Obituary - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Who is the former ISRO chairman who initiated the development of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991?
- Published on 24 Jul 17

a. G. Madhavan Nair
b. KK Radhakrishnan
c. UR Rao
d. Shailesh Nayak
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru on 24th July 2017 due to age related ailments. He was 85.

Rao is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Born in Adamaru area of Karnataka’s Udupi district, Rao was involved in all ISRO missions till date in one capacity or the other.

He is credited on account of contributions to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources.

Before his death, he was serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram.

Rao served as the chairman of ISRO for 10 years from 1984 to 1994.

After taking charge as chairman of the space commission and secretary, department of space in 1984, he accelerated the development of rocket technology which led to the successful launch of ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle.

He was also instrumental for the launch 2.0 ton class of satellites into polar orbit.

He also initiated the development of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.

Rao was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2017 for his contribution to Indian space technology.

He has published over 350 scientific and technical papers covering cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy, space applications, satellite and rocket technology and authored many books.

Rao also became the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the prestigious ‘Satellite Hall of Fame’ in Washington DC on March 19, 2013, and the ‘IAF Hall of Fame’ in Mexico’s Guadalajara.

2)   Who is the first woman mathematician to receive the Fields Medal?
- Published on 17 Jul 17

a. Maryam Mirzakhani
b. Katherine Jackson
c. Ada Lovelace
d. Mary Cartwright
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics, has died in the US.

The 40-year-old Iranian, a professor at Stanford University, had breast cancer which had spread to her bones.

Nicknamed the “Nobel Prize for Mathematics”, the Fields Medal is only awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.

It was given to Prof Mirzakhani in 2014 for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Prof Mirzakhani's death caused "great sorrow,"
Prof Mirzakhani and her husband, Czech scientist Jan Vondrak, had one daughter.

Maryam Mirzakhani: Know More

  • Born in 1977, Prof Mirzakhani was brought up in post-revolutionary Iran and won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a teenager.
  • She earned a PhD at Harvard University in 2004, and later worked at Princeton before securing a professorship at Stanford in 2008.
  • Her receipt of the Fields Medal three years ago ended a long wait for women in the mathematics community for the prize, first established in 1936.
  • Prof Mirzakhani was also the first Iranian to receive it.
  • The citation said she had made “striking and highly original contributions to geometry and dynamical systems” and that her most recent work constituted “a major advance”.

3)   Which Nobel laureate and democracy icon in China was known for co-writing Charter 08?
- Published on 14 Jul 17

a. Liu Xiaoling
b. Liu Xiaobong
c. Liu Xiaobo
d. Liu Xianling
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Liu Xiaobo

Nobel laureate and democracy icon Liu Xiaobo passed away in custody following a battle with cancer. He was 61. Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.

Liu was a Chinese literary critic, writer, human rights activist who called for political reforms and end of communist single-party rule.

He is also known for his role in 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing. Liu was arrested in 2008 after co-writing Charter 08, a bold petition that called for the protection of basic human rights and reform of China’s political system.

He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in December 2009 on the charges of subversion.

During his fourth prison term, he was awarded 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.

He was first Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China.

At the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony held in Oslo in 2010 he was represented by an empty chair.

Liu is the third person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi (1991).

He was also the second Nobel Peace laureate who died in custody (first being Ossietzky who died in a Nazi concentration camp).

4)   Which former Indian US diplomat was also a Padma Vibhushan awardee?
- Published on 11 Jul 17

a. Naresh Chandra
b. Jaishankar
c. Shiv shankar Menon
d. Shyam Saran
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Naresh Chandra

Former Indian Ambassador to U.S., and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Naresh Chandra (82) died at Manipal hospital at Dona Paula near Panaji on July 9th night due to multiple organ failure.

Mr. Chandra had been a diabetic and had suffered a cardiac arrest.

He used to be a frequent visitor to Goa.

While he was holidaying in Goa he took ill.

Mr. Chandra, a bachelor, had served as the Cabinet Secretary from 1990-92 and was the Indian Ambassador to the US from 1996 to 2001.

Naresh Chandra was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2007.

5)   Who was the founder and chairman of Lupin, India's second largest pharma company?
- Published on 29 Jun 17

a. Nilesh Gupta
b. Vinita Gupta
c. Desh Bandhu Gupta
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Desh Bandhu Gupta

Desh Bandhu Gupta, founder and Chairman of Lupin, India’s second-largest pharmaceutical company passed away on 26 June 2017 in Mumbai. He was 79.

Gupta had not been keeping well for some time and was not actively involved in the business for a few years. He is survived by his wife and five children.

Born in Rajgarh, Rajasthan, Gupta earned a master’s degree in chemistry. He started his career as an associate professor at Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani in Rajasthan.

He had a vision to fight life-threatening diseases of highest national priority by delivering good quality medicines at an affordable price.

With that objective he founded Lupin in the 1968 with a start-up capital of just INR 5000.

Under his leadership, Lupin grew from being a domestic Indian pharmaceutical company to a global pharmaceutical major worth a US$ 1.83 billion, spanning 100 countries.

Lupin is one of the largest producers of tuberculosis medicines in the world. Gupta set up the Lupin Human Welfare & Research Foundation (LHWRF), one of the largest non-governmental organizations funded by a corporation in Southeast Asia, in October 1988.

The main objective behind setting up of the foundation was to eradicate poverty by encouraging sustainable development at the grass root level in rural India.

6)   Who was the president of Vanautu from September 2014 to June 2017?
- Published on 21 Jun 17

a. Baldwin Johnson
b. Baldwin Lundon
c. Baldwin Lonsdale
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Baldwin Lonsdale

The president of Vanuatu, Baldwin Lonsdale, has died after a heart attack at the age of 67.

Lonsdale, an Anglican priest, had been leader of the Pacific archipelago since September 2014. He died on 17th June 2017.

While president, Mr Lonsdale oversaw the vast rebuilding of parts of Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam left an estimated 75,000 people homeless in March 2015.

In October the same year, he vowed to clean up corruption in Vanuatu after a scandal involving his deputy.

Speaker Marcellino Pipite was one of 14 MPs - half of the country's parliament - convicted of giving and receiving corrupt payments over a vote of no confidence in a previous government.

He went on to pardon himself and the other 13 MPs while Lonsdale was out of the country, a pardon the president then rescinded on his return.

Vanautu: Know More

  • Currency: Vanuatu vatu
  • Capital and largest city: Port Vila
  • Ethnic groups (1999): 98.5% Ni-Vanuatu; 1.5% others
  • Destinations: Port Vila, Tanna, Espiritu Santo, Luganville

7)   Which Chancellor presided over German reunification and creation of the eurozone?
- Published on 19 Jun 17

a. Angela Merkel
b. Helmut Kohl
c. Helmut Schneider
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Helmut Kohl

Helmut KohlHelmut Kohl, the chancellor who presided over both German reunification and the creation of the eurozone, has died aged 87.

Kohl was a towering figure of European politics in the second half of the 20th century, serving as Germany’s chancellor for a record 16 years from from 1982 to 1998.

A photograph showing Kohl holding hands with French president François Mitterrand at the Douaumont cemetery in Verdun became the defining symbol of Franco-German conciliation after decades of bloody conflict between the two countries.

The gesture was made even more poignant by the fact that Mitterrand himself had been injured at Verdun in the second world war while Kohl had lost a brother in the same conflict.

Helmut Kohl: Know More

  • Born: 3 April 1930, Ludwigshafen, Germany
  • Died: 16 June 2017, Ludwigshafen, Germany
  • Spouse: Maike Richter (m. 2008–2017), Hannelore Kohl (m. 1960–2001)
  • Major Books: Der Weg zur Wende

8)   Who headed the Belur headquartered Ramakrishna Math and Mission till 18th June 2017?
- Published on 19 Jun 17

a. Swami Vivekananda Maharaj
b. Swami Atmasthananda Maharaj
c. Baba Ramdev
d. Ram Rahim Baba
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Swami Atmasthananda Maharaj

Swami Atmasthananda Maharaj, president of the Belur-headquartered Ramakrishna Math and Mission, died of age-related ailments in Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan on 18th June 2017. He was 98.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the demise a personal loss.

Swami Atmasthananda had arrived in Rajkot in 1966 to head the RKM Ashram there. It was in Rajkot that a young Modi, inspired by Swami Vivekananda, reached the Ashram to take refuge.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the ailing Maharaj hours before his death, condoled the passing away of the revered monk.

Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi also condoled the death.

Born on the holy Buddha Purnima day in May 1919 at Sabajpur near Dhaka, the Swamiji joined the Ramakrishna Order at Belur Math on January 3, 1941 at the age of 22 years.

9)   Which former CJI of India was the 17th and also the proponent of PIL?
- Published on 16 Jun 17

a. PN Bhagwati
b. CP Thakur
c. Khehar Singh
d. Soli Sorabjee
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: PN Bhagwati

Justice Bhagwati is survived by his wife Prabhavati Bhagwati and three daughters - Parul Jayakar, Pallavi Shroff and Sonali Bhagwati.

Justice Bhagwati was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in 1973 and became the 17th CJI in 1985.

He was the architect of a new concept - Public Interest Litigation (PIL) - for dispensing justice to the voiceless poor on whose behalf a third person could approach the Supreme Court or high courts.

For his pioneering work in devising this great concept, akin to class action suit in the US - and many other landmark decisions, the government had conferred Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, on him in 2007.

Early in his career as a judge of the SC, he was part of the five-judge bench which in 1976 delivered the infamous ADM Jabalpur judgement that upheld the government decision to suspend fundamental rights.

This is including the Right to Life, during Emergency, which remained in force in India from 1975 to 1977.

Justice H R Khanna was the only judge among the five who gave the dissenting judgement holding that the Right to Life is a core fundamental right which could never be suspended by any government even during Emergency.

10)   Adam West was best known for portraying which superhuman character?
- Published on 13 Jun 17

a. Spider Man
b. Bat Man
c. Superman
d. The Hulk
Answer  Explanation 


Adam WestAdam West, the US actor best known as the star of the 1960s hit TV series Batman, has died aged 88.

West died peacefully in Los Angeles after a “short but brave battle” with leukaemia.

His portrayal of Batman and the superhero’s alter ego Bruce Wayne won a cult following.

He later struggled to find big acting roles, but won a new generation of fans in more recent times after joining the cast of Family Guy.

First appearing in season two in 2002, he voiced Quahog’s eccentric Mayor Adam West, described by series creator Seth MacFarlane as an “alternate universe”, satirised version of the actor.

The Batman TV series, with its onscreen fight-scene graphics of Wham! and Pow! became an unexpected hit.

West and his co-star Burt Ward, who played Batman’s sidekick Robin, won widespread acclaim for their kitsch portrayal of the Dynamic Duo.

When the series ended, West struggled to break free from the character, but over a long career appeared in nearly 50 films including Drop Dead Gorgeous, An American Vampire Story and Nevada Smith.

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