Current Affairs Quiz – December, 2023

Current Affairs Quiz – December, 2023

1. Which Asian country has launched e-auction of 20 critical mineral blocks, including lithium and graphite?

[A] Sri Lanka
[B] Indonesia
[C] India
[D] Bangladesh

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [India] Notes: India for the first time invited bids for 20 critical mineral blocks, including lithium and graphite. This is not only seen to boost economic development but also a part of the nation’s strategy to ensure adequate domestic resources of essential raw materials for powering the green energy transition. The auction will be held online, using a transparent two-stage ascending forward auction process. Eligible bidders will be chosen based on the highest percentage of the quoted value of dispatched minerals they offer.

2. ‘Krishnaveni Sangeetha Neerajanam’ festival is associated with which state?

[A] Tamil Nadu
[B] Andhra Pradesh
[C] Kerala
[D] Karnataka

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [Andhra Pradesh] Notes: The Union Ministry of Tourism in association with Ministry of Culture, Sangeet Natak Academy and State Government of Andhra Pradesh successfully organised the prequel event of Krishnaveni Sangeetha Neerajanam. It is a first of its kind festival to celebrate the rich heritage of classical music and promote lesser-known tourist attractions. The main event is to be organized in December 2023 in Vijayawada. The event will also feature spectacular display and sale of regional cuisine, local handicrafts and handlooms.

3. Which state collaborated with Meta to raise awareness among students and educators about online safety and digital citizenship?

[A] Odisha
[B] Karnataka
[C] Kerala
[D] Jharkhand

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [Karnataka] Notes: Karnataka government on signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with tech firm Meta to launch two initiatives aimed at raising awareness among students and educators about online safety and digital citizenship. The state government plans to train 1 lakh teachers and 10 lakh students in digital safety and AR/VR skills by 2025 through this partnership with Meta.

4. Which country reached an agreement with India and the Paris Club group of creditors on a debt treatment plan?

[A] Afghanistan
[B] Israel
[C] Sri Lanka
[D] Syria

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Sri Lanka] Notes: Sri Lanka has reached an agreement in principle with India and the Paris Club group of creditors including Japan, on a debt treatment plan. It will help the crisis-hit island nation tap the next tranche of the International Monetary Fund’s nearly-$3 billion recovery package.

5. Who has been appointed as the Head Coach of Indian cricket team by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)?

[A] Rahul Dravid
[B] Sachin Tendulkar
[C] Wasim Akram
[D] Mohammad Kaif

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Rahul Dravid] Notes: Rahul Dravid has been reappointed as the head Coach of the Indian men’s cricket team till the 2024 T20 World Cup. Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach), Vikram Rathore (batting coach) and T. Dilip (fielding coach) have also been reappointed.

6. Angadvir Singh Bajwa and Ganemat Sekhon, who were seen in the news, is associated with which sports?

[A] Shooting
[B] Cricket
[C] Football
[D] Chess

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Shooting] Notes: Angadvir Singh Bajwa and Ganemat Sekhon won the mixed skeet gold for Punjab in the 66th National shooting championship. In the women’s 50-metre rifle 3-position event, Asian Games champion Sift Kaur Samra beat Olympian Anjum Moudgil by 1.9 point for the gold.

7. What was the theme of World AIDS Day 2023?

[A] Bridges of Understanding
[B] Harmony in Healing
[C] Let Communities Lead
[D] Community for Healing

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Let Communities Lead] Notes: World AIDS Day is observed on December 1st every year. The theme for 2023 is “Let Communities Lead”. This theme highlights the importance of communities in the HIV response and the goal of ending AIDS by 2030. World AIDS Day is an international day that raises awareness of the AIDS pandemic and mourns those who have died from the disease. It also celebrates victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

8. What name has been given to the tiny, self-assembling robots made from human cells by scientists of Tufts University and Harvard University?

[A] Xenobots
[B] Anthrobots
[C] Biorobots
[D] Cellbots

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [Anthrobots] Notes: Anthrobots are tiny, self-assembling robots made from human cells. They can move around in a lab dish and are capable of healing neurons and damaged tissue. Anthrobots are made from human tracheal cells and can be created without genetic modifications. They are made up of a few hundred cells and only last a few weeks before breaking down. This means they can be easily reabsorbed into the body after their work is done. Anthrobots could be used in personalized medicine. They could help heal wounds or damaged tissue by forming large structures that span the width of a wound. A team at Tufts University and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute created anthrobots.

9. “Panchamrit” pledge is related to __:

[A] Poverty Eradication
[B] Infrastructure Development
[C] Combating Climate Change
[D] Regional Defence & Security

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Combating Climate Change] Notes: India aims to reach 500GW non-fossil energy capacity by 2030 under “Panchamrit” pledge made at COP26 to combat climate change. Half of India’s energy requirement will come from renewables while reducing carbon emission intensity of GDP by 45% over 2005 levels. The targets underscore India’s commitment to fight climate crisis through clean energy even as a developing economy. At COP28, India outlined plans to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 in collaboration with nations like the UAE. PM Modi presented the Panchamrit (five nectar elements), five time-bound climate pledges to: (1) Reach 500 gigawatts (GW) of non-fossil energy capacity by 2030 (2) Meet 50% of India’s energy requirement from renewable energy (RE) sources by 2030 (3) Reduce the carbon intensity of the economy by 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 (4) Reduce total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030 (5) Achieve the target of net-zero emissions by 2070.

10. Henry Kissinger, considered the most dominant American statesman of the Cold War period and who recently passed away was former __:

[A] President of United States
[B] Secretary of State of United States
[C] Prime Minister of England
[D] Prime Minister of Canada

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [Secretary of State of United States] Notes: Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, considered the most dominant American statesman of the Cold War period, passed away at age 100. As National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, the German-born Kissinger was the primary architect of historic rapprochement with China, landmark nuclear arms control talks with the Soviets, the 1973 Israel-Arab peace deal, and the eventual Vietnam War exit. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for the Vietnam negotiations. However, Kissinger’s legacy also prompts sharp criticism over his backing of controversial policies in places like Latin America, South Asia and Africa that allegedly violated human rights.

11. NOAA Ocean Exploration researchers have found 1600 metre seamount in which ocean?

[A] Indian Ocean
[B] Arctic Ocean
[C] Pacific Ocean
[D] Southern Ocean

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Pacific Ocean] Notes: The researchers of NOAA Ocean Exploration, in a major discovery, found a massive underwater mountain, also known as a seamount, on the Pacific Ocean’s floor off the coast of Guatemala. The seamount is likely to be a remnant of an extinct volcano, similar to other seamounts. The seamount found is 1,600 metres (5,249 feet) tall, which is nearly twice the height of Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the world’s tallest building.

12. Which city is the host of the India Internet Governance Forum 2023 (IIGF-2023)?

[A] Hyderabad
[B] New Delhi
[C] Bengaluru
[D] Chennai

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [New Delhi] Notes: The third edition of the IIGF is being conducted under the overarching theme “Moving Forward – Calibrating Bharat’s Digital Agenda”. The India Internet Governance Forum is an initiative associated with the UN Internet Governance Forum (UN IGF). It is a hybrid event and the event is being held at Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The event is an effort to focus on issues such as building a secure, trusted and resilient cyberspace for, Enabling Innovation for India’s Developmental Goals etc.

13. What is the rank of India in the 2023 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR)?

[A] 49
[B] 52
[C] 57
[D] 62

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [49] Notes: The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) unveiled its 2023 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR). According to IMD’s study, India has made significant progress in terms of cybersecurity knowledge but lacks on fronts like technology and future readiness. India has been ranked at 49th rank among 64 economies.

14. Which country gifts a Christmas Tree to Britain since 1947, expressing thanks for its support during World War Two?

[A] Germany
[B] Russia
[C] Norway
[D] China

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Norway] Notes: Since 1947, Norway has sent an annual gift to Britain, expressing thanks for its support during World War Two. This year, the symbol of historic gratitude has arrived in Trafalgar Square. At 20 meters tall and approximately 70 years old, this year’s “queen of the forest” was carefully selected from woodlands around Oslo, then ceremonially felled in November.

15. Which technology company introduced a new AI model named ‘Gemini’?

[A] Microsoft
[B] Google
[C] Samsung
[D] Apple

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [Google] Notes: Google introduced Gemini as its most capable and general model yet. The first version, Gemini 1.0, is optimized for different sizes: Ultra, Pro, and Nano. These are the first models of the Gemini era and the first realization of the vision as the company formed Google DeepMind earlier this year.

16. As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, which state recorded the highest number of custodial deaths in 2022?

[A] Gujarat
[B] Karnataka
[C] Andhra Pradesh
[D] Uttar Pradesh

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Gujarat] Notes: Gujarat has recorded the highest number of custodial deaths in 2022, according to the recently released report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Gujarat has retained this top spot for the third consecutive year in a row. According to the NCRB report, 14 people (who were not on remand) died in police custody/ lock-up in 2022 compared to three deaths recorded in Rajasthan and Punjab, which together claimed the second spot.

17. ‘Glycogen Storage Disease Type II’ is also called as?

[A] Pompe Disease
[B] Enzyme Disease
[C] Down Disease
[D] Strown Disease

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Pompe Disease] Notes: Also known as Glycogen Storage Disease Type II, Pompe disease is a rare genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA). This enzyme is crucial for breaking down glycogen into glucose within the lysosomes of cells. Its prevalence estimates range from 1 in 40,000 to 1 in 300,000 births. While there is currently no cure for Pompe disease, there are treatment options available to manage symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT) is a standard treatment, involving the infusion of the missing enzyme to alleviate glycogen buildup.

18. ‘Santiniketan’ is a university town situated in which state/UT?

[A] Puducherry
[B] West Bengal
[C] Goa
[D] Odisha

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [West Bengal] Notes: Santiniketan, the university town in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, was recently inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. A Centre-approved board identifying Santiniketan as UNESCO-approved world heritage site has finally been erected by Visva-Bharati in the location and mentions Rabindranath Tagore. Santiniketan – founded by Debendranath Tagore and home to Visva-Bharati, the university set up by his son Rabindranath – was accorded world heritage status by UNESCO, and shortly after that plaques had come up marking the site and they bore the names of only Chancellor Narendra Modi and the then Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty.

19. Which British-Indian is the new head of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)?

[A] Samir Shah
[B] Leena Nair
[C] Shantanu Narayen
[D] Arvind Krishna

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Samir Shah] Notes: Samir Shah, a British-Indian has been picked by the U.K. government to head the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as its next chair. The India-born media executive has over 40 years of experience in TV production and journalism. The 71-year-old, was honoured with a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2019 for services to television and heritage.

20. Anumula Revanth has been sworn in as the Chief Minister of which state?

[A] Telangana
[B] Chhattisgarh
[C] Madhya Pradesh
[D] Mizoram

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Telangana] Notes: Indian National Congress’ Anumula Revanth Reddy took oath as Chief Minister of the southern Indian state of Telangana. This marked the first time the youngest state has got a chief minister from the grand old party of India. Bhatti Vikramarka Mallu took oath as the deputy Chief minister of the state. The state of Telangana was carved out from Andhra Pradesh in the year 2014.

21. Donald Tusk has become the new Prime Minister of which country recently?

[A] Poland
[B] Czech Republic
[C] Slovakia
[D] Belarus

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Poland] Notes: Poland’s President Andrzej Duda swore in Donald Tusk as the new Prime Minister on December 13, 2023. Donald Tusk is known as a pro-EU leader of the main opposition Civic Platform party. He has assumed office for the second time as Prime Minister after governing the country from 2007-2014. Tusk has taken charge as Prime Minister after the devastating electoral defeat of Poland’s ruling right-wing populist Law and Justice party (PiS).

22. The term “Wakayama Soryu” that was recently in news, denotes __:

[A] An asteroid
[B] A fossil
[C] An art work
[D] A tradition

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [A fossil] Notes: The apex predator mosasaur fossil discovered in Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture has been named ‘Wakayama Soryu’ which means Blue Dragon. The nearly complete 72 million-year-old fossil was discovered by researcher Akihiro Misaki in 2006 and has recently been detailed in a study published in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology. The revelation of this massive sea monster, which had a crocodile-like head and paddle-shaped flippers, provides new insights into the prehistoric marine predators.

23. Where are the headquarters of Defence Cyber Agency (DCyA)?

[A] New Delhi
[B] Hyderabad
[C] Bengaluru
[D] Mumbai

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [New Delhi] Notes: The Defence Cyber Agency is the Indian military’s dedicated three-service cyber command. Headquartered in New Delhi and headed by a two-star military officer, the DCyA is tasked with handling cybersecurity threats to India. It brings together cyber expertise from the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force through their respective Cyber Emergency Response Teams that were set up in 2021. The DCyA aims to unify cyber capabilities across India’s military branches to strengthen national security, especially to defend against cyber attacks from adversaries like China.

24. The EKAMRA project, which was in news, is in which state?

[A] West Bengal
[B] Madhya Pradesh
[C] Odisha
[D] Karnataka

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Odisha] Notes: Odisha’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, prioritized temple redevelopment across the state to preserve its cultural identity. The flagship project, the Puri heritage corridor, aims to enhance the overall experience for devotees visiting the 12th century Jagannath Temple in Puri. Additionally, various places of worship, both small and large, are undergoing renovation with a budget of over Rs 4,000 crore. The government has completed the renovation of the 500-year-old Tara Tarini shrine in Ganjam district and launched the Lingaraj Ekamra Kshetra Amenities and Monuments Revival Action (EKAMRA) project in Bhubaneswar.

25. Who is the new President of Argentina, that recently announced stern economic measures like 50% devaluation of the Argentine peso?

[A] Javier Milei
[B] Sergio Massa
[C] Patricia Bullrich
[D] Juan Schiaretti

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Javier Milei] Notes: Javier Milei is the recently elected libertarian President of Argentina who has announced emergency economic measures like 50% devaluation of the Argentine peso. This is being done to tackle 143% annual inflation and other economic crises facing the country. However, his drastic steps have also drawn criticism from opponents.

26. What prestigious Indian institute is setting up the Kotak School of Sustainability in association with Kotak Mahindra Bank?

[A] IIT Kharagpur
[B] IIT Bengaluru
[C] IIT Delhi
[D] IIT Kanpur

Show Answer
Correct Answer: D [IIT Kanpur] Notes: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, one of India’s most prestigious engineering and research institutes, is establishing the Kotak School of Sustainability on its campus in collaboration with Kotak Mahindra Bank. This marks India’s first fully integrated school focusing holistically on sustainability education, research and solutions. Being set up with support from Kotak Bank, the school will offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs on various sustainability themes and will be housed in a state-of-the-art green building with net zero energy and waste systems. This highlights the rising global and national priority for sustainability across higher education.

27. Austropallene halanychi, that was found in the Ross Sea near Antarctica recently, is a species of__?

[A] Squid
[B] Mantis Shrimp
[C] Sea spider
[D] Octopus

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Sea spider] Notes: Austropallene halanychi is the name bestowed to a newly discovered pale yellow species of sea spider found in the Ross Sea near Antarctica. It has distinct black eyes and large boxing glove-shaped claws used likely for grabbing soft prey. Over 1,000 sea spider species inhabit oceans globally but seldom before has one been spotted with such unique features. Further analysis of sea creatures can reveal evolutionary trends and biodiversity insights in relatively unexplored icy polar waters.

28. The term “SWAMIH Investment Fund” that was recently making news, is related to which sector?

[A] Automobile
[B] Education
[C] Real Estate
[D] Pharmaceutical

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Real Estate] Notes: The Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) Investment Fund I is a social impact fund that aims to complete stalled and stressed residential projects. It was announced by the Finance Minister in 2019. Recently, real estate developers body NAREDCO recommended in its pre-budget submissions that the government allocate Rs 50,000 crore more to the SWAMIH fund. This fund aims to complete stalled housing projects and has benefited over 2 lakh homebuyers while unlocking projects worth Rs 94,000 crore after getting Rs 15,530 crore so far. NAREDCO contends another tranche could further revive the real estate industry and consumer sentiments.

29. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was recently re-elected as President of which country for a third six-year term?

[A] Libya
[B] Sudan
[C] Palestine
[D] Egypt

Show Answer
Correct Answer: D [Egypt] Notes: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi won reelection to a third six-year term with 89.6% of the vote in a landslide victory, though the election was criticized over Egypt’s human rights record. El-Sisi has ruled Egypt for the past nine years. He faced three little-known opponents in an election overshadowed by conflict in Gaza and Egypt’s economic crisis, with high inflation and poverty. A key Western ally, former army officer El-Sisi led the 2013 overthrow of an elected Islamist president. Constitutional amendments in 2019 added two years to his second term and allowed him to run again. Turnout was 66.8% in the largely foregone conclusion election. In the months prior, El-Sisi vowed to address Egypt’s struggling economy.

30. Which country is leading the 10-nation military force to protect shipping in the Red Sea after attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels?

[A] France
[B] UK
[C] United States
[D] Italy

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [United States] Notes: The United States announced a 10-nation military force to protect shipping in the Red Sea after attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on vessels with alleged Israel links forced companies to suspend operations. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Seychelles, the UK would join the “multinational security initiative” against the “challenge posed by this non-state actor.” The US and UK navies shot down 15 Houthi drones over the weekend. At least 12 shipping firms including Maersk have paused Red Sea transit over safety concerns. The attacks have rerouted global trade around Africa, imposing higher costs and delays. About 12% of world trade including 30% of containers passes through the Red Sea, which connects to the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.

31. Who is currently (December, 2023) India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations?

[A] Arindam Bagchi
[B] Indra Mani Pandey
[C] K Nandini Singla
[D] Ruchira Kamboj

Show Answer
Correct Answer: D [Ruchira Kamboj] Notes: Recently, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, addressed the UNSC Open Debate on Small Arms to highlight India’s suffering from cross-border terrorism executed using smuggled weapons. A veiled critique of Pakistan, she emphasized that such illicit arms trafficking by non-state actors necessitates coordinated efforts to identify points of diversion. Her remarks also urged zero tolerance for state sponsors of terror entities.

32. Solar Dynamics Observatory, that recently observed the largest solar flare in years, belongs to which state agency?

[A] European Space Agency (ESA)
[B] Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)
[C] National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
[D] Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)] Notes: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory operated by the American space agency observed an intense solar flare this week – the most significant since 2017 – measuring X1 on scale. Originating from active sunspot region AR3213, it unleashed a burst of radio waves causing temporary disturbance in communication frequencies across the Western Hemisphere during daytime. Scientists are monitoring the area for potential large-scale plasma eruption that can trigger geomagnetic storms if earth-directed. As the sun nears mid-point of its 11-year cycle, peaking activity could make such disruptions more likely per NASA.

33. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was recently re-elected as President of which country for third six-year term?

[A] Libya
[B] Sudan
[C] Palestine
[D] Egypt

Show Answer
Correct Answer: D [Egypt] Notes: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi won reelection to a third six-year term with 89.6% of the vote in a landslide victory, though the election was criticized over Egypt’s human rights record. El-Sisi has ruled Egypt for the past nine years. He faced three little-known opponents in an election overshadowed by conflict in Gaza and Egypt’s economic crisis, with high inflation and poverty. A key Western ally, former army officer El-Sisi led the 2013 overthrow of an elected Islamist president. Constitutional amendments in 2019 added two years to his second term and allowed him to run again. Turnout was 66.8% in the largely foregone conclusion election. In the months prior, El-Sisi vowed to address Egypt’s struggling economy.

34. The proposed International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) will not pass through which of the given countries?

[A] Russia
[B] Iran
[C] Azerbaijan
[D] Uzbekistan

Show Answer
Correct Answer: D [Uzbekistan] Notes: President Putin mentioned plans to connect the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to the port of Murmansk in Russia’s Arctic coast. The 7,200-km INSTC network runs through Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia to offer the shortest land and sea route between Russia and India. Putin aims to boost Eurasian connectivity by linking INSTC to Murmansk, describing how it would enable shipping goods from the Arctic port to Western India within 15 days. The proposed connectivity holds strategic significance amid Russia’s increasing pivot to Asia and efforts to develop transport infrastructure across the Eurasian landmass. India has been a key partner in projects like INSTC, which stand to counterbalance China’s BRI.

35. What name has been given to the recently discovered new kind of rock that contains plastics and polymers discarded by humans?

[A] Plastistone
[B] Anthroquartz
[C] Syntholith
[D] Petrogem

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [Plastistone] Notes: A strange new kind of rock called “plastistone” has been discovered across the globe that contains compressed plastic polymers discarded by humans along with natural mineral particles like sand and clasts. These plastic-bearing rocks have alarmingly been found deposited on coasts and inland across 5 continents and 11 countries so far. Their discovery signals the extensive spread of plastic pollution across the world and how microplastics are penetrating diverse environments. Researchers warn these plastic rocks can release embedded microplastics through weathering and pose ecological risks. Their formation also indicates the complexity plastic pollution has acquired through interactions with geological processes.

36. What is the objective of the recently established “Operation Prosperity Guardian” initiative?

[A] Strengthen economic ties between neighboring countries in Europe
[B] Combat illegal fishing and environmental hazards in the Indian Ocean
[C] Curb maritime security problems by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea region
[D] Promote commercial shipping and trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Curb maritime security problems by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea region] Notes: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a new US-led multinational security initiative under the Combined Maritime Forces, focusing on maritime security challenges in the Red Sea region. This comes following recent attacks on commercial shipping by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels based in Yemen using drones and missiles. The operation aims to ensure freedom of navigation in response to the escalating security crisis.
Before that, the Swan Atlantic, a Cayman Islands-flagged chemical/oil tanker, sent out a mayday call after being attacked by drones and an anti-ship missile launched by Houthi rebels while transiting the Red Sea on December 18th. The US Navy destroyer USS Carney responded to assist the vessel and assess damages.

37. What is the name of the potato disease that has caused substantial damage to potato crops across various districts of Punjab?

[A] Downy Mildew
[B] Late Blight
[C] Powdery Mildew
[D] Verticillium Wilt

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [Late Blight] Notes: The potato disease that has ravaged crops across Punjab districts is called late blight (100 words). It displays symptoms like green circular spots on potatoes that expand into dark brown lesions. Over 50% of the state’s potato cultivation has been impacted by late blight fungal infestation. Excess moisture and humidity encouraged its proliferation, resulting in rotting of tubers.

38. What is Zero Trust Authentication, that was recently making news?

[A] A cybersecurity framework
[B] A single sign-on solution
[C] A data encryption method
[D] An antivirus software

Show Answer
Correct Answer: A [A cybersecurity framework] Notes: To enhance cybersecurity, the government of India has implemented a secure e-mail system for 10,000 users across 17 ministries and departments. This system, developed by the National Informatics Centre, employs Zero Trust Authentication, including two-factor authentication with biometrics or facial recognition. It’s a response to increasing cyberattacks, such as the AIIMS Delhi incident in November 2022. Additionally, the government is migrating e-mail services to the cloud with a private provider, possibly Zoho. The government also acknowledged a probe into a massive data leak of Aadhaar and passport details in Parliament. This is part of a broader strategy to strengthen cybersecurity, including adopting e-office in 75 out of 84 ministries and issuing National Information Security Policy and Guidelines to prevent cyber intrusions.

39. Which film won the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Award for Best Film at the 29th Kolkata International Film Festival?

[A] Featherweight
[B] Endless Borders
[C] Children of Nobody
[D] Kantara

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Children of Nobody] Notes: ‘Children of Nobody’ clinched the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Award for Best Film at the 29th Kolkata International Film Festival. Other films like ‘Endless Borders’ and ‘Kantara’ received accolades at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), with ‘Kantara’ making history in the Kannada film industry. Michael Douglas was honored with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award, and ‘Panchayat Season 2’ was named Best Web Series. ‘Featherweight’ had its Asian premiere at the 54th IFFI.

40. Which State Pollution Control Board has launched mobile app ‘Janavani Kalushya Nivarani’?

[A] Odisha
[B] West Bengal
[C] Telangana
[D] Tamil Nadu

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Telangana] Notes: The “Janavani- Kalushya Nivarani” app is a free Android app from the Telangana Pollution Control Board (TSPCB). It allows users to register complaints about environmental pollution. The app is available for download from the Android Play Store.

41. Recently which IIT has developed BRAHMA-2D model to understand complex flow patterns of large braided rivers like Brahmaputra?

[A] IIT Kanpur
[B] IIT Guwahati
[C] IIT Bengaluru
[D] IIT Delhi

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [IIT Guwahati] Notes: IIT Guwahati researchers have developed an indigenous river model named BRAHMA-2D (Braided River Aid: Hydro-Morphological Analyzer) to understand complex flow patterns of large braided rivers like Brahmaputra. It combines advanced mathematical modeling with extensive field research to map 3D velocity changes from surface to riverbed. This model can provide valuable insights for the design of sustainable structures like embankments, bridges, etc., along the Brahmaputra river. It was successfully validated near Majuli island to demonstrate its practical applicability.

42. Which Indian city achieved the highest ranking in India in Mercer’s Quality of Living City Index 2023?

[A] Mumbai
[B] Bengaluru
[C] Pune
[D] Hyderabad

Show Answer
Correct Answer: D [Hyderabad] Notes: Mercer’s 2023 Quality of Living Index ranks Hyderabad as India’s best city for quality of life. Globally, Hyderabad is 153rd, Pune is 154th, and Bengaluru 156th. The index assesses living conditions for expatriates and is based on factors like climate, education, health, safety, and infrastructure. Additionally, in India’s Cost of Living City ranking 2022, Pune was the least expensive among major cities.

43. Which Indian hockey team midfielder has clinched the prestigious title of Men’s FIH Player of the Year 2023?

[A] Manpreet Singh
[B] Akashdeep Singh
[C] Hardik Singh
[D] Shamsher Singh

Show Answer
Correct Answer: C [Hardik Singh] Notes: Indian hockey team midfielder, Hardik Singh, clinched the prestigious title of Men’s FIH Player of the Year at the FIH Hockey Star Awards 2023. Dutch player Xan de Waard emerged victorious as the Women’s FIH Player of the Year. Savita Punia, captain of the Indian women’s hockey team, secured the title of the Best Goalkeeper of the Year. This marks her third consecutive win in this category, reflecting her consistent excellence between the goalposts.

44. Basukinath Jha, winner of Sahitya Akademi Award-2023, is a writer in which language?

[A] Hindi
[B] Maithili
[C] Bhojpuri
[D] Gujarati

Show Answer
Correct Answer: B [Maithili] Notes: On 21 December 2023, the Sahitya Akademi has announced to give the Sahitya Akademi Award for the year 2023 to Maithili language writer Basukinath Jha for his Maithili essay collection “Bodh-Sanketan”. Maithili litterateur Basukinath Jha is a resident of Samastipur district of Bihar. Maithili litterateur Basukinath Jha, in Maithili language, wrote Vidyapati Kavya Lochan (Classical Criticism), Anushilan-Avabodh (Critical Research and Essay Collection), Parivaha (Modern Critical Essay Collection), Bodh Sanketan (Collection of Introductions to Books written by Various Authors), Vastuvaachi Sanketan. Has written many books including (Literary Trend based Essay Collection), Vyaktiwaachi Sankhanan (Personality based essay collection), Maithili literary outline (Part one and two), Novel and Social consciousness.

45. At which place Dalai Lama recently inaugurated the first International Sangha Forum?

[A] Sarnath
[B] Bodh Gaya
[C] Lumbini
[D] Kushinagar

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Correct Answer: B [Bodh Gaya] Notes: The Dalai Lama inaugurated the three-day International Sangha Forum 2023 on Bridging Traditions, Embracing Modernity: A Dialogue on the Buddha’s Teaching in Today’s World at the International Convention Centre in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. It was organized jointly by the Office of the Dalai Lama and the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC). The ISF aims to foster dialogue on the intricate aspects of Vinaya rules and explore the evolving role of Buddhism in the 21st century. Earlier, in December, about 5,000 monks and nuns from around the world, including India, gathered in Bodh Gaya for the 18th International Tipitaka Chanting Programme, from December 2 to 12.

46. Who has become the first Indian to be inducted as a governing board member of the International Table Tennis Federation?

[A] Manika Batra
[B] Vita Dani
[C] Mouma Das
[D] Achanta Sharath Kamal

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Correct Answer: B [Vita Dani] Notes: Sports entrepreneur Vita Dani has become the first Indian to be inducted as a governing board member of the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) Foundation. The Foundation was established in 2018 by the ITTF to attract more people to the sport.

47. Who is the chief guest for India’s 2024 Republic Day celebrations?

[A] Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
[B] Rishi Sunak
[C] Emmanuel Macron
[D] Joe Biden

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Correct Answer: C [Emmanuel Macron] Notes: French President Emmanuel Macron will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, making him the fifth head of state from France to be accorded the honour, and the sixth time that a French leader will attend the celebrations as chief guest since 1976. Modi was the guest of honour at the Bastille Day or French national day parade held in Paris on July 14.

48. The recently launched “SUPACE” is related to ___?

[A] Parliament of India
[B] Supreme Court of India
[C] Indian Air Force
[D] Environment of India

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Correct Answer: B [Supreme Court of India] Notes: SUPACE, the Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency, is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool created to gather pertinent facts and laws, presenting them to judges for easier research. It functions as a support system to alleviate the workload of judges by streamlining the research process. It is important to note that SUPACE is not intended to make decisions; rather, its purpose is to process facts and provide judges with valuable information to aid in decision-making.

49. North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Folk Medicine Research (NEIAFMR) is located in which state?

[A] Assam
[B] Arunachal Pradesh
[C] Sikkim
[D] Tripura

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Correct Answer: B [Arunachal Pradesh] Notes: It is located in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh. On his Arunachal visit, Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the government is committed to developing NEIAFMR as the national hub of folk medicine. Additional Rs 53 crore infrastructure will help build its capacity towards research on Ayurveda and folk medicine and enable introducing quality Ayurveda education.

50. Who has recently won the “Great Arab Minds Award” in the field of literature and arts?

[A] Sukrita Paul
[B] Waciny Laredj
[C] Pradip Kumar
[D] Michelle Zarate

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Correct Answer: B [Waciny Laredj] Notes: Professor Waciny Laredj has won the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ‘Great Arab Minds Award’ (GAM) in the field of literature and arts. The Great Arab Minds Award is also known as the ‘Arab Nobel’.