Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Aug 23, 2017

1)   ICMR signed an MoU with which institute for collaboration on vaccine research and development?

a. International Vaccine Institute
b. Serum Institute of India
c. National Genomics Institute of India
d. Only a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: International Vaccine Institute

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has signed an MoU with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).

This is for collaborating on vaccine research and development.

India will commit $5,00,000 (₹3.20 crore) annually for a stake in IVI - an amount approved during a Cabinet meeting in January

The MoU was signed between Soumya Swaminathan, the Director General of ICMR and Secretary, Department of Health Research, Manoj Jhalani, Additional Secretary and managing director, National Health Mission, and IVI Director General Jerome H. Kim.

IVI has been partnering with Indian vaccine manufacturers, research institutes, government, and public health agencies on vaccine development, research, and training.

One of the most successful collaborations was with Shantha Biotech on the development of Shanchol, the world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine.

The vaccine was licensed in India in 2009 and WHO-prequalified in 2011.

India is a vaccine industry powerhouse that supplies 60% of the world’s vaccines.

The signing of the MoU is a continuation of our partnership with India to provide safe, effective and affordable vaccines for people around the world.

2)   India’s exclusive rights to explore polymetallic nodules from which region have been extended by 5 years?

a. Central Indian Ocean Basin
b. Western Indian Ocean Basin
c. Eastern Indian Ocean Basin
d. Southern Indian Ocean Basin
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Central Indian Ocean Basin

India’s exclusive rights to explore polymetallic nodules from seabed in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) have been extended by five years.

These rights are over 75000 sq. km of area in international waters allocated by International Seabed Authority for developmental activities for polymetallic nodules.

The estimated polymetallic nodule resource potential is 380 million tonnes, containing 4.7 million tonnes of nickel.

They also contain 4.29 million tonnes of copper and 0.55 million tonnes of cobalt and 92.59 million tonnes of manganese.

This has been approved unanimously in the 23rd session of International Seabed Authority (ISA) concluded on August 18, 2017 at Kingston, Jamaica.

India is the first country to have received the status of a pioneer investor in 1987.

It was allocated an exclusive area in Central Indian Ocean Basin by United Nations (UN) for exploration and utilization of nodules.

India is one among the top 8-countries/ contractors and is implementing a long-term programme on exploration and utilization of Polymetallic Nodules through Ministry of Earth Sciences.India’s

This includes survey and exploration, environmental studies, technology development in mining and extractive metallurgy, in which significant contributions have been made.

While, the extraction of metals from the polymetallic nodules lying at the deep ocean floor is not yet found to be economically viable at this stage.

This is an area of about 7860 square km has been identified in the CIOB for the First Generation Mine Site on the basis of detailed surveys and analysis.

Environmental studies for mining of deep-sea polymetallic nodules were also carried out to evaluate the possible impacts of mining on deep-sea environment.

A Remotely Operable Submersible (ROSUB 6000), capable of operating at 6000 m water depth was also developed and tested successfully at a depth of 5289 m.

A remotely operable in-situ soil testing equipment was also developed for obtaining detailed geotechnical properties of the mining area at CIOB and tested successfully at 5462 m water depth.

A mining system is under development which has been tested for 500m water depth.

Metallurgical process routes for extracting copper, nickel and cobalt from polymetallic nodules have been developed and tested in a demonstration pilot plant.

This was set up on semi-continuous basis at Hindustan Zinc Limited, Udaipur with a capacity to process 500 kg nodules per day.

ISA: Know More

  • International Seabed Authority (ISA) is a UN body set up to regulate the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources of oceans in international waters.
  • India actively contributes to the work of International Seabed Authority. Last year, India was re-elected as a member of Council of ISA.
  • India’s nominees on Legal and Technical Commission and Finance Committee of the ISA were also elected last year.

3)   National Sports Awards include which of the following?

a. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
b. Dhronacharya Awards
c. Dhyan Chand Award
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four year.

Arjuna Award is given for consistency outstanding performance for four years.

Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious International sports events.

Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development.

A large number of nominations were received for these awards this year, which were considered by the Selection Committees consisting of former Olympian, Arjuna Awardees, Dronacharya Awardees, Dhyan Chand Awardees, Sport Journalists/ Experts/ Commentators and sports administrators.

Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice C.K. Thakkar (Former Judge Supreme Court of India, Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal and Bombay).

Selection Committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by Shri Pullela Gopichand.

Based on the recommendations of the Committee and after due scrutiny, the Government has decided to confer awards upon the following sportspersons/coaches/organisations :

(i) Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2017

1. Shri Devendra - Para Athlete
2. Shri Sardar Singh - Hockey

(ii) Dronacharya Awards 2017

1. Late Dr. R. Gandhi - Athletics
2. Mr. Heera Nand Kataria - Kabaddi
3. Mr. G.S.S.V. Prasad - Badminton (Lifetime)
4. Mr. Brij Bhushan Mohanty - Boxing (Lifetime)
5. Mr. P.A. Raphel - Hockey (Lifetime)
6. Mr. Sanjoy Chakraverthy - Shooting (Lifetime)
7. Mr. Roshan Lal - Wrestling (Lifetime)

(iii) Arjuna Awards 2017

1. Ms. V.J. Surekha - Archery
2. Ms. Khushbir Kaur - Athletics
3. Mr. Arokia Rajiv - Athletics
4. Ms. Prasanthi Singh - Basketball
5. Sub. LaishramDebendro Singh - Boxing
6. Mr. CheteshwarPujara - Cricket
7. Ms. Harmanpreet Kaur - Cricket
8. Ms. OinamBembem Devi - Football
9. Mr. S.S.P. Chawrasia - Golf
10. Mr. S.V. Sunil - Hockey
11. Mr. Jasvir Singh - Kabaddi
12. Mr. P. N. Prakash - Shooting
13. Mr. A. Amalraj - Table Tennis
14. Mr. SakethMyneni - Tennis
15. Mr. SatyawartKadian - Wrestling
16. Mr. Mariyappan - Para-Athlete
17. Mr. Varun Singh Bhati - Para-Athlete

(iv) Dhyan Chand Award

1. Mr. Bhupender Singh - Athletics
2. Mr. Syed Shahid Hakim - Football
3. Ms. Sumarai Tete - Hockey

The awardees will received their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29, 2017.

Apart from a medal and a citation, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs. 7.5 lakh. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will received statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh each.

4)   TRAI inked an agreement with which country’s telecom regulatory to exchange information and regulatory best practices?

a. Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
b. Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission
c. Malaysia Multimedia and Communications Commission
d. Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commissioner
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has inked an agreement with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

This is to deepen bilateral cooperation in telecom and broadcasting regulation.

The two telecom regulators on 22nd Aug 2017 signed a letter of intent (LoI).

Under this, they will exchange information and regulatory best practices.

Trai chairman RS Sharma and MCMC chairman Halim Shafie were signatories to the pact.

This is a pact which will enhance cooperation and bilateral ties between the two entities.

The telecom regulators of India and Malaysia will also undertake joint capacity building exercises in telecom and broadcasting regulation.

It said the signing of this “historic agreement” is significant as both India and Malaysia can “learn from each other, and enhance mutual cooperation and bilateral relations”.

Collaboration is planned in various global fora “including but not limited to” the International Telecom Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity.

The pact came amid the ongoing Asia-Pacific regulators’ roundtable jointly organised by the International Telecom Union and TRAI.

5)   Which strategic nation building initiative is NITI Aayog set to launch to mentor students?

a. Mentor India Campaign
b. Student India Campaign
c. Teacher India Campaign
d. Coach India Campaign
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mentor India Campaign

NITI Aayog will launch the Mentor India Campaign.

This is a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs.

These were established across the country as a part of the Atal Innovation Mission.

CEO NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant will unveil the online nationwide initiative in the capital tomorrow on Wednesday, 23rdAugust.

Mentor India is aimed at maximizing the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs, possibly the biggest disruption in formal education globally.

The idea is to engage leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs.

These labs are non-prescriptive by nature, and mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors.

NITI Aayog is looking for leaders who can spend anywhere between one to two hours every week in one or more such labs.

This will enable students to experience, learn and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking.

Atal Innovation Mission: Know More

  • Atal Tinkering Labs are dedicated works spaces where students from Class 6th to Class 12th learn innovation skills.
  • They also develop ideas that will go on to transform India.
  • The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools, Internet of things & sensors etc.
  • NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission is among one of the flagship programs of the Government of India.
  • This is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country to set up the Atal Tinkering Labs across the country.
  • The Mission has / is in the process of setting up 900+ such labs across India and aims to have 2,000 such labs by end of 2017.

6)   Brain Aldiss was which of the following?

a. Science fiction writer
b. Political Commentator
c. Actor
d. Statesman
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Science fiction writer

Brian Aldiss, one of the most prolific and influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, has died aged 92.

Literary agency Curtis Brown said Aldiss died Aug 19 at his home in Oxford, England.

Born in 1925, Aldiss served in India and Burma with the British Army during World War II.

He later became a bookseller, publishing his first stories in a trade magazine.

Aldiss’ 1969 short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long was an unrealized dream project for the late Stanley Kubrick and formed the basis for Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I.

Sandman author Neil Gaiman called him “a larger than life wise writer.”

7)   Scientists have created the world’s first music composition with information about ______.

a. eclipse
b. solar flares
c. rain
d. lightening
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: eclipse

Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have created an original music composition.

This is using data from the movements of the Sun, the Moon and the gradual darkness during the total solar eclipse in the U.S.

This is the first time researchers have made music with eclipse information.

The team from Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. watched countless videos of total eclipses to develop the correct tone and pacing for the piece.

They also used live data from the total solar eclipse, that swept across the U.S. on August 21, to add more musical elements to the existing piece.

The researchers, including Avrosh Kumar, talked to two blind people. One had previously seen an eclipse.

The other described how she listens to her surroundings, allowing researchers to better understand how visually impaired people use ambient sounds to develop a sense of their environment and the moments in their lives.

The audio experience at times sounds both hopeful and ominous.

During first contact, as the Moon starts to slide in front of the sun, high tonal sounds - representing the moon - gradually increase in volume and consistency.

During second contact, or the beginning of totality, the musical tension continues to rise.

This is even as the overall pitch and loudness begin to diminish as light levels fade.

In this portion of the music, the sound of crickets is also heard to signify the “false dusk” effect created when the moon completely covers the sun.

8)   Which pig nosed frog has been discovered by scientists recently?

a. Nasikabatrachus bhupathi
b. Nasikabatrachus pashupathi
c. Masikabatrachus bhupathi
d. Nasikabatrachus janpathi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nasikabatrachus bhupathi

According to a paper published last month in Alytes, a scientific journal devoted to the study of frogs and amphibians, Indian scientists have discovered a new species of frog that has a snout-shaped nose.

This is just like a pig’s, evoking comparisons with the Purple frog that took the world by storm when it was first discovered in 2003.

The soiled-dwelling species, discovered by scientists from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, has been named after the Indian herpetologist S. Bhupathy.

Bhupathy’s purple frog inhabits the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, near the Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.

The discovery is significant as it constitutes additional evidence in favour of the theory of continental drift.

The Purple frog is an inhabitant of Seychelles, and the discovery of Bhupathy’s purple frog in India suggests that the Indian subcontinent was part of the ancient landmass of Gondwana.

This was before splitting from Seychelles 65 million years ago.

Apart from N. bhupathi, Alytes also describes the discovery of two new frog species from north-eastern India: Xenophrys sanu, a resident of the Darjeeling hills in West Bengal, and Xenophrys katabhako, found in West Bengal and Sikkim.