Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 15, 2017

1)   US Federal Communications Commission has voted _____ net neutrality.

a. For
b. Against
c. Neither for nor against
d. 50-50 For and Against
Answer  Explanation 


The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on December 14 to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.

The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal marks a victory for internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon Communications and hands them power over what content consumers can access.

Democrats, Hollywood and companies like Google parent Alphabet and Facebook had urged Mr. Pai, a Republican appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, to keep the Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content.

Consumer advocates and trade groups representing content providers have planned a legal challenge aimed at preserving those rules.

Mr. Pai has argued that the 2015 rules were heavy handed and stifled competition and innovation among service providers.

The FCC voted 3-2 to repeal the rules.

Consumers are unlikely to see immediate changes resulting from the rule change, but smaller startups worry the lack of restrictions could drive up costs or lead to their content being blocked.

FCC: Know More

  • The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government created by statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.
  • Chairperson: Ajit Pai(2017)
  • Director: Ajit Pai (2017)
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
  • Founded: June 19, 1934
  • Jurisdiction: Federal government of the United States
  • Tag: US, Net Neutrality, Facebook

2)   Dredging Corporation of India signed an MoU with which authority for supplying sand for construction work?

a. National Roadways Authority
b. National Railways Authority
c. National Aviation Authority
d. National Highways Authority
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Highways Authority

Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have signed a MoU for facilitating the supply of sand for highways construction work.

The MoU aims to fill sand supply gap by facilitating the availability of sand for concessionaires working on highways projects who were facing shortage of sand at many sites.

Under this MoU, DCI intends will do dredging operations at locations in South East Asia and generate large volumes of sand.

This dredging will be done for purpose of obtaining sand. Business intermediaries will ship and store this sand at various ports in India and market it for highways projects.

NHAI will facilitate process by displaying availability of sand at various stockyards at ports.

Dredging Corporation of India (DCI)

  • DCI is Indian Government Miniratna undertaking engaged in business of dredging. It was established in 1976 and reports to the Ministry of Shipping.
  • It is headquartered at Visakhapatnam and has project offices at many seaports in India.
  • DCI is involved in maintenance dredging, capital dredging, beach nourishment, land reclamation, shallow water dredging, Project Management consultancy and Marine construction.
  • It also occasionally dredges at foreign seaports in countries such as Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Dubai.

3)   Which state became the first in India to launch a free email address in Hindi for residents?

a. Uttar Pradesh
b. Madhya Pradesh
c. Rajasthan
d. Gujarat
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Rajasthan

Now access email IDs in Hindi in Rajasthan!

Rajasthan has become the first state in India to launch free email addresses in Hindi for its residents.

The facility will be available at name@rajasthan.bharat (in Devanagari script).

The initiative aims to ensure maximum participation of people towards e-governance and ensure that maximum government facilities are available in vernacular language.

The project is being implemented by state IT department with partnership in form of in-sourcing with private IT companies.

This initiative is small part of 'Rajasthan DigiKit' which has seen enrollment of more than one crore people from the state.

The first e-mail ID from this initiative was created by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje with id casundhara@rajasthan.bharat (in Devnagari).

All government personnel in state will soon have an email id in Hindi too.

The Hindi email ID will be offered to all the Internet users.

4)   Union Government has framed a scheme for setting up how many special courts to fast track criminal cases against tainted MP and MLA leaders?

a. 12
b. 13
c. 14
d. 15
Answer  Explanation 


The Union Government has framed a scheme to set up 12 Special Courts for a year to fast-track the trial of criminal cases against 1,581 MPs and MLAs.

This decision was conveyed by Government to Supreme Court and is intended to end inordinate delay in prosecution of politicians in criminal cases.

The court had directed the government that aim of the scheme to achieve this must be disposing of 1,581 criminal cases involving political persons within a time frame of one year.

The apex court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. The petitioner is seeking a lifelong ban on convicted politicians from contesting elections.

The Scheme: Know More

  • Initially, 12 courts would be constituted.
  • Two special courts will handle cases against 228 MPs and remaining 10 courts will be set up in 10 states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • These 10 states have more than 65 MLAs booked for criminal acts.
  • In states where there are less than 65 cases, the cases will be sent to existing fast track courts with the Supreme Court approval.
  • The number of courts has been calculated on basis of 11th Finance Commission analysis which mandates that one such court can dispose of 165 cases per annum.
  • The scheme is silent on special judicial forum to hear criminal cases against 44 Rajya Sabha MPs and also on which court will hear them.

5)   NITI Aayog AIM has launched which day on 15th Dec, 2017?

a. Atal Tinkering Lab's Community Day
b. Atal Thinking Lab's Community Day
c. Atal Technology Lab's Community Day
d. Atal Transition Lab's Community Day
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Atal Tinkering Lab's Community Day

NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission will launch the Atal Tinkering Lab's Community Day in the national capital tomorrow on Friday, 15th December, 2017.

The day will mark the Community Drive Initiative in which 25 young Mentors will engage with more than 200 students who are not enrolled in the formal education system.

CEO NITI Aayog, Mr. Amitabh Kant will launch the initiative in which these mentors will visit four locations in New Delhi to conduct brief sessions with children from various NGOs, on how innovations can help resolve the problems in the communities.

ATL: Know More

  • The Atal Tinkering Lab Community Drive Initiative is aimed at maximizing the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs by extending innovation to children in the community who do not have access to formal educational institutions.
  • The purpose of this initiative is to provide these children with the same educational tools as the students in Atal Tinkering Labs to enable them to become problem solvers.
  • The NGOs participating in these interactions include organizations working with disabled children, street and working children, and girls from the weaker sections of society.

6)   India and which country signed an MoU for enhanced cooperation in health on Dec 14, 2017?

a. Morocco
b. Marrakesh
c. Malta
d. Malaysia
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Morocco

India and Morocco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector.

Shri J P Nadda mentioned that both the countries share a strong and rich traditional relationship.

India is producer of quality generic medicines and drugs that are exported to more than 200 countries and has a strong and robust public health system monitored through National Health Mission.

Via this framework MOU between two countries, both the countries can work together in identified areas of cooperation as both countries have much to offer to each other in the field of health.

The main areas of cooperation include the following:

  • Non-communicable diseases, including child cardiovascular diseases and cancer;
  • Drug Regulation and Pharmaceutical quality control;
  • Communicable Diseases;
  • Maternal, child and neonatal health;
  • Hospital twinning for exchange of good practices and
  • Training in administration and management of health services and Hospitals
Another MoU was signed between Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry and Marrakech Mohamed VI University Hospital, Morocco in the presence of both the Ministers.

Under this MoU both the Institutes agreed to collaborate in the field of telemedicine.

The focus areas under this MoU will be Tele-Health Care, Health Education, technical support in controlling epidemics and support in rendering second opinion on various complicated cases.

7)   ADB has forecasted India's current economic growth forecast for this fiscal by 0.3% to ____.

a. 6.6 percent
b. 6.7 percent
c. 6.8 percent
d. 6.9 percent
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 6.7 percent

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its Asian Development Outlook Supplement has lowered India's economic growth forecast for current fiscal i.e. FY 2017-18 by 0.3% to 6.7% from earlier 7%.

The reasons cited for this downward revision of growth forecast of largest economy South Asia are lingering effect of demonetisation, transitory challenges to Goods and Services Tax (GST) and weather-related risks to agriculture.

ADB Forecast: Know More

  • ADB has also revised downwards India's gross domestic product (GDP) outlook for next fiscal beginning from March 2018 to 7.3% from 7.4% mainly due to rising global crude oil prices and soft growth in private sector investment.
  • However, it expects growth to pick up in remaining two quarters of FY 2017-18 as Government is implementing measures to ease compliance with new GST as well as bank recapitalisation.
  • Inflation in India has remained subdued in first seven months of 2017-18, averaging 2.7%, with low food prices and demand still not out of woods because of demonetisation.
  • However, inflation had picked up since July 2017 on price uptick for food, especially pulses and vegetables. Fuel prices also inched up in response to rising global crude oil prices.
  • It has now projected inflation to average 3.7% in 2017-18, somewhat below the 4% earlier forecast.

8)   Naval submarine INS Kalvari has been a partnership between India and which EU nation?

a. Italy
b. France
c. Germany
d. Spain
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: France

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the naval submarine INS Kalvari to the nation, at a function in Mumbai.

INS Kalvari is described as a prime example of "Make in India." He commended all those involved in its manufacture.

The submarine is an excellent illustration of the fast growing strategic partnership between India and France. He said the INS Kalvari will add even more strength to the Indian Navy.

The Prime Minister said that the 21st century is described as Asia's century. He added that it is also certain that the road to development in the 21st century goes through the Indian Ocean. That is why the Indian Ocean has a special place in the policies of the Government, he added.

The Prime Minister said this vision can be understood through the acronym SAGAR - Security and Growth for All in the Region.

India has played the role of "first responder" for its partner countries, in times of crisis.

The human face of Indian diplomacy and Indian security establishment is our speciality.

INS Kalvari: Know More

  • INS Kalvari is most modern non-nuclear stealth submarine in India Navy.
  • 'Kalvari' is Malayalam word that means deep-sea tiger shark.
  • It reflects its agility, strength and predatory prowess.
  • The length of INS Kalvari is 67.5 metres and height of 12.3 metres and weighs 1,565-tonnes and displacement capacity of 1,600 tonnes.
  • It is powered by two 1250 kW MAN extremely silent diesel-electric diesel engines making it very difficult to detect underwater.
  • It boasts highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System.
  • Its hull form, fin and hydroplanes are specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance. It has 360 battery cells (each weighing 750 kg) to power the extremely silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor.
  • Its stealth capability is enhanced through mounting of equipment inside pressure hull on shock absorbing cradles
  • Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS) suite is heart of INS Kalvari's weapons system which processes information from sonars on-board submarine in detecting targets which can then be engaged with torpedoes or missiles.
  • It is armed with heavy weight torpedoes and Exocet anti-ship missiles. It can launch torpedoes both while submerged or on the surface.
  • It has an attack-and-search periscope equipped with infrared and low light level cameras and laser range finders to spot targets on the surface of the sea.
  • It is designed to operate in all theatres, including the tropics and can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence gathering, area surveillance, mine laying etc.

9)   Which Marathi daily was launched in a New Delhi edition by Vice President of India on December 14, 2017?

a. Lokmat
b. Janmat
c. Sahmat
d. Sanmat
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Lokmat

The Vice-President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu launched the New Delhi Edition of Marathi daily 'Lokmat' at a function on Dec 14, 2017.

Vice President indicated the media has great power to influence the people and the Fourth Estate should use this freedom of expression to spread harmony and contribute to the nation's development.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu said the media should exercise the freedom of expression with responsibility.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu recalled the history of the Lokmat newspaper, which is entering into its centennial year this day, and its contribution to India's freedom struggle.

Lokmat: Know More

  • "Lokmat" is a Marathi language newspaper published from Mumbai, and several other cities in Maharashtra state.
  • Founded in 1971 by Jawaharlal Darda, it is the largest selling daily. with 1.3 million copies a day.
  • Circulation: 1.3 million Daily (as of Jul - Dec 2015)
  • Editor-in-chief: Vijay J. Darda
  • Founder: Rajendra Darda
  • Founded: December 15, 1971
  • Format: Broadsheet

10)   Where has the world's newest island been formed in 2014-2015?

a. Tonga
b. Japan
c. China
d. Samoa
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The world's newest island - formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific three years ago - may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars, NASA said on Dec 13, 2017.

The island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai rose from the seabed about 65 km northwest of the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa in late 2014 or early 2015.

Scientists initially expected the island - created when vast quantities of rock and dense ash spewed from the earth's crust - to wash away within a few months.

But NASA said it had proved more resilient than expected, possibly because warm sea water combined with ash during the volcanic explosion to create a concrete-like substance known as "tuff".

While the island - which initially measured one km wide, two km long and about 100 metres high - has undergone significant erosion, it is now expected to last anywhere from six to 30 years.

Mars had many similar volcanic islands.

11)   Google and NASA have joined hands to identify which two new planets around distant stars?

a. Kepler 80g, Kepler 90i
b. Kepler 90g, Kepler 80i
c. Kepler 81g, Kepler 90i
d. Kepler 90i, Kepler 82g
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Kepler 80g, Kepler 90i

Google and NASA said on December 2017 that advanced computer analysis identified two new planets around distant stars, including one that is part of the first star system with as many planets as Earth's solar system.

The research by Google and the University of Texas at Austin that used data from NASA raised the prospects of new insights into the universe by feeding data into computer programmes that can churn through information faster and more in-depth than humanly possibly, a technique known as machine learning.

In this case, software learned differences between planets and other objects by analysing thousands of data points, achieving 96% accuracy, NASA said at a news conference.

The data came from the Kepler telescope which NASA launched into space in 2009 as part of a planet-finding mission that is expected to end next year as the spacecraft runs out of fuel.

The software's artificial "neural network" combed through data about 670 stars, which led to the discovery of planets Kepler 80g and Kepler 90i.

The latter, a scorching, rocky mass 30% larger than Earth, is the eighth planet found to be orbiting the same star.

Astronomers had never before observed an eight-planet network beside the solar system that includes Earth, researchers said.

Advancements in hardware and new techniques for machine learning have made it possible in recent years for automated software to tackle data analysis in science, finance and other industries.