1-6 January 2014 – Current Affairs

Article Updated on 06 Jan, 2014
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GSLV-D5

1) Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 5 January 2014 successfully launched a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) with an indigenous cryogenic engine from the spaceport of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota (AP), entering a select club of nations. With this launch, ISRO became the sixth space agency in the world to have tasted success with an indigenous cryogenic engine. Which are the other five countries in this select club? – U.S., Russia, Japan, China and France (Launching a GSLV with an indigenous cryogenic engine has been a major challenge for ISRO since 2001 after multiple unsuccessful attempts. Only four of earlier seven attempts have succeeded. GSLV-D5’s scheduled launch on August 19 last year was called off in the eleventh hour after a fuel leak, following which ISRO moved the vehicle back to the Vehicle Assembly Building and rectified the defect. Cryogenic engines are essential for rockets to put communication satellites, weighing more than two tonnes, into orbit)

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2) Which country became the 18th member of Eurozone on 1 January 2014? – Latvia (The former Soviet republic on the Baltic Sea recently emerged from the financial crisis to become the EU’s fastest-growing economy. Latvia was given final clearance to join Eurozone on 9 July 2013 by finance ministers of the 28-nation European Union. It should be noted that 28-member EU is a political entity and represents the interest of all of Europe whereas Eurozone is a currency block of 18 nations that have accepted Euro as a common currency. Not all countries of EU use Euro as currency (Britain still uses Pound as its currency))

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3) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 31 December 2013 dismissed rumours that it has stopped banks from accepting scribbled currency notes from 1 January 2014 and announced that banks will continue to accept currency notes with scribbling. However, it reiterated that writing or scribbling on banknotes works against its policy to keep currency notes clean and sought co-operation from public, institutions and others in keeping the banknotes clean by not writing anything on them. What is the name of this policy which was released during 2013? – ‘Clean Note Policy’ (RBI in 2013 had said it has been noticed that at certain branches of banks, the practice of writing/scribbling on the body of the bank notes continues to remain in vogue. Under the present system of mechanised processing of banknotes inscription or scribbling on any part of the banknote would render it to be classified as unfit for reissue)

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4) Australia completed a 5-0 series whitewash over England with a 281-run victory inside three days of the fifth Ashes test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on 5 January 2014. English team was all out for 166 while chasing 448 for victory on the third day of the final test. When Australia had last whitewashed England by identical margin? – In 2006-07

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5) Ex-banker Meera Sanyal came to news after she quit her job as the chairperson of the Indian operations of an international bank to join Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) recently. She was associated with which bank? – Royal Bank of Scotland (India) – Meera is not new to politics and she hopes to contest the Lok Sabha election from Mumbai South, where she, as an Independent, lost to Milind Deora of the Congress in 2009.

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6) Software services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) during January 2014 announced plans to open world’s largest training centre and learning campus which will have a built-up area of 6.1 million sq ft and provide accommodation for professionals and the faculty. Where is this huge campus going to be established? – In Technocity campus, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala (The global learning centre to be set up by TCS on the Technocity campus will have facilities to train 50,000 professionals every year. The company claims that it will be the world’s largest corporate learning and development centre. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the facility on 4 January 2014)

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7) Which U.S. state came to news recently after it legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use from 1 January 2014? – Colorado (From 1 January 2014 Colorado legalized the sale of marijuana on experimental basis. Under this experiment, Colorado residents 21 and older are allowed to buy up to an ounce of marijuana per transaction, and out-of-state customers are allowed to purchase up to a quarter-ounce. If Colorado is able to successfully legalize marijuana without causing a social backlash, the tourism, tax and other considerations are likely to compel several other states to quickly follow suit)

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