Daily Current Affairs Quiz - 19th March 2024

Dear Readers, Daily Current Affairs Questions Quiz for SBI, IBPS, RBI, RRB, SSC Exam 2024 of 19th March 2024. Daily GK quiz online for bank & competitive exam. Here we have given the Daily Current Affairs Quiz based on the previous days Daily Current Affairs updates. Candidates preparing for IBPS, SBI, RBI, RRB, SSC Exam 2024 & other competitive exams can make use of these Current Affairs Quiz.

 

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1) Large fund houses, such as HDFC MF and SBI MF, with assets of ₹28,597 crore and ₹25,534 crore, will require 42 and 60 days to sell what percentage of their assets in the event of significant redemption?

(a) 25%

(b) 50%

(c) 75%

(d) 80%

(e) 100%


2)
Which bank's former Chief General Manager, Devendra Kumar, has been appointed by the RBI to Abhyudaya Cooperative Bank's 'Committee of Advisors'?

(a) State Bank of India

(b) Canara bank

(c) Indian bank

(d) Bank of Baroda

(e) Punjab National Bank


3)
Cards-in-force climbed gradually by how many percent in January 2024, approaching the milestone of 10 crore outstanding credit cards in India?

(a) 1.62%

(b) 1.63%

(c) 1.64%

(d) 1.66%

(e) 1.65%


4)
According to the Reserve Bank of India data, banks such as American Express, Standard Chartered, Union Bank, and Bank of Maharashtra saw a modest fall in card volume during the month. Which bank remained the leader among the top four issuers?

(a) ICICI bank

(b) HDFC bank

(c) SBI

(d) Axis bank

(e) DBS bank


5)
The Securities and Exchange Board of India requires index providers to register under the regulatory framework. Index providers must have a net worth of how many crores and at least 5 years of expertise in index administration?

(a) Rs.15crores

(b) Rs.20crores

(c) Rs.25crores

(d) Rs.10crores

(e) Rs.35crores


6)
Max India's subsidiary collaborates with which Indian Institute of Technology to provide senior citizen care?

(a) IIT Bombay

(b) IIT Delhi

(c) IIT Kanpur

(d) IIT Madras

(e) IIT Roorkee


7)
In which version of the Five-Year Plan did India promise to enhance its assistance to Bhutan?

(a) 12th

(b) 13th

(c) 15th

(d) 14th

(e) 11th


8)
How many Lok Sabha seats will be decided in India's general elections, which will take place in seven phases from April 19 to June 1?

(a) 542

(b) 543

(c) 541

(d) 545

(e) 547


9)
Pokhara is to be designated as Nepal's tourism capital.What does the Nepalese word "pokhari" mean?

(a) Lake

(b) Reservoir

(c) Pond

(d) River

(e) Sea


10)
Net direct tax receipts are projected to exceed the FY24 target of how many lakh crores?

(a) Rs.19.40lakh crores

(b) Rs.19.45lakh crores

(c) Rs.19.50lakh crores

(d) Rs.19.55lakh crores

(e) Rs.19.30lakh crores


11)
Coal stocks are expected to reach 155mt by the end of FY24, especially during the summer months. How many GW is the estimated peak electricity consumption in the coming fiscal year?

(a) 250GW

(b) 240GW

(c) 260GW

(d) 280GW

(e) 270GW


12)
With over a fortnight left in the fiscal year, the government has collected a record Rs 61,149 crores in dividends from CPSEs. How much percentage higher is this figure than the revised forecast for 2023-24?

(a) 21%

(b) 22%

(c) 23%

(d) 24%

(e) 25%


13
) Adani Group aims to invest ₹1.2 lakh crore in portfolio companies by FY25. How much greater is the forecast capital expenditure or capex for fiscal year 2024-25 (April 2024 to March 2025) compared to the portfolio expected to incur in FY24?

(a) 40%

(b) 20%

(c) 30%

(d) 25%

(e) 45%


14)
For how many years has the strong services trade surplus in February 2024 caused experts to lower their predictions of India's current account deficit (CAD) for the current fiscal year?

(a) 12year

(b) 13year

(c) 14year

(d) 15year

(e) 11year


15)
Who will receive the Music Academy's Sangita Kalanidhi Award in 2024?

(a) T.M. Harikrishna

(b) T.M. Gopala Naidu

(c) T.M Krishna

(d) T.M Geetha Raj

(e) T.M Raveendaran


16)
Former bureaucrat Navneet Kumar Sehgal has been named Prasar Bharati's new chairman.The Information and Broadcasting Ministry stated that Sehgal's term will run for three years or until he reaches what age, whichever comes first?

(a) 65years

(b) 70years

(c) 68years

(d) 66years

(e) 69years


17)
The government has appointed Sheyphali B Sharan as its new spokesperson, effective April 2024. Sharan will be the first woman officer to lead the PIB since which year?

(a) 2012

(b) 2013

(c) 2014

(d) 2015

(e) 2016


18)
An Indian Army contingent has left for the Seychelles for a joint military drill known as "Exercise Lamitiye - 2024." What is the meaning of “Lamitiye” in the Creole language?

(a) Vowing

(b) Operation

(c) Friendship

(d) Belief

(e) Experience


19)
Japan's SoftBank Group has decreased its shareholding in payments startup Paytm to 2.83%, down from what percentage?

(a) 5.02%

(b) 5.01%

(c) 5.03%

(d) 5.04%

(e) 5.05%


20)
Matthew Wade, a former Australian Test wicketkeeper, has retired from which colour Ball game but plans to continue playing shorter formats of cricket?

(a) Green

(b) Red

(c) Black

(d) Blue

(e) White


21)
In the 2024 Women's Premier League final in New Delhi, Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Delhi Capitals by how many wickets?

(a) 5

(b) 6

(c) 7

(d) 9

(e) 8


22)
Lama Lobzang, a tribal leader, passed away.Lama Lobzang, a famous tribal leader, served on the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for how many years?

(a) 15years

(b) 16years

(c) 19years

(d) 17years

(e) 18years


23)
Which article of the Indian Constitution relates to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes?

(a) Article 338

(b) Article 338 B

(c) Article 336

(d) Article 338 A

(e) Article 339


24)
Sadi Mohammad, a renowned Rabindra Sangeet singer, passed away. When did Mohammad receive the Channel i's Lifetime Achievement Award?

(a) 2014

(b) 2015

(c) 2017

(d) 2016

(e) 2018


25)
Prasar Bharati is India's largest public broadcaster. In which year was the Prasar Bharati Act passed?

(a) 1990

(b) 1995

(c) 1997

(d) 1996

(e) 1992


Answers :

1) Answer: B

Large fund houses, including HDFC MF and SBI MF, with assets of ₹28,597 crore and ₹25,534 crore, will take 42 and 60 days to sell 50 per cent of their assets in the event of heavy redemption. On the other hand, smaller players like Edelweiss MF will take only 3 days to offload half of their small-cap portfolio.  The longer a fund takes to give money back to investors, the higher the stress levels. AMFI, prompted by SEBI, directed fund houses to conduct stress tests and announce the outcomes.

Detailed Explanation:

The market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), mandated a stress test on mid- and small-cap mutual fund schemes.The test revealed that some larger fund houses may face higher risks compared to their smaller counterparts. Large fund houses, including HDFC MF and SBI MF, with assets of ₹28,597 crore and ₹25,534 crore, will take 42 and 60 days to sell 50 per cent of their assets in the event of heavy redemption. On the other hand, smaller players like Edelweiss MF will take only 3 days to offload half of their small-cap portfolio.  The longer a fund takes to give money back to investors, the higher the stress levels.

AMFI, prompted by SEBI, directed fund houses to conduct stress tests and announce the outcomes. The stress test aimed to address SEBI's concerns about market froth due to continuous inflows into these schemes, primarily from retail investors seeking high returns. Time to Liquidate Assets : According to Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) data, it would take between 60 and 3 days to liquidate 50% of a small-cap portfolio and 30 to 2 days to offload 25% during heavy redemption. Mid-cap funds could liquidate 50% and 25% of their investments within a maximum of 34 and 17 days, respectively. Largest Fund House in Small-Cap Space:The largest fund house in the small-cap space, Nippon India Mutual Fund, with an asset under management of ₹46,030 crore, has revealed that it can sell 50% and 25% of its assets in 27 and 13 days, respectively.


2) Answer: A

Former Chief General Manager of the State Bank of India (SBI), Devendra Kumar has been appointed to the 'Committee of Advisors' of Abhyudaya Cooperative Bank by the RBI following the resignation of Mahendra Chhajed. Mahendra Chhajed tendered his resignation from the Committee effective from March 4, 2024, citing personal reasons.

Detailed Explanation:

The “Committee of Advisors” will now comprise of following members:

(i) Shri Devendra Kumar (former Chief General Manager, SBI);

(ii) Shri Venkatesh Hegde (former General Manager, SBI);

(iii) Shri Suhas Gokhale (former MD, COSMOS Co-operative Bank Limited)

On November 24, 2023, the RBI superseded the bank’s Board of Directors for 12 months and appointed Satya Prakash Pathak, also a former Chief General Manager of State Bank of India, as "Administrator" to manage the affairs of the bank during this period. Despite the appointment of an administrator, the RBI stated that there are no restrictions placed on the bank’s business, and it shall continue to carry out its normal banking activities under the guidance of the administrator.


3) Answer: B

Cards-in-force increased steadily by 1.63 per cent in January 2024, inching close to the milestone of 10 crore outstanding credit cards in India. The total number of credit cards stood at 9.95 crore as of the end of January 2024, aided by HDFC Bank crossing 2 crore cards during the month. The number of credit cards rose by nearly 16 lakhs during the month, slower than 19 lakh additions in December 2023.

Detailed Explanation:

According to data by the Reserve Bank of India, banks such as American Express, Standard Chartered, Union Bank and Bank of Maharashtra saw a slight decline in their cards during the month. Among the top four issuers, HDFC Bank maintained its leadership position, adding 2.3 lakh cards during the month to a total of 2.01 crore cards at the end of January.  State Bank of India was a close second with 1.9 crore cards, followed by ICICI Bank which saw the highest increase in cards on the back of 3.1 lakh additions. New cards issued by SBI and Axis Bank during the month were below 2 lakhs. Card spending for the month was steady, growing 0.8 per cent on month to ₹1.66-lakh crore, the second highest ever spending after the peak of ₹1.78-lakh crore spent in October 2023. E-commerce payments accounted for 64.8 percent of credit card spending during the month, whereas PoS (point-of-sale) transactions comprised 35.2 percent of spending.


4) Answer: B

According to data from the Reserve Bank of India, banks such as American Express, Standard Chartered, Union Bank and Bank of Maharashtra saw a slight decline in their cards during the month. Among the top four issuers, HDFC Bank maintained its leadership position, adding 2.3 lakh cards during the month to a total of 2.01 crore cards at the end of January.

Detailed Explanation:

According to data from the Reserve Bank of India, banks such as American Express, Standard Chartered, Union Bank and Bank of Maharashtra saw a slight decline in their cards during the month. Among the top four issuers, HDFC Bank maintained its leadership position, adding 2.3 lakh cards during the month to a total of 2.01 crore cards at the end of January.  State Bank of India was a close second with 1.9 crore cards, followed by ICICI Bank which saw the highest increase in cards on the back of 3.1 lakh additions. New cards issued by SBI and Axis Bank during the month were below 2 lakh. Card spending for the month was steady, growing 0.8 per cent on month to ₹1.66-lakh crore, the second highest ever spending after the peak of ₹1.78-lakh crore spent in October 2023. E-commerce payments accounted for 64.8 percent of credit card spending during the month, whereas PoS (point-of-sale) transactions comprised 35.2 percent of spending.


5) Answer: C

Registration Requirement : Under SEBI’s new framework, index providers offering indices for use in India need to be registered with the regulator and get authorization for the introduction of such indices. Financial and Experience Criteria: Index providers must have a minimum net worth of Rs 25 crores and at least 5 years of experience in index administration.

Detailed Explanation:

The regulatory framework laid out for index providers by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has come into effect, and this is aimed at strengthening transparency and accountability in the administration of benchmark indices.

Registration Requirement : Under SEBI’s new framework, index providers offering indices for use in India need to be registered with the regulator and get authorization for the introduction of such indices. Financial and Experience Criteria: Index providers must have a minimum net worth of Rs 25 crore and at least 5 years of experience in index administration. Oversight Committee Requirement: Index providers are mandated to establish an oversight committee responsible for reviewing the existing index design and methodology to ensure alignment with the index's nomenclature and description. Importance of Indices: Indices play a crucial role in stock market trading by helping investors assess overall market sentiment. Linkage to Financial Products : Moreover, several indices are linked to financial products such as exchange-traded derivatives, index funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and market-linked debentures.  Indices are also used as a benchmark for actively managed mutual funds. Ownership and Management of Benchmarks: Currently, benchmark indices in India are owned and managed by entities of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Growth of Passive Products: The Indian capital markets have witnessed significant growth in passive products, with over 200 such products, including ETFs and index funds, compared to just 8 products in 2008. Exclusions : SEBI has excluded indices that are for exclusive use in a foreign jurisdiction.  Benchmarks regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are also excluded from these regulations. Impact on Industry Players: Entities like NSE Indices and Asia Index (AIPL), which compile popular indices such as Nifty50 and Sensex respectively, will need to register with Sebi as per the new regulations.


6) Answer: B

Max India Limited's wholly owned subsidiary, Antara Assisted Care Services Limited, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi)to develop offerings tailored specifically for the senior demographic.

Detailed Explanation:

Focus Areas : Research and Development: Research to design solutions targeting the needs of seniors, particularly in mobility-related disabilities and cognitive health. Product Development: Create mobility-assisting products and cognitive enhancement games to address age-related issues such as Dementia. Collaborative Activities : The collaboration entails knowledge exchange, research consultancy, Entrepreneurial Development Programs (EDPs), and the sharing of laboratory resources.  Focus on Inclusive Design Solutions:The collaboration emphasizes the development of inclusive design solutions that promote safety, independence, cognition, and communication for the elderly population. Specific Project:One of the projects under this collaboration involves designing a walking aid customized to the specific needs and preferences of seniors.


7) Answer: B

India has agreed to increase its support to Bhutan in its upcoming 13th Five-Year Plan and will also extend an additional standby credit facility over and above the two existing ones, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra announced. In a bilateral meeting between visiting Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two also discussed shaping sustainable arrangements for the export of agricultural commodities from Bhutan and for a short supply of critical commodities, such as petroleum, fertilisers and coal, to the country.

Detailed Explanation:

The two leaders touched upon several issues relating to trade, connectivity and investment cooperation.  This included discussions on infrastructure connectivity pertaining to integrated check post, rail connectivity, air connectivity, digital connectivity, people-to-people linkages andinland waterways, Kwatra said. For the 12th Five-Year Plan, per a government note. The key areas of focus of India’s assistance included agriculture and irrigation development, ICT, health, industrial development, road transport, energy, civil aviation, urban development, human resource development, capacity building, scholarship, education and culture. India will also try and expedite the proposed `Kokrajhar-Gelephu’ rail link project, being built with its help, in consultation with the Bhutanese side. “This in some ways will be historic because this would be the first-ever rail link between India and Bhutan. Naturally, it links up well with the rest of the regional connectivity infrastructure in South Asia. In the field of hydro-power, the two have agreed to an upward revision of the tariff of the Chhukha hydroelectric project. India will positively consider Bhutan’s request to sell power from its hydro-power project, known as Basochhu hydro-electric project, which could perhaps be done through the energy exchange mechanism of the market.


8) Answer: B

India's general elections will be held in seven phases from April 19 to June 1 with votes for the 543 Lok Sabha seats to be counted on June 4, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced in New DelhiPrime Minister Narendra Modi will be looking to lead the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a third victory in a row, having won in 2014 and 2019, against an opposition led by the Congress party and others.

Detailed Explanation:

India's general elections will be held in seven phases from April 19 to June 1 with votes for the 543 Lok Sabha seats to be counted on June 4, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced in New Delhi.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be looking to lead the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a third victory in a row, having won in 2014 and 2019, against an opposition led by the Congress party and others. The first phase of the world’s biggest electoral exercise will see the maximum number of constituencies go to the polls — 102 in 21 states including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya as well as the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The next phases will be on April 26 (89 Lok Sabha seats), May 7 (94) and May 13 (96). The remaining elections will be on May 20 (49), May 25 (57) and June 1 (57).


9) Answer: C

The Nepali word "Pokhari " means "pond". Pokhara is a metropolitan city in central Nepal, which serves as the capital of Gandaki Province. It is the second most populous city of Nepal after Kathmandu, with 599,504 inhabitants living in 120,594 households in 2021. It is the country's largest metropolitan city in terms of area.

Detailed Explanation:

The government of Nepal officially declared Pokhara, located in the Gandaki province, as the tourism capital of the country. The declaration, made during a ceremony at Barahighat near the picturesque Phewa Lake, marks a significant step for the city and the country's tourism industry.  Significance of Declaration:This declaration is considered a significant step for both Pokhara and Nepal's tourism industry. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ presided over the ceremony, which featured musical performances by renowned singers. Criteria for Designation:Pokhara was chosen as the tourism capital based on its fulfilment of criteria across 20 different indicators. The city has long been recognized as a central hub for tourism in Nepal due to its stunning natural beauty and various adventure activities. Impact on International Recognition:The declaration aims to establish Pokhara as a recognizable 'brand' on the international stage, according to Pokhara Mayor Dhanaraj Acharya. Memorandum Submission by Pokhara Tourism Council (PTC):The PTC submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister during the ceremony, outlining key areas for improvement. One major request was the immediate launch of international flights from the Pokhara Regional International Airport.


10) Answer: B

Advance tax payments have bolstered net direct tax collections, which may now surpass the upwardly revised target of Rs 19.45 lakh crores by the end of this fiscal.

Detailed Explanation:

Advance tax payments have bolstered net direct tax collections, which may now surpass the upwardly revised target of Rs 19.45 lakh crores by the end of this fiscal

Net direct tax collections from April 1, 2023, to March 15, 2024, stood at Rs 18.95 lakh crore, up 14.05% year on year, buoyed by advance tax collections of Rs 9.10 lakh crore. So far, corporates have paid Rs 6.72 lakh crore in advance tax while individuals accounted for Rs 2.37 lakh crore.


11) Answer: C

Coal stocks across power plants in the country will be enough to meet the anticipated surge in power demand in the upcoming summer, according to Amrit Lal Meena, secretary of the Union Ministry of Coal. Total coal stocks may touch 155 million tonnes by the end of the fiscal, against 125mt last year. The peak power demand in the next fiscal is expected touch 260 GW, a new high, and way above the 243 GW hit last year.

Detailed Explanation:

Total coal stocks may touch 155 million tonnes by the end of the fiscal, against 125mt last year. Noting that since November coal stocks at thermal plants have increased at a rapid pace, daily coal stock accretion stood at about 194,000 tonnes in the second half of February, compared with 26,000 tonnes in the corresponding period of last year. Similarly in the first half of March, stocks grew by about 209,000 tonnes, compared with a depletion of 42,000 tonnes during the corresponding period of the last fiscal as temperatures rose in March last year. The peak power demand in the next fiscal is expected to touch 260 GW, a new high, and way above the 243 GW hit last year. The increase in production capacity and improvement in logistics, higher number of rakes, and enhanced first-mile connectivity for evacuation of coal would ensure adequate stocks at plants in the months ahead.  Blending of imported coal by domestic coal-based power plants has declined nearly 28% on a year-on-year basis in FY24 to 22.2 million tonnes


12) Answer: B

The government's dividend mopup from non-financial central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) and entities in which it holds minority stakes has touched a record ₹61,149 crore, 22% higher than the revised estimate for 2023-24, with almost a fortnight to go this fiscal. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam) has recorded total receipts of Rs 75,886 crore, comprising both disinvestment proceeds and dividend collections.

Detailed Explanation:

Disinvestment revenue for the financial year currently stands at Rs 14,737 crore. The 2023-24 Interim Budget projected dividend collections of Rs 50,000 crore, which surpassed the initial target of Rs 43,000 crore.  During the first half of March alone, dividend receipts amounted to nearly Rs 10,000 crore. The revised estimate for miscellaneous receipts for the current financial year also stands at Rs 30,000 crore. This month, the government received dividend payments of Rs 2,149 crore from Power Grid Corporation of India, Rs 2,043 crore from Coal India, Rs 1,115 crore from NTPC, Rs 1,054 crore from Hindustan Aeronautics, Rs 1,024 crore from NMDC, Rs 948 crore from NHPC, Rs 647 crore from Power Finance Corporation, Rs 188 crore from National Aluminium Company, and Rs 67 crore from Cochin Shipyard. Dividend flow from CPSEs has been broad-based this financial year despite a relatively lower payout from HZL.  A consistent dividend policy advisory issued by Dipam in 2020 has encouraged CPSEs to maintain regular dividend payments.  Ministries have also encouraged diversification within CPSEs


13) Answer: A

Adani Group plans to invest more than ₹ 1.2 lakh crore ($14 billion) across its portfolio companies that range from ports to energy, airports, commodities, cement and media in the fiscal year starting April 1, as it doubles down on its $100 billion investment guidance over thenext seven-ten years to grow businesses. The projected capital expenditure or capex for 2024-25 (April 2024 to March 2025) fiscal is 40% higher than what the portfolio is estimated to have incurred in FY24.

Detailed Explanation:

Adani Group plans to invest more than ₹ 1.2 lakh crore ($14 billion) across its portfolio companies that range from ports to energy, airports, commodities, cement and media in the fiscal year starting April 1, as it doubles down on its $100 billion investment guidance over thenext seven-ten years to grow businesses The projected capital expenditure or capex for 2024-25 (April 2024 to March 2025) fiscal is 40% higher than what the portfolio is estimated to have incurred in FY24. According to analysts, the portfolio is estimated to have incurred a capex of around $10 billion in FY24 which ends on March 31. The group had previously guided a $100 billion capex over the next 7-10 years.  Most of this investment is going to go into group fast-growing businesses - renewable, green hydrogen and airports. India's largest infrastructure conglomerate with showcase projects like Navi Mumbai Airport, Ganga Expressway, the world's largest renewable park at Khavda in Gujarat and Mundra Port has committed a $100 billion investment over the next 7-10 years. This investment will play a pivotal role in transforming India's energy and transportation landscape.


14) Answer: B

The near-13-year high services trade surplus in February 2024 has prompted economists to scale down their projections of India’s current account deficit (CAD) for the current financial yearMany economists now expect CAD to come in at 0.8-0.9% of the GDP during the entire FY24, as compared to their previous forecast of 1.1-1.2%. The services trade surplus has consistently risen since November 2023, narrowing the gap with the merchandise trade deficit, and giving a fillip to the current account balance. India’s overall trade deficit during February was a meagre $2billion, lower than $4.2 billion in January.

Detailed Explanation:

The near-13-year high services trade surplus in February 2024 has prompted economists to scale down their projections of India’s current account deficit (CAD) for the current financial year.  Many economists now expect CAD to come in at 0.8-0.9% of the GDP during the entire FY24, as compared to their previous forecast of 1.1-1.2%. The services trade surplus has consistently risen since November 2023, narrowing the gap with the merchandise trade deficit, giving a fillip to the current account balance. India’s overall trade deficit during February was meagre $2billion, lower than $4.2 billion in January.

During February, the country’s services trade surplus came in at $16.8 billion – the highest since April 2011 – as against $16.2 billion in January.  This was due to the record-high services exports, which stood at $32.2 billion in February as compared to $31 billion in January. Services imports, meanwhile, stood at $15.4 billion as against $14.9 billion. Services trade surplus since the past three months has stayed consecutively above the $16-billion-mark, while goods trade deficit has remained contained below $20-billion, leading to sharp decline in the country’s overall trade deficit. In April-February, merchandise trade deficit lowered 8.4% on year, while services trade surplus soared by 17.8%.


15) Answer: C

Noted Carnatic vocalist and Magsaysay award winner T.M. Krishna has been selected for the Sangita Kalanidhi award of the Music Academy for 2024. The Sangita Kala Acharya Awards will be presented to mridhangam player Parasala Ravi (V. Raveendran Nair) and vocalist Geetha Raja.

Detailed Explanation:

Noted Carnatic vocalist and Magsaysay award winner T.M. Krishna has been selected for the Sangita Kalanidhi award of the Music Academy for 2024. The news about the award was conveyed to Mr. Krishna by N. Murali, president, of Music Academy, when he was performing, with his wife Sangeetha and students, at the memorial of St. Thyagaraja at Thiruvaiyaru. The Sangita Kala Acharya Awards will be presented to mridhangam player Parasala Ravi (V. Raveendran Nair) and vocalist Geetha Raja.

TTK Awards will go to Thiruvaiyyaru Brothers S. Narasimhan and S. Venkatesan, who are from a musical lineage that stretches back to Tyagaraja. Another artiste who will get the award is violinist H.K. Narasimhamurthy.  The Musicologist Award will be given to Dr. Margaret Bastin.  This year’s Nritya Kalanidhi Award will be presented to Dr. Neena Prasad.


16) Answer: B

Breaking a four-year vacancy, the Indian government has appointed Navneet Kumar Sehgal, a retired bureaucrat, as the new Chairman of Prasar Bharati, the country's public service broadcaster. The Information & Broadcasting Ministry states that Sehgal’s term will last for 3 years or until he reaches the age of 70, whichever comes earlier. The chairperson’s post has been vacant since A Surya Prakash reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in February 2020

Detailed Explanation:

Breaking a four-year vacancy, the Indian government has appointed Navneet Kumar Sehgal, a retired bureaucrat, as the new Chairman of Prasar Bharati, the country's public service broadcaster. The Information & Broadcasting Ministry states that Sehgal’s term will last for 3 years or until he reaches the age of 70, whichever comes earlier. The chairperson’s post has been vacant since A Surya Prakash reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in February 2020. The order stated that the President had made the appointment on the selection committee’s recommendation. The appointment followed a crucial meeting chaired by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar to select the new chairman of the country's public broadcaster.

As the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Dhankhar led the selection panel responsible for this decision. The three-member panel comprised Dhankhar, Justice Ranjana Desai (retd), the Chairperson of the Press Council of India, and Information and Broadcasting Secretary Sanjay Jaju.


17) Answer: C

According to an order issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the government has appointed a 1990-batch Indian Information Service (IIS) officer, Sheyphali B Sharan as its new spokesperson. Sharan will be the 1st woman officer to head the PIB since the Modi government first came into power in 2014. She is the 5th woman officer to head the PIB after Neelam Kapur, Deepak Sandhu, Shakuntala Mahawal and N J Krishna.

Detailed Explanation:

According to an order issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the government has appointeda 1990-batch Indian Information Service (IIS) officer, Sheyphali B Sharan as its new spokesperson. Sharan, will take charge as principal director general (PDG) of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) after incumbent PDG Manish Desai’s tenure ends on 31 March, 2024. Sharan had earlier served as the spokesperson of the Election Commission and the finance ministry.Maushami Chakraborty has been appointed director general of All India Radio (AIR), the public news broadcaster.


18) Answer: C

Indian Army contingent departed for Seychelles to participate in the 10th edition of Joint Military Exercise “LAMITIYE-2024” between the Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF).  ‘LAMITIYE’ meaning ‘Friendship’ in the Creole language is a biennial training event and has been conducted in Seychelles since 2001.

Detailed Explanation:

Indian Army contingent departed for Seychelles to participate in the 10th edition of Joint Military Exercise “LAMITIYE-2024” between the Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF).  ‘LAMITIYE’ meaning ‘Friendship’ in the Creole language is a biennial training event and has been conducted in Seychelles since 2001.

The Joint Exercise will be conducted in Seychelles from 18-27 March 2024.

Aim of the Exercise : To enhance interoperability in Sub-conventional Operations in Semi-Urban environments under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter on Peacekeeping Operations.  Participating Forces:45 personnel each from the GORKHA RIFLES of the Indian Army and the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) will participate in the exercise.


19) Answer: B

Japan's SoftBank Group has further reduced its stake in payments firm Paytm to 2.83% from 5.01%. The conglomerate, which held a 17.5% stake in Paytm in September 2022, has trimmed its ownership for more than a year through multiple open market deals, with its most recent cut being in January. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of One 97 Communications Limited, recently stepped down as part-time non-executive chairman and board member at Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL).

Detailed Explanation:

Japan's SoftBank Group has further reduced its stake in payments firm Paytm to 2.83% from 5.01%. The conglomerate, which held a 17.5% stake in Paytm in September 2022, has trimmed its ownership for more than a year through multiple open market deals, with its most recent cut being in January. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of One 97 Communications Limited, recently stepped down as part-time non-executive chairman and board member at Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL).  Additionally, SoftBank Group withdrew all of its nominees from the payments bank’s board. PPBL's board has been reconstituted and now includes former Central Bank of India chairman Srinivasan Sridhar, retired IAS officers Debendranath Sarangi and Rajni Sekhri Sibal, as well as former executive director of Bank of Baroda Ashok Kumar Garg.


20) Answer: B

Australian wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade, will retire from first-class cricket after the upcoming Sheffield Shield final but will remain available for selection in white-ball formats.Former Australian Test wicketkeeper Matthew Wade has called time on the red-ball game, but will continue playing cricket’s shorter formats.

Detailed Explanation:

The Sheffield Shield final between Tasmania and Western Australia, beginning here on March 21, will be Wade's final red-ball match of a career that started in 2012. After that game, the left-handed batter will join Gujarat Titans for IPL 2024, though he will miss the first couple of matches as the Shield final clashes with the league's schedule. The 36-year-old announced ahead of the Sheffield Shield final next week where his native Tasmania meet Western Australia in his 166th and last first-class match.


21) Answer: E

Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Delhi Capitals by eight wickets in the Women's Premier League 2024 final, in New Delhi. After bundling out Delhi for 113, RCB reached 115/2 in 19.2 overs.

Detailed Explanation:

Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Delhi Capitals by eight wickets in the Women's Premier League 2024 final, in New Delhi. After bundling out Delhi for 113, RCB reached 115/2 in 19.2 overs.  Richa Ghosh (17*) hit the match-winning four, wrapping up proceedings with Ellyse Perry (35*).  RCB got a strong start in their run chase, courtesy of Sophie Devine's 32.  The opener fell to Shikha Pandey and failed to build on her start. Meanwhile, Smriti Mandhana (31) lost her wicket to Minnu Mani


22) Answer: C

Former member of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Prominent Buddhist Monk of Ladakh popularly known as Lama Lobzang passed away in New Delhi at the age of 94. Lama Lobzang, a distinguished tribal leader & served in the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for a total of 19 years since 1984.

Detailed Explanation:

Lama Lobzang, a distinguished tribal leader & served in the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for a total of 19 years since 1984. He was reappointed as a member of the Commission for two terms after its constitutional amendment, from 1995 to 1998 and 1998 to 2001, respectively. He later served as a member of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes from 2004 to 2007 before retiring from public office. During his six decades of public service, Lama Lobzang contributed significantly to the health sector. He facilitated patients for medical treatments at AIIMS and organized free medical camps in Leh Ladakh. He pulled doctors from prestigious medical institutes like AIIMS Delhi and Safdarjung Hospital to provide medical care to needy people in Ladakh. He also served as the president in several Buddhist Organisations including the International Buddhist Conference and the World Fellowship of Buddhists.


23) Answer: A

About National Commission for Scheduled Castes :

  • Headquarters : New Delhi,Delhi
  • Chairman : Kishor Makwana
  • The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is an Indian constitutional body under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
  • Article 338 of the Indian constitution deals with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
  • Article 338 A deals with the National Commission for Scheduled tribes.


24) Answer: C

In 2007, Mohammad debuted as a music composer when he released the album Amakey Khujey Pabey Bhorer Shishirey. He released the albums Srabon Akashey in 2009 and Sharthok Janom Amar in 2012. He served as the director of the cultural organization, Rabi Raag. In 2017, Mohammad was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Channel i. He received the Rabindra Award from the Bangla Academy in 2025.

Detailed Explanation:

In Bangladesh, a legendary Rabindra Sangeet singer and composer Sadi Mohammad passed away at the age of 70. Sadi Mohammad is the son of Liberation War martyr Salim Ullah.

In 2007, Mohammad debuted as a music composer when he released the album Amakey Khujey Pabey Bhorer Shishirey. He released the albums Srabon Akashey in 2009 and Sharthok Janom Amar in 2012. He served as the director of the cultural organization, Rabi Raag. In 2017, Mohammad was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Channel i. He received the Rabindra Award from the Bangla Academy in 2025.


25) Answer: A

About Prasar Bharati :

  • Headquarters : New Delhi, Delhi
  • Prasar Bharati is India’s largest public broadcasting agency.
  • It was established by the Prasar Bharati Act of 1990, which came into effect in 1997.
  • Prasar Bharati oversees the operations of Doordarshan, the national television network, and All India Radio, the national public radio broadcaster.
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