Important Dates & Festivities - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Which state is hosting a literary fest with tolerance as the core theme?
- Published on 25 Jul 17

a. TN
b. Kerala
c. AP
d. Karnataka
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kerala

Explanation:
At a time when the country witnesses raging debate over intolerance, Kerala is getting ready to host a literary festival with tolerance as the core theme.

Creative writers, journalists, theatre and film personalities will deliberate on tolerance at the fifth edition of South India Writers Ensemble (SIWE), to be held at Chengannur, a town in coastal Alappuza district, from July 24.

Organised by People for Performing Arts and More, an art-cum-cultural outfit, the three-day annual literary gathering is aimed at bringing about an enriching interaction between writers from different languages and regions.

Noted Malayalam writer and director of the festival T R Rajeevan will be part of the event.

Every language has its own style of expression and the objective of SIWE is to explore the power of language and literature through the gathering of writers.

Being a part of human sensibility, tolerance is an age old, much cliched subject. But, in the present socio-political scenario, there is a need to discuss and ponder upon this topic.

It is time to observe and acknowledge the changing perspectives

Kannada writer and director of PAMPA, Kanaka Ha.Ma announced Hindi has been selected as the main language of this year’s ensemble and related writers and other personalities would take part in it.

Well-known Hindi author, Udayan Vajpeyi would inaugurate the festival on July 24.


2)   Which space mission celebrated its 40th anniversary in July 2017?
- Published on 21 Jul 17

a. Voyager
b. Challenger
c. MOM
d. Chandrayaan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Voyager

Explanation:
Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched in 1977 to take advantage of a favourable alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and are now exploring interstellar space.

Voyager 1 and 2 have explored all the giant planets of our outer solar system, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; 48 of their moons; and the unique system of rings and magnetic fields those planets possess.

By the anniversary Voyager 1 will have traveled more than 12 billion miles and Voyager 2 more than 10 billion, with both nuclear-powered spacecraft continuing to send back data.

Both spacecraft, the Voyager 1 as well as the Voyager 2, have enough power left to last until 2025, after which communication will be lost.

They have been breaking records for almost two decades, the first on Feb 17, 1998, when Voyager 1 passed NASA’s Pioneer 10 probe to become the farthest man-made object.

According to NASA, the Voyagers are the first to pass through the heliosheath, which is thought to exist somewhere from eight to 14 billion miles from the Sun.

Voyager 1 entered interstellar space on Aug 25, 2012, a first for a spacecraft, and Voyager 2 is en route to do so too.

The Voyagers have enough electrical power and thruster fuel to operate at least until 2020, according to NASA.

Eventually, they will pass other stars.

In about 40,000 years, Voyager 1 will drift within 1.6 light-years (9.3 trillion miles) of AC+79 3888, a star in the constellation of Camelopardalis, which is heading toward the constellation Ophiuchus.

United States public broadcaster PBS plans to celebrate the anniversary with a documentary.

Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched in 1977 to take advantage of a favourable alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and are now exploring interstellar space

While the Voyager 2 was launched on Aug 20, 1977, Voyager 1 was launched Sep 5, 1977.

Both spacecrafts are equipped with spectrometers, radiometers and cameras, and carry 30cm gold plated copper records featuring sounds and images of Earth.


3)   When is Nelson Mandela day celebrated?
- Published on 21 Jul 17

a. 16th July
b. 15th July
c. 17th July
d. 18th July
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 18th July

Explanation:
Every year on 18 July, the day Nelson Mandela was born the UN asks individuals around the world to mark Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July).

This day is celebrated by making a difference in their communities.

Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better, and Mandela Day is an occasion for everyone to take action and inspire change.

In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom

Nelson Mandela: Know More

  • Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
  • Born: 18 July 1918, Mvezo, South Africa
  • Died: 5 December 2013, Houghton Estate, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa
  • Awards: Nobel Peace Prize, Bharat Ratna
  • Movies and TV shows: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Death of Apartheid, Dear Mandela, Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story


4)   Where has the first Culture on Cruise festival in J&K been held?
- Published on 19 Jul 17

a. Dal Lake
b. Anantnag
c. Pulwama
d. Srinagar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dal Lake

Explanation:
J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in association with Tourism Department Kashmir launched a weekly cultural programme series titled “Culture on Cruise” on July 15, 2017 at Dal Lake.

Conceived by JKAACL, the innovative programme series brings writers, performance artists, musicians, poets and academics together and offers a program of performances, workshops, talks, forums and debates.

The organizers will hold regular interactions with cross sections of the society besides Dal dwellers including tourists so as to ensure broader discourse on cultural moorings of the State.

The inaugural programme of the series saw artists Mohammed Yaseen Gundpuri, Mohammed Subhan Shah, and Bashir Kotur perform before a select gathering of audience comprising singers, artists, writers, and poets.

Broadcaster Talha Jehangir anchored the programme.

The Dal Lake thus hosted its first ever ‘Culture of Cruise’, a weeekly cultural programme organised by the Jammu and Kashmir government aimed to bring artists from various fields on one stage.

The innovative programme series brings writers, performance artistes, musicians, poets and academics together and offers a programme of performances, workshops, talks, forums and debates,

Meanwhile, Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan announced that water transport for public in the Jhelum river will be free of cost for a period of one month.

The water transport facility will be available from Peerzo to Veir Chattabal and back route in the city. Timing of this free service is 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Later, these services will be extended to Pulwama, Anantnag and Baramulla.

Sringar Deputy Commissioner Farooq Ahmad Lone directed the authorities to ensure hassle free joy ride to the public on a free first come first serve basis.

He also directed the tourism department to deploy new motor boats for this service so that people do not face any difficulty.


5)   Which organisation from the ones given started the Green Revolution in India?
- Published on 18 Jul 17

a. ICRISAT
b. ICAR
c. NABARD
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: ICAR

Explanation:
The 89th Foundation Day Celebration of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Annual Award distribution function was held on 16th July, 2017.

Since 1951 foodgrain production in the country has increased five times, fish production 14.3, milk production 9.6 and egg production 47.5 times.

In the Horticulture Sector, there has been a threefold increase in fruits and vegetable production as compared to1991-92.

This type of development has a direct effect on the nation's food and nutritional security. The scientists have also played a key role in furthering excellence in higher education.

At the event, 122 awards were presented for excellence in 19 various categories. It includes 3 institutes; 2 AICRPs; 12 Krishi Vigyan Kendras; 19 farmers and 80 scientists, including 30 women.

The ICAR is the premier organisation that had started Green Revolution in the country and today, the country has not only come out of a food deficit situation but also has become self-sufficient in foodgrains and now it has surplus foodgrains.

The contribution of agriculture and allied sectors to Gross Value Added (previously known as GDP) is 18%.

There has been a record production of about 274 million tonnes of foodgrains in the country and it has been possible due to the availability of technologies, quality seeds and related services being made available to the farmers.

This achievement has been possible due to the contribution of institutions of ICAR and State Agricultural Universities and hard work of farmers.

While emphasising the importance of agriculture sector, the Agriculture Minister said the government has taken several steps for sustainable development of agriculture.

Several measures have been proposed for the farmers’ welfare and improvement in agriculture such as bringing 2.85 million hectares under irrigated area by 2012-2018; providing assistance of Rs.2,87,000 crore (42.1 billion US dollars) to the village panchayats and municipalities and to provide electricity to all the villages.

Soil Health Card Scheme and Organic Farming Scheme ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ have been initiated to improve soil fertility on a sustainable basis.

Other initiatives include improvement of irrigation through Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana; increasing the effectiveness of water under Per Drop More Crop; and to increase the income of farmers, e-NAM has been started.

For the growth of agriculture and to cover the risks of farmers from climate adversities for agricultural development, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has received a widespread approval as a major landmark policy.

Government Soil Health Card Scheme has been made successful by the institutions of ICAR, Agricultural Universities and various development departments.


6)   When is the World Youth Skills Day observed?
- Published on 17 Jul 17

a. July 14
b. July 15
c. July 16
d. July 17
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: July 15

Explanation:
The World Youth Skills Day is observed globally on 15 July every year to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development.

Observance of the day aims to create more awareness on training and the development of skills for the youth of today and also create better employment opportunities for the youth.

2017 Theme is “Skills for All”.

It is aimed at creating awareness that everyone should have the opportunity to discover and develop their talents. It also spreads message of creating a more prosperous future through skills.

On the occasion, United Nations along with WorldSkills.org have organised campaigns #SkillsForAll and #WYSD.

These campaigns aim to raise awareness about the importance of youth developing skills.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had established World Youth Skills Day in November 2014 to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development.

UNGA: Know More

  • Abbreviation: GA UNGA AG
  • Formation: 1945
  • Type: Principal organ
  • Legal status: Active
  • Head & President: Fiji Peter Thomson
  • Parent organization: United Nations (UN)
  • Website: www.un.org/ga


7)   Which country will hold the 8th edition of the greatest carnival of Theatre in the World for the first time?
- Published on 13 Jul 17

a. Indonesia
b. India
c. Bhutan
d. Malaysia
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: India

Explanation:
Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism has announced that 8th edition of the greatest carnival of Theatre in the World will take place in India for the first time ever from February 17 – April 08, 2018.

It will take place simultaneously in various cities across the country.

There will be 500 plays & 700 ambience performances from across the world and Allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors will be held.

Leading luminaries of world theatre will take part.

In a development that puts India firmly among the top nations in the world theatre map, the country is all set to host the next edition of the prestigious Theatre Olympics.

Established in 1993, the Theatre Olympics is the foremost international theatre festival.

It presenting the finest productions of well-known theatre practitioners from around the world.

Theatre Olympics: Know More

  • The Theatre Olympics, being held in India for the first time, is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture.
  • The country’s tryst with the biggest celebration of theatre in the world will take place from February 17 till April 08, 2018 and will be held in 15 cities across India.
  • It was also announced that the inaugural ceremony of the Theatre Olympics will take place in New Delhi.
  • The Theatre Olympics 2018 will be the 8th edition of the event and will feature maximum number of Indian & International theatre groups, invitee eminent theatre personalities along with their performances.
  • In addition, there will be ambience performances with allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors.
  • The Theatre Olympics was established in 1993 in Delphi, Greece, as the first international theatre festival.
  • With the tagline ‘Crossing Millennia’, this is an initiative to connect the cultural past with the present and future, bringing the richness and diversity of theatre heritage to the experiments and research of contemporary theatre.
  • The first country to host the Theatre Olympics was Greece in 1995. Japan hosted the second edition in Shizuoka in 1999, followed by Russia in 2001.
  • In 2006 the Olympics were held in Istanbul, Turkey and four years later, in 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. China hosted them in Beijing in 2014.
  • In 2016 the 7th Theatre Olympics were held in Wroclaw, Poland. India is all set to join this illustrious list as it plays host to the 8th edition of this global event.


8)   World Population Day was observed on which date?
- Published on 12 Jul 17

a. July 10
b. July 11
c. July 12
d. July 13
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: July 11

Explanation:
The World Population Day is observed across the world on July 11 to attention on the urgency and importance of population issue.

Observance of the day aims at increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, maternal health, gender equality, poverty and human rights.

The 2017 theme is “Family Planning- Empowering People, Developing Nations”.

The theme highlights importance of family planning as it allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of pregnancies.

The World Population Day was established by the then Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1989.

It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987.

On this date world’s approximate population had reached five billion people.

Later in December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day by adopting resolution 45/216 to enhance awareness of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development.

World Population Day

  • The Day was first marked on 11 July 1990 in more than 90 countries. Since then, it is observed annually by number of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country offices.
  • It includes other organizations and institutions commemorate World Population Day, in partnership with governments and civil society
  • The world population has grown tremendously over the past years. China has the highest population in the world and India stood at second.


9)   When is the International Day of Cooperatives 2017 observed?
- Published on 03 Jul 17

a. June 30
b. June 29
c. July 1
d. July 2
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: July 1

Explanation:
The International Day of Cooperatives 2017 was observed across the globe on July 1, 2017.

The theme for the 2017 International Day of Cooperatives is Co-operatives ensure no-one is left behind.

The theme for the year complements the priority theme of the 2017 High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development: ‘Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world’.

As per the United Nations, co-operatives’ open membership model affords access to wealth creation and poverty elimination.

This results from the co-operative principle of members’ economic participation: ‘Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative.’

International Cooperative Day: Know More

  • International Co-operative Day is an annual celebration of the co-operative movement.
  • It has been observed on the first Saturday in July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance. On 16 December 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed in resolution 47/90 “the first Saturday of July 1995 to be International Day of Cooperatives, marking the centenary of the establishment of the International Cooperative Alliance.”
  • Co-operatives around the world celebrate the day in various fashions and each year the organising institutions agree on a theme for the celebrations


10)   Where is Sabarmati Ashram located?
- Published on 30 Jun 17

a. Ahmedabad
b. Vadodara
c. Surat
d. Gandhinagar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ahmedabad

Explanation:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the centenary celebrations of Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.

The Prime Minister has also released the coin and postal stamp in the honour of Shrimad Rajchandraji on his 150th birth anniversary at Abhay Ghat.

Shrimad Rajchandraji was the guru to Mahatma Gandhi

Sabarmati Ashram: Know More

- Sabarmati Ashram otherwise called as Gandhi Ashram, Harijan Ashram, or Satyagraha Ashram is located on the banks of the River Sabarmati.

- Sabarmati Ashram served as one of the residences of Mahatma Gandhi for twelve long years. The ashram has been declared as a national monument by the Indian government.

- Gandhiji started the Dandi march also called as Salt Satyagraha from Sabarmati Ashram on 12 March 1930.

Shrimad Rajchandraji: Know More

- Shrimad Rajchandra is a Jain poet, philosopher, scholar and reformer born in the year 1867 in Vavania near Morbi.

- His mother was a Jain and father a Vaishnava Hindu.

- He was the spiritual guide to Mahatma Gandhi. He is known for his teachings on Jainism.

- He has written a large number of letters and commentaries and also translated some religious texts. He was known for performing Avdhan, a memory retention and recollection test which gained him popularity.


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