General - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   What does IWAI stand for in the context of development and maintenance of national waterways?
- Published on 21 Jul 17

a. Indian Waterways Authority Inland
b. Inland Waterways Authority of India
c. Internal Waterways Authority of India
d. Inland Waterways Association of India
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Inland Waterways Authority of India

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet gave its nod to Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to raise Rs.660 crore in bonds for extra budgetary resources (EBRs) in 2017-18.

The proceeds from the bonds will be utilised by IWAI for development and maintenance of National Waterways (NWs) under National Waterways Act, 2016.

Moreover, the funds received will be used exclusively for capital expenditure to improve infrastructure funding.

The principal and interest in respect of the EBRs will be financed by the Union Government by making suitable budgetary provisions in the demand of the Union Ministry of Shipping.

The interest payment on the bonds will be on semi-annual basis and the principal on maturity. The whole exercise would be undertaken by IWAI through appointment of lead managers and coordination with SEBI.

Gross budgetary support from the Union Government and external financial support for funding development and maintenance of 106 new National Waterways under National Waterway Act, 2016, is grossly inadequate.

So far, the World Bank has sanctioned a loan of $ 375 million (around INR 2,421 crore) for Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) along with other sources.

But still there is funding gap which may be bridged by raising bonds.

About Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

  • IWAI is the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India.
  • Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP.
  • Its main function is to build the necessary infrastructure in the inland waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also carrying out administration and regulation.


2)   Which year was the second hottest in 137 years of modern record keeping on earth?
- Published on 21 Jul 17

a. 2016
b. 2015
c. 2014
d. 2017
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 2017

Explanation:
The first half of this year was the second hottest - just behind 2016 - in 137 years of modern record-keeping on Earth, as per scientists.

The average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.91 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 13.5 degrees Celsius.

This was the second highest value for January-June in the 1880-2017 record, behind the record year of last year.

Last month was the third hottest June, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) global temperature dataset record.

The June temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.82 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 15.5 degrees Celsius.

This was the third highest value for June in the 138-year period of record, behind 2016 and 2015.

Last month marks the 41st consecutive June and the 390th consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average.

The monthly analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.

The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations didn’t cover enough of the planet.


3)   Bicentenary celebrations of which Odisha rebellion against British rule was celebrated on 20th July, 2017?
- Published on 21 Jul 17

a. Santhal
b. Paika
c. Revolt of 1857
d. Jat
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Paika

Explanation:
The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the “Bicentenary celebration of the heroic Paika Rebellion of Odisha, a valiant uprising of Paikas against the British rule” organised by the Ministry of Culture.

The Bi-Centenary of the Paika Bidroha of Odisha took place 40 years before the revolt of 1857, which was later termed as 1st War of Indian Independence against British Colonialism, a battle was fought under the leadership of Baxi Jagabandhu of Odisha.

Many scholars, researchers and historians have opined that the Paika Rebellion of 1817 was India’s first organized armed rebellion against British Raj.

The legend of the heroics of Buxi Jagabandhu continues to inspire the people of Odisha. It is time, this struggle and sacrifice by a generation of Odia people got its due place in the annals of history.

Paika Rebellion was not only the rebellion of Paikas, it was a National War waged by ordinary people at the grassroots level who resented the dispossession of their Sovereign of his rights and the consequential repressive measures that followed.

Along with Buxi Jagabandu respects were paid to other great warriors of Paika Bidroha who fought side by side.

This includes Dinabandhu Samantray Mohapatra, Dama Subudhi Manjaraj, Samanta Madhaba Chandra Routray (Dalbehera of Tapanga), Pindiki Bahubalendra, Krutibas Patsani and many more heroes of Paika Bidroha.

Paika Rebellion: Know More

  • Pre-dating what has been popularly regarded as the fist war of independence in 1857, the Paika Bidroha (Paika Rebellion) of 1817 in Odisha briefly shook the foundations of British rule in the eastern part of India.
  • Paikas were essentially the peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who rendered military service to the king during times of war while taking up cultivation during times of peace.
  • They unfurled the banner of rebellion against the British under the leadership of Baxi Jagandhu Bidyadhara as early as 1817 to throw off the British yoke.
  • Rulers of Khurda were traditionally the custodians of Jagannath Temple and ruled as the deputy of Lord Jagannath on earth.
  • They symbolised the political and cultural freedom of the people of Odisha. The British, having established their sway over Bengal Province and Madras Province to the north and south of Odisha, occupied it in 1803.
  • The Gajapati King of Odisha Mukunda Deva-ll was a minor then and initial resistance by JaiRajguru, the custodian of Mukunda Deva-II, was put down brutally and Jai Rajguru was torn apart alive.
  • A few years later, it was the Paikas under Baxi Jagabandhu, the hereditary chief of the militia army of the Gajapati King, who rose in rebellion, taking support of tribals and other sections of society.
  • The rebellion started in March 1817 and spread quickly.
  • Though Paikas played a larger role in the rebellion against the British, it was by nomeans a rebellion by a small group of people belonging to a particular class.
  • The tribals of Ghumusar (part of present day Ganjam and Kandhmal Districts) and other sections of the population actively took part in it.
  • In fact, the Paika Bidroha got the opportune moment to spread when 400 tribals of Ghumsar entered Khurda protesting against the British rule.
  • The Paikas attacked British symbols of power, setting ablaze police stations, administrative offices and the treasury during their march towards Khurda, from where the British fled.
  • The Paikas were supported by the rajas of Kanika, Kujang, Nayagarh and Ghumusar and zamindars, village heads and ordinary peasants.
  • The rebellion quickly spread to Purl, Pipli Cuttack and other parts of the province.
  • Though the Paika Bidroha enjoys a cult status in Odisha with children growing up with stories of the brave fight against the British, it has unfortunately received less attention at the national level than it should have got.
  • The solar flare makes it quite improbable for Proxima Centauri b to host a life form as we know it.


4)   SC has replaced the functioning of which council with a panel of 5 doctors?
- Published on 20 Jul 17

a. MCI
b. DCI
c. FAIMER
d. AIIMS
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: MCI

Explanation:
Supreme Court has allowed the Union Government to replace the oversight committee set up to supervise the functioning of the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a fresh panel of five eminent doctors.

The Supreme Court also gave the Government liberty to replace any doctor in the list with another if he does not wish to be a part of the oversight committee.

Earlier, Government had proposed the names of five eminent doctors to replace the earlier members of the oversight committee whose term had just expired.

The Supreme Court using its rare and extraordinary powers under the Article 142 of the Constitution had set up the oversight committee court in May 2016 to oversee the MCI’s functioning for a period of one year or till a suitable mechanism was brought in by the Government to substitute it.

The committee was led by former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha.

MCI is a statutory body for establishing uniform and high standards of medical education in India.

It grants recognition of medical qualifications, gives accreditation to medical schools, grants registration to medical practitioners, and monitors medical practice in India


5)   Which city has an app for helicopter taxi services, for the first time in the world?
- Published on 20 Jul 17

a. Sao Paolo
b. London
c. Mumbai
d. Adelaide
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sao Paolo

Explanation:
While Uber has changed ground transport in many cities, Sao Paulo’s infernal traffic jams have sparked a new app that opens the sky to commuters.

Voom is a helicopter taxi service that charges according to distance and the passenger’s weight.

It’s a godsend for those in a rush - but only if the weather permits.

Sao Paulo - South America’s biggest city, home to 12 million residents within its municipal limits and millions more in satellite towns - is regularly choked by gargantuan traffic jams.

There are 5.9 million vehicles, or one for every two people. At peak hour, traffic can be backed up as much as 576 km

A new venture launched in April by Europe’s Airbus, Voom has taken a page out of Uber’s marketing manual to put clients above it all - at a competitive price.

The app asks passengers to enter their weight and that of any baggage, then immediately sends the calculated fare.

Using a traditional taxi on the clogged roads would have cost travellers $50 and an hour and a half of frustrating stop-and-go. Choosing the chopper taxi is no-brainer!


6)   Indonesia's government banned which organisation seeking to grow a global caliphate?
- Published on 20 Jul 17

a. Hizbul Mujahideen
b. Hizbut Tahrir
c. Tehreek-I-Insaaf
d. Al Qaida
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hizbut Tahrir

Explanation:
The Indonesian government on July 19, 2017 banned Hizbut Tahrir, an organisation that wants to establish a global caliphate.

This is under a new presidential decree criticised as draconian by rights groups.

The decree signed last week by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo gives the government almost unfettered power to ban organisations deemed against the constitution and the official state ideology Pancasila.

Rights group say governments could easily abuse the decree’s power.

The measures follow months of sectarian tensions that shook the government and undermined Indonesia’s reputation for practicing a moderate form of Islam.


7)   Which railway station in Mumbai handed over a station to all women crew for the first time in the history of Indian Railways?
- Published on 18 Jul 17

a. Dadar
b. Matunga
c. Bandra
d. Andheri
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Matunga

Explanation:
The Indian Railways have taken a major step towards the empowerment of women by handing over a station to an all women crew for the first time in the history of Indian Railways.

Matunga, located in the heart of Mumbai city, on Central Railway now have an all women crew which includes ticketing staff, security staff and other personnel required to operate the station.

The station master too is a woman.

Ms Kulkarni, holds the credit of becoming first woman station master in Mumbai division when she joined Central Railway in 1992.

Even women ticket checkers deployed at Matunga station have learnt how to deal with male passengers.

A total of 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, five RPF personnel, seven ticket checkers are working under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni since last two weeks.

DK Sharma, general manager of Central Railway, who floated the idea of all ladies station, indicated this was a tool for empowering women.

Matunga is an important railway station on Central Railway suburban network located between Dadar and Sion and many railway passengers use the station.

This is including several railway employees who work at the railway workshop situated adjacent to the station.


8)   MSDE celebrated the _______ anniversary of Skill India Mission on July 15, 2017.
- Published on 17 Jul 17

a. First
b. Second
c. Third
d. Fourth
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Second

Explanation:
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) here today celebrated the second anniversary of Skill India Mission on the World Youth Skills day.

100 GST training centres, 51 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras and 100 Yoga training centres were inaugurated on the occasion.

SKILL INDIA

This Mission is the brainchild of Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.

It was during his presence, MSDE had launched the SKILL INDIA Campaign on the occasion of the first ever World Youth Skills Day on 15th July 2015.

Skill India is a hallmark mission for us and it has been a great two-year journey of Skill India. India has always been an artisan-based economy for the last 5000 years that sustained livelihoods.

The event saw prominent Industry captains and key representatives of companies participate and more than 32000 companies pledged support to apprenticeship training for Skill India Mission under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS).

MSDE also announced the launched of National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) in BFSI Sector and along with candidates receiving their apprenticeship letters at the gathering.

On the occasion, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) announced a national training Programme to certify GST practitioners under its flagship scheme of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

This would facilitate the country’s transition to the new tax regime seamless and convenient.

Total 100 GST training centres across the nation were launched along with the training curriculum.

In line with the commitment of opening one Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) in each district, additional 51 PMKK were announced across India counting to 200 in total till date.

Staying true to Shri Narendra Modi’s commitment to promote yoga, MSDE also launched 100 yoga training centres on the occasion.

The event also witnessed the distribution of certificates for short-term/ Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) certificates to candidates trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

MSDE also launched Takshashila - a portal for trainers and assessors that would rack their training life-cycle and would function as the central repository of information concerning the development of their quality benchmarks in the Indian skill eco-system Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj,

MoRD is mandated to build 1 crore houses by 2019. This would not be possible without an efficient and skilled workforce.

The Skills Ministry has revolutionized the rural sector and their commendable efforts are visible. The rural workforce is being trained across villages with the support of the skill training machinery.”

Skill India is a national movement bringing together multiple stakeholders on a common platform to maximise the potential of India’s youth.

This day is to celebrate the unified efforts and the convergence in skill training efforts to achieve quality and scale in our ecosystem.


9)   The Army can now purchase weapon systems and military platforms for ________ wars.
- Published on 14 Jul 17

a. Cross-border
b. Long duration
c. Short Duration
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Short Duration

Explanation:
The Union Government has empowered the Army to directly procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain combat readiness for short duration intense wars.

The purpose of this new scheme is to maintain an optimum level to fight short intense wars following critical voids in capabilities of Army.

The Army faces severe shortage in ammunition, mainly for artillery guns, air defence, tanks and certain infantry weapons.

This shortage may make it very difficult for Army to fight a short intense war that lasts for 10 to 15 days.

To overcome this issue, Army was pressing the government for ensuring speedy procurement of key military platforms citing evolving security challenges.

Under the new scheme, Vice Chief of Army has been given the full financial powers to procure ammunitions.

Army has been empowered on a routine basis to review the optimum holding state and maintaining it on a recurring manner.

The new procedure will be part of revenue procurement of the Army for in-service equipment and weapons.

As part of it, the Army has been allowed to procure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different types of weapons systems.

The new revenue route for procurement of in-service equipment will not require going through numerous procurement stages which often cause inordinate delays.

Earlier it was necessary to take permission from Defence Acquisition Council (headed by defence minister) or the Cabinet Committee on Security (headed by Prime Minister), for procuring such critical equipment. Thus, new scheme will ensure that the time taken in procuring such equipment is reduced.


10)   Which is India's second longest river?
- Published on 14 Jul 17

a. Mahanadi
b. Cauvery
c. Godavari
d. Tapi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Godavari

Explanation:
A group of US researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari, India’s second longest river.

Using a mix of methods, including satellite-monitoring, traversing stretches of the river to collect water samples.

Using special sensors to measure bacterial and chemical pollution, the researchers are trying to develop a cost-effective forecast system.

The team’s long-term objective is to be able to inform State officials and citizens of a probable spike in, say, levels of dangerous microbes or effluents, similar to weather and air pollution forecasts.

The am is to be able to access “raw data” that could be used to inform the efficacy of a proposed faecal sludge treatment plant.

It will also indicate if behavioural interventions — including incentives or punishments — to restrict activities that pollute the river could actually work.

The project started eight months ago and has so far identified two “hotspots” of pollution,.

The exercise being done along a portion of the 1,400-km river spanning Rajamundhry (East Godavari district) and Kovvur, Narsapur and Palakol (all in West Godavari), measures parameters such as total dissolved salts, nitrate, pH, temperature, turbidity and electrical conductivity.

These are relayed to a website called Thoreau, a wireless sensing network maintained at the University of Chicago to map environmental parameters, for analysis.

Some river attributes such as microbial levels require to be measured in laboratories, though the team hopes eventually to be able to use low-cost sensors that measure them, too, in real time.

The exercise is part of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project to support the programme of the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI).

It aims to provide city-wide sanitation improvements in urban Andhra Pradesh.

Sensors to monitor river pollution are an emerging technological approach in India.

40 proposals to make the sensors (to monitor river and environmental pollution) had come in, and two would be short-listed soon.

Intel, which will make the chips powering the devices, and the DST will split a INR 35-crore investment.


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