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Current Affairs - 15 March 2015

Back from 3-nation tour, PM Narendra Modi to attend First World War centenary event

  • New Delhi: Back from a significant three-nation tour spread over five days, Prime MinisterNarendra Modi is set to attend the ongoing ceremonies to commemorate the contribution of Indian soldiers in the First World War in New Delhi.
    Before departing for the tour on March 10, Modi had laid wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate.
    In the honour of 1.5 million Indian soldiers who fought in the war and over 74000 who were martyred, the Indian Army is commemorating the Centenary of the First World War which was fought from 1914- 1918.
    The events to mark ten decades since the First World War are being held since 10th March.
    10th March coincides with the Battle of Neuve Chapelle marking the British Offensive in Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade & Meerut Division of the Indian Corps participated.
    The time period 2014 to 2018 is being commemorated as the Centenary of World War-1.
    As part of the commemorative events, on the eve of the centenary of the Battle of Neuve Chapple in which maximum Indian soldiers were martyred, President Pranab Mukherjee and diplomatic heads of nations part of World War I participated in a wreath-laying ceremony organised on March 9 at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate.
    During the First World War, India contributed over 1.5 million men from 12 Cavalry Regiments, 13 Infantry Regiments and several other units of arms and services, out of which 74,000 were killed and over 67,000 were wounded in various battle fields of Europe, Africa and Asia.
    Nearly every sixth soldier fighting on behalf of the British Empire came from the Indian subcontinent.

I am acting Chief Minister, remote is with me, says Manish Sisodia

  • "I am Acting Chief Minister. I have both the mike and the remote with me."
    This is what Delhi's Deputy Chief MinisterManish Sisodia said on Saturday when asked about the absence of Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwal and whether the remote control is somewhere else while he is discharging the responsibility of a CM.
    He said he is concentrating all his energies on running the government in the absence of Kejriwal.
    Kejriwal is presently undergoing naturopathy treatment for high blood sugar and cough in Bangaluru and is slated to return here on Monday.
    Accompanied by his parents, Kejriwal had on March 5 left for Bangaluru for treatment for chronic cough and high blood sugar. It was widely expected that he will return tomorrow but an official made it clear that he will come on Monday.
    Lately, Aam Aadmi Party has been rocked by a series of stings and had been attacked by both BJP and Congress.

Will fight for farmers, labourers from Parliament to streets: Jairam Ramesh

  • Taking part in a protest drive against the Land Acquisition Bill, senior Congressleader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said his party would fight for the interests of farmers and labourers from Parliament to the streets.
    "(Congress) will fight for farmers and mazdoors from Parliament to the streets," former Rural Development Minister Ramesh said at the gram panchayat of Barsat village. The second day of the 'Kisaan Satyagrah' march, which is being held under the banner of Youth Congress, began from Dankaur town at 12 noon and passed the Navada, Dadupur, Barsat, Imalia and Khanpur villages as it headed towards Dadha village.
    "The Motive of the padyatra is to expose the anti-farmer and anti–mazdoor policies of the (Narendra) Modi government," said Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Dhirendra Singh. "The way the consent clause and social impact assessment have been removed from Land Acquisition Act, 2013, it is clear the there will be 'Achhe Din' for farmers under Modi government," he said in a jibe at the ruling NDA.
    "We won't sit back until the government takes back the ordinance on Land Acquisition Act, 2013," Singh added. Apart from Ramesh and Singh, among those present for the protest were Amanatulla, Dr Mahendra Nagar, Deepak Bhatti Chotiwala, Amrpal Singh Chaudhary, Alok Singh, Vinod Singh, Praveen Singh, Jitendra Nagar, Virendra Dada and Narendra Bhati.

CBI court to record statements of accused in 2G scam related case tomorrow

  • A special CBI court in Delhi is likely to commence on Monday the recording of statements of accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MPKanimozhi and 17 others, in a 2G scam-related money laundering case.
    Special CBI judge OP Saini had on March 4 supplied a draft questionnaire containing 400 questions running into 225 pages to the counsel representing the 19 accused and had fixed the matter for Monday.
    The court had supplied questionnaire observing that it would facilitate recording of statements of the accused with "ease and felicity" as records of the case were technical and voluminous.
    While giving the questionnaire to the defence counsel, the judge had said that if any query was not understandable to any of the accused or their counsel, they were at liberty to ask for clarifications.
    Raja, Kanimozhi, DMK leader M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and 14 others, including nine firms, are facing trial in the case.
    The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on April 25, last year had filed a charge sheet against them for alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
    The other individual accused in the money laundering case are Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani and P Amirtham. All of them are out on bail.
    The court has also framed charges against accused firms STPL, Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd (formerly Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd), Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd), Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Dynamix Realty, DB Realty Ltd, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd.

Tax System Being Overhauled: Arun Jaitley

  • LONDONSeeking to soothe the sentiments of foreign investors, disturbed by fresh claims of tax on past transactions by Indian authorities, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said his government was rationalising the country's tax system to make it fair.

    "We are trying to rationalise taxes - that is, lower taxes and introduce a non-adversarial and fair system" the finance minister told an event co-hosted over the weekend by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and UK-India Business Council.

    His other engagements included unveiling of Gandhi statue in Parliament Square in the presence of Prime Minister David Cameron, among others, talks with Prince Charles, and meeting with a delegation of the Confederation of British Industry, led by director general John Cridland.

    "We need a lot of investment in India. We need to ease the process of doing business. Therefore, slowly we are introducing changes in that direction," Jaitley said, adding a fair and equitable tax system was a top priority.

    The finance minister's comments came against the backdrop of the tax authorities slapping a $3.2-billion capital gains tax on Cairn India, a part of the Vedanta Group, for a transaction that took place some 10 years ago.

    This tax, which was not explicitly in existence at that time, was introduced in 2012 with retrospective effect and has been a cause for much concern among foreign investors. Such retrospective tax is against the present government's stated policy.

    Britain-based Vodafone faces a similar dilemma and so do some 30-odd companies. 

    But the finance minister, while not raising the issue directly during his various addresses, only stated what he has been maintaining in the past.

    "We are correcting the aberrations in the taxation structure," said the finance minister, who is on a two-day visit here on his way back to India from the US.

    "Our roadmap is very clear," he said, referring to the policies being pursued by the Narendra Modi government. He also made specific reference to Modi's Make in India initiative.

    Jaitley also touched upon the latest coal and spectrum auctions that have evoked much interest, beyond the government's expectations. 

    "The success of these auctions demonstrate how corruption can best be avoided and fetch high values," he said.

    He also made a political statement without directly referring to the the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime's prime minister Manmohan Singh."If he'd had his way, the crisis would never have taken place," said Jaitley, adding that even though the previous government had announced the coal auctions soon after it took over in 2004, it was unable to do so for the next 10 years.

    "How can one allow such a system to continue," he queried.

    Jaitley, who also held a series of meetings, notably with Leader of Opposition Edward Miliband and Indian-origin lawmaker Keith Vaz, and also with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Gideon Oliver Osborne, said India was now on a high growth path."We will have a 7.5 percent growth this year. It will be higher next year."

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Contest winner feeling “tingly” at having taken one-handed crowd catch

  • Wellington: An ardent cricket fan from New Plymouth has joined the list of people in line to grab a share of whooping one million US dollar for taking a spectacular one-handed catch during New Zealand’s three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the World Cup Pool A tie on Friday at Seddon Park.Top 10 batsmen in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
    The catcher, identified as Stu Chapman, became the fifth person to catch a six one-handed, which came off New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson’s bat, in the Tui Catch a Million contest at the cricket World Cup. Top 10 bowlers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
    Chapman said that he saw the ball coming and thought it was going to fall short, admitting that he just threw out his right hand and it just hung in there. The catcher further said that he had a bit of a tingly feeling, adding that it must be shock but love it, reported. The competition, launched by Tui brewery, would see the catchers being added to a prize pool where they could share up to one million dollars. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage
    Currently, the prize pool stands at 350,000 million dollars and if New Zealand secure a semifinal berth, it would raise the prize money to 500,000 million dollars. While a final appearance would net 750,000, winning the Cup would raise it to one million dollars. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Pool-wise Team Standings

Maharashtra police grapple with over 12,000 vacancies

  • Ever wondered why the Maharashtra police always look so stressed up. Here's why: An RTI reply has revealed that as many as 12,115 posts are lying vacant in the state police department for a long time. These posts vary from that of a constable to the additional director general of police.
    According to the details revealed by the office of the director general of police, Maharashtra State Police Force headquarters, there are a total of 2,19,986 posts in the Maharashtra Police Department out of which 2,07,871 are currently filled. There are a total of 12,115 posts lying vacant.
    Of the total vacancies, the highest number is that of the sub-inspector post. "The RTI reply claims that there are 2,708 vacant positions of sub-inspector as of today," said RTI activist Anil Galgali, who has written a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the additional charge of home, to take necessary action to fill these posts with immediate effect.
    The reply revealed that at present the police department is working with 6,951 sub-inspectors, with vacancies being 9,659.
    Interestingly, Galgali's request seeking the religious break-up of the total number of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians etc, employed in the police force was turned down by the office saying no such data is being maintained.
    Furthermore, three posts of additional director general out of 25 are pending for appointment. Eight out of 47 posts of special inspector general of police are yet to be filled. Five posts out of 36 of deputy inspector general of police, two out of two posts of deputy inspector general of police (technical), 30 out of 265 posts of superintendent of police/deputy commissioner of police are also lying vacant.
    There is also a large number of vacancies at the level of deputy superintendent of police/assistant commissioner.
    It said in the unarmed category, 209 out of 686 posts are lying vacant, whereas in the armed category, 50 out of 87 posts are waiting for appointment. At the constable level, the vacancies are as high as 2,323 out of 42,964.
    The posts of the sub-inspector of motor transport of marine second class and first class master engine driver have only 11 out of 270 posts pending. However, for the sub-inspector of motor transport, 54 out of 109 posts are currently vacant.

North Korea tests seven surface-to-air missiles

  • North Korea test-fired seven surface-to-air missiles off its east coast on Thursday, and its leader Kim Jong Un appeared to have been an observer, South Korea's military said on Friday.
    The test prompted the Pentagon to urge Pyongyang to stop provocative actions that aggravate tensions in the region and instead fulfill their legal obligations to the international community.
    "We encourage them to stop bombing fish and to begin feeding their own people," Army Colonel Steve Warren told reporters.
    An official at the South Korea's defence ministry said the missiles fell into the sea.
    "We believe they test-fired different kinds of surface-to-air missiles and the longest range is about 200 km (125 miles)," the official said. "It appears Kim Jong Un observed the firing."
    The test came as the United States and South Korea finished the first of two large-scale annual military exercises on Friday. The exercise, called "Key Resolve," began earlier this month.
    The other joint military exercise, known as "Foal Eagle", will last until April 24, according to the US military.
    The exercises anger North Korea, which considers them a preparation for war against it.
    The North often tests missiles at the time of the exercises to register its defiance. It also test-fired two short-range missiles at the start of the joint exercises.
    North Korea's state media said on Thursday that Kim inspected an island military unit on the east coast, accompanied by his sister, Kim Yo Jong. It made no mention of any missile tests.


  • 1) The Govt. of India and RBI are making all the effort to provide Banking facilities to all the villages / habitations in the country.  This is the part of their policy of ———-
    1) PURA
    2) Financial Inclusion
    3) Swawalamban
    4) Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana
    5) None of these
    Ans – 2

  • 2. David Cameron who was in news recently is the ——–

    1) President of Australia
    2) Prime Minister of United Kingdom
    3) President of Brazil
    4) Prime Minister of Brazil
    5) None of these
    Ans – 2

  • 3. Who amongst the following has taken over as the Chief Minister of Bihar after recent assembly elections there ?

    1) Lalu Prasad Yadav
    2) Ramvilas Paswan
    3) Nitish Kumar
    4) Syeed Shahnawaj Hussain
    5) None of these
    Ans – 3

  • 4. What does the letter ‘ F ‘ denote in the abbreviated name ‘ IIFCL ‘ ?

    1) Functional
    2) Foreign
    3) Forwarded
    4) Finance
    5) None of these
    Ans – 4

  • 5. ‘ Guangzhou ‘ was recently in news as ——–

    1) G – 20 summit took place over there
    2) Commonwealth Games organized there
    3) ASEAN Summit took place there
    4) Asian Games 2010 were organized there
    5) None of these
    Ans – 4

  • 6. Nicole Faria who was crowned ‘ Miss Earth—2010 ‘ is from which of the following countries ?

    1) Brazil
    2) India
    3) Britain
    4) Italy
    5) France
    Ans – 2

  • 7. Which of the following awards / honours is given to Mr. Pranab Mukerjee ?

    1) Parliamentarian of the Year
    2) Best Union Minister
    3) Finance Minister of the Year for Asia
    4) SAARC Parliamentarian of the Year
    5) None of these
    Ans – 3

  • 8. Which of the following names is associated with a Health Scheme launched by the Govt. of India ? ( R )

    1) VAT
    2) MAT
    3) CAR
    4) AAFI
    5) ASHA
    Ans – 5

  • 9. World’s largest bourse was inaugurated in Mumbai recently.  The bourse will deal in which of the following commodities ?

    1) Textiles
    2) Gold
    3) Silver
    4) Diamond
    5) None of these
    Ans – 4

  •  10.Who amongst the following is one of the winners of the Nobel Prize 2010 in Physics ?

    1) Andre Geim
    2) Alex Sammond
    3) Robert G. Edwards
    4) Akira Suzuki
    5) None of these
    Ans – 1

  • 11. Mr. Howard Jacobson who is Booker prize winner for 2010 writes in ———-

    1) Spanish
    2) German
    3) Russian
    4) French
    5) English
    Ans – 5

  • 12. Shri S. M. Krishna recently signed an agreement with Dr. Guido Westerwelle when he came to India in October 2010.  This means this was an agreement between India and ————

    1) USA
    2) Russia
    3) Germany
    4) France
    5) Brazil
    Ans – 3

  • 13.Who among the following has been declared as Businessman of the decade ?

    1) Mukesh Ambani
    2) Anil Ambani
    3) Ratan Tata
    4) Azim Premji
    5) Aditya Birla
    Ans – 3

  • 14.Who won the commonwealth Writer Prize on April 12, 2010 ?

    1) Shoba De
    2) Tara Joshi
    3) Arvind Virmani
    4) Rana Dasgupta
    5) Kushwant Singh
    Ans – 4

    15.India has agreed to provide financial help to which of the following countries so that it can also implement its 10th Five Year’s Plan (2008-13) successfully?
    1) Afghanistan
    2) Myanmar
    3) Pakisthan
    4) Nepal
    5) Bhutan
    Ans – 5

    Exporters and importers in India are required to know ‘FEMA’ rules. What does the letter ‘M’ denote in the term ‘FEMA’?
    1) money
    2) material
    3) mega
    4) management
    5) micro
    Ans – 4

    China has asked India to suspend operations of ONGC Videsh in South China Sea. ONGC Videsh is an organizationengaged in
    1) oil exploration
    2) fishing and pearl culture
    3) research in oceanography
    4) development of ports and shipyards
    5) providing technology for converting sea water into potable water
    Ans – 1

    Prime Miniser of India visited which of the following places in September 2011 to address the General Assembly of the United Nation Organization?
    1) New York
    2) Washington DC
    3) Rome
    4) Vienna
    5) Paris
    Ans – 1

    Pakistan has raised objection over the construction of Kishanganga Hydro Power project being developed in
    1) Rajasthan
     2) Jammu & Kashmir
    3) Gujarat
    4) Punjab
    5) Himachal Pradesh
    Ans – 2

    Who among the following is the Leader of the Opposition in the present Rajya Sabha?
    1) Sri Sharad Joshi
    2) Sri Ravi Shankar Prasad
    3) Sri Arun Jaitley
    4) Sri A.K.Antony
    5) none of these
    Ans – 3

    Lasith Malinga is a famous player associated with the game of
    1) hockey
    2) badminton
    3) lawn tennis
    4) cricket
    5) football
    Ans – 4

    22.Who among the following is the President of Nepal at present and was in news recently?
    1) Sri Ram Baran Yadav
    2) Sri Baburam Bhattarat
    3) Sri Gyanendra Shah
    4) Sri Madhav Kumar Nepal
    5) None of these
    Ans – 1

    Sri Burhanuddin Rabbani who died recently was the former President of
    1) Pakistan
    2) Afghanistan
    3) Iraq
    4) Iran
    5) Bangladesh
    Ans – 2

    Which of the following books is written by Salman Rushdie?
    1) the Golden Gate
    2) The god of Small Things
    3) The Immortals
    4) Satanic Verses
    5) Two Lives
    Ans – 4

    25.Sex ratio (number of females per 1000 males) as per recent data released by the census commission of India is
    1) 930
    2) 980
    3) 976
    4) 941
    5) 990
    Ans – 4

    The second Africa India Forum Summit 2011 was organized in May 2011 in
    1) Sun city
    2) New Delhi
    3) Addis Ababa
    4) Nairobi
    5) Pretoria
    Ans – 3

    India has an extensive Nuclear Energy Pact with which of the following countries which will enable it to build many nuclear power stations in the country?
    1) Russia
    2) USA
    3) Japan
    4) germany
    5) China
    Ans – 2

    Who among the following is NOT a minister in Union Cabinet?
    1) Sri Kamal Nath
    2) Sri Sharad Pawar
    3) Sri S.M.Krishna
    4) Smt.Ambika Soni
    5) Ms.Mamta Banerjee
    Ans – 5

    Amitabh Bachchan was given Best Actor Award in 57th National Film Award for 2010 for his acting in the film
    1) Baabul
    2) Cheeni Kum
    3) Paa
    4) Buddha Hoga Tera Baap
    5) Bhoothnath
    Ans – 3

    Who among the following is NOT a well known author of Indian origin?
    1) Kiran Desai
    2) Shobha De
    3) Gagan Narang
    4) Chetan Bhagat
    5) Vikram Chandra
    Ans – 3

    Which of the following welfare schemes is launched by the Government of India?
    1) Jeevan Aadhar
    2) Komal Jeevan
    3) Mid Day Meal Yojana
    4) Jeevan Amrit
    5) Jeevan Mitra
    Ans – 3

    Which of the following Awards was given to VVS Laxman 2011 by the Government of India?
    1) Padmasri
    2) Padma Vibhushan
    3) Arjuna Award
    4) Sportsman of the year
    5) Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
    Ans -1

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