Obituary - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Who proposed the Impossibility Theorem?
- Published on 23 Feb 17

a. John Maynard Keynes
b. Amartya Sen
c. Kenneth J. Arrow
d. John Hicks
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kenneth J. Arrow

Kenneth J. Arrow, who died in California on 21st Feb 2017, at the age of 95, was an intellectual giant whose contributions to economics have underpinned and transformed much of the discipline.

Professor Arrow was associated with several universities and institutions but mostly with Stanford University, where he was an emeritus professor at the time of his death.

At the age of 51, he was the youngest person to win the Nobel Prize in economics. He won it jointly with John Hicks.

In 1951, while still a student at Columbia University, Professor Arrow wrote Social Choice and Individual Values, which contained what is known as Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem (ironically called the General Possibility Theorem by Arrow himself).

His contribution is considered the foundation of modern social choice theory, for which he is best known.

Arrow left his mark across much of economics, both in terms of his theoretical contributions and through his intellectual impact on others (five of his students won Nobel Prizes).

His contributions include a general equilibrium theory proof, which showed that a set of prices exists at which all markets are in simultaneous equilibrium.

He received a Nobel Prize for his work in this area.

Arrow also made profound contributions to information economics, finance and endogenous growth theory which models the level of technology as being affected by factors within an economy rather than being externally determined.

Arrow’s treatment of topics was highly mathematical yet had huge implications for the important questions of his time, including social welfare, insurance, finance, equality and health.

His interests extended beyond economics to include statistics, philosophy, the arts and wildlife.

What is Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem?

  • When voters rank three or more choices, there is no way to aggregate their choices for a society as a whole, in a logically consistent manner.
  • This theory holds that if done so, it cannot be attained without violating some basic principles, one of which is not having one person’s preferences overrule the others’.
  • This has often been interpreted as voting systems based on ranking one outcome against another as being logically flawed.
  • This is unless one individual has dictator-type rights in choosing societal preferences.

2)   Who is Kaci Kullmann?
- Published on 21 Feb 17

a. Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee
b. Chairman of Academy Awards Committee
c. Chairman of Abel Awards Committee
d. Chairman of Magsaysay Awards Committee
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee

Kaci Kullmann, the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which selects the Peace Prize laureates, has died aged 65 after a long illness, the organisation said on 20th Feb 2017.

Kullmann was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and underwent treatment but her condition worsened, and she was forced to cancel several appearances last year.

She was a role model for many young women.

Norway’s Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg condoled her death.

About Kaci Kullmann

  • Kullmann became a member of the Norwegian Nobel committee in 2003, and was elected chair in 2015.
  • She was among the decision makers who honoured former U.S. vice president Al Gore (2007), former U.S. president Barack Obama (2009), Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (2010), and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi (2003).
  • She was the leader of the Conservative Party between 1991-1994.

3)   Who was Russian ambassador to UN?
- Published on 21 Feb 17

a. Vitaly Churkin
b. Vladmir Churkin
c. Alexei Churkin
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vitaly Churkin

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly on 20th Feb 2017 after falling ill in his office at the mission, Russian officials said.

Churkin, 64, was rushed to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York, where he died.

His cause of death wasn't immediately known.

Churkin had been Russia's envoy at the United Nations since 2006 and was considered Moscow's great champion at the UN

He had a reputation for an acute wit and sharp repartee, especially with his American and Western counterparts.

Russia's foreign ministry called Churkin an "outstanding" diplomat and expressed condolences to his friends and family.

His death, the day before his 65th birthday, stunned officials at the UN's headquarters.

Churkin was previously ambassador at large and earlier served as the foreign ministry spokesman. He had a doctorate in history and was a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

4)   Which former CJI passed away on 19th Feb 2017?
- Published on 20 Feb 17

a. Altamas Kabir
b. CP Thakur
c. JS Khehar
d. Justice Kania
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Altamas Kabir

Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court Altamas Kabir passed away here on 19th Feb 2017; He was 68.

Suffering from kidney-related ailments, Justice Kabir was admitted to a private hospital in the city last week.

Nephew of the well-known Bengal writer and politician, Humayun Kabir, Altamas Kabir was known for his erudition and tongue-in-cheek humour.

Born on July 19, 1948 in Kolkata, Justice Kabir completed his LLB and MA from the University of Calcutta.

He started his legal career in 1973 when he enrolled as an advocate.

He was appointed a permanent judge in the Calcutta High Court on August 6, 1990 and Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court on March 1, 2005.

Later that year, he was elevated to the Supreme Court on September 9

3 years later, he was appointed the 39th Chief Justice of India on September 29, 2012.

He retired on July 18, 2013 after a brief tenure of around nine months.

During his brief tenure as Chief Justice of India, Justice Kabir delivered several landmark judgments particularly on human rights and election laws.

As the Chief Justice, he was part of the Supreme Court Bench which heard the case of the two Italian marines in 2013.

In another noted judgement in December 2012 as the Chief Justice of India, Justice Kabir along with Justice H.L. Dattu directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to go ahead with its probe into the disproportionate assets case against Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav.

In May 2011, Justice Kabir with Justice Cyriac Joseph, quashed the disqualification of 11 BJP MLAs by the then Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah as it did not fulfil the criterion of natural justice and fair play.

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

5)   Who was called the Lion of Vidarbha?
- Published on 20 Feb 17

a. Jambuwantrao Dhote
b. Jambuwantrao Ghote
c. Jambuwantrao Mhote
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jambuwantrao Dhote

Eminent Vidarbha leader and former Nagpur MP Jambuwantrao Dhote passed away.

He was 78. Known as the Lion of Vidarbha for his support to statehood for the region, Dhote was also a legislator for two terms from Yavatmal district.

An ardent disciple of Subhash Chandra Bose, he started his political career with Forward Bloc and later moved to the Congress in the late 70s before joining the Shiv Sena.

He was first elected to the state assembly from Yavatmal in 1962.

His membership was suspended when he threw the paper weight at the assembly speaker over the issue of a separate Vidarbha.

He again won in 1967. Later he had contested the Lok Sabha elections from Nagpur in 1972 and won it by defeating Congress veteran Rikhab Chandra Sharma.

Dhote contested the 1980 Lok Sabha elections from Nagpur as a Congress candidate and won it by a handsome margin. He later left the Congress and floated Vidarbha Janata Congress.

Dhote was the son-in-law of veteran Congress leader and former deputy chief minister, the late Ramrao Adik. His wife, Vijaya was also a Congress legislator from Yavatmal.

The veteran politician joined hands with Indira Gandhi in 1978 and made an electoral adjustment with the Congress in 1978 state elections.

His Forward Bloc got 22 seats from Vidarbha and four of his supporters were nominated as ministers.

6)   Who won the Grammy in 1978 for Look to the Rainbow?
- Published on 16 Feb 17

a. Al Jarreau
b. Al Farreau
c. Al Sarreau
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau, Grammy-winning pop and jazz musician passed away on 12 February 2017 at the age of 76.

He was born into a musical household in Milwaukee on 12 March 1940.

His mother was a piano teacher and father, a minister and singer.

He completed his masters in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Iowa and then moved to San Francisco in late 1960s.

He did not begin a full-time musical career until he was nearly 30.

In 1976, he released his debut album ‘We Got By’ that got him international recognition. He also won the Echo award for the album (the German equivalent of the Grammy’s).

He won his first Grammy award- Best Jazz Vocal Performance in 1978 for his album, ‘Look to the Rainbow’.

His other major hits include ‘We’re in This Love Together’, ‘Breakin’ Away’ and the theme song of a popular TV show, ‘Moonlighting’.

He was also one of the musicians in the all-star lineup who sang ‘We Are the World’, in 1985 which financed famine relief in Africa.

Al Jarreau earned the nickname ‘Acrobat of Scat’ due to his innovative vocal styling.

He has released more than 20 albums and won a total of seven Grammy Awards.

7)   Which world famous Japanese manga artist has passed away on 11th Feb 2017?
- Published on 14 Feb 17

a. Jino Taniguchi
b. Jiro Taniguchi
c. Jiko Taniguchi
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jiro Taniguchi

Taniguchi, who was known for his elegant line drawings and intricately-constructed landscapes, died on 11th Feb 2017.

His art earned him an international following and some of his work was made into a television series.

His death was announced by Casterman, his publisher in France, where his work was particularly well known.

Taniguchi was widely praised for the gentle manner in which he approached subjects that were often unique for Japan's manga consumers.

His works such as The Walking Man, The Summit of the Gods and The Magic Mountain, stood apart in a genre sometimes seen as rooted in extreme violence.

In The Walking Man, the protagonist of the story simply wanders around fascinated with aspects of everyday life.

Taniguchi explained, in an interview, why his art was painstakingly hand-drawn - "I do not use a computer because I do not know how, I don't have that skill," he said.

His detailed landscapes filled with cartoon characters drew comparisons in the West with European comic heroes such as Tintin.

Born in 1947 in the city of Tottori, Taniguchi had his first cartoon published in 1970.

Many years later his graphic art took off in France and in 2015 his work was featured at the annual Angouleme international comics festival.

8)   Which MRI pioneer was a British Nobel prize winner?
- Published on 13 Feb 17

a. Sir Peter Mansfield
b. Sir Peter Chesterfield
c. Sir Peter Kensfield
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sir Peter Mansfield

A British Nobel Prize winner who pioneered body scanning technology that has revolutionised science and medicine has died at the age of 83.

In the 1970s, Professor Sir Peter Mansfield led a University of Nottingham team that turned magnetic resonance imaging into the powerful tool.

MRI scans use strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate 3D images of the body’s internal organs without potentially harmful X-rays.

Peter Mansfield: Know More

  • Sir Peter Mansfield FRS, was an English physicist who was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • This was shared with Paul Lauterbur, for discoveries concerning Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
  • Born: 9 October 1933, Lambeth, London, United Kingdom
  • Died: 8 February 2017
  • Known for: Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Education: University of London, Queen Mary University of London
  • Awards: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Notable awards: Fellow of the Royal Society (1987), Knight Bachelor (1993), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2003)

9)   Who was social reformer Gora's younger sister that joined the Quit India movement?
- Published on 10 Feb 17

a. Racharla Samrajyam
b. Rachana Samrajyam
c. Rasana Samrajyam
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Racharla Samrajyam

Racharla Samrajyam, freedom fighter, died at her residence here on 3rd Feb 2017.

Samrajyam was born to Goparaju Venkata Subba Rao and Rajyalakshmi at Rajahmundry on April 26, 1919.

She was social reformer Gora’s younger sister.

Samrajyam was inspired by the Quit India Movement, when she was undergoing Hindi Pracharak training at Anantapur in 1942.

She quit the training programme and joined the Quit India Movement.

She was arrested at Bezawada (Vijayawada) and was sent to the Raya Vellore Jail for six months in 1944.

Motivated by G. Durga Bai, she underwent training in rural development activities for a year in 1945 in Kasturi Ba Smaraka Trust at Seva Gram through the Hindustan Naya Talmi Sangh.

This was under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

She had worked in various capacities at the Kasturi Ba Gandhi Rashtriya Smaraka Trust’s Regional Office at Seethanagaram in East Godavari district, serving the trust for 34 years, from June 1946.

She received the ‘Tamra Patra’ from the Government of India in 1972.

Tamra Patra: Know More

  • Tamra Patra are the royal records of grants engraved on copper-plates.
  • Tamra-shasan or tamra-patra derive from tamra which means copper in Sanskrit and several other Indian languages.
  • Because copper does not rust or decay, they can survive virtually indefinitely.
  • Approximate dimensions of copper plate is 9?3/4 inch long × 3?1/4 inch high × 1/10 (to 1/16) inch thick.
  • The earliest known copper-plate, known as the Sohgaura copper-plate, is a Maurya record that mentions famine relief efforts.
  • It is one of the very few pre-Ashoka Brahmi inscriptions in India.
  • GoI also issues tamra patras to freedom fighters.

10)   Which renowned Pakistani Urdu novelist wrote the famous novel Raja Gidh?
- Published on 07 Feb 17

a. Bano Aliyah
b. Bano Ali
c. Bano Qudsia
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bano Qudsia

Well known Pakistani Urdu novelist and playwright Bano Qudsia passed away in Lahore at age 88.

She was born in Nov 1928, in Ferozepur India. She migrated to Pakistan following the partition.

She started her career by writing short stories. Her most famous novel (for which she attained acclaim in the Indian subcontinent) was Raja Gidh (The Vulture King).

She has written prominent works like:

- Aadhi Baat,
- Aatish-i-zer-i-paa,
- Aik Din,
- Amer Bail,
- Asay Pasay,
- Chahar Chaman,
- Chhotaa Sheher Baray Log,
- Footpath ki Ghaas,
- Hasil Ghaat and
- Hawa Kay Naam.

Pakistan Government had awarded her with Sitara-i-Imtiaz (2003) and Hilal-i-Imtiaz (2010).

All About Sitara-i-Imtiaz

  • Type: Award
  • Day: Announced on August 14 each year, Independence Day of Pakistan and awards actually given on March 23rd the next year (Pakistan Day)
  • First induction : 19 March 1957
  • Eligibility : Pakistani or Foreign citizen
  • Next (higher) : Hilal-i-Imtiaz

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