4TH WEEK (ENGLISH)

SET 1

1. NASA’s laser retroreflector arrays will be carried to the Moon aboard which mission?
a) Chandrayaan-2
b) TESS 
c) Gaganyaan
d) JUNO

2. Indian space agency, ISRO will launch which satellite on April 1, 2019?
a) Cartosat-2
b) EMISAT
c) MicroSat
d) AstroSat

3. Which Indian Naval Ship will participate in Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-19)?
a) INS Tarini
b) INS Sahyadri
c) INS Kadmatt
d) INS Viraat 

4. Who was awarded with the Abel Prize 2019?
a) Yves Meyer
b) Andrew Wiles
c) Robert Langlands
d) Karen Uhlenbeck

5. The President of which country signed proclamation on March 25, 2019 recognising Golan Heights as Israeli territory?
a) United States
b) Guatemala 
c) India
d) South Korea

6. Indian navy’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Training Facility was inaugurated aboard which naval vessel?
a) INS Vikrant
b) INS Shivaji
c) INS Kirpan
d) INS Subhadra 

7. Exercise Mitra Shakti- VI was held between India and which nation?
a) Maldives
b) Bangladesh
c) Sri Lanka
d) Indonesia

8. Which country topped the World Economic Forum’s Global Energy Transition Index?
a) Sweden
b) Norway
c) Switzerland
d) Singapore

9. Under the newly announced minimum income guarantee scheme by a leading opposition party, how much annual income has been proposed for 20 per cent of India’s poorest families?
a) Rs 90000
b) Rs 72000
c) Rs 84000
d) Rs 65000

10. Which oil company has awarded onshore exploration rights to two Indian oil companies, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited?
a) Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
b) Emirates National Oil Company
c) Petrofac International
d) Zakum Development Company

ANSWERS

1. (a) Chandrayaan-2
Chandrayaan-2, the second moon mission Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will be carrying laser retroreflector arrays owned by the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

2. (b) EMISAT
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 29 satellites including the primary payload EMISAT on April 1, 2019. The PSLV-C45 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), carrying these satellites onboard, will take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

3. (c) INS Kadmatt
Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, INS Kadmatt (P 29) will participate in the 15th edition of Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-19). The corvette arrived at Langkawi, Malaysia on March 25, 2019 for seven days official visit. 

4. (d) Karen Uhlenbeck
American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck won the Abel Prize 2019. Uhlenbeck’s breakthrough work along with mathematician Jonathan Sacks was on “minimal surfaces such as the surface taken by a soap bubble.

5. (a) United States
The United States President, Donald Trump on March 25, 2019 signed the proclamation recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a disputed land which Israel captured from Syria in 1967.

6. (b) INS Shivaji
The Indian Navy’s state of the art Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Training Facility (NBCTF) was inaugurated on March 25, 2019 by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba at INS Shivaji, Lonavala. The training facility has been named ABHEDYA, which means impenetrable in Sanskrit. The new facility is expected to help train personnel of naval ships fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical detection and protection systems.

7. (c) Sri Lanka
The annual joint exercise between India and Sri Lanka, ‘Mitra Shakti-VI’, began at Diyatalawa in Sri Lanka on March 26, 2019. The exercise will conclude on April 8, 2019. The exercise is conducted every year as a part of military diplomacy and interaction between the armies of the two nations. It is held in India and Sri Lanka alternatively. 

8. (a) Sweden
The Geneva-based World Economic Forum released its Global Energy Transition Index on March 25, 2019. The index ranks 115 economies on their ability to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability. Sweden retained its top spot on the list, followed by Switzerland and Norway in the second and third positions respectively.

9. (b) Rs 72000
A leading opposition party in India has announced a minimum income guarantee scheme for the poorest 20 per cent of Indian families if voted to power. Under the scheme, 20 per cent of India’s most poor families will get Rs 72,000 yearly in their bank accounts. The minimum income support proposal will be called ‘nyay’. 

10. (a) Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
A consortium of two Indian oil companies, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited have been awarded the exploration rights for Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 1. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed agreements awarding the exploration rights on March 25, 2019.

SET 2

1. Which nation has become the 4th largest space power?

a) Japan 
b) Germany 
c) India
d) France

2. The Supreme Court has warned which bank for non-disclosure of bank inspection reports?

a) Bank of Baroda
b) Reserve Bank of India
c) Canara Bank
d) Central Bank of India

3.
 The Reserve Bank of India has imposed Rs 2 crore penalty on which public sector bank?

a) State Bank of India
b) UCO Bank
c) Canara Bank
d) Punjab National Bank

4. Which social media platform has set up a 24×7 response team for 2019 Lok Sabha elections?

a) Twitter
b) Instagram
c) Facebook
d) Whatsapp

5. Which online streaming service has piloted a $4 worth mobile plan in India to woo users?

a) Netflix 
b) Amazon Prime
c) Hotstar
d) HBO Now

6.
 India has begun a new cruise service along with which nation?

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

7. What was the title of white paper recently issued by China on democratic reforms in Tibet?

a) People’s rule in Tibet – after a long hiatus
b) Democratic Reform in Tibet – Sixty Years On
c) Tibet is free – People’s rule prevails
d) How China brought democracy in Tibet

8. First Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition was flagged off recently to which peak?

a) Mt. Makalu
b) Mt. Everest
c) Mt. Kamet
d) Mt. Hardeol

9. Which of the following IIT has developed AI-based system to detect malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases?

a) IIT Kharagpur
b) IIT Pune
c) IIT Madras
d) IIT Delhi

10. Which European country has recently honoured President Ram Nath Kovind with its highest civilian order?

a) Chile
b) Spain
c) Croatia
d) Belgium

Answers

1. (c) India

Prime Narendra Modi on March 27, 2019 announced that India has established itself as the world’s 4th largest space super power. The PM announced the success of ‘Mission Shakti’, in which Indian scientists successfully targeted and brought down a live satellite on a Low Earth Orbit with an anti-satellite missile (A-SAT) within a matter of just three minutes. 

2. (b) Reserve Bank of India

The Supreme Court of India on March 26, 2019 took a strong note of non-disclosure of the annual inspection report of banks by the Reserve Bank of India under the Right to Information Act. The apex court threatened to slap punitive order against RBI for not adhering to its earlier order on making its bank inspection report public. 

3. (d) Punjab National Bank

The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty worth Rs 2 crore on Punjab National Bank for non-compliance of regulatory directions with regard to SWIFT operations. SWIFT is a global messaging software, which is used for sharing information on inter-bank transactions by financial entities. 

4. (c) Facebook

Facebook is putting in place a response team for India’s general elections for monitoring and tracking of objectionable content in real time round the clock, a top official at the social network said. The election response team will be based in Singapore and will work closely with the Election Commission of India.

5. (a) Netflix 

Netflix Inc is testing a Rs 250 rupee monthly subscription for mobile devices in India to boost its presence in a price-sensitive market where data consumption on smartphones is surging. The California-based Netflix currently offers three monthly plans in India, ranging from Rs 500- 800 but those are still expensive compared with similar offerings from rivals.

6. (b) Bangladesh

India and Bangladesh will start a cruise service from March 29, 2019 that would take passengers through the Sunderbans to Dhaka. The move aims to strengthen inland waterway routes between the two countries.

7. (b) Democratic Reform in Tibet – Sixty Years On

China’s State Council Information Office on issued a white paper on democratic reform and the leap of development in Tibet over the past six decades on March 26, 2019. White paper titled “Democratic Reform in Tibet – Sixty Years On” claims that democratic reform in Tibet is the greatest and most profound social transformation in the history of Tibet.

8. (a) Mt. Makalu

First Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition to Mt Makalu (8485m) was flagged off on March 26, 2019. Expedition team comprises five Officers, two JCOs and eleven other officers. This expedition was flagged off by Director General Military Training.

9. (d) IIT Delhi

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi announced recently that they have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based electronic hardware system to detect malaria, tuberculosis, intestinal parasite, and cervical cancer in milliseconds.

10. (c) Croatia

President Ram Nath Kovind was honoured with Croatia’s highest state award – The Grand Order of the King of Tomislav, on March 26, 2019. Kovind is in the European country as part of his eight-day three-nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile to further strengthen bilateral ties between India and the three countries

SET 3

1. Which country on March 27, 2019 presented the draft resolution to ban JeM Chief Masood Azhar?
a) United States
b) United Kingdom
c) France
d) India

2. India on March 27, 2019 signed exchange agreement of Country-by-Country reports with which country?
a) Indonesia
b) United States
c) Argentina
d) South Africa

3. Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun were on March 27, 2019 awarded with the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award for their work in which field?
a) Laser physics
b) Internet of Things
c) Artificial Intelligence
d) Evolution of enzymes

4. Who was appointed as the first Lokpal of India on March 19, 2019?
a) Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale
b) Pradeep Kumar Mohanty
c) Dinesh Kumar Jain
d) Pinaki Chandra Ghose

5. Which Indian personality was recently honoured with Croatia’s highest civilian award ‘Grand Order of the King of Tomislav’?
a) Ram Nath Kovind
b) Narendra Modi
c) MS Dhoni
d) Aamir Khan

6. Azali Assoumani was re-elected as the President of which nation with over 60 per cent votes?
a) Comoros
b) Cameroon 
c) Nigeria
d) Mongolia 

7. India signed an agreement on strengthening cooperation in healthcare sector with which international bloc?
a) European Union 
b) African Union
c) SAARC
d) BRICS

8. The Union Cabinet has approved extension of Biomedical Research Career Programme for how many years?
a) 10 years
b) 15 years
c) 5 years
d) 7 years

9. India had signed an MoU on Antarctic cooperation in February 2019 with which nation?
a) Australia
b) New Zealand 
c) Argentina
d) United States

10. The UGC has prohibited imparting distance degree programmes in which subject?
a) Corporate Affairs
b) Computer Applications
c) Mass Communication
d) Agriculture

ANSWERS

1. (a) United States
The United States on March 27, 2019 circulated a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to blacklist Chief of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Masood Azhar. Azhar is linked to terrorism for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities carried out by JeM”.

2. (b) United States
India and the United States on March 27, 2019 signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement for Exchange of Country-by-Country (CbC) Reports between the countries. It would do away with the practice of local filing of the CbC Reports by India-based subsidiary companies of the US MNEs.

3. (c) Artificial Intelligence
The three pioneers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun were on March 27, 2019 awarded with the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award “for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing”.

4. (d) Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Pinaki Chandra Ghose was on March 19, 2019 appointed as India’s first Lokpal also known as the anti-corruption ombudsman. Currently, Ghose is serving as a Member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He was appointed as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1997. He served as the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court before his elevation to the Supreme Court in 2013.

5. (a) Ram Nath Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovind was honoured with Croatia’s highest civilian award ‘Grand Order of the King of Tomislav’. The honour is bestowed upon the heads of state for their important contribution towards the development of state relations between Croatia and their respective countries.

6. (a) Comoros
Comoros President Azali Assoumani was re-elected on March 26, 2019 by a landslide, as per results published by the electoral commission of the Indian Ocean archipelago. Azali, who first took office in 2016, won 60.77 per cent of the votes, way ahead of his closest rival Mahamoudou Ahamada, who garnered only 14.62 percent of the ballots cast. 

7. (b) African Union
India and the African Union on March 27, 2019 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish an India-Africa health sciences collaborative platform. The agreement is expected to pave the way for cooperation in research and development, capacity building, health services, pharmaceutical trade and manufacturing capabilities for drugs and diagnostics.

8. (c) 5 years
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 27, 2019 approved the continuation of the Biomedical Research Career Programme beyond its initial 10-year term from 2008-09 to 2018-19 to a new five year phase from 2019-20 to 2023-24. The total financial implication of the same will be Rs 1092 crore.

9. (c) Argentina
The Union Cabinet was on March 27, 2019 apprised of an MoU signed in February, 2019 between India and Argentine on Antarctic cooperation. The agreement will help scientific cooperation on projects in the fields of earth sciences, as well as those related to the protection and conservation of the natural environment of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans.

10. (d) Agriculture
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prohibited imparting distance degree programmes in agriculture. The decision was taken by the higher education regulator at its last meeting on the ground that a degree programme in agriculture is technical in nature as it requires practicals or laboratory courses. The Union agriculture ministry had referred the matter to the commission.

SET 4

1. Which nation has decided to make gay sex, adultery punishable with death by stoning?

a) North Korea
b) Saudi Arabia
c) Yemen
d) Brunei

2. Which nation has barred its opposition leader, Juan Guaido from public office for 15 years?

a) Italy 
b) Venezuela
c) Argentina
d) Colombia

3. Who has been appointed as BCCI’s interim Ethics Officer?

a) Retired Justice DK Jain
b) Retired Justice Kurian Joseph
c) Retired Justice Amitava Roy
d) Retired Justice MB Lokur

4. Which among the following events has been recommended by the IOC for the 2024 Paris Olympics?

a) Hip Hop 
b) Figure Skating
c) Wakeboard 
d) Breakdancing

5. Germany has extended a ban on arms export to this nation by six months.

a) Iran
b) Yemen
c) Saudi Arabia
d) Pakistan

6. Which nation has directedly moved a draft resolution in the United Nations to designate Azhar as global terrorist?

a) United States
b) Russia
c) Germany
d) India

7. Which Miniratna category Central Public Sector Enterprise on March 29, 2019 came out with the Initial public offering (IPO)?

a) Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd
b) Airline Allied Services Ltd
c) Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd
d) Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd

8. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on March 28, 2019 unanimously passed the resolution to combat which of the following?

a) Desertification
b) Terror funding
c) Biological weapons
d) Climate Change

9. When is the World Theatre Day observed every year?

a) 27 March
b) 28 March
c) 29 March
d) 30 March

10. Which celebrity recently launched the independent music label ‘IncInk’?

a) AR Rahman
b) Alia Bhatt
c) Ranveer Singh
d) Javed Akhtar

Answers

1. (d) Brunei

Brunei, a small Southeast Asian nation, has announced the enforcement of a strict Sharia law, under which those found guilty of adultery or gay sex would be subjected to death by stoning from April 3, 2019. The harsh Islamic law had been put on hold for four years amidst heavy criticism. 

2. (b) Venezuela

Venezuela has barred opposition leader Juan Guaido from holding public office for 15 years.  The opposition leader, who had invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency, was recognized by many nations including the United States as the country’s rightful interim ruler, as against current President Nicolas Maduro. 

3. (a) Retired Justice DK Jain

BCCI’s newly appointed ombudsman, Retired Justice D K Jain will now also serve as the cricketing body’s ethics officer till such a time that someone permanent is appointed to the post. In its 10th status report filed on October 28, 2018, the COA had requested the Supreme Court to appoint an ethics officer in addition to an ombudsman for looking into the matters of conflict of interest. 

4. (d) Breakdancing

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board on March 27, 2019 recommended adding breakdancing, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games when the full membership meets in June. Though breakdancing would be new in the Summer Games, the other three are already confirmed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics lineup.

5. (c) Saudi Arabia

Germany has extended an embargo on weapons exports to Saudi Arabia by six months from March 31 to September 30, 2019. The ban was instituted in October 2018 in retaliation to journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in the same month.

6. (a) United States

The US, supported by France and the UK, has directly moved a draft resolution in the UN Security Council to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. The move comes two weeks after China put a hold on a proposal to blacklist Azhar. This is the first time that the three countries have moved a draft resolution directly in the Security Council to designate Azhar. 

7. (a) Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd

Miniratna Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) came out with its first Initial public offering (IPO) on March 29, 2019. The state-owned company will not receive any proceeds from the offer as the Central Government is selling around 12 percent of its stake in the company. After the IPO, the Government’s stake in RVNL will be pegged at 88 percent.

8. (b) Terror funding

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on March 28, 2019 unanimously passed the first-ever resolution to suppress the funding of terror groups worldwide. The resolution directs the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), set up in 2017, to implement global counter-terrorism strategy to play a leading role in identifying ways to suppress terrorist financing.

9. (a) 27 March

The World Theatre Day is observed every year on 27 March to draw attention to the power of the stage. The day was established in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), an international organisation for performing arts.

10. (c) Ranveer Singh

Actor Ranveer Singh, who earned applauds for his rapping skills in “Gully Boy”, came out with his independent music record label ‘IncInk’. Ranveer teamed up with filmmaker Navzar Eranee to launch the label.