Asian Export Union
3) South Asian Economic Union 
4) South Asian Energy Union
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) South Asian Economic Union

Ques. : 17 The UP govt launched Samajwadi Pension Scheme to benefit poor families in the state. Which of the following is NOT a highlight of the scheme?
1) The scheme has an annual budget of 2,424 crore rupees. 
2) The amount of pension will be hiked by 50 rupees per year up to a maximum limit of Rs 750.
3) The scheme, however, has riders relating to health, education and literacy. 
4) The beneficiaries will receive the pension amount directly in their bank account.
5) None of these 
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 18 The Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan handed over the second attack craft INS Tarasa to which of the following island nations during his recent visit? It will join her sister ship SCG Topaz as part of the Indian Navy's assistance to the country.
1) Seychelles 
2) Maldives
3) Sri Lanka 
4) Thailand
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Seychelles

Ques. : 19 Shimon Peres, who visited New Delhi recently and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the former president of
1) Spain 
2) Israel
3) Sweden 
4) Italy
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Israel

Ques. : 20 The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Fiji after attending the G-20 summit in Australia. Which of the following is the capital city of Fiji?
1) Luanda 
2) Port Louis
3) Suva 
4) Libreville
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Suva

Ques. : 21 Which of the following banks in India has launched the country's first contactless debit and credit cards that use the near-field communication (NFC) technology and do not need to be swiped?
1) Federal Bank 
2) HDFC Bank
3) ICICI Bank 
4) SBI
5) Axis Bank 
Answer:- 3) ICICI Bank

Ques. : 22 The Indian space agency ISRO is all set to launch IRNSS 1D in Mar this year. The agency has planned to launch how many satellites in IRNSS series to start India’s own navigation system?
1) Four 
2) Five
3) Six 
4) Seven
5) Nine 
Answer:- 4) Seven

Ques. : 23 The govt has announced to continue subsidy on ferlizers. The govt provides urea to farmers at a fixed subsidised maximum retail price (MRP) of ________per tonne.
1) Rs 4,120 
2) Rs 4,730
3) Rs 5,360 
4) Rs 6,100
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Rs 5,360

Ques. : 24 Donald Ramotar was the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015 held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from Jan 7-9. He is the president of
1) South Africa 
2) Guyana
3) Suriname 
4) Seychelles
5) Fiji 
Answer:- 2) Guyana

Ques. : 25 Terrorists attacked in the offices of a satirical weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo’ killing at least 12 people on 7 Jan in which of the following cities?
1) Paris 
2) Dublin
3) Toronto 
4) Sydney
5) New York 
Answer:- 1) Paris

Ques. : 26 Jan 13-17 was observed as ___________across the districts in the country.
1) Girl Child Week 
2) Water-Week
3) Environment Week 
4) Act against Corruption Week
5) Clean India Week 
Answer:- 2) Water-Week

Ques. : 27 As per a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights, there are over 3,00,000 internally displaced persons in which of the following Indian states, which is the highest in the world during 2014?
1) Assam 
2) Jammu & Kashmir
3) Uttar Pradesh 
4) Andhra Pradesh
5) Jharkhand 
Answer:- 1) Assam

Ques. : 28 Name the winter storm impacting the West Asia region with wind speed more than 110 kmph bringing a bitter cold.
1) Huda 
2) Dolly
3) Laura 
4) Arthur
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Huda

Ques. : 29 The RBI has signed an information sharing agreement with banking and financial regulators FRB, OCC and the FDIC. These regulators belong to
1) China 
2) Japan
3) Mauritius 
4) US
5) Switzerland
Answer:- 4) US

Ques. : 30 Who among the following is the new Test captain of the Indian cricket team after MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket recently?
1) Ravichandran Ashwin 
2) Ravindra Jadeja
3) Shikhar Dhawan 
4) Virat Kohli
5) Suresh Raina 
Answer:- 4) Virat Kohli

Ques. : 31 The Indian space agency ISRO had a number of successful launches in 2014. Which of the following is NOT one among them?
1) PSLV C-23 
3) GSAT 16 
5) IRNSS 1D 
Answer:- 5) IRNSS 1D

Ques. : 32 Who among the following have been appointed as the two permanent members of the newly formed NITI Aayog?
1) Arvind Panagariya and Sindhushree Khullar 
2) Bibek Debroy and VK Saraswat
3) Arvind Panagariya and VK Saraswat 
4) Bibek Debroy and Arvind Panagariya
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Bibek Debroy and VK Saraswat

Ques. : 33 Who among the following is the new Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)?
1) M Sathiyavathy 
2) Prabhat Kumar
3) Arun Mishra 
4) Ashok Lavasa
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) M Sathiyavathy

Ques. : 34 The President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) bill on 31 Dec 2014. Till now, what was the system to appoint judges to the apex court and the high courts?
1) The govt appointing the judges 
2) The SC Collegium system
3) The group of Chief Justices of all the High Courts 
4) The panel of Law Minister of India and Chief Justice of India
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) The SC Collegium system

Ques. : 35 Tulsi Gabbard visited India, recently, on the invitation of PM Narendra Modi. Which of the following statements is correct about her?
1) She is the first Hindu to serve as a member of the US Congress. 
2) She is the only PIO to serve as a member of the US Congress.
3) She is the first Asian to serve as a member of the US Congress. 
4) She is the only PIO to serve as a member of any parliament in the world.
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) She is the first Hindu to serve as a member of the US Congress.

Ques. : 36 Who among the following Cabinet Ministers have been appointed as Ex-Officio members of the NITI Aayog?
1) Radha Mohan Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh 
2) Thawar Chand Gehlot, Suresh Prabhu, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh
3) Radha Mohan Singh, Suresh Prabhu, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh 
4) Smriti Zubin Irani, Suresh Prabhu, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Radha Mohan Singh, Suresh Prabhu, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh

Ques. : 37 Who among the following Cabinet Ministers will be special Invitees to the NITI Aayog?
1) Suresh Prabhu, Smriti Zubin Irani, Thawar Chand Gehlot 
2) Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Zubin Irani, Thawar Chand Gehlot
3) Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Thawar Chand Gehlot 
4) Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Zubin Irani, Rajnath Singh
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Zubin Irani, Thawar Chand Gehlot

Ques. : 38 Which of the following is the first development bank in India? It was started in 1948.
1) Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) 
2) Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI)
3) Export Import Bank (Exim Bank) 
4) Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI)

Ques. : 39 In the United States, who among the following has been re-elected and sworn in as the Speaker of the US House of Representatives?
1) Thomas Massie 
2) Steve King
3) Tim Huelskamp 
4) Nancy Pelosi
5) John Boehner 
Answer:- 5) John Boehner

Ques. : 40 How many banks are associated with the State Bank of India (SBI) as of now?
1) Four 
2) Five
3) Six 
4) Seven
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Five

Ques. : 41 Who among the following has been appointed the CEO of the newly formed NITI Aayog?
1) Arvind Panagariya 
2) Sindhushree Khullar
3) VK Saraswat 
4) Bibek Debroy
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Sindhushree Khullar

Ques. : 42 The govt of India initiative ‘Prakash Path’ is associated with which of the following?
1) Setting up light houses in the Arabian Sea 
2) Setting up solar lights across the national highways
3) LED bulb distribution 
4) CFL bulb distribution
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) LED bulb distribution

Ques. : 43 Which of the following states is all set to be the first state to be fully covered by broadband connectivity under the national optical fibre network (NOFN) project?
1) Kerala 
2) Karnataka
3) Tamil Nadu 
4) Goa
5) Gujarat 
Answer:- 1) Kerala

Ques. : 44 Who among the following has been sworn-in as the new President of Sri Lanka?
1) Ranil Wickremasinghe 
2) Chandrika Kumaratunga
3) Mahinda Rajapaksa 
4) Maithripala Sirisena
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Maithripala Sirisena

Ques. : 45 Two suspected militants slaughtered 12 people at the office of which of the follwong French magazines on 7 Jan?
1) Le Nain Jaune 
2) Hara-Kiri
3) Le Charivari 
4) Charlie Hebdo
5) Le Rire
Answer:- 4) Charlie Hebdo

Ques. : 46 As much as 15 NRIs were awarded with the ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Samman’ on the concluding day of the 13th PBD in Gandhinagar. Who among the following was NOT one among them?
1) Rajaram Sanjaya 
2) Mala Mehta
3) Donald Rabindernauth Ramaotar 
4) Satyanarayan Nadella
5) None of these 
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 47 The govt is looking to start a fresh process of inviting bids for UMPPs in the country. The term UMPP stands for
1) Ultra Mini Power Project 
2) Ultra Mega Power Project
3) Ultra Modern Power Project 
4) Ultra Modified Power Project
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Ultra Mega Power Project

Ques. : 48 India’s newest airline Vistara started its flight on 9 Jan. Which of the following leading business houses of India has launched the airline with the Singapore Airlines?
1) Reliance 
2) Tata
3) Aditya Birla Group 
4) Essar
5) Essel 
Answer:- 2) Tata

Ques. : 49 Which of following teams has retained the iconic Reliance ICC Test Championship mace recently?
1) Pakistan 
2) England
3) South Africa 
4) Sri Lanka
5) New Zealand 
Answer:- 3) South Africa

Ques. : 50 Which of the following is imposed in the state of Jammu & Kashmir when constitutional machinery fails there?
1) Caretaking govt 
2) Governor’s rule
3) President’s Rule 
4) Executive Rule
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Governor’s rule

Ques. : 51 Phee Teik Yeoh is the present CEO of which of the following airlines operating in India as of now?
1) Vistara 
2) AirAsia India
3) Spicejet 
4) Jet Airways
5) IndiGo 
Answer:- 1) Vistara

Ques. : 52 Who among the following is the current Director General of the WTO?
1) Jacques Delors 
2) Pascal Lamy
3) Roberto Azevedo 
4) Janet Yellen
5) Christine Lagarde 
Answer:- 3) Roberto Azevedo

Ques. : 53 Aziz Qureshi has been sworn in as the new Governor of which of the following states?
1) Uttarakhand 
2) Odisha
3) Mizoram 
4) Manipur
5) Tripura 
Answer:- 3) Mizoram

Ques. : 54 As per the World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank has set a __________target to achieve the goal of eradicating extreme poverty.
1) 2020 
2) 2024
3) 2026 
4) 2030
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) 2030

Ques. : 55 After the success of LCA Tejas fighter plane, India plans to develop its own fifth generation fighter plane. Till date which of the following is the only fully-operational fifth generation fighter plane in the world?
1) F/A-22 Raptor 
2) Gripen
3) Sukhoi 30MKI 
4) Eurofighter Typhon
5) F/A Super Hornet 
Answer:- 1) F/A-22 Raptor

Ques. : 56 Who among the following has joined an elite group of cricketers becoming only the fifth to make 12,000 runs in his career?
1) Rohit Sharma 
2) Mahendra Singh Dhoni
3) Virat Kohli 
4) Angelo Mathews
5) Kumar Sangakkara 
Answer:- 5) Kumar Sangakkara

Ques. : 57 Who among the following has won the Brisbane International 2015 tennis tournament?
1) Milos Raonic 
2) Roger Federer
3) Andy Murray 
4) Novak Djokovic
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Roger Federer

Ques. : 58 Who among the following is the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka?
1) Ranil Wickremasinghe 
2) Chandrika Kumaratunga
3) Mahinda Rajapaksa 
4) Maithripala Sirisena
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Ranil Wickremasinghe

Ques. : 59 PM Narendra Modi on 8 Jan inaugurated the state-of-the-art Dandi Kutir, a museum on the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi in
1) Gandhinagar 
2) Kolkata
3) Mumbai 
4) Guwahati
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Gandhinagar

Ques. : 60 Name the person who won the men’s singles title of the Chennai Open on 11 Jan.
1) Leander Paes 
2) Mahesh Bhupathi
3) Aljaz Bedene 
4) Stanislas Wawrinka
5) Kei Nishikori 
Answer:- 4) Stanislas Wawrinka

Ques. : 61 Vasant Gowarikar passed away recently. He was an eminent
1) musician 
2) author
3) zoologist 
4) space scientist
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) space scientist

Ques. : 62.  4,000-year-old house with rare clue to Harappan habitation was found by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Chandyan village in which of the following locations recently?
1) Baghpat, UP 
2) Rajkot, Gujarat
3) Ajmer, Rajasthan 
4) East Champaran, Bihar
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Baghpat, UP

Ques. : 63 Name the committee, formed to suggest ways and means to raise the revenue of Indian Railways, which submitted its report on 30 Dec.
1) Bibek Debroy Committee 
2) DK Mittal Committee
3) E Sreedharan Committee 
4) Arvind Panagariya Committee
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) DK Mittal Committee

Ques. : 64 The meteorological satellite, Fengyun-II 08, was successfully launched by which of the following countries on 31 Dec?
1) Japan 
2) South Korea
3) North Korea 
4) China
5) Malaysia 
Answer:- 4) China

Ques. : 65 The world’s first mangrove zoo is coming up in which of the following states of India?
1) Assam 
2) Odisha
3) West Bengal 
4) Tripura
5) Jharkhand 
Answer:- 3) West Bengal

Ques. : 66 The 24-year-old Kei Perenna, who has become the world’s youngest billionaire, replacing Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, belongs to
1) Japan 
2) South Korea
3) Singapore 
4) China
5) Malaysia 
Answer:- 4) China

Ques. : 67 The Centre on 12 Dec appointed who among the following as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)?
1) MYS Prasad 
2) Shailesh Nayak
3) Subbiah Arunan 
4) AS Kiran Kumar
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) AS Kiran Kumar

Ques. : 68 India is negotiating the USD 6-bn surface-to-air missile systems project, Maitri, with which of the following countries?
1) US 
2) Russia
3) Germany 
4) Japan
5) France 
Answer:- 5) France

Ques. : 69 Which of the following state govts has decided to implement a Potato Mission from fiscal 2015-16 to make the state self-sufficient in potato production and storage over a period of three years?
1) Uttar Pradesh 
2) Odisha
3) Bihar 
4) Haryana
5) West Bengal 
Answer:- 2) Odisha

Ques. : 70 Which of the following is the only country to produce the health-rich purple tea as of now?
1) Kenya 
2) Sri Lanka
3) China 
4) India
5) None of these 
Answer:-1) Kenya

Ques. : 71 The govt on 13 Jan removed Avinash Chander as the chief of which of the following organisations 15 months before his contract was to end?
1) ISRO 
3) OFB 
4) HAL
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) DRDO

Ques. : 72 Which of the following central banks has received the central bank of the year award instituted by London-based website,centralbanking.com recently?
1) Reserve Bank of India (RBI) 
2) Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ)
3) Federal Reserve 
4) Bank of Japan (BOJ)
5) European Central Bank (ECB) 
Answer:- 2) Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ)

Ques. : 73 At the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar, corporates from India and abroad pledged to invest an astonishing ___________and signed 21,000 MoUs.
1) Rs 10 lakh cr 
2) Rs 12 lakh cr
3) Rs 17 lakh cr 
4) Rs 25 lakh cr
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Rs 25 lakh cr

Ques. : 74 Who among the following governors of central bank has received the governor of the year award instituted by London-based website, centralbanking.com recently?
1) Haruhiko Kuroda 
2) Janet Yellen
3) Graeme Wheeler 
4) Raghuram Rajan
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Raghuram Rajan

Ques. : 75 The global defence and aerospace company BAE Systems has appointed who among the following as a non-executive Director and Chairman of its Indian subsidiary?
1) Naina Lal Kidwai 
2) KV Kamath
3) Uday Kotak 
4) Aditya Puri
5) Deepak Parekh 
Answer:- 5) Deepak Parekh

Ques. : 76 The National Youth Day is celebrated in India every year on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda which falls on
1) 1 Jan 
2) 3 Jan
3) 6 Jan 
4) 9 Jan
5) 12 Jan 
Answer:- 5) 12 Jan

Ques. : 77 The Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 13 Jan flagged off country’s first compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered train from
1) Rewari, Haryana 
2) Thane, Maharashtra
3) Agra, Uttar Pradesh 
4) Porbandar, Gujarat
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Rewari, Haryana

Ques. : 78 Which of the following teams has recorded the highest successful run chase (231) in T-20 history?
1) Pakistan 
2) West Indies
3) South Africa 
4) Australia
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) West Indies

Ques. : 79 Which of the following teams has won the Federation Cup football title recently?
1) Dempo Sports Club 
2) Mohammedan SC
3) Bengaluru FC 
4) Kerala Blasters FC
5) FC Goa 
Answer:- 3) Bengaluru FC

Ques. : 80 Who among the following tennis players recorded 1000th win in the men's professional circuit winning the men’s singles title of the Brisbane International recently?
1) Roger Federer 
2) Stan Wawrinka
3) David Ferrer 
4) Rafael Nadal
5) Novak Djokovic 
Answer:- 1) Roger Federer

Ques. : 81 Boko Haram militants killed over 2 thousand civilians and burned down homes in the Baga town of which of the following countries recently?
1) Cameroon 
2) Central African Republic
3) Nigeria 
4) Ghana
5) Burkina Faso 
Answer:- 3) Nigeria

Ques. : 82 Who among the following is the first Indian cricketer ever to make three Test centuries in his first three innings as captain?
1) Mahendra Singh Dhoni 
2) Virat Kohli
3) Sourav Ganguly 
4) Rahul Dravid
5) Virender Sehwag 
Answer:- 2) Virat Kohli

Ques. : 83 Which of the following is the first new antibiotic to be discovered in nearly 30 years? It has been hailed as a ‘paradigm shift’ in the fight against the growing resistance to drugs.
1) Dalbavancin 
2) Tedizolid
3) Bedaquiline 
4) Teixobactin
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Teixobactin

Ques. : 84 Who among the following has won the men’s singles title of the Qatar Open tennis tournament in Doha recently?
1) Rafael Nadal 
2) Novak Djokovic
3) Ivo Karlovic 
4) Tomas Berdych
5) David Ferrer 
Answer:- 5) David Ferrer

Ques. : 85 What is the name of the mascot for the 35th National Games to be hosted by Kerala in Feb 2015?
1) Ammu 
2) Karak
3) Shera 
4) Appu
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Ammu

Ques. : 86 According to the latest survey report by Labour Bureau, the unemployment rate in India has been what per cent in 2013-14?
1) 4.1 per cent 
2) 4.7 per cent
3) 4.9 per cent 
4) 5.5 per cent
5) 5.7 per cent 
Answer:- 3) 4.9 per cent

Ques. : 87 The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution urging which of the following countries to grant citizenship to its Rohingya Muslim minority and grant them equal access to services recently?
1) Sri Lanka 
2) Myanmar
3) Thailand 
4) Philippines
5) Singapore 
Answer:- 2) Myanmar

Ques. : 88 India has announced to provide USD 60 mn Line of Credit-LoC to which of the following countries for its road infrastructure projects?
1) Suriname 
2) Venezuela
3) Nicaragua 
4) Guyana
5) Ecuador 
Answer:- 4) Guyana

Ques. : 89 Modibo Keita is the new Prime Minister of which of the following African countries?
1) Mali 
2) Mauritania
3) Ghana 
4) Algeria
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Mali

Ques. : 90 The national optical fibre network (NOFN) project aims to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the nation by
1) Dec 2015 
2) Dec 2016
3) Jan 2017 
4) Jan 2018
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Dec 2016

Ques. : 91 President Giorgio Napolitano announced to step down in which of the following countries recently?
1) France 
2) Spain
3) Italy 
4) Sweden
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Italy

Ques. : 92 Who among the following has been selected for the prestigious Vyas Samman for the year 2014? He will be awarded for his research work 'Premchand Kee Kahaniyo Kaa Kaalkramanusar Adhyayan'.
1) Ashok Vajpeyi 
2) Kamal Kishore Goyanka
3) Kunwar Narayan 
4) Kedarnath Singh
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Kamal Kishore Goyanka

Ques. : 93 The Uruka celebrations, a post-harvest festival, was observed in which of the following states recently?
1) Assam 
2) West Bengal
3) Kerala 
4) Karnataka
5) Tamil Nadu 
Answer:- 1) Assam

Ques. : 94 The National Green Tribunal has announced that dumping construction debris into the Yamuna river will attract a fine of Rs 50,000 while throwing waste in the Yamuna river will attract a spot fine of
1) Rs 500 
2) Rs 1,000
3) Rs 2,000 
4) Rs 5,000
5) Rs 10,000 
Answer:- 4) Rs 5,000

Ques. : 95 Which of the following movies has bagged awards in three categories, including best drama, and best director, at the 72nd Golden Globes awards in Los Angeles?
1) Big Eyes 
2) Still Alice
3) The Theory of Everything 
4) Boyhood
5) The Grand Budapest Hotel
Answer:- 4) Boyhood

Ques. : 96 Who among the following has clinched the FIFA world footballer of the year award, popularly called Ballon d'Or award in football?
1) James Rodriguez 
2) Manuel Neuer
3) Cristiano Ronaldo 
4) Lionel Messi
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Cristiano Ronaldo

Ques. : 97 The Reserve Bank of the India (RBI) revised the Repo rate on 15 Jan. What is the new Repo rate?
1) 8 per cent 
2) 7.75 per cent
3) 7.5 per cent 
4) 7 per cent
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) 7.75 per cent

Ques. : 98 Hundreds of thousands of people marched against terrorism in one of the largest protests led by world leaders in which of the following cities recently?
1) Berlin 
2) New York
3) Toronto 
4) Paris
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Paris

Ques. : 99 India's first Hi-speed Rural Broadband Network (National Optical Fibre Network) connecting the remotest Idukki district of _________, was commissioned recently.
1) Kerala 
2) Maharashtra
3) Gujarat 
4) Goa
5) Tamil Nadu 
Answer:- 1) Kerala

Ques. : 100 What is the new Reverse Repo rate after the RBI revised the rate on 15 Jan?
1) 7 per cent 
2) 6.75 per cent
3) 6.5 per cent 
4) 6.25 per cent
5) 6 per cent 
Answer:- 2) 6.75 per cent

Ques. : 101 Which of the following space programmes of India has won the 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category from the US based National Space Society (NSS)?
1) Mars Orbiter Mission 
4) PSLV C 23
5) GSAT 16 
Answer:- 1) Mars Orbiter Mission

Ques. : 102 Who among the following has won the women’s singles title of the Brisbane International tennis tournament?
1) Serena Williams 
2) Caroline Wozniacki
3) Maria Sharapova 
4) Venus Williams
5) Ana Ivanovic 
Answer:- 3) Maria Sharapova

Ques. : 103 The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 16 Jan approved the fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane at _______ per quintal for the 2015-16 season (Oct-Sep).
1) Rs 210 
2) Rs 230
3) Rs 250 
4) Rs 280
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Rs 230

Ques. : 104 Which of the following is NOT a member country of the BRICS grouping?
1) Bangladesh 
2) Russia
3) China 
4) South Africa
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Bangladesh

Ques. : 105 The cash reserve ratio (CRR) has been kept at 4 per cent of NDTL at present. Here, what does the term NDTL stands for?
1) New Demand and Time Liabilities 
2) Net Demand and Time Liabilities
3) Net Differed and Time Liabilities 
4) New Demand and Transaction Liabilities
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Net Demand and Time Liabilities

Ques. : 106 What is the currency of Switzerland?
1) Swiss franc 
2) Swiss ringgit
3) Swiss krone 
4) Swiss krona
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Swiss franc

Ques. : 107 Who among the following is the new Chief Election Commissioner of India?
1) VS Sampath 
2) Hari Shankar Brahma
3) Shashi Kant Sharma 
4) SY Quraishi
5) Syed Nasim Ahmad Zaidi 
Answer:- 2) Hari Shankar Brahma

Ques. : 108 The Microsoft Corporation has announced to suspend support for which of the following operating systems recently? The company will continue to patch security vulnerabilities until 2020.
1) Windows Vista 
2) Windows 7
3) Windows 8 
4) Windows XP
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Windows 7

Ques. : 109 Name the Indian swimmer who on 14 Jan set a world record by swimming 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in one degree temperature in the Antarctic Ocean. The 24-year old is now the first Asian girl and youngest in the world to have achieved this feat.
1) Pooja Raghava Alva 
2) Malavika Vishwanath
3) Aditi Dhumatkar 
4) Bhakti Sharma
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Bhakti Sharma

Ques. : 110 Leela Samson resigned as chairperson of which of the following institutions recently?
1) Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) 
2) Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)
3) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 
4) Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA)
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)

Ques : 111. The Army Day is celebrated in India every year on 
1) 7 Jan
2) 9 Jan
3) 15 Jan
4) 27 Jan
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) 15 Jan

Ques : 112. Otaram Devasi is the minister in charge of cow affairs, a first in the country, in
1) Gujarat
2) Haryana
3) Rajasthan
4) Madhya Pradesh
5) Jharkhand 
Answer:- 3) Rajasthan

Ques : 113. What is the name of the UN mission introduced to combat Ebola disease?
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) UNMEER

Ques : 114. The Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh dedicated Biosafety laboratory (BSL) to strengthen livestock disease monitoring in which of the following south Indian cities recently?
1) Bengaluru
2) Chennai
3) Hyderabad
4) Thiruvananthapuram
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Bengaluru

Ques : 115. Which of the following countries in the world leads in terms of percentage of skilled people among the total workforce?
1) South Korea
2) Japan
3) Germany
4) UK
5) France 
Answer:- 1) South Korea

Ques : 116. As revealed by the MoS for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy, recently, what percent of the total workforce in India are skilled workers as of now?
1) two per cent
2) four per cent
3) five per cent
4) eight per cent
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) two per cent

Ques : 117. The women’s singles titled of the 2015 Sydney International was bagged by
1) Karolina Pliskova
2) Petra Kvitova
3) Ana Ivanovic
4) Maria Sharapova
5) Sania Mirza 
Answer:- 2) Petra Kvitova

Ques : 118. The national festival ‘Maati Ke Rang’ was held for the first time in the North-East region from 13-17 Jan. The venue of the festival was
1) Dimapur, Nagaland
2) Agartala, Tripura
3) Mizoram, Aizawl
4) Dispur, Assam
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Dimapur, Nagaland

Ques : 119. The winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award for Sanskrit, 2014 for his work ‘Kanakalochanaha’ is
1) Radhakant Thakur
2) Ramji Thakur
3) Prabhu Nath Dwivedi
4) Harekrishna Satapathy
5) Mithila Prasad Tripathi 
Answer:- 3) Prabhu Nath Dwivedi

Ques : 120. The ‘Social Media Person of the Year’ award by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has been given to
1) Rajinikanth
2) Salman Khan
3) Aamir Khan
4) Shah Rukh Khan
5) Amitabh Bachchan 
Answer:- 5) Amitabh Bachchan

Ques. : 121 Who among the following Indian-Americans has been conferred with Martin Luther King Award in the US, recently?
1) Shantanu Narayen 
2) Frank Islam
3) Sundar Pichai 
4) Indra Nooyi
5) Nikesh Arora 
Answer:- 2) Frank Islam

Ques. : 122 The PM Narendra Modi has selected who among the following as the face and facilitator of his pet education project ‘Teach in India’?
1) Kannan Soundararajan 
2) Akshay Venkatesh
3) Subhash Khot 
4) Manjul Bhargava
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Manjul Bhargava

Ques. : 123 The Asian Games medalist OP Jaisha broke the 19-year-old national record in Mumbai recently. He is a
1) runner 
2) triple jumper
3) discus throw player 
4) swimmer
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) runner

Ques. : 124 Name the batsman who hit the fastest century in one-day internationals playing against the West Indies recently.
1) Hashim Amla 
2) Rohit Sharma
3) Corey Anderson 
4) AB de Villiers
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) AB de Villiers

Ques. : 125 Under which of the following Articles of the Indian Constitution, the President of India notifies a joint sitting of the Parliament?
1) Article 108 
2) Article 80
3) Article 81 
4) Article 395
5) Article 356 
Answer:- 1) Article 108

Ques. : 126 Sri Lanka’s new foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera visited which of the following countries, recently, on his first visit abroad?
1) China 
2) Pakistan
3) US 
4) India
5) Bangladesh 
Answer:- 4) India

Ques. : 127 Which of the following dairy products giants in India is planning to invest Rs 5,000 cr in the next fiscal in order to achieve the revenue target of Rs 50,000 cr by 2020?
1) Nestle 
2) Amul
5) Mother Dairy 
Answer:- 2) Amul

Ques. : 128 Name the author of the novel Madhorubhagan, who came under attack different sections of the society for the novel and now has announced to give up writing altogether.
1) Melanmai Ponnusamy 
2) Perumal Murugan
3) D Selvaraj 
4) Joe D Cruz
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Perumal Murugan

Ques. : 129 The present regime of which of the following countries has initiated the impeachment of the ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra?
1) Philippines 
2) Thailand
3) Singapore 
4) Myanmar
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Thailand

Ques. : 130 What is full form of ASBA, a term used in connection of stock market?
1) Application Supported By Base Amount 
2) Application Supported By Basket Amount
3) Application Supported By Blocked Amount 
4) Application Supported By Borrowed Amount
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Application Supported By Blocked Amount

Ques. : 131 As part of the tourism promotion initiatives, the Flamingo festival was held from Jan 9-11 at the Pulicat lake in which of the following states?
1) Andhra Pradesh 
2) Karnataka
3) Odisha 
4) Kerala
5) Nagaland 
Answer:- 1) Andhra Pradesh

Ques. : 132 The central govt has cleared Damanganga-Pinjal interstate river link project. This project involves which two states?
1) Maharashtra, Gujarat 
2) Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh
3) Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh 
4) Gujarat, Rajasthan
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Maharashtra, Gujarat

Ques. : 133 The ‘Popular Resistance’ militia, which is a pro-govt militia, is active in
1) Pakistan 
2) Syria
3) Egypt 
4) Malaysia
5) Nigeria Answer:- 2) Syria

Ques. : 134 Which of the following pairs won the men’s doubles title of the Apia Sydney International recently?
1) Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna 
2) Leander Paes and Raven Klaasen
3) Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor 
4) Raven Klaasen and Daniel Nestor
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor

Ques. : 135 The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar handed over first indigenously-built Tejas fighter aircraft to the Air Force on 17 Jan. The entire LCA project including the final induction in the Air Force and Navy, is estimated to cost over
1) Rs 8,000 cr 
2) Rs 15,000 cr
3) Rs 30,000 cr 
4) Rs 60,000 cr
5) Rs 80,000 cr 
Answer:- 3) Rs 30,000 cr

Ques. : 136 Hara Patnaik, who died recently, was a popular actor-director of the ________cinema.
1) Bengali 
2) Assamese
3) Odia 
4) Tamil
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Odia

Ques. : 137 Naresh Goyal pledges his entire 51 per cent stake to Punjab National Bank (PNB) was the news published in financial newspapers recently. He is the promoter of
1) Spicejet 
2) Jet Airways
3) Vistara 
4) Indigo
5) GoAir 
Answer:- 2) Jet Airways

Ques. : 138 Nepal has named who among the following as its new envoy to India?
1) Deep Kumar Upadhyay 
2) Bhek Bahadur Thapa
3) Durgesh Man Singh 
4) Rukma Shumsher Rana
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Deep Kumar Upadhyay

Ques. : 139 The 45th annual summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) started on 20 Jan in
1) Manila 
2) Buenos Aires
3) Davos 
4) Santiago
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Davos

Ques. : 140 Who among the following has been appointed the new chief of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)?
1) Ashok Pandit 
2) Chandra Prakash Dwivedi
3) David Dhawan 
4) Pahlaj Nihalani
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Pahlaj Nihalani

Ques. : 141 Who among the following has been appointed as the new chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI)?
1) Kiran Kumar Alur Seelin 
2) Deepak Parekh
3) M Sathiyavathy 
4) RK Srivastava
5) None of these Answer:- 4) RK Srivastava

Ques. : 142 Sutirtha Bhattacharya has taken over as the full-time Chairman and Managing Director of which of the following PSUs?
1) Coal India 
2) Indian Oil
3) BHEL 
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Coal India

Ques. : 143 Gurmeet Singh, who was arrested by the Thailand police, is the alleged killer involved in the assassination of
1) Indira Gandhi 
2) Lalit Narayan Mishra
3) Beant Singh 
4) Rajiv Gandhi
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Beant Singh

Ques. : 144 Sergei Shoygu, who visited New Delhi on 20 Jan on a three-day visit, is the present defence minister of
1) Kyrgyzstan 
2) Russia
3) Kazakhstan 
4) Belarus
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Russia

Ques. : 145 South African batsman AB de Villiers hit the fastest century in one-day internationals till date recently. He scored his century in just
1) 28 balls 
2) 31 balls
3) 37 balls 
4) 44 balls
5) 45 balls 
Answer:- 2) 31 balls

Ques. : 146 Leander Paes with his new partner Raven Klaasen won men’s doubles title of which of the following tennis tournaments recently?
1) Apia Sydney International 
2) Heineken Open
3) Chennai Open 
4) Australia Open
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Heineken Open

Ques. : 147 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 19 Jan asked banks to notify the base rate at least once in every three months. Base rate is also known as
1) the minimum lending rate 
2) the maximum lending rate
3) the RBI lending rate 
4) the teaser lending rate
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) the minimum lending rate

Ques. : 148 What is the currency of Egypt?
1) Euro 
2) Egyptian franc
3) Egyptian dollar 
4) Egyptian pound
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Egyptian pound

Ques. : 149 Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy, led by Tulsi Tanti, has agreed to sell its Senvion SE unit to Centerbridge Partners for USD 1.16 bn. This unit is based in
1) France 
2) Germany
3) UK 
4) US
5) Japan 
Answer:- 2) Germany

Ques. : 150 The Reserve Bank of India has issued final guidelines regarding allowing banks to sell insurance products. Which of the following is NOT correct in this regard?
1) Banks can act as brokers for insurers or set up their own subsidiaries. 2) Banks can act as corporate agents without seeking prior approval from the RBI.
3) Banks will have to comply with IRDA guidelines. 
4) Banks are allowed to sell insurance policies of different insurance companies.
5) None of these 
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 151 Name the author with Indian roots who has won DSC Prize for Literature, one of South Asia's top literary awards for her book ‘The Lowland’.
1) Anita Desai 
2) Arundhati Roy
3) Jhumpa Lahiri 
4) Kiran Desai
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Jhumpa Lahiri

Ques. : 152 China is planning to build a 7000 km-long high-speed railway line, costing USD 250 bn, to connect Beijing with which of the following capital cities?
1) Dhaka 
2) Naypyidaw
3) Kathmandu 
4) Moscow
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Moscow

Ques. : 153 The PM Narendra Modi on 22 Jan launched a deposit scheme for girl child named Sukanya Samridhi Yojna, as part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign from _______, which is amongst the lowest child sex ratios in the country.
1) Panipat, Haryana 
2) Amritsar, Punjab
3) Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh 
4) Nasik, Maharashtra
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Panipat, Haryana

Ques. : 154 The govt has launched HRIDAY project which is aimed at
1) Rejuvenating rich cultural heritage of India 
2) Establishing old age homes
3) Welfare of handicapped 
4) Saving girl child
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Rejuvenating rich cultural heritage of India

Ques. : 155 For the first time, AWACS are likely to be deployed in New Delh on the Republic Day for vigil. It is a/an
1) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle 
2) Airborne Warning System
3) US fighter jet 
4) Anti-aircraft gun
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Airborne Warning System

Ques. : 156 Sunil Sood has taken over as the new MD & CEO of which of the following telecom firms operating in India?
1) Bharti Airtel 
2) Idea
3) Reliance Communications 
4) Vodafone
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Vodafone

Ques. : 157 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 20 Jan said India is expected to grow at _______ in 2016, crossing China's projected growth rate by then.
1) 5.3 per cent 
2) 5.8 per cent
3) 6.5 per cent 
4) 7.8 per cent
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) 6.5 per cent

Ques. : 158 The European Central Bank (ECB) on 22 Jan launched a govt bond-buying programme. Who among the following is the present President of ECB?
1) Mario Draghi 
2) Ben Bernanke
3) Jean-Claude Trichet 
4) Mario Monti
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Mario Draghi

Ques. : 159 The Pakistan govt for the first time officially announced on 22 Jan to have frozen all assets and accounts of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). This terrorist organisation belongs to
1) Masood Azhar 
2) Dawood Ibrahim
3) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed 
4) Yasin Malik
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed

Ques. : 160 The Union Govt has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for another one year in
1) Assam 
2) Chhattisgarh
3) Jharkhand 
4) Punjab
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Assam

Ques. : 161 Name the committee on FCI which has recommended reduction in coverage of population form 67 per cent to 40 per cent under the National Food Security Act.
1) Ram Naik Committee 
2) Vajubhai Vala Committee
3) Manohar Joshi Committee 
4) Shanta Kumar Committee
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Shanta Kumar Committee

Ques. : 162 What is current estimated tiger population in the country according to the latest census report? It has increased by 30 per cent from the last count in 2010.
1) 1,411 
2) 1,520
3) 1,606 
4) 1,909
5) 2,226 
Answer:- 5) 2,226

Ques. : 163 According to findings of a recent UNESCO report, India still has __________children not attending primary school.
1) 1 million 
2) 1.4 million
3) 1.8 million 
4) 2 million
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) 1.4 million

Ques. : 164 Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who died on 23 Jan, was the king of
1) Iraq 
2) Saudi Arabia
3) Oman 
4) Turkey
5) United Arab Emirates 
Answer:- 2) Saudi Arabia

Ques. : 165 Cortana is a voice controlled assistance system which is developed by
1) Google 
2) Microsoft
3) Sun Microsystems 
4) Yahoo
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Microsoft

Ques. : 166 Jamaican Cabinet has approved a bill that legalises the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The capital city of Jamaica is
1) Kingston 
2) Portmore
3) Rio Bueno 
4) Managua
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Kingston

Ques. : 167 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 23 Jan relaxed norms for the ECB by allowing banks and companies to restructure and reschedule the existing borrowings. ECB stands for
1) Economic Commercial Borrowing 
2) External Commodity Borrowing
3) Economic Commodity Borrowing 
4) External Commercial Borrowing
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) External Commercial Borrowing

Ques. : 168 The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to display which of the following on their websites from 1 Apr?
1) Loan processing fees 
2) Loan interest rates
3) CIBIL scores of individuals 
4) All the above
5) Only 1) and 2) 
Answer:- 5) Only 1) and 2)

Ques. : 169 The term ‘stalemate’ is associated with which of the following games?
1) Hockey 
2) Football
3) Chess 
4) Billiards
5) Golf 
Answer:- 3) Chess

Ques. : 170 ‘Fly the new Feeling’ is the tagline of which of the following airlines operating in India?
1) Jet Airways 
2) IndiGo
3) Spicejet 
4) Vistara
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Vistara

Ques. : 171 Murli Deora, who died recently, was a veteran Congress leader from Maharashtra and former Union
1) Commerce and Industry Minister 
2) Petroleum Minister
3) Railway Minister 
4) Home Minister
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Petroleum Minister

Ques. : 172 Sitara Devi passed away recently. She was one of the country's finest ________dancers.
1) Kathak
2) Odissi
3) Kuchipudi 
4) Kathakali
5) Bharatanatyam 
Answer:- 1) Kathak

Ques. : 173 Who among the following is set to be appointed as the next Chairperson of the Press Council of India (PCI)?
1) Markenday Katju 
2) Altamas Kabir
3) Aseem Trivedi 
4) Gyan Sudha Misra
5) CK Prasad 
Answer:- 5) CK Prasad

Ques. : 174 Chuck Hagel quit as US ________recently.
1) Secretary of State 
2) Secretary of the Treasury
3) Defense Secretary 
4) Commerce Secretary
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Defense Secretary

Ques. : 175 Which of the following women players from India has been named UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia region?
1) Jwala Gutta 
2) Mary Kom
3) Sania Mirza 
4) Saina Nehwal
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Sania Mirza

Ques. : 176 The SAARC Summit held in Nepal on 26-27 Nov was _______summit of the group.
1) 15th 
2) 18th
3) 19th 
4) 20th
5) 21th 
Answer:- 2) 18th

Ques. : 177 President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first Commonwealth Science Congress held after a gap of 50 years in __________on 25 Nov.
1) Chennai 
2) Hyderabad
3) Mumbai 
4) Bengaluru
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Bengaluru

Ques. : 178 Swavalamban scheme is associated with which of the following?
1) Low-cost pension scheme 
2) Group health insurance
3) Women empowerment 
4) Saving girl child
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Low-cost pension scheme

Ques. : 179 Which of the following countries is planning to build the world's largest sea wall to try and prevent its capital city from disappearing under rising sea levels? It is expected that half the city will be below sea level by 2030.
1) Malaysia 
2) Indonesia
3) Iran 
4) Singapore
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Indonesia

Ques. : 180 Which of the following countries won a historic first Davis Cup title winning 2014 Davis Cup?
1) France 
2) Switzerland
3) South Korea 
4) UK
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Switzerland

Ques. : 181 ___________Republic Day was celebrated on 26 Jan with Barack Obama being the first US President to be the chief guest at the occasion.
1) 65th 
2) 66th
3) 67th 
4) 64th
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) 66th

Ques. : 182 Who is the first US President to visit India twice during his tenure?
1) Bill Clinton 
2) George W Bush
3) George HW Bush 
4) Barack Obama
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Barack Obama

Ques. : 183 RK Laxman, who died on 26 Jan, was a renowned
1) novelist 
2) journalist
3) cartoonist 
4) film maker
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) cartoonist

Ques. : 184 The National Bravery Awards, instituted in 1957, are presented by the PM on the eve of the Republic Day. The first official National Bravery Award was presented to
1) Chinmay Sharma
2) Harish Chandra
3) Sunil Singh 
4) Subhash Kumar
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Harish Chandra

Ques. : 185 Who among the following has became the first woman officer to command the tri-service guard of honour for a visiting head of state?
1) Gunjan Saxena 
2) Shakti Devi
3) Divya Ajith 
4) Pooja Thakur
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Pooja Thakur

Ques. : 186 The veteran politician LK Advani was honoured with _________ on the eve of Republic Day of India.
1) Padma Vibhushan 
2) Padma Bhushan
3) Padma Shree 
4) Bharat Ratna
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Padma Vibhushan

Ques. : 187 Who among the following artists of Hindi cinema were presented with the Padma Vibhushan award on 26 Jan?
1) Amitabh Bachchan 
2) Dharmendra
3) Dilip Kumar 
4) All the above
5) Only 1) and 3) 
Answer:- 5) Only 1) and 3)

Ques. : 188 Who among the following foreigners is NOT an awardee of Padma Bhushan award presented on 26 Jan?
1) David Frawley 
2) Bill Gates
3) Melinda Gates 
4) Saichiro Misumi
5) None of these 
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 189 Alexis Tsipras has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of
1) Italy 
2) Spain
3) Norway 
4) Greece
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Greece

Ques. : 190 Who among the following has been crowned as Miss Universe 2015?
1) Paulina Vega 
2) Koyal Rana
3) Gabriela Isler 
4) Diana Harkusha
5) Nia Sanchez 
Answer:- 1) Paulina Vega

Ques. : 191 India has appealed to the Dispute Settlement Board (DSB) of the WTO for a panel decision on its issues with the US over agricultural imports. The DSB has its seat in
1) Geneva 
2) New York
3) Toronto 
4) London
5) Berlin 
Answer:- 1) Geneva

Ques. : 192 Salman Bin Abdul Aziz was sworn in on 23 Jan as the new king of
1) Saudi Arabia 
2) United Arab Emirates
3) Bahrain 
4) Kuwait
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Saudi Arabia

Ques. : 193 Who among the following sportspersons is NOT an awardee of the coveted Padma Shree this year?
1) PV Sindhu 
2) Arunima Sinha
3) Sardara Singh 
4) Mithali Raj
5) Saina Nehwal 
Answer:- 5) Saina Nehwal

Ques. : 194 As announced by the state CM, which of the following state capitals is all set to become the first fully Wi-Fi enabled metro city of the country? Reliance Jio will provide the services.
1) Kolkata 
2) New Delhi
3) Chennai 
4) Mumbai
5) Bengaluru 
Answer:- 1) Kolkata

Ques. : 195 During the recent visit of the US President Barack Obama to India, the US pledged what amount in investment and loans to India?
1) $1 billion 
2) $2 billion
3) $4 billion 
4) $8 billion
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) $4 billion

Ques. : 196 The Global Exhibition on Services (GES) will be organised in which city from 23-25 Apr, 2015 by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry?
1) New Delhi 
2) Gurgaon
3) Bengaluru 
4) Hyderabad
5) Noida 
Answer:- 1) New Delhi

Ques. : 197 Who among the following Australian cricketers has won the annual Allan Border Medal for Australian player of the year and also the one-day and Test player awards, becoming only the third player to win the trifecta in the 10 years?
1) Steve Smith 
2) Shane Watson
3) Michael Clarke 
4) David Warner
5) Brad Haddin 
Answer:- 1) Steve Smith

Ques. : 198 Among the 24 winners of National Bravery Awards 2014, the coveted Bharat Award has been given to
1) Zeal Jitendra Marathe 
2) Rumoh Meto
3) Devesh Kumar 
4) Gunjan Sharma
5) Resham Fatma 
Answer:- 5) Resham Fatma

Ques. : 199 The service sector contributes around 28 per cent in overall employment in the country and constitutes _________of India's GDP.
1) 17 per cent 
2) 29 per cent
3) 57 per cent 
4) 74 per cent
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) 57 per cent

Ques. : 200 Who among the following is the present Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology?
1) Arun Jaitley 
2) Nitin Gadkari
3) Sadananda Gowda 
4) Ravi Shankar Prasad
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ques. : 201 Which of the following was NOT a highlight of the recent visit of the US President Barack Obama to India?
1) The US pledged $4 billion in loans and investment. 
2) For the first time a woman officer (Pooja Thakur) led the tri-service Guard of Honour.
3) India and the US achieved a breakthrough on operationalisation of the civil nuclear deal. 
4) He is the first US President to visit India twice during office.
5) He is only the second US President to be the chief guest at the Republic Day of India. 
Answer:- 5) He is only the second US President to be the chief guest at the Republic Day of India.

Ques. : 202 Name the Colonel of the Indian Army, who a day after being awarded with Yudh Seva Medal, was killed in a gunbattle with militants in Tral in Jammu & Kashmir recently.
1) Major Mukund Varadarajan 
2) Munindra Nath Rai
3) Jaiveer Singh Negi 
4) Amarjeet Singh Bedi
5) Vivek Pratap Singh 
Answer:- 2) Munindra Nath Rai

Ques. : 203 Name the winter storm which hit the US recently.
1) Juno 
2) Katrina
3) Elena 
4) Camille
5) Baker 
Answer:- 1) Juno

Ques. : 204 The National Bravery Award Scheme was initiated to give due recognition to the children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding deeds of bravery. It was initiated by
1) Bachpan Bachao Andolan 
2) Child Rights and You
4) Indian Council for Child Welfare
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Indian Council for Child Welfare

Ques. : 205 The capital city of Mozambique is
1) Lilongwe 
2) Lusaka
3) Harare 
4) Maputo
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Maputo

Ques. : 206 The RBI has allowed travelers from India and Nepal or Bhutan to carry currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. However, the maximum limit that an individual can carry is
1) Rs 10,000 
2) Rs 15,000
3) Rs 20,000 
4) Rs 25,000
5) Rs 50,000 
Answer:- 4) Rs 25,000

Ques. : 207 PM Narendra Modi shared the third edition of the radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on 27 Jan with who among the following?
1) Kiran Bedi 
2) LK Advani
3) Barack Obama 
4) Nawaz Sharif
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Barack Obama

Ques. : 208 Who among the following has been appointed the new foreign secretary?
1) S Jaishankar 
2) Shivshankar Menon
3) Ranjan Mathai 
4) Ashok K Kantha
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) S Jaishankar

Ques. : 209 The govt on 28 Jan decided to go for the biggest disinvestment ever and fetch up to Rs 24,000 cr at current market prices. The govt plans to offload _________share in Coal India.
1) 5 per cent 
2) 8 per cent
3) 10 per cent 
4) 12 per cent
5) 15 per cent 
Answer:- 3) 10 per cent

Ques. : 210 The CCEA has approved the mandatory packaging of 90 per cent of _________produced in India as well as 20 per cent of ________in jute bags for the 2014-15 crop season?
1) fruits, sugar 
2) foodgrains, fruits
3) foodgrains, sugar 
4) onion, sugar
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) foodgrains, sugar

Ques. : 211 India celebrated Republic Day for the first time in 1950 with who among the following as the chief guest?
1) Sukarno, Indonesian 
2) Marshall Ye Jianying, China
3) King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Bhutan 
4) King Tribhuvan, Nepal
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Sukarno, Indonesian

Ques. : 212 The 150th birth anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai was celebrated on 28 Jan. He was associated with the foundation of which of the following banks in 1895?
1) Central Bank of India 
2) Imperial Bank of India
3) Allahabad Bank 
4) Punjab National Bank
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Punjab National Bank

Ques. : 213 Which of the following articles of the Indian Constitution says that there shall be a Governor for each state?
1) Article 51 
2) Article 153
3) Article 65 
4) Article 111
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Article 153

Ques. : 214 Name the Australian cricketer who has won Bradman young cricketer of the year award 2015. He is also associated with the tragic death of cricketer Phillip Hughes.
1) Steve Smith 
2) Sean Abbott
3) Nic Maddinson 
4) Michael Clarke
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Sean Abbott

Ques. : 215 Which of the following countries will host the World Twenty20 championship in 2016?
1) Australia 
2) Sri Lanka
3) New Zealand 
4) India
5) England 
Answer:- 4) India

Ques. : 216 The Maharashtra govt has announced to observe which of the following days as ‘Industries Day’?
1) 14 Sep 
2) 17 Sep
3) 1 Apr 
4) 1 May
5) 31 Mar 
Answer:- 2) 17 Sep

Ques. : 217 Mala Aravindan passed away recently. He was a veteran _______actor.
1) Tamil 
2) Telugu
3) Odia 
4) Malayalam
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) Malayalam

Ques. : 218 Shirani Bandaranayake has been reinstated as the Chief Justice of which of the following countries two years after being removed?
1) Myanmar 
2) Maldives
3) Sri Lanka 
4) Thailand
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) Sri Lanka

Ques. : 219 Which of the following companies has reported the biggest quarterly profit ($18bn) ever made by a public company recently?
1) Xiaomi 
2) Apple
3) TCS 
4) Microsoft
5) China Mobile 
Answer:- 2) Apple

Ques. : 220 The Supreme Court, recently, directed search engines like Google India to strictly comply with the laws and block advertisements on
1) lesbian relations 
2) erotic products
3) sex determination 
4) junk food
5) None of these 
Answer:- 3) sex determination

Ques. : 221 Governor Kalyan Singh was given an additional charge of Himachal Pradesh recently. He is the present Governor of
1) Rajasthan 
2) Gujarat
3) Maharashtra 
4) Madhya Pradesh
5) Haryana 
Answer:- 1) Rajasthan

Ques. : 222 The Reserve Bank of India has signed 23 information sharing agreements with the foreign banking regulators so far. Such agreement has not been signed with which of the following banks?
1) Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) 
2) European Central Bank (ECB)
3) Federal Reserve 
4) Reserve Bank of New Zealand
5) None of these 
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 223 What is the expanded form of OFS?
1) Offer For Sale 
2) Offer For Share
3) Offer For Subscription 
4) Offer For Submission
5) None of these 
Answer:- 1) Offer For Sale

Ques. : 224 The World Bank, in its recent report, lauded which of the following Indian states for reducing poverty and attaining best human development outcomes?
1) Sikkim 
2) Himachal Pradesh
3) West Bengal 
4) Tamil Nadu
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Himachal Pradesh

Ques. : 225 Who among the following has been appointed the new Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA)?
1) Anuradha Paudwal 
2) Ronu Majumdar
3) Manhar Udhas 
4) Shekhar Sen
5) Nitin Mukesh 
Answer:- 4) Shekhar Sen

Ques. : 226 The 2017 Women’s World Cup will be held between Aug 4-27 in
1) New Zealand 
2) Australia
3) England 
4) India
5) Sri Lanka 
Answer:- 3) England

Ques. : 227 The govt on 30 Jan successfully offloaded 10 per cent stake in Coal India to raise around ________in India's biggest-ever equity offering.
1) Rs 20,400 cr 
2) Rs 22,400 cr
3) Rs 25,400 cr 
4) Rs 28,400 cr
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) Rs 22,400 cr

Ques. : 228 The Govt, on 30 Jan, sharply revised India’s 2013-14 GDP growth estimate to
1) 4.5 per cent 
2) 4.7 per cent
3) 5.1 per cent 
4) 6.9 per cent
5) None of these 
Answer:- 4) 6.9 per cent

Ques. : 229 What is the current Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)?
1) 20 per cent 
2) 21 per cent
3) 22 per cent 
4) 23 per cent
5) 24 per cent 
Answer:- 3) 22 per cent

Ques. : 230 The Anti Leprosy Day is held on which day every year?
1) 27 Jan 
2) 30 Jan
3) 2 Feb 
4) 8 Jan
5) None of these 
Answer:- 2) 30 Jan



Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 07:00