Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 13, 2017

1)   Which author has been awarded the title Companion of Honour on Dec 12, 2017?

a. JK Rowling
b. Roald Dahl
c. Charlotte Bronte
d. Jane Austen
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: JK Rowling

"Harry Potter" scribe J.K. Rowling has added another title to her globally recognized name: Companion of Honor.

The 52-year-old bestselling author and Lumos charity founder was awarded the British prize by Prince William for her services to literature and philanthropy, during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Dec 12, 2017.

Add that to the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) title Prince Charles gave her in 2001, as well as her French Legion of Honor prize and her Hans Christian Andersen Award.

The prize is limited to 65 people "of distinction," according to the Associated Press, and has also been bestowed upon scientist Stephen Hawking, artist David Hockney, music icon Paul McCartney and Oscar winner Maggie Smith.

Rowling's beloved series about a boy wizard and the whimsical world he's immersed in has sold more than 450 million copies and has been translated into 80 languages.

The tomes have been been adapted into eight blockbuster films, and one of her companion books has been spun off into the five-film "Fantastic Beasts" franchise, giving Rowling a chance to flex her screenwriting muscles.

Just as her debut novel, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" celebrated its 20th anniversary over the summer, the billionaire was also named Europe's highest-paid celebrity and the world's highest-paid author by Forbes.

2)   Where was the country's first ever tribal hackathon held in Chhattisgarh?

a. Indore
b. Raipur
c. Bhopal
d. Chambal
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Raipur

Country's first ever Tribal Hackathon provided young entrepreneurs and engineering students a platform to review the challenges in implementing welfare schemes for tribals

Chhattisgarh government showcased rich culture and traditional cuisine of tribal communities of the state during two-day Adivasi Mahotsav - 2017 being held for the first time in the state.

The tribal festival was organised by the Department of Tribal Welfare, Chhattisgarh, on December 10 and 11 at Balbir Singh Juneja Indoor Stadium in Raipur in memory of freedom fighter Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh.

Veeer Narayan Singh martyred on December 10 while his birth anniversary falls on December 15.

The main attraction of the festival were programme on Tribal Culture (dance and music), Tribal Olympiad, colourful cultural presentation by artists of eight North-East states such as Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim, Tribal Food and Festival, Literature festival, Tribal Hackathon and Craft Exhibition.

Under Tribal Olympiad, tribal from different district displayed their skills in different tribal sports while stalls having traditional tribal cuisine will be put at the venue for the visitors who can enjoy the food prepared by the tribal.

Under the Literature Festival, literature written on scheduled tribal community were put on display to get the visitors acquainted with the rich history of tribal.

Art and craft made by the tribal of different districts will be exhibited during the festival.

Artists from Arunachal Pradesh performed Paku Etu art, Assam artists will present Mising Bihu, Manipuri artists will present Rongmei Folk Dance, Meghalaya artists performed Wangala, Mizoram artists will present Cheraw, Nagaland artist performed on Hornbill Dance, Sikkim artists presented Chyabrung art and artists from Tripura will present Hozagiri art.

The two-day festival also raised various issues related to the tribal, discussion will be held on researches done on them and remedies suggested by the researchers.

3)   What is the date on which the National Energy Conservation day will be celebrated?

a. 14th December 2017
b. 13th December 2017
c. 12th December 2017
d. 11th December 2017
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 14th December 2017

Hon'ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will preside as the Chief Guest over the National Energy Conservation Day celebrations, to be held in New Delhi, on 14th December, 2017.

Hon'ble President of India will give away National Energy Conservation Awards to industries that have demonstrated measurable reductions in their energy use as part of the National Energy Conservation Awards Programme.

During the event, a short film on the Energy Efficiency achievements in the Industry Sector will also be shown.

The Energy Conservation Day is organized on 14th December each year by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under Ministry of Power, with an aim to demonstrate India's achievements in energy efficiency and conservation, while working for its ambition of holistic development as part of the nation's overall effort towards climate change mitigation.

As part of its awareness outreach, BEE recognizes and encourages endeavours of industries in reducing energy consumption by felicitating them with National Energy Conservation Awards.

BEE also awards prizes to the national winners of the annual National Painting Competition on Energy Conservation.

In order to realize its development goals, India's energy demand is expected to double between 2013 and 2030, to approximately 1500 million tonnes of oil equivalent.

The mission of BEE is to assist in developing policies and strategies that will help reduce this energy demand by promoting widespread adoption of energy efficiency measures.

4)   Culture and MoeF MOS led the Indian delegation for the 2nd UNWTO/UNESCO world conference held in ______ on Dec 12, 2017.

a. Muscat
b. Jeddah
c. Riyadh
d. Dubai
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Muscat

The Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma led the Indian delegation to the second UN World Tourism Organization/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture.

With focus on sustainable development, it was held in Muscat, Capital city of Oman, during 11-12th December, 2017.

Speaking during the Ministerial Dialogue on Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development, Dr. Mahesh Sharma highlighted India's approach to sustainable development, while preserving nature and India's cultural heritage.

The Conference had also on its agenda themes such as culture and tourism as a factor of peace and prosperity; tourism development and protection of cultural heritage; culture and tourism and urban development and creativity; and exploring cultural land escapes in tourism.

The conference also finalized the 2030 Agenda.

India also held bilateral discussions on cooperation between India and Oman in fields of culture and tourism.

Additionally the two sides agreed to institute a joint committee to explore areas for mutual cooperation in fields of culture and tourism between India and Turkey.

5)   VVPAT has been _______ with EVM to ensure fair electoral practices in India.

a. Coupled
b. Alternated
c. Randomized
d. Matched
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Randomized

The Election Commission has put in place an elaborate framework of administrative system, security protocols and procedural checks-and-balances in Gujarat, which prevent any possible misuse of EVMs/VVPATs or procedural lapses in the use of EVMs and VVPATs during polls.

These safeguards are being implemented by ECI, in total transparently, with the active and documented involvement of Political Parties, Candidates and their Representatives at every stage, so as to build their confidence on efficacy and reliability of EVMs and VVPATs

All these functions and procedures are implemented through the District Election Officers (DEOs), Returning Officers (ROs), Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) and other election related officers concerned, who are on deemed deputation to the ECI and are under its superintendence, direction and control.

The comprehensive framework of administrative protocols and procedural safeguards comprises the First Level Checking of all EVMs and VVPATs, strict regime of Mock Polls conducted on each and every EVM and VVPAT during the FLC, Candidate Setting and Poll Day (before the beginning of actual polls).

Additionally, there was 2-stage randomization of EVMs and VVPATs, stringent security protocols for storage of EVMs and VVPATs before, during and after the polls, and comprehensive videography and CCTV coverage of all EVM & VVPAT related activities and storage in strong-rooms.

The randomizations were carried out through EVM Tracking Software (ETS) by the DEO in the presence of the representatives of political parties/candidates for complete transparency.

6)   Which Arunachal Pradesh bridge provides uninterrupted access between Roing and Tezu for the first time?

a. Indupani
b. Injupani
c. Deopani
d. Diopani
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Injupani

Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr Subhash Bhamre dedicated to the nation two crucial bridges in Eastern Arunachal Pradesh on 12th Dec 2017.

The minister first inaugurated the Injupani Bridge, a 140 metre long bridge on Roing-Koronu-Paya road, which is a part of Trans Arunachal Highway.

The completion of the Injupani Bridge would provide an uninterrupted access between Roing & Tezu, both important district HQs in Arunachal Pradesh.

The minister then inaugurated the Deopani/Eze Bridge, which is 300 metre long pre-stressed concrete balanced cantilever bridge over the Eze river at Roing in Arunachal Pradesh.

7)   Where has the world's biggest automated container terminal been set up?

a. Shenzen
b. Shanghai
c. Sichuan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Shanghai

China started trial operations of world's biggest automated container terminal at Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, the country's commercial hub.

The terminal is located at south of Donghai Bridge, phase 4 of Yangshan Port and covers 2.23 million square metres and has a 2,350-metre shoreline.

The automated management system is also used at port to maintain safety and efficiency.

Key Facts

  • The project uses automated handling equipment designed and manufactured in China. The machinery used in loading and unloading, including bridge crane, automated guided vehicle (AGV) and rail-mounted gantry crane, are all made in China by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company.
  • Initially, automated terminal will have capacity to handle 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and later it will be expanded to 6.3 million TEUs at later stage.
  • The automated terminal not only increases the port's handling efficiency, but also reduces carbon emissions by up to 10%.

8)   ISRO has developed small satellite launch vehicles to launch which type of satellites?

a. Low cost
b. Small sized
c. Hi-tech
d. Only a and b
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and b

The Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) is developing small satellite launch vehicles to launch low-cost small satellites.

Preliminary work to design and develop such ambitious small launch vehicle already has started at ISRO's rocket development node, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

The small launch vehicle will be able to put satellites of up to 500-600 kg in orbits close to the Earth. VSSC has designed the vehicle using the rocket technology.

Small satellite launch vehicles have tremendous potential to cut the launch fee that customers pay. Ride on small launchers is ninth or tenth of the present cost.

Besides, they are easy to assemble compared to about 40 days taken to assemble a PSLV.

What is a Small Satellite?

  • Small satellites, miniaturized satellites, or smallsats, are satellites of low mass and size, usually under 500 kg (1,100 lb).
  • While all such satellites can be referred to as "small", different classifications are used to categorize them based on mass.
  • Satellites can be built small to reduce the large economic cost of launch vehicles and the costs associated with construction.
  • Miniature satellites, especially in large numbers, may be more useful than fewer, larger ones for some purposes - for example, gathering of scientific data and radio relay.
  • Technical challenges in the construction of small satellites may include the lack of sufficient power storage or of room for a propulsion system.
Small Satellites Sector: Know More
  • Since 1999, ISRO's PSLV rockets have launched 209 small satellites from 28 countries for fee. In February 2017, PSLV created world record by launching 104 satellites to space.
  • Globally, the small satellites market is booming as they are used for various applications.
  • As such, worldwide, operators and private players are developing small launchers to capture the market at a much lower cost.
  • Global space industry consulting firm Euroconsult in July 2017 had estimated that 6,200 smallsats - many of them will be launched during 2017-2026 and its market value will touch to $30 billion - up from $8.9 billion in last decade.

9)   Who is the 16th President of the Indian National Congress?

a. Priyanka Gandhi
b. Rahul Gandhi
c. Varun Gandhi
d. Sonia Gandhi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was elected unopposed as president of the Indian National Congress on December 11, 2017.

Congress party's central election authority chief Mullappally Ramachandran said Mr. Gandhi will formally take over on December 16.

He is the 16th president of the Congress since Independence and sixth from the Nehru-Gandhi clan to take over the party reins. Mr. Gandhi has been vice-president of the party since 2013.

Among other senior politicians, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated him.

Rahul Gandhi: Know More

  • Rahul Gandhi (born 19 June 1970) is an Indian politician who currently serves as Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh and is also the President of the Indian National Congress.
  • He also currently serves as Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs.
  • He also serves as the Chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India. He is the second-highest-ranked member of the Congress Working Committee.
  • He also serves as Trustee of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.
  • Gandhi formerly served as a general secretary in the All India Congress Committee.

10)   Which controversial clause of the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017 has been making news?

a. Bail in clause
b. Setting up of Resolution Corporation
c. Bail out clause
d. Both a and b
e. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bail in clause

Recently, a bill tabled in Parliament in August - the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill 2017 - has been making news due to its controversial ‘bail-in' clauses.

However, important as that clause may be, the other provisions of the Bill are equally so.

The FRDI Bill is part of a larger, more comprehensive approach by the Centre towards systematic resolution of all financial firms - banks, insurance companies and other financial intermediaries.

The Bill comes together with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to spell out the procedure for the winding up or revival of an ailing company.

The need for a specific regulation rose following the 2008 financial crisis, which witnessed a large number of high-profile bankruptcies. With the Centre also actively encouraging people to engage more with the banking sector - both through schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana and moves like demonetisation - it becomes critical to protect savers and those joining the formal economy in case a bank or insurance firm starts failing.

Main Provisions of the Bill

  • The Bill provides for the setting up of a Resolution Corporation - to replace the existing Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation - which will be tasked with monitoring financial firms, anticipating their risk of failure, taking corrective action and resolving them in case of failure. The corporation is also tasked with providing deposit insurance up to a certain limit yet to be specified, in the event of a bank failure.
  • The Corporation will also be tasked with classifying financial firms on their risk of failure - low, moderate, material, imminent, or critical. It will take over the management of a company once it is deemed critical.
  • Among other tools, the FRDI Bill also empowers the Corporation to bail-in the company. While a bail-out is the use of public funds to inject capital into an ailing company, a bail-in involves the use of depositors' funds to achieve those ends.
  • This can be done either by cancelling the bank's liabilities, or converting them into other forms, such as equity.
  • This has caused a lot of concern among depositors who are worried they may lose their hard-earned money deposited with banks.
  • However, the fact is that the risk is no more or no less than it ever was.
  • The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation provides deposit insurance of up to Rs.1 lakh. The rest is forfeited in the event of a bank failure.
  • The FRDI Bill has not specified the insured amount yet, but it is unlikely to be lower than that amount, as the limit was set way back in 1993.

11)   Which of these are planetary storms?

a. Jupiter's Great Red Spot
b. Sun's Solar Flares
c. Saturn's Great White Storm
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and c

Jupiter's Great Red Spot - the solar system's most famous storm - is almost one-and-a-half Earths wide and penetrates about 300 kilometres into the planet's atmosphere, according to data collected by NASA's Juno spacecraft.

Juno data indicate that the solar system's most famous storm is almost one-and-a-half Earths wide, and has roots that penetrate about 300 kilometres into the planet's atmosphere.

The science instrument responsible for this in-depth revelation was Juno's Microwave Radiometer (MWR).

Juno's Microwave Radiometer has the unique capability to peer deep below Jupiter's clouds.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a giant oval of crimson- coloured clouds in Jupiter's southern hemisphere that race counter-clockwise around the oval's perimeter with wind speeds greater than any storm on Earth.

Measuring 16,000 kilometres in width as of April 3, this year, the Great Red Spot is 1.3 times as wide as Earth.

Juno found that the Great Red Spot's roots go 50 to 100 times deeper than Earth's oceans and are warmer at the base than they are at the top.

Winds are associated with differences in temperature, and the warmth of the spot's base explains the ferocious winds we see at the top of the atmosphere.

Future of the Great Red Spot

  • The future of the Great Red Spot is still very much up for debate. While the storm has been monitored since 1830, it has possibly existed for more than 350 years.
  • In the 19th century, the Great Red Spot was well over two Earths wide.
  • At the time NASA's Voyagers 1 and 2 sped by Jupiter on their way to Saturn and beyond, in 1979, the Great Red Spot was twice Earth's diameter.
  • Today, measurements by Earth-based telescopes indicate the oval that Juno flew over has diminished in width by one- third and height by one-eighth since Voyager times.
  • Juno also has detected a new radiation zone, just above the gas giant's atmosphere, near the equator. The zone includes energetic hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur ions moving at almost light speed.
  • The new zone was identified by the Jupiter Energetic Particle Detector Instrument (JEDI) investigation.