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December 1, 2014

2) On 30 November 2014 who became


the first Indian footballer to be inducted
into Asian Football Confederation
(AFCs) Hall of Fame? Baichung
Bhutia

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1) Due to continued decreased in


international oil prices the price of petrol
in India was slashed by 91 paise per
litre on 30 November 2014 while that of
diesel was reduced by 84 paise. The
revised prices came into effect from the
midnight of 30 November and 1
December 2014. What significant
international price level was broken for
crude oil recently? The price of Brent
crude oil went down below $70 per
barrel on 28 November, which is its
lowest level since 2010
Explanation: The price of international
crude oil, called Brent crude, went
below $70 per barrel level mark
following decision made by the 12
members of the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
on 27 November 2014 to keep daily oil
output at 30 million barrels. The step
was taken despite a major oversupply
that has caused oil prices to fall more
than 30%. This also meant that the cost
of January futures fell by 4.47%, to
$66.07 per barrel.

Explanation: The
Asian
Football
Confederation inducted 10 continental
superstars in its Hall of Fame in Manila
on 30 November 2014. The awards
were awarded by FIFA Chief Sepp
Blatter. Bhutia joined Irans legendary
Ali Daei and Saudi Arabias Sami Al
Jaber in the Hall of Fame. Other
prominent players to be inducted in
AFCs Hall of Fame included Harry
Kewell, regarded as one of Australias
finest football exports to Europe, thanks
to a successful career with Englands
Leeds United and Liverpool.

3) How much cable is proposed to be


laid over next three and a half years to
provide broadband in every village of
the country, as revealed by the Minister
for Communications and Information
Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on 29
November 2014? 7,50,000 KM
Explanation: Under
Union
Governments Digital India project
7,50,000 KM of fiber optical cable is
proposed to be laid over next three and
a half years to ensure digital
empowerment of people. Digital India
project envisages bringing all the
existing initiatives such as the Ebiz
project, E-kranti, virtual classroom, evisas and the National Optical Fibre
Network project under a single

umbrella. Other programmes include


implementation of e-office to make
Government departments paperless,
encouraging domestic manufacturing of
electronic products and kick starting
Research
&
Development
and
entrepreneurship development fund.
The project was unveiled in the Budget
2014-15 and is being directly monitored
by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

4) Indian woman badminton player P.V.


Sindhu won which Grand Prix
tournament on 30 November 2014,
which was her first title of the season?
Macau Grand Prix Gold Trophy
Explanation: World No. 11 Sindhu was
the defending champion of this trophy
and she prevailed over 91st-ranked Kim
Hyo Min of Korea, defeated her 21-12,
21-17 in the final. This was the first title
for her in 2014 season. She had lost the
Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold final to

fellow Indian Saina Nehwal in January


this year.
5) Thailands crown prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn on 28 November 2014
revoked the royally-assigned family
name of his wife Princess Srirasmi. Her
royal-appointed
surname
Akharaphongpreecha was revoked due
to which reason? Due to the arrest of
several of her relatives in a highprofile corruption case
Explanation: Three people with the
Akharaphongpreecha
name
were
among 19 arrested in a crackdown on
alleged police corruption this month in
raids that netted tens of millions of
dollars in assets. Crown Prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn is the first in line for the
Thai throne. His father, King Bhumibol
Adulyadej, who is widely revered by
Thais, is 86. The Thai monarchy can
bestow honorary names to families in
return for service under a 1915 law.

December 2, 2014

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3 CURRENT AFFAIRS

December 2014 at which city? Lima


(Peru)

1) The United Nations Climate Change


Conference (COP20) started on 1

Explanation: COP20 the 20th yearly


session of the Conference of the
Parties (COP 20) to the 1992 United
Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the
10th session of the Meeting of the
Parties (CMP10) to the 1997 Kyoto
Protocol. COP20 is being organised to
negotiate on a new ambitious and

binding deal to cut global carbon


emissions, in the last chance to reach
on a historic deal to be signed next
year in Paris. Officials from 190
nations,
including
India,
are
participating in this 12-day summit.
During the summit countries will put
forward what they plan to contribute to
the 2015 pact in the form of Intended
Nationally Determined Contributions
(INDCs) by the first quarter of 2015,
well in advance of the Paris
conference in December. Environment
Minister Prakash Javadekar leads
Indias 17-member delegation to
negotiate terms for the final agreement
to be signed in Paris, which will take
effect in 2020.

Explanation: The referendum was


conducted to know the opinion of
countrys 26 cantons about the
proposal to cut net immigration into the
country to not more than 0.2% of the
population. About 74% of the people
rejected the proposal. Supporters of
the measure argued that it would have
reduced pressure on the countrys
resources. Opponents said it would
have been bad for the economy. It is
worth mentioning that around a quarter
of Switzerlands eight million people
are foreigners. The issue addressed in
this referendum would have required
the government to reduce immigration
from about 80,000 to 16,000 people a
year.

2) At least 13 CRPF (Central Reserve


Police Force) personnel were killed
and many were injured in a Maoist
ambush in Chhattisgarh on 1
December 2014. This incident took
place in which Maoist-infested district
of south Chhattisgarh? Sukma

4) Who won the Presidential elections


held in Uruguay on 30 November
2014? Tabare Vazquez

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4 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Explanation: The ambush took place


near Kasalpara village of Sukma
district. Kasalpara village is the same
place where the CRPF had claimed to
have killed 15 alleged Maoists on 21
November 2014 in an encounter.

3) A referendum held in Switzerland


on 30 November 2014 rejected the
proposed curbs on immigrations in the
country. What was the specific issue
that was addressed by holding this
referendum?
To
cut
net
immigration to no more than 0.2%
of the population

Explanation: Tabare Vazquez is a


former President of the country who
led the country from 2005 to 2010. He
won comfortably with 52.8% support
while his center-right challenger, Luis
Lacalle Pou, trailed with 40.5% votes.
Returning to power, he will succeed
President Jose Mujica, an ally and
former guerrilla whose straight-talking
style won him widespread affection in
the country. Vazquez is a respected
oncologist who helped heal rifts inside
the Broad Front in the late 1990s and
led it to power in 2005, ending two
decades of conservative rule that
followed a military dictatorship.

5) Which
application
software
company was chosen by the ICC as its

exclusive Analytics and Cloud Partner


for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 as
announced on 1 December 2014?SAP SE
Explanation: SAP SE is a worldwide
leader
in
enterprise
application
software services. The partnership,
which starts immediately and runs
through to the end of the tournament,
will see SAP utilise its HANA platform
to power numerous live match
experiences across the ICCs network
of Web sites, to enhance the
experience for fans and media with
real-time
data,
statistics
and
performance analysis that will help
them get closer to the action and tell
more insightful and informed stories.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is hosted
jointly by Australia and New Zealand.

6) Which film won the coveted Golden


Peacock award for Best Film at the
45thInternational Film Festival of India
(IFFI), which concluded on 30
November
2014?
Leviathan
(Russian film)

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Explanation: Leviathan is a survival


drama directed by Russian director
Andrey Zvyaginstev. Ek Hazaarchi
Note, set against the backdrop of
farmers suicide in Vidharba region of
Maharashtra, created history at IFFI by

winning the centenary and special jury


award (for debutante director Shrihari
Sathe).
Leviathan
star
Alexel
Serebriakov shared the best actor
award with Dulal Sarkar of Chotoder
Chobi.
Cuban
actress
Arina
Rodriguez won the Best Actress award
for her role in the Cuban-Spanish
movie Behaviour while Israeli actress
Sarit Larry shared the trophy with
Rodriguez for her role in The
Kindergarten Teacher. The award for
best director went to Nadaf Lapid for
The Kindgarten Teacher.

7) Who was conferred with the


Lifetime Achievement Award at the
45th edition of International Film
Festival of India (IFFI)? Wong KarWai (Hong Kong)
Explanation: Wong Kar-Wai is one of
Hong
Kongs
most
celebrated
filmmakers. Some of his worldacclaimed films include Days of Being
Wild (1990), Ashes of Time (1994),
Chungking Express (1994), Fallen
Angels (1995), Happy Together
(1997), 2046 (2004) and The
Grandmaster (2013). My Blue berry
Nights is Wong Kar-Wais only English
language Film and In the Mood for
Love is by far his most universally
loved film.

December 3, 2014
respiratory problems, immune and
neurological disorders. Some children
born to survivors have mental or
physical disabilities. Union Carbide
was sued by the Indian government
after the disaster and agreed to pay an
out-of-court settlement of $470 million
in damages in 1989. Union Carbide
was later acquired in 2001 by Dow
Chemical Company.

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1) 3 decades (30 years) of the Bhopal


tragedy of 1984 were completed on 2
December 2014. This disaster, which
took place on 2 December 1984 due to
accidental leakage of poisonous gas
from the factory owned by the U.S.
multinational Union Carbide Corp in
Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, is
known as one of the worlds worst
industrial disasters ever. Which
poisonous gas had leaked from this
plant resulting in death of over five
thousand
people?
Methyl
Isocyanate
Explanation: The Union Carbide plant
in Bhopal was established in 1969 for
manufacture of a range of pesticides
used by farmers. On the night of 2
December 1984 almost 40 tonnes of
highly poisonous Methyl Isocyanate
gas was released and carried by the
wind to the surrounding densely
populated. The government recorded
5,295 deaths, but activists claim
25,000 people died in the aftermath
and following years. Another 100,000
people who were exposed to the gas
continue to suffer today with
sicknesses such as cancer, blindness,

2) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)


presented its 5th Bi-monthly Monetary
Policy review for 2014-15 fiscal on 2
December 2014. Despite pressure to
cut interest rates from industry as well
as some quarters of the government,
RBI kept the major rates unchanged
as it kept its focus on tackling inflation.
What are the major projections and
rates coming out of this review?
- GDP growth rate projected at 5.5%
for current fiscal
- Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based
inflation projected to remain at 6%
by March 2015
- Repo rate (short term lending rate)
unchanged at 8%
- Cash Reserve
unchanged at 4%

Ratio

(CRR)

- Statutory Liquidity Ratio (used for


unlocking banking funds) retained
at 22%

3) The RBI in its 5th Bi-monthly


Monetary Policy review for 2014-15
fiscal presented on 2 December 2014,
kept the most important repo rate
unchanged at 8%. The last time this
rate was changed was January
2014
Explanation: In January 2014 the RBI
had increased the repo rate by 25
basis points to 8%. Since then this rate
has been unchanged.

4) Deven Verma, Bollywood film actor,


who was known for his comic roles,
passed away on 2 December 2014 at
Pune at the age of 77 years. He had
won how many Filmfare Awards for
best comic roles? Three
Explanation: Deven Verma won three
Filmfare Awards respectively for Chori
Mera Kaam (1976), Chor ke Ghar
Chor (1978) and Angoor (1982).
Angoor, directed by Gulzar and
featuring Sanjeev Kumar in main role,
is still considered one of the best Hindi
comedy films ever made.

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5) Abdul Rahman Antulay (A.R.


Antulay), who passed away on 2
December 2014, was a former Chief
Minister of which state of India?
Maharashtra
Explanation: Antulay was the first and
only Muslim Chief Minister of
Maharashtra during the years 1980 to
1982. However he had to resign from
his post following allegation of
corruption. He was convicted in an
extortion case by the Bombay High

Court. He passed away at the age of


85 years.

6) Former Prime Minister Atal Behari


Vajpayees birthday (25 December)
would be observed as which national
day, as announced by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi on 2 December 2014?
Good Governance Day
Explanation: Addressing party MPs at
the meeting of the BJP Parliamentary
Party Narendra Modi made this
announcement. On the occasion the
national Good Governance Day all
government officials will make the day
symbolic of good governance.

7) Who was appointed as the new


Director of the Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) on 2 December
2014? Anil Sinha
Explanation: Anil Sinha is the Bihar
cadre IAS officer of the 1979 batch
and is presently the Special Director
with the CBI. He replaced Ranjit
Sinha, who relinquished office on
superannuation on the same day. The
appointment was made by Prime
Minister
Narendra
Modi-led
Appointments Committee of Cabinet
(ACC). Earlier name of Anil Sinha was
shortlisted by the three-member
selection committee consisting of
Prime
Minister
Narendra
Modi,
Opposition leader in Lok Sabha
(Congress) Mallikarjun Kharge and
Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu.

8) Who was named as the next


Director General of National Disaster

Relief Force (NDRF) on 1 December


2014? O P Singh
Explanation: O P Singh is an Uttar
Pradesh cadre IPS officer of the 1983batch. Singh is serving presently as
additional DG (Airport) in Central
Industrial Security Force (CISF). He
will now be the full-fledged NDRF chief

in the rank of additional DG for his


remaining period of central deputation
till 15 January 2018. NDRF is a
disaster response agency under
National
Disaster
Management
Authority (NDMA) created by the
Ministry of Home Affairs, Government
of India, in 2009.

December 4, 2014
children in government schools are
being provided free mid-day meals
and the efficacy of the Public
Distribution Scheme (PDS) which is
meant to provide poor families access
to subsidized grain. The two judges
who will handle these cases every
Friday are Justice Madan B Lokur and
Justice UU Lalit.

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1) In an unprecedented move, the


Chief Justice of India during December
2014 constituted which Special Bench
that would meet every Friday to handle
cases associated with it? The Social
Justice Bench
Explanation: The
Social
Justice
Bench of the Supreme Court was
constituted to handle Public Interest
Litigations (PILs) and other petitions
on
social
issues.
This
newly
constituted bench would meet every
Friday
afternoon.
The
issues
associated under this bench would
range from the availability of night
shelters for the homeless to whether

2) During December 2014 Indian


Railways
issued
guidelines
for
constituent railway zones to invite
tenders
to
offer
three-year
maintenance
contracts
to
professionals for managing Indias
railway stations. Under this proposed
exercise, contracts would be given for
cleaning and managing cover key
station areas, such as tracks,
platforms,
buildings,
concourses,
approach roads, and parking areas.
How many railway stations are being
made available under this initiative?
50

9 CURRENT AFFAIRS
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Explanation: 50
railway
stations
made available for privatized clean-up
are Nasik Road, Solapur, Jalgaon,
Howrah, Sealdah, Bhagalpur, Patna,
Mughalsarai, Gaya, Visakhapatnam,
Bhubaneswar, Puri, New Delhi, Delhi,
Varanasi,
Lucknow,
Ludhiana,
Allahabad, Kanpur, Jhansi, Gorakhpur,
Lucknow Jn, Kathgodam, Rangiya,
New Bongaigaon, Kishanganj, Jaipur,
Jodhpur, Ajmer, Chennai Central,
Egmore,
Trivandrum
Central,
Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Tirupati,
Kharagpur, Tatanagar, Ranchi, Raipur,
Bilaspur, Drug, Hospet, Vasco-DaGama, Belgaum, Mumbai Central
Main, Bandra Terminus, Vadodara,
Bhopal, Jabalpur and Kota. The
Railways have stipulated the contract
should be given to a single agency
and there should be no mixed system
of management, a move to help fix
accountability. The work will also cover
rag-picking, disinfection, pest and
rodent control, garbage collection, and
segregation of waste and disposal.

cost of production with a 50% profit


quotient

3) Recently arguments have been


given in favour of implementing the
M.S.
Swaminathan
Committees
recommendation on assessment of
agricultural costs. Punjab Chief
Minister Parkash Singh Badal and
Urban
Development
Minister
M.Venkaiah Naidu have pushed for
implementing
this
committees
recommendation. What is the basic
formula for estimating agricultural
costs as recommended by M.S.
Swaminathan
Committee?

Procurement prices of agricultural


produce should be set as the entire

Explanation: Indias
rank
has
improved from 94th last year to 85th this
year in the Corruption Perception
Index (CPI) report by TII. Indias score
stood at 38 as compared to 36 last
year. In Indias neighbourhood, China
moved to 100th place, down from
80th last year, while Pakistan and
Nepal
were
at
126th position.
Bangladesh was 145th and Bhutan
30th in the ranking. Sri Lanka was
ranked 85thwith India. Afghanistan was
at a bleak 172. Denmark retained its
position as the least corrupt country in
2014 with a score of 92 while North

Explanation: Renowned agricultural


scientist MS Swaminathan led a
committee on minimum support price
(MSP) for farmers. This committee
came out with its recommendations
during the UPA-1 regime. The basic
recommendation of this committee
was that the MSP for farmers should
be calculated as cost of production
plus a 50% margin. Parkash Singh
Badal recommended that the Indian
Government fix minimum support
prices of paddy and wheat keeping in
mind rising input costs. On the other
hand M.Venkaiah Naidu called for the
Government to seriously consider
implementing the M.S. Swaminathan
Committees recommendation at the
10th National Conference of Farmers.
4) What was Indias rank in the list of
corrupt countries released by graft
watchdog Transparency International
India (TII) on 3 December 2014? 85th

Korea and Somalia shared the last


place, scoring just 8.

5) Which university was ranked no.1 in


Times Higher Education BRICS &
Emerging Economies Rankings 2015,
covering 18 countries, that was
released on 4 December 2014?
Peking University, China
Explanation: China
topped
this
prestigious list with as many as 27
universities in the top 100 list. India
now has four universities in the top 40
IISc, Indian Institute of Technology
(IIT) Bombay, IIT Roorkee and Punjab
University, Chandigarh and seven
more in the top 100. Punjab University,
ranked 13th last year, however, has
fallen to 39th in the rankings. Chinas
Peking University and Tsinghua
University occupied the first and
second positions.

6) During December 2014 who was


appointed as the Secretary General of
the Lok Sabha, an appointment that
was protested by the Congress as it
alleged that procedures were not
followed in this appointment? Anoop
Mishra
Explanation: Anoop Mishra is a
senior bureaucrat from Uttar Pradesh
and a formal announcement about his
appointment was made by Lok Sabha
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on 1
December 2014. Congress alleged
that procedures were not followed in
this appointment as it was not
consulted during the procedure of this
appointment. Congress also wanted to
know whether none of the secretariat
officials of the Lok Sabha were
competent for the post.

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December 5, 2014
1) Eminent jurist and former Supreme
Court judge Justice Krishna Iyer
passed away on 4 December 2014 at
the age of 100 in Kochi. Apart from
being one of the foremost legal
luminary India has produced, what
was a special fact associated with
him? In between his legal practice
he also joined politics and became
an MLA of Kerala Assembly
Explanation: He became a member
of the Madras Legislative Assembly in

1952. He held portfolios such as law,


justice, home, irrigation, power,
prisons, social welfare and inland
navigation in the first Communist
government in Kerala headed by
E.M.S. Namboodiripad that came to
power in 1957. He was instrumental in
passing several pieces of peopleoriented legislations during his tenure
as minister in the Communist
government.
Later in 1959 he
resumed his legal practice. He was
sworn in as the judge of the Supreme
Court on 17 July 1973 and retired at
the age of 65 on 14 November 1980.
His landmark judgments include the
Shamser Singh case which interpreted
the powers of the Cabinet vis--vis the
President, Maneka Gandhi case which
gave a new dimension to Article 21,
Ratlam
Municipality
case
and
Muthammas case.

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11 CURRENT AFFAIRS

2) Government of India is kicking off its


ambitious divestment programme for
the current fiscal year from 5
December 2014 with the sale of a 5%
stake in a PSU. Govt. is expected to
raise $275 million through this stake
sale. Which PSU is this? Steel
Authority of India Ltd (SAIL)
Explanation: SAIL thus becomes the
first PSU to be divested for meeting
the proposed budget deficit target. The
government, which owns an 80%
stake in SAIL, plans to sell up to 206.5
million shares through an auction on
the stock exchanges on 5 December.
The floor price for the share auction of
SAIL has been set at 83 rupees
apiece. Union Govt. had planned to
raise $9.5 billion from divestments in

the fiscal year ending in March 2015.


However, it is likely to miss this target
due to slow speed of the divestment
programme.

3) Union Govt. on 3 December 2014


constituted a high level committee with
the objective of bringing about clarity
on tax laws. Who is heading this
committee? Ashok Lahiri (Former
Chief Economic Advisor)
Explanation: This committee has
been constituted in line with Finance
Minister Arun Jaitleys announcement
during the 2014-15 Budget speech
pertaining to bringing about clarity in
tax laws in the country. This committee
will interact with trade and industry to
ascertain where clarity on tax laws is
required. Other members of the
committee include retired Settlement
Commission
Member
Sidhartha
Pradhan and Gautam Ray, retired
Director General (Audit) of Customs
and Central Board of Excise and
Customs (CBEC).

4) During December 2014, what


important decision was taken by the
Union Govt. in the area of FDI in
construction sector? The lock-in
period for foreign investments in
the construction sector has been
diluted
Explanation: A note released on 3
December 2014 by DIPP stated, while
foreign
investment
cannot
be
repatriated
before
three
years
following completion of minimum
capitalisation, an investor may be
allowed to exit earlier by getting

approval from the Foreign Investment


Promotion Board (FIPB). This decision
has been taken following Union
Cabinets nod to allow FDI in
construction development in October
2014.
Following are the important points
associated with above decision:
The minimum capital requirement
for such projects (for joint ventures
with Indian partners) has been
halved from $10 million to $5
million.
For
wholly
owned
subsidiaries of foreign companies,
the requirement is $10 million.
At least 50% of each project must
be developed within a period of five
years from the date of obtaining all
mandatory clearances. The investor
would not be allowed to sell under
developed plots.

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12 CURRENT AFFAIRS

The minimum area to be developed


is 10 hectares of land area for
serviced housing plots and 50,000
sq meters of built-up area for
construction development projects.
For combined projects, any one of
the two conditions is sufficient

5) During December 2014 India signed


a multilateral agreement admitting
Indias
participation
in
the
development of the Worlds largest
telescope

the
Thirty
Metre
Telescope (TMT). This telescope will
be established at which place?
Hawaii (US)
Explanation: Institutions from the
USA, India, Canada, Japan and China
are participating in the construction of
the worlds largest telescope on Mount
Mauna Kea. This telescope, 4207 m
above sea level, may cost more than
$1.47 billion. TMT will contain 492
hexagonal mirror segments of 82
different kinds. These will behave like
a single mirror with an aperture of 30
metre diameter. This large collecting
area of 650 square metres is thrice as
sensitive as the Hubble Space
Telescope. Indias role will primarily be
to create the control systems and
software that keep the mirrors aligned
and collects the data. This project was
rapidly cleared by the Union Cabinet
and India has agreed to spend Rs.
1299.8 crores over the next decade for
this project. Besides learning about the
universe, India will gain the technology
to manufacture fine aspherical mirror
segments from the California Institute
of Technology (Caltech).

December 6, 2014
2012 the RBI had allowed corporates
to set up white label ATMs to increase
the penetration of ATMs in several
areas of the country. These ATMs are
being operated by non-banking
corporates and organisations and are
providing ATM services to customers
of all banks.

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13 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on


5 December 2014 gave what
relaxations in norms for White Label
ATM (WLA) operators? They can
now accept international cards and
also source cash supply from other
than banks
Explanation: The RBI provided a
breather to WLA operators by allowing
them
to
accept
international
credit/debit/prepaid cards. The cards
issued under card payment network
schemes (authorized under the PSS
Act 2007) will be allowed for the
purpose. The WLA operators have to
ensure that they have established
technical
connectivity
with
the
respective card network operators
either directly or through their sponsor
banks. In addition, RBI enabled
delinking of cash supply from sponsor
banks. WLA operators would now be
able to tie up with other commercial
banks for cash supply at WLAs.
Earlier, the cash supply had to be
managed only through a sponsor bank
which limited the scope of cash
management for the operators. During

2) 13 security personnel including


eight Army men and five policemen
were killed in a major militant attack in
Jammu and Kashmir on 5 December
2014. In the retaliatory strike six
militants were killed. This attack was
carried at which army camp situated in
the Uri area in north Kashmir?
Mahura Army camp
Explanation: 6 Six terrorists entered
the Mahura Army camp in Rampur
area of Uri at early morning of 5
December and attacked the camp. All
six terrorists were killed in the
encounter while eight of Army soldiers,
including a Lt. Colonel and five
policemen lost their lives too. The
attack happened four days before Uri
goes to the Assembly elections on 9
December. This was one the biggest
attacks by the militants in the recent
past.

3) During December 2014 Union Govt.


took an important decision to decrease
subsidy load by scrapping the supply
of subsidised kerosene through the
Public Distribution System (PDS).

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14 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Under this decision, from now on


subsidised
kerosene
would
be
supplied to only one category of
households. Which category is this?
Households
without
electricity
connection
Explanation: According to information
given by Union Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley the Centre is in the process of
writing to States asking them to
provide subsidised kerosene only to
un-electrified
households.
States
which have achieved near 100%
electrification will be incentivised to
become
kerosene-free.
In
the
remaining
States,
un-electrified
households will be given the choice
between cash subsidy in lieu of
kerosene allocation and upfront
subsidy for greener solar lighting
systems. This decision comes close
on the heels of cuts in the Centres
social sector spending allocations
aimed at aligning plan expenditure
with subdued revenue collections. The
allocation of kerosene subsidy will now
be in accordance with Census 2011
data, which shows that its no longer a
fuel of choice for cooking but is used
for lighting purposes. The Census
showed that kerosene has been
almost completely replaced by LPG in
urban and semi-urban areas and
biomass is the cooking fuel of choice
in the rural areas. Less than 2% of
Indias rural households use kerosene
as cooking fuel, according to the
Census.

4) The Indian Air Force (IAF) on 5


December 2014 sent supplies of

drinking water to which of


neighbouring country? Maldives

its

Explanation: Indian Air Force (IAF)


pressed the services of its IL-76
aircrafts and the C-17 Globemaster to
provide drinking water to the people of
Maldives. Water was cut off to more
than 100,000 residents in the
Maldives capital Male because of a
fire in the citys water treatment plant.
Maldives had made a request to India
for supplying drinking water. Following
this, the Centre asked the Defence
Ministry to provide assistance. The
Ministry in turn directed the IAF to ship
the drinking water in IL-76 aircrafts to
Maldives. India would supply 400
tonnes of packaged drinking water
under this initiative. An offshore patrol
vessel in the ocean with a water
treating facility was also diverted to
Maldives.

5) The Union Govt. has recently made


amendments in Indian Medical Council
Regulations
2002
pertaining
to
prescribing generic medicines. What
has
been
done
under
this
amendment?
Physicians
have
been directed to prescribe drugs
with generic names in legible and
capital letters
Explanation: The Central government
has approved to amend Indian Medical
Council Regulations, 2002, providing
therein that every physician should
prescribe drugs with generic names in
legible and capital latter and he/she
shall ensure that there is a rational
prescription and use of drugs. This
amendment has been done as it was
felt by a section of parliamentarians

that illegible prescription by doctors


may lead to serious implications and

even death in certain cases.

December 7-8, 2014


2) What important recommendation
was given by a committee constituted
in 2010 to design future currency
notes as disclosed by Union Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley on 5 December
2014? No other national leaders
image should be put on banknotes
except Mahatma Gandhi

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15 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) What is the name of the Indian


communication satellite that was
placed in orbit by Ariane 5 rocket on
6 December 2014 from the space port
of Kourou in French Guiana? GSAT16
Explanation: GSAT-16
is
the
th
11 among GSAT series of Indian
communication satellites, and will have
estimated lifespan of 12 years. It will
support civil aviation services apart
from backing up the services provided
by other communication satellites. The
satellite is aimed as a replacement for
satellite INSAT-3E. It was launched
into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit
(GTO) by European Space Agencys
Ariane 5ECA rocket. This launch was
initially planned for 4 December 2014,
but was postponed due to inclement
weather.

Explanation: The committee in its


report said that it would be improper to
put image of other national leader on
countrys currency notes as no other
personality could better represent the
ethos of India than Mahatma Gandhi.
On the advice of the Government, the
RBI had, in October 2010, constituted
a Committee to design future currency
notes.

3) Due to iron ore crunch Tata Steel


recently underwent a situation for the
first time in the over 100 years of its
glorious history. What was this
situation? For the first time in its
history the company operated its
Jamshedpur plant with raw material
bought from domestic sources
besides imports
Explanation: This was done as all the
mines of Tata Steel are closed. The
company is now operating its 9.7
million tonnes per annum facility in

Jamshedpur with raw material bought


from domestic sources besides
imports. The company bought iron ore
from
state-run
NMDC
besides
importing the key steel making raw
material from Australia. While it has
bought around 0.8 million tonnes from
NMDC, the remaining is imports from
Australia. One of the first steel units in
the country, the Jamshedpur facility of
Tata Steel was founded in 1907 and
the plant has been running on captive
source of iron ore. Apart from Tata
Steel, state-run steelmaker Steel
Authority of India (SAIL) enjoys the
benefit of having captive iron ore
sources. Others depend upon the
market purchase. The problem of Tata
Steel started following a notification of
the Mines Ministry in July amending
the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960
which provides a period of two years
for execution of the renewal lease
deed Post expiry of lease, for the first
renewal.

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16 CURRENT AFFAIRS

4) What is the name of the powerful


typhoon which struck through the
central Philippines on 7 December
2014 resulting in 1 million people
fleeing their homes? Typhoon
Hagupit
Explanation: Typhoon Hagupit was
not as powerful and on the same scale
as last years deadly Typhoon Haiyan
but it still toppled trees and power lines
and cut off communication lines across
the central Philippines. More than 1
million people fled to shelters away
from coastal areas and landslideprone villages by the time Typhoon
Hagupit slammed into the town of

Dolores, on the eastern coast of


Samar island.

5) What is the name of the book


written by President Pranab Mukherjee
to be released on 11 December 2014,
that has been caught between brickand-mortar retailers and e-retailers as
it is being released exclusively on
Amazon.in?
The
Dramatic
Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years
Explanation: The book published by
Rupa & Co., will be released
exclusively on Amazon.in on 11
December 2014 and will be available
for sales in book stores only after 31
December. Traditional bookstores
have now decided to boycott this book
saying competition in the Indian
publishing industry has been upset by
such exclusive sales.
6) The 2014 Mens Champions Trophy
started on 6 December 2014 at
Bhubaneswar. This is which edition of
Champions Trophy? 35th
Explanation: Champions Trophy is
one of the most prestigious hockey
tournaments and includes the top
hockey
playing
nations.
The
th
35 edition of mens Champions
Trophy is being played at Kalinga
Stadium
in
Odishas
capital
Bhubaneswar. 8 countries are taking
part in this tournament. These 8
countries include Argentina, Australia,
Belgium, England, Germany, the
Netherlands, Pakistan and hosts India.
The tournament will conclude on 14
December 2014.

7) The marketing approval of 25


generic drugs of which Indian pharma
company was suspended on 6
December 2014 by drug regulators of
France, Germany, Belgium and
Luxembourg due to concerns over the
quality of data from clinical trials?
GVK Biosciences

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17 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Explanation: French watchdog ANSM


had inspected GVK Biosciences site
in Hyderabad and found anomalies in
the way electrocardiograms were
monitored during the bioequivalence
studies. It said the inspection raised
serious concerns over whether the
company complied with good clinical
practices. GVK was given approval
based on clinical trials meant to show
that these generic drugs were
equivalent to the original branded
versions conducted by GVK between
2008 and 2014. All of the drugs being
suspended, several of which are
manufactured by Mylan Inc. and
Abbott, have brand name equivalents
that can be used instead, so patients
will not have to interrupt their
treatment. The quality of Indian
pharmaceuticals has come under fire
this year, with regulators in Europe

and the United States citing problems


ranging from data manipulation to
sanitation and banning the import of
certain products from several firms.

8) Tennis great and 17 time Grand


Slam
winner
Roger
Federer
(Switzerland) made his historic debut
in India on 7 December 2014 by
participating in the International
Premier Tennis League (IPTL). He is
representing which team of IPTL?
Micromax Indian Aces
Explanation: IPTL is a brainchild of
Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi.
Modeled after the IPL, IPTL is
comprised of four teams in its
inaugural edition. These four teams
are from India (Indian Aces), the
Philippines
(Manila
Mavericks),
Singapore (Singapore Slammers) and
the United Arab Emirates (UAE
Royals). It features some of the
legends of tennis world including
Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena
Williams, Andy Murray and Sania
Mirza. In his opening game Federer
led his team to defeat Singapore
Slammers.

December 9, 2014
The India edition of Huffington Post
thus
becomes
its
13th edition
worldwide. This edition has been
launched in association with which
Indian media company? The Times
of India Group

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18 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) Andhra Pradesh Government on 8


December 2014 signed an MoU
(Memorandum of Understanding) with
which country to assist it in developing
master plan for the new proposed
capital city? Singapore
Explanation: Andhra Pradesh (AP)
has to develop its own capital following
formation of Telangana in June 2014
and
subsequently
Hyderabad
becoming its capital. The AP Govt.
had earlier proposed to develop its
new capital in the Guntur-Vijayawada
region. Following this the govt. wants
to take the experience and expertise of
Singapore in developing its capital. AP
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu
wants to develop a capital city which
would be better than the best city
anywhere in the world. The proposed
capital is being touted as a smart and
environmentally sustainable city. The
master plan for the same is expected
to be prepared within 6 months.

2) US-based news and blogging


platform Huffington Post launched its
Indian edition on 8 December 2014.

Explanation: Huffington Post is the


first major global entrant into a fast
growing digital news space in India.
Owned by AOL, it has 119 million
multi-platform visitors per month in the
US and has over 80,000 bloggers.
Huffington Post has editions in the UK,
Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Japan,
Maghreb, Germany, Brazil, South
Korea and Greece apart from the US.

3) Which Indian private airline is


presently going through rough weather
and an emergency board meeting was
held on 8 December 2014 to take
important decisions pertaining to
airlines recapitalization and payment
plans for vendors? SpiceJet
Explanation: SpiceJet is the second
largest budget airline in India and is
operating its passenger services in all
important sectors of the country. Its
problems arose after it continued to
cancel flights over the last few days in
many sectors. Company claimed that it
is being done to restructure airlines
operations. However, many analysts
claimed that it is going through same
conditions as the bankrupt Kingfisher
Airlines had before its closure. Aviation
regulator Directorate General of Civil

Aviation (DGCA) on its part asked the


airline to prepare a payment plan by
15 December 2014. The airline
reportedly owes Rs. 700 crore to
creditors and Rs. 400 crore to other
vendors.

4) According to the recently released


Global Wealth Databook 2014 by
Swiss banking entity Credit Suisse,
how much of Indias wealth is held by
countrys 10% rich people? Around
75%

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19 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Explanation: This databook has come


out with some staggering data on the
wealth gap and disparity between the
rich and the poor in India. It states that
Indias richest 10% holds 370 times
the share of wealth that its poorest
hold. Indias richest 10% have been
getting steadily richer since 2000, and
now hold nearly three-quarters of total
wealth. It also states that India thus
dominates the worlds poorest 10%,
while China dominates the global
middle class and the United States the
worlds rich. The worlds super-rich
the top 1% is overwhelmingly
American. Indians make up just 0.5%
of the worlds super-rich.

5) Which private sector bank on 8


December 2014 announced hiking of
ATM usage charges for its saving
account holders from 1 January 2015?
ICICI Bank
Explanation: ICICI Bank announced
that from 1 January 2015 the number
of free transactions in a month has
been fixed at five using own ATMs,
while it has been capped at three for

other banks machines. Thus banks


customers would be able to enjoy only
five free transactions, including
financial and non-financial, at the
banks own ATMs. After exceeding the
free transaction limits, customers will
have to pay Rs. 20 per financial
transaction excluding service tax and
Rs. 8.50 for every non-financial
transaction. For transactions at nonICICI Bank ATMs, the number of free
financial and non-financial transactions
have been reduced to three per month
at six metros of Mumbai, New Delhi,
Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and
Hyderabad, after which the customer
will have to pay Rs. 20 for a financial
transaction and Rs. 8.50 per nonfinancial transaction. In case of usage
in non-metro areas, a customer can
enjoy five free transactions per month
at non-ICICI Bank ATMs, after which
the same charges apply.

6) The Delhi government on 8


December 2014 banned all operations
by private cab service Uber with
immediate effect and blacklisted it
from providing any transport service in
the national capital in the wake of the
alleged rape incident in a taxi plying
for it. Uber is hire-a-cab firm of which
country? The US
Explanation: The
Delhi
transport
department banned all activities
related to providing of any transport
service
by
www.uber.com
with
immediate effect. The department also
blacklisted
the
company
from
providing any transport service in the
NCT of Delhi in future. It was alleged
that the cab firm misled the commuter

(rape victim) about the nature of the


taxi service offered by its App. The
alleged rape incident took place on 5
December 2014 when the victim, who

works for a finance company in


Gurgaon, was headed back to her
home in north Delhi.

December 10, 2014


medicines made from proteins and
other
large
molecules.
Several
hundred companies around the world
are chasing the biosimilars market,
including Indian generic drugmakers
Dr Reddys Laboratories Ltd, Cipla Ltd
and Lupin Ltd.

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20 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) Which
Indian
drug
company
launched in India the first biosimilar
version of the anti-inflammatory
medicine Adalimumab, the worlds topselling drug, at a fifth of its U.S. price
on 9 December 2014? Cadila
Healthcare Ltd
Explanation: Adalimumabs branded
version is sold under the name
Humira by U.S. firm AbbVie Inc, and
costs $1,000 for a vial in the United
States. Cadila Healthcare launched
cheaper copy of this drug at a price of
$200 a vial in India and named it
Exemptia. Adalimumab is used for
treating diseases such as rheumatoid
arthritis, juvenile
idiopathic
arthritis, psoriatic
arthritis,
and ankylosing spondylitis. Biosimilars
are cheaper copies of biotech drugs

2) Which ally of the ruling National


Democratic Alliance (NDA) announced
quitting the alliance on 8 December
2014?
Marumalarchi
Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK)
Explanation: MDMK a regional party
of Tamil Nadu and is and is led by proTamil leader Vaiko. It joined the sixparty grand alliance led by BJP in
Tamil Nadu ahead of Lok Sabha
elections held in May 2014. Though
the party contested seven seats out of
39, it could not win any. BJP and PMK,
another partner of the NDA alliance,
managed to win a seat each. MDMK
alleged that the BJP government at
the Centre was acting against Tamils
and betrayed the people of the state.

3) Union Govt. on 9 December 2014


put out an official list of six radio cab
services that have the requisite

licenses to operate in the national


capital Delhi. Which are these six radio
cab services? Easy Cab, Mega
Cab, Meru Cab, Chanson Cab, Yo
Cab and Air Cab
Explanation: These 6 radio cab
services are licensed with the Delhi
Transport Department for operating
radio taxis in the National Capital
Territory (NCT) of Delhi and apart from
these all other radio cab services have
been banned. The Delhi government
on 8 December banned Uber taxi
services, after a 27-year-old MNC
executive, who used its mobile app to
book a cab on 5 December, was raped
allegedly by the driver.

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21 CURRENT AFFAIRS

4) Which Southeast Asian country on


8 December 2014 ordered U.S. online
taxi booking company Uber to cease
operations, on the same day taxi apps
were banned in Delhi where an Uber
driver is under arrest for suspected
rape? Thailand
Explanation: Thailands Department
of Land Transport said drivers picking
up fare-paying passengers via Ubers
app were neither registered nor
insured to drive commercial vehicles,
and that Ubers credit-card payment
system
did
not
comply
with
regulations. Taxi booking apps have
irked drivers at traditional taxi firms
across the globe. Consumers are
increasingly using the smartphone
software to find people willing to drive
them, rather than booking a cab by
phone.
5) Jet Airways joined hands with which
international banking entity to launch a

first-of-its-kind
airline
co-branded
corporate card for owners of small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) and their
employees, as announced by Jet on 9
December
2014?
American
Express
Explanation: The card is named Jet
Airways American Express Corporate
Card and will help SMEs and their
executives to drive substantial savings
on business travel and associated
expenses. Any SME with an annual
turnover of Rs. 5 crore or more can
apply for the card, which allows them
to make the most of every business
expense they incur on either travel,
hotel stays or dining with business
associates. It allows SMEs to get
accelerated rewards and discounts on
purchasing tickets from Jet Airways
and also on Taj Group of hotels.

6) The Competition Commission of


India (CCI) during December 2014
approved the Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy
merger with some conditions. What is
the main condition applied for this?
The merged entity will have to
divest seven drug formulations in
which its combined market share
goes up to 95%, resulting in a
monopoly
Explanation: Acknowledging that the
CCI approval was a step ahead, the
companies said these products
constitute less than 1% of the
combined entitys revenues in India.
The CCI had received a notice from
Sun Pharmaceuticals and Ranbaxy
Laboratories for the proposed merger
of Ranbaxy with Sun Pharma on 6
May 2014. It then sought opinion from

the public on this mega-merger which


is the largest merger in Indias
corporate history. This $4-billion
agreement is the first merger deal
where CCI had sought opinion from
the public. According to the terms

inked between Ranbaxy and Sun


Pharmaceuticals in April 2014, each
Ranbaxy shareholder will get 0.8
shares of Sun Pharmaceuticals for
every share of Ranbaxy.

December 11, 2014


extend the Act to cover trade
repository and legal entity identifier
issuer. A Legal Entity Identifier is a
unique ID associated with a single
corporate entity. It was felt that
numerous obsolete laws exist in the
Indian financial system and they are
needed to be rectified.

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22 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) The Lok Sabha on 9 December


2014 passed the Payments and
Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill.
What is the main objective of this bill?
To bring Indias banking payment
system in sync with international
practices
Explanation: The
Bill seeks to
improve the payment and settlement
systems by increasing transparency
and stability of Indian financial market.
Amendment to the Payment and
Settlement Systems Act, 2007 was
proposed to update the regulations in
line with globally accepted standards.
The amendment seeks to protect
funds collected from the customers by
the payment system providers and to

2) Which Indian bank has become the


first in India to have developed its own
economic index on lines of HSBC
India Services Purchasing Managers
Index (PMI) and HSBC India
Manufacturing PMI? State Bank of
India (SBI)
Explanation: SBIs economic index
has been named SBI Composite
Index and will be released in January
2015. It will have both monthly and
yearly indices. The short-term report,
to be released in the first week of
every month, will forecast the state of
the economy two months down the
line. The annual index will make yearon-year forward predictions. This index
has gone through eight years of backtesting (2007-2014) and during this

index accurately predicted economic


direction 72% of the time. SBI
Composite Index will take into account
the credit demand and other indicators
of economic activity like consumer
spending, mining activity, interest
rates, inflation, exchange rate and
other thematic indices and service and
manufacturing activities.

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23 CURRENT AFFAIRS

3) Worlds longest train journey was


completed on 9 December 2014 when
a train covering record 13,052 km long
journey reached Spanish capital
Madrid. This train had started its
journey from which country? China
Explanation: The
train
named
Yixinou had started its journey from
Chinese city of Yiwu. The train
comprised of 40 wagons, carrying
1,400 tons of cargo, consisting of
stationary, craft products and products
for the Christmas market and it will
return to China filled with luxury
Spanish produce such as cured ham,
olive oil and wine. The marathon
journey crossed China, Kazakhstan,
Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany
and France, before arriving in Spain.
The results of this first historic journey
which will then be evaluated with the
aim of opening a regular two-way rail
link between China and Spain, which
could commence operations in early
2015. The 13,052 kilometers between
Madrid and Yiwu is a greater distance
than that between the North and South
Pole, although the distance was not
covered using the same crew, nor the
same engine.
4) 3-day Great Online Shopping
Festival (GOSF) kicked off on 10

December 2014 that features more


than 400 online retailers and
companies
offering
deals
and
discounts to fast-growing online
shopping fraternity in India. Who is
organising GOSF? Google
Explanation: GOSF is in its third
edition and was initially launched in
2012 by Google to boost the adoption
of online shopping in India. GOSF
2014 features numerous exclusive
launches including Googles Nexus 6
smartphone.
Google
India
has
partnered Aditya Birla Money My
Universe as a preferred partner for this
years event. Last year, GOSF saw
tremendous response from consumers
in India and the company claimed it
attracted 2 million visitors. The
company had also claimed that its
GOSF 2013 partners (over 200 ecommerce websites) saw daily sales
jumping 3 to 4 times.

5) Who was confirmed as the next US


Ambassador to India by the US
Senate on 9 December 2014 and
would thus become the first IndianAmerican to hold this post? Richard
Rahul Verma
Explanation: Richard Rahul Verma
has served as assistant secretary of
state for legislative affairs at the State
Department
in
the
Obama
administration from 2009 to 2011. He
is currently a senior counsellor at
Steptoe & Johnson law firm and the
Albright
Stonebridge
Group,
a
business advisory company, led by
former US Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright. He had earlier
played an important role in the

Congressional passage of Civil


Nuclear Deal. The very fact that
Verma was confirmed by a voice vote
in a bitterly divided Senate with more
than fifty ambassadorial nominations
pending, signify the bi-partisan support
to India-US relationship.

6) Which country was rated as the


Most Dangerous Country in the World
in the Country Threat Index (CTI)
released on 9 December 2014 by
IntelCenter,
a
Washington-based
company working for intelligence
agencies? Iraq

Explanation: The
index
were
prepared after examining the volume
of terrorist and rebel alerts, messaging
traffic, videos, photos, incidents and
the number of killed and injured in a
country over the past 30 days. The
other countries in the top 10 are
Nigeria (second), Somalia (third)
followed by Afghanistan (fourth),
Yemen (fifth), Syria (sixth), Libya
(seventh), Pakistan (eighth), Egypt
(ninth) and Kenya (tenth). There are a
total of 45 countries with a CTI greater
than zero.

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24 CURRENT AFFAIRS

December 12, 2014


Explanation: The announcement to
declare 21 June as World Yoga Day is
being seen as a huge diplomatic win
for India. Narendra Modi had asked
the UN members to celebrate Indias
Yoga as World Yoga Day during his
address to the UN General Assembly
during September 2014. Yoga is the
5,000-year-old Indian physical, mental
and spiritual practice that aims to
transform body and mind.
1) The United Nations Organisation
(UNO) on 11 December 2014 declared
which day as World Yoga Day, for
which the Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi had urged the world
community three months ago? 21
June

2) Union Govt. on 10 December 2014


decided to repeal Section 309 from the
Indian Penal Code (IPC) claiming
support of 18 states and 4 Union
Territories. This Section is associated
with which subject? Attempt to

commit suicide being declared a


crime
Explanation: Section 309 of IPC
makes the act punishable with jail term
of up to one year and fine. The Law
Commission in its 210th report on
Humanization and Decriminalisation
of
Attempt
to
Suicide
had
recommended that Section 309 of IPC
needs to be effaced from the statute
book. The Commission had said
Section 309 needs to be deleted
because the provision is inhuman,
irrespective
of
whether
it
is
constitutional or unconstitutional. On
10 December, Union Govt. claimed
that 18 states and 4 union territory
administrations have supported that
Section 309 of the IPC may be
deleted.

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25 CURRENT AFFAIRS

3) According to the announcement


made by Union Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley on 10 December 2014, the
Centre has proposed to release how
much money to the States towards
Central
Sales
Tax
(CST)
compensation, as part of consensus
building for GST rollout? Rs. 11,000
crore
Explanation: CST compensation is
one sticky issue that has been holding
up agreement on introduction of the
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
regime to replace all indirect taxes.
Clearance of CST compensation
arrears has been a bone of contention
between the Centre and States, as the
States still wait for Rs 13,000 crore
arrears pending till 2010. CST, a tax
imposed on the inter-state movement
of goods, was reduced from 4% to 3%

in 2007-08 and further to 2% in 200809 after the introduction of ValueAdded Tax (VAT). The Centre had
then promised the states that it would
bear losses due to reduction of CST.
The Centre collects CST and
distributes it among states. Rs.11,000
crore is one-third of the total CST
compensation proposed to be paid to
the States.

4) Mukesh
Ambani
led-Reliance
Industries Limited (RIL) announced
selling 49% stake in its iconic textile
brand Vimal to which Chinese textile
company? Shandong Ruyi Science
& Technology Group
Explanation: Shandong Ruyi Science
& Technology Group is $3 billion
Chinese textile major and it is
purchasing 49% stake in Vimal for an
undisclosed amount. It has its own
major worldwide brands such as Harris
Tweed and Taylor & Lodge. Selling
this stake would be nostalgic for RIL
as it was the first business under
Reliance group. Reliance founder late
Dhirubhai Ambani had established the
Vimal manufacturing plant at Naroda
in Ahmedabad in 1966. The brand
Vimal was named after his elder
brother Ramaniklals son. Vimal
started as a saree brand and later
focused on suiting fabrics in the earlynineties. But it got swamped by
competition such as Raymond,
Siyaram, S Kumars, Digjam and
OCM. These players notched up better
brand recall with more ad spending.
The stake sale is being done as the
focus of RIL shifted to its other
businesses with much higher margins

and the original business with which


the group had started, contributed less
than 1% to its revenues. The Vimal
brand now accounts just $300-350
million of RILs total revenues of
around $65 billion.

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26 CURRENT AFFAIRS

5) Who was named Time Magazines


Person of the Year for 2014 as
announced by magazines managing
editor Nancy Gibbs on 10 December
2014? Ebola Fighters
Explanation: While announcing this
decision, Time said These men and
women did the hard and dangerous
work in treating patients and protecting
the rest of us. The magazine
applauded
the
fighters
for
demonstrating an exceptionally great
amount of courage and kindness and
bravery. Other finalists this year
included Russian President Vladimir
Putin, singer Taylor Swift, NFL
commissioner Roger Goodell, Apple
CEO Tim Cook and President of the
Kurdistan Region in Iraq Massoud
Barzani.
The
magazine
also
considered larger news stories,
including the protestors in Ferguson,
Missouri, following the killing of
unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
Chosen by the magazines editors
each year, Times Person of the Year
is an individual or group of individuals
who have had the greatest impact on
news that year.

6) The Delhi High Court in an interim


order on 11 December 2014 banned
which Chinese mobile company from
importing and selling its mobile phones

in India due to charges of patent


infringement? Xiaomi
Explanation: The High Court granted
an ex parte injunction order against
Xiaomi for allegedly infringing on
Ericssons Standard Essential Patents
(SEPs). Flipkart, online e-commerce
site, was also restrained from selling
Xiaomi through its website. The ex
parte
injunction
against
Xiaomi, reported by SpicyIP, stops the
Chinese manufacturer from selling,
advertising,
manufacturing
or
importing devices that infringe upon
Ericssons patents. Ericsson has been
fighting manufacturers to protect its
SEPs
in
the
Indian
legal
system, including
a
lawsuit against Micromax last year.

7) What history was created by the


Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) cricket team
in Ranji Trophy on 10 December
2014? It defeated 40 time Ranji
Trophy champion Mumbai at their
home
Explanation: J&K team, led by
Parveez Rasool, defeated Mumbai in
their Group A Ranji Trophy cricket
opener at the Wankhede Stadium in
Mumbai by successfully chasing the
target of 237 runs. They won the
match before lunch with more than a
session to spare. This was the first
clash between the two teams in 80
years of Ranji Trophy.

8) Virat Kohli, who made a brilliant 115


on 11 December 2014 against
Australia in the first Test being played
at Adelaide, achieved which feat with

this Test century? He became the


fourth Indian to smash a hundred in
his first Test as captain
Explanation: Virat Kohli is leading
India for the first time in a Test match
in the absence of Mahendra Singh
Kohli. He scored a fighting century on
the third day of the Test match against

Australia. He thus became the fourth


Indian to smash a hundred in his first
Test as captain after Vijay Hazare
(164 not vs England at Delhi in 195152), Sunil Gavaskar (116 vs New
Zealand at Auckland in 1975-76) and
Dilip Vengsarkar (102 in the second
innings vs West Indies at Delhi in
1987-88).

December 13, 2014


in Indian cinema. Located just
opposite the Mumbai Central railway
station, offering it an advantageous
location, Maratha Mandir is one of the
few single screen theatres that have
survived the onslaught of the
multiplexes. It first caught the limelight
when it ran Mughal-e-Azam for eight
years at a stretch. However, with
DDLJ it caught international attention.

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27 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) Iconic Hindi film Dilwale Dulhania


Le Jayenge completed its 1,000 week
at a cinema hall in South Mumbai on
12 December 2014. Which cinema hall
is this, which also recorded its name in
history books with this feat? Maratha
Mandir
Explanation: Yash Chopras Dilwale
Dulhania Le Jayenge, popularly
known as DDLJ, was released at
Maratha Mandir on 20 October 1995.
The film, featuring Shahrukh Khan and
Kajol in lead roles, has been running
uninterrupted at this single-theatre
cinema hall at its usual playing time
slot of 11:30 am for the last 19 years.
DDLJ is by far the longest running film

2) What was the consumer price or


retail inflation in November 2014 as
announced by the govt. on 12
December 2014? 4.38%
Explanation: 4.38%
consumer
inflation recorded during November
2014 is a record low and was
substantially lower than Octobers
5.52%. A cooling off in food prices
accompanied by a sharp drop in global
crude oil prices and high base effect
contributed to the fall in inflation. But
on the other hand the industrial output
in October 2014 fell sharply by 4.2%.
Novembers inflation data and slowing
of factory output in October will be a

shot in the arm for those who want the


RBI to cut rates quickly to stimulate
growth. Despite the improvement in
inflation, the data suggests a lack of
momentum in Indias recovery from its
weakest phase of economic growth
since the 1980s.

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28 CURRENT AFFAIRS

3) The Lok Sabha on 12 December


2014 passed the Coal Mines (Special
Provisions) Bill. What is the objective
of this Bill? It provides for fresh
auction of 204 coal blocks deallocated by the Supreme Court in
September 2014
Explanation: The Coal Mines (Special
Provisions) Bill also replaces the
Ordinance promulgated by the Union
Govt. in October 2014 to put in to
acquire the land of those 214 coal
blocks mines the allocations of which
the Supreme Court had quashed. The
Bill provides for allocation of coal
mines and vesting of the right, title and
interest in and over the land and mine
infrastructure, together with mining
leases, to successful bidders and
allottees through a transparent bidding
process. It is expected to ensure
continuity in coal mining operations
and production of coal. The Union
Govt. also allayed the apprehensions
of some parties that the legislation
would lead to privatisation of the
sector.

4) The Central Bureau of Investigation


(CBI) on 12 December 2014 senior
Trinamool Congress leader and West
Bengal Minister Madan Mitra in the
multi-crore Saradha scam case. The

arrest
comes
as
a
major
embarrassment to the West Bengals
ruling party which had already suffered
a battering of its image on account of
several of its leaders involved in
various Ponzi scams. Madan Mitra is
holding which portfolio in West Bengal
Govt.? Transport Minister
Explanation: CBI stated that Madam
Mitra was arrested on prima facie
evidence of criminal conspiracy,
cheating and misappropriation as well
as deriving undue financial benefits
from the Saradha Scam. Mitra was
earlier summoned by the agency on
21 November 2014. However, since
he was admitted to a city hospital he
sought exemption from appearing
before the CBI. His arrest comes three
weeks after the CBI arrested
Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Srinjoy
Bose in the Saradha scam.
5) Which Crimean leaders presence
on the occasion of Russian President
Vladimir Putins state to India created
buzz with the Ukrainian President and
some Western leaders flaying his
presence? Sergey Aksyonov
Explanation: Sergey
Aksyonov,
previously an obscure nationalist
politician, was elected leader of
Crimea in a closed session of the
regional parliament after Russian
forces in February 2014 took control of
the Crimean peninsula in a bloodless
operation.
He
masterminded
a
quickfire referendum to join Russia
that was recognised by Moscow. Kiev
and the West felt that this referendum
was rigged. Aksyonovs presence in
India created a flutter in diplomatic

circles with the Ukrainian President


Petro Poroshenko lashing out at India
on 12 December 2014 a day after he
was seen in India. Critics argued that
his visit enjoyed Russias full
diplomatic backing. It is worth
mentioning that India does not back
Western sanctions against Russia.

6) What is the objective of the


Authorisation for Use of Military Force
(AUMF) bill, which was passed by a
key US Congressional committee on
11 December 2014? To authorise
the use of military force against the
dreaded Islamist State (IS) militant
group

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29 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Explanation: The Authorisation for


Use of Military Force (AUMF) bill
allows the President to use military
force against ISIS for up to three
years. AUMF would, however, require
a report on the comprehensive
strategy for this campaign after 60
days. The US is contemplating using
force against IS that has seized
swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

7) What is the name of the political


party founded by Telugu actor Pawan
Kalyan which was recently recognized
by the Election Commission of India
paving the way for its foray into
electoral politics? Janasena Party
Explanation: Janasena Party was
announced by Pawan Kalyan earlier

this year. Pawan Kalyan, younger


brother of former Union Minister and
actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi, is a
top-ranking hero in the Telugu film
industry.
He
had
campaigned
extensively in support of the TDP-BJP
combine in undivided Andhra Pradesh
for the general elections earlier this
year. His campaign is believed to be
one of the key factors in the success
of the TDP-BJP combine in the
elections.
8) Born Again on the Mountain, the
book released by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi on 12 December 2014,
is a book on the life struggle of which
personality? Arunima Sinha, first
female amputee to climb Mt. Everest
Explanation: Arunima Sinha is the
first female amputee and first Indian
woman amputee to climb Mount
Everest. The book describes her
struggle to become mountaineer after
starting her career as a volleyball
player. She was a national level
volleyball player who was pushed out
of a running train by thieves on 11
April 2011 while resisting them. One of
her legs had to be amputated below
the knee as a result. But this never
deterred her. Two years later, she
retrained as a mountaineer and
became the first female amputee to
scale Mount Everest on 21 May 2013.

December 14-15, 2014


(Mens) that concluded
December 2014? Fourth

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30 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) Which
country
won
the
th
35 Champions
Trophy
Hockey
(Mens) by winning the final held on 14
December 2014? Germany
Explanation: Germany
defeated
Pakistan in the final by 2-0 to win their
tenth Champions Trophy title. This
edition of Champions Trophy was held
at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar
(Odisha) and eight teams took part in
it. Australia has won Mens Champions
Trophy for the highest 13 times
followed by Germany (10 times).
Champions Trophy is one of the most
prestigious tournaments of mens
hockey as all the top teams take part
in it. It was founded by Pakistans Air
Marshal Nur Khan in 1978.
2) What was Indias position in
35th Champions
Trophy
Hockey

on

14

Explanation: Australia defeated India


by 2-1 in the classification match held
for third and fourth position. India thus
once again finished at fourth position,
the same position it achieved in 2012
Champions Trophy held in Melbourne
(Australia). Indias best performance in
Champions Trophy is third position it
got in the 4th edition held at
Amstelveen (Netherlands) in 1982.
The Netherlands finished at a
disappointing fifth place followed by
Argentina (sixth), England (seventh)
and Belgium (eighth and last place).

3) Negotiators
from
over
190
countries, including India, on 14
December 2014 adopted a format for
national pledges to cut global carbon
emissions at the United Nations
Climate Change Conference (COP20)
held at Lima (Peru). This ended a
deadlock between rich and poor
countries to agree on a new ambitious
and binding deal to be signed in Paris
in 2015. The proposed climate control
deal is to come into effect from which
year? 2020
Explanation: The deal, dubbed the
Lima Call for Climate Action, paves the
way for what is envisioned as the
historic agreement in environmental
history. The draft approved in the deal
mentioned only that all pledges would
be reviewed a month ahead of

December 2015 Paris summit to


assess their combined effect on
climate change. Consistent with India
and other developing countries push, a
separate paragraph was added
regarding differentiation the principle
of categorising countries based on
their ability to pay for climate action
measures. The last portion was lifted
directly from the US-China climate
agreement announced in November
this year.

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31 CURRENT AFFAIRS

4) Which leading financial luminary of


the country recently came to news for
apparently rejecting Prime Minister
Narendra Modis highly ambitious
Make in India and suggesting Make
for India strategy instead?
Raghuram Rajan, RBI Governor
Explanation: Raghuram Rajan gave
stress on Make for India instead of
Make in India on the occasion of the
Bharat Ram Memorial Seminar on
Indias Growth Trajectory in a
Fractured
World
Economy:
Opportunities
and
Challenges,
organised by FICCI in Delhi on 12
December 2014. He said that India
should focus on domestic demand and
create a unified market with a view to
reducing
transaction
costs.
His
message was clear what worked for
China may not necessarily work for
India too. He elaborated that when
India pushes manufacturing exports, it
will have to compete with China, and
an export-led growth will not be as
easy as it was for the East-Asian
economies. We warned that the
strategy of import substitution has
been tried and it has not worked

because it ended up reducing


domestic
competition,
making
producers inefficient, and increasing
costs for consumers.

5) The Supreme Court-backed Special


Investigation Team (SIT) on black
money lead by Justice M.B. Shah
recently
made
what
important
recommendation pertaining to high
value purchases? Quoting of
permanent account number (PAN)
in addition to submitting an identity
proof such as Aadhaar should me
made compulsory for purchases
over Rs. 1 lakh
Explanation: The SIT recommended
that quoting of PAN and Aadhaar
should be made mandatory for
purchases over Rs. 1 lakh and should
cover purchases made by cash as well
as cheque. It further recommended
that a central Know Your Customer
(KYC) database be set up which
captures details of PAN, passport
number or driving licence number,
which
are
often
quoted
for
transactions. Other important SIT
recommendation is that the amount of
cash in possession should be capped
at Rs 10 or 15 lakh and any amount
beyond the threshold should be
confiscated.

6) Russia has proposed to establish a


manufacturing facility in India to
produce as well as export which two
helicopters during President Vladimir
Putins state visit to India? Mi-17
and KA-226

Explanation: Mi-17 is a medium lift


helicopter (MLH) while KA-226 is light
utility helicopter (LUH). The proposed
manufacturing facility, to be put up in
collaboration with an Indian partner,
will also aim at exporting helicopters to
other countries. The KA-226 had
competed in the Indian militarys global
LUH tender before the Indian Defence
Ministry cancelled the process and
decided to source the helicopters
through the Make in India project.
Indias ambitious Make in India
campaign is expected to gain
momentum with Russian decision to
establish helicopter manufacturing unit
in India.

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32 CURRENT AFFAIRS

7) The Union Home Ministry recently


proposed to add a new category to the
list of notified disasters eligible for
assistance from national and state
disaster relief funds. Which natural
disaster is this? Lightning
Explanation: The
Union
Home
Ministry has moved a proposal to the
14th Finance Commission, suggesting
inclusion of lightning in the list of
notified
disasters
eligible
for
assistance from national and state
disaster relief funds. India accounts for
an average 400 deaths due to
lightening every year. India has
unusually high death toll due to
lightning every year, mostly during
monsoon season. On an average,
three people die in Britain each year
due to lightning strikes, while in the
US, an average 30 people die
following these strikes.

8) What is the name of the warship


manufactured in India that would soon
become the first to be exported by the
country?
Coast
Guard
Ship
Barracuda (CGS Barracuda)
Explanation: CGS Barracuda has
been designed and built by the
Kolkata-based
Garden
Reach
Shipbuilders. It is currently on its way
to be exported to Mauritius for Rs. 350
crore. It would thus become the first
warship to be exported by India. The
off-shore patrol vessel will be used to
police Mauritian waters, spread over
1.9 million square km, against piracy,
smuggling, illegal fishing and drug
trafficking. It will also provide logistical
support, including search and rescue
operations. Unlike in the past, India no
longer needs to look to foreign
manufacturers for warships. All its
boats are now being manufactured in
Indian shipyards.

9) What is the name of the Indianorigin woman who is poised to become


the first woman to head a major British
bank, the Santander UK? Shriti
Vadera
Explanation: Shriti Vadera Vadera
was a Labour minister in the Cabinet
Office, Business Department and
International Development Department
from 2007 to 2009 and served in the
House of Lords. She will join the board
of Santander UK as joint deputy
chairman in January 2014. She will
also join a very exclusive club of just
three FTSE 100 firms, listed on the
London Stock Exchange with the
highest market capitalisation, with
women as their chair.

10) Who was chosen as the new


Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB)
on 13 December 2014? Dineshwar
Sharma
Explanation: Dineshwar Sharma is
presently Special Director in the
Intelligence Bureau. He will take

charge on 1 January 2014 succeeding


Syed Asif Ibrahim. He is a 1979 batch
IPS officer from Kerala cadre and will
have two-year tenure. Sharma has
served at various desks in IB since he
was posted in the organisation in 1991
which includes Kashmir, Northeast
besides stints in Lucknow.

December 16, 2014

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33 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) What was the name of the lone


heavily-armed man of Iranian-origin
who held 17 people hostage at a caf
in Sydney for around17 hours on 15
December 2014 before being killed in
the police attack? Man Haron Monis
Explanation: Man Haron Monis was
killed along with 2 hostages in this
hostage drama as the police attacked
the caf in the early hours of 16
December. Monis had held 17 people
hostage in the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in
Sydneys commercial district at around
9:45 am on 15 December. He had
tried to link himself with the ISIS with
two hostages holding a black flag with
Arabic script similar to the ISIS. 11
hostages had escaped the caf before
the police raided it at 2:10 am on 16

December. Monis, who arrived in


Australia as a refugee in 1996,
notoriously sent letters to the families
of Australian soldiers who lost their
lives in Afghanistan, accusing them of
being murderers. He was a self-styled
Muslim cleric and was described as an
isolated figure, who was acting alone.
Two Indian nationals, Vishwakant
Ankit Reddy and Pushpendu Ghosh,
were among the hostages involved
when Monis began his siege. However
both escape unhurt in this hostage
drama.

2) Which company was ranked at the


top place in the Fortune 500 list of
Indian companies for 2014 that was
released on 15 December 2014?
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)
Explanation: The Fortune 500 list
ranks companies according to their
revenues. Indian Oil Corp (IOC)
topped this list with an annual revenue
of Rs 5,00,973 crore, while Mukesh
Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltds
(RIL) full-year revenue is Rs 4,44,021
crore. Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) was

placed at the third spot with a revenue


of Rs 2,67,718 crore. Hindustan
Petroleums (HPCL) Rs 2,36,797 crore
revenue earned the fourth place for
the company. Others in the top 10 list
include Tata Motors (5th in the ranking,
with a revenue of Rs 2,36,502 crore.
State Bank of India (Rs 2,26,944
crore), ONGC (Rs 1,82,084 crore),
Tata Steel (Rs 1,49,663 crore), Essar
Oil (Rs 99,473 crore) and Hindalco
Industries (Rs 89,175 crore). This
years list, compiled by global business
magazine Fortunes Indian edition,
said there has been a 9.5% annual
growth in total revenues, while in
terms of profit it is 4.5%.

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34 CURRENT AFFAIRS

3) Wholesale price inflation (WPI) in


India hit the zero level in November
2014 as stated in data released by the
Union Govt. on 15 December 2014.
This was mainly on account of a
decline in prices of food, fuel and
manufactured items. When WPI was
lower than this level? July 2009
Explanation: This is probably the first
time when WPI inflation has hit the
exact zero level. In July 2009, the
WPI-based inflation was (-) 0.3%
(negative 0.3%). The inflation rate thus
recorded during November 2014 was
the lowest in about five-and-a-half
years. The WPI-based inflation was at
1.77% in October 2014 and 7.52% in
November 2013.

4) Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group on


15 December 2014 announced selling
its multiplex business to South India
based Carnival Group. What is the

name of cinema chains owned by


Reliance
Groups
Reliance
MediaWorks which would be sold
under this deal? BIG Cinemas
Explanation: The deal will make
Carnival the third largest multiplex
operator with nationwide presence and
over 300 screens. The transaction will
reduce Reliance Capitals overall debt
by Rs. 700 crore and is part of
Reliance Capitals strategy to exit
minority investments. Reliance Capital
had recently announced its plans to
focus on core business and is in the
process of encashing its minority
investments. Reliance Capital is the
parent firm of Reliance MediaWorks,
which operates one of the largest
cinema chains, under the brand BIG
Cinemas with over 250 screens panIndia.

5) Which Indian politician was recently


appointed as a member of United
Nations Environment Programmes
(UNEPs) advisory board? Jairam
Ramesh
Explanation: Ramesh
recently
accepted the offer to serve as a
member of the International Advisory
Board (IAB) which gives strategic
policy advice to the Executive Director
of
United
Nations
Environment
Programme
(UNEP)
on
the
programmatic direction of International
Environmental Technology Centre
(IETC). The IETC, based in Osaka,
Japan, was established with the
mandate of providing support to
developing countries in transition with
environmentally-sound technologies.
In the short and medium term, IETC is

focusing on
management.

support

for

waste

6) 22-year old Rolene Strauss was


adjudged the Miss World 2014 at the
Miss World beauty pageant held in
London on 14 December 2014. Rolene
Strauss is from which country?
South Africa
Explanation: Hungarys Edina Kulcsr
came second and Elizabeth Safrit,
representing the United States, came
third. This years Miss World beauty
pageant was the 64th edition of Miss
World but it was marred by tragedy
after a Honduran beauty queen was
found shot dead in a suspected crime
of passion days before she was due to
take part.

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35 CURRENT AFFAIRS

7) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo


Abes coalition cruised to a big win in
the parliamentary elections held in the
country on 14 December 2014. The
win ensured that he will stick to
reflationary economic policies and a
muscular security stance. What is the
name of Abes party which is leading
the ruling coalition in Japan? Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP)
Explanation: Liberal Democratic Party
is leading Japan with its junior partner
the Komeito party. The coalition was
assured more than the 317 seats in
the 475-member lower house required
to maintain a two-thirds majority that
smoothes parliamentary business.
However, the final turnout of 52.4%
was below 59.3% in a 2012 poll that
returned Abe to power for a rare
second term on pledges to reboot an

economy plagued by deflation. Abe


had called for this snap poll in
November 2014.

8) Which northeastern state signed


agreement with a Russian power
company
for
collaborating
in
hydropower projects in the state on the
sidelines
of
Russian
President
Vladimir Putins visit to India during
December
2014?
Arunachal
Pradesh
Explanation: Arunachal
Pradesh
Govt.
signed
agreement
with
RusHydro International, a company
partly owned by the Russian
government. This was done mainly to
explore collaboration prospects in
creating manpower for the several
hydro-electric projects coming up in
the state. Arunachal also wants the
Russian company to design hydroelectric projects in the state. RusHydro
International is one of Russias largest
power generating companies with 38.2
GW installed electricity generation
capacity distributed over 70 renewable
energy source facilities across the
country. The company had earlier
designed Tehri dam, said to be one of
the safest dams in the world.
9) Who was named as Australias
captain for the second cricket Test
against India, replacing an injuryravaged Michael Clarke, and thus
became countrys 45th Test captain?
Steve Smith
Explanation: 25-year old Steve Smith
is an all-rounder and he was appointed
vice-captain of the Australian Test

team by Cricket Australia (CA) and will


thus lead the Australian side in the
absence of Michael Clarke. Current
vice-captain Brad Haddin, who led the
Australian side on the final day of the
Adelaide Test, will serve as Smiths
deputy in Brisbane. He will thus
become Australias 45th Test captain
and at the age of 25 will also be one of
countrys youngest captains.

10) Which company was ranked first in


the 2015 50 Best Places to Work list
released during December 2014 by
Glassdoor, a US-based website that
provides
insider
ratings
and
information from employees about the
companies they work for? Google
Explanation: Extra
attention
to
ensuring a balance between work and
family
responsibilities
for
its

employees nudged Google to the No.1


spot this year. At No.2 is Bain &
Company,
an
American
global
management
consulting
firm
headquartered
in
Boston,
Massachusetts and at third spot is
Nestle Purina PetCare, a St. Louis,
Missouri-based subsidiary of Nestle
that produces and markets pet food,
treats and litter. Micro-blogging site
Twitter, which was placed second last
year, has fallen off the grid and is out
from the list. Social networking site
Facebook has slipped to 13th position
from fifth last year while businessoriented social networking service
LinkedIn has dropped from third
position to the 23rd spot. This list
includes companies of the United
States and Britain.

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36 CURRENT AFFAIRS

December 17, 2014


(GST) on 15 December 2014 paving
the way for the GST Bill to be
introduced in the current session of
Parliament. To break the deadlock, the
Centre agreed to which major demand
of the States? To keep petroleum
out of the GST regime

1) In an important development, a
major deadlock between the Centre
and the States was broken on the
issue of Goods and Services Tax

Explanation: While on its part, the


Centre agreed to the demand of the
States to keep petroleum out of the
GST regime, the States on their part
agreed to entry tax being subsumed in
the new tax regime which is proposed

to be introduced from April 2016.


Compromise was reached after an
over hour-long meeting between
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and
finance ministers of seven states
Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu,
Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Jammu
and Kashmir. Concerns of other states
have already been addressed. It was
agreed that petroleum goods would be
kept out of the Goods and Services
Tax (GST) Bill for initial few years and
a decision to include in the new tax
regime would be taken later. States,
which earn over 50% of their revenue
from taxes on petrol and other petro
products, wanted it to be out of GST
so they could continue with levying
different tax rates on these products.

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37 CURRENT AFFAIRS

2) Which terrorist organisation of


Pakistan carried out a horrendous
attack on a school in Peshawar on 16
December 2014 killing more than 130
people including a very large number
of school children? Tehrik-i-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP)
Explanation: The gunmen of Tehrik-iTaliban Pakistan (which is also known
as Taliban Pakistan), carried out one
of the most ghastly attacks in recent
times by storming the Army Public
School in the northwestern Pakistani
city of Peshawar on 16 December.
The attack began in the morning
hours, with the gunmen entering the
school, a military-run facility with
students in grades 1-10 and shooting
randomly. Pak Army commandos
quickly arrived at the scene and
exchanged fire with the gunmen. Later
TTP
spokesman
Mohammed

Khurasani claimed responsibility for


the attack in a phone call to media,
saying that six suicide bombers had
carried out the attack in revenge for
the killings of Taliban members at the
hands of Pakistani authorities. 3 day of
national mourning was declared by
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
later. Whole international community
condemned this attack.

3) The
14th Finance
Commission
submitted its report to the President on
15 December 2014. The commission
headed by former RBI Governor
Y.V.Reddy has been constituted for
which period for which it submitted its
report? 1 April 2015 to 31 March
2020
Explanation: The
14th Finance
Commission was constituted by the
President on 2 January 2013 and was
to give its report by October 31 this
year. But its tenure was extended till
31 December. In this report the
commission gave its views on the
devolution of tax receipts from the
Centre to the states between 1 April
2015 and 31 March 2020. The
Commission had sought two more
months
to
examine
financial
projections and carry out consultations
with the Andhra Pradesh and
Telangana governments. It was also
asked to look into the issue of Goods
and Services Tax (GST). The
commissions terms of reference also
included the pricing of public utilities
such as electricity and water in an
independent manner and the sale of
non-priority public-sector units.

4) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar


flagged off the first nuclear-powered
submarine manufactured indigenously
in India for its sea trials from
Vishakhapatnam on 15 December
2014. What is the name of this
submarine? INS Arihant
Explanation: INS Arihant is a 6000tonne vessel and has 83 Megawatt
Indian designed and built pressurised
water reactor. All systems on board
will be tested during this sea trial. If all
trials go as planned, the submarine
can be inducted within the next two
years. It is worth mentioning that India
presently operates another nuclear
submarine, the INS Chakra, a nuclear
attack submarine of the Akula-2. But it
was manufactured in Russia.

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38 CURRENT AFFAIRS

5) Whose
appointment
as
the
th
19 Surgeon General of the United
States was confirmed by the Senate
on 15 December 2014 and he would
thus become the first person of Indian
origin to hold this prestigious post?
Vivek H. Murthy
Explanation: Vivek
H.
Murthys
appointment was confirmed by the
upper house of US Congress by 51
votes to 43. This confirmation came
more than a year after President
Barack Obama had nominated him to
this top administration post on public
health issues in November 2013. 37year old Murthy would also become
the youngest person to hold this post.
He was born to parents who are
originally from South India. He came to
the United States when he was three
years old and grew up in Miami,
Florida. Murthy is a Hospitalist

Attending Physician and Instructor in


Medicine at Brigham and Womens
Hospital at Harvard Medical School, a
position he has held since 2006.

6) Vistara, the airline joint venture


between Tata Sons and Singapore
Airlines, on 15 December 2014
received the Air Operator Permit
(AOP)
from
aviation
regulator
Directorate General of Civil Aviation or
DGCA. With this Vistara would
become the full service air
carrier in India when it starts its
operations Third
Explanation: Vistara would become
Indias third full service carrier after
state-run Air India and Jet Airways.
Tata Sons holds a 51% stake in
Vistara while the remaining 49% is
with
Singapore
Airlines.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Vistara
will begin operations with its fleet of
Airbus A 320-200 aircraft and will soon
make an announcement on the start of
sales, routes and schedules.

7) Indian Railways has identified eight


stations where reverse osmosis (RO)
drinking water units will be put up on
experimental basis very soon. Which 8
railway stations are these? Bhopal,
Dwarka, Gadag, Guwahati, Hazrat
Nizamuddin, Madurai, Patna and
Tirupati
Explanation: Railways have identified
the provision of RO water units at
these 8 railway stations. As per
guidelines, maximum retail price per
bottle of package drinking water other
than Rail Neer of 1000 ml is Rs. 15

only. The RO process involves


substantial
wastage
of
water
depending upon its quality and will
require uninterrupted power supply.

8) Which website was the most


searched one on Google in India
during 2014 as revealed in the data
released by the search engine on 16
December 2014? IRCTC(The official
website of Indian Railways for
reservations)

topic of 2014 in India was Election


2014, followed by FIFA 2014, iPhone
6, GATE 2015 and Narendra Modi. Ecommerce website Flipkart, PSU
lender SBI Online, e-tailer Snapdeal
and PNR status were other most
searched words. Bollywood actress
Sunny Leone was the most searched
person in 2014 pushing Prime Minister
Narendra Modi to the second spot.
Low-cost mid-end smartphone MotoG
tops the most searched Tech devices,
followed by Apple iPhone 6.

Explanation: According to statistics


released by Google, the most trending

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39 CURRENT AFFAIRS

December 18, 2014

1) What important decision pertaining


to curtailing terrorism in the country
was taken by Pakistan Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif on 17 December 2014 a
day after his country was at the
receiving end of the deadliest terror
attack in its history that saw over 130
children
being
killed?
The
moratorium on capital punishment
was lifted for terrorists

Explanation: Nawaz
Sharif
announced lifting up of the moratorium
on capital punishment and approval for
the implementation of death penalty to
any and all of captives who have been
involved in terrorism or militancy. The
announcement was made in an all
party meet held in the Governor House
that was led by the PM Nawaz Sharif
and attended by all parties like PMLN, PTI,
PPP, ANP, MQM and
also Jamaat-e-Islami. 3 day national
mourning is being observed in the
country after Taliban militants killed
over 130 people nearly all of them
children, at a school in the
northwestern city of Peshawar.
2) Which prominent countrys currency
came under tremendous crisis on 16
December 2014 as the price collapsed

almost 11% against US dollar on this


day? Russian Ruble

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40 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Explanation: Russian currency Ruble


(also called Rouble) hit record low on
16 December due to numerous
reasons low oil prices, looming
recession and Western sanctions over
the Ukraine crisis. It lost almost 11% of
its value against the US dollar on this
single day, which was its steepest
one-day fall since the Russian
financial crisis of 1998. It has fallen
20% since the start of the week and
more than 50% this year. The price
however stabilized to some extent on
17
December.
For
the
Russian economy, the currency crisis
means a deeper recession is more
likely next year as high interest rates
will crimp growth. For businesses, it
means more uncertainty and less
access to funding. For the Russian
central bank, it means a credibility
crisis. It is also expected to shake
President Vladimir Putins grip over
power.

3) The Lok Sabha on 17 December


2014
passed
the
Companies
(Amendment) Bill 2014 through a
voice vote. This bill has proposed how
many amendments to the existing
company law enacted in 2013?
Thirteen
Explanation: While
some
amendments
were
intended
at
improving the ease of business, some
were focused on addressing the
drafting errors. There were also
amendments being introduced to
tackle the oversight issues and those

provisions seen to be oppressive for


doing business.

4) Flight operations of cash-strapped


SpiceJet were grounded on 17
December due to which reason?
Non-supply of jet fuel by oil
marketing companies
Explanation: Not a single flight of
SpiceJet could take-off in the morning
of 17 December 2014 as PSU oil
supply companies did not supplied fuel
to airlines planes. However, some
flights took-off in the evening as oil
companies resumed supply. Earlier on
16 December the airline had won a
crucial reprieve from clamouring
creditors after the government asked
airport operators and fuel suppliers to
give the carrier more time to pay its
bills. The Civil Aviation Ministry had
also said that airport operators would
be asked to give the airline 15 days to
make payments, while state oil
companies would be ask to give credit
for up to 15 days. SpiceJet, which has
been in the red since last year, has
already cut the size of its fleet by a
third since September 2014 and
cancelled more than 70 flights a day
for the rest of this year.

5) What punishment was given to


Indian woman boxer Sarita Devi by the
International
Boxing
Association
(AIBA) on 17 December 2014 for
refusing to accept Asian Games
bronze medal during Asian Games
2014 held in South Korea? Ban of
one year

Explanation: The AIBA also handed


down a two-year ban on Indias foreign
coach B.I. Fernandez (Cuba), while
clearing national coach G.S. Sandhu.
Sarita Devi lost in the semifinals of the
womens lightweight competition at
Incheon, and had tried to give her
medal to her opponent at the
presentation ceremony.

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41 CURRENT AFFAIRS

6) Former Supreme Court judge KS


Radhakrishnan was given PETA
Indias People of the Year award by
animal rights organisation PETA as
announced on 17 December 2014.
Why this award was conferred on him?
KS Radhakrishnan headed the
bench which had imposed a ban on
Jallikattu bull races
Explanation: Justice Radhakrishnan
headed a bench that passed a
landmark judgement in favour of PETA
India and the Animal Welfare Board of
India, clarifying that bulls must not be
used in jallikattu, bull races, bullfights
or any other type of performance and
called for animals to be respected in
many other ways. Jallikattu is the
traditional bull-fighting festival held in
Tamil Nadu during Pongal festivities.
PETA on 17 December named Justice
(retd) Radhakrishnan as Man of the
Year
and
actress
Jacqueline
Fernandez as Woman of the Year. In
2013, Fernandez took to Twitter to call
for the release of a formerly abused

elephant Sunder, who was finally


moved from his life of misery to a
forested park where he has room to
roam and the companionship of other
elephants.

7) According to the latest report


released by Organization for Economic
Cooperation
and
Development
(OECD) on 17 December 2014, which
country has the best work-life balance
in the World? Denmark
Explanation: According to this OECD
report, 2% of employees work very
long hours in Denmark, much less
than the OECD average of 9%. An
important aspect of work-life balance
is the amount of time a person spends
at work. The two main indicators used
to determine work-life balance were
time devoted the leisure and personal
care and employees working very
long hours. In Denmark, full-time
workers devote 16.1 hours, or 67%, of
their day on average to personal care
(eating, sleeping, etc.) and leisure
(socialising with friends and family,
hobbies, games, computer and
television use, etc.) more than the
OECD average of 15 hours. According
to the report, Turkey has the worst
work-life balance, according to the
study. In Turkey 43% of the
employees work very long hours. India
is not among the 34 member countries
of OECD.

December 19, 2014


masters this rocket, there may not be
any need for India to send its heavyduty communications satellites to
space
using
expensive
foreign
launchers. It can also hope to make a
dent
in
the
multimillion-dollar
commercial launch market of the
world. The mission cost Rs. 155 crore
and its main purpose was to test the
rockets atmospheric flight stability with
around four tonne luggage. The
second objective was to study the reentry characteristics of the crew
module called Crew Module
Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment its
aero braking and validation of its endto-end parachute system.

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42 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) What is the name of the heaviest


next generation rocket launched by
ISRO on 18 December 2014 that
marked first step towards Indias
manned
missions?

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch


Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mark-III)
Explanation: The 630-tonne GSLV
Mark-III and standing 43.43-metre tall
is the heaviest rocket launched till date
by ISRO. The launch was done from
Satish Dhawan Space Centre at
Sriharikota (AP). With successful
launch of this rocket ISRO is now
hoping this will become the main stay
rocket in the future, which later will be
suitably equipped for ferrying Indian
astronauts into space. Once ISRO

2) In a historic development United


States and Cuba on 17 December
2014 agreed to restore diplomatic ties
that Washington severed more than 50
years ago. President Barack Obama
called for an end to the long economic
embargo against its old Cold War
enemy. Which US hostage was
released by Cuba on 17 December,
which
made
this
development
possible? Alan Gross
Explanation: 65-year old Alan Gross,
a U.S. international development
professional, had been imprisoned in
Cuba for five years. He was
prosecuted in 2011 after being
accused of crimes against the Cuban
state for bringing satellite phones and
computer equipment. He was released
by Cuba on 17 December 2014. His

case had been a major obstacle to


improving relations. After 18 months of
secret talks, Obama and Cuban
President Raul Castro agreed in a
phone call on 16 December on a
breakthrough prisoner exchange, the
opening of embassies in each others
countries, and an easing of some
restrictions on commerce. The two
leaders made the announcement in
simultaneous televised speeches.
Cuba and the United States have been
ideological foes since soon after the
1959 revolution that brought Fidel
Castro to power. US broke diplomatic
relations with Cuba in 1961 as it
steered a leftist course that turned it
into a close ally of the former Soviet
Union.

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43 CURRENT AFFAIRS

3) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on


17 December 2014 imposed fines on
state-run Bank of Baroda (BOB) and
ICICI Bank the largest private bank
in India. What was the charge on
these two banks? Violation of KYC
and anti-money laundering norms
Explanation: RBI imposed fines worth
Rs.50 lakh and Rs.25 lakh on ICICI
Bank
and
Bank
of
Baroda,
respectively, for violations of its
instructions on know-your-customer
(KYC) and anti-money laundering
norms. Three other banks including
State Bank of India, Axis Bank and
State Bank of Patiala, were cautioned
to put in place appropriate measures
and review them from time to time to
ensure strict compliance of KYC
requirements in future. This RBI action
came after it received a complaint in
this regard. It cautioned these banks to

put in place appropriate measures and


review them from time to time to
ensure strict compliance of KYC
requirements in future. The fraudsters
had managed to open fictitious
accounts in the name of the statutory
organisation in the above five banks
and operated the accounts mainly for
encashing
cheques/demand
drafts/postal orders of which they were
not the rightful owners, for periods
ranging from one month to two years,
without being detected by the banks.

4) What is the name of the top


Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander
accused of plotting the 26/11 terror
attack on Mumbai in 2008, who was
granted bail in the same case on 18
December 2014 by Pakistans AntiTerrorism Court? Zakiur Rehman
Lakhvi
Explanation: Lakhvi, who was the
operational head of the banned
Laskhar-e-Taiba, was one of the key
planners of the Mumbai attack that
killed 166 people. The court observed
that the prosecution has been unable
to provide evidence against him. He
and six others had applied for the bail
on 17 December. Granting of bail to
Lakhvi came as a big shock to India,
especially just a day after Pakistan
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had
pledged to root out terrorism from his
country. It is worth mentioning that the
seven accused Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid,
Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq,
Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and
Younis Anjum are facing trial at the
Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

5) Which West Indian cricketer hit six


sixes in an over on 16 December 2014
during a trial match for Australia s Big
Bash season? Kieron Pollard
Explanation: Kieron Pollard smashed
six sixes in an over in a trial game for
the Big Bash team Adelaide Strikers.

He thus joined the elite league of 5


players Sir Garfield Sobers (1968),
Ravi J. Shastri (1985), Herschelle
Gibbs (2007), Yuvraj Singh (2007) and
Jordan Clark (2013) to achieve this
feat. Big Bash season started from 18
December.

December 20-21, 2014

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44 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) Which team won the inaugural


edition of the Indian Super League
(ISL) which concluded on 20
December
2014?
Atletico
de
Kolkata
Explanation: Atletico
de
Kolkata
defeated Kerala Blasters by 1-0 in the
final of the inaugural edition of ISL
played at Mumbais D.Y. Patil Stadium
on 20 December. The solitary goal for
Kolkata was scored by substitute
Mohammad Rafique in the 94th minute,
a minute before the second half injury
time was slated to end. The final was
billed as a clash between cricketing
heroes Sachin Tendulkar co-owner
of the Kerala side and Atletico De

Kolkata part-owner Sourav Ganguly.


ISL is Indias first real professional
football league featuring some top
international names. In its inaugural
edition, which started on 12 October
2014, eight teams took part Atltico
de Kolkata (Kolkata), Chennaiyin
(Chennai), Delhi Dynamos (Delhi), FC
Goa (Goa), Kerala Blasters (Kerala),
Mumbai City (Mumbai), NorthEast
United (Guwahati) and Pune City
(Pune). ISL is owned by Reliance
Industries
Limited
(RIL)
and
International
Management
Group
(IMG).

2) In an important development on 19
December 2014 Indian scientists
claimed achieving self-reliance in
development of which armament after
successfully testing it? Glide Bomb
Explanation: Glide Bomb relies on
small control surfaces which direct the
weapon towards a target as it
progressively loses altitude after being
released from an aircraft. Unlike
missiles, glide bombs have no

onboard motor and are therefore far


cheaper to build and maintain than
missiles. On 19 December 2014 India
tested a one ton indigenouslydeveloped glide bomb in the Bay of
Bengal off the coast of Odisha which
successfully hit a target 100 kms
away. The bomb was dropped by an
Indian Air Force aircraft. It was
developed by multiple centres linked to
the
Defence
Research
and
Development Organisation (DRDO).

undertaking (PSU) and has so far


made 92 warships for the Indian Navy
and Coast Guard. Coast Guard Ship
Barracuda (CGS Barracuda) is an
offshore patrol vessel measuring
measures 74.10 m in length. It is
capable of moving at a maximum
speed of 22 knots with an approximate
displacement of 1350 tonnes. The
handing over ceremony of the warship
was attended by Minister of State for
Defence Rao Inderjit Singh.

3) The Mid-Year Economic Review for


fiscal year 2014-15 was tabled in the
Lok Sabha on 19 December 2014.
According to this review the Indian
economy is expected to record what
growth rate during the year? 5.5%

5) The RBI Deputy Governor H R


Khan on 19 December 2014 stated
that RBI will come out with norms on
easing the two-factor authentication
requirement
for
small
value
transactions in a couple of months.
What is the limit for small value
transactions as proposed by the RBI
for same? Rs. 3,000

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45 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Explanation: The Mid-Year Economic


Review (2014-15) was prepared by
Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic
Advisor in the Finance Ministry. In the
review it was stated that adhering to
the fiscal deficit target of 4.1% of GDP
is a major challenge for the
government. The Finance Ministry is
now betting big on a pick-up in
economic activity in the second half of
the year.

4) India on 20 December 2014


exported its first warship CGS
Barracuda to Mauritius. Which shipbuilding company of the country has
built this warship? Garden Reach
Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited
(GRSE)
Explanation: Kolkata-based Garden
Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers
Limited (GRSE) is a public sector

Explanation: RBI
is
looking
at
removing the two-factor authentication
requirement
for
small
value
transactions
up
to Rs. 3,000
to
facilitate easy transactions especially
in
the
wake
of
e-commerce
transactions gaining traction.

6) E-commerce major Flipkart on 20


December 2014 filed application to
become a public company. Flipkart is
being based operated through which
country from where it is now being
incorporated as a public company?
Singapore
Explanation: Flipkart announced filing
application with Singapore based
companies
regulator
ACRA
to
become a public company after raising

$700 million for long term strategic


investments in India. Following this
latest investment round its number of
investors exceeded 50 and public
incorporation
is
a
mandatory
procedure for all companies where the
number of shareholders exceeds 50.
Flipkart was founded in 2007 by
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
Legally, Flipkart is a Banglore based
company
but
majority
of
its
shareholders and investors are
foreigners. It is presently Indias
largest e-retail company and is valued
over $10 billion.

7) The name of the co-founder of


SpiceJet came to news for leading a
$240 million rescue effort to pull the

airline from the brink of collapse. Who


is he? Ajay Singh
Explanation: Ajay Singh was one of
the co-founders of SpiceJet and he
had helped set up the airline in 2005.
SpiceJet is presently Indias secondlargest budget airline but it has been
struggling for months. When Kalanithi
Maran bought 58.4% stake in SpiceJet
in 2010, it was the most profitable
airline in the Indian skies. But a series
of bad decisions including replacing
professionals with family and friends to
run the airline have put the carrier in
deep trouble. Ajay Singh owns roughly
5% of SpiceJet and is leading talks
with private equity firms and the
government to hammer out the deal to
rescue it.

December 22, 2014

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46 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Development Authority (IRDA) was


tabled in Parliament by Union Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley during December
2014. According to this report what
percentage of Indian population has
been covered under health insurance?
Around 17%

1) A latest report on the status of


health insurance in India prepared by
the
Insurance
Regulatory
and

Explanation: This IRDA report stated


that Only 21.62 crore people, or
around 17% of the total population,
were covered by health insurance at
the end of March 2014. It is worth
mentioning that the figure of health
insurance quoted in this IRDA report is
far fewer than the estimates given by a
World Bank report of 2012. The World

Bank
report
of
2012
titled
Government-Sponsored
Health
Insurance in India: Are You Covered?
estimated that over 30 crore people, or
more than 25% of the population,
gained access to some form of health
insurance by 2010, up from 5.5 crore
during 2003-04. More than 18 crore of
them were people below the poverty
line. World Bank report found that from
2007 to 2012, government-sponsored
schemes contributed to a significant
increase in the population covered by
health insurance, at a pace possibly
unseen elsewhere in the world.

National
Rural
Employment
Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) job
cards
- Scheduled Caste (SC) and
Scheduled
Tribe
(ST)
farm
households were over-represented
among the poorest classes with the
smallest land holdings
- Large farmers were almost
exclusively OBC or forward caste
- Wheat is the most commonly
grown crop in the first half of the
year
- Paddy growing dominates the
second half

2) The National Sample Survey Office


(NSSO) released the findings from its
70thSituation
of
Agricultural
Households in India on 20 December
2014. This is the most extensive
survey of farm households to date
conducted by NSSO. What are the
most important conclusions of this
survey?
- Around 90% of Indias farmers
have less than two hectares of land

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47 CURRENT AFFAIRS

- One in three farm households has


less than 0.4 hectares of land and
less than 0.5% are large farmers,
having over 10 hectares of land
- The average farm household
makes less than Rs. 6,500 a month
from all sources of income
- Over half of all agricultural
households are in debt and 42% of
them owe money to banks and 26%
owe moneylenders
Over
40%
of
agricultural
households have Mahatma Gandhi

- Sugarcane is the most profitable


crop, giving its cultivator an
average of over Rs 80,000 per
season
- Private traders dominate the
procurement
space,
and
few
farmers have enough information
about Minimum Support Prices or
report getting the MSP for their
produce

3) Which river in Bangladesh was the


site of a huge oil spill in December
2014 that is now threatening a huge
ecological disaster in the ecologically
sensitive Sunderbans area? Sela
River
Explanation: An oil tanker named OT
Southern Star 7 had spilled nearly 350
tonnes of oil into the Sela River with
an empty cargo vessel on 12
December 2014. The collision sent
Indian official agencies, including the
West Bengal forest department,

Border Security Force (BSF) and the


Coast Guard, into a tizzy on
speculation that the spillage might
cross over to the Indian side of the
forest. The Sunderbans is one of the
32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in
India, known for its cultural and natural
importance. The forest is home to the
Royal Bengal Tiger, Olive Ridley turtle,
Ganges dolphin and several migratory
birds from Siberia, apart from rare
species of crocodiles.

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48 CURRENT AFFAIRS

4) During December 2014 Union Govt.


decided to set up Power System
Operation Corporation (POSOCO) as
an
independent
public
sector
company. What is the main operation
of POSOCO? It operates the
National Load Despatch Centre and
the Regional Load Despatch Centre
which are responsible for operating
the electricity market in the country
Explanation: POSOCO is also the
nodal agency for major reforms in the
power sector such as Renewable
Energy
Certificate
mechanism,
transmission pricing, short term open
access in transmission, deviation
settlement mechanism and the power
system development fund (PSDF). It
will now become a wholly owned
Government of India company under
the Power Ministry.
5) Who was appointed as the new
Director of Research and Analysis
Wing
(RAW),
Indias
external
intelligence agency during December
2014? Rajinder Khanna
Explanation: Khanna is from the 1978
IPS batch and of the Odisha cadre and

has held several operational roles. He


is known as a counter-terror expert in
the intelligence circle. He was to retire
on 29 December 2014, but will now
get a two-year fixed tenure to head the
RAW.

6) Who was appointed as the new


Director-General of the Central
Reserve Police Force (CRPF) by the
Union Govt. on 20 December 2014?
Prakash Mishra
Explanation: Prakash Mishra was the
Special Secretary (Internal Security) in
the Union Home Ministry till now. He is
senior 1977-batch IPS officer of the
Odisha cadre and has served as
Director-General of the Odisha Police
and in the National Investigation
Agency (NIA).

7) Who won the Golden Boot award


for scoring the highest number of
goals in the inaugural Indian Super
League (ISL) that concluded on 20
December
2014?

Elano
Blumer (Chennaiyin FC)
Explanation: Brazilian striker Elano
scored eight goals in 11 matches,
apart from one assist and thus
grabbed the Golden Boot award. In
goal scoring he is followed by FC
Goas Mirosalv Slepicka (five goals/
four assists, 10 games), Kerala
Blasters Iain Hume (five/ three, 16),
Delhi Dynamos Gustavo Santos (five/
two, 15) and ATKs Fikru Lemessa
(five/ two, 11). The Golden Glove
Award for best goalkeeper was
awarded to FC Goas goalkeeper Jan
Seda who topped with 40 saves/

seven clean sheets in 14 matches for

his team.

December 23, 2014


Jasmine Revolution and began the
so-called Arab Spring.

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49 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) Who was declared winner in


Tunisias first free presidential election
held on 21 December the results for
which were declared on 22 December
2014? Beji Caid Essebsi
Explanation: Beji Caid Essebsi is a
veteran
of
Tunisias
political
establishment and he won over 55% of
votes in the presidential elections held
on 21 December. He defeated former
human rights activist and incumbent
Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki.
Marzouki has been an interim
president for the transitional period
since he was voted into the post by the
constituent assembly in December
2011. This election was Tunisias first
free
presidential
election
since
independence from France in 1956. It
is worth mentioning that 88-year old
Caid Essebsi was persuaded out of
retirement following the peoples
revolution that overthrew the regime of
Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January
2011 This revolution is known as

2) The 2013 data for the Sample


Registration Survey (SRS), conducted
by the Registrar General of India
(RGI), was released on 22 December
2014. The most important population
trend revealed in SRS was that fertility
rate is falling faster than expected in
India. In how many states the Total
Fertility Rate has fallen below two
children per woman? Eight
Explanation: Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
is the average number of children that
will be born to a woman during her
lifetime. It was revealed that this rate
has fallen below 2 in eight states
Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir,
Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. SRS
also revealed that Indias overall TFR
stood at 2.3 and is now just 0.2 points
away from reaching replacement
levels. Replacement level is the level
below which populations begin to
decline and it is 2.1 for the country.
Demographic experts believe that
India will achieve its demographic
transition and reach replacement
levels as early as 2020 or 2022.

3) The Advisory Group for Integrated


Development of Power, Coal and
Renewable Energy set up by the union
govt. during June 2014 submitted its
report during December 2014. The
group has primarily recommended
urgent action on providing coal
linkages to power plants likely to be
commissioned by March 2015. Who
headed this group? Suresh Prabhu
(present Rail Minister)

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50 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Explanation: This Advisory Group


was set up by the Government on 25
June 2014. Its report was tabled in the
Lok Sabha during December 2014. On
the power sector, the Advisory Groups
recommendations
include
urgent
reforms in the distribution sector,
phasing out old thermal power plants
which are inefficient and consume
more fuel. It also suggested that
opening up of the coal sector may be
necessary for enhancing the domestic
production. For renewable energy, the
Group suggested that large scale
capacity will be required to balance the
power sector profile of the country.

4) Indian Navy achieved a huge


milestone in the field of naval aviation
when the first prototype (NP1) of Naval
Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) made its
first successful flight from ski-jump
facility on 20 December 2014. This
historic flight was conducted at which
shore-based test facility of the Indian
Navy? INS Hansa in Goa
Explanation: The Naval Light Combat
Aircraft (LCA) is the first indigenously
designed and the 4th plus generation

combat aircraft. It has been designed


to operate from the decks of air-craft
carriers. Its first prototype was
successfully tested at INS Hansa
(Goa) on 20 December. The Naval
version of LCA is designed with
stronger landing gears to absorb
forces exerted by the ski jump ramp
during take-off, to be airborne within
200m as against 1000m required for
normal runways. This prototype was
piloted by Commodore Jaideep
Maolankar, the Chief Test Pilot of
National Flight Test Centre. The Shore
Based Test Facility at INS Hansa has
been created to replicate the aircraft
carrier with a ski jump for take-off and
arresting gear cable for arrested
landing by Aeronautical Development
Agency with the participation of the
Indian Navy, Goa shipyard and Indian
Navy with Russian agencies providing
the design support and specialised
equipment.

5) Indian Railways is in the process of


forming special purpose vehicles
(SPVs) with state governments to
undertake railway development in
states. Under this initiative the railways
has formed SPV with the Odisha Govt.
some time back. By forming SPVs with
the states, what Indian Railways
expect from them? To bear part of
the funding for development of
railway infrastructure in these
states
Explanation: Indian Railways wants
states to form special purpose vehicles
(SPVs) which would take care of
bearing the costs incurred to
developed railway infrastructure in the

states. SPVs would be able to raise


funds
through
their
respective
mechanisms and with support from the
Ministry of Railways.

6) Which Indian golfer won the


inaugural Dubai Open title on 21
December 2014? Arjun Atwal
Explanation: Ace golfer Arjun Atwal
ended his four-year title drought as he
won
the
inaugural
edition
of
US$500,000 Dubai Open at the Els
Club in Dubai. He held on to his
nerves to push 19-year-old Korean
Wang Jeung-hun to second place.
Atwal won his first and only title on the
PGA Tour in 2010, and his last
success on the Asian Tour came in
2008.

7) Rupert Murdoch-led News-Corp


acquired
which
Indian
financial
education website as announced on
21
December
2014?

BigDecisions.com
Explanation: BigDecisions.com is a
Mumbai-based financial education
website. It was founded by former Citi
banker and IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus
Manish Shah in 2013 by tying up with
a former-Arthur Andersen and KPMG
consultant-turned-techie-turnedinsurance professional Gaurav Roy. It
is worth mentioning that News-Corp
had picked up a strategic stake in
PropTiger.com, a leading residential
real estate platform, another Indian
website just a month ago.

December 24, 2014

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51 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Jammu & Kashmir Peoples


Democratic Party (JKPDP)

1) Which party emerged as the largest


party in Jammu & Kashmir Assembly
elections of 2014, results for which
were declared on 23 December 2014?

Explanation: JKPDP won 28 out of


total 87 assembly seats that went to
polls. It was closely followed by the
BJP which won 25 seats. Ruling
National Conference (NC) was at third
place with 15 seats while Congress
was able to save itself from being
decimated by winning 12 seats.
JKPDP was formed in 1998 by former
Union
Home
Minister
Mufti
Mohammad Sayeed. It had captured
power in the state in 2002 assembly
elections. BJP was the biggest gainer

in these elections as it was able to


significantly increase its tally from just
1 seat in 2002 and 11 seats in 2008 to
25 seats now. However, it was clear
that any govt. in state would be formed
only by a coalition.
Party Name (No. of Seats out of 87)
Jammu & Kashmir Peoples
Democratic Party ( 28 )
Bharatiya Janata Party ( 25 )
Jammu & Kashmir National
Conference ( 15 )
Indian National Congres ( 12 )
Jammu & Kashmir People
Conference ( 2 )
Independents and others ( 5 )

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52 CURRENT AFFAIRS

2) Jharkhand
got
first
stable
government since it was formed in
2000 when the results for states
Assembly Elections were declared on
23 December 2014. BJP-led coalition
was able to win 42 seats out of total 81
seats in Jharkhand Assembly. BJP
won 37 seats on its own while its
coalition partner was able to win 5
seats. What is the name of BJPs
coalition partner? All Jharkhand
Students Union (AJSU)
Explanation: AJSU was formed in
1986 and was modelled after All
Assam Students Union (AASU) of
Prafulla Mahanta. It is led by Sudesh
Mahto. Party won 5 seats despite
Sudesh Mahto losing from his Silli seat
which he represented for around 15
years. The ruling Jharkhand Mukti
Morcha (JMM) won 19 seats and its
partner in government Congress won
6 seats. While BJP numbers more
than doubled from 18 in 2009 to 37

this
election,
JMMs
numbers
improved by one from 18 to 19 despite
the loss of government. Chief Minister
Hemant Soren won from Barhait by a
good margin of 24,087 votes while lost
in Dumka by a 5,262 votes. Jharkhand
Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) of former
Chief Minister Babulal Marandi won 8
seats. Jharkhand has seen a long
series of unstable politics since it was
formed 14 years ago in 2000. It has
seen nine governments and three
stints of Presidents rule in these 14
years.
Party Name (No. of Seats out of 81)
Bharatiya Janata party ( 37 )
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ( 19 )
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha
(Prajatantrik) ( 8 )
Indian National Congress ( 6 )
All Jharkhand Students Union
(5)
Bahujan Samaj Party ( 1 )
Others ( 5 )

3) Veteran director and filmmaker K.


Balachander passed away on 23
December 2014 at private hospital in
Chennai. He was 84. In which year he
was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke
award, the highest recognition for
excellence in cinema in the country?
2010
Explanation: K. Balachander was an
institution in himself and was revered
for being a talent-spotter both among
artistes and technicians. Apart from
directing over 150 films he was known
for nurturing innumerable talents in
film industry. The two greatest talents
he has nurtured are Kamal Hassan

and Rajinikanth. Balachanders most


prolific years were in the three
decades from 1960s to the 1980s.
Among Balachanders best-known
films
are Aval
Ora
Thodar
Kathai, Apoorva
Raagangal, Avargal, Varumayin
Niram Sigappu and 47 Natkal. He
also directed Bollywood hit Ek Duuje
Ke Liye starring Kamal Haasan and
Rati Agnihotri.

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53 CURRENT AFFAIRS

4) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on


23 December extended the deadline
for exchanging pre-2005 currency
notes of various denominations
including Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000. What
is the new deadline? 30 June 2015
Explanation: Earlier in March 2014
the RBI had set 1 January 2015 as the
deadline to exchange pre-2005
currency notes. Thus it extended this
deadline by 6 months. RBI also
clarified that all such notes will
continue to remain a legal tender.
These notes can be exchanged for
their full value. Currency notes issued
before 2005 do not have the year of
printing on the reverse side. In notes
issued after 2005, the year of printing
is visible at the bottom on the reverse.
Post-2005 notes have added security
features and help in curbing the
menace of fake currency. Seeking
cooperation for withdrawing pre-2005
currency notes from circulation, the
RBI has asked the public to deposit
the old design notes in their bank
accounts or exchange them at a bank
branch convenient to them.

5) The Union Government on 23


December
2014
constituted
a
committee to examine the possibility of
constitution of a Special Investigation
Team (SIT) for reinvestigation of the
1984 anti-Sikh riot cases. Who is
heading this committee? Justice
(retired) G.P. Mathur (former Judge
of the Supreme Court)
Explanation: The
committee
will
submit its report within 3 months. The
1984 riots had broken out after the
assassination of the then Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi. Many parties
including the BJP were demanding
reinvestigation into all cases related to
these riots. Supreme Court lawyer
H.S. Phoolka, who has been fighting
the anti-Sikh riot cases, had in an
open letter to then Law Minister Ravi
Shankar Prasad, demanded that an
SIT be set up to probe the riots. The
committee will also oversee the
implementation of the payment of
enhanced compensation of Rs. 5 lakh
per person killed during the riots, as
approved by the Union Cabinet on 10
December 2014.

6) US retail major Walmart announced


opening a new cash and carry store in
India after a gap of two years. The last
store opened by it was in Bhopal in
2012. Where is this new cash and
carry store being opened? Agra
Explanation: Walmart runs 20 cash
and carry stores under brand Best
Price across 9 states. The company is
focusing only on cash and carry
business in India in the absence of
clarity on FDI in multi-brand retail
trade. Earlier this year, Walmart

announced plans to open 50


wholesale stores in the next 4-5 years

to expand its footprint across the


country.

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54 CURRENT AFFAIRS

December 25, 2014

1) The Union Government on 24


December 2014 made announcement
to award the Bharat Ratna, countrys
highest civilian honour to former Prime
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and
educationist and social reformer
Madan Mohan Malviya. With this
announcement
how
many
personalities have received Bharat
Ratna? Forty Five (45)
Explanation: Educationist
Madan
Mohan Malviya and former Prime
Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee are the
44th and 45thdistinguished personalities
who have been conferred with
countrys highest civilian award. The
announcement of Bharat Ratna for
Madan Mohan Malviya and Atal Behari

Vajpayee was made after a meeting of


the Union Cabinet took place on 24
December.
The
announcement
coincides with Vajpayees birthday on
December 25 which the government
has already declared as Good
Governance Day. A Bharat Ratna for
Madan Mohan Malaviya, freedom
fighter and educationist popularly
known as Mahamana, was one of the
promises made by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi during his election
campaigns. Malviya is the 11th person
to receive the award posthumously,
while Vajpayee is the sixth Prime
Minister to receive the award. Malviya
established
the
Banaras
Hindu
University (BHU), Asias largest
residential university in 1916. Bharat
Ratna, the countrys highest civilian
award instituted in 1954, is given in
recognition of exceptional service,
performance of the highest order in
any field of human endeavour. Any
person without distinction of race,
occupation, position or sex is eligible
for this award. The recommendations
for Bharat Ratna are made by the
Prime Minister to the President. The
number of annual awards is restricted
to a maximum of three in a particular
year. On conferment of the award, the
recipient receives a Sanad (certificate)

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55 CURRENT AFFAIRS

signed by
medallion.

the

President

and

weapons. When was this treaty


adopted by the United Nations (UN)?
2 April 2013

2) The suspected Bodo militants


belonging to the National Democratic
Front of Bodoland (NDFB) faction
carried out a series of horrendous
massacres on 23 and 24 December
2014 in Assam and killed over 70 tribal
people. Which two districts of the state
faced major brunt of these attacks?
Sonitpur and Kokrajhar

Explanation: The
Treaty
was
negotiated at a global conference
under the auspices of the United
Nations from July 227, 2012, in New
York. Later the UN adopted it on 2
April 2013. It has been signed by 130
countries while 61 countries ratified it.
The ATT is part of a larger global effort
begun in 1997 by Costa Rican
President and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize
laureate Oscar Arias. However, India
is not a signatory of ATT as it feels
that the Treaty is weak on terrorism
and non-state actors and these
concerns find no mention in the
specific prohibitions of the Treaty.
Further, India said that it cannot
accept the Treaty as it could be used
as an instrument in the hands of
exporting states to take unilateral force
majeure measures against importing
states parties without consequences. It
is generally perceived that ATT would
not be able to disarm the world at it
merely puts responsibility on the
sellers of arms for their end use.

Explanation: Heavily armed militants


suspected to be associated with the
Songbijit faction of NDFB went on a
killing spree and killed the adivasis
mainly in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar
districts as well as Chiang district and
killed many people. Later many people
succumbed while receiving treatment
in various hospitals. Later militants
launched fresh attack in Udalguri
district on 24 December. The latest
incidents of violence occurred very
near to the inter-state border between
Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The
NDFB and its factions are fighting for a
separate homeland for indigenous
Bodo tribesmen, saying that the teagrowing state has been flooded with
outsiders. Adivasis, who migrated to
Assam more than 100 years ago, have
been targeted by Bodo rebels in the
past along with Muslim settlers in the
state.

3) In a historic development the


multilateral Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)
came to force from 24 December
2014. ATT aims to regulate the
international trade in conventional

4) The union cabinet on 24 December


2014 approved ordinances to push
reforms in the coal and insurance
sectors after it was unable to pass bills
for these in the winter session of
Parliament that ended on 23
December. The Bills could not be
taken up in the Rajya Sabha as a
united opposition held up proceedings
for much of the month-long session.
The Insurance Bill has been pending

in the Rajya Sabha since which year?


2008
Explanation: The Insurance Laws
Amendment Bill, 2008 seeks to make
way for hike in foreign investment limit
in insurance sector to 49% from
existing 26%. The 49% cap would
include both FDI and foreign portfolio
investments. The move to hike foreign
investment limit in the insurance sector
is seen as a game changer for private
insurance players, who could now look
to raise much needed capital to fund
business growth. The Coal Mines
(Special Provisions) Bill, 2014 has
already been approved by the Lok
Sabha during the session but could
not be approved in the upper house
due to disruptions. However, the
opposition parties including Congress
and CPM reprimanded the govt. to
bring in ordinances on such important
issues and thus bypassing the
Parliament.

5) What important recommendation


was made by I.M.G. Khan Committee
which was constituted in February
2014 to review the existing test system
of the Staff Selection Commission
(SSC)? SSC exam should be
conducted online
Explanation: During February 2014
the Union Govt. had constituted an
expert
committee
under
the
chairmanship of former Union Public
Service Commission Member I.M.G.
Khan
to
review
the
existing
examination system of SSC. The
committee made recommendation to
conduct SSC exam through online
mode. Other suggestions include use
of biometrics at every stage, digital
height-weight-chest measurement with
webcam
display,
radio-frequency
identification chip, barcoded pure
carbon-less optical mark recognition,
mobile jammers, CCTV recordings of
all events and online validation of data.
Three working groups were formed to
deliberate
on
committees
recommendations.

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56 CURRENT AFFAIRS

December 26, 2014


1) The Union Government has notified
Printing of One Rupee Currency
Notes Rules, 2015, which will come
into effect from 1 January 2015. This
means that the 1 rupee paper note,
which was discontinued due to high
cost, would make its comeback. When

the Re. 1 paper note discontinued?


November 1994

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57 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Explanation: Due to higher cost and


for freeing capacity to print higher
denomination notes, printing Re. 1
note was discontinued in November
1994, followed by Rs. 2 in February
1995, and Rs. 5 in November 1995.
Since then, only coins have been
issued for these denominations.
However, old notes are still in
circulation and remain legal tender.
The new Re. 1 note will be different in
terms of colour, too. It will be
predominantly pink and green. Earlier,
the Re. 1 currency note had a
predominantly indigo colour. Also, the
new note will have Bharat Sarkar on
its masthead, with Government of
India printed below that. As before,
the new one rupee note will have the
signature of the Finance Secretary.
Apart from the one rupee note, all
other paper currency (Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs.
10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500
and Rs. 1,000) will have the signature
of the RBI Governor, as these are
issued by the Reserve Bank of India,
whereas Re. 1 is issued by the
Government of India.

2) Former Prime Minister Atal Behari


Vajpayees birthday (25 December)
was observed as which national day
for the first time, as announced by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2
December
2014?
Good
Governance Day
Explanation: First Good Governance
Day was observed on 25 December
2014 and on this occasion all
government officials vowed to provide

good
governance
through
improvement
in
their
services.
However, some controversy was also
created as a circular pertaining to this
had stated that December 25 will be a
working day (for the government) as
Good Governance Day will be
observed. The principal opposition
party, the Congress, criticized the BJP
government
for
setting
Good
Governance Day on the same date as
Christmas, and for declaring this date
as a government working day.

3) Health & Family Welfare Ministry


launched Mission Indradhanush on
25 December 2014. What is the
objective of this initiative? To
achieve full immunization coverage
for all children by 2020
Explanation: The
Mission
Indradhanush, depicting seven colours
of the rainbow, aims to cover all those
children by 2020 who are either
unvaccinated,
or
are
partially
vaccinated against seven vaccine
preventable diseases which include
diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus,
polio, tuberculosis, measles and
hepatitis B. The ministry has identified
201 high focus districts in the country
in the first phase which has nearly
50% of all unvaccinated or partially
vaccinated children. These districts will
be targeted by intensive efforts to
improve the routine immunization
coverage. Of the 201 districts, 82
districts are in just four states of UP,
Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan
and nearly 25% of the unvaccinated or
partially vaccinated children of India
are in these 82 districts of 4 states.

WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International


and other donor partners will provide
technical support in implementing
Mission Indradhanush.

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58 CURRENT AFFAIRS

4) The
Parliamentary
Standing
Committee on Labour that looked into
the changes proposed in the Factories
Amendment Bill, 2014 tabled its report
in the Parliament during December
2014. One of the most important
suggestions of this committee is that
labour courts be set up within the
factory complex for on-the-spot
disposal of complaints/grievances.
Who headed this committee?
Virendra Kumar, BJP MP
Explanation: The Committee also
suggested that all factory workers be
controlled
by
the
Labour
Commissioner concerned and a
periodical audit by an independent
agency should be conducted to certify
compliance. The Committee did not
accept the amendment to raise the
threshold limit of employment (for
falling under the purview of the
Factories Act) from 10 to 20 workers
(in case of factories using power) and
from 20 to 40 workers (in case of
factories not using power). The
Factories Amendment Bill, 2014 one of
the key labour reforms being pushed
by the Narendra Modi Government,
was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 7
August 2014. It was referred to the
Parliamentary Standing Committee by
the Speaker for examination.

5) Anil Ambani-led Reliance Capital


recently entered into a long-term
strategic alliance with which Japanese
banking group to make its foray into
the banking sector? Sumitomo
Mitsui Trust Bank
Explanation: As
part
of
the
agreement, the Reliance Capital will
allot a 2.77% stake valued at Rs. 371
crore through a preferential allotment
with a one year lock-in period to
Sumitomo. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust
Group is the fourth-largest bank in
Japan by market capitalisation and
corporate loans, and Japans largest
financial institution managing assets of
$682 billion with assets under custody
of $1.8 trillion as of September 2014.
6) Which airline introduced worlds
first-of-its-kind
three-room
suite
service on its planes during December
2014? Etihad
Explanation: Etihads
three-room
suite service has been named
Residence by Etihad and it is the
only three-room suite in the sky at
present. Residence by Etihah
features a living room, separate
ensuite shower room, and bedroom,
and as another first in the industry, a
dedicated Butler. Measuring 125
square feet in total, Residence by
Etihad is located on the forward upper
deck of the A380 and is for single or
double occupancy. Etihads A380 will
start its daily operations to London
Heathrow from 27 December 2014.

December 27-28, 2014


Congress in the east. The Congress
still holds the edge in the north-east
but is reduced in size in the south.
Taken together with the Lok Sabha
elections, where the BJP with 282
seats had its best ever showing, and
the Congress with 44 seats had by far
its lowest result, the numbers show
that this is by far the Congress lowest
ever ebb in Indian politics.

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59 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) What achievement was made by


the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for
the first time in Indias electoral history
recently? It became the first
political party in India to have more
state legislators than the Congress
across the country
Explanation: According to the data
compiled by Sonipat-based Ashoka
Universitys Political Data Centre the
total number of BJP state legislators
(MLAs) stood at 1058 while there were
949 Congress legislators across the
country. For the BJP, which has never
before had more than 1,000 MLAs,
this is a historic peak. For the
Congress, which only fell below 1,000
MLAs in the 1977 and 1979 elections,
this is its lowest point ever. Moreover,
the numbers show that from being a
regionally concentrated party, the
BJPs spread of state legislators is
now geographically far more diverse. It
dominates Indias north, has doubled
the Congress presence in the west
and is neck-and-neck with the

2) Who was elected as the new Chief


Minister of Jharkhand on 26 December
2014 by the BJP legislature party thus
paving the way for him to lead the
BJP-AJSU alliance government in the
state? Raghuvar Das
Explanation: Raghuvar Das is a fivetime MLA from the state. Das, who
originally hails from neighboring
Chhattisgarh, has been a Tata Steel
employee and later entered into
politics. He has been the states Urban
Development Minister and also a
Deputy chief Minister. On 26
December he met the Governor Syed
Ahmed and staked his partys claim to
form the government.

3) Indian Army chief General Dalbir


Singh Suhag reviewed the security
situation in Assam on 27 December
2014. This review was done in the
shadow of which incident in the state?
The killing of tribals by Bodo
militants

Explanation: General Suhag had a


meeting with Union Home Minister
Rajnath Singh on 26 December over
the situation in Assam. Following this
he reviewed the situation in the state
where was given an overview of the
current status of operations, including
the various measures taken to improve
the larger security situation. He
reviewed the deployment of 66 Army
columns in the disturbed areas, after
violence unleashed by Bodo militants
left 73 people dead and rendered over
70,000 homeless in the four districts of
Kokrajhar, Chirang, Sonitpur and
Udalguri. It is worth mentioning that
security forces have intensified
operations along the international
border with Bhutan in view of this
massacre in which around 80 tribals
were killed by Bodo militants. Later
tribals also retaliated and killed a few
Bodo people.

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60 CURRENT AFFAIRS

4) Which e-retail company recently


tied up with India Post (Indian postal
department) to bring thousands of
weavers and artisans from Varanasi
through its website? Snapdeal
Explanation: Snapdeal has launched
a pilot project with India Post to set-up
facilitation desks at Varanasi post
offices to enable local weavers to sell
on its platform. This initiative has been
launched to empower local artisans,
small and medium entrepreneurs to
sustain their livelihood by providing a
platform to popularise their indigenous
products. Through this association,
weavers will be able to access the
national audience by listing their
products on Snapdeal, at negligible

cost. The post offices will act as a


dropping point for sellers, and India
Post will deliver the goods to the
buyers.

5) Indian captain Mahendra Singh


Dhoni broke the world record for most
number of stumpings in international
cricket
after
he
effected
his
th
134 dismissals on day two of the third
cricket Test against Australia in
Melbourne on 27 December 2014.
Whose record he broke? Kumar
Sangakkara
Explanation: Dhoni surpassed Sri
Lankas Kumar Sangakkara when he
stumped Mitchell Johnson off the
bowling of off-spinner Ravichandran
Ashwin for his world record dismissal.
He reached the landmark in his
460th innings while Sangakkara has
133 stumpings from 485 innings. Sri
Lankas
other
keeper
Romesh
Kaluwitharana is third on the list with
101 stumpings from 270 innings, while
another Indian, Nayan Mongia is
10th on the list with 52 stumpings.
Dhoni has 38 stumpings to his name in
Tests, 85 in ODIs and 11 in T20s.

6) During December 2014 the name of


Rajhans Vidyalaya (Andheri) came to
limelight in the Mumbai Schools Sports
Association (MSSA) Harris Shield
Plate Division boys U-16 inter-school
cricket championship due to which
reason? This schools team was
bundled out for just 4 runs in the
final of the championship
Explanation: Yashodham
High
School (Goregaon) bundled out

Rajhans Vidyalayas whole team for a


paltry score of just 4 runs in the
second innings to win the final. This
final was placed at Shivaji Park during
December. Just one player of Rajhans
Vidyalaya could score 2 runs while all

others were out for duck. Two runs


came through extras. This was
Yashodham High Schools maiden
Plate Division (Group D) title which
they won by an innings and 187 runs.

December 29, 2014


support mission for Afghan forces.
Around 3,500 soldiers belonging to
ISAF were killed in 13-year long
operation including 2,224 American
soldiers. However, the insurgency that
ISAF has fought in Afghanistan for last
13 years remains as ferocious and
deadly as at any time since the 2001
invasion.

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61 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) The United States and NATO on 28


December 2014 marked the formal
end of the war in Afghanistan with a
ceremony
at
their
military
headquarters in Kabul. These western
troops have been in Afghanistan since
2001 and had unseated the Taliban
regime following the 11 September
New York attacks. What was the
official name of this force led by the
United
States?
International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
Explanation: International
Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) was set up in
2001 after the U.S.-led invasion as an
umbrella for the coalition of around 50
nations that provided troops and took
responsibility for security across the
country. From 1 January 2015 its
combat role in Afghanistan would end
and it will change into a training and

2) BJPs Raghubar Das took over as


the 10th Chief Minister of Jharkhand on
28
December
2014.
He
was
administered oath of office by
Governor Syed Ahmed at capital
Ranchis
Birsa
Munda
Football
Stadium. What is an important fact
associated
with
Raghubar
Das
becoming
Chief
Minister
of
Jharkhand? He is the first nontribal Chief Minister of the state
Explanation: Other than being a nontribal, he originally hails from
neighboring Chhattisgarh state. This
BJP-led government marks first stable
government in the state which was
carved out of Bihar in November 2000.
Jharkhand has had nine governments
and three stints of Presidents Rule

since 2000. The BJP and the All


Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU)
won the state polls, getting 42 seats in
the 81-member assembly. The BJP
emerged as the single largest party
with 37 seats while the AJSU won five
seats.

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62 CURRENT AFFAIRS

3) An AirAsia plane with 161 people on


board lost contact with ground control
on 28 December 2014 while flying
over the Java Sea. This plane was on
its regular flight for Singapore from
which provincial city in Indonesia?
Surabaya
Explanation: AirAsia is a Malaysian
low-cost carrier with presence in
several Southeast Asian countries.
One of its Airbus A320-200 aircrafts
(flight QZ8501) lost communication
with Jakartas air traffic control at 7.24
a.m. (Singapore time), about an hour
before it was scheduled to land in
Singapore. The plane had six crew
and 155 passengers, including 16
children and one infant. The plane lost
contact when it was believed to be
over
the
Java
Sea
between
Kalimantan and Java islands. The
whereabouts of the plane were not
made till early morning of 29
December 2014. This is the third major
air incident for Malaysia this year. On
8 March 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight
370 went missing soon after taking off
from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. It
remains missing until this day with 239
people in one of the biggest aviation
mysteries. Another Malaysia Airlines
flight, also a Boeing 777, was shot
down over rebel-controlled eastern
Ukraine while on a flight from

Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on 17


July 2014. A total of 298 people on
board were killed.

4) One woman was killed and three


were injured in a low-intensity blast
that was set-off by suspected terrorists
using an improvised explosive device
(IED) in a crowded street of Bangalore
on 28 December 2014. This blast was
set-off just outside which popular
eating joint of the city? Coconut
Grove
Explanation: The
improvised
explosive device (IED) was kept
wrapped in a piece of cloth behind a
flower bush in front of Coconut Grove,
a popular joint on Bangalores Church
city. The blast took place at 8:35 pm
and people ran helter-skelter after the
blast. The blast is being investigated
as no organisation has claimed
responsibility for it till late hours of 28
December.

5) What is the name of the Director of


Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
(IIT Delhi) who resigned during
December 2014 amid a controversy
following reports in a section of media
that attributed it to two alleged
requests from the Union Govt.? RK
Shevgaonkar
Explanation: RK
Shevgaonkar
submitted his resignation more than
two years before the end of his tenure.
It was alleged in some sections of
media that he resigned due to friction
with the Union Government after two
alleged requests from it. The first
request was allegedly for land in the

institutes premises for a cricket


academy which will be run by former
cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and
second was for settling a salary dues

case with BJP leader Subramanian


Swamy. However, Union Govt. as well
as Sachin Tendulkar denied these
media allegations.

December 30, 2014


Shri Narendra Modi, approved the
infusion of RS. 60 crore by way of
acquisition of preference shares from
existing share holder(s) in Industrial
Finance Corporation of India (IFCI)
Ltd. to make it a Government
company.

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63 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) GDP growth expected to be


much better in 2015/16
The economy is expected to grow
much better in 2015/16 as per the
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The
Indian economy grew by 5.3 percent in
the September quarter from a year
earlier, and is expected to grow 5.5
percent in the current financial year
that ends on March 31. It is for the first
time after two successive years the
economic growth will be over 5
percent.

2) IFCI to
Company

become

Government

The government will infuse Rs. 60


crore in IFCI Ltd. to make it a
Government Company. The Union
Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister,

Background
Industrial Finance Corporation of India
was set up in 1948 as a Statutory
Corporation under the Industrial
Finance Corporation Act, 1948. IFCI
Ltd was registered under the
Companies Act, 1956 on 31.03.1993.
The
current
shareholding
of
Government of India in IFCI is 47.93
percent. Therefore, IFCI is not a
Government
Company
as
its
shareholding is less than 51 as per
section 2(45) of the Companies Act,
2013. A contribution of Rs. 60 crore to
the capital of the company would raise
the shareholding of the Government to
51 percent.

3) Reform in Land Acquisition


Land Acquisition,
and
Resettlement
Amended.

Rehabilitation
Act2013,

The Government eased the landacquisition rules in sectors like power,

housing and defence to kick-start


stalled projects.
Restrictions on buying land, as per the
law made by the last Congress
government, are among barriers
holding up projects worth almost $300
billion. Several states Revenue
Ministers had asked Prime Minister
Narendra Modi to overhaul the law
enacted in January. Two major

amendments are that the projects in


defence, rural electrification, rural
housing and industrial corridors would
not need to seek the consent of 80
percent of the affected landowners as
mandated and secondly such projects
will also be exempted from holding a
social impact study. However the
compensation to landholders will stay
at four times the market price.

December 31, 2014


fighting it out. Also the decision came
after the third test between India and
Australia concluded in a draw at the
Melbourne
Cricket
Ground on
Tuesday.

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64 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1) MS Dhoni retires from Test


cricket
Dhoni has decided to retire from Test
cricket citing strain of playing all
formats; Virat Kohli to captain India for
fourth and final Test against Australia
in Sydney
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has retired
from his 90-Test cricket career in order
to concentrate on the shorter formats
of ODIs and Twenty 20. Dhonis
decision came as a surprise as he
never gave a hint of his plans postmatch but praised his players for

The 33-year-old Dhoni led India in 60


Tests and has the most number of
victories (27) by an Indian captain. He
took over from Anil Kumble in 2008.
Under his leadership, India reached a
historic No. 1 Test ranking in
December 2009, a position it held for
18 months.
Dhoni captained India to three premier
ICC titles, the No. 1 Test spot, the ICC
World Twenty20 in 2007 and the ICC
ODI World Cup in 2011. Since 2011,
however, India suffered several
setbacks away from home under his
captaincy. In this period, India lost 13
of the 22 Tests it played on foreign
soil, winning only two.

More about Dhoni Indias most


successful test captain ends his long
test ride

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65 CURRENT AFFAIRS

Dhoni also an honorary Indian Army


Lieutenant Colonel announced his
retirement from tests at the age of 33,
after helping India secure a draw in the
third match against Australia. Dhoni
developed his own style of batting and
keeping techniques, with conventional
field settings and displayed a natural
tendency to take calculated risks while
keeping calm. Under his leadership,
India won the Twenty20 World Cup in
2007 and the 50-over World Cup four
years later and became the top-ranked
test team for a year and half in
between.

2) The debris of missing Air Asia


spotted
The debris of AirAsia flight QZ8501 the
missing plane along with floating
bodies of some of the 162 people on
board were spotted on Tuesday in
Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan in
the Java Sea off Indonesia, close to
the area where aircraft lost its contact
on Sunday morning.

He was an explosive middle-order


batsman, made 4,876 runs in 90 Tests
at 38.09. As a wicket-keeper he held
256 catches and effected 38
stumpings. He handled the workload
of being a wicketkeeper batsman and
a captain longer than any other
cricketer in the games history.

About 30 ships and 21 aircraft from


Indonesia,
Australia,
Malaysia,
Singapore, South Korea and the
United States have been involved in
the search. The search process in
coordination with Basarnas (the
National Search and Rescue Agency),
spotted a shadow on the seabed
believed to be that of the Airbus A320200. The air force Hercules found an
object described as a shadow at the
bottom of the sea in the form of a
plane. Indonesian officials said they
recovered several bodies floating in
waters near the area where the
missing plane was last seen.

Dhoni leaves test cricket with a 45


percent winning record as captain to
focus on his favoured limited-overs
game, starting with leading Indias title
defence in the 50-over World Cup.
Dhoni will lead his team mates in
Australia and New Zealand starting in
February, and his fans will get to see
his trademark helicopter shot once
again.

Ten pieces of debris were found


during the search for the ill-fated
AirAsia Indonesia aircraft southwest of
Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan.
The Airbus A320-200 was carrying
155 passengers one British, one
Malaysian, one Singaporean, three
South Koreans, 149 Indonesians
and seven crew members six
Indonesians and a French co-pilot.

66 CURRENT AFFAIRS
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