General - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   India became an associate member of CERN w.e.f __________
- Published on 19 Jan 17

a. 17th Jan 2017
b. 16th Jan 2017
c. 15th Jan 2017
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 16th Jan 2017

India has become an associate member of CERN w.e.f 16th Jan 2017 with the Indian government completing internal approval procedures. This is based on agreement signed with CERN in Nov 2016.

On Nov 21, 2016, Sekhar Basu, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and DAE secretary signed the agreement. CERN DG Fabiola Gianotti was the other signatory.

As an associate member, India will have total access to all data generated in CERN. Prior to this, India could get data only from experiments it was participating in.

India can participate in all experiments now and choose which ones it wants to participate in.

Indian industry will also be entitled to bid for CERN contracts, which will allow it to work in areas of advanced technology.

“Make in India” will get a boost due to CERN. Indian scientists will become eligible for staff appointments.

It will enhance the participation of young scientists and engineers in operation and maintenance of various CERN projects.

India has to pay about INR 40 crore a year as an Associate member.

India has been actively involved in CERN’s scientific activities for over 50 years.

LHC accelerator and ALICE and CMS experiments, as well as to accelerator R&D projects are some projects where Indians scientists have participated.

In 1991, India and CERN signed a Cooperation Agreement.

It was setting priorities for scientific and technical cooperation.

India and CERN have signed several other protocols since then.

India’s involvement in CERN began in the 1960s with researchers from the TIFR participating in experiments at CERN.

In the 1990s scientists from Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore too got involved in CERN experiment.

India was granted Observer status to the CERN Council in 2002.

CERN: Know More

  • The CERN convention was signed in 1953.
  • It was signed by the 12 founding state.
  • Currently, CERN has 22 member states.
  • Besides India, Turkey, Pakistan, Ukraine are Associate members.
  • Serbia and Cyprus are associate members in the pre-stage to membership.

2)   West Bengal fisheries department will give legal protection to which fish?
- Published on 19 Jan 17

a. Rohu
b. Betki
c. Hilsa
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


West Bengal fisheries department has proposed to give legal protection to Hilsa Fish.

The aim is to arrest its dwindling population.

Fisheries department is speaking to the state home department to bring about provisions in CrpC and IPC.

With the formal introduction of the provisions, Hilsa will become the first fish variety in the country to get legal protection.

It will lead to arrest or fine anyone for selling, catching and buying small Hilsa.

Hilsa is commonly called “khoka ilish” in Bengal.

Hilsa fish is on brink of extinction due to decades of migration barriers, over-fishing and pollution.

Earlier as a protection measure, state government had declared five hilsa sanctuaries on the Hooghly river from Farakka to Sagar .

Covering a stretch of 250 km, here, fishing has been banned between June-August and October-December.

3)   Analysis of Oxfam has found 8 richest men in the world have collective worth of ________.
- Published on 18 Jan 17

a. Half the population of the planet
b. USD 426 billion
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: USD 426 billion

Research by the human rights watchdog found that the eight richest men on the planet have a collective worth of US$426 billion.

This includes six American businessmen, including Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon creator Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who remains the world’s richest man.

By contrast, the combined fortunes of 3.6 billion of the world’s poorest inhabitants adds up to a just US$409 billion.

The figures showed the gap between rich and poor is far greater than had been feared. It has also pointed to a growing discontent with mainstream politics around the world.

The report was released on the eve of the 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. The report by Oxfam was titled “An economy for the 99 per cent”.

Inequality will be among the issues topping the agenda as 3000 members of the world’s business and political elite meet in Davos

The theme of this year’s summit is “Responsive and responsible leadership.”

In its report Oxfam called for an increase in tax rates targeting rich individuals and cooperations. It also highlighted the need for a global agreement to end competition between countries to lower corporate tax rates.

The report found that between 1988 and 2011, the incomes of the poorest 10 per cent increased by just US$65, while the incomes of the richest one per cent grew by US$11,800 - 182 times as much.

Oxfam said the world’s richest one per cent had as much wealth as the rest of the world combined.


These eight billionaires have a combined wealth of 3.6 billion of the poorest people on the planet, according to Oxfam:

1. BILL GATESUS founder of Microsoft Corp - net worth US $75 billion
2. AMANCIO ORTEGAFounder of Spain’s Inditex, Zara fashion chain - net worth US$67 billion
3. WARREN BUFFETTUS CEO, largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway - net worth US$60.8 billion
4. CARLOS SLIM HELUOwner of Mexico’s Grupo Carso - net worth US$50 billion
5. JEFF BEZOSUS founder, chairman, CEO of Amazon - net worth: US$45.2 billion
6. MARK ZUCKERBERGUS chairman, CEO, co-founder of Facebook - net worth US$44.6 billion
7. LARRY ELLISONUS co-founder, CEO of Oracle - net worth US$43.6 billion
8. MICHAEL BLOOMBERGUS founder, owner, CEO of Bloomberg LP - net worth: US$40 billion

4)   Passport Index, a global ranking has said which is the world's most powerful passport?
- Published on 18 Jan 17

a. French
b. German
c. Chinese
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: German

Indian passports have ranked a low 78 in international ranking of the world's most powerful passports.

Germany topped the ranking with a visa-free score of 157 while Singapore overtook South Korea to become the top ranked Asian passport with visa free score of 156.

India is at 78th position with visa-free score of 46. China and Pakistan ranked 58th and 94th on the list respectively.

The least powerful passport with a visa-free score of 23 was Afghanistan.

The ranking was by Arton Capital's Passport Index. It is based on cross border access of national passports.

This is an interactive tool which collects, displays and ranks the passports globally. It assigns a "visa-free score" according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

The newly added 'World Openness Score' (WOS) tracks the progression of freedom of mobility across the globe.

The WOS in 2016 was 17,925. In the first month of 2017, the score has already increased to 17,948.

Citizenship by investment has become a $2 billion industry, with over 20,000 investors seeking a second residency or citizenship around the globe every year.

5)   Which two airports will be privatised according to AAI?
- Published on 18 Jan 17

a. Jaipur, Delhi
b. Jaipur, Mumbai
c. Jaipur, Kolkata
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: None of the above

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided to privatise terminal operations at its Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports.

It has invited bids from global firms with a promise to give the winning bidder a free hand in replacing existing airport staff.

AAI officials said that about 230 workers were employed at the Jaipur airport in total, while Ahmedabad airport employed about 330 staff.

The AAI Chairman said only a limited number of direct employees worked in the terminal side of the airports.

He said private operators who bid for the lowest management cost and the highest rise in airport revenue will bag the terminal management contract for a period of 15 years

According to the bid document, the developer will manage passenger terminal building, including fire control room, kerbside approach road and passenger boarding bridges.

The developer will further supervise ground handling services, car parking and all terminal approach roads along with assets, equipment and machinery at the two airports.

The AAI will continue looking after operations and maintenance of airside facilities at these two airports including runway, taxiway, cargo complex and other city side facilities.

AAI: Know More

  • Industry: Aviation sector
  • Founded: 1 April 1995
  • Headquarters: Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi-110003
  • Key Executives and Officials: Dr.Guruprasd Mohapatra , Chairman, M. Sathiyavathy, DGCA
  • Members: S.Suresh, Member(Finance), Anuj Aggarwal, Member(HR), A K Dutta, Member(ANS)

6)   Australia has returned how many antiques to India including two stone statues?
- Published on 17 Jan 17

a. 4
b. 5
c. 6
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

NEW DELHI: Australia has returned to India three antiquities, including two stone statues.

These were illegally exported out of the country in the recent past, the MEA said on 16th Jan 2017 namely:

  • The granite stone image of Pratyangira from Tamil Nadu,
  • Marble stele showing devotees of Buddha from Andhra Pradesh and
  • Red stand stone image of Buddha from Mathura region
Objects were in possession of National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

The objects are currently kept at the Central Antiquities Collection at Purana Qila in New Delhi.

Pratyangira image is a case property of Idol Wing of Tamil Nadu Police and it would be handed over to them after a temporary display at the National Museum.

7)   MEA has joined hands with which US corporation for strengthening regional integration?
- Published on 16 Jan 17

a. MCC
b. FTC
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The Indian ministry of external affairs has joined hands with the US government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to strengthen regional integration and connectivity.

This is more so particularly in the areas of energy, trade and investment in third countries.

The agreement is to promote economic growth, development, regional cooperation and connectivity. Proposed cooperation between MCC and MEA's Development Partnership Administration was in line with that spirit.

MCC is a US government agency. It provides eligible countries with grants to fund country-led solutions. It works for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth.

DPA concerns implementation of India's development cooperation programmes with partner countries.

The two agencies will pursue a range of activities designed for:

  • Promoting sustainable economic growth,
  • Identifying and developing strategic opportunities and
  • Cooperating at the country or regional level in mutually-identified countries or regions (partner countries).
The two agencies will also look to facilitate site visits to cross-border projects.

The partnership is also significant in the context of the US-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region which the two countries signed in 2015.

MCC: Know More
  • Formed: January 2004
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
  • Employees: Around 300 (2011)
  • CEO: Dana J. Hyde
  • Website:

8)   According to scientists, what was the most common password for 2016?
- Published on 16 Jan 17

a. 12345678
b. 12345
c. 123456
d. 1234567
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 123456

It is none other than 123456 followed by 123456789 and qwerty according to scientists who reviewed 10 million security codes becoming public following data breach.

In the top 10 list, 4 passwords were six characters or shorter namely '12345678', '111111', '1234567890', '1234567', 'password', '123123', '987654321.'

Brute force cracking software and hardware can beat these passwords in seconds!

Nearly 17 per cent of users are safeguarding their accounts with '123456'.

What really perplexed scientists is that so many website operators are not enforcing password security best practices.

The study found that the list of most-frequently used passwords has changed little over the past few years, which means that user education has limits.

The presence of passwords like '1q2w3e4r' and '123qwe' indicates that some users attempt to use unpredictable patterns to secure passwords,.

Dictionary-based password crackers know how to look for sequential key variations and can crack such passwords in seconds.

9)   World Employment and Social Outlook for 2017 has stated that India's unemployed will rise to by what number in 2017?
- Published on 16 Jan 17

a. 1 lakh
b. 2 lakhs
c. 3 lakhs
d. 4 lakhs
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 1 lakh

According to the World Employment and Social Outlook for 2017, number of unemployed people is set to rise in India by 1 lakh in 2017.

The ILO report has further stated a rise by another 2 lakh in 2018.

The report was based on projections of econometric modelling in Nov 2016.

Report found India to be in the category of emerging nations.

Key Statistics: ILO Report


  • Number of jobless in India will increase from 17.7 million in 2016 to 18 million by 2018.
  • India's unemployment rate is expected to go down from 3.5% to 3.4% in 2017.
  • India performed slightly well in terms of job creation in 2016, as majority of the 13.4 million new employment were created.

  • Global

  • Globally, the number of jobless people will increase by 3.4 million in 2017.
  • The global unemployment rate is expected to rise slightly from 5.7 to 5.8% in 2017.
  • It is held pace of labour force growth will outstrip job creation.
  • The rise in unemployment levels and rates in 2017 will be driven by deteriorating labour market conditions in emerging countries.
  • Vulnerable forms of employment, which include own account workers and contributing family workers are expected to stay above 42% of total employment.
  • About 1.4 billion people are likely to be engaged in such employment in 2017, with the number rising by 11 million per year.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia will be the most affected.
  • In developing countries, the number of workers earning less than US$3.10 per day is even expected to increase by more than 5 million over the next two years.
  • Global uncertainty and the lack of decent jobs are, among some of the other factors influencing social ecosystems.

10)   SECC Expert Group has just submitted its report to the MoRD. Who is heading it?
- Published on 16 Jan 17

a. Sumit Bose
b. Sumit Chauhan
c. Sumit Singh
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Sumit Bose

The expert group set up to prepare Socio Economic and Caste Census has submitted the report to the Ministry of Rural Development.

Expert group was headed by former Finance Secretary Submit Bose.

Objective of the group is to study criteria for allocation of resources to states and identify beneficiaries under several programmes using SECC data.

The MoRD will use the SECC data for identifying beneficiaries and generating priority list of beneficiaries under the programmes.

In association with this, appropriate guidelines for inter state allocation to cover households were issued

Households will be covered under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana/National Rural Livelihood Mission.

Use of SECC data and TIN number enables the government to improve the efficacy of interventions and result in improved outcome.

SECC can function like a Social Registry Information System, and use of its daya will lead to better budgetary planning and allocation of resources.

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