1) US has slapped sanctions on how many Pakistani entities associated with the country's missile programme?
The United States has slapped sanctions on 7 Pakistani entities associated with the missile programme of the country.
An official notification by the US Department of Commerce said the entities added to the EAR or Export Administration Regulations list.
It has been determined by the US government to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.
All the 7 have been placed on the entity list under the destination of Pakistan.
These 7 entities have been identified as:
i. Ahad International
ii. Air Weapons Complex
iii. Engineering Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
iv. Maritime Technology Complex National Engineering and Scientific Commission,
v. New Auto Engineering
vi. Universal Tooling Services
Pakistan is denying wrongdoing in connection with the nuclear or missile programme.
US government held that there was reasonable cause to believe on specific and articulable facts that government, parastatal and private entities in Pakistan are determined to be involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy of the US.
The conduct of these 7 entities raised concerns regarding the prior review of the exports, re-exports or transfers of item subject to the EAR involving these persons.
A possible imposition of license conditions or license denials on shipments to persons will enhance the ability of the department to prevent EAR violations.
The placement on the list imposes a license requirement for all items subject to the EAR and license review policy of the presumption of denial.
The license requirements apply to any transaction in which items are to be exported, re-exported, or transferred to any of the entities or in which such entities act as purchaser, intermediate consignee, ultimate consignee or end user.
No license exceptions are available for exports, re-exports or transfers to persons being added to the entity list in this rule.
Restrictions will apply to acronyms used by entities to help exporters, re-exporters and transferors.
Notification does not specify the violations committed by these entities and does not provide details of items exported, imported or re-exported by them.
2) UNSC on 31st Dec welcomed a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war with which nation?
b. United States
United Nations Security Council on 31st Dec 2016 welcomed a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war.
Rebel groups threatened to abandon the two day old truce if violations persisted. A resolution welcoming the ceasefire, the third truce this year, sought to end 6 weeks of war.
It was unanimously adopted by the 15 member council meeting in New York.
Deal brokered by Russia and Turkey which back opposing sides, reduced violence but firefighters, air strikes and shelling went on in certain areas.
Factors belonging to the Free Syrian army- a loose alliance of militias excluding more radical islamist groups- indicated that government forces and Iranian backed Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have been trying to push rebels back in the Wadi Baradavalley, northwest of Damascus.
Continued violations by the regime and bombardments and attempts to attack areas under control of the revolutionary factions will make the agreement null and void.
Rebels and political opposition said the government side was amassing forces to launch a ground attack in the area.
FSA factions indicated in a separate statement that they would abandon the truce deal if Russia, whose air power has helped President Bashar al-Assad to turn the tide of the war, did not use its influence to halt the Wadi Barada attacks.
Air raids around Wadi Bharadahad stopped and the ceasefire still held, though clashes in the area were continuing.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group confirmed there had been fighting in the area, which is the source of capital's water.
The resolution has also welcomed plans for talks in Kazakhstan before the resumption of UN brokered talks.
The war has killed more than 300,000 people and made more than 11 million homeless.
In particular, Turkey is trying to push back Kurdish forcesand the jihadist Islamic State, both excluded from the deal,from areas south of its border.
The position of other Islamist groups such as Jabhat Fatehal-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham with respect to the ceasefire is unclear with both having criticised it.
3) Social democrat Sorin Grindeanu on 30th Dec 2016 has been named as PM of which state?
Socialist-democrat Sorin Grindeanu was on 30th Dec 2016 named as the PM of Romania.
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis signed the official decree naming Grindeanu as the new Prime Minister.
Iohannis turned down the appointment of Sevil Shhaideh, an economist who could have been the first female Muslim PM of Romania.
Grindeanu will now face the confidence vote in the Romanian Parliament on his programme and cabinet nominees.
Once the appointment has been approved, 10 days will be given to name the government ministers.
The appointment of Sorin Grindeanu as the Prime Minister will now put an end to a political crisis that was sparked by the Iohannis's rejection of Sevil Shhaideh as the Prime Minister.
The president offered no reasons for his rejection of Shhaideh.
Shhaideh's husband worked in the Syrian Agriculture Ministry for 20 years before emigrating to Romania in 2011.
Shhaideh's name was proposed by the Social Democratic Party after its thumping poll victory on in December 2016 elections when it won 45 percent of the vote that was enough to form a majority coalition with its partners The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE).
Know More About Sorin Grindeanu
- Grindeanu is a member of the Social Democratic Party which has won the Dec 2016 elections.
- He is also the Chairman of the Timis county council.
- Grindeanu is seen in Romania as a disciplined soldier within the Social Democratic Party ranks and has joined the party when he was young for his Leftist convictions.
- Graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics in Timirsoara West University in 1997 and served as the Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society in Victor Ponta's cabinet.
4) Lionel Messi has been voted as the best playmaker in the world for 2016 by which world body?
a. Federation Internationale
b. World Soccer Foundation
c. International Federation of Football History and Statistics
d. None of the above
ANSWER: International Federation of Football History and Statistics
Lionel Messi has been voted as the best playmaker in the world for 2016 earlier on 29th Dec 2016, after the results were made public by the IFFHS.
According to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, the Argetine player collected 172 points, four more than last year, finishing ahead of Andres Iniesta, second in ranking with 66 points and Toni Kross, third with 45 points.
The top 10 as per votes collected in 56 countries are:
|Kroos (Real Madrid)||45|
|Modric (Real Madrid)||36|
|De Bruyne (Manchester City)||31|
|Pogba (Manchester United)||26|
|Payet (West Ham)||8|
The award was won for the first time by current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane in 2006 followed by Kaka in 2007.
The following years were dominated by Xavi and Iniesta, while Kroos was the best in 2014.Know More About the IFFHS
- The IFFHS started this award in 2006.
- It has been dominated by La Liga players since then.
- The first recipient of the accolade was in 2006: Zinedine Zidane.
- Kaka won it in the following year.
- Toni Kroos won the award in 2014.
- Messi won it last season.
- This award is decided by votes from 56 countries from five different continents.
- Messi is a five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
5) PM Narendra Modi announced a UPI based app called BHIM. What does it stand for?
a. Bharat Interface for Money
b. Bharat Intersection for Money
c. Bharat Ideas for Monetisation
d. Bharat Interface for Monetisation
ANSWER: Bharat Interface for Money
PM Narendra Modi on 30th Dec launched UPI (United Payments Interface) based app called BHIM, short for Bharat Interface for Money.
The BHIM app is a straightforward UPI app, which would allow anyone to make simple digital payments directly from their bank account, and it is now available for download.
The UPI-based BHIM app allows anyone to pay or receive money through online banking, unlike a wallet where you have to first load the money before you can use it.
Be it a smartphone or feature phone of Rs 1,000-1,200, BHIM app can be used. There is no need to have Internet connectivity.
With the BHIM app, anyone can send or request money through the app to make a digital payment.
The app is linked to your bank account, so you don't have to load money in it unlike a wallet, and a merchant does not have to worry about transferring the money back to their bank account.
It can be downloaded by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Google Play to start using the free Android app.
BHIM app is presently now available on Android and will come to iPhone 'soon'.
All the major banks are supported by the BHIM app - as long as the bank supports UPI, you will be able to access your money through the BHIM app.
The list of banks supported by the BHIM app is as follows:
Banks Accepting BHIM
1. Bank of India
2. Vijaya Bank
3. United Bank of India
4. Union Bank of India
5. Syndicate Bank
6. State Bank of India
7. Standard Chartered Bank
8. South Indian Bank
9. Bank of Maharashtra
10. RBL Bank
11. Punjab National Bank
12. Oriental Bank of Commerce
13. Kotak Mahindra Bank
14. Canara Bank
15. Karur Vysya Bank
16. Karnataka Bank
17. IndusInd Bank
18. Indian Overseas Bank
19. Indian Bank
20. IDFC Bank
21. IDBI Bank
22. ICICI Bank
23. HDFC Bank
24. Catholic Syrian Bank
25. Federal Bank
26. Dena Bank
27. DCB Bank
28. Central Bank of India
29. Bank of Baroda
30. Axis Bank
31. Andhra Bank
32. Allahabad Bank
Know More About BHIM
- There is a maximum of INR. 10,000 per transaction permitted, and INR. 20,000 within 24 hours.
- The BHIM app comes with basic features such as the ability to send or receive money, linking of accounts, saving profile of the user, changing the language, recording beneficiary details and providing balance enquiry.
- Banks that currently have individual UPI apps can either endorse the common BHIM app or only allow their customers to use the in-house app which may be loaded with more features.
6) Union Health Ministry has issued new guidelines for EHR. What does EHR stand for?
a. Electronic Health Records
b. Electronic Health Reports
c. Electronic Health System Report
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Electronic Health Records
The Union health ministry has issued new standards and guidelines for implementation of interoperable electronic health records (EHR).
This is a move seen as the foundation for digitalisation of healthcare data in the country.
The standards, notified by the ministry, aim to set uniform norms for capturing, storage, retrieval, exchange, and analytics of healthcare data and information, including images and clinical codes.
It also puts forth guidelines for maintaining privacy and confidentiality of such information.
With rise of self and home care devices and systems, meaningful healthcare data is constantly getting generated.
Such data also have long-term clinical relevance and helps the government and healthcare agencies establish public health trends in specific areas.
The move is also expected to help patients as they would not be required to repeat diagnosis and similar procedures, which will translate into faster treatment at lower cost.
What is an EHR?
- An EHR is a collection of various medical records that get generated during any clinical encounter or events.
- EHR, in line with PM Modi's Digital India initiative, will build a cloud based hospital application where real-time health data will be fed from all hospitals.
- This will enable the government to streamline data, better analyse health indicators and formulate strategies accordingly.
7) Egypt government has approved a deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to which country?
a. Saudi Arabia
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Saudi Arabia
Egypt’s government has approved a deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia and sent it to parliament for ratification, despite a legal dispute over the plan.
The deal, announced in April 2016, caused public uproar and protests by Egyptians who said the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir belonged to their country.
The controversy has become a source of tension with Saudi Arabia, which has provided Egypt with billions of dollars of aid but recently halted fuel shipments amid deteriorating relations.
In June 2016, Egypt’s higher administrative court annulled the agreement, saying Egyptian sovereignty over the islands could not be given up. The Egyptian government lodged an appeal.
Egyptian state advisory body recommended the court uphold its original decision.
Tiran and Sanafir are situated in the narrow entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba leading to Jordan and Israel.
Saudi and Egyptian officials say they belong to Saudi Arabia and were only under Egyptian control because Riyadh asked Cairo in 1950 to protect them.
Lawyers who opposed the handover said Egyptian sovereignty over the islands dated to a 1906 treaty, which was before Saudi Arabia was founded.
Know More About Tiran & Sanafir
- Sanafir Island is an island in the Straits of Tiran east of Tiran Island.
- It is administered by Egypt.
- Area: 33 km²Max length: 8.7 km
- The Tiran island is located at the entrance of the Straits of Tiran, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.
- It has an area of about 80 square kilometres (31 square miles).
8) Andy Murray has been knighted the British tennis champion. Who else has made it to the Queen's New Year Honour List 2017?
a. Lee Pearson
b. Mo Farah
c. Both a and b
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Both a and b
British tennis champion Andy Murray and athlete Mo Farah have been knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours list.
Paralympic dressage rider Lee Pearson is also knighted, while heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and rower Katherine Grainger are made dames.
There are CBEs for cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny, swimmer Sascha Kindred and equestrians Charlotte Dujardin, Nick Skelton and Sophie Christiansen.
Former athlete Sir Roger Bannister is made a Companion of Honour.
Kinks singer Ray Davies was knighted, actor Patricia Routledge made a dame.
Boxer Nicola Adams, Great Britain hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and Wales football manager Chris Coleman receive OBEs.
Other OBEs include rowers Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge, cyclist Ed Clancy, Paralympians
Jody Cundy and Anne Dunham and racehorse trainer John Gosden.
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew is made a MBE, as are a host of gold medal winners from the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio, with more than 100 people in sport included on the list.
Great Britain's women's hockey players - including Richardson-Walsh's wife Helen - are all honoured, together with other champions including gymnast Max Whitlock, swimmer Adam Peaty, golfer Justin Rose, and Paralympic gold medal-winning cyclist and athlete Kadeena Cox.
- Mo FARAH, CBE, for services to athletics, London
- Andy MURRAY, OBE, for services to tennis and charity, Surrey
- Lee PEARSON, CBE, for services to equestrianism, Staffordshire
- Jessica ENNIS-HILL, CBE, for services to athletics, Sheffield
- Katherine GRAINGER, CBE, for services to sport and charity, Maidenhead.
MEMBERS OF THE ORDER OF THE COMPANIONS OF HONOUR
- Sir Roger BANNISTER, CBE, for services to sport, Oxfordshire.
MEDALLIST OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (BEM)
- Brian ROBINSON, for services to cycling and charity, Mirfield, West Yorkshire.