Famous Personalities - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Who is the architect of the world's longest constitution?
- Published on 07 Dec 17

a. BR Rao
b. BR Ambedkar
c. C Rajagoplachari
d. Jawaharlal Nehru
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: BR Ambedkar

Wednesday marks the 61st anniversary of the death of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar who, after Mahatma Gandhi, is India's most revered leader.

He was the architect of what is probably the world's longest constitution, a legal scholar and a spiritual leader.

Most importantly, he was the undisputed leader of the Dalits (formerly untouchables), who suffered from their lowly position in a harsh caste hierarchy.

About BR Ambedkar

  • He was born on 14 April 1891, part of a family that belonged to the Hindu Mahar community, one of the untouchable castes in India at the time.
  • Image caption Dr Ambedkar, left, at the Fourth Conference of the World Fellowships of Buddhists, held in 1956 in Nepal
    Referred to as the "darling of the dispossessed" by Indian historian Ramachandra Guha, Dr Ambedkar's influence during the colonial era began in the 1920s, when he joined politics.
  • He was also known for his rejection of Hinduism as a religion that isolated the lower caste. In 1956, he started the Dalit Buddhist movement. This was a radical reinterpretation of traditional Buddhism, which he found to be flawed.
  • Instead, he coined the term Navayana Buddhism, which was adopted by nearly half a million Dalits at the time.
  • He was reportedly the first Dalit to gain entry into Elphinstone College, which was affiliated to the University of Bombay.
  • After completing his undergraduate degree, he moved to New York on a scholarship that afforded him the chance to pursue a graduate degree at Columbia University, where he also completed a PhD in economics.
  • He collected another doctorate from the London School of Economics a year later - a formidable feat, considering the socio-political barriers he had to contend with.
  • Soon after India gained independence in 1947, Dr Ambedkar became the country's first law minister, and was appointed to write the nation's new constitution.
  • In government, he argued for broader economic and social rights for women, the case for abolishing untouchability and for the reservation of jobs in civil services and schools for members of the lower castes.
  • In 1946, Dr Ambedkar founded a political party to campaign for the rights of the Dalit community.
  • Historians have said that his legacy as a socio-political reformer has had a profound effect on modern India.

2)   The 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) honoured which actor with the Indian film Personality of 2017 award?
- Published on 29 Nov 17

a. Amitabh Bachchan
b. Dillip Kumar
c. Shah Rukh Khan
d. Aishwarya Rai Bachan
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Amitabh Bachchan

The 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held in Panaji in Goa.

The closing ceremony was held at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Bambolim.

Legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the Indian film personality of 2017 award.

Other IFFI 2017 Winners

  • Acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan was honoured with the lifetime achievement award.
  • Morocco-born French director Robin Campillo's drama film 120 BPM won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
  • The film, set in France in the 1990s, deals with homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic. The film had its India premiere at IFFI 2017.
  • The Golden Peacock carries a cash prize of र40 lakh, to be shared equally between the producer and the director.
  • The Best Actor (Male) Award went to Nahuel Perez Biscaryat for his portrayal of AIDS activist Sean Dalmazo. In a video address, Mr. Biscayart dedicated the award to those afflicted by HIV/AIDS.
  • Chinese Vivian Qu won the Best Director Award for her 2017 film Angels Wear White.
  • The Best Actor (Female) award went to Parvathy T.K. for her portrayal of a nurse who wages a battle for the release of her husband held hostage by the rebel army in war-torn Iraq in Mahesh Narayanan's Malayalam film Take Off.
  • Mr. Narayanan also walked away with the Special Jury Award for the film.

3)   Who led the Paika Bidroha of 1817?
- Published on 25 Oct 17

a. Rani Lakshmibai
b. Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar
c. Landed militia of Khurda Odisha
d. Both b and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both b and c

The 'Paika Bidroha' (Paika Rebellion) of 1817 will find a place in the history books as 'the First War of Independence' from the next academic session.

This announcement was marking the bicentenary of Paika Rebellion.

Centre has allocated INR. 200 crore for commemorating it across the country.

Paika Bidroha will find a place as the First War of Independence against the British Rule in the history books.

Paikas were peasant militia under the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who rendered military service to the king during the times of war.

They rebelled against the British rule under the leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar as early as 1817.

Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had, in a letter to the Centre, urged that it should recognise 'Paika Bidroha' as the First War of Independence against the British rule as it took place four decades before the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, which has so far been regarded as the first war of Indian Independence.

What is Paika Rebellion?

  • When the British started tinkering with the revenue system in 1803, the farming community of Odisha rose in rebellion.
  • At that critical juncture, Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar - the military chief of the King of Khurda - led his motley army of Paikas forcing the British East India Company forces to retreat.
  • The rebellion came to be known as Paika Bidroh (Paika rebellion).
  • The rebellion, by the landed militia of Khurda called Paiks, predates the first war of independence in 1857 but did not get similar recognition.
  • It took place when the British East India company wrested the rent-free land that had been given to the Paiks for their military service to the Kingdom of Khurda.

4)   Which heavy metal band’s lead singer had a prehistoric crocodile named after him?
- Published on 10 Aug 17

a. Guns 'n' Roses
b. Pink Floyd
c. Metallica
d. Motorhead
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Motorhead

A team of scientists unveiled an extinct, sea-dwelling crocodile from the Jurassic period on Wednesday, which they named in honour of Motorhead lead singer Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister who died in 2015.

Lemmysuchus was about 5.8 metres long and had a skull longer than a metre - similar to a modern-day saltwater crocodile to which it is only distantly related.

It would have been one of the largest coastal predators of its time. The teeth were large and blunt, perfect for crushing prey such as turtles.

Lemmy’s croc was dug up at Peterborough in England in the early 20th century.

But it was recently re-examined and found to have been incorrectly lumped with other sea crocodiles from the area.

Lemmysuchus obtusidens lived around 164 million years ago and was a member of an extinct group of marine crocodile relatives called teleosaurs.

Given that it belonged to a unique group, the creature “needed a new scientific name,” said the statement.

Lemmy died in December 2015 at the age of 70 in Los Angeles.

He formed Motorhead, a metal band, in 1975.

5)   Which famous scientist and former Indian president had a bacteria named after him?
- Published on 23 May 17

a. President Abdul Kalam
b. President Pratibha Patil
c. President Pranab Mukherjee
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: President Abdul Kalam

Scientists at NASA have named a new organism discovered by them after the much-loved Indian scientist and former President, APJ Abdul Kalam.

Till date, the new organism, a bacteria, has been found only on the International Space Station (ISS) and has not been found on earth.

Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the foremost lab of NASA for work on inter-planetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president, who was a renowned aerospace scientist.

Kalam had his early training at NASA in 1963 before he set up India’s first rocket-launching facility in the fishing village of Thumba in Kerala.

The name of the bacterium is Solibacillus kalamii, the species name is after Dr Abdul Kalam and genus name is Solibacillus which is a spore forming bacteria. The filter on which the new bug was found remained on board the ISS for 40 months.

Called a high-efficiency particulate arrestance filter or HEPA filter, this part is the routine housekeeping and cleaning system on board the international space station.

This filter was later analysed at JPL and results recently published. Even as it orbits the earth some 400 kilometres above, the ISS is home to many types of bacteria and fungi which co-inhabit the station with the astronauts who live and work on the station.

Even though Solibacillus kalamii has never been found on earth till date, it is really not an extra-terrestrial life form or ET.

6)   Who has become the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest for the 4th time?
- Published on 19 May 17

a. Anshu Jamsenpa
b. Arunima Sinha
c. Baichendri Pal
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anshu Jamsenpa

Anshu Jamsenpa, a native of Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh has scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest for the fourth time.

Anshu Jamsenpa who is a mother of two children had already had ascaled Mount Everest twice in a season that too taking only a gap of 10 days between the two climbs.

She scaled the highest peak twice in May 2011.

She again conquered the peak on May 18, 2013. Anshu began her summit expedition after 38 days of acclimatization and scaling several nearby peaks and passes.

Anshu Jamsenpa also plans to scale Mount Everest again in this season to create a new record for becoming the first woman to do a “double” twice.

She had sought the blessings of the Dalai Lama on 2nd April from Guwahati before embarking upon the journey to Nepal.

Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal were the first climbers to conquer Mount Everest.

They achieved this feat on May 29, 1953.

Reinhold Messner, an Italian explorer became the first person to scale Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1978.

He is also first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level, including the Mount Everest.

7)   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.

8)   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.

9)   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.

10)   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.

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