Famous Personalities - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Who is the third woman of Indian origin to fly on a NASA spacecraft?
- Published on 13 Feb 17

a. Sunita Williams
b. Kalpana Chawla
c. Shawna Pandya
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Shawna Pandya

Dr Shawna Pandya is a general physician in Canada’s Alberta University Hospital.

She is also an astronaut preparing for two crucial space missions.

When they take off, she will be only the third woman of Indian origin, after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, to fly to space.

Born in Canada, the 32-year-old was shortlisted after topping the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) program.

Pandya said she will do experiments in bio-medicine and medical science.

She is part of a project called Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM), which will study the effects of climate change.

She will also work on Physiological, Health, and Environmental Observations in Microgravity (PHEnOM).

She is a prime crew member of Project Poseidon, a 100-day underwater mission at the Aquarius Space Research Facility in Florida.

2)   Who is the first Dubai ruling family member's woman commercial pilot?
- Published on 09 Feb 17

a. Shaikha Mozah Al Maktoum
b. Shaikha Latifa Al Maktoum
c. Shaikha Ali Al Maktoum
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Shaikha Mozah Al Maktoum

Shaikha Mozah Al Maktoum, one of the female members of Dubai’s ruling family, is claimed to have become the first woman commercial pilot.

A few members of the Al Maktoum family took to Instagram to congratulate the young achiever, expressing their pride and joy on her accomplishment.

Other members of the ruling family sent their congratulations on social media to the young royal pilot, with Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum praising her.

It is noteworthy that UAE’s aviation sector boasts of many women, from pilots to engineers.

In 2016, Etihad Airways announced that more than half the UAE nationals employed by the airline are women, including nearly 50 pilots.

In recent years, an Emirati woman fighter pilot - Major Mariam Al Mansouri - made news around the world when she led an aerial raid against ISIS in Syria.

3)   What is the title of the special cover of the postal department featuring Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu?
- Published on 25 Jan 17

a. Golden Girls of India - Joy of the Nation
b. Golden Girls of India - Pride of the Nation
c. Golden Girls of India - Inspiration of the Nation
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Golden Girls of India - Pride of the Nation

Indian postal department has released a special stamp cover called Golden girls of India - Pride of Nation.

It was during a district-level philatelic exhibition in Agartala to honor the sporting personalities.

The special covers feature the 2016 Olympic medalist gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shuttler PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik.

The 3 sportswomen were also awarded the nation’s highest sports award Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2016.

Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi who was awarded the 2016 Dronacharya award was also in the cover.

About Dipa Karmakar

  • Olympian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has found a proud place on a special cover released by India Post.
  • The Agartala-born girl is the first Indian female gymnast ever to qualify for an Olympics final.
  • She was the first Indian woman gymnast to bag a bronze at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
  • So far, the Department of Post has released 19 special issues related to Tripura.
  • In 1972, it had released a special cover on a Tripura-based volley ball player.
  • Karmakar was the second sportsperson to get a place in the Indian postal stamp, from this state.
  • Known for her death defying Produnova vault, Dipa is only the third woman to attempt this complicated gymnastic move.

4)   Which journalist broke the news of WWII?
- Published on 13 Jan 17

a. Clare Hollingworth
b. Claire Hollingsworth
c. Clara Hollingsworth
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Clare Hollingworth

Clare Hollingworth, the adventurous reporter who broke the news that WWII had started has died at the age of 105.

She was a young rookie reporter at Daily Telegraph when she got the scoop of the century.

Hollingworth broke the news that Germany had invaded Poland in Aug 1939.

Celebrated war correspondent Hollingworth was travelling from Poland to Germany when she spotted the German forces aligning on the Polish border.

Hollingworth, born in Leicester in 1911, secured a scoop when the Nazis invaded three days later.

She also helped 1000s of people escape from Nazi Germany by arranging British visas. Reporting over the years from Vietnam, Algeria and the Middle East, Clare decided to live in Hong Kong after her reporting career saw its final moments in Beijing in the 1970s.

She broke the story of Germany's invasion of Poland during her first week as a journalist. The reporter also unearthed British agent Kim Philby's defection to the Soviet Union in the 1960s.

Know More About Clare Hollingworth

  • Born: 1911
  • Grew up in England during WW1 and was an activist.
  • Her memoir named “Of Fortunes and War” highlights Hollingworth's work with refugees ahead of the Second World War after the start of her journalism.
  • She was a role model for foreign correspondents.
  • In Oct 2016, she celebrated her 105th birthday.
  • Twice married, she did not have any children.

5)   Who was Gaya Prasad Katiyar?
- Published on 28 Dec 16

a. Social activist
b. Freedom fighter
c. Industrialist
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Freedom fighter

Department of Post under the Ministry of Communications on 26th Dec 2016 released the special stamp on freedom fighter Gaya Prasad Katiyar.

The government also released a series of 8 commemorative postage stamps on “Personalities Series: Bihar.”

The postal department also launched a commemorative postage stamp on Hardyal Municipal Heritage Public Library to honor it as one of the few oldest library of the country.

The ministry released postage stamps on these following 8 personalities of Bihar:

  • Vidyapati
  • Kailashpati Mishra
  • Kunwar Singh
  • Sachchidananda Sinha
  • Karpoori Thakur
  • Dashrath Manjhi
  • Phanishwar Nath Renu
  • Krishna Sinha

  • Gaya Prasad Kaityar was a dedicated Indian freedom fighter. Born at Jagadishpur, UP and joined Hindustan Socialist Republican Association in 1925. He got connected with Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh during the freedom struggle.

    A participant in the Lahore Conspiracy Case, he was arrested in 1929 from Saharanpur.

    He also went on a hunger strike at the Cellular Jail in Andaman.

    He was repatriated in 1937 and arrested and transported to the cellular jail from where he was released in 1946.

    Know About Hardayal Municipal Public Library
  • Location: Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
  • Oldest building in the locality to withstand years and advent of modern times.
  • Library was set up in 1862.
  • It has more than 1 lakh seventy thousand books in various languages such as Hindi, English, Urdu, Persian, Sanskrit and Arabic.
  • This is one of the few libraries in the world with a collection of 8000 rare books.

6)   Uttarakhand has seen the addition of a statue of which famous Tamil poet and philosopher?
- Published on 21 Dec 16

a. Bharatidasan
b. TK Doraiswamy
c. Vaali
d. Thiruvalluvar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Thiruvalluvar

Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat on 19th Dec 2016 unveiled the statue of renowned Tamil philosopher and poet Thiruvalluvar in Haridwar.

Thiruvalluvar is a renowned poet who lived between 3rd and 1st century BC.

Thiruvalluvar is a celebrated Tamil poet who contributed a work on ethics called Thirukural, in Tamil Literature. It is one of the most revered ancient works in the Tamil language.

He was born either in Thiru Mylai (Mylapore) Chennai in Tamil Nadu or in Thirunainar Kuruchi, a village in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district.

Tamil poet Mamulanar of the Sangam period mentioned that Thiruvalluvar was the greatest Tamil scholar.

The first mention of the name Thiruvalluvar was found in 10th century text called Thriruvalluvarmalai. He is believed to have been a weaver and the house he lived in is now a temple.

There is a 133 foot tall statue of the celebrated poet in the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, Kanyakumari.

There is also a statue of the poet at Russell Square in London.

The statue of the celebrated poet was to be unveiled in June 2016, but was deferred as local ascetics objected to it being installed near Har ki Pauri on the banks of the river Ganges. Project was opposed by Ganga Sabha and Akhil Bharatiya Teerth Purohit Mahasabha.

The opposition resulted in a decision in consultation with the district administration to install the statue near Shankaracharya Chowk, which also has a statue of Adi Shankaracharya.

Know More About Thirukural

  • 1330 couplets or kurals dealing with virtue
  • Originally published: 1812
  • Author: Thiruvalluvar
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Country: India
  • Published in English: 1840
  • Subjects: Ethics, Morality

7)   TIME Magazine has on 7th Dec named whom as its Person of the Year?
- Published on 08 Dec 16

a. Narendra Modi
b. Hillary Clinton
c. Donald Trump
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Donald Trump

Time magazine on Dec 7, 2016 named President - elect Donald Trump its Person of the Year. Time editor Nancy Gibbs indicated Democrat Hillary Clinton was the No. 2 finalist.

Gibbs said the choice of Trump this year was “straightforward”.

The Time cover reads, “Donald Trump - President of the Divided States of America” and the cover image features a photograph of the President-elect sitting in his private residence at Trump Tower.

Gibbs said Time gives the title to the person who has had the greatest influence on events “for better or worse”.

The No.3 finalist for the Person of the Year was “The Hackers,” which Gibbs said referred to “a new cyber security threat we saw this year of state-sponsored hackers looking to delegitimise an American election”.

This isn't the first time TIME has chosen a polarising figure for its world-famous annual profile. Stalin, Hitler and Khomeini were previous choices.

This year, Trump beat out five other contenders, including his election rival Hillary Clinton, musician Beyonce, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to be named "the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the readers' poll for the second time this year.

8)   Who was the first Home Minister of India?
- Published on 02 Nov 16

a. Sardar Vallabhai Patel
b. Lokmanya Tilak
c. Bipin Chandra Pal
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sardar Vallabhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of India and former Deputy PM was in news on Oct 31, 2016.

  • The Iron Man of India came into limelight on his 141st birth anniversary.
  • His birth anniversary was celebrated as National Unity Day (Rashtriya Ekta Diwas).
  • Theme for the 2016 Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was Integration of India.
  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the digital exhibition Uniting India: Sardar Patel at New Delhi.
  • PM Modi also launched the Ek Bharat Shtreshtha Bharat initiative to promote greater awareness among people of numerous states about one another, promoting the spirit of Unity in Diversity.
  • 6 MoUs were signed between two states on each occasion under the initiative.
  • Modi also released a stamp to commemorate the anniversary of Sardar Patel.
  • The Digital Exhibition has a total of 29 exhibits where a small film on the life of Sardar Patel has been in preparation for wider awareness about him.
  • Exhibition showcased that 565 princely states, some of which were ruled by Maharajas and others by Nawabs started believing they would become independent rulers of their kingdoms as in the pre-British era.
  • Exhibition has also showcased the vision of free India which was Sardar Patel’s insight, wisdom and diplomacy that drove sense into monarchs who agreed accession to the Indian republic.
  • Exhibition also carries a 3D film that showcases how the leader handled the integration of princely states with his diplomatic skills.
  • Born on 31st Oct 1875, he was an Indian barrister and statesman belonging to the INC.
  • In India, he is called Sardar which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu and Persian.

9)   Which Sikh preceptor is known to the world as a warrior saint?
- Published on 26 Sep 16

a. Guru Gobind Singh
b. Guru Nanak
c. 10th preceptor
d. Both a and c
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

The tenth Sikh preceptor Guru Gobind Singh is known to the world as the warrior saint

  • He also wrote 17 verse collections part of the Dasam Granth- a separate religious text from Guru Granth Sahib
  • He was born in 1666 in Patna
  • He wrote 17 verse collections of which only one is in Punjabi- the remaining are in Hindi, braj, Bhojpuri, Persian and other languages
  • Versatility of the Poet Guru is notable.
  • 50 poets be patronised translated the Bhagwad Gita and and other religious texts from Sanskrit to Hindi
  • Guruji was the true poet of veer ras.
  • Zafarnama written by Guruji in Persian is a literary piece which is rare
  • Guruji selected three Dalits among the 'panj pyaras' for creating the 'Khalsa' panth. The poor and the downtrodden were always in his mind.

10)   PM Narendra Modi paid tribute to which former premier on his 72nd birth anniversary?
- Published on 22 Aug 16

a. Rajiv Gandhi
b. Naramsimha Rao
c. Inder Kumar Gujral
d. Manmohan Singh
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rajiv Gandhi

PM Narendra Modi on 20th August 2016 paid tribute to former premier Rajiv Gandhi on his 72nd birth anniversary.

  • Rajiv Gandhi born on August 20, 1944 served as the sixth PM of India from 1984 to 1989.
  • He took office following assassination of his mother, then PM Indira Gandhi in 1984.
  • Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also paid tribute to his father and the former PM.
  • Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing at TN’s Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.
  • Other Indian PMs belonging to the INC include Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.
  • The youngest political leader to become PM, Rajiv Gandhi was 40 at the time of taking charge of the PMO.
  • Oldest person to be Indian PM at 81 years was Morarji Desai.
  • Oldest living PM is AB Vajapayee born Decemer 25, 1924
  • Youngest living PM is incumbent Narendra Modi born 17th September 1950.
  • Narendra Modi is also the first PM of India to be born after Independence in India.
  • All other PMs were born before India gained independence.

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