Daily Current Affairs Quiz - 30th December 2023

Dear Readers, Daily Current Affairs Questions Quiz for SBI, IBPS, RBI, RRB, SSC Exam 2023 of 30th December 2023. 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 2023 & other competitive exams can make use of these Current Affairs Quiz.

 

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1) When does SEBI extend the deadline for mutual funds and demat account nomination filings?              

(a) December 2024

(b) April 2024

(c) June 2024

(d) July 2024

(e) January 2024


2) The minimum duration for a Government Security Lending (GSL) transaction is how many days, while the maximum period would be the maximum period prescribed to cover short sales?

(a) One

(b) Two

(c) Three

(d) Four

(e) Five


3) IDFC-IDFC First Bank merger approved by Reserve Bank of India. Which year did IDFC start out as an infra lender?

(a) 1991

(b) 1993

(c) 1995

(d) 1997

(e) 1999


4) Which country initiated the T+1 settlement cycle in top-listed securities first in the world?

(a) USA

(b) China

(c) Japan

(d) UK

(e) Russia


5) The President will appoint the CEC and ECs in accordance with the provisions, based on the Selection Committee's recommendation. For how many years will the Chief Election Commissioner and the other Election Commissioners serve in office?

(a)  3years

(b)  4years

(c)  5years

(d)  6years

(e)  2years


6) A notification issued by the Finance Ministry states that there has been an increase of how many basis points in the interest rate on the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme?

(a) 10

(b) 20

(c) 30

(d) 40

(e) 50


7) Which ministry's "One Nation-One Pass" policy will facilitate business transactions?

(a) Ministry of Home Affairs

(b) Ministry of Finance

(c) Ministry of External affairs

(d) Ministry of Environment

(e) Ministry of MSME


8) The National Mineral Exploration Trust approved 51 mineral exploration projects this year, totaling more than 419 million rupees. How many mineral exploration projects has the Geological Survey of India taken on so far this year?

(a) 352

(b) 356

(c) 358

(d) 353

(e) 355


9) How many road projects in Ladakh valued at Rs. 1170.16 crore have been approved by Shri Nitin Gadkari?

(a) 28

(b) 27

(c) 29

(d) 25

(e) 23


10) Being the first global leader to attain 2 crore subscribers on his YouTube channel is Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Which year did Prime Minister Narendra Modi launch his YouTube channel?

(a) 2005

(b) 2007

(c) 2002

(d) 2003

(e) 2009


11) Which country ranks as South Korea's second-biggest trading partner in the Arab world, with $3 billion in bilateral non-oil trade in the first half of the year?

(a) UAE

(b) Oman

(c) Qatar

(d) Saudi Arabia

(e) Bahrain


12) To strengthen economic relations between the Gulf - Asia, South Korea and the GCC establish a free trade agreement. Which nation signed the GCC's first trade pact in September before signing the present one?

(a) Australia

(b) Pakistan

(c) Saudi Arabia

(d) UAE

(e) Kuwait


13) How many thousand crore rupees is the PM planning to spend on multiple development projects in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh?

(a) 12000 crores

(b) 14000 crores

(c) 15000 crores

(d) 18000 crores

(e) 20000 crores


14) Which state will host "Divya Kala Mela" from December 29, 2023, to January 7, 2024?

(a) Uttar Pradesh

(b) Gujarat

(c) Maharashtra

(d) Jammu & Kashmir

(e) Rajasthan


15) Which state government added reservations for Other Backward Classes (OBC) to the Panchayati Raj Act of the Union Territory?

(a) Uttar Pradesh

(b) Gujarat

(c) Maharashtra

(d) Jammu & Kashmir

(e) Rajasthan


16) Nina Singh's achievement of being the first female head of the police department belongs to which state?

(a)  Uttar Pradesh

(b) Gujarat

(c) Maharashtra

(d) Jammu & Kashmir

(e) Rajasthan


17) How many satellites will India launch over the next five years to support geo-intelligence gathering, according to ISRO Chief S Somanath?

(a) 25

(b) 30

(c) 45

(d) 50

(e) 35


18) In how many years will India's XPoSat mission monitor the direction of vibration in light waves to better understand the geometry and radiation mechanism of astronomical sources?

(a) 3years

(b) 4years

(c) 5years

(d) 6years

(e) 2years


19) Which government, the Center, and the ULFA signed a historic tripartite peace pact in New Delhi?

(a) Sikkim

(b) Bihar

(c) Assam

(d) Chandigarh

(e) Haryana


20) It is probable that early in 2024, India and Oman would execute a free trade deal. Export-oriented industries will profit from this free trade deal. What percentage of import duty does Oman now impose on these goods?

(a) 2%

(b) 4%

(c) 5%

(d) 8%

(e) 3%


21) What is the current number of monarchy members in the Gulf Cooperation Council?

(a) 5

(b) 6

(c) 3

(d) 7

(e) 9


22) Which country is providing technical help to Tamil Nadu for the construction of the nuclear power project Kudankulam?

(a) USA

(b) China

(c) Japan

(d) UK

(e) Russia


23) Which country is home to Annapurna I, which rises to 8,091 meters?

(a) Bhutan

(b) Nepal

(c) Bangladesh

(d) China

(e) Myanmmar


24) Vijayakant, an actor Known as "Captain" to the public after playing an IFS officer in the successful Tamil film "Captain Prabhakaran" in which year?

(a) 1990

(b) 1993

(c) 1991

(d) 1995

(e) 1997


25) Delors passed away on December 31, 2020, three years after Britain completed its formal exit from the EU after protracted discussions and how many number of years of membership?

(a) 45

(b) 42

(c) 41

(d) 47

(e) 49


Answers :

1) Answer: C

Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has once again extended the deadline for mutual fund and demat account holders to add the name of the beneficiary/beneficiaries or opt out of it till June 30, 2024. Nomination Filing Requirement : Investors are required to either select nominee(s) or explicitly opt out of nomination by submitting a declaration before the extended deadline. Consequences of Missing Deadline : If investors fail to meet the nomination deadline, SEBI may freeze debits from their holdings. This implies that investors won't be able to withdraw from mutual funds or engage in trading using their demat accounts. Eligibility for Nomination : Only individuals holding demat accounts singly or jointly can nominate beneficiaries. Non-individual entities such as societies, trusts, corporations, partnership firms, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and holders of Power of Attorney are ineligible to nominate. Nomination by Joint Holders : Joint holders are allowed to nominate, and in the event of one holder's demise, the securities will be transferred to the surviving holders unless there is a nominee. Nomination by NRIs : NRIs can directly nominate, but power of attorney holders cannot nominate on their behalf. Exclusion of Minors : Minors are not eligible to nominate either directly or through a guardian. SEBI's Communication Directive : SEBI has instructed asset management companies (AMCs), depository participants, and Registrar and Transfer Agents (RTAs) to regularly communicate with demat account holders and mutual fund unit holders. Communication should emphasise the necessity of fulfilling the nomination requirement, and reminders should be sent via emails and SMS on a fortnightly basis to non-compliant unit holders.


2) Answer: A

Under newly issued guidelines, Government Securities (excluding Treasury Bills) issued by the central government are eligible for lending or borrowing through a Government Security Lending (GSL) transaction. Further, G-Secs, including Treasury Bills and state government bonds, can also be used as collateral in GSL transactions. Tenure and Flexibility : The minimum tenure for a GSL transaction is 1 day, while the maximum period would be the maximum period prescribed to cover short sales. Settlement Process : On the settlement front, the RBI stated that all GSL transactions shall settle on a Delivery versus Delivery basis. The first leg of all GSL transactions shall settle either on a T+0 or T+1 basis and transactions shall settle through Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL) or any other central counterparty or clearing arrangement approved by RBI for the purpose. This move comes even as India is set to be included in the globally tracked JP Morgan’s Government Bond Index-Emerging Markets (GBI-EM) index, starting June 28, 2024.Valuation and Margin : Securities/collateral under a GSL transaction shall be valued transparently at prevailing market prices in the first leg of the transaction and haircut/ margins relating to GSL transactions shall be decided by the central counterparty settling the transactions. Use of Borrowed Securities : Further, entities engaging in GSL transactions may use borrowed securities for various purposes like sales, meeting delivery obligations, and availing the RBI's Liquidity Adjustment Facility. Market Participation and Returns : This move aims to broaden participation in the securities lending market by providing investors an option to utilise idle securities, potentially boosting portfolio returns.


3) Answer: D

IDFC FHCL would first merge with IDFC as part of the composite merger strategy, and then IDFC would become IDFC First Bank Ltd."This is in connection with our letter dated July 03, 2023 informing about the decision taken by the Board of Directors of IDFC FHCL, IDFC and IDFC FIRST Bank approving the proposed Scheme under Sections 230 to 232 of the Companies Act, 2013, the Companies (Compromises, Arrangements and Amalgamations) Rules, 2016 and other rules and regulations framed there under, subject to receipt of various statutory and regulatory approvals. Under the planned reverse merger method, an IDFC shareholder will receive 155 shares for every 100 shares held in the bank. Each share is worth Rs 10 in face value. IDFC originated as an infra lender in 1997. The RBI granted it in-principle approval to establish a bank in April 2014, and in October 2015, it established IDFC Bank when on-tap licensing began, following which IDFC’s debts and liabilities were transferred to the bank. It purchased Capital First, a consumer and MSME-focused non-bank that had been in business since 2012, in December 2018 and rebranded it IDFC First Bank to become a full-service universal bank.


4) Answer: B

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed the introduction of a facility for clearing and settlement of funds and securities on T+0 (same day) and instant settlement cycle on an optional basis. Settlement is a two-way process which involves the transfer of funds and securities on the settlement date. A trade settlement is stated to be complete once purchased securities of a listed company are delivered to the buyer and the seller gets the money. SEBI has shortened the settlement cycle to T+3 from T+5 in 2002 and subsequently to T+2 in 2003.Currently, the Indian stock market follows the cycle of T+1. The migration to the T+1 cycle came into effect in January 2023.India became the second country in the world to start the T+1 settlement cycle in top-listed securities after China. In addition to the existing T+1 settlement cycle, a shorter settlement cycle may be introduced as an option. The proposed changes are planned to be implemented in two phases.

  • Phase 1 - T+0 Settlement Cycle : An optional T+0 settlement cycle (for trades till 1:30 PM) is envisaged, with settlement of funds and securities to be completed on the same day by 4:30 PM.
  • Phase 2: Instant Settlement Cycle :An optional immediate trade-by-trade settlement (funds and securities) may be carried out. In the second phase, trading will be carried out till 3.30 pm.

Benefits of Instant Settlement : An instant settlement mechanism would enable instant receipt of funds and securities, vis-a-vis existing pay-out on T+1 day. It would eliminate the risk of settlement shortages since both funds and securities will be required to be available before placing the order.


5) Answer: D

President Droupadi Murmu gave her assent to the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023. It was passed by the Parliament in the recently concluded Winter Session. The new legislation provides for the appointment, salary, and removal of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs). According to the provisions, the CEC and ECs will be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of a Selection Committee. The Selection Committee will consist of the Prime Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister and Leader of the Opposition or leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha. The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall be paid a salary which is equal to the salary of a Judge of the Supreme Court. The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which she/he assumes  office or till she/he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier. The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall not be eligible for re-appointment. President Murmu also gave her assent to the Central Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023.


6) Answer: B

The Central government has increased the rate of interest on two small savings schemes for January-March 2024 quarter by up to 20 basis points. As per a notification by the Finance Ministry, the rate of interest on the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme has been raised by 20 basis points to 8.2 percent from 8 percent. Further, interest on the three-year time deposit has been increased by 10 basis points to 7.1 percent from 7.0 percent. All other small savings schemes will continue to offer the same rate of interest as they did in October-December quarter.


7) Answer: D

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav launched the National Transit Pass System (NTPS) pan-India to facilitate the seamless transit of timber, bamboo, and other forest produce across the country. Mr Yadav said that NTPS is envisioned as a ‘One Nation-One Pass’ regime that will contribute to the ease of doing business. NTPS will help strengthen the journey towards greater transparency, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guarantee for India’s development. The system will also serve as a bridge between the rural and urban economy. Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Kumar Choubey emphasized that the NTPS is a game-changer for agroforestry and trees outside the forest. NTPS is designed for user convenience, featuring desktop and mobile applications for easy registration and permit applications. Presently, 25 States and Union Territories have adopted the unified permit system, streamlining interstate business operations for producers, farmers, and transporters.


8) Answer: C

Fifty-one mineral exploration projects worth over 419 crore rupees have been approved this year by National Mineral Exploration Trust. The Mines Ministry, Geological Survey of India has taken up a total of 358 Mineral Exploration Projects this year. In a bid to strengthen the supply chain of critical minerals in the country, the government has launched the first auction process for twenty-four critical and strategic minerals. The Ministry has streamlined the rules and provisions of the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) effective implementation of Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana. Efforts have been made to include private sector and latest technology into mineral exploration and processing. The Centre has also introduced key policy measures and amendments including Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Amendment Act, 2023 and Offshore Area Minerals (Development and Regulations) Amendment Act, 2023.


9) Answer: C

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari has sanctioned in the Union territory of Ladakh an allocation of 1170.16 crore  for 29 roads projects, encompassing state Highway, major and other District roads. Shri Gadkari, additionally, 181.71 crore has been allocated for 8 bridges under the CRIF Scheme for the fiscal year 2023 24.The Union Minister, Ladakh, the largest Union Territory in terms of area and the second least populous in India, will witness improved connectivity to its remote villages through the approved initiatives. The enhancement is expected to stimulate economic activities, particularly in agriculture and tourism, contributing to the overall infrastructural development of Ladakh.


10) Answer: B

Prime Minister Narendra Modi becomes first world leader to reach 2 crore subscribers on YouTube channel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the world's first leader to have 20 million subscribers on the YouTube channel. He has surpassed global leaders in terms of both subscribers and video views.Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is second on the list of subscriber numbers with around 64 lakh.In terms of views, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in second spot with 22.4 crore views.US President Joe Biden has 7.89 lakh subscribers while his Turkiye counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan has 3.16 lakh.Among the Indian leaders, Rahul Gandhi's channel has more than 35 lakh subscribers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi set up his YouTube channel in 2007.


11) Answer: A

The UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy, is pursuing a target of Dh4 trillion ($1.09 trillion) in foreign trade by 2031 as part of its diversification plans. It also aims to double the size of its economy by 2030.The UAE's non-oil foreign trade hit a record Dh1.24 trillion in the first half of the year, up 14.4 per cent year-on-year. It is working towards signing 26 Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements as it seeks to attract more investment. It has signed deals with India, Israel, Turkey, Indonesia, Cambodia and Georgia, each of which are designed to boost economic activity and secure supply chains. The first four agreements are already in effect. The UAE is South Korea’s second-largest Arab trade partner, with bilateral non-oil trade in the first half of the year reaching $3 billion, similar to the first half of 2022, state news agency Wam reported.


12) Answer: B

The GCC has signed a free trade agreement with South Korea to boost trade and economic ties between the six-member bloc and Seoul. This is the second such trade deal signed by the GCC in recent months following an agreement with Pakistan in September, the GCC Secretary General Jasem Al Budaiwi stated.The agreement is a “historic step towards achieving Gulf economic integration and towards strengthening economic and trade relations between the two sides”, Mr Al Budaiwi stated. It includes trade in goods and services, government procurement, digital trade, co-operation in the areas of small and medium enterprises, customs procedures and intellectual property. The agreement is expected to further boost the volume of bilateral trade and increase commercial exchange in goods and services between the two sides and diversify their economies.“The signing of free trade agreements with both Pakistan and South Korea, within a period of three months … takes into account the wonderful economic position that the GCC countries have reached,” Mr Al Budaiwi stated. The deal with South Korea came as a result of negotiations “which reflected the real common desire to strengthen the strategic partnership and economic co-operation between the two sides”, he added. The region is forecast to grow by 1 per cent in 2023 before rebounding to 3.6 per cent and 3.7 per cent in 2024 and 2025, respectively, the World Bank said last month. As part of their diversification efforts, countries in the region are signing new trade and economic deals globally.


13) Answer: C

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and launch multiple development projects worth over 15,000 crore rupees in the state. Mr Modi will inaugurate the redeveloped Ayodhya Railway Station named as Ayodhya Dham Junction Railway Station and flag off new Amrit Bharat trains and Vande Bharat trains. He will also dedicate several other railway projects to the nation. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the newly built Ayodhya Airport. Mr Modi will also participate in a public programme where he will inaugurate, delicate to the nation and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than 15,700 crore rupees in the state. These include projects worth about 11,100 crore rupees for development of Ayodhya and its surrounding areas and projects worth about 4600 crore rupees related to other projects across Uttar Pradesh.


14) Answer: B

Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) {DEPwD), MoSJ&E, GoI through National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation (NDFDC, an apex corporation under (DEPwD) is organizing a unique event showcasing the products and craftsmanship of Divyang entrepreneurs/artisans from across the country, ‘Divya Kala Mela’ from 29th December 2023 – 7th January 2024 in Surat, Gujrat.  The event would present an enthralling experience to the visitors as vibrant products from various parts of the country including Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern states, handicrafts, handlooms, embroidery works and packaged food etc. will be seen together. This is a unique initiative towards the economic empowerment of PwD/Divyangjan. The Divya Kala Mela presents a bigger platform for marketing and showcasing the products and skills of Divyangjan (PwD). The Divya Kala Mela, Surat is the 12th one in series starting from 2022.Around 100 Divyang artisans/artists and entrepreneurs from about 20 states/UTs will be displaying their products and skills. There would be Products in the following broad category: Home Décor & Lifestyle, Clothing, Stationery and eco-friendly products, packaged food and organic products, Toys & Gifts, Personal Accessories - Jewellery, Clutch Bags. It will be an opportunity for all to go ‘vocal for local’ and products made by Divyang craftsmen with their extra determination can be seen/purchased.


15) Answer: D

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has amended the Union Territory's Panchayati Raj Act to incorporate reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC), an official spokesperson stated. The amendments to the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act proposed by the administration led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha aim at making the statute more effective by ensuring transparency in the functioning of the panchayati raj institutions (PRIs), constitutional alignment and consistency with the practices in other states where reservation has been provided to the OBC, apart from the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), the spokesperson stated. He stated the administrative council, which met here under the chairmanship of the LG, approved amending the Act to incorporate the definition of the OBC in it to ensure their reservation in these grassroots democratic institutions. Earlier, the draft Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was submitted to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The observations of the MHA were examined and the necessary amendments incorporated in the revised bill.The amendment bill proposes the incorporation of the definition of the OBC for providing reservation to them, explaining the method of disqualification from the membership of a Halqa Panchayat and suspension and removal of a sarpanch, naib-sarpanch and panch by the government, the spokesperson stated. He added that the bill also defines the process for removal and conditions of service of the state election commissioner (SEC) here.


16) Answer: E

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was assigned its first woman chief in Nina Singh, who has been appointed as the Director-General (DG).Nina Singh, a 1989-batch IPS officer of Rajasthan cadre, is currently working as Special DG, CISF. She has been appointed to the post till her superannuation on July 31, 2024, the order stated. Nina Singh has been with the CISF since 2021 and will remain at the helm till her retirement on July 31 next year. Nina Singh is from Bihar and has studied at the Patna Women's College, and the Jawaharlal Nehru University. She also holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. Nina Singh achievements include becoming the first woman to hold the top police post in Rajasthan. Six officers are in the Director General rank in the state police force. Further, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs headed by Amit Shah, appointed Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) chief Anish Dayal Singh as the Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Anish Dayal Singh, a 1988-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of Manipur cadre, was holding the additional charge of the CRPF following the retirement of incumbent S L Thaosen on November 30.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Singh's appointment as DG, CRPF up to December 31, 2024, that is the date of his superannuation, it stated.


17) Answer: D

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch 50 satellites in the next five years for geo-intelligence gathering. Speaking at Techfest', an annual science and technology event organised by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, ISRO Chairman S Somanath stated, this will include the creation of a layer of satellites in different orbits with a capacity to track the movement of troops and image thousands of kilometers of area. Somanath stated, for realising India's aspiration to become a strong nation, the current size of its satellite fleet is not enough and it should be ten times what we have today. He also stated that it was important to improve the ability of satellites to detect changes, to bring in a more AI-related and data-driven approach to analyse data, reduce data downloads and get only the necessary information.


18) Answer: C

Building on the momentum of 2023, Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO is set to start 2024 with a bang. India is set to launch its first X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite on January 1. The XPoSat mission will lift off at 9:10 am using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the space agency announced. ISRO’s XPoSat mission will help understand emission mechanisms of various astronomical sources like black holes, neutron stars. While there are already existing space-based observatories which offer valuable spectroscopic and timing data, figuring out exactly what kind of light comes from these celestial bodies out there is still really tricky for astronomers. India's XPoSat mission in its 5 years of life will measure orientation of vibration in the light wave which will help understand radiation mechanism and geometry of celestial sources. The mission “capturing the degree and angle of polarization, would add two crucial dimensions to our comprehension”


19) Answer: C

A historic tripartite peace accord was signed between the Centre, the Assam Government and the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) in New Delhi. The deal is intended to bring lasting peace in the North East region. The Memorandum of Settlement was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and more than a dozen top leaders of the pro-talks faction of the ULFA, headed by Arabinda Rajkhowa, will be present during the signing of the peace agreement. The accord will take care of a host of long-standing political, economic, and social issues concerning Assam, besides providing cultural safeguards and land rights to the indigenous people.The hardline faction of the ULFA led by Paresh Baruah will not be part of the agreement as he has consistently rejected the olive branch offered by the government. Two top leaders of the Rajkhowa group -- Anup Chetia and Sashdhar Choudhary -- have been in the national capital since last week and gave the final touches to the peace agreement along with government interlocutors. Those who have been talking to the ULFA faction from the government side include Intelligence Bureau Director Tapan Deka and the government's advisor on the Northeast affairs A K Mishra. The Rajkhowa faction joined peace talks with the government on September 3, 2011 after an agreement for Suspension of Operations (SoO) was signed between the ULFA, central and state governments.


20) Answer: C

India and Oman will likely sign a free trade agreement in early 2024.This free trade agreement will benefit export sectors such as motor gasoline, iron and steel products, electronics, machinery, etc. Currently, these goods face a 5% import duty in Oman. Oman's import duty ranges from 0 to 100%. A duty of 100% is on specific items such as meats, wines, and tobacco products. Both sides have concluded the negotiations on most of the issues. India has the potential to export products like light oils and preparations of petroleum and bituminous minerals, medicaments, parts and accessories for motor vehicles, etc. to Oman. Oman is India's third-largest export destination among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. India has already signed similar agreements between India and other GCC countries like UAE. India's merchandise imports from Oman are around USD 250 million.


21) Answer: B

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, is a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The council's main headquarters is located in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The Charter of the GCC was signed on 25 May 1981, formally establishing the institution. All current member states are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two absolute monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Oman), and one federal monarchy (the United Arab Emirates, which is composed of seven member states, each of which is an absolute monarchy with its own emir).


22) Answer: E

India and Russia signed the agreement on the construction of future power units of the Kudankulam nuclear plant. Agreements have also been signed in the areas of medicines, pharmaceutical substances and medical devices. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant is being constructed in Tamil Nadu with the technical assistance of Russia. The construction started in March 2002.The Kudankulam nuclear power plant’s first generating unit has been continuously running at its 1,000 MW design capacity since February 2016.In 2027, the plant is anticipated to begin running at full capacity. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is on a five-day visit to Russia. India and Russia agreed that their negotiating teams would hold a meeting by the end of January to start in-person negotiations on the free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the Eurasian Economic Zone.


23) Answer: B

Pakistan's Naila Kiani has become the first woman from the country to summit 8,091m high Annapurna I in Nepal. Kiani, mother of two and a banker in Dubai, reached the top of the world’s 10th highest mountain. She scaled Annapurna I along with Pakistani mountaineer Shahroz Kashif. The six-member team included two Pakistanis and India's Arjun Vajpayee. Kiani's summit was announced by her expedition organisers Seven Summit Treks. She has also become the first Pakistani woman to scale four peaks of over 8,000m.Naila had earlier submitted K2, G1 and G2.Naila is also aiming to scale Mt Everest, the world’s highest mountain and 8516m high Lhotse, the fourth tallest mountain in her current visit to Nepal. In a separate statement, Alpine Club of Pakistan secretary Karrar Haidri stated Shehroze has become the youngest mountaineer in the world to summit eleven peaks above 8000 meters.


24) Answer: C

Chennai: Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founder and popular yesteryear Tamil actor Narayanan Vijayaraj Alagarswami, popularly known as Vijayakanth, who raised his voice against corruption on the big screen before taking the political plunge, passed away after a prolonged illness on December 28. He was 71Popularly known as ‘Captain’ after he performed the role of an IFS officer in the 1991 blockbuster Tamil movie ‘Captain Prabhakaran’, Vijayakanth was not in good health since 2016, leading him to stay away from party affairs. He was last spotted at the DMDK’s general council meeting on December 14, when his wife V Premalatha, was elected as party chief.


25) Answer: D

Jacques Delors, a passionate advocate of post-war European integration and a founding father of the European Union's single currency project, has died. The French socialist served as president of the European Commission, the EU executive, for three terms - longer than any other holder of the office – from January 1985 until the end of 1994, a time of rapid change for Europe's emerging union. The era was marked by forthright clashes of vision between federalists such as Delors, who believed passionately in an "ever closer union", and Britain's then prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who firmly resisted any shift of power to Brussels. So antagonistic did relations between London and Brussels become towards the end of Thatcher's time in office, especially over the plans for monetary union, that The Sun tabloid famously ran a front page headline reading: "Up Yours Delors". Delors' death came three years after Britain fully exited the EU on Dec. 31, 2020, following tortuous negotiations and 47 years of membership.

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