General - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Name the first ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all woman crew?
- Published on 18 Aug 17

a. Navika Sagar Protsahan
b. Navika Sagar Parichay
c. Navika Sagar Yatra
d. Navika Sagar Parikrama
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Navika Sagar Parikrama

Explanation:
Navika Sagar Parikrama is a project wherein a team of women officers of the Indian Navy would circumnavigate the globe. The project is scheduled to commence in early Sep 17.

This on an Indian-built sail boat INSV Tarini. INSV Tarini is the sister vessel of INSV Mhadei.

The project is considered essential towards promoting Ocean Sailing activities in the Navy.

This is also while depicting Government of India’s thrust for ‘Nari Shakti’.

The first Indian Solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Capt Dilip Donde, SC (Retd) from 19 Aug 09 to 19 May 10. This was onboard the Indian built vessel, INSV Mhadei.

The first Indian non-stop solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Cdr Abhilash Tomy, KC from 01 Nov 12 to 31 Mar 13.

INSV Tarini, a 55 foot sailing vessel has been built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa.

Tarini was inducted into the Indian Navy on 18 Feb 17. The vessel has sailed approximately 8,000 Nm till date.

Navika Sagar Parikrama would be covered in five legs with stop-overs at four ports.

Additional aims of the Expedition are as follows:-

a. Nari Shakti - In consonance with the National policy to empower women to attain their full potential, the expedition aims to showcase ‘Nari Shakti’ on the world platform.

b. Environment and Climate Change - Sailing encourages the use of environment friendly non-conventional renewable energy resources which affects the life of women.

c. Make in India - The voyage also aims to show case the ‘Make in India’ initiative by sailing onboard the indigenously built INSV Tarini.

d. Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave Data Observation - The crew would also collate and update Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave data on a daily basis for subsequent analysis by research and development organisations.

e. Marine Pollution - The crew would monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas.

f. Interaction with Local PIOs - Since the expedition aims to promote Ocean Sailing and the spirit of adventure, the crew would interact extensively with the local PIOs at the various port halts.


2)   India's Asian elephant population is pegged at what value?
- Published on 18 Aug 17

a. 27312
b. 28312
c. 29312
d. 29912
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 27312

Explanation:
Preliminary results from the first-ever synchronised all-India Elephant Population Estimation pegs India’s Asian elephant population at 27,312.

The estimate, derived from the sighting-based direct count method alone, will be confirmed with estimates from the indirect dung-count method in three months.

According to the report, released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on August 12, Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049).

This is followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).

The numbers are lower than from the last census estimate in 2012 (between 29,391 and 30,711).

But experts say parallels cannot be drawn, because in the 2012 count, various states used different methodologies and the effort was not synchronised across the country;

The errors and duplication could have led to overestimation.

This time, a number of indices, including birth rate, indicate that the elephant population is increasing.

Due to habitat fragmentation, elephants are moving out to agricultural landscapes leading to an increase in man-elephant conflict.

The census, conducted between March and May this year, covered 1.10 lakh square kilometres and spanned four regions of the country: the northeast, east-central, south and north.

The Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) at the Indian Institute of Science (Bengaluru), several NGOs and independent conservationists aided the Project Elephant Directorate and forest departments of 23 states in this exercise


3)   China and which SE Asian nation have signed pacts to boost ties in power, economic and energy sectors?
- Published on 17 Aug 17

a. Nepal
b. Sri Lanka
c. Bangladesh
d. Myanmar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nepal

Explanation:
China and Nepal have signed three pacts to boost their ties further in power, energy and economic sectors.

The signed agreements covered oil and gas resources exploration, economic and technological cooperation and promotion of investment.

The agreements were signed after visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang held discussions with Nepal's Deputy Ministers Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

1. The agreements covered three different areas

a. Economic and technological cooperation
b. Framework agreement on promotion of investment and economic cooperation
c. China-aid oil and gas resource survey project

2. The pacts also included a feasibility study for excavating natural gas and petroleum in mountain areas and plains of Terai region of the Himalayan country.

3. They will help make significant contributions in Nepal's socio-economic transformation.

4. Both countries also agreed to establish hydropower projects and transmission lines and take steps or technological development in Nepal, which is suffering from an acute shortage of electricity.

5. China also agreed to upgrade 114-kilometre Araniko highway, which is an old route connecting two countries, which was damaged and subsequently closed after the massive 2015 Nepal earthquake.


4)   In which city's outskirts is India's first railways disaster management village set to come up?
- Published on 16 Aug 17

a. Mysuru
b. Chennai
c. Kolkata
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
Trains falling into rivers and coaches catching fire will be common sights in the country’s first ‘railways disaster management village’ expected to come up on the outskirts of Bengaluru by December 2018.
The “overaged rolling stock” will be used to replicate train accidents so that real time rescue operations could be carried out to improve such efforts.

It will be just like the mock drills carried out by security personnel. It will be as real as it can get.

The railways has earmarked the 3.32 sq km village of Hejjala, with a population of 3,483 people, to develop its Disaster Management Institute and Safety village at a cost of INR 44.42 crore, according to the blueprint accessed by PTI.

For augmenting theoretical class room training with practical hands on exercise, a real environment for training in various conditions and scenarios of train accidents, a concept of safety village was envisaged.

The focus is on imparting state of the art training on rescue, medical relief and rolling stock restoration techniques in a classroom and also using various simulated teaching aids.

However, it is the practical reproduction of accidents on site and the ensuing rescue operations that are being touted as the big ticket venture.

For the practical training as a part of the safety village tunnel, cutting, embankment, other conditions and obstructions like overhead structures and platforms are being created.

For carrying out underwater rescue and relief operations, a water body is also being developed.

Overaged rolling stock such as coaches, wagons and locomotives would be stationed in the safety village along with various tools and equipment for imparting hands-on practical training, the concept note said.

The village, about 25 km from Bengaluru, will also have a virtual reality centre for analysis of railway accidents.

The centre aims at providing training on dealing with various disasters under varied environment and terrain.

Construction work has begun and will be completed by December next year.


5)   A live twitter wall was launched by Rajnath Singh on the eve of Independence day for promoting which portal for defence personnel?
- Published on 16 Aug 17

a. Bharat Ke Veer
b. Bharat Ke Shaheed
c. Bharat Ke Jawan
d. Bharat Ke Rakshak
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Bharat Ke Veer

Explanation:
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched the live twitter wall for promoting Bharat Ke Veer portal on the eve of Independence Day 2017.

On this occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh and Ministers of State for Home Affairs Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Shri Kiren Rijiju contributed their one month salary for Bharat Ke Veer.

Shri Rajnath Singh said that the Security Forces have made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty and the people need to stand by their families to support them.

This social media awareness campaign will display all tweets with hashtag Bharat Ke Veer (#BharatKeVeer), at Connaught Place, CGO complex and Khan Market in New Delhi where huge LED display screens have been installed.

Emoji has also been created for this hashtag.

Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Mehrishi, OSD Shri Rajiv Gauba and Senior Officers of MHA were present on this occasion.

Bharat Ke Veer portal was launched by the Union Home Minister and actor Shri Akshay Kumar on April 9, 2017.

This portal facilitates online donation directly to the families of CAPF Martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the country in line of duty from January 1, 2016.


6)   Which is the new genre of painting that emerged in 18th and 19th century under British rule?
- Published on 14 Aug 17

a. Abstract
b. Post Impressionism
c. Company Painting
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Company Painting

Explanation:
Smt. Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture inaugurated an exhibition “Indian Historical monuments in Company Painting School” in Ajanta Hall, National Museum, New Delhi on 12th Aug 2017.

The exhibition will remain open to the public till 27th August, 2017.

The exhibition presents illustrated paintings on Indo-Islamic Monuments with scenes of Mughal Architectures made with photo realistic approach.

The National Museum took a new initiative on a “Small Temporary Exhibition” from its reserve collection.

The exhibitions will be based on several themes, so that it will attract large number of visitors to view new artefacts every fortnight.

Through such programme National Museum is trying to draw visitor’s attention and allows them to experience the collection on many significant art pieces of reserve storage, which generally remains out of focus.

The first temporary exhibition was on “Traditional Headgear of India” from the Decorative Arts department.

This exhibition arranged to showcase printed turban, embroidered dopalli and Maratha stitched cap and zardozi cap specially designed for occasional and ceremonial bases.

This exhibition “Indian Historical monuments in Company Painting School” will present illustrated paintings on Indo-Islamic Monuments with scenes of Mughal Architectures made with photo realistic approach.

Company Paintings: Know More

  • In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries India witnessed a new genre of painting popularly known as ‘Company School’ as it emerged primarily under the patronage of the British East India Company.
  • The British officers trained Indian artists in British water color style for documenting Indian daily life scene, monuments, art and culture in the form of Paintings for carrying out as souvenir to their homes while returning to the England.
  • Some of these Company Paintings are illustrated with scenes of Mughal Architectures. As these painting were part of documentation most of these architectures are painted in full profile such as Red Fort of Delhi (1639-48 CE) and Taj Mahal (1630-48 CE) while a few of them depict only important part of the monument for highlighting special features like Interior of the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula.


7)   Which state is set to open 1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana kendras as per an agreement with the Centre?
- Published on 11 Aug 17

a. Uttarakhand
b. Uttar Pradesh
c. Uttaranchal
d. Madhya Pradesh
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Uttar Pradesh

Explanation:
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Union Government and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh for opening 1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras in the State.

The ceremony took place in the presence of Minister of Health of Uttar Pradesh Shri Siddharth Nath Singh and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mahendra Singh, in Lucknow.

The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, signed the MoU on behalf of Government of India with State Agency for Comprehensive Health and Integrated Services (SACHIS) representing Government of Uttar Pradesh.

Government’s priority under the PMBJP scheme is to provide quality medicines at affordable rates to the poor and marginalized sections of society.

The drugs available under this scheme meet the highest quality benchmarks and are made available by the Government at costs much less than their expensive branded counterparts.

Cardiac stent costs have been reduced by almost 85%, which would benefit poor patients who could not afford them earlier.

Under the PMBJP scheme, more than 600 medicines and 150 surgical and other medical items are being made available at affordable rates at Janaushadhi Kendras opened across the country.

The number of medicines available under the scheme would soon be increased to 1000.

Government of India is also giving financial assistance of up to INR 2,50,000 to those who open the Kendras under the scheme.

1000 stores will be opened in government hospitals and community health centres, so that more and more poor and marginalized sections of society can get benefit of this scheme.

Kendras will be opened in Hospital complexes and allotment of around 400 Janaushadhi Kendras has taken place.

The website of the PMBJP Scheme for the State was also inaugurated during the event.

This website would aid the people to know more about the scheme, location of the Janaushadhi Kendras, availability of medicines and their prices in real time.


8)   Which nationalist song was launched in a video in sign language for the disabled by the MHRD?
- Published on 11 Aug 17

a. Vande Mataram
b. Jaana Gana Man
c. Saare Jahan Se Accha
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Jaana Gana Man

Explanation:
Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development launched the Indian National Anthem video in sign language at Films Division Auditorium, New Delhi on 10th Aug, 2017.

The video features actor Amitabh Bachchan along with children with disability singing the National Anthem in sign language at the backdrop of the Majestic Red Fort.

The film is conceptualised by Satish Kapoor, Founder Director, We Care Film Festival.

We Care Film Festival produced the Film under the aegis of Brotherhood, an NGO.

It is directed by Govind Nihalani and the music is scored by late Aadesh Shrivastava.

India’s development will be complete when our divyangjan become an integral part of it and come forward in the nation building.

The term 'divyang' (divine body) instead of 'viklang' must be used for persons with disability.

We must create an environment for the disabled people by which they can be able to earn a livelihood and live an independent life like any other citizen.

The decision on reservation in vacancies in government establishments to increase it from 3% to 4% for certain persons or class of persons with benchmark disability is one such instance.


9)   Which state cabinet included the coconut palm as a tree and state tree in its region?
- Published on 10 Aug 17

a. Goa
b. Karnataka
c. Konkan
d. Kerala
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Goa

Explanation:
The state cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to amend the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984 for inclusion of coconut palm as tree and ‘state tree’.

It was also for exempting commercial tree plantations from the provisions of the Act.

As per the cabinet note, the state government has decided to include coconut palm as tree in the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984 to regulate felling of coconut trees.

In the 2008 amendment to this Act, a new Section 1-A was inserted to include coconut as tree under the Act, but was omitted later in amendment done in 2016 as it was leading to some confusion.

Hence, it is now deemed appropriate to include coconut palm in the definition of the tree under Section 2(j) in Chapter 1 of the Act.

The government has also decided to declare coconut as ‘state tree.’

Since there is no provision at present in the Act to declare a tree as a ‘state tree,’ a new Section 7A, which shall define the ‘state tree,’ is being included.

Further, there is no special provision in case a horticulturist/farmer wants to replace existing coconut trees, which are non-productive or which can cause damage to property and endanger lives.

Hence, a new Section 8A after Section 2 is proposed to be included to appoint agriculture officers and issue guidelines for management of coconut plantations for aforesaid purpose.

The cabinet note stated that further, there is no existing provision to exempt commercial tree plantations from the provisions of Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984, which may have been discouraging people from raising plantations of commercially profitable tree species.

Hence, it is proposed to insert a new Section 32A exempting cultivation for commercial plantations, with appropriate guidelines.


10)   NITI Aayog has partnered with which three states to improve healthcare delivery?
- Published on 09 Aug 17

a. MP, Odisha and Jharkhand
b. UP, Assam and Karnataka
c. MP, Assam and Karnataka
d. UP, Odisha and Jharkhand
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: UP, Assam and Karnataka

Explanation:
In a major push to competitive, cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog on Aug 8, 2017 launched a partnership with three States each to radically transform their Health and Education sectors.

NITI Aayog has selected Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka to improve healthcare delivery and key outcomes in these States.

In Education, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand have been selected for support to better learning outcomes.

The six States have been chosen after a rigorous competitive process based on comprehensive metrics to determine potential for impact and likelihood of success.

States were called to, first, express intent of collaborating with NITI Aayog to better their Health and Education indices.

States then made presentations for each sector which was assessed by a committee comprised of senior members of NITI Aayog and Health and Education ministries.

The States highlighted the initiatives undertaken by them thus far, their willingness to accelerate improvement and justified why they should be selected for the institutional support being offered by NITI Aayog.

On thorough technical evaluation, the chosen States have committed to time-bound, governance reforms in both sectors.

A Program Management Unit to push for efficiency and efficacy in governance structures and service delivery will now be available in the six chosen States for a period of 30 months.

It is expected that these three years of focussed attention and support from the premier think tank will lead to a marked transformation and also provide a model for other States to replicate and adapt.

This three-way partnership between NITI, State Governments and a knowledge partner for each of the sectors is part of the Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) initiative of NITI Aayog.

SATH by NITI Aayog: Know More

  • NITI Aayog has been working to foster co-operative federalism by ranking states through health, water, education, and agricultural indices.
  • However, SATH has been launched to go beyond ranking states and to handhold them in improving their social sector indicators.
  • SATH is a challenging and ambitious initiative as the baseline of various indicators and parameters of education and health in the States are in public domain.
  • It defines a new dimension for cooperative federalism, where NITI Aayog and its knowledge partner will actively aid implementation of their recommendations, in addition to just policy inputs.
  • All stakeholders will be under pressure from the day of signing of the MOU to initiate reforms or processes which will show improvement in education and learning outcomes.


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