Obituary - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   New Yorker reporter Lilian Ross was known for a revealing portrait of which famous writer?
- Published on 22 Sep 17

a. Rudyard Kipling
b. Somerset Maugham
c. Lewis Carroll
d. Ernest Hemingway
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ernest Hemingway

Lillian Ross, the ever-watchful New Yorker reporter whose close narrative style defined a memorable and influential 70-year career has died at age 99.

Ross died early Wednesday at Lenox Hill Hospital after suffering a stroke.

Ross’ approach, later made famous by the “New Journalists” of the 1960s, used dialogue, scene structure and other techniques associated with fiction writers.

She regarded herself as a short story writer who worked with facts, or even as a director, trying to “build scenes into little story-films.”

In 1999, her 1964 collection of articles, “Reporting,” was selected by a panel of experts as one of the 100 best examples of American journalism in the 20th century.

The group, assembled by New York University, ranked it No. 66.

Lillian Ross: Know More

  • Born in Syracuse, New York, she was always more comfortable as an observer and played hooky just to hang around professional newspaper offices.
  • She graduated from Hunter College, worked at the liberal New York Citydaily PM, then was hired by The New Yorker in the mid-1940s, when the magazine was looking for women writers because so many men were serving in World War II.

2)   Who is the only IAF officer to be accorded 5 star rank so far?
- Published on 18 Sep 17

a. Arjan Singh
b. Birender Singh Dhanoa
c. Arup Raha
d. PV Naik
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Arjan Singh

India’s sole Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh passed away just two years short of a century in New Delhi on 16th Sept 2017.

Singh, was the first and the only Chief of the Air Staff to be awarded this rank, a rare honour bestowed to only two army chiefs since independence.

Born on April 15, 1919 in Lyallpur, Punjab, now in Pakistan, Singh was a legend in the Indian Air Force throughout his career.

One of the early pioneers who joined the Royal Indian Air Force, he took part in the Arakan campaign in Burma (Myanmar), before being posted as part of the force sent to defend the city of Imphal in India’s North East against the advancing Japanese Imperial forces.

Arjan Singh: Know More

  • Born in a traditional military family, Singh’s father had served in the Hodson’s Horse, a reputed cavalry unit that was converted into a armored regiment in independent India.
  • Trained at the Royal Air Force College at Cramwell, Singh spent a few years in the North West Frontier Province, (now in Pakistan) before moving to the Arakan campaign.
  • Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, he was one of those handful of Indian pilots who would form the nucleus of the Indian Air Force.
  • Singh was also known for his exceptional leadership as the Chief of Air Staff, when India and Pakistan went to war in September 1965.
  • In 2002, the government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee took the historic decision to appoint him as India’s first Marshal of the Indian Air Force.
  • Known to only a few people, Singh started a Foundation with a generous grant of $317,400 (INR 2 crore) for the welfare of the air force personnel and their families.
  • He was one of those rare Chiefs who had flown every aircraft in independent India’s inventory, from the Canberra to the Hunter and the MiG-21s as they arrived just before his tenure and were pressed into service.
  • After retirement Singh was appointed as India’s ambassador to Switzerland and the Vatican and then the High Commissioner to Kenya.
  • Years later, he was also appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi for a year, before being appointed as India’s first Marshal of the Indian Air Force in 2002.
  • A state funeral will be accorded to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh + and the national flag will fly at half mast in all government buildings here on Monday in his honour along with a 21 gun salute.
  • Singh, who had flown more than 60 different types of aircraft, had played a major role in transforming the IAF into one of the most potent air forces globally and the fourth biggest in the world.
  • He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour, in 1965.

3)   Which of the following was a president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and a Padma Bhushan awardee?
- Published on 15 Sep 17

a. PP Rao
b. Rupinder Singh Suri
c. RK Jain
d. Kapil Sibal
Answer  Explanation 


Noted constitutional law expert and senior counsel P P Rao died on 13th Sept 2017 following a cardiac arrest.

He was 84.

Rao, who was a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2006 and was regular commentator on legal affairs.

The eminent lawyer completed 50 years of legal practice in July 2017.
Born in July 1933, he completed his LLB and LLM from the Osmania University, Hyderabad, after which he started his career by teaching law in Delhi University in 1961.

He enrolled as an advocate in 1967 in Delhi. He became an advocate on record in 1969 and was designated senior advocate by the Supreme Court in 1976.

He had the privilege of assisting lawyers like H M Seervai, M C Setalvad, N C Chatterjee and A K Sen and appeared before the Supreme Court in many landmark cases like the Kesavananda Bharati and the Babri Masjid demolition cases.

4)   Which Arunachal Pradesh minister worked as Deputy Speaker in the Nabam Tuki government?
- Published on 06 Sep 17

a. Perma Khandu
b. Dorjee Khandu
c. Jarbom Gamlin
d. Jomde Kena
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jomde Kena

Arunachal Pradesh Health and Family Welfare Minister Jomde Kena died at a private hospital in Guwahati after prolonged illness.

52-year old Kena, a resident of Gensi village in Lower Siang district was undergoing treatment at Guwahati.

Kena, who represented Likabali constituency, was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2004.

He was re-elected to the House from the same constituency in 2009 and 2014.

Kena was elected as Deputy Speaker during Nabam Tuki Government and served as Parliamentary Secretary under the Dorjee Khandu and Jarbom Gamlin ministries.

He is survived by his wife, four daughters and two sons.

5)   Which former Union Minister was the president of Mohammedan Sporting Club, Kolkata till 4th Sept 2017?
- Published on 05 Sep 17

a. Sultan Ahmed
b. Ghulam Nabi Azad
c. Sarfaraz Khan
d. Tariq Anwar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sultan Ahmed

Former Union minister and sitting Trinamool Congress MP Sultan Ahmed died today following a cardiac arrest at his residence in Kolkata.

The 64-year-old is survived by wife and two sons.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Uluberia constituency on a Trinamool Congress ticket.

Ahmed had served as the Union Minister of State for Tourism in the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh government.

He was elected to the West Bengal Assembly twice.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled his death.

Ahmed, who was president of Mohammedan Sporting Club in Kolkata, had served as the junior minister for tourism for three years till 2012.

Before joining the TMC, he belonged to the Congress party and was elected to the West Bengal legislative assembly twice.

Lately, Ahmed was in the news as one of the key accused in the Narada TV sting operation case, and was facing investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at the time of his death.

6)   Who has a two time Manipur CM from 1980 to 1988 and 1994 to 1997?
- Published on 24 Aug 17

a. Rishang Keishing
b. Jishang Keishing
c. Rishang Keishang
d. Jishang Keishang
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rishang Keishing

Former Manipur Chief Minister and a member of the first Lok Sabha Rishang Keishing passed away on 22nd Aug 2017.

The veteran Congress leader was 96. A Naga, he served as the Chief Minister of Manipur from 1980 to 1988 and from 1994 to 1997.

Keishing passed away due to multiple organ failure, doctors attending him at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) said.

He was hospitalised on July 1 after his health condition worsened.

He is survived by two sons and four daughters.

Keishing, who hailed from Bungpa village in Ukhrul district, was elected to the Lok Sabha in the first parliamentary elections held in 1952.

He had also represented Manipur in Rajya Sabha.

In Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh condoled the demise of Keishing, and described him as a “towering leader” from Manipur who believed in humanity, social harmony and clean politics.

Union Minister of State For Home Kiren Rijiju also expressed grief.

The Manipur government has declared that all government offices and educational institutions will be closed tomorrow as mark of respect to Keishing.

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla expressed her sadness and condoled the demise of Keishing.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also mourned Keishing’s demise.

A freedom fighter and member of India’s first parliament (1952-57), he retired from the Rajya Sabha as its oldest member in 2014 after serving two terms since being elected to the upper house in 2002.

As Manipur’s Chief Minister from 1980 to 1988 and 1995 to 1998, he had also escaped assassination attempts by the militants several times.

7)   Brain Aldiss was which of the following?
- Published on 23 Aug 17

a. Science fiction writer
b. Political Commentator
c. Actor
d. Statesman
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Science fiction writer

Brian Aldiss, one of the most prolific and influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, has died aged 92.

Literary agency Curtis Brown said Aldiss died Aug 19 at his home in Oxford, England.

Born in 1925, Aldiss served in India and Burma with the British Army during World War II.

He later became a bookseller, publishing his first stories in a trade magazine.

Aldiss’ 1969 short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long was an unrealized dream project for the late Stanley Kubrick and formed the basis for Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I.

Sandman author Neil Gaiman called him “a larger than life wise writer.”

8)   Which former Union minister and BJP Parliamentarian was a 5 time MLA from Ajmer’s Gopalpura village?
- Published on 10 Aug 17

a. Sanwar Lal Singh
b. Sanwar Lal Shah
c. Sanwar Lal Raje
d. Sanwar Lal Jat
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sanwar Lal Jat

Former Union minister and BJP parliamentarian Sanwar Lal Jat died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi early on 9th Aug 2017. He was 62.

The Rajasthan politician, who had served as the minister of state for water resources in the Narendra Modi government, breathed his last at 6.15 am after being in coma for over a week.

He had suffered a cardiac arrest during a meeting chaired by BJP president Amit Shah in Jaipur on July 22.

A five-time MLA, Jat was a mass leader and a close confidant of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

Born in a peasant’s family at Ajmer’s Gopalpura village, the politician made his Lok Sabha debut in 2014 by defeating Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot from Ajmer.

Despite being appointed as a Union minister after that, he was dropped during a cabinet reshuffle.

Jat did not start his career as a politician. His first job - after completing his post-graduation in 1977 - was that of a supervisor with the Ajmer dairy.

Later, he became a lecturer at the local government college.

Although Jat had been politically active since his college days, his first big breakthrough came only in 1990 - when he won his first assembly election from Bhinai on a Janata Dal ticket.

When the party split the same year, he decided to join the BJP. In 1993, he was appointed as a minister of state with independent charge of relief and rehabilitation in the Bhairon Singh Shekhawat government.

Jat retained his seat in 1998 and 2003, and despite losing the polls in 2008, he made a comeback in December 2013 by winning from the Nasirabad constituency.

The chairman of the state farmers’ commission, he frequently raised rural issues - mostly related to agriculture - in the Rajasthan assembly.

Jat was a farmers’ leader who had made an immense contribution to the state as MLA, MP and minister.

9)   Who played the Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter franchise?
- Published on 08 Aug 17

a. Benedict Clarke
b. Alan Rickman
c. Robbie Coltrane
d. Robert Hardy
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Robert Hardy

Actor Robert Hardy, a familiar face on British television who also played the minister of magic in the Harry Potter franchise, has died aged 91.

Hardy giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years.

Hardy was a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow".

Born in 1925, Hardy started his career at 24 in a stage adaptation of William Shakespeare's Coriolanus, the first of many theatre roles.

He was also part of several long-standing television shows, including the BBC's famed All Creatures Great and Small, which ran for 12 years.

The Bafta-nominated actor later appeared in the Harry Potter films as Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, beginning with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002.

He reprised the role in 2004's Prisoner of Azkaban, 2005's Goblet of Fire, and 2007's Order of the Phoenix.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeted expressing grief over Hardy's demise.

Hardy was awarded a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) - one of Britain's highest honours - in 1981 for his services to acting.

10)   Which veteran molecular biologist led the Award Wapsi programme in 2015?
- Published on 03 Aug 17

a. Pushpa Bhargava
b. CNR Rao
c. Birbal Sahni
d. G Madhavan Nair
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pushpa Bhargava

Veteran molecular biologist and a vehement critic of genetically modified crops, Pushpa Mittra Bhargava, died at his home in Hyderabad on 1st Aug 2017. He was 89. He is survived by a son and daughter.

Dr Bhargava, while active, had recently developed kidney complications and was undergoing dialysis.

Bhargava was the founding director of the CCMB, Hyderabad.

Though Bhargava had ceased to be an active researcher for over 20 years, he remained engaged with issues in science and policy.

A strident critic of multinational seed companies, Bhargava was opposed to the introduction of genetically modified crops - from cotton to brinjal and, most recently, transgenic mustard - in India.

His argument was that these crops posed health hazards and required decades more of tests before possible clearance.

He had led what came to be called the Award Wapsi programme in 2015 when scientists and litterateurs returned their awards against what they called rising tide of intolerance in the country.

In 2015, Bhargava was among the scientists who returned his Padma Bhushan - in solidarity with writers and artistes - protesting the “climate of religious conservatism” and underlined by incidents such as the murder of scholar, M.M. Kalburgi, and the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.

Bhargava also moved the Supreme Court against an initiative by former education minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, to introduce astrology in universities.

Prior to the CCMB there was no lab for research on cell, DNA and molecular biology. Public understanding of science, interaction with government and policy makers was his forte. He was a great talent scout.

Bhargava was chairman of the Drafting Committee for the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill 2013.

The Bill was the culmination of a 15-year struggle as he mobilised and marshalled support by meeting legislators and policy makers.

The draft Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2016.

However, Bhargava opposed the ban on surrogacy, instead calling for protection of the rights of surrogate mothers.

Bhargava was also vice-chairman of the National Knowledge Commission.

In his role as a founder director of CCMB, he also invigorated the art scene in Hyderabad by inviting artistes from across the country and creating a residency programme.

Scientists and officials of CCMB expressed their grief at the demise of Mr. Bhargava.

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