1. The Indian Standards Institution (ISI) was set up in 1947 to formulate national standards in science, technology and various other fields. The ISI mark on a product is an assurance that the product conforms to the requirements laid down in the specification. Symbolic of the role ISI was to play in India, the first standard drawn up was for what specific object?
2. Which is the official residence of the Prime Minister of India?
3. The first PM of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, resided at a house which used to be the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in British India, called Flagstaff House. What did he name it?
4. What geographical entity starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti River, and runs approximately 1,600 kilometres through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari? It contains an astonishing 39 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
5. Who captained the victorious Indian team at the 2008 Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia?
6. The Gir forest has the only wild population of Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) in the world. The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is a sub-species of the tiger native to the Indian subcontinent. Its geographical range includes most of the States (at least 16) in India. In what symbolic fashion were these facts considered by the Government of India?
7. This Upanyas Samrat (Emperor among Novelists) was born in 1880 near Varanasi. His parents named him Dhanpat Rai (Master of Wealth) while his uncle named his Nawab (Prince). He thus used the name Nawab Rai as his first pseudonym before switching to another more famous one. What was his other pseudonym?
8. Who apparently started his professional career as a gas-station attendant in Aden in the 1950s with one rupee in his hand? He then moved to Mumbai in 1958 to start his own business in spices. The company he started in 1966 to manufacture synthetic textiles is now one of the largest companies in the world. It is ranked No 99 on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest corporations, as of 2013.
9. This tree once covered large expanses between the Ganges and the Yamuna, but much of these forests were cleared by the East India Company. Mythology describes it as a manifestation of the god Agni owing to its characteristic red-orange flowers. It features in many literary works as being associated with spring — In Tagore’s Santiniketan, the flower became an indispensable part of the celebration of spring. Name the tree or the flower.
10. This Bollywood film used real inventions by little-known people — Remya Jose, a Kerala student who created the exercise bicycle/washing-machine; Mohammad Idris, a Meerut barber who invented a bicycle-powered horse clipper; and Jahangir Painter, a painter from Maharashtra who made a scooter-powered flour mill. Which film is this that went on to become a Bollywood all-time success?
11. A small village in West Bengal, named after the flower in the previous question, shot to prominence when it became the site of one of the pivotal battles for the control of South Asia by the colonial powers in 1 757. It set the stage for Britain’s expansion in South East Asia. Which battle is this?
12. The IIT-JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) Advanced is conducted for admission to the various IITs and which other institution in Dhanbad? The institution was started in 1926 by Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India. Its programmes lay a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research in the areas of Earth Sciences.
13. The Odissi dance of Odisha is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. Apart from pre-dance sequences, the dancers perform dances based on which specific work by a 12th century poet?
14. The magical web of Indra or Indra’s Net (also known as Indra’s Jewels) hangs over his palace on Mount Meru, the axis of the universe. Indra’s net has a multifaceted jewel at each vertex, and each jewel is reflected in all the other jewels. This magical net was used by Indra to create illusions or maya. It was therefore used by the magician PC Sorcar to describe his magic shows. What was its name?
15. At the Christie’s art auction in Mumbai in 2013 an untitled work by which Indian abstract artist was sold for USD 3.7 million (` 23,70,25,000) to a US private collector?
16. In 1981, which Nobel Prize winner published Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, a book in which he argued that famine occurs not only from a lack of food, but from inequalities in food distribution. It said that the Bengal Famine of 1943 was caused by an urban economic boom that raised food prices, thereby causing millions of rural workers to starve to death when their wages did not keep up.
17. In 1965, for what extraordinary sporting achievement was an entire team conferred Arjuna Awards, a unique situation in the history of the awards?
18. Which Indian rock band formed in New Delhi in 1990 is considered to be a pioneer of the fusion rock genre in India? Susmit Sen, Asheem Chakravarty, Rahul Ram and Amit Kilam were founding band members. Its name is that of a geographical entity that links several nations of the subcontinent.
19. The Satish Dhawan Space Centre is the launch centre for the Indian Space Research Organisation. Where is it located?
20. Vivek Express is four pairs of express trains. One of these trains travels from Dibrugarh in Assam to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and is the longest route on the Indian Railways network, in terms of distance and time, and is the 9th longest in the world. These trains were started to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of which famous Indian?
1. The National Flag of India
2. 7, Race Course Road
3. Teen Murti Bhavan. After Nehru’s death in 1964, the building was turned to a Nehru Memorial Museum & Library.
4. Western Ghats
5. Virat Kohli
6. This is the reason why the Royal Bengal Tiger is the National Animal of India, and not the Asiatic Lion, although our National Emblem is the Lion Capital of Ashoka.
7. Premchand. He was also known as “Munshi Premchand”, Munshi being an honorary prefix.
8. Dhirubhai Ambani
9. Flame of the forest (Indian name: Palash)
10. 3 Idiots
11. Battle of Plassey (Plassey is the anglicized form of Palashi, the village named after the palash flower).
12. Indian School of Mines
13. Jayadev’s Gita Govinda
15. Vasudeo Gaitonde
16. Amartya Sen
17. The winners were the successful team of the 1965 Everest expedition led by Major H P S Ahluwalia
18. Indian Ocean
20. Swami Vivekananda