Current Affairs : 14 December 2014

1. Hollywood star Shirley Temple has died aged 85. Born Shirley Temple Black on April 23, 1928, her varied career took her from being a film and television actress, singer, dancer to being appointed US ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

2. Indian-origin Ashok Varadhan has been appointed co-head of the Goldman Sachs’ securities division, the largest and most profitable of the global investment bank’s four units.

3. Nancy Powell, the US ambassador to India, will meet BJP candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, signaling a turnaround by Washington after years of shunning him over the 2002 Gujarat riots.

4. State Bank of India (SBI), on Friday, reported a 34.21 per cent fall in its net profit at Rs.2,234 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2013, against Rs.3,396 crore in the year ago period.

5. Oinam Bembem Devi was conferred with the best Woman Football player of the Year award at the FICCI Federation house.

6. New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum and B J Watling broke the world record for the highest sixth-wicket partnership with a 352-run stand against India in the ongoing second cricket Test in Wellington on 17 February 2014. They broke record of which partnership? – Mahela Jayawardene and Prasanna Jayawardene (Mahela Jayawardene and Prasanna Jayawardene’s record stood at 351 runs, which they scored against India for 6th wicket in 2009. In the course of the partnership, McCullum became only the sixth player in history and the first from New Zealand to score two double centuries in back-to-back Test matches. Watling joined McCullum on 16 February 2014 when New Zealand were tottering at 94 for the loss of five wickets)

7. Rajiv Gandhi killers’ death sentence commuted to life term:-

  • In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has granted relief to the three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case — Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan — by commuting their death sentence into life term on the grounds of inordinate delay in disposal of their mercy petitions by the President.
  • A three-judge Bench headed by the Chief Justice P. Sathasivam rejected the contention of the Centre that the three convicts did not deserve any mercy as they never showed remorse for the killing of the former Prime Minister and they enjoyed their prison life.
  • Considering the fact that the convicts were languishing jail for nearly 23 years, the Bench also gave a ray of hope for their release by saying that the State government could exercise its remission powers under Section 432 and 433 and following the due procedure in law.
  • In May 2012, the apex court had transferred to itself the writ petitions filed by three convicts in the Madras High Court challenging the rejection of their clemency plea by the former President Pratibha Patil after 11 years. The High Court on August 30, 2011 stayed their execution.

8. A historic bill to carve out Telangana State out of Andhra Pradesh was on 18 February 2014 passed by the Lok Sabha amid din and strong protests by members from Seemandhra region. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was adopted by voice vote with main opposition BJP supporting Congress. Which major parties opposed this bill? – CPI(M), Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress.

9. In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on 18 February 2014 granted relief to the three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case – Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan – by commuting their death sentence into life term. What was the ground for commuting death sentence of these three convicts? – On the grounds of inordinate delay in disposal of their mercy petitions by the President.

10. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during February 2014 constituted a committee to examine the recommendations of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) relating to capacity building in the banking sector. The committee has been tasked with the responsibility of identifying capacity building requirement skeeping in view the role of financial sector and what it should deliver. Who is heading this 9-member committee? – G Gopala krishna (G Gopalakrishna is an Executive Director in the RBI).

11. Bor Wildlife Sanctuary was recently upgraded to the status of a tiger reserve. This sanctuary is situated in which state? – Maharashtra

12. What is the projection for India’s GDP growth rate for 2014-15 as announced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 20 February 2014? – 5.4%

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