Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Aug 14, 2017

1)   What is the nickname of the Papua New Guinea bat that has been renamed the happy tube nosed fruit bat?

a. Hamamas
b. Yoda bat
c. Anakin bat
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Yoda bat

An unusual breed of fruit bat- previously nicknamed ‘Yoda’ due to its resemblance to the Jedi Master in the popular Star Wars movies - has now officially been registered as a new species.

Discovered in a remote rainforest of Papua New Guinea, the bat’s has been renamed the happy (Hamamas) tube - nosed fruit bat.

Its unusual features saw it affectionately referred to as the ‘Yoda bat’

However, after examining studies and some 3,000 specimens in 18 museums around the world, a researcher from the University of York in the UK has formally distinguished and registered the new species.

The species is very difficult to tell apart from other tube-nosed bat species.

Bat species often look similar to each other, but differ significantly in behaviour, feeding and history.

Most of the morphological characteristics that separate this bat from other species are associated with a broader, rounder jaw which gives the appearance of a constant smile.

The happy tube - nosed fruit bat’s formal name, Nyctimene wrightae, is after the conservationist Deb Wright, who devoted 20 years to building conservation programmes and long - term scientific capacity in Papua New Guinea.

Nyctimeninae were one of the first species of bat described in records dating back to 1769, and later in 1860 Alfred Russel Wallace - British naturalist and one of the fathers of evolution - collected two further species.

The bats’ tube noses, bright colours, thick stripe on the back and spots have attracted attention for some 250 years, but researchers are still finding new hidden species in the group.

There were no illustrations of the cyclotis group of bats which made identifying bats really difficult.

So difficult was it that Papua New Guinea produced stamps illustrating the bats but could not allocate a species name.

Now, with photographs, illustrations and a key of the other species in the group, it makes it possible to distinguish between three species of the group.

Fruit bats are crucial to rainforest health, pollinating and dispersing many tree species, therefore it is essential we know what is there and how we can protect it.

2)   Who is the new CBFC chairman following the removal of Pahlaj Nihalani?

a. Sanjay Leela Bhansali
b. Anurag Basu
c. Karan Johar
d. Prasoon Joshi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Prasoon Joshi

Popular screenwriter and lyricist Prasoon Joshi was recently appointed as the new Central Board for Film Certification after Pahlaj Nihalani was sacked.

Nihalani’s term as the CBFC chairman was embroiled with controversies regarding the demands for multiple cuts for films like ‘Udta Punjab’, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ and recently ‘Indu Sarkar’.

The board had ordered 89 cuts and told producers to remove all references to Punjab, elections and political parties in the movie ‘Udta Punjab’, which was based on the state’s drug problem.

The new chief of CBFC, the 45-year-old writer-poet and adman Prasoon Joshi is a well-known name in the Hindi film industry.

He is famous for writing dialogue and lyrics for films like 'Delhi 6', 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'. He wrote songs for 'Fanaa', 'Black', 'Ghajini'.

As an adman, Prasoon Joshi is also famous for spearheading political campaigns by major parties.

During the 2009 elections, Prasoon Joshi was given the charge for creating the campaign concept for the BJP and he came up with 'Majboot Neta, Nirnayak Sarkar'.

Lal Krishna Advani was being projected as the NDA candidate in that election.

He was asked by P Chidambaram, the then finance minister of the UPA government, to conceptualise the Service Tax campaign.

Later, he was also instrumental in the Achche Din Aane Wale Hai campaign by the BJP during 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Joshi also wrote an anthem, 'Saugandh', which was voiced by Narendra Modi during the campaign.

While it is rumoured that Pahlaj Nihalani was given the post of CBFC chief after his 'Har Ghar Modi' video during the elections, Joshi's contributions to BJP campaigns are no less.

The lyricist ad-man is also behind the most popular project of Narendra Modi till date - Swachh Bharath.

He wrote the anthem titled 'swachh Bharat Ka Irada' during the campaign.

He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2015 for his contributions towards the field of Arts, Literature and Advertising.

Joshi has received the 'Filmfare Best Lyricist Award' three times, in 2007 and 2008 and again in 2014 for the Hindi movie 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.’

He has also received the National Film Award for 'Best Lyrics' twice, for his work in 'Taare Zameen Par' (2007) and 'Chittagong' (2013).

Prasoon Joshi has written a poem on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday.

Prasoon Joshi started his career at Ogilvy & Mather in Delhi after earning a degree in Management from IMT Ghaziabad. He currently heads the Asia Pacific division of McCann Erickson.

His other advertising campaigns include Chloromint, Happydent commercials, as well as the Incredible India's 'Atithi Devo Bhava' campaign featuring Aamir Khan.

3)   Which ministry inaugurated the inclusive Independence day celebrations organised by National Trust on 13th Aug 2017?

a. Ministry for Women and Child Development
b. Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment
c. Ministry of Human Resource Development
d. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment

Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment inaugurated the ‘Inclusive Independence Day celebrations’ organised by the National Trust on 13th Aug 2017.

Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot said that his ministry is fully committed to the welfare of Divyangjans and several new schemes and programmes have been initiated during past three years.

The categories of Divyangjans have been increased from Seven to Twenty One to cover more Divyangjans.

National Trust organised such an Inclusive Independence Day celebrations, as a part of its ‘Inclusive India Initiative’, an awareness campaign with the participation of around 2500 people from all walks of life along with 500 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Inclusive Independence Day celebrations is a pan-India effort and similar activities were also conducted at Bangalore, Guntur, Jorhat, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kanyakumari, Trivendrum, Varanasi, Patna, Raigarh, Ahmadabad, Udaipur, Dhanbad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar and Hoshiarpur.

On the eve of 71st Independence Day, National Trust, a statutory body of Government of India under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment conducted Inclusive Independence Day celebrations, as a part of its ‘Inclusive India Initiative’, an awareness campaign.

The Initiative aims to provide equal access to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, by means of Inclusive Education, Inclusive Employment and Inclusive Community Life.

The theme of the day was “Freedom from Bias”.

Around 2500 people from all walks of life participated in the celebrations along with 500 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The day had fun cultural activities for all, like yoga, aerobics, wheelchair basketball, judo karate, bocce, nukkad natak, theatre play and culminated with an inclusive walk.

NHPC, NDMC, BSF and NCC have collaborated with Inclusive India Initiative to make this inclusive event a great success.

4)   What is the percentage growth of the real economy in 2016-2017?

a. 7%
b. 7.1%
c. 7.2%
d. 7.3%
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 7.1%

The Survey notices a rekindled optimism on structural reforms in Indian economy.

Various factors such as launch of the GST; Positive impacts of demonetization; decision in principle to privatize Air India; further rationalization of energy subsidies and Actions to address the Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) challenge contribute to this optimism.

The document also adds that a growing confidence that macro-economic stability has become entrenched is evident because of a series of government and RBI actions and because of structural changes in the oil market have reduced the risk of sustained price increases.

However the Survey cautions that anxiety reigns because a series of deflationary impulses are weighing on an economy, yet to gather its full momentum and still away from its potential.

These include: stressed farm revenues, as non-cereal food prices have declined; farm loan waivers and the fiscal tightening they will entail; and declining profitability in the power and telecommunication sectors, further exacerbating the TBS problem.

Examining if India is undergoing a structural shift in the inflationary process toward low inflation, the Survey notes that the oil market is very different today than a few years ago in a way that imparts a downward bias to oil prices, or at least has capped the upside risks to oil prices.

Also Farm loan waivers could reduce aggregate demand by as much as 0.7 percent of GDP, imparting a significant deflationary shock to an economy.

Spurt in New Tax Payers and Reported Income After Demonetization; 5.4 lakh New Tax Payers Post-Demonetization.

Demonetisation’s impact on the informal economy increased demand for social insurance, particularly in less developed states.

MGNREGS and its implementation by the Government have met the programme’s stated role of being a social safety net during times of need.

It also adds that sustaining current growth trajectory will require action on more normal drivers of growth such as investment and exports and cleaning up of balance sheets to facilitate credit growth.

The ratio of stressed companies in the power sector (defined as the share of debt owed by companies with an interest coverage (IC) ratio of less than 1) has been steadily rising this year, reaching 70 percent, with an associated vulnerable debt of over INR 3.6 lakh crore.

The telecommunications sector has experienced its own version of the “renewables shock” in the form of a new entrant that has dramatically reduced prices for, and increased access to, data, thereby benefitting - at least in the short run - consumers.

After launching of services by the new entrant in September 2016, the average revenue per user (ARPU) for the industry on aggregate has come down by 22 percent vis-à-vis the long term (December 2009-June 2016) ARPU, and by about 32 percent since September 2016.

As regards Outlook for Growth 2017-18, Survey (Volume I) had forecast a range for real GDP growth of 6.75 percent to 7.5 percent for FY 2018.

For Outlook for Prices & Inflation 2017-18, the Survey notes the outlook for inflation in the near-term will be determined by a number of proximate factors, including:

The outlook for capital flows and exchange rate which in turn will be influenced by the outlook and policy in advanced economies, especially the US;

  • the recent nominal exchange rate appreciation;
  • the monsoon;
  • the introduction of the GST;
  • the 7th Pay Commission awards;
  • likely farm loan waivers; and
  • the output gap
The document says that the fact that current inflation is running well below the 4 percent target, suggests that inflation by March 2018 is likely to be below the RBI’s medium term target of 4 percent.

Review of Economic Developments: Economic Survey 2016-2017
  • Real economy grew by 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 compared with 8 percent the previous year. This performance was higher than the range predicted in the Economic Survey (Volume I) in February.
  • This growth suggested that the economy was relatively resilient to the large liquidity shock of demonetization which reduced cash in circulation by 22.6 percent in the second half of 2016-17.
  • The apparent resilience was even more marked in nominal growth magnitudes because both nominal GVA and GDP growth accelerated by over 1 percentage point in 2016-17 compared with 2015-16.
  • Annual inflation averaged 5.9 per cent in 2014-15 and has since declined to 4.5 per cent in FY 2017. More dramatic have been developments during 2016-17- inflation declined sharply from 6.1 percent in July 2016 to 1.5 percent in June 2017.
  • The sharp dip in WPI inflation in late FY 2015 and throughout FY 2016 owed to the deceleration in global commodities prices, especially crude oil prices.
  • With global commodity prices recovering and the ‘base effect’ (low inflation in the previous year) giving an upward push, wholesale inflation perked up during FY 2017
  • With the green shoots slowly becoming visible in merchandise trade, and robust capital flows, the external position appears robust, reflected inter alia in rising reserves and a strengthening exchange rate.
  • The current account deficit narrowed in 2016-17 to 0.7 percent of GDP, down from 1.1 percent of GDP the previous year, led by the sharp contraction in trade deficit which more than outweighed the decline in net invisibles
  • Export growth turned positive after a gap of two years and imports contracted marginally, so that India’s trade deficit narrowed to 5.0 per cent of GDP (US$ billion) in FY 2017 as compared to 6.2 per cent (US$ 130.1 billion) in the previous year.

5)   What is the nationwide policy for general health launched in 2017 called?

a. National Health Programme 2017
b. National Health Policy 2017
c. National Health Plan 2017
d. National Health Yojana 2017
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Health Policy 2017

According to the Survey, managing and reducing the various risks in agriculture activities can make the sector resilient, increase profitability and can ensure stable income flows to the farmers.

The following reforms are suggested for increasing productivity in agriculture and allied sector:

  • To address the price risks in agriculture and allied sectors, marketing infrastructure along the entire value chain needs to be built and strengthened.
  • To address production risks, the share of irrigated area should be expanded by increasing the coverage of water saving irrigation systems like micro irrigation systems.
  • To increase productivity of crops, standards should be set and enforced for better quality, pest and disease resistant seeds.
  • Trade and domestic policy changes should be announced well before sowing and should stay till arrivals and procurement is over.
  • To enhance women’s involvement in the dairy projects, funds should be earmarked through appropriate mechanisms.
  • Providing timely and affordable formal and institutional credit to the small and marginal farmers is the key to inclusive growth.
  • Regime based on timely interventions needs to be adopted.
Industry and Infrastructure
  • Railways should go for more non-fare sources along with station redevelopment and commercially exploiting vacant buildings at the station, monetizing land along tracks by leasing out to promote horticulture and tree plantation, and through advertisement and parcel earnings.
  • During the last few years the non-major ports are gaining more share of cargo handling compared to major ports. It is required to develop non-major port and also enhance their efficiency and operational capacity.
  • Reforms such as privatization/ disinvestment of Air India, creation of aviation hubs and reconsidering the 0/20 rule are some suggestions to improve Indian airlines’ share in the international market.
Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development
  • India, is emerging as a knowledge based economy, poised for double digit growth, and needs to strengthen social infrastructure by investing in health and education.
  • The education policies need to be designed with focus on learning outcomes and remedial education with interventions which work and maximize the efficiency of expenditure.
  • There is need for bio-metric attendance of school staff, independent setting of examination papers, neutral examination and for DBT for schools.
  • There is need to adopt outcome measures for the education and skilling activities to ensure improvement in delivery of schemes/ programmes.
  • In order to make the labour market system dynamic and efficient, the government has taken several reforms/initiatives, both legislative as well as technological such as notification of ‘Ease of Compliance to maintain Registers under various Laws Rules, 2017’ and introduction of e-Biz Portal.
  • These registers/forms can also be maintained in a digitized form.
  • Government has been imparting short term skill training through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and long term training through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs).
Model Skill Centers are being set up in every district of the country under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra Scheme.

The emphasis is on enhancing the quality of skill training programmes and making a competency-based framework with giving individuals an option to progress through education, training, prior learning and experiences.
  • There has to be concerted efforts by the Central and State governments to reform the health sector, by addressing quality issues, standardising rates for diagnostic tests, generating awareness about alternative health systems and introduction of punitive measures like fines on hospitals and private health providers for false claims through surgery, medicines etc.
  • For more equitable access to health services, government should provide health benefits and risk cover to poorer sections of the society.
  • Towards addressing the challenges in health sector, the Government has formulated the National Health Policy, 2017, which aims at attaining the highest level of good health and well-being.
  • This is through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and universal access to good quality health care services, without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.
  • Addressing the social security of large number of vulnerable workers in the informal economy should be prioritized by the Government along with ensuring the safety and security of women to raise their participation in economic activities.

6)   Which is the new genre of painting that emerged in 18th and 19th century under British rule?

a. Abstract
b. Post Impressionism
c. Company Painting
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Company Painting

Smt. Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture inaugurated an exhibition “Indian Historical monuments in Company Painting School” in Ajanta Hall, National Museum, New Delhi on 12th Aug 2017.

The exhibition will remain open to the public till 27th August, 2017.

The exhibition presents illustrated paintings on Indo-Islamic Monuments with scenes of Mughal Architectures made with photo realistic approach.

The National Museum took a new initiative on a “Small Temporary Exhibition” from its reserve collection.

The exhibitions will be based on several themes, so that it will attract large number of visitors to view new artefacts every fortnight.

Through such programme National Museum is trying to draw visitor’s attention and allows them to experience the collection on many significant art pieces of reserve storage, which generally remains out of focus.

The first temporary exhibition was on “Traditional Headgear of India” from the Decorative Arts department.

This exhibition arranged to showcase printed turban, embroidered dopalli and Maratha stitched cap and zardozi cap specially designed for occasional and ceremonial bases.

This exhibition “Indian Historical monuments in Company Painting School” will present illustrated paintings on Indo-Islamic Monuments with scenes of Mughal Architectures made with photo realistic approach.

Company Paintings: Know More

  • In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries India witnessed a new genre of painting popularly known as ‘Company School’ as it emerged primarily under the patronage of the British East India Company.
  • The British officers trained Indian artists in British water color style for documenting Indian daily life scene, monuments, art and culture in the form of Paintings for carrying out as souvenir to their homes while returning to the England.
  • Some of these Company Paintings are illustrated with scenes of Mughal Architectures. As these painting were part of documentation most of these architectures are painted in full profile such as Red Fort of Delhi (1639-48 CE) and Taj Mahal (1630-48 CE) while a few of them depict only important part of the monument for highlighting special features like Interior of the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula.

7)   As per BSI survey, how many species are under threatened categories out of 8,000 medicinal plants?

a. 43
b. 54
c. 44
d. 53
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The Government has taken note of the survey by Botanical Survey of India (BSI) that out of 8,000 medicinal plants.

This is following 53 species are under threatened categories like Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable.

For conservation and development of medicinal plants in the country, presently the NMPB is implementing Central Sector Scheme for Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants.

The Scheme is aimed at providing project based support for survey, inventorization, in-situ conservation through development of Medicinal Plants Conservation and Development Areas (MPCDAs).

Apart from this, there was ex-situ conservation through establishment of herbal gardens, linkage with Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) / Panchayats / Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) for value addition activities like drying, grading, storage, primary processing and Research & Development etc.

Under the above activities specific focus is given for conservation and development of threatened category of medicinal plants.

For promoting the cultivation of natural herbs and medicinal plants in the country, presently, the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM).

Under the NAM Scheme, there is a component on ‘Medicinal Plants.’

This is primarily aimed at supporting cultivation of natural herbs and medicinal plants on farmer’s land with backward linkages through establishment of nurseries for supply of quality planting material, and forward linkages for post-harvest management.

The cultivation programme is being implemented through the identified implementing agency of concerned state (generally State Agriculture / Horticulture Departments) and the financial assistance is provided as per the State Annual Action Plan approved for concerned State.

The financial assistance is provided in the form of subsidy @ 30%, 50% and 75% of cost of cultivation of medicinal plants.

Funds released under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of “National Mission of Medicinal Plants” and for component of Medicinal Plants under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) during last three years i.e. 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 is INR 4566.93 lakhs, 2779.8238 lakhs and 4287.097 lakhs respectively.

8)   Which nationwide campaign was launched to protect elephants on the occasion of World Elephant Day on 12th Aug 2017?

a. Gaj Yatra
b. Pad Yatra
c. Rath Yatra
d. Haathi Yatra
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gaj Yatra

Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, launched ‘Gaj Yatra’ on 12th Aug 2017.

This is a nationwide campaign to protect elephants on the occasion of World Elephant Day. The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states.

There is need strategy for a more even distribution of the elephant population in all the states of the country.

An attempt must be made to bring to an end the chapter of man-animal conflict.

A war must be waged against poachers and hunters who harm elephants and other wildlife.

Calling for proactive, innovative and out-of-the-box ideas, efforts for elephant conservation must bring about a qualitative improvement by the next World Elephant Day.

There is a need to broad-base the movement for conservation of elephants and to involve people from all walks of life in the conservation of elephants and other wildlife.

Efforts were made to install the models of elephants being carved out from waste material at prominent public places like Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhawan and at the Ministry’s premises in Indira Paryavaran Bhawan.

The Environment Minister released the All India Census 2017 Report on elephants as also the Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants by India and Bangladesh and a document titled ‘Right of Passage’ on elephant corridors in India.

A compilation, ‘Glimpses of Initiatives Taken for Elephant Conservation in India (2012-2017) based on Parliamentary Questions and Replies’ by ENVIS Centre, WWF-India and the Project Elephant Division, MoEF&CC, was also released.

The publication covers the concerned environmental issues in the form of a compact disc, which can serve as a ready reference source for scientists, policy-makers, technocrats and others concerned with the cause of conservation and sustainable development.

During the period of the campaign, artists and craftsmen will create life-size works on the theme of elephants in places along the route of the roadshow, covering 12 states that have wild elephants, using local art and craft.

Specially fabricated vehicles will be deployed to display these on pre-determined routes with campaigners.

The ‘Gaju’ mascot, which was released by the Ministry in 2012, will be helm the campaign. The campaign will be led by the Wildlife Trust of India.

Actor and wildlife enthusiast, Ms. Dia Mirza, participated in the walk and run event organised on the occasion along with the children.

World Elephant Day: Know More

  • World Elephant Day is an annual global event celebrated across the world on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants.
  • The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness about the plight of elephants and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants. African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “endangered” in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
  • As per the available population estimates, there are about 400,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants.
  • World Elephant Day is celebrated to focus the attention of various stakeholders in supporting various conservation policies to help protect elephants, including improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory.
    It also works for conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into sanctuaries.
  • The elephant is part of India’s animal heritage and the Government celebrates this day to spread awareness about the conservation of the species.
  • Though a nation-wide population census exercise for elephants is conducted every five years, this is the first time than an all-India synchronised elephant census was carried out one year in advance, to avoid errors in estimation arising from the significant movement of elephants across different states.
  • The field operations of the census were completed in May 2017 and data has been compiled on direct count, indirect count (dung count), waterhole and salt lick observations.
  • Elephant distribution mapping has also been done.
  • World Elephant Day was conceived in 2011 by Canadian filmmakers Ms. Patricia Sims and Mr. Michael Clark of Canazwest Pictures and the Secretary- General of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand, Sivaporn Dardarananda.
  • It was officially funded, supported and launched by Ms. Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation on August 12, 2012.
  • Since then, Ms. Sims continues to lead and direct World Elephant Day, which is now supported by over 65 wildlife organisations and many individuals in several countries across the globe.

9)   Which program was launched in Coimbatore as part of the New India Movement 2017-2022?

a. Sankalp Se Siddhi
b. Jaagriti Se Siddhi
c. Sangathan Se Siddhi
d. Kartavya Se Siddhi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sankalp Se Siddhi

To take forward the initiative of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for a New India movement from 2017 - 2022, a Sankalp Se Siddhi (Attainment through Resolve) Programme was organized at Coimbatore on 12 August, 2017.

The New India Movement 2017-2022 envisages an India free of Poverty, Corruption, Terrorism, Communalism, Casteism and Un-cleanliness.

Union Minister drew the attention of the audience to the urgent need to reform and transform India, through a common resolve for positive transformation.

The participants took the New India Pledge of “Come, let us together pledge for building a New India by 2022, a Clean India, a Poverty-free India, a Corruption-free India, a Terrorism-free India, a Communalism-free India, and a Casteism-free India”.

The pledge-taking ceremony was followed by performances of Thudumbattam, Thiruvathirakali and Bharathanatyam by the artists of South Zonal Cultural Center (SZCC), Tanjavur.