Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 06, 2017

1)   IIT-B researchers have made a low cost piezo resistive vibration sensor using which foam?

a. PVC
b. PUC
c. Polyurethane
d. PU
e. Both c and d
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both c and d

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay have successfully made low-cost piezo-resistive vibration sensors using polyurethane foam coated with carbon nanomaterial-based ink.

These sensors can be used for monitoring the health of industrial machines and equipment and help identify incipient failures thereby enabling efficient maintenance schedule planning.

The ink is made of functionalised multi-walled nanotubes that are dispersed in a reduced graphene oxide matrix.

It is conductive due to the presence of large number of multiwalled nanotubes.

The ink, which uniformly coats the pores of the foam when dipped-coated, imparts piezo-resistive properties.

Conductive sheets (made of indium titanium oxide coated polyethylene teraphalate) were pasted on the top and bottom sides of the foam and electrical wires connected to the sheets for measurements.

The ink and sensor were developed at the Plastic Electronics and Energy Laboratory (PEEL), Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Material Science, IIT Bombay.

How It Works

  • When the PU foam coated with the ink is perturbed, in this case compressed, the air gaps are removed and the foam gets thinner.
  • This provides a conduction path for electrical charges. The resistance drops as the foam is compressed and it becomes more conductive.
  • The sensor is so sensitive that it can measure blood pulse.
  • The total cost of materials required for making the sensors works out to less than Rs.200 per sensor, and can be reduced further if mass produced.
  • The ink costs only about Rs.7 per sensor. No sophisticated equipment is required for fabricating the sensor.
  • The sensing bandwidth of the sensor is 80 Hz and the team was able to classify different machine operating conditions (good versus bad bearing, and good versus bad gearbox) based on vibration signals.
  • To be able to identify the danger signs of a machine, the output of the vibration sensor has to be captured and the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) has to be computed. One should then look where the peaks are located in the FFT.

2)   IUCN released an updated ____ list for classifying different species on 4th Dec, 2017.

a. Green
b. Red
c. Blue
d. Yellow
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Dec 4, 2017 released an updated red list classifying the different species.

According to their website,the IUCN Red List Categories are intended to be an easily and widely understood system for classifying species at high risk of global extinction.

The categories are:

  • EXTINCT - the last individual in the species has died.
  • EXTINCT IN THE WILD - it now lives only in captivity and not in its natural habitat.
  • CRITICALLY ENDANGERED - facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • ENDANGERED - facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • VULNERABLE - facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • NEAR THREATENED - likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.
  • LEAST CONCERN - it is widespread and abundant in the wild.
  • DATA DEFICIENT - inadequate information.
  • NOT EVALUATED - not yet been evaluated against the criteria.

3)   The third edition of the DRC-NITI Aayog Dialogue was held in ______.

a. Bengaluru
b. Beijing
c. Shenzen
d. New Delhi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Beijing

The 3rd edition of the Dialogue between the NITI Aayog and the Development Research Council of China, the DRC- NITI Aayog Dialogue was held in Beijing on Dec 5, 2017.

The meeting was co-chaired by Vice Chairman NITI Aayog, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, and Mr Li Wei, President (Minister), DRC.

The Indian delegation led by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog included senior officials from NITI Aayog as well as Ministries of New & Renewable Energy and Food Processing.

The Chinese delegation comprised of researchers and officials from DRC as well as the Chinese Ministries of Finance, Commerce, Foreign Affairs, and the National Development & Reform Commission.

The DRC-NITI Dialogue provides an important platform for both sides to discuss key macro- economic issues impacting both countries and areas of mutual interest.

The 3rd Dialogue enabled an in-depth interaction between the two delegations on the world economic prospects, India-China economic cooperation and practices for sustainable growth.

Both sides exchanged views on policies and measures to address the challenges for attaining sustainable growth. In-depth discussions were held on sharing of experiences and best practices in the areas of Electric mobility, Clean energy, Higher education and Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The two sides agreed that the 4th NITI Aayog - DRC Dialogue will be convened in India in 2018.

MoU Between DRC and NITI Aayog

  • The dialogue took place under the MOU between NITI Aayog and the Development Research Centre (DRC), State Council of the China.
  • The MoU was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to China in May 2015.
  • This was the 3rd Dialogue between the two sides. The 2nd Dialogue was held in New Delhi in November, 2016.

4)   What was the target for the surface to air missile AKASH launched on Dec 5, 2017?

a. Handy
b. Banshee
c. Vanshi
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Banshee

The Surface to Air Missile AKASH with indigenous radio frequency seeker against target Banshee, has been successfully launched from the Launch Complex-III at ITR Chandipur at 1338 hrs on Dec 5, 2017.

The Radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the coast have tracked and monitored all the health parameters of the missile.

This missile is being inducted into Army as Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM).

This is the first Surface to Air Missile with indigenous seeker that has been test fired.

With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of Surface to Air Missile.

AKASH: Know More

  • Akash (Sanskrit for Akasa "Sky") is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for Missile Systems and Bharat Electronics (BEL) for other radars, control centers in India.
  • The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m.
  • It has the capability to "neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles" as well as ballistic missiles.
  • It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.

5)   Which nation pulled out of the UN Global Compact on Migration on Dec 5 2017?

a. UK
b. UAE
c. US
d. EU
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The United States has pulled out of UN Global Compact on Migration.

It has argued that Obama-era negotiated UN compact process deal contains numerous provisions that inconsistent with country's immigration and refugee policies and Trump Administration's immigration principles.

US under Trump administration has pulled out of several global commitments including UNESCO, UN cultural and educational body and 2015 Paris climate change agreement.

US participation in Global Compact on Migration process was started in 2016 following Obama Administration's decision to join UN's New York Declaration on Migration.

US under Trump administration has held that New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and Trump Administration's immigration principles.

Moreover, the global approach in New York Declaration is simply not compatible with US sovereignty.

UN Global Compact on Migration: Know More

  • UN Global Compact on Migration will be the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement under auspices of UN to cover all dimensions of international migration in holistic and comprehensive manner.
  • Its genesis can be found in New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted in September 2016 by UN General Assembly.
  • Under this declaration, signatory UN member countries had decided to develop global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.
  • The process to develop this global compact for migration was started in April 2017. It was to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018.
  • The purpose of Global compact of migration is to provide significant opportunity to improve governance on migration, address challenges associated with today's migration, and strengthen contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

6)   Who, among the following, organised the AROGYA 2017, first international exhibition and conference on AYUSH and wellness sector?

b. AYUSH ministry
c. Pharmexcil
d. Ministry of Commerce and Industry
e. Only a and c
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Only a and c

The first International Exhibition and Conference on AYUSH and Wellness sector- AROGYA 2017 was held in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik.

It was organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in collaboration with Union Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil).

Its theme was 'Enhancing the global potential of AYUSH'.

AROGYA 2017 witnessed participation of thousands of delegates from India as well as abroad including delegates from over 60 countries across the world.

More than 250 manufacturers of alternative medicine also showcased their products and services at the exhibition.

India has long history and culture running over 5000 years of using traditional medicines for health care and developing them with modern scientific outlook.

AYUSH is the acronym of tradition medical systems that are being practiced in India such as Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

AROGYA, 2017: Objectives

  • Showcase strengths and scientific validation of Indian System of Medicine in global context. Promote and strengthen awareness and interest about AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy).
  • Facilitate international promotion, development and recognition of AYUSH. Foster interaction of stakeholders and market development of AYUSH at international level.
  • Give boost to AYUSH Products in International Market. Exhibit research and latest developments in AYUSH sector and harness its potential.

7)   What was the focus of the 6th ITM 2017 held in Assam on 5th Dec, 2017?

a. Act East Policy
b. Start Up India
c. Digital India
d. Swachch Bharat
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Act East Policy

The 6th International Tourism Mart (ITM) 2017 was held in Guwahati, Assam. It was inaugurated by Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal and Union Tourism minister K L Alphons.

The three day program was organized by Union Ministry of Tourism in association with all North Eastern states.

The focus areas of 6th ITM was to spotlight on India's "Act East Policy", blossoming ties with ASEAN and larger East Asia region, home to world's rapidly growing economies and India's emerging tourism markets.

It also held panel discussions, workshops, business to business (B2B) meetings, cultural programs.

ITM: Know More

  • The International Tourism Mart is an annual event organised in North Eastern States on rotation basis.
  • Its objective is to highlight tourism potential of region in domestic and international markets.
  • It also brings together tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight North Eastern States.
  • The earlier editions of this mart were held in Guwahati, Shillong, Tawang, Gangtok and Imphal.

8)   Which day is celebrated every year on 5th of December by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations?

a. World Soil Day
b. World Health Day
c. World Irrigation Day
d. World Anti-Starvation Day
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: World Soil Day

The World Soil Day is celebrated every year on 5th of December by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

It aims to communicate messages on the importance of soil quality for food security, healthy ecosystems and human well-being.

The Theme for year 2017 is 'Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground'.

The theme seeks to highlight importance of soil in human livelihoods and increase in degradation of soil resources worldwide due to inappropriate management practices, population pressure driving unsustainable intensification and inadequate governance over this essential resource.

Facts About Soil

  • Soil is where it all begins. Few people know that soils are a non-renewable resource.
  • It takes over 1000 years to make 1 cm of soil.
  • This means that in our lifetime, all the soil we see is all there is.
  • Soils do amazing things for us that we sometimes take for granted. They sustain food production, filter our water, are the source for our medicines and help us to combat and adapt to climate change.
FAO: Know More
  • FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.
  • Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates as "let there be bread".
  • As of May 2017, FAO has 194 member states, along with the European Union (a "member organization"), and the Faroe Islands and Tokelau, which are associate members.

9)   Which Department has constituted a committee to examine drug price control order?

a. Pharmaceutical
b. Irrigation
c. Fertilizers
d. Chemicals
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pharmaceutical

The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers will constitute multi-disciplinary committee of experts for consultation on matters pertaining to implementation of drug price control order (DPCO) including technicalities involved in pricing and new launches.

It will have member secretary of National Pharmaceutical Pricing authority (NPPA) as its convener.

It will also have representatives from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Department of Health Research/Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and NIPER as members.

Department of Pharmaceuticals

  • The Department of Pharmaceuticals was created on the 1st of July in the year 2008 in the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers so as to provide greater focus for the growth of the high potential Pharmaceuticals industry.
  • Shri Ananth Kumar is the Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers and Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya is the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers.

10)   What is the name of India's language platform launched by CIL Mysuru to publish content in 121 languages and host online classes?

a. Bharatavani
b. Bharatsandesh
c. Bharatupdesh
d. Bharatsamachar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bharatavani

With a cultural motherlode of more than 1,500 Indian languages that spurred Bharatavani, an online Indian Languages platform hosted by the Central Institute for Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysuru, to not only publish content in 121 Indian languages, but work towards starting online classes, the future for Indian languages looks bright.

In a little over a year since its inception, the portal offers 262 unilingual and multilingual dictionaries in 50 Indian languages - all of them in a searchable format on android platforms - which can be accessed on Bharatavani's free Android app.

Bharatavani is not publishing new works, but they are for the first time digitising available dictionaries in smaller languages, to bring it to a wider audience.

Malto-English-Hindi, Odia-Ho, English-Ao and Lepcha-English are some of the dictionaries on offer - most of them available in a searchable format and not as cumbersome PDF files.

Hurdles in Language Portal

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is still in a primitive stage even for major Indian languages. So, constructing digitised databases for smaller languages will be a problem as their script cannot be scanned and converted into text format.
  • Another hurdle is that unicode script input drivers are available in only recognised scripts. Incidentally, the Bharatavani portal will soon provide a virtual keyboard, integrating all available Unicode drivers of India languages for users to search for words by typing in language of their choice.
  • Another big problem is Proof Reading.