Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 12, 2017

1)   What is the MSME Public Procurement Portal called?

a. MSME Samjhauta
b. MSME Sambandh
c. MSME Sandesh
d. MSME Sampark
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched Public Procurement Portal 'MSME Sambandh' for Public Procurement Portal for MSMEs.

The objective of the portal is to monitor the implementation of the Public Procurement from MSEs by Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

It will help MSMEs in participating in the procurement process. Besides, it will help Ministries and the CPSEs can assess their performance in procurement process as stipulated in Procurement Policy, 2012.

The Procurement Policy launched in 2012 mandates the Central Government Departments, CPSEs to procure necessarily from MSEs.

It means that every Central Ministry, Department, PSU shall set an annual goal for procurement from MSE sector at beginning of year.

Its objective is to achieve overall procurement goal of minimum of 20% of the total annual purchases of the products or services produced or rendered by MSEs.

2)   A new form of matter has been discovered named excitonium by whom?

a. Bert Halper
b. Bert Kelper
c. Bert Shalper
d. Bert Walper
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bert Halper

Researchers at the University of Illinois have announced discovery of new form of matter called excitonium.

The existence of this strange and mysterious type of matter was theorized after the term excitonium was theoretically coined by Harvard theoretical physicist named Bert Halper in the 1960s,

To prove existence of excitons, scientists had studied crystals doped with dichalcogenide titanium diselenide (1T-TiSe2), a transition metal.

This material is made up of a kind of boson, a composite particle that could allow matter to act as a superfluid, superconductor, or even as an insulating electronic crystal.

Scientists were able to observe existence of excitonium using novel technique called momentum-resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy (M-EELS).


  • Excitonium is a condensate made up of excitons and exhibits macroscopic quantum phenomena just like a superconductor.
  • Excitons are particles that are formed in a very strange quantum mechanical pairing.
  • They are obtained by combining escaped electrons and "holes".
  • This quirky quantum-mechanical pairing is possible because, in semiconductors, electrons on edge of one energy level in atom are able to jump into the next energy level when excited, leaving behind a "hole" in previous level.
  • This hole acts like a positively charged particle, attracting the negatively charged electron that escaped.
  • Excitonium exhibits macroscopic quantum phenomena, like a superconductor and this findings holds great promise for unlocking further quantum mechanical mysteries.
  • As a superconductor and superfluid, this material can be used to further existing technologies. These applications, especially those in practical technologies, are purely speculative at this point.

3)   India was declared free from trachoma which is a ___________ infection of the eye.

a. Viral
b. Fungal
c. Bacterial
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Bacterial

India was declared free from infective Trachoma, a contagious bacterial infection of the eye. The infection causes inflamed granulation on the inner surface of the lids.

It was announced by Union Health Minister J P Nadda after releasing National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17) in New Delhi.

With this, India met goal of trachoma elimination as specified by World Health Organisation (WHO) under its GET2020 (Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020) program.


  • Trachoma is a chronic infective disease of eye and is leading cause of infective blindness globally. It is outcome of poor environmental and personal hygiene and inadequate access to water and sanitation.
  • It affects conjunctiva under the eyelids.
  • Repeated Trachoma infection causes scarring leading to in-turning of the eyelashes and eyelids which further causes damage to cornea and blindness.
  • It is main cause of corneal blindness in India, affecting young children. It was found affecting the population North Indian states like Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh.

4)   WCD Ministry launched a contest for which mission on Dec 11, 2017?

a. National Lactation Mission
b. National Nutrition Mission
c. National Breastfeeding Mission
d. National Maternal Health Mission
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Nutrition Mission

The Ministry of Women & Child Development has launched a contest inviting creative minds to design a logo and suggest a tagline for its prestigious 'National Nutrition Mission'.

It is an opportunity for citizens who aspire to see their design displayed on a National platform.

The Government of India approved the National Nutrition Mission to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.

The programme targets to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth rate.

Accordingly, it was felt pertinent to launch an appropriate logo and tagline to generate awareness among the masses.

5)   What is MeitY's  initiative under Digital India to ensure security of National Informatics Centre?

Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon'ble Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology inaugurated the "NIC-CERT", a setup of National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on 11thDecember 2017.

During the inauguration, Hon'ble Minister said that as part of its Digital India initiatives, the Government has introduced a lot of its services online.

Although this has made services very accessible to the citizens, it has also exposed them to the threats and vulnerabilities which are an inherent part of cyberspace.

This led to Government drafting the Data protection Act. As Internet with its ever expanding canvas of opportunities is touching the life's of people, it necessitates the requirement to upscale the existing security infrastructure.

Government needs an agile and responsive eco-system.

NIC-CERT has been setup with the objective of creating a comprehensive framework that integrates world class security components and inbuilt threat intelligence for detection, prevention and incident response.

Using the tools the team will correlate events that would help in generating a canvas of the attack surface and identify the vulnerabilities and possible exploits.

The gathered intelligence assimilated with the knowledge of the open web would give the CERT the ability prevent and predict attacks.

NIC's PAN-India connectivity and reach is one of its key strengths and this coupled with its enhanced ability to detect and prevent attacks would collectively upscale the Government's ability to protect its data.

Setting up NIC-CERT is MeitY's initiative under Digital India aimed at enhancing the security posture of NIC and the Government which will in turn lead to enhanced trust of the citizens as the services offered to them would be configured in a framework that is secure by design.

NIC-CERT will operate in close coordination and collaboration with sectoral CERT's and more so with Cert-in.

6)   MoS (Finance) and Health launched which initiative for labour room quality improvement?

a. Lakshya
b. LaQshya
c. LaQI
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


GoI observed Universal Health Coverage Day, 2017 on Dec 11.

The Union Health Minister and MoS (Finance) launched "LaQshya - Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative, a Safe Delivery Mobile Application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas, and also released the Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units (HDUs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

Mission Indradhanush, one of the largest global public health initiatives was launced in 2014. In its four phases till date, MI has successfully reached over 25 million children in over 528 districts.

The Pradhan Mantri Dialysis Program has also been launched where 1.43 lakhs patients have availed free services from 1,069 Dialysis Units and under Free Drugs and Diagnostics Program; AMRIT outlets nearly 47 Lakh patients have benefitted from AMRIT Pharmacies through purchase of subsidized medicines.

LaQshya: Know More

  • LaQshya is expected to improve the quality of care that is being provided to the pregnant mother in the Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres, thereby preventing the undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth.
  • This initiative will be implemented in Government Medical Colleges (MCs) besides District Hospitals (DHs), and high delivery load Sub- District Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs).
  • The initiative plans to conduct quality certification of labour rooms and also incentivize facilities achieving the targets outlined.
  • The goal of this initiative is to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OT and ensure respectful maternity care.

7)   World Human Rights Day is observed on which date every year?

a. Dec 8
b. Dec 9
c. Dec 10
d. Dec 11
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Dec 10

The World Human Rights Day (WHRD) is observed every year on December 10 to commemorate adaptation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Observance of the day seeks to encourage, support and amplify measures to be taken by everyone to defend human rights.

The theme for this year is 'Let's stand up for equality, justice and human dignity'.

This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In run up to the celebration of Human Rights Day, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had organised a series of events in India.

UDHR: Know More

  • On this day in 1948, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted and proclaimed Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.
  • It was adopted as shared standard yard stick to protect human rights across the globe.
  • It recognizes inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of mankind as the foundation of justice, freedom and peace in the world.
  • The Human Rights Day was formally established at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the UNGA on 4 December 1950.

8)   What does the regional grouping RIC stand for?

a. Russia-India-Cambodia
b. Russia-India-Croatia
c. Russia-India-China
d. Russia-Indonesia-China
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Russia-India-China

15th trilateral meeting of the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers was held in New Delhi.

It was held between India's External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and China's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi.

The discussions of meeting focused on regional security, issues affecting Asia-Pacific region, counter-terror efforts and coordination at regional and multilateral forums. The ministers reiterated importance trilateral format as platform to foster closer dialogue and practical cooperation in identified areas

Joint Communique

The ministers released joint communiqué after meeting. They agreed to strengthen the trilateral dialogue for consultation and coordination on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

International and regional peace:

  • They held that cooperation is conducive to maintaining international and regional peace, stability and promoting global economic growth and prosperity.
  • They stressed for establishment of just and equitable international order based on international law and mutual respect, fairness and justice.
  • They held that various crises in the world should be resolved in accordance with the international law.
  • The three nations also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed that all acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable irrespective of their motivations, committed wherever and by whomsoever.
Arms Race:
  • They called for prevention of arms race in outer space for maintaining international peace and security. Russia and China reiterated that they welcome India's participation in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
RIC Forum
  • It is a trilateral grouping of Russia, India and China that has met annually since 2002.
  • In recent years, it has functioned as complement to other frameworks involving three countries and including Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

9)   Who is known as the Father of DNA fingerprinting in India?

a. CV Raman
b. Ramanujan
c. Verghese Kurien
d. MS Swaminathan
e. Lalji Singh
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Lalji Singh

Eminent scientist and father of DNA fingerprinting in India Lalji Singh passed away following heart attack. He was 70.

He was one of the leaders instrumental in making DNA fingerprinting mainstream in India, both at level of research as well as for forensic applications.

Lalji Singh: Know More

  • He also set up a slew of dedicated labs that worked on several aspects of genetics such as population biology, structural biology and transgenic research.
  • His work in field of DNA fingerprinting technology also contributed for sex determination, Wildlife conservation forensics and evolution and migration of humans.
  • Based on his work he was tasked by government to establish Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in late 1990s with mandate of making it a nodal centre for DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics for all species and several diseases. He also had founded Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES).
  • Dr. Singh served as a director at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad from 1998 to 2009. He also had served as Vice Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University (2001 - 2014), his alma mater.
  • Until recently, he was active in the Genome Foundation, a non-profit organisation that aims to diagnose and treat genetic disorders affecting the underprivileged, especially from rural India. He was awarded prestigious Padma Shri award.

10)   Which asteroid is causing the Dec 15, 2017 Geminid meteor shower display?

a. 3200 Phaethon
b. 3200 Helios
c. 3200 Artemis
d. 3200 Phobos
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 3200 Phaethon

Star-lovers and sky-enthusiasts can enjoy a meteor shower display on December 13 after 10 p.m., and in the early morning hours of December 14, named the Geminid meteor shower.

Rocks and dust particles from space that are about to collide with Earth's atmosphere are called meteoroids. Those that enter and streak through the atmosphere are called meteors.

Usually when comets, which are chunks of ice with lot of dust, come close to the sun, the ice melts and the dust and rocks are left behind along the orbit of the comet.

If Earth, in its yearly motion around the Sun happens to pass through such a debris trail, they enter the Earth's atmosphere with considerable speed and due to friction in the atmosphere, burns up and give rise to not only a single bright streak in the sky but numerous meteors, called meteor shower.

Why is the Geminid meteor shower called so?

  • Geminid meteor shower is so named because the meteors appear to originate from the constellation of Gemini in the night sky.
  • It is not a comet but an unusual asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, discovered in 1983, that is the origin of the meteors.
  • Asteroids are rocky bodies going round the Sun, originating from a region between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter.
  • Unlike the planets, their orbits are sometimes extremely elliptical and intersect the orbit of Mars and even Earth.
  • The Earth-orbit-crossing asteroids are called Apollo Asteroids.
3200 Phaethon
  • 3200 Phaethon, named after the son of the Sun god Helios, is an Apollo Asteroid that may have undergone a collision with another object in the distant past to produce the stream of particles that Earth runs into - creating this meteor shower.
  • 3200 Phaethon, a 5.1-k.m.-long piece of rock, has characteristics which are close to a comet. In its close approach to Sun, it sheds huge amount of rock and dust in its path and Earth happens to pass that path every year during December 4-16.
  • Generally, the meteor shower associated with 3200 Phaethon peaks around second week of December every year and are quite numerous.