Q1. Who has become new Secretary-General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)?
[A] Ahmed Saleem
[B] Abul Ahsan
[C] Amjad Hussain B Sial
[D] Arjun Bahadur Thapa
Ans: Correct Answer: C [Amjad Hussain B Sial]
Amjad Hussain B Sial, a senior Pakistani diplomat, has become the new Secretary-General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He succeeded Arjun Bahadur Thapa of Nepal. Sial has 33 years of experience in Pakistan’s Foreign Service. He has also served at SAARC Secretariat as director in Kathmandu. The Secretary-General tenure is of three years and is the head of the SAARC Secretariat, which is headquartered in Kathmandu, Nepal. The SAARC Secretariat coordinates and monitors the implementation of activities, hosts meetings, and serves as a channel of communication between the Association and its member states as well as other regional organizations.
Q2. Who has been bestowed with the 2016 Saraswati Samman?
[A] Naiyer Masud
[B] Sugatha Kumari
[C] Surjit Paatar
[D] Mahabaleshwar Sail
Ans: Correct Answer: D [Mahabaleshwar Sail]
Mahabaleshwar Sail, the noted Konkani writer, has been honoured with the 2017 Saraswati Samman for his novel ‘Hawthan’. The Goa-based Sail is a renowned bi-lingual writer who has four Marathi dramas and seven Konkani novels to his credit. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.15 lakh and a citation.
Q3. Which union ministry has launched “Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES)” for developing export-linked infrastructure?
[A] Ministry of Commerce and Industry
[B] Ministry of Finance
[C] Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
[D] Ministry of Power
Ans: Correct Answer: A [Ministry of Commerce and Industry]
Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, has recently launched a new scheme “Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES)” in New Delhi for developing export linked infrastructure in states with a view to promote outbound shipments. The purpose of the TIES is to bridge the infrastructure gap and provide forward and backward linkages to units engaged in trade activities. The scheme will be implemented from April 1, 2017 and will have budgetary allocation of Rs 600 crore for three years with annual outlay of Rs 200 crore. The scheme would provide assistance for setting up and up-gradation of infrastructure projects with overwhelming export linkages like the Border Haats, Land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres and export warehousing and packaging.
Q4. Which country is hosting the 18th edition of Asia’s largest convention on the business of media and entertainment “FICCI Frames-2017”?
Ans: Correct Answer: A [India]
The 18th edition of Asia’s largest convention on the business of media and entertainment “FICCI Frames-2017” has started in Mumbai, Maharashtra from March 21. The 3-day international convention will covers the entire spectrum of Media & Entertainment like Films, Broadcast (TV & Radio), Digital Entertainment, Animation, Gaming, Visual Effects, etc. with nearly 2000 Indian and 800 foreign delegates encompassing the entire universe of media and entertainment expected to attend the event. The theme of this year’s convention is “Digital-Divide or Dividend”. Canada is partnering the event for the first time this year.
Q5. Who has become the first woman to head ‘The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’?
[A] Sudha Krishnamurti
[B] Pragya Jain
[C] Nimisha Parekh
[D] Vanita Guptav
Ans: Correct Answer: D [Vanita Gupta ]
Indian-American Vanita Gupta has been appointed as President and CEO of ‘The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’. The conference is an umbrella group of American civil rights interest groups. With this, she has become the first woman to head the prestigious organisation. She will succeed Wade Henderson on June 1, 2017. She is known for her fearless advocacy of all human beings and also headed civil rights division in the Department of Justice in the Obama Administration. Vanita will also lead its sister organisation ‘The Leadership Conference Education Fund’.
Q6. The nationwide “Swachh Shakti Saptah” has been launched from which city?
Ans: Correct Answer: B [Gurugram]
Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Ministry of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation, has recently launched nationwide ‘Swachh Shakti Saptah’ from Gurugram, Haryana on March 1, 2017 to raise awareness on sanitation and cleanliness. Over 1,500 women sarpanches of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and all women sarpanches of Gurugram division are participating in this event. The ‘Swachh Shakti Saptah’ will observe across the country from March 1 to 8, 2017. PM Narendra Modi will take part in closing ceremony of the week long programme on 8th of March at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
Q7. According to the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016, the maternity leave has been extended from 12 weeks to how many weeks?
[A] 22 weeks
[B] 26 weeks
[C] 23 weeks
[D] 24 weeks
Ans: Correct Answer: B [26 weeks]
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016, which is recently passed in the Lok Sabha, will raise the maternity leave for working women in public and private sector from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the first two children. The maternity leave beyond the first two children will continue to be 12 weeks. The bill will now be sent to the President for his assent before it becomes an Act. It has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha during last winter session. The Bill provides for 12 weeks of maternity leave to a woman who legally adopts a child below three months of age and a commissioning mother (defined as a biological mother) who uses her egg to have a surrogate child. In such cases, 12-week period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother. The bill also makes it mandatory for employers in establishments with 30 women or 50 employees, whichever is less, to provide crèche facilities either in office or in any place within a 500-metre radius.
Q8. Which city has topped the list in the Mercer’s 2017 Quality of Living index?
Ans: Correct Answer: D [Vienna]
Vienna has topped the list in the Mercer’s 19th Quality of Living survey 2017. Zurich is in second place, followed by Munich, Auckland, Vancouver, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Geneva. The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79). Among Indian cities, Mumbai is ranked the highest at 141, followed by Kolkata (149) and Pune (151), while Bangalore was rated the lowest (177) by the report. The survey included a city infrastructure ranking that assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, and public transportation as well as traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports. The survey highlights that Indian cities that have been part of the survey haven’t made much progress on the quality of living scale since last year.
Q9. Which Indian bank has launched a mobile banking app “Mera iMobile” for rural customers?
[A] HDFC Bank
[B] ICICI Bank
[C] Axis Bank
[D] State Bank of India (SBI)
Ans: Correct Answer: B [ICICI Bank]
The ICICI bank has recently launched a mobile banking app “Mera iMobile” for rural customers that allow them to access banking services as well as information on agri services. The app is open for both bank customers as well as others and is available in 11 different languages. The list of banking services includes Kisan Credit Card, Gold Loan, Farm Equipment Loan and loans to Self-Help Groups (SHGs). The app also enables them to undertake an array of frequently used banking services from their smartphone, without using mobile internet services. Additionally, it is the first banking app to offer agriculture related information like crop-wise mandi prices of nearly 230 crop varieties across 460 mandis. It also displays taluka-wise weather update for close to 3700 talukas across and over 300 districts, aiding farmers to plan their sowing and harvesting activities conveniently and in an informed manner.
Q10. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is associated with which sports?
Ans: Correct Answer: B [Badminton ]
Recently, Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has clinched the $20,000 Vietnam Open International challenger badminton title at Hanoi by defeating the Thai duo of Trawut Potieng and Nanthakam Yordphaisong in three games by 17-21, 21-9, 21-15.
Q11. Which country to host the 2017 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) summit?
Ans: Correct Answer: B [Indonesia]
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) summit will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 7 with the theme of “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean”. The summit will discuss ways to strengthen maritime cooperation and fight against violent extremism. Leaders and representatives of the 21 member states and seven dialogue partners of IORA are expected to attend the summit. From India, Vice President Hamid Ansari will attend the IORA Summit. The IORA Summit is expected to provide momentum to the strengthening of cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
Q12. Which company has become the first Indian power utility to successfully deploy tele-protection service using Line-Differential Relay (LDR) over an IP/MPLS network?
[A] Tata Power-DDL
[B] Adani Power
[C] Jindal Steel and Power
[D] Reliance Power
Ans: Correct Answer: A [Tata Power-DDL]
The Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TATA Power-DDL) has become the first Indian power utility to successfully implement teleprotection service using Line-Differential Relay (LDR) over an IP/MPLS network because of the deal with Nokia. The Nokia IP/MPLS technology has improved the reliability, scalability, security and efficiency of power distribution. The Nokia’s enhanced system will allow Tata Power-DDL to receive nearly instant updates of any fault in its infrastructure and reroute power through alternative lines to minimize the disruption to the end consumer. The system connects all grid stations and ensures there is tele-protection and in case there is a fault, then it can be addressed immediately. Apart from the network upgradation, Nokia’s system also provides more traditional business applications such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and video surveillance systems.
Q13. Who is the newly appointed Chairman of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis?
[A] Manju Diler
[B] Manhar Valji Bhai Zala
[C] Narain Dass
[D] Dalip Kallu Hathibed
Ans: Correct Answer: B [Manhar Valji Bhai Zala]
Manhar Valji Bhai, the former BJP legislator from Gujarat, has become the new Chairman of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK). The post of the Chairman was lying vacant for the past almost one year. Beside this, two other members, Manju Diler from Uttar Pradesh and Dilip Kallu Haathived from Maharashtra, also took charge as members of the NCSK. The NCSK is an Indian statutory body was established through National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993. The purpose of the Commission is to study, evaluate and monitor the implementation of various schemes for Safai Karamcharis as an autonomous organisation and also to provide redressal of their grievances.
Q14. What is the India’s rank in the 2017 World Happiness Index (WHI)?
Ans: Correct Answer: B [122nd]
India has been ranked at 122nd out of 155 countries in the 2017 United Nations’s World Happiness Index (WHI), as per recently released World Happiness Report (WHR) 2017. Among the 8 SAARC nations, Pakistan is at 80th position, Nepal stood at 99, Bhutan at 97, Bangladesh at 110 while Sri Lanka is at 120. The list is topped by Norway, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland. The rankings are based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person, healthy life expectancy with four factors from global surveys. In those surveys, people give scores from 1 to 10 on how much social support they feel they have if something goes wrong, their freedom to make their own life choices, their sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.
Q15. Who has been appointed the new executive director of the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP)?
[A] David Beasley
[B] Nikki Haley
[C] Josette Sheeran
[D] James Morris
Ans: Correct Answer: A [David Beasley]
David Muldrow Beasley, the former Governor of South Carolina, will be the new executive director of the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP). He will succeed Ertharin Cousin, who has been the WFP executive director since 2012. The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization that provides food assistance to an average of 80 million people in 75 countries each year. The headquarters of the WFP is located at Rome, Italy.
Q16. Thomas Earl Starzl, who performed the world’s first human liver transplant, has recently passed away. He hailed from which country?
[C] United Kingdom
[D] United States
Ans: Correct Answer: D [United States]
Dr. Thomas Earl Starzl (90), the renowned American surgeon and expert on organ transplants, has recently passed away Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He performed the world’s first human liver transplant and has often been referred to as “the father of modern transplantation”. Since then, thousands of lives have been saved by the procedure. Beside this, he was also the driving force behind the world’s first baboon-to-human liver transplants and research on anti-rejection drugs.
Q17. Who has been appointed the new Deputy Governor in Reserve Bank of India (RBI)?
[A] Manoj Pingua
[B] Dilip S Shanghvi
[C] Chandrakar Bharti
[D] BP Kanungo
Ans: Correct Answer: D [BP Kanungo]
B.P. Kanungo has been appointed the new Deputy Governor in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a period of 3 years and will succeed R. Gandhi. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved his appointment to the post with effect from the date of taking over the charge i.e. on or after April 3, 2017 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
Q18. Who is the author of the book “The Sleepwalker’s Dream: A Novel”?
[A] Dhrubajyoti Borah
[B] Sheela Redddy
[C] Kalyan Karmakar
[D] Vikram Seth
Ans: Correct Answer: A [Dhrubajyoti Borah]
The book “The Sleepwalker’s Dream: A Novel” has been authored by Dr. Dhrubajyoti Borah, the President of Assam Sahitya Sabha. Through the book, the author traces the journey of a group of militants towards an elusive freedom and an uncertain future. It is about June, Ron and several other rebels fleeing their hideout in Bhutan after an army attack along with their injured unconscious leader, who is unlikely to survive the ordeal of their journey towards the Assam border.
Q19. Maggie MacDonnell has won the 2017 Global Teacher Prize. She hails from which country?
Ans: Correct Answer: D [Canada]
Maggie MacDonnell of Canada has won the 2017 Global Teacher Prize for changing the lives of her students and transforming her community in village of Salluit, which has a high rate of suicide. Salluit is an Inuit village deep in the Canadian Arctic. It is one of the world’s most remote regions, surrounded by snow and ice. The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai.
Q20. Truecaller has partnered with which bank to launch its UPI-based mobile payment service “Truecaller Pay”?
[A] HDFC Bank
[B] ICICI Bank
[C] State Bank of India
[D] Axis Bank
Ans: Correct Answer: B [ICICI Bank]
Truecaller has partnered with ICICI Bank to launch its new Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based mobile payment service “Truecaller Pay” for Indian Truecaller users. The users will be able to create their unique Virtual Payment Address (VPA) in the app and can instantly send or receive money using any UPI supported bank or an UPI ID or via mobile numbers registered with BHIM App. It can be used to transfer money, recharge phone as well as pay postpaid phone bills. The non-ICICI bank users can register on to Truecaller Pay app as well.