Home Current Affairs CURRENT AFFAIRS; MONTHLY BULLETIN ; MARCH 2015 - PART - 2
CURRENT AFFAIRS; MONTHLY BULLETIN ; MARCH 2015 - PART - 2
Saturday, 13 June 2015 07:32

 

PART - 2

 

 

CURRENT NATIONAL AFFAIRS

 

NRDC, CCRAS SIGNED MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT TO COMMERCIALISE AYURVEDIC MEDICINES

National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) and Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) on 5 March 2015 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to commercialise ayurvedic medicines and technologies developed at CCRAS.

The MoA was signed by Abhimanyu Kumar, Director General of CCRAS and H Purushotham, Chairman & Managing Director of NRDC. The MoA provides Intellectual Property Rights services to CCRAS in India and abroad.

NRDC already has played key role in transferring more than 10 technologies developed at CCRAS to more than 50 entrepreneurs and industry. It had helped both the organisations to earn a substantial amount of revenue.

CCRAS is an apex body in India and works under the AYUSH Department of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. On the other hand, NDRC functions and operates under the aegis of Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

 

UNION GOVERNMENT RELEASED DIGITAL GENDER ATLAS FOR ADVANCING GIRLS EDUCATION

Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD) on 9 March 2015 released Digital Gender Atlas for Advancing Girls Education, a web-based tool for advancing girls education. It was unveiled by the Department of School Education and Literacy.

This web based tool was developed with the support of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The tool will help identify low performing geographic pockets for girls, particularly from marginalised groups such as scheduled castes, schedule tribes and Muslim minorities.

The Atlas will help identify and ensure equitable education with a focus on vulnerable girls, including girls with disabilities. To ensure this is feasible, the Gender Atlas was developed as a hands-on management tool to enable critical decisions and actions in pockets where gaps are to be met.

The Atlas provides comparative analysis of individual gender related indicators over three years and that enables a visual assessment of the change and an understanding of whether some intervention introduced in a geography at a particular point in time has worked or not.

It is developed on an open source platform with an inbuilt scope of updating data by authorized persons to retain its dynamic character.

It enables the user to navigate between geographical representation and numeric data at state, district and block levels and gives information on key indicators for girls’ education at primary, upper primary and secondary level.

Components of the Digital Gender Atlas

Composite Gender Ranking: A composite gender index was developed using the formulae that are used for calculating the EDI in DISE. Accordingly, the selected gender indicators have been grouped into four categories- Access, Infrastructure, Teachers and Outcomes.

Trend Analysis for Gender Related Indicators: The Atlas enables a trend analysis and tracking of performance of individual gender related indicators across a period of three years.

Spatial Display of Pockets with Multiple Disadvantages Related to Education: Spatial identification of pockets in states or blocks in districts where juxtaposition of key relevant gender indicators reveal maximum disadvantages.
Vulnerabilities: This component of the Atlas visualizes the vulnerability status of an area based on a composite index of three broad indicators rural female literacy, percentage girls/boys married below the legal age of marriage and working children.

Children with Disabilities: This part of the Atlas visualizes the performance status of a single indicator related to children with disabilities, particularly girls, based on quartile ranking across three years i.e. 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Girl Education in India

India has achieved high enrolment rates for girls at primary and upper primary levels of schooling. However, at the secondary level, girls’ enrolment remains lower.

While in upper primary the representation of girls in the total enrolment is 48.66 percent, the percentage in secondary is 47.29 percent.

Girls comprise half the population of school age children, and therefore, it is important to understand the multiple vulnerabilities they face in different areas in order to plan and prioritise inclusive interventions.

 

PRIME MINISTER LAUNCHED INDIA’S FIRST INDIGENOUSLY DEVELOPED ROTAVIRUS VACCINE ROTAVAC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9 March 2015 launched the first indigenously developed Rotavirus vaccine named Rotavac. This is the third such vaccine, besides GSK Rotarix and Merck’s RotaTeq available globally against Rotavirus.

The vaccine will boost India’s efforts to combat infant mortality due to diarrhea. The vaccine will be available at a price of 1 US dollar per dose making it the cheapest vaccine available for rotavirus globally.

Rotavac vaccine was developed under the public-private partnership (PPP) model that involved Union Ministry of Science and Technology, US’s National Institute of Health (NIH), NGOs in India supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bharat Biotech India Limited (BBIL).

Union Government along with NIH of the US funded the basic research while the Bharat Biotech India Limited (BBIL) and the Gates Foundation contributed towards vaccine development and testing.

The vaccine was the result of an extraordinary effort spread over the last 25 years. The BBIL that was involved in the development and production of the vaccine was selected in 1997-1998 by the India-U.S. Vaccine Action Programme to develop the vaccine.

About Rotavirus

It is a most common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11 months age group in India. It spreads from person to person due to bacterial agents that are primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water.

In India, diarrhoea caused by rotavirus kills nearly 80 thousand children under the age of 5 years and lead to 10 lakh hospitalizations every year. India accounts for 22 percent of the global deaths that occurs due to diarrhoea-causing rotavirus.

Rotavirus vaccines are administered orally to infants in three dose course at ages of six, ten and fourteen weeks and are part of Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

 

UNION MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS RELEASED THE DATA OF TOP TEN CORPORATE OF 2014

Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 10 March 2015 released data of top ten Corporate of 2014. The pack of top ten corporate comprises of eight public sector undertakings and two private sector undertakings.

In term of assets, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is the largest corporate with assets worth 3.68 lakh crore rupees. RIL is followed by state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) with assets worth 2.52 lakh crore rupees and mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC) with assets worth 2.25 lakh crore rupees.

Other entities in the top ten are Power Finance Corporation (4), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) (5), Rural Electrification Corporation (devil), Power Grid Corporation (7), LIC Housing Finance (music), Steel Authority of India Limited (9) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (10).

Power Finance Corp's assets stood at 1.94 lakh crore rupees, NTPC 1.80 lakh crore rupees, Rural Electrification Corp 1.53 lakh crore rupees, Power Grid Corp 1.40 lakh crore rupees, LIC Housing Finance 95777 crore rupees, Steel Authority of India 91962 crore rupees and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd 89333 crore rupees.

The list is based on data from 415886 companies which had filed their balance sheets for the year 2013-14 till November 2014.

The total reported value of the assets of all the 415886 companies was 117.08 lakh crore rupees and the share of top ten companies in the total value of assets was 15.3 percent in March 2014.

 

INDIAN RAILWAYS SIGNED MOU WITH LIC FOR IMPLEMENTING RAILWAY PROJECTS

Indian Railways on 11 March 2015 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to augment its resources for speedier execution of projects. The MoU was signed by Rajalakshmi Ravikumar, Financial Commissioner (Railways) and SK Roy, Chairman of LIC.

Under this MoU, LIC will make available a Financial Assistance of 150000 crore rupees to the Indian Railways for implementing Railway projects over the next five years. The Financial Assistance will be available from the Financial Year 2015-16.

LIC will invest in bonds issued by various railway entities such as Indian Railways Finance Corporation. There will be a 5 year moratorium in interest and loan repayment. The bonds will have a tenor of 30 years and will be disbursed over the next five years.

In his Budget Speech 2015-16, Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced his intention of meeting a part of the total Plan Budget of 100011 crore rupees through extra budgetary resources, such as market borrowings by tapping low cost long term funds.

 

UNION CABINET APPROVED PRADHAN MANTRI KAUSHAL VIKAS YOJANA (PMKVY) TO IMPART SKILL TRAINING TO YOUTH

The Union Cabinet approved the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) on 19 March 2015 with an outlay of 1500 crore rupees. The programme aims to impart skill training to youth with focus on first time entrants to the labour market and class 10 and class 12 drop outs.

Key characteristics of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKY)

• The programme aims to impart skill training to youth with focus on first time entrants to the labour market and class 10 and class 12 drop outs.

• The scheme will cover 24 lakh persons and skill training would be based on the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) and industry led standards.

• The programme will be implemented by the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) training partners.

• In addition, Central and State Government affiliated training providers would also be used for training purposes.

• Skill training would be on the basis of skill gap studies conducted by the NSDC for the period 2013-17.

• Focus of the training would be on improved curricula, better pedagogy and better trained instructors.

• Training would include soft skills, personal grooming, behavioral change for cleanliness, good work ethics.
• A monetary reward will be given to trainees on assessment and certification by third party assessment bodies.

The average monetary reward would be around 8000 rupees per trainee.

Funds Allocation

• Out of the total outlay of 1120 crore rupees to be spent on skill training of 14 lakh youths, 220 crore rupees has been allocated for recognition of prior learning.

• 67 crore rupees has been allocated for awareness building and mobilization efforts. Mobilization would be done through skill melas organized at the local level with participation of the State Governments, Municipal Bodies, Pachayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and community based organizations.

• 67 crore rupees has been allocated for mentorship support and placement facilitation for trainees.

• 150 crore rupees has been allocated for training of youth from the North-East region.

Monitoring of the programme

• Sector Skill Councils and the State Governments would closely monitor skill training that will happen under the PMKVY.

• Skill Development Management System (SDMS) would be put in place to verify and record details of all training centres a certain quality of training locations and courses.

• Biometric system and video recording of the training process would be put in place where feasible.

• All persons undergoing training would be required to give feed back at the time of assessment and this would become the key element of the evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness of the PMKVY scheme.

• A robust grievance redressal system would be put in place to address grievances relating to implementation of the scheme.

 

NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR SKILL TRAINING OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES LAUNCHED IN NEW DELHI

National Action Plan for Skill Training of Persons with Disabilities was launched in New Delhi on 21 March 2015.

The National Action Plan is a partnership between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability for skilling 2.5 million Persons with Disability (PwD) over seven years between 2015 and 2022.

The Plan was jointly launched by the Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy and the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot.

The National Action Plan (NAP) seeks to provide a synergistic framework for people with disability, for improving vocational training and employment opportunities for them with the eventual goal of providing them with livelihoods and independence. The plan envisages use of Information Technology for content, training delivery and employer connect.

The plan is of significant importance for overall development of PwDs since according to census 2011, there are 2.68 Crore PwDs in India. Among them about 1.34 crore persons are in the employable age of 15 to 59 years. 
According to a United Nations (UN) report unemployment rate among PwDS is usually double that of the general population and often as high as 80% in Asia-Pacific region.

 

SUPREME COURT DECLARED SECTION 66A OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000 AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

The Supreme Court (SC) of India on 24 March 2015 declared Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 as unconstitutional and struck it down. The section empowers law enforcement agencies to arrest those who post objectionable content online and provides for a three-year jail term.

It declared Section 66A as unconstitutional because

• It violates the citizens fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression provided in the Article 19 (1)(a), not saved by Article 19(2), of the Constitution of India.

• The vagueness of language used in the Section 66A (like the words grossly offensive and of menacing character) is prone to misuse by enforcement authorities.

• It cannot withstand the clear and present danger test and the tendency to create public disorder test as given in Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution. Article 19(2) provides for enactment of law by the state to provide reasonable restrictions on the provisions contained in Article 19(1)(a).

The land mark judgment was delivered by a SC bench of Justices J Chelameswar and RF Nariman on a batch of petitions challenging the Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000.

The first Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Shreya Singhal in 2012 wherein she sought amendment to the Section 66A after two girls were arrested under this section in Thane district for criticizing shutdown in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackray’s death in a facebook post.

In Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India case the apex court had come out with an advisory on 16 May 2013. As per the advisory, a person, accused of posting objectionable comments on social networking sites, cannot be arrested without police getting permission from senior officers like Inspector General (IG) or Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).

Further, in early 2015 the SC had said that Section 66A IT Act, cannot be quashed on the ground that it does not have mens rea (motive or knowledge of wrongdoing) as one of the pre-requisites to constitute an offence within the meaning of aforesaid section.

About Section 66A of IT Act

Section 66A provides for punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.
It says that any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,—
(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or

(b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,

(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.

 

UNION MINISTRY OF FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRIES SANCTIONED 17 MEGA FOOD PARKS

Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries on 24 March 2015 sanctioned 17 Mega Food Parks (MFPs). These parks are aimed at creating state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities to reduce food wastage and create value addition.

Details of the 17 MFPs

• The 17 MFPs will be spread across 11 States. While Kerala, Telangana, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were sanctioned two MFPs each whereas Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar were sanctioned one MFP each.

• These food parks will attract around 2000 crore rupees in modern food processing infrastructure including 850 crore rupees grant-in-aid provided by the government to these establishments.

• An additional collective investment of 4000 crore rupees is also expected to be invested in 500 food processing units to be set up in these parks.

• The annual turnover of the food processing units in these MFPs would be more than 8000 crore rupees.

• These parks will generate direct or indirect employment for 80000 people.

• It is estimated to benefit around 5 lakh farmers once they become operational.

• Out of the 17 MFPs six have been sanctioned for various state government agencies and eleven to private sector.

• For the first time, under the changed eligibility criteria public authorities are also allowed to establish MFPs.

Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing the MFP Scheme since 2008. So far 42 MFPs have been sanctioned (including newly sanctioned 17 MFPs). Currently, 25 projects are under implementation and two have become operational and three more are expected to be operationalised by June 2015.

About Mega Food Parks Scheme (MFPS)

The Scheme was launched in 2008 by UPA Government. Its focus is to overcome the bottlenecks in the food supply chain due to which around 33 percent food is wasted in India making it the largest food waster in the world.

A Mega Food Park entails an area of a minimum of 50 acres and works in a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model. Union government provides a financial assistance of up to 50 crore rupees to set up a MFP.

 

UNION CABINET APPROVED SIGNING AND RATIFYING THE UNESCAP AGREEMENT ON DRY PORTS

The Union Cabinet on 31 March 2015 gave its nod to signing and ratifying of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on Dry Ports of International Importance.

The cabinet’s decision is in tune with the Resolution of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) regarding development of dry ports within member countries of UNESCAP, in which India is a member.

Importance of the agreement

• The agreement promotes international recognition of dry ports, facilitates investment in infrastructure, improves operational efficiency of inter modal transport services, establishes guiding principles for development and operation of dry ports and enhances the environmental sustainability of freight transport.

• The agreement will help in connectivity and integration of the Asian highway network, the trans-Asian railways network and other modes by working towards development of dry ports.

• The agreement will facilitate and expand international goods transport as a consequence of growing international trade in the region.

• The agreement will lead to strengthening of connectivity and seamless international movement of goods, facilitate increased efficiency and reduce cost of transport and logistics as well as extend reach to inland areas and wider hinterlands.

The agreement is an outcome of the UNESCAP resolution 66/4 of 19 May 2010 on the implementation of the Bangkok Declaration on Transport Development in Asia.

Seventeen countries have signed this Agreement so far. These are Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Iran, the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

 

CURRENT INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

 

FORBES MAGAZINE RELEASED GLOBAL BILLIONAIRE’S 2015 ANNUAL LIST

Forbes magazine on 3 March 2015 released Global Billionaire’s 2015 annual list. Bill Gates co-founder of Microsoft topped the global billionaires list of Forbes magazine with worth of 79.2 billion US dollars for the 16th time.

Highlights
• The United States topped the list with 536 rich people, followed by China at 213 rich people, Germany at 103 rich people and India at 90 rich people.

• Carlos Slim Helu from Mexico telecommunications mogul ranked second with worth 77.1 billion US dollars and Warren Buffet, chief of Berkshire Hathaway Inc was ranked third with 72.7 billion US dollars.

• Amancio Ortega, founder Inditex SA from Spain ranked fourth with 64.5 billion US dollars and Larry Ellison Chairman of Oracle Corp ranked fifth with 54.3 billion US dollars.

• Liliane Bettencourt- L’Oreal SA from France ranked tenth with 40.1 billion US dollars.

• Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook ranked 16 and for the first time joined the top 20. Michael Jordan, basketball player joined the annual list for the first time.

• Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, cofounders of Snapchat were the youngest billionaires and are each worth 1.5 billion US dollars.

• 90 Indians were present in Forbes annual list, which includes Mukesh Ambani – Reliance Industries Limited, ranked 39, Dilip Shanghvi ranked 44 and Azim Premji ranked 48.

• There is an increased of 15 percent of women made the annual list that is 197 from 172 in 2014.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc - heiress Christy Walton ranked eight with 41 billion US dollars.

 

INDIA AND SPAIN SIGNED AN AGREEMENT ON MUTUAL PROTECTION OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

India and Spain on 5 March 2015 signed an agreement on Mutual Protection of Classified Information to provide the framework for enhanced bilateral cooperation in areas of defence research, development and technology cooperation.

The agreement was signed by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Defence Minister of Spain Pedro Morenes Eulate. It was signed during the official visit of Defence Minister of Pedro Moremes to India.

The agreement was signed to provide the framework for an enhanced cooperation in the defence sector. This is the primary pact that India agreed before embarking on deeper talks on Defence cooperation.


INDIA AND SEYCHELLES SIGNED FOUR AGREEMENTS TO BOOST SECURITY COOPERATION

India on 11 March 2015 signed four agreements with the Indian Ocean island nation Seychelles to boost security and maritime partnership. The agreements were signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Seychelles.

The four agreements were signed in following categories:

• Cooperation in hydrography

• Cooperation in renewable energy

• Cooperation in Infrastructure development

• Cooperation in Sale of navigation charts and electronic navigational charts

Modi also launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project in Seychelles, describing it as another symbol of the cooperation between the two countries. He also announced that India will grant free visas to for three months to the citizens of Seychelles.

Moreover, Seychelles will continue to make an enormous contribution to the safety and security of the Indian Ocean Region. With this visit, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Seychelles in 34 years. Indira Gandhi had visited the country in 1981.

 

INDIA AND MAURITIUS INKED FIVE MOUS TO GIVE IMPETUS TO BILATERAL RELATIONS

India and Mauritius inked 5 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on 11 March 2015 to give new impetus to bilateral co-operation between the two nations.  The MoUs were signed in Port Luis in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Sir Anerood Jugnuth.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a five day official tour of three ocean nations, namely Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. The journey started on 10 March 2015 and will conclude on 14 March 2015.

This is the first visit to Mauritius by an Indian Prime Minister in over three decades.

The five MoUs which were signed between the two nations include

• MoU in the field of Ocean Economy: The agreement provides for mutually beneficial cooperation for exploration and capacity development in the field of marine resources, fisheries, green tourism, research and development of ocean technology, exchange of experts and other related activities

• MoU on Programme for Cultural Cooperation for the year 2015-18: The programme will help to enhance bilateral cooperation and will also enhance greater people-to-people participation between the two countries.

• MoU on the Protocol for the importation of fresh mango from India: The aim of this Protocol is to facilitate importation of fresh mango fruits from India by Mauritius to enable the Mauritian to relish the flavor of the world-renowned Indian mangoes.

• MoU for the Improvement in Sea and Air Transportation Facilities at Agalega Island of Mauritius: This will help in betterment of the condition of the inhabitants of this remote Island. These facilities will enhance the capabilities of the Mauritian Defence Forces in safeguarding their interests in the Outer Island.

• MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional System of Medicine and Homeopathy: This MoU will promote cooperation in the field of traditional system of health and medicine between the two countries. It envisages exchange of experts, supply of traditional medicinal substances, joint research and development and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries. It also aims at promotion and popularization of the various Indian traditional systems which fall under AYUSH.

Beside the summit-level talks and exchange of documents of the MoUs, India also offered a concessional line of credit of 500 million US dollars to Mauritius for key infrastructure projects.

Also, fee on the Electronic Travel Authorisation to visiting Mauritian citizens was waived off. The fee was waived off with an aim to enhance people-to-people contact between the two nations along with promotion of tourism. 
The two Prime Ministers also discussed ways to combat climate change.

Comment and Analysis

The MoUs which were signed during the visit of Prime Minister Modi’s visit can be seen as an approach to revive the cultural ties between the two nations along with economic as well as maritime security options.

The MoU on the co-operation in the Ocean Economy lays ahead a chance for the two nations to develop new areas of ocean economy and follow sustainable practices in use of blue assets. It also provides a chance to boost scientific and economic partnership as well as understanding of marine ecology.

Besides, these MoUs will also broaden the regional cooperation and enhance peace and prosperity in maritime region.

 

TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION RELEASED THE WORLD REPUTATION RANKINGS 2015

The Times Higher Education on 13 March 2015 released the World Reputation Rankings 2015. This year rankings show that the United Kingdom boasts 12 of the 100 most renowned higher education institutions in the world.

For the fifth consecutive year, the rankings highlight an elite group of six US and UK universities that hold a significant lead over the rest. The Harvard University ranks at the 1st position followed by Cambridge University at second position and Oxford University on the third.

Highlights of the World Reputation Rankings 2015

• The University of Bristol entered the ranking this year in the 91-100 band, while Durham University and the University of Warwick entered the 81-90 group.

• The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine dropped out of the list this year.

• Both Cambridge University and Oxford University climbed two places and are ranked second and third respectively.

• United States remains dominant in the annual rankings, claiming 43 of the top 100 universities and eight universities in the top 10.

• Germany remains the best-represented nation after the US and the UK, with six top 100 universities.

• France now boasts five institutions in the table, all of them based in Paris.

• Asia’s best performer The University of Tokyo, slipped one place to 12th position. Meanwhile, China’s top institution Tsinghua University climbed 10 places to 26th and Peking University leaped from 41st to 32nd place.
World Reputation Rankings 2015 results: Top 10

2015 rank

2014 rank

Institution

1

1

Harvard University (US)

2

4

University of Cambridge (UK)

3

5

University of Oxford (UK)

4

2

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

5

3

Stanford University (US)

6

6

University of California, Berkeley (US)

7

7

Princeton University (US)

8

8

Yale University (US)

9

9

California Institute of Technology (US)

10

12

Columbia University (US)

About the survey of World Reputation Rankings 2015

The World Reputation Rankings 2015 employ the world's largest invitation-only academic opinion survey to provide the definitive list of the top 100 most powerful global university brands. The survey is available in 15 languages.

The questionnaire, administered on behalf of THE by Elsevier, targets only experienced and published scholars, who offer their views on excellence in research and teaching within their disciplines and at institutions with which they are familiar.

The 2015 rankings are based on a survey carried out between November 2014 and January 2015, which received a total of 10507 responses from 142 countries.

 

SIPRI RELEASED TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS 2014 REPORT

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 16 March 2015 released Trends in International Arms Transfers 2014 report.

According to it, India is the world's largest importer of weapons and military equipment, accounting for 15 percent of global imports, with Russia being its majority supplier.

Highlights of the Report

• The volume of transfers of major weapons in 2010–14 was 16 percent higher than in 2005– 2009.

• The five biggest exporters in 2010–14 were the USA, Russia, China, Germany and France. Together, they accounted for 74 percent of the volume of arms exports. Combined, the USA and Russia supplied 58 percent of all exports.

• China replaced Germany as the third largest arms exporter in 2010–14, in 2005–2009 China was ranked ninth.

• Total exports from all EU member states in 2010–14 were 16 percent lower than in 2005–2009; in 2005–2009 EU export volumes were higher than those for the USA or Russia, while in 2010–14 they were below US and Russian export totals.

• The five biggest importers in 2010–14 were India, Saudi Arabia, China, the UAE and Pakistan. Together, they received 33 percent of all arms imports.

• The main recipient region in 2010–14 was Asia and Oceania (accounting for 48 percent of imports), followed by the Middle East (22 percent), Europe (12 percent), the Americas (10 percent) and Africa (9 percent).

• Between 2005–2009 and 2010–14, arms imports by states in Africa increased by 45 percent, Asia and Oceania by 37 percent, the Middle East by 25 percent and the Americas by 7 percent. Imports by states in Europe decreased by 36 percent.

India: The largest importer of arms

• India was the largest importer of major arms in 2010–14, accounting for 15 percent of the global total. Between 2005–2009 and 2010–14 imports increased by 140 percent.

• In 2010–14 India’s imports were three times larger than those of its regional rivals China and Pakistan.

• This contrasts with 2005–2009 when India’s imports were 23 percent below China’s and just over double those of Pakistan.

• India has so far failed to produce competitive indigenous-designed weapons and remains dependent on imports.

• In 2010–14 Russia supplied 70 percent of India’s arms imports, the USA 12 percent and Israel 7 percent. The acquisitions from the USA are a break with the recent past.

• Prior to 2005–2009 India barely received any major weapons from the USA. However, there now appears to be an upward trend in arms imports from the USA. Imports in 2010–14 were 15 times higher than in 2005–2009 and included advanced weapons such as anti-submarine warfare aircraft. In 2014 additional deals with the USA were agreed, including for 22 combat helicopters.

About SIPRI

SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public

 

CII SIGNED AGREEMENT WITH NUS TO IMPROVE INDIA’S RATING ON EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (NUS) on 19 March 2015 to improve India’s rating on ease of doing business.

The MoU aimed to enhance the ease of doing business and bring the rating of India amongst the top 50 countries from the present 142nd slot as per World Bank Report.

The MoU was signed during the CII Conference on Make in India: Focus North oragnised by CII as part of CII Northern Region’s Annual Regional Meeting.

CII and NUS will conduct joint state level research across 11 parameters including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, land acquisition and registration of property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labour market regulations.

Subsequently, this MoU would be followed by individual tripartite MoUs between the CII, NUS and respective state governments to in turn create state-wise Master plan for ease of doing business and then prepare a comprehensive state-level action plan.

The NUS would study where the states stand presently on various parameters, guide on the specific best practices to be adopted by different states, handhold them and would also analyze their improvement on year on year basis.

Addressing the issue of ease of doing business is crucial for accelerating growth and job creation as the Make in India campaign aims to position India as a world class manufacturing destination.

However, in order to realise this potential, the major thrust needs to be placed on improving the investment climate in states ranging from ease of doing business, structural & regulatory reforms to enabling infrastructure.

Singapore is ranked at no.1 country in ease of doing business.

 

INDIA AND QATAR INKED SIX AGREEMENTS TO INCREASE COMMERCIAL AND ECONOMIC EXCHANGES

India and Qatar on 25 March 2015 signed six agreements to increase commercial and economic exchanges between India and Qatar. The deals have a special focus on the Make in India initiative.

These six agreements were inked in New Delhi in presence of Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani was on a two day official visit to India on 25 March and 26 March 2015.

The six Agreements which were inked includes

• Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons: Under this agreement, Indian prisoners convicted in Qatar can be brought to India to serve the remaining part of their sentence. Similarly Qatari Citizens convicted in India can be sent to his home country to serve their sentence.

MoU for Cooperation in the field of Information and Communication Technology: This MoU would provide enhanced business opportunities for Indian IT industry in Qatar. Qatar has embarked on an ambitious programme for overall development as part of their Qatar 2030 vision and has created a dedicated Ministry of Information and Communication Technology for capacity building in ICT.

• MoU between Ministry of Earth sciences and Qatar Meteorological Department for Scientific and Technical cooperation: The scientific collaboration between India and Qatar will be beneficial to improve atmospheric & Oceanic capacity in both the countries.

• MoU between Diplomatic Institute of MOFA, Qatar and Foreign Service Institute, MEA: This MoU would help in exchange of trainees, students, faculty members and experts between India and Qatar to enhance their skills and improve the training programme in both the countries.

• MoU for cooperation in the field of Radio and Television: This MoU intends to encourage regular exchange of radio and TV programmes and material between Prasar Bharati of India and Qatar Media Cooperation.

• Agreement for Mutual Cooperation and Exchange of News: The agreement between Qatari News Agency and United News of India is to enhance and develop bilateral cooperation in the field of exchange of English-language news on daily basis and free of charge.

 

INDIA AND ADB SIGNED 300 MILLION US DOLLAR LOAN AGREEMENT TO IMPROVE CONNECTIVITY IN NE REGION

The Union Ministry of Finance and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 26 March 2015 signed a loan agreement for 300 million US dollars to improve road connectivity along the North Bengal-North Eastern (NB-NE) Region. The agreement was signed in New Delhi.

The funds will be utilized to improve road connectivity and efficiency of the international trade corridors by expanding roads in NB-NE region of the country.

Tarun Bajaj, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions) in the Department of Economic Affairs of Ministry of Finance and Teresa Kho, ADB’S country Director in India, signed the Agreement on behalf of the Government of India and ADB respectively.

Details of the Agreement

• The loan is the first tranche under 500 million US dollar South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity Investment Program (SRCIP). Under this multi-tranche program, about 500 km of roads will be constructed in the NB-NE region.

• The funds will be utilized to construct two national highways totaling about 150 km in West Bengal and State roads totaling about 180 km in Manipur, which will be extended till the Myanmar Border.

• The loan amount makes-up nearly 71 percent of the total project cost of about 425 million US dollars with the central and state governments providing counterpart finance of about 125 million US dollars.

• The loan has a 25-year repayment term, including a five-year grace period with an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB's LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate)-based lending facility.
• The project is expected to be completed by 31 December 2021.

About SRCIP

SRCIP is a strategic initiative that aims to achieve regional integration among the members of the South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) group by improving road connectivity within the NB-NE Region in India. The members of this group are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.

 

ADB RELEASED ASIAN DEVELOPMENT OUTLOOK 2015

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) released the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) on 24 March 2015. The report is titled Financing Asia’s Future Growth.

The ADO report projected that India will overtake China in terms growth rate in Financial Year (FY) 2015, and 2016.

India is forecasted to grow at the rate of 7.4 percent in FY 2014, 7.8 percent in FY 2015 and 8.2 percent in 2016 compared to China’s growth rate of 7.4 percent in FY 2014, 7.2 percent in FY 2015 and 7.0 percent in FY 2016.

Main Highlights of the ADO 2015

• Developing Asia will grow at a steady 6.3percent in 2015 and 2016—the same pace as 2014.

• Driven by the fall in oil prices, Inflation will slow from 3.1 percent in 2014 to 2.6 percent in 2015. As oil prices gradually rebound, inflation will pick up to 3.0 percent in 2016.

• Driven by the growth in the United States (US), the major industrial economies are collectively forecast to expand by 2.2 percent in 2015 and accelerate further to 2.4 percent in 2016.

• Weaker investment in real estates in China is expected to further curtail growth to 7.2 percent in 2015 and 7.0percent in 2016. China grew at a pace of 7.4 percent in 2014.

• The combined GDP of the 10 ASEAN economies is forecast to expand by 4.9 percent in 2015, lifted from 4.4 percent in 2014 by recovery in Indonesia and Thailand.

• Developing Asia has been the main source of global growth since the Financial Crisis in 2009. The region contributed 2.3 percentage points to global GDP growth, nearly 60 percent of the world’s annual 4.0 percent pace.

• The drop in commodity prices, for oil in particular, will enlarge developing Asia’s current account surplus by 0.2 percentage points to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2015.

• Asia has experienced rapid credit growth since the global financial crisis. From 2009 to 2013, proliferating bank loans and bonds in the 14 large economies of developing Asia almost doubled total domestic debt from 18.3 trillion US dollars to 34.1 trillion US dollars.

Dangers to growth in the Asian region

• Reversals in an otherwise supportive environment could dampen growth. If China falters as it adjusts to its new normal, or if India reforms less decisively than anticipated, their slower growth could spill over to others in developing Asia.

• Outside the region, the Greek debt crisis and deepening recession in the Russian Federation may have global consequences.

• The impending rise in US interest rates may reverse capital flows to the region, requiring monetary responses to maintain stability.

• The benefits flowing from the low price of crude oil could evaporate if geopolitical tensions push it sharply higher.
Recommendations for financing Asia’s growth

• Financial stability must be maintained to enhance growth and equity.

• A sound, efficient, and well-regulated financial system can help sustain the region’s growth momentum without jeopardizing stability.

• An inclusive financial system that broadens access to finance is a cornerstone of more inclusive growth.

• Macroprudential policy can be applied to directly tackle excessive credit to certain sectors.

• Capital built by long-term finance is vital for productivity growth and innovation. Bond market development in particular deepens the pool of long-term financing

• The approach to developing the financial sector must fit each country’s circumstances.

• Foreign direct investment and diverse foreign funding can cushion external financial shocks.

ADO and India

The initial phase of the Indian government’s effort to remove structural bottlenecks is lifting investor confidence. With the support of stronger external demand, India is set to expand by 7.8 percent in FY2015 (ending 31 March 2016), a sharp uptick from 7.4 percent growth recorded in FY2014.

This momentum is expected to build to 8.2 percent growth in FY2016, aided by the expected easing of monetary policy in 2015 and a pickup in capital expenditure.

 

FORTUNE RELEASED THE LIST OF 2015 ROSTER OF THE WORLD’S 50 GREATEST LEADERS

Fortune Magazine on 26 March 2015 has released the list of 2015 roster of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

The list included Prime Minister of India at 5th rank and Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi at the 28th rank.

The list was topped by Apple CEO Tim Cook. Others are European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at the second rank, followed by Chinese President Xi Jingping at third Rank, Pope Francis at fourth rank and General Motors CEO Mary Barra at ninth rank.

A notable exclusion from the list is US President Barack Obama, who has not been named in the list for a second year in a row.

Fortune mentioned that Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India has actually begun to deliver on his election promises and is making genuine progress in his efforts to make India more business-friendly and less regulated, addressing violence against women, improving sanitation and patching up relations with other Asian countries and the US.

Regarding Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, Fortune said that he has led the global fight against child labor for more than three decades. It said no one has done as much to prevent child labour as he has.

The list also includes Indian-origin CEO of nonprofit Last Mile Health Raj Panjabi on the 34th rank. Panjabi, a native of Liberia, is working with Liberia's government to launch a national community health worker programme.

 

CHINA AND SRI LANKA INKED FIVE AGREEMENTS DURING VISIT OF MAITHRIPALA SIRISENA TO CHINA

China and Sri Lanka signed five agreements on 26 March 2015 to deepen development partnership between the two countries.

The agreements were signed in Beijing during the maiden visit of Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena to China after assuming the office in January 2015.

Outcomes of the Sri Lankan president’s visit to China

• Both the countries reiterated the shared adherence of the two countries to the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence or Pancha Sheela.

• The two nations signed five agreements related to cooperation for special aid in public health, development of water treatment methods and technologies in kidney disease affected areas, research and development of the coconut industry and refurbishment of the Superior Courts Complex in Sri Lanka.

• During the talks between the Sri Lankan president and his chinese counter part  Xi Jinping it was also agreed to kick start third round of negotiations to conclude the proposed China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

• Sri Lanka accepted the China’s invitation to become a founding-member of the Chinese proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

• China agreed to provide for 2000 training opportunities for young scientists from Sri Lanka in the next five years.

• China agreed to set up Chinese language training centres in Sri Lanka to deepen cultural partnership between both the countries.

Comment

The relations between Sri Lanka and China are of utmost importance for India in terms of national security. The recent Chinese initiatives like Maritime Silk Road and involvement of Chinese firms in infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka are seen as a part of China’s strategy to encircle India by deepening partnership with India’s neighbours.

 

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / CORPORATE NEWS

 

ECONOMICS NEWS

 

UNION GOVERNMENT AND RBI SIGNED AN AGREEMENT ON MONETARY POLICY FRAMEWORK

Union Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed an agreement on Monetary Policy Framework. The agreement was signed on 20 February 2015 but was made public on 2 March 2015.

The agreement empowers the RBI to go for inflation targeting that is common in developed countries and it also empowers RBI to monitor its monetary policy framework.

As per the agreement, RBI will aim to bring down the inflation below six percent by January 2016 and inflation target for 2016-2017 and subsequent years will be 4 percent +/-2 percentage points.

Features of the agreement that empowers RBI to monitor its framework

• India’s monetary policy framework will be operated by the RBI.

• India’s monetary policy framework will aim to “maintain price stability while keeping in mind the objective of growth.

• If the RBI fails to meet the target, then it will have to report to the Union Government the reasons for the failure to achieve the target.

• It will also provide the remedial action to take and estimate of the time period within which the target would be achieved.

• It will put in place a framework of a modern monetary policy to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex economy.

• The RBI’s Governor will determine the country’s key interest rates or any measures needed to achieve that inflation target.

• It binds the Union Government to take proactive measures for price control.

The agreement will provide a predictable policy stance on inflation, helping investors, especially in the debt market.

The agreement was signed in line with the recommendations of the RBI’s Urjit Patel committee. The committee’s recommendation will smoothen the monetary policy scene in the country.

At present, the Union Government and the RBI provides inflation estimates but don’t set any targets for it.

 

RBI REDUCED REPO RATE BY 25 BASIS POINTS TO 7.5 PERCENT

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 4 March 2015 reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent with immediate effect. This is the second time since January 2015 that RBI reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points.

With this, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.5 percent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank rate to 8.5 percent.

The RBI reduced the repo rate outside the bi-monetary policy review cycle taking into account the following developments:

  • The new Consumer Price Index (CPI) rebased to 2012 was released on 12 February 2015. As per this, inflation in January 2015 stood at 5.1 percent which was well within the target of 8 percent for January 2015.
  • The prices of vegetables and inflation excluding food and fuel reached a new low indicating that disinflation is evolving along the path set out by the RBI in January 2014 and at a faster pace than earlier envisaged.
  • The recently-released GDP estimates based on base year 2011-12 by Central Statistical Office (CSO) pictures a steadily recovering economy which appears to be right.
  • In Union Budget 2015-16, many important and valuable structural reforms has been included. This will help improve supply over the medium term and help achieve fiscal consolidation.
  • The rupee remained strong relative to peer countries, thus, creating disinflationary impulses.

Why RBI acted outside the policy review cycle?

The RBI acted outside the policy review cycle because

(i) certain sectors of the economy are still weak and also there has been global trend towards monetary easing; and
(ii) the agreement on the monetary policy framework between the Union government and RBI allows RBI to go for inflation targeting.

Accordingly, the RBI seeks to bring the inflation rate to the mid-point of the band of 4 +/- 2 percent provided for in the agreement, i.e., to 4 percent by the end of a two year period starting fiscal year 2016-17.

 

INDIAN RAILWAYS LAUNCHED RUPAY PRE-PAID DEBIT CARDS

Indian Railways on 24 March 2015 launched its own RuPay pre-paid card. The card will enable passengers to book their Rail tickets and do shopping using RuPay pre-paid debit cards. Card can be availed from either the Union Bank or the IRCTC.

The RuPay pre-paid card was launched by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the Railways' tourism and catering arm, in collaboration with the Union Bank of India.

RuPay is India's own card payment gateway network and provides an alternative system for banks to provide debit card service.

The transaction charge will be 10 rupees per ticket for booking a ticket through the card on the IRCTC portal. As an opening offer, the transaction charge will not be levied for six months for purchasing tickets on the IRCTC's website. The initial value of the card is 10000 rupees, which can be recharged.

 

RBI SIGNED CURRENCY SWAP AGREEMENT WITH CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 25 March 2015 signed a 400 million US dollar currency swap agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The agreement is valid for a period of three years from the date of signing.

According to the agreement, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka can make withdrawals of US dollar or Euro in multiple tranches up to a maximum of 400 million US dollar or its equivalent.

This agreement will further economic co-operation between the two countries and also bring in more financial stability in the region.

The Currency Swap Agreement with Sri Lanka was inked in backdrop of the announcement of May 2012 by the RBI Governor during the SAARCFINANCE Governor’s meeting, held in Nepal. At the meeting, RBI had offered swap facilities aggregating 2 billion US dollar, both in foreign currency and Indian Rupee to neighbouring countries of the SAARC region.

This facility will be available to all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries, that is, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The swap arrangement is intended to provide a backstop line of funding for the SAARC member countries to meet any balance of payments and liquidity crises till longer term arrangements are made or if there is need for short-term liquidity due to market turbulence.


BUSINESS NEWS

 

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.

 

CORPORATE NEWS

 

ASHWIN MITTAL APPOINTED AS CFO OF WALMART INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED

Ashwin Mittal was on 7 March 2015 appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Walmart India Private Limited. He will succeed Jill Anderson as he will be repatriated back to Walmart in United States.

Walmart India also appointed Javier Rojo as the head of its Real Estate and Business Development. Javier will be responsible for Store Planning & Real Estate, Design & Construction.

Ashwin Mittal had joined Walmart in 2007 as Head of Financial Planning and Analysis. Since then, he had served at various key roles in the company including Head -Business Finance and Strategy, Chief Business Development Officer and Deputy CFO.

Ashwin Mittal is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) having rich work experience of 25 years in multinational companies, including Yum Restaurants and Silicon Graphics Cray.

 

BLACKSTONE APPOINTED FORMER COO OF UNILEVER HARISH MANWANI AS GLOBAL EXECUTIVE ADVISER

Blackstone on 10 March 2015 appointed former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Unilever Harish Manwani as Global Executive Adviser.

As a Global Executive Advisor, Manwani will assist and guide selected Blackstone portfolio companies across the world and help in diligencing investment opportunities.  In addition, he will help guide portfolio operations and advise the management teams of Blackstone’s Indian portfolio companies.

Harish Manwani retired from Unilever at the end of 2014. In Unilever, he was responsible for managing Unilever’s P&L in all of the markets in which it operates.

He used to hold various senior general management positions in different parts of the world, including overseeing Unilever’s businesses in Latin America, North America and Asia.

Additionally, he is the non-executive Chairman of Hindustan Unilever Ltd and serves on several international boards, including Qualcomm, Pearson and Whirlpool.

About Blackstone

The Blackstone Group L.P. is an American multinational private equity, investment banking, alternative asset management and financial services corporation based in New York City.

Blackstone was founded in 1985 as a mergers and acquisitions boutique by Peter G Peterson and Stephen A Schwarzman, who had previously worked together at Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc.

 

ASHU SUYASH APPOINTED AS MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF CRISIL

Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) on 16 March 2015 announced to appoint Ashu Suyash as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.

Her appointment was confirmed by the Board of Directors of the Company.

She will succeed Roopa Kudva and will take charge from June 2015. Rupa Kudva was the MD and CEO of CRISIL from 2007 to September 2014. She had joined CRISIL in 1992.

Ashu has over 26 years of experience in the Indian financial services industry. She currently is the CEO of L&T Investment Management Ltd. She was appointed to this post following the acquisition of Fidelity Worldwide Investment’s India Asset Management business by L&T Investment Management Ltd.

CRISIL is an Indian unit of Standard & Poor.

 

WIPRO APPOINTED ABID ALI NEEMUCHWALA AS COO AND GROUP PRESIDENT

Wipro Limited on 16 March 2015 announced the appointment of former Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) top executive Abid Ali Neemuchwala as the Group President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company.

He will take the charge from April 2015. The move is intended to help the company to streamline processes and allow dealing with strategic priorities at the company.

In his role in Wipro, he will head the service lines of Global Infrastructure Services, Business Application Services, Business Process Services, and Advanced Technology Solutions. He will also head Business Operations; the geographies comprising Continental Europe, Africa, and Latin America; Strategic Engagements, Advisor Relationships as well as the Marketing function.

In his previous role with TCS, he was heading the Business Process Services globally. Apart from this, he was also involved in several leadership roles during his 23-year-long career with TCS.

 

CHER WANG CO-FOUNDER OF HTC CORPORATION TAKES OVER AS CEO

Cher Wang Co founder of HTC Corporation on 19 March 2015 takes over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). She succeeded Peter Chou.

Peter Chou will remain at HTC and will start a new role as the head of the HTC Future Development Lab, a new division of the company responsible for coming up with new products.

Cher Wang co-founded HTC in 1997. She is considered one of the most powerful and successful women in technology.

As of 2014, she is listed as the 54th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

About HTC

HTC Corporation formerly High-Tech Computer Corporation, is a Taiwanese manufacturer of Smartphones and tablets headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

HTC was founded in 1997. It began as an original design manufacturer and original equipment manufacturer, designing and manufacturing devices such as mobile phones, touchscreen phones, and PDAs based on Windows Mobile OS.

 

RENAULT NISSAN AUTOMOTIVE INDIA APPOINTED COLIN MACDONALD AS MANAGING DIRECTOR

Renault Nissan Automotive India (RNAIPL) on 20 March 2015 appointed Colin Macdonald as Managing Director (MD). He will take charge from 1 April 2015.

He will be responsible for the operations of the Renault-Nissan Alliance factory at Oragadam, near Chennai. The plant exports cars to more than a hundred countries.

Currently, he is working as Deputy Managing Director of RNAIPL since January 2014. He began his career at Nissan in the Sunderland plant in 1991.

The plant has a potential annual capacity of 480000 units and exports to more than a hundred countries and regions.  Nissan is the third biggest exporter of cars from India.

About Renault–Nissan Alliance

Renault–Nissan Alliance is a strategic Franco-Japanese partnership between automobile manufacturers where Renault is based in Paris, France, while Nissan is based in Yokohama, Japan.

The companies have been strategic partners since 1999.

 

FORBES RELEASED THE FORBES 2015 MIDAS LIST

Forbes on 24 March 2015 released The Forbes 2015 Midas List. The list represents the world's 100 smartest technology investors with valuations greater than 1 billion US Dollar and a total of 766 deals. The list includes 11 influential Indian-American investors.

The list was topped by Jim Goetz of Sequoia Capital. He was on first spot for the second year in a row due to WhatsApp, the mobile messaging company acquired by Facebook for 22 billion US dollar.

Four new Vicw Chancellors (VCs) arrived on the List following a stellar year for China-based companies, which saw smartphone maker Xiaomi crowned as the world’s highest-valued private tech company and Alibaba as the largest-ever IPO.

The list included Indians as follows:

The lead on the list of Indian-Americans is 49-year old Aneel Bhusri, CEO and Co-founder of Workday, a cloud-based financials and human resources software firm.

Stanford business school graduate Mr Bhusri is ranked 17th on the list and has a net worth of 1.22 billion US dollars. He is the only venture capitalist to have co-founded and taken a multi-billion dollar company public while also working as a venture capitalist.

On the 24th spot is Salil Deshpande, Managing Director of Bain Capital Ventures. He has had two big exits in 2014 with technology company Dropcam that was sold to Google and the IPO of peer-to-peer lending company LendingClub, both early-stage bets made while at his prior firm Bay Partners.

Norwest Venture Partners Senior Managing Partner Promod Haque comes in at the 26th rank. The 66-year old's most notable deal has been cybersecurity company FireEye, which had the second-best performing IPO in the US in 2013. His investments in more than 60 companies have produced over 40 billion US dollar in exit values.

The other Indian-Americans on the list are Greylock partner Asheem Chandna, Accel partner Sameer Gandhi, Founding Partner at Wing Venture Partners Gaurav Garg, Managing Director of Mayfield Fund Navin Chaddha, Manging Director at Insight Venture Partners Deven Parekh, General Partner at Battery Ventures Neeraj Agrawal, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures Venky Ganesan and Managing Director at Redpoint Ventures Satish Dharmaraj.

About Forbes Midas list

The Forbes Midas list is the annual ranking by Forbes magazine of the best dealmakers in high-tech and life science venture capital. It uses parameters including the first-day market capitalization of IPOs, and the opinions of a panel of experts.

The name is an allusion to the mythological King Midas, renowned for his ability to turn anything he touched into gold. Forbes partnered with venture capital fund-of-funds TrueBridge Capital Partners to create the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Midas List.

 

GOOGLE INC APPOINTED RUTH PORAT AS CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Google Inc on 24 March 2015 appointed Ruth Porat as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She will take the charge on 26 May 2015. She will report to Google CEO and Co-Founder Larry Page.

She succeeded Patrick Pichette who announced his retirement on 10 March 2015. Currently, she is working as Chief Financial Officer at Morgan Stanley.

Ruth joined Morgan Stanley in 1987 and has played several key roles at the company, including Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, Global Head of the Financial Institutions Group and co-Head of Technology Investment Banking.

She is Vice Chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, a member of the US Treasury’s Borrowing Advisory Committee, a Board Director at The Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Advisory Council of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution.

 

VIKRAMJIT SINGH OBEROI APPOINTED AS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF EIH LIMITED

Vikramjit Singh Oberoi on 24 March 2015 was appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of the EIH Limited which runs the Oberoi hotels under the aegis of The Oberoi Group. He will take the charge from 1 April 2015.

He was appointed as the MD following the resignation of Shib Sanker Mukherji as Chief Executive.

The decision of restructuring the top management was taken at a board meeting chaired by the Chairman Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi.

Currently, Vikram Oberoi is a Joint MD and Chief Operating Officer (COO). He joined EIH’s board first as a non-executive director in December 1993 and became an Executive Director in July 2004.

Vikram Oberoi has for years been Managing Director of EIH Associated Hotels Ltd, a joint venture between the Oberois and the Rajan Raheja group, which runs Trident hotels.

The Oberoi Group is a global hotel company with its head office in Delhi. The Oberoi hotel was founded in 1934 and it owns and operates 20+ hotels and two cruisers in five countries.

It remains one of the most decorated hotel chains in the world with many of its group hotels winning various awards and accolades.

 

KATSUSHI INOUE APPOINTED AS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF HONDA CARS INDIA

Katsushi Inoue was on 30 March 2015 appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL).

He will take charge on 1 April 2015. He will succeed Hironori Kanayama. Hironori Kanayama is due to retire on 1 April 2015.

Hironori Kanayama has been HCIL president & CEO for the past three years since assuming this position in April 2012.

Currently, he is working as General Manager in Marketing Planning office in Japan. He has been associated with Honda Motor Co for over 29 years.

He has worked with Honda ventures in different markets, across the globe, including Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, the UK, Poland and Germany.

Besides, Hiroyuki Shimizu appointed as senior Vice-President and Director (Marketing & Sales), in Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL). He takes over from the current Senior Vice-President & Director (Marketing & Sales) Shigeru Yamazaki, who was at this position since April 2012.

Yamazaki has been relocated to Japan and will be responsible for Automobile Operations Business Planning in Honda Motor Co.

 

SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF

 

JAGMOHAN DALMIYA UNANIMOUSLY ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF BCCI

Jagmohan Dalmiya on 2 March 2015 was unanimously elected as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at Annual General meeting held in Chennai.

Besides, five Vice Presidents were also elected. They are Andhra's Gokaraju Gangaraju (south zone), Assam's Goutam Roy (east), ML Nehru of Jammu and Kashmir (north zone), CK Khanna (Delhi, central zone) and TC Matthews (Kerala, west zone).

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Chief Anurag Thakur was elected as Secretary of BCCI while Jharkhand State Cricket Association Chief Amitabha Choudhary was elected as Joint Secretary and Haryana's Anirudh Choudhary was named as its Treasurer.

Dalmiya had served BCCI as its President between 2001 and 2004. He also served as the President of International Cricket Council (ICC) between 1997 and 2000.

 

RAFAEL NADAL OF SPAIN WON THE ARGENTINA TENNIS OPEN

Spanish tennis ace, Rafael Nadal on 2 March 2015 won the Argentina Open title of Tennis. In the summit clash, Nadal defeated Juan Monaco of Argentina in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 in Buenos Aires.

This was the 65th career title for Nadal. As a result, Nadal moved onto fifth place in the Open era all-time list led by Jimmy Connors of the US who had won 109 titles.

Also, this was Nadal’s 46th career clay-court title, thus, he equalled the record of Guillermo Vilas of Monaco who played during 1970s and 1980s.

This win enabled Nadal to move up to third position in the world rankings overtaking Britain's Andy Murray, who is now placed fifth, with Japan's Kei Nishikori on fourth position.

 

KARNATAKA CLINCHED EIGHTH RANJI TITLE OF CRICKET

Defending champions Karnataka on 12 March 2015 won their eighth Ranji Trophy title of cricket. In the title clash played at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs.
Tamil Nadu was bundled out for 134 in the first innings. Karnataka then scored 762 runs. Chasing an imposing 628, Tamil Nadu was shot out for 411 in the final session of the fifth day's play.

Karnataka’s middle-order batsman Karun Nair scored 338 runs to help the team in scoring a winning target. While leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal of Karnataka who bagged four wickets for 26 wrecked the batting order of Tamil Nadu.

Skipper of Karnataka R Vinay Kumar, who became the joint leading wicket taker this season, ended with two wickets, along with Sreenath Aravind.

Karnataka Ranji team was captained by R Vinay Kumar, while the Tamil Nadu team was captained by Abhinav Mukund.

Man-of the-match - Karun Nair for his maiden triple century in first-class cricket

 

KIDAMBI SRIKANTH WON THE SWISS OPEN GRAND PRIX GOLD TITLE OF BADMINTON

The 22-year-old Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth on 15 March 2015 won the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold title of Badminton. The final was held at Basel in Switzerland.

World Number 4 Srikanth defeated World Number 6 Viktor Alexson of Denmark 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 to win the men’s singles title of the championship.

With this, he became the first Indian men to win the 120000 US dollars Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold. The ace Indian shuttler is from Andhra Pradesh and currently the highest ranked Indian men player on the World Badminton Federation (WBF) rankings.

Earlier in November 2014, he had won the China Open Super Series Premier after beating Lin Dan in the final round, thus becoming the first Indian to win a super series premier Men’s title.

The Swiss Open 2015 was ruled by China which won 4 titles out of total 5 titles. Below is the list:

  • Women’s Singles: Sun Yu (China) beat Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand)
  • Women’s Doubles: Bao Yixin/Tang Yuanting (China) beat Ayane Kurihara/Naru Shinoya (Japan)
  • Men’s Doubles: Lu Kai/Cai Yun (China) beat Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (Malaysia)
  • Mixed Doubles: Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong (China) beat Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin (China)

About the Swiss Open

The Swiss Open of badminton is a Grand Prix Gold category championship and is held annually in Switzerland. The total prize money of the tournament is 120000 US dollars. The championship was held for the first time in 1955.

 

SERVICES WON THE 69TH EDITION OF SANTOSH TROPHY OF FOOTBALL

Services on 15 March 2015 won the 69th edition of Santosh Trophy of football which is also called Senior National football championship. In the final played at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, Punjab, it defeated hosts Punjab 5-4 via tie-breaker.

With this, Services won the Santosh trophy for the fourth time. Earlier it had won the trophy in 2013, 2012 and 1961.

During the tiebreaker all the five players of Services including Captain Anthony, Vibin, Francis Zonuntulnga, Arun Tudu and Rakesh Singh scored goal for the winners.

Parmjit Singh from Punjab failed to score goal during that crucial juncture, resulting in their defeat.

About Santosh Trophy

Santosh Trophy is an annual Indian football tournament which is also called Senior National football championship.

The tournament first began in 1941 and was named after the late Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh, which is now in Bangladesh.

The first winners were Bengal, who also leads the all-time winners list with 31 titles to date.

The 68th edition of the Santosh trophy was won by Mizoram in 2014. They had defeated Railways in the final.


LEWIS HAMILTON OF BRITAIN WON AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX OF FORMULA ONE

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain on 15 March 2015 won the 2015 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. Only 11 cars were able to take the chequered flag.

This was the first Australian Grand Prix win for Lewis Hamilton since 2008 and overall it was his 34th Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who led the race from start to finish, was followed by teammate Nico Rosberg (second place), Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), Felipe Massa (Williams).

Results of the Australian Grand Prix

Ranking

Player

Team

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

2

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

3

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

4

Felipe Massa

Williams

5

Felipe Nasr

Sauber

6

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

7

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India

8

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

9

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso

10

Sergio Perez

Force India

 

RAMACHANDRAN APPOINTED AS VICE-CHAIR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMISSION OF ANOC

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President N Ramachandran on 17 March 2015 was appointed as a vice-chair of the International Relations Commission of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

He will serve as a vice-chair of ANOC International Relations Commission for 2015.

The decision of appointment of Ramachandran as a member of ANOC was announced by ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.

Ramachandran will be the only Indian on the 14-member Commission, which comprises 205 National Olympic Committees recognised by the International Olympic Committee. ANOC It was established in 1979 and has its headquarters in Lausanne in Switzerland.

 

MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI BECAME FIRST INDIAN CAPTAIN TO REGISTER 100 ODI WINS

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Captain of Indian One Day International (ODI) Cricket team on 19 March 2015 became the first Indian captain and third in the history of the game, to lead his country to 100 ODI wins. He reached the milestone of 100 wins in 178th ODI.

By achieving this fete, he joined the Australian pair of Ricky Ponting (165 wins) and Allan Border (107 wins).

Dhoni achieved the fete after India defeated Bangladesh by 109-run in their 2015 ICC World Cup quarter-final match in Melbourne Cricket Ground.

With the win, Indian cricket team led by Dhoni became the first ever side to take 70 wickets in seven consecutive World Cup games.

The quarter-final win over Bangladesh also helped India to register a record ninth knock-out win in ICC tournaments, which included the 2007 World T20, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy titles.

The 33-year-old wicketkeeper batsman in 2007 took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid and led the team to its first-ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC WON INDIAN WELLS OPEN TENNIS MEN'S SINGLES TITLE

Novak Djokovic of Serbia on 22 March 2015 won his fourth Indian Wells Open Tennis Men’s Singles title. In the final clash, Djokovic defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2.

This win at Indian Wells Open was the 50th tour-level title for Djokovic. With this fourth title in Indian Wells, he also became the 12th player in the Open Era to win 50 titles, surpassing his coach, Boris Becker, of 49 trophies.

On the other hand, Simona Halep of Romania defeated former Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 to win her the Indian Wells Open Tennis Women’s Singles title. For Helep, this was the biggest title of her career.

Halep is the first player to win three WTA titles in 2015. Earlier, she had won Shenzhen Open and Dubai Open in 2015.

 

SANIA MIRZA AND MARTINA HINGIS WON THE WOMEN DOUBLES TITLE OF BNP PARIBAS TENNIS OPEN

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the Indo-Swiss women pair of Tennis, on 21 March 2015 won the women doubles title of BNP Paribas Open. In the title clash played at Indian Wells, USA, the duo defeated the Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-4.

En route to the title, the top seeds Sania and Hingis didn’t drop even a single set in the tournament.

Till date, Hingis has won 11 Grand Slams which include nine in women's and two in mixed, while Sania has claimed three Grand Slams, all in mixed.

The women singles title of the BNP Paribas Open was won by World Number 3 Simona Halep of Romania. She defeated World Number 1 Serena Williams of the US.

 

SAINA, SRIKANT WON INDIA OPEN SUPER SERIES BADMINTON WOMEN'S & MEN'S SINGLES TITLES

Indian shuttlers, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth on 29 March 2015 won the women’s and men's singles titles of the 275000 dollar India Open Super Series badminton tournament.

In the final clash played at the Siri Fort Indoor Complex in New Delhi, Saina defeated former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-16, 21-14.

Later in the title clash of the men’s section, World Number Four and second seed Srikanth defeated sixth seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 18-21, 21-13, 21-12. It is second Super Series title of his career.

This was their maiden women and men's singles titles at the India Open Super Series badminton tournament.

Earlier on 28 March 2015, Saina Nehwal became the first woman badminton player from India to be ranked number one in the world. She is the second Indian player to achieve this feat, after Prakash Padukone.

 

AUSTRALIA DEFEATED NEW ZEALAND TO WIN ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2015

Australia on 29 March 2015 won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. In the final, Australia defeated New Zealand by seven wickets at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia.

New Zealand batting first was bowled out at a score of 183 in 45 over and in reply to the target Australia scored 186 at the loss of 3 wickets in 33.1 over.

With this, Australia won the prize money of 3975000 US dollars while New Zealand as Runners-up won 1750000 US dollars as prize money.

This was the Fifth Cricket World Cup for Australian cricket team. Its previous wins came in the years 1987, 1999, 2003, and 2007. With this win, Australia also became the second host country to win the title. India in 2011 had become the first host country to win the title.

• Man of the Match: James Faulkner

• Man of the Series: Mitchell Starc

Captains of the two teams

• New Zealand: Brendon McCullum

Australia: Michael Clarke

Some Important facts of 2015 Cricket World Cup

• Martin Guptill of New Zealand was the highest scorer of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He scored 547 runs in 9 matches at an average of 69.37. His 547 runs included the highest-ever score of 237 not out in any Cricket World Cup which he scored against West Indies in the third quarter-final.

• Mitchell Starc of Australia was the highest wicket-taker of the tournament. He took 22 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 10.18.

• This World Cup also saw scoring of two double hundreds, firstly by Chris Gayle of West Indies who scored 215 runs against Zimbabwe in the league matches and secondly by Martin Guptill.

• This World Cup also saw the retirement of seven cricketers from the One Day Internationals. These are: Michael Clarke (Australia), Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan), Mahela Jayawadene and Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Khurram Khan (UAE) and Brendon Taylor (Zimbabwe).

• This World Cup also saw the scoring of highest ever centuries in any World Cup. In all 37 centuries were scored in the 2015 Cricket World Cup with Kumar Sangakkara scoring the maximum number of 5 centuries.

Cricket World Cup winner

World Cup wins

Team

Years

5

Australia

1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015

2

West Indies

1975, 1979

2

India

1983, 2011

1

Pakistan

1992

1

Sri Lanka

1996

About 2015 Cricket World Cup

The 2015 World Cup of Cricket was held between 14 February and 29 March 2015 at fourteen venues in Australia and New Zealand. 14 teams participated in the league matches of the tournament.

These teams were: Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies, England, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Afghanistan, Scotland, Ireland and Zimbabwe.

Quarter-finals

• QF 1:  South Africa beat Sri Lanka

• QF 2: India beat Bangladesh

• QF 3: New Zealand beat West Indies

• QF 4: Australia beat Pakistan

Semi-finals

• SF 1: New Zealand beat South Africa

• SF 2: Australia beat India

This was the second time when the Cricket World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand, with the first being the 1992 Cricket World Cup.

Sachin Tendulkar was named as the 2015 Cricket World Cup Ambassador by the ICC for the second time, after 2011 Cricket World Cup where he was the ambassador.

 

IN BRIEF

 

On 4 March 2015, the Reserve Bank of India reduced the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility by 25 basis points from 7.75% to 7.5% with immediate effect.

Vienna, Austria’s elegant capital on the Danube river, has again been commended as offering the best quality of life of any city in the world; Baghdad, once more, was deemed the worst to live in. The consulting firm Mercer said German and Swiss cities also performed well in its annual quality of living rankings. Zurich, Munich, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt remained in the top 10.

India, the largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, will represent the troop-contributing country category on the UN Organisational Committee of the Peace building Commission for the period from 1 January 2015, to 31 December 2016, along with Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Pakistan. From the group of leading financial contributors, Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands would serve two-year terms on the committee. India has contributed more than 170,000 troops to 43 of the 68 UN peacekeeping missions since the inception of UN peacekeeping more than 60 years ago.

According to the Global Assessment Report on disaster risk (GAR 2015), produced by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), India’s average annual economic loss due to disasters is estimated to be $9.8 billion. This includes more than $7 billion loss on account of floods. The report has urged countries, particularly in Asia, to treat this as a wake-up call and make adequate investment in disaster risk reduction (DRR) or it will hinder their development.  Subsequent to the release of the report, UN member countries met in Sendai, Japan in mid-March 2015 to sign a new DRR protocol that replaces the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). The new framework, like the HFA which came in 2005 after the Indian Ocean tsunami, has a commitment plan for a 10-year period.

Bharat Biotech India Limited has unveiled its indigenously developed and manufactured Rotavirus vaccine—Rotavac—claimed to be the world’s cheapest at the rate of around ₹60 per dose, and aimed at boosting efforts to deal with diarrhea that kills upto 80,000 children under 5 every year. It is the third such vaccine available globally against Rotavirus.

India is building Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs) at three locations that together can hold more than 36 million barrels of crude to help protect the energy import-reliant economy from supply disruptions and price volatility. While the first underground storage cavern at Vizag on the east coast, with space for 9.75 million barrels of oil, is ready to be filled, the other two SPR facilities will be ready by October 2015. India provided about $388 million (₹24 billion) to buy crude for the reserve in 2014-15.

India has yet again emerged as the world’s largest buyer of weapons and military equipment, accounting for some 15 per cent of all such international imports, while Russia, despite losing monopoly over the Indian defence market, continues to hold a dominant position as the largest supplier for New Delhi.

Union government has approved the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), an injectable form of polio vaccine, starting October 2015, as part of the WHO’s Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategy.

A historic bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled on 14 March 2015, at the Parliament Square in London, standing adjacent to iconic leaders like Britain’’s war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

The Union government has merged the National Mission for a Green India, which aims afforestation at 10 million hectares of land over the next decade, with MGNREGA to increase and improve the country’s forest cover.

Olympic medal-winning boxer M.C. Mary Kom has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the northeast to showcase the potential of the region which offers ₹2.4 trillion business opportunities across various sectors.

In the biggest ever funding for the Indian Railways, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has committed ₹1.5 lakh crore for development of various railway projects over the next five years.

According to archival documents at the National Archives of India (NAI), it was on 31 December 1926 that King George V officially named the new capital as ‘New Delhi’. When British monarch King George V and his consort Queen Mary held one of the grandest darbars on 12 December 1911, where he assumed the crown of India and announced the shifting of the imperial capital from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi, the new Capital had remained unchristened. It was only 15 years after his coronation as the “King-Emperor of India” that King George V named the city ‘New Delhi’. Until then, the city had in common parlance been referred to just as the “new capital” or “new imperial capital” or “imperial city”.

The National Air Quality Index, launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, is a simple, composite, and easy to understand measure of air quality of an area or city. The index will measure the eight major pollutants that impact health—particulate matter (PM 10 and PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead—and disseminate information on associated health risks through a colour-coded easy to identify format. Each colour will indicate a level of the index—there will be six levels: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe. The launch of the index would be an important step towards creating greater awareness among people about the true nature of thier area/city’s air quality.

Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG consumer (DBTL) scheme is called PAHAL.

“From Third World to First: The Singapore Story” is autobiography of Lee Kuan Yew, first Prime Minister of Singapore.

K.M. Mani, Finance Minister of Kerala, has been selected as the chairman of the empowered committee of State finance ministers. He will have the crucial task of achieving consensus among States on the design of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He will also have to devote a substantial amount of time to oversee the implementation of GST, which the Union government aims to implement from 1 April 2016.

PRAGATI, or Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation, is a unique integrative and interactive platform, which is aimed at addressing the common man’s grievances and monitoring important programmes and projects. Prime Minister Modi, while inaugurating the platform said the step is to ensure that governance in India becomes more efficient and responsive. The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology. It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism since it brings on one stage the Secretaries of government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States.

Rajasthan has become first State to implement a provision related to minimum educational qualification for contesting panchayat polls in the State. As per the provision, for contesting the Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti polls, a contestant should have the minimum qualification of secondary education (Class 10) from the State board or any approved institution or board. To contest the Sarpanch elections, a candidate should be Class 8 pass from any school (general category). However, in the scheduled area of panchayat, the contestant should have passed Class 5 from a school to become a Sarpanch.

 

SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS (SAQ’S)

 

• State that on 2 March 2015 received President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent to the Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill 1995 that bans slaughter of bulls and bullocks in Maharashtra - Maharashtra

• The Royal Mint on 2 March 2015 unveiled a new coinage portrait of the Queen Elizabeth II that will appear on coins in Britain is designed by - Jody Clark

• Tennis player who on 28 February 2015 won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title - Roger Federer

• The cricketer who on 3 March 2015 became the fastest cricketer in the history to reach 20th One-Day International (ODI) century in cricket - Hashim Amla of South Africa

• The Legislative Assembly of a state that on 4 March 2015 unanimously passed a resolution requesting the Union Government to continue with the special category status of the state - Assam

• State Government that on 4 March 2015 scrapped the resolution that provided five percent reservations to Muslims in Maharashtra government jobs - Maharashtra

• Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar completed his SAARC Yatra of four nations on 4 March 2015. The four nations included -  Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesn and Bhutan

• Cricket team that on 4 March 2015 created the World Cup record for highest-ever score of 417 for 6 in a match against Afghanistan in Perth - Australia

• The World Wildlife Day was observed on 3 March 2015 with theme of the year - Wildlife Crime is serious, let’s get serious about wildlife crime

• Kirket, a Hindi film that will depict the difficulties of Bihar cricket is based on life of a former Indian cricketer - Kirti Azad

• Third state in India to come up with Centre-initiated scheme of Aadhar-linked ration cards after Punjab and Gujarat is - Maharashtra

• The Union Government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed an agreement on - Monetary Policy Framework

• Former Bihar Chief Minister and senior JD(U) leader who died on 6 March 2015 at Patna medical college hospital - Ramsundar Das

• Artificial glacier in the form of Ice stupa was inaugurated at a village in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir on 6 March 2015 - Phyang

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 March 2015 inaugurated two units of 600 Mega Watt (MW) each of Shree Singaji Thermal Power Project at - Dongliya village in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.

• US President Barack Obama re-nominated an independent Indian-American investor as an Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Sunil Sabharwal

• Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on 28 February 2015 in the Union Budget 2015-16 announced the Vision 2022 aimed at achieving certain things by - the 75th Year of India’s independence, which will be observed as Amrut Mahotsav.

• Theme of the 2015 International Women’s Day that was observed across the world on 8 March 2015 was - Make it Happen

• Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar with an aim to combat the problem of declining child sex ratio in the state on 8 March 2015 launched a scheme for girl child named - Aapki Beti Humari Beti

• Eighth India-Nepal combined exercise named Surya Kiran VIII concluded on 7 March 2015 at -Salijhandi, Nepal

• Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily was selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman for 2014 for his Kannada poem - Ramayana Mahanveshanam.

• The solar-powered plane named Solar Impulse-2 on 8 March 2015 took off to round-the-world odyssey from - Abu Dhabi

• German Professor Annette who rejected an Indian student’s internship request citing rape problem in India - G Beck-Sickinger

• To promote an India-centric campaign, Bollywood Britain Visit Britain, the National tourism agency of Britain on 10 March 2015 roped in Bollywood actor - Saif Ali Khan

• High Court (HC) of Delhi on 10 March 2015 held that the office of the Attorney General of India falls under the ambit of - the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005

• The Union Government on 11 March 2014 appointed nine Executive Directors (EDs) in Public Sector Banks (PSBs) on recommendation of selection panel headed by - the Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan

• India and Mauritius inked 5 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on 11 March 2015 to give new impetus to - bilateral co-operation between the two nations

• The Supreme Court of India on 11 March 2015 held that High Courts (HCs) are barred from entertaining pleas under writ jurisdiction against the verdicts of - the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in disputes pertaining to Armed Forces.

• Congress legislator and deputy speaker who on 12 March 2015 was elected as the speaker of the Kerala Assembly - N Shakthan

• State that defeated Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs in the title clash of the Ranji Trophy title of cricket played at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai - Defending champions Karnataka

• The Supreme Court of India on 11 March 2015 held that High Courts (HCs) are barred from entertaining pleas under writ jurisdiction against the verdicts of - the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in disputes pertaining to Armed Forces. 

• The mass nesting of endangered species Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles started in second week of March 2015 near - river Rushikulya mouth in Ganjam district of Odisha

• Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 17 March 2015 revoked a three-year-old order that banned mining in – Goa

• France, Germany and Italy have followed the UK in joining - the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

• Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator who on 18 March 2015 was elected as the speaker of 12th Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir - Kavinder Gupta

• Formula one racer who on 15 March 2015 won the 2015 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia - Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain

• The State Government in third week of March 2015 decided to introduce Special Identification Tags with unique identification numbers for Haryana cows, an indigenous breed found in the state – Haryana Government

• Veteran cricketers of Sri Lanka who on 18 March 2015 retired from the One Day International (ODI) format of Cricket - Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara

• The Bill that seeks to do away with the Union Government’s responsibility as a financial guarantor to the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) - Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015

• Union Government on 19 March 2015 was roped in a person to head Kaya Kalp, a council formed to suggest innovative ways to transform the Indian Railways - Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd

• Name person who on 18 March 2015 was named as the President of Britain's prestigious Royal Society, a communion of the many of the world's most distinguished scientists - Nobel laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

• The Laadli Voice of the Century award on 20 March 2015 was presented at the sixth edition of the National Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity on - Legendary Singer Lata Mangeshkar 

• International Day of Forests was observed on 21 March 2015 with the theme - Forests and Climate Change

• The batsman of New Zealand cricket team, on 21 March 2015 scored the highest-ever score of 237 not out in Cricket World Cup history - Martin Guptill

• The Union Government on 20 March 2015 announced 33 percent reservation for women in police forces through direct recruitment in non-gazetted posts of - Union territories including Delhi police

• The World Sparrow Day was observed globally on 20 March 2015 with the theme - I Love Sparrows

• Novak Djokovic of Serbia won his fourth Indian Wells Open Tennis Men’s Singles title by defeating - Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2

• The statesman and founding father of modern Singapore who died on 23 March 2015 at the Singapore General Hospital - Lee Kuan Yew

• World Water Day (WWD) 2015 was globally observed on 22 March 2015 with the theme Water and Sustainable Development that talks about - how water links to all areas we need to consider creating the future we want

• The Waterman of India who was named as the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate on 20 March 2015 - Rajendra Singh

• The former Army Chief of Sri Lanka, who on 22 March 2015 was conferred with the country's highest military rank of Field Marshal - Sarath Fonseka

• Person who was named as the 46th Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner by Union Government - Shashi Kapoor

• State Government of Maharashtra on 23 March 2015 announced that those involved in the sale of gutka in the state will be booked under - Section 328 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), a non-bailable offence.

• World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) 2015 was globally observed on 24 March 2015 with the theme for the year 2015 is continuation of the 2014 theme Reach the 3 Million and main sub-theme - Reach, Treat, Cure Everyone.

• Indian Railways RuPay pre-paid card that will enable passengers to book their Rail tickets and do shopping was launched in collaboration with - the Union Bank of India

• Union Government on 24 March 2015 launched new platform that facilitates direct communication between leaders, government agencies and citizens - Twitter Samwad

• Scientists at Australian National University (ANU) found the world’s largest asteroid impact zone in - the Warburton Basin of central Australia

• Flight 4U 9525 of Germanwings Airbus A320, the budget carrier airline of Germany’s Lufthansa, crashed in - the French Alps between Digne and Barcelonnette

• Three-year-old archer of Andhra Pradesh who on 24 March 2015 entered the India Book of Records - Dolly Shivani Cherukuri

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 March 2015 launched a multi-purpose and multi-modal platform aimed at addressing grievances of common man - Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI) platform

• Saudi Arabia on 25 March 2015 launched a military operation including airstrikes in Yemen against the a rebel group that drove out the Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi - the Houthi rebels

• Person who was appointed as an official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs on 25 March 2015 - Vikas Swarup

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) released the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) on 24 March 2015, the report is titled - Financing Asia’s Future Growth

• The Supreme Court of India on 26 March 2015 stayed the decision of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) to quash the Army's promotion policy for the rank of Colonel from January 2009. The 2009 promotion policy of Army is based on - Command Exit Model (CEM)

• Earth Hour 2015 was observed globally on 28 March 2015 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time with the tagline for the global campaign - Change Climate Change

• The Australian cricketer who on 29 March 2015 retired from ODI cricket after Cricket World Cup final - Michael Clarke

• Freedom fighter and educationist who on 30 March 2015 was conferred the highest civilian award of the country Bharat Ratna (posthumous) - Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS MCQ’S

 

Ques. : 1 Who among the following is the Minister of State for Finance in the present Union Cabinet?
1) Manoj Sinha
2) Giriraj Singh
3) Sanwar Lal Jat
4) Jayant Sinha
5) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Answer:- 4) Jayant Sinha

Ques. : 2 The Finance Minister, in his budget speech on 28 Feb, announced that two more Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will be set up which will take the total number of IIMs in the country to 20. These new IIMs will come up in
1) Jammu & Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh
2) Punjab and Tamil Nadu
3) Himachal Pradesh and Assam
4) Bihar and Karnataka
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Jammu & Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh

Ques. : 3 As announced in the Union Budget for 2015-16, the govt will infuse what amount in PSU Banks in FY16?
1) Rs 6,999 cr
2) Rs 7,240 cr
3) Rs 7,940 cr
4) Rs 7,999 cr
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Rs 7,940 cr

Ques. : 4 Who among the following has been sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir?
1) Nirmal Singh
2) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
3) Mehbooba Mufti
4) Sajjad Lone
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

Ques. : 5 Who among the following is the new president of the BCCI?
1) Anurag Thakur
2) Sanjay Patel
3) Sharad Pawar
4) N Srinivasan
5) Jagmohan Dalmiya
Answer:- 5) Jagmohan Dalmiya

Ques. : 6 The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) celebrated its silver jubilee on Mar 1. The present chairman of NASSCOM is
1) Krishnakumar Natarajan
2) R Chandrasekaran
3) Phaneesh Murthy
4) Kris Gopalakrishnan
5) Ashok Soota
Answer:- 2) R Chandrasekaran

Ques. : 7 The winner of the men’s singles title of the 2015 Dubai Tennis Championships is
1) Roger Federer
2) Novak Djokovic
3) Stan Wawrinka
4) Andy Murray
5) Rafael Nadal
Answer:- 1) Roger Federer

Ques. : 8 In the General Budget for 2015-16, the service tax has been increased from current 12.36 per cent to
1) 12.50 per cent
2) 13 per cent
3) 13.50 per cent
4) 14 per cent
5) 14.50 per cent
Answer:- 4) 14 per cent

Ques. : 9 As proposed in the General Budget for FY16, the rate of corporate tax is to be reduced to what per cent from the current 30 per cent over next four years?
1) 28 per cent
2) 25 per cent
3) 23 per cent
4) 22 per cent
5) 20 per cent
Answer:- 2) 25 per cent

Ques. : 10 Wealth tax has been abolished in the general budget for FY16. It is to be replaced by surcharge of __________on income of Rs 1 cr and above.
1) 1 per cent
2) 2 per cent
3) 5 per cent
4) 8 per cent
5) 10 per cent
Answer:- 2) 2 per cent

Ques. : 11 With an aim to fund an ambitious infrastructure development programme, the govt on 1 Jan raised the excise duties on petrol and diesel by ________a litre.
1) Rs 1
2) Rs 1.5
3) Rs 2
4) Rs 2.5
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Rs 2

Ques. : 12 Who among the following has been appointed non-executive chairperson of HDFC Bank Ltd with immediate effect for a three-year term starting 2 Jan?
1) Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty
2) Shyamala Gopinath
3) Anand Sinha
4) Subir Gokarn
5) Usha Thorat
Answer:- 2) Shyamala Gopinath

Ques. : 13 The govt has raised the solar investment target to __________over seven years (by 2022) to boost India's solar energy capacity by 33 times to 100,000 megawatts (MW).
1) USD 100 bn
2) USD 160 bn
3) USD 180 bn
4) USD 200 bn
5) USD 220 bn
Answer:- 1) USD 100 bn

Ques. : 14 Which of the following companies has bagged a Rs 3,810 cr contract from Telangana for setting up the newly formed state's first thermal power project?
1) Reliance Power
2) Tata Power
3) Adani Power
4) BHEL
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) BHEL

Ques. : 15 The govt has set up NITI Aayog to replace the Planning Commission. What is the expanded form of the term NITI?
1) New Initiative for Transforming India
2) National Initiative for Transforming India
3) National Institution for Transforming India
4) National Institution for Taking Initiative
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) National Institution for Transforming India

Ques. : 16 Which of the following is NOT correct with respect to NITI Aayog which has replaced Planning Commission?
1) It will be headed by the PM and will have all CMs/ Lt. Governors as members.
2) It will have a Vice Chairperson and a CEO in addition to five full-time members and two part-time members.
3) Four union ministers would serve as ex-officio members.
4) Four Regional Councils will be formed headed by the four union ministers to address issues impacting more than one state or a region.
5) The new body has been set up by a resolution of Union Cabinet as done in case of Planning Commission which was established on 15th Mar 1950.
Answer:- 4) Four Regional Councils will be formed headed by the four union ministers to address issues impacting more than one state or a region.

Ques. : 17 The 60th National School Games kick-started on 2 Jan in which of the following cities?
1) Mumbai
2) Ahmedabad
3) Chennai
4) New Delhi
5) Bhopal
Answer:- 4) New Delhi

Ques. : 18 The PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the five-day 102nd session of Indian Science Congress (ISC) in which of the following cities on 3 Jan?
1) Mumbai
2) Bengaluru
3) Hyderabad
4) Kanpur
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Mumbai

Ques. : 19 The govt has decided to accept the recommendations of the Bezbaruah Committee that was set up to look into the safety and security of people from North East India. Which of the following is NOT one of its recommendations?
1) Delhi police will recruit 20 police personnel, (10 male - 10 female) each from North East States.
2) The cases of NE people will be referred to the existing fast track courts for early decision.
3) A special helpline No.1093 for NE people is being synchronized with helpline No.100.
4) A special scholarship scheme for students of North East Region 'Ishan Uday' has been launched.
5) None of these
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 20 Who among the following has been selected for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award for his contribution to society as a Gujarati?
1) Kiran Desai
2) Shashi Deshpande
3) Kishwar Desai
4) Lord Meghnad Desai
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Lord Meghnad Desai

Ques. : 21 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lowered its policy repo rate on 4 Mar. What is the new repo rate?
1) 6.5 per cent
2) 7 per cent
3) 7.25 per cent
4) 7.5 per cent
5) 7.75 per cent
Answer:- 4) 7.5 per cent

Ques. : 22 As proposed in the general budget for FY16, the implementation of GAAR has been deferred till
1) Apr 1, 2016
2) Apr 1, 2017
3) Apr 1, 2018
4) Apr 1, 2019
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Apr 1, 2017

Ques. : 23 The IRDA of India on 2 Mar released its final guidelines on insurance marketing firms. Which of the following is NOT correct regarding the guidelines issued?
1) It can be set up with a minimum capital requirement of Rs 25 lakh.
2) It can distribute products of two life insurers at any point in time.
3) It can distribute products of two general insurers at any point in time. 4) It can distribute products of two health insurers at any point in time.
5) The initial grant of registration will be valid for three years.
Answer:- 1) It can be set up with a minimum capital requirement of Rs 25 lakh.

Ques. : 24 Both the houses of the Parliament have passed the bill merging PIO, OCI schemes. OCI stands for Overseas Citizenship of India while PIO stands for
1) Person of India Overseas
2) Person of Indigenous Origin
3) Pertaining to Indian Origin
4) Person of Indian Origin
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Person of Indian Origin

Ques. : 25 Who among the following is the new chairman of the National Book Trust (NBT)?
1) MA Sikandar
2) Baldev Sharma
3) A Sethumadhavan
4) M Mukundan
5) Sarah Joseph
Answer:- 2) Baldev Sharma

Ques. : 26 The Economic Survey estimates capital account deficit (CAD) to fall below _______in the fiscal year 2015-16.
1) 0.5 per cent
2) 1 per cent
3) 1.5 per cent
4) 2 per cent
5) 2.5 per cent
Answer:- 2) 1 per cent

Ques. : 27 The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 28 Feb announced an initial allocation of ___________for the MGNREGA programme.
1) Rs 32,464 cr
2) Rs 34,699 cr
3) Rs 68,204 cr
4) Rs 71,695 cr
5) Rs 83,699 cr
Answer:- 2) Rs 34,699 cr

Ques. : 28 The govt has proposed to merge commodities regulator with SEBI. As of now, the commodity market is regulated by
1) MCX
2) CARE
3) NSE
4) FMC
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) FMC

Ques. : 29 As per the proposals of the general budget for 2015-16, the exemption on health insurance premium has been hiked to __________. For senior citizens it is hiked to Rs 30,000.
1) Rs 15,000
2) Rs 18,000
3) Rs 20,000
4) Rs 25,000
5) Rs 28,000
Answer:- 4) Rs 25,000

Ques. : 30 The govt has announced Fiscal Deficit targets for different years in the general budget for 2015-16. Which of the following is correct in this regard?
1) FY15-16: 3.9 per cent
2) FY16-17: 3.5 per cent
3) FY 17-18: 3 per cent
4) All the above
5) Only 2) and 3)
Answer:- 4) All the above

Ques. :3 1 The movie ‘The Interview’ was at the centre of a controversy recently. The movie is associated with
1) disappearance of Malaysian jets
2) China’s aggression in the South China Sea
3) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
4) Unification of North and South Korea
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Ques. : 32 In a bid to encourage investment in domestic manufacturing, the govt has allowed _____ FDI under automatic route in the medical devices sector.
1) 26 per cent
2) 49 per cent
3) 51 per cent
4) 74 per cent
5) 100 per cent
Answer:- 5) 100 per cent

Ques. : 33 The Mission Indradhanush has been launched by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry to vaccinate children against seven diseases. Which of the following is NOT among them?
1) Diphtheria
2) Whooping Cough
3) Tetanus
4) Polio
5) None of these
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 34 Who among the following has been appointed new temporary chairman of ISRO?
1) Shailesh Nayak
2) Subbiah Arunan
3) G Madhavan Nair
4) K Radhakrishnan
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Shailesh Nayak

Ques. : 35 Who among the following is the present chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)?
1) Elizabeth Kolbert
2) RK Pachauri
3) James Lovelock
4) Bill McKibben
5) Al Gore
Answer:- 2) RK Pachauri

Ques. : 36 Name the winner of seventh edition of India’s national spell bee, the Classmate Spell Bee competition 2014.
1) Mukund Choudhary
2) Vaswati Das
3) Malvika Deepak
4) Esther David
5) Saumya Malhotra
Answer:- 3) Malvika Deepak

Ques. : 37 Who among the following is the present Chairman of the industry body FICCI?
1) Mallika Srinivasan
2) Chitra Ramkrishna
3) Naina Lal Kidwai
4) Jyotsna Suri
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Jyotsna Suri

Ques. : 38 Chinese economy has overtaken that of US in PPP terms. What does PPP mean in this regard?
1) Public Private Partnership
2) Private Purchasing Power
3) Public Purchasing Power
4) Purchasing Power Parity
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Purchasing Power Parity

Ques. : 39 The govt on 31 Dec appointed who among the following as the next chairman of the Railways Board?
1) Shailesh Nayak
2) Arunendra Kumar
3) AK Mittal
4) VK Gupta
5) Pradeep Kumar
Answer:- 3) AK Mittal

Ques. : 40 Who among the following has emerged as the 'business person of the year' for 2014 according to Fortune magazine?
1) Larry Page
2) Mark Zuckerberg
3) Vishal Sikka
4) Jack Ma
5) Tim Cook
Answer:- 1) Larry Page

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 The Public sector Union Bank of India (UBI) opened its British subsidiary on 13 Mar. Who among the following is the present chairman and managing director of the UBI?
1) Arun Tiwari
2) KK Sansi
3) P Srinivas
4) Animesh Chauhan
5) P Kotteswaran
Answer:- 1) Arun Tiwari

Ques. : 52 As per the provisions of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015, an individual can be an agent of how many life insurance companies?
1) One
2) Two
3) Tree
4) Four
5) There is no such restriction
Answer:- 1) One

Ques. : 53 According to the existing insurance act, the commission paid to an agent should not exceed 40 per cent of the first’s year premium in the life insurance business. The new insurance Bill has capped the above commission to
1) There is now no official cap
2) 2.25 per cent
3) 5 per cent
4) 10 per cent
5) 25 per cent
Answer:- 1) There is now no official cap

Ques. : 54 The soon to be set up proposed Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (Mudra) Bank will be first set up as a subsidiary of the
1) NABARD
2) SBI
3) EXIM bank
4) SIDBI
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) SIDBI

Ques. : 55 The govt is planning to float three special purpose vehicles (SPVs) investing Rs 75,000 to evacuate coal locked across the three mineral-rich states. These states are
1) Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra
2) Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha
3) Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha
4) Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha

Ques. : 56 Under new corporate governance norms, the market regulator Sebi had initially asked all listed companies to have at least one woman director on their boards by
1) Apr 1, 2015
2) Jun 1, 2015
3) Sep 1, 2015
4) Dec 1, 2015
5) Apr 1, 2016
Answer:- 1) Apr 1, 2015

Ques. : 57 Who among the following won the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold title on 15 Mar defeating Viktor Axelsen of Denmark? He has become the first Indian man to win this title.
1) Prannoy Kumar
2) Kidambi Srikanth
3) Ajay Jayaram
4) RMV Gurusaidutt
5) Parupalli Kashyap
Answer:- 2) Kidambi Srikanth

Ques. : 58 Which of the following Indian women CEOs has/have been named by Forbes magazine in its 50 ‘Power Businesswomen’ from Asia list?
1) Usha Sangwan
2) Shikha Sharma
3) Akhila Srinivasan
4) Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
5) All the above
Answer:- 5) All the above

Ques. : 59 As informed by the govt to the Lok Sabha recently, how many Indian satellites are currently operational?
1) 11
2) 12
3) 22
4) 24
5) 27
Answer:- 5) 27

Ques. : 60 Narayan Desai, who passed away recently, was a/an
1) staunch Gandhian
2) prominent communist leader
3) anti-superstition campaigner
4) author
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) staunch Gandhian

Ques. : 61 Christine Lagarde, who visited India starting 16 Mar, is the present Managing Director of which of the following international institutions?
1) International Monetary Fund (IMF)
2) World Bank
3) Asian Development Bank (ADB)
4) United Nations
5) IBRD
Answer:- 1) International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Ques. : 62 The World Consumer Rights Day is observed every year on
1) 8 Mar
2) 15 Mar
3) 20 Mar
4) 21 Mar
5) 22 Mar
Answer:- 2) 15 Mar

Ques. : 63 __________of the Constitution confers upon the President legislative powers to promulgate ordinances meant to address extraordinary circumstances that arise when Parliament is in recess.
1) Article 120
2) Article 123
3) Article 122
4) Article 121
5) Article 119
Answer:- 2) Article 123

Ques. : 64 The govt has merged the National Mission for a Green India, which aims afforestation at 10 million hectares of land over the next decade, with
1) Bharat Nirman
2) MGNREGA
3) REGP
4) Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) MGNREGA

Ques. : 65 The Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka have agreed to enter into a Currency Swap Agreement of ___________to help keep the Sri Lankan rupee stable.
1) USD 1 billion
2) USD 1.5 billion
3) USD 2 billion
4) USD 2.5 billion
5) USD 5 billion
Answer:- 2) USD 1.5 billion

Ques. : 66 Out of 27 PSBs, Govt of India controls 22 through majority holding and in the remaining 5 banks, state-run _________holds majority stake.
1) LIC
2) SIDBI
3) NABARD
4) SBI
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) SBI

Ques. : 67 Which of the following teams won the Santosh trophy on 15 Mar in Ludhiana?
1) Punjab
2) Goa
3) Services
4) Bengal
5) Kerala
Answer:- 3) Services

Ques. : 68 There were four pacts signed between India and Sri Lanka during PM Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the island nation. Which of the following is NOT one of them?
1) Agreement on visa
2) Agreement on customs
3) Agreement on youth development
4) Agreement on building Rabindranath Tagore memorial
5) Agreement on immediate repatriation of Tamils living in Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka
Answer:- 5) Agreement on immediate repatriation of Tamils living in Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka

Ques. : 69 India signed an MoU for the “improvement in sea and air transportation facilities” at Agalega island recently. This island is situated in
1) Mauritius
2) Seychelles
3) Maldives
4) Sri Lanka
5) Suriname
Answer:- 1) Mauritius

Ques. : 70 Which of the following is NOT a priority sector as stipulated by the RBI with respect to lending by the banks?
1) Agriculture
2) Automobiles
3) Education
4) Housing
5) Export Credit
Answer:- 2) Automobiles

Ques. : 71 An individual having a ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ with a bank cannot have which of the following accounts in that bank?
1) Recurring Deposit
2) Term/Fixed Deposit
3) Savings
4) Loan
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Savings

Ques. : 72 A banknote which has become dirty due to usage and includes a two piece note pasted together wherein both the pieces presented belong to the same note, and form the entire note, is termed as
1) soiled banknote
2) mutilated banknote
3) imperfect banknote
4) counterfeit banknote
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) soiled banknote

Ques. : 73 The scheme of reverse mortgage is introduced for the benefit of people owning a house but having inadequate income to meet their needs. A homeowner above what age is eligible for a reverse mortgage loan?
1) 25 years
2) 40 years
3) 50 years
4) 60 years
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) 60 years

Ques. : 74 The KYC norms stipulated by the RBI are NOT applicable in case of issuance of which of the following?
1) Credit Cards
2) Debit Cards
3) Add-on/supplementary cards
4) All the above
5) None of these
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 75 Which of the following is NOT a condition to be fulfilled by a corporate to be eligible to issue CP?
1) The tangible net worth of the company, as per the latest audited balance sheet, is not less than Rs 4 cr.
2) Company has been sanctioned working capital limit by bank.
3) The borrowal account of the company is classified as a Standard Asset by the financing bank.
4) None of the above
5) Only 2) and 3)
Answer:- 4) None of the above

Ques. : 76 As part of the financial sector liberalisation, all credit related matters of banks including charging of interest have been deregulated by the RBI and are now governed by
1) the govt policies
2) international practices
3) the policies of the World Bank
4) the banks’ own lending policies
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) the banks’ own lending policies

Ques. : 77  Loans to individuals for educational purposes including vocational courses up to ______for studies in India and ______for studies abroad are included under priority sector lending by banks.
1) Rs 5 lakh, Rs 10 lakh
2) Rs 7 lakh, Rs 15 lakh
3) Rs 10 lakh, Rs 20 lakh
4) Rs 12 lakh, Rs 22 lakh
5) Rs 15 lakh, Rs 25 lakh
Answer:- 3) Rs 10 lakh, Rs 20 lakh

Ques. : 78  If an individual has a ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ opened on the basis of simplified KYC norms, the account would additionally be treated as which of the following?
1) BSBDA-No frills Account
2) BSBDA-Small Account
3) BSBDA-Limited Account
4) BSBDA-Regular Account
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) BSBDA-Small Account

Ques. : 79 We often read about ARCs in financial newspapers. What does the term ARC stands for?
1) Asset Reconstruction Company
2) Asset Recapitalisation Company
3) Asset Reinsurance Company
4) Asset Recovery Company
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Asset Reconstruction Company

Ques. : 80 Which of the following states cleared a bill banning cow slaughter with provisions of rigorous imprisonment ranging from three years to 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh for offenders?
1) Punjab
2) Chhattisgarh
3) Jharkhand
4) Haryana
5) West Bengal
Answer:- 4) Haryana

Ques. : 81 In his 2015-16 Budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the creation of MUDRA bank and a credit guarantee corpus of
1) Rs 500 cr
2) Rs 1,000 cr
3) Rs 1,500 cr
4) Rs 3,000 cr
5) Rs 5,000 cr
Answer:- 4) Rs 3,000 cr

Ques. : 82 Seychelles will soon be a full partner in the maritime security cooperation between India two other nations. These two nations are
1) Maldives and Mauritius
2) Indonesia and Sri Lanka
3) Thailand and Mauritius
4) Maldives and Sri Lanka
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Maldives and Sri Lanka

Ques. : 83 The coal ministry has drawn up an ambitious plan of nearly tripling India's coal output by 2020. What was India’s coal output in the last financial year?
1) 565 mt
2) 1,556 mt
3) 1,025 mt
4) 865 mt
5) 775 mt
Answer:- 1) 565 mt

Ques. : 84 Which of the following cup/trophies is not associated with the game of cricket?
1) Irani Cup
2) Ranji Trophy
3) Santosh Trophy
4) Deodhar Trophy
5) Duleep Trophy
Answer:- 3) Santosh Trophy

Ques. : 85 Bombay S Kamal, who died recently, was a veteran
1) singer
2) actor
3) author
4) journalist
5) bureaucrat
Answer:- 1) singer

Ques. : 86 The govt relaunched the Kisan Vikas Patra scheme last year. There is no upper limit on investments in KVP but the minimum denomination will be
1) Rs 10,000
2) Rs 5,000
3) Rs 2,000
4) Rs 1,000
5) Rs 500
Answer:- 4) Rs 1,000

Ques. : 87 The Supreme Court has scrapped a year-old notification by the previous govt granting the status of a backward class to the ______community.
1) Jat
2) Gujjar
3) Kashmiri Pandits
4) Kuki
5) Mizo
Answer:- 1) Jat

Ques. : 88 PM Narendra Modi has become the first Indian Prime Minister to set his foot in the war ravaged Tamil dominant town of Sri Lanka when he launched a housing complex of 27,000 houses in
1) Hambantota
2) Galle
3) Jaffna
4) Trincomalee
5) Dambulla
Answer:- 3) Jaffna

Ques. : 89 The govt will set up three SPVs to evacuate coal locked across the three mineral-rich states. These SPVs will have equity participation from Coal India, railway’s IRCON and the state govt concerned respectively in the ratio of
1) 66 per cent, 24 per cent and 10 per cent
2) 56 per cent, 34 per cent and 10 per cent
3) 56 per cent, 24 per cent and 20 per cent
4) 55 per cent, 35 per cent and 10 per cent
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) 66 per cent, 24 per cent and 10 per cent

Ques. : 90 Who among the following will head a new innovative council of Indian Railways, called ‘Kaya Kalp’?
1) Ratan Tata
2) Nandan Nilekani
3) NR Narayana Murthy
4) Mukesh Ambani
5) Cyrus Pallonji Mistry
Answer:- 1) Ratan Tata

Ques. : 91 The Union Cabinet has approved the release of what amount in tranches to states and Union Territories to compensate them for revenue loss due to phasing out of Centre Sales Tax (CST)?
1) Rs 22,000 cr
2) Rs 33,000 cr
3) Rs 35,000 cr
4) Rs 45,000 cr
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Rs 33,000 cr

Ques. : 92 Uma Nath Singh has been sworn-in as the Chief Justice of
1) Delhi High Court
2) Allahabad High Court
3) Guwahati High Court
4) Patna High Court
5) Meghalaya High Court
Answer:- 5) Meghalaya High Court

Ques. : 93 In case of ‘small accounts’ opened with banks, total credits in one year should not exceed
1) Rs 25,000
2) Rs 50,000
3) Rs 75,000
4) Rs 1,00,000
5) Rs 2,00,000
Answer:- 4) Rs 1,00,000

Ques. : 94 Which of the following countries started destroying its largest remaining stockpile of chemical weapons (mustard agent and other such agents) recently? It's being destroyed under a 1997 international treaty banning all chemical weapons.
1) US
2) UK
3) Germany
4) France
5) Japan
Answer:- 1) US

Ques. : 95 Solar Impulse-2, the world’s first ‘no-fuel’ solar-powered aircraft, visited which of the following two cities of India recently?
1) Ahmedabad, Varanasi
2) Hyderabad, Varanasi
3) Ahmedabad, New Delhi
4) Chennai, Bangalore
5) Mumbai, Chennai
Answer:- 1) Ahmedabad, Varanasi

Ques. : 96 Which of the following countries will give 1 billion euro loan to India over the next six years to strengthen renewable power transmission infrastructure?
1) Spain
2) Japan
3) US
4) Germany
5) France
Answer:- 4) Germany

Ques. : 97 What is the current nuclear power capacity of India?
1) 4,400 MW
2) 5,780 MW
3) 7,560 MW
4) 10,080 MW
5) 12,520 MW
Answer:- 2) 5,780 MW

Ques. : 98 A total of 22 people died in the attack against the Bardo museum in the capital city of which of the following countries on 18 Mar?
1) Spain
2) Turkey
3) Egypt
4) Tunisia
5) Cambodia
Answer:- 4) Tunisia

Ques. : 99 Dilma Rousseff is the present President of which of the following countries? She pledged to hold talks after massive protests erupted across the country recently.
1) Thailand
2) Brazil
3) Indonesia
4) Malaysia
5) Singapore
Answer:- 2) Brazil

Ques. : 100 Name the veteran Hindi film actor who has been named for the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award recently.
1) Manoj Kumar
2) Dharmendra
3) Amitabh Bachchan
4) Shashi Kapoor
5) Rishi Kapoor
Answer:- 4) Shashi Kapoor

Ques. : 101 _________won the 35th Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) Inter Unit T20 cricket tournament in Pune recently.
1) Oil India
2) Hindustan Petroleum
3) Bharat Petroleum
4) IOC
5) ONGC
Answer:- 5) ONGC

Ques. : 102 The Union Cabinet on 20 Mar cleared what per cent reservation for women in the direct recruitment for non-gazetted posts in the police forces of all Union Territories, including Delhi?
1) 10 per cent
2) 25 per cent
3) 33 per cent
4) 49 per cent
5) 50 per cent
Answer:- 3) 33 per cent

Ques. : 103 Which of the following is NOT a major Bill cleared by Parliament in the first part of the Budget session in 2015 (Feb 23-Mar 20)?
1) Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill
2) Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill
3) Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
4) Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill
5) None of these
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 104 In Nov 2014, RBI had asked banks to follow from Apr 1 some new norms. Which of the following is one of them?
1) Imposing a penalty proportionate to the shortfall in minimum balance in the account.
2) Informing the accountholder through email/SMS of imminent charges when the balance requirement is breached.
3) Banks are barred from creating negative balances by imposing charges on the grounds that charges will be deducted from future deposits.
4) All the above
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) All the above

Ques. : 105 What is the full form of CDR as used in banking and financial world?
1) Composite Debt Restructuring
2) Corporate Debt Restoration
3) Corporate Debt Restructuring
4) Cumulative Debt Restructuring
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Corporate Debt Restructuring

Ques. : 106 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 24 Mar projected India's economy to grow by what per cent for 2015-16?
1) 7.8 per cent
2) 8.1 per cent
3) 8.5 per cent
4) 7.2 per cent
5) 6.8 per cent
Answer:- 1) 7.8 per cent

Ques. : 107 The foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan met for the first time in nearly three years in ____________on 21 Mar.
1) Seoul
2) Tokyo
3) New York
4) Beijing
5) Shanghai
Answer:- 1) Seoul

Ques. : 108  Malcolm Fraser, who died recently, was the former Prime Minister of
1) England
2) Australia
3) Spain
4) Norway
5) Sweden
Answer:- 2) Australia

Ques. : 109 As announced by the Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar, the Centre plans to start how many pharmaceutical clusters with an outlay of Rs 120 cr in the next one year?
1) 5
2) 7
3) 10
4) 12
5) 20
Answer:- 3) 10

Ques. : 110 So far, 76 projects have been sanctioned under the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) programme in five Ganga river basin states. Which of the following is NOT one of them?
1) Uttarakhand
2) Uttar Pradesh
3) Bihar
4) Madhya Pradesh
5) West Bengal
Answer:- 4) Madhya Pradesh

Ques. : 111 The Insurance Australia Group has announced to raise its stake from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in the general insurance joint venture with
1) HDFC
2) ICICI
3) Punjab National Bank
4) State Bank of India
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) State Bank of India

Ques. : 112 President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced to flee as Houthi rebels advance towards the city recently in which of the following countries?
1) Syria
2) Yemen
3) Libya
4) Iraq
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Yemen

Ques. : 113 Who among the following is all set to be the next foreign ministry spokesperson?
1) Ajit Doval
2) Ranjan Mathai
3) Vikas Swarup
4) Nirupama Rao
5) Sujatha Singh
Answer:- 3) Vikas Swarup

Ques. : 114 The 2015 roster of 'World's Greatest Leaders' by Fortune magazine, which includes the 50 greatest leaders in the world including PM Narendra Modi, is topped by
1) Narendra Modi
2) Kailash Satyarthi
3) Tim Cook
4) Barack Obama
5) Shinzo Abe
Answer:- 3) Tim Cook

Ques. : 115 The US President Barack Obama has nominated the Indian-American Atul Keshap as the next US ambassador to
1) China
2) Sri Lanka and Maldives
3) Nepal and Bhutan
4) India
5) Indonesia
Answer:- 2) Sri Lanka and Maldives

Ques. : 116 India is the partner country for Hannover Messe, 2015, one of the biggest industrial fairs in the world, to be inaugurated on Apr 13 in
1) France
2) Germany
3) Japan
4) Spain
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Germany

Ques. : 117 What does letter ‘S’ denote in the term IFSC, used for online banking transactions?
1) Security
2) Settlement
3) System
4) Submission
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) System

Ques. : 118 __________emerged as the highest bidder in the spectrum auction, which concluded on 25 Mar.
1) Idea Cellular
2) Vodafone
3) Bharti Airtel
4) Reliance Communication
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Idea Cellular

Ques. : 119 Every bank branch is given a unique MICR code and this helps the RBI to identify the bank branch and speed up the clearing process. The MICR code has ______digits in it.
1) three
2) four
3) five
4) seven
5) nine
Answer:- 5) nine

Ques. : 120 The Food Processing Ministry allocated 17 mega food parks to states, pvt firms across the country recently. The present Union Food Processing Minister is
1) Harismrat Kaur Badal
2) Ramvilas Paswan
3) Ashok Gajapathi Raju
4) Chaudhary Birender Singh
5) Narendra Singh Tomar
Answer:- 1) Harismrat Kaur Badal

Ques. : 121 The govt raised a record ___________ in the country's biggest and the fiercest auction of telecom spectrum that ended on 25 Mar.
1) Rs 102,400 cr
2) Rs 109,874 cr
3) Rs 112,470 cr
4) Rs 118,748 cr
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Rs 109,874 cr

Ques. : 122 Country's biggest and the fiercest auction of telecom spectrum ended on 25 Mar. Which of the following statements is NOT correct in this regard?
1) The record auction amount received this time is non-BSNL, non-MTNL money.
2) The auction was conducted for airwaves in four bands.
3) Names of the winners have not been disclosed due to court orders.
4) All the above
5) Only 2) and 3)
Answer:- 4) All the above

Ques. : 123 India and Qatar signed 6 agreements to strengthen bilateral ties recently. Which of the following is NOT among them?
1) Transfer of Sentenced Persons
2) Cooperation in the field of Information and Communication Technology
3) Leasing an island to India for infrastructure development
4) Cooperation in the field of Radio and Television
5) Mutual Cooperation and Exchange of News
Answer:- 3) Leasing an island to India for infrastructure development

Ques. : 124 PM Narendra Modi will embark on an eight-day tour of three nations from 9 Apr to 16 Apr. These three nations include France, Germany and
1) Canada
2) Spain
3) Italy
4) Sweden
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Canada

Ques. : 125 Ibobi Singh is the current Chief Minister of which of the following states?
1) Sikkim
2) Manipur
3) Mizoram
4) Meghalaya
5) Tripura
Answer:- 2) Manipur

Ques. : 126 Sania Mirza lifted the women's doubles trophy of the Indian Wells Open tennis tournament at California recently with her partner
1) Elena Vesnina
2) Sara Errani
3) Martina Hingis
4) Cara Black
5) Roberta Vinci
Answer:- 3) Martina Hingis

Ques. : 127 PM Narendra Modi on 25 Mar launched his ambitious multi-purpose and multi-modal platform PRAGATI in New Delhi. The letter ‘I’ in the term PRAGATI stands for
1) Information
2) Implementation
3) Initiative
4) Investment
5) Integration
Answer:- 2) Implementation

Ques. : 128 Sanaa is the capital city of which of the following countries? Huthi militia’s advancement to the city forced the President to leave the city recently.
1) Bahrain
2) Kuwait
3) Qatar
4) Saudi Arabia
5) Yemen
Answer:- 5) Yemen

Ques. : 129 The winner of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is
1) Australia
2) New Zealand
3) South Africa
4) West Indies
5) England
Answer:- 1) Australia

Ques. : 130 Name the women shuttler who clinched her maiden India Open Super Series title recently.
1) Carolina Marin
2) Saina Nehwal
3) Ratchanok Intanon
4) PV Sindhu
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Saina Nehwal

Ques. : 131 Who among the following is a deputy governor of the RBI as of now?
1) Pratip Chaudhuri
2) Usha Thorat
3) Subir Gokarn
4) SS Mundra
5) KC Chakrabarty
Answer:- 4) SS Mundra

Ques. : 132 What is India’s ranking on the new index compiled by the UN trade body UNCTAD for assessing the readiness of countries for electronic commerce?
1) 63rd
2) 130th
3) 83rd
4) 75th
5) 92nd
Answer:- 3) 83rd

Ques. : 133 The winner of the men’s singles title of the India Open Super Series badminton tournament is
1) Viktor Axelsen
2) Kidambi Srikanth
3) Lin Dan
4) Ajay Jayaram
5) Parupalli Kashyap
Answer:- 2) Kidambi Srikanth

Ques. : 134 PM Narendra Modi in his address to a global energy conference, recently, appealed to people not to take subsidy if they can afford to buy LPG at market price. The govt targets that ________ will surrender the LPG subsidy.
1) ten crore
2) five crore
3) two crore
4) one crore
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) one crore

Ques. : 135 Which of the following countries is the world's largest B2C market measured both by the revenue and the number of online buyers as of now?
1) US
2) China
3) India
4) UK
5) Germany
Answer:- 2) China

Ques. : 136 The _________Group is the world's largest e-commerce company by gross merchandise value, volume of goods and services being transacted at present?
1) eBay
2) Amazon
3) Alibaba
4) Flipkart
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Alibaba

Ques. :137 Which country has topped the recently released UNCTAD’s new Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce, businesses selling to the general public, index?
1) Finland
2) Norway
3) Luxembourg
4) UK
5) China
Answer:- 3) Luxembourg

Ques. : 138 The govt gave 'in principle' nod to Sagarmala project recently. This project is aimed at port-led development in
1) coastal states
2) Sri Lanka and Maldives
3) Mauritius and Seychelles
4) Bangladesh and Myanmar
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) coastal states

Ques. : 139 A unique integrating and interactive platform named PRAGATI was launched by the PM Narendra Modi recently. Which of the following is correct about the programme?
1) It is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances.
2) It will monitor and review important programmes and projects of the central/state govts.
3) The interactive Pragati sessions will take place every second Saturday of the month.
4) All the above
5) Only 1) and 2)
Answer:- 5) Only 1) and 2)

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 11:31