Saturday, February 28, 2015

Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA)

A Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) will be set-up which will bring both India’s external borrowings and domestic debt under one roof. Presenting the General Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha on 28-02-2015, the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley stated that deepening of the Indian Bond market is one vital factor in promoting investment in India. The process of bringing the Indian Bond Market at the same level as India’s world class equity market is proposed to be initiated by setting-up PDMA. 

Task Force to Establish a Sector Neutral Financial Redressal Agency to be Set Up

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley has proposed to create a task force to establish a sector neutral financial redressal agency that will address grievances against all financial service providers. Presenting the General Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha on 28-02-2015, Shri Jaitley stated that a properly functioning capital market requires proper consumer protection. 

The Finance Minister also informed that the work assigned to the Task Forces on the Financial Data Management Centre, the Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal, the Resolution Corporation, and the Public Debt Management Agency are progressing satisfactorily. 

The Government has also received a large number of suggestions regarding the Indian Financial Code (IFC) which are currently being reviewed by the Justice SriKrishna Committee. The Finance Minister hoped that he would be able to introduce the IFC in Parliament for consideration in due course. 

Five New Ultra-Mega Power Projects to be Set Up

The Government proposes to set-up 5 new Ultra Mega Power Projects, each of 4000 MWs in the plug-and-play mode. Presenting the General Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha on 28-02-2015, the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley stated that all clearances and linkages will be in place before the project is awarded by a transparent auction system. This shall unlock investments to the extent of Rs. 1 lakh crore. Shri Jaitley said the Government would also consider similar plug-and-play projects in other infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, rail lines , airports etc. The Finance Minister announced that the second unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station will be commissioned in 2015-2016. 

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley has announced the setting up of a National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). Presenting the General Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha on 28-02-2015, the Finance Minister stated that an annual flow of Rs.20,000 crore will be ensured for the NIIF. This will enable the Trust to raise debt, and in turn, invest as equity, in infrastructure finance companies such as IRFC and NHB. The infrastructure finance companies can then leverage this extra equity, manifold. 

ATAL Innovation Mission (AIM)

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley has stated his intentions to establish the ATAL Innovation Mission(AIM) in NITI. Presenting the General Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha on 28-02-2015, the Finance Minister stated that AIM will be an Innovation Promotion Platform involving academics, entrepreneurs and researchers and draw upon national and international experiences to foster a culture of innovation, R&D and scientific research in India. Shri Jaitley said that the platform will also promote a network of world-class innovation hubs and Grand Challenges for India. Initially a sum of Rs.150 crore wail be earmarked for this purpose. 

Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU)

Government has announced the setting up of a Self- Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) mechanism. Presenting the General Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha here today, the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley stated that SETU will be a Techno-Financial, Incubation and Facilitation Programme to support all aspects of start up businesses, and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas. An amount of Rs.1000 crore is being set up initially in NITI Aayog for SETU. 

Shri Jaitley stated that “we are now seeing a growing interest in start-ups. Experimenting in cutting edge technologies, creating value out of ideas and initiatives and converting them into scalable enterprises and businesses is at the core of our strategy for engaging our youth and for inclusive and sustainable growth of the country.” He said concerns such as a more liberal system of raising global capital, incubation facilities in our Centres of Excellence, funding for seed capital and growth, and ease of Doing Business etc need to be addressed to create lakh of jobs and hundreds of billion dollars in value. The Minister said, with this objective in mind, SETU is being set up. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3rd Tortoise Festival organised at Hajong Lake in Assam

3rd Tortoise Festival was organised at Hajong Lake in Dima Hasao district of Assam on 21 February 2015. The festival was organised to create awareness among people on the endangered tortoise species by Environment and Forest Department of Dima Hasao. 

The day-long festival saw various activities like discussions, presentation and others aimed at protection of the species. 

About Hajong Lake
• The lake is a unique tortoise habitat and is situated in the Langting Mupa forest reserve at a distance of around 300kilometres from Guwahati 
• The lake is the only natural tortoise home in Assam 
• Hajong Lake that is popularly known as the tortoise lake is a habitat of few varieties of Hill Terrapins (a rare species)
• At present, around 400 to 500 tortoises are dwelling in the Hajong Lake

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

87th Academy Awards (Oscar Awards 2015)

87th Academy Award, popularly called Oscar Awards, was conferred on 22 February 2015. The award ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The Oscar Awards for the year 2015 were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 24 categories.
The awards were produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted the ceremony for the first time.
The list of winners of 87th Academy Awards
  • Best Picture: Birdman
  • Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
  • Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore for Still Alice
  • Best Supporting Actor: JK Simmons for Whiplash
  • Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Achievement in Costume Design: Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Ida directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
  • Best Live Action Short Film: The Phone Call
  • Best Documentary Short Subject: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
  • Original Screenplay: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman
  • Achievement in Sound Mixing: Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley for Whiplash
  • Achievement in Sound Editing: Alan Robert Murray Bub Asman for American Sniper
  • Achievement in Visual Effects: Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley and Paul Franklin for Interstellar
  • Best Animated Short Film: Feast directed by Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
  • Best Animated Movie: Big Hero Six 6
  • Achievement in Production Design: Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Achievement in Cinematograph: Emannuel Lubezki for Birdman
  • Achievement in Film Editing: Tom Cross for Whipalsh
  • Best Documentary Feature: Citizen Four directed by Laura Poitras
  • Best Original Song: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Glory
  • Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game

Monday, February 23, 2015

Number of sugar mills in the country

As per information available with Directorate of Sugar, Ministry of Consumer Affairs,
 Food and Public Distribution, there are 513 sugar mills in the country operating in 
cooperative, private and public sector. As per the sugar season 2013-14, highest
 number of mills i.e 159 were operating in Maharashtra followed by 
Uttar Pradesh -119 and Karnataka- 61.

State-wise number of sugar mills operating during the sugar season 2013-14 
were as follows:

Private Sector
Andhra Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal

India – based Neutrino Observatory

The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) Project is a multi-institutional effort aimed at building a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover of approximately 1200 meter. The underground laboratory, consisting of a large cavern of size 132m × 26m × 20m and several smaller caverns, will be accessed by a 1900 m long and 7.5 m wide tunnel. INO project is jointly supported by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science & Technology (DST) with DAE acting as the nodal agency. 

The objective of INO is to conduct basic research on the elementary particle called neutrino. Presently 21 research institutes, Universities and IITs from all over the country are involved in this project. INO is expected to galvanise interest in basic science research in the whole country and particularly in and around Theni and Madurai districts of Tamil Nadu. Science students across the country will have opportunity to pursue cutting edge research in the field of particle physics while being located in India. 

The observatory will be located underground so as to provide adequate shielding to the neutrino detector from cosmic background radiation. Tunnel construction is very common and will not have any impact on environment, water sources or dams in the region. The project has all the required clearances from various Central and State Government authorities. A detailed geotechnical studies was also carried out by the Geological Survey of India (GSI). 

The operation of INO will have no release of radioactive or toxic substances. It is not a weapons laboratory and will have no strategic or defence applications. Certain sections of media in the recent past have reported that the INO underground laboratory and the tunnels will be used for storing nuclear waste. Such reports are not factual and are baseless. Department of Atomic Energy strongly refutes such erroneous and malicious reports. It categorically states that no nuclear waste will be stored there at any time and INO laboratory will be used only for the purpose of basic science research in the field of neutrino physics. 

Capitals, Governors and Chief Ministers of Indian States

StatesCapitalsGovernorsChief Ministers
(1) Andhra PradeshHyderabadMr. E. S. L.NarasimhanMr. N. Chandrababu Naidu
(2) Arunachal PradeshItanagarLt. General (Retd) Nirbhay SharmaMr. Nabam Tuki
(3) AssamDispurMr. J. B. PatnaikMr. Tarun Gogoi
(4) BiharPatnaMr. D. Y. PatilMr. Nitish Kumar
(5) ChhattisgarhRaipurMr. Balram Das TandonDr. Raman Singh
(6) GoaPanajiMs. Mridula SinhaMr. Laxmikant Parsekar
(7) GujaratGandhinagarMr. Om Prakash KohliMs. Anandiben Patel
(8) HaryanaChandigarhMr. Kaptan Singh SolankiMr. Manohar Lal Khattar
(9) Himachal PradeshShimlaMr. Kalyan Singh 
(Additional charge)
Mr. Virbhadra Singh
(10) Jammu and KashmirSrinagar (Summer) Jammu (Winter)Mr. N. N. VohraGovernor’s rule
(11) JharkhandRanchiDr. Syed AhmedMr. Raghuvar Das
(12) KarnatakaBengaluruMr. Vajubhai Rudabhai ValaMr. K. Siddaramaiah
(13) KeralaThiruvananthapuramMr. P SathasivamShri. Oommen Chandy
(14) Madhya PradeshBhopalMr. Ram Naresh YadavMr. Shivraj Singh Chauhan
(15) MaharashtraMumbaiMr. Kateekal SankaranarayananMr. Devendra Fadnavis
(16) ManipurImphalDr. K. K. Paul (Additional charge)Mr. Okram Ibobi Singh
(17) MeghalayaShillongMr. Krishan KantMr. Mukul A. Sangma
(18) MizoramAizawlDr. K. K. PaulMr. Lal Thanhawla
(19) NagalandKohimaMr. P. B. AcharyaMr. Neiphiu Rio
(20) OdishaBhubaneswarMr. S. C. JamirMr. Naveen Patnaik
(21) PunjabChandigarhMr. Shivraj V. PatilMr. Parkash Singh Badal
(22) RajasthanJaipurMr. Kalyan SinghSmt. Vasundhara Raje
(23) SikkimGangtokMr. Shriniwas D. PatilMr. Pawan Chamling
(24) Tamil NaduChennaiMr. K RosaiahMr. O. Panneerselvam
(25) TripuraAgartalaMr. Padmanabha Acharya (Additional charge)Mr. Manik Sarkar
(26) TelanganaHyderabadMr. E.S.L.NarasimhanMr. K. Chandrasekhar Rao
(27) UttarakhandDehradunDr. Aziz QureshiMr. Harish Rawat
(28) Uttar PradeshLucknowMr. Ram NaikMr. Akhilesh Yadav
(29) West BengalKolkataMr. Keshari Nath TripathiMs. Mamata Banerjee

SBI Associates Clerks Exam General Awareness Practice Questions

1. Goodwill ambassador for the National games 2015 is .................
1) Dhoni
2) Sachin Tendulkar
3) Amitabh Bachhan
4) Amir Khan
5) None of these

2. In order to create space for banks to expand credit, RBI reduced the SLR from 22.0% to...
1) 21.75%
2) 20.0%
3) 20.5%
4) 21.5%
5) 21.0%

3. Currently, who among the following is the world's oldest monarch?
1) Queen Elizabeth II
2) Emperor of Japan
3) King of Thailand
4) Queen Victoria
5) Queen Diana

4. Which committee has submitted report on restructuring of FCI?
1) Abhijith Sen
2) M. S. Swaminathan
3) Shanta Kumar
4) Ayaesh Goya
5) Arvind Panagariya

5. World's largest vertical maze has been unveiled recently in .............
1) Taiwan
2) Tokyo
3) Dubai
4) Shanghai
5) Thailand

6. The "Tunnel of Time" is the autobiography of......
1) Rajni Kothari
2) M.S. Narayana
3) P. Chidambaram
4) R.K. Laxman
5) Amartya Sen

7. ICC has revoked the five − year ban imposed on Mohammad Amir. He is the bowler in ........
1) India team
2) Bangladesh team
3) Sri Lanka team
4) Pakistan team
5) Zimbabwe team

8. Recently, a first of its kind in the world economic valuation of tiger reserves has been conducted in India. As per the study which tiger reserves has highest annual flow benefits?
1) Corbett Tiger Reserve
2) Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
3) Periyar Tiger Reserve
4) Kanha Tiger Reserve
5) None of these

9. World Cancer day observed on ..............
1) 30 January
2) 12 March
3) 4 February
4) 24 March
5) 7 April

10. Which among the following states is the site for India's first International Institute of Music?
1) Kerala
2) Assam
3) Haryana
4) Madhya Pradesh
5) Telangana

Sunday, February 15, 2015


1. Think - tank of Government of India that replaces Planning Commission of India is...
1) NITI Vakya
2) NITI Vajpayee
3) NITI Prasasthi
4) NITI Dharma
5) NITI Aayog

2. NITI Aayog stands for......
1) National Institution for Transition India
2) National Information for Transforming India
3) National Institution for Take India
4) National Institution for Transforming India
5) None

3. NITI Aayog come into effect from....
1) 1 April 2015
2) 1 April 2016
3) 1 March 2015
4) 1 January 2015
5) 25 Dec 2014

4. The NITI Aayog headed by....
1) President of India
2) Finance Minister
3) Minister for Planning
4) RBI Governor
5) Prime Minister

5. To reflect changes required in India's governance structures and provide a more active role for the state governments in achieving national objectives, NITI Aayog initiated. Its Vice Chairman appointed by .....
1) President of India
2) Vice President of India
3) Finance Minister
4) Home Minister
5) Prime Minister

6. Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog is...
1) Montek Singh Ahluwalia
2) Arvind Panagariya
3) Abhijith Sen
4) Amartya Sen
5) None

7. NITI Aayog has been tasked with a role of formulating policies and direction for the government and serving as a think-tank, which will have Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Present CEO is....
1) Arvind Mayaram
2) Rajiv Meharshi
3) Sudha Pillai
4) Sindhushree Khullar
5) None

8. NITI Aayog will have full time members. It will have how many part time members selected from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions in an exofficio capacity?
1) 4
2) 6
3) 8
4) 2
5) None

9. An Economist Bibek Debroy and V.K.Saraswat were appointed as full-time members of NITI Aayog. Who is V.K.Saraswat ?
1) former DRDO Chief
2) former ISRO Chairman
3) former Finance Secretary
4) former Defence Minister
5) None of above

10. Maximum of how many Ex-officio members selected from the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister in NITI Ayog?
1) 12
2) 7
3) 4
4) 10
5) None