Obituary - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Which Sinn Fein nationalist was Northern Ireland's former Deputy First Minister?
- Published on 22 Mar 17

a. Martin McGuinness
b. Samuel McGuinness
c. Adrian McGuinness
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Martin McGuinness

North Ireland's former Deputy First Minister and one time IRA commander Martin McGuinness died aged 66, according to Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein on 21st March, 2017.

Mr. McGuinness had resigned from politics in January, citing a serious illness and a breakdown in relations with the rival Democratic Unionist Party.

Sinn Fein refused to appoint a replacement for Mr. McGuinness in January due to a row with the DUP, its partner in a power-sharing government set up to bring peace to the Province.

That triggered local elections in which Sinn Fein made major gains against the DUP and the two parties are currently deadlocked.

This means the British government could impose direct rule of Northern Ireland from London.

McGuinness had made history by entering a government with his once bitter foe, Ian Paisley of the DUP.

The decision to share power was a key part of the peace process in Northern Ireland, which endured three decades of violence in which more than 3,500 people died.

McGuinness was a commander in the IRA paramilitary group that fought for the Province to leave Britain and join the Republic of Ireland to the south.

McGuinness never hid the fact that he had been a commander of the IRA - classed as a terrorist organization by the British, Irish and US governments.

Born May 23, 1950, he joined the breakaway Provisional IRA faction in his native Londonderry - simply "Derry" to Irish nationalists - after dropping out of high school and working as an apprentice butcher in the late 1960s.

At the time, the Catholic civil rights movement faced increasing conflict with the province's Protestant government and police.

Sinn Fein: Know More

  • Leader: Gerry Adams TD
  • Chairman: Declan Kearney MLA
  • Deputy Leader: Mary Lou McDonald TD
  • Leader in Northern Ireland: Michelle O'Neill MLA
  • General Secretary: Dawn Doyle
  • Founder: Arthur Griffith
  • Founded: 28 November 1905(original form); 17 January 1970 (current form)
  • Newspaper: An Phoblacht
  • Youth wing: Sinn Féin Republican Youth

2)   Which of the Rockerfeller family served in the US Army?
- Published on 22 Mar 17

a. David Rockerfeller
b. John D. Rockerfeller 3rd
c. Laurence Rockerfeller
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: David Rockerfeller

David Rockefeller was the last of his generation in a famous American family that taught its children that wealth brings great responsibility.

Even as children, he and his siblings had to set aside portions of their allowances for charitable giving.

To mark his 100th birthday in 2015, Rockefeller gave 1,000 acres of land next to a national park to the state of Maine.

Rockefeller died on 19th March 2017 in his sleep at his home in Pocantico Hills at age 101.

Unlike his brothers Nelson, the governor of New York who hungered for the White House and was briefly vice president, and Winthrop, a governor of Arkansas, David Rockefeller wielded power and influence without ever seeking public office

Among his many accomplishments were spurring the project that led to the World Trade Center.

Unlike his other brothers, John D. 3rd and Laurance, who shied from the spotlight and were known for philanthropy, David Rockefeller embraced business.

Rockefeller graduated from Harvard in 1936 and received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1940.

He served in the Army during World War II, then began climbing the ranks of management at Chase Bank.

That bank merged with the Manhattan company in 1955.

Rockefeller was estimated to have met more than 200 rulers in more than 100 countries during his lifetime, and often was treated as if he were a visiting head of state.

Under Rockefeller, Chase now known as JPMorgan Chase was the first U.S. bank to open offices in the Soviet Union and China.

In 1974, it was the first to open an office in Egypt after the Suez crisis of 1956.

3)   Who was the former RS MP and President of Odisha Janamorcha Party?
- Published on 21 Mar 17

a. Pyari Mohan Das
b. Pyari Mohan Pattnaik
c. Pyari Mohan Mohapatra
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pyari Mohan Mohapatra

Former Rajya Sabha MP and president of Odisha Janamorcha party Pyari Mohan Mohapatra passed away in Mumbai after a prolonged illness at the age of 77. Mohapatra, who was also called ‘Chankya of Odisha politics’.

Mohapatra was the Principal Secretary to the chief minister when Biju Patnaik occupied the top post.

Mohapatra, a career bureaucrat, guided the Odisha CM in 1997 soon after the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader landed in Odisha, after the death of his father, Biju Patnaik.

He was dubbed ‘super chief minister’ and ‘Chanakya’ of Odisha politics.

He changed the DNA of BJD and made it a politically winning machine.

Naveen sent Mohapatra to Rajya Sabha in 2004.

Mohapatra helped the BJD win 109 of the 147 seats in the assembly.

But post-2009 polls, the bond between the two men showed signs of cracks.

Mohapatra lost out on May 29, 2012 when he allegedly tried to engineer a coup in the BJD. He formed his own party after that.

4)   Which meteorologist was called the Monsoon Man of India?
- Published on 21 Mar 17

a. Ram Narain Arya
b. Jagadish Shukla
c. Dev Raj Sikka
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dev Raj Sikka

Dev Raj Sikka, the former director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, who first proposed a link between the El Nino phenomenon and the Indian monsoon, died of a cardiac arrest at age 85.

Six out of 10 El Nino-years have been associated with below-normal rainfall over India.

Former Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) director Dev Raj Sikka, known as the ‘monsoon man’ for his role in helping scientists develop better prediction systems for India’s rainy season, died on March 19.

Sikka was honoured with the lifetime achievement award by the Indian Meteorological Society (IMD) in December 2016 in recognition of his contribution to Indian meteorology spanning over six decade.

Born in Jhang Maghiana (western Punjab) in Pakistan Sikka joined the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in 1954 before moving to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune, from where he retired as its director.

Sikka became known for his work on the prediction of monsoon - notoriously erratic in the subcontinent - and tropical meteorology, including extreme weather events.

Dev Raj Sikka was the force behind the Monsoon Mission, an India-UK scientific collaboration that aimed at setting up the infrastructure and man-power to improve the prediction at all-time scales.

This mission enabled the meteorologists to predict perfect seasonal and extended range prediction system. It also helped to predict better short and medium range prediction system.

Sikka was also chairman of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) committee on climate change, and chairperson of the Research and Advisory Council of the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast.

CSIR: Know More

  • Established: 26 September 1942
  • Chairman: Prime Minister of India
  • Director General: Dr. Girish Sahni
  • Staff: 17,000 - contain over 4000 active scientists, over 12000 technical/ support personnel and over 5000 students.

5)   Who is known for classics such as Johnny B. Goode and Sweet Little Sixteen?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. Chuck Berry
b. Steve Tyler
c. Jon Bon Jovi
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chuck Berry

Rock and roll founding guitar legend and storyteller Chuck Berry who came up with classics like Johnny B. Goode, Sweet Little Sixteen and Roll Over Beethoven died on March 18, 2017 at the age of 90.

Berry was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead.

His core repertoire included three dozen songs, and his influence was tremendous from Beatles to Rolling Stones.

A life performer and skilled song writer, his music captured the core of 1950s teenage life.

He was singing good and intelligent lyrics at a time when others were only trying to be origin, musical genius John Lennon once observed.

Berry, in his late 20s before his first major hit, crafted lyrics that spoke to the teenagers of the day and remained fresh decades later.

“Sweet Little Sixteen” captured rock and roll fandom, an early and innocent ode to the young girls later known as “groupies.”

“School Day” told of the sing-song trials of the classroom and the liberation of rock and roll once the day’s final bell rang.

6)   Which well known journalist broke the news of German surrender in Italy at WWII's end?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. Mark Kellog
b. Terry A Anderson
c. George E. Bria
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: George E. Bria

The Associated Press journalist who flashed word of the German surrender in Italy at WWII's close, George Bria died at age 101.

Bria bore witness to Benito Mussolini's death and covered the Nuremberg war crimes trials.

George Bria was a journalist with many interests and a dedicated professional.

Raised in Waterbury Connecticut by Italian immigrant parents, Bria earned his degree from Amherst and Middlebury colleges.

He learned the reporter's trade in 4 years at the Waterbury Democrat and Hartford Courant newspapers.

In 1944, Bria was sent to the European war zone. In 1945, he reported the summary execution of Mussolini.

Bria later joined the AP postwar staff in Germany, covering the Nuremberg trials of Nazi generals and the Berlin airlift of 1948-49 flying to the Soviet blockaded city abroad US supply planes.

He rejoined the foreign desk in 1961. He was also chief correspondent at the UN in NY.

7)   Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabham was associated with which media groups?
- Published on 10 Mar 17

b. PTI
c. ToI
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan, Executive Editor at IANS, died of cardiac arrest.

Arvind Padmanabhan was born in 1967 at Tirunelveli, Tamul Nadu.

Padmanabhan had a long inning at IANS, joining the India Abroad newspaper that was then part of the wire service in 1999 as in-charge of its Business Section.

He was soon elevated as the Executive Editor and headed the business and economy team.

He was earlier with the PTI, The Times of India and TV18.

He was the son of G. Padmanabhan, who worked for many years with the Press Institute of India and the Indian & Eastern Newspapers Society (IENS, now INS).

IANS: Know More

  • The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju.
  • It was founded as the India Abroad News Service.
  • It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.
  • The IANS has main offices located in Noida.
  • IANS reports about India with news, views and analyses about the country across a wide range of subjects.
  • News, features and views from the subcontinent reach subscribers via the Internet.

8)   Which Congress legislator was a minister in the Rangswamy government in 2011?
- Published on 10 Mar 17

a. K. Chandrakasu
b. H. Chandrakasu
c. M. Chandrakasu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: M. Chandrakasu

Former Agriculture Minister of Puducherry M Chandrakasu died of renal failure at the age of 67.

Chandrakasu is now the opposition AINRC legislator in Puducherry Assembly.

Chandrakasu was first elected as Congress legislator from Neduncadu reserved constituency in Karaikal in 1980.

He is survived by wife and a daughter Chandirapriyanga who is now the opposition AINRC legislator in Puducherry Assembly.

Chandrakasu was first elected as Congress legislator from Neduncadu reserved constituency in Karaikal in 1980. He retained the seat in the 1985 polls and became Speaker of the Assembly.

He was Minister in the Congress ministry led by V Vaithilingam between 1991 and 1996 after being elected for the third successive term from Neduncadu.

He was Agriculture Minister in the AINRC government formed by Rangasamy in 2011.

Puducherry Government: Know More

  • Lieutenant Governor: Kiran Bedi
  • Chief Minister: V. Narayanasamy (INC)
  • Chief Secretary (India): Manoj Parida IAS
  • Director General of Police: Sunil Kumar Gautam IPS
  • Legislature: Unicameral (33*seats)

9)   Which noted socialist leader was speaker of the 9th LS?
- Published on 08 Mar 17

a. Rabi Ray
b. Meira Kumar
c. Sumitra Mahajan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rabi Ray

Noted socialist leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Rabi Ray passed away at age 91.

He had served as the Union minister of health and family welfare in the Morarji Desai led Government from January 1979 to January 1980.

He was the speaker of ninth Lok Sabha from 1989-1991.

In 1991, he was re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha from Kendrapada in Odisha.

He was also a ex chairman of Common Wealth Speakers Forum.

He was born on November 26, 1926 at Bhanragarh village in Khurda district of Odisha.

Born on 26 November 1926, Rabi Ray passed obtained his bachelor’s degree in History from the Ravenshaw College in Cuttack.

Later, he studied Law in the Madhusudan Law College in Cuttack.

In 1948, he joined the Socialist Party as its member. During 1953-54, he held the post of the Joint Secretary of the All India Samajwadi Yuvak Sabha.

Under the leadership of Rammanohar Lohia, Ray founded the Socialist Party in Orissa in 1956.In 1967, he was elected to the 4th Lok Sabha from Puri constituency in Orissa.

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Orissa in 1974.

10)   Dr Thomas Starzl was a pioneer in which surgery?
- Published on 07 Mar 17

a. Heart transplant
b. Liver transplant
c. Kidney transplant
d. Both b and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both b and c

Dr. Thomas Starzl, who pioneered liver transplant surgery in the 1960s and was a leading researcher into anti-rejection drugs, has died. He was 90.

The University of Pittsburgh, speaking on behalf of Dr. Starzl’s family, said the renowned doctor died on March 5, 2017 at his home in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Starzl performed the world’s first liver transplant in 1963 and the world’s first successful liver transplant in 1967, and pioneered kidney transplantation from cadavers.

He later perfected the process by using identical twins and, eventually, other blood relatives as donors.

Since Dr. Starzl’s first successful liver transplant, thousands of lives have been saved by similar operations.

Scientists regard him as the father of transplantation.

His legacy in transplantation is hard to put into words it’s really immense.

About Dr. Starzl

  • Dr. Starzl joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1981 as professor of surgery, where his studies on the anti - rejection drug cyclosporin transformed transplantation from an experimental procedure into one that gave patients a hope they could survive an otherwise fatal organ failure.
  • It was his development of cyclosporin in combination with steroids that offered a solution to organ rejection.
  • Until 1991, Dr. Starzl served as chief of transplant services at UPMC, then was named director of the University of Pittsburgh Transplantation Institute.
  • Here he continued research on a process he called chimerism, based on a 1992 paper he wrote on the theory that new organs and old bodies “learn” to co-exist without immunosupression drugs.
  • The institute was renamed in his honour in 1996, and he continued as its director.
  • In his 1992 autobiography, The Puzzle People - Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon, Dr. Starzl said he actually hated performing surgery and was sickened with fear each time he prepared for an operation.

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