Current Affairs Current Affairs - 27 March 2015 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 27 March 2015

Trilateral cooperation with India discussed
  • The Chinese and Sri Lankan presidents today discussed prospects of trilateral cooperation with India to address New Delhi's security concerns in the Indian Ocean besides ways to boost defence cooperation including personnel training and providing military hardware to Colombo.

    Making his first visit to China to re-balance pro-Beijing policies pursued by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena held talks for over an hour with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping here today.

    Xi and Sirisena discussed trilateral cooperation between India, China and Sri Lanka mooted by Beijing recently in an apparent bid to address New Delhi's reservations over MSR and its implications for India's security, especially after two Chinese submarines docked in Colombo harbour last year.

    "The two leaders also agreed to strengthen trilateral cooperation between China, Sri Lanka and India," Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao told the media after the talks.

    "The three are all important countries in the region. It will be really beneficial for the three counties to have cooperation in the areas like economic and social development. It is part of the China and South Asia cooperation," he said.

    Asked whether it was discussed during State Councillor Yang Jiechi's just-concluded visit to India to take part in the border talks, he said "they touched upon the China-South Asia cooperation".

    "They had general discussions on China, South Asia relationship," he said referring to Yang's talks in New Delhi.

    China proposed the trilateral cooperation after the fall of the Rajapaksa government.
    Sirisena also said he hoped to continue with the controversial USD 1.5 billion Colombo Port City project after investigations into environmental and corruption issues.

    "Sirisena stressed that what happened around the Port City project was rather temporary," Liu said.

    Sirisena told Xi that "problem does not lie with Chinese side and hoped to continue with the project after things are sorted out," Liu said adding that China believes it is a very good project and benefits not only Chinese but Sri Lankans as well in terms of development and job creation.

    But the project stated to be key to Xi's ambitious 21st century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project in the Indian Ocean, stands suspended until the new government reviews its licenses and probes allegations of corruption by the previous government of Rajapaksa.

    Reports say that Sirisena's government is trying to renegotiate the 575-acre project to be built on reclaimed land in front of Colombo's Galle Face green, part of which will be given to a state-owned Chinese firm on a 99-year lease, in effect making it a Chinese property.

    Sirisena is on a four-day visit with a high-level delegation which includes Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanyake besides Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem and several others.

    Significantly, the delegation includes former Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka who was recently appointed Field Marshal, five years after he was jailed by Rajapaksa for treason. Fonseka was dressed in traditional Sri Lankan attire.

    Liu said both presidents also discussed defence cooperation which included personnel training and providing military equipment to Sri Lanka.

    Also significantly, Xi said all the Chinese-funded projects in Sri Lanka can be shifted under the framework of the MSR bringing under the purview of USD 40 billion Silk Road fund announced by China.

    Xi also proposed that the two sides fully utilise the Silk Road fund and finance resources of the USD 50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to pursue the major projects within the framework of the MSR, Liu said.

    "They can be brought under MSR which means that they can have further finance sources. If it is put in the framework it is a good idea," Liu said.

    It is not clear whether the shifting of the projects worth about USD 5 billion addresses Sri Lanka's concerns that the loans carried heavy interest rates.

    Asked whether Sri Lanka concerns over the interest rates figured in the talks Liu said "they did not go that far and it is a decision that should be made by the Chinese companies".

    The two sides signed four agreements including Chinese assistance to public health in Sri Lanka, providing magnetic resonance scanner, feasibility study to renovate the island's superior courts and an MoU between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Sri Lanka's Urban Development, Water supply and Drainage ministry.

    Sirisena, who also met Premier Li Keqiang, would travel to the Chinese island of Sanya tomorrow to attend the Boao Forum for Asia.

Nasa rover completes 11-year Mars marathon
  • Nasa's Opportunity Mars rover has become the first human-made vehicle to complete a marathon on another planet a feat accomplished in a record time of no less than 11 years.

    Opportunity passed the 26-mile (42km) mark on 24 March 2015 after approximately 11 years and two months traveling the Martian terrain, where it surpassed scientists' original expectations for a mission lasting just several months.

    The solar-powered robot, which landed on Mars' Eagle Crater in January 2004, completed the marathon in the course of a 153-foot (46.5-metre) drive.

    "This is the first time any human enterprise has exceeded the distance of a marathon on the surface of another world," said John Callas, Opportunity project manager at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    During its mission, Opportunity and its twin rover, Spirit now defunct have discovered wet environmental conditions on ancient Mars, some of which are mild enough to have been favorable for life.

    "This mission isn't about setting distance records, of course; it's about making scientific discoveries on Mars and inspiring future explorers to achieve even more," said Steve Squyres, Opportunity principal investigator at Cornell University.

    Opportunity was given the long-term task of exploring the rim of the Endeavour Crater after its lifespan far exceeded scientists' expectations.

    Last June, the robot surpassed the record for the most miles clocked by any man-made vehicle on any celestial body by beating the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover, which landed on the moon in 1973.

    Meanwhile the much larger Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, is equipped with sophisticated scientific instruments, which have shed light on the possible microbial life that may have once inhabited the Red Planet.

Infosys gives average pay hike of 6.5%
  • BENGALURU: Infosys has given an average salary increase of 6.5% to employees for the year starting April 1, like last year.

    The average increment for top performers is 9%. For onsite employees (those in customer locations such as the US), the increase is 2%.

    "Compensation reviews are being rolled out in 55 countries across the globe, effective April 1, 2015. The average increase in India is 6.5% and can go up to 9% for high performers," the company announced on its intranet Sparsh. It said the increment letters would be sent to employees in India starting March 27, and to those onsite starting April 24.

    "The annual increment is inflation-linked, but the gap between performers and non-performers could widen. IT companies are increasingly using differential compensation structure to reward their top performers from the rest of the organization and that trend will continue as companies fiercely fight it out to retain top talent.

    The onsite salary increment is lower than expected," said Ajit Isaac, chairman of Quess Corp that owns Ikya Human Capital.Infosys has also said quarterly promotions and role changes would continue to take place across all levels. In the very first week of Vishal Sikka taking over as Infosys CEO in August last year, he had announced quarterly promotions and had promoted 5,000 employees. Since then, about 5,000 employees are being promoted each quarter.

    Harish HV, partner in the India leadership team at Grant Thornton, said Sikka has done a good job of boosting the morale of its employees by giving quarterly promotions and incentives.

Vajpayee to be conferred Bharat Ratna today
  • NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee will present the Bharat Ratna to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
     on Friday, Rashtrapati Bhavan said on Wednesday.

    The President will also confer the Bharat Ratna on Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) on March 30 at Rashtrapati Bhavan along with the Civil Investiture Ceremony for the Padma Awards, a statement said.

    The honour for Gwalior-born Vajpayee, who was prime minister first in 1996 and then again from 1998 to 2004, came after years of demands from all sections of society, including political leaders irrespective of party affiliations.

    Vajpayee will be the seventh prime minister to receive the award, after Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Gulzarilal Nanda.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Lok Sabha campaign, had promised Bharat Ratna for late freedom fighter-educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, who was also founder of the Banaras Hindu University.

IAS results put on hold after jat quota ruling
  • NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court order quashing Jat quota has forced the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to put on hold the announcement of IAS (Mains) examination results.

    The results, which government sources said should have been out had it not been for the March 17 judgment, will now be declared only after the government answers UPSC's queries on its implications for jat candidates taking the Mains exam.

    Though the UPSC was ready with Mains exam results over a week ago, the SC ruling scrapping reservation for jats under the OBC category has forced it to seek a clarification from the government. "Clarity is needed on how jat candidates, who were to be selected on the OBC quota, will be accommodated now that quota for the community no longer exists... this is why UPSC approached the department of personnel and training (DoPT) last week," a senior DoPT official said.

    The DoPT is now holding consultations with the law ministry and the social justice ministry to understand how quashing of jat quota will affect the ongoing selection process for elite civil services such as IAS, IPS and IFS. "UPSC expects a response from the government by next week and will announce the Mains examination results soon after," said an officer.

    Meanwhile, concerned jat leaders on Thursday approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the apex court verdict. A 70-member delegation of Jats from various states met him and sought his intervention to ensure that the community was not excluded from the benefits of reservation. One of the options suggested was to file a review petition in the SC, minister of state for agriculture Sanjeev Balyan, who was part of the delegation, said.

    A PMO statement issued after the meeting said: "The prime minister listened carefully to the issues raised by the delegation. He said the government is studying the Supreme Court decision and will try to find a solution to the issue within the legal framework."

    The top court had on March 17 scrapped reservation for the jat community given by the UPA government in nine states.

    Setting aside the notification extending OBC status to jats, the apex court slammed the Centre's decision to overlook the finding of an OBC panel that jat was not a backward class.

    "Caste, though a prominent factor, cannot be the sole factor of determining the backwardness of a class," the court had said, while referring to the historic judgment rendered by a larger bench on the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations on OBC reservations.

Reasoning Questions for AFSAT

  • 1. After walking 6 km, I turned right and covered adistance of 2 km, then turned left and covered a
    distance of 10 km. In the end, I was moving towardsthe north. From which direction did I start my
    (a) North
    (b) South
    (c) East
    (d) West
  • 2. In a certain code language EDITION is written asIDETNOI.
    How will the word MEDICAL be written in that code language?
    (a) DEMILAC
    (b) LACJM
    (c) DIEMCAL
    (d) MCADILE
  • 3.Find the odd one—
    (a) Shelley
    (b) Keats
    (c) Chaucer
    (d) Churchill
  • 4. In a row of boys Ganesh is 12th from the left and Rajan is 15th from the right. When they interchange
    their positions Rajan becomes 20th from the right. How many boys are there in the row?
    (a) 29
    (b) 31
    (c) 32
    (d) 30
  • 5. There are four roads. You are coming from South and want to go to the temp1e The road to your left
    leads away from coffee house. The front straight road leads to the college only. In which direction isthe
    temple located?
    (à) North
    (b) South
    (c) East
    (d) West
  • 6. Satellite : Planetary path
    (a) Missile : Projectile Path
    (b) Arrow : Plunge
    (c) Bullet : Pipe
    (d) Elevator : Axle
  • 7. Fill in the missing letter in the following series— S,V,Y,B,?
    (a) C
    (b) D
    (c) E
    (d) C
  • 8. Fill in the missing letter in the following series—
    A, Z, C, X, E?
    (a) C
    (b) D
    (c) W
    (d) V
  • 9. In a map south-east has be shown as north, north-east has been shown as west and so on. In this
    map what will west represent?
    (a) South-west
    (b) South-east
    (c) South
    (d) North-west
  • 10. In an imaginary system 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, are represented by z, y, x, w, v, u, t, s, r,q
    respectively. In such a system 23 *4 *5 will be written as (* indicates symbol of multiplication)
    (a) xyr
    (b) rvu
    (c) ysr
    (d) vtz
  • 11. Anand is related to Vinod and Cinderella. Deepais Cinderella’s mother. Also Deepa is Vinod’s sister
    and Ela is Vinod’s sister. How is Ela related to Cinderella?
    (a) Niece
    (b) Cousin
    (c) Sister
    (d) Aunt
  • 12. In certain code language the word NUMERICAL is written as LMUIREACN. How will the word
    PUBLISHED be written in that language?
    (c) DUBLSEHP
  • 13. If Dog is called Cat, Cat is called Lion, Lion is called Ox, Ox is called Cock, Cock is called Elephant, and
    Elephant is called Donkey, then farmer ploughs withwhich animal?
    (a) Dog
    (b) Lion
    (c) Donkey
    (d) Cock
  • 14. A debt becomes time-barred after:
    a) One year
    b) Two and a half year
    c) Three years
    d) Five years
    e) Six years
  • 15. In the matter of handling bills of exchange for collection, the relationship between customer and
    the bank is:
    a) Trustee and the beneficiary
    b) Principal and agent
    c) Bailor and bailee
    d) All of the above
    e) None of the above
  • 16. Hypothecation is:
    a) A transaction of conditional sale
    b) A legal transaction whereby goods may be made available as security for a debt
    c) Transfer of ownership by the borrower to the lender
    d) Either a or b
    e) None of the above
  • 17. Payment of a cheque may be countermanded by the ___
    a) Payee
    b) Drawer
    c) True owner
    d) Drawee
    e) None of these
  • 18. J.S. Verma Committee Report relates to:
    a) Strengthening of weak banks
    b) Corporate Governance
    c) Bank Mechanization
    d) All of the above
    e) None of the above
  • 19. AUsance Bill when presented for acceptance has to be accepted/ dishonoured within:
    a) 24 hours
    b) 36 hours
    c) 48 hours
    d) 60 hours
    e) 26 hours
  • 20. Invoice is a:
    a) Accounting document
    b) Legal document
    c) Commercial document
    d) All of the above
    e) None of the above
  • 21. When does a person become insolvent?
    a) When he left with no property of his own
    b) When he declares an insolvent by the Court
    c) When he terminates from a job he was holding
    d) When he declares himself to be an insolvent
    e) None of the above
  • 22. When two parties make an arrangement to exchange future cash flows, it is called:
    a) Options
     b) Arbitrage
    c) Swap
    d) Futures
    e) None of the above
  • 23. Which of the following banks enjoys the reputation of being at the top in market capitalization among all the private banks?
    a) ICICI Bank
    b) HDFC Bank
    c) Axis Bank
    d) Yes Bank
    e) IDBI Bank
  • 24. "Claused Bill of Landing" is one which indicates:
    a) Remaining constant in project cost
    b) Escalation in Project Cost
    c) Decrease in Project Cost
    d) All of the above
    e) None of the above
  • Answers:
    1) c 2) a 3) a 4) b 5) c 6) a 7)c  8) d 9) b 10) c
    11) a 12) d 13) d 14) c 15) b 16) b 17) b 18) a 19) c 20) c
    21) b 22) c 23) b 24) b

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