Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Apr 03, 2017

1)   Where did the Israel Security Cabinet approve a new settlement?

a. West Bank
b. Gaza Strip
c. Palestine territory
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and c

Israel's Security Cabinet on March 30, 2017 unanimously approved the construction of a new settlement in the West Bank.

This is marking the state's first new settlement in Palestinian territory in more than 20 years.

The new settlement, which will be constructed north of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, is intended for Israeli settlers evacuated from Amona, an outpost destroyed by Israeli authorities in February.

The Security Cabinet also advanced plans to construct 2,000 homes inside existing settlements.

These homes are part of a plan approved 2 months ago to grow settlements by more than 5,500 homes.

The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution in December 2016 condemning Israeli settlements constructed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal.

These territories, occupied by the Israeli military since 1967, are located where Palestinians plan to create their future state.

UNSC Resolution 2334 was passed after the US abstained from voting.

UN was the first to protest against the new settlement. While the Obama administration was a fierce critic of the Netanyahu government, a regime change with Trump marks new realities for Israel and Palestine.

2)   What low did growth of 8 core sectors of the country slip to in Feb 2017?

a. 1%
b. 2%
c. 3%
d. 4%
Answer  Explanation 


Growth of the country’s eight core sectors slipped to an over one-year low of 1% in February 2017.

This was mainly due to a fall in output of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser and cement.

The eight core sectors had expanded 9.4% in February 2016, and 3.4% in January 2016.

In February 2016, crude oil output contracted 3.4%, natural gas output by 1.7%, refinery products output fell 2.3%, fertiliser output declined 5.3%, and cement output dropped 15.8%.

But coal and steel production recorded positive growth during the month.

The eight core industries comprise close to 37.9% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

The electricity has the maximum weight (of 10.32%) among the eight sectors followed by Steel (6.68%), Petroleum Refinery (5.94%), Crude Oil production (5.22 %), Coal production (4.38 %), Cement (2.41%), Natural Gas production (1.71 %) and Fertilizer production (1.25%).

3)   Which state run PSU crossed a power generation capacity milestone of 50 GW?

d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


State-run NTPC has crossed the milestone of 50 GW power generation capacity which will help the country realise the goal of power for all.

NTPC has crossed 50,000 MW of installed power generation capacity which marks another milestone towards 24X7 power for all.

According to a company statement, with commissioning of 500 MW unit at Unchahar in Uttar Pradesh, the total installed capacity of NTPC has increased to 50,498 MW.

In FY17, NTPC's annual generation topped 250 BU (billion units). The company also commenced coal mining at Pakri Barwadih.

Besides, it commissioned the first high efficiency 800 MW unit at Kudgi and has steadily added to its renewable portfolio.

It is the third-largest power company in terms of coal based power generation capacity, second in Plant Load Factor, third in machine availability and seventh in terms of electricity generation.

NTPC is among the top 20 coal based power generating companies globally.

NTPC has 19 coal-based, seven gas-based, 10 solar PV, one hydro and nine subsidiaries/joint venture power stations.

The company has capacity of over 21,000 MW under implementation at 23 locations across the country, including 4300 MW being undertaken by joint ventures and subsidiary companies.

4)   Which department will RBI open from April 3 to oversee breaches of rules and their violation?

a. Enforcement department
b. Grievances Redressal department
c. Social welfare department
d. Financial laws department
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Enforcement department

RBI will open a separate enforcement department from April 3 to oversee possible breaches of rules and take punitive actions against those who violate them.

The Enforcement Department shall, inter alia, develop a broad policy for enforcement and initiate enforcement action against the regulated entities for violation consistent with such policy.

The department proposed to be opened on April 3 would serve as a centralised wing to deal with banks only for enforcement action.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reported that the net profit/loss, profit after tax (PAT) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) declined to INR (-)17,993 crore during 2015-16 from INR 37,823 crore in 2014-15 and INR 37,019 crore in 2013-14.

At the same time PAT of private banks increased from INR 33,661 crore during 2013-14 to INR 38,735 crore in 2014-15 and further to INR 41,314 crore during 2015-16.

PAT of PSBs stood at Rs (-)1,678 crore for the period April- December, 2016 while it was INR 31,262 crore for the same period for private sector.

RBI has informed that as part of the package of measures announced on August 25, 2016 for development of fixed income and currency markets, in connection with developing the market for rupee denominated bonds overseas, it has been decided to permit banks to issue Perpetual Debt Instruments (PDI) qualifying for inclusion as Additional Tier 1 capital and debt capital instruments.

It was also decided to allow banks to issue rupee denominated bonds overseas under the extant framework of incentivising issuance of long term bonds by banks for financing infrastructure and affordable housing.

The RBI has also taken various measures to deepen the corporate bond market.

5)   What amount of ODA has Japan offered to India in this fiscal?

a. INR 21,590 crore
b. INR 23,590 crore
c. INR 22,590 crore
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: INR 21,590 crore

Japan has committed an "official development assistance" of 371.345 billion yen (about Rs 21,590 crore) under 2016-2017 for various infrastructure projects, including the dedicated freight corridor, in India.

Total commitment of JICA ODA during two financial years 2015-16 and 2016-17 is 761.40 billion yen, which is 43.50 per cent of the total target for five years, it said.

For FY 2016-17, the ODA loan assistance has been committed to several projects including:

- Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Project (JPY 144.795 billion),

- Dedicated Freight Corridor Project (Procurement of Electric Locomotives) (JPY 108.456 billion) and

- Eastern Peripheral Expressway Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Installation Project (JPY 6.87 billion).

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), a State Government entity, has been allowed to borrow directly from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan for Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project.

The estimated project cost for Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) is INR.17,854 crore, out of which JICA loan portion is expected to be INR 15,109 crore.

India and Japan have had a long and fruitful history of bilateral development cooperation since 1958.

In the last few years, the economic partnership between India and Japan has steadily progressed, I.

6)   Where has the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers welfare launched an ICFMD?

a. Arugul, Odisha
b. Bhubaneshwar, Odisha
c. Cuttack, Odisha
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Arugul, Odisha

Union minister for agriculture and farmers’ welfare Radha Mohan Singh on April 1, 2017 inaugurated International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease (ICFMD).

It is built at a cost of INR 200 crore at Arugul on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

The one-of-its-kind research centre in South Asia, will help analyse exotic virus strains in order to develop diagnostics and vaccines to prevent their incursion.

Development and upliftment of farmers, who are backbone of the country, is the first priority of the government and the aim is to double the income of farmers by 2022.

As foot and mouth diseases an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids, such a research centre will be beneficial to find out the remedies for the disease.

This is 10th in the world and it is dedicated to the nation on the occasion of Utkal Divas, the formation day of Odisha.

Established by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the state-of-the-art research centre with high containment laboratory facility will cater to the need of researchers and scientists for safe handling of FMD virus as per international norms.

Though 70 countries have eradicated the disease successfully, it is still endemic in India and has a direct bearing on the rural economy and farmers who depend on the cattle for eke out their living.

Stating that India is number one in milk production in the world, production will increase further and the loss of nearly INR 23,000 crore per annum will be prevented if the disease is controlled and eliminated.

The government will provide Rs 600 crore more to the centre for equipment and research.

The economic losses caused by the disease are mainly due to the loss in milk production and reduction in the working ability of the animals.

Export is hampered because countries free from the disease refuse to accept milk and its products, meat and hide from the country.

7)   Where has BHEL commissioned an 800 MW supercritical thermal power plant?

a. Raichur, Karnataka
b. Raipur, MP
c. Ranchi, Jharkhand
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Raichur, Karnataka

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) on 30 March 2017 commissioned an 800 MW supercritical thermal power plant in Raichur District of Karnataka.

This is the second unit of the 2×800 MW Yeramarus Thermal Power Station, the first unit of which was successfully commissioned in early March 2017.

The plant which was commissioned on 15 March 2017 is also the BHEL’s first 800 MW Supercritical Thermal Power Plant.

The power station is owned and operated by the Raichur Power Corporation Limited (RPCL), which is jointly owned by the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) and the BHEL.

BHEL carried out complete design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of this state-of-the-art supercritical project on turnkey basis.

It has supplied all the critical equipment like boiler, turbine and generators, electrical, key packages of balance of plant, and also carried out the associated civil works.

The major equipment for the project has been manufactured by BHEL at its Haridwar, Trichy, Bhopal, Ranipet, Hyderabad, Jhansi, Thirumayam and Bengaluru plants.

The construction of the plant was undertaken by the company’s Power Sector - Southern Region.

BHEL has supplied and executed 4,010 MW of coal based sets for KPCL and its joint ventures, which accounts for 95 per cent of the utility’s coal-based installed capacity.

It is also presently executing KPCL’s first gas-based combined cycle power project of 370 MW capacity involving a fuel-efficient advanced-class gas turbine at Yelahanka, Bengaluru.

About BHEL

  • The company is the market leader in both the subcritical as well as the supercritical segments in the country.
  • The company has secured orders for 48 supercritical Steam Generators (SG) and 41 supercritical Steam Turbine Generators (STG) – the highest in the country by any power equipment manufacturer. Of these, 12 SG and STG have already achieved capacity addition.
  • BHEL’s contribution of nearly 60% of the total power generated in the country bears testimony to the superlative performance of its equipment.

8)   Which Railways has declared rail routes in Rajasthan as Green Corridors?

a. Northern railways
b. Western railways
c. North western railway
d. Central railway
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: North western railway

The North Western Railway has declared the Barmer-Munawab and Pipad Road-Bilara rail routes in Rajasthan as Green Corridors.

With this total number of green corridors has increased to three.

The 114-km-long Manamadurai– Rameswaram stretch of Southern Railway was India’s first ‘Green corridor’.

What is Green Corridor: Know More

- The Green Corridor ensures zero toilet discharge on rail tracks as part of its commitment to clean environment under the ‘Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat’ initiative.

- Trains in the section have been equipped with bio-toilets to ensure zero discharge of human waste on the rail tracks and preventing corrosion of the tracks.

- Indian Railway had developed the environment friendly ‘Bio-toilets’, in association with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

- Bio-toilets evacuate discharge into a biodigester tank, containing anaerobic bacteria, fitted underneath the train coach in a small space.

- The bacteria convert human faecal matter into water and small amount of gases (including CH4) by process of hydrolysis, acetogenesis, acidogenesis and methanogenesis.

- Indian railways aims to install human waste discharge free bio-toilets in all its coaches as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission by September 2019.

9)   Who has authored “Indian Railway- The Weaving of a National Tapestry”?

a. Bibek Debroy
b. Sanjay Chadha
c. Vidya Krishnamurthy
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

The Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on 30 March 2017 released a book on the Indian Railways - “Indian Railway-The weaving of a National Tapestry.”

The book was jointly authored by Bibek Debroy (Member, NITI Aayog), Sanjay Chadha (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce) and Vidya Krishnamurthi.

The theme of this book is the historical development of railways in India.

The book is divided into chapters dealing with different periods of development in chronological order.

It builds its foundations from periods prior to 1853, when the first commercial passenger railway was inaugurated.

The authors wanted to create a cross between an academic book and a coffee table book.

The result is a narrative built around a series of anecdotes of railway history. The book manages to convey considerable amounts of information in a conversational manner.

The story begins with the early plans for building railways in the Indian sub-continent in the 1830s, continues with the debates in the 1840s and the advent of the railways in the 1850s and 1860s.

The final chapter, which covers the period of consolidation and change during the 1870s onwards, is the most absorbing.

The last chapter covers the period from the beginning of the 20th century until independence. The book is perhaps best characterised as Indian Railway History - An anecdotal version.

Indian Railways: Know More

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Number of employees: 1,331,000
  • Founded: 16 April 1853
  • Revenue: 1.683 trillion INR (US$25 billion, 2015–2016)
  • Chief Subsidiary: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
  • Parent organization: Ministry of Railways

10)   Which state's CM announced a scheme of Unnat Jeevan(UJALA) for distribution of LED lights?

a. HP
b. UP
c. MP
d. AP
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh launched a scheme allowing distribution of LED tubelights and energy-efficient fans as part of an initiative to promote energy saving.

The LED tubelights and fans would be distributed under ‘Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All’ (UJALA) scheme, which is an extension of old domestic efficient lighting programme.

The cost per tube light would be INR 230 along-with three years free replacement warrantee.

The BEE 5-star 50-watt fan will replace the conventional 75-watt ceiling fan.

It will cost INR 1,150, along with two-years free replacement warranty, thus saving 33 per cent electricity.

The government had earlier launched a scheme to distribute subsidised CFL bulbs and LED lights, which helped in saving energy worth about INR 200 crore and the present initiative is an extension of that scheme.

UJALA was an integral part of energy conservation initiative of the state government and had been very successfully adopted by the people of the state.

11)   Who has been appointed the CMD of NBHC?

a. Maninder Singh Juneja
b. Majinder Singh Juneja
c. Mahinder Singh Juneja
d. Manvinder Singh Juneja
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Maninder Singh Juneja

National Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC), India’s leading provider of integrated commodity and collateral management services of agri-commodities announced appointment of Maninder Singh Juneja as the CMD.

Juneja joined True North (erstwhile India Value Fund Associates) in December 2016 as the managing director which owns 100 per cent of NBHC.

Juneja takes over from Anil Choudhary, founder MD & CEO, NBHC, who will continue to associate with NBHC as an executive vice-chairman in the company.

Juneja was previously associated with ICICI BankBSE -1.53 % as senior general manager.

The changing agriculture and banking policies paradigm is creating new opportunities in terms of being able to serve farmers.

The new CMD aims to take NBHC forward, build synergies and craft linkage with other financial services, create value.

12)   Who has been appointed chairperson of BRICS Business Council?

a. Iqbal Ali
b. Iqbal Ghate
c. Iqbal Surve
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Iqbal Surve

Indian-origin South African billionaire Iqbal Surve has been appointed as chairperson of the country’s BRICS Business Council.

This has underlined the need for strengthening trade ties with countries like India and China.

Straight after his appointment by the South African government, Surve, headed to New Delhi for the mid-term meeting of the Brics Councils from other countries in the bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

He highlighted importance to strengthen ties with China and India.

Surve, the chairperson of Sekunjalo Group and Independent Media, has interests in media, technology and healthcare.

He is a founding member of the BRICS Business Council and the Clinton Global Initiative; he additionally serves on a number of multi-lateral institutions and global organisations.

Surve served as the first chairperson of the World Economic Forum Global Growth Companies Advisory Board and vice chairperson of the Global Agenda Council for Emerging Multinationals.

He is a participant member of the G20 meeting and serves on B20 Task Teams as well as the Unga private sector forum.

BRICS Business Council: Know More


The BRICS Business Council was established during the Fifth BRICS Summit held on 26th - 27th March 2013 in Durban, South Africa.
The objective of creating the council was to constitute a platform which will:

  • Promote and strengthen business, trade and investment ties amongst the business communities of the five BRICS countries;
  • Ensure that there is regular dialogue between the business communities of the BRICS nations and the Governments of the BRICS countries; and
  • Identify problems and bottlenecks to ensure greater economic, trade and investment ties amongst the BRICS countries and recommend solutions accordingly.

13)   Who has been appointed the Ambassador and Permanent representative of India to UN in Geneva?

a. Rajiv Kumar Chander
b. Ajit Doval
c. Syed Akbaruddin
d. Ajit Kumar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rajiv Kumar Chander

Rajiv Kumar Chander, a 1983 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, was on Thursday appointed the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the UN offices in Geneva.

Chander, who at present is the Consul General in Vancouver, Canada, is expected to take up his new assignment shortly.

He will succeed Ajit Kumar at the Geneva office.

Chander earlier served as Deputy Permanent Representative in the Geneva office from 2006 to 2009.

His first assignment abroad was at the Embassy of India in Moscow, after which he returned to New Delhi to handle political work relating to Bangladesh.

He was posted to Germany in the early 1990s where he worked as First Secretary/Counsellor (Political) and then in New Delhi as Director (UN).

Chander was posted to St. Petersburg as Consul General from 2000 to 2002.

He proceeded on deputation to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) headquarters based in Kathmandu for four years.

He was in-charge in New Delhi of political work relating to Gulf countries as well as Haj related matters.

Chander served as India’s Ambassador to Ukraine from July 2011 to July 2015.

14)   Which fundamental conventions of ILO have been approved for ratification by the Union Cabinet?

a. Minimum Age Convention
b. Convention 138 and 182
c. Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Union Cabinet has approved the ratification of 2 fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization concerning Child Labour.

These are the Minimum Age Convention (No. 138) and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182).

These conventions will now be legally binding.

Minimum Age Convention: No 138

This is concerned with the minimum age for admission to employment

It has been ratified by 169 countries so far.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention: No 182

It is concerned with the prohibition and immediate action for elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour.

It has been ratified by 180 countries.

For both strategies, GOI has adopted a multi pronged strategy. This includes the project based approach as well as stringent legislative measures to address concerns pertaining to child labour in the nation.

The Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 completely prohibits children employment below 14 years in any occupation or process.

Recent initiatives taken by Government to eradicate child labour also needs to be maintained for elimination of child labour for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

ILO: Know More

  • It was established in 1919 as an agency of the League of Nations.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • India is a founder member of the ILO.
  • Currently, it has 187 members.
  • The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up of International standards in the form of Conventions, Recommendations and Protocol.
  • So far India has ratified 45 Conventions, out of which 42 are in force.
  • Out of these 4 are Core or Fundamental or Conventions.