1) Which Olympian won the Asian Luge Championship on 23rd Dec 2016?
a. Felix Loch
b. Mark Grimmette
c. Shiva Keshavan
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Shiva Keshavan
Shiva Keshavan, a Winter Olympian from India, has won the gold medal at the Asian Luge Championship on 23rd Dec, 2016. He survived an injury to clinch the gold at the championship in Nagano,
Keshavan dominated the event, finishing the 2 heat race, in 1:39:962 seconds, 103.4 km/hr was his top speed in the race.
Tanaka Shohei of Japan clinched the silver medal in the event with a combined time of 1:44.874 seconds. His top speed was 124.6 km/hr.
Bronze medal went to Chinese Taipei’s Lien Te-An. He completed the race in 45,120 with a top speed of 126.3 km/hr.
It is an annual Luge competition for Asian countries and it came into existence in 1998.
Competition is held in different formats, namely men and women single events and men’s double events.
All editions of the competition are held by Spiral bobsleigh luge and skeleton track at Nagano, Japan.
Apart from this, earlier in 2016, he was forced to withdraw his nomination from the 2016 World Championships
As per reports, he will participate in the 2017 World Championship that will be held in Innsbruck, Austria.
He will compete on the World Cup circuit in the lead up to the qualification process for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Korea.
Know More About Shiva Keshavan
- 5 time Olympian.
- Indian representative to compete in luge at Winter Olympic Games
- Born: Aug 25, 1981.
- He set a new Asian speed record at 134.3 km/h (83.5 mph) after beating the previous record of 131.9 km/h (82.0 mph).
- He won gold medal in Asia Cup 2011 at Nagano in Japan.
- In 2012, he set a new Asian track record at 49.590 seconds.
2) White House banned new oil and gas drilling in US waters of which oceans?
d. Only a and b
e. All the above
ANSWER: Only a and b
The White House in the fourth week of Dec 2016 permanently banned all new oil and gas drilling in the US owned waters of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
The ban is the final effort to lock in environmental protections before Obama hands over office to president-elect Donald Trump.
To implement the ban on the two Oceans, an area that is roughly equal to the size of Thailand or Spain in Arctic and 31 sea canyons in the Arctic, Obama used a 1953 law under which a president can block the mining and sale of new offshore drilling rights.
Law makes it difficult for successors to reverse the decision. Ban was jointly announced by Obama and Justin Trudeau, Canada’s PM.
Obama who signed the Paris climate agreement in 2015 supports the ambitious plan of reducing the global warming.
Trump had a different opinion on agreements and threatened to cancel the Paris climate agreement.
Untapped energy reserves of the country is the focus of the president elect and it will exploit fossil fuels.
Obama’s decision will act as a blockade for Trump.
Action came against the backdrop of climate scientists, who urged the President to come up with regulations or executive order to protect his climate legacy.
Know More About Barack Obama
- Assumed office: January 20, 2009
- Vice President: Joe Biden
- Preceded by: George W. Bush
- United States Senator from Illinois
- Full Name: Barack Hussein Obama II
- Date of Birth: August 4, 1961 (age 55)
- Place of Birth: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
- Political party: Democratic
- Noble Peace Prize: 2009
3) Ravichandran Ashwin won which honour on 22nd Dec 2016?
a. ICC’s Test Cricketer of the Year
b. Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy
c. Both a and b
d. Neither of the above
ANSWER: Both a and b
Ravichandran Ashwin on 22nd Dec 2016 won the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.
Ashwin was chosen for the award after being adjudged the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.
With this, he became the second Indian player after Rahul Dravid to bag the two prestigious prizes in the same year.
Ace cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar won the prestigious award in 2010.
Other recipients of the trophy include Andrew Flintoff, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mitchell Johnson and others.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Know More
- Right handed batsman.
- Right arm off break bowler.
- Plays for Rising Pune Supergiants in IPL.
- Ashwin is the fastest Indian bowler to reach the 50,100, 150 and 200 wicket mark in Test - cricket.
- He is the only bowler in recent times to bowl the carrom ball, besides Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka.
Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy: Know More
- Cricket trophy awarded by ICC.
- Winner is chosen world player of the year.
- It was named after former West Indies cricket captain Sir Garfield Sobers.
- Cricketer’s name was chosen by a panel comprising Richie Benaud, Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Holding.
- Trophy was first awarded in 2004 to Rahul Dravid.
- International crystal manufacturer Swarowski has handcrafted the trophy.
- Trophy features a red crystal cricket ball studded with 4200 Swarowksi crystal chantons, which rests on a brass hand extended from the gold plated base.
- In 2015, the trophy was awarded to cricketer Steven Smith.
4) Samajwadi Party of UP on 22nd Dec 2016 passed a resolution to transfer how many subcastes in OBCs into SC category?
UP’s Samajwadi Party led government on 22nd Dec 2016 passed a resolution to transfer 17 sub-castes in Other Backward Castes into Scheduled Castes category.
Decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by CM Akhilesh Yadav.
The inclusion of sub castes into the SC category was one of the main commitments of the SP government in 2012 when it attained power.
17 sub-castes which the government wants to be included in the SC category include: Kashyap, Kewat, Batham, Gaur, Kahar, Nishad, Bind, Bhar, Rajbhar, Rapajapati, Majhi, Tura, Mallah, Kumhar, Dheemar, Machua
Along with this, the state government also moved another resolution to send this proposal to the Union Government for further consideration.
Inclusion of these 17 sub-castes into SC category now rests with the Union Government.
This marks the second time the SP government has made an attempt in this direction.
The decision was taken without the consent of the Union government. The Allahabad HC quashed the decision declaring the move unconstitutional and void.
The two main supplementary legislations included the Central GST Bill and the State GST Bill.
Council will also meet to sort out the issue of dual control or cross empowerment.
5) Which country on 22nd Dec inaugurated the world’s first solar highway?
France on 22nd Dec 2016 inaugurated the world’s first solar highway.
This road is paved with solar panels providing enough energy to power street lights of Normandy’s Tourouvre.
This is one kilometre or half mile Wattway covering 2,800 square meters or 30,000 square feet of resin coated solar panels hooked up to the local power grid.
The use of solar energy takes advantage of large swathes of road infrastructure in use to produce electricity without taking up a new real estate.
Minister also announced a 4 year plan for the national deployment of solar highways with initial projects in western Brittany and southern Marseille.
An average of 2,000 carouse this road each day, resting the resistance of the panels constructed by French civil engineering major Colas, a subsidiary of Bouygues.
This idea is being explored in the United States, the Netherlands and Germany.
The roadways are occupied by cars only around 20 percent of the time, providing vast expanses of surface to soak up sun’s rays.
In theory, France could become energy independent by paving only a quarter of its million kilometres of roads with solar panels.
Wattway project received a state subsidy of 5 million euros.
A drawback of the system is that solar panels are the most effective when angled than when they are laid flat.
Each Kilowatt peak, the unit of measure for solar energy, generated by Wattway currently costs 17 euros compared with 1.30 euros for major rooftop installation.
By 2020, the cost competitiveness of this project will be improved.
Cost of producing solar energy decreased by 60 percent between 2009 and 2015, according to French renewable energy association SER.
France: Know More
- Location: Western Europe
- Capital: Paris
- President: Francois Hollande
- Prime Minister: Bernard Cazeneuve
- Currencies: Euro, CFP franc.
6) What is Dzud?
a. Natural disaster
c. Heavy snowfall
d. Only a and c
e. All the above
ANSWER: Only a and c
Mongolia is struggling to face a natural disaster known as “dzud” where frigid temperatures and heavy snow cause widespread livestock deaths, threatening herder livelihoods.
Mongolians are struggling with economic crises which has seen the currency called the tugrik depreciate rapidly.
This has made household goods more expensive.
The dzud of 2009-2010 is one of the most severe in history.
It saw the death of 9.7 million livestock; 1.1 million heads of livestock died in 2015on an average.
Amid the worst economic conditions since the global economic crisis, the capital Ulaanbaatar is working with international organisations to get assistance to herders.
The government has stockpiled hay and fodder for distribution, but resources are stretched thin as it negotiates with the International Monetary Fund to refinance debt.
Dzuds have become more frequent as a result of climate change, environmental groups have said, putting Ulaanbaatar under increasing strain in recent years.
According to official data on Friday, the air quality index in the northern Ulaanbaatar district of Bayankhoshuu reached a hazardous 1,854, with concentrations of breathable airborne particles known as PM2.5 at 927 micrograms per cubic metre.
The safe recommended level of PM2.5 is 10 micrograms, according to the WHO.
Mongolia - Know More
- Bordered by: China, Russia
- Capital: Ulaanbaatar
- Currency: Tugruk
- Population: 2.839 million (2013 World Bank)
- Official Language: Mongolian.
7) What is the theme of the National Consumer Day celebrated on 24th Dec 2016?
a. Alternate Consumer Disputes Redressal
b. Alternate Consumer Disputes Forum
c. Consumer Dispute Resolution
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Alternate Consumer Disputes Redressal
Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution is celebrating the National Consumer Day 2016 with the theme “Alternate Consumer Disputes Redressal” on 24th Dec 2016.
Alternative dispute resolution is being practiced in resolving civil disputes.
The Consumer Protection Bill 2015 also has a chapter related to mediation, one of the ADR mechanisms.
New initiatives of the department on consumer grievance redressal and consumer education, leveraging new age technologies will be launched.
National Consumer Day is observed on Dec 24. On this day, the President assented to the Consumer Protection Act 1986. The day is an opportunity to protect basic rights of consumers.
National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) is now being implemented in all the States/UTs and covers about 80 crore persons for receiving highly subsidised food grains.
Sustained efforts have resulted in significant reforms in TPDS making it more transparent and leak proof with better targeting of food subsidy.
As a result thereof, 100% of ration cards have been digitised while 71.13% have been Aadhaar seeded.
Online allocation of food grains has started in 29 States/UTs,
Supply chain has been computerised in 19 States/UTs and 1,76,834 Fair Price Shops (FPS) have been automated by installing ‘Point of Sale’ devices.
6 States have now automated all their FPSs.
Consumer Protection Bill 2015
- Replaces the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
- Bill enforces consumer rights and provides a mechanism for complaint redressal regarding defects in goods and services.
- Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions will be set up at national, state and district levels for adjudicating consumer complaints.
- Bill has also established a Consumer Protection Authority to investigate consumer complaints, issue notices for goods and services and pass orders for recall of goods and against misleading ads.
- If a consumer suffers product defects, he must file a claim of product liability against the manufacturer.
- Bill classifies 6 contract terms as unfair including payment of excessive security deposits, disproportionate penalty for a breach and unilateral termination without cause.
8) The President promulgated an ordinance on 22nd Dec 2016. It concerns:
a. Enemy property
b. Family property
c. Movable property
d. Immovable property
ANSWER: Enemy property
President of India on 22nd December, 2016 passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance, 2016 (8 of 2016).
Following the Indo-China aggression in 1962, specific properties of Chinese nationals in India were vested in the Custodian through Defence of India Rules 1962.
Following the Indo-Pak wars in 1965 and 1971, the movable and immovable properties of Pakistani nations was vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
Their vesting was continued in the Custodian by the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
Government of Pakistan has disposed of all the properties of Indians impounded by them.
Claims are therefore being made to regain properties by legal hairs and successors of enemy nationals.
To prevent the vested properties, the Ordinance for the first time was promulgated on 7th Jan 2016.
It was passed by the LS on March 9, 2016.
Ordinance was promulgated for the second time on April 2nd, 2016.
The Ordinance was then issued for the third time on 31st May 2016 incorporating the amendments.
As the Bill is not being considered by RS, the ordinance was promulgated on 28th Aug 2016 for the fourth time.
The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the principal Act to ensure that the enemy properties worth thousands of crores of rupees vested in the Custodian do not revert to the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm.
Thus, in the larger public interest and to safeguard the interest of Central Government, the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance, 2016 (8 of 2016) has been promulgated.
- War of 1947.
- War of 1965.
- War of 1971.
- Siachen conflict.
- Kargil War.
- 2001–02 standoff.
- 2008 standoff.
- Border skirmishes. 2011. 2013. 2014–15. 2016 confrontation.
9) Where is the first second generation or 2G ethanol bio-refinery in India being set up?
Setting up the first Second Generation/2G Ethanol bio-refinery in India is being held on 25th Dec 2016 at Tarkhanwala Bathinda in Punjab.
Approximate investment of INR 600 crores was incurred in setting up the refinery.
HPCL, a CPSE is setting up the project.
GoI is encouraging production of 2G Ethanol from agricultural residues to provide additional sources of remuneration to farmers, address the growing environmental concerns and support the Ethanol Blended Petrol program for attaining 10% ethanol blending in petrol.
Bathinda biorefinery will be utilising agriculture residues for production of 100 KL per day or 3.20 crore litres per year of ethanol which may be sufficient to meet 26% of the ethanol blending of the state..
The biorefinery will generate employment for 1200-1300 persons in the biomass supply chain and generate additional income of INR 20 crore per annum for farmers through purchase of their agriculture residue.
The project shall also help in reducing CO2 emissions from the paddy straw which currently is being burnt after harvesting.
A major output of this biorefinery will be a biofertiliser approximating 30,000 tonnes per annum which will be incorporated into the soil for improving soil fertility and overall productivity of farms in Punjab.
Biorefinery will now produce 1 lakh Bio CNG over annum which can cater to transport and clean cooking requirements.
Oil PSUs are planning to set up 12 2G ethanol biorefineries across 11 states namely Punjab, Haryana, UP, MP, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and AP.
Estimated investment for 12 biorefineries is INR 10,000 crores.
Bio refineries will produce 35-40 crore litres of ethanol annually contributing towards the EBP program.
In Petrotech 2016, oil PSUs have entered into 6 MoUs with technology licensers and state governments for setting up biorefineries in:
- Bina (MP)
- Bargah (Odisha)
- Bathinda (Punjab)
- This marks the first step towards achieving 10 percent blending of ethanol in petrol.
What is Ethanol?
- Formula: C2H6O
- Boiling point: 78.37 °C
- Density: 789 kg/m³
- Molar mass: 46.06844 g/mol
- IUPAC ID: ethanol
- Melting point: -114 °C
- Vapor pressure: 5.95 kPa
10) A “Performance on Health Outcomes” index was spearheaded by Ministry of Health and Family welfare along with which organisation?
a. NITI Aayog
b. Planning Commission
d. None of the above
ANSWER: NITI Aayog
A Performance on Health Outcomes index was launched by NITI Aayog in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to move states towards transformative action in the health sector.
The index has been developed over several months, with inputs from domestic and international experts, including academicians and development partners, seeking feedback from States through multiple iterations and pre-testing the indicators in two States prior to its finalisation.
It aims to capture the annual incremental improvements by States, rather than focus on historical achievements.
It includes index covering domains of health outcomes governance and information and a few key inputs and processes.
This initiative is envisioned to bring about the much required improvements in social sector outcomes, which have not kept pace with the economic growth in this country.
It will be used to propel action in the States to improve health outcomes and improve data collection systems.
The health index will assist in State level monitoring of performance, serve as an input for providing performance based incentives and improvement in health outcomes, thereby also meeting the citizens’ expectations.
A similar exercise has also been launched for the Education and Water sectors.
NITI Aayog: Know More
- Full Form: National Institution for Transforming India
- Formed: Jan 1, 2015.
- Preceding: Planning Commission
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Chairman: Narendra Modi
- Vice Chairman: Arvind Panagriya
- Members: Bibek Debroy, VK Saraswat, Ramesh Chand.
- CEO: Amitabh Kant
- Website: www.niti.gov.in