3RD WEEK (ENGLISH)

SET 1

1. India has raised customs duty to 200 per cent on all goods imported from which nation?

a) Pakistan
b) China
c) Myanmar
d) Saudi Arabia

2. India, in its recent liberalisation of e-visa regime, has extended visa-on-arrival facility to the nationals of which country?

a) North Korea
b) Israel
c) South Korea
d) Brazil

3. Which international cricketer has announced his retirement from One Day Internationals?

a) Ross Taylor
b) Martin Guptill
c) Chris Gayle
d) Lasith Malinga

4.
 Afghanistan has lodged a complaint with UNSC against which nation for its engagement with the Taliban?

a) China
b) Pakistan
c) US
d) India

5. 
Who has assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner of India on February 15, 2019?

a) Bipin Kumar Jha
b) Sushil Chandra
c) Vivek Dahiya
d) Ranjan Misra

6. UAE would be funding the construction of a US military hospital in which city?

a) Abu Dhabi
b) Kuwait
c) Tehran
d) Damascus

7. Which nation has launched a cruise missile capable submarine amidst heightening tension with the United States?

a) North Korea
b) Israel
c) Iran
d) China

8. Which nation has signed agreements worth $20 billion with Pakistan?

a) UAE
b) Saudi Arabia
c) China
d) Qatar

9. The President of which nation has declared a national emergency?

a) United Kingdom
b) Australia
c) New Zealand
d) United States

10. Who won the women’s singles title at the Yonex-Sunrise 83rd Senior Nationals?

a) Ankita Raina
b) Sania Mirza
c) PV Sindhu
d) Saina Nehwal

Answers

1. (a) Pakistan 

India has raised the basic customs duty to 200 per cent on all goods imported from Pakistan with immediate effect following withdrawal the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack. 

2. (c) South Korea 

The Union Tourism Ministry recently made a series of amendments in India’s e-visa regime, liberalising it further and making it more tourist friendly. The e-tourist Visa, which was introduced in September 2014 with 46 countries has now been made applicable for 166 countries.  Besides, visa-on-arrival facility has been extended to the nationals of the Republic of Korea.

3. (c) Chris Gayle

Veteran West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has announced that he will retire from One-day Internationals after this year’s World Cup in England and Wales. The announcement was made by West Indies Cricket on February 17, 2019. 

4. (b) Pakistan 

Afghanistan has lodged a strong complaint with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against Pakistan for its engagement with the Taliban. In a letter written to the UNSC, Afghanistan’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Nazifullah Salarzai said, Pakistan’s invitation to the Taliban amounted to a violation of Afghanistan’s national sovereignty. 

5. (b) Sushil Chandra

Sushil Chandra on February 15, 2019 assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India. He would be working along with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa in the Election Commission.

6. (a) Abu Dhabi

A US military hospital funded by the United Arab Emirates will be built in Abu Dhabi to treat Emirati soldiers and regionally based American troops. The US would deploy medical military personnel in support of a facility very similar to the one in Germany, the biggest American hospital outside the US.

7. (c) Iran

Iran has launched ‘cruise missile capable’ submarine amid heightening tension with the United States. The new submarine is Iran’s first in the semi-heavy category, filling a gap between the light Ghadir class and the heavy Kilo class submarines that the country possesses.

8. (b) Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia on February 17, 2019 signed eight agreements amounting up to $20 billion agreement to invest in cash-starved Pakistan. The agreements were signed in the presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is on a two-day visit to the country.

9. (d) United States

US President Donald Trump on February 15, 2019 signed an executive order declaring national emergency in the nation. The move would unblock billions of dollars of federal money to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border. Trump explained the move by saying that it was essential to prevent the country from “invasion” of illegal immigrants, drug dealers and criminal cartels. 

10. (d) Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal won her fourth title at the Yonex-Sunrise 83rd Senior Nationals, defeating PV Sindhu convincingly 21-18, 21-15 in Guwahati on February 16, 2019. Sourabh Verma, on the other hand, completed a hat-trick of titles, claiming the men’s singles crown after defeating young Lakshya Sen in straight games of 21-18, 21-13.

SET 2

1. India has signed a MoU to set up a joint working group on counter terrorism with which nation?

a) Argentina
b) Morocco
c) Spain
d) Bulgaria

2. India and Argentina signed how many Memorandums of Understanding during the state visit of Argentine President Mauricio Macri to India?

a) Three
b) Five
c) Six
d) Ten

3. Which among the following nations is not among those the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be visiting on her three nation tour from February 16-19, 2019?

a) Bulgaria
b) Venezuela
c) Spain
d) Morocco

4. The citizens in distress can dial which number to get immediate access to emergency services?

a) 111
b) 112
c) 131
d) 123

5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first-ever diesel to electric converted locomotive twin engine in which city?

a) Varanasi
b) Mumbai
c) Ranchi
d) Jamshedpur

6. The National Cyber Forensic Lab has been inaugurated in which city?

a) Bengaluru
b) Lucknow
c) Hyderabad
d) New Delhi

7. Which nation has set up a committee to discuss reforming constitution?

a) Myanmar
b) Sri Lanka
c) United States
d) Venezuela

8. The All Indian Cine Workers Association has announced a total ban on artists belonging to which nation?

a) Bangladesh
b) Sri Lanka
c) Myanmar
d) Pakistan

9. Renowned climate scientist Wallace Smith Broecker passed away in New York on February 18, 2019. He had popularised which among the following terms?

a) Climate Change
b) Wildfires
c) Global Warming
d) Ozone Layer

10. Which state’s government has withdrawn security cover of separatist leaders?

a) Uttarakhand
b) Jammu and Kashmir
c) Punjab
d) Uttar Pradesh

Answers

1. (b) Morocco

India and Morocco on February 18, 2019 signed four MoUs following extensive talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in Rabat. The agreements include setting up of joint working group on counter terrorism, cooperation in housing and human settlement, reciprocal facilitation of procedures for issue of business visa and cooperation in youth matters. 

2. (d) Ten

India and Argentina released a Joint Statement on February 18, 2019 after extensive talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the Argentine Republic, Mauricio Macri, who is on a state visit to India from February 17-19, 2019. Following the extensive talks, ten Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between the two nations.

3. (b) Venezuela

The Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj is currently on a 4-day three nation tour to Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain from February 16-19, 2019, as a part of India’s efforts to strengthen ties with these countries and expand avenues of cooperation.

4. (b) 112

The Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) is a pan-India single number (112) based response system for persons in distress. The citizens can access emergency services by dialing 112 number. They can also press the power button on a smartphone thrice quickly to activate a panic call to ERC. In case of a feature phone, the citizen can long press on number 5 or 9 on the phone keypad to activate the panic call.

5. (a) Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 19, 2019 flagged off the first ever diesel to electric converted locomotive twin engine of ten thousand Horse Power at DLW Varanasi. He also inspected an exhibition on locomotives at DLW campus. Such locomotives will be more economical and will increase the speed of goods trains.

6. (d) New Delhi

Union Home Minister inaugurated Cyber Crime Unit of Delhi Police and National Cyber Forensic Lab on February 18, 2019 in New Delhi. The Home Minister also inaugurated a Delhi Police Residential Block comprising 56 flats. The Delhi Police built 312 dwelling units last year and another 969 units are under construction this year.

7. (a) Myanmar

Myanmar on February 19, 2019 set up a committee to discuss reforming the country’s military-drafted constitution. This pits Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government openly against the powerful armed forces for the first time over the incendiary issue. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won a landslide in 2015 elections but was forced into an uneasy power-sharing agreement with the armed forces.

8. (d) Pakistan

The All Indian Cine Workers Association has announced a total ban on all the Pakistani artists working in the film industry. In a statement, the Association’s General Secretary Ronak Jain said that strong action will be taken against the organisation that continues to work with Pakistani artists. Condemning the ghastly terror attack in Pulwama, the Association has said that it stands united in confronting such terror and inhumanity. 

9. (c) Global Warming

Climate scientist Wallace Smith Broecker, who popularised the term global warming, has passed away in New York. The eighty-seven-year-old Columbia University professor breathed his last on February 18. Broecker brought global warming into common use with a 1975 paper that correctly predicted rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would lead to pronounced warming.

10. (b) Jammu and Kashmir 

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has issued orders to withdraw security cover of six separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Besides Mirwaiz, the security has been withdrawn for Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi, Fazal Haq Qureshi and Shabir Shah.

SET 3

1. Union Minister Suresh Prabhu on February 19, 2019 cleared proposals to encourage investments in Start-Ups. Now, registered startups will be exempted from AngeL Tax on funding of up to what amount?
a) Rs 25 crore
b) Rs 30 crore
c) Rs 35 crore
d) Rs 40 crore

2. The Union Cabinet approved creation of posts of Secretary and Joint Secretary in which newly created department?
a) Department of Textiles
b) Department of Fisheries
c) Department of Tribes
d) Department of Animal Husbandry

3. The Union Cabinet approved the agreement between India and which organisation for its participation in the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA)?
a) United Nations
b) World Bank
c) Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
d) Organisation for Rural Economic Transformation

4. The Cabinet approved the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) beyond March 2019 to which year?
a) 2020
b) 2021
c) 2022
d) 2023

5. Government launched Operation Digital Board to boost which of the following?
a) Digital education
b) E-Commerce
c) Ease of doing business
d) Online transactions

6. The International Cricket Council on February 19, 2019 banned UAE-based coach Irfan Ansari for how many years?
a) 5 years
b) 10 years
c) 15 years
d) Life ban

7. Union Minister Suresh Prabhu recently launched SWAYATT initiative on which platform?
a) NITI Aayog
b) Atal Tinkering Labs
c) Government e Marketplace
d) Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade

8. Which city hosted the International Conference and Exhibition on Energy and Environment: Challenges and Opportunities (ENCO 2019)?
a) Mumbai
b) Pune
c) Varanasi
d) New Delhi

ANSWERS

1. (a) Rs 25 crore 
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu on February 19, 2019 cleared proposals to encourage investments in Start-Ups, aiming at simplifying the process of exemptions for Start-ups from the ‘Angel Tax’. As per the new norms, registered startups will be exempted from tax on funding of up to Rs 25 crore compared with the existing limit of Rs 10 crore. 

2. (b) Department of Fisheries
The Union Cabinet approved creation of one post of Secretary in the level 17 (Rs.2,25,000 fixed per month) and one post of Joint Secretary in the level 14 (Rs.144200-218200 per month) in the newly created Department of Fisheries on permanent basis.

3. (c) Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
The Union Cabinet approved the Agreement between India and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for participating in the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA), which will be conducted by the OECD in 2021.

4. (c) 2022
The rural housing scheme Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) in Phase-ll will be continued beyond 2019-20 up to 2021-22 as per the existing norms of PMAY-G Phase-l, with a target of 60 lakh houses involving financial implication of Rs 76,500 crore.

5. (a) Digital education
Government launched Operation Digital Board on the lines of Operation Blackboard to provide better digital education in schools. Under the initiative, seven lakh classrooms of 9th, 10th and 11th standards and two lakh classrooms of colleges and Universities will be equipped with digital boards in the next three years.

6. (b) 10 years
The International Cricket Council (ICC) banned UAE-based coach Irfan Ansari for 10 years after he was found guilty of making a “corrupt approach” to Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed in 2017. The ban came after the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of breaching three counts of the Anti-Corruption Code.

7. (c) Government e Marketplace
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu launched SWAYATT initiative to promote Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage through eTransactions on Government e Marketplace (GeM). This will bring together the key stakeholders within the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem to Government e-Marketplace.

8. (d) New Delhi
President Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the International Conference and Exhibition on Energy and Environment: Challenges and Opportunities (ENCO 2019) on February 20, 2019 in New Delhi. This Conference was organised by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

SET 4

1. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 12th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition ‘Aero India 2019’ at which location?
a) Air Force Station Yelahanka
b) Air Force Station Palam
c) Air Force Station Hindon
d) Air Force Station Lucknow

2. Which country recently signed an executive order to establish its Space Force as a new armed service?
a) Russia
b) United States
c) North Korea
d) China

3. When is the International Mother Language Day observed every year?
a) 20 February
b) 21 February
c) 22 February
d) 23 February

4. Which country recently announced to invest USD 100 billion in India?
a) Morocco
b) Argentina
c) South Korea
d) Saudi Arabia

5. India recently agreed to constitute a ‘Comprehensive Security Dialogue’ to enhance cooperation in the Counter-terrorism with which country?
a) Saudi Arabia
b) Israel
c) United States
d) Russia

6. Which aircraft recently received the Final Operational Clearance for induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a fully-weaponised fighter jet?
a) Mi-17 V-5 helicopter
b) LCA Tejas
c) F-16 Falcon
d) Rafale

7. Which city will host the 4TH India-Asean Expo Summit?
a) Mumbai
b) Pune
c) Kolkata
d) New Delhi

8. Which insurance company launched a new micro insurance plan ‘Micro Bachat’?
a) Apollo Munich
b) ICICI Prudential Life
c) Life Insurance Corporation
d) Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance

ANSWERS

1. (a) Air Force Station Yelahanka
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 12th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition ‘Aero India 2019’ at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru. For the first time, the 2019 edition of Aero India combines the defence and civil aviation segments into a holistic event with the co-involvement of the defence and civil aviation ministries. 

2. (b) United States
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to establish its Space Force as a new armed service within the Department of Air Force. As per the memorandum signed by Trump, the Space Force will include both combat and combat support functions to enable prompt and sustained offensive and defensive space operations in all domains. 

3. (b) 21 February
International Mother Language Day is observed on 21 February every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. As 2019 is also the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the theme of International Mother Language Day 2019 was ‘Indigenous Languages as a factor in development, peace and reconciliation’. 

4. (d) Saudi Arabia
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia, visited India on February 19-20, 2019. He announced to invest over USD 100 billion in India in areas of energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, minerals and mining, manufacturing, education and health.

5. (a) Saudi Arabia 
To enhance cooperation in the Counter-terrorism, India and Saudi Arabia agreed to constitute a ‘Comprehensive Security Dialogue’ at the level of National Security Advisors and set up a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism during the visit of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

6. (b) LCA Tejas
Landmark day for India’s defence sector, India’s first self-made fighter jet, Light Combat Aircraft Tejas MK I (LCA Tejas) on February 20, 2019 received the Final Operational Clearance for induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a fully-weaponised fighter jet.

7. (d) New Delhi
The 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit will be held on February 21-23, 2019 in New Delhi. This is a flagship event of Department of Commerce, being organised with FICCI to carry forward the momentum and to further strengthen India-ASEAN relations under the Act-East Policy.

8. (c) Life Insurance Corporation
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) recently launched a new micro insurance plan ‘Micro Bachat’. It is a regular premium, non-linked micro insurance plan that offers a combination of protection and savings. This micro insurance plan provides coverage up to Rs 2 lakh.

SET 5

1. Who became the 14th recipient of the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize?
a) Narendra Modi
b) Vladimir Putin
c) Donald Trump
d) Ban-Ki-Moon

2. Which of the following Ordinance was not promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on February 21, 2019?
a) Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019
b) National Policy on Electronics (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019
c) Companies (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019
d) Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019

3. Which Ministry recently announced to conduct All India Citizens Survey of Police Services’ to test public perception of police?
a) Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
b) Ministry of Defence
c) Ministry of Home Affairs
d) Ministry of Human Resource Development

4. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recently raised the interest rate on Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to what percent for 2018-19?
a) 8.35 percent
b) 8.45 percent
c) 8.55 percent
d) 8.65 percent

5. Who was recently appointed as the first court-appointed ombudsman for the BCCI?
a) Justice DK Jain
b) Justice SA Bobde
c) Justice Ravi Thodge
d) Justice Vinod Rai

6. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on February 21, 2019 inaugurated the All India Radio FM Station in which state?
a) Telangana
b) Andhra Pradesh
c) Kerala
d) Tamil Nadu

7. Which international organisation recently urged the international community to co-operate with India in dealing with terrorism?
a) Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation
b) Nobel Foundation
c) United Nations Security Council
d) World Trade Organisation

8. Recently, Mahatma Gandhi’s bust was unveiled in which country on February 21, 2019?
a) South Africa
b) Denmark
c) England
d) South Korea

ANSWERS

1. (a) Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 22, 2019 received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth. The award was presented to him by Kwon E-hyock, the Chairman of the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation at a grand ceremony in Seoul, South Korea.

2. (b) National Policy on Electronics (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019
President Ram Nath Kovind on February 21, 2019 promulgated the four ordinances, namely- The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019; Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019; Companies (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019 and Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019.

3. (c) Ministry of Home Affairs
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on February 21, 2019 announced to conduct a pan-India survey called ‘All India Citizens Survey of Police Services’ to gauge public perception of police. The survey will be conducted by the Bureau of Police Research and Development with the help of the National Council of Applied Economic Research in nine months. 

4. (d) 8.65 percent
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the retirement fund manager under the Union Labour Ministry, raised the interest rate on Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) accumulations to 8.65 percent for 2018-19.

5. (a) Justice DK Jain
The Supreme Court appointed former apex court judge Justice DK Jain as the first court-appointed ombudsman for the BCCI under the terms of newly approved constitution of the cricket board. The role of the ombudsman would be to resolve the disputes relating to the players within the state cricket associations as also financial issues. 

6. (b) Andhra Pradesh
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated Nellore All India Radio FM Station in Andhra Pradesh and asserted that radio broadcasting has made a comeback in the era of continuous bombardment of visual content.

7. (c) United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) urged the international community to co-operate actively with India in bringing the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terrorism to justice. The 15-nation body strongly condemned the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama that claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel. 

8. (d) South Korea
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a bust of Mahatma at the Seoul Campus of Yonsei University as a part of the global celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to South Korea on February 21-22, 2019.