Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Apr 20, 2017

1)   Which of the following regions in UK voted against Brexit?

a. Scotland
b. Northern Ireland
c. Wales
d. Only a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and b

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an election on June 8, saying Britain's opposition parties risked worsening her negotiating hand in divorce talks with the European Union by opposing her Brexit plan.

PM May will not take part in TV debates ahead of the planned general election. The prime minister indicated she preferred "to get out and about and meet voters".

ITV has become the first broadcaster to confirm a debate ahead of the poll on 8 June. Labour's Jeremy Corbyn accused the PM of dodging a head-to-head showdown.

Mrs May has promised a strong and stable leadership if she wins. MPs voted in favour of 8 June poll by margin of 509.

Brexit Vote: Know More

  • A referendum–a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part –was held on 23 June, 2016.
  • It was held decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union.
  • Leave won by 51.9% to 48.1%.
  • The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting.
  • England voted for Brexit, by 53.4% to 46.6%.
  • Wales also voted for Brexit, with Leave getting 52.5% of the vote and Remain 47.5%.
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU.
  • Scotland supported Remain by 62% to 38%, while 55.8% in Northern Ireland voted Remain and 44.2% Leave.

2)   Which country introduced tougher requirements for skilled overseas workers?

a. New Zealand
b. US
c. Australia
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

New Zealand announced on April 19, 2017 that it is introducing tougher requirements for skilled overseas workers as it tries to control immigration numbers that have reached an all-time high.

This comes after Australia scrapped a temporary visa for skilled overseas workers and after US President Donald Trump signed an order to help American workers whose jobs are threatened by skilled immigrants.

The New Zealand government was unapologetic that industries relying on overseas workers are finding it harder to recruit people from abroad.

The changes include new income thresholds. To qualify as skilled, immigrants will need to get a job in which they earn at least the median income.

To qualify as highly skilled, they will need to earn at least 150 per cent of the median income.

Other changes include a new three-year limit for workers with lower skills.

Changes would control the number and improve the quality of immigrants.

It is the second time New Zealand has tightened its immigration rules in the past six months and the latest changes come during an election year.

Many people have expressed alarm at the immigration rate.

Part of the turnaround can be attributed to the nation's healthy economy, which is growing at more than 3 percent a year and is attracting back some New Zealanders who had moved abroad.

The largest numbers of new migrants to New Zealand are coming from China, India and the United Kingdom.

The South Pacific nation's median annual wage is about 49,000 New Zealand dollars (U.S. $34,400).

New Zealand: Know More

  • Capital: Wellington
  • Code: +64
  • Currency: New Zealand dollar
  • Prime minister: Bill English
  • Population: 4.471 million (2013) World Bank

3)   Which of the following are six places Chinese have given to places in AP, South Tibet?

a. Wo'gyainling
b. Mila Ri
c. Namkapub Ri
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

China has reinforced its claims to Arunachal Pradesh by naming six places in the state in standardised Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet letters.

On April 14, China's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on its website that the State Council - China’s cabinet had issued the new regulations.

The name of the six places in South Tibet - the name ascribed by Beijing to Arunachal Pradesh - are: Wo'gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidêngarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bümo La and Namkapub Ri.

China criticised the Indian government’s approach to Dalai Lama activities in disputed eastern section of the India China boundary and also about his anti-China activities.

These activities are also against the Indian government’s commitments to China, Beijing held.

Naming the places is a step to reaffirm China's territorial sovereignty to South Tibet.

India was also questioning Beijing’s “one china policy,” the core of the country’s statehood.

MEA has made it absolutely clear that there is no change whatsoever in the Government of India’s policy towards the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Standardising the names from the angles of culture and geography could serve as a reference or leverage when China and India negotiate border issues in future.

4)   Which is the world's first truly collaborative dual arm industrial robot?

a. YuMi
b. RedMi
c. XiaoMi
d. ToMi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Robots and robotic automation brings with it incredible precision, productivity, and flexibility to any industrial process.

But robots can now offer small businesses the same opportunities to increase profitability.

YuMi is the world's first truly collaborative dual-arm industrial robot and its makers ABB believe it will fundamentally alter the types of industrial processes that can be automated with robots.

Thanks to YuMi, the traditional barriers, cages and zones are not a thing of the past.

It can work safely side- by-side with humans and are able to perform tasks with a high degree of precision.

It is outfitted with padded arms, which allow for a soft landing if it nudges its human counterpart.

Equally as important, these robots can be operated and reprogrammed by most anyone to easily meet a new need as production requirements change.

YuMi is able to perform the motions required in Small-Parts-Assembly within a very small space while maintaining a human-like reach.

This is critical to minimizing the footprint on the factory floor and makes it possible to install it in the work stations currently used only by humans.

In India, the growth potential of the robotics industry is tremendous.

Robot density - the number of robots per 10,000 manufacturing employees, there, is less than 10.

This contrasts with other countries in the region like Japan and Korea where robot density is between 300 and 400.

Robots like YuMi are specifically designed to meet the flexible and agile production needs of the consumer electronics industry–and this might have significant impact for India as it tries to become a mobile phone manufacturing hub.

Surprisingly, much of the technology in robotics that this global conglomerate uses are made in India.

Rao predicts that the future belongs to those companies who can have bespoke offerings on a base product.

5)   Myntra acquired which Bengaluru based company?

a. InLogg
b. InBlog
c. InClog
d. Limeroad
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Fashion e-tailer Myntra has acquired Bengaluru based InLogg for a non disclosed amount. This will strengthen the supply chain capabilities of the Flipkart owned company.

Founded in 2015, InLogg offers a technology platform that provides end-to-end logistics solutions for the e-commerce sector.

As part of the acquisition, the team at InLogg has been inducted into Myntra, making it an acquihire that will further strengthen and expand Myntra's supply chain capabilities.

The core management team of InLogg comprises Preeti Jain (CEO), Rajat Khanduja (CTO), Prateek Gautam (Head of Product and Operations) and Hemant Agrawal, Head of Business Development.

With an 80 per cent year-on-year growth, the company on a strong trajectory.

The Inlogg acquihire with the platform and capabilities will help the company scale while delivering great customer experience in Tier II, III and IV cities.

It will allow Myntra to leverage local and regional players to enhance its reach, reduce delivery time and develop a plug-and-play model which can be scaled in the future.

Acquisitions by Myntra

  • This is the fourth technology-led acquisition for Myntra.
  • It has acquihired Bengaluru-based based tech startup Cubeit (2016) and mobile app development company Native5 (2015).
  • It had also acquired Fitiquette, a San Francisco-based technology solution firm, which offered a virtual fitting room, in 2013.

6)   Which company has acquired Financial Navigator?

a. Asset Vantage
b. Asset Advantage
c. Asset Link
d. Asset Lead
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Asset Vantage

Mumbai based fintech company Asset Vantage offers a SaaS based investment portfolio management software.

It has acquired Santa Clara based software company Financial Navigator, a 30 year old American company running a portfolio tracked software focused on wealth management market.

Asset Vantage was founded by UniDEL, a family office run by Sunil Dalal, with a focus on wealthy individuals and family office.

Asset Vantage entered the US in 2015, organically building up a customer base of 12 family offices.

7)   What is Alphabet Inc's life sciences business called?

a. ABC Inc
b. Verily
c. Google Inc
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Verily

Verily, Alphabet Inc's life sciences business was launching a four-year study with about 10,000 participants to understand how people transition from being healthy to becoming sick.

This is to identify additional risk factors for diseases.

Verily is partnering with Duke University and Stanford Medicine in the United States for the study.

The study is the first initiative of Project Baseline, a broader effort to develop a reference, or a baseline", for what health refers to.

The study will collect data, as well as biological samples such as blood and saliva.

The sites will gather data from participants through repeat clinical visits, a wristwatch that monitors heart rate and activity levels, as well as participation in surveys and polls.

The Project Baseline study has the opportunity to significantly influence our current body of knowledge by better understanding the indicators of wellness.

Beyond this initial study, the project will also test and develop new tools and technologies to access and organize health information.

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA and Verily unveiled a $500 million investment in a joint venture which combined devices with services to improve diabetes care.

This is an example of growing ties between the pharmaceutical and technology sectors.

Verily also has several other medical projects in the works, including the development of a smart contact lens in partnership with Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG that has an embedded glucose sensor to help monitor diabetes.

8)   Which state government has evolved a detailed plan to implement the e-office software programme in keeping with the Centre's national e-governance plans?

a. Puducherry
b. Mysuru
c. Bengaluru
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Puducherry

The Puducherry government has evolved a detailed plan to implement e-office software in keeping with the e-governance plan of the nation.

This software has been developed by the NIC or National Informatics Centre and would be implemented in 5 departments of the Puducherry administration including the Secretariat.

E-governance is for ushering in a more effective, efficient and transparent inter government transactions and processes.

Hands-on training would be imparted to around 250 officers from various departments on implementation of the e-office process.

The innovative system is also aimed at ensuring paperless, efficient and transparent governance.

The territorial government had also proposed to establish free Wi-Fi connectivity in 14 government-run colleges in the Union Territory, using funds under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme.

Government had also asked telecom service providers to provide free Wi-Fi services under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) scheme, in public places.

Railtel Corporation of India had come forward to provide free Wi-Fi at the Legislative Assembly and also at the local Railway station.

JIPMER and Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Research Institute (a State government-sponsored medical college)- would be connected with educational institutions across the country through high speed data communication network under the National Knowledge Network (NKN).

9)   Researchers have developed a thermal diode that runs on _______.

a. Heat
b. Electricity
c. Steam
d. Carbon
Answer  Explanation 


Electronic systems do not work well in heat, apart from some exceptions. Heat is a normal byproduct of electricity. Researchers have evolved a thermal diode which is a computer component that runs on heat instead of electricity.

This could be a step towards heat resistance computers that can function in places that are extremely hot such as Venus or Earth without breaking into sweat.

A regular diode is a key logic component in electronic circuits that permits electricity to flow freely into one direction, but blocks it from moving back the other way.

Crucial components often fail under high temperature or when exposed to ionizing radiation.

Scientists have made hardier computer systems, developing thermal diodes powered by heat and not electricity.

Both heat and electricity are energy carriers. If heat can be controlled, it can be used on computing to avoid overheating.

The team's thermal diode is made up of pairs of surfaces, where one is fixed and another can move towards or away from its stationary partner. Movement is handled with ease by the system to maximize the heat transfer.

While the moving surface is hotter than the still one, it actuates with ease inwards and increases the rate that heat moves to a cooler surface.

When performed at temperatures between 215° and 494° F (102° and 257° C), the thermal diode hit a peak heat transfer rate of about 11 percent, but the researchers reported that the device was able to function at temperatures as high as 620° F (327° C).

The future versions could even operate at up to 1,300° F (704° C), potentially leading to computers that can work under extreme heat conditions.

Even when they're not running in the molten core of the planet, electronics can overheat and damage themselves if they aren't properly cooled by fans or water circulation systems.

More Innovations

  • Lockheed Martin has tinkered with embedding microscopic water droplets inside chips.
  • IBM developed the counter-intuitive technique of cooling with warm water
  • Microsoft has turned to the power of the ocean itself to cool a large data centre.
Cloud compute services market is poised to reach US$68.4 billion by 2020.

With the use of components like thermal diodes, the researchers said the wasted heat could be instead fed back into the system as an alternative energy source, improving energy efficacy.

Nearly 60 percent of the energy produced for consumption in the US is wasted in heat. If this heat could be harnessed and used for energy in devices, waste and cost of energy can be cut down on.

Researchers are now working to improve the efficiency of the thermal diode. Diodes are not the only components in electronics and a thermal computer would need the rest of the system to be able to bear those temperatures as well. If high efficiency can be attained, computations can be carried out and the logic system is run experimentally.

10)   What is River Piracy?

a. Retreat of Canada's largest glaciers which has changed the flow of the northern river overnight
b. Change in a river's direction based on global warming, climate change induced glacier retreat
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both of the above

The retreat of Canada's largest glaciers has changed the flow of the northern river overnight in a case of what is being called climate change river piracy.

Discovery of the Slims River diversion from the Bering Sea into another watershed that empties into the Pacific Ocean has been documented.

Slims riverbed dried up in a short span of 4 days. The habitat underwent a transformation and the chemistry and biology of water changed in a dramatic way.

Canadian geomorphologists in Canada's northern Yukon Territory came to study river currents, only to find the river missing.

The mysterious disappearance was traced to Slim River's headwaters where glacial barriers that routed the flow northward into the Bering Sea had been breached in spring.

This radically altered the drainage from the Kaskawulsh Glacier spring melt, as per the study sent the river in the opposite direction into the Pacific Ocean, 1,300 km from where the river's mouth used to be.

The researchers used computer models to display a fast glacier melt and the subsequent river diversion on account of global climate change and not natural temperature fluctuations over the centuries.

These changes can have profound downstream impacts on ecosystems and communities relying on the discharge.

Kluane Lake fed by the Slims River dropped a full meter below the lowest recorded level for the year. Researchers also indicated the discovery highlights that while people view climate change as a gradual process, the effects may not be so.