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Current Affairs - 4 December 2014

Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao to seek ‘invincible’ power to tame enemies

The Ayutha Chandi Yaga is being planned for February at KCR's farm house in Medak.
  • HYDERABAD: Known for his penchant for all things astrological, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is planning to perform the Ayutha Chandi Yaga, a mega ritual that involves 1,000 priests praying non-stop for 10 days. The yaga is believed to bestow the one performing it invincible powers.

    While the event is planned to be held in February next at KCR's farmhouse near Gajwel in Medak district, where the priests will chant 700 mantras 10,000 times to appease Goddess Durga and offer oblations through 100 sacrificial fire pits (yagna kunda), the Yaga also includes far ancient rituals called Shatru Samhara and Raja Vashikarana which ancient rulers used to perform to overpower their enemies.

    "Raja Vashikarana is the use of occult science in which mystical energy and tantric powers are used to control and regulate other people's minds, thoughts, and actions," said Bhanuprakash Sharma, a senior priest who is one among many to oversee the rituals.

    KCR has roped in priests from Sringeri (famous for Sharada Peetham established by Adi Shankaracharya) in Karnataka, who are the well-known experts in performing Chandi Yaga.

Obama impressed with PM Narendra Modi for shaking India's 'bureaucratic inertia'

A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US president Barack Obama (R).
  • WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama today praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to shake up the "bureaucratic inertia" in India, less than a month after he described Prime Minister as a "man of action".

    However, Obama said that this was a long-term project and one would have to see how successful Prime Minister Modi is in his efforts.

    "Modi has impressed me so far with his willingness to shake up the bureaucratic inertia inside of India. But that is a long-term project and we'll have to see how successful he is," Obama told a business roundtable, which was attended by top corporate leaders of the country.

    The roundtable was organized to discuss the current economic condition of the US and across the globe.

    Last month in Myanmar on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, Obama in his brief interaction with Modi had told him that he is a "man of action".

Terror message drowns in Mamata Banerjee's crass lingo

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
  • JALPAIGURI: Bamboo dewa, chamkano (give bamboo in the rear) .... Street lingo that had till now been restricted to informal addas have made their way to the chief minister's lexicon. Mamata Banerjee has started using them in public speeches possibly to connect with men who throng her gatherings. Little does she care that Bengal traditionally bears the legacy of a parliamentary democracy that requires lawmakers to mind their language and even use the word "untrue" in place of "false."

    However, Mamata, who recently used the slang shala at a party meet only to retract it and apologize immediately, went beyond the acceptable mode of public speech at a gathering in Jalpaiguri on Wednesday. A serious issue she was pointing to got lost in the din that followed.

    Upset with CPM for approaching Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Saradha probe, Mamata chose to hit out in a language hardly ever used by a CM and in sheer bad taste. "Nijera 34 bochhor khamatai chhilo. Kichhu korte pareni, aar jara korche tader bamboo diye berachhe. Bamboo jangale hoi, ghar bari toirir kaje lage, jane na bamboo jake tara kore she palate path pai na. (They were in power for 34 years, but could do nothing. Instead they are after those who are doing something.) A literal translation of the latter part of her comment isn't possible. "Amader chamkale amra garjai..." was also part of her speech.

Navy chief Admiral Robin Dhowan: Ready to tackle threat of jihadis steering Pakistani warships

It will be not unusual if an Indian warship now looks at a Pakistani warship on the high seas with suspicion, instead of exchanging salutations that are the norm in international waters.
  • NEW DELHI: From guarding against jihadi terror emanating from the sea to protecting India's strategic interests right up to the contentious South China Sea, the Navy is gearing up to tackle myriad maritime challenges in the years ahead. 

    While shadow-boxing with the rapidly-expanding Chinese Navy for the same strategic space in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) remains an ongoing task, the Navy has now also factored into its security calculus the prospect of terrorists actually commandeering Pakistani warships in their bid to wreak havoc on India. 

    "The seas are no longer a benign medium...the threats are real. The global commons has become very vulnerable because of challenges posed from asymmetric warfare and maritime terrorism to piracy and floating armouries," said Admiral Robin Dhowan, in the run-up to the Navy Day on Thursday. 

    The Navy is closely monitoring incidents like the failed attempt by al-Qaida's Indian sub-continent wing to hijack Pakistani frigates PNS Aslat and PNS Zulfikar at Karachi in September with the ostensible purpose to use them against Indian and US ships. 

Young, single Muslim males from India barred from visiting Iraq

Alshaya Nasser Travels, one of two Iraqi visa facilitating agencies, has issued advisory barring unaccompanied Muslim males below 30 from applying for pilgrimage visas.
  • MUMBAI: Are you single, male, Muslim and under 30? If yes, then you should not apply for a pilgrimage visa to strife-torn Iraq. Alshaya Nasser Travels, one of the two Iraqi government-organized agencies (the other is Faiz-e-Hussaini) that facilitate visa processing, has asked tour operators not to accept passports from applicants who are single, under 30 and unaccompanied by family members. The advisory comes after four Kalyan youths, all single and under 30, used the pilgrimage route to travel to Iraq in May and join the jihadist outfit ISIS there.

    The ministry of external affairs has said that it has not issued any such instructions to the tour operators.

    On May 23, the four—Arif Majeed, Fahad Shaikh, Aman Tandel and Shahim Tanki—part of a group of 26 pilgrims, flew to Baghdad to visit holy shrines. A few days later, they disappeared and joined the ISIS. One of them, Arif Majeed, has returned and is currently being interrogated by the National Investigation Agency. "Had we put this condition earlier, the four Kalyan boys who used pilgrimage as a path to join the jihadist group could have been prevented. This is in the interest of tour operators, too, as disappearance of pilgrims during travel causes trouble for them as well. This will discourage those boys who are similarly influenced by jihadist ideology and may be planning to join the so-called holy war in future," said an executive of Alshaya Nasser Travels.

President Pranab Mukherjee's book triggers online-offline war

President Pranab Mukherjee's The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years goes on sale on December 11, his birthday next Thursday.
  • NEW DELHI: It's one of the most anticipated books of the year. But you won't find it displayed in bookstores. President Pranab Mukherjee's The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years goes on sale on December 11, his birthday next Thursday. But the sale will be exclusively online, that too on one website, for a window of 21 days. Only after that, you may be able to stroll over to your local bookstore to pick up a copy. 

    The exclusive deal between the publisher, Rupa and the seller,, has caused outrage and heartburn among brick-and-mortar bookstores, who are terming it as unfair and monopolistic. Some are planning to boycott the Indian publisher, while others have shot off emails registering their protest. This follows a series of international episodes where online and offline booksellers have been at loggerheads. For those shopping online on a regular basis, it is just a recap of what happened with big-ticket smartphones making their way into India only through the online route. 

    E-commerce has seen a dramatic growth in India in the recent past. A recent study by Google estimates India's e-commerce market to be worth $15 billion by 2016. Against the 8 million Indian online shoppers from 2012, this year saw the number rise to 35 million, according to the study, which projects the number to reach 100 million by 2016. Consumers have been seduced by easy accessibility and heavy discounts. 

At Rs 1.8 crore a year, Oracle may be highest payer

Facebook had offered Rs 1.4 cr per year.
  • MUMBAI: If Oracle's current stock value is taken into account, the software giant is probably the highest payer at the IITs this placement season.

    Going by Wednesday's stock rates, the package Oracle has offered for overseas positions would come to Rs 1.83 crore a year, higher than that of Facebook which is around Rs 1.42 crore a year. Oracle has offered around 10 overseas positions to students in the IITs this placement session, which entered the third day on Wednesday.

    Two students from IIT-Bombay, S S Kausik and Tarun Kathuria, have received offers for the overseas position with the company, a source said. But there is no details if it made any pre-placement offer.

    According to sources in IIT-Roorkee, where one student bagged an overseas position with Oracle, the multinational firm has made an offer of close to Rs 80 lakh, along with 4,000 company stocks. On Wednesday night, the rate of each stock of Oracle was Rs 2,590 ($41.9). If 4,000 stocks are to be valued, the amount in Indian currency would add up to Rs 1.03 crore, which will push up the annual package to Rs 1.83 crore, probably the highest at the IITs till date. The official claimed that students might not have valued the stock options, and that is why the package was under-reported. But Facebook included the value of stock options in the package (Rs 62 lakh). But officials maintained the base pay offered by leading firms was almost on a par, it was the variables that made the difference.

Air India pilot made to fly after 26-hour detention

This unprecedented situation arose when an AI 155 touched down in Moscow on November 7.
  • NEW DELHI: An Air India pilot was recently forced to walk straight out of detention and operate a long international flight back home — and freedom! In the process, AI reportedly violated safety rules by sending an unrested pilot from detention to the cockpit. 

    This unprecedented situation arose when an AI 155 touched down in Moscow on November 7. According to sources, the immigration at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport detained the commander of that flight on charges that he had 'falsified' his passport. They confiscated his passport and detained the captain at the airport. The commander wanted to be sent back home on the plane he had flown into Russia but the aircraft had by then taxied out. 

    The Russian immigration doubts against the AI pilot were misplaced. The senior captain had got his Russian visa on October 29 and operated a Delhi-Moscow flight that very day and commandeered an incident-free return flight. 

'Never-seen-before' security cover at R-Day for Obama, Modi

Sources said security on the ground and in the air this January 26 will be of a kind "never seen before".
  • NEW DELHI: Security agencies of the US and India are bracing for one of their biggest challenges when US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi share the dais this Republic Day. 

    Sources said security on the ground and in the air this January 26 will be of a kind "never seen before". The US Secret Service, CIA, Navy Seals and India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Intelligence Bureau, paramilitary forces and Army will be working together round-the-clock to ensure the safety of the two leaders of the two largest democracies who face a high order of threat from global terrorist groups. 

    Sources in intelligence agencies said Obama and Modi figure high on the hit lists of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to reports, Obama receives over 20 threats a day while Modi receives at least 10 threats on a daily basis. 

    While CIA, RAW, IB and other intelligence agencies will work in the background to gather information about suspicious activities on the web, US Navy Seals, the US Secret Service, Special Protection Group, NSG, paramilitary forces and Army will secure the ground. The two nations don't want to take any chances in the wake of recent reports of Indian youths joining terror organizations or being motivated to commit terror acts over the internet. 

In a first, two Indian universities make it to Times' top 40

Indian Institute of Science ranked 25th while IIT Bombay came 37th. 11 other Indian universities also made it to the top 100 of second annual Times Higher Education Brics and Emerging Economies rankings
  • LONDON: There is great news for India's universities. 

    For the first time, two new Indian entrants have jumped straight into the top 40 of second annual Times Higher Education Brics and Emerging Economies rankings. 

    Also, 11 other Indian universities have made it to the top 100 rankings. 

    Around 18 countries are featured in 2015 rankings released today. 

    Around 15 universities - from Chile, China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey - have entered the tables for the first time. 

    China has cemented its dominance among the emerging economies, retaining the top two places and increasing its representation among the top-100 institutions to 27, up from 23 last year. 

    India has increased its representation with 11 of the top-100 places, up from 10 last year and it has a new national leader - Indian Institute of Science in 25th place and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 37th place. 


  • 1. ING Vysya Bank has decided to merge with which of the following private banks?
    1) ICICI Bank
    2) Axis Bank
    3) HDFC Bank
    4) Kotak Mahindra Bank
    5) Yes Bank.
  • 2. Who received the prestigious Colonel CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award on November 21, 2014?
    1) Sunil Gavaskar
    2) Dilip Vengsarkar
    3) Syed Kirmani
    4) G.R. Viswanath
    5) K. Srikkanth
  • 3. Who was honored with the centenary award for Indian Film Personality of the Year 2014 on November 20, 2014?
    1) Amitabh Bachchan
    2) Kamal Hasan
    3) Rajinikanth
    4) Shah Rukh Khan
    5) Waheeda Rehman
  • 4. Who is the winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year?
    1) Michael Clarke
    2) Kumar Sangakkara
    3) AB de Villiers
    4) Mitchell Johnson
    5) Dale Steyn
  • 5. Who among the following is/are serving as the Chief Minister of a State for the first time?
    1) K. Chandrasekara Rao
    2) Jitan Ram Manjhi
    3) Anandiben Patel
    4) Both 1 and 3
    5) All 1, 2 and 3
  • 6. Which one of the following books is written by Hillary Clinton?
    1) Central Time
    2) The Goldfinch
    3) Hard Choices
    4) The Last Word
    5) None of these
  • 7. Who has been appointed the Chairman of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal?
    1) Justice RM Lodha
    2) Justice Madan B. Lokur
    3) Justice M.Y. Eqbal
    4) Justice B.S. Chauhan
    5) Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri
  • 8. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is headquartered in?
    1) Geneva
    2) London
    3) Berne
    4) Vienna
    5) Paris
  • 9. ITU presented the 2014 World Telecommunication and Information Society Award to Paul Kagame, the President of?
    1) Uganda
    2) Democratic Republic of Congo
    3) Rwanda
    4) Niger
    5) Nigeria
  • 10. The James Beard Foundation Awards are given for excellence in?
    1) Poetry
    2) Television
    3) Films
    4) Cuisine
    5) Sculpture
  • 11. Donetsk and Luhansk are the cities in?
    1) Ukraine
    2) Kazakhstan
    3) Georgia
    4) Poland
    5) Portugal
  • 12. Which country topped the Press Freedom Index for 2014?
    1) Netherlands
    2) Norway
    3) Sweden
    4) Belgium
    5) Finland
  • 13. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in which of the following States the Bharatiya Janata Party did not win all the seats?
    1) Gujarat
    2) Rajasthan
    3) Himachal Pradesh
    4) Uttarakhand
    5) Madhya Pradesh
  • 14. Which is the third largest party in the 16th Lok Sabha?
    1) Trinamool Congress
    2) AIADMK
    3) Biju Janata Dal
    4) Shiv Sena
    5) CPI (M)
  • 15. 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of which of the following agencies of the United Nations Organization?
    1) UNICEF
    2) UNEP
    3) ILO
    4) ICAO
    5) ITU
  • 16. India successfully test-fired indigenously developed Akash, which is a/an?
    1) Surface to surface missile
    2) Air to air missile
    3) Surface to air missile
    4) Subsonic missile
    5) None of these
  • 17. What is the full form of GIRO?
    1) General Instant Recurring order
    2) General Interlinked Recurring Order
    3) General International Recurring Order
    4) General Interbank Recurring Order
    5) None of these
  • 18. In banking CASA stands for?
    1) Corporate Account, Savings Account
    2) Current Account, Savings Account
    3) Current Account, Service Account
    4) Corporate Account, Service Account
    5) None of these
  • 19. Rakhigarhi is a Harappan civilization site in?
    1) Gujarat
    2) Rajasthan
    3) Haryana
    4) Punjab
    5) Himachal Pradesh
  • 20. Shiv Chowrasia is a player associated with?
    1) Golf
    2) Squash
    3) Billiards
    4) Polo
    5) Table Tennis
  • 21. In the 7th IPL edition which bowler won the Purple Cap?
    1) Sunil Narine
    2) Bhuvneswar Kumar
    3) Sandeep Sharma
    4) Ravindra Jadeja
    5) Mohit Sharma
  • 22. Pilot testing of plastic currency notes will not be done in which of the following cities?
    1) Shimla
    2) Kochi
    3) Mysore
    4) Jaipur
    5) Mumbai
    1) 4; 2) 2; 3) 3; 4) 4; 5) 5; 6) 3; 7) 4; 8) 1; 9) 3; 10) 4;
    11) 1; 12) 1; 13) 5; 14) 2; 15) 5; 16) 3; 17) 4; 18) 2; 19) 3; 20) 1; 21) 5; 22) 5.

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