These are the set of questions I set for GK quiz conducted on 10th of September, 2011, in ITER. These questions however were never selected because the world is not perfect and therefore I am releasing it on the internet. The questions are centered towards India and Indians but I hope the general audience finds it as much useful.
1. The first king of the Mauryan Empire dynasty defeated the Hellenistic kingdom in the plains of Punjab in 305BC. His guru had been a great philosopher and economist in India economics. Name the university at which the guru taught.
Answer: Taxila; Kautilya (or Chanakya ) had hidden and studied in Taxila after the Nada kingdom ruler had murdered his father Chanak. Later, Kautilya became the principle of Taxila.
2. Mahayana Buddhism was proliferated into China, Korea and Japan during the 1stCentury of this millennia. Name the Indian ruler of Kushana Dynasty credited for the internationalization of Buddhism.
Answer: Kanishka; It is unclear whether Kanishka himself converted, his decisions such as -translation of Buddhist works into Chinese led to the expansion of Buddhism in Asia.
3. Samarqand in Uzbekistan is the oldest city in Central Asia. The attempt to conquer this city had greatly weakened an Indian dynasty whose last famous emperor suffered great loss at the hands of the Marathas. Name the Dynasty.
Answer: The Mughal Dynasty; Shah Jahan attempted to conquer Samarqand as an ancestoral home but was uncessful. Aurengzeb, the last famous emperor of Mughal dynasty, incurred military and economic loss in an attempt to win the Marathas.
4. The Carnatic wars of 18th century are considered the main political cause for the annexation of India by the British. Name the two countries involved in this war.
Answer: England and France; the rise of French military caused a security threat to England and gave rise to worldwide Anglo-French conflict of the 18th century. India being a lucrative trading partner for both countries became a battleground for the conflict.
5. The alleged death of Subhash Chandra Bose has been an issue of debate for long. Justice Mukherjee’s report of 2005, discredits Bose’s cause for death to be a plane crash as maintained by the government. What was the destination of the crashed plane?
Answer: Tokyo, Japan.
6. Constructed between 1238-1250 CE, this temple dedicated to the Sun god is a mix of Orissan and Dravidian styles of architecture. Name the king who sanctioned this temple.
Answer: Narsimhadev I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty ; The temple is Konark Temple.
1. Born in France, I am regarded as the father of science fiction. My best known works ‘Around the world in Eighty Days’ and ‘Journey to the center of the earth’ have been converted into major motion picture and have inspired a lot of author form the genre. Who am I?
Answer: Jules Verne;
2. I am a social activist born in Bhingar, Bombay. My indefinite hunger strike on 5thApril, 2011 caused national unrest against corruption. Lovingly called Anna by the people, what is my birth name?
Answer: Kisan Baburao Hazare;
3. Born as the great granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels, I am well known for my stupidity on camera and my lavish lifestyle. The 2008 parody Presidential campaign video by me garnered 7 million views in two days. Who am I?
Answer: Paris Hilton;
4. A Scottish physician and writer, my works mostly dealt with science fiction, historical novels and plays. My most noted works were based on the exploits detective Sherlock Holmes. What is my name?
Answer: Sir Arthur Conan doyle
5. The book ‘The Poverty of India’, published in 1876, for the first time was able to draw attention to economic conditions of India under the British. The writer of the book studied at the Elphinstone college in Mumbai and became a well know figure in Indian nationalism. Name the author.
Answer: Dadabahi naroji; Born to parsi parents in 1825, Dadabhai went on to become the ‘grand old man of India’ and was the spiritual leader for the generation of nationalist leaders that included Mahatma Gandhi.
6. Awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1998, his call for ‘Total Revolution’ lead to nationwide protests and ignited political instability in the country. His biography, written by an eminent writer of Hindi literature, Ramvriksha Benipuri, is named after him. Name the politician.
Answer: Jayprakash Narayan; Also known as ‘Loknayak’, J.P Narayan enjoyed the moral support of youth and was thus able to fiercely oppose Indira Gandhi in 1970s leading to emergency on June 25, 1975. Ramvirksha Benipuri was a close friend of JP and brought out his biography by the name ‘Jayprakash’.
1. If I am standing at the border of China’s largest province and the city of Astana is the capital city of this largest landlocked country, which country am I in?
Answer: Kazakhstan; is the 9th largest country in the world and the largest land locked country. It is bordered by China’s largest Xinjiang Uygur on the east.
2. Southeastern Europe ends in a peninsula bounded on the east by the Black and Aegean seas, on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and on the west by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. What is the name of the Peninsula?
Answer: Balkan Peninsula; comprises the countries Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, etc.
3. If lake Superior is the westernmost and largest of the five great lakes, which is the easternmost and the smallest?
Answer: Lake Ontario; Some 311 km (193 mi) long and up to about 85 km (about 53 mi) wide, the lake covers an area of 19,010 sq km (7,340 sq mi).
Play it safe OR go for a kill:
1. In 1971 the firm that invented denim blue jeans in 1873, received the Coty Fashion Critics’ Award, the highest award of the American fashion industry because of the status attained by blue jeans in the 60s and 70s. Name the company that invented denim blue jeans.
Answer: Levis Strauss & Co. invented blue jeans in 1873.
2. Delhi re-attained its position as the center of political power when it became the capital city of the Mughal Empire in 1638. Name the Mughal ruler that relocated his capital from Agra to Red Fort in Delhi.
Answer: Shah Jahan; the construction for the Red Fort(Lal Qila) was begun in 1639 and completed by 1648.
3. Anti-Semitism, i.e. the political, social and economic agitation and activities directed against Jews led to the burning of a lot of their places of worship. What is the Jewish temple called?
Answer: Synagogue; it serves both as a place of worship and as a communal center of the Jewish congregation.
4. Built for the king Suryavarman II in 12th century as his state temple and capital city, this is the world’s largest religious building first hindu, dedicated to god Vishnu and then Buddhist. This temple has now become a symbol of Cambodia appearing on its national flag. Name the temple.
Answer: The Angkor Wat temple; built in earl 12th century, the temple was built with high classical style of Khmer arhchitecture.
5. If gynephobia stands for an irrational and pathological fear for women, gynandrous describes flowers such as orchids that have pistils and stamens united in a column, etymologically, what does androgynous stand for?
Answer: Someone who has both male and female parts; from latin- andro=”man”, gune=’woman’. Androgynous is obtained by flipping the two parts of gynandrous.
6. Hammurabi is remembered for his codification of the laws governing Babylonian life in the “Code of Hammurabi” and for his powerful regime. What was the capital city of his empire?
Answer: Babylonia; though inhabited before the Babylonian Dynasty under Hammurabi, the city gained much from the power and extent of the dynasty.
7. Two of the longest rivers of Russia form the largest river system in asia, which is also the fourth largest river system in world. Name any one of the two rivers.
Answer: Ob and Irtysh; There reivers flow 5410 km north from western China through western Siberia to the Arctic Ocean.
8. In the words of its original philosopher, nihilism was described as:
“What I am doing is to recount the history of the next two centuries. I am describing what is coming, what can no longer come in any other form: the rise of nihilism.”
Name the philosopher.
Answer: Friedrich Nietzsche; born in 1844, Nietzsche went on to become one ofthe most prominent thinkers of the 19th century. His key ideas were ‘the death of god’, ‘will to power’ and ‘Nihilism’.
9. If ‘Macbeth’ was the last of the ‘four great tragedies’ written by Shakespeare, name the hero of the first of the ‘four great tragedies’.
Answer: Hamlet from the play Hamlet; the other two tragedies were Othello and King Lear.
10. Ramachandra Guha is a noted Indian writer in the field of environment, history and cricket. His book on modern Indian history published in 2007 was chosen as the book of the year by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Outlook. Name the book.
Answer: India After Gandhi; published by HarperCollins, the book stays at list of best sellers even today because of its comprehensiveness and interactive style of telling history.
11. Born on planet Krypton, he was rocketed to Earth by his scientist father before the destruction of his home planet. Name this superhero form DC comics.
12. One of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novels ‘The Namesake’ was adapted into the popular film by the same name receiving much critical acclaim. What is the name of her first collection of short stories that received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction?
Answer: Interpreter of Maladies; A collection of 9 short stories, and has sold over 15 million copies world-wide.
The section on Geography is not complete as I could not find the questions anymore. The questions were designed to be easy to answer if the listener is attentive and therefore can be used at high-school level. The formatting has gotten unorganized because of copying the content form word document to wordpress. Hope the content is useful to you.