Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 11, 2017

1)   India has set up a CoE for floriculture in which district of TN?

a. Madurai
b. Krishnagiri
c. Chennai
d. Menambakkam
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Krishnagiri

India and Israel have jointly set up a Centre of Excellence in floriculture at Thally in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.

It is first agro-technology development centre to be set up with Israel's assistance in Tamil Nadu.

The centre at Thally and similar centre planned for vegetables to be established in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu.

These centres form part of a three-year Indo-Israel agricultural partnership signed between Mashav, Israel's agency for international development cooperation and mission for integrated development of horticulture of Union Agriculture Ministry.

The Dindigul centre, specialises in vegetables such as cucumber, capsicum and tomatoes, is expected to be launched in January 2018.

Purpose of these centres is to develop agricultural practices suitable for selected geographical regions and also transfer the best practices to farmers in and around.

Currently, there are 20 such centres in nine States. By end of this project, 30 such Indo-Israel centres of excellence in agriculture will come up in in India. More such centres of excellence are planned in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in near future.

Centres in Karnataka will come up in Dharwar, Kolar and Bagalkot and will focus on vegetables, mangoes and pomegranate, respectively. The centre in Andhra Pradesh will come up in Kuppam and will work on both floriculture and vegetable research.

2)   UP became the first state to endorse which draft law?

a. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act
b. Hindu Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act
c. Buddhist Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act
d. Parsi Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act

Uttar Pradesh became first state to endorse Union Government's draft draft law - Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act that makes practice of instant "triple talaq" or talaq-e-biddat. a cognisable and non-bailable criminal offence.

The draft law was endorsed by the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

In August 2017 landmark verdict, Supreme Court had banned practice of "triple talaq" in which Muslim men unilaterally divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in quick succession, calling it "unconstitutional".

As per Supreme Court pronouncement, the practice of "triple talaq" is un-Islamic and "arbitrary" and was not integral part of religious practice. It also violated Article 14 (Equality before law) and Article 21 of Indian Constitution.

Draft Law

  • It makes any declaration of talaq-e-biddat or triple talaq by Muslim man illegal and void. It makes it a "cognizable and non-bailable" offence, punishable with three years jail and a monetary fine.
  • It applies to instant triple talaq in "oral, written, electronic or any other form".
  • It aims to empower Muslim women especially victims of triple talaq to move to court for seeking subsistence allowance for herself and dependent children, as well as custody of minor children. The draft bill prescribes for three-year imprisonment and a fine to a man who tries to divorce his wife through triple talaq.
  • The law will be effective across whole country, however, will not apply to Jammu and Kashmir.

3)   India has constituted an HLC under which NITI Aayog executive to address NPAs in power sector?

a. Amitabh Kant
b. Arvind Panagriya
c. Naveen Kumar
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Amitabh Kant

The Union Government has constituted high-level committee headed by NITI Aayog Chief Executive Amitabh Kant to address problem of Non-performing assets (NPAs) or stressed assets in India's power sector.

It comprises secretaries in the ministries of power, coal and department of financial services as it members.

The Government is also planning to investigate whether private developers have inflated project costs to show higher debt.

NPAs: Know More

  • According to second volume of Economic Survey 2016-17 released in August 2017, NPAs in power generation accounted for around 5.9% of the banking sector's total outstanding advances of Rs. 4.73 trillion.
  • Tackling issues that afflict so-called stranded power assets will provide much-needed relief for Indian banks weighed down by bad loans.
  • Besides, weak financial health of state-owned power distribution companies (discoms) is also hampering process of signing long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) through competitive bidding.
  • So far, a total of 34 coal-fuelled power projects, with an estimated debt of Rs. 1.77 trillion were reviewed by government after being identified by department of financial services.
  • Issues faced by these projects include paucity of funds, lack of PPAs and absence of fuel security.

4)   India has entered which of the following groupings in 2016-2017 since the formation of the NDA government?

b. Wassenaar Arrangement
d. Both a and b
e. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

After its entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016, India was on Thursday admitted as the 42nd member+ of the Wassenaar Arrangement - a global grouping that regulates transfer and access to conventional weapons and dual-use technologies.

In the coming months, India expects to be included in the Australia Group as well, leaving the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) - where it faces stiff opposition from China - as the last non-proliferation regime that India expects to enter.

India still has to apply for licences for high-tech and dual-use exports, but from now, that process is expected to get easier.

This is the second of four non-proliferation regimes India has joined after the India-US nuclear deal was cleared.

The important aspect of three out of the four regimes is that China is not a member of them except for the NSG.

The formal application to Wassenaar was made by India in 2016, although the work to align Indian rules and munitions lists to Wassenaar rules began in 2014.

Bit by bit, India's accession to these non-proliferation regimes is making it clearer that China's political opposition is the stumbling block.

India's membership to MTCR opened doors for its space programme and its ability to source high-end missile systems and technologies as well as surveillance drones.

The Wassenaar membership is important for India, giving it a leg up as a responsible player in the world of dual-use goods and technologies and transfer of conventional arms.

It gives India an important voice in shaping global response to regional and global "security developments, advances in technology and market trend.

Outside these groups India would have trouble accessing a number of these technologies, because India has been for over 40 years the target of dual-use technology denial regimes.

Even after the India-US deal, India hasn't actually been able to break through these regimes.

In the coming months, India expects to be included in the Australia Group as well, leaving the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) - where it faces stiff opposition from China - as the last non-proliferation regime that India expects to enter.

The WA membership is also expected to build up a strong case for India's entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Significantly, China, which stonewalled India's entry into the 48-nation NSG, is not a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

What is Wassenaar Arrangement?

  • The Wassenaar Arrangement is an elite club of countries which subscribe to arms export controls, similar to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
  • The body came into being in 1996 to succeed the Cold War-era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls. The name comes from Wassenaar, a suburb of The Hague, where the agreement to start such a multi-lateral cooperation was reached in 1995.
  • The WA has 42 members, the latest entrant being India. With the exception of China, all the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are signatories of the WA, which is headquartered in Vienna.
  • According to the WA website, the goal of the Arrangement is to "promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies".
  • Participants are required to "ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine the goal". The aim, according to WA, is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.
  • The Arrangement works according to what it calls WA Control Lists. The controls are subject to ratification by the participants.
  • WA members agree to exchange information on sensitive dual-use goods and technologies and report on such transfers and denials of controlled items to non-participants.

5)   Which Southern railway station has earned the unique distinction of being the first energy efficient A1 category station in India?

a. Ootacamund
b. Kacheguda
c. Doddabetta
d. Medak
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Kacheguda

Kacheguda Railway Station under the South Central Railway (SCR) has earned the unique distinction of being the first Energy Efficient 'A1 Category' Railway Station on Indian Railways.

The station has achieved 100% energy efficiency by replacing 1,312 conventional lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, among other steps.

About 370 ceiling fans, too, were replaced with energy efficient Brushless DC Electrical (BLDC) motors fans, and 12 air conditioners with energy efficient inverter-type air conditioners.

All these measures would save about 1.76 lakh units and Rs.14.08 lakh per annum with reduction of the connected load by 46.18 kW for Railways.

Kacheguda Railway station is a historic building and had completed 100 years.

Situated in the heart of Hyderabad, it was built in 1916 by the Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway during the reign of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh Nizam.

6)   Who has been chosen for the Vyas Samman 2017 award?

a. Mamta Kalia
b. Amish
c. Chetan Bhagat
d. Tuhin Sinha
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mamta Kalia

Renowned Hindi scholar and writer Mamta Kalia (77) was chosen for Vyas Samman 2017 for her novel "Dukkham Sukkham".

She was selected by selection committee headed by author Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.

Dukkham Sukkham published in 2009 is saga of a lower middle-class familys three generations. The literary work focuses on the transition in relations and situations of our society.

Mamta Kalia

  • She was born in 1940 in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. She had received MA in English from Delhi University before taking up lecturership at SNDT Women's University in Mumbai.
  • Since 1973, she headed degree college in Allahabad before retiring in 2001.
  • She is known for her works in Hindi and English including "Beghar", "Janch Abhi Jaari Hai", "Nirmohi", and "Bolne Wali Aurat".
  • Earlier she has received "Yashpal Katha Samman" from Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, "Ram Manohar Lohia Samman" and "Sahitya Bhushan Samman".
Vyas Samman award
  • The Vyas Samman award was instituted by KK Birla Foundation in 1991.
  • It is awarded annually to outstanding literary work in Hindi authored and published in past 10 years by an Indian citizen.
  • The award carries monetary award of Rs.3.5 lakh, a citation and a plaque.

7)   India is the ______largest fish producer in the world.

a. Third
b. Fifth
c. Eighth
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: None of the above

The agriculture ministry has announced India is second largest fish producer in the world.

Overall fish production has increased from 0.75 million tonne of 1950-51 to 11.41 million tonne in 2016-17.

Besides, this sector provides employment and livelihood support to more than 15 million people of in the country.

The announcement was at the Aqua Goa Mega Fish Festival, 2017, organized at SAG Campal Ground, Panaji, Goa.

Fisheries is a fast growing sector in India, which provides nutrition and food security to a large population of the country as well as providing income and employment to fishermen and fish farmers.

Fisheries development in India is not only meeting the protein requirements of the country, but it is also making significant contribution of about 6.2 percent in the fish production of the world.

Blue Revolution in India

  • Government has merged all the schemes of fisheries sector into an umbrella scheme of Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries and approved with the outlay of Rs. 3000 crores.
  • Blue Revolution is focusing to foster use of new and modern technology, training and capacity building of fishers and fish farmers, adoption of scientific advises & methods, species diversification and proper fish health management etc.
  • The main aim of Government is to double the income of fishers and fish-farmers by 2022 through implementation of Blue Revolution"
  • Mariculture has been taken up under Blue Revolution to further enhance production from marine sector. Coastal States are provided with financial and technical support including training and capacity building.
  • Government of India has taken an important step on 9th March, 2017 by adding a new component under the Blue Revolution to promote tradition fishers in the Deep Sea Fishing.
  • Under the said component, the Government of India is providing 50% financial assistance i.e., upto Rs.40 lakh to the traditional fishers, their Self Help Groups, Societies and Organizations in acquisition of deep sea fishing vessels equipped with modern technology, which costs approximately, Rs.80 lakh per vessel.

8)   Which regional grouping celebrated the Bodhi Parva on Dec 8, 2017 in New Delhi?

Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Dr. Mahesh Sharma, the culture minister inaugurated the three days 'Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage' in New Delhi on December 08, 2017.

'Bodhi Parva' has entwined various threads of the Buddhist heritage into a beautiful melange including an exhibition of international and Indian Buddhist art and architecture, discourses by eminent scholars and practitioners of Buddhism, guided meditation and chanting by Buddhist monks and choir, screening of film on Buddhism, dance and music performances, quiz show and a food trail.

These will help in building an awareness of BIMSTEC's rich and common heritage.

The regional organization comprising seven Member States around the Bay of Bengal that brings together about one - fifth of the world population and a combined GDP of over US $ 2.8 trillion,

BIMSTEC has a crucial role in development of the region.

BIMSTEC leaders have imparted fresh momentum to the organization at the Leaders' Retreat hosted by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Goa in October 2016.

India sees BIMSTEC as a natural platform to fulfil its key foreign policy priorities of 'Neighbourhood First' and 'Act East'.

A number of initiatives have been taken to promote cooperation in BIMSTEC under the focus areas of security, transport and communication, environment and disaster management, tourism, traditional medicine and people-to-people exchanges.

Several others are in the pipeline. Events such as 'Bodhi Parva' would also help immensely in promoting 'Brand BIMSTEC'.

India is hosting the "Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage" from 8 to 10 December as part of celebrations of 20th anniversary of BIMSTEC.

9)   As per PRL Ahmedabad scientists, which type of storms can flow towards the earth and disturb the atmosphere?

a. Wind
b. Thermal
c. Rain
d. Solar
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


A group of researchers from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, have, for the first time, figured out the conditions under which certain types of solar storms can flow towards the earth and affect its atmosphere.

This is important because such storms contain charged particles travelling at very high speeds and these can affect the electronics present on satellites in orbit around the earth.

Solar storms are violent events on the sun which can temporarily distort the earth's magnetosphere - the region around the earth which is influenced by its magnetic field.

These temporary disturbances, called geomagnetic storms, can generate shock waves in the interplanetary medium that can accelerate charged particles to very high energies and which, in turn, can harm the satellites placed by humans in space.

Such solar storms have two causes: Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and Corotating Interaction Regions (CIR).

CME and CIR: Know More

  • CMEs are huge explosions of charged particles extending beyond the sun's corona or outer layer and can be visibly observed.
  • CIRs are much more complicated and difficult to observe.
  • CMEs can be detected by a coronagraph when they are ejected from the Sun
  • CIRs are generated in the interplanetary medium and there are no visual signatures for CIRs. Hence, in order to detect [them], solar wind parameters need to be characterised critically
  • Charged particles are being spewed continually out of the sun's corona, forming the solar wind. Some parts of these winds move faster than others.
  • Since they contain charged particles in a plasma state, these different regions physically interact with each other to form wavelike disturbances called CIRs that emanate from the sun and spiral outwards.
  • They are called "corotating" interaction regions as they rotate along with the sun, attached to it at one end.
  • The sun goes through cyclic variations with a period of eleven years during which sunspot activity increases to a maximum and then decreases.
LI: Know More
  • There is an imaginary point on the line joining the sun and earth known as the L1 point or the Lagrange 1 point.
  • A special feature of this point is that a particle placed there will feel no gravitational pull due to either the sun or the earth as the two forces cancel each other.
  • CIRs that come at an angle of 6 degrees or less at the first Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth system (L1 point) affect the earth's outer plasma environment.
  • Those CIRs that are incident at angles more than 6 degrees at the L1 point will not reach the earth.
  • This is the first time that such an understanding has been arrived at.
  • The group plans to futher focus on the causes for the events when solar wind flow angle deviates from 6 degree for a considerable duration of time.