General - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Which state saw the inauguration of its first Ro-Ro ferry service in Oct 2017?
- Published on 23 Oct 17

a. Gujarat
b. Rajasthan
c. Maharashtra
d. Kerala
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gujarat

Explanation:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's third visit to his home state Gujarat this month saw the announcement of projects worth INR 2000 crore.

The state also had its first "roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro)" ferry service-an INR 650-crore initiative which the Prime Minister inaugurated calling it his "dream project" connecting Ghogha and Dahej.

The ro-ro ferry will ply the Gulf of Khambhat between peninsular Saurashtra and South Gujarat. Ghogha situated in Bhavnagar district of Saurashtra lies 17 nautical miles (32 km), across the gulf from Dahej in Bharuch district.

A first of its kind in India, the ferry will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles (cars, buses and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two ports.

The ro-ro ferry services are vessels made to carry wheeled cargo that are driven on and off the ferry on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle. The wheeled cargo includes, cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars.

The term ro-ro is generally reserved for large ocean-going vessels.

The vessels have either built-in or shore-based ramps that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel when in port.

This is in opposite to the lift-on and lift-off (lo-lo) vessels, which use a crane to load and unload cargo.
The central government has allocated Rs 117 crore for dredging work at both Ghogha and Dahej under the Sagarmala initiative.

The Gujarat government body in charge of marine and ports affairs along the state's 1,600 km coastline, floated tenders for the project in 2011.

The service shall reduce the travel time between Ghogha in Saurashtra, and Dahej in South Gujarat, from about seven or eight hours, to just over an hour.

The distance between the two places would be reduced to 31 km from the current distance of 360 km. When fully operationalised, it will also enable movement of vehicles.

The ferry service is aimed at boosting the connectivity and infrastructure in Gujarat.


2)   The dagger called Khapwa is associated with which rulers and kings?
- Published on 23 Oct 17

a. Mughal
b. Afghans
c. Sikhs
d. Rajputs
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rajputs

Explanation:
An exhibitions entitled "Decorated Arms & Armours" displaying select daggers, swords, armours as well as pistols from National Museum's reserve collection, which represents different time period, region, technique and customs associated with these beautiful masterpieces began on Oct 18, 2017.

Director General, National Museum Dr. B.R. Mani inaugurated it. The exhibition will be on displayed till 5th November, 2017.

The history of Indian arms and armours begins in pre and proto historic times, however in the historical context they are testified by several sculptures, painting and coins during the medieval period, there was considerable ingenuity and craftsmanship in manufacturing them.

During the Sultanate and the Mughal rule, weapons underwent significant modifications, and weapons with Persian, Arab and Turkish influences became common.

Examples are the Shamsheer from Persia and the Zulfikar from Arabia.

A variety of daggers, imported weapons for self protection and hand to hand combat were also in vogue.

There were regional variants like the Jamadhar, Jambia and Khanjar of Mughal the Chura of Afghans, the Khapwa of Rajputs, the Qurauli of Sikhs and the Khukri of Nepalis.

Many daggers were adorned with ivory, jade, crystal and soap stone and sometimes embellished with calligraphy.

From pre-historic period to the later Gupta period, we find that arms and armour were basically of a functional nature and do not bear much of an aesthetic element.

It was from the medieval period that arms and armour began to be profusely ornamented.

The ornamentation on weapons began to symbolize an individual's identity his political power and economic authority.

The study of ornamented arms and armour is interesting for the part they played in shaping our history and on the technical side, where arts were applied in various ways the ornamentation techniques, the metallurgy and utility of various materials.

These include gold, silver, copper, brass, jade, crystal, agate, ivory, horn, mother of pearl, tortoise shell, wood, hide, precious and semi-precious stones etc.

The arms and armour of the nobility, military commanders and elite warriors were adorned with precious decoration especially for ceremonial use.

Weapons used by the Royal houses of different dynasties were usually embellished with decorative designs bearing testimony to the fact of historical personalities.

The edged weapons like swords, daggers, spears etc were extensively decorate3 with hunting scenes; and several other patterns.

Many of the arms also bore the name of their owners.

Arms, most importantly ornamented daggers were the most common gifts presented to distinguished individuals in recognition of their services.

A custom which was prevalent right from the ancient times is still practiced in many parts of India. The arms and armours which made up as gifts were opulently decorated.

The decoration constituted things from everyday life and were subjected to a symmetrical arrangement, with pommel itself shaped like the head of horse, figures of deities and parrot among others.


3)   GI stands for primarily which type of goods originating from a definite geographical territory?
- Published on 23 Oct 17

a. Agricultural
b. Natural
c. Manufactured
d. All of the above
e. Only a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
The Cell for IPR Promotions & Management (CIPAM) under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has launched a logo and tagline/slogan contest for Geographical Indications (GIs) of India on MyGov.in website.

A Geographical Indication (GI) is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

Some of the examples of registered Indian GIs are Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange, Kashmir Pashmina etc.

GIs are not only part of our rich culture and collective intellectual heritage, but they also supplement the incomes of our rural farmers, weavers, artisans and craftsmen across the country.

The promotion of GIs is in line with the Government of India's 'Make in India' campaign and therefore, it is our responsibility to preserve and protect them.

Taking forward its ongoing social media campaign #LetsTalkIP to promote Indian GIs, DIPP aims to launch a certifying GI mark/logo that can be used to identify all registered GIs irrespective of the categories, and a suitable tagline/slogan for promotion of GIs.

This will also help in engaging more people on the subject of GIs and making them aware about the benefits of a GI tag.

DIPP has taken several initiatives for promoting awareness and outreach on GIs. One of the ways to promote GIs could be to present them as gifts.

In this context, CIPAM has also launched "Gift a GI" campaign to enhance the visibility and thus help in branding and promotion of registered GI products. DIPP is also working with State governments to spread awareness on GIs.


4)   Which of the following is the world’s deepest lake?
- Published on 23 Oct 17

a. Dal Lake
b. Lake Baikal
c. Lake Vostok
d. Lake Malawi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Lake Baikal

Explanation:
Lake Baikal is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, experts say, as the government bans the catching of a signature fish that has lived in the world’s deepest lake for centuries but is now under threat.

Holding one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, Baikal in Russia’s Siberia is a natural wonder of exceptional value to evolutionary science meriting its listing as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Baikal’s high biodiversity includes over 3,600 plant and animal species, most of which are endemic to the lake.

Over the past several years, however, the lake, a major international tourist attraction, has been crippled by a series of detrimental phenomena, some of which remain a mystery to scientists.

They include the disappearance of the omul fish, rapid growth of putrid algae and the death of endemic species of sponges across its vast 3.2 million-hectare (7.9 million-acre) area.

The total biomass of omul in Baikal has more than halved since 15 years ago from 25 million tonnes to just 10 million.

The decrease is likely caused by uncontrollable fish poaching, with extra pressure coming from the climate.

Baikal water stock is tied to climate.

Now there is a drought, rivers grow shallow, there are less nutrients. Baikal’s surface heats up and omul does not like warm water.

The Baikal omul, a well-known speciality, was for centuries the main local source of food, eaten salted or smoked, and especially important given the region has no farming.

Another peril to the lake’s ecosystem is the explosion of algal blooms unnatural to Baikal with thick mats of rotting Spirogyra algae blanketing pristine sandy beaches, which some scientists say indicates that the lake can no longer absorb human pollution without consequence.

The lake, which is 1,700 metres (5,580 feet) deep, and its tourism now provide a livelihood for many residents to replace fishing.

Foreign visitors often spend time at Baikal while doing a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway and in recent years more Chinese have been coming as Russia eased visa requirements.

170 types of sponges throughout Baikal’s coast were tested and only 11 percent looked healthy.

A special 1999 law in Russia spells out protection measures for Lake Baikal.

The government is also putting 26 billion rubles (about $452 million, 385 million euros) into a cleanup programme, which started in 2012, to fund treatment facilities.


5)   Which ASW stealth corvette of the Third Kamorta class was launched in Oct 2017?
- Published on 17 Oct 17

a. INS Kiltan
b. INS Paltan
c. INS Vidhan
d. INS Mitra
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: INS Kiltan

Explanation:
The country is rapidly marching towards indigenisation and the commissioning of the third Kamorta class Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvette is a classic example of that.

On 16th Oct at the Eastern Naval Command the Raksha Mantri commissioned INS Kiltan, the third of the four Project-28 Kamorta class ASW.

This ship is unique, as about 81% is built indigenously and is the first built by India that has a superstructure made up of carbon fibre composite material.

This makes it a stealth corvette and makes India one among the few nations that have this technology or this class of ships.”

Builder’s Navy

The keel was laid in 2010 under the Project-28 scheme and was built by Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.

Indian Navy was moving from the status of a ‘buyer’s navy to builder’s navy.’

This is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and we need to become more self-reliant.

We have already gained the expertise in building hulls and we now need to focus on propulsion and weapon technology.

India had a long coastline with a vast EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) and there was a need to have a capable and potent navy.

The Indian Navy, she said, had been playing an important role in defending the borders as well as in peace and humanitarian missions.

The partnership between GRSE and the Indian Navy began in 1961 and so far it had built over 100 ships for the Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.

INS Kiltan: Know More

  • INS Kiltan has been constructed using high grade steel (DMR 249A) produced by the state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
  • It has a displacement of 3500 tonnes, spans 109 meters in length and 14 meters at the beam and is propelled by four diesel engines to achieve speeds in excess of 25 knots with an endurance of 3450 nautical miles.
  • The carbon composite material gives it an extra stealth edge and also lowers the top weight and maintenance cost.
  • The installed propulsion and auxiliary systems provides very low radiated underwater noise feature, required for anti-submarine warfare.
  • The enhanced stealth features include ‘X’ form of Hull, full beam superstructure, inclined ship sides and use of Infra Red Signature Suppression (IRSS).


6)   Which FSSAI conclave saw the release of a comprehensive report on large scale food fortification in India in Oct 2017?
- Published on 17 Oct 17

a. Conclave on Food Security: Partnership and Convergence
b. Conclave on Nutritional Security: Partnership and Convergence
c. Conclave on Nutrition Security: Partnership and Convergence
d. Conclave on Word Food Day
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Conclave on Nutrition Security: Partnership and Convergence

Explanation:
Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare released a comprehensive report on “Large Scale Food Fortification in India - The Journey So Far and Road Ahead” at the national ‘Conclave on Nutrition Security: Partnership & Convergence’ organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on the occasion of World Food Day.

Shri Choubey also launched the food fortification website at the function.
It is not enough that the food is available but the food should be nutritious as well. He emphasized on the need to raise awareness about nutrition rich food and cautioned people against food adulteration.

At the function, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India introduced its new initiative ‘Indian Food Recovery Alliance (IFRA)’ - A coalition of food recovery partners in country to fight the issue of hunger and also prevent food loss and food wastage in India.

The food recovery partners showcased their existing models of food recovery and showcased an integrated web-based platform that is being developed.

This web based platform, released on a pilot level, allows interested donors, individuals and volunteers to register themselves to be a part of this initiative.

The donors will be able to track all the data, information and the status of the food they donate through their personal logins.

This platform will also provide guidance to citizens, food businesses and various food recovery agencies on prevention of food loss and food waste, and safe recovery of surplus food.

Through creating a network of networks from entities across sectors in India and leveraging the power of technology, FSSAI’s aim is to create an ease of communication among all the stakeholders so that everybody can take a step closer towards reducing food wastage in a uniform direction.

With respect to fortification, the next phase involves wide consumer outreach to build awareness and sensitise people to the need for fortification.


7)   Which IIT has seen the launch of the world's largest combustion research centre?
- Published on 16 Oct 17

a. IIT Bombay
b. IIT Madras
c. IIT Kharagpur
d. IIT Kanpur
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: IIT Madras

Explanation:
The world's largest combustion research centre which will impart a major boost to the Indian scientific community was inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras on Oct 15, 2017.

The National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) was inaugurated by NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat.

This is the world's largest combustion research centre.

With over 30 faculty members from six departments of IIT-M working on the project, this is the largest grouping of academic combustion researchers globally.

In addition, the infrastructure facilities are also the largest for any combustion research centre in an academic setting globally.

NCCRD's research interests will cover automotive, thermal power and aerospace propulsion, besides fire research and microgravity combustion to minor extent, the release said.

The NCCRD has been established at a total cost of INR 90 crore.

It will develop state-of-the-art capabilities in combustion research involving experts in the country.

The establishment of the centre will impart a major boost to the Indian scientific community and will provide an impetus to research in 'Alternative Energy and Environmental Protection' by focusing on effective utilisation of combustion as a means of thermo-chemical energy conversion.

NCCRD is supported by the state-run Science and Engineering Research Board of Department of Science and Technology (DST).
NCCRD was one of the premier centres in the country.

The intention is to make it a knowledge base in areas like gasification, combustion, propulsion and automotive sectors.

This is one of the best diagnostic centres in the country to understand combustion.

NCCRD has been set up as a nodal centre in the region and any institute and industry can work with it as it is totally IT-enabled and possess a strong simulation facility, the NITI Ayog member said.

Many industrial and R&D organisations like Mahindra, TVS, AVL, GAIL, GE, Shell, BHEL, DRDO (DRDL, GTRE, CFEES), NAL, ISRO, Forbes-Marshall, Siemens, Thermax, Cummins, FM Global, Tata Power, VTT and Valmet are working closely with NCCRD.


8)   Which global index ranks 119 countries on hunger levels?
- Published on 13 Oct 17

a. Global Food Index
b. Global Hunger Index
c. Global Nourishment Index
d. Global Food Policy Index
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Global Hunger Index

Explanation:
India has a “serious” hunger problem and ranks 100th out of 119 countries on the global hunger index - behind North Korea, Bangladesh and Iraq but ahead of Pakistan, according to a report.

The country’s serious hunger level is driven by high child malnutrition and underlines need for stronger commitment to the social sector, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) indicated in its report.

India stood at 97th position in last year’s rankings.

India is ranked 100th out of 119 countries, and has the third highest score in all of Asia - only Afghanistan and Pakistan are ranked worse.

At 31.4, India’s 2017 GHI (Global Hunger Index) score is at the high end of the ‘serious’ category, and is one of the main factors pushing South Asia to the category of worst performing region on the GHI this year, followed closely by Africa South of the Sahara.

As per the report, India ranks below many of its neighbouring countries such as China (29th rank), Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Sri Lank (84) and Bangladesh (88). It is ahead of Pakistan (106) and Afghanistan (107).

North Korea ranks 93rd while Iraq is at 78th position.

GHI: Know More

  • The GHI, now in its 12th year, ranks countries based on four key indicators - undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting.
  • The report ranked 119 countries in the developing world, nearly half of which have ‘extremely alarming,’ ‘alarming’ or ’serious’ hunger levels.
  • India’s high ranking on the Global Hunger Index [GHI] again this year brings to the fore the disturbing reality of the country’s stubbornly high proportions of malnourished children.
  • IFPRI pointed out that more than one-fifth of Indian children under five weigh too little for their height and over a third are too short for their age.
  • Even with the massive scale up of national nutrition-focused programmes in India, drought and structural deficiencies have left large number of poor in India at risk of malnourishment in 2017.
  • India has developed and launched an action plan on ‘undernourishment free India’ by 2022.
  • As of 2015-16, more than a fifth [21%] of children in India suffer from wasting [low weight for height] - up from 20% in 2005-2006.
  • Only three other countries in this year’s GHI - Djibouti, Sri Lanka and South Sudan - show child wasting above 20%.
    India’s child wasting rate has not shown any substantial improvement over the past 25 years.
  • However, India has made considerable improvement in reducing its child stunting rate, down 29% since 2000, but even that progress leaves India with a relatively high stunting rate of 38.4.


9)   What is India's first sewage treatment plant under Hybrid Annuity Mode called?
- Published on 13 Oct 17

a. Nirmal Ganga
b. Namami Gange
c. Swachhta Ganga
d. Sajal Ganga
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nirmal Ganga

Explanation:
India’s first Sewage Treatment Plant under Hybrid Annuity Mode is to come up in Haridwar and Varanasi.

Work is on so Namami Gange Programme shows significant progress by December next year.

Interactive website for CSR activities and newsletter of NMCG were also launched.

Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that Nirmal Ganga is the biggest priority of his Ministry, and all efforts will be made to ensure that the Namami Gange Programme shows good progress by the end of next year.

The Minister further said that about 3000 MLD sewage from 97 cities on its banks are the biggest source of pollution for Ganga.

Of this, 1750 MLD sewage comes from just 10 cities. 34 projects worth INR 3581 crore had been sanctioned for Ganga cleaning between 2008-2014, while 56 projects worth Rs 9630 crore have been approved since 2014 till date.

This marked the first time ever in India that Hybrid Annuity-based PPP mode is being applied in sewerage sector.

Under this agreement the maintenance of the project will be the responsibility of the concessionaire for which there will be performance based phased manner of payment.

This would ensure continued performance of the sewage infrastructure assets created due to better accountability, ownership and optimal performance.

The 50 MLD STP in Varanasi was awarded to a consortium led by Essel Infra Projects Limited at an estimated cost of INR 153.16 crore. In Haridwar,

HNB Engineers Private Ltd. won the contract for a total sewage treatment capacity of 82 MLD (68MLD in Jagjeetpur & 14MLD in Sarai) at an estimated cost of INR 171.53 crore.

The awarded projects would ensure that untreated sewage does not flow into river Ganga, thus giving a boost to India’s flagship Namami Gange program.

The construction of these two new/ green field STPs will commence shortly.

A second set of sewage treatment projects under HAM are on the anvil. The upcoming projects which have already been sanctioned under HAM are STPs at Naini, Jhusi, and Phaphamau at Allahabad (72 MLD), STPs at Unnao, Shuklaganj, and Bithoor along with Kanpur (21.4 MLD), STPs at Digha and Kankarbagh in Bihar (150), STPs at Kolkata and Howrah (141 MLD) STPs at Farukhabad (30 MLD), STP at Bhagalpur (65 MLD).

NMCG website: Know More

  • The Ministry also launched an interactive website on National Mission for clean Ganga (NMCG) to enable the corporates to undertake CSR activities for Ganga Rejuvenation today.
  • This webpage, which will be available on NMCG website at www.nmcg.nic.in, gives the details of projects and activities which can be taken up under CSR funds, and will enable applying for the same online.
  • Water Resources Ministry is exploring innovative ways for utilization of recycled sewage by power plants, sugar industries, distilleries, tanneries as also for extracting bio - CNG, methane and Carbon Dioxide.
  • Also released was the inaugural issue of NMCG newsletter on the occasion.
  • Through Namami Gange newsletter, NMCG aims to keep all departments/stakeholders associated with the programme well informed with the activities and achievements of the organization.


10)   Which Facebook India MD is set to step down from his post towards the close of 2017?
- Published on 11 Oct 17

a. Umang Bedi
b. Sandeep Bhushan
c. Kirthiga Reddy
d. Keertana Reddy
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Umang Bedi

Explanation:
Facebook India managing director Umang Bedi has stepped down from his position, according to a statement by the social networking giant.

Sandeep Bhushan has been named the interim managing director, as per Facebook.

Bedi was appointed as the managing director in mid 2016, taking over the India business from Kirthiga Reddy who moved to the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, in the U.S.

Prior to joining Facebook, Bedi served as the managing director of the South Asia region at Adobe.

Bedi is expected to start an entrepreneurial venture of his own

India is the second largest user base for Facebook globally, after the US.


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