Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Aug 24, 2017

1)   An MoU was signed between India and Nepal on 23rd Aug 2017 was approved by Cabinet on which issue?

a. Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
b. Prevention of Human Trafficking
c. Countering the Spread of Terrorism
d. Environmental protection
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

The Union Cabinet approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Nepal on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and precursor chemicals and related matters.

The MoU lists out the areas of cooperation on drug matters between the two countries.

It also indicates the mechanism of information exchange and the competent authorities in the two countries.

These authorities are responsible for the implementation of the MoU and exchange of any information.

Cooperation on drug matters is expected to curb the illicit traffic of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals in the two countries.

The MoU provides that the Parties shall endeavour to:

(i) Develop mutual cooperation with a view to effectively resolving the issue of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.

The countries will also cooperate in drug demand reduction through prevention, awareness, education and community based programmes, treatment and rehabilitation.

(ii) Exchange information of operational, technical and general nature in drug matters, exchange literature on their existing laws, rules, procedures, best practices and methods of curbing illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors and any further amendments to the existing legislation.


  • India has always supported global efforts to counter drug trafficking and is party to several multilateral and bilateral initiatives in this regard as also United Nations (UN) led initiatives.
  • In accordance with the spirit of UN Conventions on Narcotic Drugs, effort is made to enter into Bilateral Agreements/MoUs with neighbouring countries and the countries which have a direct bearing on the drug situation prevailing in our country.
  • Such Bilateral Agreements/ MoUs have already been executed with various countries.
  • The proposed MoU with Nepal is another such MoU which shall be entered for the purpose of bilateral cooperation on drug matters.

2)   Who has a two time Manipur CM from 1980 to 1988 and 1994 to 1997?

a. Rishang Keishing
b. Jishang Keishing
c. Rishang Keishang
d. Jishang Keishang
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rishang Keishing

Former Manipur Chief Minister and a member of the first Lok Sabha Rishang Keishing passed away on 22nd Aug 2017.

The veteran Congress leader was 96. A Naga, he served as the Chief Minister of Manipur from 1980 to 1988 and from 1994 to 1997.

Keishing passed away due to multiple organ failure, doctors attending him at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) said.

He was hospitalised on July 1 after his health condition worsened.

He is survived by two sons and four daughters.

Keishing, who hailed from Bungpa village in Ukhrul district, was elected to the Lok Sabha in the first parliamentary elections held in 1952.

He had also represented Manipur in Rajya Sabha.

In Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh condoled the demise of Keishing, and described him as a “towering leader” from Manipur who believed in humanity, social harmony and clean politics.

Union Minister of State For Home Kiren Rijiju also expressed grief.

The Manipur government has declared that all government offices and educational institutions will be closed tomorrow as mark of respect to Keishing.

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla expressed her sadness and condoled the demise of Keishing.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also mourned Keishing’s demise.

A freedom fighter and member of India’s first parliament (1952-57), he retired from the Rajya Sabha as its oldest member in 2014 after serving two terms since being elected to the upper house in 2002.

As Manipur’s Chief Minister from 1980 to 1988 and 1995 to 1998, he had also escaped assassination attempts by the militants several times.

3)   Union Cabinet gave in-principle approval for PSU banks to amalgamate through which mechanism?

a. JV
b. Merger
c. Acquihire
d. Alternative
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Alternative

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM).

The decision would facilitate consolidation among the Nationalised Banks to create strong and competitive banks.

The decision regarding creating strong and competitive banks would be solely based on commercial considerations.

The proposal must start from the Boards of Banks.

The proposals received from Banks for in-principle approval to formulate schemes of amalgamation shall be placed before the Alternative Mechanism (AM).

After in-principle approval, the Banks will take steps in accordance with law and SEBI’s requirements.

The final scheme will be notified by Central Government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.


  • In 1991, it was suggested that India should have fewer but stronger Public Sector Banks.
  • However, it was only in May 2016 that effective action to consolidate public sector banks began to be taken by announcing amalgamation of six banks into the State bank of India.
  • The merger was completed in record time, unlike earlier mergers of State Banks of Indore and Saurashtra.
  • SBI is now a single bank with about 24000 branches, over 59000 ATMs, 6 lakh POS machines and over 50,000 business correspondents, which serve all parts of the country, including far flung areas.
  • Indeed 70% of SBI’s network lies in rural and semi urban areas. In that sense, the bank serves to unite India through a uniform banking culture.
  • It also has a significant international presence, and is one of the largest global banks.
  • Its size, financial strength and outreach have made it possible for customers to access a worldwide network of branches across all time zones, as well as to a very wide variety of banking products and superior technology.
  • Loans to the small business man or woman and to the Krishak have become cheaper as SBI offers the lowest lending rates.
  • More than 8.6 lakh merchants have been on board on BHIM Aadhaar, Bharat QR and POS, increasing the digital banking footprint. SBI has successfully raised Rs.15,000 crore QIP.
  • There are now 20 PSBs other than SBI.

4)   CCEA chaired by PM Modi approved the renaming of which CSS scheme?

Answer  Explanation 


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme-SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters).

The new name is “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) ” for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.

Earlier, CCEA in its meeting held in May, 2017 approved the new Central Sector Scheme-SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with same allocation and period .


The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.

Financial Allocation:

PMKSY with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of INR 31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing INR 1,04,125 crore.

This will benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20.


  • The implementation of PMKSY will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.
  • It will provide a big boost to the growth of food processing sector in the country.
  • It will help in providing better prices to farmers and is a big step towards doubling of farmers’ income.
  • It will create huge employment opportunities especially in the rural areas.
  • It will also help in reducing wastage of agricultural produce, increasing the processing level, availability of safe and convenient processed foods at affordable price to consumers and enhancing the export of the processed foods.
Measures to give a boost to Food Processing Sector:

Food Processing Sector has emerged as an important segment of the Indian economy in terms of its contribution to GDP, employment and investment.

During 2015-16, the sector constituted as much as 9.1 and 8.6 per cent of GVA in Manufacturing and Agriculture sector respectively.

The manifesto of NDA Government stresses upon incentivising the setting up of food processing industry for providing better income for the farmers and creating jobs.

(a) To provide impetus to investment in food processing and retail sector, govt. has allowed 100% FDI in trading including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured and / or produced in India.

This will benefit farmers immensely and will create back-end infrastructure and significant employment opportunities.

(b) The govt. has also set up a Special Fund of Rs. 2000 crore in NABARD to make available affordable credit at concessional rate of interest to designated food parks and agro processing units in the designated food parks.

(c) Food and agro-based processing units and cold chain infrastructure have been brought under the ambit of Priority Sector Lending (PSL) to provide additional credit for food processing activities and infrastructure.

This is boosting food processing, reducing wastage, create employment and increasing farmers’ income.

  • PMKSY is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the Ministry like Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc.
  • Additionally new schemes like Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities were in place.

5)   CCEA approved the proposal of Railways Ministry to close CPSE BWEL which stands for?

a. Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited
b. Bharat Wagon and Electrical Company Limited
c. Bharat Wagon and Engineer Company Limited
d. Bharat Wagon and Electric Company Limited
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affair has approved the proposal of Ministry of Railways to close the Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited (BWEL).

This is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Ministry of Railways.

626 employees of BWEL will be benefitted from the voluntary retirement scheme to be offered at 2007 pay scale.

The Government will have to provide one time grant off 151.18 crore towards severance package and for clearing the current liabilities of the company.

This measure will stop flow of financial support from public funds for carrying on the operations of sick/loss making BWEL resulting in savings for the Government.

The implementation will be done as per the timelines prescribed in the guidelines issued by Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on time bound closure of sick/loss making CPSEs.


  • BWEL was incorporated on 4th Dec' 1978 as a CPSE after taking over two sick private sector companies - Arthur Butler & Company, Muzaffarpur and Britannia Engineering Company, Mokama. The Company was referred to BIFR (Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction) in December, 2000 and was declared sick in the year 2002.
  • The Company continues to be a sick Company since then. The administrative control of the company was transferred from Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) to the MoR in August, 2008.
  • The company is engaged in the manufacture and repair of wagons, and is having two manufacturing units, at Mokama and Muzaffarpur in Bihar.

6)   Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of a commission to examine OBC sub categorisation under which article?

a. 340
b. 34
c. 304
d. 430
Answer  Explanation 


The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved a proposal for setting up of a Commission under article 340 of the Constitution.

This is to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The Commission shall submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission.

The Commission shall be known as the Commission to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes.

The proposed terms of references of the Commission are as follows:

(i) To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes/ communities included in the broad category of OBCs, with reference to the OBCs included in the Central list.

(ii) To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters, in a scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs, and,

(iii) To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes/communities/ sub-castes/ synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.

The Supreme Court in its order dated 16.11.1992 in WP(C) No. 930/1990 (Indra Sawhney and others vs. Union of India) observed that there is no Constitutional or legal bar to a State categorizing backward classes as backward or more backward.

It had further observed that if a State chooses to do it (sub-categorization), it is not impermissible in law.

Nine States of the country viz., Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already carried out sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes.

7)   TMC researchers have discovered a biomarker for which form of cancer?

a. Tongue cancer
b. Pancreatic cancer
c. Lung cancer
d. Liver cancer
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Tongue cancer

Researchers at the Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai have identified a biomarker that will help doctors decide whether patients with early-stage tongue cancer should undergo neck surgery to remove 20-30 lymph nodes.

Patients negative for the biomarker can be spared of neck dissection.

Studies were carried out on 57 patients.

In nearly 70% of patients with early-stage tongue cancer, the tumour does not spread to the lymph nodes.

But in the absence of a reliable biomarker capable of pointing out in which patients the disease will recur, doctors routinely remove the affected part of the tongue and the lymph nodes in all patients.

Nearly 80% of patients survive and are disease-free if tongue cancer is detected early.

But once cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, the survival rate reduces to 40%.

Currently, surgical removal of lymph nodes and studying them is the only way of knowing if the cancer has spread.

The discovery of the biomarker — MMP10 protein — potentially fills this gap.

Only those patients who have higher level of this protein [overexpression] are likely to have cancer spread to the lymph nodes.

So the biomarker will help doctors to decide which patients could be spared of complex surgeries to remove the lymph nodes.

The biomarker can be identified using a simple immuno histochemical analysis, a method to locate proteins in tissue sections.

The researchers validated their findings using data of 253 patients from the Cancer Genome Atlas and other studies.

The MMP10 biomarker was significantly higher in four of the five data sets.

The 57 patients studied were negative for human papillomavirus (HPV) but were habitual users of chewing tobacco.

Although chewing tobacco has been associated with oral cancer, there has been no direct evidence linking the two at the genome level.

This study has for the first time shown a direct link between chewing tobacco and tongue cancer.

Those chewing tobacco had a classic signature in the genome in the form of a specific type of mutation (transversion mutation).

According to the study, 53% of all patients have this tobacco signature.

This mutation is driven by tobacco usage.