Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 13, 2016

1)   Methane is :

a. Denoted by the formula CH4
b. A primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas
c. Also called marsh gas
d. Only a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All the above

A decade long rise of the potent greenhouse gas methane threatens to make the fight against global warming even harder.

A consortium of 81 scientists have found that methane rose gradually from 2000-2006. Then, the CH4 concentration rose 10 fold in the following decade.The large increase was sharp in 2014 and 2015, keeping global warming below 3.6 degree F is now a challenging target.

With 1 degree celsius of warming above pre-industrial era levels so far, the world has seen a rise in extreme weather including droughts, superstorms, heat waves and coastal flooding boosted by rising seas.

On current trends, average global temperatures are on the track by more than 3 degrees F by 2100 even if national carbon cutting pledges annexed to the Paris Agreement are honoured.

Without these pledges, the increase would be more higher.

To date, efforts to keep the planet from overheating have focused mostly on the main greenhouse has CO2, a by-product of burning fossil fuels that account for at least 70 percent of warming.

Even as CO2 started to plateau, CH4 is responsible for 20 percent of the increase in global temperature and has started soaring.

Pace of recent emissions aligns with IPCC recommendations.


  • Also known as CH4.
  • 28 times for efficient at trapping the sun’s heat.
  • Earth naturally absorbs CH4.
  • Like CO2, CH4 is naturally released as well.

2)   What percent of the potential forest area for the community governance has been recognised in India?

a. 4
b. 5
c. 6
d. 3
Answer  Explanation 


According to The "Promise and Performance: Ten Years of the Forest Rights Act” report released on 13th Dec, 2016, millions of forest dwellers in the country still do not have rights to conserve forests or access to forest resources.

  • Ten years after the forest rights act 2006 was passed by parliament - a law that secures rights of forest dwellers and empowers them to protect forests–only about 3% of the potential forest area for community governance has been recognised.
  • The report found rights to manage, conserve and use forest resources by forest dwelling tries could have been recognised over an area of 34.6 million ha and an area larger than MP, but has only been recognised in little over 1.1 million ha or 3 percent of the potential.
  • The report by Community Forest Rights-Learning and Advocacy (CFR-LA) employs data from Census 2011 to evaluate total forest area inside and outside village boundaries (34.6 million ha) as the minimum potential area over which community forest resource rights could be recognised.
  • This comprises the minimum estimated forest area outside revenue village boundaries under customary use.
  • Large swathes of customary forests in C. Indian states are outside village boundaries.
  • It is estimated that the law can deliver community forest resource rights to about 200 million tribals and other forest dwellers living in 170,000 villages across the country.
  • Lack of political will and forest bureaucracy is the reason for this.
  • This law transfers decision making powers and forest conservation responsibilities to the gram sabha.
  • For example the Niyamgiri case in Odisha has already established how gram sabhas can play a powerful role in protecting the cultural and resource rights of indigenous communities after gram sabhas unanimously voted against bauxite mining in the hills inhabited by Dongria Kondhs.
  • The report also documents why these rights are significant for conservation.
  • Tribes can play an important role in mitigating climate change impact.
India’s Plan for Ecology

India’s INDC aims to sequester an additional 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon.

Effective implementation of forest rights act will be critical for carbon sequestration through checking forest degradation and enhancement of forest stocks.

Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) report concluded that deforestation and subsequent increase in carbon dioxide emissions happen when the rights of indigenous peoples are ignored.

3)   Who has been chosen as the US Secretary of State?

a. Rex TIllerson
b. Rex Willerson
c. Rex Wilson
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Rex TIllerson

US President-elect Donald Trump named the CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp as the country’s top diplomat, signalling close ties to the Russian government.

Word of Rex Tillerson’s possible appointment comes as U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump win the White House.

The option of Mr. Tillerson further stocks Mr. Trump’s Cabinet and inner circle with people who favour a soft line toward Moscow.

Mr. Tillerson (64) has fuelled Exxon’s expansion in Russia for decades and opposed U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia for its seizure of Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin honoured Mr. Tillerson with Russia’s Order of Friendship, one of the country’s highest civilian honours.

Trump would also name John Bolton, a former US Ambassador to the United Nations, as Deputy-Secretary of State.

In 2011, Exxon signed a deal with Rosneft, Russia’s largest state-owned oil company, for joint oil exploration and production. Since then, the companies have formed 10 joint ventures for projects in Russia.

Who is Rex Tillerson?

  • CEO of Exxon Moobil
  • Assumed office: Jan 1, 2006
  • Preceded by: Lee Raymond
  • 33rd President of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Political Party: Republican
  • Awards: Russian order of Friendship(2013)

4)   Pakistan’s new army chief has appointed whom as ISI DG?

a. Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar
b. Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar
c. Lt Gen Naveed Akhtar
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar

Pakistan's new army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on 11th Dec 2016 removed the head of the country's spy agency ISI.

Gen Bajwa, who took over from Gen Raheel Sharif two weeks ago, appointed Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar as DG of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), replacing Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, the army said in a statement.

The new ISI chief Lt Gen Mukhtar possess a vast experience in the field of intelligence and has headed the counter- terrorism wing of the spy agency in Islamabad.

He was commissioned in the Armoured Corps regiment in 1983.

A graduate of the Command and Staff College Quetta, National Defence University Islamabad and War Course USA, Lt Gen Mukhtar had also commanded a mechanised division.

Lt Gen Bilal Akbar has been appointed Chief of General Staff while Lt Gen Nazir Butt - presently President of the NDU - has been appointed Corps Commander Peshawar (11 Corps), replacing Lt Gen Hidayat-ur Rehman, who was appointed Inspector-General Training and Evaluation (IGT&E) at General Headquarters (GHQ).

Among other changes he undertook on Dec 11, Lt Gen Asim Salim Bajwa, presently heading army's media wing, has been appointed Inspector-General Arms (IG Arms) at GHQ.

The newly-promoted Lt Gen Hamayun Aziz has been appointed Inspector General C&IT at GHQ, while Lt Gen Qazi Ikram has been appointed Chief of Logistic Staff at GHQ.

Lt Gen Sher Afgun has been posted 31 Corps Commander which is based in Bahawalpur near the Indian border, while newly Promoted Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal will continue as DG FWO and Lt Gen Naeem Ashraf has been appointed Chairman Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT).

5)   What does UNC stand for?

a. United Naga Council
b. United Naga Consortium
c. United Naga Committee
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: United Naga Council

Worried over the shortage of essential commodities in Manipur arising out of ongoing blockade of national highways by the United Naga Council (UNC), the Union home ministry on 12th Dec placed 1,500 Central para-military personnel at disposal of the state government to supplement its efforts to lift the blockade.

The UNC is protesting against the Manipur government's move to upgrade Sadar Hills and Jiribam to full-fledged districts.

Sadar Hills is being carved out of Senapati district, which has a substantial Naga population.

The Centre also appealed to United Naga Council (UNC) to withdraw the "illegal" blockade in view of the difficulties faced by the people of Manipur. "All contentious issues need to be settled peacefully by democratic and lawful means," it added.

6)   Which very severe cyclone began its landfall in Chennai, Northern TN on 12th Dec 2016?

a. Vardah
b. Varah
c. Varad
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vardah

Very severe tropical Cyclone Vardah began its landfall on Dec 12, 2016 around 2 pm in areas surrounding Chennai, in northern Tamil Nadu and off of the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh.

With the cyclonic storm Vardah set to make landfall between Sriharikota and Chennai, a state of high alert is being maintained in SPS Nellore district.

The holy Tirumala Hills have been receiving rainfall since last night, causing some hardship to devotees visiting the shrine of Lord Venkateswara.

Under the influence of Vardah, Nellore and Chittoor districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall.

What is a Landfall?

  • Intersection of the centre of a tropical cyclone with a coastline.
  • Occurs when the eye of the cyclone moves over land.
  • The eyewall is a ring of horrific thunderstorms surrounding the eye– this is considered a deadly landfall.
  • Landfall is accompanied by wind, rain and rising waves. When the cyclone hits land, it loses speed and energy.

  • Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon. They are called by different names in different places:

  • In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, the term 'hurricane' is used.
  • In the Northwest Pacific, it is called a 'typhoon' and in the Southern Pacific.
  • In the Indian Ocean, it is called a 'cyclone'.

7)   Which US official was honoured as the Officer of the Legion of Honour on Dec 11, 2016?

a. John Kerry
b. George Bush
c. Bill Clinton
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry was on 11 December 2016 honoured as the Officer of the Legion of Honour, the highest French civilian distinction for his contribution in peace effort.

Kerry received the award from the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault following the high level talks on Syria’s war by both the sides.

Kerry has visited France countless times as Secretary of State for high-level diplomatic meetings on Syria, Ukraine and other hotspots.

Some of the American recipients include Generals Dwight D Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Michael Mullen and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Know About the French Legion of Honour

  • Order of distinction.
  • Established: May 1802
  • Established by: Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Highest decoration of France.
  • Divided into 5 categories: Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer and Grand Cross.
  • Highest degree is Grand Master.
  • There are 93,000 Legion of Honour recipients at present.

8)   Who has been removed as director of TATA Industries on 12th Dec, 2016?

a. Cyrus Mistry
b. Ratan Tata
c. Cyrus Dastur
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Cyrus Mistry

Following shareholders’ vote during an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), Cyrus Mistry was removed as director of Tata Industries on 12 December 2016.

It is the first such instance in which an executive has been ousted from the board since his removal as Chairman of Tata Group.

As per reports, the extraordinary general meeting was called exclusively to remove him from his office.

Tata Industries is a subsidiary of Tata Sons. Several Tata companies namely Tata Motors, Tata Power and Tata Steel holds equity in the company.

Mistry was also sacked as TATA Group chairman on 24th Oct 2016.

He was replaced by Ratan Tata in the interim.

TATA Power has called an EGM on 26th Dec 2016; Mistry is currently Chairman of TATA Power.

The Board of Tata Industries, post the EGM, constitutes K.R.S. Jamwal, R. Bhinge, Ireena Vittal, Ashish Dhawan, N. Srinath, and F.N. Subedar.

Cyrus Pallonji Mistry

  • Joined: 2006 (TATA Sons)
  • Appointed Chairman of the Board on Dec 2012.
  • Irish businessman of Indian origin.
  • Sixth chairman of TATA Group.
  • Only the second to not bear the surname Tata.

9)   International Mountain Day 2016 was celebrated on?

a. 11th Dec
b. 12th Dec
c. 14th Dec
d. 15th Dec
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 11th Dec

The International Mountain Day 2016 was observed across the world on 11 December 2016 with the theme “Mountain Cultures: Celebrating Diversity and Strengthening Identity.”

The year saw the celebrations aimed at showcasing mountain cultures.

Mountains encompass communities with ancient cultures and traditions and are critical places for worship and pilgrimage.

Mountains cover around 22% of the earth’s land surface and play important role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth.

More About Mountains

  • Serve 915 million mountain people all over the world.
  • Sources of springs and rivers.
  • Viewed as homes of deities in several cultures For example: Mount Kenya (God Ngai’s abode), Andes (Inca)
  • UNESCO states 376 of the 669 biosphere reserves contain mountain ecosystems.

10)   Scientists in the US have discovered what material to produce safer economical nuclear reactors?

a. Nanoceramic
b. Nanopolyphenl
c. Nanopolymer
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Nanoceramic

A team of scientists from the United States have created a Nanoceramic material that can be used to produce safer and economical nuclear reactors.

The team included Fabio Di Fonzo and Kumar Sridharan and others.

The research was published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports in September 2016 with the title “Radiation endurance in Al2O3 nanoceramics.”

Earlier water was used as the primary coolant in reactors for absorbing the heat released from fission reactions which poses risks of corrosion damage to materials.

It also limits the temperatures up to which water-cooled reactors can operate because of which it cannot be used in advanced reactors.

About Nanoceramic material

  • Made of: aluminium oxide nanoceramic coating.
  • Can withstand harsh temperatures and radiation.
  • It becomes tougher under radiation.
  • Can be used in advanced nuclear reactors.
  • Increases energy efficiency, safety and economy.

11)   Who is the first Indonesian president to visit India?

a. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
b. Joko Widodo
c. Megawati Sukarnoputri
d. Abdurrahman Wahid
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Joko Widodo

Indonesia and India on 12th December 2016 released a joint statement in New Delhi.

  • The statement was released after extensive talks between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo; the latter is on a three day visit, marking the first by an Indonesian president
  • Strategic Engagement: Both the leaders agreed to hold annual summit meetings, including on the margins of multilateral events.
  • They also welcomed the submission of a Vision Document 2025 India-Indonesia Eminent Persons Group (EPG).
  • They directed the two Defence Ministers to explore collaboration between defence industries for the joint production of equipment including capacity building cooperation.
  • President Widodo welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s initiatives in the area of renewable energy, particularly the establishment of the International Solar Alliance.
  • Inking of an MoU between the Indonesian National Standardisation Agency (BSN) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on Standardisation Cooperation took place.
  • Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on youth affairs and sports and in this regard welcomed the signing of an MOU on Cooperation in Youth Affairs and Sports.
  • Common challenges like terrorism were also discussed and cooperation for counter terrorism formulated.

  • Know Indonesia

  • Capital: Jakarta
  • Currency: Indonesian rupiah
  • Population: 249.9 million (2013) World Bank
  • Official language: Indonesian

12)   Three books on Rashtrapati Bhavan were released on 11th Dec including?

a. ‘Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan’
b. ‘Indradhanush – Volume II’
c. Both a and b
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Three books including “Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan” and ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan: From Raj to Swaraj’ were released at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 11th December 2016 by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President of India, Mohd. Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi respectively.

Various initiatives were highlighted such as the Multi-Volume Documentation Project, Smart Gram Initiative, Visitor’s Conference, Laureates and Leaders Summit etc.

‘Rashtrapati Bhavan: From Raj to Swaraj’, is a book for children which recreates the story of Rashtrapati Bhavan from its inception as Government House, a symbol of imperial might, to the present day.

‘Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan’ is an attempt to record the human history of the residents living in the President’s Estate.

‘Indradhanush Volume-II’ is a compendium of music, dance, theatre and cinematic presentations organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan from mid 2014 to September 2016.

All three books have been released by Publications Division of I&B Ministry.

Rashtrapati Bhavan

  • Formerly known as Viceroy’s House.
  • Official home of President of India.
  • Address: Rashtrapati Bhawan, President's Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110004
  • Opened: 1929
  • Architect: Edwin Lutyens

13)   Former Portuguese PM Antonio Guterres was sworn in as _________

a. 9th UN Chief
b. 10th UNSG
c. 9th UNSG
d. Both a and c are same
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and c are same

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in on 12th Dec as Secretary-General of the United Nations, becoming the ninth U.N. chief in the body’s 71-year history.

The former U.N. refugee chief was elected to the top job by acclamation in the General Assembly in October. He will take over duties from Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1.

After being sworn in by General Assembly President John William Ashe, Guterres addressed the 193 member nations.

The swearing-in came after the 193 General Assembly members paid tribute to Ban, ending with a standing ovation for the native South Korean.

Ban served two five-year terms.

14)   EU has signed a political accord with which nation on 12th Dec 2016?

a. Cuba
b. Cambodia
c. Malaysia
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


European Union and Cuba signed a political accord on 12th Dec

It is hoped that the EU hopes will position its companies for Cuba's transition to a more open economy.

It will also allow it to press for political freedoms on the island.

EU lifted sanctions on the communist-ruled island in 2008, the so-called political dialogue and cooperation agreement is the first accord between Cuba and the 28-nation bloc.

Normalisation of relations has been tortuous partly because of resistance from the EU's eastern members due to their own communist past.

Havana’s arrest of dissidents in 2003 led the bloc to impose diplomatic sanctions, limiting contacts.