Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 08, 2017

1)   SAICON 2017 is the first international conference to be held in India on __________ and ___________.

a. Sports medicine and sports sciences
b. Sports facilities and infrastructure
c. Sports rules and regulations
d. Both a and c
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sports medicine and sports sciences

The First International Conference on Sports Medicine and Sports Sciences SAICON 2017 was inaugurated on 7th Dec 2017 by the Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore.

Additionally 'Khelo India' programme has been chalked out to tap talent at the school and college level.

Under the Khelo India national school games would be organised from January 31 to February 8 next year for the under 17 age group.

These school games will act as a springboard. He said for the first time a sports broadcaster will broadcast live the national school games.

The ministry is working to create a Bank of Coaches in different disciplines of Sports.

Progress is being made to recognise all the coaches in an athlete's career who wins medal at international level.

A provision has been made so that the amount given to the coaches of national athletes is shared by 20% by the grass root coach and 30% of it would go to the developmental coaches at academies.

SAICON 2017 aims to promote scientific temperament in the country and inspire students, researchers and educationists alike to take up sports science and research to the next level.

Organized by Sports Authority of India, the 3-day conference is being attended by about 1000 national and international delegates.

SAI: Know More

  • The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is an apex National Sports body set up in 1984 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of Government of India for the development of sport in India.
  • SAI has 2 Sports Academic institutions, 10 "SAI Regional Centres" (SRC), 14 "Centre of Excellence" (COE/COX), 56 "Sports Training Centres" (STC) and 20 "Special Area Games" (SAG).
  • In addition, SAI also manages Netaji Subhash High Altitude Training Centre (Shilaroo, Himachal Pradesh)
  • It also mans 5 stadiums in the national capital of Delhi, such as Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (also serves as national head office of SAI), Indira Gandhi Arena, Dhyan Chand National Stadium, SPM Swimming Pool Complex and Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.

2)   Border Protection Grid is set for launch for guarding which Indian borders?

a. Indo China
b. Indo Myanmar
c. Indo Pak
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting with the Chief Ministers of the Indo-Bangladesh Border (IBB) States.

The Home Minister, giving highest priority to making borders secure, had earlier conducted border specific review meetings for Indo-China, Indo-Myanmar, Indo-Pakistan borders.

The importance of securing the country's borders and putting in place the systems to facilitate legitimate trade and commerce was stressed.

India has friendly relations with Bangladesh and all these measures will facilitate genuine trade and legitimate cross-border movement of people while curbing radicalization, illegal migration, and smuggling of cattle, fake Indian currency notes and drugs etc.

Stress was on the need to prevent entry, at International borders, of illegal migrants some of whom have links with extremist groups for furthering anti-national activities with ulterior motives and posing threat to internal security.

Also highlighted was the concept of Border Protection Grid (BPG) for multi-pronged and foolproof mechanism to secure our border.

The grid will comprise of various elements namely physical barriers, non-physical barriers, surveillance system, Intelligence agencies, State Police, BSF and other State and Central agencies.

BPG will be supervised by a State level Standing Committee under the Chairmanship of respective Chief Secretaries.

BPG will ensure greater help for the States in the overall border security. For putting in place the BPG, he sought active participation of all stakeholders including State Governments.

Indo-Bangladesh Border

  • The Indo-Bangladesh Border covering 5 states of India including Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and West Bengal is 4096 km long.
  • So far in 3006 km border security infrastructure of fence, roads, floodlights and border out posts (BOPs) are in place and works in the remaining 1090 km are yet to be started.
  • Out of this, 684 km will be secured with fence and the related infrastructure, and the balance 406 km with the non-physical barriers.
  • Although bulk of the infrastructure is in place or under construction, construction in some parts is yet to commence mainly due to land acquisition issues.
  • The areas to be covered by non-physical barriers are those where fencing is not feasible like rivers or nullahs etc.
  • In these areas technological solutions of a networked combination of electronic gadgets like radar, day-night cameras, various types of sensors etc. all integrated in a command and control architecture will be used.

3)   Which group has been given the go ahead to trade with bitcoin for the first time on Wall Street?

a. CME Group
b. GE Group
c. GM Group
d. Edelweiss Investments
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


NEW YORK: A federal regulator gave the go ahead on Dec 8, 2017 to the CME Group to start trading bitcoin futures later this month, the first time the digital currency will be traded on a Wall Street exchange and subject to federal oversight.

The CME Group, which owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, will start trading bitcoin futures December 18.

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the primary regulator for exchanges like the CME, gave approval for the exchange to create bitcoin futures after six weeks of discussions.

The CME Group is using a process known as "self-certification'', which is when an exchange pledges that the new instruments will not break any federal securities laws.

The price of bitcoin futures will be based on the price the digital currency is going for on four major bitcoin exchanges- Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken. Due to its volatility, bitcoin futures will be subject higher margin levels and intraday price limits, the CME said.

The move will subject some of the bitcoin market to federal regulation for the first time. It will also open up bitcoin trading to a larger group of investors and traders, who have been reluctant to purchase the virtual currency on the private exchanges.

Bitcoin has gained more mainstream attention lately as its price has soared on the private exchanges. It was trading Friday at around $10,500, after being worth roughly $1,000 at the beginning of the year.

4)   Which of the following have been termed intangible cultural heritage under UNESCO?

a. Yoga
b. Nouroz
c. Kumbh Mela
d. Both a and b
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

After 'yoga' and 'Nouroz', Kumbh Mela/ KumbhMela, the largest congregation of pilgrims on the planet, has been listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

The Ministry of External Affairs said the inscription of 'Kumbh Mela' in the list was undertaken following recommendation by an expert body which examines nominations submitted by member countries of the UNESCO.

The Intergovernment Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed 'Kumbh Mela' on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea from 4-9 December 2017.

This inscription is the third in two years following the inscriptions of 'Yoga' and 'Norouz' on 1st December 2016," said the Ministry of External Affairs in a press statement.

The Kumbh Mela is held in Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik.

UNESCO: Know More

  • UNESCO has 195 member states and ten associate members.
  • Most of its field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries; national and regional offices also exist.
  • UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture and communication/information.
  • Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy, technical, and teacher-training programs, international science programs, the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press, regional and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity, translations of world literature, international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to preserve human rights, and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
  • It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.

5)   SEBI has allowed institutional participation in which segment by MF and portfolio managers?

a. Commodity Futures
b. Commodity Derivatives
c. Both a and b
d. Neither a nor b
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Commodity Derivatives

As part of its attempts to increase the institutional participation in the commodity segment, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) plans to allow mutual funds and portfolio managers to invest in commodity derivatives segment.

This closely follows the recent regulatory decision of allowing a category of Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs) to invest in commodity derivatives.

In a discussion paper released on Dec 7, 2017, SEBI has put forth proposals to create a regulatory framework to allow MFs and portfolio managers to participate in the commodity segment, which came under the capital market's purview in September 2015.

For MFs, the regulator is evaluating whether fund houses can be allowed to invest in commodity derivatives through existing schemes with certain investment restrictions or safeguards or there is a need for a complete separate set of schemes.

The separate schemes could be commodity arbitrage funds, exchange-traded funds or open-ended schemes based on commodity derivatives.

In terms of existing schemes, the regulator has sought public views on whether fund houses can be allowed to invest a certain part of the scheme's assets under management (AUM) in commodity derivatives though it should never be allowed to be 100% of the AUM and further the exposure towards one commodity should be capped at 10%.

For portfolio managers, SEBI has sought public view on issues like the extent of leveraging, mechanisms to safeguard client interests, pooling of client money and disclosure requirements.

6)   According to IEA, Indians without access to electricity fell to what number in 2016 from 1.7 bn in 2000?

a. 1.4 bn
b. 1.3 bn
c. 1.2 bn
d. 1.1 bn
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 1.1 bn

Half a billion people have gained access to electricity in India since 2000, almost doubling the country's electrification rate, according to the World Energy Access report released on Dec 6, 2017 by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This "remarkable" growth puts India on course to achieving access to electricity for all in the early 2020s, the report added.

The number of people without access to electricity fell to 1.1 billion in 2016 from 1.7 billion in 2000.

It is on track to decline to 674 million by 2030, with India reaching universal access well before then. Since 2012, more than 100 million people per year have gained electricity access, an acceleration from the rate of 62 million people per year seen between 2000 and 2012.

Our analysis in the World Energy Outlook confirms that India is emerging as a major driving force in global energy trends, with all modern fuels and technologies playing a part.

Half a billion people have gained access to electricity in India since 2000, almost doubling the country's electrification rate.
This remarkable growth puts India on course to achieving access to electricity for all in the early 2020s - a colossal achievement.

Rate of Electrification: Know More

  • Coal has fuelled about 75% of the new electricity access since 2000, with renewable sources accounting for around 20%, according to the report.
  • However, 239 million people remained without electricity access in 2016, about a quarter of the worldwide total.
  • The report added that India is expected to reach universal electricity access in the early-2020s. Progress has also been made on clean cooking, although 830 million people in India still lack access.
  • There are clear indications however that government policy efforts targeting LPG have begun to take hold.
  • The share of the population relying primarily on biomass for cooking fell to 59% in 2015 from 66% in 2011.
  • By 2030, the promotion of LPG and improved biomass cookstoves by the government means that more than 300 million people gain access to clean cooking facilities, but still more than one-in-three people remain without

7)   Which Congress former MP was suspended from primary membership of the party for remarks on PM Modi?

a. Kapil Sibal
b. Jairam Ramesh
c. Mani Shankar Aiyar
d. P. Chidambaram
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mani Shankar Aiyar

The Congress on Dec 7, 2017 suspended former Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar from primary membership of the party and issued a show-cause notice to him for his comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr. Aiyar had earlier expressed regret for his comments after public censure from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

The former MP had called Prime Minister Narendra Modi "neech kism ka aadmi" (a low life) in reaction to Mr. Modi's speech at the inauguration of the Ambedkar International Centre, where he accused the Congress of systematically undermining Ambedkar's legacy.

Mr. Aiyar does not hold any post in the party.

After the controversial remark, Mr. Gandhi took to Twitter to publicly censure Mr. Aiyar.

Mani Shankar Aiyar: Know More

  • Mani Shankar Aiyar (born 10 April 1941) is a former Indian diplomat turned politician.
  • He is a former member of the Indian National Congress party and was a part of first Cabinet (2004-2009) of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
  • He has served as the Union Minister of Panchayati Raj until he lost his seat in the 2009 election. He served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas from May 2004 through January 2006 and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports till 2009.
  • He was also the first Minister of Development of North Eastern Region.
  • He represented the Mayiladuthurai constituency of Tamil Nadu in the 14th Lok Sabha.
  • He is currently a nominated member of parliament from Rajya Sabha.

8)   Who has won the Ballon d'Or award 5 times among the following soccer aces?

a. Cristiano Ronaldo
b. Lionel Messi
c. Luka Modric
d. Both a and b
e. Both b and c
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or award as soccer's best player of the year for a record-equaling fifth time, moving him level with Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo won the trophy awarded by France Football magazine at a ceremony held at the Eiffel Tower on Dec 7, 2017.

He finished ahead of contenders Messi and Neymar, who left Barcelona in the offseason to join Paris Saint-Germain for a world record transfer fee of 222 million Euros ($262 million).

Ronaldo was shown on television receiving the award while making the sign of five with his left hand as held the trophy in his right. Messi was runner-up behind him and Neymar was third.

The 32-year-old Portugal forward also took home the Ballon d'Or prize in 2013 and 2014, and in 2008 when playing for Manchester United.

Messi won it from 2009-12 and again in 2015.

Ronaldo claimed it back last year after helping Portugal win the European Championship and starring for Madrid as it won the Champions League.

Last season he won the Champions League once again and played a key role as Madrid won the Spanish league title for the first time since 2012.

Ronaldo is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Champions League with 115 goals.

He set another competition record on Wednesday, scoring in Real Madrid's 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday to become the first player to find the net in all six group-stage matches.

9)   Who became the first Indian to win the gold medal at the World Para Swimming Championship 2017?

a. Kanchanmala Pande
b. Kavita Pande
c. Kasturba Pande
d. Kajal Pande
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Kanchanmala Pande

Nagpur's visually impaired swimmer Kanchanmala Pande scripted history for India on Dec 7, 2017.

Kanchanmala became the first Indian to win the gold medal in the World Para Swimming Championship.

She created ripples in the ongoing championship in Mexico and secured the top spot in 200 meters medley event in S-11 category.

Kanchanmala, who works with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was expecting a medal at Mexico but a gold medal was totally unexpected.

Kanchanmala, the only Indian swimmer to qualify in the women's category, was unfortunate to miss the podium finish in other events.

She missed the top three finish by a whisker in 100 meters freestyle and finished fourth. She was fifth fastest in 100 meters breaststroke and backstroke.

The 26-year-old, was selected in the Indian squad on the basis of her excellent performance at the IDM Berlin Para Swimming Championship held in July at Berlin, Germany.

She won a silver medal in 200m individual medley.

Kanchanmala qualified for the World Championships in Mexico after she beat the qualifying mark in 100m Freestyle (1:34:00), 100m Backstroke (1:41:00), 100m Breaststroke (2:01:00) and a silver 200m Individual Medley (3:03:00) against top para-athletes in Berlin.

Kanchanmala, who hails from Amravati, is a regular swimmer of Aqua Sports Club, Nagpur.

10)   Astronomers have discovered the oldest super-massive black hole called ____________.

a. ULAS J1342+0928
b. ULAS J1120+0641
c. ULAS K1120+0641
d. ULAS K1342+0928
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: ULAS J1342+0928

Scientists have discovered ULAS J1342+0928, the oldest supermassive black hole ever found - a behemoth that grew to 800 million times the mass of the sun when the universe was just 5 percent of its current age.

This newfound giant black hole, which formed just 690 million years after the Big Bang, could one day help shed light on a number of cosmic mysteries, such as how black holes could have reached gargantuan sizes quickly after the Big Bang and how the universe got cleared of the murky fog that once filled the entire cosmos.

Supermassive black holes with masses millions to billions of times that of the sun are thought to lurk at the hearts of most, if not all, galaxies.

Previous research suggested these giants release extraordinarily large amounts of light when they rip apart stars and devour matter, and likely are the driving force behind quasars, which are among the brightest objects in the universe.

Astronomers can detect quasars from the farthest corners of the cosmos, making quasars among the most distant objects known.

The farthest quasars are also the earliest known quasars - the more distant one is, the more time its light took to reach Earth.

The previous record for the earliest, most distant quasar was set by ULAS J1120+0641.

That quasar is located 13.04 billion light-years from Earth and existed about 750 million years after the Big Bang.

The newfound quasar (and its black hole), named ULAS J1342+0928, is 13.1 billion light-years away.