Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 07, 2017

1)   Who has been named Time's Person of the Year?

a. The Silence Breakers
b. President Donald Trump
c. President Xi Jinping
d. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: The Silence Breakers

"The Silence Breakers" - those who have shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment have been collectively named Time magazine's Person of the Year.

Numerous women have spoken out since October about sexual misconduct by dozens of high-profile men in entertainment, media, business and sports.

Time praised those who have given "voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable."

The magazine's cover features Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift and others who said they have been harassed.

Women who spoke out, initially against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and then others, helped to spawn the #MeToo movement, with millions of people telling stories of sexual misconduct on social media.

The tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts began after actor-activist Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend on Facebook and tweeted: "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet."

The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours.

#MeToo was actually founded by activist Tarana Burke a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence.

The two runners-up for Time person of the year were Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump.

2)   India and Cuba have signed an MoU for enhanced cooperation in ______ sector on 6th Dec, 2017.

a. Environment
b. Science
c. Industry
d. Health
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Health

India and Cuba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector, on Dec 6, 2017.

MOU on cooperation in the field of health and medicine between India and Cuba is important for exchanges in the health sector and to develop institutional framework for cooperation in the health sector between the two countries.

One potential area is pharmaceutical and biotechnology. Cuba has made remarkable strides in the field of bio-technology and pharmaceuticals.

The objective of this MoU is to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between the two countries in the field of health by pooling technical, scientific, financial and human resources with the ultimate goal of upgrading the quality and reach of human, material and infrastructural resources involved in health care, medical education & training, and research in both countries.

Main Areas of India-Cuba health MoU cooperation

The main areas of cooperation include:

  • Exchange & training of medical doctors, officials, other health professionals and experts
  • Assistance in development of human resources, health services and setting up of health care facilities
  • Short term training of human resources in health
  • Regulation of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and exchange of information;
  • Promotion of business development opportunities in pharmaceuticals and others identified by parties
  • Procurement of generic and essential drugs and assistance in sourcing of drug supplies;
  • Procurement of health equipment and pharmaceutical products;
  • Any other area of cooperation as may be mutually decided upon.
  • Procurement of health equipment and pharmaceutical products;
  • Collaboration in the prevention of NCDs of mutual interest, such as neurocardiovascular diseases, cancer, COPDs, mental health and dementia, with an emphasis on SDG3 and related factors;
  • Collaboration in the field of climate change impact on communicable diseases and vector borne diseases;
  • Nutritional aspects of food intake, including malnutrition (over-nutrition and under-nutrition) in the light of the SDG2 and organization of nutritional services;
  • Safety of production, transformation, distribution and food delivery;
  • Research and training of food industry operators;
  • Information and communication to citizens on hygiene and food safety and healthy eating habits;

3)   Monetary policy committee of  RBI decided to keep repo rate _______ at 6% on 6th Dec, 2017.

a. Unchanged
b. High
c. Low
d. Moderate
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Unchanged

The monetary policy committee of the Reserve Bank of India on Dec 6 2017 decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6%, for the second consecutive meeting.

RBI did so while maintaining its neutral stance. This means banks are unlikely to revise their home or car loan rates anytime soon.

While observing that moderation in inflation (excluding food and fuel) observed in Q1 of 2017-18 had, 'by and large', 'reversed', the six-member committee said inflation may continue to accelerate in the near term.

The RBI revised its inflation projection to the range of 4.3-4.7% for the last two quarters of the current financial year.

The central bank had projected an inflation range of 4.2-4.6% in the last policy meeting held in October.

On growth, while observing that Q2 growth for the quarter ended September was lower than that projected in its October resolution, the central bank has retained the full-year GVA growth projection at 6.7%.

RBI Repo Rate: Know More

  • Repo (Repurchase) rate also known as the benchmark interest rate is the rate at which the RBI lends money to the banks for a short-term (max. 90 days).
  • When the repo rate increases, borrowing from RBI becomes more expensive. If RBI wants to make it more expensive for the banks to borrow money, it increases the repo rate similarly, if it wants to make it cheaper for banks to borrow money it reduces the repo rate.
  • If the repo rate is increased, banks can't carry out their business at a profit whereas the very opposite happens when the repo rate is cut down.
  • Generally, repo rates are cut down whenever the country needs to progress in banking and economy.
  • Currently, the new RBI Governor Sri Urjit Patel has cut the previous Repo rate to 6.00% for facilitation of India's economy.
  • In its fifth bi-monthly Monetary policy review on 6 December 2017, RBI unchanged Repo Rate and kept at 6 %.

4)   Centre on 5th Dec 2017 released a FTP mid term review with what focus?

a. Policy based measures to boost export of goods and services
b. Increase employment generation and value addition to the country
c. Mid course correction
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

The Centre on Dec 5 2017 released the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), with the focus expected to be on policy measures to boost the exports of goods and services and to increase employment generation and value-addition in the country.

The mid-term review of FTP is aimed at mid-course correction. It was to be announced on July 1, together with the implementation of the GST regime.

But the announcement was postponed to take into account feedback from the export sector regarding GST-related issues.

Highlights from FTP Mid Term Review

  • The value of new incentives is Rs. 8,000 crore
  • The FTP would focus on micro, small and medium enterprises, labour-intensive segments and agriculture sector.
  • Incentives for goods exports is Rs. 4,567 crore, and for services exports is Rs. 1,140 crore.
  • This is in addition to the recently announced incentives to ready-made garments.
  • Self-certification scheme for duty-free imports
  • FTP is a dynamic document and regular changes are made to increase value addition in the country, generate more employment and boost exports
  • Today's announcement includes a 2% increase each in incentive rates of the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme and Services Export from India Scheme.
  • Trade accounts for 45% of the country's GDP. FTP incentives now cover 8,000 of the total 12,000 lines of items.
  • Of these incentives, Rs 749 crore for leather and footwear, Rs 1354 crore for agriculture and related items, Rs 759 crore for marine exports, Rs 369 crore for telecom and electronic items, Rs 921 crore for handmade carpets, Rs 193 crore for medial and surgical equipments, Rs 1140 crore for textiles and ready made garments.
  • A new trade data analytics division under the Directorate General of Foreign Trade will analyse real time data to help fine tune policy.

5)   US President Donald Trump recognised which city as the capital of Israel?

a. Gaza
b. Jerusalem
c. Tel Aviv
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Jerusalem

U.S. President Donald Trump reversed decades of policy on Dec 6, 2017 and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings from around the world that the gesture will further drive a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a speech at the White House, Mr. Trump said his administration would also begin a process of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is expected to take years.

Trump aides contend the move reflects the reality of Jerusalem as the centre of Jewish faith and the fact that the city is the seat of the Israeli government.

Mr. Trump also called his decision "a long overdue" step to advance the peace process.

According to him, decision marked the start of a "new approach" to solving the thorny conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

A Palestinian envoy said the decision was a declaration of war in the region.

Israel Vs Palestine Settlement: Know More

  • Senior administration officials said on Dec 4, 2017 evening that the formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital did not prejudice a possible settlement between the two parties on its status later.
  • The construction of a new embassy in Jerusalem would be a matter of years, not months, an official said.
  • They said the location of the U.S. embassy had no bearing on the peace process.
  • Mr. Trump's predecessors - from Bill Clinton to George Bush - made similar promises on the campaign trail, but quickly reneged upon taking office.

6)   Who has been named Person of the Year by PETA?

a. Naturo
b. Naruto
c. Tonaro
d. Ratono
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Naruto

An Indonesian monkey who shot to fame after it snapped a grinning selfie - and sparked a landmark U.S. copyright case - was named "Person of the Year" on Dec 6, 2017 by the animal rights group that took on the simian's cause.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it was honouring Naruto, a crested black macaque with a goofy-looking grin, to recognise that "he is someone, not something".

In 2011, the monkey pressed the shutter button while staring down the lens of a camera set up British nature photographer David Slater on the island of Sulawesi.

The photos quickly went viral and PETA launched a lawsuit that claimed the then six-year-old Naruto should be "declared the author and owner of his photograph".

Naruto's historic selfie challenged the idea of who is a person and who is not and resulted in the first-ever lawsuit seeking to declare a nonhuman animal the owner of property, rather than being declared property himself.

PETA: Know More

  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president.
  • A nonprofit corporation with nearly 400 employees, it claims that it has 6.5 million members and supporters, in addition to claiming that it is the largest animal rights group in the world.
  • Its slogan is "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way."
  • Founded in March 1980 by Newkirk and fellow animal rights activist Alex Pacheco, the organization first caught the public's attention in the summer of 1981 during what became known as the Silver Spring monkeys case, a widely publicized dispute about experiments conducted on 17 macaque monkeys inside the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.
  • PETA focuses on four core issues-opposition to factory farming, fur farming, animal testing, and the use of animals in entertainment.
  • It also campaigns for a vegan lifestyle and against eating meat, fishing, the killing of animals regarded as pests, the keeping of chained backyard dogs, cock fighting, dog fighting, and bullfighting.

7)   UAE has announced a new partnership group with which Arab nation on Dec 5, 2017?

a. Saudi Arabia
b. Dubai
c. Qatar
d. Pakistan
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Saudi Arabia

The UAE on Dec 5, 2017announced it has formed a new economic and partnership group with Saudi Arabia, separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a move that could undermine the council amid a diplomatic crisis with Qatar.

The new "joint cooperation committee" was approved by the UAE's ruler and President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan.

Saudi Arabia did not immediately comment on the new partnership.

It wasn't immediately clear how the development could affect the six-member GCC meeting, which is expected to focus on the Qatar issue. Half of the GCC members are boycotting Doha.

The Emirati Ministry said the new "committee is assigned to cooperate and coordinate between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as others, in the interest of the two countries."

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have cultivated even-closer ties in recent years.

Emirati troops are deeply involved in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Abu Dhabi's powerful Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nayhan, also is believed to have a closer relationship with Saudi Arabia's young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Emirati announcement did not say whether any other Gulf Arab countries would be invited to join the new group.

GCC: Know More

  • The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf or Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq.
  • Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • The Charter of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on 25 May 1981, formally eslishing the institution.
  • All current member states are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two absolute monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Oman), and one federal monarchy (the United Arab Emirates, which is composed of seven member states, each of which is an absolute monarchy with its own emir).
  • There have been discussions regarding the future membership of Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen.

8)   Who is associated with the score for Amaran starring Karthik in 1992?

a. Adithyan
b. Illyaraja
c. Karthikeyan
d. Ganeshan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Adithyan

Music director Adithyan, who has composed songs for Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films, died in Hyderabad on 5th Dec 2017 following kidney failure. He was 63.

The music composer became popular after his score for the movie Amaran, starring Karthik, was released in 1992.

Since then, he had gone on to compose music for films such as Lucky Man, Nalaya Seidhi and Kovilpatti Veeralakshmi.

The musician had also worked on Tamil pop songs and albums.

He was also a popular face on television and hosted a long-running culinary show, 'Aadhithyan's Kitchen.'

9)   Which city elected its first woman mayor on 3rd Dec, 2017?

a. New Delhi
b. Chennai
c. Mumbai
d. Lucknow
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh has already given India its first woman Governor and Chief Minister but Lucknow is set to make history on Sunday by electing its first woman Mayor in 100 years namely BJP's Sanyukta Bhatia.

A woman has never before been elected as head of the municipal body after the Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act came into existence.

This time, however, the Lucknow mayoral seat has been reserved for women, hence all parties have fielded women candidates.

This includes the Samajwadi Party which selected Meera Vardhan, kin of educationist Acharya Narendra Dev and the Congress which pitched Prema Awasthi, wife of the former Congress legislator Surendra Nath.

Freedom fighters Sarojini Naidu and Sucheta Kriplani were the country's first female Govenor and Chief Minister respectively.

Lucknow has thrice sent a woman to the Lok Sabha as its representative with Sheila Kaul being elected in 1971, 1980 and 1984.

Sarojini Naidu

  • Naidu, popularly known as the 'Nightingale of India', was the Governor of the United Provinces, now known as Uttar Pradesh, from 1947 to 1949.
  • She was born in a Bengali family on February 13, 1879 in Hyderabad and was educated in Chennai, London and Cambridge.
  • Naidu was a follower of Mahatama Gandhi and participated in the freedom struggle. She, later, went on to become the president of the Indian National Congress.
  • A poet of modern India, she wrote a collection, comprising children's poems, nature poems, patriotic poems and poems of love and death.
Sucheta Kriplani
  • Kriplani, who held the Chief Minister's office from 1963 to 1967, had come to the forefront during the Quit India Movement in 1942.
  • She worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi during the Partition riots.
  • She was one of the few women who were elected to the Constituent Assembly and was part of the sub-committee that drafted the Constitution.

10)   Who has written the book "Conflicts of Interest" on India's green movement?

a. Salim Ali
b. Sunita Narain
c. Ramesh Agarwal
d. Tulsi Gowda
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sunita Narain

Conflicts of Interest is a book where Sunita Narain gives a personal account of her battles as part of the country's green movement.

The book offers a new understanding of the contests that we face in getting changes on the ground and future challenges.

Penguin India has acquired Sunita Narain's Conflicts of Interest: My Journey through India's Green Movement.

The book is a personal account of India's foremost environmentalist's battles as part of the country's Green Movement.

While outlining the enormous environmental challenges that India faces today, Dr. Sunita Narain will talk about how corporate lobbies and political interests often scuttle their effective resolution.

She will recount some widely reported controversies triggered by research undertaken by her along with her team at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), such as the pesticides in colas report, air pollution research in Delhi, endosulfan research in Karnataka, among others.

The book includes an 'environmental manifesto' in which Dr. Narain lays out a blueprint for the direction India must take, if it is to deal with the exigencies of climate change and environmental degradation.

11)   Who is the architect of the world's longest constitution?

a. BR Rao
b. BR Ambedkar
c. C Rajagoplachari
d. Jawaharlal Nehru
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: BR Ambedkar

Wednesday marks the 61st anniversary of the death of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar who, after Mahatma Gandhi, is India's most revered leader.

He was the architect of what is probably the world's longest constitution, a legal scholar and a spiritual leader.

Most importantly, he was the undisputed leader of the Dalits (formerly untouchables), who suffered from their lowly position in a harsh caste hierarchy.

About BR Ambedkar

  • He was born on 14 April 1891, part of a family that belonged to the Hindu Mahar community, one of the untouchable castes in India at the time.
  • Image caption Dr Ambedkar, left, at the Fourth Conference of the World Fellowships of Buddhists, held in 1956 in Nepal
    Referred to as the "darling of the dispossessed" by Indian historian Ramachandra Guha, Dr Ambedkar's influence during the colonial era began in the 1920s, when he joined politics.
  • He was also known for his rejection of Hinduism as a religion that isolated the lower caste. In 1956, he started the Dalit Buddhist movement. This was a radical reinterpretation of traditional Buddhism, which he found to be flawed.
  • Instead, he coined the term Navayana Buddhism, which was adopted by nearly half a million Dalits at the time.
  • He was reportedly the first Dalit to gain entry into Elphinstone College, which was affiliated to the University of Bombay.
  • After completing his undergraduate degree, he moved to New York on a scholarship that afforded him the chance to pursue a graduate degree at Columbia University, where he also completed a PhD in economics.
  • He collected another doctorate from the London School of Economics a year later - a formidable feat, considering the socio-political barriers he had to contend with.
  • Soon after India gained independence in 1947, Dr Ambedkar became the country's first law minister, and was appointed to write the nation's new constitution.
  • In government, he argued for broader economic and social rights for women, the case for abolishing untouchability and for the reservation of jobs in civil services and schools for members of the lower castes.
  • In 1946, Dr Ambedkar founded a political party to campaign for the rights of the Dalit community.
  • Historians have said that his legacy as a socio-political reformer has had a profound effect on modern India.