Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Apr 1, 2017

1)   Whom has Verizon Communications appointed to lead its network and technology team?

a. Hans Vestberg
b. Hans Norberg
c. Hans Goldberg
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hans Vestberg

Verizon Communications has announced it will change its operating structure to focus on three areas.

It has named former Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg as part of its newly created network and technology team.

Vestberg's team will build out the company's fiber network infrastructures.

Verizon's media and telematics unit will focus on growing the company's new businesses in digital media, including integrating its pending acquisition of Yahoo Inc.

It will be led by Marni Walden as executive vice president for media and telematics.

The company's customer and product operations team, led by John Stratton, will work on operating and growing Verizon's established businesses, such as Verizon Wireless and Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

Verizon Communications: Know More

  • Headquarters: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States
  • Motto: Better Matters
  • CEO: John G. Stratton (17 Feb 2015–)
  • Founded: 4 April 2000, Bedminster, New Jersey, United States
  • Network types: Code division multiple access, LTE
  • Parent organization: Verizon Communications
  • Founders: Verizon Communications, Vodafone

2)   Which diseases have scientists developed a metabolic calculator for?

a. Heart disease
b. Diabetes
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Scientists have developed an internet crystal ball which is a metabolic calculator for predicting patient risk of developing diabetes and heart disease accurately, as against traditional methods.

The tool will prompt patients to make changes to their lifestyle and avoid these illnesses.

The more specific information you can give to individuals at risk, the more they will understand it and be motivated to make some changes.

Doctors usually predict risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke by looking for five factors: obesity, high fasting triglycerides, high blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol and high fasting blood sugar.

Those with abnormalities in three of these have been found to have metabolic syndrome and told there were at risk for future problems when it came to health.

The traditional approach also fails to consider variables such as race, ethnicity and gender.

On the other hand, the metabolic crystal ball, weighs the traditional risk factors and also takes into account race, gender and ethnicity to produce an easy-to-understand metabolic severity score.

The online calculator's predictions lined up well with actual cases of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and the new study further bears that out.

The study looked, retroactively, at outcomes in more than 13,000 people and found that the tool was a better risk predictor than the individual risk factors alone.

3)   Which company declared TCS as the US partner of the year in the commercial category?

a. Red Hat
b. Discovery Education
c. White Hat
d. Black Hat
Answer  Explanation 


Leading open source solutions provider Red Hat has felicitated TCS with US partner of the year in the commercial category.

TCS was selected for innovative open source solutions for customers in the commercial sector. This drives innovative solutions and joint business in the area of data analytics, cloud and automation.

Award points to TCS's commitment to drive digital transformations.

The recognition was part of the annual Red Hat North American Partner Awards.

Red Hat: Know More

  • Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
  • CEO: James M. Whitehurst (Dec 2007–)
  • Revenue: 2.052 billion USD (2016)
  • Key Subsidiaries: 3scale, Qumranet, Red Hat KK, Red Hat Israel Ltd

4)   Which space company launched and retrieved its first recycled rocket on 30th March 2017?

a. SpaceX
b. Tesla
c. Falcon 9
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


SpaceX successfully launched and then retrieved its first recycled rocket on March30, 2017, a historic feat and the biggest yet in its bid to drive down costs and speed up flights.

It was the first time SpaceX founder Elon Musk tried to fly a booster that soared before on an orbital mission. The Falcon 9 core landed on the bull's-eye of the ocean platform following liftoff with a broadcasting satellite.

The repeat flights for a booster and rocket turnarounds of as little as 24 hours, perhaps by next year will work wonders. Land, refuel and then back up again is the modus operandi of these flights.

SpaceX refurbished and tested the 15-foot booster, still sporting its nine original engines. It nailed another vertical landing at sea on March 30 once it was finished boosting the satellite for the SES company of Luxembourg.

Blue Origin, an aerospace company started by another tech billionaire, Jeff Bezos, already has reflown a rocket.

Nasa also has shared the quest for rocket reusability.

SpaceX - which aims to launch up to six reused boosters this year, two of them with the yet-to-fly, super-sized Falcon Heavy in late summer - is familiar with uncharted territory.

Besides becoming the first commercial cargo hauler to the International Space Station, SpaceX is building a capsule to launch Nasa astronauts as soon as next year.

It's also working to fly two paying customers to the moon next year, and is developing the Red Dragon, a robotic spacecraft intended to launch to Mars in 2020 and land.

Musk's ultimate goal is to establish a human settlement on Mars.

Elon Musk: Know More

  • Elon Reeve Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate.
  • He is also an investor, engineer, and inventor
  • Born: 28 June 1971 (age 45 years), Pretoria, South Africa
  • Education: Stanford University (1995–1995)

5)   Who created the rainbow flag, a symbol of gay pride?

a. Gilbert Baker
b. Gilbert Jones
c. Gilbert Smith
d. Cleve Jones
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gilbert Baker

American artist Gilbert Baker who created the rainbow flag is recognized across the world as a symbol of gay pride.

Baker, who was 65, came up with the iconic eight-coloured banner for San Francisco's 1978 gay freedom day, a precursor to the modern pride festival, having taught himself to sew in his 20s.

The former soldier was deeply involved within the San Francisco LGBT rights movement and was a close friend of murdered activist and politician Harvey Milk.

The artist had died in his sleep at his home in New York on 30th March 2017.

Baker, born in Kansas in 1951, served for two years in the army, according to his website, and was stationed him in San Francisco just as the gay liberation movement was gathering momentum.

Gilbert Baker: Know More

  • Born: 2 June 1951, Chanute, Kansas, United States
  • Died: 31 March 2017, New York City, New York, United States
  • Residence: New York City, New York, United States
  • Movies: Milk

6)   Which of these are non-communicable diseases?

a. Cancer
b. Heart disease
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

To tackle the burden of cancer and other NCDs, the government has planned a series of measures including setting up 20 state cancer institutes, investing INR 3000 crores.

Government has also launched universal screening of diabetes, hypertension and cancer in 2100 districts of India.

Work on cancer institutes was under way and setting up of each AIIMS institute in every state would incur a cost of INR 150 crore.

The Centre supplements the efforts of the state governments for improving healthcare including prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

At present, the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) being implemented under National Health Mission (NHM).

This is for interventions up to the district level includes awareness generation for Cancer prevention, screening, early detection and referral to an appropriate level institution for treatment.

In February, the health ministry also rolled out a massive free door-to-door screening programme for the early detection of cancer, heart disorders and diabetes, which account for over 35% of all deaths in India.

The programme is among the preventive-care measures planned by the health ministry, and is targeted at people in the age group of 30-69 years, who constitute almost 37% of the total population.

This population is also highly vulnerable to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer and diabetes that are responsible for 55% of the premature mortality in the same age group.

NCD: Know More

  • Estimates show the prevalence of non-communicable diseases is fast growing in India.
  • Diseases like cancer and heart disorders are also causing significant mortality, whereas diabetes is leading to a huge socio-economic burden.
  • While over 26% of all deaths in India are from heart diseases, 7% are from cancer. In 2015, over 690 lakh cases of diabetes were reported in India.

7)   US FDA has approved which drug for relapsing MS patients and PPMS?

a. Ocrevus
b. Ocrelizumab
c. Both a and b are the same
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b are the same

US Food and Drug Administration approved Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) to treat adult patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS).

This is the first drug approved by the FDA for PPMS, says a USFDA statement.

Ocrevus is an intravenous infusion given by a healthcare professional.

MS therapy not only provides another treatment option for those with relapsing MS, but also provides an approved therapy for those with primary progressive MS.

MS is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body.

US FDA: Know More

  • Founded: 30 June 1906
  • Headquarters: Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
  • Number of employees: 14,824 (2010)
  • Annual budget: 4.36 billion USD (2012)
  • Subsidiaries: Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, more
  • Founders: Theodore Roosevelt, Harvey Washington Wiley
  • Parent organization: United States Department of Health & Human Services

8)   Which state has declared cow slaughter punishable with a 14 year jail term?

a. Gujarat
b. Rajasthan
c. Haryana
d. MP
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gujarat

Gujarat has adopted the toughest law against cow slaughter in the country. From now, the crime will be punishable with a 14-year jail term.

The state government cleared on 31st March 2017 the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

This raises the maximum jail sentence from the current 3-7 years to 14 years for cow slaughter.

It also carries a provision of fine of up to INR 5 lakh and not less than INR 1 lakh.

The bill was passed by a majority vote in the absence of opposition members in the assembly.

This is the harshest law in the country, which was required to save our religion, culture, economy and environment, the state government held.

The bill, seen as an attempt to consolidate Hindu votes ahead of the 2017 assembly polls, makes all offences under the act cognisable and non-bailable.

Initially, the draft bill submitted in the assembly had a provision of a maximum of 10 years of jail for cow slaughter.

However, the penalty was raised to 14 years through a supplementary provision introduced in the House by the MoS home on March 31, which was attached with the amendment bill.

The jail term for illegal ferrying of cows for slaughter, selling, stocking or exhibition of cow beef, too, has been raised to 10 years.

9)   Who has been appointed the new CBEC chairman?

a. Vanaja N. Sarna
b. Navtej Sarna
c. Najib Shah
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vanaja N. Sarna

Vanaja N. Sarna on March 31, 2017 was appointed as the new chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), following retirement from service of incumbent Najib Shah, an official statement said.

Sarna, presently holding the charge as Member (Administration), has been appointed as Chairman, CBEC.

She is taking over on superannuation of Najib Shah (March 31).

Prior to becoming Member of the CBEC, she held the charge of Director General of Vigilance and Chief Vigilance Officer of the Department.

Sarna has served CBEC in several capacities over the last 36 years, including stints in customs, central excise and service tax formations in Kochi, Delhi, Chennai, Meerut, Chandigarh and Bangalore.

She has also worked as Additional Director General, National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics (NACEN) in Chennai.

She was also Additional Director General in Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence, New Delhi.

She has served on deputation as Under Secretary, Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and as Director/Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

10)   Who has been appointed the new Nalanda University VC?

a. Sunaina Mehta
b. Sunaina Singh
c. Sunaina Sinha
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sunaina Singh

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Sunaina Singh, currently head of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad, as the new vice chancellor of Nalanda University.

As per rules, the president has to choose the vice-chancellor from a group of at least three names forwarded by the university’s governing board.

As per sources, 135 names were screened, while six applicants were called for interviews.

Nalanda University is a flagship initiative formed under India’s Act East policy, which was first proposed at the East Asia Summit in 2007.

It was envisioned as a project to evoke India’s historical and cultural linkages with South East Asia and beyond.

Earlier on January 27, President Mukherjee appointed computer scientist and former IIT Delhi board chairman, Vijay Bhatkar – who is also the president of the RSS-affiliated Vijnana Bharati – as the university’s chancellor.

The EFLU unfurled the national flag on a 108-feet flagpole – touted as the “tallest flagpole among all central universities in the country”.

In February 2016, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had said universities should fly the flag prominently in order to ‘instil a sense of patriotism’ in students.

Singh has also served as the president of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute from 2009 to 2011. Before that she was the chairperson of Osmania University’s English department.

The term of the university’s first vice-chancellor, Gopa Sabharwal ended on November 24.

Sabharwal’s original term ended in November 2015, but she was given a one-year term extension.

President Mukherjee, acting on the Modi government’s advice, had reconstituted the governing board by dissolving the Amartya Sen-led Nalanda Mentors Group, which had been operating as the board.

Claiming that he had not been consulted before the president made his decision, George Yeo, former Singapore foreign minister and then university chancellor, also resigned.

11)   Which country is set to prohibit mining for gold and other metals?

a. South Africa
b. El Salvador
c. Canada
d. US
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: El Salvador

Lawmakers in El Salvador voted overwhelmingly on 29th March 2017 to prohibit all mining for gold and other metals.

This makes the country the first in the world to impose a nationwide ban on metal mining, environmental activists said.

Declaring that El Salvador’s fragile environment could not sustain metal mining operations, legislators across the political spectrum approved the ban, which had broad support, particularly from the influential Roman Catholic Church.

Supporters said the law was needed to protect the country’s dwindling supply of clean water.

The vote in the Legislative Assembly turned a decade-old moratorium on mining into law, halting efforts by international companies to tap the gold belt running across the northern provinces of El Salvador.

The law does not apply to quarrying or the mining of coal, salt and other nonmetallic substances.

Other countries are unlikely to follow El Salvador’s national ban, mining watchdog groups say.

But the law sets a powerful example to communities that oppose large mining projects and bolsters the case against mining in environmentally delicate areas.

Around the world, scattered bans on the use of cyanide to extract gold from low-grade ore, commonly used in open-pit mining, are in place, including in Montana.

Costa Rica has a national ban on open-pit gold mining.

Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey and several Argentine provinces have cyanide bans.

In the Philippines, the government ordered more than half the mines to shut down or be suspended.

12)   Who has been named Asian Player of the Year 2016 by AHF?

a. SV Sunil
b. Harmanpreet Singh
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Indian forward S.V Sunil and drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh were named as the Asian Player of the Year 2016 and Asian Promising Player of the Year respectively by the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) here on March 30, 2017.

Sunil played a vital role in India's successful outing at the FIH Champions Trophy in London where the team earned a historic silver medal.

Considered to be one of the fastest men on the pitch in the world, Sunil has also served as the team's vice-captain and is entrusted with the duty of leading by example.

The nominations for these awards were made by coaches across the national teams in Asia and the criteria of nomination was based on the performance for the year 2016.

Harmanpreet had a stupendous 2016 with India winning the Junior World Cup where he led the team's defence and was instrumental in converting penalty corners.

He was also part of the Indian men's team at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the FIH Champions Trophy in London.

AHF: Know More

  • Motto: Ever onwards
  • Type: Sports federation
  • Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Membership: 31 member associations
  • President: Malaysia ( Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah)
  • Website: