Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Aug 18, 2016

1)   What is the Hawking radiation?

a. Virtual black hole
b. Particles which can escape black holes
c. Smaller black holes
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Particles which can escape black holes

Scientists who created a virtual black hole in a lab have claimed to observe the Hawking radiation predicted by English physicist Stephen Hawking more than 30 years ago.

  • According to the theory, some particles can escape black holes.
  • A virtual black hole was built in a lab by Jeff Steinhauer at the Israel Institute of Technology to prove Hawking’s theory that radiation emits from black holes was based on sound, not light.
  • The scientist observed the quantum effects of Hawking radiation in his lab as part of the virtual black hole.
  • If proven to be true, this marks the first time it has ever been achieved in a lab.
  • For many years, scientists held that nothing could escape from black holes, not even light.
  • In 1974, British physicist Stephen Hawking suggested particles called Hawking radiation could escape black holes.
  • According to him, if the particle and its antimatter appeared spontaneously at the edge of the black hole, one of the pair might be pulled into the black hole with the other escaping, taking some of the energy from the black hole with it.
  • This is a possible explanation why black holes grow smaller and eventually disappear.
  • But the paradox is that since such emissions are feeble, no one has been able to measure the Hawking radiation and scientists have been building virtual black holes in labs to test the theory.
  • The present experiment comprised an entangled pair of phonons sitting inside a bit of liquid that had been forced to move very fast and observed the action as one of the pair was pulled away while light moved faster than the speed of sound and the other escaped.
  • Fluid used was Bose-Einstein condensate of rubidium 87 atoms
  • After the experiment was repeated 4600 times, proof for the Hawking radiation came in the contention that the particles were entangled.

2)   NASSCOM has said India’s internet base will touch which figure by 2020?

a. 720 million
b. 730 million
c. 740 million
d. 750 million
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 730 million

According to NASSCOM, web users in the country are expected to more than double to 730 million by 2020 as rural India adopts Internet in increasing numbers.

  • The NASSCOM report entitled The Future of Internet in India, compiled by NASSCOM and Akamai Technologies posits that the internet base in the country measured around 350 million towards 2015 end.
  • India has an internet user base next only to China.
  • According to the report, it will remain the fastest growing market.
  • The report also said that 75 percent of new internet users will be from rural areas.
  • A majority of the new users are going to consume data in local languages, according to the report.
  • India’s internet consumption has already exceeded US to become number two globally and internet will create more opportunities for the rural hinterland by 2020.
  • The present NASSCOM president is R Chandrashekhar.
  • NASSCOM report also says increasing internet usage is fuelling e-commerce, which accounts for two thirds of the total e-commerce market edging out travel.
  • As per the report, the overall e-commerce market in India was valued at USD 17 billion in 2015-2016.
  • By 2020, it is expected to reach USD 34 billion with 175 million individuals transacting online.
  • India will have around 702 million smartphone users by 2030; a majority will prefer mobile phones for shopping accounting for 70 percent of total online shopping.
  • Online travel bookings will also gain traction with 50 percent of the travel related transactions to be made online by 2020
  • A major beneficiary of internet growth is financial technology in the nation with the fintech market expected to grow 1.7 times between 2015-2020
  • NASSCOM also estimates funding in these startups in 2015 at USD 420 million, 10 times that of USD 40 million invested in 2014.

3)   Who has been appointed as Chief Product and Technology officer for realty startup Housing dot com on 17th August, 2016?

a. Vivek Singh
b. Vivek Sharma
c. Vivek Jain
d. Vivek Mehta
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vivek Jain

Realty startup Housing dot com has announced the appointment of Vivek Jain as Chief Product and Technology officer. In his new role, Jain will focus on product and engineering aspects of business.

  • Jain’s appointment is aimed to help the real estate portal fulfil its goal of being a full service transaction player.
  • The current CEO of Housing dot com is Jason Kothari.
  • Housing dot com, India’s leading real estate portal expects USD 10 million in revenue this fiscal.
  • Vivek Jain is an industry veteran with over 14 years of experience in technology and digital domains in India and US.
  • He started his career with Ashley Laurent in the US and was part of Reliance Jio.
  • Housing dot com was in a controversy when co-founder Rahul Yadav was asked to leave in 2015
  • This real estate portal works towards end to end user interface for housing and real estate solutions.

4)   Which country launched the world’s first quantum satellite on 16th August 2016?

a. China
b. Japan
c. Indonesia
d. Philippines
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


China launched the world’s first quantum satellite on 16th August according to state media; the aim was to harness the power of particle physics to build an unhackable system of encrypted communication.

  • Launch was from south-western Gobi Desert and comes at a time with countries like US and Japan also seeking to develop applications for the technology.
  • Satellite has been called Micius after a fifth century BC Chinese philosopher and scientists.
  • It will be used in experiments to prove the viability of quantum technology to communicate over massive distances.
  • Beijing has invested a lot in this research; China being the world’s second largest economy has pursued advanced scientific research in areas ranging from genetic manipulation to asteroid mining.
  • Meanwhile ISRO has begun the countdown for the launch of 20 satellites.
  • Research by China also seeks to study quantum entanglement, an unusual property of subatomic particles.
  • Term describes Albert Einstein’s description of how particles exert influence on each other at distances including ability of paired particles to mirror each other at speeds faster than light.
  • Unlike traditional secure communication systems, China’s proposed method uses photons to send the encryption keys needed to decode information.
  • Data contained in subatomic particle bursts is impossible to intercept; Why so? Because any attempt to tap them will cause them to self destruct letting users know their communication has been compromised.
  • Scientists have shown that this can be used to transmit information across as much as 300 km.
  • The satellite will also aim to send secure messages between Beijing and Urumqi and developing the new technology is a major goal for Beijing which included this in the recent 5 year plan.
  • Beijing had previously identified the development of quantum technology as a national priority.
  • China is also working on world’s first quantum computer which uses subatomic particles properties in processors to operate at speeds far higher than current technologies permit.

5)   Who has been appointed Governor of Manipur w.e.f 17th August 2016?

a. Najma Heptullah
b. Najma Hidayatullah
c. VP Singh Badnore
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Najma Heptullah

Former Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah has been appointed Governor of Manipur.

  • BJP leader and former RS member VP Singh Badnore was made Governor of poll bound Punjab.
  • Delhi BJP leader and former MLA Jagdish Muukhi has been appointed Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar islands;.
  • He has been appointed in place of AK Singh.
  • The appointment has been made by the President of India.
  • It will take effect from the dates the incumbent assume charge of their respective offices.
  • Banwarilal Purohit, a three time former member of the LS from Nagpur and ME of Central Indian daily The Hitavada will be made governor of Assam.
  • Heptulla resigned as Minority Affairs Minister as PM Modi has an unwritten writ of 75 year bar for ministers that ensured veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi remained confined to the Margdarshak Mandal and out of the Cabinet
  • Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganthan was earlier holding additional charge as Manipur governor
  • Nagaland governor Padmanbha Balakrishna Acharya will hold additional charge as Assam governor till Purohit takes charge

6)   Where has India’s first facility to produce niche metal of LME grade from primary resource been established on 17th August 2016?

a. Dumka
b. Bokaro
c. Dhanbad
d. Ghatsila
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ghatsila

HCL or Hindustan Copper Limited has inaugurated the nickel cooper and acid recovery plant at Indian Copper complex in Jharkhand’s Ghatsila.

  • This is India’s first facility to produce nickel metal of LME grade from primary resource.
  • The Singbhum cooper belt has unique ore characteristics which comprise considerable amount of nickel; HCL has installed technology to increase nickel metal recovery.
  • Currently the capacity of the plant is 50 MT per annum given the current production from Surda mines.
  • Nickel output is expected to multiply by 8 times after completion of mine expansion projects at Ghatsila.
  • Annual demand for pure nickel is around 45,000 MT and its market in India depends on imports.
  • Copper is currently recovered from lead electrolyte as liberator cathode has only .50-90 percent copper content and liberator sludge with 50-60 percent copper content.
  • The project will replace the process of liberator cell operation with EMEW and APU technology in the refinery.
  • This method will utilise eco friendly technology and check pollution.
  • It will also eliminate the use of lead and reduce liquid effluent.
  • Some of its other benefits are that it will generate 75 percent less solid waste, utilise less energy and provide safe working environment and conserve natural resources.

7)   Who won the APJ Abdul Kalam Award for meritorious services on August 17, 2016?

a. P Shanmugan
b. Hansraj Verma
c. RG Udhaykumar
d. B Chandramohan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: P Shanmugan

CLRI/ Central Leather Research Institute Principle Scientist P Shanmugan on 15th August 2016 won the APJ Abdul Kalam award for meritorious services in Tamil Nadu’s Higher Education Department.

  • State government bestowed the Kalpana Chawla award for Courage and Daring Enterprise to Jayanthi from Namakkal district.
  • CM’s Best Practices Award was presented to Thanjavur District Collector N Subbaiyyan and Superintended of Police Mayivahanan.
  • Tamil Nadu Rural Development Minister S P Velumani and Principal Secretary of Rural Development Hansraj Verma received the award for solid waste management in rural areas.
  • State Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar and Revenue Department, Prinicipal Secretary B Chandramohan received the award in the field of online patta transfer.
  • Dindigul Corporation received the Best Corporation Award.
  • Pattukottai Municipality received the Best Municipality First Prize while Perambalur Municipality bagged the second prize.
  • The Chief Minister's State Youth Award was conferred on K Masha Nazeem in women's category while in Men's category, P Ruban Santhosh bagged the award.

8)   AR Rahman was awarded which honour on 15th August 2016?

a. Bharat Ratna
b. Tamil Ratna
c. Padma Shri
d. Padma Vibhushan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Tamil Ratna

Noted music composer AR Rahman was on 15th August 2016 conferred the Tamil Ratna award.

  • The award is presented by NY based Tamil Sangam and was bestowed on the musician after his concert at the UNGA chamber.
  • Rahman was invited at UNGA to perform a concert to honour MS Subbulakhsmi , the well known Carnatic musical legend
  • The previous recipients of the Tamil Ratna include Bharathi Raja, Srinavasa Varadhan and Kamala Lakshman
  • Rahman has combined Eastern classical music with electronic and world music for which he is also called the Mozart of Madras
  • He was in 2009 named as one of Time’s most influential people.
  • IN 2009, he won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, The Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and the BAFTA awards for Best Film Music
  • He also won two Academy awards (Best Original Score and Best Original Song) at the 81st Academy Awards that year
  • Rahman has also won two Grammy Awards- Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for Visual Media
  • He also won a Golden Globe, BAFTA and 2 academy award nominations in 2011 for his work in 127 Hours

9)   Which famous Punjabi writer (also a Jnanpith awardee) passed away on 16th August 2016?

a. Gurdeep Singh
b. Gurmail Singh
c. Gurdial Singh
d. Gurpreet Singh
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gurdial Singh

Well known Punjabi writer and Jnanpith awardee Gurdial Singh passed away on 16th August 2016 in Bathinda Punjab at the age of 83.

  • He was known as the Spartan of the Literary world in Punjab
  • He started his career with a short story titled Bhaganwale which was published in Pani Darya magazine.
  • He published the novel Marhi Da Deeva in 1964.
  • He is the second writer after Amrita Pritam to receive the Jnanpith award.
  • He has penned 10 novels including Anhoe and Parsa.
  • Two of his novels (Marhi Da Deeva and Addh Chanani Raat) have been translated into English.
  • He has won the Sahitya Akademi award (1975), Padma Shri (1998) and Jnanpith Literary Award (2000).
  • Prominent Malayalam writer TA Rasaq also passed away on 15th August 2016 at the age of 58
  • The script writer had worked for more than 30 films in Malayalam commencing from 1991.
  • He started his career with film Vishnulokam directed by noted filmmaker Kamal in the 1990s
  • He won the state film award ofr best screen play and story for Kanakinavu, Ayirathil Oruvan and Perumazhakkalam