Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Aug 01, 2017

1)   National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved projects in which states for sewage infrastructure, ghat development and research?

a. Bihar, UP
b. Bihar, Uttarakhand
c. UP, Uttarakhand
d. HP, UP
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The Executive Committee of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in its 4th meeting has approved seven projects in the sector of sewage infrastructure, ghat development and research.

Three projects each were approved in sewage sector in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Central Government will provide operation and maintenance cost for 15 years to all these six projects along with 100% central assistance

Besides, a research study to understand the non-putrefying properties of river Ganga in both water and sediment was also approved.

The study will be an extension of a research carried out by National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to identify the special properties of river’s waters.

About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

  • NMCG is the implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council).
  • It was established in 2011 as a registered society under Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • It has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General (DG), NMCG.
  • Executive Committee is authorized to approve projects under mission up to INR 1000 crore. Similar to structure at national level, State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) acts as implementing arm of State Ganga Committees.
  • This structure attempts to bring all stakeholders on one platform to take a holistic approach towards the task of Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation.
  • In October 2016, National Ganga Council has replaced National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), 1986.

2)   Aarchaeologists discovered a six feet three inch statue in which country?

a. Cambodia
b. Vietnam
c. Burma
d. Bhutan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Cambodia

Archaeologists at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex studying the site of a hospital from eight to nine centuries ago say they have found a large statue in their excavations.

The government agency that oversees the complex, the Apsara Authority, said on its website that the statue measuring six feet and three inches in height and 23 inches in width was discovered on 30th July 2017 by its team, working with experts from Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

It is one of the largest statues from the era to be unearthed in recent years.

The agency said the statue, believed to be from the 12th or 13th century, is thought to have been a symbolic guardian of the entrance of the hospital.

It will be put on public exhibition in the museum in the northwestern province of Siem Reap, where Angkor is located.

In late 2011, archaeologists at the temple complex unearthed the two largest Buddhist statues found there in eight decades.

Angkor Vat: Know More

  • Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to the 15th centuries.
  • Large numbers of architectural and religious artefacts have been looted from there and sold overseas.
  • Many others were buried for safekeeping during a civil war in the 1970s.

3)   Which compound have scientists created inspired by catchphrase Bazinga in TV series The Big Bang Theory?

a. BaZnGa
b. GaZnBa
c. ZnGaBa
d. ZnBaGa
Answer  Explanation 


Scientists have created a compound inspired by the catchphrase “Bazinga” that is frequently uttered by Sheldon Cooper, a character on the popular TV series The Big Bang Theory.

The compound BaZnGa, made of barium (Ba), zinc (Zn) and gallium (Ga), forms a never-before-seen crystal structure.

However, BaZnGa did not have any other exciting features, scientists said.

It behaves like other non-magnetic quasicrystals, but has a different arrangement of atoms.

Its creation is part of scientific efforts to discover new materials and characterise them.

The researchers, who were already planning to study three-part compounds that contained barium and zinc, went ahead to create BaZnGa, after they watched a promo of the sitcom.

4)   American President Donald Trump fired communication director _________ on 31st July.

a. Anthony Scaramucci
b. Reince Preibus
c. Steve Bannon
d. John Kelly
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anthony Scaramucci

US President Donald Trump fired his communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, on 31st July 2017 after little over a week in the job because of an obscene tirade.

Mr. Scaramucci’s departure follows one of the rockiest weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency in which a major Republican effort to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system failed in Congress.

Additionally, both his spokesman and previous chief of staff left their jobs.

Scaramucci had been damaged by comments he made to The New Yorker magazine last week in which he attacked then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in profanity-laden terms.

Trump removed Scaramucci on the same day he swore in a new White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general who is expected to bring more discipline to running what has become a chaotic White House.

Scaramucci was named to the role only 10 days ago.

5)   Which is the first pan India sanitation survey to assess sanitation levels in 4041 towns and cities of India?

a. Swachchata Survekshan 2018
b. Swachh Bharat Survekshan 2018
c. Swachh Survekshan 2018
d. Sanitation Survekshan 2018
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Swachh Survekshan 2018

Central Government on 31st July launched ‘Swachh Survekshan-2018’ to rank all the 4,041 cities and towns of the country based on infrastructure development for improved sanitation services.

It also assesses their sustainability, outcomes, citizen connect and visible impact on ground.

The survey is the third in the series.

A comprehensive Survey Tool Kit, explaining the methodology, weightages and new features and thrust areas that helps cities and towns prepare for the field survey over the next six months was also launched.

This is the first Pan-India sanitation survey that will assess sanitation levels in all the cities and towns of the country impacting the lives of about 40 crore urban people and is the largest of its kind in the world.

The surveys in 2016 and 2017 have generated substantial excitement and enthusiasm among the cities and citizens besides promoting a healthy competition among all the stakeholders, leading to expanding the scope of the survey to all urban areas of the country.

The Minister informed that the methodology and weightages for Swachh Surekshan-2018 have been modified to certain extent based on extensive consultations with city and state governments, experts and other stakeholders and in line with the progress of Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).

The Survey Methodology seeks to capture the efforts under and outcomes of Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).

The effort is to monitor cities move on from building toilets towards Solid Waste Management with emphasis on decentralized solutions, ensuring sustainability of improved sanitation infrastructure and services and enforcement.

Keeping in mind citizen involvement in assessing progress in sanitation and outcomes to be felt on ground, total weightage for Citizen feedback and Independent observation of sanitation have been increased by 10% over that of 2017 Survey.

To encourage cities take up innovative sanitation practices and solutions, a new element of ‘Innovation’ has been introduced this year with a weightage of 5%.

Stressing on the need for ensuring sustainability of improved sanitation levels and maintenance of the sanitation infrastructure being created, latest survey will assess availability of water connections to toilets, recovery of Operation & Maintenance costs of Community and Public toilets and SWM infrastructure through user charges, advertisement revenue.

It will also examine municipal taxes etc, liquid waste management though treatment and septage disposal, segregation of municipal waste at source, decentralized compost making by bulk generators etc. weightage for processing of solid waste has been increased by 5%.

The survey will also quantify and reward the outcomes of Notifications issued by state and city governments regarding collection of user charges, sale and marketing of compost, linking of bio-metric attendance to payroll of sanitation staff, incentivizing performance further to GPS tracking of garbage collection vehicles, maintenance of public toilets through third party etc.

Working on rigorous scrutiny of claims of cities about physical progress in improvement in sanitation infrastructure and service levels, huge negative marking in respect of all parameters in this regard has been introduced this time.

Under this, if claims of city governments are found to be incorrect by independent assessors, they will get 33% negative marks besides zero marks in respect of such parameters.

The 4,041 cities and towns to be covered under Swachh Survekshan-2018, results of which will be announced in March next year, include 500 with a population of one lakh and above each and state capitals and 3,541 with population below one lakh each.

For these 3,541 towns, State and Zonal rankings will be announced besides national rankings for the other 500 cities and towns.

Under this survey, cities will be ranked based on 71 sanitation related parameters with different weightages for a total of 4,000 marks.

Total score has been doubled this time to avoid crowding of cities with very marginal differences in scores that happened in the previous survey.

Marks for each of the components of sanitation will be assigned based on rigorous assessment of claims of city governments, citizen feedback and independent observation.

As per the Survey Toolkit released today, cities and towns will prepare over the next six months before field assessment begins on the fourth of January next year with survey results scheduled to be announced on March 26, 2018.

Swachh Survekshan: Know More

  • Under Swachh Survekshan-2016, 73 cities with a population of million plus each and all state capitals were ranked in which Mysuru, Chandigarh and Tiruchirapalli emerged as the cleanest cities in that order.
  • In the 2017 Survey, 434 cities with a population of one lakh plus each and state capitals were assessed in which Indore, Bhopal and Visakhapatnam were the cleanest cities.
  • Swachh Survekshan-2018 launched to assess sanitation in all 4,041 cities and towns of the country
  • It is the first Pan-India survey to measure citizen connect with sanitation outcomes impacting lives of 40 cr people

6)   What was the moniker conferred by disciples and admirers of Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar?

a. Saeed Bhai
b. Hussain Bhai
c. Ustad Saaed
d. Saeed Ustad
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Saeed Bhai

Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar, maestro and custodian of the venerable Dhrupad tradition of Hindustani classical music and a member of the eminent Dagar family, passed away aged 78 in Pune on 30th July 2017 after a brief illness.

Known affectionately to his legions of disciples and admirers as ‘Saeed Bhai’, the maestro was born in Alwar in Rajasthan in 1939 and was the youngest among the eight famous Dagar brothers.

They were all exponents of the ancient, complex and elaborate Dhrupad tradition.

The renowned brothers were the grandsons of the legendary Zakiruddin and Allabande Khan Dagar.

The entire family is frequently credited with being the curators who preserved the oldest known form of North Indian classical music from which much of the extant Indian classical music is said to have been originated.

Ustad Sayeeduddin came to Pune in 1984 and had been residing in the city’s bustling Karvenagar-Kothrud area, staying at a number of houses for several years as he awaited the State government to allot him a permanent one.

He frequently visited Benares to grace the Dhrupad festival held there.

His older brothers include Ustaad Nasir Moinuddin, Nasir Aminuddin Dagar (known as the ‘elder’ Dagar brothers), Nasir Zahiruddin and Nasir Faiyazuddin Dagar (called the ‘junior’ Dagar brothers).

Ustaad Sayeeduddin is survived by his wife Rihanna and sons, Nafeesuddin and Aneesuddin (both Dhrupad exponents) and his grandsons.

Dhrupad: Know More

  • Dhrupad is a Sanskrit portmanteau of Dhruva (immovable) and Pad (verse).
  • It has its roots since ancient times, mentioned as early as the 3rd Century B.C. in the Natyashastra.
  • The contribution of the Dagar family through 20 generations of Dhrupad exponents is all the more remarkable given the slow death of this form following Independence and the extinction of a musically informed aristocracy, when the milieu of royal court patronage had all but vanished.
  • Such has been the continuing legacy of the Dagars’ since the 1800s that the Dagar bani (or vani) has come to constitute one of the four styles, along with the Gauri, Khandar and Nauhar vanis, of Dhrupad singing and music.
  • This is owing to successive generations of the Dagars’ devoting their lives to Dhrupad music.

7)   What does ZED stand for in the context of MSMEs and certification in manufacturing?

a. Zero Defect Zero Effect
b. Zero Effect Zero Defect
c. Zero Effectiveness Zero Defectiveness
d. Zero Delays Zero Effect
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Zero Defect Zero Effect

The Government has launched a new scheme namely “Financial Support to MSMEs in ZED Certification Scheme”.

The objective of the scheme for promotion of Zero Defect and Zero Effect (ZED) manufacturing amongst micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

It also involves ZED Assessment for their certification so as to:

  • Develop an Ecosystem for Zero Defect Manufacturing in MSMEs.
  • Promote adaptation of Quality tools/systems and Energy Efficient manufacturing.
  • Enable MSMEs for manufacturing of quality products.
  • Encourage MSMEs to constantly upgrade their quality standards in products and processes.
  • Drive manufacturing with adoption of Zero Defect production processes and without impacting the environment.
  • Support ‘Make in India’ campaign.
  • Develop professionals in the area of ZED manufacturing and certification.
There are 50 parameters for ZED rating and additional 25 parameters for ZED Defence rating under ZED Maturity Assessment Model.

The MSMEs are provided financial assistance for the activities to be carried out for ZED certification i.e., Assessment / Rating, Additional rating for Defence angle, Gap Analysis, Handholding, Consultancy for improving the rating of MSMEs by Consultants and Re-Assessment / Re-Rating.

Under the scheme 22,222 MSMEs will be rated & certified under ZED Maturity Assessment Model, 5,000 MSMEs will be rated & certified under the ZED Defence Model, 7368 MSMEs will be supported for Gap Analysis, Handholding, Consultancy for improving their rating, etc.

The total cost of the project is INR 491.00 crores (Government contribution Rs 365.00 crores, beneficiary MSMEs contribution Rs 126.00 crores).

Quality Council of India (QCI) has been appointed as the National Monitoring & Implementing Unit (NMIU) for implementation of ZED.

QCI has reported that 3217 MSMEs has been registered as on25.07.2017 for ZED Certification.

The MSME-wise details are Micro: 1332, Small: 1522 & Medium: 363 and financial assistance to MSMEs is yet to commence.

MSME Schemes
  • The Ministry of MSME is implementing a number of schemes to promote MSMEs namely:
  • (i) Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises to facilitate collateral free credit to new and existing micro and small enterprises (MSEs);
  • (ii) Scheme for Raw Material Assistance implemented by National Small Industries Corporation Limited under the Ministry;
  • (iii) National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) and Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme implemented to facilitate upgradation of technology, improve processes and design;
  • (iv) Management Development Training Programmes (MDPs) for enhancing managerial skills;
  • (v) Micro and Small Enterprises-Cluster Development Programme to facilitate infrastructure upgradation and setting up of Common Facility Centres; and
  • (vi) Marketing Development Assistance Support to MSME;
  • (vii) Ministry of MSME has introduced online MSME Data Bank on 29.07.2016 for creating comprehensive database of MSMEs and
  • (viii) Ministry of MSME has introduced simplified online registration “Udyog Aadhar Memorandum (UAM) for MSMEs”. 33,25,159 MSMEs registered with UAM from September, 2015 till 25.07.2017.

8)   Which scheme is the Coir Board implementing for empowering women in the country by providing training and distribution of coir processing equipments?

a. Mahila Coir Yojana
b. Stree Coir Yojana
c. Shakti Coir Yojana
d. India Coir Yojana
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mahila Coir Yojana

The Coir Board is implementing Mahila Coir Yojana(MCY) exclusively for empowering women in the country by giving training and distribution of coir processing equipments.

This is a 100% women oriented programme intended to provide self employment to the rural women artisans in coir producing regions.

The scheme envisages distribution of motorized ratts/motorized traditional ratts and other coir processing equipments, which can be operated by women, at 75% subsidy after imparting training with a duration of 2 months subject to a maximum amount of INR 7,500/-.

The training under MCY are conducted through all training centres of the Board.

During the training period, the women artisans are given stipend amounting to Rs.1000 per month.

The scheme is prevalent in coir producing coastal States such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Pondicherry, A& N Islands, West Bengal and NE Region.

During the current year the targets of 1000 women for training and 200 ratts/equipments for distribution to the trained women have been fixed under MCY and an amount of INR 35.00 lakhs have been allocated for the current year.

Coir Board has received 97 applications under the Scheme and all the applications are from Kerala only.

9)   IISER scientists developed a hydrophobic material that takes up oil and can be used for preventing spills called _______.

a. Chelator
b. Celator
c. Gelator
d. Delator
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gelator

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram have developed gelator that can suck up oil and congeal it.

The gelator is hydrophobic material that has property of oleilophilic (oil-loving) and takes up oil when it comes in contact with it.

It can be used to recover marine oil spills with a simple, efficient and cost-effective method.

The gelator is developed using a cheap raw material mannitol and cellulose pulp through a one-step process.

In this process the mannitol gets adsorbed on the cellulose fibre through hydrogen bonding. The adsorption process changes the cellulose matrix from being very hydrophilic (water-loving) to hydrophobic (water repelling).

The property of gelator to self-assemble to form micro fibres makes congealing of oil possible and the oil loses its fluidity and gets trapped within the entangled fibrous network to form a rigid gel.

Gelation essentially turns the liquid oil into semi-solid and this allows congealed oil to be simply scooped out using a scoop or a sieve.

The gelator was able to absorb and congeal 16 times its own weight of oil.

The absorbed oil can be recovered by applying pressure or fractionated by a simple distillation process.

10)   Scientists have developed what type of glue that heals wounds without causing toxicity?

a. Super glue
b. Rubber glue
c. Bio-glue
d. Carbon glue
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bio-glue

Scientists have developed a super strong, flexible Bio-glue for wound healing without causing toxicity.

It has been inspired by an adhesive material (glue) secreted by slugs that sticks to biological tissues

Slugs naturally secrete a special kind of mucus (adhesive material) in its place when threatened, making it difficult for a predator to pry it off its surface.

The bio-glue is double-layered hydrogel consisting of an alginate-polyacrylamide matrix supporting an adhesive layer that has positively-charged polymers protruding from its surface.

It bonds to biological tissues via three mechanisms – electrostatic attraction to covalent bonds between neighbouring atoms, negatively charged cell surfaces and physical interpenetration.

This bond makes the adhesive super strong.

It is the combination of a very strong adhesive force and has ability to transfer and dissipate stress.

It can bind to tissues with strength comparable to the body’s own resilient cartilage.

11)   What is the name of the world's smallest spacecraft under the Breakthrough Starshot project?

a. Stripes
b. Swipes
c. Snipes
d. Sprites
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sprites

Scientists have announced that the world’s smallest spacecrafts dubbed as Sprites ever launched are successfully travelling in low Earth orbit and communicating with systems on Earth.

The six prototypes of Sprites were launched in June 2017 as part of the Breakthrough Starshot project designed to test technologies that would eventually be used for interstellar missions.

They are smallest spacecraft that have managed to establish contact with ground stations.

Sprites have been developed by researchers at Cornell University.

Each of the mini Sprite spacecrafts are built on a single 3.5*3.5 centimeter circuit board.

They weigh just four grams each.

They are equipped with tiny solar panels and two antennas, plus a tiny radio, computer, magnetometer (to orient to Earth’s magnetic field) and gyroscope (to move and stabilize the craft).

Sprites Mission: Know More

  • The mission was designed to test the performance of the Sprites’ electronics when in orbit.
  • It will also demonstrates their novel radio communication architecture.
  • It will also explore the concept of solar sail propulsion in which spacecraft can be powered using only the sun’s radiation.
  • These tiny satellites also mark the next step in the field of spacecraft miniaturization that can contribute to the development of centimetre and gram-scale StarChips envisioned under the Breakthrough Starshot project.
  • Breakthrough Starshot is a comprehensive space program launched under the US $100 million Breakthrough Initiatives, announced by Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking to develop and launch practical interstellar space missions.
  • The program aims to demonstrate proof of concept for light-propelled spacecraft that could fly at 20 per cent of light speed.
  • Its main objective is to send one-gram chips to star systems beyond the solar system in search of extraterrestrial intelligence.

12)   To inspire the Swachhata Survekshan 2018 initiative launched, which anthem has been released by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs?

a. Swachhata Ki Aakansha Jagi Hai
b. Swachhata Ki Kiran Jagi Hai
c. Swachhata Ki Roshini Jagi Hai
d. Swachhata Ki Jyot Jagi Hai
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Swachhata Ki Jyot Jagi Hai

To further inspire the people to participate in the Swachhata Jan Andolan and connect themselves with the ‘Swachhata Survekshan-2018’ launched today, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs released a song.

Its opening line is ‘Swachhata Ki Jyot Jagi Hai’.(The flame of sanitation has been lit).

This song to be used as the anthem for the survey has been released by Shri Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

The song conceived by Shri Supriyo has been scripted by renowned lyricist Shri Prasoon Joshi and visualized free for the ministry by Producer Shri Mukesh Bhatt.

Shri Shankar Mahadevan provided the music.

To be extensively used from today on various platforms including social media to connect the people with the sanitation survey, this song has been rendered by an accomplished team of Shri Babul Supriyo, Shri Udit Narayan, Ms.Shreya Ghoshal, Ms.Alka Yagnik, Akriti Kakar and Shann Banerjee, to the chorus of children.

The song also has messages of Shri Amitabh Bachhan and Shri Sachin Tendulkar.

The song will be dubbed into regional languages for wider outreach.